Eagles Wake-Up Call: Inside Linebacking

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Before the play even starts, DeMeco Ryans processes a lot of information. The ball—and even his opponents—don’t have to move for Ryans’ mind to be in motion.

That’s why Eagles Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis calls the inside linebacker “the quarterback” of the defense. Like a quarterback, he diagnoses the opposition and reacts before the snap.

“If the team is huddling up, I look to see what personnel is in,” Ryans said. “Once they come out, I assess the formation and where tight ends, backs and receivers are. I check the personnel and then make my calls. I diagnose and eliminate plays of what they can’t run. If we’re deep in the game, I probably picked up tendencies on what they are doing.” Read more »

Fantasy Focus: Draft Day Decisions

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

As the red clock ticks down and gets closer and closer to zero, analysis paralysis kicks in. It’s not real life—you know that—but it has real life implications. You’ve been a dedicated fan for so long, yet here lies another apparent test of your allegiance.

Questions abound, and you don’t know the answer to even one of them. Should I draft the guy on my favorite team? I think he’s better, but aren’t I biased? Now I’m not sure if he’s better, but wouldn’t a real fan pick him?

The struggle is real in fantasy football, and I’m here to help you. After reviewing ESPN’s fantasy assessments of several Eagles—ESPN was picked because of their enormous popularity—I’ll let you know if ESPN is underrating the player, overrating the player or is spot on. All numbers in the player charts are ESPN’s 2015 projections. Read more »

Making the Roster: Special Teams Stars

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When projecting the 53-man roster, the toughest calls come down to the fringe players who rarely get on the field on offense and defense. Often, the determining factor for the last few guys in and out is simple: special teams.

Chip Kelly, in a press conference before practice last Tuesday, said it best.

“We talk about it all the time,” he said. “If you’re not in that top group of guys, the three ways to make this football team are special teams, special teams and special teams.”

Because of that, we put together a list of starters (from the most recent preseason game) for four of the special teams units: kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return. We also had a few of the Eagles’ top special teams players break down their position and what their responsibilities are in each unit. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Andrew Gardner’s Ascent

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Three weeks ago, it was unclear who would be the Eagles’ starting right guard. Although Andrew Gardner was practicing a lot with the starting unit, Matt Tobin and John Moffitt also rotated in with the first-team offensive line.

Now, halfway through the preseason, it seems all but finalized that Gardner will be the week one starter.

“Andrew played another good game. We’re really pleased with how he’s playing right now,” Chip Kelly said before Monday’s practice. “There is no reason to rush [announcing a starter]. But he’s doing a really good job.” Read more »

Mychal Kendricks Signed To Extension

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

The Eagles signed inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a four-year, $29 million contract extension, with $16.4 million guaranteed.

Jay Glazer first reported the signing, while Adam Caplan first reported the figures. The Eagles confirmed that Kendricks, whose rookie deal was set to expire at the end of the 2015 season, is now under contract through 2019.

Chip Kelly said before training camp that Kendricks wasn’t going anywhere this year, and now it looks like the linebacker won’t go anywhere for several years. According to Caplan, the maximum Kendricks can earn is $31.5 million. Caplan also added that the linebacker will earn $16 million over the next two seasons. Read more »

Chip Kelly: NFL’s Head Of Officiating Is Wrong

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

After Dean Blandino, the NFL’s head of officiating, said this morning that Terrell Suggs’ hit on Sam Bradford was not a penalty, Chip Kelly stood by the call on the field.

“He said it was a read-option play. It wasn’t a read-option play,” Kelly said. “We know the rules. If our quarterback hands the ball off and isn’t going anywhere, you shouldn’t be able to hit him.”

In the first quarter of the Eagles’ win over the Ravens Saturday, the referee called roughing the passer on the play. However, Blandino reportedly said in an NFL Network appearance today that Bradford appeared to have the option of keeping the ball. Read more »

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