It’s Official: Eagles Sign WR Miles Austin

Miles Austin. Aaron Doster/USA Today

Miles Austin. Aaron Doster/USA Today

Miles Austin identified a few reasons for deciding to sign with the Eagles: the winning culture, the guys in the locker room and the proximity to his home town in New Jersey.

Those are all reasonable factors, but the truth is, it sounds like Austin didn’t have many (any?) other options.

“I didn’t visit anywhere [else],” Austin confirmed. “This is the only place I came.”

The Eagles officially announced Tuesday that they’ve signed Austin to a one-year deal. According to NFL Network, it’s worth $2.3 million, a curious amount for a player who didn’t seem to be generating much interest on the open market. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Bradford And the Zone Read

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

Today’s question comes from reader Andrew, via e-mail:

I have been waiting for an article discussing Sam Bradford and running the read option. It seems like the guy is already a risk to get hurt just staying in the pocket. Do we really want this guy running the read option 5-7 times a game? I already envision Sam tearing an ACL running to the sideline a la Mcnabb in 2006. Talk me off the ledge Sheil.

I imagine that when he’s surrounded by his peers, Chip Kelly speaks rather eloquently about the intricacies of the zone read and why it works/doesn’t work in certain situations. But with reporters, he’s usually not very forthcoming on this topic, Andrew.

Just last week at the owners meetings, Kelly was asked about the zone read.

“We don’t run as much zone read as you think we run,” Kelly said. “Probably less than two times a game.”

Can it be an effective tool at the NFL level?

“It depends on your personnel,” Kelly said. “I think the Seattle Seahawks run it outstanding. And it’s a real difficult play in terms of how they run it. But I think we’re maybe less than one a game in terms of running zone read plays. It’s not a big part of what we do.” Read more »

Maclin: ‘You Just Can’t Plug Guys In Anywhere’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

There was no bitterness in Jeremy Maclin’s voice.

He had hoped to stick with the Eagles for the next stretch of his career. He watched his former team throw out guaranteed dollars to outsiders like Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray. He said his decision wasn’t all about the money, while admitting that the contract obviously played a role.

But Maclin seemed happy when he addressed reporters at Todd Herremans’ charity event last week. And why shouldn’t he be? He got $22.5 million guaranteed, will be playing for the coach who drafted him and is returning to his home state.

Maclin even praised Chip Kelly, saying he believes in his former coach and expects the Eagles to be productive offensively for years to come.

The topic of how the Eagles will replace Maclin is one that will be discussed often between now and draft time. For the second year in a row, the Birds will return to training camp without their leading receiver from the previous year. Read more »

Three Leftovers: Kelce Working With Bradford

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

From Connor Barwin’s contract to Jason Kelce’s view of the QB situation to Jeremy Maclin’s praise for Nick Foles, here are three Eagles leftovers from Todd Herremans’ charity event on Thursday night.

1. Kelce is one of the Eagles players who stays in the Philadelphia area and works out at the NovaCare Complex in the offseason. That means he’s already had a chance to get a first impression of new quarterback Sam Bradford. So what does Kelce think?

“I’ve been meeting with him and going over things,” Kelce said. “I think he’s a guy that comes off as very cerebral, very smart, very quick. He’s had a lot of bad luck in his career as far as injuries are concerned and as far as… I don’t want to throw any offensive lines under the bus, but I think he’s much better suited now with us. I think that he has a good chance to be very successful in this offense.”

As for the draft, Kelce said he doesn’t think the Eagles will make a move to land Marcus Mariota. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: What Players Think Of Chip’s Moves

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A bunch of Todd Herremans’ former teammates joined him Thursday night at Vie for his foundation’s third annual Hoops For Help fundraiser.

Herremans signed with the Colts after the Eagles released him, but he said he plans on eventually settling down in Philadelphia and will continue to be active in the community here.

Joining him were several former Eagles who now have new homes, like Trent ColeJeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy. Current Eagles Jason KelceConnor Barwin and Beau Allen were also in attendance, along with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Earlier this week in Phoenix, Chip Kelly and Jeffrey Lurie did their best to explain the team’s offseason moves. But what do the players – both current and former – think? And do they believe Chip knows what he’s doing?

We asked them. Here’s what they had to say. Read more »

Ten Leftover Thoughts On the Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an eventful few days for the Eagles during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

We heard from Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, from Chip Kelly on Wednesday and had numerous conversations with other people around the league.

If you haven’t caught up on all our coverage, I suggest starting at the beginning and doing so now. Meanwhile, here are 10 leftover thoughts on the state of the Birds. Read more »

Kelly’s Spin On Mariota, Foles And the QB Spot

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX — As Chip Kelly approached his crowded table at the NFC coaches breakfast Wednesday morning, he offered his expectations for the hour-long session with reporters.

“My yearly dental appointment,” Kelly muttered before he sat down.

The Eagles head coach touched on a variety of topics, but largely in focus was the team’s quarterback situation. That meant several questions involving Marcus MariotaSam Bradford and even Nick Foles. Read more »

Kelly Responds To Tra Thomas’ Racism Claim

Howard Smith / USA Today

Howard Smith / USA Today

PHOENIX — Earlier this offseason, former Eagles assistant coach Tra Thomas suggested that race might have had something to do with the decisions Chip Kelly was making within the organization.

“One of the things that you’re seeing right now, and these are the things that you have heard from the locker room from different players is that … they feel like there is a hint of racism,” Thomas said on FOX, via NJ.com.

“Yeah, you have seven assistant black coaches, but only one black coach is over the segment. The other guys are assistants to the assistant coaches. Duce Staley is the only guy that’s head over his segment who is gonna be in charge of his group. The other guys are just assistants to an assistant coach.”

Today, at the owners meetings, Kelly was asked about Thomas’ claims. Read more »

Lurie: Mortgaging the Future Can Make Sense

Jeffrey Lurie. Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY

Jeffrey Lurie. Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY

PHOENIX, Ariz. — The question posed to Jeffrey Lurie concerned the power structure that he settled on earlier this offseason.

Was there risk in choosing a model where the head coach has complete control?

“The only model to me that correlates to having big success in the NFL is having a Hall of Fame, franchise quarterback,” Lurie said. “Then you can put any system around that player, and you can rationalize that structure.”

His comment was completely fair. Great quarterbacks oftentimes make mediocre coaches and general managers look extraordinary. And Lurie has been consistent in his belief that the Eagles need a franchise quarterback to finally bring home a Lombardi Trophy.

The question is: Who is that quarterback going to be? Read more »

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