Ex-Oregon QB Bennett Gets a Shot

John David Mercer / USA Today

John David Mercer / USA Today

MOBILE, Ala. — As Bryan Bennett stood on the field after practice preparing to answer another reporter’s question, a Senior Bowl official walked by and tapped him on the shoulder.

“You don’t want to get left behind,” he advised

Bennett (6-2, 210) was the last player standing. The others had exited to change, shower and head to their next scheduled event.

Bennett, however, was soaking it all in. He signed some autographs for local kids who probably didn’t even know who he was. But they saw the yellow Senior Bowl quarterback jersey and figured: Why not?

Then it was time for an NFL Network interview with reporter Alex Flanagan. Telling his story on national TV was certainly not something Bennett could have expected just 24 hours earlier.

On Tuesday, he was in southern California training with Jordan Palmer. Bennett was not originally asked to participate in the Senior Bowl, but Marcus Mariota declined an invitation, and Auburn’s Nick Marshall was moved to cornerback, so he ended up getting the call. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Is Chip Taking On Too Much?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

MOBILE, Ala. — Today’s question comes from reader Cliff, via e-mail.

Between re-tooling the offense, fixing Nick Foles, scouting for the draft, free agent acquisitions, restructuring current roster and contracts, hiring new assistants and finding a director of player personnel (good lord that’s a full plate, did i miss anything?), how can we tell if and when Chip Kelly is overwhelmed? Do you think he’s taking on too much?

My scary answer: Can’t and too late.

It’s a great question and really one of the emerging story lines of the offseason. Read more »

Chip Not Chatty: ‘When We Find the Right Guy’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

MOBILE, Ala. — Chip Kelly departed the sideline at Fairhope Municipal Stadium Tuesday afternoon at about 4:25 and headed for the exit.

Other than a TV appearance before the Oregon-Ohio State game, the Eagles’ head coach has been silent publicly since the day after the season ended. So as he made his stroll, Kelly was swarmed by a handful of reporters looking to sneak a couple questions in. But he didn’t break stride and said he was headed to his hotel to shower.

Kelly is looking to get quite a few things accomplished at the Senior Bowl. He needs to find a quarterbacks coach. He needs to scout. And he needs to hire a personnel executive to be his right-hand man.

Asked if he had a timetable for the hire, Kelly pretended the question was about his shower and predicted five minutes. Eventually, he offered, “When we find the right guy.” Read more »

Senior Bowl: What We’re Watching

Jerome Miron / USA Today

Jerome Miron / USA Today

MOBILE, Ala. — Welcome to the Senior Bowl, where I’ll be stationed until Thursday. Here are three things we’ll be watching throughout the week.

1. Still searching for a personnel exec.

Last year, after one of the practices down here, Howie Roseman set up shop in the bleachers at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with a handful of reporters. He answered questions about the Eagles’ first season under Chip Kelly. He looked ahead to free agency and the draft. And he discussed the difficulty in scouting safety prospects. It was a casual sitdown with the GM, something that happened every year in Mobile.

But things have changed. Roseman is not even at the event this year, and Kelly is searching for his new personnel executive.

It’s been 18 days since the Eagles sent out a statement on behalf of Jeffrey Lurie, announcing that Kelly would hire his own right-hand man. But so far, the head coach has come up empty. Names of internal candidates like Ed Marynowitz have been floated out there. External candidates like Tampa Bay Bucs director of player personnel Jon Robinson have either been blocked or have declined to interview. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Did Foles Miss Lazor?

Kirby Lee / USA Today

Kirby Lee / USA Today

MOBILE, Ala. — Today’s question comes from reader Ricky, via e-mail.

I’m starting to think a big reason for Nick Foles’ decline in 2014 was the change at QB coach. Bill Lazor led Ryan Tannehill to a career year in 2014, while Bill Musgrave led the Eagles to a league-high 21 interceptions. Is it possible that the Eagles need to rethink their current QB coach heading into 2015?

I may need to make Ricky an official source for Birds 24/7. His e-mail came in at 2:03 p.m. About seven hours later, news broke that Musgrave was headed to Oakland to become the Raiders offensive coordinator.

As for the question, evaluating position coaches can be a difficult task. Basically, all we can go on is results and what the players tell us.

In one season under Lazor, Foles completed 64 percent of his passes, averaged 9.1 YPA and threw 27 touchdowns against two interceptions. In two seasons under other quarterbacks coaches, he completed 60.2 percent of his passes, averaged 6.7 YPA and threw 19 TDs against 15 interceptions. Read more »

Eagles Make Coaching Staff Changes

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

MOBILE, Ala. — It’s been a busy night for Eagles coaching staff changes.

The latest move involves quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, who is leaving to become the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders. Musgrave spent just one season in Philadelphia.

This is the second straight offseason in which the Eagles quarterbacks coach has been promoted to offensive coordinator of another team. Last year, Bill Lazor left to direct the Dolphins’ offense.

Chip Kelly will now need to find a new man to work with Nick Foles and whoever the other quarterbacks are on the Eagles’ roster.

Meanwhile, the team announced a couple other changes earlier in the day. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: An Eagles Slant To the Divisional Round

Andrew Weber / USA Today

Andrew Weber / USA Today

No Q&A today. Instead, here are 15 observations from the divisional round, many with an Eagles slant.

1.  Admit it: When Cris Collinsworth singled out Patrick Chung for praise on two red-zone incompletions in the fourth quarter, you chucked your remote against the wall, didn’t you? I have a prediction. Either next week against the Colts or in the Super Bowl, Chung will have a performance that will make everyone think: Nice job by his agent getting that extension done before THIS happened. Let’s be sure to follow-up on this point in the coming weeks.

2. The strange part about the Ravens-Patriots game was that Baltimore dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball, yet John Harbaugh’s squad still came out on the losing end. By the way, credit for the offensive line goes to Mr. Juan Castillo. If Harbaugh names Castillo defensive coordinator this week, I’ll buy all of you ice cream. Read more »

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