Kelly: Beating Man Coverage Is Huge For Us

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chip Kelly got a taste last year of how NFL defenses would attempt to slow down the Eagles’ prolific offensive attack.

What he learned was that scheming ways to beat man coverage had to be a major point of emphasis before Year 2.

“People want to play you in man-to-man coverage,” Kelly said last week. “We saw a lot more of that than other people. Getting guys that can get open versus man coverage is a key deal. Whether it’s Coop [Riley Cooper] or Mac [Jeremy Maclin] or DeSean [Jackson] or whatever. That’s the one thing we know as a group going in, is one-on-one coverage is a big deal for us. It is a big deal in this league. People probably  – I think, and I don’t know the statistics if you break it down – may have played us in more man than most teams in the league. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Who’s Affected By Jackson’s Absence?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles

There were plenty of complexities involved with the offense the Eagles ran in 2013.

But at its core, Chip Kelly’s scheme in his first NFL season can be described in relatively simple terms:

* Take advantage of one of the league’s best backs and an athletic offensive line by maximizing production in the running game.

* When defenses load up to stop the run, make them pay by doing damage over the top.

That’s why the Eagles had the top-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, but also led the league with 80 pass plays of 20+ yards (no other team had more than 68).

Of course, with a significant change in personnel going forward, Kelly will make some tweaks after seeing what he has to work with in the spring. Keeping that in mind, here’s a look at how three of the Eagles’ key offensive pieces will be impacted by the loss of DeSean Jackson: Read more »

Making Sense Of the DeSean Jackson Move

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) returns a punt return against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter of the Snow Bowl

The release sent out by the Eagles landed in reporters’ inboxes at 12:40 p.m. Friday and contained 25 words:

“After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.”

So far, that is the only on-the-record explanation the team has provided for letting go of a 27-year-old wide receiver who caught 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.

The decision to part ways with Jackson came 35 minutes after NJ.com published a report about the wide receiver’s connection to Los Angeles-area gang members. The timing on the Eagles’ part was calculated. They became aware of the report two days earlier. They also knew that announcing Jackson’s release shortly after the report was published would soften the public backlash of getting rid of one of the team’s most productive offensive players. Read more »

Jeremy Maclin: ‘My Value Is My Value’

USA TODAY Sports

When Jeremy Maclin signed a one-year deal with the Eagles last month, the consensus was that he’d be joining a a wide receiver group that included DeSean Jackson.

Given the numbers on Jackson’s contract and the fact that he had a career year in 2013, it seemed fair to label him the No. 1 guy. But with Jackson’s status still up in the air, the possibility exists that Maclin will be called on to carry the load in 2014. Read more »

Do DeSean Jackson’s Teammates Want Him Back?

desean_940x540

Before Thursday night, only a couple teammates had voiced their opinions publicly about DeSean Jackson and his future with the team.

Mychal Kendricks backed Jackson during an interview with NFL.com. And Michael Vick, a former teammate of Jackson’s, told a New York TV station that change might be good for the wide receiver.

But as several Eagles strolled in to Todd Herremans’ Hoops 4 Help fundraiser, they knew what the topic of discussion was going to be when approached by a small group of reporters.

None could come up with a clear explanation for why the Eagles would be looking to move Jackson, but the general sentiment seemed to be that they would move forward with whatever decision the organization settled on. Read more »

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