The last time LeSean McCoy took the field, Redskins defenders were constantly greeting him as soon as he got his hands on the football.
By our count, he had to either break a tackle or avoid a defender behind the line of scrimmage on 12 of 20 carries.
“Just different schemes they had to kind of take me out the game,” McCoy said. “On some of those plays, they wanted Nick [Foles] to keep the ball so they were just slanting, and I was just seeing it and reacting to it. But we have something for that. It’s all about how you want to play us.”
On five occasions vs. Washington, McCoy was dropped for a loss. On the season, he’s been stuffed at or behind the line of scrimmage 24 times. That’s third-most in the league, according to STATS, Inc. Read more »
Not surprisingly, Chip Kelly was peppered with questions today regarding comments Bruce Arians made about the read option on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it’s an offense,” Kelly said. “I think it’s a play. And we don’t run read option if you want to get really technical. We run a zone-read play every once in awhile. It’s just like saying our offense is a power offense because we run the power play. Or the old Green Bay Packers, their offense was the Green Bay sweep offense. It isn’t. Everybody’s got a bunch of plays they run offensively. Everybody’s got quick game, everybody’s got screens, everybody’s got dropback, everybody’s got out of pocket, everybody’s got power, counter, inside zone, outside zone. I never looked at it as an offense.
“I find we use it depending on what the defense is deploying and how they’re doing it. I know Nick [Foles] picked up a couple critical third downs in the Green Bay game for us, picked up a couple critical third downs in the Redskins game for us. But we don’t use it as much as people think we use it.” Read more »
Bruce Arians is not a fan of the read-option at the NFL level.
He made that clear Wednesday morning when he called it a “great college offense” during an interview with Philadelphia-area reporters.
The Eagles, of course, are an option offense and use zone read looks as much as any team in the NFL. So it should come as no surprise that some players in the Birds’ locker room took exception with Arians’ claim.
“I think it’s a great any-level offense, personally,” said center Jason Kelce. “I think anybody who doesn’t think it can be successful at this level is obviously mistaken.” Read more »
We went through the offense yesterday. Here’s a position-by-position look at where the Eagles’ defense stands going into the final five games.
The guys up front have been the key to the defensive improvement. Cedric Thornton leads all the team’s linemen with 58 tackles and has looked like a natural in the two-gap scheme since Week 1. He’s versatile, powerful and has been perhaps the Eagles’ most consistent defensive player all season long.
Fletcher Cox has really come on and has 13 tackles the past two weeks. He has three sacks and leads the team with 19 hurries; no other player has more than eight. Bennie Logan has been a huge upgrade over Isaac Sopoaga at nose tackle. He’s got 15 tackles in the last three games. That’s just three fewer than Sopoaga had in the first eight games.
Vinny Curry, Clifton Geathers and Damion Square round out the rotation. Curry has been the team’s most productive pass-rusher and is tied for the team lead with four sacks. Read more »
From mock drafts to the Eagles’ rise in power rankings, here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Birds this week. Read more »
When Mychal Kendricks looks back now, he realizes things have could have been a lot worse.
The Eagles’ second-year linebacker fought off a block against Packers guard Josh Sitton and flowed to the ball-carrier, Eddie Lacy. That’s when teammate Earl Wolff came flying in and nailed Kendricks in the right knee.
“I’m glad that we had this bye week,” Kendricks said. “And I’m also thankful for the fact that nothing serious happened. Because we were talking something very serious. It could have been something structurally or if Earl hits lower down on the knee and my foot’s in the ground, everything could have been torn. So I’m just thankful for the fact that nothing serious happened and that I missed two games instead of three.”
Kendricks described his injury as a deep bone bruise/thigh contusion/hyperextension. He only played the first two snaps against Green Bay and missed the Redskins game. But Kendricks was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice and barring any setbacks should start Sunday against Arizona. Read more »
There was no grand ceremony or drawn-out explanation this morning when Chip Kelly told Nick Foles he would remain the Eagles’ starting quarterback.
Like most things with Kelly, the meeting was short and to the point.
“Chip’s a simple guy,” Foles said. “I just went in there, he told me the situation that I was the one and Mike [Vick] was the two and let’s go.
“I know in movies it’s a big thing, you sit down, there’s tears… I walked in, we talked a little bit about the Oregon-Arizona game… and then he just told me the situation and I was ready to go. Mike’s ready to go. It takes multiple quarterbacks to win in this league. You never know what happens and it’s the same talk he told me – you always gotta be ready.” Read more »
Chip Kelly announced today what has been apparent to anyone who’s been paying attention: Nick Foles is the Eagles’ starting quarterback going forward.
“Nick will be our starter, and hopefully we get Mike [Vick] back through a full week of practice to be able to be the No. 2 guy this week,” Kelly said.
The Eagles’ head coach talked to both quarterbacks Tuesday morning and informed them of his decision.
“They were both fine,” he said. “They understand the situation and Mike wants to contribute any way he can. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a great teammate, great leader. He’s been great for Nick over the games he’s been out in terms of helping him develop and we’ve got a good situation. I think we’ve got two quarterbacks who can win games in the NFL. And I think you need both of them.” Read more »
NFL coaches often use the term “self-scouting” when answering questions about their bye-week plans.
With no game to prepare for and players away from the team facility, it’s a chance to evaluate which areas of the team need to be adjusted going forward.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a position-by-position look at where things stand with the Eagles through 11 games and what changes might be on the way going forward. We’ll start with the offense and do the defense in the next installment.
Nick Foles has been lights-out, having completed 63.6 percent of his passes (10th) with 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Foles has made good decisions, looks comfortable in the offense and has connected on downfield throws. He’s averaging 9.59 yards per attempt. To put that number into perspective, since 1957, only two other quarterbacks have averaged at least 9.5 yards per attempt (minimum 150 passes): Kurt Warner (9.88 in 2000) and Chris Chandler (9.65 in 1998). Read more »
After a rocky start to the season, Billy Davis and his assistants have done an excellent job of coming up with ways to maximize the abilities of the Eagles’ defensive players.
The scheme change has been dramatic, and there are still areas in need of a talent upgrade in the offseason. But overall, Davis’ group has made great strides throughout the course of the season.
The leader of the group is DeMeco Ryans, and according to Pro Football Focus, he’s logged more snaps than any other defensive player in football. Ryans is outstanding against the run. That has never been in question. And as we’ve written about at length, he makes the calls on defense to get everyone set up. Without him on the field, there would likely be a lot of confusion up front.
Ryans, however, is not a great cover linebacker. Offenses that can get him matched up man-to-man against a running back or tight end will have an advantage. In zone, Ryans often tries to keep opponents in front of him and limit the damage after the catch.
But there’s another way he’s contributing in coverage too – by disrupting shallow routes over the middle. Read more »