Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

From red zone production to play-action passes to the in-season travel schedule, here are three Eagles numbers that matter.

36.5 – DeMarco Murray’s TD rate on carries inside the opponents’ 10 the last two years, according to writer Graham Barfield. Murray scored 19 times on 52 attempts. That’s the fifth-best mark among running backs since 2013.

LeSean McCoy, meanwhile, ranked 35th in this category, converting just eight of 46 attempts (17.4 percent) into touchdowns. While there are plenty of factors that go into this – play-calling, the offensive line, etc. – it seems reasonable to expect that the Eagles could get more from Murray than McCoy when they get into scoring range. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles Still Leaning On Peters

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

At center and right tackle, the Eagles have two young, ascending players in Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson.

At right guard and left guard, we know they’re going into the season with question marks in Allen Barbre and either Matt TobinAndrew Gardner or Dennis Kelly.

Then there’s left tackle.

At 33, Jason Peters is still the guy that everyone looks up to. Is he the same player he was four or five years ago? Probably not. But coaches and teammates still are in awe when they witness Peters’ athleticism and power up close. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We Learned This Spring

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Given that the Eagles’ spring program wrapped up last week with the mandatory minicamp, now seems like a good time to take stock of what we’ve learned the past two months.

Below are three items worth taking a closer look at.

1. A lot is riding on Walter Thurmond.

The 27 year old made the transition from corner to safety in the spring and is the clear frontrunner to start alongside Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles need their safeties to cover man to man against tight ends and slot receivers; play center field in single-high looks; and provide run support. Thurmond has played as a nickel, so he has the first part down. It’s the other two areas where he’ll have to prove himself. Read more »

Eagles Practice Observations

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Given the rain and the shortened practice, we didn’t have enough to fill a running diary today, but here are observations from the Eagles’ last session of the spring.

* Coaches around the league like Bill Belichick and Bill O’Brien canceled the final day of minicamp practices to reward their players. That was not the case with the Eagles. It’s just not in Chip Kelly’s DNA, although the coaches did end the session a little early. Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles practice session.

11:51 a.m. – I have joked before about being the lone passenger on the Marcus Smith bandwagon, but I swear that watching him move in practice, he looks like an NFL player. He’s long, athletic, and effort doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Maybe after being ping-ponged from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, it was the mental part that tripped him up last season. We’ll see if that’s the case once the pads come on.

By the way, speaking of the outside linebacker spot, Vinny Curry is getting some reps there, according to Chip Kelly. We know Curry can get after the passer, and he should have no problem setting the edge in the run game. But the question will be whether he can drop into coverage. Read more »

What’s Next For Sam Bradford?

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Give Sam Bradford credit. As he approached a group of reporters on the practice field Tuesday, he knew what questions were coming before anybody said a word.

“Before we start,” Bradford said with a smile. “I do not know when I’m going to be back.”

The Eagles quarterback continued to participate in 7-on-7 drills, but he’s yet to take a snap during the 11-on-11 period.

Asked if he’d be ready for that by training camp, Chip Kelly said, “God, we hope so.”

Added Bradford: “If I’m not ready for 11 on 11 by training camp, then I think something has gone terribly wrong.” Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during Tuesday’s minicamp practice.

11:22 – Before we get started, a few final thoughts on the Evan Mathis situation. Chip Kelly said Tuesday that Mathis’ camp asked for a release, and so the team gave him what he wanted.

Put quite simply, that request isn’t (or shouldn’t be) really relevant. Mathis was under contract. He was unhappy last year, but still showed up to all mandatory practices, rehabbed a midseason injury and played his butt off. Mathis says he was basically prepared to do the same thing again this year.

The Eagles had leverage. I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect all 53 guys to be happy with their contracts every offseason. And it’s certainly dangerous to give in every time a player asks for his release because he’s unhappy with his deal.

Maybe the coaches know something about the backups that most of us don’t, and the offensive line will be fine.

Or maybe the team will come to regret saying goodbye to a quality starting guard when one of the big goals for 2015 is to rely on the run game and keep Sam Bradford upright. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: How Will Eagles Split Up Carries?

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Today’s question comes via Twitter:

For the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume that you mean carries, not touches.

Chip Kelly has said he felt the run game relied too heavily on LeSean McCoy the past two seasons. Last year, Eagles running backs totaled 415 carries, and 312 of those (75.2 percent) were McCoy. Only DeMarco Murray (392) had more carries than McCoy in 2014.

In 2013, McCoy had 314 of the 400 carries by Eagles running backs, or 78.5 percent.

Obviously, when you sign two guys like Murray and Ryan Mathews, you expect to spread the carries around a little more, but I don’t see this as anything close to an equal time share. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Fletcher Cox

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB offers thoughts on Evan Mathis.

I think the biggest surprise of the Evan Mathis release is that the Eagles couldn’t recoup some value for him via trade. The $5.5 million salary must have been a non-starter, but his price tag could creep pretty high for interested teams in free agency. The fact that Chip Kelly made the move nonetheless, proves how committed he is to doing things his way.

Read more »

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