On the Marcus Smith Project

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Billy Davis has a message for players who enter his office looking for feedback:

“Be careful what you ask, because you are going to get the truth. Just be ready to handle the truth,” said Davis, channelling his inner Colonel Jessup.

The truth is that Marcus Smith is struggling. Davis has talked to the rookie outside linebacker about it, and was candid about it at his press conference this week when he said, among other things, that “the game is moving too fast in his brain right now in my opinion.” He knew Smith would be listening.

“I was interested to see how he would respond even to our comments to you guys. I know that I am talking to them, too,” he told a small group of reporters Tuesday. “But I talk to them first and I try to keep the same message. He’s going to be OK. And he’s not playing great. We try to live in the truth.”

Davis says Smith has responded well to the critical analysis and believes the 6-3, 251-pound former quarterback has the athleticism and mental make-up to push through the learning curve and develop into a good player. The question is: how long will that take? Read more »

Eagles Release RB David Fluellen

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles released running back David Fluellen on Wednesday, the team announced.

The 5-11, 224-pound rookie out of Toledo was picked up as an undrafted free agent this offseason. He had six carries for 25 yards in the preseason opener against the Bears and also had a receiving touchdown in the game. An injury forced him to sit out against New England.

Fluellen was part of a crowded backfield where Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker and Henry Josey are all competing for a spot. The Eagles added another player to the mix Tuesday when they acquired former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner from the Panthers for a conditional seventh-round pick.

The Eagles’ roster number currently stands at 89. Teams must trim their rosters to 75 on August 26th, then down to 53 on August 30.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Polk Feeling the Heat

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chris Polk told reporters Tuesday that his hamstring is not 100 percent healed and that he doesn’t feel very confident in the leg at the moment. In the next breath, he said he would be practicing next week.

Such is the life of a player on the fringe.

Polk suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain, or partial tear, on the second day of training camp. He heard a pop while making a hard cut and the hammy tightened up on him.

“I just felt like my world ended that day,” he said.

Polk has been unable to get back onto the practice field since.  Time is running out to convince the coaching staff that he deserves to be kept on the 53-man, as the final cuts are just 10 days away. Does he feel like his status is in jeopardy?

“Yeah,” he responded after a moment of thought. “There is nothing guaranteed. I wasn’t drafted. I’m not LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles. I’m not guaranteed anything.”

Those comments came hours before the Eagles acquired Kenjon Barner from the Panthers for a conditional seventh-round pick. Read more »

Eagles Release Jason Phillips

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles released linebacker Jason Phillips on Tuesday.

Phillips was a free-agent pick up last season and was expected to be a key contributor on special teams but tore his ACL in training camp and spent the year on injured reserve. He was a regular on the practice fields this summer but obviously  didn’t bounce back like the team had hoped.

The 28-year-old played a total of 71 snaps on defense in the Eagles’ two preseason games and had one tackle. He also played 35 snaps on special teams.

The remaining inside linebackers on the roster include DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Casey Matthews, Emmanuel Acho, Najee Goode and Jake Knott, who is suspended for the first four games after failing a drug test.

While the move offers the Eagles the opportunity to bring another player in, part of the motivation for cutting Phillips now, we’re told, was to give him a chance to sign with another team. Read more »

Physical, No More

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Reality has set in here at the NovaCare that the emphasis on illegal contact and similar infractions this year is going to significantly impact how the game is played.
Read more »

Injury Update: McCoy Returns To Practice

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

LeSean McCoy returned to practice after sitting Sunday’s session out with a sore toe.

“My toe, man, my toe was really bothering me during the game. It kinda was real sore a couple days before that,” he said. “Yesterday was really hurting pretty bad. But I got an MRI, some x-rays, and it’s fine. I felt a little better today so I went for it and I actually finished practice.”

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why It’s Working For Sanchez (So Far)

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When Mark Sanchez’s night was through Friday, tight end Zach Ertz approached the quarterback and congratulated  him on going 12-for-12.

“I said, ‘No, man, I went 11-for-12.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but that [interception] didn’t hit the ground,’ ” said Sanchez with a grin. “You have to have a sense of humor about it.”

No matter how you slice it, Sanchez has completed passes at a high rate in his limited time in an Eagles uniform. The six-year vet is 18-for-22  for 196 yards with two touchdowns and an interception over the first two preseason games. That’s a completion rate of 82 percent. Read more »

Notes: Henery Misses the Mark

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Alex Henery got one opportunity on Friday night, and missed badly. His 47-yard attempt in the second quarter never had a chance, sailing wide right.

“You’ve got to make 47-yarders in this league,” said Chip Kelly afterwards.

Henery made seven of 10 kicks between 40 and 49 yards last season. He had only one miss from that range over the previous two seasons.

Is Kelly confident that Henery is the answer at the kicker position? Read more »

Matthews Much Better Second Time Around

Matthews
FOXBORO, MASS. –
The Jordan Matthews that had opened so many eyes this summer was not present at Soldier Field a week ago. He resurfaced Friday night in New England.

The rookie caught nine balls on as many targets and was far and away the game’s leading receiver with 105 yard in the Eagles’ 42-35 loss to the Patriots.

“He got the jitters out. He got the butterflies out,” said Mark Sanchez. “This is not an easy game to jump in and have an impact like that. He went through that last week in Chicago, got used to the hotel, the bus, the airport. All that stuff. There are a million things that are different from college — the speed of the game, and all that. But this week he looked great. Trusted his technique, trusted his coaching, played really well.” Read more »

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