Report: Bradford To Play Out Final Year Of Deal

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Sam Bradford plans to play out the final year of his contract rather than sign a new deal with the Eagles this season, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

This shouldn’t come as any great surprise. Bradford has little incentive to sign a long-term deal with the Eagles now, as Joel Corry laid out for us a couple months back.

“You can’t really do anything with his deal because Bradford is not going to sign an extension right now. Any extension you offered him wouldn’t be worth his while most likely because he is in a buy-low position right now. Coming off two injury-plagued years, what type of deal could he get?” Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: Lurie And the Changing Power Structure

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

Below is an excerpt from my Eagles Almanac chapter exploring whether Jeffrey Lurie has been firm enough when it comes to the organizational power structure. If you haven’t done so already, click here to purchase this year’s edition of the Almanac.

***

Steve Tisch was enjoying a much more tranquil experience at the Arizona Biltmore. Strolling by the same spot where Lurie would be grilled a day later, the co-owner of the Giants casually made his way towards the hotel for lunch, stopping in the shade for a casual talk about cheesesteaks and power structures with a loitering reporter.

In a 2013 piece titled “Who’s Really in Charge?”  NFL.com’s Albert Breer noted that the Giants’ model has remained largely unchanged since 1979. The general manager heads the football operations (draft, 53-man roster, etc.) while the coach has authority over the game day roster and the coaching staff. “The goal, ultimately,” writes Breer, “is to have an agenda-free building with a number of different people invested in the final product and meaningful delegation of responsibilities.”

“Is it unique to the other 31 clubs? Maybe. Actually, I hope so,” said Tisch. “Because if it’s working and it’s been working for going on four decades, that’s fantastic.

“I think ownership has created a very clear organizational chart and a very clear ownership and management style which does work and seems to continue to work. It’s very defined and internally seems very fair and very successful and produces great results.”
Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ertz Putting In the Work

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Ertz has spent the 2015 offseason tracking down extra edge.

He sought the counsel of tight end great Tony Gonzalez. Studied under former offensive line coach Hudson Houck to improve his blocking. For strength and conditioning, he joined Darren Sproles out in San Diego to work with renowned trainer Todd Durkin.

LaDainian Tomlinson was Durkin’s first NFL client, and the tree quickly grew branches from there. Tomlinson brought in Sproles and other Chargers teammates like Drew Brees, who has now been with Durkin for 12 years. The client list also features Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer and Reggie Bush, among others. Scroll down to the bottom left and you’ll find current Eagles tight end coach Justin Peele, who played 10 seasons in the league. Seeing the benefits of training with Durkin, Peele recommended that Ertz make the trip out west.

“The big thing that we want to do is number one, get Zach in the best shape of his life and then make sure he has the mental frame approach because he has been working with some of these elite guys,” said Durkin a couple weeks back. “Zach is one of these guys that has the ‘it’ factor. He has that mental ability and desire to be great, and he’s doing everything he needs to do to put himself into the upper-echelon of tight ends in the league. Read more »

An Agholor/Emmanuel Sanders Comparison

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Former scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah joined Rob Ellis and Harry Mayes on 97.5 The Fanatic to offer his thoughts on the state of the Eagles heading into camp.

Nelson Agholor came up in the conversation. While Jeremiah might not be totally on board with the NFL exec that thinks Agholor is a number one receiver, he is high on the former USC wideout.

“I think he’s a big-time guy. Ideally to me he is a great number two, I don’t think in terms of the size and physicality that I would want in my number one guy, but I think he can be an outstanding number two,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys with his skill set that have been very, very successful. Emmanuel Sanders is who he reminds me of, and we’ve seen what he can do both in Pittsburgh and out in Denver. I think he’s outstanding. He’s very tough and he’s very instinctive and I think he’s one of these guys that we saw last year where all these rookies jumped right in, no adjustment period; I think he’s going to fall into that [category]. He’s going to jump right in and be ready to go.”
Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles Players Gather On West Coast

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

A good number of Eagles gathered in San Diego this week to get some work and a little bonding time in before the start of training camp.

There were 11 team members in all, including Mark Sanchez, Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz, who joined forces to host their own mini minicamp of sorts.

Sanchez has held offseason get-togethers dating back to his New York days — a week that was once known as “Jets West.” This year was more of a collaborative effort, as it was conducted with the help of renowned trainer Todd Durkin and his staff at Fitness Quest 10. Durkin, whose client list includes stars such as LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees, has been working with Sproles for the past seven years and with Ertz since February. Together, they came up with a comprehensive program for the week.

“Every day they’ve had field work where they’ve been on the field and doing their install,” said Durkin. “After they do the weight room work they go over to the high school and they watch film for about an hour and then we do our warm-up with them and bring them through all their agility and movement stuff, and then Mark leads their install and they do all that.” Read more »

Notes: On the Supplemental Draft, Murray And Ryans

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

No players will be coming to the Eagles via the 2015 NFL Supplemental Draft, which was held Thursday afternoon.

Seven prospects were eligible but just one was selected — former Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, who was grabbed in the fifth round by the Rams. 

One report connected the Eagles to North Carolina Central wide receiver/kick returner Adrian Wilkins, but he was not picked. It’s possible that some of these players could end up on a 90-man roster this summer. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: More Flexibility In Secondary

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Billy Davis accepted some of the responsibility for what went down in the secondary last year.

The Eagles’ defense yielded a league-high 72 pass plays of 20-plus yards in 2014 and finished second from the bottom in overall pass defense. Too often, the corners — Bradley Fletcher in particular — were left out on an island against superior opponents. The results were predictable.

“Could I have given him more help? I could’ve,” said Davis. “The technique he was using out there could have been better, and I could have given him more help.

“There were a lot of things I had to look at. It is a combination of technique and how many times you split the safety and give those guys help and how many times you don’t. You have to move in and out of that, and you learn.”

New defensive backs coach Cory Undlin was brought in from Denver to help fix the technique issues, and Davis went back and reviewed his performance as defensive coordinator in an effort to improve. But the breakdowns clearly weren’t all tied to coaching. The back end was in serious need of a talent infusion, so the Eagles signed Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million deal, inked Walter Thurmond to a one-year contract and spent three draft picks on defensive backs.

Asked what stood out the most about Maxwell when the Eagles faced the Seahawks last year, Chip Kelly pointed to his versatility. Read more »

NFC East Roundup: Replacing Rolando McClain

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Here’s our weekly look at what’s going on around the rest of the division.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News looks at how the Cowboys will try to deal with the absence of Rolando McClain, who has been suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Jasper Brinkley, a free agent acquisition who started 11 games for the Minnesota Vikings last season, worked at McClain’s middle linebacker spot with the starters in minicamp. McClain underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee sometime in April or May.

If not Brinkley, Sean Lee, the starting middle linebacker who missed the 2014 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was expected to play outside this season, could fill in. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Eagles Healthiest In NFL

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Hope you are all having a happy and healthy one. Some links to pass along in case you need a quick fix:

The Eagles have been the healthiest team over the past two seasons, according to a metric created by Football Outsiders. BGN has more.

Spoiler alert: evidence would suggest Philadelphia’s sports science program has been able to keep the team very healthy. So healthy, in fact, that the Eagles are the healthiest team in the NFL the past two seasons…

Perhaps even more interesting than the Eagles being the most healthy team is the disparity between them and the New York Giants. The Giants have been bitten hard by the injury bug in recent years. Is it just bad luck? Maybe not. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Opening For Barner?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Shortly after rescinding the tender on restricted free agent Chris Polk, Chip Kelly said that Polk would have made the 53-man roster if he stayed on board and that the Eagles would have carried four running backs and three tight ends into the season.

Polk, though, wanted to move on and try to land a more prominent role elsewhere. The Eagles granted the request, and the 25-year-old is now a member of the Houston Texans. That means there is a spot up for grabs, one that can be won this summer. Read more »

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