Notes: Sproles Honored Once Again

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina - USA Today

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina – USA Today

As Darren Sproles brought in the 55-yard punt off the foot of Brad Nortman Sunday, he said the middle of the field “opened up like the Red Sea.”

Sproles shot right through the gap and zipped 65 yards for the touchdown. For his efforts, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

This is the third such honor for Sproles this season – twice for special teams and once for his contributions on offense. He is tied with Aaron Rodgers (this week’s opponent) for the NFL lead with three Player of the Week Awards. Read more »

Kelly Not Pleased With Offensive Performance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles scored 31 points on offense, racked up 365 yards on 62 plays and went 4-for-4 in the red zone Monday, all while breaking in a new quarterback. Chip Kelly, though, was not particularly pleased with his unit’s performance.

“No,” Kelly responded when asked if this was the most complete game his team has played. “We didn’t play well offensively at all.”

How so? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Matthews Breaks Out

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

While talking about Jordan Matthews at his postgame press conference Monday night, Mark Sanchez joked that he didn’t want too pump up the rookie too much because “he’ll get a big head and his hat won’t fit.”

There were no signs of an inflated ego as Matthews faced the large crowd of reporters surrounding his locker stall, though, and his green Eagles cap with the black brim seemed to fit just fine. He had just busted out on Monday Night Football, snaring seven balls for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help his team improve to 7-2. How did it feel?

“I felt like I was Jeremy Maclin,” said Matthews, drawing a big smile out of No. 18 a couple stalls down. “At the same time, you have to put it behind you. Like I said, I have a bunch of great guys ahead of me who show me how to be a professional. If you take too much time looking at the stats and drinking the Kool-Aid, you lose your appetite. I just try to put it behind me and move forward.” Read more »

Sanchez, Offense Just Fine In Blowout

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles

Asked about the pace at which the offense has operated thus far under Mark Sanchez, Evan Mathis noted this week that Sanchez “takes the tempo seriously. He’s a fast thinker. He’s the kind of guy that will move the referee out of the way and get the ball snapped.”

Assuming the officials cooperate. There was actually one sequence in the first half against the Panthers when the refs couldn’t catch up to the Eagles’ pace, blowing the whistle before declaring: “The officials were not in position to officiate.”

The offense under Sanchez wasn’t flawless, but it was fast and hit Carolina with enough pointed strikes to draw serious blood.

In his first start as an Eagle, Sanchez ended 20-of-37 for 332 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions (102.5 quarterback rating) as the Eagles steamrolled Carolina, 45-21. Read more »

Inside Voices: Sanchez To Matthews Once Again

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans

Jordan Matthews described meeting Mark Sanchez for the first time as his “Welcome to the NFL moment.”

“When I saw him I was like, ‘That’s Mark Sanchez.’ It was kind of weird to me,” he said. “But he came right up to me and was like, ‘Hey, what’s up Jordan?’ Cool as the other side of the pillow. It helped my transition a lot because it was like, OK, these guys aren’t that different from me.”

Paired together on the second team this summer, the two became fast friends on the field. Sanchez targeted Matthews so often it became a running joke among some members of the media:

“Guess who?”

Without looking, you knew it was Sanchez to Matthews.

“We’re both extremely competitive guys and it was the situation coming into camp and OTAs that the way the reps were set we were going to be in there a lot with each other, so we both made it a point to go out there and work hard,” said Matthews. “He noticed something in me so he gave me a lot of opportunities and I knew, OK, I’m coming in here and I have a quarterback that trusts me and I have to make the most of the opportunities.”

Not surprisingly, Sanchez’s first touchdown pass in an Eagles’ uniform went to No. 81. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Avant On WR Change-Up

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-OTA

Jason Avant saw the wide receiver overhaul coming.

He downplayed the drama surrounding the offseason moves, saying Chip Kelly and DeSean Jackson had a good working relationship and that his own comments about “butting heads” with Kelly were overblown. In his mind, the reconfiguration had more to do with dollars and cents and resource allocation.

“You have an emerging [Jeremy] Maclin, you have a receiver draft that is high on talent that year and then you just paid Riley Cooper, so you kind of put the pieces together. Me and DeSean or me and Mac, we knew two of us would be gone,” he said. “We didn’t know which one it would be but you kind of [understand] situations over the years.

“I saw my role and what they had me doing and it just didn’t make sense for them financially to keep me to do some of the things I was doing. That’s no slight at Chip or anyone, it’s just a good business decision. Man, if I was in the business decision I would have looked at it and said: Look, to catch bubbles and to block, we can get a rookie to do that for a lesser price. That’s just a smart move by Howie Roseman and Chip.” Read more »

How the Loss Of Ryans Impacts Kendricks

Kendricks

Mychal Kendricks admitted that he was scared when DeMeco Ryans first went down. The heart of the defense — his mentor – was unable to get off the NRG Stadium turf, and it shook the young linebacker.

But as Ryans got carted off and reality set in that he was not coming back, Kendricks said something triggered inside of him.

“Just natural instincts kicked in. I went over to Casey [Matthews] and I was like, ‘Let’s f***** go, let’s step this s*** up, it’s time to rise to the occasion. Let’s do this damn thing. Let’s get this win for my boy,’” he said. Read more »

Sanchez Back In the Spotlight

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The tent outside the NovaCare practice field was jammed with reporters. Members of the national and New York media had come down to document Mark Sanchez’s first day as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, and were all gathered by the podium along with the Philly scribes as Wednesday’s practice wrapped up. It’s been pretty quiet around these parts (relatively speaking) through eight games, especially for a team that has been near the top of the standings all season. But Sanchez sure can draw a crowd, and on this day Philadelphia felt like the axis of the NFL universe once again.

It’s been a while since Sanchez has been the center of attention. After five years of having his every snap and sentence analyzed, he has spent the last seven months or so mostly off-camera. Not that you would know it based on how he handled himself in front of the mic Wednesday. He was relaxed and introspective and anecdotic. He’s had plenty of practice at this thing, and you can tell that he is comfortable out in front. That’s clearly where he wants to be, though the break in-between seemed to serve the 27-year-old well. Read more »

Shurmur: This Is A QB-Friendly System

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Mark Sanchez has looked pretty comfortable at the controls of this Chip Kelly offense in the few times he has taken it out for a test drive. He opened some eyes during the summer with his fluid play and quick decision-making even though the system was foreign and the speed lighting-fast. While there were some mistakes, he seemed at home in relief of Nick Foles on Sunday in Houston as well.

While the real grading begins now, it appears that he has a pretty firm grasp of the offense despite not being around it for very long. Foles and Michael Vick picked it up pretty fast as well.

Is there something about the system that allows for a quick development out of the quarterbacks?
Read more »

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