Kendricks: ‘I Think I Can Play Anywhere’

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Mychal Kendricks took a half beat to ponder the question.

Do you think you are 100 percent certain to be on this roster come September?

“I don’t know,” he said whimsically, flashing a big smile. “But I think so.”

Whatever the answer ends up being, Kendricks gave the impression during his session with reporters Tuesday that he’ll be OK with it. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: On the Secondary Picture

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly conceded that the Eagles have only half of their secondary picture filled in at the moment, with the other two spots currently in pencil.

“I think our depth is better than it’s ever been in the three years,” said the head coach on Thursday. “Now we just have to figure out who exactly those guys are that will complement the two guys that are our starters [in] Malcolm [Jenkins] and Byron [Maxwell] right now.  The other guys are really competing.”

We will get our second peek at the new-look defensive backfield this afternoon. The first time around, Nolan Carroll was running with the ones at corner opposite Maxwell and Chris Maragos was paired with Jenkins at safety. Chances are, that will not be the foursome when the Eagles open up the regular season Monday, September 14 in Atlanta. Read more »

Eagles To Check Out G Chris Chester

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

UPDATE: Chester has reportedly signed with the Falcons.

The Eagles are bringing in veteran offensive lineman Chris Chester for a visit, according to Adam Caplan. 

Chester (6-3, 303), a second-round pick by the Ravens back in 2006, has started 111 games over his career, including 46 straight at right guard for Washington the last four years.  He was released by Washington on Wednesday in a move that will reportedly save the team $4 million in cap money.

According to NFL.com, Chester “was an ill fit for Jay Gruden‘s power-blocking scheme and he struggled in 2014.”

Perhaps he would be a better fit in Philly. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Thurmond’s Move To Safety

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

The Walter Thurmond-to-safety move wasn’t on many people’s radars, including Walter Thurmond’s.

There was no discussion of a position switch when he signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Eagles earlier this offseason, he said. Far as he knew, he was coming in to compete for one of the corner spots. And why wouldn’t he think that? That’s his position. According to Thurmond, he’s never played a game at safety over the course of his career.

Once in the fold,  he got a tip that a request was going to be coming down from the top that he consider a position change, and sure enough, it arrived about three weeks ago. Read more »

Chip, Players Respond To McCoy Comments

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly‘s press conference took the inevitable turn towards LeSean McCoy‘s race comments about midway through his pre-practice session with reporters.

Speaking for the first time since McCoy stated that his former head coach was getting rid of “all the good black players” on the team, Kelly said he has respect for McCoy but believes in this case, he’s wrong.

“We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players,” he said, “and color has never been one of them.”

McCoy is not the first former Eagles employee to make these kind of suggestions. Earlier in the offseason, Tra Thomas said that there are players who “feel like there is a hint of racism” behind some of Kelly’s decisions.

“That doesn’t hurt me.  I’m not governed by the fear of what other people say.  Events don’t elicit feelings.  I think beliefs elicit feelings,” said Kelly. “I understand what my beliefs are and I know how I am.

“You start chasing perception and you got a long life ahead of you, son.  That’s what it’s all about.  If you’re worried about someone else’s perception of what is going on with you, then…You can control one thing.  You can control yourself.  I know how we run this organization, and it’s not run that way.”
Read more »

Bradford Slowly Working His Way Back

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Sam Bradford hung back as the rest of the team set off on a light run to start pre-practice warmups. Stationed in the end zone and wearing a large brace on his twice surgically-repaired left knee, he zigged and zagged as he jogged from the middle of the field towards the sideline, and then back again.

When individual drills began, he joined the quarterbacks in the far corner of the field. He worked on three-step drops and tossed the ball to the waiting receiver downfield. There was some throwing and a little bit of running during the early stages of the training session but everything the QB was asked to do was low impact. He bowed out during team drills, though Chip Kelly expects his level of participation to go up next week.

“We all think there’s three phases: there is medical rehab, there is performance rehab, and then there is prepare to play,” said Kelly. “He’s probably right at the tail end of medical rehab. He’ll probably start throwing some 7-on-7 next week, but I think he is right on schedule in terms of where he is.”
Read more »

Carroll Running With the First Team

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

According to the team’s website, Nolan Carroll has been taking reps with the first team opposite Byron Maxwell this week to kick off OTAs.

“I’m not putting stock in it at this point, because we’re all getting the same amount of reps,” Carroll said. “Every time I’m out there I’m focusing on my technique no matter where I’m lining up. It’s not about going against the guy across from me, it’s about what I can do every single time and how much I can focus on my technique on every snap.

“We’re out there now and things are going so fast that you’re going to get tired after three or four reps and the next guy is up.”

Carroll, who played the role of dime specialist last season, will be competing with the likes of Eric Rowe and Walter Thurmond for one of the starting corner spots this summer. Both Rowe and Thurmond are new to the scene, so it would makes sense if Chip Kelly leaned towards Carroll in the early going given his familiarity with Billy Davis‘ defense. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Red-Zone Boost?

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons - USA Today

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons – USA Today

Today’s question comes from Brad via email:

Hi Tim. 

Any sense if we’ll be better and more consistent in the red zone this season? Thanks.

During his end of season press conference inside the visitors locker room at MetLife Stadium, Jeffrey Lurie identified three problem areas that he believes led to the downfall of the 2014 Eagles: big plays allowed, turnovers and red zone offense.

To help address the first issue, the team parted ways with three-fourths of the starting secondary, inked Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million deal and dedicated five of their six draft picks to the defensive side of the ball (including three defensive backs). As for the second, Chip Kelly traded in many of his top skill position players for what he hopes are better system fits that will theoretically enable the offense to run cleaner. What about the third item on Lurie’s list? What did they do to try and fix a red-zone offense that ranked 23rd in the NFL with a 49 percent TD success rate?

You can make the case that the change at running back is the answer.
Read more »

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