Eagles Wake-Up Call: JaCorey Shepherd On the Mend

JaCorey Shepherd (Jeff Fusco)

JaCorey Shepherd (Jeff Fusco)

A lot can happen in a year — especially when you’re talking about this team. From the collapse of the Chip Kelly regime to the front-office realignment to the resuscitation of the Andy Reid era; from drafting the quarterback of the future to the disappearing act by the quarterback of the present…there’s a lot to keep up with. So it would be forgiven if that sixth-round pick out of Kansas who flashed then crashed last summer made his way off your radar.

But JaCorey Shepherd has been here all the while. Read more »

Morning Notes: Matthews, Barwin Speak To Bradford

Jordan Matthews and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Sounds like Sam Bradford‘s silent treatment is reserved for coaches and management only.

Two Eagles players recently told independent media outlets that they have spoken with Bradford while he’s been away from the NovaCare.

“A couple of us have been able to [talk to him],” Jordan Matthews told CSN Philly, “but at the same time, we understand that Sam is Sam. The way everybody else deals with certain things may not be the way that he does. Sam is a very private person. He’s going to do things on his time, and certain people do certain things on other people’s time, it’s just the way it is. You’ve got to understand that he’s not you, and he’s going to figure out what he wants to do. None of us can pull his arm and make him do something…You’ve just got to respect that. At the end of the day, we know we want him here so we just continue to reach out and whenever that time comes we can get it rolling.” Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: On Bradford, Wentz And Cox

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

I don’t think it is viable. 

The fan-player relationship is one factor to consider. While the merits of Bradford’s actions can be (and have been) debated, the general perception will be difficult to overcome — that a well-paid quarterback, a fresh $5.5 million in his pocket,  opted not to show up to work and tried to bail on this team and this city when the going got tough. 

Again, the situation is more nuanced than that, but this is about perception. And if there are two things Philadelphians can’t stand, it’s 1) people shying away from adversity and 2) feeling rejected. In the case of Bradford, it’s a double-whammy. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Draft By the Numbers

Blake Countess. (USA Today Sports)

Blake Countess. (USA Today Sports)

Here are some numbers of note as it applies to the Eagles’ 2016 draft class:

57.1 —   Carson Wentz‘s accuracy percentage under pressure last year according to Pro Football Focus. That ranks 27th among quarterbacks in this draft. Paxton Lynch had a 70.3 completion rate and Jared Goff 64.7 when pressured by comparison. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Recalibrating Carson

-USA TODAY Sports

-USA TODAY Sports

The taste for contact was developed at an early age.

Carson Wentz always wanted to be a quarterback, but was denied the opportunity his first year playing organized ball.

“Fifth grade football,” Wentz recalled during a session with writers in the media room Friday night following his press conference. “I wanted to play quarterback but they let the other kid for some reason, [so they put me at running back] and just gave me the ball every time instead.”

Young Wentz played inside linebacker on defense that year. On both sides of the ball, he was right in the physical thick of things.

“I maintained that mentality,” said Wentz. “I always played both ways, even in high school all the way through. I just loved the contact, I love football. I loved defense dang near just as much as offense, but obviously offense was a much better fit once I got to the next level.”

He still managed to get his licks in at North Dakota State, though, despite playing QB exclusively. Read more »

Takeaways From Draft Weekend

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

A lot to digest following an eventful several days at the NovaCare. Here’s what stood out.

— A story about Carson Wentz I liked:

It would be understandable if the 23-year-old out of Bismarck needed a couple weeks to hibernate. Since capping his college career off with a championship-game win over Jacksonville State, it’s been a whirlwind tour. From the Senior Bowl to the Combine to his pro day; from official visits to private workouts to independent training; media obligations; a trip to Chicago for one of the biggest days of his life, and then off to his new home — Philadelphia — to meet with the masses…it’s been an exhausting run over the last several months.

And yet he’s not interested in any breathers. Read more »

Eagles Go With Jalen Mills, Alex McCalister In Seventh

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are not shying away from players with question marks in their past.

In the fifth round they selected West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, who was accused of intimidating a witness in a fatal shooting case in 2014. According to the Delaware News Journal, prosecutors dropped the charges against Smallwood after his friend plead guilty to second-degree murder.

In the seventh round, they chose a pair of players with potential character concerns. Read more »

Eagles Select OL Isaac Seumalo In Third Round

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles selected Oregon State offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo with their third round pick (79th overall).

Seumalo (6-4, 303) played center, guard and a handful of games at tackle over his college career. The plan is to start him off at guard, per Howie Roseman.

“I think this kid can come in here and compete and give us great depth at the spot,” said Doug Pederson. “I do agree that he could challenge for a starting job.”

The left guard spot is the position seemingly most up for grabs, with Allen Barbre, Stefen Wisniewski, Malcolm Bunche and Andrew Gardner all competing. Here is a breakdown of Seumalo, who joins that mix, courtesy of NFL.com:
Read more »

The Rapid Growth Of Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz and Roger Goodell. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz and Roger Goodell. (USA Today Sports)

In need of a big favor, Carson Wentz turned to the man upstairs.

Technically he wasn’t asking for much —  a few inches, really — but it would make a world of difference. Wentz had plenty of physical gifts to work with, but fell a bit short in the size department as a kid. Unlike his older brother Zach, who was about 6-2 entering high school, Carson checked in at 5-foot-8 as a freshman.

“I remember when [Zach] was a senior and almost 6-3, I was just praying, I’m like, ‘I just want to be six-feet tall. I feel like I’m pretty good. I just need…give me a couple more.’ And I just kept shooting up. I’m very thankful for that.”

Wentz grew some nine inches from his freshman to senior year, giving him all the real estate he needed and then some. A blessing, obviously, but all that growth in such a short period of time (Wentz now stands at a touch over 6-5) proved a lot for the body to handle while the transformation was ongoing.
Read more »

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