On Curry, State Of the Outside Linebackers

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Vinny Curry has been training at outside linebacker full-time for all of two weeks now, so it should probably come as no surprise that his debut at the position Monday night was far from flawless.

“He was a little up‑and‑down there,” said Chip Kelly. “A couple times, he lost containment: once on the quarterback when we had a naked back our way.  But I thought the transition for him, never really having played there and just got his feet wet in the preseason, we felt he did a good job.  But we have got to get dialed in a little bit some on responsibilities.”

Curry played 21 snaps (or 27 percent on the time) against the Falcons. He was deployed mostly on run downs, he said, to minimize the chances that he would have to drop into coverage.

The four-year vet did line up at OLB here and there during the offseason training program, but that seemed to be more about Billy Davis searching for creative ways to use Curry as a situational pass-rusher. Now he’s smack in the middle of a crash course on the position, trying to grasp the different run fits and various nuances while attempting to play at full speed. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Courtesy of USA Today.

(Courtesy of USA Today)

Here’s what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland offers a detailed analysis of the Eagles’ performance.

They threw the ball 52 times against just 16 running plays, and while some of that was due to the game situation of being down double-digits at the start of the second half, the truth is that Philadelphia’s running game simply wasn’t effective against 2014’s third-worst run defense. And when the rushing attack did get going, it was driven by Sproles, who had success running Philadelphia’s sweep and finished with five carries for 50 yards. Murray and Mathews combined for just 13 rushing yards on 11 carries. Mathews had an unfortunate drop in the first half before chipping in as a receiver after the break, but Murray never got going; his fantasy owners surely enjoyed two touchdowns, but he touched the ball 12 times and managed only 20 yards.

Kelly abandoned the run, as Grantland’s Chris Brown noted on Twitter, because his offensive linemen were getting their asses handed to them. That has to be the most disconcerting part of Week 1 if you’re an Eagles fan. Beasley gave Jason Peters fits during a twitchy first half before Peters restored the order of the universe after halftime. The Eagles offense committed six holding penalties, admittedly in a game in which the referees needed to chill.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Leftovers From Atlanta

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

From Chris Maragos‘ playing time to Billy Davis‘ mea culpa, here are three leftovers from the Eagles’ game against the Falcons:

1) A pivotal moment in Monday’s loss came late in the third quarter. With Atlanta nursing a three-point lead and facing a 3rd-and-15 from its own seven-yard line, Kyle Shanahan dialed up a draw that hit the jackpot. Tevin Coleman raced 20 yards to give the Falcons a fresh set of downs, extending a drive that eventually resulted in a 44-yard Matt Bryant field goal that put the home team up 23-17.

Afterwards, defensive coordinator Billy Davis took responsibility. Read more »

Eagles-Falcons, The Day After

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

ATLANTA, Ga. — The cast being discussed was different, but the conversation was largely the same.

The 26-24 loss to the Falcons still thick in the air, Billy Davis met with a handful of reporters in the center of the visitors locker room to address what went wrong Monday night, particularly in the back end. The Eagles yielded two touchdowns and 298 yards through the air, including five pass plays that went for 20-plus yards.

“And again the x-plays,” said Davis. “We’ve got to get that deep ball off of us.”

That was the primary mission of this offseason: to build what Chip Kelly described as a  “lactose intolerant” secondary — one that wouldn’t bite the cheese and give up the big play. They yielded an NFL-high 72 pass plays of 20-plus yards last season. Determined to correct the issue, they revamped three-fourths of the starting secondary; replaced DBs coaches John Lovett and Toddy Lyght with Cory Undlin; signed Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million deal.

It would be hasty to cast full judgment on this group. It was one game — their first game  — and they were facing a potent aerial attack led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Still, with the amount of resources and time invested in the secondary, it’s hard not to look at Monday’s unveiling as a significant disappointment.
Read more »

Instant Observations: Eagles Vs. Falcons

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

ATLANTA, Ga. — Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 26-24 loss to the Falcons Monday night.

* The Eagles were outgained 126-35 in the first quarter, managed just eight yards on the ground in the first half and went into the locker room trailing 20-3. The second half was a different story. They gained control of the game and were set up to take the lead with two-and-a-half minutes to play, but Cody Parkey‘s 44-yard attempt sailed wide. Ryan Mathews was stuffed on third-and-short the play before, forcing Chip Kelly to make a choice. He elected to go with Parkey, who was dealing with a groin injury this preseason but declared himself healthy entering this one.

* Walter Thurmond got the second act off to a good start with an interception and return that set the Eagles up at the Atlanta eight-yard line. Two plays later, DeMarco Murray found daylight along the right side and ran it in for the first of his two touchdowns.

The Eagles embarked on a 13-play, 95 yard drive the following possession that ate up 6:10 of game clock. They overcame four penalties on the series. Jordan Matthews‘ 19-yard catch-and-run got the drive going. Darren Sproles got the offense deep into Falcons territory with a 27-yard scamper. Like he did on the first Murray TD, Jason Kelce got to the second level and wiped out William Moore to spring the play. Murray finished things off with a short receiving TD to pull the Eagles within three.

The Falcons moved the ball on the following possession but had to settle for three thanks to an impressive play by Connor Barwin, who stayed with running back Devonta Freeman on a wheel route and forced the third-down incompletion. Bradford caught fire on the next series and promptly moved the Eagles into striking distance. Mathews finished it with his first touchdown in an Eagles uniform.

The lead did not last long. Julio Jones (9 catches, 141 yards, 2 TDs) beat Byron Maxwell for a 44-yard gain that led to a Matt Bryant field goal, putting Atlanta on top 26-24 with 6:27 remaining.

On the Atlanta possession following Parkey’s missed field goal, Malcolm Jenkins fired into the backfield and dropped Tevin Coleman for a loss with two minutes remaining, allowing the Eagles’ offense one last try. The Falcons’ defense, though, held firm.

* Bradford showed some rust and struggled to get on the same page with his receivers early, but rebounded and ended the game. 36-of-52 for 336 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions — one coming on the team’s final possession.
Read more »

Lurie On Chip, Bradford And Roseman

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

Jeffrey Lurie. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY

It wasn’t quite state-of-the-union, but owner Jeffrey Lurie did speak with a small group of reporters just off the NovaCare practice fields following Friday’s session as the Eagles get ready to open the regular season.

Some highlights:

— Lurie called the Super Bowl chatter “just noise to me” and stayed away from any bold proclamations about this 2015 team. But it was evident that he is pleased with his head coach and the team he has constructed.

“Oh, we just go game-to-game,” said Lurie when asked how Chip Kelly will be evaluated in terms of expectations this season. “He’s an excellent coach in this league, there’s no question about it. He doesn’t need to prove anything. He’s a builder of a roster, culture builder. He’s everything I think we all thought when we interviewed him, and more.”

Lurie called some of the criticism of Kelly by former players and employees on their way out the door “beyond ridiculous.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Duce Controls RB Rotation

Duce Staley

Eagles fans and fantasy owners alike are eager to know how the playing time between DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles will be divvied up. The truth is, that answer does not yet exist.

The man responsible for handling the rotation is  Duce Staley. In a clear sign of trust, Chip Kelly defers to his running backs coach to decide who is in and for how long during the course of a game. Staley explained his approach to that responsibility.

“I just go in with an open head and make sure I don’t get caught up in the last game,” he explained. “I try to get a good feeling of what’s going on out there and then I go from there. I think there’s too much put into it when you start sitting down and writing out a plan. You get in trouble that way.”

So it’s all by feel?

“That’s it.” Read more »

Players Poll: Which Eagle Is Ready To Break Out?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
As is our annual tradition heading into the season, we went around the Eagles’ locker room this week and presented  players with a simple question: Which of your teammates has impressed you this summer and is primed for a big/breakout year?

We got 23 (usable) responses in all. Take a look:  Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Expectations For Ertz

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

One day after undergoing surgery to address a rather significant groin injury, Zach Ertz walked a mile and got in a yoga session. The intensity has steadily ratcheted up from there. Since going under the knife on August 14, the third-year tight end has been pushing hard to get back on the field. That work has paid off, as there is optimism that he will return to practice this week.

Whether he plays against the Falcons is less of a sure bet. Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »