Mel Kiper, Jr. held his first conference call to discuss the 2014 NFL Draft Thursday. He touched on several topics that may be of interest to Eagles fans.
Let’s start with the quarterbacks:
Kiper thinks that there could be as many as six QBs taken in the first round (assuming the listed underclassmen come out). And they are: Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Derek Carr (Fresno State) and Zach Mettenberger (LSU). Read more »
Brandon Graham is in his fourth year now, believe it or not, yet in many respects is still waiting for his career to get going.
He has been largely stuck in neutral since being taken with the 13th overall pick back in 2010. The Michigan product has watched some of his peers from that draft class take off to reach All-Pro heights. It is his belief that he will still reach that level. But it hasn’t shaken out for Graham thus far. He had multiple injuries early; underwent microfracture surgery and had his ACL repaired. He has played under four different defensive coordinators (Sean McDermott, Juan Castillo, Todd Bowles, Billy Davis) in as many years, and has simply been unable to capture the form that made him one of the premiere college players in the country.
Where is his frustration level at the moment?
“It’s almost at a 10,” Graham admitted. Read more »
DeSean Jackson was bouncing with the music.
Practice was in the bubble Wednesday and the giant speakers were pumping in some sort of bad remix as the players shuffled to their appropriate spots for the next period. Jackson lightly made his way through the crowd, talking as he moved. He came across Roc Carmichael, and the two did one of those involved, synchronized hand slaps. A word, and then Jackson bounced on.
It’s little things like that.
He used to brood quite a bit. The mercurial receiver often took a knee away from the rest of the pack during practice. The look, intentional or otherwise, seemed to read: “No Visitors Welcome.” That was definitely the vibe at his locker stall as well. Jackson would have his back turned, hood up and scowl on when the media was nearby. Requests for a word would at times be met with a mumble and a dart towards the nearest exit.
The guard is down now, at least for the most part. The furrowed brow has receded, replaced by a more peaceful look. The bubble that kept him at a distance – from reporters and management and even his own teammates to a degree – has popped. Read more »
The league fined linebacker Najee Goode $10,000 for his hit to the head of Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien Sunday.
Goode, filling in for the injured Mychal Kendricks, was whistled for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter after his hands came in contact with Tolzien’s helmet.
“I can’t afford it,” said Goode, who is making $480,ooo this season, joking: “I’m going to make DeMeco [Ryans] pay for it.”
Goode says he plans on appealing the fine, though the evidence may be stacked against him. Read more »
Bennie Logan was checking his Twitter feed and kept getting messages that read something to the effect of: “Now is your time.” That’s when he knew something was going on.
Veteran nose guard Isaac Sopoaga had been shipped to New England at the trade deadline, thrusting the third-round pick out of LSU into a starting role.
“It caught me by surprise,” said Logan. “I looked up to Isaac. He was a great influence on me, a great leader. But the next day, once I came here [to the NovaCare facility], I was like, ‘It’s time for me to step up and go forward. Can’t look back. He’s not here anymore. It’s just all on me now.’ ” Read more »
Pat Shurmur fielded question after question about the Eagles’ replay process Tuesday, specifically as it applies to the missed challenge opportunity in Green Bay. Something just doesn’t add up.
Shurmur explained that there are quite a few coaches in the booth that have their eyes on the monitor. If there is a play that warrants a challenge, a coach will relay the info to Shurmur, who will pass it on to Chip Kelly. On the Jarrett Boykin catch, no one in the booth saw an angle that convinced them to speak up. Read more »
Safe to say, Chip Kelly and his staff have been a little shaky in the instant replay department so far this year. They are 1-for-4 on challenges. Sunday the issue was the decision not to challenge, particularly on one play — a 36-yard reception by the Packers’ Jarrett Boykin in the second quarter.
Television replays showed that the receiver’s hand was out of bounds before his second foot came down in the field of play. The call on the field would almost certainly have been overturned. Ultimately it didn’t cost the Eagles — Brandon Boykin came up with an interception later in the drive– but it could have. It’s an area of in-game management that needs to be cleaned up.
Kelly provided an interesting explanation when asked about the decision to not challenge in that spot. Read more »
GREEN BAY, Wisc — Part of Chip Kelly‘s pregame routine is to run the stadium steps. He comes out a couple hours before kickoff, makes his way into the stands and stares out over the field before beginning his climb.
A historian of the game, there’s little doubt Sunday’s run held some significance for the first-year head coach, as did the events that followed.
“This place is awesome,” he said as he looked around Lambeau Field, per an eyewitness.
“It’s a special place. I think it’s just one of the iconic places in the league or even in football when you talk about playing a game in Lambeau Field,” he added after the game. “I thought the fans were really, really good. Most of the time when we come in on a bus we don’t usually have people clapping for us, and I think that says something about the fans of Green Bay that they are just big fans of the game. And there is so much history. That’s the same field that Vince Lombardi coached on, and I think that’s pretty neat, and I think it’s a lot neater when you win.”
In the bowels of Lambeau Field resides the Packers Hall of Fame, which is filled with an embarrassment of riches in the form of legends and trophies and history. The biggest luminary of them all is Lombardi. As you read his quotes that are painted across those walls, you can’t help but think that some of Kelly’s core philosophies have been at least partially shaped by him. Read more »
GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Last week’s gem was about precision and command. Sunday’s outing was more about good fortune, timely throws and quality play from his supporting cast. Nick Foles‘ day wasn’t Canton-worthy, but it was good enough for the Eagles to leave Lambeau Field with a 27-13 win.
Foles ended 12-of-18 for 228 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 149.3 quarterback rating. He was aided by a productive run game (LeSean McCoy went off for 155 yards on 25 carries) and a defense that proved stingy for the sixth consecutive week. The last time an opponent scored more than 21 points against the Eagles was back on September 9 in Denver.
The football gods (which I would imagine make Lambeau their home) were on Foles’ side from the start. That was evident when an underthrown ball into double coverage resulted in a 55-yard DeSean Jackson touchdown. Both Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett were in position to make a play on the ball but the ball instead was tipped up in the air and into the waiting arms of Jackson, who leisurely strolled in for the score. Read more »
Mychal Kendricks (knee), Jason Peters (quad) and Earl Wolff (knee) all suffered injuries against the Packers and will not return.
Kendricks stayed on the ground following a run by Eddie Lacy on the Packers’ first possession of the game. He walked off under his own power but, after being examined by the medical staff on the trainers table, limped into the tunnel for x-rays. Najee Goode replaced him in the lineup.
Peters also went inside after being hit low by a Packers’ defender on a LeSean McCoy run in the first quarter. He returned briefly after being evaluated for a head injury, but lasted one play, leaving for good with a quad. Allen Barbre took his place at left tackle.
Wolff sustained a knee injury in the second quarter and was replaced in the lineup by Patrick Chung.
Read more »