Eagles Wake Up Call: Travis Long, Take Two

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Travis Long tore the ACL in his left knee in the final quarter of the final preseason game against the Jets last year.

The undrafted free agent out of Washington State had the feeling that the Eagles were going to make him part of the 53-man roster. He was on a couple of the first-team special teams units late in the exhibition season, and was being cross-trained at inside linebacker in the name of upping his versatility. His read on the situation was correct.

“Obviously, he got hurt late in the preseason, but if he wasn’t hurt, he would have made our team last year,” said Chip Kelly. Read more »

Earl Wolff, Chip Kelly And the Knee

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Earl Wolff still experiences pain in his right knee. He said it only hits when he makes certain movements and it’s “nothing crazy,” but it’s there and serves as a signal that he is not all the way back.

The third-year safety out of N.C. State acknowledged that he expected to be full-go by this point. Still, Wolff says he has been making big strides lately and feels quite confident that he’ll be back to his old self by training camp.

“At the end of the day, man, my thing is all about being healthy, come back being 100 percent for the first time in a long time,” said Wolff, who participated in individual drills for the first time Tuesday. “Dr. [James] Andrews said sometimes it takes six months, sometimes it takes eight months, you never know. He said the main thing is make sure I’m taking care of myself, make sure I’m doing the things he gave me. He basically gave me a protocol. I’ve been doing everything I can do, just going through that right now.”
Read more »

Players Say ‘Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind’ With Mathis

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Asked about the absence of Evan Mathis, Zach Ertz invoked a saying Jim Harbaugh used during their time together at Stanford.

“I hate to say it, but a college coach of mine said, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’, and that’s kind of what we have,” said Ertz. “We have a very good group of offensive linemen. I have a lot of faith in them. Obviously I love Evan, I wish he was here, but at the same time we’re focused on the guys that are here.

“At the beginning of the offseason guys would talk about it, but now that the grind is going ,and we’re running our butts off each and every day. We’re focused on the guys that are out here.” Read more »

Chip: ‘No Progress’ With Wolff

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Earl Wolff had what he described as “mini-microfracture” surgery on his right knee back in November in hopes that he could finally put the issue in the rear-view mirror. Shortly after the procedure, he told reporters that he expected to be back to full speed by late April or early May.

It’s now June, and Wolff has spent the majority of the spring workouts on the sideline.

Asked about Wolff’s progress as he works his way back from surgery, Kelly told reporters prior to practice: “Earl has done nothing except stretch, so we haven’t seen…there is no progress right now.”

Is it just a pain threshold thing?

“He’s been cleared from Dr. Andrews a couple weeks ago, but it’s what he can tolerate.” Read more »

Notes: Marcus Smith Nearing Return

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith has spent most of OTAs working off to the side with trainers.

He injured his right groin on the second day of spring practice, he said, and has been essentially a spectator since. After a rookie year full of frustrations, it wasn’t exactly the start to 2015 he was looking for.

“I was just like, ‘Something else. It’s gotta be something else,’ ” said Smith. “But I’m glad it happened now rather than later.”

The second-year outside linebacker did work in on some individual drills Monday and expects to participate in team drills come Wednesday. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Thurmond’s Crash Course

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

When the curtain lifts on the 2015 Eagles season, Walter Thurmond — strictly a corner during his five years in the pros to date — will have approximately four months of offseason training at the safety position under his belt. He has been splitting reps with the first team in the early going and, given the shortage of options at the moment, could wind up sitting atop the depth chart along with Malcolm Jenkins when the season rolls around. But just how realistic is it that a player can transition successfully in that short amount of time, to the point that he can be relied upon as the opening day starter?

“It depends on the person,” said Billy Davis. “If you know Walter, it’s not that hard because Walter has such a great, broad football understanding. And even naturally at safety, he’s never played, he just naturally takes the angle that needs to be taken, he naturally is in a spot to where he should be on that play. He has a great feel and a great vision. I’m talking about eyes. Instinctive players really can see it all, whereas guys that aren’t very instinctive see a very narrow…they have blinders on, and they can’t see much more than what they’re staring at. Because Walter has that vision, I think it’s going to be a good fit at safety for him.” Read more »

Why Rowe Is Starting Out At Corner

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Cory Undlin was succinct in his explanation of why Eric Rowe is starting out at cornerback instead of safety.

“I strongly believe the kid can be a top-level corner in this league. That’s it,” he said.
Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Shurmur Vouches For Bradford

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Pat Shurmur was Sam Bradford‘s offensive coordinator when the quarterback claimed Rookie of the Year honors back in 2010.

He left St. Louis the following season to become head coach of the Browns. But that year shared between Shurmur and the former Heisman winner proved valuable to Chip Kelly as he weighed whether to pull the trigger on a trade.

“I was able to give some insight to him: how he prepared, how hard he worked, what he was like as a quarterback behind center, what he was like as a leader, all the things that I think he is really, really good at,” said Shurmur.

“I certainly have a strong, good opinion of Sam and what he can accomplish. Had he been able to stay healthy, then he wouldn’t have been available for us. When the deal was getting made I kind of had my fingers crossed in the background that it was going to get done.”

Fans are now the ones with their fingers crossed, hoping that the assessments of Shurmur and company are spot on. Read more »

Undlin Making A Great First Impression

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Cory Undlin would not mention the Denver Broncos organization by name. Instead, he referred to it as “the other place.”

One day after being told that his services would no longer be needed at “the other place” back in January, he received a call from Billy Davis, who asked him to fly to Philly for an interview. Two days after that he was at the NovaCare Complex, where he met with Davis and Chip Kelly for some six hours. A contract was offered, pen was put to paper and just like that he was in a new place, charged with repairing a secondary in disarray.

“The roster didn’t really concern me at that point,” said Undlin during an afternoon session with reporters Wednesday. “I was looking for an opportunity to coach somewhere and keep doing what I love to do and do it with passion, and fortunately for me they offered me the job. There was no hesitation, there was no questioning it. I took it on the spot, and flew back and packed my bags.”

The 43-year-old Undlin has been a hit since landing back in town. Read more »

Eagles To Open Training Camp On August 2

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles announced that training camp will start up on Sunday, August 2, two weeks before their preseason opener against the Colts.

There will be two open practices at Lincoln Financial Field — on Tuesday, August 4 and Sunday, August 9. They will be free of charge and will not require a ticket for entry. Read more »

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