What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Eagles Draft 2015
Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what the media are saying about the Eagles after an interesting Day 1 of the NFL Draft:

According to Pro Football Talk, Chip Kelly made a pretty sizable offer to the Bucs for the No. 1 overall pick.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Eagles offered the following to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first pick in the draft:  the 20th pick in this year’s draft; Philly’s first-round pick in 2016; quarterback Sam Bradford; and another player on the roster.

It’s unclear who the other player would have been.  Possibly linebacker Mychal Kendricks.  Possibly Lane Johnson or Fletcher Cox, but the Eagles were expressing reluctance to include either of those pieces.

It’s unknown whether that same offer was made to the Titans, who held the No. 2 pick and ultimately used it on Mariota.  It’s reasonable to assume something similar to that was placed on the table.

In that same post, Florio brings up the idea of Kelly eventually jumping to Tennessee to reunite with his former quarterback. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Agholor A Fit For Chip

Eagles Draft 2015
Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles’ pre-draft film session with first-round selection Nelson Algholor went into OT, Chip Kelly said.

“When he came here and had a visit here, we were in the room with him for a long time because of the questions he had for us about, ‘How do we attack this coverage? What do we do here?'” said Kelly. “He’s one of those guys that’s really just a student of the game. You get excited when you are around guys like that. He’s just trying to soak up everything that you can spit out in terms of being able to give him coaching points and he’s always trying to get better…Really exactly what we’re looking for in a football player.” Read more »

Titans Reject Eagles’ Offer, Select Mariota

Eagles Draft 2015
Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Chip Kelly made a big push, but it wasn’t enough.

The Tennessee Titans decided to stand pat at No. 2 and select Marcus Mariota, the Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner that Kelly once called “the most talented kid I coached in college.”

He tried hard to make a reunion happen. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Eagles offered two first-round picks, a third-rounder, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and “more.” He later added that Sam Bradford was part of the package.

Per Jay Glazer, they also tried to make something happen with the Bucs, offering two first rounders, a quarterback and another player, but Tampa declined. Read more »

Mychal Kendricks Talks Absence, Trade Speculation

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today

Trade speculation is running rampant, Mychal Kendricks has been absent from the team’s voluntary workouts and dots are being connected.

While his future in Philadelphia is very much uncertain — a report from Jason La Canfora today suggests he’s being shopped by the Eagles — the linebacker says that’s not why he’s been missing for the start of the offseason training program. Read more »

Mariota-Eagles Dream Not Dead Yet

Eagles Draft 2015
Matt Kartozian / USA Today

Matt Kartozian / USA Today

I do not believe the Eagles-Marcus Mariota dream is dead. If anything, I’ve grown more confident over time that there is substance behind the speculation, and that Chip Kelly is going to try to land his old college quarterback on Thursday night.

The whole idea seems a little fantasy-landish on the surface: How on earth can a team go from 20 to 2? Would Kelly really be willing to hand over the ransom that it would take to get there? Isn’t this whole concept a bit detached from reality? But in a search for stop signs behind the scenes, the vast majority of the people we’ve spoken to have signaled us forward. That continues to be the case even with the draft just one day away. Read more »

Watkins Prepping For Shot At Safety

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The coaching staff wanted Jaylen Watkins to add some weight and muscle mass this offseason, so that’s what he did.

The second-year defensive back finished the season around 194 pounds. Thanks to an increased weight-lifting regimen and change in diet, he reported to NovaCare looking a little more rocked up and weighing in at 200 pounds.

How much of that was done with the safety position in mind?

“A lot of it,” he said during a conversation with Birds 24/7. “But in general, if I can put on more weight and move the same way, it’s going to be a plus no matter what I’m playing. And that’s the case right now. I’ve put on the pounds, I still move the same. It’s big for me for safety when that comes to mind but at the same time it’s still making me a better overall player.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Searching For Safeties

Eagles Draft 2015
Eric Rowe. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Eric Rowe. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Ed Marynowitz called the traditional safety “a dying breed.”

The new vice president of player personnel explained that because the NFL is evolving into more of a spread, pass-oriented league, teams are moving away from box safeties and towards prospects with better cover skills. That’s certainly true of the Eagles.

“The way we play our safeties, we like those guys to be able to roll down and play slot coverage.  In order to play man coverage, they have to have the athleticism to do that.  Typically, the traditional box safeties don’t have that,” said Marynowitz.

Given their criterion, it’s entirely possible that Chip Kelly and company don’t view Alabama’s Landon Collins — widely considered the top safety in this class — as a fit.

Where might they turn?  Mike Mayock provided some potential scheme-friendly options for the Eagles during a recent conference call with reporters. Read more »

Tebow And the Potential Rule Changes

Howard Smith / USA TODAY Sports

Howard Smith / USA TODAY Sports

The owners will gather in San Francisco from May 18-20 for the NFL spring league meeting. There, they are expected to vote on a proposal that would alter the point after touchdown process.

All 32 owners apparently agree that the extra point (converted at a rate of 99.6 percent the past three years) has become too automatic and that change is needed. While the specifics of the proposal have not been finalized, Peter King believes it will look something like this: Read more »

Marynowitz: I’m Not A ‘Yes’ Man

Ed Marynowitz. Birds 24/7.

Ed Marynowitz. Birds 24/7.

The success of the Eagles’ new power structure depends in part on 1) whether Ed Marynowtiz provides Chip Kelly with honest, sound personnel advice and 2) whether Kelly listens to it.

Speaking to the media for the first time since being elevated to VP of Player Personnel, Marynowitz addressed the question that has been on the minds of many since he was tabbed as Kelly’s right-hand man.

“I know that’s a common thing that everybody throws out: Is this guy just a ‘yes’ man?  To support the head coach, I don’t believe that’s just to tell him he’s right in everything that he says. You’re not going to disagree just to disagree, either. But I’ve never been afraid to voice my opinion.” Read more »

Wake Up Call: Three Fits For the Eagles

Eagles Draft 2015
Arik Armstead. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Arik Armstead. Photo courtesy of USA Today

During the run-up to the draft, we’re  asking a handful of experts to identify three players from this class that they believe are fits for Chip Kelly and the Eagles. Today, we turn to former Eagles scout turned media personality John Middlekauff for guidance.

Middlekauff  brings an informed perspective.  Serving as the Eagles’ West Coast area scout from 2012-13, he was responsible for tracking Oregon (and much of the Pac 12) while Kelly was still in Eugene, and remained in that role through Kelly’s first draft as head coach of the Eagles.

“[The requirements under Kelly] were much more specific,” said Middlekauff. “With Coach Reid, it was a little more open in terms of receiver or corner, there wasn’t height-specific stuff. Size wasn’t as big of a detractor if the kid could play. In Philly, just because the guy is a second-rounder for most teams, they might not mess with him if he’s a 5-8 corner or a defensive lineman that is six-foot-one. It helps narrow it down for the scouts, the way Chip does it. But also, sometimes you circumvent certain players that would fit. But every coach is different.

“And as far as character goes, I think they are a little more strict on the guys’ background and some of that stuff.”

Which players check the boxes in Middlekauff’s view?

Read more »

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