Wake-Up Call: Three Eagles Leftovers

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here are three Eagles leftovers to get to:

1. LeSean McCoy was one of the few Eagles who spoke up in support of DeSean Jackson after the team released Jackson during the offseason. And earlier this week, he unveiled a pretty hilarious impression of the speedy wide receiver.

We never got to see what a Chip Kelly offense would look like with McCoy, Jackson and Jeremy Maclin all on the field at the same time. Maclin tore his ACL in the summer of 2013, and Jackson was gone by the time this season rolled around.

McCoy was asked about the prospects of Jackson and Maclin teaming up in Kelly’s offense.

“Just a lot of big plays, a lot of space, a lot of yards,” he said. “That’s what I would think. But you never know.” Read more »

On Graham And the Contract Talks

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The Eagles are interested in re-signing Brandon Graham, and Graham genuinely wants to remain in Philadelphia. But the level of commitment on both sides to making it happen will be tested in the coming weeks.

As Geoff Mosher reported, the Eagles reached out to Graham’s camp to express their interest in re-signing the 26-year-old. While no formal offer was made, we’re told that the opening salvo by the Eagles was to the tune of four years, $24 million. That’s an average of $6 million per season. Graham’s camp is looking for something in the $7-8 million per year range.

While that might not seem like a huge gap to bridge, there are other factors – and more specifically, other Eagles players – to consider. Read more »

All-22: Defensive Failures Against Dallas

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In the days leading up to the Eagles’ rematch with the Cowboys, Billy Davis made it clear that he was expecting to see a different Tony Romo.

On Thanksgiving, the Birds’ defense applied consistent pressure on Romo, and the Cowboys’ quarterback struggled to connect with open receivers when he did have opportunities.

Sunday night was a different story, and Davis ended up being right. Despite a mostly ineffective run game, Romo picked the Eagles apart, completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“I think the biggest difference in the two games that we had… was the play of Tony Romo and the throws,” Davis said this week. “The throws on Thanksgiving were under-thrown and bad, and we were coming back and making plays. The throws the other night were on the money, and they were right where they needed to be.”

Romo certainly deserves credit for playing well in a big spot. But Dez Bryant scored three touchdowns one-on-one against Bradley Fletcher. Was the Eagles’ game plan sound? Was it just a matter of the more talented unit winning? We explore those issues with the All-22. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: An Opportunity For Graham

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Brandon Graham‘s fifth season with the Eagles is nearing its end. The rookie contract that has tied him to Philadelphia — for better or for worse, in good times and in bad — is about to expire.

Most of the good has come of late.  Graham has made peace with the ghosts of expectations unmet and has adapted to his new position to become a productive part of the Eagles’  attack. He has 5.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 14 quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles on the season while playing a shade under 40 percent of the snaps.

Somewhat apropos of the way his pro career has gone, Graham’s playing time is set to spike just as the sand threatens to drain out of the hourglass. Trent Cole is expected to miss at least one week with a broken hand, meaning Graham jumps into the starting lineup for the first time since 2012.

“This is a big opportunity for me to really show what I can do with more snaps. I’m excited to just be able to go compete and get better with my teammates,” said Graham. Read more »

Maclin: No Bad Blood With DeSean

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Jeremy Maclin stood at the podium after practice Tuesday afternoon and wanted to set the record straight on a couple different topics.

One was his relationship with DeSean Jackson. The two never seemed especially close when they played together, but Jackson told the Inquirer over the weekend that he’s happy for Maclin and the success he’s had.

“We’ve spoken a few times this year,” Maclin said. “I don’t know how people perceive that relationship between him and I. We’re cool. No hard feelings either way. At the end of the day, he’s in Washington now and we’re here.”

Asked to describe the nature of their relationship, Maclin said: “We were teammates. We were cool. I don’t really know what people think, that there was ever any type of bad blood or anything. We’re both competitive guys and both guys who are very capable of being talented guys in this league. When you have two guys of that caliber on one team, I think people look for things to try to pick at and try to pull you guys apart, but it’s not always like that.”

In reference to offseason speculation that Maclin wouldn’t have re-signed had Jackson still been here, he said: “Was I quoted in that report? [No]. OK then.” Read more »

Smith’s Development “Stifled” By Switch

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was out of necessity that Marcus Smith II was shuffled from outside linebacker to inside linebacker earlier this year, and it is out of necessity that he is now being shuffled back to his original position.

Trent Cole broke his hand against Dallas and is expected to be sidelined for at least one week. That means Brandon Graham steps into the starter’s role while Smith figures to be the next man in.

“I expect to get some snaps. I’m not sure how many snaps I’ll get but I’m sure to get action,” said Smith. “Hopefully go out there, run around and just make a play.”

Smith is currently practicing at the Predator position, so he’ll likely rotate in for Graham at times. Bryan Braman is the other option at outside linebacker.

Smith was moved inside back in September after Mychal Kendricks and Najee Goode went down with injuries. He was already having a difficult time acclimating to the pro level, and now had to do so while learning a new position. The results haven’t been good. Smith has appeared in six games and has played just 74 snaps, totaling one tackle and one quarterback hurry.

“We set him back by moving him inside, but we needed that because of all the injuries we had at inside,” said Billy Davis. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys.

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez – In a game where the Eagles needed to maximize their opportunities on offense, Sanchez failed to capitalize and made too many mistakes. Although, to be fair, he was far from the only problem.

Overall, Sanchez went 17-for-28 for 252 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Per Pro Football Focus, he was 12-for-13 on throws under 10 yards. On attempts 10 yards or more from the line of scrimmage, Sanchez was 5-for-13. He did not complete a single pass that traveled 20 yards or more from the line of scrimmage and attempted just two. Read more »

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