Weekend Reading: A Role For Sproles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.

Jeff McLane of the Inquirer wonders if Chip Kelly can find a bigger role for Darren Sproles in his offense:

Sproles was second on the team in carries (57) to McCoy (312) during the season, but after [LeSean] McCoy was traded to the Bills and [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews were brought in, Kelly spoke of more evenly distributing the workload.

Performance would seem to be the ultimate decider in how Kelly doles out playing time. But Sproles averaged 2.1 yards per snap to McCoy’s 1.9, 5.8 yards per rush to McCoy’s 4.2, and 9.7 yards per catch to McCoy’s 5.5 last season.
Read more »

Eagles To Check Out G Chris Chester

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

UPDATE: Chester has reportedly signed with the Falcons.

The Eagles are bringing in veteran offensive lineman Chris Chester for a visit, according to Adam Caplan. 

Chester (6-3, 303), a second-round pick by the Ravens back in 2006, has started 111 games over his career, including 46 straight at right guard for Washington the last four years.  He was released by Washington on Wednesday in a move that will reportedly save the team $4 million in cap money.

According to NFL.com, Chester “was an ill fit for Jay Gruden‘s power-blocking scheme and he struggled in 2014.”

Perhaps he would be a better fit in Philly. Read more »

Tim Tebow Working To Improve

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

There were two large crowds gathered at the conclusion of Eagles practice yesterday. One engulfed Sam Bradford, the predicted starting quarterback if/when healthy. The other surrounded Tim Tebow.

Tebow, as you probably well know, has been out of football since being cut by the Patriots prior to the 2013 season. In addition to his career as a TV analyst for the SEC Network and host on “Good Morning America”, he has spent the last two years refining his mechanics by working with renowned throwing coach Tom House.

“Tom and Adam [Dedeaux], those guys really know bio-mechanics and I spent hours and hours with those guys working,” Tebow said.

“I feel a lot more comfortable and a lot more improved, and hopefully when you dedicate that much time [to training] you do get better.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Thurmond’s Move To Safety

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

The Walter Thurmond-to-safety move wasn’t on many people’s radars, including Walter Thurmond’s.

There was no discussion of a position switch when he signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Eagles earlier this offseason, he said. Far as he knew, he was coming in to compete for one of the corner spots. And why wouldn’t he think that? That’s his position. According to Thurmond, he’s never played a game at safety over the course of his career.

Once in the fold,  he got a tip that a request was going to be coming down from the top that he consider a position change, and sure enough, it arrived about three weeks ago. Read more »

Chip, Players Respond To McCoy Comments

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly‘s press conference took the inevitable turn towards LeSean McCoy‘s race comments about midway through his pre-practice session with reporters.

Speaking for the first time since McCoy stated that his former head coach was getting rid of “all the good black players” on the team, Kelly said he has respect for McCoy but believes in this case, he’s wrong.

“We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players,” he said, “and color has never been one of them.”

McCoy is not the first former Eagles employee to make these kind of suggestions. Earlier in the offseason, Tra Thomas said that there are players who “feel like there is a hint of racism” behind some of Kelly’s decisions.

“That doesn’t hurt me.  I’m not governed by the fear of what other people say.  Events don’t elicit feelings.  I think beliefs elicit feelings,” said Kelly. “I understand what my beliefs are and I know how I am.

“You start chasing perception and you got a long life ahead of you, son.  That’s what it’s all about.  If you’re worried about someone else’s perception of what is going on with you, then…You can control one thing.  You can control yourself.  I know how we run this organization, and it’s not run that way.”
Read more »

Bradford Slowly Working His Way Back

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Sam Bradford hung back as the rest of the team set off on a light run to start pre-practice warmups. Stationed in the end zone and wearing a large brace on his twice surgically-repaired left knee, he zigged and zagged as he jogged from the middle of the field towards the sideline, and then back again.

When individual drills began, he joined the quarterbacks in the far corner of the field. He worked on three-step drops and tossed the ball to the waiting receiver downfield. There was some throwing and a little bit of running during the early stages of the training session but everything the QB was asked to do was low impact. He bowed out during team drills, though Chip Kelly expects his level of participation to go up next week.

“We all think there’s three phases: there is medical rehab, there is performance rehab, and then there is prepare to play,” said Kelly. “He’s probably right at the tail end of medical rehab. He’ll probably start throwing some 7-on-7 next week, but I think he is right on schedule in terms of where he is.”
Read more »

Eagles Notes: Chip’s Press Conference

Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports

Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports

Chip Kelly held a press conference prior to the Eagles practice today and topics ranged from injury and depth chart updates to DeMarco Murray’s eating habits. Here is a quick rundown of some of the more important issues he covered.

  • Kelly said that Sam Bradford is still in the early stages of his rehab, but he has started to participate in throwing drills. Kelly also noted that the next step for Bradford is to begin seven on seven. “There’s three phases, there’s medical rehab, performance rehab and then there’s prepare to play,” Kelly said. “He’s probably right at the tail end of medical rehab and he will probably start throwing some seven on seven next week.”

Read more »

Carroll Running With the First Team

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

According to the team’s website, Nolan Carroll has been taking reps with the first team opposite Byron Maxwell this week to kick off OTAs.

“I’m not putting stock in it at this point, because we’re all getting the same amount of reps,” Carroll said. “Every time I’m out there I’m focusing on my technique no matter where I’m lining up. It’s not about going against the guy across from me, it’s about what I can do every single time and how much I can focus on my technique on every snap.

“We’re out there now and things are going so fast that you’re going to get tired after three or four reps and the next guy is up.”

Carroll, who played the role of dime specialist last season, will be competing with the likes of Eric Rowe and Walter Thurmond for one of the starting corner spots this summer. Both Rowe and Thurmond are new to the scene, so it would makes sense if Chip Kelly leaned towards Carroll in the early going given his familiarity with Billy Davis‘ defense. Read more »

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