Eagles Wake-Up Call: Tweaking Geno Smith

When Geno Smith recounted his private workout with the Eagles, he did so with a big smile on his face.

That according to Heisman Trophy winner and Director at IMG Academy Chris Weinke, who is working with Smith to help fine-tune the quarterback’s game in front of the NFL Draft.

“He was asked to make a lot of throws and plays with his feet,” said Weinke in a phone conversation with Birds 24/7. “He felt there was a comfortable fit with the people, he felt comfortable in the classroom. He thought he did very well.”

(Chip Kelly seems to agree.)

Weinke has worked with Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Christian Ponder, Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins since taking on this role a little over three years ago. Right now he is coaching Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson and Zac Dysert as well. Most of the buzz right now is around Smith. He is expected to be the first QB off the board, and could be selected by the Eagles at No. 4.

Weinke is helping to clean up some of Smith’s technical imperfections. They have smoothed out his drop. Instead of bouncing and lifting his feet way up in the air, Weinke explains that he is now “cutting the grass with his feet” and gliding back. That, in turn, has positively impacted Smith’s upper half.

“He would rock his shoulders a little bit,” said the former Florida State signal-caller, who spent seven seasons in the NFL with the Panthers and Niners. “We fixed that.”

These are minor tweaks, mind you. A quarterback coming off a season in which he completed 71 percent of his throws for over 4,000 yards with 42 touchdowns to six interceptions is not in need of an overhaul.

Weinke was hesitant to compare Smith to other QBs, but ultimately relented and gave two names: A young Randall Cunningham because of his lean body, good feet, loose delivery and strong arm; and RGIII on account of his accurate, high-velocity throws and his likability.

“He is not a read-option quarterback or a dropback quarterback, he is kind of the hybrid that everyone is talking about these days,” said Weinke. “Watching Chip at Oregon, he wants a quarterback that can attack, is able to make quick decisions, is accurate and can change plays.  He wants a good athlete with great accuracy.

“I think it is a perfect fit.”


All the latest draft  buzz right here.

Tom Coughlin said of Kelly: “He should have been coaching for me!”

Sheil goes to the All-22 to explain why Kelly was drawn to TE James Casey.

The Eagles will take an up-close look at DT Star Lotulelei.

Arrelious Benn is unhappy with his career to date.


Is Geno Smith’s stock rising, or is it a smokescreen? SI.com ponders:

Teams litter the pre-draft process with smokescreens designed to throw other franchises off the scent. Maybe Philadelphia really is considering Smith at No. 4 overall. Or maybe the Eagles are trying to make everyone else think that they’re considering Smith at No. 4 overall, so the trade value for that spot escalates.

This type of action will happen with an untold number of prospects heading into late April — it’s already occurring to great degree with guys like Star Lotulelei and Jarvis Jones; teams outside the top 15 would love to use those players’ questionable medicals to push down their value.

In Todd McShay’s updated top 32, he has BYU DE Ezekial Ansah up two spots to sixth overall:

Analysis: Ansah is raw and lacks ideal experience, but his elite combination of size, speed, length and overall athleticism makes him a disruptive presence. After an impressive combine performance, the comparisons to Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul are warranted. Ansah is likely to be a top-10 pick.


Draft inching closer, free agency still in play. Right back in busy season.

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  • DunedinEagle

    Cool a combination of Randall and Bob Griffen. Two guys who can sell tickets, be oft injured and never win the big one. Go get em Chippa!

    • Warhound

      Randall blew out his ACL (had one of the earliest ACL replacements) one year; but, was he injured much otherwise? Randalls biggest problem was poor coaching at the NFL level. Buddy would tell him, pregame, “just make three big plays!” sheesh

      • UKEagle99

        Oh man, that was ‘our’ year! 1991, week 1 @ Green Bay and bam! Randall goes down. Such a shame as the offence was coming together and the D was ferocious, I think the D ended the year #1 across the board.

        Jim McMahon played QB wearing knee braces…

        My favourite game that year was the day we walked in to the Houston Oilers house and smashed them in the face. Moon & Co were setting records for offense until Reggie, Clyde, Jerome (God bless you!) and the rest of the gang walked in there and pounded them. Wes Hopkins flew at one of the receivers and smashed his face mask. Houston eventually managed their 1st, 1st down in the 4th quarter. We won 13-6 I think. That’s how you play D. The rules wouldn’t allow it now…

        • cliff henny

          Buddy’s boys were animals! chuck-n-duck, he was entertaining.

          • UKEagle99

            None more entertaining than the 95 yard TD pass to Barnett (60 yards through the air from the end zone) in the Buffalo game! The ultimate duck-n-chuck right there :-)

        • Graham

          Great to hear

        • DunedinEagle

          I remember watching that game on a ski trip in Vermont. It was just a sight to behold.

          • UKEagle99

            I think any Eagles fan who saw that game would remember where they were, it was that type of game. Hopefully we can get some of that attitude back…

        • Warhound

          21 days later……. That Houston game was amazing – they had the House but the Eagles brought the pain! I believe that “D” deserves to be considered among the best in NFL history!

  • Richard Colton

    I’m just not sold on Geno Smith, and I don’t want to see the birds reach for a guy who’s just a guy. Even if he turns out to be an average starter at the position, it still would have to be considered a bad pick. Howie is drafting #4 – at that spot you are obligated to draft a perennial pro-bowl player at a premium position.

    And we should still hold Howie accountable if he trades down and the extra player(s) don’t produce. Turning the #4 pick into the next Brady Quinn and Jaiquawn Jarrett and Quentin Demps isn’t value.

    • UKEagle99

      The problem is no-one ever really knows what these guys will become until they hit the big leagues. I’m sure history is scattered with ‘not sure’ picks, Brady is the obvious one, where they went on to succeed (not all to the extent that Brady has!) I’m sure history is also scattered with ‘sure things’ that failed. Some of that may be the player, some of that may be the coaching. Would Russell Wilson have enjoyed the same success here if we had picked him up in round 2? Who knows…

      • Richard Colton

        Ohh no doubt. Tony Manderich, Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch… you’re 100% right

        For a successful organization, football team, business, etc, it’s about mitigating risk. That isn’t to say you can’t make risky picks or swing for the fences, but when you do, it has to be part of an over-arching strategy. Russell Wilson, for example, has really worked out for the Seahawks. He was a risky pick, but they took him in round three in a draft that was loaded with QBs. Taking a QB at #4 in a QB poor draft isn’t calculated risk, it’s gambling with the franchise’s future.

        If you love Geno Smith, understand that he would have been a late second, early third round pick in 2012 – possibly a little higher, maybe a little lower. The expected value doesn’t equal the required price for me in 2013. Now, if he somehow makes it past Arizona, Jets, and Buffalo (could happen) and pulls an Aaron Rogers/Brady Quinn slide and you want trade up to the bottom of round 1 and grab him – we can talk.

        • UKEagle99

          Agreed, I appreciate what you’re saying. Ultimately if they work out (and for Geno that means Franchise QB) it doesn’t matter where you pick ’em… but, if they don’t then like you say, you’re risking the franchise’s future.

          When I step back and look at the team my gut says the pick is Milliner…

          • Richard Colton

            Yep. I’m with you. Milliner or Fisher. Not exciting, but both could be future stars in the league.

          • Graham

            Agreed you y’all here… Geno looks good he really does, but it is a bit of a stretch at #4 when you could get an OL like Kalil who went to Pro Bowl in rookie season guy’s a beast. Hopefully Fisher is similar

  • cliff henny

    hopefully with Kelly we have a huge advantage with getting future QB. he has a bar set with Marioti next yr, have to be better than him. he is also very familiar with Manual who he recruited and Manziel who de-commited from Oregon. i’m with most, Smith isnt a guy i’d want, but Kelly knows as good or better what’s in ’14 draft and this one. guess it all comes down to trust, trust lurie picked right coach/FO, they’ll pick right QB. as 30+ yr eagles fan, my trust level isnt that high overall, but this group seems to have it together

  • Lukekelly65

    If Chip Kelly is really impressed with this guy then thats good enough for me if hes willing to bet his coaching future on Geno then there must be something there but to me there really isn’t a big difference between Foles and Smith i personally like the fact that Foles has started in the NFL and shown that he has the talent to be a starter in the league. Geno may come in and become a superstar but in my opinion i think we should pick a O-line at 4 or a impact player on Defense. instead of trying to replace Foles why not try to give him pieces to help him become more successful i think Fisher would be a nice pick because he would sure up the o-line that got vick and Foles killed last year

    • cliff henny

      question is,can kelly wait till ’14 draft? vick is gone, foles is fine, but there’s 2-5(def bridgewater and marioti, maybe miller, manziel seems like street-baller-fun to watch but can it work in nfl and boyd-live in SC see all his games more talent around him than him). would think as a coach, it’d be hard to put all the time and energy into a qb, takes many-fold more than any other position. if eagles can hold off for 1yr, he’ll have his pick of the litter. plenty of other areas to focus on. hopefully where gamble can help. he stuck with smith while getting great talent, than last piece was Kaep. they look like they’ll be contenders for years.

      • nolamack

        Guys Manziel is a true freshmen he can’t leave until after his junior season. So next year is not an option for him to be drafted

        • 2lbs.

          You couldn’t be more wrong.

        • cliff henny

          was redshirt, he can come out next year, just like mariota can also.

  • Jack Waggoner

    Hell I don’t know. Aaron Rogers wasn’t an exciting choice either so he dropped to 24. Worked out well for him and the Packers, not so much for the teams who didn’t take him.

    Hard to picture Geno Smith rising to that level but I could never rule it out. But as it stands now, not a pick that I would make.

    • Jason N.

      You seem to forget that Rodgers had a great teacher in Brett Farve.

      Who will teach Geno Smith, Michael Vick?

      Your comparison is weak.

      • Stevfrog71

        Brett is career interception leader, cones down to coaching and willingness to be coached.

        • Jason N.

          Yes, Farve has a crazy amount of interception.

          But he still made 11 Pro Bowl, 2 NFC Championship, an NFL MVP, 5 times NFC player of the year and a Superbowl champion.

          He threw that many interceptions and still have that great of a resume, and help coach Rodgers to the level he possesses right now.

          If Michael Vick has a resume like that then he can keep fumbling as many balls as he want, and the Eagles should draft Geno Smith so Vick can mentor him. But sadly Vick isn’t Farve except for the giving the ball away to the opponent part.

          So yeah, sorry I rather wait till 2014 for Manziel, Bridgewater or Mariota.

          • Farve NEVER mentored or helped coach Rogers, or lent anything personally or professionally to Rogers development…… Farve resented Rogers becoming a Packer and showed that hostility at every point he remained a Packer.

            the Rogers, Farve relationship only recently warmed to remotely be considered civil two years ago.

            Manziel isn’t eligible for the NFL next years, the Kids a Freshman and by the NFL rules and CBA he can’t be drafted until after his Junior Season, which is two years away. Manziel won the Heisman running behind his Tackles, Joekecl and Matthews…… He’s a true option quarterback in the tradition of Big 12 Option Quarterbacks.

          • Jason N

            Okay I’ll admit I misunderstood the Green Bay situation. But even if Farve didn’t help Rodgers out. You gotta admit Rodgers sitting out for 2-3 years probably help him more than if he had to be starting from day one.

            And actually Manziel was a redshirt freshman so he is qualify to enter the draft next year if he wanted to.

          • Manziel was a redshirt because he started classes in Jan but didn’t graduate High School until Jun,

            Manziel was the Parade High School All American first team QB in Feb 2011 For a player to be eligible for the draft, at least three years must have passed since he graduated from high school. He can not be drafted until 2015

          • Jason N.

            Manziel is ellegible at the end of next season. Do your research again.

          • JofreyRice

            Rodgers is a weird situation. I didn’t really watch Rodgers at Cal, but from what I understand, he had his mechanics totally torn down to the ground and rebuilt while he waited his turn behind Favre. He ended up as a much superior passer, in terms of velocity, accuracy, and ball placement because of it, but it’s just not something every QB is capable of doing.

      • Timmy J

        Lol. ^ he has a point.

      • Richard Colton

        “…Rodgers had a great teacher in Brett Farve.”

        Jason, nothing about that statement is true. Did you mean Rodgers had a great predecessor in Farve? Maybe. But by all accounts, Favre was hostile to Rodgers from the moment Green Bay drafted him. Never taught him anything, and he certainly wasn’t a mentor.

        I don’t need players to coach their replacements. That’s
        what coaches are for. Based on Kelly’s interview last week – that’s his

        • Rogers had and continues to have, exceptional receivers, Brady has good receivers also. It’s not just the Quarterback both have receivers willing to sacrifice their bodies to snatch a ball out of the air. We all know what Marvin Harrison of Roman Catholic in Philly did for Payton Manning. Marvin and Payton are arguably the greatest combination the NFL ever saw.

          • Token

            What WRs does Brady have? Who was Wes Welker before NE? Manning did it after Harrison. Last year he made Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker look like star WRs.

            Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb will be the top 3 packers WRs next year and were for most of this year.

            Great QBs make everyone better. Even the line. Eagle fans tend to find excuses for why other teams great players are great. Dont get it.

          • By comparison, the Eagles haven’t had receivers in the types that played with Brady or Manning in decades with the exception of TO and Chris Carter, who were run out of town. Brady found success with receivers like Branch, Welker, Moss, Ben Watson, Stallworth, and Troy Brown and good backs. Welker and Moss are locks for the Hall of Fame. Brady has always had a good compliment of players supporting him, McNabb on the other hand was reduced to Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell….. Still McNabb had a great career.

            Payton has 54,000 yds in Indy, 15,000 to Marvin Harrison. of Payton’s 399 tds, Harrison caught 128, When Marvin retired, Payton still had “A” List receivers, Clark and Wayne, none equal to Marvin but stellar craftmen. There is no question Marvin is also a lock to go into the Hall of Fame. These two Great Quarterbacks were surrounded with exceptional talent and a few of those receivers as mentioned are locks to make it to the Hall.

            I don’t know you can just discount the receivers working with either Brady or Manning and say they were not significant to their accomplishments. The same can be said for Farve who left Rogers well off with productive receivers. The Eagles didn’t then or do they now have comparable talent at receiver.

          • Token

            Not even you believe that list of Pats WRs is good. Your just going overboard. If you put Maclin and Jackson with Brady they would be superstars, and im not even a Jackson fan.

            Most considered Mannings WRs last year subpar. Well, im sure they think differently now. Other than a ageing Moss Brady has had no stud WRs. Not one. Wes Welker was a nobody before he got with Brady. Amendola will step in and have the same production.

            Im sorry im just tired of hearing stuff like this. Deion Branch, Ben Watson, STALLWORTH!? Maybe you can throw Jabar Gaffney in there too. And who are all the great Pats RBs? Keep in mind McNabb had Gaffney and Stallworth too.

            Im assuming you are a huge McNabb and/or Vick backer since this is usually who I see this stuff from. Look, McNabb was a good QB. But he wasnt great. Not even close to great. He lifted no other players game. He just wasnt that kind of player. And lets not forget he had one of the biggest mismatches in the league at the time in Westbrook.

            Bottom line, you need a great QB to make everyone else better not the other way around.

          • Amendola is not a “nobody receiver” Sure I believe the receivers Brady had were talented, and much better than any talent passing through phila in years. Brady’s receivers stats, and especially that of an “Aging Moss” have stats and accomplishments which speak for themselves. Jackson and Maclin are big play receivers they only come down with a ball that is uncontested. Flacco is not a Great Quarterback, he’s a steady Quarterback who had an exception receiver in Boldin and now a super bowl to his credit. McNabb was the greatest and most accomplished Quarterback to put on an Eagle jersey in the Super Bowl era. None of the receivers except TO left Philly to accomplish anything in the NFL, so there was no lifting the talent that philly had at receiver during McNabb’s stay there. Right today, Brandon Lloyd the Patriots mercenary is as good if not better than the Eagles starting receivers. There isn’t an eagle as talented in the route than Lloyd. Chad Johnson couldn’t even get on the field with the Patriots, and the Eagles don’t have a receiver, Jackson who could sit Chad down. I love the Eagles, but they have always had a missing piece and a team of overachievers who lacked the talent to compete when it was needed, thus No Super Bowls.

            Dan Marino was a great Quarterback who had exceptional receivers, as was Dan Fouts and neither a Super Bowl.Terry Bradshaw was a horrible Quarterback how many Super Bowl Rings did he collect? Broadway Joe is another mediocre Quarterback, but arguably the most celebrated Super Bowl Quarterback in NFL History.

            Since Marvin’s retirement in 2008, even Wayne and Clark were subpar in comparison to Marvin Harrison. Harrison was Payton’s Hall of Fame receiver, there is no receiver on par with Harrison. There is no way to compare any receiver working with Manning as par to what he built his reputation in the NFL on, Marvin Harrison. Like wise the Moss, Brady connection that saw the Patriots go 16 and 0 in 2007

            Each is arguably the best receiver in NFL History. The class of Harrison, Rice and Moss and probably Chris Carter is an exclusive class of receivers. Brady and Manning were privileged to play with two of those names. To suggest they did not have an impact on their accomplishments is not an accurate assessment of the talent surrounding those quarterbacks.

          • Westbrook and McNabb were virtually a two man show in Phila under Andy Reid there was absolutely nothing else of note to count on during those years.

          • Token

            You can easily compare Waynes numbers to Harrison.Here is a fun exercise. Tell me what WRs have left Brady and tgen went on to be great elsewhere. Also notice the greats like Branch and Stallworth you mentioned never had 1000 yard seasons. They are Thrash and Pinkston.

          • You’re over stating the greatness comment, but the fact is that Stallworth and Branch two of the more pedestrian receivers who played with Brady are more accomplished and were better productive receivers than Thrash or Pinkston and any in the stable of Philly Receivers McNabb had access to or would have ever hoped to have., Stallworth and Branch are still active on NFL Rosters in 2012….. Thrash and Pinkston not so much. The Eagles never had the talent on the outsides or at Tight End with the exception of TO, When Stallworth played in Philly he started 11 games, and caught 40 balls for 725 yds. He produced there on par with his career average. He was a difference maker.

            The Eagles entire attack was McNabb to Westbrook who abused most all linebackers covering him. Westy was a special talent. There was nothing else on the Eagles offense for years. That’s not the story for Brady and Manning or Rogers and Farve.

            Wayne is a wonderful and productive receiver, however he in no way compares to Marvin Harrison. Marvin Harrison only comparison would be Rice, Moss and maybe Carter. These guys are in a class by themselves.

      • Farve and Rodgers didn’t get along in Green Bay….. Farve didn’t communicate with Rogers. Farve didn’t like that Green Bay drafted another Quarterback in rd 1.

        Farve never talked to Rogers about improving his game their discussions were limited to Rogers showing Farve little things regarding new plays devised for the Green Bay offense and those discussions were limited to during games. Farve did not extended the invitation to Rogers to come to Mississippi with other skill position players to practice during the off season.

        Farve had no interest in seeing Rogers develop and replace him.

    • It’s not hard if you’ve actually watched West Virginia play this year. The Kid is good and worth a top 5 pick in the draft, there’s no doubt in my mind he will be taken early there are to many new coaches looking for a sturdy Quarterback to build their program around and Geno fits the bill given the proper support on a offense. Chip Kelly fits that profile.

      The Eagles aren’t outfitted to entertain a rookie Quarterback, Foles proved that last year. There’s no protection nor do the Eagles have possession receivers who work the middle of the field and fight defenders for balls thrown in their direction.

  • MjD

    I saw a comment somewhere about a Football Outsiders metric for QBs that ranked Geno very highly- unofficially. Same metric had RGIII and Luck high last year. That metric also had Russell Wilson scoring “off the charts” – highest ever. I’m intrigued to see how they discuss Smith this year when FO releases their ranking.

  • peteike

    “He was asked to make a lot of throws and plays with his feet,” said Weinke. If that doesnt tell us that Foles doesnt have a shot Im not sure what will. Im as optimistic as the next guy in terms of them competing and Kelly adapting but does that not say it all right there? The QB will be running….or at least needs that skill set. It is really undeniable with this response. If you watched Oregon, you saw it. At least I saw it a lot towards end of college season. QB draws. Dixon vs Vick, is that the real QB competition in camp?

    • meh1988

      Just because Foles isn’t fast doesn’t mean he can’t move around. Watch the tape from last year. He can throw on the run and scramble when he needs to. I wouldn’t count him out yet

      • I would

      • atlvickfan

        It took him like a minute to run for that TD against Tampa.

        • Jason N.

          But he still got a TD didn’t he? So I don’t mind if he isn’t fast. He’s built to be a pocket passer like Big Ben. If he can be accurate then I don’t mind his speed at all.

      • If the rushing defensive end doesn’t feel threaten by the QB running, that Quarterback is useless in an option attack. The key is to make the defender hesitate, any hesitation on a live play is a disaster to a defense and negates defensive players instincts. Coleman is a perfect example of a defender put commonly out of place because of his hesitation.

    • JofreyRice

      Great point. Foles is not a viable threat to run for the defense to account for. Kelly needs a guy that is. I can’t see an alternate ending to that line of reasoning besides Foles moving on.

  • ojdiddoit

    Looking at the eagles list of qbs on there roster I see no name that I would expect to see in say three or four years,in other words no franchise qb…smith with the 4th pick please howie

    • Jason N.

      No! Stop it! We have a redskins/cowboys/giants fan here trying to give false advice!

  • atlvickfan

    Chris Weinke is giving QB advice? That is quite comical.

  • Mike Schmidt

    Please no Geno Smith all the QB’s in this class are career backups. Eagles need o-line rite now. Wait for a qb this is a project under construction Rome wasn’t built in a day!

    • In order for the Eagles to be in the hunt for future QBs in the Draft they’ll have to duplicate the 4-12 Season or worse. You’re actually suggesting throwing in the white flag of surrender. Football’s a man’s game. Trying justifying that strategy to the guys in any locker room.

  • Josh C

    I say we go o-line with the fourth pick, no matter who our QB is he’ll need protection plus next years draft is much better at QB with Bridgewater and company

    • Jason N.

      Agree. This year is horrible to draft a franchise QB. If you want a serviceable QB or a career backup then this year will do.

      Chances of a Tom Brady in this class is slim.

  • TheKingCray

    I’d rather use the 4th pick to pick up someone like Shariff Floyd (who is in a position of need at 3-4 DE) if he is on the board during the Eagles turn, Star Lotulelei even though that would be a reach, or Dion Jordan since he is one of Chip’s former players. My idea would be to draft EJ Manuel with 2nd Round Pick and/or trade up to draft Marcus Mariota in 2014.

    • Josh C

      I feel like the Eagles have too many holes to reach in the draft why not trade back and get more picks

  • Eric

    I’m willing to bet neither Manziel or Mariota come out next season as sophomores.

  • Twin

    You can’t pick a guy at #4 who is not a QB and turns out to be a bust. A cornerback? There would be riots. Best QB in the draft that fits CK system makes way too much sense. I refuse to believe that Chip will blow this pick that comes once a decade.

  • Jimbo99

    I’m tired of the scrambling QB. How about the Eagles try something new that has won a SB every year. Fix the offensive line and get a franchise QB like Brady, one of the Mannings, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Bradshaw, Elway, Aikman, Stabler & other Raiders QB’s like Plunkett, Favre and you get the picture. A QB that is actually going to be just mobile enough to keep drives alive and extend plays behind the line of scrimmage on pass plays. They’ll need a decent enough defense too, but the NFL is a team sport. It’s great to have a human highlight reel, the guy that runs for 100+ yards and passes for 300+ yards. But those guys always seem to lose either before or in the trophy game. McNabb was close enough to get there once. And the 5 NFC Championship games, he was close there too. He easily has been the most consistent QB the Eagles have had in decades. I don’t even mind getting another QB at his level again. His consecutive years and record speak volumes for the occasional scramble for a 1st down, He even threw passes where nobody would catch them or only his player had the best chance at catching it if anyone at all did. Fewer turnovers is the name of the game.

  • bill

    Ppl need to do their homework. Manziel graduated high school early and started at A&M in january of 2011. He will be eligable for the 2014 draft, not 2015.