Here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com says take the over on 7 wins for the Birds:
I’m probably too high on Chip Kelly’s offense. Or am I …? This isn’t going to be some funky read-option based offense, it’s going to be, I think, a high-tempo offense that maximizes snaps and utilizes the trio of Michael Vick/DeSean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin to take shot plays down the field. With Jason Peters back and Lane Johnson in the fold the offensive line should be much better and I thought additions like Bradley Fletcher, Connor Barwin, Kenny Phillips and Cary Williams were smart, under-the-radar moves on defense. Maybe I’m too high on the Eagles, but I expect impressive things from Kelly’s first season, particularly if they come out firing against a stacked early-season schedule.
Chris Burke of SI.com writes that it doesn’t really matter how Chip Kelly is splitting up practice reps with his QBs right now:
Vick remains the favorite to claim the job for the start of the season, his athleticism giving him a leg up over either Foles or Barkley in Kelly’s system. (And that’s with the understanding that Kelly will adjust his offensive game plan both for the NFL and for his QB.) He has 96 more career starts under his belt than Foles, too.
Though Vick’s injury-plagued 2012 season helped the Eagles’ shocking collapse, the silver lining in it may turn out to be the playing time Foles received. The third-round pick started six games during his rookie season, sporadically showing glimmers of brilliance.
Field Yates of ESPN.com says Bryce Brown is one of 10 players (league-wide) who will benefit from a scheme change:
Make no mistake about it, LeSean McCoy is the lead back in Philadelphia, but the tempo of Chip Kelly’s offense turns into more snaps than one running back can handle. Brown showed signs of stardom in relief duty in 2012, and he should have an opportunity to be a more consistent second backfield threat (assuming he can hang on to the ball). Kelly’s offenses at Oregon overwhelmed with their speed in the running game; the Eagles will look to do the same.
Donovan McNabb chimes in on Robert Griffin III criticism, via CBSSports.com:
“It’s sad to say, but he is an easy target,” McNabb said. “It’s easy for people to go in on him with the way he carries himself and the way he talks. Unfortunately, it is similar in that way to me. We both grew up with good parents, military families, that taught us how to carry ourselves, and speak well. We got our education. He’s an educated brother who can play this game called football and people come at him sideways and talk so much about his athletic ability and speed. How about we talk about how smart he is? How about we talk about the kind of kid he seems to be?”
Based on his four-pronged system (quarterbacks, pass-rushers, corners and left tackles), Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles tied for 29th in the league. Prisco has Michael Vick ranked 21st, Connor Barwin 28th, Cary Williams 25th and Jason Peters 19th in their respective categories.
Randall Cunningham’s son, Randall Cunningham II (or RC2, as Baylor coaches are calling him) is generating a lot of recruiting buzz, writes Dave Miller of the National Football Post:
And to say RC2 is athletic is an understatement.
He has been clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash and recorded a mark of 7 feet, 2 inches in the high jump. He will likely participate in track and football at the next level and has dreams of competing in the Olympics.
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes about the new contraptions Kelly is using to simulate a pass rush:
Makes sense. As often as Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has been criticized for his inability to throw over the line because of his height, the fact is there’s no quarterback tall enough to see or throw over the tallest of linemen when they have their hands up, so everyone has to throw through lanes. Why not practice it whenever possible?