What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s another roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com takes a look at how the offense will change depending on who the quarterback is. He seems very high on Nick Foles:

Foles’ superior arm strength, velocity and zip are a byproduct not of pure arm talent but of his solid mechanics. Additionally, superb accuracy and touch are the result of his ability to keep his eyes and feet connected in the pocket.

For most young quarterbacks, the speed of the game is overwhelming, and that can create hesitancy at the tops of drops. However, Foles rarely displayed “happy feet” in the pocket last season; his decisiveness led to timely throws within the progression.

ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano lists one offseason regret for each team. Here’s what he’s got for the Eagles:

Spend some money on the secondary. The Eagles were the only NFC East team that had cap room to burn. Even though they needed to improve all four starting positions in the secondary, they chose to go the economical route, bringing in uninspiring cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams and safety Patrick Chung. Former Giant Kenny Phillips is a premium talent at safety, but they got him inexpensively as well, and the reason is a chronic knee problem that could keep him from ever playing for them. New coach Chip Kelly was looking for physical cornerbacks with the ability to tackle, which is fine, and I can understand that the Eagles felt burned by the way the Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie moves of two years ago worked out. But the moves at defensive back feel like half-measures, and you get the feeling they’ll be looking to upgrade the same spots next year. This was a team that should have at least looked into trading for Darrelle Revis, though it would have been hard to justify giving up the No. 4 overall pick in the draft for him.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com names the eight left tackles with the toughest assignments. He’s got Jason Peters at No. 5:

Peters missed last year with an injury, and he returns to a team with a desire to have an up-tempo offense. One of the Eagles’ linemen told me the pace will be tough on the linemen who are not in great shape. Peters might be in for a rude awakening. In division, he has six games against DeMarcus Ware, Jason Pierre-Paul and Brian Orakpo. Outside the division, he faces Von Miller, Clay Matthews, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers. There are big differences with the quarterbacks in Philadelphia. If Michael Vick is under center, no one knows where he will attempt to escape, and he has been sacked 272 times in his career or once every 12 attempts.

Marc Sessler of NFL.com ranks all the teams’ backup QB situations. He’s got the Eagles at No. 6:

Foles, yet another Reid pupil, showed growth last season and has a chance to start in Philly if Vick stumbles.

Sessler also says the Eagles have the fifth-deepest backfield in the league:

Gregg Rosenthal likes the Eagles’ backfield more than I do, but nobody’s debating McCoy’s value. He’s arguably a top-five back and should enjoy a bounce-back season in Chip Kelly’s run-heavy attack. Brown’s four fumbles in four starts were an issue, but he was explosive when he wanted to be. Add Jones to the mix, and all three runners should see work in 2013.

Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld looks at the best- and worst-case scenarios for Michael Vick:

Best Case: Chip Kelly does what Andy Reid, Jim Mora and Dan Reeves couldn’t: Unlock Vick’s full potential. Even as a 33 year old who’s lost a step or two, Vick is a revelation in Kelly’s spread-option attack, showing Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick how it’s done as he cruises to a top-five fantasy finish.

Worst Case: Vick looks old, stubborn and turnover prone in training camp, giving Kelly no choice but to go with the lead-footed Nick Foles at quarterback. The Eagles save $4 million by cutting Vick loose before Week 1.

Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 26th in his preseason power rankings:

With Reid gone, Chip Kelly inherits a roster that’s lately looked better on paper than on the field. But let’s look on the bright side. Can you imagine Kelly’s fast-paced offense with the Eagles’ skill-position players? And let’s consider the Eagles’ division. The NFC East doesn’t  have one team that stands above the rest. Every one of the clubs seems capable of playing that role in a given week, but in recent years, this division has been contested all the way until the end.

Of course, if the Eagles are to be competitive down the stretch, they must improve on their surprisingly poor recent form.

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  • Token

    Its weird how people view the same thing differently. Foles doesnt have a weak arm. I actually think he has a fine arm. But his mechanics last year effected his power and zip especially on deep stuff. I think thats a big thing he had to work on this offseason.

  • MediaMike

    Pat Kirwan is my boy and I listen to his show on Sirius everyday, but he doesn’t need to worry about Peters at LT. Peters is the best and most athletic LT in the NFL. He’ll flourish with Kelly’s program. He’ll dominate solid players like Ware, one-trick-pony frauds like JPP, and injury prone guys like Orakpo. I have ZERO worries about Peters.

    • Token

      I think people need to be realistic about Peters. The guy WAS the most athletic LT in the game. His injuries were very serious for a guy of his size and skill set. I wouldnt assume he will be back to the way he was. I certainly hope he is, but it will be tough.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Yeah, I’m not sure I can agree. Serious injury. Big dude, not young anymore. It could be fine but it also could be very bad, especially if he gets reinjured. It’s something I’m worried about.

  • Philip Soloninka

    Just so I am clear, Graz thinks we should have gone after Revis AFTER the Non-D and DRC debacles? After Revis was coming off of a destroyed knee and his constant back and forth with the Jets front office? I understand his talent and risk vs reward, but I really don’t mind that we stayed away from that deal.

    • Jack Waggoner

      Especially in the position the Eagles are currently in, trying to reconfigure everything.

      • Philip Soloninka

        That’s another good reason, all the changes made both on the field and off.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Well, a healthy Jason Peters (and the rest of the O-line) is the key to this season, IMO. If he and his compatriots can stay healthy and productive, the QB has a much better survival rate. If Vick can learn to make quicker and better decisions, and do EXACTLY what Kelly asks of him, he’s in. But if he keep trying to win games with his feet (and thus will get smashed to smithereens by Game 6) he’s outta here. Then it’s Foles, who could turn out to be halfway decent – because even though he doesn’t have the greatest arm, he does make adequate reads, good decisions and will actually throw the ball away out of bounds if the coverage is airtight, unlike Vick, who hasn’t shown this ability to do this so far. We shall see soon enough, I guess.

  • MediaMike

    Kirwan is awesome. He and Tim Ryan have the best on-air analysis coupled with the least amount of bias. If you have Sirius, you need to tune into their show. 3 to 7 every day.

  • Jack Waggoner

    He may be in great shape but he may also have higher physical demands on him this season than in the past due to the up-tempo nature Chip Kelly is trying to institute.

  • Nezar Ali

    man you took the words right outta my mouth. I’m tired of these dumb analysts that just don’t know how to predict who will be good or not. thats why every year there are surprise teams.. if you see what eagles are doing you can tell that chip kelly is bringing something big too the NFL

  • Matthew Donaldson

    Well put. Suggesting the Eagles should have done more to strengthen the CB position and then not proposing any legitimate alternatives annoyed me too.

  • Token

    Honestly, I hope you are right. But have you ever heard reports that say “hes not doing well” when a guy is coming off injury like this?

    Its almost always this “hes in the best shape of any human ever” type of storyline. The media eats that up.

    Ill wait until I see the guy on the field running and blocking other 300lb men before I am convinced he can be the same guy.

    The Eagles didnt reach for the 3rd best tackle in the draft at pick #4 for no reason. Ill tell you that much.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    While I’d love to share your optimism GEagle, there’s absolutely not “nothing to worry about”. While any athlete can get hurt, a guy this size playing his position who blew his achilles out not once but twice is at a lot higher risk than others. And yes I know people have been raving about him so far, but what have they seen? They’ve seen him in shorts and in the weight room, but you can’t truly know until the pads come on. Losing Peters for another year would be probably THE most devastating loss, so yes… there is something to worry about.

  • MediaMike

    You realize he’s a converted TE, right? Peters = athletic.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    While I agree he’s athletic, That was over 8 years ago. He was never really a true TE anyhow, he had more pancakes in college than receptions. He needs to prove that injury won’t slow him down, because it is an injury that can seriously effect the athleticism of a person, especially an NFL left tackle.

  • MediaMike

    I’d 100% agree with you if we were talking 15 years ago and/or Peters had been rushed back. He’ll be 16-18 months post injury at the start of the season. I’m feeling good about Peters.

  • Richard Colton

    Hasn’t hit a defensive player since 2011, and he’s on the wrong side of thirty. That said – if he truly is back to his 2011 form, we have a monster at LT.