What They’re Saying About the Eagles

NCAA Football: Youngstown State at Michigan State

From draft buzz to early 2014 rankings, here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

The Eagles rank fifth on Will Leitch’s Sports On Earth list of the most tortured fan bases:

Every team’s fans want a championship, but I think you can make an argument that no team’s fans want a championship more than Eagles’ fans. It’s not particularly healthy, all told, and I’m not sure they deserve one as much as some others, but the coach and quarterback who bring a title to Philadelphia will be lionized. And then of course hit with something. But lionized first.

Peter King of The MMQB has the Eagles ninth in his power rankings:

Ran into a lot of Eagles fans in Super Bowl week. I think they love Chip Kelly as much in year one as they loved Andy Reid in any of his 14 years.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld ranks all 32 rosters going into the offseason. He has the Eagles at No. 11:

Defense, defense, defense. The Eagles could use talent injections at all three levels, with safety as the most glaring deficiency. Strong safety Nate Allen’s rookie deal is up, and free safety Pat Chung is fully expected to be released. Fifth-round pick Earl Wolff failed to distinguish himself in his first NFL season. Philadelphia may very well open next season with two new safety starters.

Dan Greenspan of NFL.com writes that Chip Kelly and Pete Carroll may share a similar advantage:

Carroll had the advantage of knowing what players are like — their personalities, strengths and weaknesses — long before NFL teams were started their draft evaluations.


It is an approach that the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills seem to be trying to replicate. Former Ducks head coach Chip Kelly brought six Pac-12 alums to the Eagles. Ex-Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone uncovered a gem for the Bills in undrafted cornerback Nickell Robey from USC, who had nine tackles in a home-and-home series with the Orange in 2011 and 2012.

The FoxSports.com crew has the Eagles ninth on its list of 10 teams poised to make a Super Bowl run in 2014:

Chip Kelly's first season in the NFL was a success, to put it mildly. Once quarterback Nick Foles was able to find comfort in the offense, they won seven of their last eight games. Linebacker Connor Barwin said recently that he thinks "there's going to be a lot of growth from Year 1 to Year 2" when it comes to Philly's defense. The Eagles will need to make decisions at the wide receiver position, however, as Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper are free agents. The NFC East will always be a competitive division, but Philadelphia will continue to ascend as Kelly gets his guys in house.

Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting has the Eagles taking Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward in the first round:

Jimmie Ward may not be a household name now, but he dominated during Senior Bowl week at both cornerback and safety, and showed that he can be an idea fifth defensive back. He can play the slot if they want to keep Brandon Boykin outside full time as well.

Kelly compared Russell Wilson to Bruno Mars, per The 700 Level:

Wilson joined the Fox Sports 1 crew after the win and was asked about his long locks. Howie Long then passed along a message he received from Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

“You know what Chip Kelly texted me after the halftime, he said, ‘why is Russell Wilson performing at halftime?’ Bruno Mars, the hair.”

Dan Kadar of SB Nation has the Eagles taking Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard with the No. 21 pick:

On one hand, you could argue the Eagles were last in the NFL in pass defense because they were on the field so often. On the other hand, you point out that neither Bradley Fletcher nor Cary Williams should be long-term solutions on the outside. Dennard is a press specialist who can hang with big receivers and is quick enough to stick with shifty pass catchers.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 11th in his power rankings:

They have their quarterback in Nick Foles -- they think -- and now they have a chance to do even more now that he's gained the experience.

  • George

    Prisco’s opinion doesn’t count…they are a top 10 team

  • Oli Richford

    I just cannot see us drafting a corner in the first round when the need a safety is so great. A little bit of me hopes they draft a safety and pick a name up in free agency. That way we take what has been a position of weakness for several seasons, to being a position of strength for the team.

    Combine that with a better pass rush and we start to get a lot better on defence.

    Of course we also need to address the receiver issue too.

    • Richard Colton

      That’s the fantasy. I think we would love to see a highly-drafted safety playing alongside or behind a premium free agent. But at #22? If the #1 safety on the board falls to us? Sure. The third or forth? No way. If the Eagles love a CB that falls to #22 and they pull the trigger, I can live with it.

      • Token

        If they wanted a safety it should have been Vacarro last year. I dont see any of these safeties being at that level.

        Just sign Byrd. Stop the madness. They cant draft safeties. Admit your weaknesses Howie.

        • Richard Colton

          “The Howie Roseman Safety Support Group”

        • anon

          I’d rather be stacked going into the draft honesty so we can actually have some flexibility and not have to “hit” on a player.

          I do wonder if there will be lots of mid-level players who don’t get deals before the draft. Those guys will be super desperate after it.

          • Richard Colton

            Draft for Talent, Free Agents for Need…mostly

          • GEAGLE

            Check out what Howie said on WIP yesterday

          • Token

            Link? Or you could just tell us. Nobody is gonna go track it down.

          • GEAGLE

            Nah

          • Token

            Then stop bringing it up weirdo.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            think I found what he was describing, right there on the home page-
            “Women Love Eagles Mascot Swoop”
            http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/01/30/women-love-eagles-mascot-swoop/

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            sorry, copied in wrong link….

          • Richard Colton

            For a guy who usually says nothing – he did talk about the strength of the OLB class and a desire to take them in pairs.

          • cliff henny

            atta-guy/KVN paired with christian jones, sandwich landry in between, joyner falls to 4th, Byrd get signed with mac and cooper.

          • Richard Colton

            Great Cliff – I have a class coming in 5 minutes and now I can’t stand up.

          • Maggie

            The Eagles will not be able to afford those other guys if they pay Byrd. His price is already going up.

          • cliff henny

            sure they do, dont believe the bs coming out of philly. might have to move on from fan favs, but eagles have a ton of money. even if they sign all 3, extend peters into ’15, will still rollover 10m. cap in ’15 would have 10m under already with 5 blown up contracts that clear 25m…so they have 45m to work with. trust me, i’ve done the math many times

          • Maggie

            Seeing as math was always my worst subject, guess I’ll have to take your word for it. I just shudder at the thought of the bidding war, which will be driven hard by his agent.

          • GEAGLE

            We ain’t bidding on anything, we didn’t outbid anyone for NNamdi and he was just as sought after as Byrd. We will make an offer about 4mil less, front loaded and they can leave a couple dollars on the field if they want to come to philly. If not…oh well

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          • GEAGLE

            So why talk out your ass to begin with?

          • Richard Colton

            I missed that interview – but I usually catch his WIP show. That’s generally his philosophy.

        • GEAGLE

          The ONLY safety THIS Front Office drafted was Wolff in the 5th round, which looks like good value to me

          • Token

            We will see on Wolff. I dont see the greatness you do, as usual. I see a kid that has a chance, but has a lot of work to do and has proven nothing yet.

          • GEAGLE

            GREATNESS? NO!!! Quality 5th round value? ABSOLUTELY!!!!

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          I agree, no one at 22 is as ready as he was last year. 1st rd safety at 22 doesn’t guarantee a day 1 starter IMO

        • Ark87

          He *has* admitted that safety is tricky for them. They’re specifically bad at telling who *is not* a good safety. Still, they’ve had time to improve their personnel dept, they struck out a few times, but you can’t just stop swinging and pray for a walk.

          This year I agree though, we have so many needs, and safety has such strong options in FA, we don’t need to face our “drafting a safety high”-demons this year.

        • Maggie

          So are you going to praise Howie for paying Byrd $15 million for a year for 5 years? With 28 of 32 teams pursuing him, that’s probably what it is going to take. Then how do you pay everyone else?

      • GEAGLE

        Up vote your 3rd or 4th best safety comment, down vote CB at 22′comment :)

        • Richard Colton

          If the guy turns out to be a total stud, you’ll be OK with it. It’s not like there’s a logjam at CB. Fletcher and Williams are nice players. Neither one is 22. Neither one is setting the world on fire.

          That said – I have my hopes/dreams for the ’14 draft. And they don’t involve drafting a CB in the first 3 rounds. But I’m willing to be flexible.

          • GEAGLE

            I don’t hate the kid at all…it’s not about what I want or don’t want….I just don’t believe that we would draft him at 22, considering what I expect to also be on the board. I promised we wouldn’t draft Milner 4 even tho every said we would, why would I not trust myself? Lol

          • Richard Colton

            Dennard? I agree. He may not be the first CB on their board. But what if their #1 CB falls? Then it becomes a possibility.

          • GEAGLE

            I can buy Gilbert, not Dennard….even that is hard for me to believe….rookie CBs SUCK!!!

          • Richard Colton

            What if they trade back 10 spots, fleece the team they trade with, and still grab their #1 CB with their first pick? Can you get behind that?

          • anon

            who gets fleeced for a 22nd pick?

          • GEAGLE

            Andy Reid needs a young QB..if Carr is on the board at 22, I could see there being a trade market

          • Richard Colton

            Denver needs a QB. Say Carr or Johnny Football is there at #22 – Texas wants to move up. So do three or four other teams. Not a fleecing per se, but doing better that the “chart” suggests.

          • anon

            You think they hate Osweiler? They should have just let him play when Seattle put Tavaris in. Can’t believe Denver got beat so bad Seattle put in their backups.

          • Richard Colton

            I do. Or maybe its that I hate Brock. He should be playing Center for the Delaware 87′s, not NFL QB. Either way – I feel like there’s going to be some QB hungry teams who pass at the top of round one but try to sneak back in. And will be willing to pay.

            You want to generate some excitement in Jacksonville? How about Jadaveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel? Texas – Carr and Matthews?

          • anon

            I don’t even know what will happen to Denver when Peyton leaves, they aren’t a great team.

          • GEAGLE

            Absolutely…it’s really a misconception about what I want, i don’t look at things that way..there are so many things I WANT that I won’t even mention because I don’t think it’s realistic for what the Eagles might do….I want TALENT upgrades at any and every position…I just try to talk in terms of what the Eagles might actually realistically do, and we would have to trade back and aquire more picks for me to see the Eagles draft a CB with their first pick…but I have been wrong before

          • Andy124

            10 spots. That would be 32, seattle, hmmm. Our 22nd for their 32 and Kam (he’s only like a 4th or 5th round pick). I’m down with that.

          • GEAGLE

            And I don’t believe in any of these dudes as much as I believed in Trufant this time last year

          • cliff henny

            ask Dallas. wasted top10 picks for years on cbs

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, especially a 5’8 190 pound safety at #22. I know the story was that Ward hasn’t been able to gain weight because he was in a tough situation financially, and there may be some validity to it, but I remember a very similar story about Andy Reid Fastball DE Bryan Smith, drafted in the third round. I think Spadaro’s line was that the guy would gain weight rapidly in an NFL program.

    • pjcostello

      Corner becomes more important if the Eagles decide not to bring back Cary Williams and/or Bradley Fletcher. I don’t advocate that, mind you; I think with better safety play we can use them both another year.

      • Oli Richford

        I think they bring back both corners from 2013. They weren’t stellar but they played well in parts and with confidence in the safety position inside, as well as a better pass rush, I think they can do a job for us.

        As I said earlier, it would be a dream for me that they get an upgrade in free agency and then draft someone early if possible too. I’m not confident it will happen but would like it to. It’ll be interesting to see how Chip splits picks between the offence and defence too.

    • jon h

      Agree with no CB. I don’t think they’ll pick a safety either. I could see Chip going for a pass rusher, OLB or a weapon on offense (a WR). That is, in the first round. They’ll pick a CB and Safety at some point.

  • mksp

    Jimmie Ward in the 1st round seems like a reach. I wouldn’t mind Dennard, I like him.

    • GEAGLE

      Its not a reach. It seems that way now, but I have been saying Pryor,Ward and Joyner will all be drafted in the top 40 before HAHA Dix comes off the board

      • Joe L

        No way all 3 of those guys come off the board before Dix. Pryor maybe, but not all 3.

        • GEAGLE

          We shall see

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I’d trade back to get him. Later in the first, or a bad team’s (top 5 picks) 2nd and 3rd to trade back into the 1st

      • Richard Colton

        So we can take Dee Ford and Van Noy? Or as I call it, “Johnny Walker Blue Day”

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          heck, may just get some of that fancy ice cube stuff to put in my bourbon. like cold diamonds.

  • Stuart Philp

    I don’t buy us taking a CB or S in the first.

    We need S, OLB, WR, CB, ILB, NT, OG.

    CB, ILB, NT, and OG are not glaring needs but do need to be addressed.

    If we can address S in FA, that opens up our early picks to get impact guys at WR and OLB, and then BPA for the rest.

  • mksp

    Problem with talking about taking an OLB / Safety in the 1st round is that we’re talking about exactly what Howie has said they won’t do, which is draft for need.

    They’re going BPA. So if that means Kelvin Benjamin or Zach Martin or Ryan Shazier or Jason Verrett, that will be the pick.

    Which is also why I want to trade back once or twice.

    If we come out of this draft with: Marcus Smith (late 1st), Jimmie Ward (2nd), Christian Jones or Jordan Zumwalt (3rd), Jared Abbredis or Robert Herron (extra 3rd), Terrence Mitchell (4th), DeAndre Coleman (extra 4th) —– I’d be really psyched.

    • anon

      Going BPA would really mean that we have to get a Safety and maybe a project pass rushers in FA. If not and you don’t get a top S / OLB in the first spot you’ve really hurt yourself.

      • mksp

        I agree w/ Safety. I think we could potentially live with Trent Cole and some mid-to-late round OLBs to develop.

        Or maybe we sign Jason Worilds.

    • Richard Colton

      You know, Zack Martin is an interesting name. Day one, you know he can back up 4 spots on the O-line. That’s a better insurance policy than Barbre or Kelly. Down the road could very well start at RT or G.

  • morgan c

    Evan Silva, you shouldn’t write things that aren’t true because you don’t actually know what you are talking about. Wolff was INJURED, and until then, had taken over a starting role and was improving every week. 1 new safety needed, yes. Not necessarily 2.

    • anon

      There was a rotation when Chung wasn’t injured. Wolff hadn’t separated himself according to Billy D. I think he was better than Chung but not better than Allen.

    • Jamie Parker

      Wolf might not have distinguished himself to Evan Silva, but he did distinguish himself from Patrick F’n Chung.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    couple years ago people were talking about we must get jimmy smith in here, and whats he done in 2 years. that Boykin hasn’t done in his 2

    • JofreyRice

      Wasn’t he in a different class? I think we passed on Smith to draft the Canadian Pyromaniac. Smith’s been up and down for B-More, but he’s still a 6’2 215 pound kid with long arms that starts outside. I’d take him on the Eagles any day over firebug Watkins.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        yeah my bad. ur right. jimmy was taken at #27 in 2011

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        4 career ints. in 3 seasons.

    • pjcostello

      If I remember correctly, he had character issues coming out of school, and was thought to be a good fit on a team with established, veteran corners from whom he could learn.

      • JofreyRice

        He liked the codeine cough syrup. Better than owning your own firetruck.

        • pjcostello

          Ahhh, thank you JofreyRice! I knew there was something, just couldn’t do the research at this moment.

    • Joe L

      He actually played really well this season.

    • GEAGLE

      Jimmy smith would have been 30 times better than The Canadian senior citizen fire man

  • Giorgos Kassakos

    “Strong safety Nate Allen’s rookie deal is up, and free safety Pat Chung is fully expected to be released”

    Silva needs to get his facts right…

  • Chris Jones

    I don’t get all of the cornerback talk in the first round for us. Williams and fletcher are average but by no means terrible. Safety on the other hand is just flat out aweful, we need big playmakers back there and I think rosemen and Kelly will walk away from that Super Bowl game thinking the same thing after watching how badly the Seattle secondary abused Denver. I would love Calvin Pryor but I don’t see him lasting until 22.