Here’s this week’s roundup of national media coverage.
Peter King of The MMQB chimes in on Lane Johnson:
RT @keithdeandrelew: Thoughts on Lane Johnson’s PED test? … If true, absurd that guys who make that money take stupid chances.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) July 1, 2014
Pat Shurmur is one coordinator poised to be a head coaching candidate at the end of the 2014 season, Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com notes:
Shurmur didn’t get a full shot as head coach with the Browns as part of the Mike Holmgren group which was shown the door. Shurmur is only 49 but has 23 years of coaching experience and is heavily influenced by Andy Reid and Chip Kelly. If the Eagles’ offense explodes, owners will want the Chip Kelly formula, and Shurmur will be the guy who has it.
Nick Foles was one of the most effective passers on third down in 2013, Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com says:
Nick Foles was consistently throwing in unfavorable third down situations (on average, with 8.7 yards to do). Presumably this is because the Eagles were much more likely than other teams to run on third and short, but based on the average distance, Foles was expected to convert just 32.7% of his first downs. In reality, he had a 40.4% rate, which vaults him into the top five.
Be wary of Foles in fantasy football this year, Marcus Grant of NFL.com explains:
Everybody remembers him going deep, hooking up with Riley Cooper, connecting with DeSean Jackson, the seven-touchdown game, but beyond that had some fairly pedestrian numbers. What helped Nick Foles last season is that he kept throwing the ball to his guys, not the other team; just two interceptions. It’s hard to imagine he’s going to do that again this season.
Chip Kelly is one of the most interesting head coaches of 2014, says Kirwan:
He stepped on an NFL field for the first time last season but it was as if he’d been in the league for decades. The former Oregon coach blew up the issues surrounding other former successful college coaches, like Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban, who crumbled when they jumped to the NFL. Can Kelly expand his success by winning the NFC East on again and win at least one playoff game? He developed an offense that was ranked No. 2 in the league last year, then promptly said good-bye to DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant. Those two men accounted for 120 receptions and 12 touchdowns.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com ranks the league’s tight ends, listing Brent Celek as a “solid starter”:
At age 34, Gates looks like a player about to be bypassed by Ladarius Green. The same torch-passing is going on in Philadelphia with Celek and Zach Ertz.
Sid Saraf of FOXSports.com names Kelly as one of the NFL coaches he’d want to play for:
During his first season as an NFL head coach in 2013, he silenced many doubters who snickered at his new-age approach to building an organization that stressed proper nutrition. All he did was take the Eagles from a 4-12 team in 2012 to a 10-win playoff squad last season. What’s more, players are burying in and why wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t you want to be a part of an offense that can chew up yards and put points on the board?
LeSean McCoy is the face of the Eagles, while Foles is next in line, says Bucky Brooks of NFL.com:
At a time when running backs are seemingly devalued around the league, McCoy is unquestionably the Eagles’ most important player. The NFL’s reigning rushing leader sets the tone for Chip Kelly’s offense with his electric running style, exhibiting exceptional quickness and burst between the tackles. Most important, McCoy is an explosive threat capable of consistently topping the 100-yard mark when given a reasonable workload (seven 100-yard games, including six contests with at least 130 rushing yards in 2013). Given Kelly’s desire to punish opponents with an unconventional running game from spread formations, the Eagles’ offensive success begins and ends with McCoy.
The Eagles don’t need to add another backup quarterback to the mix, John Clayton of ESPN.com believes:
I think they are fine. I’ve heard good things about how Sanchez is picking up the offense. He may be coming off tough years with the Jets, but he’s experienced and Kelly seems to have confidence in him. You may be right about Barkley’s arm strength, but he has had a year in the system. After more than a year on the job, Kelly is in full control of this team. If he felt he needed another quarterback, he would have made that move before the minicamp.
The Eagles’ defenses in the 1990s would’ve been the best in fantasy football, Michael Fabiano of NFL.com writes:
The Eagles defense of the early 1990s was loaded with superstars like Reggie White, Jerome Brown and Clyde Simmons and a terror for opposing offenses. Philadelphia ranked third in total defense (294.2 YPG), second in sacks (443), second in interceptions (199) and third in takeaways (343) during the decade. In 1991, this unit scored well over 200 fantasy points and would have been better than the Kansas City Chiefs of 2013.