Eagles Wake-Up Call: Safety Training Camp Preview

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive linequarterbacksoutside linebackersrunning backsinside linebackers, cornerbacks and wide receivers. Now it’s on to the safeties.

The pressing question: Have the Eagles finally stabilized the safety position?

The Eagles’ top free-agent signing this offseason was former Saint Malcolm Jenkins. Many fans were hoping for either Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward, but Chip Kelly instead targeted Jenkins, whom he viewed as a good scheme and character fit. Jenkins ran with the first team opposite Nate Allen this spring while Earl Wolff played mostly with the twos. The team also used a fifth-round draft choice on Stanford’s Ed Reynolds.

It appears they have upgraded the position overall. Patrick Chung is gone after a disappointing season in Philadelphia. The combination of Jenkins/Allen or Jenkins/Wolff promises to be better than the tandems deployed last year. Whether that’s good enough will prove out over the course of the season.

Roster battles

Allen, Jenkins and Wolff are expected to occupy three of the spots. Chris Maragos was brought in via free agency to bolster special teams and has a good chance of making the team. The Eagles kept five safeties last year. If they go with the same number this time around, the final spot could  go to either Reynolds, Keelan Johnson or rookie free agent Daytawion Lowe.

Reynolds is the likely favorite. Johnson didn’t help his cause this week, as he was  arrested in Tempe, Arizona and reportedly charged with assaulting a police officer.

One thing I think

The lack of a physical presence among the projected starters is concerning.

Billy Davis‘ scheme doesn’t require a thumping box safety. The Eagles want their safeties to be interchangeable and able to take on a variety of roles in the pass game, so it’s not exactly set up for a traditional enforcer. Still, it’s valuable to have players in the back end that can deliver a momentum-turning hit and make opponents think twice about going over the middle, and the Eagles don’t appear to have that with the Allen-Jenkins pairing.

Tackling could be an issue.

Jenkins  was charged with 16 missed tackles last season according to Pro Football Focus, fifth most among safeties. He had 20 the year before that. Allen improved in the tackling  department last year — he had 13 missed tackles over 871 snaps in 2012 compared to seven missed tackles over 1,200 snaps last season — but it is still not his strength.

Wolff has a physical element to his game but the second-year safety enters training camp behind Allen on the depth chart.




WHAT YOU MISSED

After last season, Chip Kelly knows Nick Foles won't crack under pressure.

"Did the Eagles do enough to improve their defense? Looked at one way, the answer seems like a big 'no.'" What they're saying.

Our training camp position previews continue with the wide receivers.

Officials, not the Eagles, have to adjust to the increasing speed of the game.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Joseph Santoliquito of CBS Philly raises five questions heading into training camp:

Is Nick Foles a one-year wonder?

No. After tossing 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 2013 over 13 games, it’s hard to believe that Foles still has doubters. But they are there. What is hard to dismiss is that Foles led the Eagles from a 20-7 deficit in the wildcard playoff loss to New Orleans to a 24-23 lead with 4:54 left to play.

In 2012, it was Foles that snapped an eight-game losing streak by guiding the Eagles on a 13-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a game-winning touchdown on a last-second one-yard TD toss to Jeremy Maclin. It was Foles that was 17 for 26 in the most crucial game of the year in the season finale at Dallas, which clinched a playoff berth and a six-game turnaround from the 2012 debacle.

Allen Rodriguez of Bleeding Green Nation explains why he believes Jeremy Maclin is overrated:

In this process, I suppose I have figured out Jeremy Maclin’s one elite skill: tricking people into thinking he’s a really good receiver.

Maclin's production is deceptive. He lacks skills, and most inexcusable is his lack of effort.

Now entering his 5th year, I fail to see anything that makes me excited about Maclin's return. I'll be happy to be wrong, but I'm unable to be optimistic.

COMING UP

Some All-22 love from Sheil. Players report in two days.

Josh Paunil contributed to the post.

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  • Just Sayin’

    Rodriguez is a tool.

    • Bullwinkle

      I might be wrong, but I think Chip Kelly is better at evaluating receivers than some guy I never heard of that writes articles.

      • cloisterwater

        On a blog at that. It’s not as if he’s a legitimate journalist.

        • dnabrice

          Birds 24/7 is a blog, and most people here would prefer to read TMac and Sheill over the “legit journalists” at the big papers. I do miss Bill Lyon though. That guy had a gift for writing. Pity he retired, but love it when he does one offs.

          • Warhound KnowsHstryWarts&All

            Must agree re Bill Lyon.

      • Amar, CB who bought in

        He made some really good points though.

        • Bullwinkle

          I don’t think he made any points. He merely presented his opinion with no evidence to support it. Obviously Chip, who watches hours and hours of film, and who is an esteemed expert in football offense has a different view of Maclin’s skills and level of effort.

    • Eagles4Life

      He did go too far with it, but this isn’t the first we’ve heard about Maclin being overrated. ===> http://arrowheadaddict.com/2014/01/20/kansas-city-chiefs-fa-targets-jeremy-maclin-vs-golden-tate/#!bkpohl

      I think folks have to temper their expectations on Jeremy Maclin coming out and being a beast. He was never that, but I hope he does improve. We need it, along with the rest of the offense.

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        I don’t think anyone’s saying Maclin’s a beast are they? Just that he’s pretty good and that he can be very productive in Chip’s offence. My only real concern with him his whether he can stay healthy.

        The Rodriguez article itself is terrible. Appalling use of statistics, strawmen, confirmation bias and some figures which are either terribly misrepresented or just plain wrong.

        KC article makes perfectly reasonable points though.

        • Eagles4Life

          Some people on here do, but I agree with you. Health and alligator arms across the middle are my concerns, along with the “self-tacklin.” The guy has potential, though. Hopefully Chip taps into it.

          • shady25

            I think it will be a disappointing season if Maclin doesn’t reach 1,000 yards. Jackson, Cooper and McCoy put up career numbers in Chip’s first year. I am expecting Maclin to do the same. Actually if he plays 16 games that will be a success in itself.

            For some reason I think Cooper will take a bigger jump this year then we think.

          • borntosuffer

            For me, Maclin has to produce near the goal line – which he has in the past – and not drop balls. TD’s are a more important metric to me than yards.

          • Eagles4Life

            Very good point. Cooper especially.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Yeah, but it’s not like Desean crossed the middle a ton, and when he did, he was in space, which is how Chip designs his plays. While I agree that his gator arms and health are definitely a concern, I refuse to believe that he didn’t watch the same tape the rest of the team did and see just how much space the skill players are afforded.

          • aub32

            Space helps eliminate the alligator arms but not the self tackling. DJax ran a lot of drag routes. He was fast enough to outrun guys around the corner and get up field. Mac may actually have to take on a guy before reaching the first down marker. Then what happens?

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            what happens…next time that play is called Mac is running a go and J-Matt is running the under

          • aub32

            I haven’t bought into Matthews as much as it seems most have. I like what I hear, but I have heard that before. It’s a whole different matter once guys start putting on pads and playing against NFL DBs.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            not sure how he’ll be downfield initially, but WR screnes with Coop and Ertz out front could be really nice. JM2 has serious YAC ability.

          • aub32

            I’ve read that he wasn’t that elusive after the catch on more than one scouting report. So I guess we will have to see.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            for his size, and the amount the defenses keyed on him, thought he was pretty elusive. wonder what his stats would have looked like at a ‘bama or lsu.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            I have no answer for the self tackling. I can’t see Chip standing for it. And while Jax could outrun guys, it’s not like Maclin’s slow. I’m sure he’ll be fine with his 4.4 speed taking on 4.6 speed LBs.

          • aub32

            I think we have talked about this. Maclin’s combine numbers mean very little to me. He’s coming off of a major knee injury. On top of that, you cannot put Mac in the same class as Jackson when looking at on the field speed.

          • Pennguino

            DeSean was the fastest player on the field. He almost always beat the defender to the sideline. And when he didn’t he protected himself and went down. Hopefully we don’t see Maclin bounce off a guy at the half yard line when he had momentum. Same thing for a first down.
            He will block and he will have to stop the self tacklin or he will give up plays to the rook. Chip has nothing invested in Maclin. You play Chip’s way or you don’t play. Now that DJ is gone, you will see a deifferent Maclin.

          • aub32

            I hope so. I really do. It’s difficult to teach heart, and giving Mac’s reps to the rookies is not in anyway ideal. Rookie WRs struggle. I expect Matthews and Huff to have growing pains. I see some make it sound like they will just walk into the NFL and contribute. That’s rarely the case, and I would like to see them before I put them down as being viable #1 or #2 options. Think about it. If Mac doesn’t play tougher, then Riley Cooper becomes your #1 WR. Scary thought.

          • dnabrice

            Plenty of top WR can be self tacklers. Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt from those great Rams teams come to mind. I remember them falling to ground constantly. DeSean…. As long as Maclin’s gotten the first down, I would rather him be able to be ready for the next play (granted with the running space he’ll have this year, he should get a ton of YAC). Percy Harvin plays tough vs defensive players, but ultimately a few gang up on him he gets injured.

        • anon

          We’re expecting him to be a completely different player than he was the last couple of years — think that’s the issue. He’ll get catches, but will he block, will he fight through tackles, etc. Author cherry picks data but he didn’t give himself the name “self tacklin”.

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            I think he’ll be a competent enough blocker purely because of the emphasis the coaching staff place on it, but is anyone seriously expecting him to fight through tackles? Not sure I’ve seen anyone seriously arguing he’s going to become this big, physical wideout.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            re: self-tacklin':
            on the plus side, CK’s scheme fits his style perfectly, since it’s designed to get WRs wide open to begin with. Which, it turns out, is great since Maclin catches and scores on lots of easy balls (one of the great conclusions drawn from the cherry-picked stats)

  • TNA

    The Eagles made strides in their communication issues that plagues them two seasons ago. They still had some last year with Chung and a rookie Wolff sometimes calling the coverages for the secondary. That aspect will hopefully be vastly improved again this season.
    There are very few perfect safeties on the league, but at least the Eagles got one in Jenkins that can better ensure that the secondary as a unit is on the same page and being more productive. Minimizing mistakes as a unit is key and hopefully there’ll be fewer blown coverages this year.
    Tackling and physicality is definitely a question with this group, but I’d rather they stay disciplined and not whiff while trying to make huge hits and simply not let receivers or ball carriers get too much yardage. And definitely not allow anything go over the top via blown coverages.

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    While I understand the importance of the momentum-changing big hit, I think it’s also worth noting that it’s something the league is trying to reign in as much as possible. While it’d be nice to have someone who can de-cleat a receiver crossing the middle, I’ll settle for improved tackling. We also need to appreciate not having Chung de-cleating our own players. If the fundamentals-based approach in practice can tighten up Allen’s tackling issues, we can only hope it does the same for Jenkins. If we sure up the tackling while improving coverage and confusing offenses (none of which are locks, I know), we should have a middle of the pack secondary, which by itself should add a couple wins.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      yeah, i’ve given up on getting big hitter. Cam is about the only one in the league that does it legally, and good luck finding another one of him. heck, i’m almost willing to go to even further extreme, put 2 deion sanders at safety, barely able to drag a guy down by the ankles, but any ball thrown 20 yards plus downfield becomes 50/50 ball.

      • shady25

        I’ll take that also if it will improve our pass defense. The day of the big hitting safety is over if you ask me. You have to be more than that nowadays.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        “put 2 deion sanders at safety” – this is the exact reason I posted a while back what people’s thoughts would be on Boykin going to safety to be on the field more. Of course, I damn near got killed for thinking that our best playmaker on D should be on the field any capacity other than what Chip has relegated him to.

        • aub32

          Don’t you know it’s treason to question the great and all knowing Chip? Funny how no one seemed to care when we questioned Reid’s decision, but now some fans act as if it’s a capitol offense to question Chip.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Right? And on most topics, I agree with Chip. So I’ll put that out there. But the decision on Boykin just kills me. I know taking away the slot is huge, but the best player we have on D NEEDS to be on the field more than 50% of the snaps, and I don’t give a F how that happens, so long as he’s not part of the front 7 again, a la Brandin Boykin, OLB.

          • aub32

            Lmao, I almost forgot about that. Ugh that was frustrating. I get wanting him on the field, but I just don’t see how. I am not a big fan of putting him outside even in base personnel. I think he will be at a disadvantage more times than not. I could be mistaken, but our CBs don’t change sides. So there’s a good chance that he would end up across from Dez, Benjamin, Crabtree etc. The safety look sounds good, but what happens when he has to cover a TE? Is he really a better run defender than our current safeties.?

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            You and I have definitely gone at this before. Is Allen any better against a TE or the run than Boykin? Is Cary Williams at any better of an advantage against the receivers you listed just because he’s 3 or 4 inches taller? I don’t care that either are 2-4 inches tall, neither have half the talent of Boykin. Almost all of the CBs that got paid this offseason are like 5’10”, 5’11”. So I don’t buy the argument. If big people beat up little people is it not as beneficial to have a bigger slot corner against the allegedly smaller slot receivers?

          • aub32

            There’s a difference between playing outside and inside. I have not seen Boykin play outside in the pros. I think it’s a completely different animal on the outside because you are consistently going against the 1st or 2nd best WR on the team. I just don’t think Boykin would be as dominant if he had to line up across from the best WRs on every play. Then we would likely see more flaws in his game. Though I can definitely understand the desire to want to see it. I just look at it how DRC can be a really good CB on the outside, but he sucks something awful in the slot. Boykin may be the reverse.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            DRC and BB are way different players. DRC is tall & lanky and doesn’t have the quickness of BB. BB is shorter but there’s no movement he doesn’t excel at. And I don’t always buy into the “facing the #1/2 receivers” argument because OCs are moving around WRs more an more. In no way do I think BB is Revis/Sherman, but I don’t think he’d be any worse on the outside than a Verner/Shields type guy. And while the outside is different, he at least has the benefit of a sideline taking away one side and the freedom of knowing he’s not as close to his own players as he is with the slot

            Clearly we’ll have to agree to disagree on this. When he had to fill in against SD, I don’t think he looked bad at all given that Rivers knew exactly what our D was doing by waiting out the play clock and the entire D was still figuring it out. I hope he gets his deserved shot outside or gets paid handsomely to stay when the time comes.

            As for playing safety, again, he can’t be worse than Nate Allen back there. Tackling, to my knowledge, has never been an issue for Boykin, either.

          • aub32

            I agree he should get paid, but I have to disagree about the talent he is facing. Yes players are being moved all around, but Boykin is not consistently going against Fitz, Megatron and Dez. He may line up across from them twice in a game. That’s a huge difference from going against them on practically every play. Also, Verner is not a man corner. He’s more a cover 2 guy. I’d have to watch more Shields.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Was trying to find something that showed who he covered but couldn’t. Did find this, though. And this deserves a shot outside all day: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/05/20/missed-the-list-brandon-boykin/

            Also, don’t care that Verner is a cover 2 when apparently ours played more cover 3 than anything and still sucked. Boykin can’t be any worse than CW and still has room to grow. Again, we disagree here.

          • aub32

            I am not disputing that Boykin is a really good player, but as you see the article makes mention of how few snaps he sees. Neither of us know how he’d look as an every down defender. I want him to be on the field more. I just worry about him starting outside. Instead of going with 3 safety looks, I am all for those being nickel defenses as I would much rather have Boykin on the field than our 3rd safety.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            You’re right, we don’t know, but I’m willing as hell to find out how much better (again, can’t be worse) than CW and possibly Fletcher he is. And I know the article made mention of the limited snaps, but I shared it because I thought it did a pretty solid job of describing just how good he is when he doesn’t have the sideline acting as an added defender.

      • aub32

        That’s why the Seahawks are so good. Thomas is so fast that he can cover so much ground. Then when teams decide to go short……BAM! I listened to Wagner the other day in an interview. He said he and his teammates knew the Broncos were scared to get hit and that made all the difference.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          Out of curiosity, did he say how they knew? Like, “word around the league is…” or “we could tell from the first two series”. Just curious. Definitely interesting.

          • aub32

            He said they could tell after Thomas got popped. He said he and the others knew Denver never faced a team that could and wants to hit as much as them. So right after the first few hits, he and the defense knew that the other team was scared, and that changed the entire game.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Makes sense, and definitely looked that way, too.

          • JofreyRice

            and I can remember very clearly the complexion of the game changing for the Ravens after B. Pollard knocked out Stevan Ridley in the AFCCG the year before. The Patriots lost a lot of their gusto after that hit. I actually feel kinda bad for advocating this, because I’m not cheering for these guys to get concussions, but these enforcer types do play a role in helping to win games; I mean hell, we all remember that hit on Alge Crumpler from Dawkins. After all those NFCCG losses, that moment was like “damn, we’re going to beat these guys!”.

          • aub32

            That hit was so mean. Pollard is definitely a Patriot killer.

      • JofreyRice

        Oh I think there are still guys that swing sledgehammers in the middle of the field. TJ Ward, Eric Berry, Donte Whitner, Bernard Pollard, Dashon Goldson, LaRon Landry. I think as they establish themselves, guys like Vaccaro, Matt Elam, & DJ Swearinger will do that more.

        Of course you’ve got that chance of drawing a penalty. Unfortunately, they enforce it indiscriminately. They don’t seem to just penalize those big hitter guys; basically getting near a receiver making a catch in the middle of the field–even a wimpy safety like David Sims–is most likely going to draw a penalty. I think some coaches may see the psychological and tactical effect the big hitters have and decide the risk/reward is still in their favor.

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          ok, I’m willing to go to the other extreme…get like 12 Pollards and hope 4 are active while other 8 are paying fines and being suspended. start laying out every WR Terry Tate office Linebacker style

    • shady25

      Yeah. I don’t need an intimidating Cam Chancellor safety patrolling the middle of the field. Would rather have a versatile safety who is fundamentally sound and able to recognize what the offense is doing pre-snap. I don’t care how you get him down just get him down legally or hold on til the cavary arrives.

      • JofreyRice

        to me it looked like Kam Chancellor played a huge part in Seattle making those drag routes less appetizing for the Broncos. His play directly helped them dominate a record-breaking offense. Still a very physical game, I’m not sure that part of it is ever going to be completely legislated out.

      • Warhound KnowsHstryWarts&All

        …cavalry… :)

        • shady25

          Oh you know what I meant. :)

          My daughter’s school name has “Calvary” in it so it was on the brain….

    • JofreyRice

      what makes me nervous is that they signed a really bad tackler and are hoping to “fix” him. I understand they had a very specific budget in mind, but why not just get an efficient tackler? The defensive line is good at playing the run, but the ILBs are both shaky run stoppers. Kendricks has been way too out of control and fundamentally unsound, and Ryans just can’t cover the same amount of space. So at the last level of the D, I’d really prefer to have the best tackler not be named Nate Allen.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        It should make everyone nervous that they signed a really bad tackler. But, they obviously believe in their ability to fix that problem.

      • RIP illa

        Well, that’s most likely due to the fact that our safeties 1st-3rd priorities are pass. Not trying to b a “Richard” to you, but your priorities for the position doesn’t reflect Davis’. And yeah, I get and understand your point, which is valid.

        • JofreyRice

          I gotcha, but his advanced pass defense #’s don’t make me feel too “upbeat”, either. I guess he’s smart and a rah-rah locker room guy?

          I fully agree that Davis sees differently than I do, but has the guy ever fielded a unit better than 25th in his career? All our eggs are in his basket, and they’re obviously willing to minimize the impact of talented players to ensure his vision is realized, but my question is…why should he get the benefit of the doubt?

          • aub32

            That may just be a talent and not a scheme issue.

          • JofreyRice

            listen, if he’s the guy choosing Malcolm Jenkins as his #1 answer to the car crash that’s been safety since 2009, I’d say he deserves some of the credit/blame on that front, as well. And he’s got players here–Curry, Boykin, Cox–whose “talent” is minimized *by* his scheme.

          • aub32

            I don’t think Davis has much of a choice in the Jenkins signing. Howie and Chip seemed pretty determined that they were only targeting a certain price tag. As for Cox and Curry, they were drafted as 4-3 lineman by the previous regime. That’s not his fault they aren’t great scheme fits. That happens to every team that switches scheme. Outside of the one dumb decision to use Boykin as an OLB, I don’t think Davis has minimized Boykin’s talents. Some fans assume Boykin should get a shot to start, but that doesn’t mean he would do well if he did. There’s a big difference between facing the #1 WR consistently versus lining up across the 3rd or 4th best WR option.

          • RIP illa

            Yeah I purposefully left out the passing D for Jenkins, cuz I knew you would reference it. And you know what, you’re absolutely right. I can’t argue and won’t cuz I totally agree with you and see things as you do. Just eager to see it play out on the field, for better or worse.

  • UKEagle99 à l’orange

    Never heard of Joseph Santoliquito, I like him.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    i’m not a huge Maclin guy, but that piece goes too far. think he brings up plenty of solid points, but is letting his fustrations of Mac being 1st rdr not becoming elite lead to a false conclusions in “Mac isnt good’. Mac is a solid #2, on every NFL team, maybe even back end #1 on fewer of weaker rosters (Charlotte would give left nut to have him today).
    .
    while i’m still holding out till i see him not curled up at the 40 or gator arm another critical pass, i’m equaling holding out hope that the Kelly’s O give him production bump. jax is a solid #1 weapon, i’d rank him in the 15-20 range pre-kelly. with kelly, say he ended up jumping to back end of top10. if using same math, say get’s % same jump (have Cooper and Celek both getting jumps, so some precedents) maybe Mac will get into that #15-#20 range. and, even with that, bet he’ll still stir my blood couple of times.

    • aub32

      I am also hoping that the Kelly factor can turn Mac into a legit #1. The problem is I don’t know if you can teach heart. Jackson had heart and bravado. He took on defenders when it meant trying to get the first down or a TD. Mac, as you pointed out, has a history of just not giving effort at times. Can Kelly coach that out of him? I already expect Mac to be nervous after tearing his ACL. Yet, to succeed he will need more fortitude than we saw from him pre injury.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        guess my holding-out-hope theory is that Mac wont change, which even though he has talent, still would classify him as 30-35th in league, while putting up better numbers than talent. so, when someone says (like a jerkoff ‘Allas fan) ‘he’s not as good as his numbers’, my answer will be ‘probably, but so what!’.

        • aub32

          Lmao. I’m fine with players putting up better numbers than their talent. I just don’t want them underachieving due to playing scared. Mac chose a 1 year deal. So he can’t use the same excuse that he’s saving his body for a big money contract. He has to ball.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Yeah, I thought the piece was a little overboard as well. He knocked Maclin’s college production in a spread offense that inflates stats…. Is A-Rod unaware of the claims that Kelly’s system does the exact same, which is why Maclin wanted a one year deal to inflate his stats then go get paid?

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        yeah, some circular logic that’s being tossed around. also, think arguements get mixed together.
        1. mac isnt as good as Jax..basically same player, jax is more dynamic.
        2. mac isnt 50% of jax, it’s 85-90%, whatever, mac doesnt stink, fustrates the bejesus out of me at times
        3. jax got a kelly bump just like everyone else
        4. Mac get a kelly bump, just like everyone else
        5. wr group can be overall improved because Avant was just that bad.

        • aub32

          not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with all 5 points.

    • Tom w

      It’s some hack from bgnation what do you expect. You are probably more qualified and eagles intelligent to write about the eagles than him. Maclin was actually outperforming djax for two yrs before his injury. The kid has shown he has talent, and like djax and cooper should get a Kelly offense bump. They wouldn’t have been trying to resign him to a five yr team friendly deal if they didn’t expect him to excel in this offense. He ran all the Kelly routes in college and excelled. As long as he blocks well and runs through contact he will be fine.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        thanks…i think
        .
        think we are going to see the same guy and with the kelly bump no reason he cant be a 70/1000/8 guy, with jesus jr, huff, sproles etc picking up the jax difference.

        • RIP illa

          See I take issue with this. I don’t want him being the same guy and just finally breaking 1000 yrds. Be the guy that finally breaks 1k and goes all out and stops being “soft”. Be the guy that consistently shows why we drafted him where and how we did. If not then let Big baby Jesus Jr. Take over and keep Mac at two, or draft someone who can be that type if guy I mentioned, next year.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            one of the main reason I hate cowboys’ fans so much is they think because a player puts on an ‘Allas uniform he magically transforms into 5 xs the player he was. think the best we can hope for is Mac being a better version of what he is. I don’t think we’ll see him catching slants and bulldogging LBs and S for extra 10 yards. plus, one factor we haven’t mentioned is, he played pretty well with FOles in ’12. think Mac is way more comfortable getting the ball on time, knowing where defenders are.

          • RIP illa

            I get what you’re saying and respect what he and Foles had in 12. I just wanna see a bit more heart and toughness. I don’t need him going all Steve Smith (the good one) and thuggin out DBs and his own teammates. Just need him to no longer play like with the heart of Steve Smith (the bad one), and drop before contact or show little effort on his downfield blocking.

      • aub32

        I am not in huge favor of the article, but go rewatch some of the gifs. DJax is double covered in most of them, even in the redzone. Mac never outperformed DJax and has always benefitted from being the #2 guy.

        • DoctorRick

          I don’t think anyone can argue that D-Jax is not a good receiver. He’s a great receiver. There are just a number of things that make him not an ideal fit for the Eagles in the current scheme such as size, getting off jams, inconsistent blocking, and being somewhat limited to burner routes. In another scheme that doesn’t emphasize size, blocking, and routes it’s not a big deal. His speed and ability to draw double teams is a real asset.
          .
          In my view, all that noise about gang stuff was just BS, 1/3 of Kelly’s Crew at U of O came from the same background and it was not an issue. His character should not be assassinated because of where he grew up.
          .
          Maclin’s play will stand on it’s own merits, it is just too early to say. The coaches must see something you don’t.

          • aub32

            Everything you said is very fair. I hope Mac is the guy he’s being built up to be.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          That’s not entirely fair.

          1. The gifs have been chosen to support the author’s point. By his own admission, Maclin’s had a whole bunch of ‘not easy’ TDs.

          2. By my count there’s three gifs there where 10’s double covered and in each case it’s good play design that leads to it and in each case it’s basically the same play. 10 comes in motion (from right to left) bringing his CB with him. He then runs straight at the other CB who foolishly decides to go with him while everything else about the play floods left. Maclin initially stalls, looking as though he’s either blocking for a run/short pass left, then runs into the middle. The D having bought the fact the play is moving left leaves Maclin uncovered. It’s a real nice play but the reason DJ is double-covered is because of the confusion it causes, not because of a pre-existing gameplan.

          3. Maclin’s put up decent numbers in the past when DJ’s been injured.

          Lawlor’s got a piece up today which IMO gives a much more balanced review of the good and bad of Jeremy Maclin.

          http://igglesblitz.com/2014/07/mac-attack-2/

          • aub32

            The other defender follows DJax because he is the bigger threat. I am not advocating for the article. I am just pointing out a few examples of which there are many more where Jackson clearly gets more attention than Maclin.

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. Think that’s all play design forcing a CB to make a snap decision. At the time he (the CB) makes the decision DJ’s running straight at him and Maclin appears to be waiting to block on a potential short pass to a RB.

            The general point that DJ attracted more attention over the last few years is fair but these aren’t examples of it and Maclin has shown he can produce when DeSean isn’t on the field.

          • MagatBrackendale

            If I may add a reminder. Prior to 2013 injury, Maclin was rated higher than DJ by the other NFL players, in the Top 100 list. I’ve noticed that a number of players will rate someone who beat them quite high also.

      • DoctorRick

        Hey, I’m more qualified to write about the Eagles than he is. Problem is, I can’t write.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Here’s a fun blurb from Barnwell for you, Cliff. He’s discussing Tyron Smith:

      “The Cowboys have him signed for one more year at a cap hit of just less than $4 million and picked up his team option for 2015 at just more than $10 million; they may use the cap space vacated by a released Tony Romo to lock Smith up to an extension in 2016.”

      Does he really think Romo is going to be released after the 2015 season? Going to be really difficult after pushing back so much of his money year after year.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        only problem is Romo wont create any space till ’17. at best he’s 20m dead with 19m salary, clears 1m, and there’s no one behind him to play qb. in ’17 he clears 11.5m. that’s assuming no restructures.
        .
        actually JJ got them out of cap-heck this year. they are more in cap-treading water for next 2 or 3 yrs. ‘Allas fans just dont want to face the ugly truth, JJ went all-in for ’12 and ’13 with all those restructures, and got 8-8 results. next couple of years will trickling off of overpaid aging vets, and then qb shopping at some point.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          Yeah, I haven’t looked at the Cowgirls cap as much as you, but I didn’t think releasing him in 2016 would do anything to free up space to give Smith the deal he deserves.

  • Tom w

    Wonder how come Tim and sheil have avoided putting a link up to that hack journalist buzz b’s hatchet job article on nick foles. What a miserable and passive agressive and classless and rascist article … All bc foles wouldn’t agree to an interview. That guy has been an a hole and miserable jerk for years. Guess Tim and sheil understandably want to avoid any connection w that article (unless I missed something in the last few weeks)

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Think it’s because to access every garbage article Phillymag puts out, you have to pay them. Kind of like paying your neighbor to dig through their trash.

    • Birds4Life

      Unfortunately, they did link to that article last week I think. And I wasted my time reading it. It was such trash! He had some good things in that article about Fole’s past but ruined it with all his opinions. It would’ve been a good read if he just stuck to the facts.

      • Tom w

        Thanks. Missed that. Too much beach. Made me love foles more and appreciate honest good reporting we get here on birds 247. That article smacked of classism and really pissed me off.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    got my tickets for Franklin field date. does anyone know what the deal is with the Linc practices. I know they aren’t doing tickets this year but how can they control who shows up and if there is room to accommodate. seems like a mess. can anyone speak on this?

    • CHRIS – CB with dreads

      I went to a few last year where they gave out the “tickets”..it was easy to get them and there was a ton of empty seats. My gut tells me that it wasn’t even worth it for them to try to do tickets this year since they don’t think the turn out will be anything they need to worry about. I’ll be at the 8/3 practice tailgating and taking notes either way.

      I don’t have any sources to back that up, but just a guess based on the 2 I went to last year.

      I live in Baltimore and the local radio this morning was talking about how TC starts this week for the Ravens and no one cares. For me that sounds ridiculous but I guess it makes sense that the casual fan may not be interested in watching practice.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        thanks for reaching out. yeah I went last year too. I enjoy watching the practices and im sure im not alone in that. philly is quite different there. I wasn’t able to go when they were in Lehigh so now that they have made it more affordable (obvious) and local for me its a no brainer. I went to 2 last year. and will go to all 3 this year..big year

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        guess just show up and enjoy. im amazed like last year that the parking was free also. that’s really cool

        • CHRIS – CB with dreads

          Yup, I think I read that it is free again this year

  • mtn_green

    Jenkins is not going to be incredible. He will be a huge upgrade and the safety play will be much improved. Hopefully his coverage skills will allow more successful blitzing.

  • sean

    Wait… people actually read BGN?