Season Predictions: Life Without DeSean

DeSean Jackson
As we count down to the start of the regular season, Tim and Sheil try to answer some of the big questions facing the Eagles. First up, predictions on how the Eagles will fare in their first year without DeSean Jackson.

BIG QUESTION: How will the Eagles try to replace DeSean?

McManus: It will be a group effort. Howie Roseman has mentioned in the past that they don’t evaluate their offense by position but look at it collectively.  They see not just Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews but Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles and believe there are enough weapons to keep the offense flying high.




They can get creative with their formations. Last year, Chip Kelly deployed two tight-end sets just 27 percent of the time. With Jackson gone and Ertz emerging that number will go up, especially early as Matthews adjusts to the pros. Expect plenty of two-back sets with McCoy and Sproles as well. Opposing defenses will still have plenty to think about.

Kapadia: The two key players to me are Ertz and Matthews.

In recent years, there's been plenty of talk about the Eagles going to more two tight end sets. But 24 teams went 2-TE more than the Birds last season, according to the Football Outsiders Almanac.

I'm fully expecting that to change this season. Ertz is the offense's best player when it comes to making contested catches - 50/50 balls, receptions in traffic, etc. And Celek is still a very good all around tight end. Multiple people at the NovaCare Complex have told me they think Celek is the best blocking TE in the NFL. Especially early in the season, it makes a lot of sense to get these two on the field together.

Then there's Matthews. He showed plenty of flashes this summer and gives the Eagles a nice size/speed option in the slot. Last year, the Eagles played with three-plus wide receivers 73 percent of the time, third-most in the NFL, according to the Football Outsiders Almanac. The Eagles will be counting on Matthews to make plays downfield in between the numbers.

When looking at the Eagles' pass-catchers, Ertz and Matthews have the most untapped potential. Their development will determine how adequately the offense can replace Jackson.

OVER/UNDER: 80 pass plays of 20+ yards (what they had last year)

McManus: Well under. Jackson had 25 receptions of 20-plus yards last season (second in the league) and undoubtedly helped create space for some of the other big gains. It could prove to be a more efficient offense minus Jackson, but the number of big plays will probably dip.

"I think it's going to be more of a horizontal game, sideline to sideline," Ron Jaworski predicted. "Spread it that 160 feet one sideline to the other. Work in between the linebackers, maybe a safety will roll down, there's space in there."

By my count, the Eagles' first-team offense had five pass plays of 20-plus yards this preseason. Four were to Celek and the other to McCoy. It's preseason data and he Eagles were without their full complement of receivers for much of the time, but it will be interesting to see how many of the big gains come from the wideout position this year.

Kapadia: I'll go with the under as well. To me, hitting on vertical shots through the air is the biggest question facing this offense. The Eagles were able to take advantage of a lot of Cover 1 (man coverage, one high safety) looks last year by doing damage downfield.

Cooper was successful in that department, but I need to see a bigger sample size before I'm convinced he can be a consistent downfield threat. And there weren't many signs this summer that Maclin will be able to fill the void.

The scheme should be able to manufacture big plays, but I don't see them producing as many as last year.

BOLD PREDICTION 

McManus: Not sure how bold it is, but I think this decision will come back to bite the Eagles this year.

I'm all for Kelly shaping the roster in his vision. Jackson didn't fit what he's looking for on a couple levels, so I understand why he would want to move on from him. But I kind of look at this like I do the decision to remove Wheels and Sarge from the Phillies broadcast booth: if you want to go in a different direction, fine, but make sure that you have adequate replacements before you pull the trigger.

Matthews and Josh Huff could prove to be the answer, but you can't count on rookie receivers to produce right away. There is a lot riding on Cooper and Maclin for this year, then. If one goes down or disappoints, it could prevent the Eagles from getting to where they want to go.

Kapadia: Overall, I think the offense will play well - certainly top 10, possibly top five. But I think there will be specific matchups against specific defenses where the Eagles will sorely miss Jackson's ability to stretch the field.

Pat Shurmur was asked recently what kind of receivers will be helped by the new emphasis on illegal contact.

"Any time you can't grab a guy, I think maybe guys that are less physical don't have to worry about playing with somebody hanging all over them down the field," he said.

I've pointed to this stat before, but only three wide receivers last year had 80 catches, averaged 16.0 YPR and caught nine touchdowns: Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon and Jackson.

There will be plenty of weeks where the offense rolls. But there will certainly be times when not having a vertical threat like Jackson will put the Eagles in a bind.

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  • Max Lightfoot

    Thanks, guys. That photo just makes me want to hurl.

  • Blaqjaq

    Not sorry to see the selfish little egomaniac gone, but still disappointed that they were unable to trade him and get SOME kind of return.

  • Kevin

    Bold Predictions:

    Maclin ends the season with more receiving yards than Jackson has in Was.
    Sproles will have more receptions than Jackson.
    Shady wins the rushing title again.
    Eagles will be the #1 offense for points scored in the NFL
    Eagles start the season 5-1 before the bye and finish 12-4.

    If you are going to go out on a limb, go all the way out….. Foles for MVP!

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      Sproles? You got the bold part down pat.

      • dnabrice

        He prob had him beat 2/3 years.

    • paul from nc

      If that happens, I’d be thrilled. But, not being on crack, I doubt any of them will happen, except maybe the rushing title to McCoy.

      1. If Maclin stays healthy, a big it, he’ll be lucky to have 50 for 900
      2. Sproles will have about 40 to 50
      3. Shady — best chance of any of these to be correct
      4. Maybe 2nd, probably top 5
      5. 9-7
      6. No

      • dnabrice

        If Maclin’s healthy he’ll have 80 rec.

  • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

    I know we’re sick of these DeSean stories, but we’ll be doing this after every game. If the offense sputters, we’ll talk about it. If it doesn’t, weekly vindication. Kind of like how every game last year was an opportunity to rehash Vick/Foles.

    • Kev_H

      Jackson will be a train wreck in Washington and the local scribes’ infatuation with him will look foolish.

      • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

        I think you’re right about the first part Kev. The Redskins fans could be calling for Cousins by halftime of week one. The players could be in open revolt by week 3.

        Still doesn’t mean cutting him was the right call. I’m in full on show-me mode until I see the Eagles offense operate as potently without Jackson as it did with him.

        • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

          Depends on your definition of potent. If big plays is what you want then probably not as potent. If efficiency and scoring is what you want then I’d say more potent.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            hope you’re right. I suspect that the loss of the vertical threat ups the degree of difficulty in the short game. I’m thinking we’ll have an answer by the end of the Monday night Colts game.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I think Huff was to help be part of the deep threat. Plus, I think Kelly would rather get the ball out of Foles hands quicker and let the players make the plays with RAC/YAC. More of that will open up the deep play here and there.

          • Always Hopeful

            I’m sure we’ll have indications by then, but we know that all too often the season is made up of mini seasons. I wanted to run Billy D and the whole defense out of town after the Denver game me last year.

            Let’s wait and see…multiple times this year

        • Kev_H

          You should maintain that full on show-me mode until the playoffs, because I think Kelly’s thinking was that Jackson was holding them back against the better teams. It’s fun to see him go off against struggling defenses, but if good defenses can neutralize you with one man, then you aren’t going to take us to the promised land as an every down receiver.

          • Eagles1018…Please no more du

            That’s a great point. He was virtually shut down in the Saints game with a DB I’ve never heard of until that game

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

            Hell, half of us wanted Keenan Lewis signed here last off-season. Good player. He was our 2013 Jason worilds

      • paul from nc

        It doesn’t matter what he does in Washington. The question is, are we a better team without him? Whatever you think of him ,since we got nothing for an old pro, it’s hard to say yes.

        • Kev_H

          I think they are better without him and obviously the crew that makes personnel decisions thinks so as well. I could see him having value as a punt returner 3rd or 4th receiver on a top team, but he’s too inconsistent and his head isn’t in the game constantly to be a key part of a championship team.

          I recently read a Redskins blogger who claimed to examine every play in 2013 to assess what to expect from Jackson. He was generally upbeat but found what we all know, Jackson takes many, many plays off. You can put up stats with that kind of trash but you can’t win. The reason Andy Reid’s “Dream Team” and “Dynasty” talented teams underachieved is because they had too many guys worrying about their stats and not enough worrying about contributing as teammates and winning. They will be better with every down WRs who play every play.

        • Jason

          Hard to say, from some of the stories I’ve heard, he spent his fair share of time in his locker crying (literally) that he didn’t get the ball enough. Sometimes attitude and team chemistry trump on field talent.

          • paul from nc

            From some of the stories I heard, he was a gang banger, involved in drugs, faked a robbery and filed a fraudulent insurance claim.
            These were all proven false and verified by police comments. Don’t believe what you read, believe what you see. 83 for 1300 we know is true.

          • Jason

            I don’t believe I mentioned anything as ridiculous as gang related behavior. Feel free to blow me off, but I trust the source I received the info from.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      Very true. Time to start working on some new snark for the regular season.

      • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

        You’re in midseason form already

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          Thank you fine sir. I have to try and stay on my game to keep up with you, Ross, Nick, Rob etc.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            ??

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            That’s what “etc.” is for.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I knew I was in the etc. Story of my life! (Sigh)

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I can only hope to be in Andy’s etc…

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Everybody is. Not literally.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            You are truly benevolent 124 A.D.

          • Eagles1018…Please no more du

            I’m in the “.” After etc

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            This is what I get for naming names. I knew better lol.

          • MagatBrackendale
          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            hang in there Queen of Battle. Everybody ignores the infantry, until they need them.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Ain’t that the truth brother. Follow me!

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

            Rangers are ok I guess.

            Would have been fun to prank Villanueva with some USMC gear while he was around

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Hopefully the masses don’t take “Queen of Battle” wrongfully…lol.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            in my experience, that’s a mistake people make in person only once

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Hooouh!

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Competition brings out the best in us. Look at us taking in Chip’s lessons from outside the NovaKremlin.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I think the difference is that Vick was still here last year. DJax just isn’t & he’s with a division rival at that. I do not grieve for him, he is now the enemy.

    • Jason

      Another big indication will be how he does in DC. Imagine how many story lines if he puts up 45 catches for 650 yards and 4 TDs.

      • dnabrice

        For sure, but he’ll put up 16 for 250 and 3 TDs in the games vs us. Skins will still lose. And he’ll think he has had a great season and accomplished what he set out to do.

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

      Some other good Curtis Marshes* to keep an eye on:
      Smith/Barwin
      Allen/Wolff
      Jenkins/Byrd or Ward (stupid howie)
      Graham/the world
      Cole/make believe FA who howie could/should have signed
      the 1.78 snaps Maehl sees a game on offense/anyone else

      *a tragically cruel dichotomy of worlds presented in a singular decision or position. typically, the established performance weighed against hype, potential, resources committed, or other intangible factors casually linked to possible production

      • Rockedupeaglesfan

        You forgot:
        Dion vs Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and a fictious draft pick

      • dnabrice

        Eagles O w/ Desean/Eagles O w/out DeSean.

    • Always Hopeful

      Late to the party but, DeSean WILL be a topic as long as two things happen: Eagles offense struggles vertically in any game (“if we had DeSean, we could’ve…”) and as long as DeSean is making highlight plays for Washington or elsewhere.

      As much as I don’t want it to be, it is a relevant issue for FANS to debate and discuss. I just hope the players don’t get hung up on this like we do. Which I doubt they will. Jackson will make some plays against us this year if he plays. Win, lose or draw you know every reporter will be asking every Eagle’s reaction to it.

      This offense WILL miss aspects of what he does. He will have highlight plays this year. It wouldn’t surprise me if has several versus us.

      Yet, the cupboard is not bare for the Eagles. The receiving corps is not the most feared in the NFL. I have many concerns for that group. The sum of offensive parts plus Chip’s system will continue to give DCs troubles. I truly look forward to seeing how this team will do it. Not as quick strike or flashy without Jackson but I’m excited.

  • Kleptolia

    Eagles’ down field passing will be fine.
    After all, they kept #88!

  • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

    First time anyone has ever compared Darren Sproles to Jamie Moyer. Good work out of T-mac.

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

    BIG QUESTION:

    is it even possible to win games with Jeff Maehl on our roster? Or will the refs automatically fine, penalize, or outright forfeit our games for having such a blatant violation of all things good and decent stepping onto an NFL field every sunday?

    also, has anyone brought up desean yet?

    can we trade damaris johnson, josey, and a 6th for Dion Jordan? or maybe a 6th and 7th?
    just not a 5th, they’re like gold.

    BOLD PREDICTIONs

    if Foles gets hurt, we’ll do better.
    if Shady gets hurt, we’ll do worse. And wish we had Josey. basically the same player. but we’ll still be not so good.
    If any OL gets hurt, Howie needs to get fired.
    If Demeco gets hurt, we’ll be goode.
    If Kendricks gets hurt, he’s a bust. And we’ll do not so good. And Howie needs to get fired.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      If we don’t win the SuperBowl, fire everybody, especially Laurie who’s just pinching pennies.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Pretty sure we can’t fire him… BUT we could try!! :-)

      • Joseph Haas

        Where does that kind of thought come from after 20 years of stability? This franchise is so much better off under Lurie than it was under Braman or Tose. Do you have any long-term memory?

        Anyway, you can’t fire a team owner and he’s easily one of the very best in Philadelphia sports history.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          Sarcasm

  • Rick H

    Sheil & Tim you should write an article a day about Desean to cleanse your souls. Tomorrow write an article about whether the Eagles will miss Tommy McDonald then start in on Desean. Tuesday write an article about Fred Barnett then start talking about Desean. Calvin Williams then Desean/Reggie Brown then Desean…
    Are we bored yet???

    • MagatBrackendale

      Many upvotes. Prior to the 2013 season, Jaccson’s PEERS voted him only 31st among most valuable players. Tell us, oh wise ones, how did he improve during the season? Also at that time, Maclin was voted 25th by his peers. Rick H, you’re right on. Yawn.

      • paul from nc

        Maggie, what is it with you hating Jackson so much?
        Did he leave you at the prom?
        I guess y0u didn’t read the next to last paragraph ; only 3 receivers had 80, 16, 9. And he was one of them. Also an all-pro.
        Those are facts. You’re comment, if true, is a “vote”, which doesn’t mean anything.

        • MagatBrackendale

          I do not hate or love any football player. What I extremely dislike is allegedly professional reporters/writers going on and on and on about a player who left my favorite team months ago. He is gone! No amount of whining will change history. AND the facts and statistics do NOT support the endless claims by those same reporters/writers that Jackson was the second coming of Randy Moss. Or somebody. Several players are gone. Move on.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    25 is sort of a loaded number. Maclin will get his share, say 1 a game, make math easy, 15. Avant was worthless in passing game. Between J-Matt and Sproles, think they easily find 10 between the 2. Cooper with Foles is a different guy the Cooper with anyone else (Vick). not a big Cooper fan, but doesnt matter, Foles is, so, in end, I am. however many big plays he had, might as well double it, since full vs half season. Celek and Ertz will bigger force. watching preseason games, it was like when eagles wanted to score, they went to TEs. nothing defenses could do. no need to show it every series. if i was OC, i’d throw it to Ertz 25 times a game, he is going to be a beast.
    .
    no doubt Jax is a good player, but 1350/9 is Jax on kelly-roids. seriously doubt kelly is losing any sleep over offense struggling without D-Jax. kelly just has that much confidence in his system.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      draft Ertz in fantasy, did you? 25 targets a game would be something. Next thing you know, he’ll want to be paid like a WR.

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

        i did. and hereby give the stamp of approval to all of cliff’s prognostications. anything less than 78/1250/12 for ertz is a bust. #firehowie

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          did you really? where did you get him? My big $$$ league drafts tomorrow. I have a feeling he could be the 3rd or 4th TE off the board in my league, and that’s way too high considering A) he’s never done it and B) he’s splitting time with Celek.

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

            in a 10 man, 15 rd draft, I took him in rd 9.
            graham went in 1st; j. thomas 3rd; gronk and davis in 6th; cameron in 7. when i drafted, i was told by others they were hoping he was a sleeper. the national cmmty. has caught wind, all the espn hype.

            [edit]: i’m an unabashed PHL homer. but honestly, even with celek timeshare, I like him a lot. there’s always a guy or 2 who come out of nowhere. But gronk is always kind of ???; I like V. Davis, but Kaep is kind of ??? for me. Graham and Thomas go too high for me to value TE. after that upper tier, does cameron or reed or [athletic TE prospect] really do it for you? Ertz has great situation around him. catching everything. Kapadia blessing.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            That sounds right. I’m guessing in B-more, you’re not playing with a lot of Eagles fans. We’re 11 for 12. There’s about 5 dead money players, so you know the Eagles players will be taken a round or two too high.

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

            yea, I don’t envy that. I usually take s**t for my PHL bias, but I also do what I believe Andy described yesterday (taking a Cooper or Matthews flier-type guy in last 2 rounds; cooper last year). Last 2 years, had a top 3 picks and took McCoy. Had Djax I think in 8th or 9th last year.

            at end of day, I do realize eagles are going to have a high scoring offense. kind of like how everyone knows to draft WRs playing with Peyton. but down here, I’m guaranteed someone taking RGKnee too high or only knowing Maclin as Mr. Glass (pretty funny, actually)

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            Yeah. I go back and forth on Gronk. Prefer to wait for a TE.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I’ve got Gronk and Ertz and I’m hoping to use Gronk for a marquee player in the next few weeks for someone who is TE starved.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Wow, Gronk lasted that long? Haven’t been in a draft where he lasted past round 4. Good work.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I got him in the 9th round I a 12 man 16 rounder draft and everyone laughed at me for taking him too high. My other draft, also a 12 man 16 rounder, saw him go in round 7.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I got him in the 10th in a 12 team 15 rounder. I figure he should be good for plenty of TDs even if the ball is spread around too much for him to put up huge catch and yardage numbers.

          • psuphilly

            i think i took ertz near the end of the 8th in a 14-man league. was between him and pitta but TEs went pretty early. Graham, Gronk, Thomas, Cameron, Rudolph, Davis, Olsen, Witten, Reed, and Olsen were all gone. took him and green, figured one would have a breakout year, but i wouldn’t be opposed to both lol

          • dnabrice

            I got him in round 14

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I nabbed him in the 11th round of my 10 team league where everyone has 2 keepers. I’ve also seen him go in the 6th or 7th in another draft. Pretty much have to have an inkling as to how your league drafts and if positional runs really factor in or if people tend to stick to their own thought-out strategies. Drafting with people who have no strategy is the bain of fantasy existence.

            EDIT: I keep seeing Emmanuel Sanders drop to at least the 6th round, usually a round or two later. Welker, too. Only Demaryius is going in the top 15 from that WR core. It’s like people don’t think Peyton is throwing for at least 4500 and 39-40 TDs.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        he’ll probably get tired of having snaps limited by playing behind Celek, and turn down 15m guaranteed, play 4th yr for 800k, and test free agency. cause, you know, no one wold take life changing guaranteed money at 25.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      Kelly-roids. gold.

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

    1 last bold prediction:

    our 6th WR will have the best stats by the end of the RS. and, therefore, will win the inaugural Chad Hall Award for Biggest Waste of Roster Spot in the NFL at the year end banquet.

    The Maehl-It-In All Stars:

    Marcus Easley, BUF
    Damian Williams, MIA
    Brian Tim, NE
    Saalim Hakim, NYJ
    Kamar Aiken, BAL
    James Wright, CIN
    Martavis Bryant, PIT
    Griff Whalen, IND
    Corey Washington, NYG
    Ryan Grant, WAS
    Santonio Holmes, CHI
    Corey Fuller, DET
    Adam Thielen, MIN
    Courtney Roby, ATL
    Russell Shepard, TB
    Walter Powell, ARI
    Bruce Ellington, SF
    Phil Bates, SEA
    Austin Pettis, STL

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      Russell Shepard sighting!

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

        have you heard? if I had to sum him up in 1 word…

        http://crushofthemonth.typepad.fr/a/images/2007/10/05/potential_3.jpg

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          A few years ago people realised “potential” was generally being used as code for Guy Who Is Currently Useless, so the talking heads rebranded it as “upside”.

          And I died a little inside.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I think “upside” has the potential to do big things here in the future.

        • MagatBrackendale

          It’s everywhere.

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            I wish you would delete that pic.

          • dnabrice

            That was an embarrassing news story for our country. Hope they find the parents liable for their child’s actions.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        he was my Na Brown winner last year. i had Eagles giving him roster spot over Cooper. again, it’s really good i’m 700 miles away from novacare center and not GM

        • damrvrhunter

          Tons of respect for having the moxie to admit that.

    • juaniflaco

      I know you’re being snarky but I bet if you saw him up close doing anything athletic you’d be amazed at how incredibly better at sports he (or anyone who ever signed an NFL contract or even got invited to tryout) is than you or anyone you know. You might not think he is better than the other guys the Eagles had in camp, or some potential waiver wire pickup, but the guy is – by virtue of the fact that he has made an NFL roster 2 years in a row – and a good team at that – a legit NFL player and by default a phenomenal athlete.

  • TNA

    The Eagles will be a little less explosive than last year, but they’re going to wear teams down to a nub by the start of the 4th quarter this year with the run and intermediate passing game. Only issue I see is that it counterintuitively increases the chances for offensive turnovers. There will be growing pains, but there’s a lot more optionality or diversification with this set of personnel as it continues to develop. So less wham bam thank you ma’am, and more death by a thousand cuts, which is better in playoff football. That said, a lot more is riding on Foles’ shoulders. Hope he can handle it.

    Any waiver news yet?

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      Sam cleared waivers. not to get into sexuality thing, but a lot of teams need DE that can get to qb. thought someone would add him.

      • paul from nc

        He was a long shot to make it to start with. He is just not that good.
        If not for his announcement, he’s be just another camp body that got cut.

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        See the post from the Bills’ center saying that ESPN is basically preventing him from getting picked up? Hilarious, and probably not completely wrong. However, he looked good against a lot of guys that are now likely unemployed. He’s basically the Henry Josey of DEs, only way more high profile.

    • wee2424

      Sorta helps our D. The longer our O is on the feild the less the oponents is. Just hope longer TOP equates to points.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    wow, 9ers are getting gutted. Ray McDonald is in trouble for DV for beating pregnant GF. hope they can circle wagons for 1st game, kick ‘allas teeth in, then fall apart. think Kaep is going to run wild against cowboys, so shouldnt be huge issue

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      49ers 2nd team could light up that no account Dallas D.

      Is Goodell’s new DV policy in effect yet?

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        Yes!

        And….

        the length of the penalty could increase in these cases: an employee was involved in a prior incident before joining the NFL; violence involving a weapon; choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman; or in the presence of a child.

        Way to make Aldon look like the brains of that organisation, Ray.

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          Geagle says a lot of things, the one i agree most strongly with is teams cant lose players for being knuckleheads. while i think at times Kelly is going bit overboard on character, because often the great ones arent wrapped in nice neat packages (Ray Lewis for ex), i get that there so much attrition for injuries and money squabbles, just cant have lose gametime for stupid crap

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

          I sure hope some of their 4th or 5th rounders are ready to play.

          • Token

            You cant move past being on the wrong side of that argument. Really digging in.

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

            Am I though? You missed a lot of posts since then.

      • Token

        I saw something on twitter that Harbaugh has said in the past his policy is if you touch a woman you are done. So Ray may be done as a 49er anyway.

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          I love coaches’ tough guy stances, especially when it comes to starters.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    No offense guys, but couldn’t we have written an article making your projections about the passing game and then worked in DJax maybe? Just saying. He’s gone. You’re gone draw the DJax trolls in to what is an otherwise meaningless headline.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      should rewrite headline as ‘this will get AUB going’…not that i think aub is a troll, but he is a moth to a light when it comes to Jax

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I’m worried more about BBaaS & the like honestly.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          Why? Are we playing the Jets again?

          • Jerry Pomroy

            No but she & the others jumped to DJax defense rather quickly when Vick arguments were exhausted.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            they only show up in a Vick article. maybe have some crossover arguement because Jax was more dynamic under Vick.
            .
            i pretty much ignored BBaaS, 7, he was alright if you got him off vick.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            No BBaaS staunchly was involved in the DJax chatter as I had a few arguments with her because (once again) to make her point she attacked the other receivers, namely Cooper, to build up DJax. Just like she would do with Foles to build up Vick.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            that was the worst part, the need to attack other players just to pump up “your” guy.

            At the end of the day, they’re all Eagles. Everyone knows the only real enemy is caseymatthews.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I wonder if Marcus hits up Casey for info to get to Clay? You know Marcus loves Clay’s hand technique & watches tape of him.

          • damrvrhunter

            I see what you are doing there!

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Hey, it didn’t rub off on Casey, maybe it could to Marcus.

            Part of Marcus development is building up his hand technique. He thinks Clay is a good example. Maybe he could get some pointers?

          • MagatBrackendale

            Is Clay’s “hand technique” really that great (during games) when it seems to be breaking his thumb so badly he can’t play?

          • Kleptolia

            You mean Casey Nothankews!

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Except Vick. It’s ok to attack him. :)

          • paul from nc

            Rich — But it works both ways.
            How many pro Foles comments downgraded Vick?
            and Pro Maclin posts were anti Jackson?

            I agree that it would be better to just comment on your guy and not rack out on the other. I know there’s a lot of racial overtones for some of the posts, but it goes beyond that at times.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    wow, Karim Barton made Cleveland’s 53. he looked so inferior to other 10-12 guys it was ridiculous. guess Stoutland knows what he is doing

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      Glad to hear it. This kid’s story is pretty awesome.

  • Heemy224

    Penn state DT Devon Still who I played with in high school was cut by the bengals… That is a background story for the 2012 second round pick (53 overall), as his young daughter is currently going through her 4th round of chemo therapy. I know it was very tough for the bengals to cut him during what is probably the hardest time in his life. Cancer Sucks! Praying for you Devon.

    • damrvrhunter

      Thanks for sharing that bit of news, heartbreaking watching a child go through that. Isnt Geno Atkins coming off a season ending injury at the same position and yet the Bengals cut bait on a second round pick this quickly?

    • Rockedupeaglesfan

      Definitely sucks. He was an awesome college player. I remember last seasons Hard Knocks, they seemed to focus on his struggles with transitioning, particularly having confidence in his game. I hope he gets a fresh start and finds himself.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    fat andy strikes again…he claimed Squares

  • Charles

    Tim & Sheil- Why are you reporters so caught up on this Desean Jackson story? It’s almost nauseating. Sometimes in sports there is such a thing as addition by subtraction. We are spending so much brain power on a receiver who isn’t even in the top 15 at his position. So sick and tired of reporters and talk show hosts saying, “I don’t know how we can replace 82 receptions and 1,332 yards.” Those were career numbers by 20 catches and almost 200 yards. Just maybe Chip Kelly had to do something with it? You guys say there will be specific games the Eagles will struggle against certain defenses because we lost Jackson? Uhm, last year these were his stats against the better defenses and meaningful games:

    Week 3 KC- 3 receptions out of 7 targets for 62 yards 0 TD
    Week 12 ARZ- 3 receptions out of 6 targets for 36 yards 0 TD
    Week 16 DAL- 3 receptions out of 4 targets for 28 yards 0 TD
    Playoff NOR- 3 receptions out of 6 targets for 53 yards 0 TD

    The Eagles will be an even better offense under Chip Kelly in year 2 without him . And last year we were 2nd in yards and 4th in points scored. Our offense shouldn’t be the concern. It’s already championship-calibur. The question is our defense improved enough to win it? Most likely not this year.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      solid sharpshooting, Tex

      • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

        “solid sharpshooting, Tex”

        Spit out my water when I read that.

    • Dan

      Also why does everyone refuse to admit that Maclin was a better receiver than Jackson when in the same offense. And at least as good downfield.

      • CSpangler

        Because he wasnt. jackson is the best or 2nd best big strike WR in the nfl. Sure he has his shortcomings but deep threat isnt one of them.

        • Dan

          you have to go back 3 years to find any argument jackson was better when they were on the field together, and even then i’ll take mac’s numbers over jacksons (that was also Mac’s soph year and jackson’s 3rd).

          Player: Games – Catches – Yrds – Tds – 20+ Plays

          2012:
          Mac: 15 – 69 – 857 – 7 – 12
          DJax: 16 – 45 – 700 – 2 – 9

          2011:
          Mac: 13 – 63 – 859 – 5 – 15
          DJax: 11 – 58 – 961 – 4 – 15

          2010:
          Mac: 16 – 70 – 964 – 10 – 13
          DJax: 14 – 47 – 1056 – 6 – 21

          sauce:
          http://www.nfl.com/player/deseanjackson/1581/careerstats
          http://www.nfl.com/player/jeremymaclin/80429/careerstats

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            Look at the yds/rec. Maclin’s career high is 13.8, that would be a career low for Djax, whose career high is over 22yds per catch. So they aren’t in the same league as far as downfield targets are concerned.

          • Dan

            I disagree that YPC is the relevant stat. Look at “explosive” (aka 20+ yard) catches – after Mac’s soph year he actually outproduced DJax at explosive plays 27-24 (or 0.96 per game to 0.88).

            The fact that Maclin also contributed on underneath routes and caught balls other than his explosives shouldn’t be held against him. Its versatility and its actually a strength.

            Now since a lot of Maclin’s explosive plays were on 6s and not 9s like Jackson, and given 6s are more effective against zone than man IMO (someone who knows what theyre talking about feel free to correct me…), you could forecast a smaller bump than Jackson had under Kelly but thats different than discussing past performance.

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            I don’t see it that way.
            20+ yd rec
            Djax 105, 17.5/year
            Maclin 51, 12.75/year
            It’s a bigger descrepancy at 40+
            Career total
            Djax 35 6/yr
            Maclin 13 ~3/yr
            You want to say all Djax does is run 9’s fine, but don’t tell me Maclin gets deep better

          • Dan

            not saying mac is better. just saying its not a night and day drop off. the point about 40+ is interesting – thats what i was hinting at in my last paragraph but didnt have the data for it.

            the 103 vs 51 is apples to oranges if you’re comparing their careers as Jackson has 2 extra years, one of which was under kelly. that’s why i pulled out the 2 years when they both played together in a system they were familiar with. it likely still favors jackson on a per game basis but not by double…

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            I got the 40+ info on the column to the right of the 20+ #s from your links;) I know the totals are apples to oranges, that’s why I did it per season. It does favor him per game, ~30% more, although it’s getting a little late for this much math. I’ll just say I think the drop-off is significant, but I hope Maclin sees a nice Chip Kelly bump this year to prove me wrong.

          • Dan

            yeah hope so.

            also jsut saying if you look at the two shared, non-rookie or soph years, maclin is 0.2 40+ catches per game and jackson is 0.26. Now I’m no statistician (actually i am), but that’s not a statistically distinguishable difference (standard deviation is enormous, somewhere between 0.42 and 1.3…).

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            But why throw those years out? They played together, in the same offense, with the same QBs. The only year I see as an outlier is the Chip year. If you wanted to hold that aside, that’s one thing. That said, if the over/under is 22 catches of 20+ for Maclin this year like Djax did last year, I’ll take the under.

          • Dan

            Because guys underperform their first 2 years. And it supports my point :)

            I’m with you under 22 per my above. But I’m taking the over at 15

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            Hmmm looks like your guy underperformed in those years. Djax 20+ totals in each of his first 2 years are higher than Maclin’s career high. I agree, Maclin should go over 15 this year with the Chip bump, if he stays healthy. Now that over 15 would be a new career high for Maclin mind you.

          • Dan

            sorry should have taken your hint to drop it. anyway time will tell!

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            No it’s fine. I think the O will not be our problem this year. I think we will be among the leaders in plays of 20+ again this year, with the TEs getting a lot of those in the seams. But like I commented somewhere here earlier, I think the plays of 40+ will be down and that will be the Djax factor.

          • Dan

            Yes totally agree. Hopefully that leads to a more stable offense.

          • xmbk

            Incorrect. Jackson lack of red zone and short yardage catches skew his average up.

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            What does red zone and short yardage production have to do with a conversation about who is the better deep threat?

          • xmbk

            It “skews his average up”. Breaking that down means “fewer short catches inflates YPC”. Not saying that Jackson isn’t clearly a premier deep threat, only that his stats are skewed. Jackson’s a skin, the Eagles are fine, let’s move on. I live in VA now and don’t know a single skins fan who’s psyched to have Jackson. Fly time.

    • CSpangler

      My problem with looking at those stats is the times that Foles was unable to get Jackson the ball. Especially in the NO he had Jackson but was too far downfield that Foles couldnt get it to him. Jackson can out run Vick’s arm and can certainly out run Foles easily. So if he wasnt the 1st look on a deep route he was already too far downfield for Foles. Thats why stats arent always accurate.

      • 76mustang

        The problem with that line of reasoning is that you can say that about every receiver – QBs miss spotting wide open receivers every game, and not just the speedsters. The DJax production replacement stories are played out – no new information has been shared or examined in weeks – time to play the games.

    • sdk152

      We never have issues with readers disagreeing with our opinions. We call it like we see it.

      As for being “caught up” with the DeSean story, we are doing a week-long preview series. Focusing one of seven pieces on how the offense will function without its leading receiver from the previous year made sense to us. The rest of the pieces this week will focus on other aspects of the roster.

      Thanks for reading. -SK

      • Jason

        We can not become the team we need to be, by remaining who we are.

      • Charles

        Thanks for writing. You and Tim are great. We genuinely appreciate your work.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    What are the rules for Bold Predictions anyway? Do they have to be things we think are likely that seem bold? Because that’s kind of odd. If I think it’s likely, then it doesn’t seem very bold. Or is it something that is you still think is fairly unlikely, but at least not unrealistic? Going with the latter, my bold predictions:

    Foles and Shady both finish in the top-5 for MVP.
    Eagles pull out 12 wins.
    Maclin ends up with more catches, yards and double the touchdowns as Jaccson.
    Foles completes north of 66% of his passes.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      Sproles leads the team in catches

    • Jerry Pomroy

      My bold prediction was that Marcus would make his case to start by week 10. But that was with playing the right side in mind. Guess they screwed up my plans huh?

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        Well, I still hope he makes his case to start on the right side by week 10.

    • dnabrice

      Double TDs will be tough, but he’ll def get more.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    One more bold prediction:
    The Eagles will play 16 regular season games this season.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    Mallett to Texans for only a 6th…guess Mark Berkeley is almost worthless
    .
    not even 6th, conditional 7th.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Is that true or a guess?? Barkley’s market value just plummeted.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        official. and it’s not even a straight up 6th, some clauses. but, for ease sake, mallett got a 6th. think biggest catch is Mallett is on last yr of rookie contract. still, MB is about as usefull as and a-hole right here-pointing to elbow (one of my fav scenes in Kill Bill 2)

        • Jerry Pomroy

          What sucks there is that O’Brien really wanted him & NE did not, so Billy B basically did his old friend a favor and also set the current market for backup QBs at basement bottom dollar.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            wouldnt go that far. i doubt Belichick would do his dying mother a football favor. big issue is so late in camp, and then add to that Mallett is on final year of rookie contract. least if someone traded for Berkeley, they’d get him in ’15 camp (not sure why they’d necessarily want that either)

          • Jerry Pomroy

            O’Brien has been trying to acquire Mallett since he took the job though. Billy B wasn’t ready to let go of him for basically nothing until he saw Garropolo perform in PS & was then willing to let Mallett go. NE was turning down offers of what was rumored to be as high as a 2nd for Mallett the past few years prior. Sure his contract comes into play of course, but still a 6th for a guy that was commanding as high as a 2nd not too long ago? I could care less about any favoritism, just what it sets the backup QB market at. Honestly, I don’t even want a pick for Sanchez, depending on whom they’d decide to move. A pick does nothing for me this year, unless I trade that pick for a player that does do something for me. Trading Sanchez makes us weaker at that position this year, so I’d want something that helps us this year in return. I’d take a pick for Barkley, but believe a package deal for a quality player would be more enticing.

      • Kev_H

        I didn’t think he had any value in terms of trade and return. Just something to fill up pages for the bloggers. You should be able to get a 3rd QB without giving up draft picks.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          I’m talking Raiders here…lol.

          • oreofestar

            he’s still be the 3rd QB there lol

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I will say this… It seems like you should sell high when you have the opportunity on those backup QBs to needy teams. Pretty sure they would’ve gotten more before they had Jimmy this year and teams were begging for Mallett.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      so we aren’t getting a 1st for Sanchez?

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Lol!

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        nope, just a 2nd and CB who refuses to tackle

  • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

    Anyone else agree that the Birds won’t have a problem hanging 30+ in week four on that Niner’s D?

    • John J. King

      I agree

    • oreofestar

      No problem at all

  • John J. King

    Bold Prediction: The ‘O’ will not miss Djax at all but the ‘D’ will suffer a bit in two games.

  • edro

    LB Emmanuel Acho – Eagles’ leading tackler in the preseason, the 23-year-old Acho played six games for the Eagles last season, contributing mostly on special teams.
    OL Josh Andrews – Undrafted rookie from Oregon State impressed with versatility throughout the preseason. A guard in college, Andrews, 23, worked as the Eagles’ third-team center when Julian Vandervelde suffered a back injury.
    OL Kevin Graf – Another versatile undrafted rookie offensive lineman, Graf, 23, worked mostly at tackle throughout the preseason but also worked at guard during the final preseason game. A three-year starter at USC, Graf earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors as a senior.
    DL Wade Keliikipi – A former pupil of defensive line coach/assistant head coach Jerry Azzinaro at Oregon, Keliikipi adds more depth to an already young and talented defensive line – especially at the nose tackle position. He earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades in his final two seasons and played 50 games in his college career. Was the state of Hawaii’s top d-line prospect in high school.
    WR Will Murphy – The steady 24-year-old Murphy returns to the practice squad for the second straight season after a preseason in which he caught six passes for 49 yards.
    WR Quron Pratt – Lauded for his special teams ability by teammates and coaches, Pratt emerged as an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers with a few highlight-reel catches during Training Camp. The 23-year-old had seven catches for 96 yards during the preseason.
    S Ed Reynolds II – Fifth-round pick had to play catch-up after missing much of the offseason workouts because of Stanford’s late graduation date. General manager Howie Roseman explained that Reynolds’ absence from the 53-man roster was largely a result of the team going “heavy” at other positions, namely offensive and defensive line.
    RB Matthew Tucker – After leading the league in rushing touchdowns during the preseason, Tucker returns to the practice squad, where he spent most of his rookie season. Originally an undrafted rookie signing out of TCU, Tucker played two games for the Eagles last season. During this year’s preseason, Tucker had 24 carries for 125 yards and four touchdowns.

  • edro

    PS set

    • edro

      2 spots remaining

      • oreofestar

        ??

        • oreofestar

          never mind

  • Rockedupeaglesfan

    I think we will have a similar # of plays over 20yds, with our TEs picking up a fair share of them, but I think our # of plays over 40yds will be down significantly.

  • Dreday410

    NO BODY knows anything about Chip Kelly’s offense BUT CHIP KELLY stop with all this DeSean talk and stretching the field BS…

    Like Chip said “Show me a tape where DeSean or anyone was double team and when you come to Philly your Cheese Steaks are on me.”

    Remember what they ALL said about Chip Kelly offense in 2013.

    Now in 2014 they can’t stretch the field? LMAO…..It’s a team in the NFL that are called the Denver Broncos who use the same format as Philly (not a lot of big passes most short throws)

  • xmbk

    I almost wish we had wasted 10.5 mill on Jackson just to avoid all these articles. Look, at 5 mill he’d probably still be an Eagle – no one is arguing he doesn’t have nfl skills. But at 20 mill no one would be questioning whether he should have been cut. So clearly money plays a factor in an evaluation. You can’t say that the Eagles should have kept him another year just by looking at his contribution on the field. You have to include the future talent lost by spending so much money on a player who is not a multi-dimensional threat.

  • Explorer51

    Tim, you mentioned that the first string offense had 5 pass plays of 20+ yards in the pre-season; if you add up the time the first string offense played in four games, it wouldn’t even total a full game’s action. Meanwhile, they averaged 5 20+ plays a game last year…so they seem right about on target.

  • kstagg

    From what I’ve read, RG3 has been struggling this preseason. I ALMOST feel sorry for that locker room when that talented prima dona doesn’t get the touches he’s had in the past.