Twitter Mailbag: On Curry, Receivers and the Fatigue Factor

Riley Cooper 1On Thursdays we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @LardMuffin: Assuming the Eagles have their offense in high gear – Who will the altitude affect more? Eagles offense or Broncos D?

Altitude will affect the Eagles more. The Broncos are acclimated to the environment, the Eagles are not.  Plus, the Broncos are used to going up-tempo. They are averaging 71 plays per game on offense, which is just four less than league-leading New England, and five plays more than Chip Kelly‘s Eagles.

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Twitter Mailbag: Is the Kelly Offense Sustainable?

Chip KellyOn Thursdays we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @phat_dy: Honestly, is this offense sustainable? Do you believe Kelly knows he can plug in Foles, which enables him to make these calls?

The question of sustainability is relevant, even if you remove the Michael Vick element from the equation.  Chip Kelly‘s Eagles will be running  a ton of plays and will be doing so at mach speed. One concern is that the team will get worn down as the season rolls on. I asked Kelly today whether that was ever an issue at Oregon, and if the extra four regular-season games in the NFL presents a challenge in that respect.

“No, I think our teams were always the freshest teams that played by and large,” Kelly responded. “We have a weekly schedule that we follow almost religiously in terms of when to work, when to recover and what not. So I think we have a plan in place that we put in place in April that is built for the long haul.”

Then there is the injury issue. Logic suggests that the more plays you run, the more times an offensive player is exposed to potential punishment and therefor injury. Certainly the main focus is Vick, who was knocked to the ground 15 times Monday night by Ron Jaworski’s count. To the second part of your question: I don’t believe that Kelly is being bold with his use of Vick because he has a solid backup plan in Nick Foles. But I do believe he realizes the importance of having a quality reserve in the NFL, especially when you are running this system with a QB as free-wheeling as Vick.

Kelly told us on Thursday that Foles still gets some first-team reps in practice.

From @FelskeFiles: I’m concerned the Eagles we saw in the 2nd half was the REAL Eagles and the 1st half Birds were a mirage. Chances I’m right?

The offense that you saw in the first half was the “real” Eagles offense: no-huddle, hurry-up, explosive, confusing. Kelly admitted that they took their foot off the pedal too soon. They slowed things down and were conservative for the most part in the second half. That was a learning-on-the-job moment for the first-year head coach and it didn’t cost them a win ultimately, so that’s a good thing.

Not sure what the answer is yet when it comes to the defense. To say that Billy Davis just went into “prevent” mode down the stretch is inaccurate. He kept the blitzes coming and got burned on it a time or two. RGIII appeared to pick up steam as the game went on, which was another factor. Losing Cary Williams for a stretch also hurt them and speaks to the potential depth issues in the secondary.

Overall I think the defense played well — certainly better than I thought they were going to. It’s safe to raise your expectation levels a notch based off their performance against the Redskins. I don’t think either half  of play fully represents their identity. Chances are, they’ll be somewhere in between.

From @xpler99: does poyer’s development push Boykin to the outside, and Fletcher to the bench?  Or is his role diminished with hughes back?

Bradley Fletcher‘s teammates sound confident that he will be able to play against the Chargers, but he did not practice on Thursday and remains a question mark after sustaining a concussion Monday. Brandon Boykin is expected to be moved to the outside if Fletcher can’t go.

Brandon Hughes (hand) is practicing this week and should be ready for Sunday. I think there is a chance he sees some action against San Diego, perhaps over Jordan Poyer. The rookie saw 17 snaps against the Redskins, and looked like he could still use some seasoning.

I thought Fletcher played well against Washington. I believe the starting job is his when healthy.

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Twitter Mailbag: A Look At Red Zone Efficiency

0V3J8878Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @sleeperSS: can we take a look at red zone efficiency thru 4 preseason games, Tim? Thanks

We can do it through the first three games, sure.

In 2012, the Eagles scored touchdowns on 44 percent of their trips to the red zone. That ranked 28th in the NFL. (Green Bay led the league with a 69 percent TD conversion rate.)

This preseason, the team’s overall number sits at 54 percent (7-of-13). The Eagles were 2-for-4 in their red zone trips against New England, though both of their failed missions came in the latter stages of the fourth quarter with Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne under center, respectively. They went 2-for-3 against Carolina — the lone blemish being Nick Foles‘ interception in the back of the end zone to Josh Thomas.  And they were 3-of-6 against the Jaguars, including 1-for-4 in the first half.

Michael Vick is 2-for-5 in his red zone trips this preseason (40 percent), while Foles is 4-for-5 (80 percent).

Taking away too much from preseason stats is insane. The numbers aren’t totally pure (Two of Foles’ conversions came versus backups in the fourth quarter against Jacksonville, for instance) but those are the figures.

From @JerryP2375: Russell Sheppard, Greg Salas, Clay Harbor. If only one can stay, which one makes the team?

I say Harbor.

The way I look at it, Chip Kelly has too large of a love for tight ends to only keep three on the roster. He has already shown four tight-end sets this preseason. I’m no Rhodes Scholar (h/t to comments section) but if he wants to use that look at all in the regular season, stands to reason he’ll need to keep four tight ends around.

Keeping only four true receivers on the 53 is a little dicey. I say either Salas or Sheppard makes it. But not at the expense of Harbor, who can serve as a ‘tweener for Kelly.

The 26-year-old said that he will play the first half tonight at receiver before moving over to tight end.

From @Jonzee 32: Would you rather try to block F. Cox, or be blocked by J. Peters?

Is there a third option?

From @TomWelke: with Kenny Phillips gone why not bring in Quintin Mikell? We could use that veteran presence on d.

Checked in with Mikell just for you, Tom. He said that he has been receiving some calls but asked his agent not mention any team names until something is concrete. The Eagles are trying to go young, so chances are they wouldn’t be players for a veteran like Mikell unless the current options on their roster fall flat.

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Twitter Mailbag: Is Fletcher Cox Being Used Properly?

0V3J8978Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @aerelorn: Thoughts on Fletcher Cox being asked to 2-gap? Is putting your best D player in a position to *not* succeed the right answer?

The answer to the second part of your question is obviously no. You have to cater to your players’ strengths, and both Chip Kelly and Billy Davis have vowed to do just that since the moment they got here.

That said, I found this exchange between Kelly and a reporter interesting.

Is Fletcher Cox a better two-gap guy or one-gap guy?

“I don’t think you could put one or the other because they have to do both.  It’s not like you can take them out because you are going to switch defenses every play.  When we two gap we put this guy in. When we one gap, you put that guy in.  No, you’re giving up too much,” said Kelly.

 “I know as an offensive coach, I would love to know when that guy’s in the game, it’s two‑gap defense; when that guy’s in the game, it’s one‑gap defense.  They’ve got to be able to play at both.”

When it’s a guy like [Cox], do you cater your defense more?

“To one guy?  No, we don’t cater our defense to one guy, because there are ten other guys you have to worry about.  There are a lot of different things when you go through everything.  We’re going to try to play to the overall team strength.  What are we best at.”

I agree that playing to the strength of the 11 is more important than playing to the strength of one. I also believe that this team will only suffer if Cox — arguably the best player on this defense — is rendered less effective because of the system.  A couple things to keep in mind: 1) While Cox struggled on Friday, it was only one game. It’s totally possible that a man of his talent adapts and thrives in this scheme before long. And 2) the Eagles have said that they are working towards becoming a two-gap 3-4 defense, but will stop short along the way if it makes sense. You can argue that beyond Cox, Vinny Curry, Cedric Thornton, etc. would be best suited playing one-gap. I bet we see more one-gap than two-gap in the first year.

[If you're saying to yourself, "What the hell are they talking about?" read Greg Cosell's piece. He does an excellent job breaking down gap concepts.]

From iMark_Sarnoski: once the starting QB is selected do you think either Vick or Foles will be on the move? Will they keep both in case of injury?

I feel pretty confident that they will keep both. Kelly has repeatedly said that you better have two capable quarterbacks in the NFL, and I think that’s particularly true when one of those QBs is Michael Vick, who has trouble staying healthy for the full 16. I believe that’s part of what this quarterback competition is about — getting both Vick and Nick Foles ready to start, because there is a good chance both will have to at some point this year.

It’s possible that Vick could be moved if he loses the job and becomes disgruntled, but I don’t see that happening.

From @Ngu_Year: who has had a better camp, Damion Square or Cedric Thornton?

Damion Square has stood out more, but it’s tough to compare because Thornton has run much more with the first team.

The good news for the Eagles is that they look to have some good, young talent along the defensive front. Whether you’re talking about Square, Bennie Logan or Curry, they should all have a chance to make an impact.

 “We’re going to continue to look at those guys just like we look at them every day in practice, and make a determination on who is the best.  But a lot of times with the d‑line, because of how this game is played, we’re going to be playing all six if we keep six on the active roster,” said Kelly.

 “I think in that position particularly you’ll see that more in the NFL.  People are starting to rotate defensive linemen and keep them fresh just because it’s such a tough position to play.  I know that’s kind of our thought process going in.  So I think you’ll see all of those guys again kind of rolling through.”

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Twitter Mailbag: Biggest Surprises Of Camp

Vinny CurryEvery Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @InsultComicDog: What players have exceeded your expectations for them in camp so far? And who has disappointed the most?

Chris Polk has definitely exceeded expectations. It’s not easy to distinguish yourself as a running back in a non-tackling environment, but he’s done it. He came in 15 pounds lighter than his 2012 playing weight of 230 and is looking nimble and explosive. He says he hasn’t felt this fast since high school.

“I feel way faster, especially coming in and out of my cuts, being able to run away, pick up the legs. I just feel way better.”‘

Let’s wait for some live action before we get carried away, but he has nudged himself into the competition for the No. 2 running back spot with Bryce Brown.

Polk, who played receiver in high school, has lined up in the slot at times. He has an advantage in the pass-catching area over Brown, who has dropped several passes in camp.

On the defensive side, Brandon Boykin looks better than I anticipated.

As far as disappointments? Not sure I had super high expectations, but receiver Ifeanyi Momah has not had many standout moments. Cary Williams hasn’t participated hardly at all, which is a downer, and Kenny Phillips still isn’t moving very well from what I can tell.

From @Ngu_Year: With Benn out now with an ACL injury, what are your predictions for which wide receivers make the team?

Four seem like locks: DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and Riley Cooper.

Nick Miller, Ifeanyi Momah, Will Murphy, Greg Salas and Russell Shepard will be competing for the last couple of slots. I can’t see the Eagles keeping more than two from this group on the 53-man. Too many other needs across the roster to justify it. My picks would be Shepard and Salas.

Howie Roseman will try to bolster this position between now and Week 1. If it stays the same, I predict Jackson, Avant, Johnson, Cooper, Shepard and Salas. And no, I’m not doing back flips over this corps if I’m the Eagles.

From @NateCalvanese: Any news on Vinny Curry? Haven’t heard much of anything about him from camp.

Curry is listed behind his good friend Fletcher Cox at right defensive end on the unofficial depth chart. The transition to playing 3-4 end is a fairly easy one for Cox but not for Curry, who is more of a natural 4-3 edge rusher. Curry may very well be struggling with some of the two-gap principles and other nuances that come with the position.

 Billy Davis is trying to figure out how to best utilize the talent at his disposal, and will have to get creative when it comes to the former second-round pick. Seems like deploying him in some four-man fronts would be a decent option. It’s yet to be seen whether Curry can fit into this scheme long-term.

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Twitter Mailbag: Vick Given Lead Role In Handling Cooper Issue

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From jmbostick: did the response to the Cooper incident give any insight into the QB competition? (i.e. Vick sure looked like the clubhouse leader in responding to the media.)

It is not lost on me that Chip Kelly had Michael Vick address the team and lead five minutes of open dialogue following Riley Cooper‘s apology Wednesday evening. If there was any question whether the new head coach sees Vick as a team leader, it has been answered. I do find significance in the gesture. A big part of the quarterback position is about being out in front and getting the team to follow you. Vick commands the room. He is the team’s voice. That’s no small thing.

We’ve written before about the challenge that faces Nick Foles in this respect. A lot of the players on this team, from LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson all the way to Russell Shepard, grew up idolizing No. 7. It’s natural for a lot of these players to look up to him. And he’s further earned their affection by the way he’s handled himself since his prison stint.

Foles can win this job, but might have to do so convincingly for everyone to buy in. Then there’s this dilemma: if he wins it and struggles, how quickly will the eyes in the locker room turn right back to Vick? It seems more natural for Vick to start off the year under center. If the offense fails to take off under him, there’s a better chance of everyone turning the page collectively. Then the search for a new leader begins.

From@theHerbacious: If Boykin makes the move to outside corner, does Poyer take over the slot and is he good enough to handle it?

We had the chance to talk to a bunch of the scouts yesterday and I poked around about Boykin. Seems like the Eagles would prefer to keep him inside. That makes sense, given both his height (5’9) and his skill set. The other issue, as you bring up, is who would replace him? Too early to know whether Jordan Poyer is ready for prime time. Brandon Hughes is a potential option, but it’s unlikely anyone who takes over that role would match Boykin’s production.

Ideally, the Eagles would like Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher to win the outside spots. But Boykin has looked really good so far and Williams (hamstring) has been sidelined for almost all of camp. Even if he does stay as the nickel corner, Boykin could definitely see some looks outside this season.

From @hense83: Any indications of them running 2-pt conversions or 4th and short plays?

As Sheil wrote about yesterday, Kelly simulated a two-point conversion to start Wednesday’s practice. So to answer your question, yes.

I don’t expect him to go crazy with fourth-and-shorts and two-point conversions in the NFL. Part of the reason he did that so much at Oregon is because he didn’t have great faith in his special teams, apparently. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gambles more than most, though, especially in Year One when he might have to compensate for a leaky defense.

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Twitter Mailbag: Who Has Pro Bowl Promise Under Chip?

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @heemy224: who do you believe has the best shot at becoming a pro bowler in this chip offense. Shady? Djack? the qb whoeverthtwillb? other?

Oregon averaged 537 yards and 53 points a game under Chip Kelly last season. If he can get this offense humming anywhere close to the way he did while with the Ducks, the Eagles will be well-represented at the Pro Bowl. This isn’t college, of course, and there is likely to be some real growing pains while players get acclimated to this system.

LeSean McCoy appears best set-up for an All-Pro campaign. Oregon ran the ball 53 times a game last season, and early indications are that Kelly will continue to rely heavily on the ground game. According to the team’s stats, Kenjon Barner rushed for 1,849 yards with 21 touchdowns in 13 games last season. That’s with De’Anthony Thomas receiving 92 carries and Byron Marshall 87.

DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are both capable of big seasons, though it should be noted that the wealth was spread around in the passing game at Oregon. Thomas led the way with 45 catches for 445 yards and five scores in 2012. There were a total of nine Duck players who caught 19-plus passes.

Remember that Kelly is big on the tight end position. It’s possible that one member of the tight-end trio posts big numbers.

From @JeBradSus: How much did special teams contribute to the Eagles struggles last year and do we have reason to expect improvement?

Special teams crushed the Eagles last season, no question. They were dead last in the punt game, mediocre to sub-mediocre across the board, and finished 24th as a unit, according to Football Outsiders.

The Eagles are hopeful that either Donnie Jones or Brad Wing can provide an upgrade at the punter position, and it seems like Jackson — who returned just one punt last season — will be utilized more this year. New special teams coach Dave Fipp has a solid resume. While serving as an assistant special teams coach in Miami in 2011 and 2012, the Dolphins’ units ranked second and fourth in the NFL, respectively.

Kelly definitely recognizes the value of strong special teams play. We’ll see what kind of improvements they can make in Year One.

From @BCKapler17: with all the issues we’ve had historically stopping the run the past few years, why switch to a 3-4? We aren’t ‘stacked’ at LB.

A lot of the moves are being made with the big picture in mind. Kelly prefers the 3-4 (in part because he believes having more linebackers on the roster helps with special teams, actually) and the Eagles eventually want to bring in personnel so they can run that defense effectively.

But you are circling around an important point: fact is, the Eagles don’t have the ideal personnel now. Kelly and the coaching staff have been adamant that they will tailor their schemes to match the strengths of their players, and the strengths of several of their players appear best suited for a 4-3. The conclusion to draw, then, is that we can anticipate a healthy dose of 4-3 looks in the first year — more than we’ll probably see going forward.

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Twitter Mailbag: Could Celek Interest Patriots?

With T-Mac off this week, I figured I’d pinch-hit with the Twitter Mailbag. Thanks to all who submitted questions (which have been edited slightly for clarity purposes).

Ryan O’Donnell @Ryeboat: With training camp about three weeks away, what starting position battles should we watch for besides QB?

We can start with the offense, but other than quarterback, the pieces are pretty much in place.

LeSean McCoy is your starting running back. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are your starting wide receivers. And if the offensive line looks like anything other than Lane Johnson, Todd Herremans, Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis and Jason Peters, it’ll be an upset. That’s assuming, of course, that all those guys are healthy.

How Chip Kelly will use his tight ends is a bit of a mystery, especially since Zach Ertz missed most of the spring due to NCAA graduation rules. The starter(s) could very well depend on what package the Eagles are in on their first offensive play. Ertz, Brent Celek and James Casey should all see plenty of action though, and snap counts could depend on the week/game-plan.

There’s much more uncertainty on the defensive side of the ball. Cedric Thornton, Clifton GeathersDavid King, Vinny Curry and possibly others will be competing for a starting job up front. Brandon Graham and Trent Cole might be competing for a starting OLB job, although Billy Davis could very well try to find a way to get both on the field at the same time (or rotate them).

And don’t forget about safety. That’s the most wide-open position on the team. Nate Allen, Patrick Chung, Kurt Coleman, Kenny Phillips and Earl Wolff will all get chances to earn starting jobs.

Chaddar @ChaddarXCheeze: Given the Patriots’ relationship with the Eagles, don’t you feel like a Brent Celek trade to NE is days away?

I received several versions of this question, and while I hear what you’re saying, Chaddar, I don’t really see it. Kelly has made it clear he wants to go heavy on tight ends because of the matchup problems they can create. Sure, the Eagles appear to have a bit of a surplus with Ertz, Casey and Celek. But Casey is a completely different player than the other two. He was basically a fullback last year and won’t stretch the field vertically. Clay Harbor, meanwhile, faces an uphill battle to make the team.

Having said all that, no one is untouchable, and I’ve been wrong before. If Bill Belichick calls with an especially attractive offer, I’m sure Kelly and Howie Roseman would listen. It’s not like Celek is untouchable. But for something like a mid-round pick? I don’t see that making sense.

GhostWriter Malik @EagleEyedPros: Who do you feel has the best chance to really contribute? Felix Jones, Chris Polk, Arrelious Benn, Ifeanyi Momah, Clifton Geathers, Bennie Logan, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Boykin, Jordan Poyer?

I am curious about how you came up with that specific group of players, Malik, but the Birds 24/7 Mailbag policy is to never answer a question with a question.

My pick is Boykin. I thought he really showed flashes of being a high-end slot corner as a rookie. Boykin is a terrific athlete and seems to have all the intangibles. The only question is his height, and playing on the inside, that’s not really an issue. As we mention all the time, teams are in their sub packages with a third corner about 50 percent of the time. That means Boykin will be counted on quite a bit.

As for some of the other names, I think Benn brings a diverse skill set to the table and will get a chance to contribute. I’m intrigued by Momah’s size, but he didn’t stand out in the spring. The coaching staff seemed to like Geathers during OTAs. Logan should be a rotational player as a rookie. And Marsh projects as the first backup corner.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Twitter Mailbag: Wide Receiver Edition

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

Eagles fans seem to have wide receivers on the brain on this fine June day. So let us talk wide receivers.

From @EaglesJake: who has a better chance to make the final roster: Avant or Cooper?

Tough one, but I would say Jason Avant. 

I think both have skill sets that are appealing to Chip Kelly. Maybe they aren’t explosive receivers but they’re willing to get their hands dirty, whether that means blocking downfield or contributing on special teams. That will work in their favor with this coach. I’ve noticed Kelly and Riley Cooper interacting a good bit during practice; there seems to be a solid rapport there.

What separates Avant is his leadership. He has long been regarded as one of the top character guys on the team. I would imagine a new coach would want his young guys exposed to a veteran like Avant, who can set a good example of how to approach the game. We have already seen him take Russell Shepard under his wing.

“Anything I can do to help [younger players], whether that’s catching JUGS or showing them things in the film room, correcting ‘em on the field, just life examples, all those kinds of things.”

Kelly is trying to establish a certain culture, and I think Avant can help him in that respect.

From @brookman_doug: does it seem like DJax is just messing around constantly?

DeSean Jackson can’t be painted with a single brush. He is a complex character and a pretty fascinating study. If you are just going off Instagram or Twitter, then you’ll probably associate Jackson with Jaccpot and Vegas and frivolous spending. If you see him in the locker room during the season, you may be greeted with a scowl and a cold shoulder. If you watch the documentary, you will see a kid that has been rigorously training for this job since he was in Pop Warner, and realize that his family pushed him really hard.

If you saw him at the screening of his brother’s movie a couple weeks back, you would notice that his scowl was nowhere to be found, and that his rebel image gave way to that of a considerate, thoughtful family man. You would have witnessed him throwing his arm around Tom Seagraves, who is in the middle of a battle with pancreatic cancer, while offering him words of encouragement.

So no, I don’t think Jackson messes around constantly. I think he messes around, sometimes too much. I think he is the rebel, and the family man; the kid who loves the game and the kid who feels burdened by it. He has all sorts of sides to him.

From @AdamSmith1814: what eagles reciever has the best looking hands/finger nails on the depth chart.

Avant has the best hands. Will Murphy wins the cuticle battle, without question.

From @KhandymanSports: Among the wide receivers lower on the depth chart (Momah, Shepard, Benn) who do you see making the team and where do they fit?

Out of those three, I would guess Arrelious Benn has the best chance of making the roster. As Sheil points out, he could distinguish himself as the best blocking receiver of the bunch. He is 24, has some versatility to his game and can be a contributor on special teams. Assuming he stays healthy, he might fit the bill for Kelly.

Shepard is interesting. I wonder if he can develop fast enough to claim a roster spot. I haven’t been wowed by Ifeanyi Momah yet, but who knows? Maybe he impresses at camp. It will be fun watching this group compete this summer.

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Twitter Mailbag: Is There A Lack Of Unity Under Chip Kelly?

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @Mikeaka: With the recent comments by Jackson & tweets by Weaver, do you give any credence to the notion of a lack of unity on the team?

I don’t.

I recently wrote about the difficulty of holding a quarterback competition that involves Michael Vick. When you have a player that answers questions candidly based off his emotions in the moment, there are going to be some quotes that open the door to a QB controversy. We are already seeing evidence of that. DeSean Jackson caught wind of Vick’s comments about wanting to have a starter named before training camp and echoed the sentiment on national television. If Vick wasn’t so honest, he never makes the comments in the first place. Then Jackson has nothing to react to. Instead, there is now a perception that some veterans are trying to force Chip Kelly‘s hand and are not buying into the program.

I believe most of the players recognize that the QB race is way too close to call right now, and that it would be premature to name a starter before Vick and Nick Foles have a chance to compete in training camp and in preseason games.

Those that feel differently really have no choice but to accept Kelly’s decision. Vick is on a one-year deal and Jackson is in a virtual contract year, as we have explained before. It makes no sense for either of them — or any player on the team for that matter — to show defiance. This is a new coach with new methods, and he will keep around only those that buy in.

Despite the recent comments, the sense internally is that the vets are on board.

From @seaneham73: my kid wants to know who the fastest player on the Eagles is??????

Are you sure they’re not just setting you up for a Jason Peters joke?

Vick was asked if he was the fastest player on the team the other day and he said no, but that he was in the top 5. Tell the kids I would put my money on Jackson. After that, tough to say. Maybe Damaris Johnson,  Bryce Brown and Brandon Boykin would round out the top 5 with Vick and Jackson. (Am I missing anyone?)

From @dwr8810: Is there anything in Vick’s contract that if he’s named starter he gets $ added to it?

Not exactly, but there is language in the contract that gives him money based on playing time. PFT has the breakdown.

He gets $31,250 for each game he’s on the 53-man roster.  Vick gets another $1.5 million if he participates in 90 percent of the offensive snaps, and $1 million if the Eagles win the Super Bowl (and if he plays in it).

The play-time incentive has lower levels, with $1.2 available if he participates in 80 percent of the snaps, $900,000 if Vick participates in 70 percent of the snaps, $700,000 for 60 percent of the snaps, and $500,000 for 50 percent.

Vick received a $3.5 million signing bonus and his base salary for 2013 is an additional $3.5. He can make a total of $10 million if he hits all of the incentives.

From @James_Fayleez: When will the #Eagles name a starting QB? (trying to plan my vacation)

Based on his experience at Oregon, Dennis Dixon thinks we’ll go the whole summer without an answer.

“A couple days before [the first game],” said Dixon. “That’s what Chip Kelly is. Throughout training camp, throughout everything, throughout preseason games, you won’t know until September 9 comes.”

Vacation away.

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