Eagles Wake-Up Call: On the Wide-9 Fears

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Today’s question comes from reader Nilesh via email:

Why will the new wide 9 be better than previous wide 9?

The change in Mychal Kendricks is noticeable. He added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame this offseason, bumping up from his 2015 playing weight of 235 pounds to 250.

“I feel strong. I feel fast still. I’m a lot more stout than I was. I think you can tell — I’m pretty big right now,” said Kendricks. “I don’t know how I’ll feel hitting someone yet — I’m assuming I’ll feel realllly good.”

The decision to bulk up was his own, Kendricks told reporters last week. A big part of the motivation was tied to the different demands that will be presented in Jim Schwartz‘s scheme — which yes, has a fairly heavy Wide-9 element to it.  A combination of  how the defensive front lines up and (more importantly) how they are instructed to behave means Kendricks and the linebackers will be dealing with a number of unencumbered offensive linemen steamrolling to the second level.

“Initially [the d-linemen] are up the field so it’s not the same as it was last year — reading as opposed to the linemen getting upfield,” said Kendricks. “We may see more people in our face, which means we would have to be more physical, and I’m all for it.”

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Lurie Explains Wentz Trade

Carson Wentz and Jeffrey Lurie. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz and Jeffrey Lurie. (USA Today Sports)

In his first public comments about the Eagles trading up in the draft to pick Carson Wentz, Jeffrey Lurie explained to the MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas why his team made the move.

“We see it differently than I guess some other people may,” Lurie said. “We see Sam [Bradford] as absolutely the right guy to quarterback the team. We are so rarely able to draft in the Top 5 in the draft. It’s only been twice in about 15-20 years. So we saw the opportunity, and we liked two quarterbacks. We had to make the move to secure having a potential franchise quarterback for many, many years. Read more »

Eagles Mailbag: Cox’s Contract, Starting Corners

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

I’m sure it’s not top on the list of what’s most important right now, but please tell me there’s absolutely nothing to worry about regarding a deal for Fletcher Cox? The radio silence from him is concerning to me and I know how much of an impact player he can be. Is there any reported progress towards a resolution between him and the Eagles front office? -Eagles 1018

There’s not much new to report here, but this is (unsurprisingly) the most frequent question we get. I wouldn’t worry about anything unless Fletcher Cox decides to skip the June 7-9 mandatory minicamp. It’s possible Cox doesn’t show up, but there’s no clear indication one way or the other right now. If he does miss it, the Eagles can fine him $76,580, according to former agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Roseman’s Tale

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports has started a podcast where he goes one-on-one with decision-makers in the league about how they worked their way up the ladder and the different experiences that have helped shape them.

This week’s subject was Howie Roseman, who spent nearly an hour talking about his path. He recounted his serendipitous run-in with Jack Elway on a plane when he was seven-years old that gave him the confidence to go after a career in football, to his dogged pursuit of said career and the many obstacles he faced. Roseman revealed that he chose to attend the University of Florida because he was “obsessed” with the passing game at the time and wanted to find a job with the Steve Spurrier-led Gators en route to the NFL. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Jim Schwartz Leftovers

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

In his first media availability since the day he was hired in January, Jim Schwartz declined to assess many of his players because he doesn’t think enough time has elapsed to accurately gauge them. He did, however, discuss Fletcher Cox, Marcus Smith and a few others.

Here are several more highlights from his meeting with the media on Tuesday afternoon.

Schwartz said taking a break from coaching last year has helped him as the Eagles defensive coordinator. Read more »

Eagles Announce Training Camp Schedule

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Football is coming.

The Eagles announced their 2016 training camp schedule Wednesday. Rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans will begin practice on Monday, July 25 with the remaining vets set to report July 27. The first full-team practice will be July 28 at 3:30 pm.

Most of the training camp practices will be held at the NovaCare Complex and will have an 8:15 start time. Those are open to a limited number of randomly-selected Eagles season ticket holders. There will also be two open practices at Lincoln Financial Field this year — July 31 at 10 am and August 14 at 7 pm. They are free to the public and do not require a ticket.

The off days this year are August 2, August 9 and August 12. Training camp wraps on August 16

Mychal Kendricks: Last Year’s Rotation Was ‘Odd’

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks has thought about whether signing his four-year, $29 million contract extension during the preseason last year had any impact on the decline in his performance. While he isn’t sure if it did, he has identified one reason he didn’t play as well.

“I just feel like it was too much hot and cold with all the players rotating in and out,” Kendricks said. “No one was able to get in the flow. It was odd. I didn’t feel like I played as good or as much. For the time I was in, I feel like my numbers were okay. But it’s hard to be a force or something to reckon with when you’re not on the field.”

The linebacker, who said it was difficult to sit back and play part-time last season, emphasized the importance of playing more to get into a rhythm. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Players Just Want Transparency’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

What strikes you is how casually they greet the alleged corruption.

Congressional investigators recently released a 91-page report supporting the claim that the NFL inappropriately attempted to influence a sports-related study on brain disease by the National Institutes of Health. After committing an “unrestricted” $30 million donation to the NIH, the NFL apparently balked when a $16 million grant was given for research efforts to be led by neurodegenerative disease expert Dr. Robert Stern, who has been critical of the league in the past, and attempted to redirect funds to grant applicants with league ties.

“No conversations [with the NFLPA] yet. I think everyone is waiting to get a little more information,” said Eagles player rep Malcolm Jenkins. “But I also don’t  feel like anyone is caught by surprise. I feel like we’ve felt like that was the case the entire time anyway.”

That what was the case?

“That the NFL wasn’t being 100 percent [in respect to] their findings of the investigations on concussions… I’m going to speak for myself, but I don’t think players really have the confidence in the league to do the right thing — or completely the right thing — when it comes to player safety.” Read more »

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