Myke Tavarres. (Jeff Fusco)
Myke Tavarres was at a crossroads, and he didn’t know what direction to go in. He had just completed his first season at Arkansas in 2013, where he was primarily used in scout team and special teams roles, after being a two-time all-conference selection in junior college.
The year before, Tavarres helped lead the College of the Siskiyous in California to the most wins in school history and a division championship, evolving into an SEC prospect and the 63rd-best junior college player in ESPN’s top-100 ranking. Then, after just a season in college football’s best conference, he decided to leave without a destination in mind.
While trying to figure out his future, Tavarres saw a snippet on ESPN that Ricky Williams, his favorite player growing up, was the running backs coach at Incarnate Word. A couple of days later, a close friend and former junior college teammate called Tavarres to recruit him to the school in San Antonio.
Tavarres “took that as a sign,” he said after practice yesterday, and without visiting the FCS program, transferred there. He credits the Southland Conference school with reinvigorating his love for football. Read more »
Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)
Ryan Mathews has been placed on the Active/NFI list with an ankle injury suffered last week. Mathews, whose injury wasn’t noticeable as he walked by reporters today when he reported for training camp, is expected to receive the bulk of the carries this season in the Eagles’ new offense.
After Mathews, the depth chart at running back is very unclear. Darren Sproles does the most damage as a punt returner and receiver out of the backfield on offense, and he’s now 33-years-old. Kenjon Barner has only 34 career carries, although Wendell Smallwood has continued to impress Doug Pederson this summer. Read more »
Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)
Before the Eagles begin training camp tomorrow with all of their players practicing, veterans reported to the NovaCare Complex today for meetings. On their way in, several guys stopped to address the media about their teammates’ off-the-field incidents this offseason, including the rape accusation against Nelson Agholor — although he wasn’t charged — and Nigel Bradham’s arrest this week for allegedly assaulting an employee in a Miami hotel.
Malcolm Jenkins noted that he doesn’t think the team needs to talk about off-the-field expectations, and that the coaches can handle it.
“I don’t think we need to talk. Guys get in trouble all around the league. Stuff happens,” Jenkins said. “I’m sure the coaches have a plan to deal with that. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a distraction.” Read more »
Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)
Doug Pederson and the Eagles have decided to allow Nigel Bradham to take part in training camp despite being arrested for an alleged assault of a hotel employee in Miami.
“Until we get further information from the authorities in South Florida…I just felt like don’t punish him from being here and just let him practice, let him report, let him go through physicals, conditioning test, all that, and we’ll see what happens in a few days,” said Pederson following Wednesday’s practice.
Pederson said he had a “great” talk with Bradham Tuesday night and said the linebacker is “humbled” by the situation. Read more »
Beau Allen and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)
If you’re curious why Jim Schwartz believes his aggressive 4-3 is better than the typical two-gap system, consider kickoff coverage. Teams no longer preach the “stay in your lane” adage, Schwartz says, because if one person leaves his lane, the returner picks up a lot of yards. Instead, coverage units now attack in levels, and that’s precisely what the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator has built his system around.
“You have guys that are disruptors, guys that attack the blocks and other guys that play leverage off of them,” Schwartz said. “If we are going to play attack up front — and we are, because we want to put those guys in position to be able to rush the passer and play the run on the way to the quarterback — the linebackers have to be tied and the safeties have to be tied in.
“It’s a lot different than two-gap because when you’re playing two-gap … you’re generally building a wall along the front and guys are sort of falling back and linebackers are generally shuffling laterally more because your defensive linemen are going laterally. When you play an attack front up front, your linebackers have to come downhill. They have to plug those holes.” Read more »
Jalen Mills. (USA Today Sports)
Yes, Jim Schwartz has noticed the lime green hair.
“He told me yesterday, he said, ‘Uh, hey Mills, did you put some highlighter juice in your hair or something?’ I just laughed and kind of walked off,” said Jalen Mills, who dyed the top of his head green in celebration of his first Eagles training camp. “I didn’t even want to start that conversation with him.”
The guess here is Schwartz will be OK with just about any look so long as Mills continues to flash the way he has. The seventh-round pick out of LSU has been perhaps the biggest standout among the group of rookies and selected vets practicing here before the rest of the squad suits up Thursday.
Read more »
Nigel Bradham. (USA Today Sports)
UPDATE NO. 2: Les Bowen has two more notes.
UPDATE: According to Les Bowen of the Daily News, Nigel Bradham is still expected to report to training camp tomorrow. The Eagles also released the following statement:
We are aware of the recent incident involving Nigel Bradham in Miami. We have been in contact with Nigel and the proper authorities. Due to the ongoing legal process, the Eagles will have no further comment at this time.
Read more »
Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)
Before Anquan Boldin signed with the Lions today, the Eagles “showed real interest” in acquiring the veteran wide receiver, according to Ian Rapoport. Adam Schefter first reported the three-time Pro Bowler plans to sign a one-year deal with Detroit. Read more »
Doug Pederson and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)
Now that he has a firmer grasp of the situation, Doug Pederson is leaning towards changing course when it comes to game-day communication.
Back in June, Pederson told a group of reporters that the plan was to deliver the play call to offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who would then relay it to the quarterback. The reason for the circuitous route, Pederson explained at the time, is because head coaches are limited to two channels on their headset, and he wanted to be tuned into the offensive and defensive coaches.
A report by Jeff McLane of the Inquirer, though, cited two former head coaches who said “that head coaches can have all three channels, and in fact, most do.”
Pederson acknowledged in a one-on-one with Birds 24/7 Tuesday that he misspoke.
“That was a misunderstanding on my part. I didn’t have all the information at the time, and I just misunderstood what the rule was, or is,” he said. “But I can have the third one, which is nice.”
With that knowledge in hand, Pederson is considering straying from the original game plan. Read more »
Jim Schwartz. (USA Today)
It’s not newsworthy when a coach innocuously forgets to mention a player during his press conference when discussing a position battle. But when Jim Schwartz named five corners competing for playing time and didn’t mention Eric Rowe, just a day after Doug Pederson did the same and said Rowe has experienced some “hiccups” this offseason, it seems the second-year defensive back out of Utah may not have as big of a role this season as people expected.
“It’s going to be fun to watch the corners compete. We have some guys that can cover; we got some guys that have a great opportunity here,” Schwartz said. “With the blend of veteran players, a guy like Nolan Carroll, who we talked about, [and] Leodis McKelvin. Some young guys that have some opportunities — Jalen [Mills] has done a nice job for a rookie so far; Ron Brooks is going to have an opportunity. You have guys coming off injury like [JaCorey] Shepherd, who’s been out here. I think it’s going to be exciting to watch those guys.” Read more »