The Eagles took the field for their first training camp practice of the 2014 season today. Here’s what we saw. Read more »
Two Eagles players have been suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs this offseason. The team only had one drug suspension during the 14 years under Andy Reid. Chip Kelly was asked at the start of training camp Saturday whether there is a lack of oversight from this current regime.
“No, I think we educate our players all the time. Everyone in the NFL knows you’re going to get tested. There’s also some individual responsibility that goes with the player,” said Kelly. “They’re also their own men. It’s no different than if you got pulled over for DUI, are you going to tell your employers that you didn’t tell me I couldn’t do that? There’s a lot of responsibilities. [Jake Knott and Lane Johnson] are both adults, they both made mistakes, they are going to pay a very hefty price for those mistakes, they are going to miss four games, they are going to miss four game checks, and hopefully that works.” Read more »
We’re getting ready for the first training camp practice at NovaCare today. In the meantime, some links to pass along.
The Football Outsiders Almanac is out, and you can access a snippet from the Eagles’ chapter here. Last year, the Birds ran a play every 23.38 seconds. That was the fastest pace of any offense Football Outsiders had charted since 1997.
Chip Kelly likes to point out that the Eagles don’t always play fast, but clearly tempo was a big part of the offense. Read more »
There’s no doubt that the bar has been set high for Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles are counting on a number of players to fill the void left by DeSean Jackson, but Maclin is at the top of that list. Earlier this offseason, Howie Roseman invoked Adrian Peterson’s name when discussing Maclin’s ability to come back strong from an ACL tear. And Chip Kelly brought up Maclin when asked how the Eagles would replace Jackson’s downfield ability.
“I’m just excited to play football again,” said Maclin Friday afternoon. “I had to watch last year from the couch, from the sidelines. It wasn’t very fun for me.”
As Maclin watched, he undoubtedly pictured himself in Kelly’s offense. Jackson, Riley Cooper and LeSean McCoy all put up career numbers. Maclin was a free agent this offseason and settled for a one-year contract, but with a strong performance, he’ll be looking at a big payday – either in Philadelphia or somewhere else. Read more »
Evan Mathis knew that holding out was his only real leverage play, and that his leverage grew when Lane Johnson failed his drug test. But he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
“It was easy for me to sit there and think about it a month ago but when it was getting down closer to the wire, it was not something I could see myself doing really. For multiple reasons. When I was in elementary school and I got sick and I missed a day of school I felt bad because I was behind, and this is not the kind of stuff you want to get behind on,” said Mathis as the team reported to NovaCare for training camp Friday.
“I try to look at it my point of view, try to look at it from their point of view. I didn’t want to have a negative impact on the team. I didn’t want to send the wrong message to the players, coaches, fans. I look at what I’m doing as doing the right thing in the situation.” Read more »
Nick Foles read Buzz Bissinger’s piece for Philly Mag. Some of it, anyway. The rest he picked up in bits and pieces through Twitter and word of mouth.
Addressing the media on the front lawn of the NovaCare Complex as the team reported for training camp Friday, he was asked about Bissinger’s assertion that he needed an infusion of strut in his demeanor and must step fully into the spotlight in order to become the quarterback this team needs him to be.
“I don’t agree with it,” said Foles, “because I think a quarterback and a leader, it’s not necessarily what you do in the limelight — obviously handling yourself in the appropriate manner is very important for the organization and for your teammates — but I always believed that you need to be who you are. If you’re a guy who loves to be at everything and do that and you can be a great player and a great leader as well, that’s awesome because that’s naturally what you’re great at, that’s naturally what you want to do. Read more »
As Lane Johnson walked up to the podium outside the NovaCare Complex, a reporter asked him how he was doing.
“I’ve been better,” said the Eagles’ second-year offensive tackle.
Johnson’s four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy was announced earlier this week. Today was the first time he could tell his side of the story, but Johnson opted not to provide many details.
“It’s something I didn’t get cleared up with [head athletic trainer Chris] Peduzzi and something I didn’t really think about,” he said. “I got the paper back probably the first of May, mid-May. So I knew it was coming. It was just a long, drawn-out process. It’s something I’ve gotta deal with for four weeks. Read more »
Before I head to the NovaCare Complex, here are three Chip Kelly leftovers we’ve been meaning to get to.
1. A popular theme last summer regarding the Eagles was: How will Kelly adjust to the NFL game?
Considering Kelly was making the leap from college to the pros with four total years of head coaching experience, the question was a valid one. He has said on multiple occasions that he didn’t enter the NFL with any preconceived notions or expectations. Now that Kelly’s been in Philadelphia for a year, he was asked what the biggest difference was from college.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “I don’t think it’s as big a difference as people think it is. There’s subtle things, but it’s still the game. It’s still 11 on 11. We all have no say. It’s all dictated by television. It was the same way in college as it is in the NFL – when we’re gonna play or when a game’s gonna be scheduled. I don’t think that it’s that drastic.” Read more »