Physical, No More

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Reality has set in here at the NovaCare that the emphasis on illegal contact and similar infractions this year is going to significantly impact how the game is played.
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Eagles Wake-Up Call: What Life’s Like For Marcus Smith II

Marcus Smith

Tra Thomas wasn’t wearing pads or a uniform. Instead, he was dressed in a black Eagles t-shirt and black shorts.

With his hat cocked to the side and dark sunglasses covering his eyes, Thomas settled into his stance at left tackle just as he’d done thousands of times throughout the course of his 12-year career.

Lined up across from him, angled to the left, was rookie Marcus Smith II. Thomas, now an assistant on Chip Kelly’s staff, started 174 games in the NFL and made the Pro Bowl three times. He’s seen 4-3 fronts, 3-4 fronts and everything in between. On some weeks, he faced the game’s best pass-rushers. On other occasions, guys that had no chance of getting past him.

In 1998, the Eagles took Thomas in the first round. In 2014, they took Smith. And on Monday after practice, the two were working together. Read more »

Injury Update: McCoy Returns To Practice

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

LeSean McCoy returned to practice after sitting Sunday’s session out with a sore toe.

“My toe, man, my toe was really bothering me during the game. It kinda was real sore a couple days before that,” he said. “Yesterday was really hurting pretty bad. But I got an MRI, some x-rays, and it’s fine. I felt a little better today so I went for it and I actually finished practice.”

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Wake-Up Call: Why It’s Working For Sanchez (So Far)

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When Mark Sanchez’s night was through Friday, tight end Zach Ertz approached the quarterback and congratulated  him on going 12-for-12.

“I said, ‘No, man, I went 11-for-12.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but that [interception] didn’t hit the ground,’ ” said Sanchez with a grin. “You have to have a sense of humor about it.”

No matter how you slice it, Sanchez has completed passes at a high rate in his limited time in an Eagles uniform. The six-year vet is 18-for-22  for 196 yards with two touchdowns and an interception over the first two preseason games. That’s a completion rate of 82 percent. Read more »

Cooper, Carroll Return; McCoy Sits Out

Cooper

The Eagles got good news on the wide receiver front today as Riley Cooper returned to practice fully for the first time since suffering a foot injury earlier this month.

“I’ve been running routes for about the past week, just vs. air,” Cooper said. “Today was the first day it was actually against somebody. It felt good.

“I’m gonna play this week… kind of just gradually get back into the swing of things. A couple plays to start every series, that’s kind of the routine we’re following.” Read more »

Notes: Kelly On Sanchez’s Trade Value, Injury Updates

Sanchez

Towards the end of today’s session with the media, Chip Kelly was asked about the future of quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has gone 18-for-22 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the first two preseason games. How would the Eagles weigh potentially trading him against keeping Sanchez on the roster as the backup?

“Good question, cause Mark has played well,” Kelly said. “But we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. So that’s not something we’re talking about because you’re just spending time on things that could happen, should happen… I don’t know. Read more »

Notes: Henery Misses the Mark

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Alex Henery got one opportunity on Friday night, and missed badly. His 47-yard attempt in the second quarter never had a chance, sailing wide right.

“You’ve got to make 47-yarders in this league,” said Chip Kelly afterwards.

Henery made seven of 10 kicks between 40 and 49 yards last season. He had only one miss from that range over the previous two seasons.

Is Kelly confident that Henery is the answer at the kicker position? Read more »

Kelly: Pass Rush The Issue On Third Down

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Chip Kelly could have offered a generic answer about the front end and the back end working together.

He could have expanded on how disappointed he was with the penalties, or even just given credit to Tom Brady. But when asked about the issues the Eagles are having on third down, Kelly pointed directly to the guys up front.

“We need to generate a better pass rush,” he said. “I think our defensive line needs to do a better job in terms of what their rush contains are. We had the one play with [Ryan] Mallett where Marcus [Smith II] does a nice job, makes him flush up in the pocket, but we got nobody on that side containing the quarterback, and you let the quarterback scramble for a touchdown.” Read more »

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