Kelly: We Weren’t Close Last Year

Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

On Thanksgiving night last year, the local fan base was feeling pretty good about its football team.

The Eagles had just hammered the Cowboys 33-10, and with a 9-3 record, the playoffs seemed like a near certainty.

But even at that point, Chip Kelly says he already knew the team had holes that needed to be addressed. The Eagles lost three of their last four, but per Kelly, it wasn’t just that final stretch that led to the dramatic offseason changes.

“I knew we had to get better as a team,” Kelly said during a session with reporters last month. “And I think in this league, it’s almost year to year. Teams don’t stay up or down, either way. …And I didn’t feel we were close at the end of the year.

“10-6, not going to the playoffs, is just like being 4-12.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: O-Line Training Camp Preview

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Leading up to training camp on August 2, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We’ve covered the running backs and wide receivers so far. Today, we’ll take a look at the offensive line.

The pressing question: Are the Eagles OK at the guard spots?

The Birds are in a strange situation with their offensive line. On one hand, it’s conceivable that they’ll finish the season with three Pro Bowlers up front in Jason PetersJason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Peters and Kelce have already proven themselves, and Johnson has a chance to take the next step in his development.

On the other hand, even if those three guys play well, this could be a mediocre unit overall because of who will be lining up at the two guard spots. Read more »

NFC East Roundup: Is RG3 Done?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins

Two years ago, Robert Griffin III was the toast of the nation’s capital, but after a pair of injury-plagued seasons, it’s worth considering whether 2015 is a do-or-die campaign for the Heisman winner.

Rich Tandler takes it a step further, wondering if Griffin is done: Read more »

With Sam Bradford, Chip Kelly Believes Odds Are In His Favor

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A risk, maybe, but the way Chip Kelly looks at it, the odds are in his favor.

Before breaking for the summer, the Eagles head coach sat down with reporters for an hour-long roundtable session. As you would imagine, Sam Bradford was a pretty popular topic of conversation.

“We looked at everything, and we knew we weren’t going to pick No. 1 or No. 2. So, and I’ve said it before, if you’re not going to pick one or two, how do you go get a quarterback?” said Kelly, explaining the thought process heading into this offseason. “Peyton Manning switched teams because of an injury. Drew Brees switched teams because of an injury. So we went down that path.”

When it came to Bradford, the Eagles doctors consulted with the St. Louis trainers and the those that performed the surgery. The word they received was that the 27-year-old, coming off the second tear of his left ACL in less than a year’s time, “was fine” and “was progressing.” Further, there was no cartilage issues in the knee. On both occasions, it was just the ACL that was damaged.

The Eagles did their own independent research as well and reached the conclusion that when it comes to ACLs, there is a 10-to-12 percent chance of re-injury.

“So that’s an 88-to-90 percent chance that they’re going to be successful,” said Kelly. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Defending the Changes

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

David Murphy of the Daily News thinks Chip Kelly’s drastic moves were necessary for the Eagles to compete in 2015:

The point, then, is this: The Redskins made significant improvements to their defense. The Giants and Cowboys didn’t get any worse (at least until the Fourth of July), and they likely got at least marginally better (with the potential for significant improvements out of some young players). If all three teams in the division aren’t any worse defensively than they were last year, which is true, and at least one is significantly better, which is true, and if the Eagles went 10-6 and failed to win the division last year, which is true, then it would make sense to conclude that the Eagles’ best course of action wasn’t sitting back and hoping that the gang would pull through if given another go-around. Read more »

Eagles Expected To Sign Villanova Running Back

NCAA Football: Villanova at Syracuse

While it’s not yet official, the Eagles are expected to sign former Villanova running back Kevin Monangai.

The Roseland, New Jersey product took part in the team’s local prospect workout back in April and was brought in for the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

Monangai (5-8, 215) rushed for 1,138 yards (5.1 yards/carry) and 12 touchdowns last season for the Wildcats. He saw action in all four years at Villanova and finished his career with over 3,100 rushing yards and 29 scores.

He announced the news on Instagram.

“If someone were to say my path to the NFL has been unorthodox, i think that’d be a pretty big understatement but God truly is good.. all praise and glory to The Most High for putting me in a position to have officially been offered an NFL contract by the Philadelphia Eagles.. time to show out like never before come time for training camp, the work has just begun.. #iFeelBlessed #StayReady”

Was Nick Foles A Bad Fit For Philly?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The topic of whether Nick Foles had the right temperament to play in Philadelphia was introduced by The Inquirer‘s Jeff McLane Wednesday during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. 

“Nick, I think, wasn’t very comfortable in that role [of a franchise quarterback], especially in Philadelphia,” he said. “I think there probably wasn’t as much written about that [as there should’ve been] and I’ve kind of learned a few things since Nick has been gone, that it had really gotten to him, some of the criticism that was happening here in Philadelphia based on his play last season and I don’t think Bradford is the type of guy where he lets that type of stuff get to him.”

Louis Riddick, who was a part of the Eagles’ front office when Foles was drafted, joined the morning show Thursday and was asked for his take.

“My experience with Nick is that he was very even-keel, very mellow, very much so not affected by a lot of outside things, but more…I’ve talked with people directly that were with him every day and coached him, and he was the kind of guy who behind the scenes didn’t necessarily like being criticized, didn’t necessarily like maybe being coached hard, being gotten on in the way that some quarterbacks and some players can take,” he said. “So is it surprising that maybe he would fit in a little bit better in a town like St. Louis where, not necessarily that they don’t have high expectations, but it’s not the same kind of scrutiny he’ll face here in Philadelphia? Yeah, that doesn’t shock me. That doesn’t shock me that he would feel more comfortable there.

“You’ve gotta be different, man. You’ve gotta be different in a good way in order to thrive here.” Read more »

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