NFC East Roundup: Wide Receiver Drama

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Dez Bryant is unhappy with his contract situation, but Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says that both sides are far away from coming to terms for a long-term deal:

“It’s been well-documented that both [Larry] Fitzgerald and Megatron both got their deals based on their rookie contracts because they were high draft picks and the franchise tag dictated that,” Jones continued. “But since then all receivers, the top ones, have pretty much been paid in the $11.5-12.5 million range, and there’s a big disparity there. Read more »

In Search Of Chip Kelly

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Magazine’s Robert Huber went on a journey to find out who Chip Kelly is.

Below are a couple excerpts from his article.

BEFORE I MADE THE TRIP to New Hampshire, I learned some things.

It’s clear, for example, that Chip Kelly doesn’t give a rat’s ass what other people think of him. Which some people find quite discombobulating. An NFL insider who spent hours with Kelly over dinner a few years ago describes a surreal divide: Chip has a brilliant football mind and can talk endlessly about the game — at warp speed, the way he always talks — but doesn’t seem to be there with you in the moments that aren’t about football. He won’t make eye contact. He seems to be daydreaming, and you sit there wondering what he’s really thinking. Usually, of course, getting to know someone is a combination of what he’s saying and how he feels to you, his body language, the little interjected moments of, say, “How’s your steak?” Chip seems devoid of those moments. He shares almost nothing of himself. He doesn’t ask questions. He doesn’t seem normal, says the NFL guy, who was left, after spending several hours with Kelly, with the most basic fear:

Doesn’t Chip like me?

Read more »

Thoughts On A Potential Quarterback Competition

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Further evidence surfaced this week that the Eagles are trying to lock up Sam Bradford. NFL.com’s Albert Breer echoed earlier reports that the Eagles and Bradford have had preliminary contract talks, but that no real progress has been made to this point.

The issue, as we’ve laid out previously, is that Bradford doesn’t have a ton of incentive to sign a deal right now. He has already banked $65 million over his career and is scheduled to make an additional $13 million this season. The 27-year-old isn’t exactly hard up for cash. He can afford to bet on himself. Given that he is coming off a pair of ACL tears, his leverage isn’t at its max at the moment. Any offer would probably reflect that. That leverage shoots north for the free-agent-to-be, however, if he thrives this season under Chip Kelly.

So it won’t be easy, but they’re trying to find some common ground. And who knows? Maybe they will.

Kelly was asked: If something were to get done before camp, wouldn’t that essentially eliminate a true quarterback competition? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Sproles’ Role In 2015

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

There has been a lot of turnover in the Eagles backfield the past few months, but one thing has stayed the same: the presence of Darren Sproles.

Sproles was acquired last offseason in a trade with the New Orleans Saints and immediately made an impact. In the season opener against the Jaguars, he took a handoff on 4th-and-1 and raced 49 yards to the end zone. The very next week, Sproles torched the Colts for 152 receiving yards and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

However, fewer opportunities and an injury he sustained against the Giants slowed Sproles’ production down the stretch. There were times after Mark Sanchez took over where the pair had chances for big plays in the passing game, but they were unable to capitalize. Read more »

Notes: Minicamp Comes To A Close

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The 2015 Eagles got one more workout in Thursday before their six-week hiatus. Minicamp came to a close with a slightly-shortened practice under a light rain at the NovaCare Complex. One player was heard shouting “Freedom!” as the final horn sounded. A quick team meeting, and then school was officially let out.

“It’s a great group, we trust them,” said Chip Kelly, addressing the media for the final time before training camp. “They’ve got their individual workouts that they’ll be accountable for when they come back. Just enjoy your time off, you deserve your time off. They’ve worked extremely hard since April 20 and just looking forward to getting guys back here on the first (of August).”

What did the head coach learn about his team over the last eight weeks? Read more »

Eagles Practice Observations

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Given the rain and the shortened practice, we didn’t have enough to fill a running diary today, but here are observations from the Eagles’ last session of the spring.

* Coaches around the league like Bill Belichick and Bill O’Brien canceled the final day of minicamp practices to reward their players. That was not the case with the Eagles. It’s just not in Chip Kelly’s DNA, although the coaches did end the session a little early. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: Allen Barbre Steps In

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Allen Barbre is entering his eighth NFL season, and to this point only has eight NFL starts under his belt.

Seven of those came in 2009 at right tackle when he was with the Packers. The other was last year in the season opener against Jacksonville — also at right tackle — in place of the suspended Lane Johnson.

Given how high this coaching staff appears to be on Barbre, it seems odd that he hasn’t gotten more work to this point in his career. What gives? Read more »

Vinny Curry Getting Some Work At Linebacker

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Vinny Curry nearly came up with the pick.

During one of the rare occasions that he was asked to drop earlier this week, he popped out on the tight end, turned, and saw that the ball was already on him. He wasn’t quite able to haul it in, but it was still enough to get his defensive teammates excited.

“Can’t cover like Connor [Barwin],” Curry joked, “but it got the job done.” Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles practice session.

11:51 a.m. – I have joked before about being the lone passenger on the Marcus Smith bandwagon, but I swear that watching him move in practice, he looks like an NFL player. He’s long, athletic, and effort doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Maybe after being ping-ponged from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, it was the mental part that tripped him up last season. We’ll see if that’s the case once the pads come on.

By the way, speaking of the outside linebacker spot, Vinny Curry is getting some reps there, according to Chip Kelly. We know Curry can get after the passer, and he should have no problem setting the edge in the run game. But the question will be whether he can drop into coverage. Read more »

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