Johnson Provides Little Detail On Suspension

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

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 »

Three Chip Kelly Leftovers

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

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 »

Eagles Roster Breakdown: The 90-Man Rating System

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Back for the second straight year, it’s the 90-man Eagles roster rating system.

Allow this to serve as your training camp primer. The idea is simple. Below you will find every player placed into one of five categories.

Tier 5: These are the longshots. If any of these players land on the 53-man roster, consider it an upset. They will have really opened up some eyes during the summer.

Tier 4: These are the fringe or bubble guys. Don’t count them out, but they’ll very much be fighting for roster spots over the next several weeks.

Tier 3: These are your backups. They might not play a lot this season, but going into camp, they look like pretty good bets to make the team.

Tier 2: These players will be expected to contribute significantly. They’re either starters or true rotational players.

Tier 1: These are your difference-makers. They’ll be the guys responsible for determining how many games the Eagles win in 2014 and what direction the franchise is headed in going forward.

It’s not rocket science (or even sports science, for that matter). So let’s get started, beginning with the bottom of the roster. Note that certain players require longer write-ups than others. Read more »

After Much Thought, Mathis To Report

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Evan Mathis was contemplating a holdout.

He is not happy with his current deal and was considering not showing for the start of training camp as recently as this week. Ultimately, though, the All-Pro left guard decided that continuing to do the right thing for the team was the best course of action. He arrived at the NovaCare on Thursday and told Birds 24/7 that he will officially report with the rest of his teammates Friday. 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 July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive linequarterbacksoutside linebackersrunning backsinside linebackers, cornerbacks, wide receivers and safeties. Now it’s on to the offensive line.

The pressing question: How much will the Lane Johnson suspension hurt the Eagles?

Let’s put it this way. In terms of devastation level, losing LeSean McCoy would be a 10. Losing Patrick Chung last year would have been a 1. I’ll put the Johnson suspension at a 6.5.

Offensively, losing McCoy or Nick Foles would fall into the “season changer” category. Losing Jason Kelce would hurt a lot too, given that the Eagles don’t really have an adequate replacement (at least not a proven one). Jason Peters or Evan Mathis missing time would mean definite downgrades. After that, there’s Johnson and a few others. Read more »

Eagles Confirm Lane Johnson Suspension

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Lane Johnson has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season, the Eagles confirmed Wednesday.

Johnson is eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, September 29 following the team’s September 28 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

 “In April while training, I mistakenly and foolishly put a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue. I mistakenly failed to clear it with Eagles trainers and check the NFL list of banned substances. I am extremely sorry for this mistake and I will learn from it and be smarter in the future.

“I would like to sincerely apologize to Mr. Lurie, Howie Roseman, Coach Kelly and his staff, my teammates and our amazing Philadelphia Eagles fans. This will be very hard on me to not be battling with my teammates for four games – but I will be ready and better than ever when I return.”

Read more »

All-22: How the Eagles Lean On Cover 3

cover3a_all22

Your 2014 Eagles Almanac is now available for pre-order.

If you’ve missed this publication the past two years, it’s a comprehensive look at the season ahead with contributions from a variety of talented writers.

There are also some untalented writers who are allowed to pen chapters. That’s where Tim and I come in.

My piece this year focused on the defense as a whole. What did Billy Davis run in his first year as the Eagles’ coordinator? What were the strengths and weaknesses? What changes are in store going forward?

Below is part of what I wrote, focusing on one of the Eagles’ primary schemes on the back end: the Cover 3.

And remember, order your Eagles Almanac today! Read more »

Kelly Knows Foles Can Hold Up In Hot Water

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

Chip Kelly first unveiled the line after the Eagles selected Matt Barkley in the fourth round of the 2013 draft.

“I’m going to steal a quote from [former Cleveland Browns head coach] Sam Rutigliano,” Kelly said. “He used to say, ‘With a quarterback, it’s like a tea bag. You don’t know what you have until you put it in hot water.’ ”

Kelly recycled the quote last summer when Nick Foles and Michael Vick were preparing to square off for the starting job. But now, he can probably fold that reference up and put it in a safe place because it doesn’t need to be brought up again in regards to the 2014 season.

There’s no predicting how Foles will perform going forward (that’s not to say we won’t try), but if there’s one thing he’s proven, it’s that he can bounce back. In the middle of last season, Foles found himself in the hottest of waters. With a chance to stake claim to the starting job against the Cowboys, he turned in his worst game of the season, suffering a concussion in the process. Read more »

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