Wake-Up Call: Jaws On Challenges Ahead

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Ron Jaworski admitted that he was a cynic when it came to Chip Kelly initially, and that the newcomer  proved the old guard wrong.

“I wasn’t sure how this was going to work. I wasn’t a big believer in guys coming from the college ranks, leaving that rah-rah college style and bringing a new style to the NFL. Kelly made it happen. He won me over,” said Jaworski during his show on 97.5 the Fanatic this week.

Jaws did a thorough study of each offense across the league for his 2014 quarterback rankings, which will be released shortly. He walked away even more impressed with Kelly’s scheme.

“Chip Kelly did a great job of getting people wide open. I went through all these quarterback throws [across the league], I don’t think anybody did a better job at getting receivers open than Chip Kelly.  When you look at 400-500 throws of each quarterback and I see guys that are making these stick throws into double coverage and all these things, and I plug in Eagles tape and I’m seeing guys running open.”

Jaworski is on board, clearly. But he also sees challenges ahead. Read more »

Eagles Counting On an Improved Henery

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

During one special teams portion of practice Tuesday, return man Nolan Carroll II set up around the goal line to return a kickoff.

As Alex Henery booted the ball, Carroll back-pedaled until he was about to run into the field-goal post and ultimately realized he’d be unable to field it.

The players were in shorts, the pressure was non-existent, and this was only one kick. But it was an image Chip Kelly and the coaching staff are counting on seeing more of in 2014.

“Yeah, I think he’s gotten a little bit stronger in terms of the distance he’s kicking the ball and in terms of where we are placing the ball during kickoff drill,” said Kelly when asked about Henery. “Excited to see where it is, especially when we get into some real live situations. The tough thing with the kickers is we can’t rush them, we can’t do anything. A lot of times right now it’s like they are going out on the driving range and hitting balls. It’s not real live action for them. Again it’s another position where we won’t have anything determined until we get into preseason camp and get into some preseason games.” Read more »

Inside the Drive Gone Wrong

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First-and-10 from the Saints’ 15, late in the opening quarter. Drew Brees had just thrown his first interception of the day, the crowd was smelling blood and the Eagles were threatening. It was the first chance to establish superiority. Instead, a nightmare sequence developed.

Brent Celek was dropped for an eight-yard loss on a screen play.  Then Nick Foles, with all day to throw, never pulled the trigger and took an 11-yard sack. A play later, Alex Henery knuckled a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left.

“Part of the turnover thing as I’ve talked about before is if our defense does create them we need to do something with them offensively, and we didn’t capitalize the way we need to when our defense creates turnovers like that,” said Chip Kelly.

What went wrong? Let’s take a look: Read more »

‘Mental Busts’ Sink Eagles

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Eventually, the Eagles players may find solace in the fact that they overachieved in their first year under Chip Kelly. They might look at the foundation that was built and realize their time and effort was well-invested. But on Saturday night, following a gut-wrenching home playoff loss to the Saints, they were in no mood to feed into that narrative.

Instead, they were struggling with the reality that they had let a very winnable game slip out of their hands.

“We lost to a team that wasn’t necessarily better than us,” said Cary Williams. “They weren’t better than us, but they were better tonight. They got the job done. It was more mental than physical out there, and we had a lot of mental busts.” Read more »

Anderson: ‘It’s All On Me’

The last thing the Eagles wanted to do was make it easy for Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense.

But after Nick Foles found Zach Ertz for a 3-yard touchdown that put the Eagles up 24-23 with 4:54 left, a special-teams mishap gave New Orleans the ball at the Eagles’ 48 yard line.

Darren Sproles took Alex Henery’s return down the right sideline for 39 yards. Cary Williams finally brought Sproles down, but was whistled for a horse-collar tackle.

So, what happened?

“I tried to do a little something different at the end, and I got caught inside,” said Eagles special-teams ace Colt Anderson. “I should have been outside. I got greedy. I was trying to make the play and ended up getting myself out of position. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Bears

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

When Nick Foles and the Eagles’ other signal-callers take a seat Tuesday morning inside the quarterbacks meeting room at the NovaCare Complex, they are handed a copy of Bill Lazor’s game report.

The document contains play-by-play grades broken down by category: accuracy, decision-making, pre-snap checks, footwork, carrying out fakes on run plays and so on. Some plays have questions next to them because even for a quarterbacks coach who knows the calls and has reviewed the coverages, there are times when he’s not sure exactly what happened.

“I question, ‘Why did you do it this way?’ ” Lazor said. “Because it’s not always just a clear-cut answer. So they have that in front of them as they start watching the game. We start at the beginning and we go through. We try to not only talk about what happened at the time but why. We have the notes that the quarterbacks take during the game – the backup quarterbacks take notes. …And so as we sit in the room now, you hope you treat it more like a laboratory setting where you can really go back and dissect.” Read more »

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