Brandon Brooks. (Jeff Fusco)
Jeff Stoutland gives each of his linemen areas to work on during the break between OTAs and training camp. By the sounds of it, when Brandon Brooks came looking for his assignment, the o-line coach didn’t have a whole lot to choose from.
“I told him, ‘Boy I’ll tell you what, after evaluating your film in free agency’…I said, ‘some of the things I thought maybe there was some issues with, that’s your strength.’ The use of his hands in protection are unbelievable; getting into the second level and blocking linebackers, he’s been extremely productive doing that,” said Stoutland for a podcast on the team’s website. Read more »
Jason Peters and Jeff Stoutland. (Jeff Fusco)
We kicked off this series by looking at the wide receivers, linebackers and defensive linemen. Now, let’s move on to the offensive line.
Projected starters (left to right): Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson.
Reserves: C Bruce Johnson, C/G Josh Andrews, C/G Barrett Jones, C/G Stefen Wisniewski, G Malcolm Bunche, G Dillion Gordon, G Darrell Greene, G Isaac Seumalo, G/T Andrew Gardner, G/T Dennis Kelly, G/T Matt Tobin, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
The Eagles weren’t shy about spending money this offseason on the offensive line in an attempt to counteract Chip Kelly’s years of neglect. Howie Roseman handed Lane Johnson a 5-year, $56.26 million extension, and he signed Brandon Brooks to a 5-year, $40 million deal in free agency. Meanwhile, Jason Peters is in the second season of his 4-year, $41.3 million extension, and Jason Kelce is in the second season of his 6-year, $37.5 million extension. Read more »
Isaac Seumalo. (USA Today Sports)
Doug Pederson was asked about which rookies stood out to him with OTAs and mandatory minicamp in the rearview mirror, but it didn’t take long for his mind to instead wander to one player who wasn’t at either. Because of the graduation rule, which does not allow a player to participate in team activities until their school’s academic year is complete, third-round pick Isaac Seumalo could only attend the Eagles’ rookie camp and nothing else.
“I wish Isaac could have been here the entire spring,” Pederson said. “I think more about him probably than I do the guys that are here.”
When the Oregon State product arrives in Philadelphia for training camp next month, Pederson said they’re going to put him at left guard. Although Allen Barbre has been named the starter, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone else beats him out. Read more »
Jack Conklin. (USA Today Sports Images)
During a 75-minute conference call with reporters Monday morning, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said he believes the Eagles need to focus on building their offensive line, and that Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin could be a good fit at No. 13 in this year’s draft.
“I think, in terms of offensive line, I think that’s the [Eagles’] big need area, the big problem they have right now and going into this year, is solidifying the guys up front for the quarterback, whoever that may be,” Kiper said. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
The Eagles’ offensive line couldn’t have played much worse against the Cowboys in Week 2. They gave up so much penetration that the team totaled just seven rushing yards, averaging 0.4 yards per carry. If not for Sam Bradford’s 9-yard scramble, they would’ve finished in the negative.
Down two starters (Jason Peters and Andrew Gardner) heading into their rematch against Dallas Sunday night, the offensive line appeared poised for another poor performance.
What followed surprised many, however, as they paved the way for a dominant performance on the ground. The Eagles rushed for 172 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and won largely because of how well they ran the ball. Read more »
DeMarco Murray. (USA Today Sports)
After the Atlanta game, amid all of the ups and down the Eagles have encountered in this rollercoaster ride of a season, there has been one constant: the defense has put them in a position to win games.
According to Football Outsiders, the Eagles rank first in the NFL in turnovers forced per drive, at 21.8 percent. That was evident against the Panthers, as they intercepted Cam Newton three times, even though he only threw four picks in the previous five games.
“Our defense did a good job of creating turnovers for us but we have to turn those in to seven [points] and not three,” Chip Kelly said. “We talk about response after turnovers and we end of up kicking two field goals.” Read more »
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.
The Eagles have a losing record, are winless against NFC East opponents and haven’t been able to play well in all four quarters of a game through five weeks.
However, beating the Saints Sunday put the Eagles on a path to potentially turn the season around.
“Everybody knew this was a very important game,” Jason Kelce said. “1-4 is drastically different from 2-3, especially with where the division is. I don’t want to say it was a must-win, but it kind of was.” Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Chip Kelly said Wednesday that one contingency plan, in case Jason Peters is unable to play Sunday, is to place starting right tackle Lane Johnson at left tackle in Peters’ stead.
Johnson (knee, ankle) has maintained that he plans to play against the Saints, though he took in practice from the sidelines alongside Peters (quad) for the second straight day.
Along with Johnson and Peters, Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Kiko Alonso (knee), and Brandon Bair (groin) were also without helmets and pads Wednesday. Allen Barbre was back practicing after being held out Tuesday, and Byron Maxwell (quad) was seen warming up, but without a helmet.
Read more »
An already struggling offensive line is now dealing with a rash of injuries.
Tackles Jason Peters (quad) and Lane Johnson (knee, ankle) were both sidelined as preparations for the Saints began Tuesday. Joining them on the sideline was Allen Barbre, who played the entire game against Washington but apparently got banged up as well.
This unit is already down Andrew Gardner for the season and cannot afford any more losses; that’s especially true when it comes to their tackles. Johnson is dealing with an MCL and ankle sprain but could be available this weekend. Peters has left each of the team’s games at some point this season and was only able to play six snaps against Washington.
Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Byron Maxwell (quad) and Brandon Bair (groin) all sat out as well. Billy Davis sounded confident about having Maxwell, Cedric Thornton (hand) and Taylor Hart (shoulder) this week. He does not think Bair will be available, and labeled Kendricks as day-to-to-day.
Photo courtesy of USA Today
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Calls for Chip Kelly to shake things up were coming from both outside and within.
After a pair of brutal rushing performances against Atlanta and Dallas in which the Eagles mustered a combined 70 yards on the ground (2.1 average), further attention was given to the theory that Kelly’s offense had become too predictable. Some players did not exactly go out of their way to shoot that notion down.
“Yeah, I think so,” said Lane Johnson following the Dallas loss, when asked if he believed the Cowboys had a feel for their tendencies. “I think moving forward we have to mix it up a little bit, create some more variety of plays and try to get some confusion for the defense.”
While far from dominant, the run game found some success against a formidable Jets defense Sunday at MetLife Stadium — particularly in the first half. Ryan Mathews went for over 100 yards and the Eagles finished with 123 rush yards overall, nearly doubling their output from the first two weeks. Kelly said afterwards that they “went back to basics” this week to get things going, but that’s not the whole story. There weren’t any wholesale changes, but Kelly got more creative with his looks and made some tweaks that helped breathe a little life into the ground game.
“To me, there are a lot of similar plays and what-not but formation-wise we changed it up quite a bit more,” Jason Kelce acknowledged, “and that presents a different look to a defense and changes up some of their roles and responsibilities.” Read more »