Eyes On Barbre As Johnson Suspension Looms

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

One last cameo for Lane Johnson before he disappears for four weeks.

Once the rosters are finalized on Saturday, Johnson’s four-game suspension kicks in. He is not allowed to participate in team activities, use the team’s facilities or have contact with any club officials (except to arrange off-site medical treatment) during this time. Johnson will play in the preseason finale Thursday night against the Jets, and then he’s cut off. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We’re Watching

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles take on the Steelers tonight at 7:30 at the Linc. Here’s what we’ll be keeping an eye on:

WR situation – Riley Cooper is scheduled to see his first preseason action. The Eagles will likely ease him in, but we’ll get a sense of how Cooper’s holding up after suffering a foot injury earlier in training camp. Jeremy Maclins (hamstring) status for tonight is unknown.

And then there’s Jordan Matthews. He had nine catches vs. the Patriots, but only one came against New England’s starters. With Brad Smith likely sidelined, Matthews should get a chance to go with the first team. We’ve said all along that he’ll be the first-team slot receiver once the real games begin. He can solidify that standing with a good showing vs. Pittsburgh. Read more »

Kelly: On Barbre, Lane And Failed Drug Tests

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Two Eagles players have been suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs this offseason.  The team only had one drug suspension during the 14 years under Andy Reid. Chip Kelly was asked at the start of training camp Saturday whether there is a lack of oversight from this current regime.

“No, I think we educate our players all the time. Everyone in the NFL knows you’re going to get tested. There’s also some individual responsibility that goes with the player,” said Kelly. “They’re also their own men. It’s no different than if you got pulled over for DUI, are you going to tell your employers that you didn’t tell me I couldn’t do that? There’s a lot of responsibilities. [Jake Knott and Lane Johnson] are both adults, they both made mistakes, they are going to pay a very hefty price for those mistakes, they are going to miss four games, they are going to miss four game checks, and hopefully that works.” 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 Wake-Up Call: The State Of the O-Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

On the final day of Eagles minicamp, veteran Todd Herremans was asked if he thought it was realistic for the team to start the same five offensive linemen every game like it did last year.

“Yeah, I think it’s very realistic,” Herremans said. “I know it only happened one other time since I’ve been here, but like I was saying earlier, the way that we take care of our bodies and stuff, I think we were very limited with guys in the training room last year. I don’t think it was a coincidence.”

But if yesterday’s news (T-Mac has the latest here) about Lane Johnson holds up, there will be no repeat performance for all 16 games. Read more »

Report: Lane Johnson Suspended Four Games

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles starting right tackle Lane Johnson has been suspended four games for testing positive for PEDs, according to Paul Domowitch of the Daily News.

Johnson was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft and started all 16 games as a rookie. He struggled in pass protection early on, but improved and played well down the stretch. The Eagles had the same five offensive linemen start all 16 games in 2013, but if the report holds up, that won’t happen again. Read more »

Eagles Depth Chart: Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly likes to say that the Eagles only have a seating chart, not a depth chart, this time of year.

Luckily, here at Birds 24/7, we don’t have to abide by the same rules. So now that we’ve seen all of the spring practices and have our eyes on the start of training camp (July 25), here’s our stab at what the offensive depth chart looks like (we’ll do the defense tomorrow). I tried to make this as useful as possible, so there are explanations below. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: DeMeco’s Role Unlikely To Change

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

During one of the teach periods on Monday, defensive coordinator Billy Davis called for the first-team nickel to take the field and line up against trash cans that simulated the offense.

Brandon Boykin came on the field, and Bennie Logan walked off. But at linebacker, DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks stayed put.

Chip Kelly said earlier this offseason that adding depth at inside linebacker was a priority. But the Eagles didn’t see anybody they liked in free agency. In the first round of the draft, they would have loved for Alabama’s C.J. Mosley to fall to them, but that didn’t happen either.

So for now, the plan seems to be to stick with the same guys from a year ago.

“Right now, it’s still the same personnel,” Ryans confirmed. Read more »