Eagles Wake-Up Call: Secondary Shuffle

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

There was a change in approach and personnel Sunday, but the results were in many ways the same.

The struggling Bradley Fletcher was inactive for the regular-season finale in New York (Chip Kelly said he suffered a hip injury in practice during the week), moving Nolan Carroll into a starting role and rookie Jaylen Watkins into the rotation. Because of the new pieces, Billy Davis opted to have Cary Williams shadow Odell Beckham Jr. instead of keeping the starting corners on their respective sides as is custom. And to try and minimize the amount of big plays, Davis went with more split-safety looks.

The Giants, though, still racked up 429 passing yards and the Eagles yielded five plays of 20-plus yards through the air, adding to their league-leading total. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Playoff Scenario Notes

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch - USA Today

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch – USA Today

Mychal Kendricks sat patiently at his locker Wednesday afternoon answering questions from reporters.

One questioner asked Kendricks about how the team is avoiding looking ahead to the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Cowboys.

“I can’t even believe you’re mentioning that right now,” Kendricks said. “Where’s that rewind button?”

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles In Good Spot After Six

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Jason Kelce hung out in the corner of the Eagles’ locker room Sunday night, checking his phone and congratulating his teammates.

The Birds’ center would have loved to have been in uniform competing against the Giants. But after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia injury, Kelce instead spent the game on the sideline next to his buddy Evan Mathis, his offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and others.

This wasn’t how most observers envisioned the first six games going. Kelce went down in Week 3. Evan Mathis suffered a knee injury in Week 1. And Mychal Kendricks went down in Week 2. Quarterback Nick Foles has 10 turnovers (seven interceptions, three fumbles). LeSean McCoy (Sunday notwithstanding) has come nowhere close to matching last year’s production. And while the defense looks improved, it’s still an inconsistent unit.

Yet here the Eagles are at the bye tied for the best record in the NFL at 5-1. Read more »

Eagles ‘D’ Produces Different Results Vs. Brady

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots Practice

FOXBORO, MASS. — Billy Davis had seen this before.

It happened in 2000 when he was an assistant with the Packers and later in his career when he was the Cardinals defensive coordinator. A top-level quarterback completing pass after pass, dissecting and embarrassing the defense. The ball never hitting the ground.

That was the scene last summer too when the New England Patriots traveled to South Philadelphia to practice against Davis’ unit. But a year later at Foxboro, he noticed a difference.

“It really is a great barometer,” Davis said. “Every place I’ve been, the quarterbacks like [Tom] Brady during 7-on-7, the Kurt Warners of the world, the Brett Favres, 7-on-7 is just them picking you apart. And that’s what he did last year to us. And this year I think we were a little bit better. He’s still who he is, and no rush he’s gonna win more than he loses. But we are so far ahead of where we were, even with how much scheme we have in is so far ahead of where we were a year ago.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: RB Training Camp Preview

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 linequarterbacks and outside linebackers. Now it’s on to the running backs.

The pressing question: Will Chip Kelly lighten LeSean McCoy’s workload?

On his way to setting the franchise record for rushing yards, McCoy led the NFL in carries (314) and touches (366). Only Chicago’s Matt Forte played more snaps. The Eagles added Darren Sproles in the offseason. Does that mean they want to give McCoy more of a breather in 2014? Read more »

Source: Vinny Curry Not Being Shopped

Eagles DE Vinny Curry helmet off at practice looking at cameraA report earlier today from NFL Network stated that Eagles defensive lineman Vinny Curry was being made available to teams as the 4 p.m. trade deadline approaches.

According to a team source, the Eagles are not shopping Curry but have fielded phone calls from teams interested in the 25-year-old. A deal is unlikely.

Curry’s agent told Birds 24/7 back in September that he was open to a trade.

“Vinny’s main objective is to play and play at a high level,” said Kevin Connor.  “The question becomes, can that happen in Philly or do we need to facilitate an opportunity outside of Philly if it makes sense for all parties.” Read more »

Trent Cole: ‘I Thought I Owned It Over There’

Trent ColeWhen a reporter tracked down Trent Cole he was over near DeMeco Ryans’ locker stall, regaling the group of assembled linebackers with his tales of conquest. Animated, he was demonstrating how he was able to get a Redskins player down with a swipe of his powerful arm.

“Stop lying, Trent. You know you didn’t do none of that,” his teammates playfully fired back.

But they knew he had. Cole just walked over to his locker, a giant smile on his face.

His first night on the job as an outside linebacker had gone decidedly well.

“It was fun,” said Cole, letting out a long laugh. “I thought I owned it over there. That’s just the way it is when you feel dominant, man, like that… They’re like, ‘OK, this ain’t more of a linebacker, this is a d-end we’re going against.’ But I’m a linebacker now, you know what I’m saying? And I accept that.”

He made an immediate impact. On the Redskins’ first offensive play from scrimmage — a handoff to the right to Alfred Morris — Cole came barreling over from the opposite side and knocked the ball loose while bringing the back to the ground. Mychal Kendricks scooped it up to give possession back to offense, and Michael Vick cashed in with a 25-yard touchdown toss to DeSean Jackson.

Cole ended with four tackles, a tackle for a loss, two quarterback hits and a pair of hurries. He also got credit for a first-quarter safety by racing to touch down Morris, who had mishandled an RGIII toss in the end zone and was forced to the ground to cover it up.

“You’ve got a guy like Trent Cole, who is now asked to play outside linebacker, to see the game he had you can tell he’s definitely feeling comfortable in the position,” said Ryans.

Cole was asked to drop into coverage some. He was on the field for 62 plays Monday night per Pro Football Focus, and dropped nine times — or on 15 percent of the snaps. Connor Barwin was in coverage on 22 plays by comparison, while Brandon Graham did not drop at all in his 17 snaps against the Redskins.

“He attacked this whole defensive scheme change with the right attitude,” said defensive coordinator Bill Davis of Cole. “I think he’ll benefit from that and you saw a lot of that tonight.”

The nine-year veteran had been largely written off heading into this season. Not only was he coming off a down year, but was being asked to learn a brand new position at the age of 30.

Cole was asked if even he questioned whether he would be able to make it work as a linebacker.

“No, no. I just knew because I know how athletic I am and I know what I can do,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence and I have the will not to fail and to do what I’ve got to do to get myself [prepared] to be good at that position.”

It was only one week, and it’s too early to deem this experiment a success. But Monday was at least a statement that we shouldn’t count Cole out quite yet.

“If people are [discounting me], let ‘em think it,” said Cole. “The games don’t lie.”

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