Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.

Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.

Here’s what we saw during Eagles OTAs on Monday.

12:25 – A shoutout to Andy Reid off the top today. We’ll start with injuries. DeMeco RyansMarcus Smith IIEarl Wolff and Julian Vandervelde are working off to the side. Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles are not here. The Eagles did not provide any reasons why. The OTAs are voluntary.

12:30 – I hate to keep providing video of the defensive linemen, but they are the guys who have been practicing closest to us. Here, they’re working on their pass-rush and their hands with Jerry Azzinaro. Read more »

Three Eagles Leftovers: On Barbre, Maxwell And Hicks

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

From Allen Barbre’s comfort level to Byron Maxwell’s role to a Jordan Hicks-DeMeco Ryans comparison, here are three Eagles leftovers.

1. We know that the Eagles will enter 2015 with at least one new offensive line starter at right guard. And depending on what happens with Evan Mathis, that number could be two.

One of the players who has been talked up quite a bit is Allen Barbre. Barbre has started a grand total of eight games in seven seasons, including one with the Eagles. But if the Birds had to play a game tomorrow, chances are he’d be in the starting lineup.

While many assume there’s not much of a difference when it comes to a player lining up on the left side as opposed to the right side, that’s not always the case.

Asked how Barbre looks on the left side, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said: “Better than on the right. He’s a lot more comfortable. I think he’s been a left-side player for a long time. He was not generally on the right. We moved him on the right last year because we needed him to play multiple positions. But he had always been more comfortable as a left-side player by far. Ask him that right now. He’ll tell you that.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: No Odd Man Out At ILB?

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

As Billy Davis addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon, the same topic seemed to surface over and over again.

How is this going to work with three starting-caliber inside linebackers?

“When we get to training camp, the competition will amp up, and it allows us to expand how many packages we run too,” Davis said. “So we can put some packages together where we get two and three inside backers in the same group. So there’s a lot of things we want to do. But right now it’s just about getting everybody up to speed and on an even playing field.”

Davis repeated some form of that response on multiple occasions. The basic gist was: We’ll make it work. There are ways. It’s only June.

It’s true that Davis could cook up a package to get DeMeco RyansKiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks on the field at once, but it’s not like the Eagles are suddenly going to morph into a 4-3. The team has spent two-plus years working on the intricacies and nuances of a base two-gap 3-4. Read more »

Eagles Notes: Eric Rowe On Chip Kelly

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Yesterday, Eagles second-round pick Eric Rowe joined the 97.5 morning show to talk about his first impressions of the city, the fans and, most importantly Chip Kelly. During his introductory press conference, Rowe explained how he was intimidated by Kelly when they first met at the Senior Bowl, but after being drafted by the team, Kelly was much more friendly to the rookie defensive back.

Rowe elaborated on what it was like in that meeting room.

“[Kelly] wasn’t doing anything, he just had his arms crossed,” Rowe said. “He didn’t ask any of the questions. Everything I would say, he was jotting it down. It was just really intimidating.

“When I left the room, I was just like, ‘man, that was tough.’ They were asking me questions left and right.”

But what kind kind of questions were the Eagles asking Rowe? Read more »

All-22: Why the Eagles Will Target Byron Maxwell

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Following the Eagles’ 24-14 loss to the Seahawks in December, Chip Kelly was asked about why his offense converted just two of 11 third-down opportunities on the day.

He pointed to a few different factors, one of which was the inability of the Eagles’ wide receivers to separate from Seattle’s defensive backs.

“Some were runaways where you’re hoping they beat the man‑to‑man coverage and [uncover] a little bit quicker and separated the way we need to separate and run away from them a little bit,” he said.

On four occasions, it came down to a one-on-one matchup against a specific cornerback: Byron Maxwell. Time and again, Eagles receivers ended up on the losing end of that battle.

With free agency rapidly approaching, Maxwell’s name has been discussed quite a bit around these parts, and for good reason. Read more »

Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans

From the idea of a QB-friendly system to limiting big plays on defense, here are three Eagles numbers that matter.

64.1 – That was Mark Sanchez’s completion percentage with the Eagles last year. He also averaged 7.8 YPA. Those numbers really pop if you compare them to what Sanchez produced with the Jets: 55.1 and 6.5.

So why am I bringing this up now?

There has been a lot of talk about how QB-friendly Chip Kelly’s scheme is. We had a large sample size (62 games) of who Sanchez was with the Jets. And we got a smaller sample size (nine games) last season with the Eagles. But in a couple of base indicators – completion percentage and YPA – Sanchez performed significantly better in Kelly’s scheme than he did with the Jets.

On the other hand, Sanchez’s interception rate remained nearly identical: 3.7 percent with the Jets and 3.6 percent last year. Read more »

Eagles Notes: The Dick LeBeau Question

Charles LeClaire / USA Today

Charles LeClaire / USA Today

Longtime Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told the Urbana Daily Citizen that he will not be back in Pittsburgh next season.

“I’m resigning this position, not retiring,” LeBeau told the newspaper. “I had a great run in Pittsburgh. I’m grateful for all the things that have happened to me and thankful for all the support I had in Pittsburgh.”

So what does this have to do with the Eagles? Read more »

Kelly On Roseman, Davis And Gamble

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

During his season-ending press conference today, Chip Kelly was asked to describe his working relationship with GM Howie Roseman.

“Good,” he said, offering a one-word answer.

How has the relationship/your influence changed in two years?

“I don’t think anything’s changed,” Kelly said. Read more »

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