Mailbag: Bradford/Foles, Carroll And the Rookies

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

I’m pinch-blogging for T-Mac on the mailbag this week. Let’s get right to the questions.

The simple answer is upside. Regular readers know that I was never a huge Nick Foles guy. I like his size and toughness, but it always felt like he had limitations. Of course, the same can be said about a lot of quarterbacks.

Sam Bradford has a better arm, could be a better decision-maker (his 2.2 INT rate is third-best among active QBs who have thrown at least 1,500 passes) and matches Foles in the intangible categories (toughness, leadership, character, etc.). Clearly, Chip Kelly felt like what he can get out of Bradford at 100 percent will be better than what he got out of Foles. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Offseason Outlook At CB

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

We’ve got to knock out the final two offseason outlook pieces, so instead of taking a question today, we’ll take a look at the Eagles’ cornerback situation.

State of the roster

The only cornerback from last year who is a free agent is Bradley Fletcher.

Cary Williams enters the final year of his deal, but carries with him an $8.17M cap hit. That’s 13th among all NFL cornerbacks.

Brandon Boykin enters the final year of his rookie contract. And Nolan Carroll is on the last year of his deal as well.

The only cornerback who was on the roster last year and is signed past 2015 is Jaylen Watkins. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Here is a rundown of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

ESPN.com teamed up with Pro Football Focus to figure out how close each team is to competing in the Super Bowl. Despite the Eagles missing the playoffs, the analysis suggested the team is just two players away from getting to the title game. Phil Sheridan notes the positions the Eagles could improve heading into next season:

Secondary: The Eagles’ pass defense truly broke down in the last month of the season. Opposing quarterbacks completed 61 percent of their passes for 1,177 yards and six touchdowns in December. During the three-game losing streak that knocked Philly out of the playoffs, the Eagles allowed 14 pass plays of more than 20 yards, the second-most in the league. Half the secondary starters — CB Bradley Fletcher and S Nate Allen — are scheduled to become free agents. A third, cornerback Cary Williams, could be on his way out, thanks to his $8.1 million cap number. Whether it’s through free agency or the draft, this beleaguered unit is in need of a major overhaul. Seattle’s Byron Maxwell would be worth a look. Read more »

Eagles End Of the Year Awards

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an up-and-down year for the 2014 Eagles. From the shutout against the Giants to the Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas to the collapse down the stretch, the end result left players and fans with an empty feeling.

Having said that, now seems like a good time to wrap a bow around the year that was. Here are my 2014 end-of-year Eagles awards. Read more »

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 »

Making Sense Of the Eagles Inactives

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Giants: QB Nick Foles, S Jerome Couplin, CB Bradley Fletcher, C Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl and DL Taylor Hart.

Fletcher (hip) was listed as questionable on the injury report. Nolan Carroll II will start at left cornerback opposite Cary Williams. Fletcher being out and Trent Cole being in is the only change from a week ago. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Giants

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina - USA Today

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina – USA Today

Instead of doing a true Eagles-Giants scouting report, we’ll take a look at the offseason/future with this week’s piece.

WHEN THE EAGLES PASS…

Turnovers have been the issue all season. The Eagles have given the ball away on 18.2 percent of their drives; that’s the worst mark in the NFL. Quarterback play has been a problem throughout.

Mark Sanchez is completing 64.1 percent of his passes (13th) and averaging 7.79 YPA (sixth). But his 3.7 percent interception rate is fifth-worst among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 200 passes. Only Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown, Blake Bortles and Geno Smith have been worse.

Asked how Nick Foles’ injury clouds the offseason outlook at quarterback, Chip Kelly said: “I don’t know. I mean, we’ll sit down and thoroughly evaluate everything. But it’s no different than any other position when you look at it. You just tell us what we have available right now we’ll take a look at it, let’s detail it, let’s go through the film again, let’s put our heads together, let’s get everybody’s opinion on it and make valid decisions. I don’t think we can look back and say this clouds this, this doesn’t cloud this. It doesn’t matter how much it clouds or doesn’t cloud. That’s the reality of it. He got hurt, so we have to make decisions moving forward in terms of what we’re going to do.” Read more »

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