Ten Leftover Thoughts On the Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an eventful few days for the Eagles during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

We heard from Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, from Chip Kelly on Wednesday and had numerous conversations with other people around the league.

If you haven’t caught up on all our coverage, I suggest starting at the beginning and doing so now. Meanwhile, here are 10 leftover thoughts on the state of the Birds. Read more »

Kelly: Everyone Discussed As a Trade Chip

Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports

Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports

At the end of Chip Kelly’s press conference Thursday, he was asked about reports that the Eagles are looking to deal left guard Evan Mathis.

Kelly didn’t confirm or deny the reports, but his response provided some further insight into what’s been a hectic offseason.

“In the last week, I think every person on this team was talked about on the trade block,” he said. “We’ve had discussions with everybody about everybody and everything. As we put together models, there wasn’t anybody that was untouchable. If we were willing to trade LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles, then I think everybody on this team… we had very hard discussions on who we could lose, and if we lost ‘em, what would we do to replace ‘em, and how we would use that money?” 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 »

All-22: Defensive Decisions Burn Eagles

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The way Billy Davis tells it, the Eagles fully understood going into last week’s game that the Bradley Fletcher-DeSean Jackson matchup was one that favored the opponent.

“The whole game plan was either to pressure and have the post-safety stay over the top of DeSean, unless somebody else was in a more stressful situation, or split the safeties and double,” Davis said. “So we moved in and out of that the whole game.”

Chip Kelly and company were adamant in the offseason that Jackson didn’t affect how defenses played the Eagles. But apparently, as an opponent, he was someone they felt they had to focus on with their game plan.

The speedy receiver got loose for four catches for 126 yards. He had two grabs of 50+ yards and also drew a pass interference penalty that set up a Washington touchdown.

Fletcher had been left on an island against the Packers earlier this season, and Jordy Nelson went off on him. In Week 15 against the Cowboys, it was the same story; only the name changed. It was Dez Bryant this time.

Yet in an absolute must-win spot, there it was again: Fletcher on an island against an opponent he couldn’t handle. It wasn’t every play, but it happened enough to where the mismatch was glaring. It got to the point where Davis finally made a switch, pulling Fletcher for Nolan Carroll II in the fourth quarter.

Too little, too late. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Cole’s Future

Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY

Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY

No current Eagles player has been with the team longer than Trent Cole.

A fifth-round pick back in 2005 (the same year the team drafted Todd Herremans), Cole has logged 154 games in Eagles green over the span of 10 seasons.

Has the 32-year-old thought about the fact that Sunday could be his last opportunity to play for this franchise? Read more »

Lost Season For Boykin?

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The calls for more Brandon Boykin have quieted down as the year has gone along, partly because people have come to realize those efforts are fruitless, and partly because Boykin hasn’t been flashing with the same brightness compared to last season.

That six-interception campaign seems a world away now, doesn’t it? The talk this offseason was all about how to get the young corner’s snaps up from 50 percent. Instead, his playing time has gone south (he’s played 42 percent of the defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus) and it feels like Boykin has been pushed further to the fringe by Billy Davis and Chip Kelly despite the coaches’ claims that he is viewed as a starter. Read more »

All-22: Defensive Failures Against Dallas

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In the days leading up to the Eagles’ rematch with the Cowboys, Billy Davis made it clear that he was expecting to see a different Tony Romo.

On Thanksgiving, the Birds’ defense applied consistent pressure on Romo, and the Cowboys’ quarterback struggled to connect with open receivers when he did have opportunities.

Sunday night was a different story, and Davis ended up being right. Despite a mostly ineffective run game, Romo picked the Eagles apart, completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“I think the biggest difference in the two games that we had… was the play of Tony Romo and the throws,” Davis said this week. “The throws on Thanksgiving were under-thrown and bad, and we were coming back and making plays. The throws the other night were on the money, and they were right where they needed to be.”

Romo certainly deserves credit for playing well in a big spot. But Dez Bryant scored three touchdowns one-on-one against Bradley Fletcher. Was the Eagles’ game plan sound? Was it just a matter of the more talented unit winning? We explore those issues with the All-22. Read more »

Inside Voices: ‘We’re the Nobodies’

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

There’s “V-Doc” (Vinny Curry) and “Fletch” (Fletcher Cox) and “Swamp” (Cedric Thornton, given to him by Jim Washburn who thought he was built like the Swamp Thing). Then there’s “Wado” (Wade Keliikipi) and “B-Bair” (Brandon Bair) and “T-Hart” (Taylor Hart). Those are some of the nicknames you might hear bouncing off the walls inside the defensive line room.

There is also a nickname for the group that the players have embraced in recent weeks.

“We’re ‘The Nobodies,’” said Cox. “That’s us.” Read more »

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