Photo By Jeff Fusco
Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles practice session.
11:51 a.m. – I have joked before about being the lone passenger on the Marcus Smith bandwagon, but I swear that watching him move in practice, he looks like an NFL player. He’s long, athletic, and effort doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Maybe after being ping-ponged from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, it was the mental part that tripped him up last season. We’ll see if that’s the case once the pads come on.
By the way, speaking of the outside linebacker spot, Vinny Curry is getting some reps there, according to Chip Kelly. We know Curry can get after the passer, and he should have no problem setting the edge in the run game. But the question will be whether he can drop into coverage. Read more »
JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)
Here’s what we saw during today’s session.
12:23 – We’ve mentioned on multiple occasions how Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz quarterbacks certain drills during practice. Chip Kelly was asked about that today.
“Every person in this building that can contribute is out there contributing,” Kelly said. “You’ll see guys that are in the video room catching passes. You’ve got guys out there with referee shirts spotting the ball for us. So anybody that can help us and make us better in practice can do it, and I’ve seen Ed throw. Ed can throw. He actually throws a couple times when we’ve been out on Pro Days or college visits, and it helps Cory [Undlin] coach. Instead of Cory being the guy that throws the ball in those drills, he’s got someone like Ed that can throw it.”
12:39 – I was asked recently to compare Sam Bradford’s arm strength to a number of different quarterbacks. Based on what I saw of him on film in St. Louis and what I’ve seen in practice, here’s how I would rank it (assuming full health): Read more »
Photo By Jeff Fusco
Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has Fletcher Cox as his No. 55 overall player:
It’s a shame he didn’t go to the Pro Bowl last season. He was hurt by his lack of sacks with just four, but he is much more of a presence each week than that number. He dominated games at times.
Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Here is our weekly look at three Eagles numbers that matter.
59 – That’s Brandon Boykin’s success rate, according to Football Outsiders. Success rate is defined as “the share of targets on which the corner prevented a successful gain (45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down and 100 percent on third down).”
Boykin’s mark ranked tied for fifth in the entire NFL last season, behind only New England’s Darrelle Revis, Indianapolis’ Vontae Davis, Buffalo’s Corey Graham and Houston’s Kareem Jackson. Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.
Jeff McLane of the Inquirer wonders if Chip Kelly can find a bigger role for Darren Sproles in his offense:
Sproles was second on the team in carries (57) to McCoy (312) during the season, but after [LeSean] McCoy was traded to the Bills and [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews were brought in, Kelly spoke of more evenly distributing the workload.
Performance would seem to be the ultimate decider in how Kelly doles out playing time. But Sproles averaged 2.1 yards per snap to McCoy’s 1.9, 5.8 yards per rush to McCoy’s 4.2, and 9.7 yards per catch to McCoy’s 5.5 last season.
Read more »
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 »
PHOENIX — Chip Kelly was asked a bunch of questions Wednesday about some of the Eagles’ current holes on the roster – most notably safety, right guard, wide receiver and the No. 2 cornerback spot.
Here’s a rundown of what he said, along with my thoughts. Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »