Eagles Notes: Replacing JaCorey Shepherd

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by: Jeff Fusco)

A day after an MRI revealed JaCorey Shepherd tore the ACL in his right knee, Chip Kelly discussed the impact of the rookie cornerback’s injury.

“First and foremost, you just feel so bad for him because he’s worked so hard and invested so much into this. [He’s] a great young man. It was a tough time talking to him yesterday,” Kelly said. “We talked to him about using this as a rookie year so next year won’t be a rookie year. He’ll learn everything he needs to learn from a mental standpoint and he’ll start to rehab as soon as possible.”

Kelly said E.J. Biggers, Eric Rowe, and Jaylen Watkins will rotate at the nickel spot. The Eagles also announced they signed cornerback Marc Anthony after Kelly’s morning press conference. Anthony, who attended the University of California, was drafted in the seventh round in 2013 by the Baltimore Ravens. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly And the ‘SIW’

Eagles Cornerback Brandon Boykin facing the field

Chip Kelly calls them self-inflicted wounds, or SIWs. It refers to preventable actions (turnovers, penalties, drops, etc.) that make it more difficult to achieve your objective.

That was the term that came to mind Sunday afternoon while pondering the state of the nickel position/secondary after JaCorey Shepherd went down. An MRI today will reveal the severity of the right knee injury. According to Les Bowen, they are checking to see if the rookie out of Kansas tore his ACL. We’ll wait to see just how long the Eagles will be without Shepherd’s services. At the very least, this is a scare that forces you to examine the depth. At worst, the news that is coming down will put that depth to the test. Read more »

Bill Davis Gives His Thoughts On The Boykin Trade

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis kicked off today’s practice with a press conference and once again, focus was shifted to Brandon Boykin. Davis spoke at length about the thinking behind the deal, Boykin’s potential replacements and gave his thoughts on the idea Chip Kelly is hard to be around.

  • Davis claimed the team wasn’t planning on trading Boykin, but once the Steelers offer increased and he gauged the players behind Boykin on the depth chart, it became easier to pull the trigger.

“You never want to lose anyone, and I’m a Boykin fan,” Davis said. “I’ve always liked Brandon and he did a great job in the nickel for us, he was a pleasure to be around. I worked a coached a lot with the nickels the last few years so I got to know him even better than some of the other positions. But with the competition and the depth we have, when someone comes asking for a trade and you feel comfortable with the options you have if that particular player leaves, it was a close enough gap that we felt it was a good move for both [Boykin], us and the Steelers.”

Read more »

Sanchez: ‘Stop Asking the Players About It’

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

It seems like former Eagles have a knack for making headlines on their way out the door.

After Brandon Boykin was traded last night, he made a few comments to Comcast Sportsnet regarding Chip Kelly, claiming Kelly was “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.”

Boykin is not the first player to criticize Kelly, and some Eagles like Mark Sanchez are tired of answering the same old questions.

“[During stretching today], guys were like, ‘Sanchez, ain’t you Mexican? And [Sam] Bradford aren’t you Native American?'” Sanchez said. “And Kiko [Alonso] is Colombian. We’ve got black guys, white guys, Polynesian guys. Come on, that’s crazy, it’s not even worth talking about. Stop asking the players about it, it’s getting old.” Read more »

Kelly: Surprised By Boykin’s Comments

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas CowboysLast night, Chip Kelly traded Brandon Boykin to the Steelers for a conditional fifth-round pick. This morning, Boykin claimed Kelly was “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.” Kelly responded to Boykin’s comments during today’s press conference and also touched on a few other hot topics. Here’s a quick rundown.

  • Kelly stated he didn’t understand why the topic of him treating players unfairly keeps coming up, stating, “I don’t know, talking to [Boykin] last night, he was stunned, he was disappointed. I think he really liked it here. He was very close with his teammates.

“It did, it really [surprised me]. When he left here last night, he shook my hand and gave me a hug, he didn’t say anything.

“You know, he did everything we asked him to do here, we never had an issue with him, he was a great teammate, very well-liked.” Read more »

Boykin: Chip ‘Uncomfortable Around Grown Men Of Our Culture.’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Another former Eagles has taken aim at Chip Kelly.

In a text to CSN’s Derrick Gunn, the recently-traded Brandon Boykin said that Kelly is “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.”

“He can’t relate and that makes him uncomfortable,” Boykin said, via Gunn. “He likes total control of everything, and he don’t like to be uncomfortable. Players excel when you let them naturally be who they are, and in my experience that hasn’t been important to him, but you guys have heard this before me.”

As Boykin referenced, he is not the first player to criticize Kelly on his way out the door. LeSean McCoy said that Kelly was getting rid of “all the good black players” on the team. Earlier in the offseason, Tra Thomas said that there are players who “feel like there is a hint of racism” behind some of Kelly’s decisions.

Cary Williams questioned Kelly’s approach from a conditioning and x’s and o’s perspective, saying that “towards the end of the year, we were exhausted, and we got out-coached the majority of the games.”

Kelly will address the media at 11:20 to kick off training camp.

Eagles Trade Brandon Boykin To Steelers

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

On the eve of the start of training camp, the Eagles dealt cornerback Brandon Boykin to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2016.

Per a league source, that pick can become a fourth-rounder depending on playing time.

Boykin had an odd three-year stint in Philadelphia. Originally a  fourth-round pick by Andy Reid and Howie Roseman in 2012, the Georgia product wasted little time carving out a niche as the team’s nickel cornerback while thriving as a “gunner” on special teams. He had a breakout campaign in 2013, finishing second in the NFL with six interceptions despite being on the field for just 52 percent of the snaps.
Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo By Jeff Fusco

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 »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)

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 »

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