Eagle Eye: Jordan Reed Is Breaking Out

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

The third-most prolific tight end in the National Football League isn’t a member of the old guard like Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham, nor a well-known up-and-comer like Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert.

Instead, it’s Washington’s Jordan Reed who ranks third in the league in receiving yards by a tight end after three weeks, piling up 19 catches for 241 yards and a touchdown. He’s just three yards behind Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce for second place.

Reed is on pace for an astounding 101 catches, 1,285 yards and five touchdowns if he keeps up the frankly unsustainable pace with which he’s picking apart defenses.
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All-22: Inside the Defensive Line’s Dominance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ season through three weeks has been a fascinating series of twists and turns. Before the opener in Atlanta, many considered the rushing attack to be a potential juggernaut. After Week 3, however, they rank third-to-last in yards per carry.

The secondary, meanwhile, was considered a potential weakness in the offseason. But after the win against New York, the Eagles’ defense ranks in the top-10 in interceptions, opponent passer rating and yards per throw allowed. Read more »

On Curry, State Of the Outside Linebackers

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Vinny Curry has been training at outside linebacker full-time for all of two weeks now, so it should probably come as no surprise that his debut at the position Monday night was far from flawless.

“He was a little up‑and‑down there,” said Chip Kelly. “A couple times, he lost containment: once on the quarterback when we had a naked back our way.  But I thought the transition for him, never really having played there and just got his feet wet in the preseason, we felt he did a good job.  But we have got to get dialed in a little bit some on responsibilities.”

Curry played 21 snaps (or 27 percent on the time) against the Falcons. He was deployed mostly on run downs, he said, to minimize the chances that he would have to drop into coverage.

The four-year vet did line up at OLB here and there during the offseason training program, but that seemed to be more about Billy Davis searching for creative ways to use Curry as a situational pass-rusher. Now he’s smack in the middle of a crash course on the position, trying to grasp the different run fits and various nuances while attempting to play at full speed. Read more »

Day-After Notes: Crossing Up Coverages

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — You saw it time and time again in the Eagles’ 39-26 win over the Packers: crossing routes. Philadelphia used them on touchdowns, big plays and first downs, and Green Bay seemingly had no answer for them.

“It’s a main-staple in our offense,” said Jeff Maehl, who caught a nine-yard touchdown pass last night. “We have a lot of guys going different ways and since we get so much man coverage, it’s hard when two guys cross with each other to either stay with your guy or pass him off. Coach [Chip] Kelly does a great job of putting us in the right position and giving us a chance to make plays.”

Because of the Eagles’ success with the passing concept, you’d think defenses would switch to zone more often. However, as Sam Bradford noted after the game, the Packers ran a lot of man-to-man coverage.

The reason for that, according to Maehl, actually has nothing to do with the passing game. Read more »

Eagles Notes: Davis’ Sam Bradford Story

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Bill Davis spoke to the media today before practice. Here are some notes from the defensive coordinator’s press conference.

  • Davis recalled a story about Sam Bradford to explain why he’s always been a fan of the quarterback.

“I’m highly impressed with Sam, I always have been. I’ve always known the skillset he’s got. I was a defensive coordinator at Arizona his rookie year the first game he played; Pat Shurmur was [his] coordinator. I blitzed Adrian Wilson off the edge probably 10 times to 15. He kept hitting Sam and hitting Sam. It must’ve been the third quarter Adrian comes over to me and says, ‘Hey Billy D, we’re in for a long one. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: OLB Training Camp Preview

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Leading up to training camp on August 2, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We’ve covered the quarterbacksrunning backswide receivers, tight endsoffensive line and defensive line so far. Today, we’ll take a look at the outside linebackers.

The pressing question: Will Marcus Smith contribute?

We’ve addressed this question several times already, but it’s a big one going into training camp. Smith was a first-round pick and barely played (68 total snaps) as a rookie. The start of his second season featured a groin injury that limited Smith in the spring.

Late last August, Billy Davis said he’d know by the start of Year 2 whether there were serious concerns about Smith making it. He’s in position to be a contributor as the No. 3 outside linebacker, but it’ll be a big red flag if Smith can’t hold off Travis Long for that spot. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Graham Preps For Expanded Role

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia EaglesNot many people thought Brandon Graham would still be an Eagle in 2015.

After the team traded up to pick him in 2010, injuries and coaching changes prevented Graham from producing on the field. The lack of production led many to label him a bust, a word Graham refuses to utter.

“When you hear that B word, you’re like, ‘I’ve got to get that up off me,'” he said Monday.

Graham posted three sacks in his rookie season, but suffered a torn ACL in Week 14. He missed all but three games in his sophomore campaign. That was the year the Eagles hired Jim Washburn, and Graham watched his new position coach implement the Wide-9 front, which had Jason Babin starting ahead of him.

Graham called that season and the first half of 2012 the low point of his NFL career.

“The low point was when Wash was here,” he said. “Because Wash would make you feel bad, boy. He would make you feel like you can’t play at all. Read more »

Three-And-Out: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian – USA Today

If you missed the first installment, click here.

Here’s the second part with Tim and Sheil going back-and-forth on the Eagles’ offseason moves so far.

1. The Nick Foles-Sam Bradford trade.

Kapadia: Thumbs down.

I think some are missing the point when it comes to this deal. It’s not as simple as: Whom would you rather have at quarterback? Read more »

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