Week 2: Eagles Snap Count Analysis

Here’s a look at Eagles snap counts Sunday against the Chargers.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
LeSean McCoy5085%
Bryce Brown915%

LeSean McCoy played 85 percent of the snaps, but the total was just 50 since the Eagles ran far fewer plays than in Week 1. He had 16 total touches for 167 yards.

Bryce Brown played nine snaps and had three carries for 13 yards. Chris Polk played special-teams only. He has not played an offensive snap  yet.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Riley Cooper5695%
Brent Celek5492%
DeSean Jackson5492%
Jason Avant4881%
Zach Ertz1220%
James Casey58%
Damaris Johnson47%
Jeff Maehl35%

Riley Cooper played the most snaps among this group for the second week in a row. He had two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.

DeSean Jackson played all but five snaps, finishing with nine catches for 193 yards on 15 targets. As we mentioned, to say he could have easily had 300 yards receiving is no stretch.

The Eagles were in ’11′ personnel with one RB, one TE and three WRs quite a bit for the second straight week. Jason Avant played 81 percent of the snaps and had four catches for 39 yards. It doesn’t appear that Damaris Johnson will have much of a role in this offense when everyone else is healthy. He played just four snaps. And Jeff Maehl got on the field for three snaps.

At tight end, Brent Celek played all but five snaps and was shut out (one target). Rookie Zach Ertz played 12 snaps, but made the most of them, catching two balls for 58 yards. James Casey only played five snaps and dropped a potential touchdown pass early from Michael Vick.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Fletcher Cox6477%
Cedric Thornton5769%
Isaac Sopoaga2834%
Bennie Logan2733%
Clifton Geathers1417%
Damion Square1214%

Not too much to note here. Fletcher Cox played the most snaps (64), followed by Cedric Thornton (57). Isaac Sopoaga played 34 percent of the snaps. And the second team was Bennie Logan (33 percent), Clifton Geathers (17 percent) and Damion Square (14 percent). For the second straight week, Vinny Curry was inactive.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans83100%
Mychal Kendricks83100%
Connor Barwin7995%
Trent Cole6781%
Brandon Graham1619%
Casey Matthews45%

DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks played every single snap. Still have to re-watch, but Kendricks seemed to struggle throughout.

Connor Barwin was the only defensive player to notch a sack, and Trent Cole seemed to be active.

Casey Matthews backed up Barwin at left outside linebacker and played four snaps. And Brandon Graham played 16 snaps behind Cole at right outside linebacker.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Cary Williams83100%
Patrick Chung8299%
Brandon Boykin8096%
Nate Allen6376%
Earl Wolff4959%
Brandon Hughes2227%

The secondary was a mess. Cary Williams played every snap and was called for three pass interference penalties. Brandon Boykin played all but three snaps. He started off on the outside, but moved inside at times.

Brandon Hughes played 22 snaps on the outside, but suffered a hamstring injury.

Patrick Chung played all but one snap – both at safety and at nickel.

Nate Allen (76 percent) and Earl Wolff (59 percent) both saw significant action, but neither played well.

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Making Sense Of the Eagles’ Inactives

The following Eagles are inactive for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers: QB Matt Barkley, CB Bradley Fletcher, CB Shaun Prater, OT Matt Tobin, OT Dennis Kelly, DE Vinny Curry and TE Emil Igwenagu.

The inactives are the same as last week, with the addition of Fletcher, who is out with a concussion.

The Eagles re-signed veteran cornerback Brandon Hughes during the week, and he’ll be active. They have four corners active: Cary WilliamsBrandon Boykin, Jordan Poyer and Hughes.

Williams and Boykin are expected to start on the outside. It’ll be interesting to see what they do in nickel. Here are the options:

1. Keep Boykin on the outside and play either Poyer or safety Patrick Chung in the slot. In this scenario, Earl Wolff would likely join Nate Allen at safety.

2. Move Boykin inside, and play Hughes on the outside. My guess is this is the more likely scenario.

Elsewhere, Curry is inactive for the second straight week. The Eagles’ coaching staff and front office indicated during the week that Curry sat in Week 1 because the Redskins were more of a running team. But it seems more that they don’t see him fitting in their new scheme. The Eagles have six defensive linemen active: Fletcher Cox, Isaac Sopoaga, Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan, Damion Square and Clifton Geathers.

Once again, the Eagles go with two QBs in Michael Vick and Nick Foles. They have two backups active on the offensive line: Allen Barbre at Julian Vandervelde. Barbre filled in for a few snaps at left tackle last week for Jason Peters. If anyone but Jason Kelce goes down, Barbre figures to fill in. Vandervelde would fill in at Kelce.

The Eagles once again have all five wide receivers active: DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and Jeff Maehl. Three tight ends will dress: Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey. And three running backs: LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk.

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Bradley Fletcher Ruled Out For Sunday’s Game

Bradley FletcherEagles starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

The 27-year-old sustained a concussion late in the game against Washington. He had yet to pass the ImPACT test as of Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles’ depth in the secondary will be tested. Brandon Boykin is expected to start on the outside in Fletcher’s absence, though he could  very well move into the slot in certain packages as well. Brandon Hughes, who is recovering from a fractured hand, is a logical candidate to play on the outside when Boykin does move inside.

Jordan Poyer could also factor into the equation, though the rookie appeared to struggle a bit in limited action against Washington. Safety Patrick Chung saw some time in the slot this preseason, likely in preparation for an emergency scenario.

Fletcher was targeted six times on Monday night and yielded three catches for 33 yards, per Pro Football Focus. He finished with four tackles.

Dennis Kelly (back) has also been ruled out for the Chargers game. He was a limited participant in practice this week and appears to be recovering well from back surgery. He is set to meet with his doctor on Sunday and expects to be cleared for all football activity at that time. The tackle said that he is targeting the Denver game for his return.

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Twitter Mailbag: Is the Kelly Offense Sustainable?

Chip KellyOn Thursdays we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @phat_dy: Honestly, is this offense sustainable? Do you believe Kelly knows he can plug in Foles, which enables him to make these calls?

The question of sustainability is relevant, even if you remove the Michael Vick element from the equation.  Chip Kelly‘s Eagles will be running  a ton of plays and will be doing so at mach speed. One concern is that the team will get worn down as the season rolls on. I asked Kelly today whether that was ever an issue at Oregon, and if the extra four regular-season games in the NFL presents a challenge in that respect.

“No, I think our teams were always the freshest teams that played by and large,” Kelly responded. “We have a weekly schedule that we follow almost religiously in terms of when to work, when to recover and what not. So I think we have a plan in place that we put in place in April that is built for the long haul.”

Then there is the injury issue. Logic suggests that the more plays you run, the more times an offensive player is exposed to potential punishment and therefor injury. Certainly the main focus is Vick, who was knocked to the ground 15 times Monday night by Ron Jaworski’s count. To the second part of your question: I don’t believe that Kelly is being bold with his use of Vick because he has a solid backup plan in Nick Foles. But I do believe he realizes the importance of having a quality reserve in the NFL, especially when you are running this system with a QB as free-wheeling as Vick.

Kelly told us on Thursday that Foles still gets some first-team reps in practice.

From @FelskeFiles: I’m concerned the Eagles we saw in the 2nd half was the REAL Eagles and the 1st half Birds were a mirage. Chances I’m right?

The offense that you saw in the first half was the “real” Eagles offense: no-huddle, hurry-up, explosive, confusing. Kelly admitted that they took their foot off the pedal too soon. They slowed things down and were conservative for the most part in the second half. That was a learning-on-the-job moment for the first-year head coach and it didn’t cost them a win ultimately, so that’s a good thing.

Not sure what the answer is yet when it comes to the defense. To say that Billy Davis just went into “prevent” mode down the stretch is inaccurate. He kept the blitzes coming and got burned on it a time or two. RGIII appeared to pick up steam as the game went on, which was another factor. Losing Cary Williams for a stretch also hurt them and speaks to the potential depth issues in the secondary.

Overall I think the defense played well — certainly better than I thought they were going to. It’s safe to raise your expectation levels a notch based off their performance against the Redskins. I don’t think either half  of play fully represents their identity. Chances are, they’ll be somewhere in between.

From @xpler99: does poyer’s development push Boykin to the outside, and Fletcher to the bench?  Or is his role diminished with hughes back?

Bradley Fletcher‘s teammates sound confident that he will be able to play against the Chargers, but he did not practice on Thursday and remains a question mark after sustaining a concussion Monday. Brandon Boykin is expected to be moved to the outside if Fletcher can’t go.

Brandon Hughes (hand) is practicing this week and should be ready for Sunday. I think there is a chance he sees some action against San Diego, perhaps over Jordan Poyer. The rookie saw 17 snaps against the Redskins, and looked like he could still use some seasoning.

I thought Fletcher played well against Washington. I believe the starting job is his when healthy.

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Kelly: No Favoritism Towards Ex-Oregon Players

0V3J8539Of the 61 spots on the Eagles’ roster (practice squad included), five are occupied by guys who played their college ball at Oregon.

Today, Chip Kelly was asked if his familiarity with the former Ducks can help him build his program with the Eagles.

“If we were gonna sing the Oregon fight song, it would,” Kelly joked.

“Besides that, I’m familiar with them and I know what they do, what Jeff [Maehl] can do as a special-teams player. I know what Casey [Matthews] can do as a special-teams player. I was with Pat [Chung] for a year. Isaac Remington’s a kid that we brought in. We moved him to the offensive line just before we released him. The other guys that we released on the offensive line are not practice-squad eligible. So we think he’s got an upside as an offensive lineman. We’re gonna take a look and see what he can do.”

Maehl, Matthews and Chung are all on the 53-man roster. Remington and defensive lineman Brandon Bair were added to the practice squad.

Maehl was acquired from the Texans and made the squad over undrafted free agent Russell Shepard and veteran Greg Salas. Matthews made the team in favor of Emmanuel Acho.

Asked specifically what role his familiarity with Maehl and Matthews had on his decisions, Kelly said: “None. It’s about special teams. Every backup player on this team, and we’ve said it since Day One, there’s three ways to make this football team: special teams, special teams, special teams. So it’s where did they contribute from a special-teams factor.

“If you’re gonna be the fourth or fifth receiver, and right now that’s Damaris [Johnson] and Jeff [Maehl], it’s the value that they have to Coach [Dave] Fipp and our special teams. And it’s the same thing: Why did we keep three [backup] inside linebackers as opposed to one backup outside linebacker? It’s how those three players contribute on special teams, and that’s kind of where it was. That’s why we made the move to get [Najee] Goode from Tampa Bay. It’s the same thing.”

Kelly had an interesting comment when explaining why he kept five inside linebackers instead of OLB Chris McCoy.

“Right now, at our outside linebacker spot, we had a lot of rush guys, not a lot of drop guys,” he said. “The one drop guy we had was Connor Barwin, so to keep a third rush guy… we kept Vinny [Curry]. We kind of look at Vinny, could play in that spot for us if possible. But to keep another rush guy that’s not contributing on teams just wasn’t gonna help us.”

Of course, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham have been practicing as rush/drop guys all preseason long. Perhaps Kelly’s response suggests they’re not going to be in coverage much once the regular season begins.

ALLEN TO START AT SAFETY

Nate Allen will start opposite Chung at safety Monday night.

Asked how he came to that decision, Kelly said: “Film evaluation, games played, production so far for the preseason camp and OTAs.”

But he also added that rookie Earl Wolff is “pushing” Allen and will see playing time Monday night. Whether he and Allen will rotate is unclear.

“We’ve just got to get him in the game,” Kelly said.

INJURY UPDATE

Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly (back) is officially out for Monday. Cornerback Brandon Hughes (hand) is likely out, although that’s not final. And tight end James Casey (hamstring) is practicing with the team today.

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Ten Takeaways From Howie Roseman

Vinny CurryYesterday, we took a look at what Howie Roseman had to say about Danny Watkins. But the Eagles’ GM touched on a variety of other topics during a session with reporters at the NovaCare Complex.

Here are 10 items that stood out.

1. The Eagles only have three outside linebackers on the roster: Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. Barwin is the only true 3-4 OLB among that group. Chip Kelly and Roseman parted ways with Chris McCoy, Everette Brown and Travis Long. When asked for his thoughts on the Eagles’ depth at that spot, Roseman provided an interesting response.

“We look at a guy like Vinny Curry, and you talk about a guy who can rush the passer,” Roseman said. “If he stood up, he can set the edge. He can do some of the things that the outside linebacker does.”

Curry bulked up in the offseason and has been practicing all summer at defensive end.

“And then when you talk about a Casey Matthews possibly if you got in a bind in a game, he could play outside,” Roseman said. “When Chip talked about the versatility of the back of the roster, we didn’t want to duplicate a lot of skills. So that’s what made some of the choices at the back of the roster, maybe some guys who played well in the preseason but maybe they were duplicating the skills that some of the guys we had. Did it make sense to keep them or try to find guys that did some different things?”

The guess here is that the Eagles will be looking for outside linebacker help from other teams.

2. I mentioned Cole above. Roseman might have offered a hint about how the veteran will be used in the regular season.

“A lot of times, what you see in preseason is working on not only the things they do well, but also the weaknesses to get a sense of what guys can really do,” he said. “As you know, things change during the regular season.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Cole was on the field for 41 passing downs in the preseason, and he dropped back into coverage 39 percent of the time. Given that he didn’t exactly look comfortable doing so, perhaps Roseman is suggesting Cole will be more of a pass-rusher in the regular season. We’ll find out shortly.

3. As for the roster overall, expect the team to be active in the next few days.

“We’ll continue to look for ways to upgrade this team,” Roseman said. “So, as we sit here, it’s a constant evaluation. It’s a constant evaluation of the back of the roster. If we have opportunities to continue to add some young players that we think will help our team, if we get that opportunity, we’re gonna look at it.

“We’re prepared. We have a draft board set up. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on guys that we thought would be on the bubble. And so we’ve just gotta see who’s really out there.”

4. One area to keep an eye on is cornerback. The Eagles went heavy with six: Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes and Jordan Poyer.

“You want to put your coach in position to win games here in the early part of the year,” Roseman said. “You’ve got a couple guys who are coming back from some injuries and haven’t played in a little bit. And then you talked about Poyer. And Poyer was affected by not having the offseason. You saw that he kept coming on, not only in games, but in practice. He’s instinctive, he’s tough, he’s physical, he’s got size to him. So we just felt like he was a guy we wanted to grow with and have here. Obviously, you look at the numbers there and you see six corners and there’s some uncertainty just because you’ve got to have availability at that spot.”

Marsh and Hughes both suffered hand injuries in the preseason, but Roseman said they’re “not long-term injuries at all.” He indicated that the team expects both guys back “shortly.”

5. The Eagles have nine players on the roster left from the 2010 and 2011 drafts: Curtis Marsh, Casey Matthews, Alex Henery, Julian Vandervelde, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, Nate Allen, Riley Cooper and Kurt Coleman.

The projected starters from that group are Kelce, possibly Allen and Cooper, who is only filling in because Jeremy Maclin went down.

Asked if those two drafts set the franchise back, Roseman said: “I think that’s probably a fair question. When you have drafts that don’t work out, you’ve gotta find those players somewhere else. Like I said when we started this, the big part taking from that is that we are forced to look and figure out the ways to do things and the way we have done things over a long period of time, and then where our team was and evolve from that. And I think that’s the positive to be taken out of it.”

6. The Eagles provided a bit of a surprise at wide receiver, cutting Russell Shepard and Greg Salas, while keeping Jeff Maehl.

“Tough decisions at the wide receiver spot,” Roseman said. “When we traded for Jeff, we knew that he was a guy who could play inside or out. He was a safety in high school when Coach recruited him. And so you knew that he would bring something to special teams as well.

“And then when you talk about the roster, I think it’s an evolving process too. How it looks today, to tell you that it’s gonna look like that in Week 10, we’re gonna be constantly on the lookout. We’re trying to build this team, and we’re trying to get players that we think can be here for a long time. We’re open to things that we think could make us better.”

Translation: Maehl might not be here in a few days. The Eagles could add a back-of-the-roster wide receiver from another team.

7. While there was plenty of talk about the 2010 and 2011 drafts, Roseman did suggest that he thinks the Eagles found some good core players in 2012, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.

“When you talk about Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks, I don’t see any reason why those guys shouldn’t be big-time players in this league,” he said. “Between what’s in their body, physically, you’re talking about guys who have the traits to do it. And then they work really hard. And then there’s nothing I’ve seen out here or on the field during games that says they shouldn’t take this step from first- or second-year guys to really be core members of our defense for a long time.”

8. The Eagles have three undrafted free agents from this class on the roster: offensive lineman Matt Tobin, defensive lineman Damion Square and linebacker Jake Knott.

Roseman said it was evident as soon as the pads went on that Square was a violent technician who had a good chance to stick.

He also praised Tobin’s versatility.

“He’s probably a four-position backup if you put him on gameday active,” Roseman said. “And I’m not so sure that he couldn’t play center too.”

He added that Knott would have definitely been drafted if not for the shoulder problems.

“You go through the draft-day decisions and Jake was a guy that we were really considering taking in all three of those seventh-round picks,” Roseman said. “We feel very fortunate to get him. His character and football intelligence, he’s a good player.”

9. The Eagles went with Emil Igwenagu over Clay Harbor for the final tight end spot. The reason?

“We were looking for different skill sets in the back of the roster,” Roseman said. “So some of the conversations we had about the fourth outside linebacker applies at this moment to the tight end spot. And we didn’t feel like there was another guy on the roster who was as good as a point of attack blocker. He’s a physical guy. We also felt like those other three guys were good receiving threats.”

10. Roseman made a good point about why it’s tough to trade near the cut-down deadline.

“The problem is it’s very rare to find someone to offer you a player and to not think that player’s gonna get cut,” he said. “When you’re in March and April, you know that there’s a long time so people are gonna hang on to them and maybe they’re telling the truth: ‘Hey, I’ll hang on to him if I don’t get what I’m looking for.’ But this time of the year, everyone’s basically calling each other’s bluff.”

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Eagles-Patriots Game Review: The Defense

Here’s what we saw from the Eagles’ defense during Friday night’s preseason game against the Patriots. We’ll go position-by-position, identifying performances that stood out one way or another.

DEFENSIVE LINE

* The biggest surprise of the night was the play of Vinny Curry. He’d been quiet all summer long, but showed up in a big way against New England. Curry showed some versatility, playing defensive end in three-man fronts and lining up both inside and outside in four-man fronts. In the second quarter, he set up at left defensive tackle (nickel) and shot right past the offensive lineman, getting a hit on Ryan Mallett. Later, he showed an impressive inside move, getting past the right tackle and combining for a sack with Jake Knott on Tim Tebow. Curry’s effort showed up throughout. On the last play of the first half, the Patriots ran a screen, and he was blocked on the ground near the 38-yard-line.

Vinny CurryBut Curry got up, hustled to the ball and ended up making the tackle 15 yards downfield.

Vinny Curry

We’ll see this week if Curry gets bumped up the depth chart.

* On the flip side of Curry was Fletcher Cox. Don’t want to put too much stock into one preseason game, but offensive tackle Nate Solder threw Cox to the ground on the 62-yard run in the first quarter. Don’t remember seeing a lineman do that to him at all last year. Cox was blocked on the next play too, an 8-yard scamper. And the Patriots blew him off the line of scrimmage with a double-team on a 3rd-and-1 carry during that drive. Cox bounced back on the next possession, hitting Tom Brady and forcing his only incompletion. No need to overreact yet, but he did not play well.

* Undrafted free agent Damion Square had some nice moments. He rotated between nose tackle and defensive end with Bennie Logan on the second team. Square did a good job on Shane Vereen’s 3-yard run in the first and showed some pass-rushing chops too. Square and Emmanuel Acho combined to hit Mallett in the second. He lined up at RDT and looped outside on the play. Later, he was one of three defenders to land a hit on Tim Tebow. Square looks like he has a good shot to make the team.

* Logan flashed as well. He stopped Vereen after a 3-yard run in the second and showed great hustle to chase Vereen down from behind on a screen later in the game. Logan was really good on one possession in the third. He got some penetration, dropping LeGarrette Blount after a 2-yard run. On the next play, he tackled Blount again after a gain of 2. And finally, he and Chris McCoy combined for a sack. Nice debut for the third-round pick.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

* Trent Cole did not look comfortable. He was caught upfield and blocked easily by rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld on the two runs to start the game. Derek Sarley of Iggles Blog has a good breakdown up of the first two plays. According to Pro Football Focus, Cole played 16 snaps. Eight were run plays, eight were pass plays. On the eight pass plays, he dropped back in coverage only once. A sign perhaps of how the Eagles plan to use him?

* Credit Brandon Graham for making a good special-teams tackle to start the game off. He came in for Connor Barwin at left outside linebacker and also lined up at left defensive end in nickel looks. Graham twisted inside behind Curry and hit Mallett to force an incompletion in the second. He looked bad, as many of you saw, on Blount’s 51-yard touchdown run where he reversed field. Graham was on the field for 21 pass plays, per PFF. He rushed 17 times and dropped four times.

* Connor Barwin did a nice job early on against the run. He lined up both standing up and in a three-point stance on nickel downs.

* Chris McCoy has quietly had a nice summer. He did a nice job with his pass rush from the RDE spot in the second and funneled Blount back inside on the 51-yard run. McCoy pressured Tebow near the end of the first half and combined with Logan for a sack in the third. If roster cuts were today, I think I’d have him on the team.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

* DeMeco Ryans did not look good. He got caught out of his gap on the 62-yard run to open the game and couldn’t get off the block of the pulling guard on the next play, an 8-yard run. Ryans was outstanding, specifically against the run, last season. So no need to panic yet.

Mychal Kendricks had issues against the run too. He got handled by the tight end on Blount’s 8-yard carry. Later, on third down, Kendricks met Blount head-on but couldn’t make the play. His coverage on the Vereen touchdown was good. Tom Brady just made a perfect throw.

* Jamar Chaney (shoulder) and Casey Matthews (knee) left the game with injuries. Chaney did not look good, missing a tackle on Sudfeld’s 22-yard catch and run. Matthews had some nice moments. Both are squarely on the roster bubble.

* Another undrafted free agent who showed up was Jake Knott. He batted down a Mallett pass at the line of scrimmage in the second and did a nice job as a blitzer. Knott combined with Curry for a sack in the second and tackled Tebow behind the line of scrimmage in the third. He has been quiet at camp, but played well during the game. Knott has a chance to earn a backup spot.

CORNERBACKS

* If you’re a glass half-full kind of person, at least Bradley Fletcher hustled downfield and brought Ridley down on the 62-yard run. That might have been a touchdown with last year’s corners. Fletcher made a tackle in run support on the next play too. He gave up a few completions, most notably a 6-yard catch on 3rd-and-4 and later a 23-yarder. But to be fair, it’s not like Fletcher was caught out of position or got beaten badly on either play. Let’s see how he does the rest of the preseason.

* Brandon Hughes got the surprise start at left corner. Chip Kelly said after the game that was Billy Davis’ decision. Hughes gave up a 7-yard slant and a 12-yard back-shoulder completion, but was OK.

* Boykin played nickel with the first team and then moved outside. He looked good, shadowing Aaron Dobson on a fade in the back of the end zone to force an incompletion.

* If you were looking for improvement from Nate Allen, you probably were disappointed. The 62-yard run would have been a 15-yard run had he been able to bring Ridley down in the open field. Allen later missed another tackle on Sudfeld’s 22-yard catch and run. Put Allen in the “believe it when I see it” camp for now.

* The good news on Patrick Chung is he looks like a sure tackler. The bad news is I’m not sure he can cover. Chung started at safety and then moved to nickel corner so the coaches could get a look at Boykin on the outside. He did a nice job blowing up a screen on third down in the second, but couldn’t keep up with Julian Edelman on a 22-yard completion near the end of the first half. Chung is still in line to be one of the team’s two starting safeties.

* Kenny Phillips made a nice play at the line of scrimmage, stopping Ridley after a 1-yard gain. He did not look good though on Blount’s 51-yard TD. Tough to evaluate him in coverage without the All-22.

* Earl Wolff was up and down. He missed a tackle on Tebow’s 12-yard run in the third, but played up in the box and had a tackle-for-loss in the third. Again, tough to evaluate in coverage. Overall, I’d say Chung is in line to be a starter, but the other job is up for grabs.

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Eagles Depth Chart Outlook: Cornerbacks

This is the second in a series. Throughout the next week or two, we’ll take a position-by-position look at the Eagles’ roster. Yesterday, we broke down the safety situation.

The initial overhaul during the summer of 2011 didn’t work out, so the Eagles tried again this offseason.

Gone are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. In are Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.

During the draft, the Eagles didn’t find corner help early, but they grabbed Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer in the seventh round.

Returning from last year’s roster are nickel corner Brandon Boykin, 2011 third-round pick Curtis Marsh and veteran Brandon Hughes. The Eagles also have Eddie Whitley, who spent the last four weeks of 2012 on the practice squad. And 2010 fourth-round pick Trevard Lindley is still around as well.

Here’s a look at all the cornerbacks on the roster (alphabetical order):

 
Height
Weight
Age
Years/Starts
Brandon Boykin5-10185221/4
Bradley Fletcher6-0200264/26
Brandon Hughes5-11185263/1
Trevard Lindley6-0183271/1
Curtis Marsh6-1197252/0
Jordan Poyer6-0191220/0
Eddie Whitley6-0191231/0
Cary Williams6-1190285/33

Pencil ‘em in: Williams, Fletcher, Boykin.

While we’re still about four months away from the opener, Williams and Fletcher seem like the favorites to start. Williams started 32 games for the Ravens the past two seasons. Fletcher only started four games in 2012, but he will have every opportunity to win the job opposite Williams.

Boykin certainly had his share of growing pains as a rookie, but overall, he held up pretty well in what turned out to be a dysfunctional secondary. He’s got the inside track on the nickel job, although it should be noted that Poyer can play inside and should provide some competition.

Fighting for spots: Marsh, Poyer, Hughes, Lindley, Whitley.

The measurables on Marsh were good coming out of Utah State: 6-1, 197, 4.46 40. But we’ve seen no signs that he’s a starting-caliber player. Marsh has played a total of 75 snaps the past two seasons (per PFF) and is squarely on the roster bubble.

Poyer has a really good shot of sticking because of his wide array of skills. Poyer has experience playing inside, outside, safety and special teams (returner and coverage). Of course, if Chip Kelly and the coaches determine that Poyer is not particularly good at any of those skills, he could be let go. But at this point, he’s got a good chance of making the team.

Hughes’ value comes on special teams. He was the first man down in coverage a team-best 37 times last year, according to stats kept by the coaches.

Lindley and Whitley are long-shots.

Bottom line? There’s a good chance only two players from this group will make the team. My guess is Poyer takes one of the spots, but the other one will be up for grabs.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Eagles Snap Counts: Cooper Makes His Return

Here’s a look at snap counts for the Eagles during their Week 6 loss against the Lions. We’ll go position-by-position.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
LeSean McCoy6276%
Stanley Havili2429%
Bryce Brown1620%

McCoy left the game briefly in the second half with an ankle injury, but returned and said after the game that he was fine. Taking his place was Brown, who played a season-high 16 snaps. Brown had five carries for 4 yards. On the season, he’s averaging just 2.7 yards per carry on 19 rushes.

Dion Lewis was inactive for the fifth time in six games. Chris Polk dressed in his place after sitting the week before, but didn’t see any offensive snaps. Stanley Havili played slightly less than he did the previous two weeks, but was still on the field for 24 snaps.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Jeremy Maclin7996%
DeSean Jackson7895%
Jason Avant5162%
Riley Cooper1012%
Brent Celek7085%
Clay Harbor2024%

Cooper was active for the first time all season and had two catches for 18 yards on three targets. Maclin had easily his best game of the season with six catches for 130 yards. And Jackson played well with five catches for 74 yards on eight targets.

Celek had a chance to have a huge game, but dropped one touchdown pass and was called for pass interference on another. He ended up with four catches for 33 yards and was on the receiving end of some crushing hits once again. Harbor played 20 snaps, his second-lowest total of the year. He had just two catches for 9 yards.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Trent Cole5874%
Jason Babin5672%
Cullen Jenkins5571%
Cedric Thornton3747%
Derek Landri3545%
Fletcher Cox3140%
Darryl Tapp2026%
Brandon Graham1823%
Phillip Hunt11%

A lot of snaps, but not a lot of production from Cole, Babin and Jenkins. Cox got kicked out, forcing Jenkins, Thornton and Landri to play increased snaps. Graham is entrenched as Babin’s backup, but did not see a bump in playing time. Hunt has been almost phased out entirely with just one snap.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans78100%
Mychal Kendricks6988%
Akeem Jordan2431%

Ryans played every snap and finished with 13 tackles (10 solo, 3 for loss). Jordan returned to the WILL spot, but the run defense wasn’t great as Mikel Leshoure averaged 4.7 yards per carry on 15 attempts. As a team, the Lions averaged 4.9 yards per carry.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Nnamdi Asomugha78100%
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie7697%
Brandon Boykin4760%
Brandon Hughes1114%
Curtis Marsh79%
Kurt Coleman78100%
Nate Allen4558%
Colt Anderson3342%

The Eagles replaced Boykin with Marsh in nickel at times – specifically when Asomugha shadowed Calvin Johnson inside. Marsh was called for a defensive holding penalty on an early third down.

Hughes entered the game in dime situations and did not play well. I still have to re-watch, but it sure looked like he got burned by tight end Tony Scheffler on the 57-yard completion in the fourth and again by Nate Burleson on the 17-yard touchdown.

Anderson came into the game after Allen went out with a hamstring injury. He was called for pass interference in the end zone, but the Lions had to settle for a field goal on the last possession of regulation anyway.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

Eagles Snap Counts: Graham Jumps Ahead Of Hunt

Here’s a look at snap counts for the Eagles during their Week 3 loss against the Cardinals. We’ll go position-by-position.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
LeSean McCoy5180%
Bryce Brown1016%
Stanley Havili1219%

Brown spelled McCoy a little bit more than usual. McCoy finished with 16 touches, including 13 carries for 70 yards. Of course, only four of those carries came in the first half as the Eagles called 25 pass plays and five runs in the first two quarters.

Brown had four carries for 28 yards, including a 17-yarder, which was his best run of the season. Chris Polk was once again active but did not play any offensive snaps. It’s tough to figure why Dion Lewis is still on the roster. He appeared to be a healthy scratch. Perhaps the Eagles are holding on to him in the event that McCoy suffers a long-term injury? It seems clear now that they have pegged Brown as McCoy’s backup.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeSean Jackson6398%
Jason Avant5688%
Damaris Johnson5688%
Mardy Gilyard69%
Brent Celek5484%
Clay Harbor1117%

Considering that the Eagles were without Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, the guess going in was that perhaps they’d play with more two tight-end sets. Brent Celek and Clay Harbor were off to good starts in the first two weeks. But that was not the case. As you can see, the Eagles played with three wide receivers or more on 88 percent of their snaps. We’ll get a better idea when the All-22 tape comes out, but it sure seemed like there were several occasions where Michael Vick couldn’t find anyone open.

Johnson finished with five catches for 84 yards. He was the team’s most targeted receiver (11). Jackson had three catches for 43 yards, but needed 10 targets to compile those numbers. Avant had three catches for 38 yards, and Gilyard was targeted once.

As for the tight ends, Brent Celek had two catches for 36 yards on six targets, including one 34-yard gain. Harbor saw his least playing time of the season and was not targeted.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Derek Landri3963%
Jason Babin3353%
Trent Cole3252%
Fletcher Cox3150%
Cedric Thornton2845%
Cullen Jenkins2845%
Darryl Tapp2845%
Brandon Graham1727%
Phillip Hunt1219%

We had speculated last week about Graham seeing a bump in playing time, and he did, taking snaps away from Hunt. Graham played 17 snaps to Hunt’s 12. Graham’s snaps have gone up in each of the first three weeks – from four to nine to 17.

Landri saw the most snaps of any defensive lineman. Cox left the game for a period in the first half because of migraines. Jenkins started, but saw fewer snaps than Cox. It looks like that will probably be the case most weeks.

Babin had 1.5 sacks. Tapp, Cole and Graham each had 0.5.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans62100%
Mychal Kendricks5589%
Brian Rolle1626%
Akeem Jordan1423%

Ryans was once again an every-down player, staying on the field for all 62 defensive snaps. As far as I could tell, Kendricks only came out in dime situations. Jordan started the game at WILL, but suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by Rolle.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Nnamdi Asomugha62100%
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie5995%
Brandon Boykin3252%
Brandon Hughes1016%
Nate Allen62100%
Kurt Coleman62100%

Asomugha, Allen and Coleman played all 62 snaps. For some reason, the Eagles seem to have a package where they replace Rodgers-Cromartie with Hughes for a handful of snaps. I’ve noticed that in each of the last two games. Hughes also played in dime, ahead of Curtis Marsh, who was active.

Boykin was on the field for 32 snaps in nickel and dime packages.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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