All-22: Strong Start For Eagles Defense

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Billy Davis is expecting improvement on the defense to come from two separate areas.

One is that players from last year are more comfortable in the Eagles’ 3-4. And two is that he’s now able to add more layers to the scheme.

“Looking at last year, a lot of things we did, we were growing into this,” Davis said. “And it’s nothing more than a progression of growth from the end of last year to again a couple pieces we added and a couple schematic things we added to it and just threw it all at them. We will continue to grow that and hopefully continue to grow that way with both the understanding they have in our scheme and the scheme itself.”

Sunday’s Week 1 win against the Jaguars was a good start. It must be noted that Jacksonville could end up being one of the five worst offenses in the league. But after a couple lapses early, the Eagles’ defense dominated in the second half. Jacksonville was held scoreless on eight second-half possessions: five punts, a turnover on downs, a fumble and the end of the game.

The pass-rush, a question mark going into the season, looked like a strength against the Jaguars’ below-average offensive line. And players like Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks turned in outstanding individual performances. Below is a look at what we saw in Week 1. Read more »

Cary Williams: Rice ‘Deserves Another Chance’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Cary Williams played with Ray Rice for four season in Baltimore. Spent time with him this offseason. Knows his wife, Janay. He says Rice’s actions inside that Atlantic City casino elevator back in February were “contrary to what the guy is as a person,” and believes he should be offered a second chance.

“Obviously Ray made a mistake. I know Ray as a person, I know Janay as a person. That’s not their characteristics. They don’t act like that. It’s a situation where two people made a mistake, and one person was physical in a situation and he regrets that,” said Williams. “I know he regrets it because I spent time with him this offseason and I know who he is as a man and a husband and as a teammate.

“I played with him for about four years and he never showed me that side. He’s been a great dad, a great teammate and I guess a great boyfriend at the time.

“We all make mistakes. We’re not perfect. That’s a situation that is sad. It hurts my heart that he has to go through that because I know he is regretting the situation and I know he is a changed man and if he could he would take those days back or that moment back.” Read more »

Boykin Sees Limited Reps Against Jags

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Arguing the merits of moving Brandon Boykin outside is the equivalent of banging your head against the wall at this point. As Chip Kelly re-emphasized at his day-after press conference Monday, it’s not happening.

“It really is how we practice and he practices as our nickel corner.  It’s a very vital position for us.  Billy [Davis] said that that’s a starting position for us, I say that’s a starting position for us, that’s kind of where it is,” said Kelly. “Our third corner outside right now [behind Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams] is Nolan Carroll.”

While the importance of the nickel corner position makes Boykin a starter in their mind, the fact remains that one of the team’s top playmakers sees a limited amount of reps in his current role. That was particularly true in the opener against Jacksonville, as Boykin played 23 of a possible 73 snaps, or 32 percent of the time.
Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Jaguars, the Day After

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Watching from the sideline, linebacker DeMeco Ryans knew the Eagles had a first down before the ball was even snapped.

Darren Sproles had just picked up 8 yards on a screen, but he was tackled short of the sticks, and the offense faced a 4th-and-1 from the Jacksonville 49. The Eagles were trailing 17-0 in the third quarter.

“Sitting on the sideline, I knew we had ‘em,” Ryans said. “Because as a defense, you’re kind of happy about a third-down stop and you’re not expecting a fourth-down play. Our offense gets on the ball and runs it quickly, catches everybody off-guard.”

Chip Kelly didn’t hesitate. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told him the Eagles were short, and Kelly made a tempo call – a message that can be communicated with one or two words. The call lets the offensive players know it’s time to bust it back to the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped. Read more »

Players Answer: Which Eagle Is Ready To Break Out?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

We recently took the pulse of the Eagles’ locker room, asking a simple question: Which of your teammates has impressed you this summer and is primed for a big/breakout season?

Some players couldn’t name just one or two. Others identified half the roster. We removed those responses and were left with 19 answers. They are listed below. Read more »

Chip And the Up-Tempo Movement

Foles Steelers
Bill Walsh
predicted the up-tempo movement in his 1997 book titled, Finding the Winning Edge.

In a chapter called “Determining the Future Dynamics of Offense in the NFL,” he envisions a league where teams only huddle when the clock is stopped and use single-word audibles to call out a play.

The quarterback will look to the sideline the instant the whistle blows on the previous play to see which personnel combination is entering the game. The designated coach indicates the formation to the quarterback and whether he should audible his own play or will receive a play call from the coach. All of these steps will occur without a huddle.

The movement is upon us. Read more »

Physical, No More

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Reality has set in here at the NovaCare that the emphasis on illegal contact and similar infractions this year is going to significantly impact how the game is played.
Read more »

Notes: Kelly On Sanchez’s Trade Value, Injury Updates

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Towards the end of today’s session with the media, Chip Kelly was asked about the future of quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has gone 18-for-22 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the first two preseason games. How would the Eagles weigh potentially trading him against keeping Sanchez on the roster as the backup?

“Good question, cause Mark has played well,” Kelly said. “But we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. So that’s not something we’re talking about because you’re just spending time on things that could happen, should happen… I don’t know. Read more »

Notes: Henery Misses the Mark

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Alex Henery got one opportunity on Friday night, and missed badly. His 47-yard attempt in the second quarter never had a chance, sailing wide right.

“You’ve got to make 47-yarders in this league,” said Chip Kelly afterwards.

Henery made seven of 10 kicks between 40 and 49 yards last season. He had only one miss from that range over the previous two seasons.

Is Kelly confident that Henery is the answer at the kicker position? Read more »

Frustrated Kelly Sounds Off On Penalties

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — When Eagles players returned to the locker room following their 42-35 loss to the Patriots Friday night, they were greeted by a frustrated and stern Chip Kelly.

“Very strong,” said Cary Williams, when asked about the head coach’s message. “You could tell that he was frustrated. You could tell that he was upset about it. He wasn’t very happy about the way we played.

“He said he’s frustrated about penalties. He said that he wanted us to be better. We don’t practice like that. We shouldn’t play like that. We’ve gotta get our butts in gear and do something about it.” Read more »

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