Eagles ‘D’ Produces Different Results Vs. Brady

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots Practice

FOXBORO, MASS. — Billy Davis had seen this before.

It happened in 2000 when he was an assistant with the Packers and later in his career when he was the Cardinals defensive coordinator. A top-level quarterback completing pass after pass, dissecting and embarrassing the defense. The ball never hitting the ground.

That was the scene last summer too when the New England Patriots traveled to South Philadelphia to practice against Davis’ unit. But a year later at Foxboro, he noticed a difference.

“It really is a great barometer,” Davis said. “Every place I’ve been, the quarterbacks like [Tom] Brady during 7-on-7, the Kurt Warners of the world, the Brett Favres, 7-on-7 is just them picking you apart. And that’s what he did last year to us. And this year I think we were a little bit better. He’s still who he is, and no rush he’s gonna win more than he loses. But we are so far ahead of where we were, even with how much scheme we have in is so far ahead of where we were a year ago.” Read more »

Camp Notes: Wolff And the Knee

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Earl Wolff was a full participant Sunday after sitting out team drills the previous two sessions with a sore knee. Wolff strongly hinted afterwards that it was the same right knee that sidelined him down the stretch last season.

“It was a little sore but it feels a whole lot better. I might be on a little bit of treatment. I’m feeling good, though,” said Wolff.

The second-year safety is confident that this won’t be a lingering issue.

There was some cloudiness last season when it came to Wolff’s hyperextended knee and whether he and the training staff were on the same page. There were rumblings late in the season that Wolff had been given the green light for a return but decided to hold  himself out.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was that. It might have been something similar to that,” Wolff said back in early January. “And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to play, I just felt like if I would have went out there, I wouldn’t have been able to play my game.”

Chip Kelly sounded like he was expecting Wolff to practice in full on Friday when he last addressed the media, but that turned out not to be the case. Prior to Sunday’s practice, Kelly phrased it this way:

Read more »

Foles, Eagles Add Back Shoulder Fade To Arsenal

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During a team period earlier this week, Jeremy Maclin found himself lined up one-on-one against cornerback Bradley Fletcher.

Maclin got an outside release and headed straight up the sideline, but at about 15 yards downfield, he slammed on the brakes, turned around, flashed his hands late and caught a Nick Foles pass that was already there waiting for him.

It’s the back shoulder fade – a weapon Foles, Chip Kelly and the Eagles are looking to add to their arsenal as they prepare for 2014. Read more »

Williams Sounds Off On Patriots, Joint Practices

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Cary Williams is not a fan of the Patriots. And he’s definitely not a fan of practicing with the Patriots.

He grew a distaste for them while playing for the Ravens from 2009-12, and felt like some members of the team were disrespectful during the joint practices held here at the NovaCare last summer. He decided to send them a message by quickly getting into a scrap with receiver Aaron Dobson. Both players were forced to sit out the rest of the session.

So he doesn’t like them, and that has a lot to do with why he is against the idea of practicing with them again later this month in New England. But it’s not the only reason. Read more »

Nolan Carroll Continues To Impress

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Brandon Boykin was the camp standout on defense last year. Every day it seemed like the Georgia product made at least one play that commanded your attention. This year, that distinction belongs to Nolan Carroll.

It didn’t move the needle much when the Eagles signed the former Dolphin to a two-year, $5.25 million contract in free agency, but he has opened some eyes since his arrival.

His moment on Thursday (or at least one of them) came during 7-on-7s. Locked up with Jeremy Maclin, Carroll extended himself to break up a Nick Foles pass in the end zone. Those PBUs have become a regular occurrence.

“He’s a very well‑rounded talent,” said Billy Davis. “He’s got size, he’s got length, he’s got speed.  He’s a real tenacious competitor.  I love his attitude out there the way he presses and competes and puts his hands on the people, and he’s got a good knack for the ball.”

Who knows if a solid summer will translate into a productive fall like it did for Boykin but Carroll continues to impress, even if he’s not all that impressed with himself. Read more »

Camp Notes: Wolff Runs With the Ones

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

For much of the spring and summer, Nate Allen has occupied the starting safety spot opposite Malcolm Jenkins. On Wednesday, though, it was Earl Wolff running with the ones.

“I saw it this morning,” said Wolff, speaking about the depth chart. “I don’t think too much of it. I just went in there, made a couple plays.”

“I thought he did well,” added Jenkins. “As far as communications he was loud, he was on point, he thought before the play. I know they’re going to be continuously rotating — even I was with the twos a couple practices ago — it’s good for him to get that exposure, those reps, and I’m watching the competition just like you guys.” Read more »

Notes: A Chippy Start To Camp

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Another day, another dust-up here at Eagles training camp.

Today it was Jeremy Maclin and the normally mild-mannered Bradley Fletcher squaring off. The two were going head-to-head during team drills and started having words after the whistle. Next thing you know, punches were being  thrown and a big crowd gathered to separate the two.

Practice ended a short time later. Maclin exited the field without speaking to reporters. Fletcher didn’t offer much.

“We’re just playing ball,” he said. “Emotions got going and one thing led to another.”

Cary Williams, meanwhile, had plenty to say on the subject. He held court out on Lincoln Financial Field and was still speaking long after the rest of his teammates had gone into the locker room. He has a soft spot for this particular topic of conversation.

“I’m glad, to be honest with you,” said Williams of the fights at training camp this year. Read more »

Eagles Training Camp Preview: Cornerbacks

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive linequarterbacksoutside linebackers, running backs and inside linebackers. Now it’s on to the cornerbacks.

The pressing question: Can Nolan Carroll II push for a starting job?

The best bet for the Eagles’ defense going into 2014 is that this unit will return 10 of 11 starters from a year ago – the only exception being new safety Malcolm Jenkins.

But if you want a position battle to watch on that side of the ball, it’s at cornerback. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher were the starters last year, but the team signed Carroll from the Dolphins in the offseason. The 27-year-old started 12 games in Miami last year and 10 more in 2012. He has adequate size, plays with great effort and only missed seven tackles the past two seasons, per Pro Football Focus. Read more »

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