When Nick Foles and the Eagles’ other signal-callers take a seat Tuesday morning inside the quarterbacks meeting room at the NovaCare Complex, they are handed a copy of Bill Lazor’s game report.
The document contains play-by-play grades broken down by category: accuracy, decision-making, pre-snap checks, footwork, carrying out fakes on run plays and so on. Some plays have questions next to them because even for a quarterbacks coach who knows the calls and has reviewed the coverages, there are times when he’s not sure exactly what happened.
“I question, ‘Why did you do it this way?’ ” Lazor said. “Because it’s not always just a clear-cut answer. So they have that in front of them as they start watching the game. We start at the beginning and we go through. We try to not only talk about what happened at the time but why. We have the notes that the quarterbacks take during the game – the backup quarterbacks take notes. …And so as we sit in the room now, you hope you treat it more like a laboratory setting where you can really go back and dissect.” Read more »
At first glance, it looked like DeSean Jackson was screaming at Jason Avant. The wide receiver was overheating on the sidelines after a Nick Foles interception in Minnesota Sunday. Jackson was being restrained as he barked in the direction of Avant just a few yards away. Turns out, his words were aimed at receivers coach Bob Bicknell; Avant was just moving in to gain control. And that’s exactly what he did. After a quiet moment of counsel with Avant away from the rest of the team, Jackson hopped to his feet and returned to the pack without further incident.
“He kind of understands, he’s like a big brother, a voice you can listen to,” said Jackson.
Later in the game, Cary Williams lost his cool and was benched following an unnecessary roughness call and an apparent misunderstanding on the sideline. There was Avant again, sitting next to Williams on the bench, diffusing the situation.
“When those situations come up, because I have a relationship with everyone, I talk to everyone constantly — when something goes on in their family I want to see about them – because we have a relationship usually I can go and talk to them, maybe not like the coach can or another player because they haven’t established their relationship,” said Avant. “It gives me a voice a lot of times that I can go over and they receive it even when they’re mad because they know who they are talking to.”
“Every NFL team,” said Williams, “should have a guy like that in their locker room.” Read more »
Three defensive backs — Brandon Boykin, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson — stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidelines, all spectators as their teammates continued their preparations for the Bears Wednesday.
Boykin has yet to be cleared after suffering a concussion in Minnesota. This is a significant injury to watch for the Eagles, who are about to face a daunting Bears receiving duo in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
“It’s a huge challenge,” said Chip Kelly, “and no one is going to give us a waiver because we’re banged up. It’s part of what this deal is all about. We look at it as an opportunity for us to go out and compete against them, and that’s what we got — a bunch of competitive guys, competitive coaches that want to go challenge themselves, and there’s no better group of receivers to challenge yourself with than the guys that they can put out there in Marshall and Jeffery.” Read more »
Chip Kelly offered up this line back in August, and has used some variation of it on multiple occasions since:
“Once you think you’ve arrived in this game, you’re going to get passed on by.”
Opinions vary as to whether that is what happened this past week against Minnesota: if the Eagles allowed the five-game winning streak to dull their focus, particularly as they prepared for a supposedly inferior Vikings team. Cary Williams made it clear where he stands on this debate.
“I’m glad it knocked us off our high horse,” said Williams. “Point proven right there that you have to be prepared, you have to be ready to come out and play each and every week. You can’t come out and not be physical in the beginning and expect a team to just lay down. To a degree we weren’t necessarily the most physical team out there, we weren’t necessarily the most emotional team out there, and I think we to some degree came out flat. So I’m glad that we lost, in the sense that it helped prepare us for this week, understanding that every week is going to be a different test, every team is going to come at us with their best shot.” Read more »
Here’s a position-by-position look at the Eagles’ defensive performance after having watched the All-22 from Sunday’s game.
* Going in, the Eagles should have expected to dominate the Vikings’ ground game, given that Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart were out. And that’s what happened. Matt Asiata needed 30 carries to get to 51 yards (1.7 YPC). The pass-rush could have been better, but Matt Cassel did a good job of getting the ball out quick, and most of the problems through the air were the fault of the secondary. Read more »
Chip Kelly spent about 20 minutes Monday answering questions from the assembled media at the NovaCare Complex.
T-Mac covered some of the main topics already, but here are three leftovers.
1. Don’t be surprised if you hear a lot this week about how the Eagles rallied back from a 3-5 start to win five in a row.
“I expect them to bounce back,” Kelly said. “They’ve bounced back before, so that’s what I’m anticipating happening.
“This game is a tough game to play. It’s a tough game. You never really understand the outcomes. Sometimes it’s tough to try to wrestle with it and justify how did this happen and that happen and whatnot. But we’re on a weekly schedule. We have to get ready for the Bears now. We can’t let the loss to the Vikings affect us for two weeks.” Read more »
Going into Sunday’s game against the Vikings, the Eagles appeared to be peaking at the right time.
They had won five straight, were in the driver’s seat in the NFC East and looked like a team capable of making some noise in the postseason.
Less than 24 hours after kickoff, the outlook has changed a bit. The 48-30 loss to the Vikings was either just one bad letdown game or a true reality check of where this team is.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a point-by-point look at some of the issues that surfaced in Minnesota, debuting The Kapadia Concern Scale. Each issue is given a ranking from 1 to 10. Read more »
Minneapolis — Flags were flying and tempers were flaring and the Viking horn was blowing for score after Minnesota score. The well-oiled machine that had ripped off five in a row broke down on Mall Of America Field.
A defense that had held its opponents to 21 points or fewer for nine games straight surrendered 48 to a Vikings team that was operating without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart. LeSean McCoy, coming off a career day in the snow against Detroit, had 38 yards on just eight carries. The offense overall was choppy.
“A lot of frustration, honestly,” said DeSean Jackson. “We thought as an offense we should have came out there and be able to have a lot more success. We weren’t able to get it done. It was very frustrating, especially after the way we’ve been able to play the last couple weeks.”
The first signs of that frustration came in the third quarter after Nick Foles‘ second interception of the season. Jackson, the intended target, was animated as he returned to the sideline, apparently shouting in the direction of receivers coach Bob Bicknell and later, Jason Avant. Riley Cooper stepped in as mediator and was pushed away by Jackson, who eventually calmed down after a conversation with Avant away from the rest of the team. Read more »
The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings: QB Matt Barkley, safety Earl Wolff, CB Curtis Marsh, RB Matthew Tucker, LB Najee Goode, OT Matt Tobin and OT Dennis Kelly.
The list is exactly the same as it was last week against the Detroit Lions. Wolff (knee) is out for the fourth consecutive game. Patrick Chung will once again start at safety alongside Nate Allen. Read more »
Here is the Eagles’ injury report for Sunday’s road game in Minnesota.
Doubtful: LB Najee Goode (hamstring), S Earl Wolff (knee)
Probable: CB Brandon Boykin (hip), CB Cary Williams (hamstring).
Williams popped up on the report Thursday after apparently hurting his hamstring during practice. The fact that he is probable suggests it’s not a significant injury, but it’s something to keep an eye on Sunday nonetheless.
Wolff was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. He described himself as a game-time decision this week, but admitted that he wasn’t quite at 100 percent yet. Patrick Chung is in line for another start opposite Nate Allen.
Boykin was listed as a full participant all week.
As for the Vikings, all eyes are on the running back position. Read more »