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 »

Davis Updates Middle Linebacker Situation

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

It looks like the Eagles could be down two of their top inside linebackers for Sunday’s crucial game against the Jets.

Billy Davis that Kiko Alonso, who is believed to have suffered a partial tear of his left ACL, is still in the evaluation process. “We’re crossing our fingers and hoping everything turns out for the best. We’re unsure about him,” said Davis, “but for this week I don’t expect him to play.”

Mychal Kendricks might not be available either. He sat out Tuesday’s practice along with Alonso as he nurses a hamstring strain.

“There is an outside chance we pick him up this week but it will be hard for him to get back,” said Davis. “But I think he has a shot at doing it.”
Read more »

Cedric Thornton Signs Tender

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Restricted free agent Cedric Thornton signed his tender on Monday, the team announced, putting him under contract for the 2015 season. He is scheduled to make a shade under $2.4 million, a healthy bump from his 2014 base salary of $645,000.

The Eagles protected themselves by giving Thornton a second-round tender, which comes at a higher price but serves as a deterrent for any team looking to scoop him up because they would have to part ways with a second-round pick if the Eagles did not match their offer. The deadline for teams to make a bid on restricted free agents is April 24. By signing, Thornton is now officially off the market. Read more »

Open Thread: Free Agency Updates

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Note: We have started a new thread for Sunday’s buzz.

The legal tampering period is underway. Clubs are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with the representatives of players who will become free agents on March 10. Deals cannot become official until 4 p.m. Tuesday, but there will be plenty of leaks between now and then.

The Eagles are expected to be active. They have needs at the corner, safety and outside linebacker positions, and could bring in a veteran running back after dealing LeSean McCoy to Buffalo this week. There’s also the issue  of their own free agents. They have been unable to strike a deal with Jeremy Maclin and now must compete with other teams as they try to negotiate a contract extension. They have decisions to make with players like Mark Sanchez and Brandon Graham as well.

Lots to keep track of. This is the place to keep up with it all. We’ll continue to update this post with all the latest rumors and news. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Talent Better Suited For a 4-3?

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Today’s question comes from Silvio on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page:

Two of our best young defenders (Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham) are better fits for a 4-3 scheme, and we are underusing them and risking losing them. Also, Trent Cole and probably Fletcher Cox are more suitable to a 4-3, while only Connor Barwin is a true 3-4 player. If the target is maximizing your talent, does it make any sense keeping this odd front?

Thanks for the question, Silvio. I actually think the job the coaching staff has done with the front seven in the past two years has been the biggest success story on defense. Read more »

Eagles Offseason Outlook: Defensive Line

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. We have covered the quarterbacks, wide receiversrunning backs, tight ends and offensive line so far. Now it’s on to the defensive line.


Five of the six players who were in the Eagles’ rotation last year – Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Brandon Bair, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry – are all under contract for 2015.

The name missing from that list is Cedric Thornton. The starting left defensive end is a restricted free agent, meaning the Eagles can match offers for him.

Another player who figures to be in the mix is Taylor Hart. The Eagles spent a fifth-round pick on Hart last spring, but he was inactive for all 16 games. The expectation for 2015 should be for Hart to earn a backup spot, presumably from Bair, who is 30 years old. Read more »

Inside Voices: ‘We’re the Nobodies’

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

There’s “V-Doc” (Vinny Curry) and “Fletch” (Fletcher Cox) and “Swamp” (Cedric Thornton, given to him by Jim Washburn who thought he was built like the Swamp Thing). Then there’s “Wado” (Wade Keliikipi) and “B-Bair” (Brandon Bair) and “T-Hart” (Taylor Hart). Those are some of the nicknames you might hear bouncing off the walls inside the defensive line room.

There is also a nickname for the group that the players have embraced in recent weeks.

“We’re ‘The Nobodies,’” said Cox. “That’s us.” Read more »

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