Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly’s Tweaks In Year 2

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

When Chip Kelly took a seat inside a Ritz-Carlton ballroom in Orlando last month and was surrounded by reporters, he knew DeSean Jackson was not going to be back with the Eagles.

Jackson’s release was the biggest move the team made this offseason, and undoubtedly, Kelly had already given a lot of thought about what the Eagles’ offense would like without the speedy wide receiver.

Year 1 under Kelly was a clear success. By just about any statistical measure, the Eagles had a top-five offense that included a quarterback reaching heights even his biggest supporters never envisioned. The team set record after record, the offensive line stayed healthy, and the skill-position players nearly all put up career numbers.

Now perhaps the biggest question facing the team going into 2014 is: How will Kelly alter the scheme to fit different personnel? Read more »

Draft Daily: Close-Up On Louisville OLB Marcus Smith

NCAA Football: Louisville at Connecticut

The Eagles have done little to hide the fact that they’re big fans of Dolphins edge defender Dion Jordan.

Last year, Chip Kelly indicated that Jordan was high on the team’s board and would have been the pick had Miami not traded up to the No. 3 spot. And more recently, the Birds have been rumored to be looking to trade for Jordan in his second season.

Connor Barwin and Trent Cole manned the OLB spots in the Eagles’ 3-4 last year. The defense could use more pass-rush from that pair, but overall, the transition to a new scheme was smoother than expected. Cole, however, will turn 32 next season, and the Eagles have little in the pipeline to eventually replace him.

That brings us to May’s draft and a player who in some ways could be described as a poor man’s Dion Jordan: Louisville’s Marcus Smith. Smith is one of 30 prospects to make an official visit to Philadelphia, per FoxSports.com. Read more »

Draft Daily: Why USC WR Lee Makes Sense At No. 22

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State

Against Chip Kelly’s Oregon squad in 2012, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee caught 12 balls for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a 62-51 loss.

He lined up all over the place in that game – outside, in the slot and in the backfield. He drew a pair of penalties in the end zone and gave the Trojans excellent field position on multiple occasions with tremendous kickoff returns.

“He may be the best receiver I’ve had the opportunity to coach against,” Kelly said at the time, per USC’s Web site. “He’s impressive on film, but even more impressive when you watch him in person.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Fewer Touches For McCoy?

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The usage numbers for LeSean McCoy from the 2013 season are eye-popping.

The Eagles’ running back played 873 snaps, second-most among all ball-carriers behind only Chicago’s Matt Forte. McCoy’s 314 carries were tops in the NFL, as were his 366 touches.

Yet there were no real signs that the heavy workload slowed him down in the short-term. McCoy carried the Eagles down the stretch, piling up 519 yards and averaging 6.3 YPC in the team’s final four regular season games. In fourth quarters, he led the NFL with 441 yards and averaged 6.0 YPC (fifth-best), according to STATS, Inc. Read more »

McCoy Voices Support For DeSean

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Until Saturday morning, no Eagles player had spoken out publicly in defense of their former teammate DeSean Jackson.

But that changed when LeSean McCoy addressed reporters while taking a break from his football camp at Camden Catholic High School.

“It’s a surprise for sure,” McCoy said when asked for his reaction. “I think anybody that tells you that they’re happy about it, I don’t know how honest that would be. It was a surprise. You heard so much, you didn’t really know. Not playing with him this year is gonna definitely be different. And playing against him is really gonna be different. I just imagine all the times we used to… knowing defensive teams are gonna try to defend us and different things like that, and now we’ve gotta defend against him, so it’s gonna be a little different. Read more »

Would Eagles Trade Up For Evans?

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Texas A&M

There’s one Chip Kelly quote about wide receivers that we’re probably going to keep coming back to in the next month or so.

“There’s certain guys in our league that have both and that’s why they’re elite,” Kelly said at the owners meetings. “They have the size element of it, they also have the speed element of it. There’s a lot of different ways to do it.”

Kelly was talking about wide receivers’ ability to beat man coverage. His point was there are different ways to accomplish that task – size and speed. Possessing both traits makes for an ideal prospect.

Which brings us to some interesting buzz courtesy of Tony Pauline of Draft Insider. Pauline writes that Texas A&M’s Mike Evans is considered a consensus top-10 pick. That means the Eagles have no chance of landing him, right?

Well, not exactly. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Jordan And the OLB Spot

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When you look at the roster, outside linebacker is the position that screams at you.

The Eagles have needs in several areas. They are thin at wide receiver after releasing DeSean Jackson. The hunt for an effective safety duo is ongoing. It’s essential that they build depth at cornerback, inside linebacker and along the offensive front. But outside linebacker is the spot that requires the most immediate attention. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: More Eagles On the Move?

Eagles LBs Casey Matthews and Brandon Graham laughing
For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

I believe Brandon Graham is the most likely candidate to get dealt. The Eagles recognize that he is best suited as a 4-3 defensive end and are open to moving him if the right offer comes along. 

Read more »

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