All-22: Why the Eagles Will Target Byron Maxwell

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Following the Eagles’ 24-14 loss to the Seahawks in December, Chip Kelly was asked about why his offense converted just two of 11 third-down opportunities on the day.

He pointed to a few different factors, one of which was the inability of the Eagles’ wide receivers to separate from Seattle’s defensive backs.

“Some were runaways where you’re hoping they beat the man‑to‑man coverage and [uncover] a little bit quicker and separated the way we need to separate and run away from them a little bit,” he said.

On four occasions, it came down to a one-on-one matchup against a specific cornerback: Byron Maxwell. Time and again, Eagles receivers ended up on the losing end of that battle.

With free agency rapidly approaching, Maxwell’s name has been discussed quite a bit around these parts, and for good reason. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: Why Not Invest In the Defense?

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Today’s question comes from Patrick, who e-mails from Canada:

The evidence seems to show that Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme can seemingly make good players better (Mark Sanchez). Would it not be beneficial to spend the resources and money towards creating an elite defensive unit somewhat similar to what the Seahawks do? They can win with a strong running game and [timely plays/decisions] from the quarterback.

Basically, Chip’s scheme is so good that scoring hasn’t really been a problem, but with a stronger defense, we probably could have had a 12-win season. Anyway, I think it’s an interesting topic, although it is coming from a hockey player. Read more »

King Predicts Eagles Will Trade Up For Mariota

Robert Hanashiro / USA Today

Robert Hanashiro / USA Today

Peter King’s first mock draft of the season will only fuel the Marcus Mariota-to-Philly hype.

King takes a shot at predicting how the first 15 picks will play out. He has Chip Kelly moving into the No. 5 spot to grab his quarterback.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

*Trade: Washington gets Philadelphia’s first- and second-round picks this year, and first- and fourth-round picks in 2016. Washington could be moving from five to 20 in the first round by doing this deal, with GM Scot McCloughan scoring points with his new boss for not giving away the store in a trade, but rather acquiring the store. This has so many poetic points to it. The Eagles gave Donovan McNabb to Washington a few Easters ago; now Washington would be giving a longer-term quarterback, theoretically, to Chip Kelly. Kelly would be reunited with the quarterback he recruited out of a Hawaii high school and helped make a star in college football. It just feels right, though Howie Roseman will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into giving up so much draft capital for a player with some question marks.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: How Kelly Deals With Character Questions

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Today’s question comes via Twitter:

This is an excellent question, Jonny.

The Eagles have selected 15 players in two drafts under Chip Kelly. And there really hasn’t been a single player who came to Philadelphia with true character questions. Josh Huff was once arrested for a DUI, but later acquitted. And Jordan Poyer had to answer a few questions about a bar fight. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On the OLB Market

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The deadline for teams to designate franchise or transition players is a week from today (March 2). By that time, the expectation is that the Chiefs will either lock up or place the franchise tag on Justin Houston, preventing the top pass rusher in this free-agent class from getting loose.

The three next-best edge rushers, per RotoworldJerry Hughes (Buffalo), Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants) and Greg Hardy (Carolina) — will be coming out of 4-3 defenses if they come out at all. It’s not until you get to the middle of the list and Washington’s Brian Orakpo when you will find an active 3-4 linebacker that might actually be available. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Praise For Abdullah

Bruce Thorson / USA Today

Bruce Thorson / USA Today

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice is quite impressed with Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah:

During his Combine interview with the media, some reporter asked him a random question about Patriots RB Shane Vereen. Abdullah was armed with a great answer. “I watch a lot of his film to help myself out with route running,” said Abdullah. “He runs the best option route in the NFL right now. He does a good job of stemming the linebackers, snapping them off, and using his head (demonstrated a head juke) to get separation, (and he has) outstanding hands.” Read more »

Combine Notes: Mariota Talks Eagles

Marcus Mariota. USA Today

Marcus Mariota. USA Today

INDIANAPOLIS — Marcus Mariota let out a laugh when asked about the hype in Philly surrounding a possible reunion between he and Chip Kelly. 

“It is what it is. It’s kind of fun to talk about,” said Mariota, “but we don’t have any control in this process, so we’ll see what happens.”

Has he considered playing for Kelly again and does he think it’s possible?

“Yeah, why not?” he said. Read more »

What Crossing Broad and Other Bloggers Get Wrong About the Eagles’ Media Silence

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

The NFL Combine started this week, but we won’t hear anything from the Philadelphia Eagles — not from the head coach or an assistant, not from the newly named general manager or director of player personnel, not from Howie Roseman, whatever he is these days, and certainly not from the team owner Jeffrey Lurie.

The Eagles aren’t talking to the media because they choose not to.

In other words, we’ll have no idea who, or what position, the Birds will be focusing on at the combine. We’ll not be able to glean any information on the team’s possible pursuit of quarterback Marcus Mariota. And more importantly, fans won’t have any light shed on the team’s strange recent front office re-organization with Chip Kelly becoming franchise patriarch and Roseman being demoted to the dungeon. Read more »

Hundley Has Familiarity With Chip, System

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

INDIANAPOLIS — Brett Hundley was asked if there are any pro offenses that resemble the one he ran at UCLA.

After a beat, he looked down from the lectern, smiled, and said: “I guess the Eagles are a close offense with us. There are [other] offenses that have similiar things in their systems. … But the way they [Eagles] sort of have the same sort of schemes, zone reads, they do a lot more of it. It’s not exactly what we do, but there are instances where they have the zone read, there are instances with some pass concepts that match up like ours, just simple stuff like that.”

Hundley said he was recruited out of high school by Chip Kelly, but opted for UCLA because it “had it all,” from academics to beautiful weather.

“He’s great,” said Hundley of Kelly. “Great individual, great man, love him to death. I got to spend some time coming out of high school, one of my former teammates, Dion Jordan, went to Oregon, so I knew a good amount about that school coming out.”

He re-introduced himself to Kelly during Super Bowl week out in Arizona. While the two haven’t spoken here at the combine of yet, Hundley did sit down with new Eagles quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. Read more »

Ducks In the Draft

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Photo courtesy of USA Today

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Photo courtesy of USA Today

We wrote a similar post this time last year and it proved to be worthwhile, as Chip Kelly ended up selecting a pair of Oregon players — Josh Huff and Taylor Hart — in the 2014 draft.  It would be no surprise if he plucked a Duck or two again, especially now that he has full authority to build this team in his vision.

With that in mind, let’s look at a handful of Oregon prospects (not named Marcus Mariota) that could be taken in the upcoming draft.  Read more »

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