Senior Bowl: What We’re Watching

Jerome Miron / USA Today

Jerome Miron / USA Today

MOBILE, Ala. — Welcome to the Senior Bowl, where I’ll be stationed until Thursday. Here are three things we’ll be watching throughout the week.

1. Still searching for a personnel exec.

Last year, after one of the practices down here, Howie Roseman set up shop in the bleachers at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with a handful of reporters. He answered questions about the Eagles’ first season under Chip Kelly. He looked ahead to free agency and the draft. And he discussed the difficulty in scouting safety prospects. It was a casual sitdown with the GM, something that happened every year in Mobile.

But things have changed. Roseman is not even at the event this year, and Kelly is searching for his new personnel executive.

It’s been 18 days since the Eagles sent out a statement on behalf of Jeffrey Lurie, announcing that Kelly would hire his own right-hand man. But so far, the head coach has come up empty. Names of internal candidates like Ed Marynowitz have been floated out there. External candidates like Tampa Bay Bucs director of player personnel Jon Robinson have either been blocked or have declined to interview. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Clinton-Dix And the Six

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

We were reminded during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game of the Eagles’ pre-draft flirtations with Green Bay safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Ed Maryonwitz, the Eagles’ assistant director of player of personnel who once led Alabama’s recruiting efforts, sent Clinton-Dix an article about the team’s interest in him during the lead-up to the draft, to which the safety replied, ‘Come get me, please. Whatever it takes.’ ”

Clinton-Dix was still available when Arizona — holding the 20th pick — went on the clock. Receiver Brandin Cooks was, too. Those were the only two of the Eagles’ targeted six still remaining. (Most agree that the desirable six were Cooks, Clinton-Dix, Anthony Barr, Odell Beckham, Jr., Kyle Fuller and C.J. Mosley). To ensure they landed one of them, the Eagles would have to part with a third-round pick to move into the Cardinals’ spot. Instead, they stood pat. The Saints offered their third to get from 27 to 20 and grabbed Cooks. Green Bay followed by taking Clinton-Dix. And the Eagles went to Plan B, which included trading back and selecting Marcus Smith. Read more »

McCoy Grabs Foles’ Back

Photo Credit Kelley L. Cox - USA Today

Photo Credit Kelley L. Cox – USA Today

Nick Foles received a vote of confidence from a key member of the offense Friday amid speculation that the Eagles might be moving in a different direction at quarterback.

LeSean McCoy, during an appearance on the NFL Network, was asked if Foles can be “the guy” for Chip Kelly‘s offense.

“I think so. I like Nick,” said McCoy. “The person and the player that everybody thought he was, he is. There were a lot of injuries this year — Nick obviously got injured. He gets all the blame and he shouldn’t. I think Nick is a good quarterback, he is the leader of this team, and things just didn’t work out for him this year due to injury. But we’ve got his back.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What Will the Big Move Be?

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Today’s question comes from Wiztopher in the comments section:

What is the biggest personnel move the Eagles execute this offseason? We know the franchise has migrated away from the “all-in” mentality of the Dream Team days, but one thing is obvious, change, whether big or small, is coming and especially so with all that juicy cap space. Read more »

Why Chip Kelly and the Eagles Absolutely Need Marcus Mariota

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

There’s a lot to love about Philadelphia sports fans, including the fact that we might be the most overly reactive people in America.

Marcus Mariota made a dreadful mistake Monday night in the college football national championship game. He was the quarterback on the team that lost.

Never mind that Mariota didn’t play poorly. In fact, by most statistical measures, he played well. He completed 24 of 37 passes (65%) for 333 yards and two touchdowns, and his one interception was a meaningless one, coming in desperation in the waning moments of Oregon’s 42-20 loss to Ohio State. The Ducks simply got overpowered by a better team. And it was only the fifth loss of a brilliant career where he won 36 other games in three years, the Heisman Trophy, and four MVP awards in four previous post-season games.

Now fans are fans. They watch games from a knee jerk perspective. Probably about 80% of the audience that watched Monday’s national title game had never before seen Mariota and were only buoyed by hype and hope. The kid doesn’t dazzle? Then he must stink.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Conservative Chip?

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Today’s question comes from reader Jason via email:

I’m curious to see your thoughts on Chip Kelly and his aggressiveness in the NFL.  Coming out of college he had a reputation for taking more chances and being unorthodox during games (more 2 point conversions, on-sides kicks, going on 4th down, etc).  We saw a little of this in 2013, but much less in 2014, IMO.  Is this just a perception thing, or do you think he is acting like many college coaches before him and becoming more cautious/conservative in the NFL?  Maybe a little too much. Read more »

Mariota Declares For Draft

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Marcus Mariota officially declared for the NFL Draft Wednesday.

“After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft,” Mariota said in a statement. “My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete.

“The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck.

“I will miss being with my teammates.  Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure.” Read more »

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