Wake-Up Call: Why It’s Working For Sanchez (So Far)

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When Mark Sanchez’s night was through Friday, tight end Zach Ertz approached the quarterback and congratulated  him on going 12-for-12.

“I said, ‘No, man, I went 11-for-12.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but that [interception] didn’t hit the ground,’ ” said Sanchez with a grin. “You have to have a sense of humor about it.”

No matter how you slice it, Sanchez has completed passes at a high rate in his limited time in an Eagles uniform. The six-year vet is 18-for-22  for 196 yards with two touchdowns and an interception over the first two preseason games. That’s a completion rate of 82 percent. Read more »

Notes: Kelly On Sanchez’s Trade Value, Injury Updates

Sanchez

Towards the end of today’s session with the media, Chip Kelly was asked about the future of quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has gone 18-for-22 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the first two preseason games. How would the Eagles weigh potentially trading him against keeping Sanchez on the roster as the backup?

“Good question, cause Mark has played well,” Kelly said. “But we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. So that’s not something we’re talking about because you’re just spending time on things that could happen, should happen… I don’t know. Read more »

Kelly: Pass Rush The Issue On Third Down

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Chip Kelly could have offered a generic answer about the front end and the back end working together.

He could have expanded on how disappointed he was with the penalties, or even just given credit to Tom Brady. But when asked about the issues the Eagles are having on third down, Kelly pointed directly to the guys up front.

“We need to generate a better pass rush,” he said. “I think our defensive line needs to do a better job in terms of what their rush contains are. We had the one play with [Ryan] Mallett where Marcus [Smith II] does a nice job, makes him flush up in the pocket, but we got nobody on that side containing the quarterback, and you let the quarterback scramble for a touchdown.” Read more »

Matthews Much Better Second Time Around

Matthews
FOXBORO, MASS. –
The Jordan Matthews that had opened so many eyes this summer was not present at Soldier Field a week ago. He resurfaced Friday night in New England.

The rookie caught nine balls on as many targets and was far and away the game’s leading receiver with 105 yard in the Eagles’ 42-35 loss to the Patriots.

“He got the jitters out. He got the butterflies out,” said Mark Sanchez. “This is not an easy game to jump in and have an impact like that. He went through that last week in Chicago, got used to the hotel, the bus, the airport. All that stuff. There are a million things that are different from college — the speed of the game, and all that. But this week he looked great. Trusted his technique, trusted his coaching, played really well.” Read more »

Frustrated Kelly Sounds Off On Penalties

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — When Eagles players returned to the locker room following their 42-35 loss to the Patriots Friday night, they were greeted by a frustrated and stern Chip Kelly.

“Very strong,” said Cary Williams, when asked about the head coach’s message. “You could tell that he was frustrated. You could tell that he was upset about it. He wasn’t very happy about the way we played.

“He said he’s frustrated about penalties. He said that he wanted us to be better. We don’t practice like that. We shouldn’t play like that. We’ve gotta get our butts in gear and do something about it.” Read more »

Ertz Opening Eyes In New England

Ertz
FOXBORO, MASS. –
 There is a growing buzz about Zach Ertz as he gets set to enter his second NFL season. Is he aware of what’s being said and written about him?

“Oh yeah,” he said. “I’m on Twitter now and then, on Instagram.

“My mom will retweet something or my agent will retweet something. And it will just be like, ‘Zach Ertz, breakout year coming’ or whatever. I read it and it’s good that there are positive things that are being said about me,” he said, “but at the same time if I go out and have a few drops, the last training camp they said I have bad hands, so it goes both ways.”

True enough. This camp there has been little to pick apart about Ertz’s game, though. He has been getting open with regularity and catching about everything that has been thrown his way. That trend continued this week during joint practices with the Patriots. During one period of 7-on-7s Thursday, Mark Sanchez threw a total of five passes. Three of them were touchdowns tosses to Ertz.

“He’s athletic. He’s fast, he’s faster than I thought,” said Patriots linebacker/defensive end Chandler Jones. “I feel like he is more of a skill player than anything. He runs his routes very well. I’ve had the opportunity to cover him during two days of practice and he’s been a handful.” Read more »

Kelly On 2,000 Yards: ‘I Don’t Care’

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots Practice

FOXBORO, MASS. — Chip Kelly was asked today what he thinks about LeSean McCoy’s chances of gaining 2,000 yards this year.

“I don’t care,” Kelly said. “I really don’t care, and he knows that. And I’ve told him that. All we care about is: Are we winning football games? So we’ve never been driven by individual statistics, and he understands that. But if you ask him if he’d rather win a football game and run for 50 yards… or run for 200 yards and lose a football game, he’ll tell you he’d rather run for 50 and win a game.”

McCoy Tweeted about his quest for 2,000 yards recently, but clarified today that it was just part of a promotional campaign.

“I do a lot of joking with a lot of things,” he said. “I didn’t know it would be this big of a deal. And a lot of it was for Bounce.”

But would you like to hit 2K? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Belichick On Kelly, Foles

NFL: Preseason-New England Patriots at Washington Redskins

FOXBORO, Mass. Bill Belichick said he didn’t study the Eagles’ offense last year. He had no reason to since they weren’t on the Patriots’ schedule.

But he clearly took notice of what his old pal Chip Kelly was able to accomplish – specifically offensively – in his first season as an NFL head coach.

“No, I think Chip is a good coach, does a good job,” Belichick said, when asked if he was surprised that the Eagles were 10-6 and won the NFC East. “They’re a good football team. I think that the play that they got at quarterback last year was real good. I’m not sure that anybody totally saw that coming, but that was a big part of it. They had a lot of explosive plays. They’re very dynamic on offense and created more explosive plays than anybody in the league. They do a good job.” Read more »

All-22: Y-Cross, a Staple Of the Eagles’ Offense

ycross1a_all22

Hang around Chip Kelly enough, and you’ll get used to hearing the number 53 1/3.

That’s the width (in yards) of the football field. Kelly’s offensive philosophy is predicated on making defenses account for every inch of that width, along with the vertical space between the line of scrimmage and the end zone.

Perhaps no play serves as a better example of that philosophy than Y-Cross, a staple of the Air Raid offense, and now a go-to play in the Eagles’ offense.

To break down the concept, we called on our old friend Coach Flinn. Flinn has helped us with the mesh concept, double posts in the red zone and snag. But I’ve never heard him more excited than when discussing Y-Cross. The guy flat-out loves this play. Read more »

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