Eagles Wake-Up Call: On the Supplemental Draft

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The coverage and anticipation are not quite at the level of the actual draft, but he NFL will conduct its supplemental draft later today.

The supplemental draft is for prospects who were not eligible for the April/May draft for one reason or another – they were academically ineligible, got kicked off their college team, etc.

NFL teams submit picks by round for each prospect. If they are awarded a player, they forfeit that round’s pick in next year’s draft. The Browns, for example, selected Josh Gordon with a second-round supplemental pick in 2012, thus giving up their second-round selection in 2013. Gordon was the last player to be selected in the supplemental draft. None have been taken the past two seasons.

This year, the most popular name is Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle. Here’s a scouting report from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: Read more »

Football School: Three Things We Learned This Week

Jimmy Johnson. Kirby Lee/USA Today

Jimmy Johnson. Kirby Lee/USA Today

Like many of you, I am a football consumer. And one reason I like this slow period from mid-June to early August is I can catch up on things I’ve been meaning to read, watch, listen to, etc. So from time to time between now and training camp, I’ll share three items I find interesting.

1. Back in March, Peter King revealed that Chip Kelly had been using Jimmy Johnson as a sounding board this offseason. Johnson said one piece of advice he gave to Kelly after Kelly was given full personnel control was to go with players who fit his personality and his system.

The 30 For 30 short on Johnson that focused on the Herschel Walker trade provided further insight into Johnson’s mindset and perhaps what he shared with Kelly.

“I considered trading every player on our roster, everybody, even a player that I loved, Michael Irvin, who played for me at Miami,” Johnson said. “…I didn’t understand the way the NFL worked. But back then, teams didn’t trade that much. I think everybody on our football team realized that anything could happen.”

Per Johnson, the Cowboys made 51 trades in five years, more than the rest of the league put together. The biggest one, of course, was the Walker trade with the Vikings. Why did Johnson make such a bold move with that deal?

“You had to have the system for Herschel Walker for him to be productive,” he said. “I was more interested in the nifty back that could get the big run rather than the power back that was a straight line runner.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What They See In Tobin, Barbre

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

During an interview session with reporters last month, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was asked about the luxury of having stability at both tackle spots and center.

“The other player that I really think is underrated is Allen Barbre,” he responded. “Allen Barbre is a really good player. We have a lot of confidence in him and his abilities.”

This has been the general sentiment shared by all parties at the NovaCare Complex – Stoutland, Chip KellyJason Peters, etc.

Barbre has started just eight games in seven NFL seasons. In two years with the Eagles, he has played 122 snaps. Yet whatever he’s doing at practice, in the weight room and at meetings has teammates and coaches convinced he’s ready for a starting role. Remember, Barbre was penciled in as a starter after the Eagles released Todd Herremans. He’ll just move to the more comfortable left side now that Evan Mathis is no longer in the mix. Read more »

Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

From the pass rush to a surprising Nick Foles stat to the run game, here are three Eagles numbers that matter.

29.6 – The percentage of pass plays last year in which the Eagles’ defense generated pressure. That number ranked first in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders. It’s a pretty remarkable stat for a couple different reasons. The Eagles play a two-gap 3-4 in which they focus on stopping the run on early downs. And I don’t think they have a player who would be considered a premiere edge rusher.

Connor Barwin led the team with 14.5 sacks and 21 hurries (coaches’ stats) last year. Those are great numbers, but in many cases, he’s not blowing by (or running over) offensive tackles. He’s savvy and does a great job of anticipating where the quarterback is going to end up. To his credit, Barwin knows how to finish also. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Eagles Healthiest In NFL

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Hope you are all having a happy and healthy one. Some links to pass along in case you need a quick fix:

The Eagles have been the healthiest team over the past two seasons, according to a metric created by Football Outsiders. BGN has more.

Spoiler alert: evidence would suggest Philadelphia’s sports science program has been able to keep the team very healthy. So healthy, in fact, that the Eagles are the healthiest team in the NFL the past two seasons…

Perhaps even more interesting than the Eagles being the most healthy team is the disparity between them and the New York Giants. The Giants have been bitten hard by the injury bug in recent years. Is it just bad luck? Maybe not. Read more »

Afternoon Links: Why the Parting Shots?

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

DeSean Jackson cried foul over the way he was shown the exit in Philly. LeSean McCoy and Tra Thomas brought up race. Cary Williams took aim at the team’s conditioning practices and said the Eagles were outcoached down the stretch last season. Even Trent Cole fired off a tweet exclaiming “No respect!” after being released.

The latest comments from Jackson claiming that he was the victim of a smear campaign in Philly led to the following debate topic on NFL Network: Why do former Eagles continue to take shots at Chip Kelly?

“I think it has in large part to do with, when you are a professional athlete, you are a man,” said Jamie Dukes, who was an offensive lineman in the league for 10 seasons. “And  Chip Kelly I think has made the mistake that we’ve seen Nick Saban make, Greg Schiano — who I really like but I think he made the mistake and admitted to it…This college thing. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly Calls On Day, Again

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Ryan Day played quarterback for Chip Kelly when the coach was in full-out mad scientist mode. Serving as New Hampshire’s offensive coordinator at the time, Kelly rotated offensive systems in and out at a dizzying pace as he searched for the perfect concoction. Day was the signal-caller in the middle of the whirlwind.

“At that time, we were changing offenses every week. We would go from Run ‘n Shoot to the Wing-T to the Veer. One week we threw it six times, the next week we threw it 65 times,” Day recalled. “Coach kind of had a laboratory there, and it was a lot of fun to be around.”

So much fun that Day found it hard to pull himself away — much to the detriment of his grade point average.

“Coach used to laugh: when I was in college, in the spring I would get like a 3.0 but in the fall I would be around a 1.5,” he said. “I used to spend pretty much the whole fall in there listening to the meetings, listening to some of the game-planning and kind of learning how that went, which is kind of why I became a coach. I just liked it and I got around Coach and he made it exciting for me. Maybe without that, I wouldn’t have gotten into coaching.” Read more »

Football School: Three Things We Learned This Week

Rich Kotite (USA Today)

Rich Kotite (USA Today)

Like many of you, I am a football consumer. And one reason I like this slow period from mid-June to early August is I can catch up on things I’ve been meaning to read, watch, listen to, etc.

So each week between now and training camp, I’ll share three items I find interesting. Here’s the first edition.

1. Bringing the Heat by Mark Bowden has been sitting on my shelf for a couple years. It chronicles the story of the 1992 Eagles, one of the first teams I remember following. The book is filled with colorful anecdotes and really illustrates how much has changed since that era.

Bowden tells one story of Marvin Hargrove, an undrafted free agent wide receiver who made a splash during training camp. Many around the team apparently felt Hargrove was getting a bit too cocky with his success. So one day, athletic trainer Otho Davis decided to knock him down a peg. He “gave him a couple of pills and rigged one of his famous menthol heat balm wraps that set Marvin’s nuts on fire – as intended.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Matthews’ Role in 2015

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

During his first practices as a rookie, Jordan Matthews made a habit of finding the end zone.

Whenever he caught the ball, he would take off in a sprint towards the goal line before eventually returning to the line of scrimmage. Chip Kelly was asked last week about Matthews’ routine.

“In football, the play ends on a whistle,” Kelly said. “So when the whistle blows, stop running. That was the conversation.”

When the regular season started, Matthews had no problem finding the end zone, scoring eight touchdowns as a rookie.

Raymond Summerlin of Rotoworld recently put together a piece on red zone production. He found that Matthews scored on 38 percent of his red zone targets, ranking 16th among all wide receivers and ninth among those who were targeted 10 times or more. Read more »

Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

From red zone production to play-action passes to the in-season travel schedule, here are three Eagles numbers that matter.

36.5 – DeMarco Murray’s TD rate on carries inside the opponents’ 10 the last two years, according to writer Graham Barfield. Murray scored 19 times on 52 attempts. That’s the fifth-best mark among running backs since 2013.

LeSean McCoy, meanwhile, ranked 35th in this category, converting just eight of 46 attempts (17.4 percent) into touchdowns. While there are plenty of factors that go into this – play-calling, the offensive line, etc. – it seems reasonable to expect that the Eagles could get more from Murray than McCoy when they get into scoring range. Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »