Photo by Jeff Fusco
Here is our weekly look at three Eagles numbers that matter.
59 – That’s Brandon Boykin’s success rate, according to Football Outsiders. Success rate is defined as “the share of targets on which the corner prevented a successful gain (45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down and 100 percent on third down).”
Boykin’s mark ranked tied for fifth in the entire NFL last season, behind only New England’s Darrelle Revis, Indianapolis’ Vontae Davis, Buffalo’s Corey Graham and Houston’s Kareem Jackson. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Here is what the national media have to say about Chip Kelly’s squad this week. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
The crowd around Tim Tebow last week was ran deep. His fame outweighs his production, but this was the first time reporters had a chance to talk to Tebow in an Eagles uniform.
The gathering around Sam Bradford was huge too. He barely participated in practice, but there’s a lot riding on his surgically repaired left knee.
And then there’s Mark Sanchez, the quarterback who started eight games last season and has been lining up with the first team this spring. The group of reporters was smaller, but Sanchez touched on a variety of topics, including what his expectations are and why he chose to come back to Philadelphia.
When Sanchez re-signed, he expected to be competing with Nick Foles. But a couple days after he made his decision, the Eagles swapped Foles for Bradford.
“Whether I was surprised or not, I knew there was gonna be competition either way,” Sanchez said. “I had a great relationship with Nick so I expected to compete with him, but when that didn’t happen, I knew Sam was gonna be another guy in the quarterback room. And all of us are competing to play. Read more »
DeMarco Murray/Photo by Jeff Fusco
DeMarco Murray was first asked about LeSean McCoy’s comments regarding Chip Kelly getting rid of all the black players on the Eagles.
“Look around,” Murray said calmly. “There’s a lot of us out here, so I’m not sure about that.”
Later during the interview, a reporter asked about Joseph Randle. The Cowboys running back said recently that Murray left a lot of meat on the bone last season, despite leading the NFL in rushing yards.
“I’m not worried about it,” Murray said. “[He’s] a good kid, and we’ll see what they can do this year.”
It’s been less than three months since Murray signed with the Eagles, but he’s had several opportunities to stir up controversy. He could have taken aim at Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ brass for not re-signing him. He could have taken issue with McCoy. And he could have put Randle in his place.
But instead, Murray seems to prefer a measured, quiet approach. And that seems to be working just fine with his teammates. Read more »
Here are three items from OTAs we haven’t covered yet.
1. Chip Kelly seems to think the new two-point/PAT guidelines are dumb. And I have to say I agree with him.
Asked to talk about the new two-point rule, Kelly said: “I don’t think anything’s new. That’s the way we look at it. …We were 43-of-45 in the last two years from that distance, so 96 percent. I don’t know what changes to be honest with you.”
The new rule has teams kicking the extra point from the 15 yard line or going for two from the 2 yard line. The Eagles’ proposal, which was not approved, had the two-point attempt starting at the 1.
“We’re still going to kick an extra point,” Kelly said. “I don’t understand the proposal. If they want you to go for two more, the ball has always been on the 2 yard line. That’s always been an option for everybody for awhile. …The numbers will dictate when you go for two, but they didn’t entice you to go for two more, at least in my opinion.” Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Chip Kelly‘s press conference took the inevitable turn towards LeSean McCoy‘s race comments about midway through his pre-practice session with reporters.
Speaking for the first time since McCoy stated that his former head coach was getting rid of “all the good black players” on the team, Kelly said he has respect for McCoy but believes in this case, he’s wrong.
“We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players,” he said, “and color has never been one of them.”
McCoy is not the first former Eagles employee to make these kind of suggestions. Earlier in the offseason, Tra Thomas said that there are players who “feel like there is a hint of racism” behind some of Kelly’s decisions.
“That doesn’t hurt me. I’m not governed by the fear of what other people say. Events don’t elicit feelings. I think beliefs elicit feelings,” said Kelly. “I understand what my beliefs are and I know how I am.
“You start chasing perception and you got a long life ahead of you, son. That’s what it’s all about. If you’re worried about someone else’s perception of what is going on with you, then…You can control one thing. You can control yourself. I know how we run this organization, and it’s not run that way.”
Read more »
Kiko Alonso / Photo by Jeff Fusco
Here’s what we saw during the first practice session open to the media. Read more »
Derik Hamilton/USAT Sports
Chip Kelly held a press conference prior to the Eagles practice today and topics ranged from injury and depth chart updates to DeMarco Murray’s eating habits. Here is a quick rundown of some of the more important issues he covered.
- Kelly said that Sam Bradford is still in the early stages of his rehab, but he has started to participate in throwing drills. Kelly also noted that the next step for Bradford is to begin seven on seven. “There’s three phases, there’s medical rehab, performance rehab and then there’s prepare to play,” Kelly said. “He’s probably right at the tail end of medical rehab and he will probably start throwing some seven on seven next week.”
Read more »
Benny Sieu / USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bedard’s piece on Chip Kelly for Sports Illustrated is now available online. It contains some good nuggets and is worth a read if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Here’s what stood out to us: Read more »
Today marks the start of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) for the Eagles. What are OTAs? Non-contact practices, basically. Now in Phase Three of the offseason conditioning program, the team is allowed to engage in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
A total of 10 practices are permitted over the next several weeks. The Eagles’ OTA schedule breaks down as follows: Read more »