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 »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We Learned This Spring

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Given that the Eagles’ spring program wrapped up last week with the mandatory minicamp, now seems like a good time to take stock of what we’ve learned the past two months.

Below are three items worth taking a closer look at.

1. A lot is riding on Walter Thurmond.

The 27 year old made the transition from corner to safety in the spring and is the clear frontrunner to start alongside Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles need their safeties to cover man to man against tight ends and slot receivers; play center field in single-high looks; and provide run support. Thurmond has played as a nickel, so he has the first part down. It’s the other two areas where he’ll have to prove himself. Read more »

In Search Of Chip Kelly

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Magazine’s Robert Huber went on a journey to find out who Chip Kelly is.

Below are a couple excerpts from his article.

BEFORE I MADE THE TRIP to New Hampshire, I learned some things.

It’s clear, for example, that Chip Kelly doesn’t give a rat’s ass what other people think of him. Which some people find quite discombobulating. An NFL insider who spent hours with Kelly over dinner a few years ago describes a surreal divide: Chip has a brilliant football mind and can talk endlessly about the game — at warp speed, the way he always talks — but doesn’t seem to be there with you in the moments that aren’t about football. He won’t make eye contact. He seems to be daydreaming, and you sit there wondering what he’s really thinking. Usually, of course, getting to know someone is a combination of what he’s saying and how he feels to you, his body language, the little interjected moments of, say, “How’s your steak?” Chip seems devoid of those moments. He shares almost nothing of himself. He doesn’t ask questions. He doesn’t seem normal, says the NFL guy, who was left, after spending several hours with Kelly, with the most basic fear:

Doesn’t Chip like me?

Read more »

The Secret Life of Chip Kelly

Illustration, left,  by Viktor Miller Gausa (stadium: iStockphoto/Thinkstock; Kelly: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images). Photograph, right, by Douglas Levy

Illustration, left, by Viktor Miller Gausa (stadium: iStockphoto/Thinkstock; Kelly: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images). Photograph, right, by Douglas Levy

I am in pursuit. It’s late May, and I’m spending a few days driving all over the southeastern corner of New Hampshire, that plug of land that gives the Live Free or Die state a right-of-way to the sea. Random inlets of crystalline water lap small towns built around proper squares and painted white. Many are older than America itself.

This is where I’m searching for Chip Kelly — a revolutionary masquerading as a football coach — even though I’m sure he’s in Philadelphia, with his team. Read more »

On Evan Mathis Release: Is Chip Kelly’s Ego Killing the Eagles?

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

In the ripest days of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was ruled by dictators named Khrushchev and Brezhnev, a dissident voice would be punished by a variety of human humiliations. “If you weren’t with us, you were against us,” was the refrain. And whispers in a potato line could get a family shipped to warm and friendly Siberia.

I thought about that a lot this week as I watched and listened to Philadelphia Eagles players support head coach Chip Kelly’s banishment of offensive guard Evan Mathis. See, in the world of professional sports, it’s odd to hear players turn their backs on teammates in times of contract squabbles. Players are normally in this fight together, brothers in arms, strengthened further by their own brotherhood union. Read more »

Notes: Minicamp Comes To A Close

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The 2015 Eagles got one more workout in Thursday before their six-week hiatus. Minicamp came to a close with a slightly-shortened practice under a light rain at the NovaCare Complex. One player was heard shouting “Freedom!” as the final horn sounded. A quick team meeting, and then school was officially let out.

“It’s a great group, we trust them,” said Chip Kelly, addressing the media for the final time before training camp. “They’ve got their individual workouts that they’ll be accountable for when they come back. Just enjoy your time off, you deserve your time off. They’ve worked extremely hard since April 20 and just looking forward to getting guys back here on the first (of August).”

What did the head coach learn about his team over the last eight weeks? Read more »

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