Eagles Add Pistol To Toolbox For 2014

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Chip Kelly believes his job is to provide players with answers.

If he hasn’t armed them with solutions to their on-field problems, he has come up short as a coach.

Last year, there were many answers as the Eagles had one of the top offenses in the league, setting franchise records in points, yards and a number of other categories. There were occasions, though, where opposing defensive coordinators stymied the Birds’ attack.

So the offseason has been about adding layers to the offense. The foundation remains the same: spread ‘em out and run the ball until the opponent forces you to do something else. But there will be new wrinkles added in 2014. Some might be obvious in four days when the Eagles host the Jaguars. We might not see others until November or later, depending on the rhythm of the season.

Either way, it seems likely that one of the wrinkles revealed itself in the preseason: the pistol. Read more »

Roster Analysis: Sizing Up the Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles made cuts today, trimming the roster down to 53 players in advance of the 4 p.m. deadline. Here’s a position-by-position look at what the squad looks like on offense. We’ll do the defense next.

Quarterbacks (3): Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley.

No surprises here. Those are your top three guys, with G.J. Kinne let go.

What’s interesting though is that the Eagles might not be totally done at quarterback. According to Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, they seem to be fielding trade offers on Barkley. I’m not sure that the Eagles will get any suitors, but there could be a team or two that liked Barkley when he was coming out of USC and thinks about taking a flier on him.

Remember, the Eagles reportedly worked out former Bills and Browns QB Thad Lewis earlier this week.

Obviously, the top two spots will go to Foles and Sanchez. Read more »

Barner, Tucker Injured Against Jets

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Matthew Tucker and Kenjon Barner were hurt on back-to-back plays in the second quarter Thursday night against the Jets.

After a four-yard run off the left end, Tucker went to the sidelines and was clearly in discomfort. It was later revealed that he sustained a shoulder injury. Barner replaced Tucker and rushed for five yards on the next play but hurt his ankle on the run and limped off.  Tucker returned briefly but was still clearly hampered. Henry Josey and Damaris Johnson carried the load the rest of the way at running back. Josey finished with 121 yards on 22 carries (5.5 average).

Chris Polk practiced this week and was hoping to play even despite not being all the way back from a hamstring injury suffered early in training camp. But he sat out. After the game, he explained that the hamstring just wasn’t ready. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Polk Feeling the Heat

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chris Polk told reporters Tuesday that his hamstring is not 100 percent healed and that he doesn’t feel very confident in the leg at the moment. In the next breath, he said he would be practicing next week.

Such is the life of a player on the fringe.

Polk suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain, or partial tear, on the second day of training camp. He heard a pop while making a hard cut and the hammy tightened up on him.

“I just felt like my world ended that day,” he said.

Polk has been unable to get back onto the practice field since.  Time is running out to convince the coaching staff that he deserves to be kept on the 53-man, as the final cuts are just 10 days away. Does he feel like his status is in jeopardy?

“Yeah,” he responded after a moment of thought. “There is nothing guaranteed. I wasn’t drafted. I’m not LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles. I’m not guaranteed anything.”

Those comments came hours before the Eagles acquired Kenjon Barner from the Panthers for a conditional seventh-round pick. Read more »

Injury Update: McCoy Returns To Practice

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

LeSean McCoy returned to practice after sitting Sunday’s session out with a sore toe.

“My toe, man, my toe was really bothering me during the game. It kinda was real sore a couple days before that,” he said. “Yesterday was really hurting pretty bad. But I got an MRI, some x-rays, and it’s fine. I felt a little better today so I went for it and I actually finished practice.”

Read more »

Maclin, Cooper To Sit Against Pats

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

FOXBORO, MASS. – Starting receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are sitting out tonight’s tilt against the Patriots, as expected.

Maclin injured his left hamstring in practice Wednesday and did not take part in Thursday’s light practice with New England. Cooper is still dealing with a foot ailment. He hopes to play next week against the Steelers and is “pretty confident” he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Ifeanyi Momah and Arrelious Benn have been running with the first team in their absence. Read more »

Vandervelde Undergoes Back Surgery

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Julian Vandervelde underwent back surgery on Thursday, per multiple sources.

While timetables for recovery are difficult to predict, particularly when it comes to back injuries, his rehab time is expected to be similar to Dennis Kelly‘s. Kelly had back surgery to repair an L2 disc last August. He was cleared to participate in all football activities in September and had targeted Week 4 for his return. Kelly did not play last season, though, at least in part because the offensive line remained generally healthy last year.

“He’s going to need a little bit of patience because you do start over. You have to start from square one once you get cleared,” said Kelly. “It was tough going through the season because you’re just trying to get your strength back. I’d like to say [I reached 100 percent health] during the season but more realistically [it was] during the spring.”

Since Vandervelde has already practiced, he is not eligible for the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Read more »

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