Wake-Up Call: Eagles Look In Mirror After Loss

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Sitting on a stool shirtless in the Eagles locker room after losing to the Dolphins yesterday, Lane Johnson paused to consider the question.

What was the turning point in the game?

The offensive lineman had a plethora of possibilities to choose from. Was it the blocked punt that gave Miami the ball at Philadelphia’s 12-yard line? Or Jarvis Landry’s touchdown catch that bounced off Connor Barwin’s helmet? What about Mark Sanchez’s interception in the end zone?

Perhaps the number of options overwhelmed Johnson, because he struggled to identify one.

“I felt like we had the game won a few times,” he said. “This one slipped away, in a bad way. We had a chance to win that game, and just didn’t. It was right there at our fingertips.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Containing Cam Newton

Cam Newton. (USA Today Sports)

Cam Newton. (USA Today Sports)

Looking at last year’s game, it seems safe to say the Eagles figured out Cam Newton. The Panthers Pro Bowler registered a quarterback rating of just 15.3 against Philadelphia, in part because he was sacked nine times and ran the ball twice for six yards.

But as Newton has led the Panthers to a surprising 5-0 start this season, the Eagles have little reason to reflect on last year — largely because the quarterback had an ankle injury.

“We faced a different Cam,” Chip Kelly reportedly told Carolina media yesterday. “We haven’t spent a lot of time looking at last year just because I don’t think Cam was at 100 percent last year when we played them.” Read more »

Eagle Eye: Jordan Reed Is Breaking Out

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

The third-most prolific tight end in the National Football League isn’t a member of the old guard like Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham, nor a well-known up-and-comer like Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert.

Instead, it’s Washington’s Jordan Reed who ranks third in the league in receiving yards by a tight end after three weeks, piling up 19 catches for 241 yards and a touchdown. He’s just three yards behind Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce for second place.

Reed is on pace for an astounding 101 catches, 1,285 yards and five touchdowns if he keeps up the frankly unsustainable pace with which he’s picking apart defenses.
Read more »

All-22: Inside the Defensive Line’s Dominance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ season through three weeks has been a fascinating series of twists and turns. Before the opener in Atlanta, many considered the rushing attack to be a potential juggernaut. After Week 3, however, they rank third-to-last in yards per carry.

The secondary, meanwhile, was considered a potential weakness in the offseason. But after the win against New York, the Eagles’ defense ranks in the top-10 in interceptions, opponent passer rating and yards per throw allowed. Read more »

Notes: Chip And the Offensive Line

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

In the oft-referenced presentation Chip Kelly gave at the NIKE coaches clinic back in 2009, the  head coach declared: “The five offensive linemen are the key to your football team.”

Considering how much he values the run game and offense overall, it’s unlikely that he left that philosophy behind at Oregon. And yet his actions have done little to back that philosophy up since arriving in Philadelphia.

The Eagles did use the No. 4 overall pick on Lane Johnson during Kelly’s first year with the team. However, they have made 20 draft selections since then spanning three years, and not one has been an o-lineman. Read more »

On Curry, State Of the Outside Linebackers

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Vinny Curry has been training at outside linebacker full-time for all of two weeks now, so it should probably come as no surprise that his debut at the position Monday night was far from flawless.

“He was a little up‑and‑down there,” said Chip Kelly. “A couple times, he lost containment: once on the quarterback when we had a naked back our way.  But I thought the transition for him, never really having played there and just got his feet wet in the preseason, we felt he did a good job.  But we have got to get dialed in a little bit some on responsibilities.”

Curry played 21 snaps (or 27 percent on the time) against the Falcons. He was deployed mostly on run downs, he said, to minimize the chances that he would have to drop into coverage.

The four-year vet did line up at OLB here and there during the offseason training program, but that seemed to be more about Billy Davis searching for creative ways to use Curry as a situational pass-rusher. Now he’s smack in the middle of a crash course on the position, trying to grasp the different run fits and various nuances while attempting to play at full speed. Read more »

Bill Davis: Secondary Will Be Tested Monday

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

As Bill Davis and the Eagles approach the regular season opener Monday, the defensive coordinator is dealing with a hand full of new players and shuffled positions.

Between three new starters in the secondary, a few ill-timed injuries, and a defensive lineman playing linebacker, Davis has been tasked with making each of his pieces fit. After today’s practice, the third-year coach said he feels good about the makeup of his defense—for now.

“I’m excited about the hand we’re holding right now,” Davis said. “Monday night will tell us our starting point.” Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s a roundup of what the local and national media are saying about the Eagles.

Grantland’s Robert Mays writes that Chip Kelly’s plan to revitalize Sam Bradford could very well work.

Kelly’s approach this offseason — wheeling and dealing like few personnel people ever have — has looked insane at times. Plenty of coaches with 20 wins in two years would feel comfortable moving forward with a familiar quantity at quarterback. But the thinking behind the move for Bradford was a bold and commendable one — it seems that Kelly was projecting that both Bradford and his offense could be better than anyone imagined.

It’s still (extremely) early, but the factors that could have led a more optimistic person to feel good about how Bradford translated to Kelly’s style have been on display all preseason. The inhuman accuracy from his first two college seasons — when he completed a combined 68.5 percent of his passes — has been there in both of his preseason starts. Bradford’s 10-for-10 line on Saturday was impressive, but seeing him perfectly locate throws to receivers in reasonably tight coverage was even more encouraging.

Read more »

Sold: Connor Barwin’s Super-Cool Rittenhouse Condo With Speakeasy Bar

Left: Jeff Fusco | Right: BHHS Fox   Roach, Center City Walnut

Left: Jeff Fusco | Listing Images by OBEO Photographers via TREND/BHHS Fox & Roach, Center City Walnut

It’s been a busy summer for Connor Barwin. When he’s not at training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles, the guy has been hard at work (literally) making the transformation at Ralph Brooks Park a reality. Somehow, between his gridiron plays and his urbanist ways, Barwin found time to sell his home at 18th and Pine.

That’s right, Barwin’s amazing condo a short walk from Rittenhouse Square sold in early June for $1.25 million, according to city records. If you’ve been following along at home, that’s spot on to the original list price.

Read more »

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