Wake-Up Call: Former Eagles Finding Work

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly told reporters earlier this summer that even if he ran the slowest offense in the NFL, his practices would still be up-tempo.

“The only reason we practice fast is because we want to get more plays in. And if we get more plays in, guys will get more reps. The more times they get reps, the better they get as a player,” he explained. “We have 90 guys on our team that we’re trying to improve on a constant basis. So how do we improve them or make decisions or evaluate them if we never get a chance to have them on film?”

No matter your standing, you’re going to get plenty of work if you are a part of this team. That’s an attractive feature of the Kelly operation for reserve players looking for a home or to better their standing in the league.

“If you’re [second or third string], you want to be in our camp because you get more reps than anyone else,” said Kelly. “Because of the reps we get in practice, our guys get a chance to develop a little more. You go to some teams and the threes aren’t getting many reps — they are losing time compared to our guys.”

Interestingly enough, a good number of Eagles released in recent days quickly landed jobs elsewhere. Read more »

The Eagles’ Depth Chart At Wide Receiver

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

We got a request from a reader yesterday to run through the Eagles’ wide receiver depth chart with the guys currently on the roster.

And since we are a blog of the people, we will oblige.

The Eagles currently have nine wide receivers on their roster (that does not include pass-catchers like TE Zach Ertz and RB Darren Sproles).

Below is a player-by-player look at how each guy figures into the team’s 2014 plans. Keep in mind that this outlook will likely change post-draft. Read more »

Making Sense Of the Eagles’ Inactives

kendricks_940_100113The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Washington Redskins: QB Michael Vick, WR Damaris Johnson, CB Bradley Fletcher, safety Earl Wolff, LB Jake Knott, OT Dennis Kelly and LB Mychal Kendricks.

The good news for the Eagles is that Jason Peters is active and expected to start. He was listed as questionable with a pair of injuries (quadriceps, pectoral). If Peters has issues, Allen Barbre will step in. The Eagles also have Matt Tobin active, along with backup guard/center Julian Vandervelde. They usually go with only two backups on gameday, but because of Peters’ injury, they are going with three today. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Raiders, the Day After

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland RaidersWhen addressing the media after his team just dropped 49 points against the Oakland Raiders, Chip Kelly wanted to make one thing clear: The offensive explosion was not the result of some magical play-calling elixir he had concocted in the wee hours of the morning at the NovaCare Complex.

Rather, it was something a lot more simple.

“We called a lot of plays that we’ve called the last two weeks,” Kelly said. “We just executed ‘em. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

The masses are searching for answers on the day after the Eagles earned their fourth victory of the season.

How can an offense that scored three points in two weeks all-of-a-sudden look unstoppable?

How can a quarterback who was a complete disaster two weeks ago come back and play the best game of his life? Read more »

Injury Report: Jackson, Peters Probable

desean_400_102713Here is the Eagles’ injury report for this weekend’s game against the Raiders:

Out: QB Michael Vick (hamstring).

Doubtful: LB Jake Knott (hamstring).

Questionable: Safety Patrick Chung (shoulder), WR Damaris Johnson (ankle), LB Casey Matthews (hip).

Probable: OLB Connor Barwin (back), LS Jon Dorenbos (groin), QB Nick Foles (concussion), WR DeSean Jackson (ankle), P Donnie Jones (left foot), T Jason Peters (shoulder, finger), RB Chris Polk (shoulder), DE Cedric Thornton (knee).

No real surprises here. The one thing to keep an eye on is the return game. If Johnson (questionable) can’t go, Brandon Boykin will likely return kickoffs. Punts are a little bit more of a mystery though. Jackson could be an option, but Chip Kelly has been hesitant to put him back there. And he might be even more hesitant, considering Jackson has an ankle injury.
Read more »

Jackson Still Limited With Ankle Injury

DeSean Jackson practice tired helmet offDeSean Jackson is dealing with an ankle injury and was a limited participant at practice for the second straight day.

“Yeah, he hurt his ankle,” said Chip Kelly prior to Thursday’s session. “We’ll see what he can do and what the effects are, but he just rolled it or tweaked it or whatever, but he’s going today.”

Michael Vick (hamstring),  Donnie Jones (left foot) and Casey Matthews (hip) were also limited. Vick will not play this week.

Damaris Johnson missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury but was listed as a full participant today. Jake Knott (hamstring) was the only player unable to practice Thursday.

Patrick Chung (shoulder), Jon Dorenbos (groin), Nick Foles (concussion),  Jason Peters (shoulder, finger),  Chris Polk (shoulder) and Cedric Thornton (knee) were all full-go. Read more »

Week 2: Eagles Snap Count Analysis

Here’s a look at Eagles snap counts Sunday against the Chargers.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
LeSean McCoy5085%
Bryce Brown915%

LeSean McCoy played 85 percent of the snaps, but the total was just 50 since the Eagles ran far fewer plays than in Week 1. He had 16 total touches for 167 yards.

Bryce Brown played nine snaps and had three carries for 13 yards. Chris Polk played special-teams only. He has not played an offensive snap  yet.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Riley Cooper5695%
Brent Celek5492%
DeSean Jackson5492%
Jason Avant4881%
Zach Ertz1220%
James Casey58%
Damaris Johnson47%
Jeff Maehl35%

Riley Cooper played the most snaps among this group for the second week in a row. He had two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.

DeSean Jackson played all but five snaps, finishing with nine catches for 193 yards on 15 targets. As we mentioned, to say he could have easily had 300 yards receiving is no stretch.

The Eagles were in ’11′ personnel with one RB, one TE and three WRs quite a bit for the second straight week. Jason Avant played 81 percent of the snaps and had four catches for 39 yards. It doesn’t appear that Damaris Johnson will have much of a role in this offense when everyone else is healthy. He played just four snaps. And Jeff Maehl got on the field for three snaps.

At tight end, Brent Celek played all but five snaps and was shut out (one target). Rookie Zach Ertz played 12 snaps, but made the most of them, catching two balls for 58 yards. James Casey only played five snaps and dropped a potential touchdown pass early from Michael Vick.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Fletcher Cox6477%
Cedric Thornton5769%
Isaac Sopoaga2834%
Bennie Logan2733%
Clifton Geathers1417%
Damion Square1214%

Not too much to note here. Fletcher Cox played the most snaps (64), followed by Cedric Thornton (57). Isaac Sopoaga played 34 percent of the snaps. And the second team was Bennie Logan (33 percent), Clifton Geathers (17 percent) and Damion Square (14 percent). For the second straight week, Vinny Curry was inactive.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans83100%
Mychal Kendricks83100%
Connor Barwin7995%
Trent Cole6781%
Brandon Graham1619%
Casey Matthews45%

DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks played every single snap. Still have to re-watch, but Kendricks seemed to struggle throughout.

Connor Barwin was the only defensive player to notch a sack, and Trent Cole seemed to be active.

Casey Matthews backed up Barwin at left outside linebacker and played four snaps. And Brandon Graham played 16 snaps behind Cole at right outside linebacker.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Cary Williams83100%
Patrick Chung8299%
Brandon Boykin8096%
Nate Allen6376%
Earl Wolff4959%
Brandon Hughes2227%

The secondary was a mess. Cary Williams played every snap and was called for three pass interference penalties. Brandon Boykin played all but three snaps. He started off on the outside, but moved inside at times.

Brandon Hughes played 22 snaps on the outside, but suffered a hamstring injury.

Patrick Chung played all but one snap – both at safety and at nickel.

Nate Allen (76 percent) and Earl Wolff (59 percent) both saw significant action, but neither played well.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Player Survey: Which Eagle Will Have a Big Year?

Damaris JohnsonLast week, we walked around the Eagles’ locker room and approached players with the following request:

Give me one teammate who’s impressed you this summer and is primed for a big year.

Several players didn’t want to get specific, but others provided responses. Below is what they said.

Jason Kelce: “I think Cedric Thornton has really come on well the past couple years. He continues to improve. He’s a very strong player. I would expect him to have a pretty good year for our defensive line. He’s always been a good player, but he’s starting to hone in a lot of other areas of his game. That experience level’s there now where he played a lot last year for us. So I would expect him to have a very good, solid year.”

“Offensively… I think Damaris [Johnson] has had a really good preseason and really good camp so far. And he’s just such a dynamic player in this offense. He could excel.”

***

Michael Vick: Zach Ertz. The reason I say that is he’s fighting something right now. And once he gets that corrected, it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”

What’s he fighting?

“The ball.”

***

Brandon Graham: “I’d say Damaris Johnson. On special teams, that boy is nice. Somebody that comes to work every day. That’s somebody I see having a real big year, especially on special teams.”

***

Fletcher Cox: “I mean, I’ll just go to a lot of players. Lane Johnson has been good. He’s progressed since Day One.”

Has he surprised you?

“I’m not surprised. He got drafted in the first round for a reason. He’s progressed since Day One and going against him, some of the things that he used to do, he don’t do anymore, you can tell.”

Bennie Logan, he’s a guy that’s gonna have a pretty good season as long as he stays focused and just stays on task with everything that we’re doing.”

***

Todd Herremans: “I think Mychal Kendricks is gonna have a big season. I think that he’s had a really good camp. Last year, I think that picking up a new defense, even though this defense is new to him, I think he just feels more comfortable as an NFL player. He’s able to just play football, rather than think a whole lot. So I think he’s gonna have a really big season.”

***

Jason Avant: “I think DeSean [Jackson] will be ready for a big season this year just because the attitude, the approach he’s taken this year. I’d be surprised if he didn’t, barring any injuries or anything like that. I’m pretty sure he’ll be good.”

“I think Brandon Boykin will play a lot better. I think he’s getting better at it, learning how to play the nickel position, so I’m looking forward to that.”

***

Kurt Coleman: “I think Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. I think they’ve had one of the hardest transitions out of anybody, gonna go from defensive end to outside linebacker. The greatest thing that they do bring, when they are able to rush, they are phenomenal at pass-rushes, and it gives them more angles from the depth that they come from at the outside linebacker position. It’s so new for them to be in pass coverage. And I think that they’ve done a great job transitioning and really understanding the fits as far as when they’re dropping. But when they come on rush, it’s deadly. And I’ve seen it show up a lot of times on film. They’re ready to get some sacks and create some havoc, so I’m excited for them to really just show up and to really have a great year.”

***

Mychal Kendricks: “With the way our offense is, I think our core guys, LeSean [McCoy], DeSean [Jackson], [Brent] Celek, our new guys. I feel like the potential is endless with this offense that we’ve got and I’m excited to see what they can do and what’s gonna happen.”

***

Bryce Brown: “I think Cedric Thornton has really impressed me, a guy who kind of emerged late, but he’s really, really improved his game from last year to this year, and he’s looked impressive. He’s running with the ones. He’s doing a great job. It’s just fun to watch him play. I really like the way he’s doing things.”

***

Lane Johnson: “Really, all of our guys up front. With [Jason] Kelce back, he’s really good at communicating what to do. …He’s not indecisive and he says what he means. When you communicate well, it makes the job easier for tackles and guards.”

Evan Mathis had a great season last year. He pushes me a lot. I trained with him there in Arizona. Just training with him in the weight room and on the field, we compete a lot.”

***

Zach Ertz:Jason Avant. He’s been a pro’s pro to me, especially, showing me a lot of the ropes, and he’s been doing really well in practice and in the games so far. So that’d be my guy.”

“His skill set, he can do a lot of things from that slot position, he’s very versatile, he can play inside or outside. So I expect a big year from him.”

***

Chris Polk: “It’s hard to give one name… but I would say LeSean [McCoy], Mike Vick, Mychal Kendricks, Connor [Barwin], [Patrick] Chung, Cary [Williams]. There’s a lot of great athletes.”

What have you noticed about McCoy?

“He’s just hungry. He’s hungrier this year. The year that we put out as a team wasn’t too good and that’s not the note you want to end up on. He’s just working really hard. He’s trying to get back to that level.”

***

Vinny Curry:[Jason] Kelce. Just to see him bounce back from getting hurt. He’s dominating so far, coming in with a new system. He still does his thing, controls the offensive line, controls everything and you just feel like he never missed a beat.”

***

Jake Knott: “Probably DeMeco Ryans. The way he handles himself all the time, the way he goes about his daily business and all that, it’s been impressive to me. So I think that’s gonna lead to great things happening for him.”

***

Earl Wolff:Patrick Chung’s gonna be good for us. I like his aggressiveness. I just like the way he plays the game.”

***

Tim McManus contributed to this report.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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