Eagles Wake-Up Call: Sproles’ Role In 2015

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

There has been a lot of turnover in the Eagles backfield the past few months, but one thing has stayed the same: the presence of Darren Sproles.

Sproles was acquired last offseason in a trade with the New Orleans Saints and immediately made an impact. In the season opener against the Jaguars, he took a handoff on 4th-and-1 and raced 49 yards to the end zone. The very next week, Sproles torched the Colts for 152 receiving yards and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

However, fewer opportunities and an injury he sustained against the Giants slowed Sproles’ production down the stretch. There were times after Mark Sanchez took over where the pair had chances for big plays in the passing game, but they were unable to capitalize. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: How Will Eagles Split Up Carries?

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Today’s question comes via Twitter:

For the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume that you mean carries, not touches.

Chip Kelly has said he felt the run game relied too heavily on LeSean McCoy the past two seasons. Last year, Eagles running backs totaled 415 carries, and 312 of those (75.2 percent) were McCoy. Only DeMarco Murray (392) had more carries than McCoy in 2014.

In 2013, McCoy had 314 of the 400 carries by Eagles running backs, or 78.5 percent.

Obviously, when you sign two guys like Murray and Ryan Mathews, you expect to spread the carries around a little more, but I don’t see this as anything close to an equal time share. Read more »

Notes: Marcus Smith Nearing Return

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith has spent most of OTAs working off to the side with trainers.

He injured his right groin on the second day of spring practice, he said, and has been essentially a spectator since. After a rookie year full of frustrations, it wasn’t exactly the start to 2015 he was looking for.

“I was just like, ‘Something else. It’s gotta be something else,’ ” said Smith. “But I’m glad it happened now rather than later.”

The second-year outside linebacker did work in on some individual drills Monday and expects to participate in team drills come Wednesday. Read more »

Weekend Reading: A Role For Sproles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.

Jeff McLane of the Inquirer wonders if Chip Kelly can find a bigger role for Darren Sproles in his offense:

Sproles was second on the team in carries (57) to McCoy (312) during the season, but after [LeSean] McCoy was traded to the Bills and [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews were brought in, Kelly spoke of more evenly distributing the workload.

Performance would seem to be the ultimate decider in how Kelly doles out playing time. But Sproles averaged 2.1 yards per snap to McCoy’s 1.9, 5.8 yards per rush to McCoy’s 4.2, and 9.7 yards per catch to McCoy’s 5.5 last season.
Read more »

Weekend Reading: Would Manuel Make Sense For Eagles?

EJ Manuel / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

EJ Manuel / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

According to NFL.com, there’s a chance the Bills might be looking to part ways with quarterback E.J. Manuel this summer. And Chris Wesseling thinks the Eagles could make sense as his potential next landing spot:

If the Bills end up dangling Manuel for a late-round pick in August, keep an eye on the Eagles as a potential trade partner.

After recruiting Manuel at Oregon, Chip Kelly told NFL Network in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft that the former Florida State star was a player he “didn’t get a chance to coach but would like a chance to coach.”

Read more »

Ten Leftover Thoughts On the Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an eventful few days for the Eagles during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

We heard from Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, from Chip Kelly on Wednesday and had numerous conversations with other people around the league.

If you haven’t caught up on all our coverage, I suggest starting at the beginning and doing so now. Meanwhile, here are 10 leftover thoughts on the state of the Birds. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Backs Are Where It’s At

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

INDIANAPOLIS — Before setting off on a two-hour, 45-minute voyage of a conference call with reporters this week, Mike Mayock took 30 seconds to provide an overview of the draft class that is set to descend on Indy for the Scouting Combine.

“I think [it’s] particularly deep at running back,” he said. “Although it might not be quite as deep at wide receiver as a year ago, it’s still going to be a very good wide receiver class. Correspondingly, it’s going to be very thin at quarterback and safety. And I think the rest of the positions are solid.”

Mayock certainly isn’t the only analyst/scout that is high on this running back class. The buzz isn’t quite as loud as it was for the historic wide receiver crop last year, but it’s at a pretty good hum.
Read more »

Eagles Offseason Outlook: Running Back

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. We have covered the quarterbacks and wide receivers so far. Now it’s onto the running backs.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

With this group, the offseason focus is on LeSean McCoy’s contract. The 26-year-old tailback carries a cap hit of $11.95M in 2015, according to Over The Cap. Only Adrian Peterson has a higher number among running backs.

The Eagles will have to decide what to do with McCoy: have him play 2015 on his current deal, ask him to restructure his contract or part ways with him. I think the third option is ridiculous, but more on that in the next section. Read more »

Gruden: A Lot Of Teams Would Trade For Foles

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Last night, some Eagles got to show off their talents in Glendale, Az., albeit a week earlier than they would have liked. Nine players ended up getting selected to participate in the Pro Bowl, but because of injuries and other reasons, six actually played in the game.

Below is a roundup of Eagles-related news and notes from the event.

Before the game, Jon Gruden gave Comcast SportsNet’s John Clark his thoughts on Nick Foles’ future as the Eagles quarterback:

“Foles can execute and make plays in this offense if he’s healthy,” Gruden said. “He’s been hurt two years in a row. That’s the number one obstacle with Foles, staying on the field. Chip Kelly is sure going to be looking for quarterbacks [in the draft], we all do, and I’m sure that he has Marcus Mariota on his speed dial. Read more »

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