Eagles Reshuffle Offensive Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles showed off a different starting offensive line today during the portion of practice open to the media.

They had Jason Peters (LT), Matt Tobin (LG), David Molk (C), Dennis Kelly (RG) and Todd Herremans (RT) with the first team. That’s different players at four of the five positions when compared to who started on Sunday against Washington. Read more »

After Hit On Foles, Peters Answers the Call

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When Jason Peters saw Chris Baker level Nick Foles, he couldn’t contain himself.

“He was cheap-shotted,” Peters said. “I mean he [Baker] cheap-shotted him, and he’s not even trying to make a play. So I just reacted. I shouldn’t have did what I did, but I was just trying to protect my quarterback.” Read more »

All-22: McCoy’s 3rd-And-15 Run


Chip Kelly admitted afterwards that the call wasn’t part of some grand plan. He was, in fact, deciding to be somewhat conservative and play to the game situation.

The Eagles were down 20-13 in the third quarter against the Colts and facing a 3rd-and-15 from the Indianapolis 31. That’s when Kelly decided to go to old reliable: an inside zone run.

“I was actually thinking if we could get into field goal range,” he said. “They were doing a great job when you get into real long yardage situations… they are going to rush three, they are going to drop everybody in coverage. There are not a lot of holes in there to fit a ball in, so I said, ‘Screw it. Let’s run it and get out of it.’ ”

That was the thought process, but 21 yards later, LeSean McCoy had a first down. Darren Sproles would score from 19 yards out three plays later to tie the game. Read more »

Notes: The New-Look Offensive Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Pat Shurmur didn’t want to reveal who would be starting at left guard and right tackle this week in place of the injured Evan Mathis and Allen Barbre, but the early portion of practice Wednesday seemed to paint the picture.

Dennis Kelly was working at left guard with the first unit and Andrew Gardner was at right tackle.

“I think we’re better here than in most places I’ve been because we get so many reps in practice, in our training sessions, that the guys that are going to fill in — just like the guys that did on Sunday — have a better opportunity to do so,” said Shurmur. “Everybody deals with it. It’s rare when you have to put two new guys in a game, we’ve all dealt with having to put in one, but the guys that went in did a great job and I think it’s a function of our culture and our practice that they were able to do it so well.” 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 »

Eagles Depth Chart: Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly likes to say that the Eagles only have a seating chart, not a depth chart, this time of year.

Luckily, here at Birds 24/7, we don’t have to abide by the same rules. So now that we’ve seen all of the spring practices and have our eyes on the start of training camp (July 25), here’s our stab at what the offensive depth chart looks like (we’ll do the defense tomorrow). I tried to make this as useful as possible, so there are explanations below. Read more »

Bradley Fletcher Ruled Out For Sunday’s Game

Bradley FletcherEagles starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

The 27-year-old sustained a concussion late in the game against Washington. He had yet to pass the ImPACT test as of Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles’ depth in the secondary will be tested. Brandon Boykin is expected to start on the outside in Fletcher’s absence, though he could  very well move into the slot in certain packages as well. Brandon Hughes, who is recovering from a fractured hand, is a logical candidate to play on the outside when Boykin does move inside.

Jordan Poyer could also factor into the equation, though the rookie appeared to struggle a bit in limited action against Washington. Safety Patrick Chung saw some time in the slot this preseason, likely in preparation for an emergency scenario.

Fletcher was targeted six times on Monday night and yielded three catches for 33 yards, per Pro Football Focus. He finished with four tackles.

Dennis Kelly (back) has also been ruled out for the Chargers game. He was a limited participant in practice this week and appears to be recovering well from back surgery. He is set to meet with his doctor on Sunday and expects to be cleared for all football activity at that time. The tackle said that he is targeting the Denver game for his return.

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Kelly: No Favoritism Towards Ex-Oregon Players

0V3J8539Of the 61 spots on the Eagles’ roster (practice squad included), five are occupied by guys who played their college ball at Oregon.

Today, Chip Kelly was asked if his familiarity with the former Ducks can help him build his program with the Eagles.

“If we were gonna sing the Oregon fight song, it would,” Kelly joked.

“Besides that, I’m familiar with them and I know what they do, what Jeff [Maehl] can do as a special-teams player. I know what Casey [Matthews] can do as a special-teams player. I was with Pat [Chung] for a year. Isaac Remington’s a kid that we brought in. We moved him to the offensive line just before we released him. The other guys that we released on the offensive line are not practice-squad eligible. So we think he’s got an upside as an offensive lineman. We’re gonna take a look and see what he can do.”

Maehl, Matthews and Chung are all on the 53-man roster. Remington and defensive lineman Brandon Bair were added to the practice squad.

Maehl was acquired from the Texans and made the squad over undrafted free agent Russell Shepard and veteran Greg Salas. Matthews made the team in favor of Emmanuel Acho.

Asked specifically what role his familiarity with Maehl and Matthews had on his decisions, Kelly said: “None. It’s about special teams. Every backup player on this team, and we’ve said it since Day One, there’s three ways to make this football team: special teams, special teams, special teams. So it’s where did they contribute from a special-teams factor.

“If you’re gonna be the fourth or fifth receiver, and right now that’s Damaris [Johnson] and Jeff [Maehl], it’s the value that they have to Coach [Dave] Fipp and our special teams. And it’s the same thing: Why did we keep three [backup] inside linebackers as opposed to one backup outside linebacker? It’s how those three players contribute on special teams, and that’s kind of where it was. That’s why we made the move to get [Najee] Goode from Tampa Bay. It’s the same thing.”

Kelly had an interesting comment when explaining why he kept five inside linebackers instead of OLB Chris McCoy.

“Right now, at our outside linebacker spot, we had a lot of rush guys, not a lot of drop guys,” he said. “The one drop guy we had was Connor Barwin, so to keep a third rush guy… we kept Vinny [Curry]. We kind of look at Vinny, could play in that spot for us if possible. But to keep another rush guy that’s not contributing on teams just wasn’t gonna help us.”

Of course, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham have been practicing as rush/drop guys all preseason long. Perhaps Kelly’s response suggests they’re not going to be in coverage much once the regular season begins.


Nate Allen will start opposite Chung at safety Monday night.

Asked how he came to that decision, Kelly said: “Film evaluation, games played, production so far for the preseason camp and OTAs.”

But he also added that rookie Earl Wolff is “pushing” Allen and will see playing time Monday night. Whether he and Allen will rotate is unclear.

“We’ve just got to get him in the game,” Kelly said.


Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly (back) is officially out for Monday. Cornerback Brandon Hughes (hand) is likely out, although that’s not final. And tight end James Casey (hamstring) is practicing with the team today.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Dennis Kelly Still Has A Ways To Go Before Return

The last time we spoke with Dennis Kelly, he said that he hoped to be back on the practice field around the start of the regular season and was “very confident” that he would avoid being placed on injured reserve.

On Tuesday he said he was “pretty confident” that the IR is not in his future. And it looks like his return date is still a ways off.

Kelly, who had back surgery to repair an L2 disc earlier this month, said he will be re-checked by doctors on September 16. He could be cleared to return to football-related activities then.

Currently the 6-8, 321-pound tackle is able to do some cardio and a little bit of agility work. The big thing will be regaining strength and getting back into football shape. Even if there are no setbacks, that could take some time.

Chip Kelly was asked about the injury factor when it comes to piecing the 53-man roster together.

“Big,” he said. “When can they come back?  There will be a consultation with our doctors.  When can we expect them?  Is it back Week Three, is it back Week Eight?  All of that has to go into the final decisions of who is playing 53.”

Beyond Kelly, the backup tackles currently vying for roster spots include Allen Barbre, rookie Michael Bamiro, Matt Kopa and Matt Tobin. Certainly they wouldn’t mind having Kelly in the mix. It’s just a matter of when they think he can get back and contribute in a meaningful way.

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Camp Notes: Foles Trying To Bounce Back

Nick FolesIf there is a positive spin to put on Nick Foles‘ two preseason turnovers, it’s that both were promptly followed by touchdown drives.

In the opener against the Patriots, Foles was hit from behind as he was trying to pass on his second play from scrimmage and coughed up the football. His next time up he engineered a 10-play, 62-yard drive that Bryce Brown capped with an eight-yard burst up the middle for the score.

Thursday against Carolina, Foles was interecepted by Josh Thomas in the back of the end zone on the opening possession. On the next series he scrambled for the seven-yard touchdown run.

“In both instances in two weeks in a row which I learned from Nick, he can bounce back from an adverse situation.  Not that you ever want to be in one but at least you kind of know how he’ll be,” said Chip Kelly.

Mistakes are magnified in a tight quarterback competition, especially when you have so few snaps to go off. Michael Vick has been sharper in his two preseason appearances and looks to have the inside track to win the job. Turnovers, like the one Foles surrendered on Thursday, can cost you.

“It’s definitely tough when it happens, but you just sort of know that your teammates are looking to you because you’re gonna go back in there,.” said Foles. “The first thought in my mind when I got to the sidelines was I can’t wait until we get the ball back. I cannot wait to go in and get that ball in the end zone. So there’s a fire right there. You never want that to happen. It does. And you’ve just got to bounce back from it.”

Foles said that he and Vick split first-team reps Sunday. Only the first half-hour of practice is open to the media now, so we don’t know if it was a 50-50 share or not. On Saturday, Vick got the bulk of the work with the first team.

Does Foles still have a chance to be the starter?

“My mindset is I’m gonna work as hard as I can. My ultimate goal always is to play,” he said. “That’s my ultimate goal. I’m gonna work towards that. I’m not changing anything.”

Dennis Kelly update

I caught up with offensive tackle Dennis Kelly outside of the NovaCare Complex Sunday. He is still walking gingerly following surgery earlier this month to repair the L2 disc in his back . He said he is “very confident” that he will not be placed on injured reserve. And while he acknowledged that being ready for the opener is a long shot, he is thinking that he might be back on the practice field around then.

That seems like a pretty quick turnaround following back surgery. Kelly, though, says modern technology has cut down the recovery time.

New Role For Remington

Isaac Remington  turned his white No. 61 jersey in for a green 52 on Sunday, as the former Oregon defensive lineman worked with the O-line at practice. The undrafted free agent is probably a long shot to make the 53-man roster.


Curtis Marsh (broken hand), Felix Jones (oblique), Danny Watkins (concusion), Emil Igwenagu (concussion),   Kenny Phillips (quad) and Casey Matthews (knee) sat out practice once again Sunday.

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