Afternoon Links: Why the Parting Shots?

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

DeSean Jackson cried foul over the way he was shown the exit in Philly. LeSean McCoy and Tra Thomas brought up race. Cary Williams took aim at the team’s conditioning practices and said the Eagles were outcoached down the stretch last season. Even Trent Cole fired off a tweet exclaiming “No respect!” after being released.

The latest comments from Jackson claiming that he was the victim of a smear campaign in Philly led to the following debate topic on NFL Network: Why do former Eagles continue to take shots at Chip Kelly?

“I think it has in large part to do with, when you are a professional athlete, you are a man,” said Jamie Dukes, who was an offensive lineman in the league for 10 seasons. “And  Chip Kelly I think has made the mistake that we’ve seen Nick Saban make, Greg Schiano — who I really like but I think he made the mistake and admitted to it…This college thing. Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Here is what the national media are saying about Chip Kelly’s squad this week.

DeSean Jackson’s new reality show premiered on BET and apparently he is still upset about the way the Eagles cut him:

“When I was released by the Eagles, I feel they tried to paint a picture that definitely wasn’t true. It was a slap in the face, coming off one of my best seasons in the NFL,” Jackson said on the show.

He then told his friends, “The Eagles tried to blow me up. That’s cold how they did it.”

To which one unnamed friend said, “Like they tried to persecute you from where you come from, bro.”

Jackson agreed.

Read more »

NFC East Roundup: Wide Receiver Drama

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Dez Bryant is unhappy with his contract situation, but Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says that both sides are far away from coming to terms for a long-term deal:

“It’s been well-documented that both [Larry] Fitzgerald and Megatron both got their deals based on their rookie contracts because they were high draft picks and the franchise tag dictated that,” Jones continued. “But since then all receivers, the top ones, have pretty much been paid in the $11.5-12.5 million range, and there’s a big disparity there. Read more »

NFC East Roundup: Giants Suitors For Mathis?

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles made headlines Thursday when they released Evan Mathis. Could he remain in the division? A look at what is being said around the NFC East.

The Giants as listed as one of four possible suitors by Around the NFL.

Nick Powell of NJ.com writes of the Giants’ potential interest:

Mathis, even at age 33, is a two-time Pro Bowl guard coming off a season in which he was the second-highest rated guard in the entire league, according to Pro Football Focus, with a robust +25.8 rating and a run blocking score of +17.3.

So it stands to reason that the Giants could use a player of Mathis’ ilk on their offensive line, which, despite plenty of tinkering over the last two seasons, is far from settled. The Giants have four offensive linemen who figure to start: Justin Pugh and first round pick Ereck Flowers at right and left tackle, Weston Richburg at center, and Geoff Schwartz at one of the guard spots.

Rich Tandler of CSN Washington explores the possibility of the Redskins signing Mathis:

A year ago, Eagles coach Chip Kelly decided to let go of DeSean Jackson, who was one of the best wide receivers in the league. Kelly said that letting Jackson go was a football decision, although clearly financial and other factors played into it. The Redskins moved quickly to sign Jackson, who clearly relished the chance to play against the Eagles twice a year. Read more »

NFC East Roundup: Bryant Reports; DeSean Skips

Andrew Weber / USA Today

Andrew Weber / USA Today

OTAs opened up this week around the NFL. Here are the headlines concerning the rest of the division:

Unlike Evan Mathis, Cowboys WR Dez Bryant reported to the Cowboys OTAs. But he remains unhappy with his contract situation, writes David Moore:

Dez Bryant’s surprise appearance at organized team activities Thursday should not be taken as a sign that progress is being made in negotiations.

Sources said the Pro Bowl receiver went through individual drills but did nothing during the team portion of practice. One source stressed that Bryant’s appearance has nothing to do with any sort of movement in negotiations. He simply wanted to practice with teammates, show his commitment to staying in shape and get some work in with quarterback Tony Romo. 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 »

Year-End Review: Fairly Evaluating Chip Kelly

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Since the Eagles lost three straight games in December and were eliminated from the playoffs, the range of opinions on Chip Kelly has widened considerably.

Some view him as an over-hyped coach whose team collapsed down the stretch in Year 2. Others defend his every move, regardless of the evidence/results right in front of their eyes.

Below is a thorough evaluation of Kelly, along with a look at the state of the Eagles heading into his third offseason as the head coach. Read more »

Chip: Not the Time For Evaluations

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly and the media faced a conflict of interest as they engaged in their back in forth Monday, a day after the Eagles were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

With one game remaining on the docket, Kelly had little interest in getting into big-picture, end-of-season evaluations, while the press had no use for particulars about Sunday’s finale in New York. That was part of the dynamic at play during an interesting and at times testy 15-plus minutes on the edge of the NovaCare practice field.
Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

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

Peter King of The MMQB has had a section in his column titled CHIP KELLY WISDOM OF THE WEEK. King seemed to like and appreciate Chip Kelly’s philosophies and practices.

But he apparently didn’t consider the possibility that the Eagles might not be that great this year, so the column section has now been axed: Read more »

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