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.
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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.
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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 »

Zone Read: Eagles-Washington, the Day After

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

LANDOVER, Md. — Chip Kelly had been in this room before, but the circumstances were different the last time.

It was September of 2013. Kelly’s squad had just put the NFL on notice that his up-tempo attack could be effective at the professional level as the Eagles defeated Washington on Monday Night football in his debut as Andy Reid’s successor.

Kelly answered questions from a roomful of reporters about the Birds’ pace, Michael Vick’s performance and other topics. Before exiting the room to make the trip back to Philadelphia, Kelly stopped to say hello to some media members who had made the trip from Oregon.

Where his first season began was essentially the same place that his second season ended. Kelly’s squad was clinging to its playoffs aspirations Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field. The hope was that the Eagles would take care of business against an inferior opponent and perhaps get a little help in the final two weeks to sneak into the postseason.

Instead, the Eagles suffered a meltdown. Issues that have been prevalent all year long resurfaced, and the result was a 27-24 loss. Read more »

DeSean: Eagles Are ‘Very Naive’

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

DeSean Jackson broke into a skip as the clock hit zero. He hopped from the sideline towards the end zone, where the mass of bodies had started to scatter after Mark Sanchez’s desperation heave hit the turf. Yapping and jumping and yapping and jumping. From skip to sprint as he found Jeremy Maclin walking onto the field. Some words and a hug for Maclin and the over to Darren Sproles, then Cary Williams and Nate Allen, then over the assistant coaches before dancing through the tunnel and out of sight.

At his locker, he spotted a Philadelphia reporter and asked, “Whatcha doin’ here? I bet you they’re over there crying. You should go back over there with them.”

The team that unceremoniously dumped him this offseason just had their playoff hopes all but crushed by the team that scooped him up, and Jackson was lapping every ounce of the moment up. He played a big part in Washington’s 27-24 upset win, hauling in four catches for 126 yards, including a pair of big strikes that went for over 50 yards with Bradley Fletcher in coverage.

Asked if he was surprised that the Eagles left him one-on-one with Fletcher, Jackson said with a laugh: “Not at all. Last year, when I had been there the last couple years, that’s how they play. They’re very naive and they play how they play. They could care less who is out there or who is at wide receiver, they’re going to play their defense the way they play it,” he said. Read more »

Maclin: No Bad Blood With DeSean

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Jeremy Maclin stood at the podium after practice Tuesday afternoon and wanted to set the record straight on a couple different topics.

One was his relationship with DeSean Jackson. The two never seemed especially close when they played together, but Jackson told the Inquirer over the weekend that he’s happy for Maclin and the success he’s had.

“We’ve spoken a few times this year,” Maclin said. “I don’t know how people perceive that relationship between him and I. We’re cool. No hard feelings either way. At the end of the day, he’s in Washington now and we’re here.”

Asked to describe the nature of their relationship, Maclin said: “We were teammates. We were cool. I don’t really know what people think, that there was ever any type of bad blood or anything. We’re both competitive guys and both guys who are very capable of being talented guys in this league. When you have two guys of that caliber on one team, I think people look for things to try to pick at and try to pull you guys apart, but it’s not always like that.”

In reference to offseason speculation that Maclin wouldn’t have re-signed had Jackson still been here, he said: “Was I quoted in that report? [No]. OK then.” Read more »

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