Notes: McCoy On Message Received

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

LeSean McCoy took the podium this afternoon after another hot minicamp practice at the NovaCare Complex. [He went with sweatpants for Wednesday’s session; said it was a mental thing.]

McCoy told Albert Breer of NFL.com recently that the release of DeSean Jackson sent a message to the team. He was asked to elaborate.

“I don’t know what you took out of that, but for myself, what I took out of that is no matter how good a player is, it’s a team and if you can’t buy in, anything is possible,” he said.

“I’m not sure about the rest of the team, the concept they took out of that, I’m just speaking for myself. A player like that, who has done so much for this franchise — even in the year Chip was here, the stuff he did — so some players on some teams may think, well, he’s producing on the field, that’s the only thing that matters.” Read more »

Bicknell On DeSean, State Of Receivers

Jeremy Maclin

Many of the offseason questions for the Eagles surround the wide receiver position, so we spent a good portion of Monday’s session with the assistant coaches at Bob Bicknell‘s table for his read on the state of the receivers. Here’s what we came away with:

Bicknell might be best known in Philadelphia for his flap with DeSean Jackson on the sidelines in Minnesota back in December. This led to speculation that the coach and player had a strained relationship — a theory that gained steam when Jackson was shown the door back in March. Not so, according to the receivers coach. Read more »

All-22: Close-Up On Kelly’s Use Of the Mesh

mesh1b_060814

Chip Kelly went into his first year unsure of exactly how opposing defensive coordinators would match up with the Eagles.

What he found out fairly quickly was that the most common strategy was a ton of man coverage. Crowd the box against LeSean McCoy, play with one deep safety and force the Eagles’ passing attack to make plays over the top.

For the most part, Kelly had answers. The offense set franchise records for yards, points and touchdowns. The Eagles also led the league in pass plays of 20+ yards. And one of the most popular concepts the Eagles employed against man coverage was the mesh.

To break down the mesh concept, we called on Villanova wide receivers coach Brian Flinn. Flinn has studied Kelly’s offensive concepts for years and was kind enough to go over the intricacies of this particular one with Birds 24/7.

Meanwhile, Kelly did a film series with PhiladelphiaEagles.com and talked about this play at various points throughout the season. His explanations are also mixed in. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Kelce On Culture Change

Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce has developed into a respected voice over his three-plus years in Philadelphia, so his comments regarding the team’s decision to move on from DeSean Jackson — delivered just 20 minutes after the receiver was cut — carried some weight.

Some took this as evidence that Jackson’s teammates were glad to see the enigmatic receiver go. This theory was bolstered by a report — filled with anonymous quotes allegedly coming from various  members of the organization — suggesting Jackson was a “blatantly insubordinate” distraction that needed to be removed. Kelce was quick to distance himself from those who did not attach their names to their opinions (“You’ll never see me hide behind the title ‘Unnamed source,'” he said), and on Monday explained the intended meaning of his message as the clouds of controversy swirled outside the NovaCare walls. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: On Some Money Matters

Eagles QB Nick Foles talks to WR Desean Jackson during the Eagles-Cowboys game. 10/20/13
Now seems like a good time for a little cap clarity.

The 2012 draft class will be eligible for new contracts at the end of the season, and that’s a pretty big deal for the Eagles. Their philosophy is to identify the key young players, invest in them, and build out from there. The ’12 group consists of Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Nick Foles and Brandon Boykin. That’s a big part of the projected core moving forward, and includes a Pro Bowl quarterback that could be in line for a monster raise.

Howie Roseman recently suggested that releasing DeSean Jackson was financially-driven in part, and that tough decisions like that have to be made in order to build the team properly.

But was it really necessary?  Were there alternatives? What kind of money will Foles command? And what type of financial shape is the team in overall? For answers, we called on former agent and salary cap expert Joel Corry. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Grading the Offseason

NCAA Football: Louisville at Connecticut

The Eagles’ roster is unlikely to undergo any major changes between now and the Week 1 opener against the Jaguars in September.

There will be depth moves throughout the summer, but the 22 guys who will win starting jobs are likely already here.

Keeping that in mind, a five-man crew over at ESPN.com (Insider) handed out offseason grades for every NFL team. Overall, the Eagles received a B. An anonymous GM was consulted for the piece:

“They wanted [safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix] at [No. 22], but it didn’t work out for them, so they took Marcus Smith, who was closer to a second-round talent and not a great scheme fit,” the GM said, in reference to Clinton-Dix coming off the board at No. 21 and Philly then trading back with Cleveland to No. 26, where the Eagles took Smith.

If forced to hand out a grade, mine would be less generous, but for different reasons. Below is a quick review of what I liked and didn’t like, now that we have a chance to see how it all pieces together. Read more »

Fairness Argument With DeSean a Tough Sell

kelly_jackson940

The timing was curious, to say the least.

At 12:05 p.m. on March 28, NJ.com published a story saying the Eagles were concerned with DeSean Jackson’s alleged ties to gang members. At 12:40, the Eagles sent out a 25-word statement saying they had released the wide receiver.

And then silence. For 30 days.

The strategy seemed obvious. Use the gang affiliation story as cover for what would be deemed a peculiar and unpopular decision by many. Yet the way the team’s brass explains it, the Eagles were actually doing Jackson a favor by releasing him when they did. Read more »

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