Wake-Up Call: How Early Is Too Early?

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The Eagles weren’t planning on taking a quarterback in the fourth round last year, exactly. There wasn’t really a plan at all in that sense. They had Matt Barkley rated significantly higher than any of the remaining prospects, and decided the best value play was to move up to grab him. Pretty straightforward.

Funny thing about this time of year: We know that the Eagles have been disciplined about choosing the best available player in recent drafts and that most teams try to stay true to that approach, yet we often predict and project based on need. It’s our answer to the blindfold  as we try to make our darts fly a little straighter. We’d be better served looking back at the Zach Ertz pick in the second round and the Barkley selection in the fourth and realize it’s about the player and not the position.

If it was about the position, it would be about quarterback. It’s no secret that this league is largely about having quality signal-callers, and Howie Roseman has made it known that the Eagles won’t stop hunting even though Nick Foles laid claim to the starting gig with a spectacular 2013 season. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Coleman Backs DeSean

Eagles Safety Kurt Coleman on field helmet off
Kurt Coleman
defended former teammate DeSean Jackson on his way out the door.

Coleman, who has agreed to terms with the Vikings, joined NFL Radio on Sirius XM Monday and talked about Jackson’s release and the notion that he was a problem in the locker room.

“I think Philadelphia is going to miss him big time,” said Coleman. “I find it troubling to hear some of the stories — and I don’t know who is really putting them out there. I thought DeSean was a good guy in the locker room. He was someone I could talk to and could relate to. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Jordan And the OLB Spot

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When you look at the roster, outside linebacker is the position that screams at you.

The Eagles have needs in several areas. They are thin at wide receiver after releasing DeSean Jackson. The hunt for an effective safety duo is ongoing. It’s essential that they build depth at cornerback, inside linebacker and along the offensive front. But outside linebacker is the spot that requires the most immediate attention. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Mauro On Eagles’ Radar

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Chip Kelly
gravitated towards the familiar in his first NFL draft.

Four of the Eagles’ eight picks (Zach Ertz, Matt Barkley, Joe Kruger and Jordan Poyer) were from Oregon’s conference,  the Pac 12.  LSU, USC and Stanford were the three teams that beat Kelly over his final two years as head coach of the Ducks. The Eagles’ second, third and fourth-round picks in 2013 (Ertz, Bennie Logan and Barkley) were used on players from those three programs.

“I did notice that a little bit,” said Stanford defensive lineman Josh Mauro with a smile. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Maclin Takes Center Stage

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers

It is not totally clear when we will see Jeremy Maclin for the first time.

The soon-t0-be 26-year old says his straight-line speed is back to where it was before he tore the ACL in his right knee, but needs to add strength in his quad and improve his lateral movement. The OTAs begin on May 27 and the mandatory minicamp runs from June 17-19. Chip Kelly wouldn’t commit to the receiver being ready for these activities, but believes he will be 100 percent for training camp.

Whenever Maclin jumps into action, he will assume the role as the Eagles primary receiver for really the first time in his career. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: B-Dawk’s Take

US Presswire Sports Archive
Brian Dawkins
was not shocked by the DeSean Jackson news. To him, the situation is pretty straightforward.

“This is not something that all of a sudden had the gang affiliation thing tied to it and that was the thing the Eagles looked at to say, ‘You know what? This is the thing we’re allowing him to walk for.’ No, it was all the other things that have happened over the time that he’s been here and the things he has not corrected in his character, some of the things that he does within the building with coaches and the like they were concerned about,” said Dawkins during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. 

“And when you have a new coach coming in, he doesn’t have to pull punches or be as patient as Andy Reid was as someone invested in him. When you have a guy come in who is trying to build a system the way that he wants it to be run, he’s going to bring in people that are going to follow it to the letter of everything he wants to have happen. He’s not going to be as patient. So this is not something that surprised me as far as them letting him go.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Source Says ‘Done Deal’ In D.C.

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 DeSean Jackson is expected to sign with the Washington Redskins, according to a member of the receiver’s camp.

“Done deal,” wrote one source Monday evening following Jackson’s sitdown with the Redskins brass. The meetings between the receiver and the Redskins are expected to continue into Tuesday. Multiple people we spoke with anticipate that something will get done. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why the Eagles Passed On Byrd

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Jeffrey Lurie made it clear that if Chip Kelly wanted him to write a large check to land Jairus Byrd, he would have obliged.

The head coach, though, said his sights were set elsewhere.

“We looked at everybody,” said Kelly. “We did an extensive study, our coaches and personnel department on everybody that’s available. We all felt when it came down to it that Malcolm [Jenkins] was the best fit for what we do defensively and we were excited to get him. He was the number one guy that we went after and we got the number one guy we wanted.”

That’s a head-scratcher, at least on the surface. Byrd is largely considered the better football player. He’s been the superior playmaker [Jenkins has six interceptions in five NFL seasons; Byrd has 22 over that same time]. So what went into their thinking? Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Owners Meetings Begin

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ORLANDO — The NFL big dogs aren’t exactly roughing it this week.

The owners meetings officially get underway this morning but by Sunday the plush Ritz-Carlton, nestled next to a golf course on a picturesque plot of warm Orlando soil, was buzzing with league executives and coaches. There’s some business to attend to between now and when the meetings close on Wednesday afternoon but it’s very much a social scene — team brass rubbing with team brass over long dinners, a late-night cocktail or a quick nine. Not a bad setting if you wanted to, say, casually discuss a certain 27-year-old Pro Bowl receiver while smoking a cigar fountain-side. Read more »

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