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: 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: 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 »

Wake-Up Call: Symbolism In the Peters Signing

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Part of it is just that Jason Peters is a freak.

He’s 32, yes, and he is not too far removed from a double Achilles rupture. Normally, that’s not the type of player you hand a lucrative four-year extension to. But Peters is not normal. He is an athletic phenomenon; a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.

“This is a unique situation when you are talking about Jason Peters and his level of excellence, his level of play,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “It’s hard to turn on the tape and look at him as a 31-year-old offensive tackle. You look at him and you see him dominate players. He still has upside in his body because of the things that we’re doing and the scheme that we’re in…For us, this is about the player. Jason Peters has defied all odds, and he’s a unique player.”

The fact that the Eagles were willing to hand a 10-year vet $20 million of guaranteed coin speaks mostly to how rare a specimen Peters is.

There is more to the story, though. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: ‘Best Draft In Ten Years’

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NFL analyst Mike Mayock opened his conference call with reporters Tuesday by offering the following:

“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts that I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a top-10 pick last year,” he said. “I think there is more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Ducks In the Draft

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Chip Kelly likes him some Oregon players, you may have heard.

From Dennis Dixon to Jeff Maehl, he brought in plenty of familiar faces to play a variety roles as he transitioned from college to the pro game. There are six Ducks currently on the roster (DE Brandon Bair, S Patrick Chung, LB Josh Kaddu, Maehl, LB Casey Matthews and WR Will Murphy), which is the most players from any one university on the squad.

Safe to say Kelly will have some opinions on the Oregon players that have declared for the 2014 draft, seeing as he recruited and coached them in a former life. It’s probably a good idea that we become familiar with them. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why the Vets Bought In

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Once the 2013 season was a wrap, Chip Kelly thanked his players for taking a chance on a rookie coach.

“He was just proud of his guys and just appreciative of everyone buying into his program,” said Eagles receiver/special teamer Brad Smith, via SI.com. “A lot of people didn’t know if it would work — a college coach coming into the NFL and how guys would respond and how they would respect him.”

It wasn’t so hard generating that level of respect in the latter stages of the season when the Eagles captured seven of eight to win the NFC East. It was early on, around the time that Philly was 1-3 and then 3-5, that could have presented problems. There were skeptics inside the locker room for sure, but the majority of players were on board despite the sub-.500 record. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Season Ends, Season Begins

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Welcome to the 2014 season.

The NFL doesn’t stop, it just enters different phases. After Seattle’s dismantling of the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the scene shifts from the big stage to behind the scenes. The Combine is coming up in a couple weeks. Free agency, believe it or not, is just over a month away. The offseason program begins in 78 days.

The Eagles, like the rest of the teams across the league, will spend their days trying to close the gap between themselves and the Seahawks in hopes that this time next year it’s green and white confetti falling from the sky, not blue and green. They have some work to do.

Howie Roseman, Chip Kelly and Co. need to decide just how aggressive they should be in their immediate pursuit. Read more »