As we count down to the start of the regular season, Tim and Sheil try to answer some of the big questions facing the Eagles. On Sunday, they discussed life without DeSean Jackson. Yesterday, they predicted what’s next for Nick Foles. Today, a look at the offensive line, which faces an early challenge as Lane Johnson serves his four-game suspension. Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles: Read more »
Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of what we saw out of the Eagles’ offense Friday night, after having re-watched the first three quarters. Read more »
The first-team offense played three series in the preseason opener against the Bears. Two ended in Foles interceptions and the third a Donnie Jones punt. Not the end of the world, but certainly not what Chip Kelly was hoping for out of his starters.
Foles finished 6-of-9 for 44 yards and a pair of picks. Read more »
Here’s a bonus roundup of this week’s national media coverage. Read more »
Evan Mathis knew that holding out was his only real leverage play, and that his leverage grew when Lane Johnson failed his drug test. But he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
“It was easy for me to sit there and think about it a month ago but when it was getting down closer to the wire, it was not something I could see myself doing really. For multiple reasons. When I was in elementary school and I got sick and I missed a day of school I felt bad because I was behind, and this is not the kind of stuff you want to get behind on,” said Mathis as the team reported to NovaCare for training camp Friday.
“I try to look at it my point of view, try to look at it from their point of view. I didn’t want to have a negative impact on the team. I didn’t want to send the wrong message to the players, coaches, fans. I look at what I’m doing as doing the right thing in the situation.” Read more »
Leading up to training camp, we wrote position-by-position previews of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive line, quarterbacks, outside linebackers, running backs, inside linebackers, cornerbacks, wide receivers, safeties and offensive line. Now it’s on to the final group: tight ends. Read more »
Evan Mathis was contemplating a holdout.
He is not happy with his current deal and was considering not showing for the start of training camp as recently as this week. Ultimately, though, the All-Pro left guard decided that continuing to do the right thing for the team was the best course of action. He arrived at the NovaCare on Thursday and told Birds 24/7 that he will officially report with the rest of his teammates Friday. Read more »
Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive line, quarterbacks, outside linebackers, running backs, inside linebackers, cornerbacks, wide receivers and safeties. Now it’s on to the offensive line.
The pressing question: How much will the Lane Johnson suspension hurt the Eagles?
Let’s put it this way. In terms of devastation level, losing LeSean McCoy would be a 10. Losing Patrick Chung last year would have been a 1. I’ll put the Johnson suspension at a 6.5.
Offensively, losing McCoy or Nick Foles would fall into the “season changer” category. Losing Jason Kelce would hurt a lot too, given that the Eagles don’t really have an adequate replacement (at least not a proven one). Jason Peters or Evan Mathis missing time would mean definite downgrades. After that, there’s Johnson and a few others. Read more »
Before the drill begins, Jeff Stoutland shouts out a two-digit number, signaling the call to his offensive linemen.
He sets up a couple yards behind the line of scrimmage as Jason Kelce prepares to snap the ball, flanked by guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans. With 16 offensive linemen in camp, Stoutland is in charge of the largest positional group on the roster. But that can be a good thing on days like this. Before it’s their turn for reps, a couple backups hold orange blocking pads and set up as down defensive linemen. Two more stand behind them imitating linebackers.
It’s an 81-degree day in early June, and the Eagles are on the practice fields at the NovaCare Complex working on the blocking scheme for a familiar call: the inside zone. It’s a play Stoutland ran frequently at his previous stop, Alabama. And it was Chip Kelly’s go-to-work play during his time at Oregon.
When Kelly made the jump to the NFL last year, the inside zone served as the foundation for an offense that set franchise records in yards and points. So there’s a good reason why Stoutland yells the same number for the same call over and over again during practice. The pre-snap communication has to be mastered. The footwork has to be flawless. The combination blocks have to be executed. And the second-level linebackers have to be driven down the field with authority.
“It’s something we work on every day,” said offensive tackle Lane Johnson. “It’s always gonna be our bread and butter.” Read more »