Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly And the ‘SIW’

Eagles Cornerback Brandon Boykin facing the field

Chip Kelly calls them self-inflicted wounds, or SIWs. It refers to preventable actions (turnovers, penalties, drops, etc.) that make it more difficult to achieve your objective.

That was the term that came to mind Sunday afternoon while pondering the state of the nickel position/secondary after JaCorey Shepherd went down. An MRI today will reveal the severity of the right knee injury. According to Les Bowen, they are checking to see if the rookie out of Kansas tore his ACL. We’ll wait to see just how long the Eagles will be without Shepherd’s services. At the very least, this is a scare that forces you to examine the depth. At worst, the news that is coming down will put that depth to the test. Read more »

Mayock: Regardless Of QB, Eagles Will Make The Playoffs

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

NFL analyst Mike Mayock joined the Mike Missanelli show this week to offer his thoughts on the 2015 Eagles. Even with some question marks surrounding the quarterback position, he is bullish on what this team can accomplish in the regular season.

“Regardless of who plays quarterback this year, I think they’re going to make the playoffs,” Mayock proclaimed. “I think the differentiation of the quarterback position starts in the playoffs when you play quality defenses every week.”

Mayock believes Sam Bradford‘s struggles in St. Louis were due to an unimpressive supporting cast and feels he will fit in much better in Chip Kelly‘s offense.

“I think they have a better offensive line than [Bradford] is used to and I think they’re going to run the hell out of the football,” said Mayock. “Last year, there were only three teams in the league that ran the ball more than they passed the ball and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles were one of those teams this year.” Read more »

An Agholor/Emmanuel Sanders Comparison

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Former scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah joined Rob Ellis and Harry Mayes on 97.5 The Fanatic to offer his thoughts on the state of the Eagles heading into camp.

Nelson Agholor came up in the conversation. While Jeremiah might not be totally on board with the NFL exec that thinks Agholor is a number one receiver, he is high on the former USC wideout.

“I think he’s a big-time guy. Ideally to me he is a great number two, I don’t think in terms of the size and physicality that I would want in my number one guy, but I think he can be an outstanding number two,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys with his skill set that have been very, very successful. Emmanuel Sanders is who he reminds me of, and we’ve seen what he can do both in Pittsburgh and out in Denver. I think he’s outstanding. He’s very tough and he’s very instinctive and I think he’s one of these guys that we saw last year where all these rookies jumped right in, no adjustment period; I think he’s going to fall into that [category]. He’s going to jump right in and be ready to go.”
Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell, a Charleston native, discussed last week’s shootings in Robert Klemko’s Monday Morning Quarterback:

“When it happens in your hometown, you have a different perspective,” Maxwell told me by phone Thursday night. “When it’s about race, it affects everybody. Honestly, that could’ve been my family. He could’ve walked in anybody’s church and did that. It’s hard to accept that.”

“At first you feel shock. Anger. Disgust. Then the next question is, what do we do about it?” he said. “How do we stop things like this from happening?” Read more »

On Evan Mathis Release: Is Chip Kelly’s Ego Killing the Eagles?

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

In the ripest days of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was ruled by dictators named Khrushchev and Brezhnev, a dissident voice would be punished by a variety of human humiliations. “If you weren’t with us, you were against us,” was the refrain. And whispers in a potato line could get a family shipped to warm and friendly Siberia.

I thought about that a lot this week as I watched and listened to Philadelphia Eagles players support head coach Chip Kelly’s banishment of offensive guard Evan Mathis. See, in the world of professional sports, it’s odd to hear players turn their backs on teammates in times of contract squabbles. Players are normally in this fight together, brothers in arms, strengthened further by their own brotherhood union. Read more »

Kelce On Mathis: ‘They Didn’t Want the Distraction’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

 Jason Kelce said that there was more of an “underlying tone” to the Evan Mathis contract protests this time around, one that apparently clashed with the symphonic harmony emanating from One NovaCare Way.

“Last year there was some under-the-radar talks about it, stuff that was going on in the media, but nothing really concrete and he never really let it take place in front of the team or anything like that so it wasn’t a distraction,” said Kelce. “At this point obviously he would have missed all of OTAs. It was a much bigger deal throughout the season at this point.”

It was no surprise to Kelce, then, that Mathis was cut out of equation. Same for the rest of the Eagles players we talked to.

This week’s minicamp will wrap on Thursday, marking the end of the offseason conditioning program. Mathis was absent all spring. While everything save the minicamp is voluntary, several of his teammates suggested that he was in violation of an unwritten code of conduct. Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during Tuesday’s minicamp practice.

11:22 – Before we get started, a few final thoughts on the Evan Mathis situation. Chip Kelly said Tuesday that Mathis’ camp asked for a release, and so the team gave him what he wanted.

Put quite simply, that request isn’t (or shouldn’t be) really relevant. Mathis was under contract. He was unhappy last year, but still showed up to all mandatory practices, rehabbed a midseason injury and played his butt off. Mathis says he was basically prepared to do the same thing again this year.

The Eagles had leverage. I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect all 53 guys to be happy with their contracts every offseason. And it’s certainly dangerous to give in every time a player asks for his release because he’s unhappy with his deal.

Maybe the coaches know something about the backups that most of us don’t, and the offensive line will be fine.

Or maybe the team will come to regret saying goodbye to a quality starting guard when one of the big goals for 2015 is to rely on the run game and keep Sam Bradford upright. Read more »

Chip Kelly, Mathis Address Release

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Evan Mathis didn’t want to play for the Eagles at his current salary, so Chip Kelly cut him loose.

That was the explanation Kelly gave to the assembled media prior to the start of minicamp Tuesday.

“We were asked by his agent for a release on multiple occasions,” he said. “We weren’t going to come to a conclusion in terms of a contract extension, we weren’t going to extend any contract or adjust any contract, so we granted what his agent asked for.” Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Fletcher Cox

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB offers thoughts on Evan Mathis.

I think the biggest surprise of the Evan Mathis release is that the Eagles couldn’t recoup some value for him via trade. The $5.5 million salary must have been a non-starter, but his price tag could creep pretty high for interested teams in free agency. The fact that Chip Kelly made the move nonetheless, proves how committed he is to doing things his way.

Read more »

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