Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We Learned In Orlando

NFL: Annual Meetings

We spent the first part of this week at the owners’ meetings in Orlando, Fla. discussing various football-related topics with Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie, among others.

Now that we’re back in Philadelphia and have had some time to reflect on what went down, here are some takeaways. Read more »

Mathis Eyeing New Deal

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles
ORLANDO, Fla. — Evan Mathis
would like a new contract and the Eagles are open to moving him. Sound familiar?

Right before the hour-long sit-down with Chip Kelly at the owners meeting this morning, with the DeSean Jackson trade talk on top of everyone’s mind, Ian Rapoport reported that Mathis wants a raise and that the Eagles, in turn, have made it known that the guard is available via trade. A league source confirmed the report. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Are the Eagles a Young Team?

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Following the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Saints, Jeffrey Lurie was asked what needs to happen for his team to take the next step.

After noting that getting off to a better start would help in the future, he said: “This year we had a young team, and they were just finding out how good they were.”

But how young were the Eagles compared to the other 31 teams? Read more »

Foles Wins Pro Bowl MVP

NFL: Pro Bowl

With the game tied at 14 in the fourth quarter, Deion Sanders thought about pulling Nick Foles from the Pro Bowl.

“Offensively, I know drafting young quarterbacks it was gonna be a dilemma,” Sanders said during a TV interview on NBC. “But I know I have [Andrew] Luck. And he’s with his scheme. So if we have to go back to Luck, we gotta go back to Luck.”

Ultimately, Sanders decided to stick with Foles, and the Eagles’ signal-caller rewarded him by engineering a five-play, 57-yard drive to give his team the lead. Foles delivered a beautiful ball to Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown down the right sideline for 39 yards. He then found Browns tight end Jordan Cameron for a 12-yard TD. Read more »

Mathis Headed To Pro Bowl

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles

Earlier this month, Evan Mathis earned All-Pro honors.

Now, he’s headed to the Pro Bowl as well.

Mathis was originally named an alternate, but because three of the guards who made the squad at first – San Francisco Mike Iupati, Denver’s Louis Vasquez and New England’s Logan Mankins - are on teams that are still in the playoffs, he’s headed to Hawaii. Read more »

More Honors For McCoy, Mathis, Peters

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Evan Mathis may not have been voted into the Pro Bowl, but he is getting plenty of recognition elsewhere this offseason. The standout guard was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press earlier this month. On Monday, he was selected to the Pro Football Writers of America All-NFL team.

LeSean McCoy was also named to the All-NFL team, and Jason Peters made the All-NFC team.

While McCoy and Peters were both tabbed to represent the Eagles in the Pro Bowl (Peters has since opted out), the 32-year-old Mathis was named a second alternate along with DeSean Jackson. (Nick Foles, a first alternate, will be playing in Hawaii). Mathis has been cleaning up otherwise. He recently was given the Bruce Matthews Award by Pro Football Focus, which goes to the top offensive lineman in the league. Read more »

All-22: Why the Eagles’ Offense Stalled

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With 3:54 left in the third quarter of last week’s playoff game against the Saints, the Eagles’ offense took the field for the ninth time.

The results of the first eight drives were ugly: six punts, one missed field goal and a touchdown. The Saints finished fourth in the regular season in scoring defense, and for much of Saturday’s game, Rob Ryan’s group got the better of the Eagles.

Nick Foles and company scored on their final three possessions to give the Eagles a 24-23 lead, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.

Defense and special teams certainly shared responsibility for the 26-24 loss, but given the way the offense had played all season, it’s worth exploring why that side of the ball struggled for the first 41 minutes of the game. Read more »

Why They Believe In Chip

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

When asked why he was so confident that his program could work in the NFL, Chip Kelly offered a somewhat surprising response.

“I wasn’t confident,” he said. “I had a system and a plan that we were going to go in, but I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be until it was all finished. But I think we played sound fundamental football, and I think that’s what we preach on a daily basis to our players. I think it’s still a game of 11-on-11, and I think a lot of things we do schematically match up 11-on-11. It’s a fundamental game, and I think that’s what our coaches teach. I thought we brought in a bunch of really good teachers that could implement the plan that we had in place, and we felt this would be the best plan for us this year going forward.”

Going into next season, new faces will be added, but many of the core players from the 2013 squad will remain the same.

Keeping that in mind, I posed one simple question to the players earlier this week as they cleaned out their lockers:

What did Kelly do in Year One that makes you believe he can lead this franchise to greater heights going forward? Read more »

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