Eagles DL Training Camp Preview

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Leading up to training camp on August 2, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We’ve covered the quarterbacksrunning backswide receivers, tight ends and the offensive line so far. Today, we’ll take a look at the defensive line.

The pressing question: Will Vinny Curry play more snaps?

Last year, Curry was on the field for 32 percent of the Eagles’ defensive plays, yet he still managed to total nine sacks.

Digging deeper, Billy DavisChip Kelly and company clearly viewed Curry as a pass-rush specialist. Per Pro Football Focus, on the snaps he played, Curry rushed the passer 80.9 percent of the time. The Eagles like to stay in base quite a bit, and they want their three main defensive linemen to be two-gappers. In other words, Curry is not going to challenge for a starting spot. Read more »

Eagles Weekend Reading: On Chip, the RBs And More

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend:

Field Yates of ESPN.com listed the Eagles running backs as one of the top-five offensive position groups in the NFL:

The Eagles acquired [Darren] Sproles prior to the 2014 season for a fifth-rounder, and that proved to be quite the bargain. He provided immediate impact as a pass-catching phenom, constantly creating mismatches in open space. [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews came at a heftier price tag in free agency this offseason, but each brings obvious value to the Eagles’ backfield. Murray was the best back in football for much of 2014, showing off excellent vision and acceleration behind the aforementioned Cowboys line. Mathews, meanwhile, has the churning leg power to move piles, along with an ability to make defenders miss in the hole. They both come with injury baggage: Last year was Murray’s first season staying healthy for 16 games, and Mathews has missed 18 games in five seasons, including 10 in 2014. But the one-two punch should provide insurance of sorts for each other. Philly traded away an extraordinary talent in LeSean McCoy this offseason, but the ground game should keep cooking.

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz thinks a contract extension for Fletcher Cox needs to happen soon:

There is some thought that you don’t pay 3-4 DEs big money. Their job is mostly to 2-gap. Find an athletic DT and move  him to DE, ala Cedric Thornton. You can get several years of good play for minimal money. Go spend big money on LBs since they are the true life blood of the 3-4. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: The Most Indispensable Eagle

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders

On most playoff-contending teams, a serious injury to the starting quarterback in August would be devastating.

In Philadelphia though, that might not necessarily be the case. It’s impossible to say with certainty that a healthy Sam Bradford would provide a massive upgrade over Mark Sanchez, especially considering that Bradford won’t be able to practice fully until training camp. Bradford has more upside and a greater skill set, but that doesn’t always translate to better on-field performance.

In Green Bay, Indianapolis, New England and Denver (among others), the QB is without question the most indispensable player. But who holds that title in Philadelphia?

This is a classic mid-July question that we kick around every year as we count down to training camp. So here’s my list of the top five. Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Here is what the national media are saying about Chip Kelly’s squad this week.

DeSean Jackson’s new reality show premiered on BET and apparently he is still upset about the way the Eagles cut him:

“When I was released by the Eagles, I feel they tried to paint a picture that definitely wasn’t true. It was a slap in the face, coming off one of my best seasons in the NFL,” Jackson said on the show.

He then told his friends, “The Eagles tried to blow me up. That’s cold how they did it.”

To which one unnamed friend said, “Like they tried to persecute you from where you come from, bro.”

Jackson agreed.

Read more »

Showing Up: Inside Fletcher Cox’s Journey

Fletcher Cox Feature

Fletcher Cox, Shaddrick Cox and Malissa Cox

 

Shaddrick Cox always told his brother to listen, and so Fletcher tries.

When friends and family explain to him that things will get better, that the good days will outnumber the bad, that he should focus on the happy times he had with Shaddrick, Cox pays attention.

But that doesn’t make it any easier.

“Losing my brother had to be one of the hardest things that I’ve faced as a young man,” Cox said. “Everybody says it’ll get better. There’s days where I don’t think it’ll get better. Some days I may believe that. But some days I’m like, ‘This’ll never get better.’ ”

On Jan.5 of this year, Shaddrick was in the process of purchasing a 1999 two-door Chevrolet Tahoe. A mechanic by trade and a car junkie, he’d had his eyes on that specific SUV for some time. But before he was able to drive away with it, he suffered a heart attack.

Shaddrick had been dealing with heart issues for years and was also working to keep his diabetes under control. But his big heart failed him that day, and he died at the age of 34. 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 »

Weekend Reading: Deep Dive On Bradford

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News takes a long look into Sam Bradford’s background:

On this particular day, an assistant coach from Michigan dropped by the school to make a sales pitch to young Sam.

The coach knew that, in addition to being an all-state quarterback, Bradford also played on the basketball and golf teams at Putnam City North. Which presented him with an opportunity to drop Michigan alum Tom Brady’s name into the conversation for the 100th time.

“You know, son,” the coach said. “Tom is a big golfer. I think I probably could arrange for you to play a round with him. Would you like that? He’d give you a few strokes, of course.”

Bradford looked at the coach, smiled, and without the slightest hint of arrogance, replied, “I don’t need any strokes.”

Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.

Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.

Here’s what we saw during Eagles OTAs on Monday.

12:25 – A shoutout to Andy Reid off the top today. We’ll start with injuries. DeMeco RyansMarcus Smith IIEarl Wolff and Julian Vandervelde are working off to the side. Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles are not here. The Eagles did not provide any reasons why. The OTAs are voluntary.

12:30 – I hate to keep providing video of the defensive linemen, but they are the guys who have been practicing closest to us. Here, they’re working on their pass-rush and their hands with Jerry Azzinaro. Read more »

Notes: Marcus Smith Nearing Return

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith has spent most of OTAs working off to the side with trainers.

He injured his right groin on the second day of spring practice, he said, and has been essentially a spectator since. After a rookie year full of frustrations, it wasn’t exactly the start to 2015 he was looking for.

“I was just like, ‘Something else. It’s gotta be something else,’ ” said Smith. “But I’m glad it happened now rather than later.”

The second-year outside linebacker did work in on some individual drills Monday and expects to participate in team drills come Wednesday. Read more »

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