Sproles a Hit With Eagles Defensive Coaches

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

While Eagles offensive coaches were thrilled to land Darren Sproles this offseason, it didn’t take long for GM Howie Roseman to hear from representatives on the other side of the ball.

“I know when we played the Saints every year, I was worried about where he would be,” Roseman said. “When we made that trade, the first person to come to my office was Billy Davis, and he said, ‘I know every time we play Darren Sproles, I have to figure out where he is on the field.’ ”

Sproles has immediately become a favorite of Chip Kelly and the entire coaching staff. The 31-year-old practices like an undrafted free agent who has something to prove, not like an accomplished veteran. That’s something Kelly clearly appreciates. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Bar Set High For Maclin

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When Jeremy Maclin got up after lying on the ground for about 30 seconds at the end of practice earlier this week, chances are Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman let out a collective sigh of relief.

Maclin grabbed his left knee initially after an incompletion in the end zone, but said afterwards that he was fine.

The veteran wide receiver is coming off a torn ACL in his right knee suffered last summer. He signed a one-year deal with the Eagles as a free agent but has hopes of sticking around for awhile.

Coaches and general managers sometimes try to manage expectations for players coming off of injuries. Kelly and Roseman, however, have done quite the opposite. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Grading the Offseason

NCAA Football: Louisville at Connecticut

The Eagles’ roster is unlikely to undergo any major changes between now and the Week 1 opener against the Jaguars in September.

There will be depth moves throughout the summer, but the 22 guys who will win starting jobs are likely already here.

Keeping that in mind, a five-man crew over at ESPN.com (Insider) handed out offseason grades for every NFL team. Overall, the Eagles received a B. An anonymous GM was consulted for the piece:

“They wanted [safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix] at [No. 22], but it didn’t work out for them, so they took Marcus Smith, who was closer to a second-round talent and not a great scheme fit,” the GM said, in reference to Clinton-Dix coming off the board at No. 21 and Philly then trading back with Cleveland to No. 26, where the Eagles took Smith.

If forced to hand out a grade, mine would be less generous, but for different reasons. Below is a quick review of what I liked and didn’t like, now that we have a chance to see how it all pieces together. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Cole, Maclin And ‘Murderleg’

 

Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) prepares to throw the ball as Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole (58) and Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox (91) chase in the first quarter during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo |  Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) prepares to throw the ball as Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole (58) and Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox (91) chase in the first quarter during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo | Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

Always follow the money, Nick.  Read more »

On the Roseman/Kelly Dynamic

NFL: Combine

Neither Chip Kelly nor Howie Roseman wants to answer the question directly.

Who has final say on decisions during the draft?

Really, all it would take is one or two words. But the head coach and general manager prefer to leave some wiggle room with their responses.

“We haven’t really gotten there,” Kelly said. “I think everybody wants to know that, like really what happens in there. But it never gets to that point. I think we look at it, analyze it and kind of come to the same conclusion. But I haven’t yet sat there and I want him and he wants him and then, you know, are we going to box for it? You know what I mean? It just hasn’t gotten there.” Read more »

Three Roseman Leftovers

Taylor Hart
The Eagles had a third-round grade on Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart and were eager to land him as Day 3 of the draft commenced. They held the first pick of the fourth round and had to decide whether to pull the trigger immediately or go in a different direction and take the chance that Hart would still be on the board the next time they were on the clock
.

“I think Howie [Roseman] did a great job of how we ordered it,” said Chip Kelly. “The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let’s take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right.”

How could Roseman be confident enough to offer a guarantee? Teams don’t make it a habit of disclosing their draft boards to the rest of the league. How could he know that Hart would fall to them in the fifth? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Draft Advantage For Kelly?

kelly_093013_540

Back in February, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News wrote about how former Cowboys coach Jimmie Johnson had a draft advantage when he made the switch from college to the NFL:

So Johnson had a mental file of the top college players in the country. He either coached, recruited or played against them on Saturdays. His knowledge of the college game and its players gave him an edge at the draft table over his NFL rivals.

For his first five years in Dallas, Johnson would be studying and drafting many of the same players he had already studied and recruited at Miami. Those five years would cover his five-year recruiting cycle at Miami. He knew the achievers, overachievers and underachievers.

It’s no secret that Kelly’s role over the weekend was significant. During the season, he watches college film on Saturday afternoons. He attends the Senior Bowl, combine and as many Pro Days as possible. Read more »

Eagles Exit Draft Without O-Line Help

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
Dagger. Dagger in the heart. 

Those were the words of Howie Roseman when, moments after the 2014 NFL Draft concluded, a reporter brought up the fact that the Eagles came away with no offensive linemen.

“I firmly believe in building on the line of scrimmage.  That’s kind of how I was raised in the National Football League,” the general manager said. “I thought we’d have some opportunities to get some o‑linemen, but there was a run in the third round that was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was like ‑‑ I don’t know, if someone gave me the numbers, it was like player after player after player, and it was like ‑‑ all of a sudden we looked back up and our board was depleted, and we weren’t going to reach.  That hurt because we went in thinking that we’d get some guys.” Read more »

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