The timing was curious, to say the least.
At 12:05 p.m. on March 28, NJ.com published a story saying the Eagles were concerned with DeSean Jackson’s alleged ties to gang members. At 12:40, the Eagles sent out a 25-word statement saying they had released the wide receiver.
And then silence. For 30 days.
The strategy seemed obvious. Use the gang affiliation story as cover for what would be deemed a peculiar and unpopular decision by many. Yet the way the team’s brass explains it, the Eagles were actually doing Jackson a favor by releasing him when they did. Read more »
Chip Kelly‘s emphasis on measurables really seems to show up at the cornerback position.
The Eagles moved quickly last March to give Kelly a pair of big, physical corners by signing Cary Williams (6-1, 190) and Bradley Fletcher (6-0, 200) in free agency. This offseason they added Nolan Carroll (6-1, 205) to the mix. It’s hard to miss the similarities there. And even though Brandon Boykin (5-9, 185) played just over 50 percent of the snaps last season as the slot corner, the head coach doesn’t sound interested in moving the playmaker outside.
“It’s a matchup game. The bigger receivers are on the outside. The smaller receivers are on the inside. So you’ve got two longer guys in Fletch and Cary that really fit in terms of getting matched up,” said Kelly. “When most people, if they’re gonna be in ’21’ personnel, then they’re not small outside. They’re big outside. So when they’re big, we’re big. I think when you bring in the Wes Welkers and the great slot receivers in this league, you need to have someone that has the ability to cover them. And I think that’s what Brandon’s strength really is. That’s the way we’ve always looked at it.”
The Eagles’ scouting department is given specific measurables to look for when searching for players. That doesn’t mean they will ignore every talent who fails to check a box, but there are guideline that they try to follow pretty closely. And Howie Roseman indicated last year that there are “deal-breakers.” Read more »
Until Saturday morning, no Eagles player had spoken out publicly in defense of their former teammate DeSean Jackson.
But that changed when LeSean McCoy addressed reporters while taking a break from his football camp at Camden Catholic High School.
“It’s a surprise for sure,” McCoy said when asked for his reaction. “I think anybody that tells you that they’re happy about it, I don’t know how honest that would be. It was a surprise. You heard so much, you didn’t really know. Not playing with him this year is gonna definitely be different. And playing against him is really gonna be different. I just imagine all the times we used to… knowing defensive teams are gonna try to defend us and different things like that, and now we’ve gotta defend against him, so it’s gonna be a little different. Read more »
The number for DeMeco Ryans last year was 1,156.
That’s how many snaps he played, the most of any linebacker in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders.
“I think if you ask DeMeco, he felt as fresh as he’s ever felt in his career,” said Chip Kelly last month. “But I think it’s a byproduct of how we practiced and prepared for him to be that way.”
Ryans is a Kelly favorite – a true professional who practices, trains and studies hard. But the truth is he did play too many snaps last year. And there were a few reasons for that. Number one, Billy Davis was installing a brand new defense and needed someone to direct a young group up front. That was Ryans’ job. Read more »
On the surface, the why associated with last month’s trade for Darren Sproles is easily answered.
Chip Kelly loves players who are capable of performing a variety of tasks. As we showed with the All-22, Sproles fits the bill. He can carry the ball, he can catch the ball, and he can serve as a return man. He can line up in the backfield, in the slot and even out wide.
While it’s clear he’s capable of doing different things, the question is: Can he still do those things at a high level? Read more »
DeSean Jackson took questions from the Washington-area media yesterday after signing a three-year deal with the Redskins.
And so begins a new chapter in the wide receiver’s life.
The Eagles, meanwhile, remain silent. I know that doesn’t bother some of you, while others would like to hear from Chip Kelly about why the made the decision to release Jackson.
We’ve covered the whole saga extensively for the last month or so, and I understand there is some DeSean fatigue around these parts. But it’s become the story of the offseason for the Eagles. So before we start getting into full draft mode and moving on to other issues, here are 10 points I have to make to separate some myths from reality. Read more »
The release sent out by the Eagles landed in reporters’ inboxes at 12:40 p.m. Friday and contained 25 words:
“After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.”
So far, that is the only on-the-record explanation the team has provided for letting go of a 27-year-old wide receiver who caught 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.
The decision to part ways with Jackson came 35 minutes after NJ.com published a report about the wide receiver’s connection to Los Angeles-area gang members. The timing on the Eagles’ part was calculated. They became aware of the report two days earlier. They also knew that announcing Jackson’s release shortly after the report was published would soften the public backlash of getting rid of one of the team’s most productive offensive players. Read more »
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 »
ORLANDO, Fla. – Like Howie Roseman, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did not want to talk about DeSean Jackson during a brief session with reporters Tuesday afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton.
Asked about the status of the wide receiver, Lurie responded: “Nothing to say.”
And that was that.
But the Eagles’ owner did emphasize that he has faith in what Chip Kelly and Roseman are trying to accomplish this offseason. Read more »
ORLANDO, Fla. – Another twist late last night in the ongoing DeSean Jackson saga – this one courtesy of the wide receiver’s Twitter account: Read more »