Jason Kelce. (USA Today Sports)
As Jason Kelce’s disappointing play permeated throughout the season last year, questions circulated about why the former Pro Bowl center was struggling. Was it the poor guard play next to him? Was it Chip Kelly’s increasingly inept offense?
Despite the upgrade next to Kelce in Brandon Brooks and Doug Pederson’s effective play-calling, Kelce has still struggled in the first two games this season. While everyone else on the Eagles’ offensive line has gotten off to a strong start, Kelce’s sub-par showing has prompted one simple question: Is he just not that good?
“You know when you play well and you know when you played bad,” Kelce, who declined some media requests yesterday, told the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. “And I haven’t played up to the level that I’m capable of this year yet.” Read more »
Jason Kelce and Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)
The Eagles’ first-team offensive line has allowed just two sacks in the preseason, with the first coming on a naked bootleg in Pittsburgh they couldn’t have done anything about. The other was on their opening play in Indianapolis, when Nate Irving blitzed in between Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks to take Sam Bradford down for a 13-yard loss.
Irving timed his running start almost perfectly, shooting through the line of scrimmage nearly untouched while leaving Bradford nowhere to go.
“It’s a good thing Brandon actually touched him,” Kelce said, “otherwise (Irving) may have killed Sam right at the line.”
But it was also just one flaw in an otherwise impressive performance during the Eagles’ 33-23 win over the Colts. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
When Lane Johnson’s impending suspension was made public two weeks ago, many wondered who would replace him at right tackle. With Allen Barbre seemingly settled into the position, the focus has shifted to left guard and the battle between Isaac Seumalo and Stefen Wisniewski.
Seumalo has taken all of the first-team reps after Barbre moved over, and he’ll start once again on Saturday when the Eagles travel to play the Colts, in part because of the rookie’s play in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
“I thought I played better, for sure. Just thinking a lot less, playing faster,” Seumalo said. “When we met, [offensive line] coach [Jeff] Stoutland said I’m almost moving too much. A big thing — even Brandon Brooks told me, too — it’s all about efficiency. No wasted movement. I think I’m just doing too much. It was better than last week, but it still needs to get cleaned up.” Read more »
Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)
Before the Eagles begin training camp tomorrow with all of their players practicing, veterans reported to the NovaCare Complex today for meetings. On their way in, several guys stopped to address the media about their teammates’ off-the-field incidents this offseason, including the rape accusation against Nelson Agholor — although he wasn’t charged — and Nigel Bradham’s arrest this week for allegedly assaulting an employee in a Miami hotel.
Malcolm Jenkins noted that he doesn’t think the team needs to talk about off-the-field expectations, and that the coaches can handle it.
“I don’t think we need to talk. Guys get in trouble all around the league. Stuff happens,” Jenkins said. “I’m sure the coaches have a plan to deal with that. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a distraction.” Read more »
Brandon Brooks. (Jeff Fusco)
Jeff Stoutland gives each of his linemen areas to work on during the break between OTAs and training camp. By the sounds of it, when Brandon Brooks came looking for his assignment, the o-line coach didn’t have a whole lot to choose from.
“I told him, ‘Boy I’ll tell you what, after evaluating your film in free agency’…I said, ‘some of the things I thought maybe there was some issues with, that’s your strength.’ The use of his hands in protection are unbelievable; getting into the second level and blocking linebackers, he’s been extremely productive doing that,” said Stoutland for a podcast on the team’s website. Read more »
Jason Peters and Jeff Stoutland. (Jeff Fusco)
We kicked off this series by looking at the wide receivers, linebackers and defensive linemen. Now, let’s move on to the offensive line.
Projected starters (left to right): Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson.
Reserves: C Bruce Johnson, C/G Josh Andrews, C/G Barrett Jones, C/G Stefen Wisniewski, G Malcolm Bunche, G Dillion Gordon, G Darrell Greene, G Isaac Seumalo, G/T Andrew Gardner, G/T Dennis Kelly, G/T Matt Tobin, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
The Eagles weren’t shy about spending money this offseason on the offensive line in an attempt to counteract Chip Kelly’s years of neglect. Howie Roseman handed Lane Johnson a 5-year, $56.26 million extension, and he signed Brandon Brooks to a 5-year, $40 million deal in free agency. Meanwhile, Jason Peters is in the second season of his 4-year, $41.3 million extension, and Jason Kelce is in the second season of his 6-year, $37.5 million extension. Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)
Here’s this weekend’s roundup of the national stories about the Eagles: Read more »
Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)
Two days ago, the Eagles made a blockbuster trade with the Browns for the second overall pick in the 2016 draft. Now that the dust has settled, let’s see what the national and local media are saying about the move.
Read more »
Sam Bradford and Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)
To submit your mailbag question, fill out the form at the bottom of this post or email us.
Looking at the Eagles’ 2017 salary cap, they are last in the league with only $5 million available. Is this fallout from the Kelly era, or are these Roseman contracts? What should we expect to see next year, cuts (Peters, Barwin, etc) or restructures (Bradford, etc)? — Shawn
This is why I think the phrase “contract year” is funny.
You often hear it when a player is on the last year of his contract and he’s set to be a free agent, but the reality of the NFL is many players are in “contract years,” even if they have multiple seasons left on their deal. That’s because they can be cut to save money if they don’t appear to be worth their future cap commitment, which is why I think Shawn’s question is intriguing to consider. Even though many Eagles still have multiple years left on their contracts, several of them could be playing for their futures in Philadelphia this year as they try to avoid being cap casualties in 2017. Read more »
Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)
Throughout last season, several theories floated around about why Jason Kelce took a step back from his previous Pro Bowl-caliber seasons.
Perhaps an injury was holding him back, or maybe he just benefited from battling defenses in those first two Chip Kelly years that struggled to adjust to the Eagles’ scheme and tempo.
Doug Pederson, however, subscribes to a different theory. Read more »