Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Billy Davis usually sets up shop at the exact same spot in the middle of the Eagles locker room after home games.
He always speaks in the same calm, measured tone. You can never tell by his face whether his defense just played well or played poorly, whether the Eagles won or lost.
Players seem to appreciate that about him. And so does Chip Kelly. Davis believes in the process, and having coached in the NFL for more than 20 years, he’s been on the wrong side of plenty of bad losses, contests where the game plan left room for second-guessing and where the coaches didn’t put the players in positions to succeed.
Sunday’s 38-27 loss to the Cowboys was one of those games. Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
During the offseason, figuring out ways to beat man coverage seemed like an obsession for Chip Kelly.
He saw how teams played the Eagles in his first season. They singled up receivers and used one high safety all season long. They needed the second safety in the box to help against LeSean McCoy and the Eagles’ prolific rushing attack. And playing man coverage was a simple solution to dealing with tempo.
Whenever the Eagles made an offseason move on offense – releasing DeSean Jackson, trading for Darren Sproles, re-signing Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, drafting Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff – Kelly noted the need for his receivers to be able to beat man coverage.
But there have been changes in Year 2. Most notably, teams have felt comfortable playing more zone. But why has that been the case? Read more »
There’s “V-Doc” (Vinny Curry) and “Fletch” (Fletcher Cox) and “Swamp” (Cedric Thornton, given to him by Jim Washburn who thought he was built like the Swamp Thing). Then there’s “Wado” (Wade Keliikipi) and “B-Bair” (Brandon Bair) and “T-Hart” (Taylor Hart). Those are some of the nicknames you might hear bouncing off the walls inside the defensive line room.
There is also a nickname for the group that the players have embraced in recent weeks.
“We’re ‘The Nobodies,’” said Cox. “That’s us.” Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense against the Seahawks after having re-watched the game.
Mark Sanchez – He obviously struggled throughout. Sanchez became the second QB this season to attempt at least 20 passes and total fewer than 100 yards in a game. The other was Andy Dalton. Overall, Sanchez went 10-for-20 for 96 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
The thing about facing a defense as good as Seattle’s is there are not going to be a lot of chances to make plays in the passing game. You have to make the most of your opportunities. And Sanchez did not do that.
On the first play, he stepped up, targeted Jeremy Maclin and was nearly intercepted by Richard Sherman. Sanchez threw short of the sticks to Jordan Matthews for a 6-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 on the first drive. Good decision to pull the ball and fire to Maclin for the 1-yard TD. Good throw on boot-action to his left, finding Matthews for a 17-yard gain in the first. Bad-looking deep ball intended for Cooper on the post against what I believe was Cover 3. He threw short of the sticks incomplete to Matthews on 3rd-and-9 in the second. Sanchez has had trouble on screens to the slot. He fired one high to Maclin in the second, which threw off the rhythm of the play on an incompletion. Read more »
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY
There was a lot of talk about measuring sticks in the Eagles’ locker room Sunday evening. Questions regarding what the players learned about themselves during a windy afternoon at the Linc. Discussions on whether the team is capable of competing with the best of the best in the conference.
After a 24-14 loss to the Seahawks in which the offense looked completely outmatched, the Eagles are now 0-3 against NFC teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today.
The overall mood, though, was more upbeat than one might expect. As Russell Wilson knelt down to kill the clock in the fourth quarter, Connor Barwin walked around to his teammates and delivered fist-pounds and hugs. When Mark Sanchez returned to his locker after his press conference, Jordan Matthews greeted him a handshake.
Everyone seemed to share the same feeling.
“I don’t think that anybody in here feels that we can’t beat the Seattle Seahawks,” said center Jason Kelce. “I just think they were much better than we were today. And I think we feel the same way about Green Bay and about any team in the NFL. On any given day, you can win in this league. And it really comes down to us just continuing to improve each and every day.” Read more »
Chris Maragos was asked this week whether Eagles coaches have approached him at all to discuss the Seahawks’ defensive scheme.
“Not really. Just because it’s not like it’s complicated,” said Maragos, a safety/special teamer who spent the previous three seasons in Seattle. “You guys can watch the film and see what they do. It’s Cover 3, it’s Cover 1, single-high safeties, different things like that, so it’s not like they’re doing all this exotic stuff. I don’t think they need my help.”
His response shed light on one of the more fascinating story lines heading into Sunday: How will the Seahawks’ defense deal with the Eagles’ tempo? Read more »
As LeSean McCoy made his way from the locker room to his post-game press conference at AT&T Stadium last week, a defensive assistant congratulated him on his 159-yard effort against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Them boys up front,” McCoy shouted back. “They were blowing [stuff] up.”
McCoy and others noted that the offensive performance reminded them of 2013. Last season, the Eagles relied on a dominant run game, play-action and a downfield passing attack for the most successful offensive season in franchise history. But those second two things don’t work unless the first one gets on track. And that was the story offensively from the Eagles’ 33-10 win.
The offensive line opened up holes, McCoy made guys miss, Mark Sanchez took care of the ball, and the Eagles had themselves a happy Thanksgiving. Read more »
Tim Heltman/USA Today
ARLINGTON, Texas — Bennie Logan insists he wasn’t trying to create a stir.
The Eagles’ nose tackle was asked during the week about the Cowboys’ offensive line, and he made it quite clear that he wasn’t impressed. His comments seemed somewhat out of character, but Logan’s fellow defensive linemen Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton backed him up. They felt like they were a good group that has been flying the under the radar, and they were not going to be intimidated by the one of the league’s best rushing attacks.
“People had their own opinions about teams and things like that,” Logan said after the Eagles’ 33-10 win. “I’m a nobody. I’m a nobody. We’ve got a lot of nobodies up front. People don’t give us the credit and things like that. We just play football. We have fun when we do it. It wasn’t any big talk or anything, no big pressure or anything like that. We just wanted to go out there and have fun and just play our style of defense.”
The Eagles’ defensive line showed up in a big way, limiting DeMarco Murray to 73 yards and 3.7 YPC. Both numbers were season lows. This was just the second time in 12 games Murray failed to gain at least 100 yards. Read more »
Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton – USA Today
Here’s a player-by-player review of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Mark Sanchez – There was some good and some bad with Sanchez. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Sanchez has generally gotten the ball out quickly and done a good job of climbing the pocket when he feels edge pressure. He takes fewer shots downfield than Nick Foles. Per Pro Football Focus, 12.9 percent of Sanchez’s attempts have traveled 20+ yards downfield (15th). With Foles, the number was 18.9 percent (second). Twenty-four of Sanchez’s 30 completions Sunday were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Read more »
Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today
Ever since Josh Huff played for Chip Kelly as a true freshman at Oregon in 2010, his head coach has asked the same question on the field before games.
Are you scared?
“He always asked me that before every game,” Huff said. “And every game I tell him the same answer: No I’m not scared, and I’m ready to make a play. And that was evident today.”
Huff was 7 yards deep in the end zone when he fielded the opening kickoff against the Titans. He said he knew regardless of where he received it, he was going to bring it out. And so he did.
Key blocks from James Casey, Trey Burton and Zach Ertz sprung Huff as he headed towards the right sideline. He delivered a stiff-arm to Titans kicker Ryan Succop at the Eagles’ 37 yard line and kept the ball in his right hand.
Near the Tennessee 20, he delivered a second stiff-arm, throwing a Titans defender to the ground. Huff crossed the goal line, faked a spike and tossed the ball behind him as his teammates began celebrating.
As he returned to the sideline, he got a handshake from Bryan Braman, a congratulatory headbutt from Chris Polk and a hug from his position coach, Bob Bicknell.
Then Huff met Kelly – his head coach for four of the last five seasons. They embraced for a few seconds, and Kelly had some words for the rookie wide receiver. Read more »