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 »

Kelce On Mathis: ‘They Didn’t Want the Distraction’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

 Jason Kelce said that there was more of an “underlying tone” to the Evan Mathis contract protests this time around, one that apparently clashed with the symphonic harmony emanating from One NovaCare Way.

“Last year there was some under-the-radar talks about it, stuff that was going on in the media, but nothing really concrete and he never really let it take place in front of the team or anything like that so it wasn’t a distraction,” said Kelce. “At this point obviously he would have missed all of OTAs. It was a much bigger deal throughout the season at this point.”

It was no surprise to Kelce, then, that Mathis was cut out of equation. Same for the rest of the Eagles players we talked to.

This week’s minicamp will wrap on Thursday, marking the end of the offseason conditioning program. Mathis was absent all spring. While everything save the minicamp is voluntary, several of his teammates suggested that he was in violation of an unwritten code of conduct. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: First Impressions Of Murray

DeMarco Murray.

DeMarco Murray/Photo by Jeff Fusco

DeMarco Murray was first asked about LeSean McCoy’s comments regarding Chip Kelly getting rid of all the black players on the Eagles.

“Look around,” Murray said calmly. “There’s a lot of us out here, so I’m not sure about that.”

Later during the interview, a reporter asked about Joseph Randle. The Cowboys running back said recently that Murray left a lot of meat on the bone last season, despite leading the NFL in rushing yards.

“I’m not worried about it,” Murray said. “[He’s] a good kid, and we’ll see what they can do this year.”

It’s been less than three months since Murray signed with the Eagles, but he’s had several opportunities to stir up controversy. He could have taken aim at Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ brass for not re-signing him. He could have taken issue with McCoy. And he could have put Randle in his place.

But instead, Murray seems to prefer a measured, quiet approach. And that seems to be working just fine with his teammates. Read more »

Three Eagles Leftovers From OTAs

Kiko Alonso.

Kiko Alonso.

Here are three items from OTAs we haven’t covered yet.

1. Chip Kelly seems to think the new two-point/PAT guidelines are dumb. And I have to say I agree with him.

Asked to talk about the new two-point rule, Kelly said: “I don’t think anything’s new. That’s the way we look at it. …We were 43-of-45 in the last two years from that distance, so 96 percent. I don’t know what changes to be honest with you.”

The new rule has teams kicking the extra point from the 15 yard line or going for two from the 2 yard line. The Eagles’ proposal, which was not approved, had the two-point attempt starting at the 1.

“We’re still going to kick an extra point,” Kelly said. “I don’t understand the proposal. If they want you to go for two more, the ball has always been on the 2 yard line. That’s always been an option for everybody for awhile. …The numbers will dictate when you go for two, but they didn’t entice you to go for two more, at least in my opinion.” Read more »

Three Leftovers: Kelce Working With Bradford

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

From Connor Barwin’s contract to Jason Kelce’s view of the QB situation to Jeremy Maclin’s praise for Nick Foles, here are three Eagles leftovers from Todd Herremans’ charity event on Thursday night.

1. Kelce is one of the Eagles players who stays in the Philadelphia area and works out at the NovaCare Complex in the offseason. That means he’s already had a chance to get a first impression of new quarterback Sam Bradford. So what does Kelce think?

“I’ve been meeting with him and going over things,” Kelce said. “I think he’s a guy that comes off as very cerebral, very smart, very quick. He’s had a lot of bad luck in his career as far as injuries are concerned and as far as… I don’t want to throw any offensive lines under the bus, but I think he’s much better suited now with us. I think that he has a good chance to be very successful in this offense.”

As for the draft, Kelce said he doesn’t think the Eagles will make a move to land Marcus Mariota. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Carroll Backs Kelly

Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY

Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY

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

Noted Chip Kelly enthusiast and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes Kelly knows what he is doing. From CSN Philly:

“I think the people in Philadelphia should be very excited about the changes that are coming,” Carroll said this week at the owners meetings. “Maybe they can’t see it — the vision is not clear to them. Chip knows what he’s doing. It’s going to be interesting to see.”

As someone in the same situation as Kelly, Carroll, the head honcho of player personnel in addition to coach in Seattle, pointed to Kelly’s record for a strong vote of confidence.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: What Players Think Of Chip’s Moves

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A bunch of Todd Herremans’ former teammates joined him Thursday night at Vie for his foundation’s third annual Hoops For Help fundraiser.

Herremans signed with the Colts after the Eagles released him, but he said he plans on eventually settling down in Philadelphia and will continue to be active in the community here.

Joining him were several former Eagles who now have new homes, like Trent ColeJeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy. Current Eagles Jason KelceConnor Barwin and Beau Allen were also in attendance, along with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Earlier this week in Phoenix, Chip Kelly and Jeffrey Lurie did their best to explain the team’s offseason moves. But what do the players – both current and former – think? And do they believe Chip knows what he’s doing?

We asked them. Here’s what they had to say. Read more »

Eagles Offseason Outlook: Offensive Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. We have covered the quarterbacks, wide receiversrunning backs and tight ends so far. Now it’s onto the offensive line.


All five original starters from last season – Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson – remain under contract.

Peters turned 33 last month. He might not be the player he was four years ago, but there are no concerns about him manning the left tackle spot. Mathis was unhappy with his contract going into 2014, but he showed up and played well. I was particularly impressed with the way he missed seven games due to a knee injury, but returned and performed at a high level down the stretch. It’s worth noting, though, that Mathis is 33. Read more »

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