Eagles Wake-Up Call: Stoutland On State Of the Offensive Line

Brandon Brooks. (Jeff Fusco)

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 »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: OL Depth Chart Analysis

Jason Peters and Jeff Stoutland. (Jeff Fusco)

Jason Peters and Jeff Stoutland. (Jeff Fusco)

We kicked off this series by looking at the wide receiverslinebackers and defensive linemen. Now, let’s move on to the offensive line.

Current group

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.

Analysis

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 »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Most Indispensable Players

Ryan Mathews and Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)

Ryan Mathews and Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)

After the Fletcher Cox contract extension and Howie Roseman’s flurry of moves this offseason, talk surrounding the Eagles has understandably shifted to the future and how the Birds shape up longterm. But with all of Roseman’s major deals done and training camp (slowly) inching closer, let’s take a look at who the most indispensable Eagles are this season.

5. Ryan Mathews — It’s tough to leave out talented players like Malcolm Jenkins, and a role as important as pass rusher that Vinny Curry fills, but if Mathews is unavailable, the Eagles have an unimpressive group of backs to carry the load. And if Sam Bradford has no running game, how much success will the Birds have as a one-dimensional offense? Mathews is on this list because of how big of a drop-off there is without him; even if he doesn’t rank second in the NFL again with more than five yards per carry, he’ll still give you good production. His talent has never been in question — it’s always been about him staying healthy. Mathews ranked eighth in the NFL last season in rushing DYAR, Football Outsiders’ metric that values performance on a play where the running back touches the ball compared to the replacement level, adjusting for situation and opponent. Mathews’ rushing DYAR was 133, while Darren Sproles’ was 80, and Kenjon Barner’s was 30. (DeMarco Murray’s, in case you were curious, was -29, sixth-worst among players with at least 100 carries.)

4. Jordan Hicks — Joe Walker. That’s who would likely be the Eagles’ middle linebacker if Hicks isn’t on the field. When you add that to the importance of this position group Hicks is expected to lead, it’s difficult to not include Hicks on here. With the defensive line free to roam around and leave gaps unattended, the linebackers will have to do a good job of cleaning up behind them and thinking on their feet to plug running lanes. It seems like the expectations for Hicks only get higher and higher, despite him starting just five games in his career, but that’s what happens when you discard Kiko Alonso and DeMeco Ryans and don’t have much depth behind your starters. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Grading the Roster

Jeffrey Lurie (Photo by: Jeff Fusco)

Jeffrey Lurie (Photo by: Jeff Fusco)

While the Eagles’ undrafted free agents haven’t been announced yet, we have a pretty good idea of what their roster will look like this season with the draft and free agency frenzy behind us. Let’s break the team down position by position on offense and defense, considering only where they stand for 2016. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Potential Cap Casualties

Sam Bradford and Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

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 »

Pederson On Kelce’s Step Back, the Offensive Line

Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

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 »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Robert Griffin III. (USA Today Sports Images)

Robert Griffin III. (USA Today Sports Images)

Here’s what the media are saying as the combine continues and free agency speculation heats up.

Malcolm Jenkins told SiriusXM that the Eagles were “focused on all the wrong things” last season, per Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.

“I think our team was focused on all the wrong things,” Jenkins said during a radio interview on SiriusXM. “I think when you get so caught up sometimes in X’s and O’s, the tempo of your day and getting to all of this stuff, a lot of times you don’t just stop and pay attention to the small things; like, how tight is your locker room?

“I know on defense we were pretty tight. We’d go out every Thursday night for dinner and have fellowship. Our offense wasn’t quite the same. Those things, though, are important. They may sound very, very minute but those are the things you brush over if you’re going through the speed of the season and your routine, you forget about those things.”

Read more »

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