Foles, First-Team Offense Struggle

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles
CHICAGO — Not a great start for Nick Foles and company.

The first-team offense played three series in the preseason opener against the Bears. Two ended in Foles interceptions and the third a Donnie Jones punt. Not the end of the world, but certainly not what Chip Kelly was hoping for out of his starters.

Foles finished 6-of-9 for 44 yards and a pair of picks. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: O-Line Training Camp Preview

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive linequarterbacksoutside linebackersrunning backsinside linebackers, cornerbacks, wide receivers and safeties. Now it’s on to the offensive line.

The pressing question: How much will the Lane Johnson suspension hurt the Eagles?

Let’s put it this way. In terms of devastation level, losing LeSean McCoy would be a 10. Losing Patrick Chung last year would have been a 1. I’ll put the Johnson suspension at a 6.5.

Offensively, losing McCoy or Nick Foles would fall into the “season changer” category. Losing Jason Kelce would hurt a lot too, given that the Eagles don’t really have an adequate replacement (at least not a proven one). Jason Peters or Evan Mathis missing time would mean definite downgrades. After that, there’s Johnson and a few others. Read more »

Barton: ‘When It Hits Me, Tears Will Come Down’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When the Eagles’ team huddle broke to end Tuesday’s OTA, dozens of players walked toward the NovaCare Complex’s main building that houses the locker room.

Walking alone in the other direction was offensive lineman Karim Barton. He slowly traveled about 50 yards with his helmet in hand and his green jersey drenched in sweat, passing many teammates along the way. He stopped at the two-person orange blocking sled on the outskirts of the facility to get additional work in.

“The coaches can’t come out here and give me one-on-one time because of time restrictions,” he said. “So I created one-on-one time with the sleds.”

Barton is used to traveling alone, and taking a different path than most of his peers is why he’s in Philadelphia in the first place. After growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, then moving to South Central Los Angeles, he has escaped the drugs, violence and poverty that plague both areas. Read more »

Bamiro, Now At Guard, Fighting For Spot

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Michael Bamiro spent a large portion of Monday’s OTA holding a rectangular orange blocking pad. As one of 16 offensive linemen competing for about half as many spots, it acted as his entry pass so he too could jump into drills and prove to offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland he’s more than just a practice player.

“I’m really just doing whatever I can to get myself on that field,” Bamiro said. Read more »

Eagles Exit Draft Without O-Line Help

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
Dagger. Dagger in the heart. 

Those were the words of Howie Roseman when, moments after the 2014 NFL Draft concluded, a reporter brought up the fact that the Eagles came away with no offensive linemen.

“I firmly believe in building on the line of scrimmage.  That’s kind of how I was raised in the National Football League,” the general manager said. “I thought we’d have some opportunities to get some o‑linemen, but there was a run in the third round that was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was like ‑‑ I don’t know, if someone gave me the numbers, it was like player after player after player, and it was like ‑‑ all of a sudden we looked back up and our board was depleted, and we weren’t going to reach.  That hurt because we went in thinking that we’d get some guys.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: How Eagles’ Moves Affect Draft Plans

NCAA Football: Tennessee Tech at Oregon

Most draft questions that Howie Roseman fields in the offseason elicit a similar sounding response.

The phrases “best available player” and “stick to our board” are uttered over and over and over again.

Yet every time the team makes moves – re-signing its own players, adding free agents, making trades – questions arise about how draft plans will be impacted. So today, let’s take a look at the moves individually and predict what they might mean come May. Read more »

Kelly’s Influence Felt Behind the Scenes

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

In the days leading up to the scouting combine, the NFL sent out a media schedule detailing when coaches and general managers would hold press conferences at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

In the release, nine coaches were missing: Chip Kelly, Bill Belichick, Joe Philbin, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Mike McCoy, Jason Garrett, Sean Payton and Pete Carroll.

Among that group, seven ended up eventually deciding to chat at one point or another (even if it was only to the team’s Web site or a single media outlet). The exceptions? Tomlin and Kelly.

Last offseason, Kelly was available at the Senior Bowl, the combine and any time the Eagles made significant personnel moves (re-signings, free agents, etc.). This year, we haven’t heard from him since the day after the season ended.

Instead, he has taken more of a behind-the-scenes approach. But Kelly’s fingerprints were on every move the team made last week. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Symbolism In the Peters Signing

USATSI_7641448_168380503_lowres
Part of it is just that Jason Peters is a freak.

He’s 32, yes, and he is not too far removed from a double Achilles rupture. Normally, that’s not the type of player you hand a lucrative four-year extension to. But Peters is not normal. He is an athletic phenomenon; a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.

“This is a unique situation when you are talking about Jason Peters and his level of excellence, his level of play,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “It’s hard to turn on the tape and look at him as a 31-year-old offensive tackle. You look at him and you see him dominate players. He still has upside in his body because of the things that we’re doing and the scheme that we’re in…For us, this is about the player. Jason Peters has defied all odds, and he’s a unique player.”

The fact that the Eagles were willing to hand a 10-year vet $20 million of guaranteed coin speaks mostly to how rare a specimen Peters is.

There is more to the story, though. Read more »

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