Ten Points: Closing The Book On DeSean

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

DeSean Jackson took questions from the Washington-area media yesterday after signing a three-year deal with the Redskins.

And so begins a new chapter in the wide receiver’s life.

The Eagles, meanwhile, remain silent. I know that doesn’t bother some of you, while others would like to hear from Chip Kelly about why the made the decision to release Jackson.

We’ve covered the whole saga extensively for the last month or so, and I understand there is some DeSean fatigue around these parts. But it’s become the story of the offseason for the Eagles. So before we start getting into full draft mode and moving on to other issues, here are 10 points I have to make to separate some myths from reality. Read more »

Making Sense Of the DeSean Jackson Move

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) returns a punt return against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter of the Snow Bowl

The release sent out by the Eagles landed in reporters’ inboxes at 12:40 p.m. Friday and contained 25 words:

“After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.”

So far, that is the only on-the-record explanation the team has provided for letting go of a 27-year-old wide receiver who caught 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.

The decision to part ways with Jackson came 35 minutes after NJ.com published a report about the wide receiver’s connection to Los Angeles-area gang members. The timing on the Eagles’ part was calculated. They became aware of the report two days earlier. They also knew that announcing Jackson’s release shortly after the report was published would soften the public backlash of getting rid of one of the team’s most productive offensive players. Read more »

Lurie: Kelly, Roseman Have a Plan

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets

ORLANDO, Fla. – Like Howie Roseman, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did not want to talk about DeSean Jackson during a brief session with reporters Tuesday afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton.

Asked about the status of the wide receiver, Lurie responded: “Nothing to say.”

And that was that.

But the Eagles’ owner did emphasize that he has faith in what Chip Kelly and Roseman are trying to accomplish this offseason. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Owners Meetings Begin

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ORLANDO — The NFL big dogs aren’t exactly roughing it this week.

The owners meetings officially get underway this morning but by Sunday the plush Ritz-Carlton, nestled next to a golf course on a picturesque plot of warm Orlando soil, was buzzing with league executives and coaches. There’s some business to attend to between now and when the meetings close on Wednesday afternoon but it’s very much a social scene — team brass rubbing with team brass over long dinners, a late-night cocktail or a quick nine. Not a bad setting if you wanted to, say, casually discuss a certain 27-year-old Pro Bowl receiver while smoking a cigar fountain-side. Read more »

Eagles Release Jason Avant

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

The Eagles have released veteran wide receiver Jason Avant, the team announced.

“In the year I spent with Jason, he was unbelievable in terms of his work ethic and his selfless nature,” said Chip Kelly in a statement. “He was a great teammate. We know he will have a chance to sign with another team and by releasing him now, he will have a full offseason to make the necessary adjustments. I had a chance to speak with him today and he handled himself like the true professional he is.” Read more »

Lurie Talks Super Bowl, Foles And More

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Jeffrey Lurie
was front and center for Roger Goodell‘s state of the NFL press conference in New York Friday. Afterwards, he spoke with the NFL Network about the future of quarterbacks Nick Foles and Michael Vick, the possibility of Philadelphia hosting a Super Bowl, and more. Read more »

Lurie: ‘Just the Tip Of the Iceberg’

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Jeffrey Lurie
addressed the media in the wake of the team’s 26-24 playoff loss to the Saints. Though disappointed by the outcome Saturday night, the Eagles owner is clearly very encouraged about the state of the program after one year under Chip Kelly.

“My expectations were more about making sure we had a terriffic coaching staff that could transform a roster and a group of young players into something special,” he said. “It was not about wins and losses. I was incredibly impressed by how quickly Chip and his staff were able to get this group together and perform extremely well. There is just so many good, young players around this locker room that will be incredibly dedicated when they come back next spring. We know that. Read more »

For Foles, Dallas Now Behind Him

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Arlington, Texas — It  was clear from the early going that Nick Foles was going to have a better day this time around.

The biggest game of Foles’ young career — a Sunday night showdown in Dallas for the NFC East crown — happened to be versus the same Cowboys team that he struggled badly against two months back. That 11-for-29, 80-yard performance, which ended with a concussion, left the quarterback’s future in Philadelphia uncertain.

What followed was one of the more remarkable stories of the year, with Foles leading the Eagles to wins in six of seven games down the stretch while amassing unbelievable personal stats, some 0f which only Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have matched. And now here came the Cowboys again, with the playoffs on the line.

It took less than a quarter for Foles to surpass his numbers from that October 20th game. He ended up 17-of-26 for 263 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 124.4 quarterback rating in the Eagles’ 24-22 division-clinching win. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Chip Kelly, NFC East Champ

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Arlington, Texas — Chip Kelly took the podium with a little water in his eyes and a smudge mark on his right cheek — presumably eye black that rubbed off one of the players during the celebration.

It was late in Dallas but the energy from Sunday night’s breath-stealing conclusion was still dancing in the air. The 16-game schedule was complete. And, though it took everything they had, the Eagles were still standing. Year One of the Chip Kelly era, and the Eagles are NFC East champions.

“I told those guys, I thought the first time I met them that it was a special group. I can’t tell you how much they’ve made this transition for me coming from college to the pros, it was those guys,” said Kelly. “They’ve bought in. It’s an awesome feeling when you can work as hard as they’ve worked and to see it pay off, and the results are you’re 10-6 and you’re division champs, it’s a real credit to those guys. They didn’t flinch.”

Looking back, did you honestly expect this to be the end result to your first regular season?

“I expected us to win,” said Kelly. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Foles And the Golf Analogy

Eagles QB Nick Foles evades the Cowboys' rush. 10/20/13Chip Kelly has a bunch of sayings (“Chipisms” they’ve been called) that he’ll throw out there on occasion to get his point across. A couple examples from Thursday:

On doing things the right way: “Bad habits are like a bed; they’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.”

On the players’ attitudes: “It takes the same amount of time to be miserable as it does to be happy.”

And he’ll deploy an analogy from time to time as well. Like on this day, he compared the quarterback position to golf when discussing the ups and downs of Nick Foles.

“Sometimes that position is a lot like a golfer.  You can go one week and be in contention and you’re leading and you have a great round, and the next week the guy doesn’t make the cut, and that’s unfortunate.  But what we need out of Nick is consistency, and he understands that.”

So what kind of sample size do you need to properly judge a quarterback? Read more »

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