Zone Read: Eagles-Washington, the Day After

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

LANDOVER, Md. – Chip Kelly had been in this room before, but the circumstances were different the last time.

It was September of 2013. Kelly’s squad had just put the NFL on notice that his up-tempo attack could be effective at the professional level as the Eagles defeated Washington on Monday Night football in his debut as Andy Reid’s successor.

Kelly answered questions from a roomful of reporters about the Birds’ pace, Michael Vick’s performance and other topics. Before exiting the room to make the trip back to Philadelphia, Kelly stopped to say hello to some media members who had made the trip from Oregon.

Where his first season began was essentially the same place that his second season ended. Kelly’s squad was clinging to its playoffs aspirations Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field. The hope was that the Eagles would take care of business against an inferior opponent and perhaps get a little help in the final two weeks to sneak into the postseason.

Instead, the Eagles suffered a meltdown. Issues that have been prevalent all year long resurfaced, and the result was a 27-24 loss. Read more »

Sanchez Unable To Break Old Habits

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly said he didn’t spend much time studying Mark Sanchez‘s tape from New York, focusing instead on his skill set and physical attributes and relying more on the word of those who had been around him in a formal life.

“I talked to his college coaches more than I did that; I talked to his high school coaches and I knew what type of athlete he was and I knew what he could do,” he said earlier this month. “For me to study his tape from the New York Jets ‑‑ now I know other people studied his tape, but I personally didn’t study his tape because I know what he can do and I thought he could fit into our system.”

Sanchez had a sub-60 percent completion rate with the Jets. The Eagles felt that he could get closer to the level of accuracy he displayed at USC (64 percent), and sure enough, he has completed 64 percent of his throws in an Eagles uniform. There were elements of his game from New York that did carry over, though — namely, his propensity to turn the ball over.

Read more »

Maclin: No Bad Blood With DeSean

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Jeremy Maclin stood at the podium after practice Tuesday afternoon and wanted to set the record straight on a couple different topics.

One was his relationship with DeSean Jackson. The two never seemed especially close when they played together, but Jackson told the Inquirer over the weekend that he’s happy for Maclin and the success he’s had.

“We’ve spoken a few times this year,” Maclin said. “I don’t know how people perceive that relationship between him and I. We’re cool. No hard feelings either way. At the end of the day, he’s in Washington now and we’re here.”

Asked to describe the nature of their relationship, Maclin said: “We were teammates. We were cool. I don’t really know what people think, that there was ever any type of bad blood or anything. We’re both competitive guys and both guys who are very capable of being talented guys in this league. When you have two guys of that caliber on one team, I think people look for things to try to pick at and try to pull you guys apart, but it’s not always like that.”

In reference to offseason speculation that Maclin wouldn’t have re-signed had Jackson still been here, he said: “Was I quoted in that report? [No]. OK then.” Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys.

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez – In a game where the Eagles needed to maximize their opportunities on offense, Sanchez failed to capitalize and made too many mistakes. Although, to be fair, he was far from the only problem.

Overall, Sanchez went 17-for-28 for 252 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Per Pro Football Focus, he was 12-for-13 on throws under 10 yards. On attempts 10 yards or more from the line of scrimmage, Sanchez was 5-for-13. He did not complete a single pass that traveled 20 yards or more from the line of scrimmage and attempted just two. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Cowboys, the Day After

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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 »

Malcolm Jenkins’ Blitz, Bow-Ties and Bourbon

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Philadelphia Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins hosted Blitz, Bow-Ties & Bourbon on Monday night at Union Trust Finley Catering, a fundraiser for his non-profit, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation (TMJF). Many of Jenkins teammates came out to support his first area fundraiser, including Jeremy Maclin, Connor Barwin and Brandon Boykin. Many of the guests attending adhered to the dress code and wore bow ties, including some from Jenkins own line, Rock Avenue Bow Ties.

The evening began with a VIP cocktail party in the mezzanine where guests enjoyed food tastings from Treemont, and Bank and Bourbon as well as treats from Chip Roman’s candy line Tradestone Confections where the artisan chocolates were paired with various bourbons.

Brian Bevilacqua, a bourbon master at Bank & Bourbon, chatted about the various bourbons on the market with the guests. At 6:30, more guests arrived to enjoy the festivities, bid on the silent auction, enjoy a delicious spread by Finley Catering as well as small plates from Sbraga, and The Farm and the Fisherman. Comedian/magician Darrell Fisher was on hand as entertainment as well as auctioneer, successfully selling a trip to Mexico for $6,000, a Tiger Woods signed golf club and original paintings.

Malcolm Jenkins and his mom, Gwendolyn V. Jenkins, President, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, thanked the guests for coming, and told them the money raised at the event would go to expand the foundation’s programming to support youth in the Great Philadelphia area. The foundation has existing programs in New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio, and New Orleans. After the program, guests enjoyed the sounds of Valarie Adams & the Dimensions and packed the dance floor as dessert and coffee were served.

Photos from Blitz, Bow-Ties & Bourbon after the jump »

All-22: Why the Eagles’ Offense Got Shut Down

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A single response from Pat Shurmur Tuesday explained a lot about the Eagles’ ugly offensive performance against the Seahawks.

“They played exactly… they did less on defense than we expected,” Shurmur said. “They played single-safety middle like we expected. They played a combination of man and zone, and on third down it was very similar until we got in third-and-long and you saw split safeties. They did less on defense than what we had planned for.”

In some ways, what Pete Carroll does on defense is similar to what Chip Kelly does on offense. It’s not about volume. It’s about finding an identity, having answers for every situation, getting a lot of reps and allowing players to make plays in a scheme that they know inside and out. Read more »

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