Weekend Reading: Praise For Abdullah

Bruce Thorson / USA Today

Bruce Thorson / USA Today

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

Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice is quite impressed with Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah:

During his Combine interview with the media, some reporter asked him a random question about Patriots RB Shane Vereen. Abdullah was armed with a great answer. “I watch a lot of his film to help myself out with route running,” said Abdullah. “He runs the best option route in the NFL right now. He does a good job of stemming the linebackers, snapping them off, and using his head (demonstrated a head juke) to get separation, (and he has) outstanding hands.” Read more »

What They’re Saying: Is Brett Hundley Underrated?

Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports

Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports

Here is a rundown of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Matt Waldman of Football Outsiders wonders if Brett Hundley would have as high a draft stock as Marcus Mariota if he played in the Oregon offense:

Thanks in part to the Ducks’ offense, I have also seen far fewer successful throws with tight-window accuracy from Mariota than I have with Hundley. Considering how well Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez performed in this style of scheme in Philadelphia, it poses a sensible question: does the offense inflate the perceived talent of a quarterback?

The opposite proposition might be that Mark Sanchez was better than we saw in New York on a Rex Ryan-coached team that didn’t develop a strong offensive system after Sanchez had a solid beginning to his career. Likewise, Jim Mora — like Ryan — is a defensive-oriented coach with a similar history of uninspired offensive football. Perhaps Brett Hundley’s potential has been limited by the Bruins’ offense, and could blossom in a more imaginative environment? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Backs Are Where It’s At

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

INDIANAPOLIS — Before setting off on a two-hour, 45-minute voyage of a conference call with reporters this week, Mike Mayock took 30 seconds to provide an overview of the draft class that is set to descend on Indy for the Scouting Combine.

“I think [it’s] particularly deep at running back,” he said. “Although it might not be quite as deep at wide receiver as a year ago, it’s still going to be a very good wide receiver class. Correspondingly, it’s going to be very thin at quarterback and safety. And I think the rest of the positions are solid.”

Mayock certainly isn’t the only analyst/scout that is high on this running back class. The buzz isn’t quite as loud as it was for the historic wide receiver crop last year, but it’s at a pretty good hum.
Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj – USA Today

The dead period of the NFL calendar is almost over with the NFL Combine slated to begin on Wednesday. As free agency and the draft inch closer, here’s what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com identifies Jeremy Maclin as the Eagles top priority this offseason:

Letting DeSean Jackson walk a year ago will probably haunt Chip Kelly for a while. So now Jeremy Maclin has him over a barrel a year after the Eagles were able to re-sign him on the cheap while coming off an ACL injury. With the quarterback position unstable — or at least unproven — this team needs to keep skill players who fit and Maclin is the obvious starting point. If I can find a trade partner for Trent Cole, I’m doing it, and I am releasing Riley Cooper before his salary becomes guaranteed next month.

Read more »

Free-Agency Notes: Will Worilds Shake Loose?

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Jason Worilds is a name to keep in mind as we inch closer to the start of free agency on March 10.

The Eagles were interested in the 26-year-old outside linebacker last offseason but the Steelers kept him off the market by placing the transition tag on him, a move that cost them just shy of $10 million. If they chose the same course of action this year, they would reportedly have to pay Worilds closer to $11 million.

“Jason had a good year for us last year,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He is still a young player. He is probably still an ascending player. I don’t think you’ve seen the best of him, either, as a Steeler or as a potential player for someone else’s team. He is definitely someone that we will consider keeping. We will see where the market goes.”

The Steelers are currently projected to be slightly over the salary cap for 2015, and that’s without Worilds on the books. Read more »

Eagles Offseason Outlook: Wide Receiver

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: 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 did quarterbacks yesterday. Now it’s onto the wide receivers.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

The big question here is whether the Eagles will be able to re-sign Jeremy Maclin. By all accounts, they want him back, and Maclin wants to return. But he’s not going to be cheap.

Maclin bet on himself going into 2014 and performed brilliantly, finishing with 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 TDs. If he hits the open market, there will most certainly be a lot of interest, and many have already speculated that Andy Reid and the Chiefs could get involved. The Eagles have the franchise tag in their back pocket. Maclin’s leverage? The Eagles’ wide receiver group would be one of the worst in the league without him. Read more »

McCoy And the Running Back Market

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Jeremy Maclin called the idea that the Eagles have to choose between him and LeSean McCoy “crazy”, and in one respect, he’s right.

The Eagles are estimated to have about $20 million in salary cap space heading into the 2015 league year. Some money will get gobbled up — Maclin has to get paid, the 2012 draft class is up for new contracts and they need to allocate some dollars to free agency — but it’s not like they’re strapped. This front office is one of the best at manipulating the cap, and there are ways of freeing up money in other areas (via restructuring, pay cuts etc.) if need be. It doesn’t have to be McCoy.

It’s more about how this team wants to proceed as it maps out its financial future. Read more »

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