Here’s a bonus roundup of this week’s national media coverage. Read more »
One common theory regarding Riley Cooper is that much of his success in 2013 was made possible because of the attention DeSean Jackson received on the other side. Some are skeptical whether Cooper will be able to post similar numbers this season now that Jackson resides in D.C.
Jeremy Maclin, for one, isn’t buying it.
“I think his production came because he went out there and made plays,” said Maclin, who maintains that the only receiver in this league that draws double teams is Calvin Johnson — and that’s only on the goal line. “Obviously you have a guy on the other side who is pretty good as well but teams aren’t going to get beat by focusing on one person the whole game. That’s not how it works in this league. When people say that it baffles me.”
What can’t be denied is that Cooper — who ended with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight touchdowns last year — found himself in a whole bunch of one-on-one situations, which certainly helped his cause. According to second-year tight end Zach Ertz, that’s unlikely to change this year even without Jackson on the team. That’s because the man truly responsible for the single coverage is still on the roster. Read more »
Another day, another dust-up here at Eagles training camp.
Today it was Jeremy Maclin and the normally mild-mannered Bradley Fletcher squaring off. The two were going head-to-head during team drills and started having words after the whistle. Next thing you know, punches were being thrown and a big crowd gathered to separate the two.
Practice ended a short time later. Maclin exited the field without speaking to reporters. Fletcher didn’t offer much.
“We’re just playing ball,” he said. “Emotions got going and one thing led to another.”
Cary Williams, meanwhile, had plenty to say on the subject. He held court out on Lincoln Financial Field and was still speaking long after the rest of his teammates had gone into the locker room. He has a soft spot for this particular topic of conversation.
“I’m glad, to be honest with you,” said Williams of the fights at training camp this year. Read more »
Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis met with reporters Sunday. Below are three things that stood out.
1. We’ve written plenty in this space about the high number of snaps guys like DeMeco Ryans and Connor Barwin played last year. Part of that had to do with the defense’s inability to get off the field. Part of it had to do with the team’s lack of depth at certain spots. Part of it had to do with pace and style of the offense.
But going forward, Davis wants to get those guys off the field a little bit more.
“It’s something we are very concerned about,” he said. “We don’t want any of them to play all the snaps. It’s too many snaps for any one defensive player. We know we had way too many. It benefits both us and the player and DeMeco or Mychal [Kendricks] that we get a rotation in there, too. We’ll get that rotation all the time through different packages and with the addition like you touched on of some new players. It will give us a little bit more flexibility. Read more »
There’s no doubt that the bar has been set high for Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles are counting on a number of players to fill the void left by DeSean Jackson, but Maclin is at the top of that list. Earlier this offseason, Howie Roseman invoked Adrian Peterson’s name when discussing Maclin’s ability to come back strong from an ACL tear. And Chip Kelly brought up Maclin when asked how the Eagles would replace Jackson’s downfield ability.
“I’m just excited to play football again,” said Maclin Friday afternoon. “I had to watch last year from the couch, from the sidelines. It wasn’t very fun for me.”
As Maclin watched, he undoubtedly pictured himself in Kelly’s offense. Jackson, Riley Cooper and LeSean McCoy all put up career numbers. Maclin was a free agent this offseason and settled for a one-year contract, but with a strong performance, he’ll be looking at a big payday – either in Philadelphia or somewhere else. Read more »
Some weekend reading for you to check out on this Saturday. As always, we’ll hit you with the NFC East roundup from Josh on Sunday. Read more »