Eagles End Of the Year Awards

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an up-and-down year for the 2014 Eagles. From the shutout against the Giants to the Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas to the collapse down the stretch, the end result left players and fans with an empty feeling.

Having said that, now seems like a good time to wrap a bow around the year that was. Here are my 2014 end-of-year Eagles awards. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Setting Up the Offseason

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Eagles players cleaned out their lockers Monday and had their exit interviews with coaches. In all likelihood, we won’t hear from Chip Kelly again until March.

Keeping that in mind, it’s time to set up the offseason. We’ll be represented at all the major events: the Senior Bowl in January, the combine in February and the owners meetings in March. Below are some notes on where things stand for the Eagles going into the next few months.

Free Agency

The following Eagles are unrestricted free agents: WR Jeremy Maclin, OLB Brandon Graham, S Nate Allen, CB Bradley Fletcher, QB Mark Sanchez, ILB Casey Matthews and WR Brad Smith.

The priority there is Maclin. By all accounts, he wants to be back, and the team wants him back. But there are no sure things. If Maclin were to hit the open market, he would have plenty of suitors. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Giants

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina - USA Today

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina – USA Today

Instead of doing a true Eagles-Giants scouting report, we’ll take a look at the offseason/future with this week’s piece.

WHEN THE EAGLES PASS…

Turnovers have been the issue all season. The Eagles have given the ball away on 18.2 percent of their drives; that’s the worst mark in the NFL. Quarterback play has been a problem throughout.

Mark Sanchez is completing 64.1 percent of his passes (13th) and averaging 7.79 YPA (sixth). But his 3.7 percent interception rate is fifth-worst among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 200 passes. Only Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown, Blake Bortles and Geno Smith have been worse.

Asked how Nick Foles’ injury clouds the offseason outlook at quarterback, Chip Kelly said: “I don’t know. I mean, we’ll sit down and thoroughly evaluate everything. But it’s no different than any other position when you look at it. You just tell us what we have available right now we’ll take a look at it, let’s detail it, let’s go through the film again, let’s put our heads together, let’s get everybody’s opinion on it and make valid decisions. I don’t think we can look back and say this clouds this, this doesn’t cloud this. It doesn’t matter how much it clouds or doesn’t cloud. That’s the reality of it. He got hurt, so we have to make decisions moving forward in terms of what we’re going to do.” Read more »

Maclin: ‘Why Wouldn’t I Want To Be Here?’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

In 2013, Jeremy Maclin sat on the sideline and watched as his teammates put up career numbers in Chip Kelly’s offense.

Nick Foles, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Riley Cooper all blew up as the Eagles won the NFC East and advanced to the playoffs.

Maclin imagined how he might fit, and after the season, he decided to sign a one-year deal to remain with the Eagles. He gambled, and he won.

Maclin has 82 receptions for 1,269 yards and 10 touchdowns through 15 games. Despite the Eagles’ shoddy quarterback play, he’s shown the ability to make plays downfield and come up with clutch grabs near the sidelines. Maclin has been the Eagles’ most consistent offensive player in what has been an inconsistent season for the team overall.

Now he’s getting ready to once again be a free agent, but Maclin sounds like he fully expects to remain in Philadelphia next season and beyond. Read more »

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 »

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