Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Matthews’ Role in 2015

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

During his first practices as a rookie, Jordan Matthews made a habit of finding the end zone.

Whenever he caught the ball, he would take off in a sprint towards the goal line before eventually returning to the line of scrimmage. Chip Kelly was asked last week about Matthews’ routine.

“In football, the play ends on a whistle,” Kelly said. “So when the whistle blows, stop running. That was the conversation.”

When the regular season started, Matthews had no problem finding the end zone, scoring eight touchdowns as a rookie.

Raymond Summerlin of Rotoworld recently put together a piece on red zone production. He found that Matthews scored on 38 percent of his red zone targets, ranking 16th among all wide receivers and ninth among those who were targeted 10 times or more. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Fletcher Cox

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB offers thoughts on Evan Mathis.

I think the biggest surprise of the Evan Mathis release is that the Eagles couldn’t recoup some value for him via trade. The $5.5 million salary must have been a non-starter, but his price tag could creep pretty high for interested teams in free agency. The fact that Chip Kelly made the move nonetheless, proves how committed he is to doing things his way.

Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.

Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.

Here’s what we saw during Eagles OTAs on Monday.

12:25 – A shoutout to Andy Reid off the top today. We’ll start with injuries. DeMeco RyansMarcus Smith IIEarl Wolff and Julian Vandervelde are working off to the side. Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles are not here. The Eagles did not provide any reasons why. The OTAs are voluntary.

12:30 – I hate to keep providing video of the defensive linemen, but they are the guys who have been practicing closest to us. Here, they’re working on their pass-rush and their hands with Jerry Azzinaro. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Matthews Vs. Maxwell

Jordan Matthews / Photo by Jeff Fusco

Jordan Matthews / Photo by Jeff Fusco

During a seven-on-seven period Tuesday, Jordan Matthews lined up on the outside opposite Byron Maxwell.

The defense simulated a blitz, and Mark Sanchez got rid of the ball quickly, targeting Matthews on a fade down the right sideline.

The second-year receiver tracked the ball beautifully and came down with an over-the-shoulder grab for a big play.

“I already turned the page,” Matthews said afterwards when reminded of the grab. “Don’t worry about that.”

Last year, in the four weeks leading up to the Seahawks game, Matthews had averaged 93.3 yards with four touchdowns. But against Seattle, Maxwell shut him down (two catches for 23 yards). It was the first time in eight games that he failed to notch a catch of 20+ yards.

Matthews remembers that game well and is embracing the opportunity to go up against Maxwell on a daily basis. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Lane Johnson’s Rigorous Training

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia EaglesHere are some links and stories regarding the Eagles that are worth checking out this weekend.

Dave Spadaro of philadelphiaeagles.com reports on Lane Johnson’s offseason MMA workouts in California:

Johnson enrolled at MMA Athletics, a program founded by Mixed Martial Arts legend Randy Couture and FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer, an established program that takes athletes’ conditioning to an entirely different level.

“I want to be elite at my position in the NFL, and I felt that this would help me get there,” Johnson says now, fresh off a training session at the NovaCare Complex. “I have a lot of confidence about what’s ahead of me.

“I think I’m getting close to being elite. Last year was a big stepping stone from my rookie year and I just have to be more aggressive and more violent going into Year 3.”
Read more »

Depth Chart Projection: Eagles Offense

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles begin OTAs a week from today at the NovaCare Complex, so now seems like a good time to take a look at their depth chart.

We’ll do the offense today and the defense tomorrow. Before the big unveil, a few notes:

  • This is a beginning depth chart, not necessarily what I expect it to look like in early September.
  • Having said that, for the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume that every player is healthy and in attendance.
  • Below the actual depth chart are position-by-position breakdowns. More than anything, this is meant to provide an overall look at where the roster stands, but there’s no harm in guessing where things might be headed in the coming months.

Without further ado… Read more »

Bailey: ‘I’m Preparing Myself For a Fight’

Rasheed Bailey / Photo By Jeff Fusco

Rasheed Bailey / Photo By Jeff Fusco

Rasheed Bailey had already agreed to terms with the Eagles, but it wasn’t until he received a message from Jordan Matthews that everything finally sank in.

Observers may have thought that the two had an existing relationship, but that wasn’t the case. Matthews went out of his way to reach out to Bailey, the Delaware Valley University wide receiver who signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent.

“I actually don’t know him too well,” Bailey explained last week. “But once I saw it, that’s when it seeped in, and I knew it was real. I was so ecstatic at the time. I was happy, but I’m still trying to pinch myself like, ‘Is it real?’ And once I opened my phone and saw that he Tweeted ‘Welcome to the family’ I said, ‘Alright, let’s go. It’s time.’ It definitely made me happy and made me feel a part of the team and part of the family.” Read more »

Eagles Weekend Reading: Expanded Role For Matthews?

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian – USA Today

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

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News talked to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh about sports science:

“Principles aren’t written in stone,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “You’re always learning. You’re always growing. One method that applies one year doesn’t always apply the next year. You try to chase science. We do a good job of that. We don’t self-promote it like some people do. But we chase it. I think we’re cutting-edge with everything we do. Sleep studies, everything you can think of. Training, conditioning, injury-prevention, food, nutrition, practice schedules, workload.”

Read more »

Kiper: Eagles ‘Hit The Jackpot With Matthews’

Eagles Draft 2015
Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call Thursday and praised the Eagles selection of Jordan Matthews last year. Despite hitting on that pick, he thinks that wide receiver is the Eagles number one priority going into draft night on April 30.

Kiper explained that the Eagles’ stockpile of bodies at the cornerback position doesn’t make that hole as much of a need as some other places.

“The put themselves in a position with [Byron] Maxwell coming in, with [Walter] Thurmond coming in, that they don’t have to take the cornerback early on,” Kiper said. “They’re a team right now that could go several directions. You think about if they want an offensive linemen, an outside linebacker, if you want a receiver, I think that could be a possibility now for them, wide receiver.”

Kiper is very optimistic about the future Matthews. Read more »

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