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 »

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 »

Eagles Rookie Review: Player-By-Player Breakdown

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Below is a player-by-player look at how the Eagles’ rookie class performed in 2014 and what to expect going forward.

Marcus Smith (1st round, 26th overall)

He got on the field in eight of 16 games. Smith was inactive twice and a DNP-coach’s decision six times. In all, the Eagles’ first-round pick played just 68 snaps all season.

Smith started the season at outside linebacker, but switched to inside linebacker after the Eagles were decimated by injuries. At times, Billy Davis tried to use him in a specialized role in sub packages, but Smith’s head appeared to be spinning, and that experiment didn’t last. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Matthews’ Role In 2015

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Today’s question comes from reader Tom, who writes from Sydney, Australia:

Hey fellas, there has been a fair amount of (deserved) criticism directed at Chip Kelly’s: A.) Use of Riley Cooper and B.) Lack of use of Zach Ertz.

Is it possible that Chip realizes in 2015 that his best base personnel combination is moving Matthews into Riley Cooper’s spot and moving Ertz into Matthews’ spot in the slot?

First of all, having a reader chime in from Australia is awesome, so thanks for taking the time, Tom.

I think the answer here boils down to two things: Read more »

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