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 »

An Eagles Slant To the Wild Card Round

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Like many of you, I spent the weekend watching four playoff games and fell into the habit of viewing many things through an Eagles lens.

Keeping that in mind, here are five thoughts, along with a flurry of observations. Read more »

Three And Out: Eagles-Giants Predictions

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Player I’ll Be Watching

Kapadia: Trent Cole

The long-time Eagle had some fun with reporters this week, saying he was unlikely to play vs. the Giants. But practice reports showed he was a full participant, and it looks like Cole will give it a go after undergoing hand surgery and missing last week’s game.

The 32-year-old has been one of the most productive Eagles draft picks in recent memory. The team selected him in the fifth round in 2005, and he’s started 144 games. Cole has never missed more than two games in a season and has totaled 85.5 sacks. Read more »

Fipp Warned Of Short Kickoff Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Linc was full of energy last Sunday night in the minutes leading up to the Eagles’ matchup with the Cowboys.

The fans coordinated an impressively loud “Dallas Sucks!” chant during the coin toss. They booed the Cowboys when the football got knocked off the tee by the wind. They were ready to celebrate a victory that would put their team in control of the NFC East.

The Eagles won the toss and decided to receive. But that’s when things went wrong.

As you know by now, the kickoff was short. Neither Brad Smith nor Josh Huff fielded it. The Cowboys recovered deep in Eagles territory and got in the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.

But the show Turning Point on NBC Sports revealed an interesting bit of information about the play: special teams coach Dave Fipp warned the players in the pre-game huddle that the kick would be short: Read more »

Notes: Dallas Prep, Foles And A New Safety

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It is not all that common to be playing a division opponent twice within the span of three weeks, so many of the questions posed to Chip Kelly Wednesday were about the potential obstacles or unique challenges that such a situation presents.

The head coach didn’t hold anything back the first time around in anticipation of this matchup, he said, and doesn’t intend on drastically changing his approach the second time around.

“Just go play. I think you can paralyze yourself by trying to overanalyze it,” said Kelly. “I would imagine DeMarco Murray is probably going to carry the ball a lot against us in our game. I think they’ll probably try to throw the ball to Dez Bryant in our game. They’ll probably try to find the tight end a lot in probably third-down situations in our game. We’re going to give the ball to LeSean McCoy in our game. It’s kind of similar to what happened the last time. It’s really about going out and executing and which team can execute better and which team can block better and which team can tackle better.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Titans, the Day After

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Ever since Josh Huff played for Chip Kelly as a true freshman at Oregon in 2010, his head coach has asked the same question on the field before games.

Are you scared?

“He always asked me that before every game,” Huff said. “And every game I tell him the same answer: No I’m not scared, and I’m ready to make a play. And that was evident today.”

Huff was 7 yards deep in the end zone when he fielded the opening kickoff against the Titans. He said he knew regardless of where he received it, he was going to bring it out. And so he did.

Key blocks from James Casey, Trey Burton and Zach Ertz sprung Huff as he headed towards the right sideline. He delivered a stiff-arm to Titans kicker Ryan Succop at the Eagles’ 37 yard line and kept the ball in his right hand.

Near the Tennessee 20, he delivered a second stiff-arm, throwing a Titans defender to the ground. Huff crossed the goal line, faked a spike and tossed the ball behind him as his teammates began celebrating.

As he returned to the sideline, he got a handshake from Bryan Braman, a congratulatory headbutt from Chris Polk and a hug from his position coach, Bob Bicknell.

Then Huff met Kelly – his head coach for four of the last five seasons. They embraced for a few seconds, and Kelly had some words for the rookie wide receiver. Read more »

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