Eagles Wake-Up Call: Getting Cut By Chip

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

For Emmanuel Acho, cut-down day last year was all positive. The Eagles’ linebacker had played well in the preseason and earned a surprise spot on the 53-man roster.

But things change quickly in the NFL, and two days later, Acho got a call from GM Howie Roseman, telling him the team was letting him go in favor of Najee Goode.

Acho made his way to the NovaCare Complex, but it wasn’t just to turn in his playbook. He met separately with Chip Kelly, Billy Davis and linebackers coach Rick Minter. The process wasn’t exclusive to Acho. The Eagles offer the same courtesy to every player who is let go.

“Obviously every guy that’s here that’s part of the 90-man roster, their lifelong dream is to be an NFL football player,” Kelly said. “To be the one to have to tell them that it’s not gonna happen here is difficult, and it’s something that is inevitable. You have to go from 90 to 75 and from 75 to 53. It’s part of the job, but it’s not a fun part of the job. We make sure that every player meets with me, every player meets with his position coach, every player meets with the coordinator on their side of the ball. You try to be as human as you can with it, but it’s always a difficult time when someone’s goal is to play in this league.” Read more »

Cooper, Carroll Return; McCoy Sits Out

Cooper

The Eagles got good news on the wide receiver front today as Riley Cooper returned to practice fully for the first time since suffering a foot injury earlier this month.

“I’ve been running routes for about the past week, just vs. air,” Cooper said. “Today was the first day it was actually against somebody. It felt good.

“I’m gonna play this week… kind of just gradually get back into the swing of things. A couple plays to start every series, that’s kind of the routine we’re following.” Read more »

Notes: Kelly On Sanchez’s Trade Value, Injury Updates

Sanchez

Towards the end of today’s session with the media, Chip Kelly was asked about the future of quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has gone 18-for-22 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the first two preseason games. How would the Eagles weigh potentially trading him against keeping Sanchez on the roster as the backup?

“Good question, cause Mark has played well,” Kelly said. “But we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. So that’s not something we’re talking about because you’re just spending time on things that could happen, should happen… I don’t know. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Huff Shows Finishing Ability

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Josh Huff’s first kickoff return as an NFL player was not a memorable one.

He took the ball 8 yards deep in the end zone, headed upfield and was brought down at the 13 yard line.

“The first one, I think, he probably could have got back inside,” said Chip Kelly. “It looked like when we look at the pictures there was a hole there.”

Huff looked at the pictures on the sideline too and realized he left some yards on the field. But he would get several other opportunities. And late in the first half, he fielded another kickoff. The Eagles had a different return called this time, but Huff found a running lane, headed for the left sideline and saw he only had one man to beat.

“I couldn’t let the kicker tackle me,” he said. “I would have heard it from the rest of these guys in the locker room and my college coach back at Oregon.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Rookie Progress Report

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

From time to time, we like to check in on how the Eagles’ draft picks are doing. With the first preseason game a day away, here’s an update.

Marcus Smith, OLB – He’s been running with the second team at the Jack spot behind Connor Barwin. And in all likelihood, that’s where Smith is going to see most of his action this season. He has looked the part from the first day of camp – long, athletic and can move in space. A couple days ago, he showed some feistiness, mixing it up with James Casey after the whistle. Smith, who has never before been to an NFL game, will likely make some normal rookie mental mistakes tomorrow night, but overall, he appears to be on schedule to contribute. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Huff’s Learning Curve

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Familiarity hasn’t totally worked to Josh Huff‘s advantage in the early going.

A common belief was that Huff, having played under Chip Kelly at Oregon, would be able to acclimate quickly given his intimate knowledge of the offensive system. The rookie had similar thoughts.

“He walked in here thinking, ‘Hey, I know this offense.’  He’ll be the first one to tell you there are a lot of things that have changed and been added from what he did at Oregon, which he just really had to do,” said Pat Shurmur. “We see a lot more defense.  We see a lot more man coverage in the NFL than they did in college.  So we’ve got a lot of the traditional things in the passing game that you would run at this level.

“So, that kind of shocked him I think initially that this isn’t exactly what we did at Oregon, but he settled in.”

Huff acknowledged that he was caught off guard and had to “re-tool and rebuild” his system. He would hear a play call and his mind would go back to Oregon’s offense so he would run the route that matched the concept from college. It took some time to work through that.

That’s one hurdle. The work load is the other. According to Shurmur, Huff has been given the most to learn out of all the young receivers.

Why is that? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Foles No. 1 In Jersey Sales

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The last time we checked in on Nick Foles‘ jersey sales was shortly after his seven-touchdown performance against the Raiders in November.

The page where you can purchase a Foles jersey on the team site saw a 25 percent spike in hits following that showing in Oakland, yet sales hardly went up at all. Fans were looking at it, they were thinking about it, but weren’t quite ready to take the plunge.

Now they’re jumping in. Read more »

All-22: Snag, Tempo And the Eagles

snag_finalAll22

During the early part of every Eagles practice, the robotic voice that emanates from the speakers at the NovaCare Complex announces a period called RVA, or routes versus air.

Five quarterbacks in red jerseys stand side by side in the middle of the field. Wide receivers, tight ends and running backs set up in one of five lines – three to one side, two to the other. The balls are snapped simultaneously, the receivers run their routes, and the passes are delivered without any defenders.

During one of the reps, the No. 1 receiver (closest to the sideline) takes off on a slant, but turns around at about 5 yards and faces the quarterback. The No. 2 receiver runs a corner route – upfield and then angling towards the sideline. And the No. 3 man (closest to the formation) shuffles towards the sideline near the line of scrimmage, keeping his eyes on the QB the entire time.

It’s a common passing concept called the snag – one that is utilized by teams across the league on a weekly basis.

To break down how the Eagles use it, when it works and when it doesn’t, we called on our old friend Coach Flinn, who explains this stuff as well as anyone out there. Read more »

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