Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Second-Year Leap

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Today’s question comes from reader Steve, via e-mail.

I remember hearing that Chip Kelly doesn’t like to play rookies, and aside from Jordan Matthews, Beau Allen and Cody Parkey, this seemed to be the case for the most part last year. It seems as though the media and the fans pretty much dismiss these second-year players as busts and give them little or no chance of developing. I think Josh Huff, Trey Burton, Ed Reynolds, Taylor Hart, Travis Long and Jaylen Watkins have the chance to develop into good players. Am I being overly optimistic about these players having a chance to develop into starter-types?

Let’s tackle the first part of the question, Steve.

I wouldn’t say that Kelly doesn’t like to play rookies. He’s been pretty consistent with his belief in running a meritocracy. The players who give the Eagles the best chance to win will get on the field. It doesn’t matter if they’re rookies, veterans or whatever. I believe Kelly 100 percent when he says he believes this is the only way to govern a team and manage playing time. Read more »

Huff Breaks Down Chip Kelly’s Moves

Josh Huff and Chip Kelly back at Oregon. USA Today

Josh Huff and Chip Kelly back at Oregon. USA Today

The offense has been completely re-shaped in Chip Kelly‘s two-plus years at the controls.

Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are out (though the intent was to hold onto Maclin). Guys like Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Miles Austin were shipped in this offseason, adding to a growing stable of players that have been personally approved by Kelly.

What separates “Kelly guys” from those that he has chosen to move on from? What is the method driving these moves? We asked the opinion of Josh Huff, who has been inside Kelly’s operation both at the college and pro levels and has an idea for what the head coach values.

“Coach Kelly, he is a very decisive guy. He knows what he wants and when he knows he wants something, he will go after it,” said Huff. “He doesn’t care if you’re a five-time Pro Bowler or an All-Pro guy, if you don’t fit his [vision] he’s going to replace you, and that’s been evident for the past two seasons. He hasn’t shied from any opportunity to become better, he hasn’t shied away from any criticism from the outsiders — and quite frankly, he doesn’t really care about the outsiders. He cares about what he thinks. And what he thinks is that if he gets the players that he wants and gets the players that buy into his philosophy, those are the guys he is going to run with and those are the guys he can trust to go to battle with.”

Huff offered his insight into some of the key decisions from over the last two years. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Huff’s New Outlook

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

There were times when the frustration brought Josh Huff to tears.

It started with the shoulder injury he sustained in mid-August during an exhibition game against the Patriots that lingered well into the regular season. He was behind and he was pressing and he admittedly developed a bit of a bad attitude. All the violent pedaling got him next to nowhere because the bike chain refused to catch.

“There were actually times in practice when I would cry because I know the type of plays I can make, I know the type of teammate I can be but it just wasn’t there,” he said during a phone conversation with Birds 24/7. Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Some Dolphins-related Eagles buzz from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

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 »

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 »

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