Eagles Notes: Peters, Johnson Sidelined Again

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly said Wednesday that one contingency plan, in case Jason Peters is unable to play Sunday, is to place starting right tackle Lane Johnson at left tackle in Peters’ stead.

Johnson (knee, ankle) has maintained that he plans to play against the Saints,  though he took in practice from the sidelines alongside Peters (quad) for the second straight day.

Along with Johnson and Peters, Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Kiko Alonso (knee), and Brandon Bair (groin) were also without helmets and pads Wednesday. Allen Barbre was back practicing after being held out Tuesday, and Byron Maxwell (quad) was seen warming up, but without a helmet.
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Injuries Hit Eagles’ Offensive Line


An already struggling offensive line is now dealing with a rash of injuries.

Tackles Jason Peters (quad) and Lane Johnson (knee, ankle) were both sidelined as preparations for the Saints began Tuesday. Joining them on the sideline was Allen Barbre, who played the entire game against Washington but apparently got banged up as well.

This unit is already down Andrew Gardner for the season and cannot afford any more losses; that’s especially true when it comes to their tackles. Johnson is dealing with an MCL and ankle sprain but could be available this weekend. Peters has left each of the team’s games at some point this season and was only able to play six snaps against Washington.

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Byron Maxwell (quad) and Brandon Bair (groin) all sat out as well. Billy Davis sounded confident about having Maxwell, Cedric Thornton (hand) and Taylor Hart (shoulder) this week. He does not think Bair will be available, and labeled Kendricks as day-to-to-day.

Eagles-Jets, The Day After

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Calls for Chip Kelly to shake things up were coming from both outside and within.

After a pair of brutal rushing performances against Atlanta and Dallas in which the Eagles mustered a combined 70 yards on the ground (2.1 average), further attention was given to the theory that Kelly’s offense had become too predictable. Some players did not exactly go out of their way to shoot that notion down.

“Yeah, I think so,” said Lane Johnson following the Dallas loss, when asked if he believed the Cowboys had a feel for their tendencies. “I think moving forward we have to mix it up a little bit, create some more variety of plays and try to get some confusion for the defense.”

While far from dominant, the run game found some success against a formidable Jets defense Sunday at MetLife Stadium — particularly in the first half. Ryan Mathews went for over 100 yards and the Eagles finished with 123 rush yards overall, nearly doubling their output from the first two weeks. Kelly said afterwards that they “went back to basics” this week to get things going, but that’s not the whole story. There weren’t any wholesale changes, but Kelly got more creative with his looks and made some tweaks that helped breathe a little life into the ground game.

“To me, there are a lot of similar plays and what-not but formation-wise we changed it up quite a bit more,” Jason Kelce acknowledged, “and that presents a different look to a defense and changes up some of their roles and responsibilities.” Read more »

All-22: Opponents Picking Up On Eagles’ Tendencies

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

There were times, Josh Huff says, when Dallas’ defense knew what was coming.

“I know a couple of times this past game when I was on the Dallas sideline lined up, I would hear them call out our plays,” he said. “Not saying they were doing any SpyGate or anything like that, just saying with our tendencies that comes about where teams really focus in and hone in on how our tight ends are lined up or how we’re lined up or what the splits are.”

Lane Johnson agrees that the Cowboys had a bead on what the Eagles were trying to do offensively.

“Yeah, I think so,” said Johnson, when asked if he believed Dallas had a feel for their tendencies. “I think moving forward we have to mix it up a little bit, create some more variety of plays and try to get some confusion for the defense.”

There is no singular reason for the offense’s struggles through two weeks. The 0-line has been spotty at best; Sam Bradford has been inconsistent; the wide receivers have several drops and are not gaining separation with any regularity. The list goes on.

According to Chip Kelly, it all boils down to execution. That’s largely true, but there is something else at play here.
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Eagles-Cowboys, The Day After

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

“F—ing embarrassing.”

That was Lane Johnson‘s opening statement as a pair of reporters approached his locker stall following the Eagles’ 20-10 loss to the Cowboys Sunday afternoon.

Some time had passed since the clock hit zero on arguably the worst offensive performance of the Chip Kelly era. Most players had completed their interviews, showered and left the scene of the crime by that point. But Johnson lingered, still not fully out of his battle gear as he welcomed wave after wave of media inquiries into what went wrong.

“I don’t even know what just happened, to be honest,” he said as one of the first questions lapped ashore. From there he began putting it together piece-by piece.
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All-22: Why the Eagles Abandoned the Run

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Their success was essentially a foregone conclusion. Yes, they lost a two-time Pro Bowler and a second starter, but the Eagles’ offensive line still had a lot of talent. Their new pair of guards transitioned smoothly in the preseason, so expectations for the unit were relatively high.

Then Monday night happened.

The Eagles scored only three points in the first half, largely because the offensive line failed to open up holes in the running game. Their ineffectiveness led to not only three-and-outs, but drives in which the Eagles didn’t gain a single yard (and one that resulted in a loss of eight yards). Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Defenses May Copy Atlanta

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

ATLANTA, Ga. — According to the Eagles, Atlanta’s defense didn’t do anything that surprised them. Their 26-24 loss simply came down to one crucial element: execution.

“They didn’t do anything different or special to try and stop us; that’s pretty much the way they do things,” Jason Kelce said. “They weren’t really reading anything. They were just trying to get up field, trying to wreak havoc. We did not handle that well.”

The Eagles ran the ball just 16 times for 63 yards, which players attributed to the Falcons’ defensive alignment. Because one of Atlanta’s safeties consistently played closer to the line of scrimmage, it opened up passing opportunities for Philadelphia. Read more »

Players Poll: Which Eagle Is Ready To Break Out?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
As is our annual tradition heading into the season, we went around the Eagles’ locker room this week and presented  players with a simple question: Which of your teammates has impressed you this summer and is primed for a big/breakout year?

We got 23 (usable) responses in all. Take a look:  Read more »

Eagles Notes: Riley Cooper, Lane Johnson Miss Practice

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles returned to practice today to prepare for Thursday’s preseason finale against the New York Jets, and Chip Kelly provided injury updates before taking the field.

Although Kiko Alonso missed Saturday’s game with a ‘nagging leg injury,’ he practiced today. Lane Johnson, who left Saturday’s game early with a knee injury, didn’t participate in Monday’s practice, nor did Riley Cooper. Kelly said Johnson could have returned in Saturday’s game if it had been a regular season contest, but he was held out as a precaution.

Meanwhile, Cody Parkey is still dealing with a “a slight groin” injury, and it’s unclear whether he will see play Thursday. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Andrew Gardner’s Ascent

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Three weeks ago, it was unclear who would be the Eagles’ starting right guard. Although Andrew Gardner was practicing a lot with the starting unit, Matt Tobin and John Moffitt also rotated in with the first-team offensive line.

Now, halfway through the preseason, it seems all but finalized that Gardner will be the week one starter.

“Andrew played another good game. We’re really pleased with how he’s playing right now,” Chip Kelly said before Monday’s practice. “There is no reason to rush [announcing a starter]. But he’s doing a really good job.” Read more »

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