Photo By Jeff Fusco
From red zone production to play-action passes to the in-season travel schedule, here are three Eagles numbers that matter.
36.5 – DeMarco Murray’s TD rate on carries inside the opponents’ 10 the last two years, according to writer Graham Barfield. Murray scored 19 times on 52 attempts. That’s the fifth-best mark among running backs since 2013.
LeSean McCoy, meanwhile, ranked 35th in this category, converting just eight of 46 attempts (17.4 percent) into touchdowns. While there are plenty of factors that go into this – play-calling, the offensive line, etc. – it seems reasonable to expect that the Eagles could get more from Murray than McCoy when they get into scoring range. Read more »
Photo | Jeff Fusco.
LeSean McCoy is a coward.
One day he’s calling his former coach a racist and the next day he feels no need to either explain or characterize what he said, as if throwing out the racist label is as easy to him as giving out a 20 cent tip at a burger joint.
Except that it’s not.
In this day and age, it is wholly improper to exhibit racist tendencies. We are (or at least should be) a more intelligent, enlightened and politically correct society. That’s a good thing. It shows that the human race is capable of growing and learning and tolerating each other in order to meld a better society. By the same measure, it is wholly improper to label someone a racist unless one can present compelling evidence. For instance, when a certain white Eagles wide receiver gets all banged up on cheap beer at a country concert, turns on a black security guard and yells that he’ll fight every “N-word” here, that’s fairly compelling evidence that he’s a racist.
On the flip side though, calling someone a racist — when there is no evidence that he or she is racist — leaves a mark that can never truly be washed out. It’s just not fair. Read more »
Duce Staley has seen a three-pronged rushing attack work before.
In 2003, he, Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook combined for 1,618 yards, but no back had more than 126 carries. The Eagles ranked third in rushing DVOA that season and finished with a 12-4 record.
Now Staley, the Eagles running backs coach, will be in charge of spreading the carries around among DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
“Yeah, it’s similar,” Staley said Wednesday afternoon. “When you look at ‘em, when you go back and check the pedigree of these three, these guys are all proven. These guys have definitely been successful throughout their career. So we brought ‘em all here, one big pot of gumbo. And I think we plan on running the ball.” Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Chip Kelly‘s press conference took the inevitable turn towards LeSean McCoy‘s race comments about midway through his pre-practice session with reporters.
Speaking for the first time since McCoy stated that his former head coach was getting rid of “all the good black players” on the team, Kelly said he has respect for McCoy but believes in this case, he’s wrong.
“We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players,” he said, “and color has never been one of them.”
McCoy is not the first former Eagles employee to make these kind of suggestions. Earlier in the offseason, Tra Thomas said that there are players who “feel like there is a hint of racism” behind some of Kelly’s decisions.
“That doesn’t hurt me. I’m not governed by the fear of what other people say. Events don’t elicit feelings. I think beliefs elicit feelings,” said Kelly. “I understand what my beliefs are and I know how I am.
“You start chasing perception and you got a long life ahead of you, son. That’s what it’s all about. If you’re worried about someone else’s perception of what is going on with you, then…You can control one thing. You can control yourself. I know how we run this organization, and it’s not run that way.”
Read more »
Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons – USA Today
Today’s question comes from Brad via email:
Any sense if we’ll be better and more consistent in the red zone this season? Thanks.
During his end of season press conference inside the visitors locker room at MetLife Stadium, Jeffrey Lurie identified three problem areas that he believes led to the downfall of the 2014 Eagles: big plays allowed, turnovers and red zone offense.
To help address the first issue, the team parted ways with three-fourths of the starting secondary, inked Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million deal and dedicated five of their six draft picks to the defensive side of the ball (including three defensive backs). As for the second, Chip Kelly traded in many of his top skill position players for what he hopes are better system fits that will theoretically enable the offense to run cleaner. What about the third item on Lurie’s list? What did they do to try and fix a red-zone offense that ranked 23rd in the NFL with a 49 percent TD success rate?
You can make the case that the change at running back is the answer.
Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
LeSean McCoy is still very hurt about being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles.
That was the clearest conclusion anyone could reach about McCoy’s comments to an ESPN.com reporter after Shady pretty much labeled Chip Kelly — the man who traded him – a racist, in a nonsensical diatribe that only served to worsen relations between the races.
“He wants full control,” McCoy said to reporter Mike Rodak. “You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest, that’s the truth. There’s a reason…it’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players – the good ones – like that.” Read more »
By the time LeSean McCoy got in front of the sponsored backdrop at Camden Catholic High School and saw the group of reporters jostle for position, he knew the questions that were about to be fired in his direction.
This was last April, and McCoy was hosting a football camp for kids. It was also two weeks after the Eagles had cut McCoy’s friend, DeSean Jackson. He was asked about the message Chip Kelly was sending to the rest of the squad with the move.
“You know that nobody’s safe in this game as far as being here forever,” he said. “But then you feel like, ‘Alright well I’ve established myself so much, I did so much.’ [But] anybody can go.”
Asked specifically about Kelly, McCoy said: “Chip is different. He’s a cool guy. He’s honest. He likes hard work. And he’s respectful. We have a great relationship. I think people are getting the wrong picture like he cut one of his best players. I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s just that was a decision they made. As far as personality-wise, Chip, he does well with everybody.”
It’s fair to say McCoy has done a 180 on that take. Yesterday, ESPN The Magazine released an excerpt from an interview with McCoy in which he noted that “there’s a reason [Kelly] got rid of all the black players.”
The most common reaction has been to take aim at McCoy and point out that he sounds bitter and angry because he was traded. And in truth, there’s plenty of legitimacy to that argument.
The bigger question, though, is: Does Kelly have to address this with his players? Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
LeSean McCoy brought up race when discussing his departure from Philadelphia with ESPN The Magazine.
Asked about his relationship with Chip Kelly and how their time together ended, McCoy reportedly responded:
“The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. … It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that.” Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend. Read more »
Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Here is what the national media have to say about the Eagles as we inch closer to the 2015 NFL Draft.
Jenny Vrentas of MMQB.com asked Rex Ryan about how the LeSean McCoy trade went down:
The group had just wrapped meetings and were on the back deck, drinking cabernet and smoking cigars, when [Bills GM Doug] Whaley’s phone rang. “Any interest in LeSean McCoy?” a representative from the Eagles asked.
Philadelphia was looking for draft picks, and without a 2015 first-rounder the Bills didn’t have much ammo to make an offer. But Whaley told the Eagles rep, “Just do me a favor and look at our roster.” The Eagles called back and told him, “Kiko Alonso.” The straight-up deal—Alonso, a promising young linebacker who missed ’14 with an ACL tear, for McCoy, a two-time All-Pro running back—took 30 minutes, start to finish. “I’m not a red wine guy,” Ryan says, “but that day I drank red wine.”
Read more »