Wake-Up Call: Eagles Defense Divided On Future

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

When a coaching change occurs, it initiates a series of falling dominoes. For the Eagles, the uncertainty especially exists because they’re currently a team without a head coach, and thus, without much direction.

Due to the fogginess of who the future coaching staff will be, players are unsure of how they fit, or even what there will be to fit into. But the interesting part of the Eagles’ situation — particularly on defense — is not only do they not know what the future holds, but they don’t agree on what they want it to hold.

“It’s the great unknown that everybody’s getting ready to walk into,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “That’s obviously the process the team is getting ready to go into. Nobody really has the answers.”

One of the most important answers the Eagles have to find this offseason is what kind of defense they want to run. Some critics of Billy Davis — and Chip Kelly — suggest the team’s personnel fits a 4-3 better than a 3-4. Read more »

Locker Room Round-Up: Johnson On Peters’ Remarks

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Jason Peters pushed back hard when asked if the time is now for him to transition from tackle to guard.

“No, no. I can still play tackle. I’m the best we got,” he said following the game Sunday. “Who are they going to put there? Who is better than me in this locker room? Nobody. Who can they draft better than me? Nobody. Who can they pick up better than me? Nobody.”

Those comments were presented to Lane Johnson during locker cleanouts Monday. Read more »

Eagles Roster Analysis: Defense

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

As the Eagles begin their search for a new head coach, candidates will care about the franchise’s new power structure, what kind of owner Jeffrey Lurie is, and what the city of Philadelphia is like. But what they’ll really want to know about is the talent on the roster and the salary cap situation.

Adam broke down the offense, and I’m taking a look at the defense. The position guys play could change based off the scheme the new head coach implements, but we’ll categorize players by where they fit in Billy Davis’s 3-4.

(All contract information is via Spotrac, including the 2016 dead cap numbers.) Read more »

‘I Think the Perception Was Not the Reality’

Malcolm Jenkins and

Malcolm Jenkins and

There are many sides to a locker room story.

For every sharp-tongued Lane Johnson criticism about the former head coach, there are other, more loyal players whose blood gets to boiling when such stones are cast.

Ask one Eagle about the man at the helm for the past few years, and you’ll hear that he’s impossible to talk to. Question another, and they’ll insist that the open-door policy was real and that, when used, Kelly was eager to try and troubleshoot.

“Whether he’s meeting with Mr. Lurie or he’s in an offensive meeting, if you came up there and said you wanted to talk to him, he drops everything and he says, ‘What’s the deal? What do you want to fix? What’s going on?’ And everyone knows that,” said Riley Cooper. “So in that regard, I think he was very approachable.” Read more »

Jenkins: ‘Lane [Johnson] Reads Too Many Articles’

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

After Lane Johnson said yesterday that the tension between Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman trickled down to the locker room, Malcolm Jenkins fired back today.

“I think Lane reads too many articles,” Jenkins said. “For whatever anybody in the front office has going on, it should never bother anybody in the locker room. That’s not something that we ever saw or dealt with, so if he felt it, that’s probably because he’s reading too many of those articles.”

Jenkins also talked extensively about whether Kelly was “unapproachable,” which Johnson said was how some players may have felt. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Fallout From Firing Chip

Jeffrey Lurie and Chip Kelly at the press conference announcing Kelly's hiring. (Jeff Fusco)

Jeffrey Lurie and Chip Kelly at the press conference announcing Kelly’s hiring. (Jeff Fusco)

It didn’t take long for Malcolm Jenkins to resolve the paradox.

In his two seasons prior to joining the Eagles, he never played 900 snaps on defense. But last year, he played 1,158, and this year, he’s on pace to top 1,200.

Somehow, the safety says has never been healthier in his NFL career.

“They do a great job of taking care of your body here,” Jenkins said yesterday. “It’s one of those things where it’s all new when you’re a veteran and you’ve been doing stuff the same way your whole career. You come here, it’s a little different. You’re lifting weights [and] you’re doing all the sports science stuff, but it works and it helps you maintain throughout a strenuous season. Everybody is hurting and sore, but they do a good job here of taking care of your body.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Blame Game

Malcolm Jenkins and Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins and Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews talked extensively after the Eagles’ loss Saturday night about his team’s deficiencies. Drops. Bad blocking. Blown touchdown opportunities.

But, he insisted, Chip Kelly should not be blamed.

“Players play, and we didn’t play well. Coach Kelly can’t go out there and catch passes. He can’t go out there and tuck the ball. He just has to put guys in position to make plays,” Matthews said. “That’s all a coach is supposed to do: put you in positions to be one-on-one or put you in positions to make plays. And when you don’t do that, it’s not coach Kelly’s fault. That’s ours. We’re out there on the field so we got to go make that happen.” Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Here’s what the local and national media are saying about the Eagles this week:

Sam Bradford has played well as of late, and with leverage firmly on his side, he will determine his fate as a potential free agent this offseason, writes ESPN’s John Keim.

By giving up Nick Foles and a second-round draft pick in 2016 for Bradford with no conditions regarding a contract extension, the Eagles surrendered any leverage. It was an oversight borne of Chip Kelly’s new role as de facto general manager and his broken relationship with ousted GM Howie Roseman.

At the very least, according to an NFL executive with experience in such negotiations, the Eagles had the opportunity to renegotiate the terms of Bradford’s 2015 contract. Bradford’s incentive to lower his salary would have been the opportunity to move on from St. Louis and avoid a trade to a less desirable team (the Cleveland Browns were also interested in Bradford, for instance). Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Playoffs Start Now’

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Depending on who you talked to in the Eagles’ locker room yesterday after their loss to the Cardinals, you felt different a emotion radiating from the team.

Jordan Matthews explained how the Eagles beat themselves, while Malcolm Jenkins candidly rejected that premise. Zach Ertz discussed looking ahead, while Connor Barwin compared the Cardinals to other teams the Eagles have played (he said Arizona is better than Carolina or New England).

But most of the players repeated some variation of what Lane Johnson called “a do-or-die situation.” Read more »

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