Weekend Reading: Would Manuel Make Sense For Eagles?

EJ Manuel / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

EJ Manuel / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

According to NFL.com, there’s a chance the Bills might be looking to part ways with quarterback E.J. Manuel this summer. And Chris Wesseling thinks the Eagles could make sense as his potential next landing spot:

If the Bills end up dangling Manuel for a late-round pick in August, keep an eye on the Eagles as a potential trade partner.

After recruiting Manuel at Oregon, Chip Kelly told NFL Network in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft that the former Florida State star was a player he “didn’t get a chance to coach but would like a chance to coach.”

Read more »

Jenkins: McCoy Trade Didn’t Surprise Players

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Malcolm Jenkins stopped by the NFL Network on Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts on the wild offseason the Eagles have experienced so far. He claimed the players in the locker room were not surprised by the trading of LeSean McCoy, but rather what they got in return for him.

“When you talk about what you can get for — if you are looking to acquire more talent — I just think Shady’s cap number and what we were able to get in return for Shady, I think made sense,” Jenkins said. “And some guys in the locker room who kind of know what’s going on weren’t surprised by it.

“In the locker room a lot of guys weren’t surprised by the trade, what we were more surprised of was that it was just a player-for-player trade. I think everybody thought we would have gotten more — Kiko [Alonso], plus a couple draft picks, you know, somebody else.” Read more »

All-22: What the Eagles Would Get In McCourty

Devin McCourty. Matt Kartozian / USA TODAY

Devin McCourty. Matt Kartozian / USA TODAY

On the fourth play from scrimmage in the divisional round matchup between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco dropped back and found Torrey Smith downfield for a 22-yard completion.

Smith ran an over route, starting on Flacco’s right side before gradually crossing the middle of the field. Devin McCourty was set up at free safety on the play. He saw the ball was going to Smith, accelerated forward and delivered a big hit, but the wide receiver held on. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Secondary Shuffle

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

There was a change in approach and personnel Sunday, but the results were in many ways the same.

The struggling Bradley Fletcher was inactive for the regular-season finale in New York (Chip Kelly said he suffered a hip injury in practice during the week), moving Nolan Carroll into a starting role and rookie Jaylen Watkins into the rotation. Because of the new pieces, Billy Davis opted to have Cary Williams shadow Odell Beckham Jr. instead of keeping the starting corners on their respective sides as is custom. And to try and minimize the amount of big plays, Davis went with more split-safety looks.

The Giants, though, still racked up 429 passing yards and the Eagles yielded five plays of 20-plus yards through the air, adding to their league-leading total. Read more »

All-22: Defensive Decisions Burn Eagles

fletcher1b_all22_122414

The way Billy Davis tells it, the Eagles fully understood going into last week’s game that the Bradley Fletcher-DeSean Jackson matchup was one that favored the opponent.

“The whole game plan was either to pressure and have the post-safety stay over the top of DeSean, unless somebody else was in a more stressful situation, or split the safeties and double,” Davis said. “So we moved in and out of that the whole game.”

Chip Kelly and company were adamant in the offseason that Jackson didn’t affect how defenses played the Eagles. But apparently, as an opponent, he was someone they felt they had to focus on with their game plan.

The speedy receiver got loose for four catches for 126 yards. He had two grabs of 50+ yards and also drew a pass interference penalty that set up a Washington touchdown.

Fletcher had been left on an island against the Packers earlier this season, and Jordy Nelson went off on him. In Week 15 against the Cowboys, it was the same story; only the name changed. It was Dez Bryant this time.

Yet in an absolute must-win spot, there it was again: Fletcher on an island against an opponent he couldn’t handle. It wasn’t every play, but it happened enough to where the mismatch was glaring. It got to the point where Davis finally made a switch, pulling Fletcher for Nolan Carroll II in the fourth quarter.

Too little, too late. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Turnovers And Discipline

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly knew very well that his team was living on the edge.

You can go back to his postgame press conference following the 27-0 shutout of the Giants back on October 12. The win lifted the Eagles to 5-1 but they entered the bye with a minus-5 turnover ratio. Kelly acknowledged then that the formula was not sustainable.

“We’ve got to do a better job because you can’t do it at that rate and end up on the right side of the ledger,” he said.

Despite that acknowledgement the turnovers continued, but so did the winning for a time thanks in large part to big point production out of their special teams and defense. Of all the teams that were in the basement when it came to give/take, Kelly’s was the only one ranked as a contender. They were the outlier. Until they weren’t.
Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Washington, the Day After

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

LANDOVER, Md. – Chip Kelly had been in this room before, but the circumstances were different the last time.

It was September of 2013. Kelly’s squad had just put the NFL on notice that his up-tempo attack could be effective at the professional level as the Eagles defeated Washington on Monday Night football in his debut as Andy Reid’s successor.

Kelly answered questions from a roomful of reporters about the Birds’ pace, Michael Vick’s performance and other topics. Before exiting the room to make the trip back to Philadelphia, Kelly stopped to say hello to some media members who had made the trip from Oregon.

Where his first season began was essentially the same place that his second season ended. Kelly’s squad was clinging to its playoffs aspirations Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field. The hope was that the Eagles would take care of business against an inferior opponent and perhaps get a little help in the final two weeks to sneak into the postseason.

Instead, the Eagles suffered a meltdown. Issues that have been prevalent all year long resurfaced, and the result was a 27-24 loss. Read more »

Lost Season For Boykin?

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The calls for more Brandon Boykin have quieted down as the year has gone along, partly because people have come to realize those efforts are fruitless, and partly because Boykin hasn’t been flashing with the same brightness compared to last season.

That six-interception campaign seems a world away now, doesn’t it? The talk this offseason was all about how to get the young corner’s snaps up from 50 percent. Instead, his playing time has gone south (he’s played 42 percent of the defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus) and it feels like Boykin has been pushed further to the fringe by Billy Davis and Chip Kelly despite the coaches’ claims that he is viewed as a starter. Read more »

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