Marcus Smith: ‘I Don’t Think There’s A Gap’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith picked up a half-sack in the Eagles’ 40-17 loss to the Cardinals in Week 15. For most first-round draft picks playing in their second season in the league, that would be an encouraging, albeit run-of-the-mill, tick in the box score.

For Smith, it was the first time he recorded even half a sack in his career.

After two seasons, Smith has shown few signs that he is close to stepping into any sort of consistent defensive role on this team.

“Marcus has got to continue to get better,” Billy Davis said Tuesday. “There hasn’t been a whole lot of production yet. We’re still working, Marcus is working hard at it, and hopefully we can get some production from him.

“You have to play the guys that are playing the best for you. If there’s too big of a gap, the other guys can’t play. Right now, it’s tough to take [Connor Barwin] or [Brandon Graham] off and put Marcus on.”

But that’s not how Smith sees it.

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Birds Try Out Long Snappers, Dorenbos Feels Pressure

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

After two of Jon Dorenbos’s snaps contributed to a missed field goal and blocked punt Sunday, the Eagles worked out two long snappers to potentially replace him. However, no roster moves have been announced, and Dorenbos said today he still has his job.

“Whatever guys they had, they evaluated and then they said, ‘Let’s stick with Jon,'” Dorenbos said. “That’s all I care about, anything else doesn’t matter. I have another chance to come to work today. I’ve been doing this a long time. You take the bad and kind of digest it and say, ‘Hey, what do I think I did wrong?’ And then you forget it, and you let your body go back to doing what it’s been doing for 15 to 20 years. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Dorenbos has been with the Eagles since 2006, and made the Pro Bowl last season. He said the team told him they would work out possible replacements for him, which he appreciated. Read more »

All-22: Kendricks, Smith And the Run Defense

Mychal Kendricks. (USA Today Sports)

Mychal Kendricks. (USA Today Sports)

The Panthers ran the ball 33 times against the Eagles Sunday night, which wasn’t surprising as Carolina entered the game first in the NFL with 33 carries per game. What was surprising was their 204 rushing yards on 6.2 yards per carry.

“We knew going in [they’d run so much],” Chip Kelly said Monday. “I know Jonathan [Stewart] really well; I coached him in college. He ran for 1,700 [yards his junior year]. And I said it before, we knew, number one, he’s tough to bring down and number two, he’s a lot faster than I think people give him credit for. He’s a 250-pound back, but he can pick them up and put them down.”

Before Sunday, the Eagles appeared more than capable of stopping the Panthers’ rushing attack. They ranked first in the NFL in rushing touchdowns allowed (1) and second in opponent yards per carry (3.5).

Carolina, on the other hand, didn’t run the ball that well as they ranked around the league average with 4.1 yards per rush. What killed the Eagles, however, was a 43-yard end around and a 36-yard counter. Read more »

Eagles-Panthers, The Day After

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Frustrations are mounting within the Eagles locker room.

Now seven games deep, the we’re-this-close optimism that the new-look Eagles carried with them like a security blanket has all but unraveled, replaced by a level of bewilderment at their inability to put an end to the dysfunction – particularly on offense.

“Mistakes. I don’t know what the reason is. We’ve had mistakes across the board,” said Jason Kelce. “Offensive line…everybody takes turns. I shouldn’t be making mistakes at this point in my career. I should be on top of my stuff, and it’s just, it’s getting old real quick.

“Offensive line, receivers, running backs, quarterbacks. Everybody is taking their turn. Penalties, turnovers, drops, whatever it is throughout the first half of this season, it’s really killed us on offense.”

“It’s like musical chairs,” added Lane Johnson. Read more »

Inside Voices: A Message To Marcus Smith

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

The back wall of Marcus Smith‘s locker stall is filled with yellow Post-it notes. They are arranged neatly in rows, maybe eight across by six or seven down, each with an inspirational message on it written in black marker or ink. Read more »

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