Jim Schwartz: Fletcher Cox Will Fit ‘Very Well’

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

In his first media availability since the Eagles hired him in January, Jim Schwartz didn’t want to talk about Fletcher Cox much on Tuesday afternoon. He declined to comment on whether he’s spoken to the Pro Bowl defensive tackle, and he didn’t want to answer any additional questions about the biggest name missing from the Eagles’ OTAs.

But when he did discuss Cox, Schwartz didn’t seem concerned the 25-year-old will fall far behind.

“It’s voluntary, so you can only do so much,” Schwartz said. “Fletch was drafted in a scheme that was similar to this; he’ll catch up. I’m sure there’ll be some carryover for him, but I assume he’s a fast learner and I assume he’ll pick things up quickly.

“We think scheme-wise and technique-wise, what we’ll do will fit him very well.” Read more »

Eagles Mailbag: Who Will Play A Lot More In 2016?

Jordan Hicks. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Hicks. (Jeff Fusco)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

You can make good arguments for each of those guys.

Ryan Mathews’ injury history suggests he’ll likely miss a few games, but he did rank second among running backs in yards per carry last season (5.1). While I think it’s highly unlikely he reaches that number again, he displayed the talent that makes him worthy of being a feature back. I’m not sold he can stay healthy enough for that, but it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which he doesn’t play a lot more than 21 percent of the offense’s snaps, as he did in 2015. Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »

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