Eagles Wake-Up Call: Three Leftovers From Davis

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis met with reporters Sunday. Below are three things that stood out.

1. We’ve written plenty in this space about the high number of snaps guys like DeMeco Ryans and Connor Barwin played last year. Part of that had to do with the defense’s inability to get off the field. Part of it had to do with the team’s lack of depth at certain spots. Part of it had to do with pace and style of the offense.

But going forward, Davis wants to get those guys off the field a little bit more.

“It’s something we are very concerned about,” he said. “We don’t want any of them to play all the snaps. It’s too many snaps for any one defensive player. We know we had way too many. It benefits both us and the player and DeMeco or Mychal [Kendricks] that we get a rotation in there, too. We’ll get that rotation all the time through different packages and with the addition like you touched on of some new players. It will give us a little bit more flexibility. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: RB Training Camp Preview

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive linequarterbacks and outside linebackers. Now it’s on to the running backs.

The pressing question: Will Chip Kelly lighten LeSean McCoy’s workload?

On his way to setting the franchise record for rushing yards, McCoy led the NFL in carries (314) and touches (366). Only Chicago’s Matt Forte played more snaps. The Eagles added Darren Sproles in the offseason. Does that mean they want to give McCoy more of a breather in 2014? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: OLB Training Camp Preview

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We started with the defensive line and quarterbacks. Now it’s on to the outside linebackers.

The pressing question: How much will Marcus Smith contribute as a rookie?

This is one of the bigger overall summer questions for the Eagles. Moving from college to the NFL, rookies’ heads are often spinning during spring practices. They’re in a new place with new teammates, new coaches and a new playbook.

That’s why Smith spent most of OTAs and minicamp getting reps with the third team behind Connor Barwin and Bryan Braman at the Jack spot. Once he returns to the practice field in a couple weeks, coaches will expect him to start showing progress. While the Eagles drafted Smith with an eye on the future, they expect him to contribute this season. Read more »

Photos: Eagles Rookies



Davis: Smith Will Help With ‘Mirrored’ Defense

Marcus Smith II

Billy Davis wants a mirrored defense.

The Eagles’ defensive coordinator spoke Monday for the first time since the team used a first-round pick on outside linebacker Marcus Smith. Smith has been practicing at the Jack spot this spring – the position occupied last year by Connor Barwin. Davis provided insight on what the plan is for the Birds’ rookie.

“Marcus is a young guy that we had to start at a position to learn it,” he said. “The positions can be mirrored or they can take on little different variations depending on who’s out there – who’s out there at that time or even in a series. So it’s very flexible what I can do with the Jack and the Predator. But Marcus, we started at the Jack. There’s probably a little bit more versatility and movement. More of what he did in college was the Jack so we started him there. But I’m willing to bet once he settles down a little bit he can go either side.” Read more »

Eagles Sign Marcus Smith

marcus-smith_940x540

The Eagles have signed first-round Marcus Smith to a four-year deal, the team announced today.

Smith, the 26th overall pick, is the Birds’ final draft pick to sign. All seven of the team’s selections are now under contract. Read more »

Marcus Smith, the Jack And the Predator

NCAA Football: Louisville at Southern Mississippi

During Thursday’s practice at the NovaCare Complex, Eagles rookie Marcus Smith had to wait his turn.

First he watched veteran Connor Barwin run with the first team. And then he kept his eye on free agent addition Bryan Braman, who ran with the twos.

This is the way Chip Kelly has done things since he arrived, and there are a couple reasons for his philosophy. One is relatively straightforward: Make rookies earn their standing. Let them know that nothing will be handed to them.

And the other is more practical. To maximize efficiency and practice fast, guys have to know what they’re doing and where they’re supposed to be on every rep. If one player is confused, the pace slows down, and as far as Kelly is concerned, that’s unacceptable.

“I’m a patient learner,” Smith said. “I try to take everything in that my coaches tell me and I try to integrate [it] every day in practice. If I mess up on something, I try to ask my coaches exactly what I messed up on so I can look at in on film and be able to correct myself.” Read more »

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