Eagles Notes: Kelly On Injuries, QB Competition And WR Depth

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Spirits are high at the NovaCare Complex where the Eagles are resuming practice after their preseason win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Here is a quick rundown of what Chip Kelly had to say about the game and a few key injuries during his press conference.

  • Kiko Alonso will be back at practice today after missing the last two weeks with a concussion. Kelly said he doesn’t expect Alonso to be a full participant today, but he will gradually get back in the swing of things over the course of this week.

“I think mentally, he’s good, but he has been out for two weeks,” Kelly said. “So he’ll go through agilities, individual drills and maybe a little seven on seven, I don’t know if they’ll put him in during team [drills], but he should be good to go by the end of the week.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: 53-Man Roster Projection

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

With a dozen training camp practices and the first preseason game in the books, now seems like a good time to roll out my first 53-man roster projection of the year. Josh is welcome to challenge me with one of his own, but given my past dominance in this arena, his efforts will likely be futile.

Quarterbacks (3): Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley.

Barkley entered as the No. 3 quarterback and performed well enough against the Colts to hold onto that position — for now. If it’s about choosing someone who can execute the tempo offense with the most precision should Sam Bradford  and Mark Sanchez be unavailable, Barkley will be the choice. But it’s hard to ignore all the trade chatter around the USC product since word of Tebow-to-Philly first surfaced, and you wonder if Kelly is intrigued by how he might be able to use Tebow on game days. Curious to see how this one plays out. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Tebow Vs. Barkley

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

After the Eagles’ victory yesterday against the Colts, a reporter asked Chip Kelly if there’s a particular set of skills he’s looking for in his third-string quarterback.

“No,” Kelly said, before the reporter could finish the question. “They have to be able to do it all.”

Tim Tebow clearly outperformed Matt Barkley on the ground as he rushed the ball four times for 15 yards and a touchdown. But who had the better game through the air? Read more »

Kelly: Not Concerned About Parkey

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Cody Parkey had a shaky outing Sunday against the Colts. The second-year kicker misfired wide-right on a 34-yard field goal, and also failed to convert on an extra point attempt. Chip Kelly did not sound concerned when addressing the media afterwards.

“No, we are not,” said Kelly, when asked if he was planning on bringing in competition at kicker. “I mean, he was an All‑Pro Bowl kicker last year. In his first exhibition game, he missed an extra point and a field goal. He’s hit three from 40, too. I wouldn’t push the panic button right now.

“I mean, let’s not go crazy now. He’s a pretty good kicker. Hey, he’s a Pro Bowler. I’ve seen Pro Bowlers miss kicks. I’ve seen Adam [Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri] ‑‑ Adam is a Hall of Fame kicker — I’ve seen him miss kicks before, too. Let’s not hit the panic button on Cody right now.  We are in the first preseason game.”

Added Parkey: “I think everybody is human, everyone misses a kick here or there. It’s obviously pretty embarrassing to go out there and miss two in the first game. It sucks for me to do it, and I’m just going to go out there next week and do better.”

Read more »

Four Downs: Tim Tebow’s Debut

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles beat the Colts, 36-10, in their preseason opener. Here’s what I noted.


Although the Eagles’ defense played without four key defenders, most of their starters played every snap in the Colts’ first two drives. After allowing 16 yards on the first series, Philadelphia gave up a 68-yard drive in the second series. Why? The Colts’ third-down conversion rate was 60%.

The Eagles gave up an average of 2.5 yards on both first and second down in the first two drives, but allowed 8.6 yards per play on third down. A big reason for the starting defense’s success on early downs was Bennie Logan. The nose tackle helped force Andrew Luck out of the pocket on the first snap and tackled the Colts’ running back for no gain on second down. Read more »

Tebow, Barkley To Square Off For Third QB Spot

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

If you ask Tim Tebow about Sunday’s preseason opener against the Colts, his eyes light up. He flashes that million-dollar smile and talks about how excited he is to play the game he’s loved since he was a child. Mention the same game to Matt Barkley, and you’ll get a more business-like, measured reaction.

Their personalities (and mindsets heading in) aren’t exactly identical, and their playing styles couldn’t be more different. That contrast will be on display Sunday as the competition for the third quarterback spot ramps up. Read more »

Football School: Three Things We Learned This Week

Jimmy Johnson. Kirby Lee/USA Today

Jimmy Johnson. Kirby Lee/USA Today

Like many of you, I am a football consumer. And one reason I like this slow period from mid-June to early August is I can catch up on things I’ve been meaning to read, watch, listen to, etc. So from time to time between now and training camp, I’ll share three items I find interesting.

1. Back in March, Peter King revealed that Chip Kelly had been using Jimmy Johnson as a sounding board this offseason. Johnson said one piece of advice he gave to Kelly after Kelly was given full personnel control was to go with players who fit his personality and his system.

The 30 For 30 short on Johnson that focused on the Herschel Walker trade provided further insight into Johnson’s mindset and perhaps what he shared with Kelly.

“I considered trading every player on our roster, everybody, even a player that I loved, Michael Irvin, who played for me at Miami,” Johnson said. “…I didn’t understand the way the NFL worked. But back then, teams didn’t trade that much. I think everybody on our football team realized that anything could happen.”

Per Johnson, the Cowboys made 51 trades in five years, more than the rest of the league put together. The biggest one, of course, was the Walker trade with the Vikings. Why did Johnson make such a bold move with that deal?

“You had to have the system for Herschel Walker for him to be productive,” he said. “I was more interested in the nifty back that could get the big run rather than the power back that was a straight line runner.” Read more »

Eagles 53-Man Roster Projection

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Let’s get the usual disclaimers out of the way:

  • It’s only June, and the Eagles haven’t even practiced in pads yet.
  • There will be more roster moves made between now and September.
  • Players unfortunately will get injured.

Having said all that, providing an early 53-man roster projection allows us to at least get a handle on what camp battles should be taken seriously come August.

It’s also just a fun exercise for the sleepy days of late June. And we’re pro-fun here at Birds 24/7. So here you go: Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)

Here’s what we saw during today’s session.

12:23 – We’ve mentioned on multiple occasions how Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz quarterbacks certain drills during practice. Chip Kelly was asked about that today.

“Every person in this building that can contribute is out there contributing,” Kelly said. “You’ll see guys that are in the video room catching passes. You’ve got guys out there with referee shirts spotting the ball for us. So anybody that can help us and make us better in practice can do it, and I’ve seen Ed throw. Ed can throw. He actually throws a couple times when we’ve been out on Pro Days or college visits, and it helps Cory [Undlin] coach. Instead of Cory being the guy that throws the ball in those drills, he’s got someone like Ed that can throw it.”

12:39 – I was asked recently to compare Sam Bradford’s arm strength to a number of different quarterbacks. Based on what I saw of him on film in St. Louis and what I’ve seen in practice, here’s how I would rank it (assuming full health): Read more »

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