Chip Kelly has said repeatedly that he didn’t enter the NFL with any preconceived notions.
Still, one thing that surprised him last year was how committed most of the team’s veterans were to the program. At the time, Kelly explained that many of them bought in from the get-go and were focused on getting better and earning a job.
In Year 2, Kelly has done some more roster-churning. He’s had full attendance all spring and has been preaching a consistent message to the 90 players at the NovaCare Complex: invest in yourself. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco
This probably isn’t where Matt Barkley thought he’d be going into his second season in the NFL.
A fourth-round pick in 2013, he entered the league in what seemed like an attractive position. Michael Vick was on a one-year deal, and Nick Foles was an unproven commodity with limited experience.
During the regular season, of course, Foles seized the opportunity. And in limited action as a backup, Barkley threw four interceptions on 49 attempts, compiling a passer rating of 44.6.
“If people know me and they know who I am, not just what they saw this season, they know what I’m capable of and that I can throw the ball downfield,” Barkley said. “I can put the ball where I want it and make plays, win games and what-not. So I’m not worried about last year.” Read more »
Marcus Smith was running with the third team on Thursday. Trent Cole and Connor Barwin were with the ones, Brandon Graham (lined up at right outside linebacker) ran with the twos opposite Bryan Braman, and Smith played left outside linebacker with the threes opposite Travis Long.
Similarly, cornerback Jaylen Watkins practiced with the third team during the practice session open to the media. Read more »
For the first time this spring, Eagles practice was open to the media. Here’s a running diary of what we saw: Read more »
The camp battles might not have the same sex appeal of a Vick versus Foles, but there will be battles nonetheless this spring and summer. On Thursday, we got our first glimpse at how Chip Kelly is framing those competitions as the OTAs continued at the NovaCare Complex.
At safety, Nate Allen got the first team reps opposite Malcolm Jenkins while Earl Wolff ran with the second team.
“Me and Nate have a pretty good friendship and relationship. Basically we both know it’s probably going to come down to the preseason, but we’re both going to give it our all and may the best man win,” said Wolff. Read more »
Now that the Eagles’ roster sits at 90 players, we can start to take a look ahead at which spots are up for grabs in the spring and summer.
Today, we’ll provide a position-by-position breakdown of the offense. On Tuesday, we’ll check in on the defense. Read more »
Mark Sanchez started 62 games for the Jets before his 27th birthday. He played in six playoff games and twice was one win away from the Super Bowl.
But at this point in his career, if he wants a shot to be the No. 1 guy again, he’s first going to have to prove he’s worthy as a backup. With a one-year deal from the Eagles, Sanchez will compete with Matt Barkley (and maybe even a rookie) to provide insurance for Nick Foles. Read more »
Chip Kelly‘s “big people beat up little people” line is a popular one, and will be recited plenty in the coming days with the combine getting underway later this week. Height, weight, hand size, wing span…all of these measurables mean something to Kelly, and can help lead us towards the players that may be of interest to the Eagles. But there’s another, less heralded quote that should also be kept in mind as the powers that be descend on Indianapolis to get up close and personal with the draft prospects.
“There’s a very cerebral part to this game that I don’t know if people give enough credit to. It’s about making good decisions. Dumb people do dumb things and smart people rarely do dumb things,” he said last April. Read more »
Chip Kelly regularly held quarterback competitions during his time at Oregon. He did the same in his first year on the job in Philadelphia. Kelly was asked if that process is no longer needed considering Nick Foles established himself with a monster 2013 season.
“No, there’s always competition, and I think you can ask Nick that, too,” said Kelly. “I think everybody kind of feeds off of that, and they understand that. And then if you also have a guy that’s not competing to be the starter with Nick, then what if Nick gets hurt and then all of a sudden the other guy goes, ‘Oh, my God, I’m not ready to play because I thought Nick was going to be the guy.’ It’s a cliché, but you are a chin strap away from playing in this league and when your opportunity comes, you have to take advantage of that.”
A chin strap away. That’s one of the more frequently-used Chipisms, as Kelly often talks about the need to have two good quarterbacks on your roster in the NFL. One of the significant questions facing the Eagles this offseason is whether Matt Barkley can be the man to push Foles in camp, and step in capably if the situation arises. Read more »
This week, we’ll offer offseason outlooks for the Eagles, position-by-position. Each day, we’ll answer a pressing question and rank the position on the priority scale. First up is quarterback. Read more »