Seumalo To Start Again; Kendricks, Mills Return

Isaac Seumalo. (Jeff Fusco)

Isaac Seumalo. (Jeff Fusco)

Isaac Seumalo will start at left guard again when the Eagles play the Colts next Saturday, Doug Pederson announced this morning. While Seumalo doesn’t have the starting job locked up when Allen Barbre moves to right tackle, he does have the edge. Read more »

Kendricks, Mills, Wentz Out For Second Game

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks, Mike Martin, Jordan Matthews, Jalen Mills, Hunter Sharp and Carson Wentz will not play in the Eagles’ second preseason game in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Doug Pederson announced Tuesday morning. Wentz, however, will travel for the game, as will Dorial Green-Beckham, whom the Eagles recently traded for. Read more »

Kendricks, Shepherd, Smallwood Out For First Game

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring), Marcus Johnson, Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Mike Martin (knee), Jordan Matthews (knee), Jason Peters (quad), Hunter Sharp, JaCorey Shepherd (hamstring), Wendell Smallwood (quad) and Marcus Smith (concussion) will not play in the Eagles’ preseason game on Thursday against the Buccaneers. Peters, however, will work out with the team during pregame workouts and be in uniform. Read more »

Jordan Matthews Will Miss ‘A Couple Weeks’

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews is “a couple weeks away” from returning to the field because of his left knee soreness, Doug Pederson said Monday morning after practice. Matthews was hit in the knee by rookie Jalen Mills on Friday, which is when Zach Ertz was also hit low, which prompted the tight end to speak out about low hits delivered by young players. Read more »

Ken Flajole On the Work Ahead For His Linebackers

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles made plenty of changes during the offseason, especially on the defensive side. Gone are defensive coordinator Billy Davis, inside linebackers coach Rick Minter, and outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern. Along with new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz comes linebackers coach Ken Flajole, who arrives after three years as Cleveland’s inside linebackers coach.

Flajole, who decided to stay in the NFL after originally accepting the defensive coordinator position at UTEP in mid January, enters his 17th season as a coach in the league. He comes to an Eagles team which has gone through a big overhaul after firing Chip Kelly before the end of the 2015 season.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On the Player-Fan Dynamic

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Mychal Kendricks‘ “Welcome To Philadelphia” moment came in the aftermath of a home loss a couple seasons back. He heard his name being howled from above the tunnel and against his better judgment, looked up as he was heading off the field.

“Some dude got my attention and he’s like, ‘Kendricks!’ — he was crying — ‘Kendricks! You ruined my liiiife!’ I mean bawling. He was drunk. ‘You ruined my life!’ I’m like, ‘Sh*t, I’m the sad one. We just lost a game.’ That was fairly intense.”

For Najee Goode, it was an attention-grabber of an entirely different variety.

“Man, going up to an autograph signing in 2013 and seeing a chick with body paint on her top half — Eagles body paint. I’m like, ‘These motherf*&%ers crazy,'” he said with a laugh. “I liked it though, but I was like, ‘Damn.'”

Dennis Kelly‘s came in the form of advice via the always civil world of social media.

“Somebody told me to jump off the Ben Franklin onto a bed of spikes through Twitter after a game,” he said. “That was a nice little [piece] of critical feedback.”

None of the dozen or so Eagles players polled by Birds 24/7 have had a similar experience to the one Ryan Howard went through at Citizens Bank Park last weekend when the slumping slugger had a beer bottle thrown at him on his way back to the dugout (though there are members of this coaching staff who would tell you that J.D. Drew isn’t the only one to have Duracells flung in his direction). Such incidents, though, can trigger an examination of the relationship between professional athletes in Philadelphia and the fans. Read more »

Jordan Hicks Says Injury Is ‘Nothing Serious’

Jordan Hicks. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Hicks. (Jeff Fusco)

After a torn left pectoral tendon ended Jordan Hicks’ season last year, the second-year linebacker has been limited during offseason activities recently in OTAs and mandatory minicamp. This time, it’s a quad spasm bothering the 23-year-old who also suffered two season-ending injuries in college, but he says it’s nothing to worry about.

“It’s nothing serious, man. I’ve been through so much worse. We’re talking about a quad,” Hicks said. “I think, mainly, it happened from rehabbing (the torn pec) and really being a little light [in my preparation]. It limited me on what I did in the offseason. … I think just jumping right back into it full speed ahead was what kind of what (did it).” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Dark Horses And Disappointments

Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)

Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)

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

Any dark horse players you see having a big year? Any front runners having a down year? -Frank H.

I’m very curious to see how Jordan Hicks plays this season. I don’t think he’ll play poorly, but I could see him disappointing people after his impressive six-game stretch last season when he started after Kiko Alonso went down during Week 2. I expect him to be a good linebacker for the Eagles long term, but he has very little experience and will have more on his shoulders as the guy who will register a huge number of snaps as the MIKE in Jim Schwartz’s 4-3. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On the Wide-9 Fears

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Today’s question comes from reader Nilesh via email:

Why will the new wide 9 be better than previous wide 9?

The change in Mychal Kendricks is noticeable. He added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame this offseason, bumping up from his 2015 playing weight of 235 pounds to 250.

“I feel strong. I feel fast still. I’m a lot more stout than I was. I think you can tell — I’m pretty big right now,” said Kendricks. “I don’t know how I’ll feel hitting someone yet — I’m assuming I’ll feel realllly good.”

The decision to bulk up was his own, Kendricks told reporters last week. A big part of the motivation was tied to the different demands that will be presented in Jim Schwartz‘s scheme — which yes, has a fairly heavy Wide-9 element to it.  A combination of  how the defensive front lines up and (more importantly) how they are instructed to behave means Kendricks and the linebackers will be dealing with a number of unencumbered offensive linemen steamrolling to the second level.

“Initially [the d-linemen] are up the field so it’s not the same as it was last year — reading as opposed to the linemen getting upfield,” said Kendricks. “We may see more people in our face, which means we would have to be more physical, and I’m all for it.”

Read more »

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