Wake-Up Call: Cast Off, Kendricks Ready To Rock

 NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
Mychal Kendricks
said the time away this offseason was good for the mind, body and soul. He spent some time catering to each.

As for the mind and soul, the third year linebacker said he spent the month of March in the Sedona, Arizona area getting zen.

“Some real meditation,” said Kendricks. “It’s old Indian land — a reservation — out there. It was cool, man. It was cool.”

Kendricks posted some photos on his Instagram recently that showed him among the red rocks. More notably for football purposes, it also showed him with a cast around his left arm. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Spelling DeMeco

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

The number for DeMeco Ryans last year was 1,156.

That’s how many snaps he played, the most of any linebacker in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders.

“I think if you ask DeMeco, he felt as fresh as he’s ever felt in his career,” said Chip Kelly last month. “But I think it’s a byproduct of how we practiced and prepared for him to be that way.”

Ryans is a Kelly favorite – a true professional who practices, trains and studies hard. But the truth is he did play too many snaps last year. And there were a few reasons for that. Number one, Billy Davis was installing a brand new defense and needed someone to direct a young group up front. That was Ryans’ job. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: The Shadow Of the 2012 Draft

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When Howie Roseman was asked last week whether the team was still in position to be aggressive in free agency given the extensions he handed out to current players, the Eagles’ GM offered a short response.

“Yes,” he said.

But before the next question was asked, Roseman clarified.

“It will affect other things going forward, but yes.”

It doesn’t take a detective to figure out what those other things going forward are. In fact, they have names: Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin. You’ll notice the common thread among those four players is that they were members of the Eagles’ 2012 draft class. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Kendricks’ Search For Consistency

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Mychal Kendricks was in the midst of a rough patch and in need of a boost back  in mid-September when his phone rang.

“I was getting a massage and I picked up…and it was my Pop Warner coach,” Kendricks  told Jim Rome last week in New York. “And he just told me, ‘Man, just go out there and own the field like I know you can. Get that pep in your step. When you take the field, know that you own it.’

“It was good for me, man. Every game I went into after that, I just told myself, ‘Take the field with confidence. Own this [thing].’ ” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: The Sherman Lesson

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Before scaring the hell out of Erin Andrews and setting social media ablaze with his unfiltered thoughts on Michael Crabtree, Richard Sherman made the play of the game. Despite the corner’s assertions, Crabtree is far from mediocre. Yet Sherman stayed stride-for-stride with the receiver down the right sideline, turned his body, leapt into the air and stretched out his left arm to deflect a would-be go-ahead touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick. Malcolm Smith came up with the interception, securing the Seahawks’ spot in Super Bowl XLVIII.

“There are not many guys who can make a play on this ball,” said Troy Aikman as the Seattle crowd boomed in the background.

Chip Kelly frequently calls the NFL a player’s league, and that sequence with under 30 ticks remaining Sunday night demonstrated his point. The fate of two franchises came down to a one-on-one matchup. If Sherman doesn’t get his paw on that ball, the Niners are playing for the title in New Jersey in two weeks. But he did, so the Seahawks advance. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: How Far Away Are They?

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Before we get started: DeSean Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl on Friday. He replaces Andre Johnson, who is not participating because of an unspecified injury, according to the league.

Jackson is the fifth Eagle selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, joining LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, Nick Foles and Evan Mathis. Peters has opted not to play in the game.

Now onto the mailbag: Read more »

Why They Believe In Chip

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

When asked why he was so confident that his program could work in the NFL, Chip Kelly offered a somewhat surprising response.

“I wasn’t confident,” he said. “I had a system and a plan that we were going to go in, but I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be until it was all finished. But I think we played sound fundamental football, and I think that’s what we preach on a daily basis to our players. I think it’s still a game of 11-on-11, and I think a lot of things we do schematically match up 11-on-11. It’s a fundamental game, and I think that’s what our coaches teach. I thought we brought in a bunch of really good teachers that could implement the plan that we had in place, and we felt this would be the best plan for us this year going forward.”

Going into next season, new faces will be added, but many of the core players from the 2013 squad will remain the same.

Keeping that in mind, I posed one simple question to the players earlier this week as they cleaned out their lockers:

What did Kelly do in Year One that makes you believe he can lead this franchise to greater heights going forward? Read more »

All-22: On the Kendricks-Graham Matchup

Last year against the Eagles, Jimmy Graham was targeted 11 times and ended with eight catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Three of those catches came with Mychal Kendricks in coverage, including the one in which the 6-7, 265-pound athletic phenom found pay dirt.

With the Saints set up deep in Eagles territory late in the third quarter, Drew Brees found Graham in the flat. Kendricks moved in for the tackle. Read more »

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