All-22: The Eagles And Four Verticals

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At the start of training camp in July, Chip Kelly was asked about how Mark Sanchez was adapting to a new offensive scheme.

“A lot of things that all of us do, no matter where you’re coaching… it’s still four verticals,” he said. “We call it differently than the way Marty [Mornhinweg] called it, but they ran four verticals here at the Eagles. Marty runs four verticals when you watch the Jets tape. We run four verticals.”

Eagles offensive coaches mention four verticals often – usually when they’re trying to get the point across that they’re not doing anything all that innovative.

The passing concept is used around the league and really at every level of football. Quarterback G.J. Kinne says he remembers first learning it as a freshman in high school. Wide receiver Jeff Maehl says Oregon ran four verticals when he played for Kelly in college.

Once again, to help explain the concept, we called on our old friend Coach Flinn, along with some of the current Eagles players and coaches. Read more »

Camp Notes: Wolff Runs With the Ones

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

For much of the spring and summer, Nate Allen has occupied the starting safety spot opposite Malcolm Jenkins. On Wednesday, though, it was Earl Wolff running with the ones.

“I saw it this morning,” said Wolff, speaking about the depth chart. “I don’t think too much of it. I just went in there, made a couple plays.”

“I thought he did well,” added Jenkins. “As far as communications he was loud, he was on point, he thought before the play. I know they’re going to be continuously rotating — even I was with the twos a couple practices ago — it’s good for him to get that exposure, those reps, and I’m watching the competition just like you guys.” Read more »

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 »

On the Allen/Jenkins Dynamic

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly cracked wise as a reporter began asking whether Nate Allen and Malcolm Jenkins play a physical enough brand of ball to be an effective safety duo.

“They’ve been knocking the [stuffing] out of people in OTAs, so be ready for that,” Kelly quipped.

Joking aside, the two safeties currently atop the depth chart aren’t exactly known for laying the lumber. Philosophically, how important is it to have an enforcer in the back end in the head coach’s view? Read more »

Notes: Allen Over Wolff; Sanchez No. 2

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
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 »

Roseman On Safeties: ‘I Don’t Think It’s a Good Group’

Calvin Pryor

When it comes to safety, there’s a decent chance the players you see now on the Eagles’ roster are the same ones that are going to show up when the team opens its season in September against the Jaguars.

According to general manager Howie Roseman, the draft is unlikely to provide much of a boost.

“In terms of the safety class, I don’t think it’s a good group overall,” Roseman said Thursday afternoon. “I think you’re talking about a dropoff certainly when you get into Saturday.” Read more »

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