From mock drafts to the Eagles’ rise in power rankings, here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Birds this week. Read more »
Chip Kelly had a one-on-one with Michael Vick Tuesday to deliver the news that Nick Foles would remain at quarterback moving forward. The meeting was really just a formality, a courtesy. Vick has been around long enough to know when the writing is on the wall.
“I see things before they happen. You can’t be naive,” said Vick at his locker after practice. “You’ve got to understand the situation, have to see and know that the most important thing for you to do is try to be there and support your team. I didn’t want to make this a hard decision for Coach, I didn’t want to make this a hard decision for anybody, for myself. Can’t be frustrated about it. I just wanted it to be a smooth transition, and it was.
“Coach Kelly, when we sat down, he didn’t even need to say much because we’re always on the same page. And I think you have to be that way with your head coach, especially at my age and the amount of time I have been in this game. It’s only right.” Read more »
Like most things with Kelly, the meeting was short and to the point.
“Chip’s a simple guy,” Foles said. “I just went in there, he told me the situation that I was the one and Mike [Vick] was the two and let’s go.
“I know in movies it’s a big thing, you sit down, there’s tears… I walked in, we talked a little bit about the Oregon-Arizona game… and then he just told me the situation and I was ready to go. Mike’s ready to go. It takes multiple quarterbacks to win in this league. You never know what happens and it’s the same talk he told me – you always gotta be ready.” Read more »
“Nick will be our starter, and hopefully we get Mike [Vick] back through a full week of practice to be able to be the No. 2 guy this week,” Kelly said.
The Eagles’ head coach talked to both quarterbacks Tuesday morning and informed them of his decision.
“They were both fine,” he said. “They understand the situation and Mike wants to contribute any way he can. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a great teammate, great leader. He’s been great for Nick over the games he’s been out in terms of helping him develop and we’ve got a good situation. I think we’ve got two quarterbacks who can win games in the NFL. And I think you need both of them.” Read more »
With no game to prepare for and players away from the team facility, it’s a chance to evaluate which areas of the team need to be adjusted going forward.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a position-by-position look at where things stand with the Eagles through 11 games and what changes might be on the way going forward. We’ll start with the offense and do the defense in the next installment.
Nick Foles has been lights-out, having completed 63.6 percent of his passes (10th) with 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Foles has made good decisions, looks comfortable in the offense and has connected on downfield throws. He’s averaging 9.59 yards per attempt. To put that number into perspective, since 1957, only two other quarterbacks have averaged at least 9.5 yards per attempt (minimum 150 passes): Kurt Warner (9.88 in 2000) and Chris Chandler (9.65 in 1998). Read more »
Moments after drafting Matt Barkley, Chip Kelly stole a line from former coach Sam Rutigliano to help explain why he liked the USC signal-caller.
“He used to say that with a quarterback, it’s like a tea bag, you don’t know what you have until you put it in hot water.”
Quarterback is a pressure-packed position, and there’s no way to know what your guy is made of until he is tested in big moments. That is important to keep in mind as we continue to evaluate Nick Foles.
The city is anxious to know whether Foles is a long-term solution for this franchise; whether he can be the guy to lead this team to the top. The answer is that we don’t yet have the answer. We might not even be close to having it. But the next-month plus should get us nearer to the truth.
1 – The number of incompletions on passes thrown to DeSean Jackson in the last three games. According to Pro Football Focus, Nick Foles has targeted Jackson 14 times, and 13 of those have been completions for 312 yards. On the season, Jackson has caught 68.2 percent of the passes thrown his way. That number has never been higher than 61.3 percent during his first five seasons in the NFL.
And it’s not like the Eagles are dinking-and-dunking to Jackson. He has a league-leading 19 catches of 20+ yards on the season and is averaging 17.0 yards per catch. That would be his best average for since 2010.
Chip Kelly has done a masterful job of maximizing Jackson’s ability as a big-play threat while making him a more efficient receiver. Read more »
NFL.com has released audio of last Sunday’s Eagles-Redskins game, and their clips focus on Chip Kelly’s relentless hurry-up style. Both Kelly and Nick Foles are mic’d up.
McManus: LeSean McCoy
As we wrote about this week and discussed on our show Thursday night, McCoy has needed every ounce of his elite talent to keep the ground game up and running over the last several games. The open space that he enjoyed early on when Michael Vick was healthy has been filled with swarming defenders that are selling out to shut McCoy down. No longer concerned about the quarterback keeping the ball on the read option, the defense is able to flow towards McCoy without hesitation.
Recently, the 25-year-old has relied largely on his video-game like shiftiness to get his yards. With a lesser back, this offense might be in a little trouble.
McCoy put a scare into this organization when he grabbed for the back of his leg against Washington. The Eagles need him to stay healthy and fresh. He is on pace for 309 carries this season. His previous high was 273, set back in 2011. Read more »
“That’s a lot,” the Eagles general manager said.
The Eagles, according to our friend Jimmy Kempski’s tabulations, began the season as the 10th youngest team in the NFL with an average age of 25.74. To break it down further, 15 of the 53 players on the roster (28 percent) right now are 23 or younger. It’s no secret what the Eagles plan is: go young, build through the draft and supplement the roster with veterans that can provide some guidance.
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