Mailbag: Bradford/Foles, Carroll And the Rookies

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

I’m pinch-blogging for T-Mac on the mailbag this week. Let’s get right to the questions.

The simple answer is upside. Regular readers know that I was never a huge Nick Foles guy. I like his size and toughness, but it always felt like he had limitations. Of course, the same can be said about a lot of quarterbacks.

Sam Bradford has a better arm, could be a better decision-maker (his 2.2 INT rate is third-best among active QBs who have thrown at least 1,500 passes) and matches Foles in the intangible categories (toughness, leadership, character, etc.). Clearly, Chip Kelly felt like what he can get out of Bradford at 100 percent will be better than what he got out of Foles. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: On the Secondary Picture

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly conceded that the Eagles have only half of their secondary picture filled in at the moment, with the other two spots currently in pencil.

“I think our depth is better than it’s ever been in the three years,” said the head coach on Thursday. “Now we just have to figure out who exactly those guys are that will complement the two guys that are our starters [in] Malcolm [Jenkins] and Byron [Maxwell] right now.  The other guys are really competing.”

We will get our second peek at the new-look defensive backfield this afternoon. The first time around, Nolan Carroll was running with the ones at corner opposite Maxwell and Chris Maragos was paired with Jenkins at safety. Chances are, that will not be the foursome when the Eagles open up the regular season Monday, September 14 in Atlanta. Read more »

Carroll Running With the First Team

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

According to the team’s website, Nolan Carroll has been taking reps with the first team opposite Byron Maxwell this week to kick off OTAs.

“I’m not putting stock in it at this point, because we’re all getting the same amount of reps,” Carroll said. “Every time I’m out there I’m focusing on my technique no matter where I’m lining up. It’s not about going against the guy across from me, it’s about what I can do every single time and how much I can focus on my technique on every snap.

“We’re out there now and things are going so fast that you’re going to get tired after three or four reps and the next guy is up.”

Carroll, who played the role of dime specialist last season, will be competing with the likes of Eric Rowe and Walter Thurmond for one of the starting corner spots this summer. Both Rowe and Thurmond are new to the scene, so it would makes sense if Chip Kelly leaned towards Carroll in the early going given his familiarity with Billy Davis‘ defense. Read more »

Notes: On Foles, Cole And the Corner Spot

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Nick Foles continues to work alongside his teammates at practice. He’s ditched the knit cap for a helmet and has ramped up his level of participation of late, signs that his fractured collarbone is on the mend. But it didn’t heal fast enough for Foles to make a return to the lineup this season.

Come Sunday, Mark Sanchez and Foles will have started the same number of games this year. Considering that he hasn’t been in the lineup since November 2 and has yet to play a full season in the NFL, has the coaching seen enough to know what they have in Foles?

“I think we know what we have in Nick,” said Pat Shurmur. “We’ve seen a guy that by last count I think is 14-4 as a starter (under Chip Kelly). So that’s really how you judge a quarterback.” Read more »

Inside Voices: ‘We’re the Nobodies’

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

There’s “V-Doc” (Vinny Curry) and “Fletch” (Fletcher Cox) and “Swamp” (Cedric Thornton, given to him by Jim Washburn who thought he was built like the Swamp Thing). Then there’s “Wado” (Wade Keliikipi) and “B-Bair” (Brandon Bair) and “T-Hart” (Taylor Hart). Those are some of the nicknames you might hear bouncing off the walls inside the defensive line room.

There is also a nickname for the group that the players have embraced in recent weeks.

“We’re ‘The Nobodies,’” said Cox. “That’s us.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Thursday Factor

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

The Eagles traveled to Seattle for a Thursday night game back in December of 2011. Trevor Laws predicted that his team was poised to “blow out” the Seahawks but it went the other way on him, as Seattle cruised to an easy 31-14 win at CenturyLink Field.

Recognizing the difficulty of playing all the way across the country on a short week,  the NFL established new guidelines for scheduling Thursday night games following that season. With the exception of an occasional divisional matchup, teams are no longer asked to travel more than one time zone to play a Thursday road game.

Dallas is just a time zone away but the Eagles still have to hop a nearly four-hour flight for their Thanksgiving showdown with the Cowboys this week. The fact that Dallas played in New York on Sunday night should help balance the travel factor out some, but it’s a challenge nonetheless.

The Eagles hope that they are designed to deal well with the quick turnaround, particularly as it applies to physical recovery and game-plan installation. Read more »

Inside Voices: How The Training Is Different

Chip Kelly
Under Chip Kelly, the Eagles have quickly become known as an organization on the cutting edge when it comes to the training and maintenance of their athletes.

One veteran after the next last year said that their bodies had never felt better. Soft tissue injuries were down. Stamina was up.

What sets them apart?

To help get a better understanding, we called on some newcomers to explain what differentiates Kelly’s operation from others they have been a part of at their previous stops. Read more »

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