Marcus Smith Suffers Concussion, Ertz Frustrated

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith suffered a concussion during practice on Friday, the Eagles announced. Jordan Matthews suffered a left knee sprain, but Doug Pederson told SiriusXM that Matthews will just be sore for a few days. Mike Martin (left knee sprain) also left practice early, while Nolan Carroll (ankle) was given the day off.

Zach Ertz, who was also evaluated for a head injury, was cleared, but he said he was “not happy” with how some of his teammates have approached the hitting periods. Ertz was hit low by Blake Countess today and by Rodney McLeod two days ago, while Matthews was hit low by Jalen Mills when he suffered his injury.

“Guys gotta be pros. Rookies coming in, they don’t know what the atmosphere is like, the respect that’s given in practice,” Ertz said. “I think it needs to be addressed, but it is what it is. It’s live football, so that situation is in the game. We got to get ready for it. Obviously, Jordan and I getting hurt today, you don’t want to see that.” Read more »

Schwartz Leaves Out Rowe When Talking CB Battle

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today)

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today)

It’s not newsworthy when a coach innocuously forgets to mention a player during his press conference when discussing a position battle. But when Jim Schwartz named five corners competing for playing time and didn’t mention Eric Rowe, just a day after Doug Pederson did the same and said Rowe has experienced some “hiccups” this offseason, it seems the second-year defensive back out of Utah may not have as big of a role this season as people expected.

“It’s going to be fun to watch the corners compete. We have some guys that can cover; we got some guys that have a great opportunity here,” Schwartz said. “With the blend of veteran players, a guy like Nolan Carroll, who we talked about, [and] Leodis McKelvin. Some young guys that have some opportunities — Jalen [Mills] has done a nice job for a rookie so far; Ron Brooks is going to have an opportunity. You have guys coming off injury like [JaCorey] Shepherd, who’s been out here. I think it’s going to be exciting to watch those guys.” Read more »

Eagles Depth Chart Analysis: Cornerback

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Jeff Fusco)

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Jeff Fusco)

We kicked off this series by looking at the offensive line, defensive linewide receivers and linebackers. Now, let’s move on to the cornerbacks.

Current group

Projected starters: Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll (outside), Ron Brooks (inside)

Reserves: Randall Evans, Aaron Grymes, Jalen Mills, Denzel Rice, Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd, C.J. Smith, Jaylen Watkins.

Analysis

This is the most interesting position battle the Eagles will have during training camp. I could’ve configured the projected starters list several different ways, and none of them would have been much more valid than the others. It’s impossible to say at this time who will play, or even who will make the roster, but it’s something we’ll follow very closely once camp commences. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Cornerbacks To Keep

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)

JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)

Today’s question comes from reader Trey:

With all the different bodies at CB, who among the CBs do you think make the 53?

Good one, Trey. The cornerback competition promises to be packed with plenty of intrigue this summer. Leodis McKelvin separated himself from the pack and was a constant with the first team for Jim Schwartz during the spring, but did not have a steady partner at the other outside corner spot. (Ron Brooks got the most reps there, it appeared.) A starting job is still up for grabs.

There’s the matter of figuring out who will man the slot, and to your question, which young talent to hold onto.  Plenty to sort through. To get a better feel for what management and the coaching staff is up against, let’s look at the corners on roster currently: Read more »

Pederson: McKelvin Has ‘Really Stood Out’

Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)

Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)

As minicamp comes to a close and training camp sits six weeks away, one of the most intriguing position battles on the Eagles’ roster is cornerback. While Ron Brooks, Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin, Jalen Mills and Eric Rowe all seem to have a legitimate chance to earn playing time, one player in particular has separated himself from the pack.

“Leodis has probably been the guy that’s really stood out the most to me,” Doug Pederson said. “He’s a guy that it seems like he’s making plays quite a bit, knocking PBUs and getting his hands on balls and doing the things that you expect from a veteran corner. He’s a smart guy, very athletic and [we’re] excited for the upcoming season with him.”

McKelvin’s teammates praise him for his intelligence and film study, with Rowe saying the presence of McKelvin and Brooks — both of whom played for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo in 2014 — have “dramatically” cut down his learning curve. McKelvin noted that he’s been able to work on his technique more during OTAs and minicamp because of his familiarity with the defense, especially when it comes to his footwork.  Read more »

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