Notes: The New-Look Offensive Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Pat Shurmur didn’t want to reveal who would be starting at left guard and right tackle this week in place of the injured Evan Mathis and Allen Barbre, but the early portion of practice Wednesday seemed to paint the picture.

Dennis Kelly was working at left guard with the first unit and Andrew Gardner was at right tackle.

“I think we’re better here than in most places I’ve been because we get so many reps in practice, in our training sessions, that the guys that are going to fill in — just like the guys that did on Sunday — have a better opportunity to do so,” said Shurmur. “Everybody deals with it. It’s rare when you have to put two new guys in a game, we’ve all dealt with having to put in one, but the guys that went in did a great job and I think it’s a function of our culture and our practice that they were able to do it so well.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Jaguars, the Day After

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Watching from the sideline, linebacker DeMeco Ryans knew the Eagles had a first down before the ball was even snapped.

Darren Sproles had just picked up 8 yards on a screen, but he was tackled short of the sticks, and the offense faced a 4th-and-1 from the Jacksonville 49. The Eagles were trailing 17-0 in the third quarter.

“Sitting on the sideline, I knew we had ‘em,” Ryans said. “Because as a defense, you’re kind of happy about a third-down stop and you’re not expecting a fourth-down play. Our offense gets on the ball and runs it quickly, catches everybody off-guard.”

Chip Kelly didn’t hesitate. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told him the Eagles were short, and Kelly made a tempo call – a message that can be communicated with one or two words. The call lets the offensive players know it’s time to bust it back to the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped. Read more »

Sanchez: I Don’t Know Where This Stuff Comes From

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Mark Sanchez sat at his locker after practice Monday afternoon and addressed rumors that the Rams could be interested in acquiring his services.

“I’m not gonna deal with hypotheticals,” he said. “I’m an Eagle. I love being an Eagle. That’s really all I’m gonna say about it.

“People can’t wait [for the season to start] so they start circulating all these trade rumors and all that stuff. That’s just the way it goes. Like I said, I’ve seen just about everything. …I don’t know where all this stuff comes from.” Read more »

Foles, Eagles Add Back Shoulder Fade To Arsenal

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During a team period earlier this week, Jeremy Maclin found himself lined up one-on-one against cornerback Bradley Fletcher.

Maclin got an outside release and headed straight up the sideline, but at about 15 yards downfield, he slammed on the brakes, turned around, flashed his hands late and caught a Nick Foles pass that was already there waiting for him.

It’s the back shoulder fade – a weapon Foles, Chip Kelly and the Eagles are looking to add to their arsenal as they prepare for 2014. Read more »

McCoy Sheds Weight, Feels Quicker

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Pat Shurmur was asked a question about Matt Barkley, but his answer included a nugget on LeSean McCoy.

“The two guys that looked the most different when they got here [for training camp] were LeSean and Matt,” Shurmur said. “They got themselves ready to go.”

McCoy, 26, is coming off a career year in which he totaled 1,607 yards on the ground and averaged 5.1 YPC. He led the NFL in touches, rushing yards and yards from scrimmage.

But entering his second year in Chip Kelly’s offense, McCoy has made some changes.

“I felt last year, even the year I did have, it was based on just the guys up front really blocking well, going off of just God-given talent,” he said. “I feel like at a lighter [weight] I’m just so much more effective. I look at all my old film and see how much quicker I was. I was 210, 209. I mean, there’s a big difference. And I’m feeling like that again. I’ve always made plays, even last year I made a lot of plays, but just you know your body. You know yourself. I wanted to be a little bit more bulkier last year. Sometimes it’s like a mental thing, which it doesn’t matter.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Foles’ Year In Perspective

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The Westlake boys met near midfield once the game was in the books. Drew Brees, the elder by 10 years, had just secured the sixth postseason win of his career and was moving on in search of his second Lombardi Trophy. Nick Foles was heading home. That was the reality of the situation.

But that wasn’t the whole story. Foles had just completed a season in which he finished with the third-highest quarterback rating (119.2) in NFL history. He established a record for best touchdown/interception ratio (0.63%) all while leading  the league in yards/pass attempt. He thrived in a system that wasn’t supposed to suit him and helped the Eagles capture a division title.

Foles had two interceptions on the entire season while tossing 29 touchdown passes. Brees had two picks in the first half alone Saturday night. Read more »

The Matchup: Eagles Vs. Vikings

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles punted four times and turned it over once on their first five possessions last week against the Lions.

After each series, when the offensive players ran off the field and towards the sideline, assistant coaches were waiting for them with questions.

They wanted to know what the conditions were like, why certain things weren’t working and what the Lions were doing defensively.

“You don’t even need to wait until halftime,” said guard Todd Herremans. “We get enough breaks during the game where you come off the field. We had a lot of stuff that was based off of the speed of their ends rushing upfield and penetration of their tackles and stuff. We thought we would be able to take advantage of that, use our speed to our advantage. But obviously during the conditions, they just kind of slowed everybody down and it just became more of a power/downhill game.”

The players let the coaches know that they were slipping, that the Lions’ front four wasn’t getting upfield, that it was difficult to change direction and get to runs which required a certain degree of lateral movement.

And so Chip Kelly and his staff decided to implement some changes. Read more »

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