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 »

The Case Of the Shrinking Leads

kelly_940_100713The Eagles offense has been shut out in the fourth quarter in each of  its last five games. Not since October 20, when Alex Henery kicked a 31-yard field goal three seconds into the period, has this unit generated points in the fourth.

The good news is that the Eagles are 4-1 over that five-game stretch. In back-to-back wins against Oakland and Green Bay, they were able to maintain a comfortable lead as they salted the game away. If you remember, they closed out the Packers with a 16-play drive that ate up 9:32 of game clock.

Things got a little too interesting late against Washington and Arizona over the last two weeks. The Eagles entered the fourth quarter up 24-0 on Washington and won 24-16. A 24-7 second-half lead against the Cards shrunk to 24-21.

There are worse problems than trying to figure out how to hold onto big leads — at least it means you’re getting big leads to begin with — but it is an area that needs to be cleaned up before it comes back to bite them. Read more »

Another Honor For Nick Foles

Nick FolesIt’s been a pretty good month for Nick Foles. 

It started with a seven-touchdown performance in Oakland, and finishes with him atop the depth chart as the Eagles prep for a final five-game push. A little icing on the cake came his way Wednesday when he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month.

The second-year signal-caller was a perfect 3-0 in November with wins over the Raiders, Packers and Redskins. Foles completed 51 of his 72 passes in November (71 percent) with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is the fourth quarterback in franchise history to receive the honor, joining Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. Read more »

Shurmur: ‘Not Saying There Is A Conspiracy’

 Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur takes question from mediaPat Shurmur fielded question after question about the Eagles’ replay process Tuesday, specifically as it applies to the missed challenge opportunity in Green Bay. Something just doesn’t add up.

Shurmur explained that there are quite a few coaches in the booth that have their eyes on the monitor. If there is a play that warrants a challenge, a coach will relay the info to Shurmur, who will pass it on to Chip Kelly. On the Jarrett Boykin catch, no one in the booth saw an angle that convinced them to speak up. Read more »

Digging Deeper Into the Replay Issue

Chip KellySafe to say,  Chip Kelly and his staff  have been a little shaky in the instant replay department so far this year. They are 1-for-4 on challenges. Sunday the issue was the decision not to challenge, particularly on one play — a 36-yard reception by the Packers’ Jarrett Boykin in the second quarter.

Television replays showed that the receiver’s hand was out of bounds before his second foot came down in the field of play. The call on the field would almost certainly have been overturned. Ultimately it didn’t cost the Eagles —  Brandon Boykin came up with an interception later in the drive–  but it could have. It’s an area of in-game management that needs to be cleaned up.

Kelly provided an interesting explanation when asked about the decision to not challenge in that spot. Read more »

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