Ten Points: Closing The Book On DeSean

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

DeSean Jackson took questions from the Washington-area media yesterday after signing a three-year deal with the Redskins.

And so begins a new chapter in the wide receiver’s life.

The Eagles, meanwhile, remain silent. I know that doesn’t bother some of you, while others would like to hear from Chip Kelly about why the made the decision to release Jackson.

We’ve covered the whole saga extensively for the last month or so, and I understand there is some DeSean fatigue around these parts. But it’s become the story of the offseason for the Eagles. So before we start getting into full draft mode and moving on to other issues, here are 10 points I have to make to separate some myths from reality. Read more »

The Eagles’ Depth Chart At Wide Receiver

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

We got a request from a reader yesterday to run through the Eagles’ wide receiver depth chart with the guys currently on the roster.

And since we are a blog of the people, we will oblige.

The Eagles currently have nine wide receivers on their roster (that does not include pass-catchers like TE Zach Ertz and RB Darren Sproles).

Below is a player-by-player look at how each guy figures into the team’s 2014 plans. Keep in mind that this outlook will likely change post-draft. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Who’s Affected By Jackson’s Absence?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles

There were plenty of complexities involved with the offense the Eagles ran in 2013.

But at its core, Chip Kelly’s scheme in his first NFL season can be described in relatively simple terms:

* Take advantage of one of the league’s best backs and an athletic offensive line by maximizing production in the running game.

* When defenses load up to stop the run, make them pay by doing damage over the top.

That’s why the Eagles had the top-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, but also led the league with 80 pass plays of 20+ yards (no other team had more than 68).

Of course, with a significant change in personnel going forward, Kelly will make some tweaks after seeing what he has to work with in the spring. Keeping that in mind, here’s a look at how three of the Eagles’ key offensive pieces will be impacted by the loss of DeSean Jackson: Read more »

Do DeSean Jackson’s Teammates Want Him Back?

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Before Thursday night, only a couple teammates had voiced their opinions publicly about DeSean Jackson and his future with the team.

Mychal Kendricks backed Jackson during an interview with NFL.com. And Michael Vick, a former teammate of Jackson’s, told a New York TV station that change might be good for the wide receiver.

But as several Eagles strolled in to Todd Herremans’ Hoops 4 Help fundraiser, they knew what the topic of discussion was going to be when approached by a small group of reporters.

None could come up with a clear explanation for why the Eagles would be looking to move Jackson, but the general sentiment seemed to be that they would move forward with whatever decision the organization settled on. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: How Eagles’ Moves Affect Draft Plans

NCAA Football: Tennessee Tech at Oregon

Most draft questions that Howie Roseman fields in the offseason elicit a similar sounding response.

The phrases “best available player” and “stick to our board” are uttered over and over and over again.

Yet every time the team makes moves – re-signing its own players, adding free agents, making trades – questions arise about how draft plans will be impacted. So today, let’s take a look at the moves individually and predict what they might mean come May. Read more »

Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Here are three free agency-related Eagles numbers that matter.

18 – The number of missed tackles last year for Panthers safety Mike Mitchell, according to Pro Football Focus. That was tied for most among safeties.

As we’ve mentioned in this space, the Eagles are one of the teams that has looked into signing Mitchell. But it seems like many of you would be against the move based solely on the missed tackles number. And that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Read more »

Kelly’s Influence Felt Behind the Scenes

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

In the days leading up to the scouting combine, the NFL sent out a media schedule detailing when coaches and general managers would hold press conferences at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

In the release, nine coaches were missing: Chip Kelly, Bill Belichick, Joe Philbin, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Mike McCoy, Jason Garrett, Sean Payton and Pete Carroll.

Among that group, seven ended up eventually deciding to chat at one point or another (even if it was only to the team’s Web site or a single media outlet). The exceptions? Tomlin and Kelly.

Last offseason, Kelly was available at the Senior Bowl, the combine and any time the Eagles made significant personnel moves (re-signings, free agents, etc.). This year, we haven’t heard from him since the day after the season ended.

Instead, he has taken more of a behind-the-scenes approach. But Kelly’s fingerprints were on every move the team made last week. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Foles Factor

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles

It’s safe to assume last week was a good one for Nick Foles.

The Eagles’ starting QB saw the front office lock up four of the guys who make his job easier: left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper.

Of that group, Cooper specifically offered a big thank you to the guy who threw him the ball in 2013.

“A lot,” Cooper said, when asked how much Foles’ presence factored into his decision. “I mean, I wouldn’t be put in this situation I’m in now if it wasn’t for Nick. He came in and what a tremendous player and a tremendous guy. He believes in me. He likes throwing me the ball. He’s a great player, and without him I wouldn’t be here to be honest with you. We definitely have good chemistry, and that weighed in a lot into the decision.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: How Would WR Pieces Fit?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Update: The Eagles announced Friday afternoon that Jeremy Maclin is in the fold on a one-year deal.

From earlier:

The Eagles’ wide receiver situation got a little bit clearer Thursday morning when the team announced it had signed Riley Cooper to a new deal.

But there are still a couple chips left to fall. The Eagles are looking to get something done with Jeremy Maclin, and at this point it would be an upset if Jason Avant were to return.

As we wait to see what’s next, it’s worth exploring how the pieces might fit. Read more »

Riley Cooper: ‘I’m Proud Of Myself’

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

The backdrop behind Riley Cooper had changed from where he stood on July 31.

On that day, he was outside the NovaCare Complex with a brick wall behind him and microphones shoved aggressively in his face. His future with the franchise that drafted him seemed very much in question. Hours before he spoke, a video had surfaced of Cooper using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert. Now it was time to face the music and answer question after question about the incident, his status with the team, his relationship with his peers and more.

Thursday afternoon, however, carried a different feel. Some seven months later, Cooper stood in the hallway at the NovaCare Complex in a grey hoodie, black shorts and black sneakers. The reporters were now asking about his career year in 2013 and his promising future in Chip Kelly’s offense. Read more »

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