Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Center Of the Offense

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports.

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy (USA TODAY Sports).

Jason Kelce isn’t sure you understand. Yes, you know about the quarterback’s audibles before plays, but he’s not confident you realize the importance of the center’s pre-snap calls.

“I don’t know if the fans know, but it’s a really big part of my job,” Kelce said. “Mentally, if you’re on top of your game, the physical stuff is a lot easier.”

He explains he doesn’t want to give any secrets away, but he does reveal what he looks for in a defense before he snaps the ball. First, he reads the way the defense is aligned. Then, he reads how the defenders are spaced relative to the Eagles’ formation and play call.

Read more »

Running Diary: Eagle Practice Observations

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during Friday’s practice at the NovaCare Complex.

11:36 – Let’s start with who’s here. DeMarco Murray’s back, but he did not participate fully as he recovers from an illness.

Kiko Alonso (concussion) was out for the second day in a row. Mychal Kendricks was on the field, but not in pads and did not participate. No reason was given by the team. And the same can be said for Zach Ertz. Read more »

There’s a Reason Players Think Chip Kelly Might Be Racist

Photos | Jeff Fusco except for Tra Thomas | Howard Smith, USA Today Sports

LeSean McCoy, Stephen A. Smith, Tra Thomas and Brandon Boykin (outer photos, clockwise from top left) have all ascribed racial motivations to Chip Kelly’s (center) personnel decisions. Photos | Jeff Fusco except for Tra Thomas | Howard Smith, USA Today Sports

Chip Kelly is not a racist.

But he apparently is oblivious to why some black players may think he’s tinged with a little racism when they unload those charges on their former coach after he has shown them the door.

If Kelly is as smart as we all think he is, he cannot therefore be blind to the fact that his support of wide receiver Riley Cooper has provided the undercurrent of all the sniping done by the likes of LeSean McCoy, Tre Thomas, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, and, last but not least, recently deposed cornerback Brandon Boykin.

And his response this week to the Riley issue was an insult to every reasonably minded fan in the Delaware Valley. Read more »

Despite Blowback, Kelly Says No Regrets On Cooper Decision

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was around this time two years ago that Chip Kelly and the Eagles decided to bring Riley Cooper back in the fold.

As he took the podium to address their chosen course, Kelly acknowledged that “there is a concern” about Cooper’s comments at a Kenny Chesney concert dividing the locker room, and said he knew this was not a situation that could just be swept under the rug.

“I think it’s gonna take some time…I don’t think this is a situation that’s gonna go away tomorrow,” he said. “And we certainly understand it.”

The argument can be made that Kelly is still dealing with the blowback from that decision to this day in some respects.

The head coach was asked to reflect on the move to stand by Cooper at Tuesday’s press conference. Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

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

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

Here’s what we saw during today’s session.

12:23 – We’ve mentioned on multiple occasions how Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz quarterbacks certain drills during practice. Chip Kelly was asked about that today.

“Every person in this building that can contribute is out there contributing,” Kelly said. “You’ll see guys that are in the video room catching passes. You’ve got guys out there with referee shirts spotting the ball for us. So anybody that can help us and make us better in practice can do it, and I’ve seen Ed throw. Ed can throw. He actually throws a couple times when we’ve been out on Pro Days or college visits, and it helps Cory [Undlin] coach. Instead of Cory being the guy that throws the ball in those drills, he’s got someone like Ed that can throw it.”

12:39 – I was asked recently to compare Sam Bradford’s arm strength to a number of different quarterbacks. Based on what I saw of him on film in St. Louis and what I’ve seen in practice, here’s how I would rank it (assuming full health): Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Reduced Role For Cooper?

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Let’s get to this morning’s question:

Financially, it doesn’t make any  sense to move on from Riley Cooper this year. His $4 million salary is now fully guaranteed — $3 million of that was already locked in, and the rest became guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year — so the Eagles might as well try to get some kind of bang for their buck.

What we could see is a reduced role for the five-year vet depending in part on how the young core develops. Read more »

Depth Chart Projection: Eagles Offense

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles begin OTAs a week from today at the NovaCare Complex, so now seems like a good time to take a look at their depth chart.

We’ll do the offense today and the defense tomorrow. Before the big unveil, a few notes:

  • This is a beginning depth chart, not necessarily what I expect it to look like in early September.
  • Having said that, for the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume that every player is healthy and in attendance.
  • Below the actual depth chart are position-by-position breakdowns. More than anything, this is meant to provide an overall look at where the roster stands, but there’s no harm in guessing where things might be headed in the coming months.

Without further ado… Read more »

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