The recent hiring and firing decisions by Eagles coach Chip Kelly have had a lot of people scratching their heads and ranting and raving. But Cherry Hill resident and longtime Inquirer contributor Stephen A. Smith thinks he might just have figured out what’s motivating Kelly’s questionable decisions: racism. Read more »
INDIANAPOLIS — Before setting off on a two-hour, 45-minute voyage of a conference call with reporters this week, Mike Mayock took 30 seconds to provide an overview of the draft class that is set to descend on Indy for the Scouting Combine.
“I think [it’s] particularly deep at running back,” he said. “Although it might not be quite as deep at wide receiver as a year ago, it’s still going to be a very good wide receiver class. Correspondingly, it’s going to be very thin at quarterback and safety. And I think the rest of the positions are solid.”
Mayock certainly isn’t the only analyst/scout that is high on this running back class. The buzz isn’t quite as loud as it was for the historic wide receiver crop last year, but it’s at a pretty good hum.
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Ah, Riley Cooper. Just as people were probably starting to forget about that time that he was caught on video using the n-word at a Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field, TMZ happened to notice that Cooper is the featured player on the February section of the Eagles team calendar — February, of course, being Black History Month. Read more »
Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. We did quarterbacks yesterday. Now it’s onto the wide receivers.
STATE OF THE ROSTER
The big question here is whether the Eagles will be able to re-sign Jeremy Maclin. By all accounts, they want him back, and Maclin wants to return. But he’s not going to be cheap.
Maclin bet on himself going into 2014 and performed brilliantly, finishing with 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 TDs. If he hits the open market, there will most certainly be a lot of interest, and many have already speculated that Andy Reid and the Chiefs could get involved. The Eagles have the franchise tag in their back pocket. Maclin’s leverage? The Eagles’ wide receiver group would be one of the worst in the league without him. Read more »
It was an up-and-down year for the 2014 Eagles. From the shutout against the Giants to the Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas to the collapse down the stretch, the end result left players and fans with an empty feeling.
Having said that, now seems like a good time to wrap a bow around the year that was. Here are my 2014 end-of-year Eagles awards. Read more »
Chip Kelly said he didn’t spend much time studying Mark Sanchez‘s tape from New York, focusing instead on his skill set and physical attributes and relying more on the word of those who had been around him in a formal life.
“I talked to his college coaches more than I did that; I talked to his high school coaches and I knew what type of athlete he was and I knew what he could do,” he said earlier this month. “For me to study his tape from the New York Jets ‑‑ now I know other people studied his tape, but I personally didn’t study his tape because I know what he can do and I thought he could fit into our system.”
Sanchez had a sub-60 percent completion rate with the Jets. The Eagles felt that he could get closer to the level of accuracy he displayed at USC (64 percent), and sure enough, he has completed 64 percent of his throws in an Eagles uniform. There were elements of his game from New York that did carry over, though — namely, his propensity to turn the ball over.
Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys.
Mark Sanchez – In a game where the Eagles needed to maximize their opportunities on offense, Sanchez failed to capitalize and made too many mistakes. Although, to be fair, he was far from the only problem.
Overall, Sanchez went 17-for-28 for 252 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Per Pro Football Focus, he was 12-for-13 on throws under 10 yards. On attempts 10 yards or more from the line of scrimmage, Sanchez was 5-for-13. He did not complete a single pass that traveled 20 yards or more from the line of scrimmage and attempted just two. Read more »
Here’s a roundup of national media predictions for Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game.
During the offseason, figuring out ways to beat man coverage seemed like an obsession for Chip Kelly.
He saw how teams played the Eagles in his first season. They singled up receivers and used one high safety all season long. They needed the second safety in the box to help against LeSean McCoy and the Eagles’ prolific rushing attack. And playing man coverage was a simple solution to dealing with tempo.
Whenever the Eagles made an offseason move on offense – releasing DeSean Jackson, trading for Darren Sproles, re-signing Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, drafting Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff – Kelly noted the need for his receivers to be able to beat man coverage.
But there have been changes in Year 2. Most notably, teams have felt comfortable playing more zone. But why has that been the case? Read more »
The long ball has fallen off some since Mark Sanchez has taken over.
When Nick Foles was at the helm, he threw passes of 20-plus yards 19 percent of the time, resulting in nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Sanchez, meanwhile, has gone deep at a 13 percent clip and has one TD and a pair of picks. He started out with a bang, hitting Jeremy Maclin for a 52-yard pick-up down the middle on his first regular-season snap as an Eagle, but hasn’t connected many haymakers since.
There appears to be two key reasons for the shift in approach. Read more »