Camp Notes: Wolff And the Knee

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Earl Wolff was a full participant Sunday after sitting out team drills the previous two sessions with a sore knee. Wolff strongly hinted afterwards that it was the same right knee that sidelined him down the stretch last season.

“It was a little sore but it feels a whole lot better. I might be on a little bit of treatment. I’m feeling good, though,” said Wolff.

The second-year safety is confident that this won’t be a lingering issue.

There was some cloudiness last season when it came to Wolff’s hyperextended knee and whether he and the training staff were on the same page. There were rumblings late in the season that Wolff had been given the green light for a return but decided to hold  himself out.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was that. It might have been something similar to that,” Wolff said back in early January. “And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to play, I just felt like if I would have went out there, I wouldn’t have been able to play my game.”

Chip Kelly sounded like he was expecting Wolff to practice in full on Friday when he last addressed the media, but that turned out not to be the case. Prior to Sunday’s practice, Kelly phrased it this way:

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Riley Cooper In Walking Boot

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Riley Cooper was wearing a boot on his right foot when spotted outside of the NovaCare Complex Friday.

“He’s got a foot injury. It’s just a preventative thing,” said Chip Kelly. “He should be back in a couple days.”

Cooper has been sidelined since Monday with the foot ailment.

Kelly sounds optimistic that this is a short-term deal, but it does make you think about the receiver depth on this team. Kelly was asked how he feels about his reserves. Read more »

On Cooper And the DeSean Theory

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

One common theory regarding Riley Cooper is that much of his success in 2013 was made possible because of the attention DeSean Jackson received on the other side. Some are skeptical whether Cooper will be able to post similar numbers this season now that Jackson resides in D.C.

Jeremy Maclin, for one, isn’t buying it.

“I think his production came because he went out there and made plays,” said Maclin, who maintains that the only receiver in this league that draws double teams is Calvin Johnson — and that’s only on the goal line. “Obviously you have a guy on the other side who is pretty good as well but teams aren’t going to get beat by focusing on one person the whole game. That’s not how it works in this league. When people say that it baffles me.”

What can’t be denied is that Cooper — who ended with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight touchdowns last year — found himself in a whole bunch of one-on-one situations, which certainly helped his cause. According to second-year tight end Zach Ertz, that’s unlikely to change this year even without Jackson on the team. That’s because the man truly responsible for the single coverage is still on the roster. Read more »

All-22: Double Posts In the Red Zone

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Chip Kelly doesn’t understand the typically accepted definition of the red zone.

“It’s always kind of been humorous to me where the line, the 20, became the official red zone,” he said during a PhiladelphiaEagles.com video last year. “It starts at the 20. And if you’re at the 21, it’s not a red zone.

“The red zone for us is the scoring zone. So what’s the yard to gain for us? And if we don’t score, can we put our field goal team out on the field and kick a field goal? Usually if it’s a good day, no weather involved, it’s somewhere between the 33- and 35-yard line. And that’s where the red zone starts for us offensively. For our defense, it’s the same thing.”

Regardless, one concept Kelly went to when the Eagles reached that scoring zone was double posts – a common red-zone call around the NFL. Read more »

Bicknell On DeSean, State Of Receivers

Jeremy Maclin

Many of the offseason questions for the Eagles surround the wide receiver position, so we spent a good portion of Monday’s session with the assistant coaches at Bob Bicknell‘s table for his read on the state of the receivers. Here’s what we came away with:

Bicknell might be best known in Philadelphia for his flap with DeSean Jackson on the sidelines in Minnesota back in December. This led to speculation that the coach and player had a strained relationship — a theory that gained steam when Jackson was shown the door back in March. Not so, according to the receivers coach. Read more »

All-22: Close-Up On Kelly’s Use Of the Mesh

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Chip Kelly went into his first year unsure of exactly how opposing defensive coordinators would match up with the Eagles.

What he found out fairly quickly was that the most common strategy was a ton of man coverage. Crowd the box against LeSean McCoy, play with one deep safety and force the Eagles’ passing attack to make plays over the top.

For the most part, Kelly had answers. The offense set franchise records for yards, points and touchdowns. The Eagles also led the league in pass plays of 20+ yards. And one of the most popular concepts the Eagles employed against man coverage was the mesh.

To break down the mesh concept, we called on Villanova wide receivers coach Brian Flinn. Flinn has studied Kelly’s offensive concepts for years and was kind enough to go over the intricacies of this particular one with Birds 24/7.

Meanwhile, Kelly did a film series with PhiladelphiaEagles.com and talked about this play at various points throughout the season. His explanations are also mixed in. Read more »

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