Eagles Wake-Up Call: Projecting Rookie Roles

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Over at the Philly Voice, Jimmy Kempski had a good post up on snap counts from rookies (draft picks) in 2014.

He found that only six teams got fewer snaps from their draft class than the Eagles. Jordan Matthews was the only pick who played more than 210 snaps for the Eagles last season. Marcus Smith played the second-fewest snaps among first-round picks.

What will these numbers look like next year? Below is a player-by-player look at the Eagles draft picks, what we saw in the spring and where things stand with each guy going into training camp. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Russell Wilson Hypothetical

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Today’s question comes via Twitter:

Let’s start with a disclaimer: Russell Wilson most likely isn’t going anywhere. But it’s June, we all have the football itch, and these are the types of questions fans casually discuss while we wait for training camp. So it doesn’t hurt to at least address it.

Wilson is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2016 season. According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, he wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL. So what are the Seahawks’ options? Read more »

Giants’ Weatherford Takes Jab At Eagles QBs

Steve Weatherford (Noah K. Murray/USA Today)

Steve Weatherford (Noah K. Murray/USA Today)

It’s not exactly LeSean McCoy vs. Osi Umenyiora.

But it’s June 28, so it’s something.

Giants punter Steve Weatherford appeared on WFAN recently and took a jab at the Eagles quarterbacks, according to NJ.com. Weatherford said he wouldn’t want Tim Tebow taking any snaps for his team and then weighed in on Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford. Read more »

Football School: Three Things We Learned This Week

Rich Kotite (USA Today)

Rich Kotite (USA Today)

Like many of you, I am a football consumer. And one reason I like this slow period from mid-June to early August is I can catch up on things I’ve been meaning to read, watch, listen to, etc.

So each week between now and training camp, I’ll share three items I find interesting. Here’s the first edition.

1. Bringing the Heat by Mark Bowden has been sitting on my shelf for a couple years. It chronicles the story of the 1992 Eagles, one of the first teams I remember following. The book is filled with colorful anecdotes and really illustrates how much has changed since that era.

Bowden tells one story of Marvin Hargrove, an undrafted free agent wide receiver who made a splash during training camp. Many around the team apparently felt Hargrove was getting a bit too cocky with his success. So one day, athletic trainer Otho Davis decided to knock him down a peg. He “gave him a couple of pills and rigged one of his famous menthol heat balm wraps that set Marvin’s nuts on fire – as intended.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles To Reportedly Add OL Moffitt

John Moffitt (Chris Humphreys/USA Today)

John Moffitt (Chris Humphreys/USA Today)

In 2013, John Moffitt decided he’d had enough of the NFL.

A 2011 third-round pick by the Seahawks, Moffitt started 15 games at guard before being traded to the Broncos. In the middle of his first season with Denver, Moffitt announced he was retiring at the age of 27.

“I just really thought about it and decided I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all,” Moffitt told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Seattle. “And I think it’s really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money.

“Everybody, they just don’t get it and they think it’s crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy.”

Less than two years later, Moffitt has had a change of heart, and according to Ross Jones of Fox Sports, he’s signing a one-year deal with the Eagles. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com thinks the Eagles have the best backfield in the league:

NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Ravens, Browns and Eagles, also placed Philly at No. 1, saying: “Murray gets all the headlines and attention, but I’m even more intrigued to see what the role is for Mathews and Sproles. The way they do it, you go out there for a series. I think it’s going to be a good fit. I kind of worry about those secondary runners when you get a carry here, a carry there. But the Eagles with their tempo, (Mathews is) going to get a full series and he’s going to get a chance to get into a rhythm.”

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Can Lane Johnson Make the Leap?

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

In some ways, Lane Johnson has become a forgotten man on the Eagles offensive line.

Jason Kelce has emerged as a team spokesman of sorts. Jason Peters gets national accolades every year. And there’s been plenty of talk about Allen Barbre and Matt Tobin, guys who will be asked to take on bigger roles in 2015.

Many expected Johnson to make the second-year leap in 2014, but he was suspended for the first four games of the season and couldn’t even be in the team facility until the end of September.

“You could tell in the first game that he had been away from it a little bit in the Rams game,” said offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. “And then you could see as the year went on he progressively improved and got better.”

Johnson improved in pass protection, and while he was fine as a run blocker, he’s yet to become a consistent, dominating force. This offseason, he decided to try something new, spending time at Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable Performance Center in West Hollywood, Calif. Read more »

Eagles 53-Man Roster Projection

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Let’s get the usual disclaimers out of the way:

  • It’s only June, and the Eagles haven’t even practiced in pads yet.
  • There will be more roster moves made between now and September.
  • Players unfortunately will get injured.

Having said all that, providing an early 53-man roster projection allows us to at least get a handle on what camp battles should be taken seriously come August.

It’s also just a fun exercise for the sleepy days of late June. And we’re pro-fun here at Birds 24/7. So here you go: Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Matthews’ Role in 2015

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

During his first practices as a rookie, Jordan Matthews made a habit of finding the end zone.

Whenever he caught the ball, he would take off in a sprint towards the goal line before eventually returning to the line of scrimmage. Chip Kelly was asked last week about Matthews’ routine.

“In football, the play ends on a whistle,” Kelly said. “So when the whistle blows, stop running. That was the conversation.”

When the regular season started, Matthews had no problem finding the end zone, scoring eight touchdowns as a rookie.

Raymond Summerlin of Rotoworld recently put together a piece on red zone production. He found that Matthews scored on 38 percent of his red zone targets, ranking 16th among all wide receivers and ninth among those who were targeted 10 times or more. Read more »

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