Eagles Wake-Up Call: What Life’s Like For Marcus Smith II

Marcus Smith

Tra Thomas wasn’t wearing pads or a uniform. Instead, he was dressed in a black Eagles t-shirt and black shorts.

With his hat cocked to the side and dark sunglasses covering his eyes, Thomas settled into his stance at left tackle just as he’d done thousands of times throughout the course of his 12-year career.

Lined up across from him, angled to the left, was rookie Marcus Smith II. Thomas, now an assistant on Chip Kelly’s staff, started 174 games in the NFL and made the Pro Bowl three times. He’s seen 4-3 fronts, 3-4 fronts and everything in between. On some weeks, he faced the game’s best pass-rushers. On other occasions, guys that had no chance of getting past him.

In 1998, the Eagles took Thomas in the first round. In 2014, they took Smith. And on Monday after practice, the two were working together. Read more »

Cooper, Carroll Return; McCoy Sits Out

Cooper

The Eagles got good news on the wide receiver front today as Riley Cooper returned to practice fully for the first time since suffering a foot injury earlier this month.

“I’ve been running routes for about the past week, just vs. air,” Cooper said. “Today was the first day it was actually against somebody. It felt good.

“I’m gonna play this week… kind of just gradually get back into the swing of things. A couple plays to start every series, that’s kind of the routine we’re following.” Read more »

Notes: Kelly On Sanchez’s Trade Value, Injury Updates

Sanchez

Towards the end of today’s session with the media, Chip Kelly was asked about the future of quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has gone 18-for-22 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the first two preseason games. How would the Eagles weigh potentially trading him against keeping Sanchez on the roster as the backup?

“Good question, cause Mark has played well,” Kelly said. “But we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. So that’s not something we’re talking about because you’re just spending time on things that could happen, should happen… I don’t know. Read more »

Kelly: Pass Rush The Issue On Third Down

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Chip Kelly could have offered a generic answer about the front end and the back end working together.

He could have expanded on how disappointed he was with the penalties, or even just given credit to Tom Brady. But when asked about the issues the Eagles are having on third down, Kelly pointed directly to the guys up front.

“We need to generate a better pass rush,” he said. “I think our defensive line needs to do a better job in terms of what their rush contains are. We had the one play with [Ryan] Mallett where Marcus [Smith II] does a nice job, makes him flush up in the pocket, but we got nobody on that side containing the quarterback, and you let the quarterback scramble for a touchdown.” Read more »

Frustrated Kelly Sounds Off On Penalties

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — When Eagles players returned to the locker room following their 42-35 loss to the Patriots Friday night, they were greeted by a frustrated and stern Chip Kelly.

“Very strong,” said Cary Williams, when asked about the head coach’s message. “You could tell that he was frustrated. You could tell that he was upset about it. He wasn’t very happy about the way we played.

“He said he’s frustrated about penalties. He said that he wanted us to be better. We don’t practice like that. We shouldn’t play like that. We’ve gotta get our butts in gear and do something about it.” Read more »

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