Three Eagles-Colts Pregame Thoughts

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

INDIANAPOLIS – Here are three thoughts on the Eagles as we count down to kickoff.

1. Chip Kelly insists he didn’t go into last season with any preconceived notions about life in the NFL. That applied to big-picture stuff, but it also applied to on-field game-planning and specifically how teams would defend his offensive attack.

What he discovered was that the strategy of choice was a lot of man coverage. The Eagles’ run game was lethal, and teams had to guard against it. That meant loading the box, playing with a single high safety and daring Nick Foles and the receivers to beat them. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: How Sunday Affected the Eagles

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins

Like many of you, I spent all of Sunday parked in front of the TV watching non-Eagles action around the league. Below is a roundup of some of the highlights that specifically relate to the Birds.

* We have to start in Washington where the Redskins beat the Jaguars, 41-10, but saw their season take an unexpected turn when Robert Griffin III suffered a dislocated ankle in the first quarter. According to The Washington Post, Griffin will have an MRI and X-rays today, but there are indications that his season could be over.

Kirk Cousins completed 22 of 33 passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions against a Jacksonville defense that has looked terrible early in the season. In eight career games prior to Sunday, Cousins had completed 56.2 percent of his passes, averaged 6.5 YPA and tossed eight touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Still, there’s been plenty of clamoring that he’s deserved a shot to play. And barring surprising news with Griffin, it appears that’s about to happen. Read more »

Three-And-Out: Eagles-Colts Predictions

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Player I’ll be watching

Kapadia: Nick Foles

I’ll go ahead and take the lay-up.

If you were to hook Chip Kelly up to a lie detector test and ask him when he really learned who Nick Foles is, I believe he’d say the Raiders game in 2013.

Foles was coming off a nightmarish start against the Cowboys where he suffered a concussion. He sat out the following week, but then was thrust back into action. Yes, it was only the Raiders, but he responded with a seven touchdown performance and never looked back the rest of the season. Read more »

Three Eagles Leftovers

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly called it a notebook. Cody Parkey said it was a binder.

Either way, the head coach is impressed with the way his new kicker charts his performance on a daily basis.

“Practice and games, makes and misses,” Parkey said. “I go in and watch what I do good, what I do bad and what I can improve on every day. If I’m having a bad day of kicking, I can go back and say, ‘I went 10 for 10 this day. What did I do here? What I did do on the bad day?’ Compare ‘em so when I come back the next day, I know what I need to do to better myself.”

As part of his daily routine, Parkey now watches all his kicks on film with special teams coach Dave Fipp. In addition to charting makes and misses, he takes notes on mechanical strengths and weaknesses. He’s been doing it since his college days at Auburn and believes the daily evaluation will serve him well at the NFL level. Read more »

All-22: Strong Start For Eagles Defense

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Billy Davis is expecting improvement on the defense to come from two separate areas.

One is that players from last year are more comfortable in the Eagles’ 3-4. And two is that he’s now able to add more layers to the scheme.

“Looking at last year, a lot of things we did, we were growing into this,” Davis said. “And it’s nothing more than a progression of growth from the end of last year to again a couple pieces we added and a couple schematic things we added to it and just threw it all at them. We will continue to grow that and hopefully continue to grow that way with both the understanding they have in our scheme and the scheme itself.”

Sunday’s Week 1 win against the Jaguars was a good start. It must be noted that Jacksonville could end up being one of the five worst offenses in the league. But after a couple lapses early, the Eagles’ defense dominated in the second half. Jacksonville was held scoreless on eight second-half possessions: five punts, a turnover on downs, a fumble and the end of the game.

The pass-rush, a question mark going into the season, looked like a strength against the Jaguars’ below-average offensive line. And players like Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks turned in outstanding individual performances. Below is a look at what we saw in Week 1. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Testing Chip’s Depth Theory

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Back in June, Chip Kelly sat at the head of a conference table at the NovaCare Complex and answered questions from a group of reporters about his coaching philosophy.

With Kelly, it seems nearly everything stems from the way practices are structured. So he went on for awhile about why the Eagles move at such a fast pace.

“The only reason we practice fast is because we want to get more plays in,” he said. “And if we get more plays in, guys will get more reps. The more times they get reps, the better they get as a player.

“We have 90 guys on our team that we’re trying to improve on a constant basis. So how do we improve them or make decisions or evaluate them if we never get a chance to have them on film? I’ve never understood that – in the offseason especially. I hear stories of other teams where the threes don’t get any reps. Well, how do you know if the threes are any good or not? And how do you know why they’re threes? They could be twos if you ever put them on the field and give them the opportunity and put them on film and say, ‘Hey, this guy’s pretty good.’ ” Read more »

All-22: What We Saw From Foles In Week 1

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During his post-game press conference Sunday, Chip Kelly pointed out that he did not throw any chairs during halftime against the Jaguars.

Eight scoreless possessions through two quarters did not call for any grand adjustments. The Eagles saw what Jacksonville was doing defensively – a heavy dose of Cover 3 – and felt like they had the right answers in their arsenal.

“Halftime wasn’t a major, ‘Hey, we have to overhaul this whole thing. …We took the wrong approach coming into this. They are doing what we didn’t expect them to do,’ ” Kelly said. “Really they played right to the schedule in terms of what they were doing. They played a lot more zone than they played man.

“It’s not like things weren’t there. We had plays. We didn’t change anything. If you watch the game what we did, there wasn’t a huge change from a play-call standpoint in terms of what we were doing in the second half from what we were doing in the first half.”

The tape reflects Kelly’s comments. Cover 3 leaves the seams open, and that’s where the Eagles attacked with their wide receivers and tight ends all game long. But on multiple occasions, Nick Foles had trouble taking advantage. Read more »

Eagles Add WR Hamilton To Practice Squad

NFL: Preseason-Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals

The Eagles have added a 10th player to their practice squad: wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.

Hamilton (6-2, 212) ran a 4.56 at the combine in 2013, and the Bengals selected him in the sixth round of that year’s draft. He played his college ball at Arkansas and had a productive career, catching 90 balls for 1,335 yards in 2012 – both school records. Read more »

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