Photo by Jeff Fusco
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Cowboys are inking a deal which will allow them to use virtual reality technology at practice.
And Chip Kelly said Tuesday that the Eagles could follow their divisional rival’s lead.
Per Recode, the virtual reality headset was developed by a startup called StriVR Labs. A camera is stationed behind the line of scrimmage. Players and coaches can wear the device afterwards and see a 3-D replay from various angles. Read more »
JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)
Here’s what we saw during today’s session.
12:23 – We’ve mentioned on multiple occasions how Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz quarterbacks certain drills during practice. Chip Kelly was asked about that today.
“Every person in this building that can contribute is out there contributing,” Kelly said. “You’ll see guys that are in the video room catching passes. You’ve got guys out there with referee shirts spotting the ball for us. So anybody that can help us and make us better in practice can do it, and I’ve seen Ed throw. Ed can throw. He actually throws a couple times when we’ve been out on Pro Days or college visits, and it helps Cory [Undlin] coach. Instead of Cory being the guy that throws the ball in those drills, he’s got someone like Ed that can throw it.”
12:39 – I was asked recently to compare Sam Bradford’s arm strength to a number of different quarterbacks. Based on what I saw of him on film in St. Louis and what I’ve seen in practice, here’s how I would rank it (assuming full health): Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Cary Williams wasn’t afraid to speak his mind when he was in Philadelphia.
And that’s continued now that he’s a member of the Seattle Seahawks.
During an interview with ESPN 710 in Seattle, Williams sounded off about Chip Kelly’s methods and what doomed the Eagles down the stretch last season. He was asked specifically about what was going through the players’ minds before their December matchup against the Seahawks.
“We were talking about the fact that our conditioning and things like that were going to kick in because we worked harder than everybody in the National Football League with the Chip Kelly thing,” Williams said. “When we got out there, we got our teeth kicked in, so all that conditioning didn’t necessarily work. The preparation wasn’t necessarily the greatest that week. So when you’re going up against teams that prepare, practice well, coach well, it’s difficult in games like that. And I think towards the end of the year, we were exhausted, and we got outcoached the majority of the games. Read more »
Brett Brown and Chip Kelly.
Here’s what we saw during Eagles OTAs on Monday.
12:25 – A shoutout to Andy Reid off the top today. We’ll start with injuries. DeMeco Ryans, Marcus Smith II, Earl Wolff and Julian Vandervelde are working off to the side. Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles are not here. The Eagles did not provide any reasons why. The OTAs are voluntary.
12:30 – I hate to keep providing video of the defensive linemen, but they are the guys who have been practicing closest to us. Here, they’re working on their pass-rush and their hands with Jerry Azzinaro. Read more »
During a seven-on-seven period at Monday’s practice, Sam Bradford set up in shotgun, dropped back, surveyed the field and lofted a ball down the right seam.
It was a beauty, hitting Zach Ertz in stride over the outstretched arms of inside linebacker Najee Goode.
The spring has featured several updates on Bradford’s left knee, and that will continue throughout the summer. But Monday offered encouraging signs as Bradford participated in more of OTAs than he had up to this point.
“Everything the past couple weeks has gone exactly how we wanted it to, and I think we’re gonna keep going with the plan,” Bradford said afterwards.
“They’ve been monitoring my workload, and it’s been increasing 10 to 15 percent each week, and I think we’re just gonna keep that increase.”
Fans in the Delaware Valley want a timetable, but Bradford is hesitant to provide one. The date that will bring about either hope or panic is Aug. 2. That’s when the Eagles start training camp.
“I hope so,” Bradford said when asked if he’ll be 100 percent at that time. “I’m excited about that date. I think if everything continues the way it has, I’ll be ready for that. Read more »
Photo By Jeff Fusco
From Allen Barbre’s comfort level to Byron Maxwell’s role to a Jordan Hicks-DeMeco Ryans comparison, here are three Eagles leftovers.
1. We know that the Eagles will enter 2015 with at least one new offensive line starter at right guard. And depending on what happens with Evan Mathis, that number could be two.
One of the players who has been talked up quite a bit is Allen Barbre. Barbre has started a grand total of eight games in seven seasons, including one with the Eagles. But if the Birds had to play a game tomorrow, chances are he’d be in the starting lineup.
While many assume there’s not much of a difference when it comes to a player lining up on the left side as opposed to the right side, that’s not always the case.
Asked how Barbre looks on the left side, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said: “Better than on the right. He’s a lot more comfortable. I think he’s been a left-side player for a long time. He was not generally on the right. We moved him on the right last year because we needed him to play multiple positions. But he had always been more comfortable as a left-side player by far. Ask him that right now. He’ll tell you that.” Read more »
Photo By Jeff Fusco
As Billy Davis addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon, the same topic seemed to surface over and over again.
How is this going to work with three starting-caliber inside linebackers?
“When we get to training camp, the competition will amp up, and it allows us to expand how many packages we run too,” Davis said. “So we can put some packages together where we get two and three inside backers in the same group. So there’s a lot of things we want to do. But right now it’s just about getting everybody up to speed and on an even playing field.”
Davis repeated some form of that response on multiple occasions. The basic gist was: We’ll make it work. There are ways. It’s only June.
It’s true that Davis could cook up a package to get DeMeco Ryans, Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks on the field at once, but it’s not like the Eagles are suddenly going to morph into a 4-3. The team has spent two-plus years working on the intricacies and nuances of a base two-gap 3-4. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Back in March, Chip Kelly was asked about the wisdom in trading for Sam Bradford, a quarterback who had played just seven games in the previous two seasons because of injuries.
Kelly’s response, coupled with the other moves he’s made this offseason, seem to indicate that he believes the Eagles may have a competitive edge when it comes to gambling on players coming off of injury.
“The history right now in terms of sports science and what doctors are doing now has moved forward,” Kelly said. “It’s unbelievable. Look at the year Jeremy Maclin had coming off of two ACLs. Look at our center. Jason Kelce came off an ACL when I first got there, had a sports hernia surgery in the middle of the season and still made the Pro Bowl. Our left tackle [Jason Peters] who’s arguably a Hall of Famer is coming off of two Achilles’ and has played at an outstanding level.”
The Eagles have not been scared off from targeting injured players this offseason. Ryan Mathews played just six games last year. Walter Thurmond has appeared in six games or fewer in three of his five NFL seasons. Miles Austin has missed 15 games the past four seasons. And there’s Bradford, as well.
The team guards its sports science methods like they’re matters of national security. But earlier this offseason, the Eagles quietly changed Shaun Huls’ title from sports science coordinator to director of sports science and reconditioning. The team declined to make Huls available for this story, and he has not spoken with the media since being hired, but Kelly has talked about reconditioning. Read more »
Duce Staley has seen a three-pronged rushing attack work before.
In 2003, he, Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook combined for 1,618 yards, but no back had more than 126 carries. The Eagles ranked third in rushing DVOA that season and finished with a 12-4 record.
Now Staley, the Eagles running backs coach, will be in charge of spreading the carries around among DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
“Yeah, it’s similar,” Staley said Wednesday afternoon. “When you look at ‘em, when you go back and check the pedigree of these three, these guys are all proven. These guys have definitely been successful throughout their career. So we brought ‘em all here, one big pot of gumbo. And I think we plan on running the ball.” Read more »
Jordan Matthews / Photo by Jeff Fusco
During a seven-on-seven period Tuesday, Jordan Matthews lined up on the outside opposite Byron Maxwell.
The defense simulated a blitz, and Mark Sanchez got rid of the ball quickly, targeting Matthews on a fade down the right sideline.
The second-year receiver tracked the ball beautifully and came down with an over-the-shoulder grab for a big play.
“I already turned the page,” Matthews said afterwards when reminded of the grab. “Don’t worry about that.”
Last year, in the four weeks leading up to the Seahawks game, Matthews had averaged 93.3 yards with four touchdowns. But against Seattle, Maxwell shut him down (two catches for 23 yards). It was the first time in eight games that he failed to notch a catch of 20+ yards.
Matthews remembers that game well and is embracing the opportunity to go up against Maxwell on a daily basis. Read more »