Draft Daily: Alabama S Collins an Unlikely Option

Eagles Draft 2015
Kevin Liles / USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Liles / USA TODAY Sports

Between now and the draft, we’ll zero in on one prospect a day with an Eagles slant. If you have a player you want covered, let us know on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page.

THE BACK STORY

Before Ed Marynowitz landed with the Eagles in 2012, he directed Nick Saban’s recruiting efforts at Alabama.

And part of his last class in Tuscaloosa included Landon Collins, a defensive back who chose the Crimson Tide over LSU, much to the dismay of his Mom, who wanted the New Orleans native to stay in-state.

Much has been written about Chip Kelly’s inclination to bring on Oregon players. But given Marynowitz’s ties to Alabama (2008-2011), it’s reasonable to wonder whether the Eagles will see an influx of players from his former program. Read more »

Draft Daily: Why Chip Will Love USC WR Agholor

Eagles Draft 2015
Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

Between now and the draft, we’ll zero in on one prospect a day with an Eagles slant. If you have a player you want covered, let us know on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page.

THE BACK STORY

Chip Kelly continued his draft prep today, reportedly working out USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor in Tampa.

Kelly has not hidden the fact that he believes this is once again a deep and talented group of wide receivers. And Agholor has a lot of the attributes that Kelly finds attractive. In 2012, Kelly’s final season at Oregon, Agholor lit up the Ducks for six catches, 162 yards and a touchdown as a freshman. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Roseman’s Role In Negotiations

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Today’s question comes from reader Christopher, via e-mail:

A lot has been written about Chip overpaying on some of these contracts, such as the potential $3 million Austin can make if he achieves his incentives. How come Howie isn’t getting some of this flak? He is supposed to be the salary cap guy now, right?

The first question posed to Chip Kelly during last week’s roundtable was about why he felt Ed Marynowitz was better suited to fit his vision than Howie Roseman.

“I think we just tried to maximize everybody’s strengths,” Kelly said. “Howie does an unbelievable job from the contract side and cap side, and we’re just moving in a different direction from a personnel standpoint.”

Based on that statement, you’re right Chris. If Roseman’s handling the cap and contracts, then the criticism over how the Eagles are utilizing some of their finances should be directed towards him. But there’s a problem with this theory: It’s extremely difficult to envision a scenario where Kelly gives Roseman even an ounce of power in these negotiations. Read more »

Draft Daily: Arizona St. WR Jaelen Strong

Eagles Draft 2015
Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong. Ivan Pierre Aguirre / USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong. Ivan Pierre Aguirre / USA TODAY Sports

Between now and the draft, we’ll zero in on one prospect a day with an Eagles slant. If you have a player you want covered, let us know on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page.

THE BACK STORY

As names fly off the board in the first round of the draft, there will be plenty of people in Philadelphia glued to their TVs to see where Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong ends up.

The West Catholic product has roots in the city. His Dad, John Rankin, was a standout basketball player at Drexel, scoring 2,111 points, second in school history. He went on to serve as a detective in the Philadelphia Police Department before leukemia took his life when Strong was 9-years-old (good story here on Strong and Rankin from the Inquirer).

Strong was a standout high school athlete himself, but he didn’t have the grades to play Division I and ended up attending Pierce College (JUCO) in Southern California before eventually landing at Arizona State. Read more »

It’s Official: Eagles Sign WR Miles Austin

Miles Austin. Aaron Doster/USA Today

Miles Austin. Aaron Doster/USA Today

Miles Austin identified a few reasons for deciding to sign with the Eagles: the winning culture, the guys in the locker room and the proximity to his home town in New Jersey.

Those are all reasonable factors, but the truth is, it sounds like Austin didn’t have many (any?) other options.

“I didn’t visit anywhere [else],” Austin confirmed. “This is the only place I came.”

The Eagles officially announced Tuesday that they’ve signed Austin to a one-year deal. According to NFL Network, it’s worth $2.3 million, a curious amount for a player who didn’t seem to be generating much interest on the open market. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Bradford And the Zone Read

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

Today’s question comes from reader Andrew, via e-mail:

I have been waiting for an article discussing Sam Bradford and running the read option. It seems like the guy is already a risk to get hurt just staying in the pocket. Do we really want this guy running the read option 5-7 times a game? I already envision Sam tearing an ACL running to the sideline a la Mcnabb in 2006. Talk me off the ledge Sheil.

I imagine that when he’s surrounded by his peers, Chip Kelly speaks rather eloquently about the intricacies of the zone read and why it works/doesn’t work in certain situations. But with reporters, he’s usually not very forthcoming on this topic, Andrew.

Just last week at the owners meetings, Kelly was asked about the zone read.

“We don’t run as much zone read as you think we run,” Kelly said. “Probably less than two times a game.”

Can it be an effective tool at the NFL level?

“It depends on your personnel,” Kelly said. “I think the Seattle Seahawks run it outstanding. And it’s a real difficult play in terms of how they run it. But I think we’re maybe less than one a game in terms of running zone read plays. It’s not a big part of what we do.” Read more »

Report: Eagles, Austin Agree To One-Year Deal

Miles Austin. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Miles Austin. Photo courtesy of USA Today

The Eagles have signed wide receiver Miles Austin to a one-year deal worth $2.3 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Austin turns 31 in June. He appeared in 12 games with the Cleveland Browns last season and finished with 47 catches for 568 yards and two touchdowns. He was placed on injured reserve in December because of a kidney injury.

Prior to joining the Browns in 2014, Austin spent the previous seven seasons as a member of the Cowboys’ receiving corps. His best campaign came in 2009 when he racked up 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 scores. Hamstring injuries kept him out of the lineup for parts of the 2011 and ’13 seasons. He was released by Dallas in March of ’14 in a cost-cutting move.
Read more »

Maclin: ‘You Just Can’t Plug Guys In Anywhere’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

There was no bitterness in Jeremy Maclin’s voice.

He had hoped to stick with the Eagles for the next stretch of his career. He watched his former team throw out guaranteed dollars to outsiders like Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray. He said his decision wasn’t all about the money, while admitting that the contract obviously played a role.

But Maclin seemed happy when he addressed reporters at Todd Herremans’ charity event last week. And why shouldn’t he be? He got $22.5 million guaranteed, will be playing for the coach who drafted him and is returning to his home state.

Maclin even praised Chip Kelly, saying he believes in his former coach and expects the Eagles to be productive offensively for years to come.

The topic of how the Eagles will replace Maclin is one that will be discussed often between now and draft time. For the second year in a row, the Birds will return to training camp without their leading receiver from the previous year. Read more »

Ten Leftover Thoughts On the Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an eventful few days for the Eagles during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

We heard from Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday, from Chip Kelly on Wednesday and had numerous conversations with other people around the league.

If you haven’t caught up on all our coverage, I suggest starting at the beginning and doing so now. Meanwhile, here are 10 leftover thoughts on the state of the Birds. Read more »

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