All-22: The Emergence Of Zach Ertz

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With 5:15 left in the third quarter of Monday night’s game against the Colts, the Eagles needed someone to step up and make a play.

They were trailing 20-6 and faced a 3rd-and-11 from their own 43. They had a good hunch of what the Colts were going to do on defense: rush three and drop eight.

Zach Ertz lined up in the slot. He would run an over route downfield to the opposite hash mark. Read more »

Marcus Smith Now Practicing At Inside LB

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles first-round pick Marcus Smith II has yet to play a snap this season.

In Week 1, he was in uniform, but did not get on the field. In Week 2, he was one of the Eagles’ seven inactives.

It could be awhile before Smith contributes, but the Eagles have decided to try a different plan – for now. Smith spent the entire practice today working at inside linebacker, not outside linebacker. Read more »

Kendricks Misses Practice, Is ‘Day To Day’

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Inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks left Monday night’s game against the Colts in the second half with what he called a calf strain.

But Kendricks was not practicing during the portion of today’s session open to the media.

“He’s day to day,” said Billy Davis. “I’ve got a plan for either [way], and obviously without him practicing today, we’ll see where that is. We’ll have the other guys get the reps. Toward the end of the week, we’ll have a better feel.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘More Than Just Two Weapons’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The question posed to Chip Kelly was about the Eagles’ starting wide receivers.

The answer revealed a little something about the head coach’s philosophy and the reasons behind some of the team’s offseason moves.

“The good thing about this group is we’re built in a manner that I think we have more than just two weapons,” Kelly said. “So if for some reason they’re going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go try to play press man and play those guys out there.’ Then we have to be able to beat you other places. That is one of the reasons it happened to us last year. I think bringing Jordan [Matthews] in, and getting [Zach] Ertz a little more playing time and getting another running back in there is: Who is going to match up with your inside guys? We got into that situation last year, and our outside guys got shut down. So now you have to get to your slots and tight ends.”

The term shut down certainly got my attention. The Eagles set franchise records in yards and points a year ago. By any statistical measure, Year 1 of Kelly’s offense in the NFL was a success. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Colts, the Day After

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the Eagles facing a 2nd-and-goal from the Colts’ 19 yard line, Darren Sproles set up in the backfield to the right of Nick Foles.

The quarterback handed him the ball, and Sproles initially headed to the left, where his blocking was. But there was no hole, and the cutback was open, so he brought it back to the right side. Foles was a couple yards behind him carrying out his fake.

At the 15, there was safety Mike Adams waiting. Sproles juked him and headed further to his right where there was open field. At the 7, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson closed in and made contact, but didn’t wrap up. Another Colts defender went low, and cornerback Darius Butler tried to help out as well. Read more »

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