Zone Read: Eagles-Titans, the Day After

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Ever since Josh Huff played for Chip Kelly as a true freshman at Oregon in 2010, his head coach has asked the same question on the field before games.

Are you scared?

“He always asked me that before every game,” Huff said. “And every game I tell him the same answer: No I’m not scared, and I’m ready to make a play. And that was evident today.”

Huff was 7 yards deep in the end zone when he fielded the opening kickoff against the Titans. He said he knew regardless of where he received it, he was going to bring it out. And so he did.

Key blocks from James Casey, Trey Burton and Zach Ertz sprung Huff as he headed towards the right sideline. He delivered a stiff-arm to Titans kicker Ryan Succop at the Eagles’ 37 yard line and kept the ball in his right hand.

Near the Tennessee 20, he delivered a second stiff-arm, throwing a Titans defender to the ground. Huff crossed the goal line, faked a spike and tossed the ball behind him as his teammates began celebrating.

As he returned to the sideline, he got a handshake from Bryan Braman, a congratulatory headbutt from Chris Polk and a hug from his position coach, Bob Bicknell.

Then Huff met Kelly – his head coach for four of the last five seasons. They embraced for a few seconds, and Kelly had some words for the rookie wide receiver. Read more »

Eagles-Titans Notes: McCoy Breaks Loose

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles                                                                                   (photo courtesy of USA Today)

LeSean McCoy sized up the lectern quizzically and began fidgeting with the microphone as his postgame press conference began.

“Damn this feels big, tall,” said McCoy as he tried to settle in behind the podium, which is generally reserved for quarterbacks and players that have a big game.

“You haven’t been there in a while,” a reporter cracked, drawing laughs.

“He ain’t lying, though,” said McCoy, taking the jab in stride.
Read more »

Midseason Grades: Eagles Defense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

With eight games down and eight to go, let’s take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand. We’ll hand out grades for performances up to this point and project what’s in store for the months ahead.

Here’s the defense. We’ll get to the offense in a later installment. Read more »

Eagles Pass-Rusher Rankings

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

One of the most pleasant surprises for the Eagles through the first six games has been their ability to consistently generate a pass-rush.

In the last three games specifically, the defense did an excellent job of keeping Eli Manning, Austin Davis and Colin Kaepernick uncomfortable in the pocket.

And the way they’ve done it has been impressive. The Eagles don’t have a premiere pass-rusher whom offenses have to game-plan for every week. Instead, Billy Davis has done a good job with his calls, sometimes dialing up pressure and other times using the illusion of pressure to create one-on-one matchups.

Below is a look at how individual Eagles have performed. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Barwin And the Sack Surge

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Following the 27-0 demolition of the Giants Sunday night — in which Eli Manning was pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks –Brandon Boykin offered the following analysis:

“I felt like at one point [Manning] was more concerned with the pass rush than he was looking at his receivers,” said Boykin.

Consider that statement for a moment. Heading into the season, the pass rush was one of the biggest concerns surrounding this team. The early portion of the schedule did little to alleviate those worries, as the Eagles were blanked in the sack department in two of their first three games. Since then, an out-and-out explosion. The Eagles have generated 16 sacks in their last three games, including eight  during their shutout win over the Giants on Sunday night. Suddenly, they rank second in the NFL with 19 takedowns.

Leading the charge is Connor Barwin, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today. The five-year pro has a team-leading six sacks — all of which have come over the last three games. Read more »

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