Twitter Mailbag: QBs, DeSean And Picks

Eagles QB Mike Vick in red practice jersey
For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @MKevinBonner: Are the Eagles planning to sign a vet backup QB or will they roll with Barkley? ?

 Michael Vick is scheduled to visit with the Jets Friday. Seems like a very logical landing spot to me. If he’s off the market, the top five available quarterbacks (per Rotoworld) are Josh Freeman, Shaun Hill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kevin Kolb (who is expected to retire) and Colt McCoy. I don’t see anyone who would be an obvious choice over Barkley, who the Eagles seem to have some confidence in. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: On Sproles And Trade Winds

Darren Sproles
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A lot happening on the Eagles front. Let’s get right to it.

I like it. The Eagles dealt Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth-round pick to New England for a fifth-rounder, and used that to acquire Darren Sproles. Seems like good value to me.

More than that, I think he can be very effective in Chip Kelly‘s scheme. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Safety Needs

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
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From @pmeredith77: Why are people saying the Eagles won’t pursue Jairus Byrd or TJ Ward when mid-level safeties haven’t gotten it done in the past?

Many view the message coming out of the NovaCare as a smokescreen, but I really believe the Eagles have changed their thinking when it comes to free agency. They’re wary of sinking a large chunk of their available cash into a single player. On multiple occasions, Howie Roseman has likened free agency to an arranged marriage: you don’t know whether team and player are truly compatible until after pen has gone to paper.

The fact that Chip Kelly‘s time at Oregon overlapped with both Byrd and Ward’s takes some of the guesswork out of it. He has spent time around the players, and has a basic understanding of how they would fit into the Eagles’ defense and culture. That alleviates some of the concern. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: How Far Away Are They?

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Before we get started: DeSean Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl on Friday. He replaces Andre Johnson, who is not participating because of an unspecified injury, according to the league.

Jackson is the fifth Eagle selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, joining LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, Nick Foles and Evan Mathis. Peters has opted not to play in the game.

Now onto the mailbag: Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Great Expectations For Foles

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A change of pace today. There were a couple questions posed on 97.5 The Fanatic’s timeline that caught my eye, so I decided to run with them.

From @975TheFanatic: YES or NO? MT @phillysport: Nick Foles 14 career starts, @LesBowen says greatness is already expected of him. Fair?

Foles went 30-of-48 for 428 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in a 48-30 loss to Minnesota. (Just realized the final score and Foles’ completion numbers are the same. This guy is a wizard.) He finished with a 103.5 quarterback rating. Les points out that if Foles had this kind of outing a few months back, we would be lauding him. Now, “we’re looking for greatness” and therefor are more critical.

I think there is some of that going on. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Ratings And Expectations

Much of the credit goes to the offensive line in the Eagles' win over the Lions in the Lincoln Financial Field Snow BowlQuick note to get things started:

The Eagles-Lions game pulled a monster rating of 34.9 in the Philly market. Per the team, that is the third-highest rated 1 p.m. game dating back to 1997. The other two both came in 2004 during the Super Bowl run.

Also, the Week 16 Eagles-Bears game has been flexed to Sunday Night Football, bumping Patriots-Ravens to 4:25. There is a chance the Eagles-Dallas game gets flexed as well. The NFL typically makes that decision on Monday after the Week 16 games.

Now onto the Twitter questions. Read more »

Mailbag: A Chip In Motion Stays In Motion

0V3J1263For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @heemy224: Chip was mic’d up n showed lots of personality on inside the NFL imo.What is your perceived take on Chip’s personality so far?

Here is the video if you haven’t seen it.

Kelly, as depicted there, is just non-stop. “We’ve gotta go, we gotta go, get these guys going.” That’s his mindset in a nutshell.

His press conferences are held outside in a tent on the edge of the NovaCare practice fields. That’s in the name of efficiency (like everything he does), so he can just bounce right to practice as soon as he utters his last syllable, not a second lost. If the horn (indicating the start of practice) blows while the press conference is still ongoing, he’ll leave mid-sentence and sprint onto the field. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: What About Jairus Byrd?

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For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @dyurkanin: Why (or why not) should the Eagles pursue a trade for a key position of need? i.e. Josh Gordon or Jairus Byrd

Let’s focus on Byrd for a second. He is a fit for the Eagles on a couple levels. One, as you mentioned, he plays a “key position of need.” The secondary would be instantly improved. He also played his college ball at Oregon. Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator during Byrd’s final two seasons in Eugene, so there is a familiarity there. Kelly would have a pretty sound understanding of how he would fit into this defensive scheme. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: On Curry, Receivers and the Fatigue Factor

Riley Cooper 1On Thursdays we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @LardMuffin: Assuming the Eagles have their offense in high gear – Who will the altitude affect more? Eagles offense or Broncos D?

Altitude will affect the Eagles more. The Broncos are acclimated to the environment, the Eagles are not.  Plus, the Broncos are used to going up-tempo. They are averaging 71 plays per game on offense, which is just four less than league-leading New England, and five plays more than Chip Kelly‘s Eagles.

Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Is the Kelly Offense Sustainable?

Chip KellyOn Thursdays we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @phat_dy: Honestly, is this offense sustainable? Do you believe Kelly knows he can plug in Foles, which enables him to make these calls?

The question of sustainability is relevant, even if you remove the Michael Vick element from the equation.  Chip Kelly‘s Eagles will be running  a ton of plays and will be doing so at mach speed. One concern is that the team will get worn down as the season rolls on. I asked Kelly today whether that was ever an issue at Oregon, and if the extra four regular-season games in the NFL presents a challenge in that respect.

“No, I think our teams were always the freshest teams that played by and large,” Kelly responded. “We have a weekly schedule that we follow almost religiously in terms of when to work, when to recover and what not. So I think we have a plan in place that we put in place in April that is built for the long haul.”

Then there is the injury issue. Logic suggests that the more plays you run, the more times an offensive player is exposed to potential punishment and therefor injury. Certainly the main focus is Vick, who was knocked to the ground 15 times Monday night by Ron Jaworski’s count. To the second part of your question: I don’t believe that Kelly is being bold with his use of Vick because he has a solid backup plan in Nick Foles. But I do believe he realizes the importance of having a quality reserve in the NFL, especially when you are running this system with a QB as free-wheeling as Vick.

Kelly told us on Thursday that Foles still gets some first-team reps in practice.

From @FelskeFiles: I’m concerned the Eagles we saw in the 2nd half was the REAL Eagles and the 1st half Birds were a mirage. Chances I’m right?

The offense that you saw in the first half was the “real” Eagles offense: no-huddle, hurry-up, explosive, confusing. Kelly admitted that they took their foot off the pedal too soon. They slowed things down and were conservative for the most part in the second half. That was a learning-on-the-job moment for the first-year head coach and it didn’t cost them a win ultimately, so that’s a good thing.

Not sure what the answer is yet when it comes to the defense. To say that Billy Davis just went into “prevent” mode down the stretch is inaccurate. He kept the blitzes coming and got burned on it a time or two. RGIII appeared to pick up steam as the game went on, which was another factor. Losing Cary Williams for a stretch also hurt them and speaks to the potential depth issues in the secondary.

Overall I think the defense played well — certainly better than I thought they were going to. It’s safe to raise your expectation levels a notch based off their performance against the Redskins. I don’t think either half  of play fully represents their identity. Chances are, they’ll be somewhere in between.

From @xpler99: does poyer’s development push Boykin to the outside, and Fletcher to the bench?  Or is his role diminished with hughes back?

Bradley Fletcher‘s teammates sound confident that he will be able to play against the Chargers, but he did not practice on Thursday and remains a question mark after sustaining a concussion Monday. Brandon Boykin is expected to be moved to the outside if Fletcher can’t go.

Brandon Hughes (hand) is practicing this week and should be ready for Sunday. I think there is a chance he sees some action against San Diego, perhaps over Jordan Poyer. The rookie saw 17 snaps against the Redskins, and looked like he could still use some seasoning.

I thought Fletcher played well against Washington. I believe the starting job is his when healthy.

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