What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com draws a Matt Barkley/Tom Brady comparison:

Matt Barkley could be the next Tom Brady and should be the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback of the future.

Don’t laugh. That statement is based on my belief that the Eagles’ fourth-round selection steps into a perfect situation that sets him up for individual success, while giving a championship-starved franchise a young quarterback with the pedigree to carry Philly over the threshold. With veteran Michael Vick ahead of Barkley on the depth chart right now, it’s a situation reminiscent of Brady playing behind Drew Bledsoe for a season in 2000 before emerging to take over the New England Patriots’ offense in 2001.

SI.com’s Don Banks puts the Eagles’ playoff chances at 50/50:

There’s so much change underway in Philly, and that usually requires an acclimation period of sorts and enduring the baby steps phase of the rebuilding process. But Chip Kelly doesn’t really strike us as the patient type, and if he can find a hot hand at quarterback, solidify the offensive line and shore up that sieve-like secondary, the Eagles have the skill-position weapons to win with. This isn’t a club facing a three-year slog back to contention.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com ranks the Eagles’ offensive line No. 14 in the NFL:

The Eagles rank in the top half of the NFL’s offensive lines because they’re loaded with up-front talent. They just couldn’t stay healthy last year. All-Pro Peters tore his right Achilles’ twice and didn’t play a down. Kelce lasted two weeks before tearing two knee ligaments. Herremans missed eight games with a dislocated foot. Watkins has chronic ankle problems and is a bust. Mathis was the only healthy starting lineman last season, and he is now recovering from ankle surgery. No. 4 pick Johnson is a fantastic fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense, and this line has top-five potential, but the unit warrants a conservative ranking due to so many injury concerns.

Michael Vick gets one final chance, writes ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox:

Vick must prove it. He must prove that, even though he will turn 33 next month, he still has the speed and mobility to run away from defenders. He must prove his arm can be as accurate as it is strong. He must prove he can read and react at the pace Kelly demands. And he must prove he can lead a team that quit on its previous coach.

In his QB rankings for CBSSports.com, Will Brinson has Vick 21st:

Twice upon a time Vick’s been a quarterback destined for greatness. But his inability to protect the football and stay healthy has him on thin ice in Philadelphia; he could very much end up thriving in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and surge up this list, but as it stands right now, there are too many issues with Vick’s ball security, accuracy, ability to read defenses and age to completely trust him.

Matt Mosley of FoxSports.com has some unflattering things to say about new Eagles RB Felix Jones:

The Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Greater Philadelphia received some wonderful news Tuesday when the Philadelphia Eagles signed former Cowboys running back Felix Jones to a one-year contract. The former Cowboys second-round pick showed up for training camp in July at least 10 pounds overweight, and promptly failed a conditioning test.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com only has one Eagles player in his top-100, and that’s Evan Mathis at No. 47:

The Eagles line was horrible for most of 2012, but Mathis was as good as any left guard in the league. He is tough and he can move.

Sean McCormick of Football Outsiders/ESPN.com writes that the Eagles’ biggest red flag is still the secondary:

The problem is that, at least on paper, the team did a much better job of finding replacements at safety than at cornerback. Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung are both young, productive players with good draft pedigrees. There are reasons why these two players were available in free agency: both are injury risks, and Chung was benched in New England because Bill Belichick felt Chung freelanced too often. Still, the talent makes both players very worthwhile gambles. The free-agent additions at cornerback have less upside.

Ronde Barber tells SI.com’s Peter King about the one play he’ll always remember:

“I think the play I will always remember came in Philadelphia [in the 2002 NFC Championship Game]. That’s the year we went to the Super Bowl. But it was the fourth quarter, and we’d been showing blitz a lot that day. I had a sack earlier in the game. So I came into a gap when Donovan was getting ready to get the snap. He saw me, and the ball got snapped, then I was back [into coverage]. I thought he’d throw hot to Antonio Freeman, and quick, that’s what he did. I saw him throw, I cut in front of Freeman and just said to myself, ‘Don’t drop it!’ And then, all that space in front of me [92 yards), and I scored. Just surreal. Two weeks later, we’re in the Super Bowl. My wife still cries when she sees that play. And I saw Donovan’s mom after the game. I had three touchdowns against him over the years, and she said to me, ‘Why do you keep doing this to my boy?’

Josh Katzowitz of CBSSports.com has Connor Barwin at No. 10 on his list of impact free agents:

The big question surrounding Barwin is whether he’s the player who scored 11.5 sacks in 2011 or the one who accumulated only three sacks last season. Perhaps in Philadelphia, Barwin can be the star of the front seven — which J.J. Watt would not have allowed in Houston.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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