What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here are some Eagles-related links for your enjoyment this weekend.

Matt Williamson of ESPN.com takes a look at the Eagles’ secondary:

One carryover is Brandon Boykin, who played well as a rookie and should be the ideal nickel cornerback going forward. The starters at corner, Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams, have plenty of questions around them. I don’t see either player as close to being a true No. 1 cornerback, but if they can show some consistency it will be an improvement for Philadelphia at the position.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld offers some thoughts on the Eagles’ offense:

One of the more compelling Eagles stats I found was 685:373. That was Kelly’s astonishingly lopsided run-to-pass ratio with the 2012 Oregon Ducks. While his NFL offense is unlikely to be identical, it’s more confirmation Kelly is a believer in the run game as his foundation. The number bodes well for LeSean McCoy and projected No. 2 back Bryce Brown. Last season, Kelly gave Ducks starting runner Kenjon Barner 23 touches a game, and “backup” De’Anthony Thomas 10.5.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com identifies the most-improved position groups around the league:

The Eagles topped our list of the teams benefiting from the return of injured players, largely because left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce and right guard Todd Herremans are all expected back at full strength after missing at least half of the 2012 season. Throw in No. 4 overall pick Lane Johnson at right tackle, and this offensive line might be the most athletic in the league.

New coach Chip Kelly clearly has designs on featuring the tight end in his offense, signing the versatile James Casey and drafting tight end Zach Ertz in the second round to complement Brent Celek.

Football Outsiders recently released its play-action data from the 2012 season. The Eagles used play-action on 26 percent of their pass plays, seventh-most in the NFL. But they didn’t have a lot of success, managing a DVOA of -0.9, which ranked 25th.

Overall, the best play-action team in the league was the Washington Redskins. Football Outsiders has not posted the defensive play-action rankings yet, but you can bet the Eagles will rank near the bottom. This offseason, safeties have talked about how defending play-action was difficult because of their run responsibilities. We’ll find out in Week 1 against the Redskins what kind of difference the new scheme makes.

Finally, Pat Shurmur talked to PhiladelphiaEagles.com about the offense, and Bleeding Green Nation transcribed some of his comments:

“A lot of the concepts that you see in everybody’s passing game are similar. What’s in vogue is that we want to say this offense is this or that offense is that. What we want to do is put together an offense that is successful in the NFL and the inspiration for a lot of is coach Kelly and what he’s done. ”

“But we’ve got a lot of coaches that are working together for the first time. We’ve got varied experiences and so we want to put together an offense that will work in this league. “

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