What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Here’s the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
Gary Horton of Scouts, Inc. includes Jason Peters and Jason Kelce on his list of key players returning from injury:
Last season was basically lost for this duo with Kelce going out in Week 2 with a torn ACL and Peters missing the entire year with a ruptured Achilles. Chip Kelly’s new offense is tough to master for offensive linemen, so the Eagles need these veterans to be healthy. Kelce is smart, instructive, good in space and he makes all the line calls, while Peters is an elite run/pass-blocker. Kelly’s scheme requires O-linemen who can run and get in space — and both of these guys can do that.
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes about Cary Williams:
The Eagles are rebuilding, and while I know that’s a dirty word in the NFL, sometimes it’s true. This is a team that won four games last year and made a ton of significant changes. Of course they could contend this year. Stranger things have undoubtedly happened. But the likelihood is that the Chip Kelly Eagles will need a lot more time to get from where they were in January — and even where they are now — to where Kelly ultimately plans and hopes to take them. Williams is expressing the frustration that comes along with being involved in something that’s new and not yet established. Coming from Baltimore, he’s not used to that. This probably won’t be the last time he or someone else in that locker room is frustrated.
Chris Burke of SI.com thinks the looks Chip Kelly showed last week signal he doesn’t necessarily need a mobile QB:
The governing idea behind a spread offense — hence the name — is that by “spreading” the field sideline-to-sideline with personnel, the defense has to react in kind, thus leaving gaps and mismatches in key spots. When Vick is on the field, the Eagles can cash in on that by asking their QB to get outside; when Foles, Barkley or a less-mobile quarterback is in the game, Kelly can turn to formations like the stack and plays like this read-option with a WR screen to quickly push the ball wide.
Greg A. Bedard of MMQB offers first impressions of the Eagles:
The Eagles, by the way, are going to be really challenged this season. There is a severe lack of talent, and there’s obviously a big transition in offensive and defensive schemes going on. Philadelphia could be one of those teams that starts slow, but then builds some momentum into next season. Sort of like how the Dolphins, under Nick Saban, started 3-7 in his first season in 2005, but won their final six games. Miami’s momentum could have been carried over if Saban had picked Drew Brees over Daunte Culpepper—and if Saban hadn’t had one eye on the back door to Alabama.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles’ 26th in his power rankings:
Lost in the Riley Cooper shuffle: how much losing Jeremy Maclin means to coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Maclin was often the “X” receiver in the Eagles’ offense, a spot that the aforementioned Cooper will have to fill, especially with Jason Avant now manning the slot. And with Arrelious Benn (knee) also out, tight end Clay Harbor has logged some reps outside. The passing game in Philly should be interesting come opening night at Washington, and not just because of whoever’s at quarterback.
Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post likes what he sees from Jake Knott:
Knott has good size and strength and plays with power. He is a quick reactor who finds the ball, is active and makes plays. In this game, you knew he was on the field. He has good hand use and can get rid of blocks quickly. He is effective as a blitzer, showing a burst off a block to close and is a very good tackler. He has good ability to drop in coverage and plays with awareness. While I did not see his special teams play in this game I have no doubt that he can be a very good team’s player once the season starts. He has that kind of aggressiveness. Like Logan I doubt he will start this year, but should be a valuable backup at both inside linebacker positions.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles going 5-11 and finishing last in the NFC East.