What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week, including one man’s evaluation of Nick Foles and a safety name to keep an eye on.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com takes a look at the 12 playoff teams and ranks them in order of how likely each is to return to the postseason next year. He has the Eagles seventh:

I don’t think Chip Kelly could have been much more impressive in his debut season as the Eagles’ head coach. Winning 10 games and ranking fourth in scoring would have been tough enough with a stable quarterback situation and established program. Kelly had neither. Yet, while Philly could be in good position to repeat atop a flawed NFC East, the 2014 schedule serves up tougher defenses. The Eagles will play the four NFC West teams and Carolina. Two other opponents, Tennessee and Houston, have good defensive personnel. Some of the teams Philly lit up last season — Oakland, San Diego and Chicago come to mind — aren’t on the upcoming schedule.

Andy Benoit of The MMQB looks at why NFC playoff teams got bounced:

Foles, because he takes such good care of the ball, is generally perceived to be an intelligent progression passer. But like most second-year quarterbacks, the reality is that he relies on his system and needs to have his progressions limited to two, maybe three, depending on the route designs.

Ashley Fox of ESPN.com writes that she would like to see Michael Vick in a Super Bowl before his career is over:

No, the Michael Vick I’d like to see play in a Super Bowl is the one who emerged from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., humble, appreciative and nearly broken. He is the one who didn’t take football for granted. He is the one who embraced the second chance then-coach Andy Reid, owner Jeffrey Lurie and the Philadelphia Eagles gave him when it seemed no one else would.

This Michael Vick is so different from the player and person the Falcons selected first overall in the 2001 draft that he is hardly recognizable. This Michael Vick gets it. He changed. He evolved. He grew up.

Brian Billick of NFL.com offers his thoughts on LeSean McCoy’s heavy workload in 2013:

The demise of the workhorse back is real. Though many have commented on the running game’s postseason resurgence, just two backs (Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy) eclipsed 300 carries this year. Counting pass receptions, McCoy logged a punishing 366 touches in the regular season. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles back can get anywhere near his 5.1 yards-per-carry average in 2014. In general, I think that the 300-carry running back is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com mocks Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to the Eagles:

Based on the strength of Chip Kelly’s offense, the Eagles won the NFC East. The Eagles finished 30th in pass defense over the regular season, however, making it easy to imagine which unit they’ll be looking to improve for 2014. Physical, athletic and instinctive, Pryor could be a significant step in the right direction.

Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com also has the Eagles going with Pryor:

Chip Kelly wants to get faster and tougher on defense and adding an impact safety would help. Pryor is a physical presence who can also cover with his rangy athleticism.

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