What They’re Saying About the Eagles
From draft buzz to early 2014 rankings, here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
The Eagles rank fifth on Will Leitch’s Sports On Earth list of the most tortured fan bases:
Every team’s fans want a championship, but I think you can make an argument that no team’s fans want a championship more than Eagles’ fans. It’s not particularly healthy, all told, and I’m not sure they deserve one as much as some others, but the coach and quarterback who bring a title to Philadelphia will be lionized. And then of course hit with something. But lionized first.
Peter King of The MMQB has the Eagles ninth in his power rankings:
Ran into a lot of Eagles fans in Super Bowl week. I think they love Chip Kelly as much in year one as they loved Andy Reid in any of his 14 years.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld ranks all 32 rosters going into the offseason. He has the Eagles at No. 11:
Defense, defense, defense. The Eagles could use talent injections at all three levels, with safety as the most glaring deficiency. Strong safety Nate Allen’s rookie deal is up, and free safety Pat Chung is fully expected to be released. Fifth-round pick Earl Wolff failed to distinguish himself in his first NFL season. Philadelphia may very well open next season with two new safety starters.
Dan Greenspan of NFL.com writes that Chip Kelly and Pete Carroll may share a similar advantage:
Carroll had the advantage of knowing what players are like — their personalities, strengths and weaknesses — long before NFL teams were started their draft evaluations.
It is an approach that the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills seem to be trying to replicate. Former Ducks head coach Chip Kelly brought six Pac-12 alums to the Eagles. Ex-Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone uncovered a gem for the Bills in undrafted cornerback Nickell Robey from USC, who had nine tackles in a home-and-home series with the Orange in 2011 and 2012.
The FoxSports.com crew has the Eagles ninth on its list of 10 teams poised to make a Super Bowl run in 2014:
Chip Kelly’s first season in the NFL was a success, to put it mildly. Once quarterback Nick Foles was able to find comfort in the offense, they won seven of their last eight games. Linebacker Connor Barwin said recently that he thinks “there’s going to be a lot of growth from Year 1 to Year 2” when it comes to Philly’s defense. The Eagles will need to make decisions at the wide receiver position, however, as Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper are free agents. The NFC East will always be a competitive division, but Philadelphia will continue to ascend as Kelly gets his guys in house.
Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting has the Eagles taking Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward in the first round:
Jimmie Ward may not be a household name now, but he dominated during Senior Bowl week at both cornerback and safety, and showed that he can be an idea fifth defensive back. He can play the slot if they want to keep Brandon Boykin outside full time as well.
Kelly compared Russell Wilson to Bruno Mars, per The 700 Level:
Wilson joined the Fox Sports 1 crew after the win and was asked about his long locks. Howie Long then passed along a message he received from Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.
“You know what Chip Kelly texted me after the halftime, he said, ‘why is Russell Wilson performing at halftime?’ Bruno Mars, the hair.”
Dan Kadar of SB Nation has the Eagles taking Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard with the No. 21 pick:
On one hand, you could argue the Eagles were last in the NFL in pass defense because they were on the field so often. On the other hand, you point out that neither Bradley Fletcher nor Cary Williams should be long-term solutions on the outside. Dennard is a press specialist who can hang with big receivers and is quick enough to stick with shifty pass catchers.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 11th in his power rankings:
They have their quarterback in Nick Foles — they think — and now they have a chance to do even more now that he’s gained the experience.