What They’re Saying About the Eagles
The 2014 NFL season is officially over, and we now can turn our focus to the upcoming offseason. Here is a rundown of what the national media have to say about the Eagles in 2015.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com re-graded every team’s 2014 offseason, dropping the Eagles from a B to a C+:
What we said then: Polian gave the Eagles an A grade for moves made to address the defense, and for the decision to remove DeSean Jackson from the equation. Williamson said he would much rather have Jackson than second-round pick Jordan Matthews, and predicted the offense would regress. A GM consulted independently said the Eagles settled for Marcus Smith in the first round of the draft after missing out on safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Following up: Smith played 63 snaps and made zero impact as the 26th player selected in the 2014 draft. Thirty other 2014 first-rounders played more snaps on offense or defense (Darqueze Dennard of Cincinnati was the only one to play fewer). Free-agent pickup [sic] Darren Sproles made a tremendous impact on special teams, but it’s tough to say the Eagles upgraded last offseason.
Sando also made his predictions for the 2015 playoffs, giving the Eagles the sixth seed in the NFC:
Arizona was a strong consideration here with Palmer returning and the front office set on restoring speed to the defense. I just think the Eagles have a better shot at the playoffs because their division could be more volatile at the top. Going with Philadelphia here would give us two non-playoff teams from 2014 in the NFC postseason field next season. I’ll be watching to see whether the Eagles have simply been unlucky with quarterback injuries or whether evidence mounts that quarterbacks are additionally vulnerable in Chip Kelly’s system.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld ranks all 32 rosters and has the Eagles at No. 17:
Free agent Mark Sanchez obviously isn’t the answer, and Nick Foles was a suspect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense long before his 2014 on-field step back followed by a year-ending clavicle injury. Pre-Combine rumors suggest the Eagles would love to trade up for Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. The free-agent quarterback market is barren.
Field Yates of ESPN.com believes that WR Jeremy Maclin is a prime target to receive the Eagles franchise tag:
Two years into the Chip Kelly era, there’s evidence that the Eagles’ offensive system can function with varying parts, as despite losing starting quarterback Nick Foles for nine-plus games, dealing with extensive offensive line injuries and a struggling ground game, Philadelphia finished third in scoring offense and fifth in total yards in the NFL in 2014. But that doesn’t make the system personnel-proof, and Kelly, who now has complete control of the 53-man roster, understands that. Maclin, coming off of a torn ACL, was brilliant last season, posting 85 catches, 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Yes, the Eagles drafted two receivers last year (and perhaps third-round pick Josh Huff can become a vertical threat due to his speed in time), but Maclin is too valuable — and too young (26) — to let walk away. The Eagles have managed a healthy cap situation, which makes absorbing the potential franchise tag value for a wide receiver (north of $12 million) feasible.
Maclin participated in SB Nation’s Super Bowl game show, Answer the Question:
Will Marcus Mariota return to the University of Oregon in 2015? Probably, but only to visit his little brother:
Matthew Mariota, little brother of former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, will walk-on with the Ducks next season, according to a source close to the situation.
Rob DeMello of KHON2 in Hawaii tweeted earlier this evening that Matthew Maritoa, a senior defensive end/linebacker out of Saint Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, would be attending Oregon.
A source confirmed to CSNNW.com that Matthew Mariota will join the team in the summer as a “preferred walk-on.”
Matthew Mariota is listed at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds. He will begin his career at Oregon as a linebacker.
Just in case you aren’t already sick of all the reminders that Super Bowl XXXIX happened 10 years ago, Bryan Armen Graham decided to tweet a picture of this article that would’ve been printed in the Boston Herald, had the Eagles won: