Eagles Wake Up Call: Leftovers From Day One
INDIANAPOLIS — A few notes and nuggets to pass along as we turn our attention to Day 2 of the NFL Scouting Combine:
* While most of quarterbacks will address the media today, former Oregon QB Bryan Bennett spoke on Tuesday alongside the special teamers, tight ends and offensive linemen. A different path, as is his custom.
Bennett played under Chip Kelly for two seasons. He came up short in a competition with Marcus Mariota in 2012, and transferred to Southeast Louisiana the next season. Asked what makes him unique compared to the other signal-callers in the draft, he pointed to that ’12 season.
“For me, I think what separated me is I got to go through the experience and be close with who a lot of people might say is the No. 1 or 2 quarterback in this draft. I think that going through the experience of not winning the battle and having to live with that chip on my shoulder of wanting to be great and the best essentially,” he said.
“I know I’m going to keep working towards that goal. I’ve been through that situation in college where I’ve come in around people I’ve known and been put in a place where it’s a whole new place, new culture, new people and been able to still succeed and help build a team, become a leader of that team. I think my leadership there, my want-to and trustworthiness is what I’ll bring to the table.”
Bennett (6-3, 215) is the 13th-ranked quarterback prospect, per NFL Draft Scout. He is expected to either be a late-round selection or an undrafted free agent. The California native says that he still has a good relationship with Kelly, and believes his time in the Oregon offense gave him some unique training.
“The speed we went at is something you obviously don’t see everywhere. Just our way of practicing and preparation that they put us through, it was a great experience at both Oregon and at Southeastern. They definitely had things dialed in over there and you saw a lot of the success that came from it,” he said.
“There are still decisions that need to be made at the line. I think going that fast actually just makes you have to make those decisions a little bit quicker, process things a little faster. It may not be a lot of different checks coming up to the line, but there are checks in the run game, in the pass game and, like I said, it just makes you have to process it a little bit quicker.”
* Andy Reid‘s press conference had a heavy Philadelphia influence to it. With no Eagles reps available, he fielded a good amount of questions about the state of his former team’s front office.
Reid gave Ed Marynowitz a solid endorsement.
“Ed’s on the rise, boy. He’s a good one. He was a great choice by Chip,” said Reid. “Just a sharp guy, good evaluator. He can tell you a good player from a bad player. He stays one step ahead of it. He’ll look at the future on things. I think he’s going to do a great job there.
“Remember at Alabama, they had full trust in him. Nick [Saban] didn’t want to lose him.”
Reid said he has talked to Howie Roseman, who is “doing good.” And said “whatever they’ve done, they feel they’ve done what’s best for the Eagles, and that’s important.”
* The Eagles could be in the market for an offensive lineman or two in this draft. A couple to keep at least an eye on: Florida State guard Tre’ Jackson (6-4, 323) said he met with members of the Eagles front office and coaching staff already, and has a formal interview with Kelly and company Thursday. Jackson is projected as a Day 2 pick. Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat, a potential first-round pick, said he was recruited by Kelly and was offered a scholarship by Oregon coming out of high school.
WHAT YOU MISSED
How will the Eagles proceed in a draft that is rich in running backs?
News and notes regarding the top pick from the first day at the NFL Draft Combine.
An update on RGIII and the Titans’ refusal to commit to Zach Mettenberger full-time.
A look at the latest prospect rankings and draft buzz.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Zach Berman of Philly.com believes the Eagles have to address their secondary needs in free agency, and not rely on the draft alone:
I still think the Eagles should come out of the draft with at least two defensive backs, but they cannot go into the draft expecting to find a starter. There are too many variables at play, especially picking at No. 20. The upgrades must first come in the free agent market, and then the Eagles could be in position to draft based on value and not on need. In fact, their inability to land a pass rusher in free agency last season seemed to motivate them to reach for that edge rusher in the first round. So when you watch and read about the defensive backs who will go in the first round of the draft, don’t automatically think that’s the position the Eagles will target if they cannot move up for Mariota.
There is some decent depth at cornerback, especially that fits the size prototype that the Eagles seek. One measurement to watch at the combine this week is arm length. That’s a dimension that could be of value at that outside cornerback spot. Mayock mentioned Jalen Collins, Trae Waynes, and Marcus Peters, but there are other cornerbacks such as Florida State’s P.J. Williams and Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson who could command interest.
At safety, there is less of a market – unless Landon Collins falls to No. 20 or the Eagles view Washington’s Shaq Thompson as a safety. The Eagles would be better served figuring out the safety spot next to Malcolm Jenkins in March.
Reuben Frank writes that the Eagles are just one of three teams that will not address the media at the combine. The others are the Patriots and Saints.
Two teams that have won a Super Bowl in the past few years, and one team that drafted Marcus Smith in the first round.
This isn’t about disgruntled media not having access to the owner or coach. We’ll find other stories to write. We’ll find other people to talk to. We’ll still be able to do our jobs just fine.
It’s not about us. It’s about you.
It’s about a football team that charges about $100 per average ticket, ninth-highest in the NFL, but refuses to explain its thinking to its loyal and die-hard fans, many of whom have supported the team during its half century without a championship.
The Eagles don’t believe it’s important to communicate with you and your friends and family, and that’s their right, but it’s a real slap in the face to fans who spend thousands of dollars a year in tickets, parking, jerseys, food and merchandise a year to support their team.
Big day in Indy. Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and the rest of the quarterbacks will speak, as will the running backs and wide receivers.