Weekend Reading: Barkley’s Days Numbered?
Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.
Mark Maske of The Washington Post mocks Alabama safety Landon Collins to the Eagles at No. 20:
Coach Chip Kelly has demonstrated his unpredictability throughout his first offseason when having final say over player-related decisions. He might try to trade up for Marcus Mariota. He might not. If he stays put, getting the draft’s top available safety would further fortify a defense that added LB Kiko Alonso and CB Byron Maxwell earlier in the offseason.
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles took a flier on a QB late in the draft to challenge Matt Barkley:
One thing we have to understand is that not every pick has to be likely to be a 10-year starter. The Eagles have a starter in Sam Bradford. They have a backup in Mark Sanchez. There is room for a number three QB. Matt Barkley has the job now, but I’ll be surprised if he’s here much past the draft. It just hasn’t worked out. GJ Kinne is a fan favorite, but he’s never shown the passing ability needed to be an NFL QB.
You would ideally love the #3 QB to be someone to develop into a future starter, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The Eagles simply need to find a player they like and think could be effective when called upon. If the guy has a ceiling that keeps him #3, that’s okay.
Ron Wolf, probably the best GM of the past 30 years, believed in drafting a QB every year. You never knew when you would strike gold. He traded for Brett Favre in the 1992 offseason. Then he started drafting QBs.
Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld offers thoughts on Chip Kelly as a personnel man:
We’re not here to debate when Chip Kelly officially got final say over all things Eagles football. We are here to debate what he’s going to do with it. As a coach, Kelly is a visionary. Even if he ends his NFL career with zero playoff victories, he will have helped remake the modern game. As a general manager … well, he’s certainly shown a proclivity for remaking things. With hiding behind Howie Roseman no longer an option, Kelly has come out into the world like a teen who just got his driver’s license. The decisions have been fast, furious and decisive. Their ramifications, less so. It took Kelly 30 minutes to trade LeSean McCoy. It could take 30 games to sort out the changes he’s made since. Kelly just needed to be himself to make history as a coach. He might eventually need someone to save him from himself as a general manager.
Case in point: A handful of Titans have been working out together in Nashville, and players say Mettenberger is the one who organized the workouts.
“If you ask me, I think that’s definitely a good sign for him,” Titans running back Dexter McCluster said of Mettenberger. “That’s the first step, him showing that leadership and him knowing, ‘Hey, this may be my shot, so let me go ahead and get a head start on it.’
“And guys respond to him. I think that says a lot.”
Jaylen Watkins talked to Gator Zone about his first year in the NFL:
Coach Kelly’s tempo really caught me off guard. I had witnessed it on TV while he was at Oregon, but to actually practice against it is another thing. Also seeing how the veterans were not affected by it and to watch them give 100 percent each play while going against the tempo made me realize that I need to get in better shape and take care of my body better.
If anyone doubts Mariota, Frost said, they’re wrong.
“Some of them were great questions and some of them were some of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard,” Frost said. “I think it’s ridiculous to think Marcus is too nice to play football. If that was the case, he wouldn’t have won so many games around here.”
Doug Farrar of SI.com ranks his top-10 safety prospects. He’s got Utah’s Eric Rowe at No. 2:
Last year, the Utes moved him to cornerback, and though he played well there (59 tackles, a pick and 13 passes defensed), many see him as an ideal safety—precisely because there are so few pure cover safeties in this class. The 6’1″, 205-pound Rowe certainly looks the part, with excellent field speed and outstanding awareness in deep coverage. Rowe’s primary liability as a cornerback, an inability to jam and physically beat receivers in press coverage consistently, would be far less of an issue were he covering the deep third for an NFL defense, and he could be a first-round prospect based on that potential.
In a piece for The Washington Post, former Eagles LB Dhani Jones advocates going back to leather helmets:
We need to take the hard-shell helmets off. We could replace them with throwback leather helmets, which everyone understands provide limited protection. But we need to eliminate the idea that I’m in a cage, you’re in a cage, and we can go at each other because we’re indestructible.
That would require drilling everyone, players and coaches, from Pop Warner to the NFL, in shoulder tackling and other physical strategies of the sort that the Seattle Seahawks and other teams have begun incorporating.
Brad Gagnon of CBS Sports ranked all eight of the NFL’s divisions since the last realignment in 2002. The NFC East came in sixth:
The Giants have two Super Bowl victories, Philadelphia has a loss and Dallas and Philly have a combined 27 first-team All-Pros. But the Redskins have the fourth-worst record and — unbelievably — zero All-Pros.
DeMeco Ryans offered his thoughts no the trading of LeSean McCoy:
“I was shocked,” Ryans said. “I was shocked to see Shady go. Shady was such a great teammate, such a fun guy in the locker room to be around. He kept the energy going in the locker room. He’s a really good guy, man, so to see him leave was definitely shocking — and it hurt.
“But things like that happen. So once the news hits, you’re like, ‘OK, it’s the NFL. Another move, another big-time player being moved to a different team. It’s happened year after year after year. After that initial shock, I just understood what we’re doing.”
Andrew Kulp of The 700 Level thinks that LB Mychal Kendricks could be traded at some point during the draft:
The offseason trade for [Kiko] Alonso and contract extension for Ryans has led to a ton of speculation about Kendricks’ future in Philadelphia. The fact that Kendricks is heading into the final year of his deal and has yet to be approached about re-signing is only adding fuel to the fire. And just to really fan the flames, the Eagles have been kicking the tires on a few interior linebackers heading into the draft.
If Alonso, Ryans and Kendricks are all going to be here in 2015, if Kendricks is part of the club’s future, what could the Eagles want with another interior linebacker? Clearly, something isn’t quite adding up here, no matter what the head coach says.
Sheil Kapadia contributed to this post.