What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com thinks the Eagles have the best backfield in the league:

NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Ravens, Browns and Eagles, also placed Philly at No. 1, saying: “Murray gets all the headlines and attention, but I’m even more intrigued to see what the role is for Mathews and Sproles. The way they do it, you go out there for a series. I think it’s going to be a good fit. I kind of worry about those secondary runners when you get a carry here, a carry there. But the Eagles with their tempo, (Mathews is) going to get a full series and he’s going to get a chance to get into a rhythm.”

Why haven’t the Eagles and Sam Bradford agreed to terms on a contract extension? Andrew Brandt of The MMQB offers his analysis:

The lack of an extension accompanying the trade has given Bradford some leverage going forward, assuming he stays healthy. While I have agreed with most of the moves made by the Eagles, an extension for Bradford could have been negotiated as a trade contingency. The Eagles could have given themselves leverage, but that opportunity was lost. …

Although the moment has passed for the Eagles to acquire the object of Chip Kelly’s infatuation (Marcus Mariota), there’s still a lingering (albeit remote) chance that Bradford could still be moved. The lack of an extension for Bradford may indicate the Eagles have not completely closed the door on possible advances from teams such as the Browns.

Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report takes a close look at the DeMarco Murray debate and draws some conclusions:

• Murray does have a pronounced habit of bouncing plays to the outside when there are available holes up the middle. Because of his skill and the quality of the Cowboys line, he sometimes gains productive yardage despite making a less-than-ideal decision.

• Murray also lacks a final gear in the open field, so many of his 20- to 50-yard runs would be even longer if he was more of a speedster.

• The distribution of Murray’s run lengths fits squarely within the parameters established by the NFL’s top rushers. There is no evidence that he is some pure “product” of the blocking he received, though the Cowboys line certainly played a role in his leading the NFL in rushing by a nearly 500-yard margin. Nothing about his run distribution suggests that he was failing to accomplish many things that another back, even a Pro Bowl back, would regularly accomplish.

Friend of the blog Joel Corry puts together his ideal 53-man roster (using salary cap constraints) for CBSSports.com. Two Eagles show up: Zach Ertz and Jon Dorenbos:

Ertz is my move tight end. The main reason why the 2013 second-round pick hasn’t unseated Brent Celek as Philadelphia’s starting tight end is Chip Kelly’s comfort level with Celek’s blocking. Ertz will be used to create mismatches since he can line up tight, in the slot or split out wide.

In a Football Perspective piece, Brad Oremland ranks Donovan McNabb as the 24th-best quarterback of all time:

But all of this undersells McNabb, who for most of his career was the only offensive standout on the team. He played one year with Terrell Owens, and apart from that never teamed with a Pro Bowl receiver or an elite tight end. The one full season he played with Owens, McNabb’s statistics exploded. He had two years with DeSean Jackson near the end of his career, and statistically, they were two of his best seasons. In 10 seasons as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, McNabb’s leading receivers included Chad Lewis, James Thrash, Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis, and Todd Pinkston twice. Among the top 50 passers of all time, McNabb is the only one whose all-time leading receiver (Brian Westbrook) was a running back, and the only one whose leading receiver never actually led the team in receiving yards. There’s absolutely no question that McNabb’s stats and accomplishments were limited by the quality of teammates around him. From 2000-03, McNabb single-handedly generated the offense on a team that won double-digit games every year.

McNabb was better than his numbers show, although his numbers are good. He was a successful passer, outstanding runner, breath-taking playmaker, and every-year Pro Bowler who went to five conference championship games, and did it all without great offensive teammates around him.

An interesting piece on Sam Bradford was circulating around Twitter this week. This is Gil Brandt’s write-up of Bradford’s Pro Day from 2010:

Sam Bradford’s workout Monday in front of representatives for all 32 NFL teams at Oklahoma’s pro day almost left me speechless. And that’s saying something.

Bradford threw 63 passes (13 during a stationary period and 50 scripted throws) during the workout and, in my estimation, didn’t have one that was uncatchable. He moved around well, including throwing on the run out of the pocket, and went through the entire route tree. The scripted workout included three-, five- and seven-step drops, shotgun, and play-action plays, plus sprints and rollouts to both sides.

It really was a treat to watch, and I think everyone here was in awe of Bradford’s performance. In fact, he put on the best quarterback workout by a draft prospect that I’ve seen since I watched a private workout Troy Aikman put on for us with the Cowboys in California.