Eagles Weekend Reading: On Chip, the RBs And More

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend:

Field Yates of ESPN.com listed the Eagles running backs as one of the top-five offensive position groups in the NFL:

The Eagles acquired [Darren] Sproles prior to the 2014 season for a fifth-rounder, and that proved to be quite the bargain. He provided immediate impact as a pass-catching phenom, constantly creating mismatches in open space. [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews came at a heftier price tag in free agency this offseason, but each brings obvious value to the Eagles’ backfield. Murray was the best back in football for much of 2014, showing off excellent vision and acceleration behind the aforementioned Cowboys line. Mathews, meanwhile, has the churning leg power to move piles, along with an ability to make defenders miss in the hole. They both come with injury baggage: Last year was Murray’s first season staying healthy for 16 games, and Mathews has missed 18 games in five seasons, including 10 in 2014. But the one-two punch should provide insurance of sorts for each other. Philly traded away an extraordinary talent in LeSean McCoy this offseason, but the ground game should keep cooking.

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz thinks a contract extension for Fletcher Cox needs to happen soon:

There is some thought that you don’t pay 3-4 DEs big money. Their job is mostly to 2-gap. Find an athletic DT and move  him to DE, ala Cedric Thornton. You can get several years of good play for minimal money. Go spend big money on LBs since they are the true life blood of the 3-4.

That makes sense in a general way, but there are some players you make exceptions for. The Steelers just gave 3-4 DE Cam Heyward a 5-year deal worth $59.25M. The Pats gave big money to Richard Seymour when he was a star for them. JJ Watt deserves every penny that he gets paid.

I think Cox is a man you pay. He is the Eagles best defensive player. Cox makes the guys around him better because of his ability to eat up blockers and make plays. He can push the pocket and create sack opportunities for the OLBs. He can disrupt run plays with penetration and create easy tackle situations for other defenders. Chip Kelly has referred to him as the team’s defensive MVP in the past.

In a roundtable Q&A on ESPN.com, Todd Archer argued that Kelly is on the hottest seat of anyone in the division:

After being on the hot seat every year since he took over, I think it’s fair to say it’s not Jason Garrett. (And I do think we all overstated how hot his seat actually was.) It’s easy to say Tom Coughlin or Jerry Reese with the Giants, too. But I’m going with Chip Kelly. The Eagles’ moves this offseason have been all about Kelly. The trade of LeSean McCoy was at first called a salary-cap move, but then the Eagles put big money into DeMarco Murray and solid money into Ryan Mathews. I’m not ready to say Kiko Alonso will be a star the way McCoy is a star. The trade for Sam Bradford is a huge risk considering the quarterback’s injury history. They have taken an interesting route with their receivers. If this doesn’t work out for the Eagles, then Kelly will have nobody to blame but himself.

Former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith says there is no way he could ever envision playing for the Eagles, via CSN Philly:

With Murray jumping ship from the Cowboys to the Birds this offseason, [John] Clark asked Smith if he could ever imagine doing the same thing during his career.

“No,” Smith said. “I couldn’t imagine being in that position at all. I like to think that Philadelphia, although as much as they hate the Dallas Cowboys, love to get quality football players on their football team, and DeMarco Murray happened to be one of those guys.”

The NFL’s all-time leading rusher was also asked what this does for the Eagles moving forward and whether they should be considered the favorites to win the NFC East heading into this season.

“No, I don’t think it switches the balance of power,” Smith said. “I think the balance of power still has to be played between the goal lines … but I still think our Dallas Cowboys are a team that you have to deal with and you cannot take us lightly.”

Former Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens told Rich Eisen that he doesn’t care whether or not he makes the Hall of Fame:

“I guess [being in the Hall] from a standpoint of a legacy or what my kids can really see what I’ve done, the body of work and appreciate it, then yeah, and my family. But me, personally, it really doesn’t do anything for me because I never played the game for that. I played it because I was competitive. I played it to the point that I realized my talent and I became pretty good at it. That was my motivation. I wanted to win at all costs.”

Peter King offers thoughts on the Eagles’ Super Bowl chances under Kelly: