The Departed: Checking In On Former Eagles

How are former Eagles faring with their new teams?

Nick Foles. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

As the Chiefs and Rams faced off in the final week of the preseason, Andy Reid and Jeremy Maclin were both asked about St. Louis quarterback Nick Foles, whom Reid coached and Maclin caught passes from during their careers in Philadelphia.

ESPN’s Nick Wagoner writes that the two had nothing but positive things to say about the former Eagles quarterback, who was jettisoned to the Rams this spring in exchange for Sam Bradford.

“You are asking one of Nick Foles’ biggest fans,” Reid said. “He is smart, he has good accuracy, and he is a big body. A big strong guy, and he is young. He is going nowhere but up here. He is surrounded by good coaches and good skill players. I think he will do fine. He has to get back into this system. And it is just a matter of time.”

Maclin spoke about Foles’ toughness in the Eagles’ Week 3 win over Washington in 2014, when Foles responded from a blindside hit to lead the team to a 37-34 win at home.

“It’s just that type of will that he has that people just respect,” Maclin said. “He was banged up after that, but it did not affect the way he finished the game.”

Here’s what local and national media are saying about the rest of the Eagles’ offseason departures.

Sal Capaccio of Buffalo’s WGR 550 says that LeSean McCoy’s Week 1 status is still undecided.

McCoy took part in individual drills Friday, but said it was light work and he still has to test it in a different and harder setting before knowing what he fully can or can’t do.

“It’s just a matter of the way I perform. Just different cuts and different runs. I feel it more than other times. It’s a different story when you’re warming up and getting ready for the game. It’s a waiting process. You gotta wait it out and see how I feel.”

When told head coach Rex Ryan said he’s still “cautiously optimistic” McCoy will be ready for the opener, the running back agreed.  “Well me too,” he said.  “Me, too. Like I said, I feel good, it’s just a matter of time.”

The Kansas City Star’s Terez A. Paylor goes in-depth in detailing Maclin’s role in the Chiefs’ offense.

On March 11, the same day Jeremy Maclin signed his five-year, $55 million contract with the Chiefs, he walked into wide-receiver coach David Culley’s office and was greeted by a smile, a handshake and a surprise.

Culley held a disc in his hand. He’d had it for a while, and now he could finally give it to his former pupil.

“Here’s the video of our routes,” Culley told Maclin. “Now here, you do it.”

Maclin was signed by the Chiefs to be their “Z” receiver, the spotlight position in the West Coast offense. It’s a role that Jerry Rice and his San Francisco 49ers sidekick John Taylor made famous.

Evan Mathis’ first live-game action with the Broncos’ starters will come in Week 1, writes ESPN’s Jeff Legwold.

When the Denver Broncos’ starters on offense were doing some extra conditioning work after Monday’s practice, guard Evan Mathis was right there with them.

And while Mathis just signed with the Broncos last week and will not play in any of the team’s four preseason games, if you’re doing drills with Peyton Manning, you’re someone who the team is counting on.

“Yeah, he arrived (Monday), he practiced today,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s fine, his conditioning is really good, we’ll work him really hard this week … My expectations are he’ll be ready to go in two weeks.”

Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star talks about the Colts’ offensive line depth, and a lack of confidence in Todd Herremans.

[Robert] Myers is considered a player who might need some time to develop, but the Colts need some competition at guard behind starters Lance Louis and Todd Herremans. Neither has generated much confidence in their play based on preseason performance, and Myers – a fifth-round pick of the Ravens – seems to have upside those players lack. The Ravens, according to a source, were planning to retain Myers by signing him to their practice squad had he cleared waivers.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes that acquiring Brandon Boykin was the Steelers’ best move of the offseason.

By coveting Boykin early, that allowed time for both sides to cut a sensible deal while leaving every opening for Pittsburgh. If Golson was healthy and played well in 2015, you’d have the option to re-sign Boykin, a free agent after 2015, or let him walk after a year. No harm. He’d be worth a fifth-round pick even for one productive year if it came to that. With Golson out, however, Boykin becomes a necessity.

This was a case where being proactive paid off. The Steelers addressed corner in the draft and still weren’t done. They knew they are loaded on offense and had to enliven the other side of the ball.

Boykin is no savior, but he’s an instant playmaker at a position that needs it.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Bradley Fletcher has caught the eye of Bill Belichick.

The emergence of Fletcher, in particular, was a notable storyline. At 6-foot-0, 205 pounds, he is the team’s sturdiest corner.

“He’s definitely a longer corner compared to a lot of them,” coach Bill Belichick said after the game. “He’s got good length and it showed up in a few plays. Certainly did last week. We’ll take a look at the film, and try to figure out how to use him the best we can.”

On Friday night, the Patriots used Fletcher at right cornerback. He played 39 snaps and helped his cause for not just a roster spot, but a potential top-3 role.

The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder writes that Trent Cole is starting to acclimate to the Colts’ defense.

For Colts linebacker Trent Cole, it’s been something of a struggle adapting to the Indianapolis defense.

When you’re learning your third defensive system in as many seasons – two systems the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and this current one with the Colts – things tend to run together.

But it’s all beginning to come together for Cole. The game is starting to slow down. And, as you might imagine, the results are starting to show.

Just ask the St. Louis Rams’ offensive line after its epic struggles to contain Cole on Saturday night.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that Casey Matthews will miss the 2015 season with a hip injury.

Linebacker Casey Matthews signed a one-year deal last spring with the Vikings. The one year won’t include any game action.

The Vikings, who opened training camp Sunday at Minnesota State Mankato, placed Matthews on the season-ending reserve/injured list with a hip injury. Matthews had designs on winning the starting job at middle linebacker when he signed for a $745,000 base salary.