August 13, 2014 |
THE ONLY EAGLE who grew up with silver-and-green posters all over his walls doesn't want to say the wrong thing, so he talks about how he just wants to "help the team the best way I can. " But Vinny Curry would prefer to help the Eagles by starting at defensive end, the way he envisioned when his favorite team drafted him in the second round, 59th overall, in 2012. It's an odd situation, because in Friday night's preseason opener, Curry and 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham were the Eagles' two most effective pass rushers.
August 12, 2014 |
THE STORY of Nick Foles' seriously underwhelming start to the 2014 preseason was a story of pass-rush pressure - something Foles handled well last season, but hadn't really seen all spring and summer until some Chicago Bears abruptly arrived in his face Friday night at Soldier Field. The Eagles were not able to put Bears quarterback Jay Cutler under similar duress; Cutler enjoyed a secure perch as he picked apart the Birds' secondary on a 13-play, 79-yard, first-quarter touchdown drive.
August 1, 2014 |
It was another placid day at Camp Chip on Wednesday. No fights, no controversy. Very little that resembled news. Just another day of work for a team that has settled into a nice routine under a coach who is anything but routine. "We're back at it today, and that's great," Chip Kelly said. "That's why we're here. " Unlike a year ago, when everything was new on both sides of the ball and a number of jobs were up for grabs, you probably could write out the starting lineups for the Sept.
July 25, 2014 |
When the Eagles host the Jaguars in this season's opener, it will be the first time that Marcus Smith has ever been to an NFL game. Will the top draft pick be more than a spectator? The Eagles have been tempering expectations, knowing full well that rookie edge rushers rarely make an immediate impact in their first seasons. But will Smith even dress from Day 1? "We're excited to have Marcus," Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said last month. "But he's a rookie like the rest of them, and their heads are swimming right now because we got the whole defense in. " Smith is also relatively new to playing outside linebacker.
June 19, 2014 |
For 165 hours each week last season, the life of Eagles linebacker Travis Long was not much different from that of the players on the active roster. He participated in every practice. He attended every meeting. He traveled on every road trip. The only difference was those three hours during the game, when his teammates wore uniforms and Long wore a warm-up suit with the other practice-squad players. "In every meeting, traveling, doing everything the same, it did make me feel a part of the team," Long said.
May 31, 2014 |
Brandon Graham knew there were trade rumors throughout the offseason about his future in Philadelphia, which appeared even more in doubt after the Eagles used a first-round pick on linebacker Marcus Smith. Graham, a former first-round pick who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, took solace in the fact that he's still with the Eagles. "They want me here, I'm still here, all the rumors and whatever it is, it's just rumors," Graham said. "I feel like if it was something they wanted to do, I'd be gone.
May 30, 2014 |
ALL OFFSEASON, Brandon Graham turned down interview requests made through the Eagles. Face-to-face with reporters after yesterday's organized team activity session, Graham's first impulse was to walk away, saying something over his shoulder about not wanting to get himself into trouble. But Graham, 26, the 2010 first-round pick fans will forever blame for not being Earl Thomas, has never been an angry or difficult player. As a rookie - which seems a long time ago now - he routinely shook reporters' hands, even if they were the same hands he'd shaken the day before and the day before that.
May 19, 2014 |
As confident as the Eagles have been about selecting Marcus Smith with their top draft pick, it may take some time before they can point to the outside linebacker's production and say, "See, we were right. " The old adage is you need two to three years before you can properly evaluate a draft choice, but it may take an additional season for edge rushers because so few make an impact or even contribute in their rookie seasons. The Eagles would love Smith to make a first-year splash.
May 12, 2014 |
The Eagles traded Bryce Brown to the Bills for a 2015 conditional fourth-round draft pick, parting with the young and promising running back who had ultimately become expendable. "They had been on him for a while," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said of the Bills. "We probably fielded a lot of offers from them in terms of what they wanted, because we knew what they wanted and how much they wanted Bryce. It's just, we kind of had a logjam, so to speak, at running back. " The 2015 fourth-round pick the Bills dealt to the Eagles, which Buffalo received from the 49ers on Friday in exchange for wide receiver Stevie Johnson, could become a 2016 third-rounder or a 2016 fourth-rounder.
May 8, 2014 |
THE FIRST round of the NFL draft is both sexy and important. But overlook the remaining six rounds at your own peril. Check out the list of first-team All-Pros last season, where about half were former first-round picks. The other half, of course, were not. The numbers are interesting, though not unique to 2013. Of the 24 players on the first-team All-Pro, 11 were selected in the first round. Just three of the offensive players were first-rounders, and none of the three Eagles - LeSean McCoy (second round)