June 17, 2014 |
ONCE THE SEVENTH and final round of the NFL draft concludes each spring, it's typically interesting to learn which undrafted free agents the Eagles are bringing in for training camp. There's usually a good story or two among them, perhaps a kicker with a unique nickname or a former star running back who overcame extreme medical odds to earn a pro contract. But of the 15 undrafted rookies the Eagles signed after last month's draft, there is perhaps none a more intriguing prospect in Chip Kelly's system than Trey Burton, the multifaceted tight end from the University of Florida.
June 11, 2014 |
IF THE ONLY thing you looked at was his receiving numbers, you might conclude - mistakenly, I might add - that Brent Celek didn't have a particularly good season last year. The Eagles tight end's 32 catches were his fewest since he became a full-time starter in 2009. Twenty-seven tight ends hauled in more passes. While his six touchdown receptions were the third most on the team, and his four red-zone TDs tied Riley Cooper for the team high, he was targeted only 51 times, which also was the fewest since he became a full-time starter.
May 30, 2014 |
THIS TIME last year, Zach Ertz was back at Stanford grinding through the final four courses needed for his degree in management science and engineering. It wasn't until after June 16, the day he graduated, when the touted tight end could join the Eagles full-time and truly begin preparing for his rookie season. No such restrictions exist this spring for Ertz, a candidate for a breakout second NFL season in Chip Kelly's high-octane offense. "It was such a mystery last year at this time in that I really didn't know what was going to be going on," Ertz said yesterday, the second day of organized team activities at the NovaCare Complex.
May 5, 2014 |
If the Eagles are looking for DeSean Jackson's "replacement," they need to look no further than to their own roster and tight end Zach Ertz. The Eagles, of course, have added two pieces - Jeremy Maclin and Darren Sproles - to supplement the 2013 production that left with Jackson. But of their current players, Ertz has perhaps the best chance to dramatically increase his numbers now that Jackson is in Washington, especially if the second-year tight end delivers upon Eagles expectations.
April 2, 2014 |
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek spent a recent Friday evening discussing the distinct qualities of his modern, luxury accessories line Revisit. The manbags are fashioned from soft chocolate brown leather and lined with hand-dyed indigo-blue cotton canvas. Arrowheads dangling from clutch zippers are carved from antique brass. The leather closures are affixed to laptop sleeves and journals with oxidized copper rivets. But of the 16-piece collection on display at the Four Seasons hotel suite, the iPhone case was clearly Celek's favorite.
January 5, 2014 |
The success that the Eagles have enjoyed this season under Chip Kelly has come with a delicious caveat. They're 10-6. They lead the NFL in rushing and yards-per-pass-attempt and rank second in total offense, and they've accomplished this with most of the same offensive personnel they had under Andy Reid. All of this productivity, and there's an argument to be made that the Eagles can and will be more potent in the years ahead once they acquire more "Chip Kelly guys" - players whom he and general manager Howie Roseman will have handpicked to fit Kelly's system.
December 31, 2013 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - Chip Kelly gambled. He lost. But he went back to his bread-and-butter, his zone read, his franchise tailback, his explosive running attack, and the Eagles won. Kelly had not yet been asked to win a game, not only of this magnitude, but of this type in his first season as the Eagles' coach. When the Eagles have won it has been either by a large margin or by them holding on by the skin of their teeth after they jumped out to a big lead. There were games that were tight and that the Eagles put away with strong fourth quarters on the road - against the Giants, the Buccaneers, and the Packers.
December 31, 2013 |
SO, HOW exactly do you explain 4-12 to 10-6? How do you explain how an Eagles team that lost 11 of its final 12 games last season by a combined score of 361-214 will host a first-round playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday night? While myriad factors have contributed to the Eagles' rags-to-riches turnaround, if you're looking for a single number to explain it, try 12. That's the Eagles' turnover differential, which happens to be the fourth best in the NFL this season.
December 25, 2013 |
Position-by-position grading of the Eagles after their 54-11 win over the Bears on Sunday, focusing on one player at each spot: OFFENSE Quarterback - A+ Nick Foles executed Chip Kelly's offense flawlessly. Only one of his 25 passes did not connect with an open receiver and it could be argued that Brent Celek dropped the lofted screen pass. The other incomplete passes were two that were thrown out of the back of the end zone to avoid sacks and one tossed into the ground at the feet of DeSean Jackson to avoid pressure.
December 24, 2013 |
APPARENTLY, conventional logic has no place in the Chip Kelly Experience. With virtually nothing to gain, it would have made sense last night for the Eagles to dispense to the Bears a healthy dose of Bryce Brown, Damaris Johnson, Allen Barbre, Brandon Graham, James Casey, and, what the heck, Matt Barkley; why risk even Michael Vick to injury? Instead, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jason Peters, Trent Cole, Brent Celek and Nick Foles kept their understudies in the wings. It was a heady gamble by Kelly, a first-year NFL coach known for innovation and for daring.