September 19, 2014 |
Position-by-position grades for the Eagles after their 30-27 win over the Colts on Monday, spotlighting one player at each spot. OFFENSE: B Quarterback: C+ Nick Foles had an OK outing Monday and, most important, came home with a win. There were missed receivers again, but he cut down on the turnovers and made some nice throws and reads. His numbers were slightly skewed by the large amount of successful screen passes. Foles hit Zach Ertz for 27 yards on the first drive.
September 8, 2014 |
When the Eagles run The Eagles had the NFL's best rushing offense last season, and the only major change was replacing Bryce Brown with Darren Sproles. Allen Barbre, a solid run blocker, is filling in for Lane Johnson at right tackle for the first month of the season. But the central figures are back, with LeSean McCoy running the ball and an offensive line that includes Pro Bowlers Jason Peters and Evan Mathis on the left side. The Jaguars ranked No. 29 in rushing defense last season.
September 7, 2014 |
The draft had just ended, and Trey Burton was fielding calls like most of the rookies who just missed out on being selected. He knew the Eagles were interested. The feeling was mutual. But the post-draft scramble for undrafted rookies is a free-for-all, and while Burton's multiposition four years at Florida might have lowered his draft stock, it would certainly make him an appealing addition to any training camp. The Eagles had more in mind than just a camp body, though, and Burton envisioned as much, because of his familiarity with Chip Kelly's offense.
August 28, 2014 |
THE GUY WHO is going to make you forget about DeSean Jackson this season isn't Jeremy Maclin or Riley Cooper or even rookie Jordan Matthews. The guy who is going to make you forget about Jackson isn't even a wide receiver. He's a tight end. He's Zach Ertz. He's not Jimmy Graham. Yet. He'a not Jason Witten or Rob Gronkowski. Yet. And while you might think I'm jumping the gun mentioning somebody who has played only 459 NFL snaps in the same breath with three of the most dangerous pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, Ertz has that kind of ability, that kind of upside.
August 21, 2014 |
Whenever an offensive player sustains so forceful a hit during a football game that his helmet tumbles to the ground, there is often that subsequent half-second when everyone has the same thought: Oh, my Lord - his head came off. Brent Celek took one of those hits Friday night. He caught a pass for a 22-yard gain against the New England Patriots, and safety Patrick Chung - whom the Eagles had released in March after one ignominious season - drilled him in the chest. Yet this was one of those rare occasions when no one watching the game either at Gillette Stadium or on TV had that silly-if-instinctive reaction.
August 16, 2014 |
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Of the Eagles' pass catchers, Zach Ertz made the biggest impression during three scrimmages with the Patriots this week. Most of the tight end's work came against the second-team defense. But when the Eagles went with two or three tight ends against New England's starters, Ertz got open nearly as much. His play through all of training camp - which ended with Thursday's light practice - and the first preseason game has suggested that Ertz needs to see more time with the first team.
August 10, 2014 |
CHICAGO - The offense that opened the preseason Friday night for the Eagles at Soldier Field will be more dynamic in one month when the regular season begins. The playbook will be more expansive and play-calling more creative, so hysteria about a group that set records one year ago would be premature. But coach Chip Kelly's offense looked lackluster in its first game appearance. The starters played three uninspiring series, all in the first quarter. Two ended with Nick Foles interceptions.
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.