September 28, 2013 |
The Eagles passing game has survived without Jeremy Maclin in the lineup, although it's clear after three games that they miss the injured wide receiver. The offense has not struggled to accumulate yardage - the Eagles are No. 2 in the NFL in total yards and No. 13 in passing yards - but it has become more dependent on DeSean Jackson. Now the undisputed No. 1 pass catcher, Jackson has 43 percent of the Eagles' receiving yards. That's the third highest percentage in the NFL. "He's a very talented player.
September 27, 2013 |
YOU NO DOUBT have been wondering why there have been so few sightings of tight ends James Casey and Zach Ertz so far this season. Casey, who signed a 3-year, $12 million deal with the Eagles in March that included nearly $3 million in guaranteed money, and Ertz, who the Eagles gobbled up with the 35th overall pick in the April draft, have played a combined total of 62 snaps in the first three games. Ertz has played 54 of those 62 snaps and has four catches for 74 yards. Casey has played just eight snaps and has been targeted only once by quarterback Michael Vick.
September 21, 2013 |
Michael Vick battled hard on a night when he didn't have his fastball. As it turned out, no matter how much he tried to keep the Eagles in the game with his legs, there wasn't enough arm to help Vick and the Eagles beat their former coach. Vick completed 13 of 30 passes (43 percent) for 201 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions as the Eagles suffered a 26-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The win provided former Eagles coach Andy Reid with a successful return to Lincoln Financial Field.
September 14, 2013 |
Now that the Eagles have revealed their accelerated tempo on offense, curiosity abounds about whether they can sustain that pace through 16 games. This is one of the pressing questions of the Chip Kelly Experiment, although it's one that hasn't been a concern yet. College is different than the NFL. There are more players and fewer games in college. But Kelly still has one inherent advantage: He has spent months preparing his team for a certain style, when other teams spend one week to prepare for the Eagles.
September 1, 2013 |
CLAY HARBOR will have no regrets if he is told he didn't make the Eagles. The 26-year-old tight end/wide receiver thinks he's done everything humanly possible to prove he belongs on the team. He's built a solid resumé, playing 34 percent of the Eagles' offensive snaps the last two seasons and catching a career-high 25 passes in 2012. He's trained hard and has studied harder. He's put in hours upon hours of extra time on the JUGS machine after practice, has watched God knows how many hours of extra video, and didn't hesitate for a second 2 weeks ago when Chip Kelly asked him to move outside and learn the wide receiver position.
August 29, 2013 |
TO BORROW a line from Mark Twain, reports of Brent Celek's football death have been greatly exaggerated. A subpar season and the offseason arrival of two heralded tight ends - free agent James Casey and second-round pick Zach Ertz - had a lot of people in these parts ready to put the 6-year veteran out to pasture. But when the Eagles open the season in less than 2 weeks against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field, Celek, 28, once again will be their starting tight end. "I love this offense," he said.
August 14, 2013 |
IF CLAY HARBOR weren't such a positive, upbeat guy, he might think the Eagles were trying to tell him something. Something not very good. The fourth-year tight end caught a career-high 25 passes last season, then watched as the team added not one, but two highly touted tight ends in the offseason - free agent James Casey and second-round pick Zach Ertz. Then, during OTAs in May, the coaches asked Harbor to take some reps at outside linebacker. The experiment lasted only a day, and coach Chip Kelly said it was nothing more than food for thought in the event of an emergency, but still.
August 9, 2013 |
TWO WEEKS into Eagles training camp, there still is a lot we don't know about Chip Kelly's offense. But one thing we do know is that the tight end position will have a starring role in the production. The Eagles have seven tight ends on their preseason roster. Only one NFC team is carrying more (Rams, with eight). During the team's 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work, Kelly regularly has used two-tight-end sets, and sometimes has put three on the field together, particularly in the red zone.
May 20, 2013 |
Chip Kelly has been open about his desire for versatile players, a trait sought by many coaches. But Kelly's search for versatility stretches beyond convention, as evidenced by at least two roster experiments during organized team activities last week. Tight end Clay Harbor spent one day of practice at outside linebacker. Wide receiver Jason Avant took practice repetitions with defensive backs. Neither player is changing positions. Rather, it seems to be an effort to explore different scenarios, if needed.
May 18, 2013 |
Part Three of a Series The Eagles are amid their first organized team activities this week, and they will practice throughout the next four weeks. After those practices, coach Chip Kelly will have a better idea of the Eagles roster. But there's a lot that will happen between now and then. Here is a look at the tight ends: Projected current first team TE1: Brent Celek (6-foot-4, 255 pounds), age 28, 7th season TE2: James Casey (6-3, 240), 28, 5th Of all the positions on the Eagles offense, the one that has seen the most change this offseason is tight end. Kelly brought in three new quarterbacks, but the current top two remain the same.