September 17, 2014 |
INDIANAPOLIS - It is important to note, at this juncture, that the Eagles very much are a work in progress. They have a quarterback with less than a full season's worth of starts. They are inexperienced on the defensive line. They rebuilt their receiving corps. They addressed the porous defensive secondary, but they could not upgrade it overwhelmingly. They lost three of their top six offensive linemen to injury or suspension, and the offensive line was their best unit.
September 16, 2014 |
It's difficult to imagine Cody Parkey as an Eagle if it weren't for the relationship between Howie Roseman and Ryan Grigson. Former Eagles colleagues and frequent trade partners, the two general managers on Aug. 20 had just placed rookies on waivers who would have filled holes on each other's teams. The Eagles needed a kicker, and the Colts had just cut Parkey. The Colts needed a running back, and the Eagles had just released David Fluellen. Realizing the mutual interest, Roseman and Grigson worked out a straight-up deal before Parkey and Fluellen officially went on waivers.
September 6, 2014 |
Two days after the Eagles were knocked out of the playoffs, Chip Kelly was asked how much emphasis he would place on the loss to the Saints against the season as a whole when making changes in the offseason. "I think that's a mistake. I think you have to look at everything," Kelly said then. "I've always done it that way. It has to be the totality of the season. " But what happens when a postseason loss magnifies season-long issues and, in certain cases, reveals flaws that would keep an ascending team from cracking into the NFC's top tier and beating teams like the Seahawks, 49ers, Packers and Saints in the postseason?
March 19, 2014 |
Even after the Eagles signed free agents Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Maragos last week, there was the belief that they weren't quite finished adding to the safety position before May's draft. Turns out, the team looked no further than its own list of unrestricted free agents to address the need for more depth and signed Nate Allen to a one-year contract on Monday. Even though he started all 16 games in 2013, including one playoff game, Allen won't be handed a starting spot. Jenkins' three-year, $16.25 million contract ensures that he will, at the least, be given every opportunity to start.
March 14, 2014 |
On the second day of free agency, the Eagles focused their attention on special teams. They made it a priority Wednesday to sign two players whose primary roles are as special-teams performers: safety Chris Maragos from the Seahawks and linebacker Bryan Braman from the Texans. Maragos, 27, agreed to a three-year contract worth $4 million ($1 million guaranteed), according to a league source. Braman, who will turn 27 in May, agreed to a two-year deal worth $3.15 million ($1 million guaranteed)
March 13, 2014 |
Malcolm Jenkins fit the paradigm the Eagles set last offseason during free agency. The former Saints safety, who agreed to a three-year contract with the Eagles on Tuesday, is young, relatively inexpensive, and considered by some to be an ascending talent. Most of the team's signings last season followed this pattern, and some panned out, but the two additions at safety were strikeouts. So it's understandable if skeptics question Jenkins and the Eagles' evaluation of the 26-year old. Jenkins may not have the resumé of Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward, or Donte Whitner - three other free-agent safeties - but the Eagles believe his skills are suited to their scheme.
March 11, 2014 |
ON TWITTER over the weekend, " @FakeWIPCaller ," a parody account, twice expressed exasperation that the Eagles hadn't yet signed any free agents. The joke, of course, was about fan impatience; while teams were free to talk to agents for pending unrestricted free agents starting Saturday, the teams can't sign those players until 3 p.m. tomorrow. It's a long time to wait, and to track rumors. A cynic might suggest that the 3-day "official tampering period" was instituted to give agents a chance to create some buzz around their clients.
January 7, 2014 |
There are about five minutes of the Eagles' season that will haunt the team and its fans in the coming months - the end of Saturday's 26-24 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. An extra point had given the Eagles a one-point lead with 4 minutes, 54 seconds remaining. Victory was possible if they could make one more stop. The Eagles defense had forced the Saints to punt just once on the previous five drives. Now a field goal would give New Orleans the lead. But if the Saints quickly scored, the Eagles would get the ball back.
December 20, 2013 |
IKE REESE, the former Eagles Pro Bowl special-teamer and now the smarter and better-looking half of WIP's "Mike & Ike Show," was talking the other day about Chip Kelly's decision not to kick the ball to the Vikings' dangerous kickoff returner, Cordarrelle Patterson, in the Birds' 48-30 loss last Sunday. On the Eagles' first five kickoffs, Kelly had Alex Henery go with shorter squib kicks and mortar kicks. Patterson never got a return opportunity, but the strategy gave the Vikings a short field.
December 19, 2013 |
The Eagles hope that the way their secondary played in Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings was an aberration, even if they entered the game with one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. In this Sunday's visit by the Chicago Bears, the Eagles will learn whether the concern about the defensive backfield is valid. The Bears feature two of the NFC's top receivers - Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have both eclipsed 1,000 yards this season - and the NFL's fifth-ranked passing offense.