September 4, 2016 |
FANS AND REPORTERS who cover the team have seen only glimpses of the Marcus Smith transformation that has impressed Eagles coaches apparently enough that Smith could declare he wasn't worried about his roster spot following Thursday night's preseason finale. Smith, given a strong endorsement recently from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, took the field for only 10 defensive snaps against the Jets. Twice, he powered through the line on running plays, dropping Khiry Robinson for losses of 2 and 5 yards.
September 4, 2016 |
Marcus Smith was not one who needed to worry about his employment during Labor Day weekend the last two summers. A 2014 first-round pick, Smith had a ticket to the 53-man roster by virtue of his draft status even if he did not have much of a role on the Eagles defense during the last two seasons. There have been two draft classes that have entered the NovaCare complex since he joined the team along with a new coaching staff and defensive scheme. So Smith doesn't have the same the status.
August 5, 2016 |
A new defense, position, and coaching staff should, theoretically, give Marcus Smith a new lease on his fluttering NFL career. The third-year defensive end is approaching this season with that premise. And who can blame him? If Smith didn't believe this was his chance to finally deliver upon the promise of the draft, then he might as well join first-round busts like Danny Watkins in the real world. "I want at least 10 sacks, 10 [tackles for loss], and at least four interceptions," Smith said when asked for his 2016 goals.
March 7, 2016 |
The Philadelphia Eagles celebrated the single most important roster achievement for any NFL team last week when they identified and signed a quarterback the organization believes can lead it successfully for years. Other accomplishments in terms of recruiting, drafting, and landing players don't just merely take a backseat to settling on a quarterback. Those moves are on a different bus altogether. If there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction among the general public - and there is always an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in Philadelphia - it was because keeping Sam Bradford with a two-year contract that short-circuited a spin of the free-agency wheel represented a move that was slightly boring.
January 20, 2016 |
When Jeffrey Lurie took questions about the firing of Chip Kelly three weeks ago, he was very clear on one point - hiring the guy hadn't worked. It was a bold move, and encompassed a bold vision, but as with those nascent fliers who fashioned their own feathered wings and jumped off the garage, sometimes being bold can be overrated. That brings us to the impending press conference to introduce Doug Pederson as the new head coach of the Eagles. On a scale of Zero to Bold, Pederson's hire ranks somewhere between Timid and Prudent.
November 24, 2014 |
There's a story about Danny Watkins and the Eagles, and it bears mentioning because the team's current top draft pick is struggling as much as the fireman did in his first NFL season. The Eagles knew from almost the first practice that Watkins didn't have what it took to perform in the pros, and certainly not at a level expected for a first-round offensive lineman. Before the Eagles had even donned pads in the lockout-delayed 2011 training camp, Andy Reid believed he had seen enough and confided to some in the organization that Watkins was a mental novice when it came to football.
September 14, 2014 |
Wade Smith has less than 72 hours to learn the Eagles offense to where he would feel comfortable starting at left guard against the Indianapolis Colts. Once considered a long shot because the Eagles acquired Smith on Tuesday, coach Chip Kelly suggested on Friday that the veteran offensive lineman had the acumen to learn the plays and calls in time for Monday night's game. "Dealing with Wade the last two or three days, I think he's got a really good grasp of what we're trying to do," Kelly said.
July 29, 2014 |
WE WERE reminded once again yesterday, in what Bill Davis said and in what he didn't say, that the Eagles are kind of easing into this whole Marcus Smith thing. Fans might be underwhelmed by the news that Smith yesterday worked with the second defensive unit, after running with the third-stringers much of the spring. Progress, yes, but Smith was the team's first-round draft choice, 26th overall, just a few months back. The organization made it clear when he was drafted that Smith wasn't expected to step into a starting role as a rookie, the way Lane Johnson (2013)
May 23, 2014 |
IT WAS NOT easy starting 17 games, playing every right-tackle snap but one over the entire season, as a rookie in Chip Kelly's Eagles offense. Lane Johnson didn't really let on how hard it was; the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft always seemed poised, confident and relaxed when he spoke with reporters. But when his rookie year finally ended with that 26-24 playoff loss to New Orleans, "I was tired," Johnson allowed yesterday, as he took a break from working out at NovaCare in preparation for next week's organized team activity.
November 1, 2013 |
IT WILL fade into Eagles history as little more than a speed bump either on their road to relevance or, if they continue to struggle, on their continued path toward futility. It should not be allowed to fade. The Eagles on Tuesday traded one of the main building blocks for their reconstitution, veteran nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, a seven-game starter, for, essentially, nothing. The more obvious drafting mistakes - guard Danny Watkins and safeties Jaiquawn Jarrett and Nate Allen - overshadowed the more egregious errors in shopping for pro personnel, such as the $3.25 million mistake Sopoaga has been.