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July 25, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Eagles host the Jaguars in this season's opener, it will be the first time that Marcus Smith has ever been to an NFL game. Will the top draft pick be more than a spectator? The Eagles have been tempering expectations, knowing full well that rookie edge rushers rarely make an immediate impact in their first seasons. But will Smith even dress from Day 1? "We're excited to have Marcus," Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said last month. "But he's a rookie like the rest of them, and their heads are swimming right now because we got the whole defense in. " Smith is also relatively new to playing outside linebacker.
SPORTS
July 28, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
There are no two more intriguing sports figures in Philadelphia these days than Chip Kelly and Sam Hinkie. No one else comes close, and the two of them are fascinating for the same reasons. No one else wields as much influence over any of the city's four major franchises as these men do, and no one else has shown the same willingness to flout the conventional wisdom of his respective sport. The Eagles held their first training-camp practice Saturday - exactly one month after the NBA held its annual player draft - so it seemed an appropriate time to point out the philosophical line that separates two of the town's teams from the other two. It's a stark divide, and Kelly and Hinkie are the cause of it. On one side are the Phillies and the Flyers, who have long believed their reluctance to change, their adherence to tradition, is a strength.
NEWS
July 19, 1996 | For The Inquirer / BILL CAIN
Enjoying the NFL Experience, Kerri Kappler, 8, of Levittown, kicks a ball at the Eagles' training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. The interactive football event offers nine activities to try.
SPORTS
July 22, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Eagles hired Bill Davis, the immediate impulse was to check his record as a defensive coordinator. It was not promising. At two previous stops, Davis' defenses never stood among the best in the NFL, never were more than middling in major statistics, and mostly ranked near the bottom. There was obvious concern that the offensive- and special-teams-minded Chip Kelly had chosen the wrong man to head the side of the ball he spends the least amount of time directing. A year later, Davis appears to have quelled some of the initial fears that were compounded by a slow start last season.
SPORTS
July 26, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
RICHMOND, Va. - DeSean Jackson's first training camp practice with the Washington Redskins ended around 11 a.m. Thursday, but Jackson stayed on the field. He took extra throws after other players filed to the locker room. Once he finished, Jackson walked to the ropes that held back fans three or four deep. He signed autographs and posed for photos. It was those fans' first time to see the former Eagles receiver as a Redskin, and Jackson tried to endear himself to a group he once tortured with touchdowns.
SPORTS
July 24, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Staff Writer
FOOTBALL, LIKE fashion, is constantly changing. If a team wants to survive, it has to change with it. With NFL offenses throwing the ball more than ever the last few seasons, defenses have countered by playing more man coverage with bigger, more physical corners who might not have sub-4.4 speed but who can use their size and strength and octopus arms to harass receivers as they come off the line of scrimmage and delay their entry into routes....
SPORTS
July 28, 2014 | BY ANDREW ALBERT, Daily News Staff Writer alberta@phillynews.com
IN FEBRUARY 2012, the Eagles started the process of revitalizing Lincoln Financial Field to give fans a better in game experience. More than 2 1/2 years and $125 million later, the renovations are "99 percent complete," according to team president Don Smolenski. All of the work will be done before the Eagles' home opener on Sept. 7 against Jacksonville. The in-game experience at the Linc, which opened in 2003, will be much more modern, an upgrade that was much needed, Smolenski said.
SPORTS
July 25, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Chip Kelly is all about the process, all about being a little better today than yesterday, and is content to let the todays pile up and eventually become a tomorrow. When Kelly talks about what he hopes the Eagles will accomplish in the training camp that begins as players report Friday and take the field Saturday, he usually says: "We just need to get better in all phases. " Better today than yesterday and on and on. Somewhere deep inside the NovaCare Complex, however, inside the offices where Kelly and his staff and general manager Howie Roseman have plotted the course and prioritized the weaknesses that must be improved, the answers are a little more specific.
SPORTS
July 25, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
1 Releasing DeSean Jackson: You can dispute my ranking of this as the most important move, certainly. If the offense still works smoothly - I think it probably will - and if the Redskins don't win the NFC East - I think they probably won't - then this isn't the most important move of the offseason, from an on-field perspective. But in terms of headlines generated, and in defining what Chip Kelly expects, it certainly was. The Jackson release highlighted an offseason emphasis on players who put football and the team first.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drafted NFL players have only so many opportunities to get a second long-term contract. For a mid-to-late-round pick such as cornerback Brandon Boykin, a lot is at stake in his third season if he wants the Eagles to extend his contract next offseason, a year before it expires. The Eagles did so this offseason for center Jason Kelce, who delivered a Pro Bowl-caliber performance in his third year. For a first-round pick such as Fletcher Cox, who signed a four-year, $10 million contract after the Eagles selected him 12th overall in 2012, there might not be as much financial pressure, but there is the added weight of expectations.
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SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
SOMETIMES WHEN we touch, the honesty's too much . . . LeSean McCoy has probably never heard that 1977 Dan Hill song, and he is much better for it, since it regularly earns a high spot in polls ranking the worst-ever lyrics. But McCoy had an issue with being touched yesterday by his Eagles teammate and buddy, Trent Cole, after McCoy became the 879th running back, by unofficial Daily News count, to elude the second-day training-camp pass coverage of a pursuing linebacker. Some Eagles described the touch as more of a hard bump, in what was supposed to be a noncontact session.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Staff Writer
NO DESEAN? No problem. A four-game season-opening drug suspension for the starting right tackle? Viva l'Allen Barbre! Even without Jackson, even without Lane Johnson until Week 5, even with three old geezers on the offensive line, optimism abounds for the Eagles' offense. After last season, there is a belief is that Professor Charles "Chip" Kelly could find a way to put up 30 points a game with a Boy Scout troop. The defense? Not so much. Despite the night-and-day improvement of Bill Davis' unit from the start of the season, when it gave up a disturbing 138 points in the first four games, to the end, when it held 10 of its last 12 regular-season opponents to 21 points or less, and despite the addition of offseason reinforcements to the secondary (Malcolm Jenkins, Nolan Carroll, Chris Maragos)
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
LeSean McCoy emerged from the scuffle still enraged, needing to be restrained from going after Trent Cole again. The Eagles' star running back was upset when Cole, a veteran linebacker, pushed him off the line during a seven-on-seven drill Sunday. The first fight of training camp ensued. "The whole camp so far, it's been touching a little too much," McCoy said. "And I'm trying to let them know, 'It's OK if you can't cover me.' " McCoy flashed a smile and emphasized his friendship with Cole.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drafted NFL players have only so many opportunities to get a second long-term contract. For a mid-to-late-round pick such as cornerback Brandon Boykin, a lot is at stake in his third season if he wants the Eagles to extend his contract next offseason, a year before it expires. The Eagles did so this offseason for center Jason Kelce, who delivered a Pro Bowl-caliber performance in his third year. For a first-round pick such as Fletcher Cox, who signed a four-year, $10 million contract after the Eagles selected him 12th overall in 2012, there might not be as much financial pressure, but there is the added weight of expectations.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marcus Smith is not expected to start when the season begins, but defensive coordinator Bill Davis said that the first-round pick learned the Eagles defense "fairly quickly. " The team is employing him in much the same way he was used at Louisville. Smith has mostly lined up with the third-team defense in the "Jack" role - the spot occupied by linebacker Connor Barwin with the starters. He occasionally played on the second team during the first two days of practice. Davis said Smith might get work with the first team - or at least go against the first-team offense.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chip Kelly values the NFL draft. He just doesn't understand the hype surrounding it. Expounding on an interview with the MMQB website, the Eagles coach identified the draft hype as the one thing in the NFL that has surprised him. "Literally from the day the Super Bowl ends until the draft . . . that's all everybody talks about," Kelly said before Monday's practice. He also said the signing-day hype in college was misguided, pointing out that few of those players immediately contribute.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
PUTTING THE pads on for the first time this year didn't really lead to a whole lot of contact, overall, but there was enough for Jeremy Maclin to take umbrage at something Bradley Fletcher did. The Eagles' top wideout flung haymakers at the starting corner, as teammates rushed to the fray. At one point Fletcher, his shoulders in the grasp of someone, started trying to work Maclin's body with uppercuts. Order was finally restored after team security chief Dom DiSandro hustled onto the field.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Staff Writer
ON THOSE RARE dark days when he would drop his guard and the self-pity would come rushing at him, Arrelious Benn would ask, "Why me, God? Why me?" Many athletes are fortunate enough to play their entire careers without a major injury. Benn isn't one of them. There have been not one, but two, torn ACLs. To the same knee. There has been a torn medial collateral ligament. There have been neck and shoulder injuries. There has been a concussion. In four NFL seasons, the 25-year-old Eagles wide receiver has missed 27 of 64 regular-season games due to injury.
SPORTS
July 29, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
There are 13 wide receivers on the Eagles' 90-man roster right now. If you didn't know who any of them were, and had to pick a standout yesterday, you probably would have taken that tall dude wearing No. 81, whose long legs kept slashing across the middle, as he made catch after catch. Chip Kelly is absolutely right about the overheated NFL hype machine, particularly when it comes to the draft. And yet, right after Kelly expanded yesterday on remarks he originally made to Sports Illustrated's Peter King over the weekend, Jordan Matthews showed a crowd of just under 15,000 people at Lincoln Financial Field why he got so much media attention all spring.
SPORTS
July 28, 2014 | BY PAUL DOMOWITCH, Daily News Staff Writer pdomo@aol.com
LATE LAST MONTH, with his attempts to get the Eagles to restructure his contract going nowhere, Evan Mathis had pretty much decided he was going to hold out of training camp. "Probably won't see you on the 25th," he said. Even as recently as Wednesday, Drew Rosenhaus, the agent who represents the 32-year-old All-Pro left guard, indicated that Mathis still was considering being a NovaCare no-show yesterday. But there he was, reporting for the start of two-a-days with the rest of the team.
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