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SPORTS
June 27, 2014 | Staff Report
THE LAST time the Eagles won an NFL championship, the game was played at Franklin Field, the team's home from 1958-70. As part of this year's training camp schedule, one of the Birds' three open practices will take them back there for what's believed to be the first time since 1970. The date is Sunday, Aug. 10, with a start time of 12:15 p.m. That's subject to change. "We are excited to have the Eagles return," said Steve Bilsky, Penn's outgoing director of athletics. "The Eagles enjoyed so many memorable moments here, and we think [it]
SPORTS
June 23, 2014 | BY JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer kaplanj@phillynews.com
AS A SENIOR on a struggling University of Florida team, Jaylen Watkins started some games at cornerback and others at safety. But if you listen to Eagles defensive backs coach John Lovett expound on Watkins' allure, that mere fact doesn't fully contextualize the player's versatility and football intelligence. "When you talk to him about his defense at Florida, he knew what everybody did," Lovett said. "I talked to the defensive coordinator [D.J. Durkin] down there. They put him in at positions that he hadn't even practiced that week because he knew what everybody was doing.
SPORTS
June 23, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
The head coach was asked to assess the team's spring workouts, including the just-completed mandatory minicamp. Going into the long break until the start of training camp, it seemed that everything had been accomplished as planned, and the foundation had been put down for a successful NFL season to come. "It was good to get everybody in the building and everybody working together. Overall, I feel like the team is coming along great, and the unity is where it needs to be at this point, and then when we come back to training camp with the knowledge of the system and people knowing one another, hopefully we can take off from there.
SPORTS
June 21, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles start a 35-day period without football on Friday, putting the onus on the players to remain in shape and avoid trouble before returning to Philadelphia for training camp on July 25. The Eagles huddled as a team at noon on Thursday, having just finished their 13th practice of the last four weeks and an offseason program that started April 21. After a team meeting 30 minutes later, school was out for the summer. Coach Chip Kelly was not in a hurry to leave. His message on Thursday was ensuring they finished with a strong training session, and he did not count the minutes until the 35-day respite from football activity.
SPORTS
June 21, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles used to hand out T-shirts to their players that had a message for the next season. Two years ago there was the "It's Time" shirt that wound up having more to do with the end of Andy Reid's tenure than it did with finally winning a title. Chip Kelly ended that ritual, but if he was to have shirts emblazoned with a unifying message in the post-DeSean Jackson era, it probably would have the word "Drama" in a red circle and under a slash. The Kelly Eagles in Year 2 are devoid of divalike receivers, controversial quarterbacks, contract holdouts, and the sort of off-the-field drama that seemed to plague the Reid Eagles after their 2005 Super Bowl appearance.
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
LESEAN MCCOY, one of the Eagles closest to released Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson, indicated yesterday that Jackson's departure taught McCoy something about Eagles coach Chip Kelly. "No matter how good a player is, it's the team. If you can't buy in, anything's possible," McCoy said, when asked to expound upon recent remarks he made to NFL.com. about Jackson's departure being a warning to other players. "Some players, some teams may think, 'Well, he's producing on the field, so that's the only thing that matters' . . . It's the small things, that you think nobody really cares about, but in all reality, they do. " McCoy said he didn't necessarily take the Jackson situation as a personal warning; he believes he has bought into Kelly's way of doing things and has taken care of those small things, en route to leading the NFL in rushing last season.
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
ALEJANDRO Villanueva said he didn't feel as out of place as he had feared, when Villanueva, a former Army Ranger captain, returned to football this spring with the Eagles. He said yesterday he thinks he's on track to compete for a roster spot at defensive end in training camp next month - though until he took the field with the Eagles, Villanueva hadn't worn pads since 2009, his senior year as a receiver for Army. Villanueva, the kind of project Chip Kelly likes at 6-9 and nearly 300 pounds (after getting with the Eagles' nutrition program)
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
THERE WERE more great quarterbacks when he played, Todd Lyght said recently, but fewer big, fast, superstar-level receivers. The Eagles' assistant secondary coach toiled 12 years as an NFL corner, 1991-2002, and while he had to face Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Elway, Warren Moon and Brett Favre, among others, he missed out on having to cover Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones. The guys Lyght and secondary coach John Lovett are coaching now have to face those challenges, along with the emerging class of wideout-like tight ends, such as Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis.
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
INVEST IN YOURSELF. Chip Kelly says it to every new face that walks into the NovaCare Complex. "We all have 24 hours in the same day and it's what you want to do," the Eagles' coach was saying yesterday. "If you want to go play video games and watch TV and do all those other things, you're going to get beat out by the guy who is doing the little things that are going to make the difference between making the team and not making the team. " Some get this right away. Some take longer.
SPORTS
June 20, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
OK, BOYS and girls, let's put together a list of all of the positive things about the Eagles' special-teams play last season. Let's see. Well, first and foremost, there was the consistently good punting of Donnie Jones. And there was, uh, the punting of Donnie Jones. And then there was, well, did I mention the punting of Donnie Jones? OK, so other than Jones, who put a franchise-record 33 punts inside the 20, finished ninth in the league in net average (40.5) and fifth in lowest percentage of punts returned (34.1)
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