August 1, 2014 |
The Eagles did not add a single inside linebacker this offseason, a curious decision for a position in which the starters were already overworked and the quality of the reserves remained an unknown. DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks are entrenched as the two starters. Najee Goode was the only other inside linebacker who took significant snaps last season. The next month will be important for the coaching staff and front office to learn what they have at the only nonspecialist spot without a new face.
July 27, 2014 |
Lane Johnson took a drug prescribed by a longtime family physician in April. He learned in May that he had failed the NFL's test for performance-enhancing drugs because of that prescription. A four-game suspension was on the way, and the Eagles' starting right tackle told coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman about the failed test once he learned the results. Johnson appealed the ruling, but the punishment was ultimately levied Wednesday. So when he reported to training camp Friday understanding that he will be absent from the conclusion of the preseason until after Week 4 of the regular season, Johnson took responsibility for the infraction.
July 25, 2014 |
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.
June 19, 2014 |
For 165 hours each week last season, the life of Eagles linebacker Travis Long was not much different from that of the players on the active roster. He participated in every practice. He attended every meeting. He traveled on every road trip. The only difference was those three hours during the game, when his teammates wore uniforms and Long wore a warm-up suit with the other practice-squad players. "In every meeting, traveling, doing everything the same, it did make me feel a part of the team," Long said.
June 13, 2014 |
Zach Ertz did not arrive in his Philadelphia hotel room until 5 a.m. after taking a red-eye from San Francisco following his graduation from Stanford. Once he stepped off the plane that day last June, his schedule could be committed to the Eagles. Before he landed, he had missed almost the entire Eagles offseason program. After a strong rookie season, Ertz has been a full participant this spring and is poised to be a major contributor to the Eagles offense this season. He no longer needs to worry about finishing a senior project that required him to discover trends in the stock market.
June 9, 2014 |
The 10 pounds Bennie Logan added this offseason beefed the Eagles' starting nose tackle to around 317-319 pounds, depending on the day. Even though that is a little shy of the prototypical nose tackle's weight, the team is confident in Logan, a second-year lineman, and has pledged its support for him. "Most people, when they picture a nose tackle, they picture a 330-plus guy, just clogging up the middle," Logan said. "But the way we play our defense, you've got to be able to run. And I don't feel I'd be able to run or do the things our coaches, in our scheme, require us to do. That's why I'm not 330, or put on that much weight.
June 6, 2014 |
The Eagles promoted six members of their football operations staff and hired two more. Rick Mueller was named director of pro personnel. Formerly the player personnel executive, Mueller will oversee all aspects of pro scouting. He previously worked for the New Orleans Saints and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Also promoted: Jake Rosenberg, from manager to director of football administration. Rosenberg is the Eagles' lead negotiator and works in salary-cap management under general manager Howie Roseman.
June 1, 2014 |
When the Eagles' first-team defense took the field during organized team activities this week, Nate Allen was in the lineup. It's a familiar spot for the Eagles veteran, whose grip on the starting job has endured through four defensive coordinators in his first four NFL seasons. He has been injured and demoted at times, but the team still sees promise. In March, the Eagles re-signed him to a one-year deal, the 2010 second-round pick's second contract. The team signed Malcolm Jenkins to start in the secondary, but did not draft a safety in the first round.
May 21, 2014 |
Beau Allen has legs like tree trunks. You look at the 6-foot-3, 329-pound nose tackle and you can understand why the Eagles drafted him in the seventh round. There's more to playing the position in the NFL, but coach Chip Kelly and his staff have certain size parameters for each position. With his ranginess and solid base, Allen checks off a bunch of the Eagles' size qualifications. And then there's his athleticism. Allen wasn't invited to the scouting combine in February, but his vertical leap (31 inches)
May 19, 2014 |
AFTER SPENDING the last 4 years in the Army, including three deployments in Afghanistan totaling 20 months, Alejandro Villanueva acknowledged he still is getting adjusted to civilian life. "I've been wearing a uniform and a flag for about 8 years now; it's all I know," the 2010 West Point graduate said. "I can't remember anything that happened before going to West Point. "It's kind of different not saluting the flag in the morning and saying the [Army] Ranger's Creed. Not hanging up your military helmet at the end of the day as opposed to a football helmet.