January 10, 2016 |
Chip Kelly interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, according to multiple reports. It was Kelly's first known interview since the Eagles fired him last week. The 49ers fired Jim Tomsula on Sunday after a 5-11 season. They have 12 draft picks this year to go along with potentially $40 million in cap space. There is uncertainty at quarterback, where Colin Kaepernick was benched last season. If healthy and if the 49ers decide to keep him, Kaepernick could be the type of dynamic dual-threat quarterback that Kelly only briefly had in his offense in Philadelphia with Michael Vick.
January 3, 2016 |
I COME TO bury lame-duck Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis, but also to praise him, something that no doubt will enrage Eagles fans who are sure Davis is a main reason their team missed the playoffs the past two seasons. Davis' group disintegrated in the second half of this, his third season on the job. The Birds' "D" was never really strong at any point in the Chip Kelly-Davis era, but the ugly numbers the Eagles put up down the stretch this season - with what should have been Davis' most talented cast, best-suited to his 3-4 scheme - are historic.
November 20, 2015 |
BRANDON GRAHAM long ago gave up fretting about what other people think of him. If you still think the Eagles screwed up royally five years ago when they selected Graham with the 13th pick in the 2010 draft instead of safety Earl Thomas or defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, well, that's your problem, not his. He is comfortable in his own skin, comfortable with the player he has become. And frankly, so are the Eagles. As the third outside linebacker last year behind Trent Cole and Connor Barwin, he played 499 snaps and had 5 1/2 sacks and a team-high four forced fumbles.
September 19, 2015 |
The focus when something goes wrong on defense against the passing game is always on the back end. You see the cornerbacks running two or three steps behind the receivers. You see safeties arriving too late to help. You see linebackers unable to cover running backs and tight ends. You see chaos and quickly pin the blame on the guys with all the rules stacked against them. We saw lots of that in the Eagles' Monday night loss in Atlanta, which is why Byron Maxwell has quickly become the $63 million question mark rather than the solution to the secondary problems that led to coach Chip Kelly's major offseason overhaul.
September 18, 2015 |
THE QUESTION was about the Eagles' defensive scheme, specifically its culpability in Monday night's 26-24 loss in Atlanta. DeMeco Ryans flashed that 'tweener smile of his, simultaneously friendly and condescending, and spit this out: "It has nothing to do with the scheme," he said. "It never matters what kind of scheme, what kind of calls you have . . . No matter what scheme you're in. It's all about players making plays. " Which is interesting, because the narrative about Bill Belichick's genius and chicanery is that he schemes to beat whoever he's playing that week.
August 17, 2015 |
Brandon Graham can bench-press 225 pounds in 28 repetitions faster than any other outside linebacker on the Eagles. He can push a 20-pound medicine ball in an allotted amount of time farther than anyone else at his position. Connor Barwin called Graham "probably the strongest guy on our team. " Asked to name an intangible the 6-foot-2, 265-pound Graham has that offsets what he lacks in length, coach Chip Kelly said: "His power. " If it weren't for his strength, along with some freakish athleticism, the stout Graham probably wouldn't be back for a sixth season in Philadelphia.
August 15, 2015 |
Bill Davis gives a great news conference. He's expansive and informative and never condescending to a questioner. He maintains excellent eye contact, moves his hands in gestures that are both welcoming and non-distracting, and often tells the truth. When he speaks about the Eagles defense, even if the defense is not performing well, he is reassuring, because once Davis is finished speaking, one comes away from the conference thinking, Well, at least Bill knows what he's doing. The trouble with Davis' news conferences - those he has given over his first two years as the Eagles' defensive coordinator, anyway - is that he's had to be reassuring too frequently.
August 12, 2015 |
ANDERSON, Ind. - The clock is ticking for Trent Cole and Todd Herremans, and they know it. The two ex-Eagles will turn 33 in October. They've been together for 10 seasons and logged a combined 269 regular-season starts since being taken 20 selections apart by the Eagles in the 2005 draft. Both have lived a pretty full NFL life, with few regrets, save one. They still don't have a Super Bowl ring. That quest has brought both of them to this quiet college town 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis, where the Colts are holding training camp at Anderson University.
June 18, 2015 |
TRAVIS LONG feels Sam Bradford's pain. The Eagles linebacker knows what it's like to have a torn ACL knock you down not once, but twice. He knows what it's like to spend lonely months recovering from the devastating injury, and then, just when you feel whole again, just when you think it's OK to smile again, bam, it happens again. Bradford's back-to-back ACL injuries to his left knee are all anybody can talk about around here, and rightfully so. His ability to make a full recovery from his latest ACL tear and stay healthy very well could help determine whether the Eagles are able to make a serious Super Bowl run this season or miss the playoffs again.
June 11, 2015 |
THE EAGLES hoped veteran wideout Jeremy Maclin would be OK, especially since they released DeSean Jackson and signed Maclin to a pricey deal. They expected slot receiver Jordan Matthews, their top offensive pick, to make a splash as a rookie. They figured Marcus Smith, their top defensive pick, would contribute on special teams and push for playing time in place of veteran linebacker Trent Cole by midseason. They projected that free-agent safety Malcolm Jenkins would stabilize their secondary.