Friday, May 30, 2014

Teammate says Foles "wants to be great"

It gets old listening to Nick Foles really, really quickly.

That's because the Eagles' quarterback isn't into talking a good game, but playing one.

In this piece Foles said he won't allow himself to gloat over the sick numbers he put up last year. Chip Kelly appreciates that. He has zero tolerance for any guy who thinks he's "arrived."

The focus of Foles, on the other hand, is unmistakable. Kelly, the coaching staff and Foles' teammates see it daily.

"He’s a gym rat," receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "He’s a guy that likes to learn and a guy who wants to be great. He’s only going to continue to get better."

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Graham: "I want to end my career here"

Eagles pass rusher Brandon Graham heard the trade rumors sending him and a draft pick to the Dolphins for Dion Jordan, who rushed the quarterback for Chip Kelly at Oregon.

Graham indicated the Eagles' selection of pass rusher Marcus Smith in the first round of the draft "definitely put another chip" on his shoulder and  he's ready to prove he belongs.

"I came in at the right weight," Graham said. "I'm feeling good at 265. I'm controlling what I can. Whatever the rumors was I really didn't pay attention to it because I've got a role to play and that's to play my part and try to win games for this year. There's no pressure no more. I'm good. I know what I can do. And I can't wait to just go out there and show it because I really want to be here. I really love Philadelphia. I made it my home. I want to end my career here if I can."

All of that said Graham realizes the Eagles aren't going to be able to keep all of the rush linebackers in camp.

"Chip (Kelly) is a great coach. Coach (Billy) Davis is definitely a great coach, too," Graham said. "I feel like I definitely would want to give them everything I can so they know I should be safe on this team. But if not, hey man, somebody is going to get something good. But I know I really want to be here."

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eagles rookie kicker another Akers

David Akers endeared himself to Eagles fans almost as much with his courage as his kicks.

Akers relished putting kickoff returners on their backs. Sometimes at the risk of injury.

Meet Carey Spear, the undrafted rookie kicker signed by the Eagles out of Vanderbilt. Spear earned  an ESPN Top 10 play of the week honor in his junior season with a jarring tackle of Tennessee returner Cordarrelle Patterson.

Yes, Spear did what the Eagles feared they couldn't do last year with Alex Henery kicking off ... tackle Patterson. And not only put him on the ground, but before he reaches the 30-yard line. The Eagles handed the Vikings a 'W' last year partly due to horrific field position triggered by kicking away from the explosive Patterson.

The 5-10,194-pound Spear is a pretty good kicker, too. He made 15 of 19 field goal attempts last season including a career-long 54-yarder.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Eagles sign 5th round pick Reynolds

Ed Reynolds and the Eagles agreed to terms on a five-year contract Wednesday.
Ed Reynolds.

Reynolds is a safety out of Stanford.

The only unsigned Eagles picks are first round choice Marcus Smith, the rush linebacker out of Louisville and wide receiver Jordan Matthews, the second rounder from Vanderbilt.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Veteran OG Daryn Colledge visiting Eagles

Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman considering options at guard.
The Eagles invited 32-year-old guard Daryn Colledge to visit Thursday.

Colledge confirmed it on his Twitter account.

@TheJustinGodsey: FA OG Daryn Colledge (@DarynColledge71) to visit the Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) on Tuesday.” Sorry friend, Thursday.

Colledge (6-4, 308) is a salary cap casualty of the Arizona Cardinals, where he started all 48 games the past three seasons.

It wouldn't hurt the Eagles to have insurance at guard just in case veteran Evan Mathis, 32, decides to stay away from voluntary workouts. There were reports Mathis wanted his contract restructured to reflect the All-Pro season he had.

Todd Herremans, the other Eagles guard, turns 32 next season.

The Eagles didn't select an offensive lineman in the recently concluded draft.

Looks like I got a day or two in Philly guys, anybody got some food stop recommendations?

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

O'Hara's Brown signs with Panthers

Cardinal O'Hara product Corey Brown signed with the Carolina Panthers.

Brown went undrafted despite leading Ohio State in receiving the past three seasons.

Panthers quarterback Cam a Newton needs targets after the club got rid of Steve Smith.

The Panthers also signed undrafted rookie receiver Marcus Lucas of Missouri.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Jordan Matthews a chip off Jerry Rice block

Eagles second round pick Jordan Matthews dominated Southeastern Conference receivers, winding up as the loop's all-time leading pass catcher.

It helped the Vanderbilt product to lean on a family connection for direction. Matthews is cousin to Jerry Rice, the Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver.

"He was definitely influential," Matthews, who averaged 19.0 yards per catch last season said. "I think one of the most influential things was watching him as a young child and growing up and being able to study this game game and trying to take some of those things to my game. He has given me some advice and I appreciate that."

The Eagles like the way Matthews catches the ball in a crowd, which you can see on the accompanying video. Matthews doesn't have much wiggle but he can separate on deep routes.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly laughed when asked if the Rice connection attracted him to Matthews.

“It’s not a bad thing,” Kelly said. “You’re going to look at it but I don’t think we make determinations based on what this kid’s tree is. We may start doing it if he turns out to be a really good player. We’ll find out who else Jerry is related to.”


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Eagles draft a project with a move down in first round

Marcus Smith went to Louisville to be a quarterback.

In a twist of fate, Smith, the converted pass rusher came off the board in the first round five spots ahead of Teddy Bridgewater, who shattered Cardinals passing records.

The Smith pick on paper looks like a reach as he was considered a second or third-day choice per scouting services. Looking at one of his highlights video, he's anything but a classic edge rusher. Bottom line, the depth in the draft after the top of the class was so even the expectation was that there would be picks like Smith.

Check out Smith yourself.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chip Kelly's first depth chart

It's been awhile since Chip Kelly issued his first depth chart with the Eagles.

Amazingly not much has changed. Then again Kelly spent much of his time implementing his system and changing the culture.

This draft as well as the release of Desean Jackson should be a much better indicator of how he feels about the personnel.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HaHa! Mayock projects Clinton-Dix to Eagles

NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock chose a safety for the Eagles if they hang in with the 22nd overall pick in the draft Thursday night.

Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama is the guy in Mayock's mock draft. Clinton-Dix is the second safety to come off the board in Mayock's draft as Calvin Pryor went to the Bears at No. 14.

(Warning: PG 13 lyrics)

Mayock has rush end Anthony Barr of UCLA going to the Cardinals at No. 20. I don't see that scenario. If Barr is that close, the Eagles will trade up with the Dolphins, who own the 19th pick, to get the much more explosive Barr.

Mayock projects Johnny Manziel to the Cowboys at 16. I don't see Johnny Football falling that far.

All of that said brace yourself for a lot of "whats?" and "whos" when picks are made Thursday. The draft is full of good, not great prospects. The definition of good clearly is in the eyes of the beholders. 

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Eagles move on from PA maestro Dan Baker

Dan Baker, the voice of Eagles home games since 1985, is  being replaced.
Dan Baker.

The 67-year-old public address announcer, whose voice comforted a generation of Eagles fans was told last week by team president Don Smolenski management wanted to go “in a different direction.

"He said it wasn’t an easy thing for him to do and that they were very appreciative of my professionalism and dedication and service but that they just felt they needed to move in a new direction and that the in-stadium presentation is changing,” Baker said. “This isn’t my choice of course. But I’m grateful for the opportunity. I truly am grateful to Mr. Lurie and the Eagles and especially the fans for this great opportunity. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve put every ounce of energy I had into every game, every play. And I think that came across. I hope it did.”

The Eagles say they’ve begun a search for a new public address announcer with an unspecified outside agency. They’re recognizing Baker at their Sept. 7 home and season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Baker remains public address announcer of the Phillies, a post he’s held since 1972. Topping his greatest memories in that role is doing the  Phillies’ 1980 and 2008 World Series championship games at Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park, respectively.

“I  feel as if I’ve got a lot a lot left,” Baker said. “This is just, I guess a change of flavors which again, ownership and management is entitled to do. I’ve had so much good fortune. I’ve had some great jobs. I have a great family. I have a great life. Maybe a little bit less enjoyable not doing the Eagles because I loved announcing Eagles games. But I still have so many other blessings it’s hard for me to complain.”

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Eagles, Johnny Football and first-round QBs

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman estimated he's heard from “two-thirds of the league” about the 22nd overall pick in the draft he currently holds.

“And by the time the draft starts, I’ll talk to every team in the league,” Roseman said. “It’s calls about moving up, it’s calls about moving back. That’s the nature of what we do this time of year. A lot of it is going to be determined by who is on the board and who is off the board.”

Without naming names, Roseman said there’s a small group of players the Eagles would trade up for in the right circumstances.
If Johnny Manziel should drop, well, that would be interesting. The Eagles like Johnny Football. He undoubtedly is among the three sure-fire quarterbacks see coming off the board in the first round of the draft.

Manziel also could fit Roseman's "best player available" mantra. Using the Packers as an example, Roseman applauded them for drafting Aaron Rodgers even though Brett Favre was the starter.

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