There won’t be hitting, but Training Camp gets going today with 89 players.
Yes, that means that RB Matthew Tucker and P Brad Wing passed their conditioning tests. The Eagles didn’t move any veteran players to the NFI list so I think it is safe to assume all the veterans did pass the test.
The Eagles did make one move. They cut RB William Powell, saying that he failed his physical. I wonder if he truly failed or if they simply said that since Tucker passed his test and there was no longer a need for an extra RB. It isn’t a huge deal either way. Powell is out and the Eagles have an open roster spot to fill. Isn’t Terrell Owens still on the market?
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Speaking of WRs, this is a big year for DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Mac is in the final year of his rookie deal and DJax has a contract that the Eagles can get out of after this season. Both players are playing for new deals. Can both guys stay in Philly? Will Kelly’s offense allow for a pair of star WRs?
Honestly, we don’t know the answer to that. Kelly didn’t have star WRs in college. However, he might need them in the NFL. In college Kelly could open up things for the run game by taking advantage of the wider hashmarks and by having his QB be a regular running threat. In the NFL, Kelly has a balanced field and won’t run the QB as much, whether it is Vick, Foles or Barkley. You don’t expose an NFL QB more than you have to.
Having speedy, talented receivers is a way to keep the defense worried and stretched out, both horizontally and vertically. That can create seams and holes for the run game to attack. Andy Reid didn’t do this often enough. Chip Kelly will.
I’m genuinely curious about Mac and DJax. These guys can thrive in this offense if they will fully buy in. That means blocking and working the middle of the field, things they haven’t always done. If the two of them fail to embrace blocking and try to take every catch to the sideline, they may not even be the starting WRs by the end of the year. Kelly is a running coach. He must have WRs who will positively affect the run game. It is up to Mac and DJax to show they’ll do that.
Zach Berman wrote a piece on Maclin and how he compares to Mike Williams, the Bucs WR who just got a new deal.
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Speaking of the offense…TEs coach Ted Williams said yesterday that it will look a lot like what Oregon did.
I think the focus here is on the fact that the offense will operate from the shotgun, with a spread look. There will be lots of TEs involved and the offense will be based on the run game.
The big differences in the NFL will be the passing game and either the use or non-use of the read-option. Here is what Sheil Kapadia got Williams to say on that.
And what about the zone read? Will that be a part of the offense even if the quarterback is Nick Foles?
“We haven’t decided that particular part of it,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t say we haven’t run it, but we haven’t decided it. But it’ll look like Oregon to a degree based on what we do and how we want to do it and based on game-planning. How much of what we do depends on who we’re playing.”
The Eagles have taught the read-option in practice. It is part of the scheme. They will only use it if it is effective. The OL has to block well and then the QB/RB have to execute their part of it for the play to work. This isn’t simply a matter of QB mobility. The QB has to read the play, decided what to do (hand-off or keep the ball) and then execute that smoothly in about 1.5 seconds.
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CB Cary Williams showed up at camp early. He took a pounding from fans and the media for picking out sconces this spring instead of being at the OTAs, but camp is serious business and it sounds like Williams is ready to go. He will be an important player for the Eagles this year. That secondary is going to need a leader. Patrick Chung could be one. Williams could be another.
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PE.com won’t be streaming live coverage as they did last year. We’ll have to settle for a show at 3pm that wraps up what happened that day.
Stay tuned to Twitter for lots of details.