Shady’s Feelings Got Hurt

Posted: April 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 255 Comments »

LeSean McCoy isn’t happy with Chip Kelly.

Jeff McLane spoke to Shady yesterday and got this quote.

“I don’t think he likes or respects the stars. I’m being honest,” McCoy told The Inquirer on Monday. “I think he likes the fact that it’s ‘Chip Kelly and the Eagles.’ “

Wow. Tell us how you really feel.

Then McCoy talked about Kelly’s explanation for the trade (money) vs Jeff Lurie’s explanation (running style).

“I read what he said in the media and I agree with it,” McCoy said of Lurie’s comments. “There’s nothing wrong with that. Chip felt like I wasn’t a fit for his offense. But why not say that?

“It’s hard to say that because if you turn on that tape when that [offense] isn’t going I make that [stuff] happen. You see, he can’t say that. But I think that’s how he felt.”

Kelly was trying to be protective of Shady. Ugh.

Kelly didn’t want to say something negative about his former player so he focused on the financial side of things. In Kelly’s mind, that was taking the high road and being supportive. If Kelly goes out there and talks about how Shady dances too much, that’s going to open a can of worms.

Players don’t like to leave a good situation. I don’t blame Shady for not being thrilled with things. It’s just funny to hear Kelly is anti-star. Something tells me he’d take Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson in the blink of an eye. I doubt Kelly would see JJ Watt is a guy he wanted nothing to do with.

Kelly wanted to change things. Shady wasn’t part of that plan. It just happens.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama wrote a good piece on the Eagles and age. The Eagles have 10 players age 30 or above, which is one of the highest totals in the league. Still, it’s not as bad as it sounds. 2 of them are the P and LS. Miles Austin, Brandon Bair and Allen Barbre are also on that list. Very expendable guys. The point is…this isn’t like Chip Kelly has let the whole team get old all at once (see the Giants of a couple of years ago).

Good nugget here.

• There’s a notion that the Eagles got older this offseason. That simply isn’t true. As noted above, the Eagles subtracted five players over the age of 30 this offseason. They only added one, Miles Austin.

Read the whole piece. Jimmy is the master of rosters and age.

Imagine if he ever writes about the Eagles media. Between Les, Roob and Domo…they go through Geritol like I do Funyuns.

* * * * *

The Eagles are showing interest in late round OLB prospect Obum Gwacham. He started off as a WR at Oregon State and eventually moved to defense. He’s raw, but has good size and serious athletic ability. The Eagles recently brought him to Philly and he wrote about the trip.

It was different. I didn’t really get a chance to explore the city too much. I got in, I woke up the next morning, met with the coaches, met with some of the other staff members. We did a little training exercise and a few other tests. Then, we got in the room with the linebackers coach, Coach (Bill) McGovern, and he went through some of the defensive plays with me. We had lunch, I came back later and met back with him and went through some film and kind of (went through) the plays that he taught me. After that, met with some other staff members, got a Philly cheese steak and was back in Oregon the next minute. It was a pretty quick, efficient trip.

It was my first time (at an NFL facility) and I was taking it all in. It was definitely a lot different. Walking around, there were a ton of Hall of Famers on the wall, a lot of old guys that have played in the league showing up on the wall. It’s just crazy walking by and seeing that they walked through those halls, as well.

They see me as a 3-4 linebacker. Just going through some of the film, it’s definitely I’d feel like I’d be very comfortable doing. Because I’ll show up on the line and then occasionally I’ll be dropping into coverage. It’s definitely that I’ve been working on and not something that I’m too worried about.

A few questions they asked was just would I play against certain things an offensive tackle might do to me or certain blocks an offensive lineman might do to me. I feel like I gave them the right answers, because they were nodding their heads and agreeing with me on those.

I felt like they’re the knd of staff I’d like to be around. When I was with Coach McGovern, I feel like I picked up the same vibe as when I took my visit to Oregon State. Everyone was very welcoming. Everyone there, they went out of their way to introduce themselves to me and all that. Coach McGovern, he seems like a very good coach. He seems like the kind of coach that I’d want coaching me.

Nothing really caught me off-guard. Going into it, I spoke to my agent and he kind of told me what to expect. And then the night before, I was given an itinerary with the activities that we would be doing. So I wouldn’t say anything really caught me off-guard. Going into it, Coach McGovern said they weren’t going to try to trick me.

They basically just told me to stay in football shape, because it’s gonna come really quick. As soon as the draft happens, it’s going to be the next season the next moment. Keep working out and not get out of shape. And when I do start learning all the stuff, I need to be very, very smart and comfrotable with it, because I’ll be coming in and trying to earn one of the veterans’ spots. That’s probably going to be a guy that’s been there for a while and has probably got the playbook down pat. Me, on the other hand, I don’t, so (McGovern) basically told me I need to really compete, because in order to make the team, you’ve got to take someone’s job. I told him I’m willing to do it. I’m definitely willing to work and put forth the effort in order to make that happen.

Gwacham would be a really interesting late round pick. He’s 6-5, 246. Runs 4.72 in the 40. 22 reps, despite having long arms. 36-inch vertical. Lacks ideal agility, but has good potential.

Here are some highlights.

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Wide Friggin’ Open

Posted: April 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 253 Comments »

I had some ideas on what might happen in free agency. I wasn’t anywhere close to reality. Chip Kelly made moves that I would have never come up with.

Because of that, I’m as excited for this draft as any I can remember. I wrote about that for PE.com.

There were times when Andy Reid would throw me a curve ball, but I generally knew what he was doing. Same with Howie Roseman. I don’t mean that I could predict every pick, but I had a good feel for the players they would like and when they might go after them.

I have some very basic ideas with Chip, but I also realize he could do shocking things in the draft. He could trade up, he could trade down. He could make surprising choices. The actual draft board was mostly put together by Ed Marynowitz and the scouting department so this isn’t as if Chip Kelly is going to take a long snapper in the 2nd round and then spend a 3rd round pick on a kid from Oregon that the rest of the league sees as a UDFA.

The scouts are looking for Chip Kelly’s type of players so there won’t be a lot of 5-9 CBs or 230-pound Safeties in the mix. But the scouts are grading players in a conventional way. They started this process last spring. Howie was the GM and ran the scouting department. Chip took over in January. I’m sure he communicated to the scouts what he was looking for, but he couldn’t completely overhaul how they graded players in a matter of days. I don’t know if Kelly even wants to do that. He’s just very specific with what he is looking for.

With Kelly running the show, the draft is wide open. Just about anything can happen. It will almost be disappointing if the teams stays put at every pick and makes seemingly normal selections. After the flurry of pro personnel moves, I think we all expect at least one pick where we say “What is Chip thinking?”.

Less than a month away.

Are you starting to get excited.

* * * * *

If the Eagles miss out out on CBs Trae Waynes and Kevin Johnson, and they don’t like Marcus Peters (possible character issues), I hope they go for Eric Rowe over Byron Jones. I love Jones athletic ability, but Rowe is smarter and more instinctive as a player. I value that in DBs.

The more I watch of Rowe, the more he grows on me. He’s not an elite corner or special player, but there is a lot to like about him.

* * * * *

Someone in the comments section found this snippet on Nick Saban.

What makes Saban such a fantastic coach is that he recruits players who fit his system. One example that I read in The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, is that Saban follows what he called “the blueprint” for success. According to the book, Andy Staples in Sports Illustrated, stated that the “blueprint targeted high school athletes who fit certain character/attitude/intelligence criteria and position-specific height/weight/speed guidelines tailored to Alabama’s offensive and defensive schemes. Cornerbacks, for example, should ideally be between six feet and six feet two inches and about 190 pounds and run a sub-4.5 forty-yard dash; linemen should stand no less than six feet two because as ( Kirby) Smart (defensive coordinator) drily noted, ‘big people beat up little people.’”

They state that they might not be interested in guys who might be five-star players as seen by recruiting websites, if they don’t fit their parameters at Alabama. Smart states, “Sure there are exceptions to the rule, but we don’t want a team full of exceptions.”

Sounds very familiar, huh?

Just interesting to hear how much coaches can think alike, despite being very different.

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More Eagles Draft Talk

Posted: April 4th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 123 Comments »

Before we get into draft stuff, a couple of things. Many of you want a podcast or at least a podcast update. We tried to record a show each of the past 2 weeks, but there were last minute issues that came up. I promise you we will do everything possible to put out a show this week. Feel free to blame Jimmy Bama since everything bad is always his fault.

* * * * *

BGN had an interesting piece the other day. I’m not familiar with Matt Harkenreader, but he wrote a column about Chip Kelly and how he might look at things from a numerical standpoint, and in a slightly different way than you might think. The piece isn’t about analytics, but rather an engineering outlook on team building.

I don’t agree with all of his thoughts, but it is an enjoyable piece with some interesting ideas.

* * * * *

The Eagles were at Maryland’s Pro Day. They were checking out ILB Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil.

Cudjoe-Virgil ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 to 4.6 seconds, according to NFL scouts.

The 6-foot-2, 244-pound Towson High graduate also bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times. He had a 4.25 short shuttle, a 7.2 three-cone drill and a 9-10 broad jump before 30 NFL teams. That included the presence of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio.

“I had a pretty good day,” said Cudjoe-Virgil, who wasn’t able to work out at the NFL scouting combine in February due to a knee injury. “I’m excited. I feel like I did well. I’m just trying to get more opportunities.

“It was definitely a big crowd, more than I even expected. It was definitely a good day for a lot of us trying to make a name for ourselves at the next level.”

Following the workout, Cudjoe-Virgil did board work for the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers.

YCV, as I’ll affectionately call him here, is a late round or UDFA target. The Eagles are being extremely thorough with their research on ILB prospects. They are talking to Top 50 prospects and guys that won’t be picked. It is really going to be interesting to see who they do pick or sign. It will also be interesting down the road when we hear who they really wanted but missed out on (should that happen).

* * * * *

One of my favorite CBs in the draft is PJ Williams from Florida State. He’s tough, physical and very talented. And apparently very, very dumb. He got a DUI this week.

He was driving the rental car on a suspended license, according to court records.

Williams, 21, stopped during a green light at the intersection of Dewey and Tennessee Streets before turning onto Tennessee Street.

He swerved over the center line several times and the outside line nearly hitting the curb before he was stopped, court records show.

The FSUPD officer noticed Williams’ eyes were red and watery and he spoke with slurred speech, according to court records.

He told officers he was coming from local bar Recess. His stance swayed and he braced against the door of the vehicle when officers asked him to exit.

He refused a field sobriety test and to give a breath sample at the Leon County Jail.

Williams told police he played football for FSU and he “just wanted to go home,” before being transported to the jail, the arrest report states.

He’s already got a suspended license. Then he drives drunk. Then he tries the old “Do you know who I am? I just want to go home” trick.

Does this sound like a Chip Kelly guy? I’m kinda leaning a bit toward no.

There is no way he goes in the 1st round to any team.  Someone will take a chance on him, probably in the 3rd round. There just aren’t enough good cover corners. Some team will be willing to roll the dice. If you had a veteran secondary that could help the young guy, that might be the best situation. Clearly the Eagles don’t fit that description.

* * * * *

The Eagles are checking out QB Cody Fajardo from Nevada. Tim McManus has the details.

The former Nevada quarterback  has had one private workout to this point, he said, and that was with Eagles QB coach Ryan Day.

“I felt that he was pretty interested,” Fajardo said in a phone conversation with Birds 24/7. “We had a great lunch together and he asked me some typical questions and then some off-the-wall questions. It was definitely a good time. I got to learn a little bit of the system in the private workout, what types of routes they run and how they do their play-action, so it was kind of an inside look at what the Eagles do.

“He said I threw the ball really well.”

I can’t say I’m a big fan of his. I do need to watch some older games to make sure I get more of a complete picture. Fajardo is a good athlete and he’s got a lot of experience. I’m sure Kelly would enjoy having a mobile QB to work with.

I’ll watch more of him and write up what I see.

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What Will Happen At Safety?

Posted: April 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 310 Comments »

The Eagles went hard after free agent Devin McCourty. He proved to be a complete traitor by re-signing with the evil Patriots. If you can’t convince a man to leave his friends and teammates by throwing money at him, you have to wonder what kind of a world we really live in.

Since Traitor McCourty turned his back on the innocent children of Philadelphia, who dreamed of having a star FS for the first time since 2008, the Eagles are now faced with the task of figuring out what to do at Safety. Malcolm Jenkins is a good player, but the spot opposite of him is more open than DeSean Jackson being covered by Bradley Fletcher.

Jimmy Bama offered some thoughts on the situation. While I’m extremely confident the Eagles have several future Pro Bowl types already on the roster, Jimmy is a bit more down on the situation.

In summary, the Eagles are probably going to be bad on the back end in 2015. Again. Apologies for stating the obvious. And God forbid Jenkins get hurt.

Apparently someone hasn’t seen Jerome Couplin’s YouTube highlights, right?

By the time he’s done, Couplin will make Brian Dawkins look like Jarrad Page. (okay, that might be going a bit too far)

Just in case the Eagles want another option beyond Couplin, they might consider spending a draft pick on a Safety. Let’s talk about some of the guys.

* Landon Collins – Alabama – 6-0, 228 – I don’t see him as a legit target. Collins is more of a pure SS. He’s a good prospect, but I don’t see him as a good fit for what the Eagles want.

* Shaq Thompson – Washington – 6-0, 228 – Former LB/RB who some teams like as a S. Same size as Collins but a different guy. Lacks Collins speed (4.64 to 4.53), but much more agile. Thompson had a short shuttle time of 4.08 to Collins’ 4.33. Thompson is the natural athlete. He can do a bit of everything. Good instincts. Playmaker. I don’t know if Kelly would be interested in a project like Thompson, but he’d have to be at least curious. The Eagles are either going to work him out or bring him to Philly.

* Damarious Randall – Arizona St – 5-11, 196 – Ideal fit for the Eagles. But a highly inconsistent player. Put on the USC game and you’ll be impressed. Watch the Oregon State game and you’ll be highly disappointed…or worse. As long as you don’t take him too early, worth a look because of the fit. Can play SS, FS or the slot.

* Adrian Amos – Penn State – 6-0, 215 – Has played CB and S. I’m interested in him as a CB, but don’t love him as a S. Inconsistent as a hitter/tackler.

* Kurtis Drummond – Michigan St – 6-1, 208 – I like him as a mid-round target, but don’t know what the Eagles think. Has some man cover skills, but not someone you’d want covering slot receivers on a regular basis.

* Byron Jones – UConn – 6-1, 199 – Spent his first 2 years at S before moving to CB. Has the skills and athleticism to play either position. Chip Kelly went to his Pro Day so there is more than casual interest. Do they like him at CB or could Kelly see him as a S? There are plenty of talented CB prospects in this draft. Finding the right S isn’t so easy.

* Eric Rowe – Utah – 6-1, 205 – Played S for 3 years before moving to CB as a Senior. Kelly was at his Pro Day. Another guy that could play either spot in the NFL.

* Quinten Rollins – Miami O – 5-11, 195 – Former basketball player has one year of college football experience. Played CB. Physical player. Had 7 INTs. Natural athlete and instinctive player. Could be an interesting candidate at Safety.

I’m not going through every guy the Eagles could like. These are the big names. I don’t have a favorite player among them yet. That will change in the next couple of weeks.

* * * * *

I think Reuben Frank owes us an explanation. From UConn’s Pro Day

Reuben Frank, who worked out with the defensive linemen and receivers, matched Whitmer with a vertical leap of 33½ inches, an inch better than receiver Deshon Foxx and two inches better than 300-pound defensive lineman B.J. McBryde.

What was he doing working out with those kids? What is Geoff Mosher’s vertical jump?

We deserve answers, Roob!!!

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Player Interest List

Posted: April 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 198 Comments »

Back in 2003 or 2004, a person on the Eagles Message Board and I began tracking pre-draft interest between the Eagles and prospects. We didn’t have nearly as much info as we do today, but it was still a fun exercise and helped us to understand what might happen in the draft.

This is useful information, if you understand it.

Last year all of the Eagles picks visited Philly, with the exception of Josh Huff, who Chip Kelly knew a thing or two about. It doesn’t always work out that neatly, though.

One of the reasons I track all the Pro Day info is to know where the assistant coaches are going. They will tell you not only who the Eagles are interested in, but what positions seem to have some priority. That or you have bored coaches who love to go to Pro Days.

The fact that Jeff Stoutland ran Ali Marpet’s Pro Day workout shows special interest. The fact Stephone Anthony had dinner with Eagles staff (probably Chip Kelly & Bill Davis) prior to his Pro Day shows special interest. Neither player is a 1st round pick, but that doesn’t mean the team can’t really value them in the round where they are graded.

I’ll post some analysis on players and positions in a later piece. For now, let’s take a look at the draft prospects the Eagles have shown interest in.

COMING TO PHILLY FOR A VISIT

* LB Danielle Hunter – LSU … visit coming soon

* WR Breshad Perriman – UCF … visit coming soon

* OLB Shane Ray – Missouri … April meeting

* OLB/DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa – UCLA … already visited

* WR Rashad Greene – Florida State … visit coming soon

* LS Joe Cardona – Navy … visit coming soon

* TE Randall Telfer – USC … visit coming soon

* CB Kevin Johnson – Wake Forest … visit coming soon

* WR Jaelen Strong – Arizona State … already visited

* ILB Benardrick McKinney – Miss State … already visited

* WR Nelson Agholor – USC … already visited

* FS Damarious Randall – Arizona State … already visited

* OL Terry Poole – San Diego State … visit coming soon

* WR Chris Conley – Georgia … visit coming soon

SPECIAL WORKOUTS / PRIVATE VISITS

* ILB Johnior Sylvestre – Toledo … worked out by LBs coach at Pro Day

* ILB Stephone Anthony – Clemson … had dinner with him prior to Pro Day

* ILB Kyle Emmanuel – North Dakota St … ILB coach at his Pro Day

* ILB Jordan Hicks – Texas … ILB coach at his Pro Day

* ILB Martrell Spaight – Arkansas … ILB coach worked him out at Pro Day

* ILB Jake Ryan – Michigan …. ILB coach worked him out at Pro Day

* ILB Gabriel Martin – Bowling Green … ILB coach was at his Pro Day

* ILB Darryl Lynch – Bowling Green … ILB coach was at his Pro Day

* ILB Ben Heeney – Kansas … 30-min. phone conversation with ILB coach

* ILB Justin Shirk – Bloomsburg … met with him at his Pro Day

* ILB Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil – Maryland … met with him at his Pro Day, did chalk talk

* S/ILB Shaq Thompson – Washington … workout/visit

* S Adrian Amos – Penn State … watched tape with him at Pro Day

* S Kurtis Drummond – Michigan State … DB coach at his Pro Day

* S Brian Blechen – Utah … private workout

* S Ibraheim Campbell – NW …. private workout

* CB Quentin Rollins – Miami …. DB coach worked him out as S & CB at Pro Day

* CB Kevin Johnson – Wake Forest … DB coach at Pro Day

* CB Trae Waynes  – Michigan State … DB coach at his Pro Day

* CB Eric Rowe – Utah … private workout, Chip Kelly at his Pro Day

* CB Byron Jones – UConn … Chip Kelly, Bill Davis at his Pro Day

* CB Garry Peters – Clemson … worked out by DB coach at his Pro Day

* CB Justin Coleman – Tennessee … talked to scouts after Pro Day workout

* CB Cam Thomas – Western Kentucky … private workout

* CB Travis Manning – NW Missouri … scout at his Pro Day

* DE Caushaud Lyons – Tusculum … DL coach worked him out at Pro Day

* DE Henry Anderson – Stanford …. DL coach at his Pro Day

* DE Jordan Williams – Tennessee … DL coach worked him out at Pro Day

* DE B.J. McBryde – UConn … talked to family, spent time w/ him at Pro Day

* DE Corey Crawford – Clemson … Bill Davis at his Pro Day

* DE Mario Edwards – Florida State … DL coach at his Pro Day

* DL Eddie Goldman – Florida State … DL coach at his Pro Day

* DL Gabe Wright – Auburn … DL coach at his Pro Day

* DL Angelo Blackson – Auburn … DL coach at his Pro Day

* DL Jordan Phillips – Oklahoma … DL coach at his Pro Day

* NT David Parry  – Stanford …. DL coach at his Pro Day

* OLB Obum Gwacham – Oregon State … met with Eagles prior to his Pro Day

* OLB Bud Dupree – Kentucky … met with him at his Pro Day

* OLB Ryan Russell – Purdue … met with him at his Pro Day

* OLB Shane Ray – Missouri … OLB coqch at his Pro Day

* OLB Vic Beasley – Clemson … Bill Davis at his Pro Day

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* OL Terry Poole – San Diego St … worked out by OL coach at Pro Day

* OL T.J. Clemmings – Pitt … worked out by OL coach at Pro Day

* OL Brandon Scherff – Iowa …. worked out by OL coach at Pro Day

* OL Ali Marpet – Hobart … OL coach ran his Pro Day workout

* OL Mike Coccia – New Hampshire … worked out by OL coach at Pro Day

* OL Al Bond – Memphis … Asst OL coach worked him out at Pro Day

* OL Andrew Donnal – Iowa …. worked out by OL coach at Pro Day

* OL Tyrus Thompson – Oklahoma … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OL Darryl Williams  – Oklahoma … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OG Adam Shead – Oklahoma … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OL Cam Erving – Florida State … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OG Tre Jackson – Florida State … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OG Josue Mattias – Florida State … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OG Mark Glowinski – West Va … Asst OL coach at his Pro Day

* OG A.J. Cann – South Carolina …. worked out by OL coach

* OL Bobby Hart – Florida State … OL coach at his Pro Day

* OL Visesio Salt – Utah … private workout

* OL Jeremiah Poutasi – Utah … private workout

* OC Ross Hall – Villanova … coming to NovaCare for local Pro Day

* QB Marcus Mariota – Oregon … QB coach at his Pro Day

* QB Bryce Petty – Baylor … QB coach had dinner with him prior to Pro Day

* QB Cody Fajardo – Nevada … QB coach worked him out at Pro Day

* QB Brett Hundley – UCLA … private workout & film session

* QB Brandon Hill – Monmouth … private workout for April 8

* WR Devante Davis – UNLV … met with scout for 30 mins on Pro Day

* WR Vernon Johnson – Texas A&M-Commerce … met with him at Pro Day

* WR Rasheed Bailey – Delaware Valley … met with him at his Pro Day

* TE Blake Bell – Oklahoma … had dinner with him

* TE Kennard Backmon – UAB … private workout

* TE Casey Pierce – Kent State … private workout

* TE Brian Parker – Albany … private workout

* TE Tyler Kroft – Rutgers … private workout

PRO DAYS ATTENDED BY CHIP KELLY

Clemson
Utah
Alabama
Michigan State
Penn State
UConn
LSU

 

MISC PRO DAYS

* Northwestern Pro Day …. scouting exec Anthony Patch in attendance

* North Texas … area scout

* Lafayette … area scout

* Coastal Carolina  … area scout

* Buffalo … area scout

* Portland State … area scout

* James Madison … area scout

* Florida Atlantic … area scout

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