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Some Things I Want To See From Eagles’ Training Camp

matthewsHow Fast Can Jordan Matthews/Josh Huff Pick Up The Offense?

Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff, the Eagles’ second and third-round picks, are going to be asked to be important parts of this team’s offense right away.

The Eagles are going to need these guys to make near-instant contributions in order to help them replace the production that they lost when the released DeSean Jackson, so a fast start in training camp is going to be very important for the two rookies.

Everything we’ve heard about Matthews so far has been very encouraging. The big receiver appears to have a work ethic and drive to succeed like no other, and a mentality like that is sure to serve him well as he attempts to fit in to Chip Kelly’s scheme.

Huff is familiar with Kelly’s offense from his time at Oregon, and so the transition for him should be a little smoother and quicker than some of the other rookies.

The Eagles’ depth behind Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper is pretty thin, so if these guys struggle it could have an impact on the Eagles’ aerial attack. If Matthews and Huff don’t step up, who will? Damaris Johnson? I don’t think so.

Who Steps Up At Safety?

Nate Allen vs Earl Wolff appears to be the only position battle that the Eagles have going on in camp right now.

Wolff showed some nice things while he was on the field in his rookie year, but he also struggled to stay in the lineup due to injury. We don’t really know what Wolff is or can be yet, but the coaches like him a lot.

Allen had his best season as a pro in 2013, but that doesn’t really say much. It was the first season in which he was not a liability, and actually managed to make a few plays here and there. He’s still pretty young, and now that he has a decent season that he can build off of, maybe some of his confidence will have returned and he can finally develop into the safety the Eagles thought they were getting when they selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft.

I think Allen is going to come out of camp with the starting job. He may not blow Wolff away in the competition, but I think Billy Davis is comfortable with him, and they’ll begin the season with him as the starter until he either loses the job or they decide that Wolff is ready.

Which Of The Longshots Will Shine?

Every year, there are always some longshots to make the team that shine during Training Camp and the preseason.

Last year, guys like Alan Barbre, Jake Knott, and Damian Square came out of nowhere to make the team.

Can Matthew Tucker find a way to stay on this roster? Tucker looked good in last year’s preseason, but the Eagles were loaded at the running back position and put him on the practice squad for most of the year. Now that Bryce Brown has been traded, the Eagles may think about keeping four running backs because Darren Sproles isn’t capable of being an every down guy, and Chris Polk is injury prone.

Can Arrellious Benn get himself a spot on the depth chart? The talent is there, and the Eagles clearly want to see what he can do. But he’s going to have to stay healthy and outwork a lot of other guys to get that fifth receiver spot.

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Posted by on Jul 28 2014. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

70 Comments for “Some Things I Want To See From Eagles’ Training Camp”

  1. There may not be a lot of Starters Spots up for grabs, but there are plenty of Battles across the Team and remember with the Eagles High-Paced Offense and Coach Kelly rotating Players in and out at the skills positions leaves a lot od snaps the Back-up RB’s,WRs & TE’s so there will be 20 Players utilized at different times for Eagles 11 Man Offense

    Key Battles
    WR- for the 3rd/4th/5th Spots
    OL – At the RT Spot for Lane Johnson’s Absence (Barbre, Tobin, Kelly, does Todd Herreman’s slide back outside at RT.. Also quality Depth for the entire OL is up for grabs
    RB – Can Polk, Tucker and Rookie Josey stand out and make plays
    QB – Who will be the Back-Up to FOles (Sanchez or Barkley, My $$$ is on Sanchez with KJ Kinnie beating out Barkley for the #3 Spot)
    WR – The Top #4 are Maclin,Cooper,Matthews & Huff but lots ??? about Maclins durability, Cooper’s ability to separate now that Teams will game plan for him more with D-Jax’s Departure.. Can Veterans like a Brad Smith, A Benn, J Maehl, D Johnson or youngsters like I Momoah, Murphy, show consistency and toughness and the ability to make Players.. Versatile Players who can contribute on Special teams will be huge for that final spot

    At TE – I want to see Ertz’s continued development as well as see if Casey is worthy of the Roster Spot after doing very little last Season

  2. Its really simple….

    On Offense
    1. Is Foles for real or the second coming of Derek Andersen.
    2. Can someone replace DJaxs big play ability or does offense change.
    3. Maclin- no.2 or no.1

    On Defense
    1. Cox
    2. Boykins
    3. Jenkins
    4. NT

  3. 1. Is Foles real, can the front 7 stop the run and get after the QB and will the NFL catch up to Kelly’s offense.

    • BigL I see you still going at Chip lol.

      I feel you on the front 7 though. Although to meet its more about the DL and include Cole in that as well because he cant go goose egg on sacks for half the year like last year.

      I want to see Kendricks really blow up this year too. I want to see how he played the last 4-6 games on national tv. Collingsworth was hyping him hard.

      • Yep because if this team is about his coaching and his offense he better stay one step ahead of everyone else. LOL what’s up Izell?

        • Brotha I have been enjoying the summer traveling. My son has been in Miami for most of the summer so I am out and about. I’m about to jump out an airplane in a few weeks so if I dont post after week 1 the chute didnt open! hahahahahaha

  4. Also do they show us anything with a 2 back offense with both Sproles and McCoy on the field or do they save that for the regular season and keep it under wraps.

    Sproles has to be a SIGNIFICANT addition.

  5. On Defense
    Competition and Depth needed all across the Board from DL, LB to the Secondary.. But a bigger, more athletic DL and Front 7 Needs to be Developed which Eagles Drafted Marcus Smith, Taylor Hart & Beau Allen to go along with other Younger Players like Travis Long, Bair & Krueger & Villlanueva for if they can on these 3 or 4 of these Players to go along with Cox,Thornton,Logan, Curry
    Lots of Players are playing for their 2nd Contracts in Cox,Kendricks & Boykin & Graham… Older Veterans who are making $$$ like Trent Cole & D Ryans & Cary Williams .. Can the Secondary and Safety Position improve with Malcolm Jenkins, Nolan Carrol and another years growth from Boykin,Wolff and Rookies like Watkins & Reynolds…

    Should be fun to watch

    • Oversimplifying the WR spot. Replacing DJAX and what can Maclin do, but also…What are Matthews and Huff’s role going to be in the offense. Will they contribute so much that they force their way into a bigger role in 2015? Will Foles continue to be able to find Cooper?

      • It will be interesting to see with Huff. I envision a ton of screen opportunities if he can get on the field. Also think he should be the primary PR/KR

        • I like Huff as a real nice fit for the Eagles Offense and envision him running a few End-Arounds, Bubble Screen’s, Slants and definitely see him as the Primary Kick Returner and will initially split Punt Returns with the more experienced Sproles and will eventually be the full time
          Return-man by 2015

          • Talking about Screen Passes,
            WOuld anyone be surprised if the EAgles Offense sets a NFL Record for most Screen Passes Thrown in the Season
            With McCoy, Sproles, Now Huff and also the TE screens to Celek/Ertz which have been very effective ..
            QB Nick Foles could lead the NFL with a 88% Complete Rate

        • Yeah man. I think that Chip is gonna try to get him in space as much as possible. I see a lot of potential mismatches which probably has Kelly salivating. Foles should have a lot of games where he completes passes to 8 dudes or more.

          I agree with the return game too.

          I think that Sproles will get a lot of touches too. 2 RB sets with him and Shady would be ridiculous. Both of those guys catch the ball so well.

          • The two RB sets is where I think the league could be in trouble. Especially when teams are trying to play nickel to stop that attack. Also our screen game was non existent at times. The only real screens i can remember of significance were to Celek.

            If we can work those screens for big games that could be the dimension that replaces the downfield big plays. I think in order to use Foles better than last year passes behind the line of scrimmage will be a key part of this offense.

  6. I heard Chip say today that last year desean didn’t command much double coverage because the birds ran the ball so well that teams had to play everyone 1 v1. I haven’t seen the game tapes but would love to check that out. now this year with sproles my guess is that teams are going to have to play a lot of nickel and dime packages even on running downs. Damn!

  7. Eaglehaslanded

    I went to the Linc today to watch practice.
    OBSERVATIONS:

    Jordan Mathews has some good hands.
    Beau Allen is huge and is a lot more quick than a lot of people realize, especially for his size.
    Marcus Smith is pretty athletic.
    Nick Foles appears to be who Nick Foles was last year…accurate.
    Arrelious Benn has trouble catching the ball. Jeremy Maclin looks good, can he stay healthy is the only concern.
    Damaris Johnson continues to fumble the ball on kick offs.
    I can’t wait for August 8!!!

  8. Eagles Notable Players who will not make the 53-Man Roster

    QB Matt Barkley
    RT Dennis Kelly
    TE Paul Casey
    WR A Benn , D Johnson , I Momah

    Defensively

    DL Damion Square & OLB Brandon Graham
    LB Casey Matthews, Jake Knott, Jason Phillips and Jon Kruger
    CB Curtis Marsh & Roc Carmichael

  9. Paul I can’t see Barkley getting cut this early unless he totally falls on his face. Chip carried 3 last year I see no difference this year.

  10. And with Graham…I’m not a cap guru but if they were to cut him dont you think they would have done it before camp and saved or used that money elsewhere? Graham or Curry will be traded this camp for peanuts once the first injury pops up somewhere.

    • Graham has earned most of his $$$ from his Rookie Deal and has a 2014 Cap Hit of Approx $3.5 Million if he gets released.
      I think they A) Want to be sure about Curry, and B) Hold out until the Pre-Season and trade Graham to a Team that sustains an Injury or Player Suspension to help increase Graham’s Value and Return more to the Eagles in a Trade
      (maybe if 49ers Aldon Smith faces a long suspension, then Graham may be worth a 3rd or 4th Round Pick to the 49ers or if J Pierre Paul gets injured, or the Lions,Colts who lost Robert Mathis to a 4 Game Suspension or even the dreaded Cowboys may be interested in Graham)

      I just don’t think Graham will beat out the other DE’s/OLB for much Playing Time and Coach Kelly has no real vested interest in keeping him..
      If it comes down to DE Taylor Hart or OLB Travis Hart and or Brandon Graham for the Final 53, Guess who is getting the ax… Brandon Graham will be shown the Door, but I do think the Eagles will look to trade him by mid-Camp if they can

  11. Where’s is gmcliff’s stupid post about the team? Oh he has to wait for article’s to be posted so he can copy and paste.

    paulman….I disagree with you in that I think Phillips makes the team. He will be a depth guy at LB bc he was here last year and knows the defense. Also Casey makes the team simply bc he is the best 3rd TE…..and don’t you dare mention that bum from Fla (Burton).

      • gmcliff…….NO ONE cares what you have to say or think, bc you clearly have NO CLUE what you spout out your mouth. Go back to figure skating and curling.

    • I am kind of leaning with TE/FB Emil Igwenagu as that 3rd TE over Casey for he’s more Physical, Blocks better, Plays Special Teams Better than Casey
      Now is Casey plays well and shows he can catch, that it’s Casey, but he’s earning a big Check and needs to show something early and often in Camp
      The Eagles would take a $2 Million Cap hit if they do release him which is not huge..

  12. Chip Kelly did not lie. Watching the dlineman they are all 6’4 to, 6’9. They are huge and fit. It is a unbelievable transformation. From Krueger to Hart to Villanueva,

  13. It seems like fans have very low expectations for 1st round draft pick Marcus Smith. I sure hope he can make the impact that a first rounder should make on our defense.

    I hope Nolan Carroll and Malcolm Jenkins help our pass defense. I’ll be watching those guys…

    • Marcus Smith will play sparingly during his Rookie Season as he learns the NFL Game and gets bigger,stronger at the Point of Attack.. He will see the Field and make some Plays but to expect an immediate impact from him is simply not going to happen for he is not ready as yet as this stage
      There are probably 5-6 Impactful Players from this Draft and once you get past DE Clowney, OLB K Mack, DT A Donald, ILB CJ Mosely and maybe CB J Gilbert but that’s about it … I am not so sure there are many Impactful players on Defense out of the gate from the 2014 Draft Class as is with most Rookie Players whether it’s Offense or Defense…
      Marcus Smith will be a very good Player, but he will need a Season or 2 to develop.

  14. Not quite understanding the Chip Kelly unstoppable offense. It worries me a bit that this looks eerily like Oregon. You know those Oregon teams who no defense could defense could defend who but up historic yards and points. Who had the Lamichael James of the world running rough-shot over defenses. Then I would tune in when Oregon would play Stanford and the SEC schools and say whoooa this isn’t the same offense against these type of schools. Ive seen Chips offense against Stanford, Auburn, Alabama etc. Just sayin. Here comes SF, Seattle, Arizona and SL.

    • interesting DAG – when exaclty did you see Chip Kelly and the Ducks play Alabama????

      In 2010 the Ducks scored 52 against Stanford – in 2011 they scored 53 – in 2012 (the one game you are focused on) they only scored I think 17 it was their only loss for the year…

      Auburn – they played them ONCE in the 4 years Kelly was at Oregon – the 2010 national championship game – and yes – Auburn did a solid job – a 22-19 so not sure where the no defense comment comes from as a matter of fact –

      The only other SEC teams Kelly played were TEnnesee (they beat badly) and LSU to open the the 2011 season and LSU gave Kelly his worst defeat 27-40!

      So not sure what point you are trying to make – that 1 out of three years the Stanford D held Oregon under 50 points???

      or that because his record aginst SEC was 1 and 2 and his loses were IN the nation championship game during his 2nd season and to the eventual runner up in his thrid season – this exposes a serious flaw in his offense??

      I am curious – don;t you think finding bigger wide rcvrs, and backs that have the ability to exploit the types of defense that San Fran and settle run (man to man press) which linebacker is going to cover Darrel Sproles???

      so what exaclty concerns you.. if this team looks eerily like Oregon – we should be in the NFCC game this year

  15. I love what chip said about the combine and draft! Hilarious! Sorry for you draft wonks!

    • You think the NFL is laughing over those remarks Cigar? You think the cities bidding millions for the right to host the draft thinks it’s hilarious? He gets a pass right because in Chip ya’ll trust. More condescending crap out of his mouth.

      • Funny we bitch and complain when coaches double talk and still say nothing. Chip speaks the truth and you bitch about that. The nfl is a big boy multi billion dollar organization it will be just fine. .

        • You mean he speaks the truth like Desean is in DC because of football reasons that truth? Or the millions he makes is in large fact due to the hype of the NFL draft, that truth? Here some truth don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

          • My football team is better without that malcontent equals football reasons.

            • Who was a malcontent? Again I just shake my head over how some people will be on board with whatever is written or said if they like the head coach, and on the flip side I don’t like him so I’m critical of everything he says or does. So Cigar your opinion is yours and mine is mine.

              • I look at it differently cliff. I come from the perspective that a highly paid, workaholic coach that spend 24/7 on his craft is accountable to himself and organization not the fans. Most news conferences I believe ZERO of what any of them say… It’s coaches speak. I used to get a kick out of fans and the medias blasting AR for not answering the question. Now Kelly does a lot of the same thing but with a snarky attitude I think it’s hilarious.
                Malcontent might not be the right word but I think it’s evident that our highly paid coach who will be fired one day (held accountable) believes the whole is greater than he sum of its parts.

              • You think he’s not accountable to the fans? Okay that’s all I need to know.

              • Define accountable? You mean being forthright and honest in a press conference? Like Belichek ?

              • I didn’t bring up accountable you did. So you define it.

              • Not accountable for plays called, draft picks made and being so open with the press that trade secrets are given away. The guy is accountable to his bosses. There are millions of eagles fans with millions of opinions and every aspect of the team (just read GCOBB) you can’t be accountable to all those varying schools of thought. Lurie hired him, shared his vision and what he expects … That’s where accountability lies.

      • I thought the draft takes place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City every year? Cities are bidding on the right to host it?

      • Lion what he said about the draft is 100% true! It is a huge nfl promotion and what he says won’t change a thing…it would be like a guy that works for jack Daniels saying alcohol abuse is bad for you! Just look at this site thousands of comments and mock drafts that mean absolutely nothing, it’s entertainment but in the real world means less then zero! I did a check of a few organizations and they all have first round busts including belicheks patriots and the steelers in recent years. We focus on the many busts the eagles have because they are our team. Kelly was saying there are very few (probably 5 at most) rookies that come in and rally impact a team.

        • But you do understand that basically he’s coming off as disingenuous because he’s being paid millions by that machine. Also hype isn’t the reason guys are busts you do know that right. It’s like he’s saying oh yeah we scouted and picked him but it’s not our fault he can’t play. Let me ask you this do coaches and GM’s draft guys because of hype?

          • No they don’t draft on hype, they don’t watch Mel kipper or read Paul’s 400 mocks! And it’s a crapshoot for all teams

            • I have an E-Mail sent by GM Roseman & Coach Kelly thanking me for my suggestions on the Eagles taking a closer,harder look at Marcus Smith, Josh Huff, Jaylen Watkins & Beau Allen from this Draft as well as Nolan Carroll in Free-Agency..
              Thank You, Thank You very much…

        • Eaglehaslanded

          Jarvis Jones for the Steelers appears to be a first round bust.

          • Not a Bust Yet, let’s give him another Season and see how he performs.. Jones is a little on small side, has the injury bug and now the Steeler’s Drafted another smaller blitzing LB (Ryan Shazier) who is more of a Pure LB where Jarvis Jones is primarily a Pass-Rusher
            and has problems versus the Run or gap control at the Point of attack due to his size and lack of strength.. Jones may end up with 6-8 Sacks a Season but only see the field on Obvious Pass-Rushing Situation and is not a 3-Down LB at this Stage of Development and I have some concerns with Shazier being a 3 Down LB too..

            • Eaglehaslanded

              Paul…I just hate Pittsburgh so I am quick to smash on them…you ate right though. He gets another year. Know this though, the reason they kept Worilds is because they are not 100% confident in him yet.

              • Eaglehaslanded

                are right

              • Eaglehaslanded

                It is not even Pittsburgh the team…I went to school with a lot of fans from Pittsburgh and of course I had to deal with them talking about their rings..yeah…i am jealous but whatever..that is why I root against the steelers…just to razz the fans.

    • Eaglehaslanded

      Regardless of what Chip thinks about the draft or scouting combines has no impact on me or other draft geeks such as myself. I still love it and always will until Goodell finally finds a way to make me lose interest…which he is working on.

  16. Izell is that gonna be your first jump or did u jump before?

  17. Dag,

    Chip Vs. Stanford
    2009 – Lost 42-51
    2010 – Won 52-31
    2011 – Won 53-30
    2012 – Lost 14-17

    I would say Chip’s offense did pretty well against Stanford over his four years coaching Oregon.

    Chip lost by 3 points to to an undefeated Auburn team, and he NEVER played Alabama.

    Chip’s offense also beat the shit out of Pete Carroll’s USC team. So don’t be too scared Dag….

    • Sorry invinoveritus, I was typing as you were posting…. lol

    • Not scared and I am behind Chip 100%.Just very interested in seeing him vs the great defenses this year. On another note reports are Maclin doesn’t look that great. Isnt getting open. Matthews looks like a #1 receiver. The defense looks really really different. Very good.

      • I believe this will be Maclin’s final Season as an Eagle
        And will leave via free-Agency with the Eagles not really pursuing him as Kelky continues to add bigger, more Physical WR to the
        Team next Draft/Off-Season.,

        • Eaglehaslanded

          I am inclined to agree with you paul, mostly because it is what I would like to see. I have stated numerous times, I think Maclin is a solid # 2 receiver, but I would like to see a more physical receiver that can really block and break tackles such as Ty Montgomery or Sammy Coates. I like Jaelen Strong but his skill set reminds me of Jordan Mathews, except he may be a little slower than Mathews.

          • There are some good Prospects at WR next Draft
            I think Maclin will have a Good & Solid Season, but not Great Season
            probably end up with about 55 Receptions, 800 Yards and 4-6 TD’s
            I also think he will miss 2 Games for various minor injuries over the course of the Season..

  18. I trust Billy Davis. Everything Billy Davis has said the last year has been right on the money. He told us to be patient even after Denver blow out He stayed positive last year knowing it was a new system. This year he is very excited about the defense and isn’t preaching patience now. He is genuinely excited and you know what, I trust and believe him, I think this defense is going to be very good. I am more excited about seeing this defense than the offense in year 2

    • I see your point in Davis the only thing I worry about is how he will utilize Cox this year and will he unleash Kendricks like they did the end of last year. I have a funny feeling by the end of the year Marcus Smith is going to be a big part of this defense.

  19. In obvious Passing Situations I could see a 4 Down
    DL with Curry & Cole as DE’s, and Cox/Thornton as DT’s
    Then have Smith & Kendricks as Blitzer’s with Barwin lined up
    Over TE … This would be a pretty good Front 7
    On Passing Downs…
    This would Safety’s Jenkins to cover the short middle
    Allen the Deep Middke and the CB’s in man-press one on one
    On the outside… Pressure,Pressure, Pressure …

  20. Its about that time!!!!!!!! Hope some of you cats have had a good summer thus far….
    I am interested in the defense first and foremost. I’m hoping the Eagles will be less predictable on defense this season. Hopefully they are working on disguises, especially for when they play zone…different blitz packages, to free up Kendricks to get after the QB. I would like to see Wolff on the field…his instincts and quickness to the ball, should earn him the starting spot!

    So far a few fights, huh?…McCoy and Cole…Fletcher and Maclin…haha and Cary Williams being the voice afterwards…” That’s great we have physicality on both sides of the ball” …pushing and shoving is physicality? I want hard hitting, body turning, pad smacking physicality, forget the little tussles with the pads on.

  21. There you are Real. You honestly didn’t miss much in here. Same ol’ fights between the same people.

    If the defense can even improve a little, then they may be in business. Clog the middle, rush the passer and get off the field on 3rd down.

  22. Cox doesn’t step up this year that’s going to be a huge problem. Cox Kendricks Jenkins are the 3 key players of this defense.

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