Eagles in the a.m.: DeMeco Ryans' snap count; no Rosetta Stone in football; Nick Foles and back-shoulder passes

**One storyline that DeMeco Ryans does not like is his snap count. He does not want to come off the field, and he thinks too big of a deal is made out of his playing more snaps (1,183) than any defensive player in the NFL.

“However many it takes,” Ryans said when asked the ideal number of snaps in 2014. “I don’t count the snaps.”

Ryans believes there’s a simple way of reducing his snaps without him coming off the field. The defense must force more third downs, and then get off the field in advantageous third-and-long scenarios.

“Where a lot of those snaps come in is guys getting 10 yards on first down, and we have a whole extra rack of plays,” Ryans said. “If we stop people on first down and get off when the down is in our favor, I feel all our snaps will be limited.”

Ryans also has not needed to adjust his body for the extra workload. He said he’s consistently around 247 pounds.

**During the draft, coach Chip Kelly mentioned the Eagles’ interest in college graduates. This is not a guideline for drafting a player – they want the best players, not necessarily those with degrees – but it helps break a tie.Had the Eagles taken a few underclassmen that they liked, the narrative would not even have been as popular.

However, Kelly said he has already seen the benefit of this year’s class because their football intelligence an experience has allowed them to “transition well.”

“A lot of it is just learning a new language,” Kelly said. “There is not a Rosetta Stone for football. I don’t think you can cram it. It's going to take some time, take some work, and we have a bunch of guys that really enjoy playing football and learning football.  So I think they've handled it really well.”

**The Eagles have been working on back-shoulder throws, and it’s an area that quarterback Nick Foles knows is valuable. When Foles studied the NFL’s top quarterbacks – he mentioned Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady – they all were adept at making that passing.

“All the great ones were able to throw back shoulder,” Foles said. “I think the big thing is throwing it where only their receiver can catch it and the DB can’t make the play.”

So much of this offseason was built around playing against man-to-man coverage, which is when the back-shoulder pass is utilized. Foles said it requires a certain chemistry with the wide receiver, because he will need to know the point when Foles is releasing the ball.

“It’s a feel with the wide receiver, Foles said. “He knows when he’s running where the guy is, Nick’s probably thinking this.”

More to come on this as camp progresses.


- The Eagles didn't add an inside linebacker this season. Why not, and what do they think of their depth?

- Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie on 2014 expectations and Nick Foles, from Jeff McLane.

- Brandon Graham is still trying to fit in in his fifth season, as Bob Ford examines.

- Earl Wolff is with the starters, and other notes from Wednesday.