I will not be at camp today, but here is the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
SI.com's Peter King was at camp Friday and caught up with Nnamdi Asomugha:
Asomugha is used to practicing in the summer in front of a handful of fans where the Raiders trained at the Napa (Calif.) Marriott Hotel. “Here, you actually have hecklers,” he said. “I love the fans being here. Some guys get stage fright in front of crowds like this. You’re used to just practicing and not getting cheered or booed at practice. But this is fantastic. I love the energy.”
That’s what we talked about for a few minutes, the energy of playing football in the NFC East. It’s not that the Raiders don’t have passionate fans; of course they do. But the omnipresent nature of what it’s like to be an important football player in Philadelphia is something Asomugha can not wait to experience.
In an effort to fix the flaws of the traditional QB rating, ESPN.com has released a stat called Total Quarterback Rating. Michael Vick, who finished fourth in traditional QB rating last season, finished fifth in ESPN.com's new stat, behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers.
Matt Williamson of ESPN.com hands out post-lockout grades, and the Eagles get an A+:
It would be very easy to overlook the addition of [Evan] Mathis, an underrated but solid guard signed from the Bengals. Injuries have been a problem for [Ryan] Harris, but he is athletic and should fit in very well. The Eagles also added [Ronnie] Brown to spell LeSean McCoy. He's a bigger back who will help Philadelphia put away opponents late in games.
Not only did the Eagles improve greatly as a team, but they also picked up a second- and fifth-round pick for next year, which is particularly important considering that Philadelphia didn't get any younger during free agency. This was exquisite work by one of the best front offices in the league.
During an interview with SI.com's Damon Hack, Joe Banner compared the Eagles to the Red Sox:
The Eagles organization seems well-positioned to weather all kinds of setbacks. Lurie and Banner grew up in the Boston area, and their youth has colored their approach to building the Eagles. Under their stewardship the Eagles have contended almost yearly, and their hunger for a ring grows with every season.
"I would use the Red Sox as an analogy," Banner says. "They have a great team and they still go out and get great players like Josh Beckett. We grew up watching Red Auerbach and a Celtics franchise that wouldn't rest. They looked for opportunities, and we feel like we had five or six that came free [in free agency]. What we were not going to do was hesitate. Not if you are going to win."
According to Football Outsiders, the Eagles ran out of one-back sets 54 percent of the time last year and were the third-most efficient team doing so. They were 17th in running efficiency out of two-back sets.
Danny Tuccitto of Football Outsiders ranked every team based on under-25 talent. The Eagles came in at No. 8:
In 2010, the Eagles had the fourth highest number of under-25 players start at least one game. Despite only four of the 16 being major contributors, Philadelphia's high ranking comes by virtue of the fact three of those four are already stars in the passing game. Pro Bowler DeSean Jackson continues to be the most versatile and dynamic offensive player in the NFL. His 22.5 yards per catch led the league, he has a career rushing average of nearly 7.5 yards and he single-handedly won a do-or-die game against the rival New York Giants late last season. With a 13.8 yards-per-reception average and seven of his 10 touchdowns measuring 20 yards or fewer, Jeremy Maclin emerged as the possession and red zone receiving complement to Jackson. In his first season as the starter, LeSean McCoy finished 2010 as the sixth-most valuable running back in the league, and spearheaded the Eagles' No. 1 rushing attack.
According to Aaron Schatz and Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders, Jamar Chaney is the fourth-best under-25 prospect in the league. They use the following criteria: drafted in the third round or later (or an unrafted free agent); entered the NFL between 2008 and 2010; fewer than five career games started; still on a rookie contract.
Here's what they say about Chaney:
Since Andy Reid took over as the main man in Philadelphia before the 1999 season, the Eagles have struggled to find useful, consistent linebackers to play in their famously aggressive defense. High draft picks like Matt McCoy and veteran acquisitions like Ernie Sims seem to fail with equal aplomb. Their new hope is Chaney, a seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft who took over at middle linebacker after Stewart Bradley dislocated his elbow. By the end of the season, the Eagles were talking about moving Bradley to the strong side and leaving Chaney in as an every-down linebacker. Truthfully, it's a mystery how Chaney fell to the seventh round. An undersized, speedy linebacker that's conversant with pass defense is something every team needs in a shotgun-friendly league. Although Philly will continue to rotate its other linebackers, expect Chaney to be a mainstay for the Eagles going forward.
They also have Daniel Te'o-Nesheim ranked 23rd.