The Eagles had their first day off yesterday since full team practices began last Friday. They head back to the practice fields this afternoon. Here's what they're saying...
These weren't unusual alignments for these teams. According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers only lined up in their base 3-4 defense on 34 percent of their snaps. They were in the "nickel even" alignment shown above 33 percent of the time.
The Cowboys, not playing with as many leads, weren't quite as balanced. They showed a 3-4 look 45 percent of the time and nickel with a two or four-man front 22 percent. (The Eagles were almost 50-50 in base and nickel overall last year, basically all in four-man fronts.)
We all fervently hope Trent Cole and Brandon Graham can make the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. If they don't, at least on passing downs we can send in Boykin for Sopoaga and tell them "stand up, but otherwise pretty much do the same thing you've always done."
The other key here is that the Eagles’ offense can get up near the line of scrimmage before the officials give them the go-ahead to snap the ball. One of the main reasons Kelly wants to go fast is so he and the players can assess the look from the defense and call a play that gives them an advantage.
“It’s funny, I’ve been around Coach Kelly for five years and I don’t know that I’ve ever sat down and just talked with him,” said wide receiver Will Murphy, who played for Kelly at the University of Oregon.
No time to talk. There’s always another drill. Always more film. Always something new to install. There's a pedal-to-the-metal rhythm that dominates everything around the Eagles’ complex, where Kelly is trying to turn around a 4-12 football team and do it quickly. Even at practice, it’s barely football they’re playing; there's no huddling, no tackling, no breaks.
He's just 5-9 in an era when defensive coordinators prefer longer corners who can match up with the plethora of big, strong wideouts.
The departed Asomugha is 6-3 and Rodgers-Cromartie 6-2. Williams is 6-1. Fletcher is 6-foot. Not so long ago, you could count the number of corners who were 6-1 or taller on your fingers.
Even with 4.4 speed and an impressive, 41-inch vertical leap, people still have reservations about Boykin's ability to cover bigger wideouts on the outside.
“He gives me tips all the time,” said Allen. “We were just going over some one-on-one stuff right there. I guess he was watching us do one-on-ones and he was giving me a few pointers and tips. Just technique stuff, telling me to be patient.”
Dawkins makes himself available to all the Eagles’ defensive backs should they want his advice. Allen is one of the players who has taken advantage of the opportunity. The fourth-year safety out of South Florida was drafted in the second round in 2010 to help fill the void left by Dawkins when he signed with the Broncos the season prior. His rookie campaign got off to a good start (he was named Defensive Rookie of the Month that September) but Allen ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee in December. He hasn’t been the same player since.
Maclin joins linebacker Jason Phillips on IR. Phillips tore the ACL in his right knee on Monday.
Tommy has a good round-up of what's going on with the team, but my immature brain found this paragraph funny:
One national writer noted that the most physical camp he’s been to so far is KC’s. Andy likes it rough in the summer.
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com has been tracking Nick Foles' and Michael Vick's unofficial numbers through the first 4 practices:
Cumulative totals from 4 practices: Vick 135 snaps, 74 1st team, 66-of-88, 2 TD, INT; Foles 134 snaps, 74 1st team, 69-of-87, 2 TD #Eagles
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) July 30, 2013