There's a commonly held belief that Riley Cooper and the rest of the Eagles' offense benefited from DeSean Jackson drawing added attention away from opposing defenses. Not so, according to Chip Kelly and numerous Eagles players, according to Tim McManus of Birds 24/7. While opposing defenses may have kept a mindful eye on Jackson, the guy who really drew extra attention from an X's and O's standpoint was LeSean McCoy.
What can't be denied is that Cooper -- who ended with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight touchdowns last year -- found himself in a whole bunch of one-on-one situations, which certainly helped his cause. According to second-year tight end Zach Ertz, that's unlikely to change this year even without Jackson on the team. That's because the man truly responsible for the single coverage is still on the roster.
"I think the culprit, why a lot of guys see single coverage on this team, is LeSean [McCoy]," said Ertz. "He's the key cog in this offense... Defenses have to stop LeSean first to try and stop this offense."
Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com has tracked the stats of each of the Eagles' QBs through the first three days of camp. Ultimately, these numbers won't be predictive of regular season completion percentage, but they're certainly interesting to look at regardless. Kudos to Eliot for paying attention and charting these. You can see the numbers for all of the Eagles' QBs at NJ.com, but here are Nick Foles' numbers:
Reps on Monday: 35
Stats on Monday: 22/28
Analysis from Monday: After a sloppy Sunday practice, Foles came out red hot on Monday, hitting eight of his first nine passes, with the only incompletion being a drop by tight end Brent Celek. Although most of them were check downs, it is impressive to watch Foles maneuver the pocket and hit his running backs in stride. Foles' day ended on a rough note, however, missing four of his last six passes -- with the majority of them being broken up.
Total Stats: 98 reps (all with first team) 58/73, 0 TD, 0 INT
DeSean Jackson hinted that he thinks Redskins fans are more supportive than Eagles fans. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez commented that Eagles fans are nicer than Jets fans, although he later (rightfully) stated that those comments were taken out of context. Still, here's a graph illustrating the friendliness of the three teams in question:
I'm told "Shoulder Pads Guy" is working toward becoming a kinder, friendlier Shoulder Pads Guy. Hopefully, that will lead to a few extra wins this season.
In case you missed it at the Red Zone...
• Reminder: Eagles Almanac is now on sale. You should buy at least three of these, and recommend your friends do the same. I can confidently say without a shred of hyperbole that it's the single greatest printed piece of literature in the history of mankind.
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