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Weekly Roundup

WR Damaris Johnson could be more involved in the return game and in Chip Kelly's space-oriented offense in 2013

WR Damaris Johnson could be more involved in the return game and in Chip Kelly’s space-oriented offense in 2013

I picked a relatively good week to miss, but I am still behind on Eagles news. Here’s my take on what happened these past few days:

  • Ron Jaworski concluded that Chip Kelly’s offense will not translate to the NFL after intensive tape study. Plenty of knowledgeable analysts would disagree with him and nobody knows exactly how similar the Eagles’ offense will look to Oregon’s. Top-notch defenses like Stanford and LSU gave Chip Kelly’s offenses immense trouble, though, and Kelly will have to win without a distinct talent advantage at the pro level. The Eagles offense is a complete wild card at this point, and we will only know whether or not it works once the season starts.
  • WR Damaris Johnson stated that he is running as the first-team kick returner. Brandon Boykin was nothing special in 2012, and Johnson was an electric returner in college and took a punt to the house as a rookie. He could carve out a nice niche as a return specialist and gadget player on offense.
  • TE coach Ted Williams envisions rookie Zach Ertz as an in-line blocker as opposed to a slot receiver/James Casey-type. Together, they are focusing on Ertz’ blocking skills. This is an indication that Ertz will eventually replace Celek, perhaps before the end of the 2013 season. Right now, though, Celek remains the far superior blocker.
  • While defensive coordinator Billy Davis insists that Trent Cole and Brandon Graham are transitioning to the OLB position seamlessly, the Philadelphia Inquirer calls Cole “a fish out of water.” While Davis certainly isn’t a reliable source and would never throw his own players under the bus, it’s tough to tell how Cole and Graham will adjust to their new roles before the pads even go on.
  • TE James Casey underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will be out until training camp. Add him to the increasingly long list of Eagles with potential injury concerns heading into the season. Don’t expect the surgery to become a major concern, but practice time is valuable in a new system. Casey will be the team’s starting “move” tight end and could catch upwards of 50 passes if he stays healthy.
  • On Monday, Nick Foles took more first team reps than Michael Vick. Vick is the most talented quarterback on the roster and the best fit for the scheme, but Chip Kelly does appear to be giving Foles a fair shot at winning the job. The odds for the week 1 starting QB are still heavily stacked in Vick’s favor.
  • CSN Philly pegs DE Damion Square as the likeliest rookie free agent to make the team. The Eagles need more talent along the defensive line, but Square must beat out the likes of Vinny Curry, Clifton Geathers, and Antonio Dixon for a roster spot. Square is undersized and a mediocre athlete, but is regarded as an excellent technician and productive interior pass rusher. ILB Jake Knott, C Kyle Quinn, and P Brad Wing are all better bets to make the team, although Square has a legitimate shot at the final 53 as well.
  • Cedric Thornton is the team’s projected starter at DE across from Fletcher Cox. An undrafted free agent in 2011, Thornton took his game to a new level as a second-year player and has starter potential. He has a great frame for the 5-technique position (6’4″, 309) and is continuing to improve as a player. He still has a ways to go, but fans should be excited about Thornton’s development.
  • C Jason Kelce still isn’t 100 percent. He wasn’t expected to return until training camp, so fans shouldn’t be too worried. However, he remains a question mark until he is able to suit up, and the Eagles don’t have very appealing options should he be unavailable into the regular season.

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One Response to “Weekly Roundup”

  1. tval says:

    i thnk chip still may have distinct talent advantage wth likes of vick, mccoy, jackson, maclin, casey, ertz, celek etc. vs any rival nfc east secondary. and although they may not have had same success vs lsu as oppososed to usc. but he still gave his team fighting chance in face of superior talent, especially on both fronts. thats what people dnt notice. chip no longer has to convince elite linemen as kids to live in eugene! lol! philly much easier sell

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