To Practice Or Not To Practice

Banner is an interesting guy to follow on Twitter. He will praise some, but also isn’t shy about being critical.

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The Eagles and Track Guys

The Eagles added WR/CB Teddy Williams to the practice squad. He was a college track star with limited football experience. Williams isn’t the first Eagle to fit this description.

Iggles Blitz reader and resident historian AC Viking offered a good history lesson.

The Eagles have had two genuine track superstars, both of whom are also remembered for their respective roles in two different Olympic dramas.

The first is the great Villanova sprinter Frank Budd, whom the Eagles drafted in the 7th Rd of the ’62 draft (#96 overall — or a 3rd Rd pick today), despite zero college football experience. Budd did play in high school.

Budd ran the opening leg for the US team in the 1960 Olympics in the 4×100. The team set an world record . . . only to be disqualified because of a baton-exchange violation. The gold medal went instead to the West German team.

Budd played only a single season for the Eagles in 1962 — under HC/GM Joe “Must Go” Kuharich. At 5’10″ 175lbs, Budd was all speed.

He finished his one-and-done Birds’ career with 5 catches for 130 yards . . . a 26.1 YPC avg. Kuharich cut him anyway. Too many drops it was said.

The other great sprinter to play for the Eagles, though not in a regular season game, is the once-notorious John Carlos. He won the bronze in 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and, together with US gold-medal winner Tommie Smith, stood on the victory giving the iconic black-gloved black-power salute.

The Eagles drafted the 6’3″ 210 lb Carlos in Rd 15 of the 1970 draft out of San Jose State. No prior football experience. None in college. None in high school.

Carlos signed with the Eagles in time for training camp — actually landing a signing bonus of about $15,000 and rookie contract that, in total, almost doubled the minimum. Big money back then.

The Birds assigned receivers coach Charlie Gauer and DB coach Irv Cross to tutor Carlos in the art of playing WR. He tore up his knee in TC running a route, though, and spent the year on IR.

The Birds had kept Carlos around hoping he’d learn the ropes of playing WR.

At the end of TC in 1971 — with the roster capped at 40 players and 6 of them being RBs — the Eagles had choice: Keep Carlos and hope he develops, or go with a gangly 6’7″ rookie 7th Rd pick at TE from Southern named Harold Carmichael.

And you know the rest of that story.

Great stuff.

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Back in 2006, the Eagles looked into signing track star Justin Gatlin, but things didn’t work out.

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Cap Space Update

The Eagles do know how to manage the cap.

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2014 Eagles Preview

Andy Benoit writes for MMQB.com. I go back and forth on how much I like him. He’s smart, but about once an article (on the Eagles) he says something that is just flat out wrong.

Read his 2014 Eagles preview at your own discretion. There is nothing groundbreaking in there, but sometimes it is fun to get a national perspective on the Eagles.

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The Ohio State Eagles?

Cool story from college football writer Pete Thamel on Ohio State and how they view the Eagles. OSU is in a tough situation, having to replace their star QB Braxton Miller. He suffered a shoulder injury and is out for the year.

The answer to replacing Miller’s production – 24 touchdowns passing and 12 touchdowns rushing – could lie in a phrase heard often around Buckeye Camp this summer: “We want to be the Philadelphia Eagles of college football.” That’s meant everything from music blaring in practice, just like Kelly did in Eugene when he coached at Oregon, to players getting their urine tested every day to see if hydration levels are high enough. A brave Ohio State assistant strength coach, Anthony Schlegel, dressed up in a faux “nuclear suit” to collect urine on Wednesday morning.

All the trappings of Kelly’s system present a logical question: For Ohio State to catch up to the rest of college football with its best player out for the year, will it fully embrace the tempo that Kelly mastered?

“That’s a good question,”  Meyer said. “That’s also to be determined. We’re prepared more than in the last two years. It’s the third year in the system.”

Interesting.

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Collinsworth Likes the Eagles

Meaningless, but kinda cool.

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Fun With Eli

And a little fun with Tom Coughlin.

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Serious Praise for Boykin

Doug Farrar is an excellent analyst and writer for SI. He recently ranked the best CBs in the NFL.

There’s no doubt that this is a renaissance era for the cornerback position. With the NFL turning into more and more of a passing league with every year, the best cornerbacks are worth more than ever — no matter where on the field they play. Our six top players at the position all play outside for the most part, but the addition of two slot defenders jives with a predominant NFL trend. These days, most teams travel with three starting cornerbacks. Here, without further ado, are the 10 players we feel play the position at the highest possible level.

Any Eagles make it?

7. Brandon Boykin, Philadelphia Eagles

Boykin was the best slot cornerback in the NFL last year, and a breath of fresh air on an Eagles defense that was too often betwixt and between in Billy Davis’ new schemes. Boykin picked off six passes last season, and all of them came in the slot, where he was targeted 75 times and gave up 44 receptions for 562 yards. That percentage is impressive because slot cornerbacks are asked to cover slants and other simple routes that are generally easy completions. Add in that Boykin allowed just two touchdowns all season, and that’s one more than he scored — he took a pick 54 yards to the house against the Bears in Week 16.​

Wow, that high praise indeed.

Nolan Carroll was honorable mention for his 2013 performance with the Dolphins. No wonder he’s been so impressive this spring and summer.

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Kinne on the Rise?

GJ Kinne was the #5 QB last summer. He was the longest of the long shots. Things have changed quite a bit since then. Kinne has been part of the team for a year now. He spent some time on the Eagles practice squad in 2013. Kinne knows what he’s doing this time around and wants to seriously push for a roster spot.

“Last year, I was just trying to learn all the plays and this year working on the craft within the plays, and it makes you feel a lot more comfortable,” he said.

“Instead of going 1-2 run, it’s 1-2-3-4 and getting through all my progressions, and I think that’s what Chip wants to see from me, going through all my progressions. Because he knows I can run, he knows I’ve got the athletic part, just being able to go through my progressions is big for me.”

Last summer Kinne was used on STs at times. Now he’s trying to steal the #3 QB job from Matt Barkley. What a difference a year can make.

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Keelan Johnson Update

Eagles S Keelan Johnson was recently arrested for an altercation with a police officer. Mike Kaye of BGN has a funny update on the situation.

Here is a video of Johnson talking to the judge.

Go read Kaye’s post for some even more amusing details.

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