Where They Stop, Nobody Knows

Sheil Kapadia describes the latest movement in Linebacker Musical Chairs™. At least Ryans is back as a three-down player again:

When Juan Castillo asked for the first-team nickel defense, Chaney was the man called on to go in alongside DeMeco Ryans. Up until today, Brian Rolle had been occupying that spot at Lehigh. And in the spring, it was rookie Mychal Kendricks.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Chaney said, when I asked him if he expected to be part of that package for the next few days. “I just do what they tell me to do. Whether I’m out there with the twos or the ones, I just go out there and do my best. My job is just to make the decision hard on them.”

(Note that I resisted excerpting just the first part of Chaney’s quote.)

Mike Kafka's VooDoo Trainer

Tim McManus brings us the story of Mike Kafka’s trainer, Jay Schroeder, who has been with him since the QB’s sophomore year of college:

[Schroeder’s] technique literally came to him in a dream, and is based on the assumption that all humans are naturally fast, strong and powerful — it’s just that bad habits and external elements have essentially trained the mind wrong since birth, stunting some abilities. So he retrains it.

Through a series of tests performed by stimulating the nervous system, Schroeder unearths what muscles are not working and which ones are working out of order. Once that is determined, he sends messages to the brain via an electrical modality called POV (for force velocity) that gives the proper information on how to perform what you want to perform.

I can’t be the only one that thinks this doesn’t pass the smell test. Besides, if he’s been working with him for so long, why are the results only evident now? Here’s Schroeder’s website. And more of his SUPER ADVANCED training methods:

“We taught him how to lengthen the appropriate muscles at a high rate of speed so that he could decelerate in the appropriate means, which in turn tells your brain that you can accelerate at a higher level,” said Schroeder. “We prepare him to recover from the strain of arm strength.”

So… Kafka’s been lifting weights?

Jim Washburn is a Quote Machine

Reuben Frank compiled the full transcript of Jim Washburn’s session with the media earlier this week in two parts. It’s so glorious I’m having trouble picking my favorite parts.

“I can’t lie,” Washburn said. “That’s why they don’t want me to talk.”

Please keep talking, Wash.

Birds 24/7

It’s rather sparse now, but Sheil Kapadia and Tim McManus are live at their new Birds 24/7 blog at Philly Mag. They’re good guys and good writers.

Bookmark it.

I Knew It

Tommy Lawlor:

Regular reader Jyot heard former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah on the radio out in Seattle. Jeremiah said that the Eagles wanted to draft QB Russell Wilson in the 3rd round if he was available. The Seahawks took him ahead of us and the Eagles then went for Nick Foles.

Andy Reid basically spilled the beans on this during a press conference right after the draft. I was surprised he was so candid about how much the team liked Russell Wilson.

The most interesting dynamic is that you couldn’t find 2 QBs less alike. Wilson is short, but athletic. Foles is tall, but unathletic. Wilson struggles in the pocket. Foles is a pocket passer. Both guys did transfer, one from the Big Ten, the other out of the Big Ten.

I definitely called this right after the draft. #NotSoHumbleBrag

First Shoe Drops: Tamari Leaves Eagles Beat

Jonathan Tamari:

Lastly, a bittersweet personal note: I’ll be leaving the ‪#Eagles‬ beat by the end of July to become the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent

We’ll miss Jon, who was always a real pro covering the team. Hope he’ll enjoy his new politics post, especially in the lead up to the election.

Word through the grapevine is that Jeff McLane may be moving on as well — leaving the paper entirely. A complete changing of the guard seems to be underway.

Update: Zach Berman, of The New York Times and the relatively new Philadelphia SportsWeek, has been hired as a beat reporter in Tamari’s place. Chad Graff is also covering the team, at least through training camp.

Eagles O-Line: Not That Young

Jimmy Kemspki provides us with a great master list of offensive line ages around the NFL:

Philly has the 13th oldest OL in the league, but their situation is a little odd, in that 4/5 of their line has very low mileage.  Todd Herremans has 92 career regular season starts.  The next highest total?  Evan Mathis, with 37, or a little more than two full seasons worth of games.

This is one of those moments when you remember that even though the Eagles will start two sophomores in the interior line, Danny Watkins is only six months younger than 28-year-old tackle Demetress Bell.

'I Love You, Too'

Tim McManus, from the Michael Vick “V7” clothing line unveil:

Judging by the fan reception, the feeling is mutual. Almost everyone who approached Vick tried to push the envelope: Maybe I can get just one more thing signed? How about a handshake? A picture? A hug? This is the year, they’d say. I can just feel it. One lady was so overcome that she began hollering in Vick’s direction as soon as she got into earshot.

“I’m going to fall over, oh my goodness,” she cried. Vick played it up, and when he got an, “I love you Mike,” he responded, “I love you, too” to the entertainment of the crowd.

It was all love. And when you reflect on a time not too long gone by, that is astounding all in itself.

The headline seems a little far-reaching, but Vick has certainly come a long way. See also: Tom McAllister on Vick.

Keep an Eye Out

Sheil Kapadia announced today that he’s leaving his Moving the Chains blog behind at Philly.com. But what could have been a dreary day for the Eagles blogosphere instead became a bright one. Turns out that Sheil and 97.5 The Fanatic beat reporter Tim McManus will team up to cover the Eagles with a new blog at Philadelphia Magazine.

Kudos to both of them, especially friend of the blog (and Eagles Almanac author) Sheil, who now gets to write about the NFL full-time (to his readers’ benefit). Be on the lookout for when they kickoff in a few weeks.

Morality and Michael Vick

In honor of the Eagles Almanac, Tom McAllister posted his entire essay from the preview magazine many of the same authors contributed to last summer. The piece, if you haven’t read it before, is amazing:

Before he was an Eagle, Vick was someone else’s problem, which enabled me to discuss him with self-righteous equanimity. When he was a backup, he wasn’t an issue, because it was like he wasn’t really on the team, so I could sarcastically cheer his minimal contributions and convince myself the Eagles were winning despite him. But now that he’s the face of the franchise, is leading the league in Pro Bowl voting, and is a ratings bonanza for the NFL, it is impossible to avoid the central question: is it okay to cheer for Michael Vick?

Relive Victor Cruz Torching Nnamdi Asomugha

Matt Bowen identifies the offensive concepts and corresponding coverage in Victor Cruz’s 28-yard touchdown reception in the Giants’ week three win over the Eagles. It’s informative, although he oddly doesn’t come to any real conclusions besides that it was a great play by Cruz:

The way I see it, Giants QB Eli Manning puts this ball up for his WR to go make the play. As I said above, this is the right call from a defensive perspective and the Eagles are in the proper position to steal one. However, Cruz attacks the ball and plays the pass at the highest point.

It might be the right defensive call in the abstract. But when you have Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the best man-cover corners in the NFL, and you put him in zone coverage (sharing responsibility with walking liability Jarrad Page), it seems suboptimal. Of course, Asomugha sure didn’t show that he understands the concept of “ball skills” either.

Luries Getting Divorced

Jeff and Christina Lurie:

"Please be assured that this decision will have no impact whatsoever on the ownership, the business and the operations of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. We are certain that our family’s future and our collective future as colleagues will be a bright one."

A strange offseason gets stranger. All I have to say on this is: easier said than done. Depending on their ownership structure and financial situation, this could easily result in the Luries having to sell the team.

Eagles Draft More Linemen Than Anyone Else

Great numbers by Jimmy Kempski over at Blogging the bEast. Turns out, the Eagles have drafted more total offensive and defensive lineman in the last five years than any other team. Alright, so they’re not actually first by percent of total picks, but still, Andy Reid values numbers in the trenches.

Note that the Eagles have taken 18 linemen in the last five drafts. That’s the same as the Redskins and Cowboys combined.

Adam Schefter Stirs the Lurie-Reid Pot

Adam Schefter, when asked if Bill Cowher might be a candidate to replace Reid in the undetermined future:

My belief is that Reid will stay on in that job as long as he wants. Jeffrey Lurie will not fire him. When the time comes for Reid to go, whenever that is, it will be because he opts to go.

People seem to be getting worked up about this because they’re taking Schefter’s words too literally. He’s obviously wrong that Lurie won’t fire him. In fact, the owner has backed himself into a corner this year where if the team doesn’t improve from “unacceptable,” he’ll have little choice but to fire Reid. What Schefter’s words reiterate is simply that Lurie doesn’t want to fire Reid. Give him a playoff win and he’ll be happy keeping the status quo.

In other news, Reid (or someone else at NovaCare) apparently convinced Jason Babin that running with the bulls isn’t such a bright idea.