Eagles

Jason Kelce breaks down current state of the Eagles

Jason Kelce breaks down current state of the Eagles

The Eagles are 5-7 and it feels like they’re sort of reaching that proverbial fork in the road. 

Some teams in this situation stay together. Some teams crumble. 

We don’t really know what this team will do just yet. 

Earlier this week, head coach Doug Pederson stressed the important role the Eagles’ leaders will have in challenging the entire team to play out the last four games. That should be a little easier for the Eagles compared to most 5-7 teams because this 5-7 team still has a legitimate shot to make the playoffs. 

We’ve heard a lot about the Eagles’ leadership over the last few years. They supposedly have a lot of them. But few have been here longer than center Jason Kelce. 

I think as a leader, you just take accountability,” Kelce said Wednesday. “I think that’s what leadership is. Leadership is taking accountability yourself and holding others to the same standard, regardless of what’s going on. To be honest, I don’t think that’s any different this week than it was last week. 

I just think that weak leaders stop doing that and they start pointing fingers when times get tough. Strong leaders hold strong, they remain accountable, they try to lift others up, they try to take things off other people’s shoulders, put more on theirs. That’s what a good leader is. That’s what I’m all about, that’s what I think the majority of the guys in here are all about.

Kelce explained that pointing fingers is necessary for accountability but it’s about holding everyone to the same standard. 

Wednesday was the first time reporters got a chance to talk to Kelce since the 37-31 loss in Miami. The veteran center was one of several veterans, some veteran leaders, who declined to be interviewed after the game. Kelce said that immediate impressions after games often aren’t accurate. 

But he was OK with the mood in that post-game locker room. 

“I think people were pissed off,” he said. “I think that’s what you should be when you lose a game like that.”

Kelce and Carson Wentz, Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox and more are considered to be the leaders of this team. It’ll be up to them to make sure the locker room doesn’t fracture down the stretch. The easiest way to do that is to win. 

On Monday on 94WIP, Pederson commented that the Dolphins played harder than the Eagles, which seemed to be a damning statement. He later sort of walked back those comments, saying he just meant the Dolphins won on individual plays. 

Kelce was asked what he thought about the Eagles’ level of buy-in this season. 

“I think that we got a good group of guys that want to play well, want to do well,” Kelce said. “Just hasn’t gotten done. I don’t feel like there’s cancers or people like, ‘oh, I’m refusing to do this because I don’t believe in it.’ You don’t see that. That’s when it’s pretty bad. Everybody here wants to win, everybody here wants to go out there and play well. We just haven’t done that. I think that we’re just trying to get to a point where we are doing that.” 

There were high expectations for the Eagles heading into the 2019 season and Kelce said he obviously didn’t expect the team to have a 5-7 record, but he also admitted it isn’t hard to figure out how they’ve gotten to this point. 

There’s been no consistency. 

The offense plays well, the defense plays poorly, and vice versa. There’s even been a lack of consistency within their own sides of the ball and position groups. 

But Kelce doesn’t think it’s for lack of effort. And with four games left to play, he has confidence in the Eagles’ leaders to keep things together and possibly turn it around. 

“You just try to be accountable for doing your job a little bit better, making sure that you don’t make those mistakes again,” he said. “And more importantly, you try to lift people up and bring everybody together because, obviously, right now when times are tough, that’s when everybody’s trying to pull you apart.”

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Erase Jay Gruden's name from your Eagles coaching wish list

Erase Jay Gruden's name from your Eagles coaching wish list

Another of the most qualified remaining candidates for the Eagles’ offensive coordinator vacancy is off the board.

Jay Gruden, recently fired after six mediocre years as the Redskins’ head coach, is close to joining the Jaguars to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Assuming the deal is completed, Gruden will become the Jaguars’ third offensive coordinator in three years. He replaces former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, fired last week after just one year in Jacksonville. DeFilippo replaced Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired and spent this past year in the same position with the Packers. DeFilippo was recently hired by Matt Nagy as QBs coach of the Bears.

Ten teams were in the market for an offensive coordinator when the regular season ended.

Of those 10, the Eagles are one of only two still hanging a "Help Wanted" sign on their front door. 

The other is the Vikings, whose offensive coordinator this past year, Kevin Stefanski, was named last week as head coach of the Browns.

Gruden, whose older brother John was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator under Ray Rhodes from 1995 through 1997 and is now head coach of the Raiders, spent 2011 through 2013 as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator before replacing Mike Shanahan as head coach of the Redskins in 2014.

His teams went 38-57 in six years and reached the playoffs only once, losing a wild-card game to the Packers in 2015.

In Jacksonville, Gruden will presumably be working with 2017 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who was the Jaguars’ opening-day quarterback this past year but was hurt much of the season and then benched later in the year for rookie Gardner Minshew.

It’s not known whether the Eagles had any formal interest in Gruden, but he was certainly one of the most intriguing remaining candidates for the opening.

The Eagles fired Mike Groh 12 days ago after two years as offensive coordinator one day after head coach Doug Pederson said both would remain on his staff.

Among the candidates the Eagles have been linked with who are now expected to remain in their current position are Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, Ravens QBs coach James Urban (who spent three years as Bengals WRs coach under Jay Gruden) and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.

Other qualified candidates who are off the board include Chan Gailey, hired as Dolphins offensive coordinator; LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady, who was hired by the Panthers; Joe Moorhead, who was hired Tuesday as Oregon’s offensive coordinator; and former Eagles offensive coordinator and recently fired Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was hired as OC of the Broncos.

Earlier Tuesday, we outlined some of the top remaining candidates, including current Eagles position coaches Duce Staley and Press Taylor.

The Eagles also remain without a wide receivers coach, a secondary coach and a defensive line coach. The team fired receivers coach Carson Walch and d-line coach Phillip Daniels, and secondary coach Cory Undlin accepted the defensive coordinator position with the Lions.

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Here's a sneak peak of the 2020 NFL Draft venue ... and it's 100% Las Vegas

Here's a sneak peak of the 2020 NFL Draft venue ... and it's 100% Las Vegas

The blueprint for the 2020 NFL Draft venue has been revealed and it's just what you would expect it to be in Las Vegas.

The draft has become quite a production in recent years, but this has to top all previous attempts if it's executed the way they're saying.

Reportedly, players will be transported to the stage by a boat. Which could be an epic moment for the draftees ... but could also add a significant amount of time to the already long night of events.

The red carpet stage has a more traditional look when it comes to a draft setting, but since it's Vegas, it's go big or go home.

There are currently mixed opinions about it all, but here are some of the funniest:

 

 

 


The draft will be held from April 23-25 where the Eagles currently hold the 21st overall pick.

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