Eagles

Adam Gase: With Alshon Jeffery, 'you don't have to think, just throw it up'

Adam Gase: With Alshon Jeffery, 'you don't have to think, just throw it up'

PHOENIX -- Just throw it up. 

Those were the words that came from Adam Gase during his one season coaching Alshon Jeffery. At times in 2015 with the Bears, Gase would forget about intricate play calls and offensive scheme. 

He had Alshon Jeffery. Just throw it up. 

"Alshon might be the only player that I've ever coached when I called the play to the quarterback, I said I don't care what the coverage is, throw it up," said Gase, now entering his second season as the Miami Dolphins' head coach, at the AFC coaches breakfast in Phoenix on Tuesday morning at the league's annual meetings.  

"He's got a unique body, the wingspan and the range that he has to catch a ball is unique. I don't think I've ever coached a player that had the body type he had. Unbelievable ability to go up and get the ball. And he makes a quarterback's life so easy because he is so big."

He'll be making Carson Wentz's life easier for at least the 2017 season after signing a one-year contract. In addition to the one year, the Eagles will have the first crack at re-signing the big wideout and will have the option of tagging him. 

That 2015 season in Chicago, when Gase was the offensive coordinator, wasn't even one of Jeffery's career years. That season, injuries plagued Jeffery, who played just nine games. 

But in those nine games, he still looked like the same player who had grown into one of the league's best receivers in the previous two seasons. In nine games in 2015, Jeffery caught 54 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns. 

While Gase praised Jeffery's route-running ability, which often gets overlooked because of his other attributes, there's no mistake about what Jeffery's strength is: going up and making a play. 

What can that type of play-making ability mean for Wentz as the QB enters his second NFL season? 

"You don't have to think, you can just throw it up," Gase said. "Like, you can just legitimately throw it up with two guys on him and he'll go get the ball."

In addition to adding Jeffery this offseason, the Eagles also brought in former 49ers receiver Torrey Smith after two subpar seasons in San Francisco. 

Smith signed a big deal to join the 49ers, but his two seasons, under two different head coaches, were nothing short of disastrous. 

But Smith's former head coach, Baltimore's John Harbaugh, thinks Smith has something left and, when asked, said he wanted Smith back this offseason.  

"Torrey's a hard worker," Harbaugh said. "He's a very good football player. He's a better person. He's going to be great in the community. He's going to be great in the locker room. He's going to show up every day with a great attitude and he can get down the field and make plays. Those are probably his strengths."

When do players know their football days are over?

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USA Today Images

When do players know their football days are over?

In the latest edition of Eagle Eye, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss Father's Day weekend. What kind of basketball parent is Barrett? The guys give their 53-man roster after spring practices. Tom Brady says he can feel his playing days are getting numbered. When do players first start realizing that the end is near and what makes that reality most difficult? Also, how should the Giants handle Odell Beckham Jr's contract situation?

"I think that Saquon [Barkley] is going to be better than [Zeke] Elliott." -- Barrett Brooks.

1:00 - What kind of basketball parent is Barrett?
3:00 - Father's Day weekend recap.
5:00 - Eagles' 53-man roster after spring practices.
15:30 - Tom Brady tells Oprah the end is near... When do players start seeing that reality?
20:00 - The hardest part about having to say goodbye to football.
23:00 - Odell Beckham's contract situation.

Press Taylor was right choice for Eagles' QBs coach

Press Taylor was right choice for Eagles' QBs coach

The Eagles were just a few days away from the Super Bowl and there was a clear indication of just how loose the team really was. 

On Feb. 1, Carson Wentz tweeted out a photo proving it. 

So, what’s the point of this? Why show a photo that Wentz sent out from an escape room well over four months ago?

Well, because it was a little glimpse into the future. Because the five guys in that photo are going to be the five guys in the Eagles’ quarterback room this season. 

Along with Wentz, Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld, the other two are Press Taylor (sitting) and Spencer Phillips. This offseason, after John DeFilippo left Philadelphia to take the offensive coordinator job in Minnesota, the Eagles promoted Taylor to take his position as quarterbacks coach and then promoted Phillips to take Taylor’s spot as the assistant quarterbacks coach. 

It was probably a no-brainer. 

And it’s crazy to think, but just a year after the Eagles blocked DeFilippo from leaving the organization, DeFilippo has left … and the Eagles are going to be just fine. 

At the time, before the 2017 season, it made sense to block DeFilippo. He was seemingly integral to the development of a young Wentz and he certainly deserves plenty of credit for the big jump in Wentz’s play last season. But now, without him, the Eagles are going to keep a finely-tuned machine running. And they’re going to do it with a very young and very promising coach. 

Taylor is just 30 years old, which seems incredibly young for a coach who is supposed to lead the most important position room for the Eagles and possibly the most important position room in the entire league. He’s just one year older than Foles. 

He might be young, but Taylor is uniquely positioned to handle this responsibility. And aside from his football acumen — which has been touted by his superiors — it’s his relationship with the players in the room that made him such a no-brainer replacement for DeFilippo. 

“I feel really close (to Wentz, Foles and Sudfeld),” Taylor said last week. “I know what makes them tick going into it. And then we all had our own relationships. Obviously, I wasn’t their quarterbacks coach at the time, but I was in the room, sat through those conversations, had my own conversations out on the practice field. I feel like I know the things they like, the things they didn’t like. And then was able to learn from the other guys, the other coaches in the room.”

After the Super Bowl, Taylor is probably best known in the city for bringing the Philly Special to the Eagles. In his position last year, it was his job to mine gadget plays from around the league and found that play being used by the Bears the season before (see story). And that’s great. But all the stuff we don’t know about last year is what’s going to make the most difference for the Eagles this season. 

Taylor has been with the Eagles since 2013, when Chip Kelly brought him to town. And then Doug Pederson was smart enough (and without ego) to keep Taylor in 2016. The brother of Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor, Press has quickly worked his way up the ladder. 

Last week, Wentz was asked if the team wanted his opinion before promoting Taylor. 

“I think it was pretty much known how we felt about Press beforehand,” Wentz said. “We’ve seen Press behind the scenes the last couple years and how hard he works. A lot of guys have a ton of respect for him as a person and as a coach. I know that’s where I sit. So far, it’s been great. He understands the game extremely well. We’re very like-minded, both on and off the field. The relationship I have with him personally and the relationship he has with all the quarterbacks has been tremendous so far.”

The relationship between Taylor and the QBs is so important. Relationships for this entire coaching staff are so important. Really, that’s what has made Pederson so special. He has that “emotional intelligence” and understands how to deal with his players. 

Taylor seems to have that too. And really, that’s why the Eagles’ QB room won’t miss a beat. 

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