The Linc - LaMichael James is on the Trade Block

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/18/2014.

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The Bryce Brown Fallacy (Sort of...) - ChipWagon
The biggest criticism of Brown in most circles has been the accusation that he "takes it outside" too often. Watching the games all year, I think one thing people are missing is that a lot of Bryce's called runs are designed to go to the outside. Bryce seems to be Chip's go-to guy for the outside zone read and read sweeps. This makes sense given Brown is faster than McCoy. For those types of plays you want a guy who has the speed to get to the edge. I also think, as we've shown, that Chip Kelly likes to stretch the defense horizontally. We run with McCoy primiarly between the tackles by design. I feel as though Bryce Brown is being used as the equalizer to ensure teams respect the edges. Before my research, I had the impression that Bryce has run many more plays designed to go to the outside (OZR or SR) than he has inside. Note, DESIGNED is the key word. There were some plays where Bryce bounced outside or cut inside that some stat will track, but I actually tracked the play design which is pretty easy with the All-22. So I reviewed all of Bryce's carries this year, and was a little surprised to see this.

Eagles have the 5th most cap space in the NFL, but they'll likely save it for next year - JimmyK, Philly.com
A common reaction to the Eagles being flush with salary cap space is to wonder why they didn't go hard after safety Jairus Byrd or other top name free agents. The reason is simple. The Eagles have a number of players from the very productive 2012 draft class that they are going to have to lock up long term, and they already have a lot of money allocated to the 2015 cap. According to overthecap.com, the Eagles currently have the 2nd highest 2015 cap number in the NFL.

Eagles nuggets on safeties, pass rush, wide receivers, Pro Days, and more - Zach Berman, Inquirer
The biggest need on the Eagles’ roster remains a pass rusher. The best-case scenario in the draft, in my opinion, is for UCLA’s Anthony Barr to somehow fall to the Eagles. Barr, a converted running back who had a two productive seasons as a pass rusher. He was considered a likely top 10 pick earlier in the draft process, but someone I trust told me this week that it’s conceivable Barr could slip into the 20s. If that happens, it would be a major boon. He still has some development to go through, but his story is similar to Lane Johnson’s last year – he doesn’t have many years at the position, is considered a high-character player, and the type of player he projects to be could be intriguing.

The Case For Marcus Smith - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
A few months back I thought Marcus Smith would go as early as the late 2nd or somewhere in the 3rd round. The more I watch of him, the more he grows on me. And he makes a lot of sense as an Eagles target. But when will he go?

Draft Daily: Close-Up On LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
One thing Chip Kelly will surely like about Beckham is that he can line up both inside and outside. Without having specific numbers at my disposal, I'd guess he lined up more in the slot than any other wide receiver we've written about in this space so far. Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz likened Beckham to Victor Cruz. That seems to be a decent comparison from my perspective. According to Rotoworld, Beckham dropped 6.45 percent of the catchable balls thrown his way. That was just about average. What I noticed is he had excellent hands when coming back to the football. Some of the drops came when he was trying to track the ball downfield.

Chip Kelly's System Powers The Offense - CMac, PE.com
In the lead up to the NFL Draft, NFL Network is examining each team's biggest strength. And the analysts look at head coach Chip Kelly's offensive system as the one aspect that the Eagles can bank on more than anything else. "Chip Kelly's unscouted looks and his tempo has to be the strength of the team," said former NFL safety Jordan Babineaux. "He's brought a tempo and a formation, variations that teams had to prepare for and they really didn't know how to prepare for because Chip Kelly's offense wasn't really scouted at the pro level. He makes you prepare for things defensively during the week where you really end up wasting your time spending reps on those looks of what you think you may get."

2014 NFL Draft: Dee Ford makes music on and off the football field - Matt Conner, SB Nation NFL
The pass rusher from Auburn hopes to experience even more success at the next level after winning a national championship and Senior Bowl MVP trophy.

LaMichael James hints that he sees a trade coming - PFT
The only question is where James will end up. Philadelphia is an obvious connection because Chip Kelly was James’s college coach at Oregon, but the Eagles don’t much need James, considering that they already have LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Bryce Brown at running back.

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