The Linc - Eagles Can Succeed Without DeSean Jackson

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/2/2014.

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Making Moves - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
No matter how much you might hate the move or it might bug you that they got no compensation, do understand that this wasn’t some knee-jerk move by the Eagles. They knew exactly what they were doing. They knew DeSean could go to a division rival or to some NFC team that they could battle for a playoff spot. Whether it was Chip Kelly or Howie Roseman that pushed more for the move, you can bet that both guys and owner Jeff Lurie were all on board with the decision. The Eagles are prepared to deal with the backlash of this move, both on and off the field.

Eagles offense built to succeed without DeSean - Mike Sielski, Inquirer
So the notion that the Eagles must "replace" Jackson with a similar receiver doesn't necessarily hold water. They are likely to draft a wide receiver to accompany Cooper and Jeremy Maclin - one who could be slower than Jackson but bigger and stronger, closer to Boldin's template - and considering that tight end Zach Ertz and tackle Lane Johnson were starters as rookies, it's not outlandish to think a first-year wideout could make an immediate contribution in Kelly's offense.

D-Jax' release puts the focus on Foles - Rich Hofmann, Daily News
IT IS HARD to know what Chip Kelly thinks about his public reputation. He has done so little to cultivate the media that we are a fallow field at this point. We have become so used to the game and its accepted rules - coach comes in; coach whispers an occasional sweet nothing into a couple of ears; coach buys some degree of favor in anticipation of the next whisper, and on and on - that we do not know what to do. The nerve of the guy. So when DeSean Jackson happens, we flail away. To squander an asset for no valid reason is stupid - and Chip Kelly might be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. So you search for the answer.

Do the math on DeSean Jackson - Ashley Fox, ESPN
There is a thing called addition by subtraction. That is what the Philadelphia Eagles did Friday. By flat out releasing DeSean Jackson, they added a greater probability that they will have a harmonious, drama-free locker room this season. They added the assurance that Jackson will not create a distraction. That he will not pout or sulk or hold out over a contract that was set to pay him $10.5 million in 2014 and make him the fifth-highest-paid receiver in the National Football League but apparently wasn't good enough for him.

Replacing DeSean: I see you, Darren Sproles - Andrew Kulp, The700Level
Sproles is primarily a pass-catcher, dare we say a receiver even. He’s posted more receptions than he had rushing attempts the past two seasons and in three of the last four, and that’s just measuring actual touches. Clearly, Sproles is being used on more passing routes than he is in any type of traditional running-back capacity. In fact, Sproles will actually line up as a slot receiver from time to time, where he often draws mismatches against linebackers in man-to-man coverage because the defense still has to respect the possibility of a run when he’s out there. That’s a tremendous quality to have in a weapon, especially for an offense that bases its play-call in part on the defensive personnel on the field.

Mayock: Forget WR, Eagles Should Draft ‘D’ - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
By all accounts, this year’s wide receiver class is loaded. With DeSean Jackson gone, the Eagles will undoubtedly end up with at least one new pass-catcher in May’s draft. But according to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the team would be wise to address the other side of the ball in the first round.

Running Game: New Goals For 2014 - Dave Spadaro, PE.com
LeSean McCoy had a historic season in 2013 as he led the league in rushing and set a franchise mark for most ground yards gained. What does he do for an encore in 2014? ...

Duce Staley Takes Career in Football to the Sidelines - Mark Eckel
"Never,’’ Duce Staley responds to the question if he ever thought about becoming a coach during his 10-year playing career as a running back for the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. Here he is seven years after his final carry and in his fifth year as an Eagles assistant coach and his second in charge of the running backs under head coach Chip Kelly.

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