The Linc - Arrelious Benn Embraces the Competition

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/15/2014.

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Vinny Curry, Part 3 - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
Vinny Curry was supposed to be a perfect fit for the Wide 9, but Jim Washburn loved his veteran players and used Darryl Tapp instead of Curry for most of 2012. That was frustrating for Curry and most of Eagles Nation. No offense to Tapp, who is a hard-working vet, but Curry was bigger, faster and more talented. Then came Chip Kelly, Bill Davis and the 3-4. I assumed Curry would be an OLB, but that didn’t happen. They had him play DE…in a 2-gap scheme. That’s like handing me a Whopper and asking me to ditch the bun and meat and just eat the lettuce, pickles, onions, and tomatoes. Crazy.

Eagles Weekend Reading: 82 Catches For Maclin? - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
Guys like Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Michael Crabtree, Jordy Nelson and others are in the final years of their deals. Now, this list is going to look different by the time next March rolls around and guys sign early extensions with their current teams. But the 2015 WR market will be worth keeping an eye on. The Eagles have Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff signed already for the 2015 season. If they like what they see out of Maclin, given the market, they could be in a favorable position to sign him to a long-term deal.

Eagles' Henery not worried about competition for job - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
Alex Henery looks at his end to last season differently than most. Many Eagles fans recall only the 48-yard, first-quarter field goal he missed and the short kickoffs (some on purpose) in the 26-24 playoff loss to the Saints. Henery takes a longer view. Six days earlier, in the winner-takes-NFC-East season finale against the Cowboys, the kicker swished a 47-yard attempt in the first quarter that proved to be the winning points in the Eagles' 24-22 clincher.

Fly Eagles: Our Birds, of all people, are having a fashion moment - Molly Eichel, Daily News
THE FIRST TIME Eagles wide receiver and return specialist Brad Smith admired a nicely tailored suit, he was a young boy sitting in the pews of his Youngstown, Ohio, church. Now, he's a regular at New York Fashion Week. Smith has worked as an intern for Men's Health, studying with its fashion editors, and as a contributing editor to the magazine, acting as a correspondent at New York Fashion Week. (Think of it as fashion's Super Bowl).

Arrelious Benn: I'm Competing Against Myself - CMac, PE.com
Instead of continuing the upward trend in 2012, however, Benn was limited to just eight games before being placed on Injured Reserve with knee and shoulder injuries. He was traded to Philadelphia in the 2013 offseason and looked forward to getting a fresh start. No longer saddled with the expectations of a second-round pick, Benn could come in and just focus on competing for a roster spot. The Eagles offense was similar enough to the one in which Benn thrived at Illinois. He thought it was a perfect match.

Players I still believe in - Adam Schein, NFL.com
DeSean Jackson became a problem for Chip Kelly, so the coach jettisoned his leading receiver. (Yes, that's how you translate the amusingly vague "football reasons" explanation.) It was a major statement. But Kelly also knew he was getting back Maclin. Maclin, of course, tore his ACL last July and missed out on all the fun of Kelly's first season. While the sixth-year pro won't stretch the field like Jackson, I bet he reaches 82 catches (the amount Jackson hauled in last season) and shines as a prime-time target for Nick Foles in Kelly's high-octane attack.

Eagles' Villanueva 'feels like a football player again' - Matt Allibone, CSN Philly
It’s been a while since Alejandro Villanueva could call himself a football player. For Villanueva, a former U.S. Army captain who spent the past four years in the military (see story), the Eagles’ OTAs over the past three weeks have been the first time he's participated in football activities since a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals following his senior season at Army in 2009. "I feel like a football player again," Villanueva said following the Eagles' OTA on Tuesday. "I feel like I’m doing all the requirements that all the other players are doing, so I feel like I’m part of the team."

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