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The Linc - Eagles Poised to Take a Step Back?

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/20/2014.

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Connor Barwin Interview: Eagles linebacker talks Make The World Better benefit concert and football - BGN
In case you missed it from late yesterday, definitely check this out. The show starts at 8:00 PM tonight!

Kelly's Culture About Investing, Not Spending - Danta Klaus,
Ever since Chip Kelly took over as head coach a little over 17 months ago, he has been hard at work establishing a certain culture to govern the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to Kelly’s hire, the perception was that the locker room had fractured into a group of individuals that lacked cohesion and camaraderie. However, as last season showed, this Eagles team bought in to Kelly’s program and showed the kind of resiliency and togetherness necessary to turn a 1-3 start into a 10-6 finish and an NFC East title.

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
Some have asked about Matthews practicing with the first team. From what I've seen, he's only been doing that when the team goes with '10' personnel (one RB, four wide receivers). But it's certainly possible he's been mixing in with Brad Smith in the slot. Meanwhile, Darren Sproles moves to the slot when the second team gets up. We haven't seen that much this spring, but it's pretty much a lock to happen more often once training camp starts.

Eagles do their best to eliminate distractions - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
The Eagles used to hand out T-shirts to their players that had a message for the next season. Two years ago there was the "It's Time" shirt that wound up having more to do with the end of Andy Reid's tenure than it did with finally winning a title. Chip Kelly ended that ritual, but if he was to have shirts emblazoned with a unifying message in the post-DeSean Jackson era, it probably would have the word "Drama" in a red circle and under a slash.

Eagles special teams need to kick it up a notch - Paul Domowitch, Daily News
OK, BOYS and girls, let's put together a list of all of the positive things about the Eagles' special-teams play last season. Let's see. Well, first and foremost, there was the consistently good punting of Donnie Jones. And there was, uh, the punting of Donnie Jones. And then there was, well, did I mention the punting of Donnie Jones?

Henery vs. Spear: The Eagles' kicker competition - John Gonzalez, CSN Philly
It started with a lot of hype, which isn’t the same thing as starting well. Carey Spear came to town with an interesting nickname and a lot of attention. Which means he had a lot of eyes on him. Which means a lot of people saw that first flub. During one of his first practices with the Eagles, Spear mishit a field goal attempt at the NovaCare Complex so badly that it looked like he was aiming at something other than the middle of the goalposts. These things happen from time to time. It was an inauspicious start, but since then Spear has kicked the ball better.

Panthers, Chiefs, Seahawks among teams set to take a step back - Gil Brandt,
Here's an interesting wrinkle to consider: Since 1989, teams that have improved their record by five or more wins from one season to the next have tended to regress a bit going forward, suffering, on average, 2.4 additional losses in the follow-up campaign. (A stat that applies to Kansas City and Carolina, as well as Philly.) If that holds true, we can expect the Eagles to drop to eight wins -- though I think they have a good shot to buck this particular trend and land a postseason berth.

QBs in Focus: Defensive Schemes - PFF
Nick Foles faced six or more defensive backs on only 4.7% of his drop-backs, second lowest in the league, but 80.1% of his drop-backs came against nickel, second highest in the league.

A lunchpail odyssey: PFT Commenter's evening with Terry Bradshaw - SB Nation NFL
We sent PFT Commenter to Pittsburgh to see Terry Bradshaw's musical/comedy show. In the process, he learned a lot about the city, the Steelers, and himself.