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The Linc - Defending Jeremy Maclin

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/24/2014.

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Mac Attack - Iggles Blitz
My biggest beef with Maclin is the lack of toughness he showed in 2012. If you watch Maclin from 2009-2011, he was a more physical, more aggressive player. Don’t get me wrong. You wouldn’t mistake him for Irving Fryar due to his blocking or how he worked the middle of the field, but the player we saw in 2012 was highly disappointing. The Eagles were in the midst of a nightmare season. That’s when you need your best players to man-up and play with great heart. Brent Celek had a problem with drops in 2012, but there was never a question of effort. He dragged defenders down the field just like he would in a season where games mattered and everything was on the line.

Pre-camp 53-man, er 52-man Eagles roster projection - Philly.com
The most glaring omission here is Arrelious Benn, who actually played well in OTAs and minicamp. The biggest thing working against Benn is his durability issues. If you're a backup, first and foremost, you have to be able to play special teams. Secondly, the coaching staff needs to know that you will be ready to go if the team needs you to fill in on the regular offense/defense. You don't want to have to constantly deal with a player on the back end of your roster who can't stay healthy enough to play specials or fill in when needed. Therefore, with four locks already in place at the wide receiver position, I think that Benn will have to thoroughly out-play Smith and Maehl to win a job. If it's close, I believe both Smith and Maehl will win those last two spots.

All-22: How the Eagles Lean On Cover 3 - Birds 24/7
Where the primary issues surfaced on defense was through the air. The Eagles finished 25th in passing defense DVOA and relied on takeaways (19 INTs) to stay afloat. "We played basically a traditional three-deep and quarters type coverage, and then quarter-quarter-half zone coverage," said defensive backs coach John Lovett. "[Those] were our main calls. And then on third down, we tightened things up. We played some different forms of man coverage. If you look back in a nutshell as far as what we did, it would fall into those general categories."

Teams with most under-25 talent - ESPN (In$ider)
13) There's no obvious All-Pro player under 25 for the Eagles, but there's an impressive quantity of players. Right tackle Lane Johnson was Chip Kelly's first draft pick (No. 4 overall, 2013). He improved as the year went on, but he could start 2014 suspended, which we considered in our rankings. RB Chris Polk flashed some big-play potential last season and may thrive as LeSean McCoy's backup. Rookie WR Jordan Matthews seems like a natural fit for the offense, and rookie Josh Huff played wideout for Kelly at Oregon. Tight end Zach Ertz may be ready for a big jump in his second season, while Brandon Boykin is a really talented slot corner with six interceptions already. Fletcher Cox is the integral part of the defensive line, as is nose tackle Bennie Logan, just entering just his second season. Mychal Kendricks is a solid interior linebacker, and rookie Marcus Smith may get some reps on passing downs this season.

Tall, green and win some - Daily News
FOOTBALL, LIKE fashion, is constantly changing. If a team wants to survive, it has to change with it. With NFL offenses throwing the ball more than ever the last few seasons, defenses have countered by playing more man coverage with bigger, more physical corners who might not have sub-4.4 speed but who can use their size and strength and octopus arms to harass receivers as they come off the line of scrimmage and delay their entry into routes. That approach helped the Seahawks win a Super Bowl last season. It helped the Eagles make the playoffs.

Eagles Training Camp Preview: Better or Worse at ILB? - The 700 Level
There are still aspects to his game Kendricks needs to work on. For one, tackling is a major issue. According to the game charters at Pro Football Focus, Kendricks led the Eagles by far with 21 misses. Now, he also led the team with the most "stops," which suggests he had the greatest number opportunities to make a play as well—he simply needs to finish a few more. If he cuts the number of misses in half or close to it, that would have to be considered a success.

How confident are you in the Eagles' offense? - CSN Philly
Plenty of questions surround the Eagles' offense as the kickoff to the 2014 season approaches, but in the minds of Reuben Frank and Dave Spadaro, Nick Foles isn't one of them. Frank and Spadaro expressed confidence the Eagles' quarterback will be able to handle the increased attention that comes with being at the helm of the team -- a rare instance in which the two reporters agreed on something during a taping of SportsNet Central.

When Dan Snyder was a hero - SB Nation
Lost in the gross incompetence, PR disasters and mismanagement that has plagued a once-proud franchise is the fact that when Snyder bought the team, he brought a sense of optimism.

N.F.L. Concussion Settlement Divides Former Players - NYTimes.com
Retired football players face a decision on whether to accept the proposed deal, to opt out and perhaps sue the league for more or to object and possibly appeal the settlement.

2013 NFL Films Eagles Year in Review
Hat tip to r/Eagles.