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Eagles News: Marcus Smith is bigger and stronger

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/17/2015.

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La’el Collins - Iggles Blitz
If Collins was this way during and after the draft, you wonder how he was in the pre-draft process. When he met with teams, did he tell them of his desire to play close to home? Was he awkward with teams from the northeast? More friendly with teams from the south? That may sound absurd to some of you, but every year we hear of players who do things that are mind-blowing. Guys actually skip visits to some NFL teams.

Connor Barwin: Expect a new-look Marcus Smith in 2015 - CSN Philly
But Barwin thinks that fans will see a whole new Marcus Smith in 2015 — literally. "Physically, he looks different. He gained 15 pounds, he put on a lot of muscle," Barwin said. "He's one of the stronger guys on our defense now. He took the offseason and did what he needed to do, which was get bigger, stronger. "Now we're just excited to see what happens when we put the pads on."

Reasons to trust Chip Kelly with Eagles' wide receivers - Daily News
Of all of the trust-me moves Kelly has made during his time here, his stocking of the wide receiver position is the one that makes you most understand the people who accuse this town of having gone loopy with its blind faith in the guy. Really, the only way to rationalize it is to look at the coach's history and believe that he knows what he's doing. At Oregon, his offense never required top-end talent. Marcus Mariota is the only skill position player Kelly recruited at Oregon who went on to become a first-round pick. The only other ones drafted besides Huff were a couple of tight ends (Ed Dickson in the third round in 2010 and David Paulson in the seventh round in 2012) and a trio of running backs (LaMichael James in the second round in 2012, Kenjon Barner in the sixth round in 2013, De'Anthony Thomas in the fourth round in 2014).

Projecting NFC standings, division by division, as off-season nears end -
1. Philadelphia Eagles—Other than relocate to Eugene and rename the franchise the Oregon Kellys, what haven’t the Eagles done this off-season? Head coach Chip Kelly has certainly gone to town on his roster, wheeling and dealing as if he was playing fantasy football for the first time. But lost in all the sexy headlines is Philly’s obvious improvement on defense, with Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, Walter Thurmond and Eric Rowe added to the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense in 2014. If Sam Bradford stays healthy and flourishes in Kelly’s passer-friendly offense, and DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews combine to top what LeSean McCoy provided in the backfield, the Eagles will make all Kelly’s bold moves look smart.

Malcolm Bunche: ‘I Have An Opportunity’ - Birds 24/7
Forty-six offensive linemen came off the board during the 2015 NFL Draft. Zero were selected by the Eagles. While that fact might bring concern to some, for a select few it has delivered opportunity. Malcolm Bunche called it a "blessing in disguise." He is one of the offensive linemen the team brought in as an undrafted free agent, and will have a chance to earn a roster spot this summer. He is not the first member of his family to don Eagle green. His father, Curtis, was drafted by the Eagles in the seventh round in 1979 and was "elated" when he learned about his son signing with his former team.

Is scandal really a bad thing for the NFL? - The 700 Level
What a bad year it’s been for the National Football League, or so everybody likes to remind fans. From retired players suing over concussions, to rampant instances of criminal behavior by its active players, from that franchise in Washington, D.C. that won’t change its racist team name, to the Super Bowl champions getting caught cheating—again—the league just can’t seem to avoid scandal. And yet the NFL continues to thrive. The Super Bowl just this past February boasted the largest audience in television history, right in the immediate aftermath of Deflategate no less. TV ratings in general, while not record high, remained very strong in 2014. In terms of popularity, it seems the sport has never been in better shape.

In Studio: Connor Barwin -
Linebacker Connor Barwin joins Dave Spadaro in studio to talk about the changes on the defensive side of the ball as well as his second annual concert to benefit his MTWB Foundation this June …

Pre-order the Eagles Almanac 2015! - BGN
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