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August 24, 2016

Eagles Links: Howie betting big on 2012, 2013 draft classes

Eagles NFL

As CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes, if the Eagles’ offseason was a movie, it would have been “Back to the Future.”

Howie Roseman has said “all the right things” (read: nothing) about wanting to undo the Chip Kelly era, but it’s not hard to see why the two men butted heads in the Eagles' front office. They wanted to do things differently. Roseman is very much of the Joe Banner school of “draft, develop, and then lock your own guys up.”

Kelly wanted “his guys,” and he made some dramatic changes during the year he had full personnel control. In the end, Roseman eventually won out:

"Grow your own, sign them, extend them," Roseman said, "and then let everyone in the locker room know that if you do the right thing on and off the field, then you have a chance to be here."

Roseman is pouring a ton of resources into the 2012 and 2013 draft classes. Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Vinny Curry, and Fletcher Cox all received new deals this past offseason:

"And we know that the longer we waited, the less likely it would be that we would be able to keep as many of them as possible. So it was understanding that this was a moment in time that might limit our ability to do some things in the short term, but also for us to start to get back to where we were, that we needed to do something to stabilize everything."

The Eagles aren’t going to be able to do much in 2017 or 2018 free agency, as they have the least amount of cap space in the NFL both of those years. We spend a lot of time here talking about if Carson Wentz can become that franchise quarterback, and make no mistake, he’s the most important piece of the puzzle.

But Roseman also needs production out of almost all of the players he locked up. With the Eagles missing draft picks in addition to cap space, this doesn’t figure to be a particularly deep roster anytime soon.

In case you missed it at PhillyVoice:

1.    Reunited, and it feels so good: Like the rest of those darn millennials, Stephen Tulloch won’t take a day off. Jim Schwartz seems like he isn’t going to fight him on that one.

2.    Sproles’ role: One legitimate criticism (in my view) of Chip Kelly is that he used all of his running backs, regardless of their specific playing style, in a similar fashion. Darren Sproles needs to be utilized almost exclusively as a matchup nightmare in the passing game.

3.    Josh Norman: Washington’s big free agent signing joined the Bennett bros in taking a shot at Sam Bradford, but let’s focus on the bigger picture. It will be interesting to see what happens this season, as Carolina’s front seven isn’t coming to the nation’s capital with him.

4.    Huff Daddy: Seeing as there’s no more #DuckBias in Philly, could Josh Huff be running out of time?

5.    53-man roster projection: With the Eagles receiving corps in its current state, Huff probably sticks around. He does contribute on Dave FIpp’s special teams, after all.

Other Eagles news, notes and analysis from around the web:

The NFL’s 32 X Factors: Danny Kelly, The Ringer

When looking for the Eagles player with the widest range of realistic outcomes, Kelly settled on DGB:

Green-Beckham has shown glimpses as a big-time playmaking threat — he caught 32 balls and four touchdowns as a rookie for the Titans while averaging 17.2 yards per catch — but due to his inability to immerse himself in the playbook, Tennessee cut bait and traded him to Philadelphia for offensive lineman Dennis Kelly. If he can stay out of Doug Pederson’s doghouse — and that’s a glowing, neon-colored “if” — Green-Beckham has the elite size and speed to become a true no. 1.

#NFLRank 50-26:

After his teammates Jason Peters and Malcolm Jenkins also cracked the list, #PhillyRank’s top man came in at 40th on #NFLRank. From Tim McManus:

Cox has developed into one of the best defensive players in the league. A mix of overwhelming power and athleticism, he racked up 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles last season while playing in a two-gap 3-4 defense. Now in Jim Schwartz's wide-9 attack, Cox is expected to be even more of a destructive force. "I've said this before, he was drafted for a scheme similar to this, so it will be good to get him back to that and really see what he can do," Schwartz said. "We expect great things from him."

Eagle Eye: Encouraging Signs On Offense: Fran Duffy,

These posts are always a super informative look at the Eagles’ play concepts using All-22 footage:

Watch how the fake handoff to Agholor affects the second-level defenders for the Steelers, as they all slide toward Agholor’s path.

This opens up a perfect window for Bradford to get the ball to Celek. Where is the safety over top? He’s worried about Givens’ vertical route. With the defense stretched in two different directions, Celek has an uncontested catch in the middle of the field for a 17-yard gain and a first down. I expect to see a lot of these kinds of plays from the Eagles' offense in 2016.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann