Two days later Chip Kelly explained why running back DeMarco Murray was not in team drills during Sunday's first training camp practice.
Apparently, the Eagles test every player every day for the dehydration levels and Murray came up, according to Kelly "a little high'' Sunday.
"It was a training staff decision,'' Kelly said Tuesday before the team's training session at Lincoln Financial Field. "Especially, with the way the weather has been, we didn't want to take any chances. It's not just for (Murray), we treat every player on a daily basis.''
That's the team's take, so it's good news for anyone who worried there was more to the story. Murray returned to practice on Monday.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 8:48am
It is not expected the negotiations would result in a long-term contract but more likely an agreement providing the team control of Bradford past the 2015 season, the final year of his current contract.
Bradford is on the hook for $13 million this season and the Birds gave up some picks to trade for him, so it makes sense they want to hang on to him beyond 2015. HC Chip Kelly pointed out some big name QBs have switched teams because of injuries and he's hoping Bradford pays off with stability at the position. Bradford is taking first team reps and is a full go at camp thus far in the early stages.
Monday, August 3, 2015, 4:19pm
Eagles camp notes from Monday:
- Jordan Matthews gets my “Camper of the Day” award. Practices that limit contact tend to highlight the passing game and those mostly involved, but Matthews had a standout performance by any estimate. He did most of his damage from the slot. I think we’ll see more of Matthews on the outside than we did last year, but why limit his effectiveness when there probably isn’t another option as comparable on the roster? Most of his catches came from Sam Bradford and there were a variety.
- DeMarco Murray was back in action after sitting out team and 7-on-7 drills yesterday. He said it was a coach’s decision to limit his action on the first day of camp. I’m not sure why he would need to rest after a six-week layoff, but he looked fine on Monday. He didn’t seem to go 100 percent when he was involved, but after last season when he logged almost 500 touches, it doesn’t seem necessary for Murray to push himself this early.
- A day after taking all of the first team repetitions at quarterback, Bradford was under center for the majority. He looked a little more comfortable on Day 2.
- Mark Sanchez took his first series of snaps with the first team. I’m not sure that constitutes as a quarterback competition, but it’s a start. His best toss during the series was downfield to Huff on a comeback route. Working with the second team, Sanchez knew who would butter his bread. He kept going to Nelson Agholor on the outside. The rookie wide receiver continued to get the best of rookie corner Eric Rowe. Contact at the line is limited, so I wouldn’t make any assumptions about Rowe just yet, but Agholor has looked more than competent.
- Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow split third team reps again. If Kelly wants a pure quarterback at the third spot, the job is clearly Barkley’s. But if he wants someone that has an “X” factor or can be effective in zone read plays, then Tebow would seem to have the advantage.
On Monday, following the team's second practice, Murray addressed his absence -- and made it clear it wasn't his call.
"That's how it goes," Murray said. "I don't know whose decision it was. I was trying to do as much as I could."
In Murray's place with the first-team offense on Sunday was Darren Sproles, who is projected to be third on the depth chart behind Murray and Ryan Mathews. With Murray holding his helmet, many speculated an injury was holding him back, a theory the running back shot down on Monday, the story said. Murray added that he wanted to be out there, but the good news is it doesn't seem to be injury related.
Monday, August 3, 2015, 1:08pm
That Eagles QB Sam Bradford was back on the field at the NovaCare Complex on Monday after taking all of his first-team reps on Sunday and that there are no reported problems with swelling or discomfort in his twice-repaired left knee is encouraging.
Many, then, want to jump ahead and position Bradley in a game situation and visualize how he will play in this offensive scheme and predict which receivers he will have the best connection with and, egads, wonder if a mid-round fantasy football league draft pick on Bradford would pay dividends.
In our instant-gratification world, the asks are understandable. It is, after all, a microwave world in which we live. But in this instance, there is no choice but to abide by the process. And the edict is that Bradford is a day-by-day proposition.
The Eagles know this and they're all over Bradford. This is not a short-term investment, even with Bradford on a one-year contract. The idea is to get him healthy (he's 100 percent as far as Training Camp goes) and to keep him that way, to knock off the rust accumulated from nearly two seasons without game action, and to let him loose when September 14 and the 2015 regular-season opener arrives in Atlanta.
Bradford has some rust to knock off. The story added the timing isn't quite there and the chemistry with his receivers continues to develop. Sunday, after all, was the first 11-on-11 work he's done in a calendar year. There are no restrictions on Bradford right now according to HC Chip Kelly via the story, but Kelly said that doesn't mean something couldn't swell up in a couple days and they have to take another look at things.
Sunday, August 2, 2015, 8:12pm
It seems likely Huff is a place-holder for first-round pick Nelson Agholor. This way, Huff runs with the first team while Matthews remains in his slot position. When Agholor is ready to move into the lineup, he would replace Huff, according to the story. It seems like the team likes Matthews in the slot. It's very possible Huff could perhaps win time over Cooper at some point after Cooper struggled last season.
Eagles running back DeMarco Murray was a virtual non-participant on Day 1 of training camp Sunday at the NovaCare Complex.
Among the Eagles' prized offseason additions, last season's rushing champion stretched with his teammates and took part in individual drills at the start of Sunday's practice but was limited to the role of a sideline spectator the rest of the day.
Murray did not take a single snap in seven-on-seven drills and was absent from every rep in full-team 11-on-11 drills as well.
"Who knows with him," An Eagles team source who requested anonymity said of Murray's conspicuous absence.
An Eagles team spokesman told NJ Advance Media that he was unaware of any injury to the running back.
Murray did fulfill his lone media obligation of the day -- a one-on-one interview with a national media outlet -- but did not speak to reporters. He is scheduled to talk at the podium after Monday's practice.
Kind of sounds like a strange situation with the comment from the unnamed source. We will continue to monitor the situation.
"It was a big step," Bradford said on Sunday after the team's first practice of training camp.
Bradford participated in full team drills for the first time as a member of the Eagles on Sunday, taking every snap with the first-team offense.
The path to Sunday's practice has been a long one for Bradford, who has torn his ACL in each of the past two seasons. After taking 27 reps with the first-team offense, however, Bradford said he felt 100%.
"To just get out there and know my knee can do it, it was a really big step today," Bradford said. "Everything felt good."
One noticeable difference - Bradford was not sporting the bulky knee brace he did during OTAs, a decision he debated with team doctors. The story went on to say the rust of not playing for over a year was clearly there with Bradford. The usually accurate quarterback missed a few open throws, and was the only quarterback to be picked off during the close to two-hour practice.
Eagles QB Sam Bradford is expected to be ready for 11-on-11 drills, a sign that nothing has gone horribly wrong during his last few weeks of rehab from a torn ACL that cost him all of last season. All indications are that nothing has changed on that front, and Bradford should be on the field when the team begins full-team drills. At least, that is what it sounds like rookie receiver Nelson Agholor, who recently worked out with Bradford, recently had to say to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He's moving great. That's something the organization can share," Agholor said. "But to me, he looks great, he looks healthy."
It was made official Sunday morning, Bradford was cleared for camp with no restrictions. Bradford has said for a while he expected to be ready for the start of camp unless something went wrong. The Birds open camp today. HC Chip Kelly has indicated this is a QB competition with Mark Sanchez, but most of those who follow the team find that hard to believe and this has to be Bradford's job. Bradford is ranked 18th on our QB list and makes for a sleeper QB2 pick in drafts as long as he continues to progress through camp. From Mike Vick, to Nick Foles, to Sanchez, all have put up very usable fantasy numbers in Kelly's offense.
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 7:02pm
On the eve of training camp, the Eagles filled out their 90-man roster by signing rookie free agent running back Kevin Monangai.
Monangai, a four-year letterman at Villanova, finished his Wildcats career with 3,167 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. He also recorded an additional 274 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 38 catches.
Monangai (5-8, 209) participated in the Eagles’ rookie camp in May. He takes the spot previously held by Matthew Tucker, who was waived earlier this week after suffering a non-football quad injury.
Beat writer Jimmy Kempski broke down the Eagles' WR competition:
In my view, I think it'd be crazy to take Jordan Matthews off the field. The Eagles mostly stay in three wide receiver sets, and in those situations, expect Matthews to resume his role in the slot. However, when they go with two wides, Matthews should stay in and line up on the outside.
I also expect Nelson Agholor to start Week 1, and produce immediately. He just looks like the real deal to me.
So the real battle here is Josh Huff vs Riley Cooper vs Miles Austin. Huff has the most natural ability and explosion of the three, but he needs to refine some of the more nuanced aspects of the position. The Eagles would love to see Huff go out and earn more playing time, but they're not just going to hand it to him. Their opinion of Cooper is clearly far higher than yours is.
This comes on the heels of another column declaring Josh Huff as the biggest breakout candidate in the Eagles' receiving corps. Agholor figures to have the edge, as reports have been almost universally positive this offseason. Ultimately, we see Matthews, Agholor and Huff playing the most snaps, but it may not happen early or even this season. Chip Kelly likes Cooper more than the rest of us do.
The search for DeMarco Murray’s replacement will go on without Darren McFadden practicing at the start of training camp. On Thursday, he was placed on the active/physically unable to perform list with a hamstring injury.
McFadden, 27, was dealing with the hamstring injury in organized team activities in June. He was limited then and doing rehab work on the side during competitive drills. McFadden can be removed from the active/PUP list once he is medically cleared. He can then practice immediately.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old McFadden hasn't cracked 3.5 YPC since the 2011 season, when he ran for 614 yards on 113 carries (5.4 YPC) in seven games. That's the rub with McFadden -- fantasy owners haven't been able to count on his durability. He has missed roughly a quarter of his team's games since entering the league. We believe he’ll serve as a change-of-pace/3rd-down back behind Joseph Randle.
With Jeremy Maclin now in Kansas City, many expected the Eagles to move Jordan Matthews to the outside, and line Josh Huff up in the slot. That is not, however, what the plan is. Huff has been lining up with the first team offense on the outside in Maclin's place, with Matthews remaining in the slot.
Huff could see some time inside, but the plan is for Huff to run many of the same routes Maclin did -- including going deep. Huff is the quickest receiver on the team, and the Eagles will be giving him a chance to stretch the field, much like DeSean Jackson did two seasons ago.
Ask Riley Cooper how much the Eagles like their receivers to be able to block, and he will respond by pointing out he played 980 snaps last season, second most on the team. That is a good sign for Huff, who is perhaps the second-best run-blocking receiver on the Eagles, behind only Cooper. Huff should be able to stay on the field, and keep rookie Nelson Agholor off of it, by being a strong run blocker.
When the team drafted Agholor, it was assumed that he would start. That could still end up being the case, and Agholor has the skills to be a star in the NFL. It will be Huff, however, that gets the first crack at the starting job, with Agholor on the bench.
Agholor could end up taking one of the starting spots, from Huff or Cooper, but he will have to do it in training camp, and won't be handed the job.
The prevailing assumption is that Agholor will start alongside Matthews, who could play outside or in the slot. If Matthews is in the slot, then there's an opening for Huff or Cooper on the other side. Then there's the matter of Zach Ertz, who is rumored to be in line for more snaps as he pushes Brent Celek for the starting job. Ertz could also play more in two-TE sets, but that will send two of the aforementioned receivers to the bench. Training camp will be key for all the Eagles' receivers -- the only player seemingly assured of a big role is Matthews.
Even though DeMarco Murray led the NFL in rushing last season (and carried the ball more times than any other player since 2006), Chip Kelly has said since the spring that he does not want the Eagles to rely on one running back as much as they did during the past two seasons. So expect Ryan Mathews to also have a big role in the offense.
“If you have multiple backs you don’t lose anything when you take one out, and I think we probably relied on one too much in the last couple of years,” Kelly said. “But I have great confidence in those other guys that when they go into the game you don’t have to change what you’re doing. Ryan and DeMarco are very similar in terms of how they run and what they’re doing so it’s almost like you think you catch your breath when you take DeMarco out of the game but then here comes Ryan, that’s going to be a real difficult task for people, I think.”
Murray had a career year in his fourth season, racking up 2,261 total yards and 13 touchdowns on 449 touches. He should get plenty of work in Philadelphia, though the signing of Ryan Mathews and the presence of Darren Sproles make it very unlikely that he’ll surpass 400 touches in 2015. LeSean McCoy averaged 353 touches over the past two seasons, so that’s probably Murray’s ceiling if everyone stays healthy. He should hold low-end RB1 value, though the presence of Mathews and Sproles may make even that a stretch.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 11:46am
He was fourth in the running back chase to replace DeMarco Murray behind Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar. Williams had two arthroscopic surgeries on his knee in the offseason, the most recent coming after the Cowboys' June minicamp.
Williams spent last year on the Cowboys' practice squad, spurning chances late in the season to join other teams' active rosters. The Cowboys rewarded him with a two-year deal that included a $240,000 signing bonus.
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