During the playoffs last season, the eventual Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks did not want to face the Eagles, or so says new Eagles safety Chris Maragos, who played on that Seahawks team a year ago. Via Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation:
Going back to prior to your playoff run last year, when you looked at the landscape of the six NFC teams of who made the playoffs, was there one team or a couple teams that the Seawhawks really thought were going to be real challenging?
"The Eagles. The Eagles, for sure. That was the one team we didn't want to play. We were always talking in the locker room and we felt like, man, they're young, they're hungry, they're coming on strong with what they're doing... It was one of those deals where we were like that's a team that, you know, it's one of those trap teams that sneak up on you and do some great things. They're young, talented, aggressive, and one of the teams that we thought were really dangerous."
Even when asked if the Seahawks feared the Eagles more than a great team like the 49ers, Maragos stuck to his guns.
"Absolutely, because we knew them so well. We were looking at the Eagles going, man, this is new stuff. They're flying around, these guys are playing fast, they're putting up points, just a lot of energy going on around there. So that was one of the teams we didn't quite have a good handle on."
Maragos also commented on the difference in the locker room chemistry in Seattle and here in Philadelphia. It's definitely worth a look.
Practice observation roundup
I could do a roundup of all the recent practice observations by Philly reporters, but Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz already took care of that.
Michael Irvin talks Jordan Matthews
Whatever your feelings are of Michael Irvin, he was a Hall of Fame WR in the NFL, who had a strong desire to be great. I think Irvin sees a little bit of himself in that "want to be great" regard from Eagles rookie WR Jordan Matthews, via Tim McManus of Birds 24/7.
"I like what I see out here. I like what I see physically as to body type, body size and everything. And then I like what I see internally as far as work ethic and most importantly, a strong desire to be the best," Irvin told Birds 24/7 after practice. "He wants to garner all the information: 'Mr Irvin, sir, whatever you see out here today, can you call me on it and talk to me about it? When you watch film can you tell me what you see?' A young guy like that, man, that comes in with that perspective and those kind of thoughts, you can have some success with him."
Does he compare to any specific receiver?
"He can be a combination of a few guys. You watch a big guy play the slot like a Marques Colston, he has that ability but he's faster than Marques Colston. So now he gets outside he can probably do more things than a Colston can do. I look at him as a combination of a lot of good receivers in this league with an ability to be great."
Be sure to check out the rest of Tim's notes from yesterday's practice.
Andrew Kulp of the 700 Level pointed out that at a minimum, Matthews should easily be able to replace Jason Avant's production.
Among active players, only four (wide receivers) eclipsed 1,000 yards as a rookie.
Yet Matthews doesn't necessarily need 1,000 yards for his rookie year to be considered a success. To begin with, he only needs to supplant Jason Avant in the slot—and that shouldn't be very hard.
Avant's production can be replicated with ease. 38 receptions? 46 active wideouts recorded at least that many catches as a rookie. 447 yards? 53 out-produced that in their first year. Two touchdowns? 75 managed to find the end zone at least twice while they were still learning the ropes.
It's becoming increasingly commonplace for rookie wide receivers with Matthews' type of pedigree—selected No. 42 overall out of Vanderbilt—to contribute right away. Last season alone, 12 rookies bested Avant's totals in at least two of receptions, yards and touchdowns.
LeSean McCoy has also been impressed by Matthews so far, via Zach Berman of the Inquirer:
"The young kid that nobody even knows about except in Philadelphia, Jordan, he's making plays," McCoy said.
McCoy admitted he was surprised by how impressive Matthews has looked, and he ordinarily withholds judgment on rookies until the season.
"You don't really get into it with the rookies until you watch them play," McCoy said. "He's shown it. Just his work ethic. He works like a veteran, like a five, six-year veteran. Sky's the limit for that kid, for sure. He's raised right. He's got good manners. I'm very optimistic about his career."
Love that Shady thinks nobody knows about Jordan Matthews.
Shady lost some weight
LeSean McCoy is lighter this season, and if he wasn't already elusive enough, McCoy thinks he can be even more shifty, via John Gonzalez of CSN Philly:
No more "Doritos and sauce" late at night. That's how he put it. LeSean McCoy slimmed down during the offseason. He had an excellent year. He could have relaxed and come back around the same size. Instead, McCoy watched what he ate. He paid attention to portions. He trained.
McCoy has shed a few pounds. Last year, he played somewhere in the 215-pound range. He's down to somewhere between 209-211 pounds. If that doesn't sound like much, it was enough for Pat Shurmur to offer, unsolicited, that McCoy looks "leaner" And he does. Those five-or-so pounds, McCoy said, make him feel different.
"At a lighter [weight], I feel like I'm so much more effective," McCoy said. "I looked at all my old film and saw how much quicker I was when I was 210 [pounds], 209. It's a big difference. And I'm feeling like that again. I've always made plays. Even last year."
Who dips Doritos in sauce?
In case you're behind on all the on-field action at training camp...
• July 26 practice recap: Mark Sanchez wins the day
• July 27 practice recap: Eagles running backs win the day
• July 28 practice recap: Jordan Matthew wins the day
• July 30 practice recap: Malcolm Jenkins wins the day
• July 31 practice recap: Cary Williams wins the day
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski