NFL Wire News

Eagles look to erase X factor


The Sports Xchange

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles gave up a league-high 72 pass plays of 20 yards or more last season, including 18 of 40-plus yards.

That is why three of last year’s four starting defensive backs are no longer with the team and why last year’s secondary coach, John Lovett, was fired.

Lovett was replaced by former Broncos assistant Cory Undlin, who has vowed that his unit will dramatically reduce the number of “X” plays they yield this season.

“We’re out of the X-play business,” he said. “We’re not doing that. I believe every X play that (was) given up … was a result of poor technique somewhere in the down. My focus has been on, ‘Here’s how we’re going to give those plays up.’ “

–Running backs coach Duce Staley is the Eagles’ only top position coach or coordinator who is African-American. He was also close to former Eagle LeSean McCoy, who last month accused coach Chip Kelly of being a racist and “getting rid of the good black players.”

But Staley said McCoy is dead wrong about Kelly.

“Chip is not a racist at all,” Staley said. “I know from my relationship with him; that’s far-fetched.”

–The Eagles’ March acquisition of quarterback Sam Bradford reunites Bradford with his first NFL offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur.

Shurmur orchestrated St. Louis’ offense in 2010 when the Rams made Bradford the first pick in the draft.

“I certainly have a strong opinion of what he can accomplish,” Shurmur said. “Had he been able to stay healthy (he’s torn an ACL twice in the last two years), he wouldn’t have been available to us. When the deal was getting made, I had my fingers crossed in the background that it was going to get done.”

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