NFL Nation: dennis kelly

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles don't have a problem if offensive tackle Lane Johnson is really suspended for four games, as reported by Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News.

They have several problems.

Remember, Johnson was a quarterback in high school and then a tight end when he first got to Oklahoma University. The 6-foot-6 Johnson bulked up to more than 300 pounds to become an offensive tackle good enough to be taken fourth overall in the 2013 NFL draft.

Was that physical transformation natural or the result of performance-enhancing drugs? This is more than a theoretical matter for the Eagles. They drafted Johnson based on his size and his physical skills. At the scouting combine last year, Johnson ran a 4.75-yard 40-yard dash, an excellent time for a man of his size. The Eagles drafted him fourth, which meant a contract worth almost $20 million, including a signing bonus of $12 million.

The Eagles made that investment on the assumption that Johnson was clean. He earned his money as a rookie, starting all 16 regular-season games plus the playoff game against New Orleans. But the question becomes, can he perform at the same level if he stops doing whatever earned him a four-game suspension?

If Johnson is sidelined, the Eagles could start either guard Todd Herremans or backup lineman Allen Barbre at right tackle. Barbe performed very well when pressed into action at left tackle last year at Green Bay. Herremans played right tackle in 2012 and 2013 before moving back inside to guard last year.

The other candidates to fill in for Johnson are Dennis Kelly, who was troubled by back pain last season, and Matt Tobin and Michael Bamiro. The Eagles did not take an offensive lineman in this year's draft.

Taking a step back, a suspension would cast doubts upon more than just Johnson.

Head coach Chip Kelly has gotten a lot of attention for his training methods and his sports science-based approach to football. It didn't raise many questions when linebacker Jake Knott was suspended earlier this year. But now, with a first-round pick and starter reportedly testing positive for PEDs, there will be plenty of speculation about what's in those custom smoothies the players drink after every practice.

Johnson would be the fifth Eagles player suspended for performance enhancing drugs. This would be the first time, however, that two Eagles have tested positive in the same year. Instead of a minor player whose absence would barely be noticed, Knott becomes part of a trend for the 2013 NFC East champions. If there are no more positive tests, there will be no more suspicions. But if the trend continues, questions will be asked.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Eagles safety Earl Wolff is inactive for Sunday night's showdown against the Dallas Cowboys.

Wolff missed four games after injuring his right knee in Green Bay Nov. 10. He returned for last week's game against Chicago but left after playing one series. Veteran Patrick Chung will start at safety in place of the rookie.

Backup safety Colt Anderson (hamstring) and backup center Julian Vandervelde, who were listed as out, were both inactive. Otherwise, it was the usual group: quarterback Matt Barkley, running back Matthew Tucker, offensive lineman Dennis Kelly and cornerback Curtis Marsh.

Offensive lineman Matt Tobin is active for the second time this season. He takes Vandervelde's spot on the 46-man roster, but would not play center if anything happened to starter Jason Kelce. That role would likely fall to left guard Evan Mathis.

As expected, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and inside linebacker Sean Lee are inactive. So is former Eagle Ernie Sims, which leaves Dallas even thinner at linebacker.

Quick thoughts on Eagles' inactives

September, 29, 2013
DENVER -- It wasn't surprising when the Philadelphia Eagles announced that safety Patrick Chung will be inactive for today's game against the Denver Broncos. Chung injured his shoulder against Kansas City and didn't practice all week. Rookie Earl Wolff will start in his place.

There was a little intrigue in the rest of the secondary. The Eagles are desperately trying to develop some depth with their young cornerbacks. Roc Carmichael, who was signed off the Texans' practice squad last week, will dress for the first time. Seventh-round pick Jordan Poyer is also in uniform. Both of them were inactive for the Chiefs game. Shaun Prater, who dressed last week, is back on the inactive list this week.

Carmichael and Poyer are likely to see most, even all, of their playing time on special teams. But there is always a chance they will be pressed into action due to injury. Poyer was forced to play against Washington and was immediately targeted by Robert Griffin III.

Offensive lineman Dennis Kelly is inactive for the fourth time. The first three weeks, he was unable to practice because he was recovering from back surgery. Kelly practiced this week, but is behind Allen Barbre, who backs up at both guard and tackle.

Matt Barkley, Matt Tobin, Damion Square and Emil Igwenagu are the other inactive Eagles.

Cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) in inactive for the Broncos. It will be interesting to see if that means Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is assigned to DeSean Jackson wherever he lines up.
LANDOVER, Md. -- I just don't know how else to put it. This is nothing against the Washington Redskins, who just took a 17-3 halftime lead over the Philadelphia Eagles thanks to LeSean McCoy's last-minute fumble in his own red zone. But the Eagles are simply one of the worst teams in the NFL right now. They do absolutely nothing well. They don't block, tackle, cover, run, pass or catch. They are not creative, on offense or defense. They are not disciplined, as their six first-half penalties for 45 yards attest. They came in here today on a five-game losing streak, with a rookie quarterback making his first start, and they've shown nothing to indicate an ability to avoid losing a sixth straight.

The number of breakdowns so far is too high to cram into one halftime post, so we'll take a look specifically at the 49-yard touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to Aldrick Robinson in the second quarter. Robinson was so open you'd have thought he had the measles. Good for Griffin for spotting him and heaving the throw into the end zone on a fake-reverse play action play, but this was a screw-up on the part of the Eagles. Safety Nate Allen came up to play the tight end when it's obvious that cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was expecting him to cover deep, but that still doesn't excuse Asomugha from not going with the receiver, since he appeared to have nothing else to do on the play.

Let's give Griffin credit for a sharp first half in which he completed 8-of-9 passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 20 yards on four carries. But this has not been a challenge for a rested Redskins team coming off its bye and playing at home. They have had a couple of third-down breakdowns on defense, as the Eagles are 4-for-9 on third downs. But that's about all that's gone wrong. They picked off Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles twice in the first quarter, and they seem to be benefiting from the Redskins debut of safety Brandon Meriweather, who missed the first nine games of this season with knee injuries and has one of the two interceptions.

Foles is 12-for-22 for 120 yards and those two interceptions. Frankly, he looks as lost as you'd expect a third-round rookie making his first start 0f the season in Week 11 to look. The first interception went off the hands of tight end Brent Celek, but the throw wasn't very good to begin with, and Foles has shown nothing to indicate that he's in any kind of rhythm with his offense or receivers. The Eagles have had the ball for 19:11 of the game's 30 minutes so far, and yet they have outgained the Redskins only 169 yards to 138.

The Eagles' offensive line, which was a big part of the problem all year when Michael Vick was playing quarterback, still looks shaky. Newly signed Jake Scott started at right guard in place of Danny Watkins, and he's been flagged for two false start penalties. Right tackle Dennis Kelly has been called for holding twice (though one was declined), and left tackle King Dunlap got called for a hold as well. Foles isn't picking up the corner blitz any better than Vick did, and in short the Eagles' offense looks as ugly and disjointed as it has all year.

On the Redskins' side, wide receiver Pierre Garcon is starting his fourth game of the season, but it's clear they're limiting his snaps as he plays with the foot injury that has bothered him since the season opener. Garcon has two catches for a total of six yards.

Danny Watkins inactive for Eagles

October, 28, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles right guard Danny Watkins will miss Sunday's game with an ankle injury. Rookie Dennis Kelly will replace him as the starting right guard on an Eagles offensive line that's already using backups at left tackle and center.

Watkins was listed among the inactive payers for the Eagles' game against the Falcons. Also inactive are defensive end Vinny Curry, whom some have suggested be activated to help the lagging pass rush, and wide receiver Damaris Johnson, who had been the team's primary punt returner for its first five games. Johnson is inactive because wide receiver Riley Cooper is healthy enough to play for the second game in a row, and that's likely to leave the punt-return duty in the hands of Mardy Gilyard and possibly DeSean Jackson.

Full lists of inactives for the Eagles-Falcons game:


LB Jamar Chaney
DE Vinny Curry
QB Trent Edwards
WR Damaris Johnson
RB Dion Lewis
OL Nate Menkin
G Danny Watkins


QB Dominique Davis
WR Harry Douglas
C Joe Hawley
T Lamar Holmes
DE Jonathan Massaquoi
DE Cliff Matthews
DT Travian Robertson
The Philadelphia Eagles used their second pick of the sixth round (No. 30 in the round, No. 200 overall) to select Miami offensive lineman Brandon Washington. He played tackle last year at Miami but guard the two years prior to that, and the Eagles announced him as a guard, which is where he projects to play in the NFL. At 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, he feels a little big for a Howard Mudd guard. But perhaps his experience at guard and tackle is part of the appeal for a team that was looking to add bench depth behind its offensive line starters.

As we wrote when the Eagles picked tackle Dennis Kelly in the fifth round, the Eagles allow Mudd to have some say in deciding who they pick at the offensive line spots, and he tends to like a certain kind of player with which he believes he can work. Under Mudd, the Eagles' offensive linemen have to be quick and athletic to get out and block from a position upfield from the one in which they start, and maybe they saw something on tape with Washington that made him think he'd take to it.
We have reached the add-depth portion of the NFL draft, and the Philadelphia Eagles have added some depth -- not to mention height -- at a position of need. With the 18th pick in the fifth round (No. 153 overall), the Eagles took Purdue tackle Dennis Kelly, who is 6-foot-8 and 304 pounds. Kelly moves into the backup offensive line mix following the injury to starting left tackle Jason Peters and the signing of new starter Demetress Bell and the re-signing of backup tackle King Dunlap.

Kelly is a project lineman, but the project lineman that offensive line coach Howard Mudd got in the sixth round last year was Jason Kelce, who emerged as the Eagles' starting center last summer and held that position all year. So Kelly becomes Mudd's next developmental guy, and the speed with which he picks up Mudd's blocking schemes will determine how quickly he can be a contributor on the line for the Eagles.




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