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5 Things: Another Reason To Love Schwartz


The Eagles are on the field for another padded practice which is expected to feature more live hitting. Speaking of live, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and quarterback Sam Bradford meet the media at around 10:45 AM and we will carry those press conferences here on or on our app. Until then, here are the 5 Things to Know for Thursday, August 4 ...

1. Another Reason To Love Jim Schwartz

The defensive coordinator's attack-style philosophy meshes well with the mentality of the City of Philadelphia. Schwartz didn't have any strong ties before joining the team, but he's been on the opposide sideline enough times to understand what he's now a part of.

"There's no better place to play a game than Philadelphia and there’s no better place to win," Schwartz told SportsRadio 94WIP.

Schwartz was on the losing end of one of the more memorable games in recent history - the Snow Bowl. The Eagles beat Schwartz's Lions 34-20 as eight inches of snow turned Lincoln Financial Field into a winter wonderland. At least, for the Eagles.

2. D-Line Coach Vouches For Marcus Smith

A key to Schwartz's defense will be depth along the line of scrimmage. The Eagles have three ends with quality experience in Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham. Who will emerge as a fourth option? Could it be former first-round pick Marcus Smith?

Smith has not produced at the level of a top selection in his first two NFL seasons, but the position change from rush linebacker to defensive end should benefit him greatly.

"You don't have those run-pass conflicts that you do sometimes when you're an outside linebacker," defensive line coach Chris Wilson said. "It's not easier. It's not. It just eliminates another variable, which now allows you to be able to play at a fast level both mentally and physically.

"He's a young guy. He's just got to play. You can't get better without competing and playing every day. He's had a great camp so far."

3. Who Picked Up The Tab?

In his one-on-one with Alex Smith, Jordan Matthews shared what he and the rest of the wide receivers did on their day off Tuesday.

"We actually went out to eat as a wide receiver unit, and I don’t think you know how rare that is that on your one off day during camp guys still want to hang out with each other. That's extremely rare. That stuff does not happen in the NFL, trust me," Matthews said. "In the season, OK maybe, but during camp, the one off day, the last people guys want to see are people that they see every day in this locker room, and all of the receivers decided that we wanted to go eat together.

"That's the type of room you want and those are the type of guys where when someone goes out there and when someone has a play and they have to block for them, they're doing it willingly because they want that guy to do well. When somebody scores, everybody's genuinely happy for them. That's how you build camaraderie and that's how you build a team that is actually going to go out there and win games."

4. Kenjon Barner's Big Opportunity

With Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood sidelined due to injury, Kenjon Barner received an extensive workload on Wednesday.

Barner made the Eagles' 53-man roster in 2015 and saw an increase in playing time after Mathews missed three games due to a concussion. Barner sampled what it was like to get on the field and doesn't want to miss out on that chance this year. He did the right things in the offseason to take care of his body. Furthermore, he's trying to prove that he can thrive without Chip Kelly as his coach. Barner played for Kelly at Oregon and spent the last two years with him in Philly.

"I loved Chip but you understand that it's a business at the end of the day," Barner said. "You guys like to label me as a Chip guy, but I wouldn't have gotten drafted and I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to play last year if I couldn't play the game of football. Once he got fired, I wasn't worried about anything. I’m a football player."

5. Don't Count Allen Barbre Out

The Eagles signed Brandon Brooks and Stefen Wisniewski before drafting Isaac Seumalo this offseason to add competition along the interior of the offensive line. Allen Barbre, the team's starter at left guard in 2015, is maintaining his hold on the position despite the added depth.

"I'm at a point now where I think I'm playing my best football," Barbre said. "I added some weight the last couple of years (he plays at 315 pounds after starting his career at 300 pounds) and I think that has helped me get stronger. I've always been quick and I can run all day. That weight has helped me.

"I started last year and I had an OK, up-and-down here-and-there year just as everything else was up and down with our offense. I felt I could come back this year and work hard and take the next step from where I was last year. It's either up and down in the NFL. You don't stay the same. I worked on some small things, small details, and it has helped take me to the next level."

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