Eagles Notes: Kelly, Matthews, Carroll, Long, Barkley, Villanueva

Eagles second-rounder Jordan Matthews “caught everything thrown his way and lined up both inside and outside,” according to Phillymag.com’s Sheil Kapadia, who took stock of the team’s draft picks now that spring work has concluded. Kapadia expects Matthews to emerge as the team’s No. 1 slot receiver.

Other Eagles tidbits:

  • Head coach Chip Kelly held a press this week and was again asked about the unceremonious divorce from DeSean Jackson, but Kelly made it clear that he’s not in the message sending business. Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times relayed that bit of information as well as a related quote from center Jason Kelce which indicates that, while the Jackson release resonated, it has not affected the team’s stability: “As opposed to the way a lot of the media portrays it I don’t think that the release was solely on character things and a lot of other things, I think that might be something that’s been played out way too far. I think there are a lot of different factors. His release has not changed in my mind anything about the way this organization runs, the culture of it or anything.”
  • Free agent acquisition Nolan Carroll and 2013 undrafted free agent Travis Long were among a handful of under-the-radar players highlighted by Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Now two years removed from a reconstructed ACL, Long is pushing for a roster spot and has drawn praise from Kelly.
  • Long would help his chances of making the roster by proving himself valuable on special teams, an area the Eagles have made a concerted effort to improve, notes ESPN’s Phil Sheridan: “The Eagles added Bryan Braman, a linebacker who excelled on special teams in Houston, and cornerback Nolan Carroll, an excellent gunner on coverage teams. Safety Chris Maragos was a special teams regular for Seattle last year. Darren Sproles, who will see plenty of time on offense, is a first-rate return man.”
  • Is Matt Barkley‘s arm strength a major concern? Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com thinks so.
  • Army product Alejandro Villanueva, an undrafted free agent, is a long shot, but his work ethic is noteworthy and worth reading about. Kelly told team website writer Bo Wulf he’s “amazed at everything that Alejandro does.”
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