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  1. Eagles Crush Saints: Jalen Hurts Sets Franchise Record By Mike Greger Updated Nov 21, 2021 at 11:22pm Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has the second-best selling jersey in the NFL after Week 1. Playoffs? Playoffs? It’s a real possibility in Philadelphia after the Eagles crushed the New Orleans Saints 40-29. They now own a crucial tie-breaker for a wild-card spot. The final score looked closer than how Sunday’s victory went down. The Eagles went over 200 rushing yards for a second straight week – 242 ground yards against the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense – and hopped on Jalen Hurts’ cape. The dual-threat quarterback racked up 216 total yards, including 69 on the ground. His three rushing touchdowns set a single game franchise record for the most by an Eagles starter. Yes, that list includes Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, and Michael Vick. Hurts was sensational in this one, particularly on an ankle-breaking, nail-in-the-coffin run. That 24-yard scamper made it 40-22 and ended all doubt. It was his third touchdown of the day, eighth on the year – the latter set a new record for any quarterback in his first 11 games. It wasn’t all good for Philadelphia. They let the Saints back in the game after taking a 27-7 lead into the halftime locker room. Darius Slay’s interception return for a touchdown – Slay’s third score in four weeks – should have closed the door. Nope. New Orleans outscored Philly 22-7 in the fourth quarter until Hurts slammed it shut with his third touchdown. "He hit that L1 juke,” right tackle Lane Johnson said, referring to the Madden video-game franchise. "I couldn’t tell where he was. Next thing I know he sticks it in the ground and pulls it for a big-time play.” "Jalen is a special player,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “[He] forces defenses to play different. You look at the tape, you look at the stats, you look at where they are, you look at their defense. But you also want to do what you do well and so we know we’ve been running the ball well and it’s a little different when Jalen’s in there.” JJ Arcega-Whiteside Makes Play of Day Hurts’ heroics aside, JJ Arcega-Whiteside made arguably the play of the day when he snatched a 23-yard reception for a first down. The catch came on a pivotal 2nd-and-11 (from their own 25-yard line) with 6:25 left in the fourth quarter. Seven plays later, Hurts raced free for his game-sealing touchdown. Sirianni called Arcega-Whiteside’s catch-and-run the play of the game. The key conversion was his first reception of the 2021 campaign and it came after a really tough week for him. Arcega-Whiteside had been dealing with some "personal issues,” according to Sirianni. Playoff Picture Shaping Up Nicely The Eagles had a 36% chance of making the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight polls. They are squarely in the mix to land an NFC wild-card spot after beating New Orleans. The Eagles are battling the Saints (32%), Minnesota Vikings (59%), and San Francisco 49ers (47%) for a postseason berth. They own the tie-breaker over New Orleans. San Francisco already beat Philadelphia. And the Eagles and Vikings don’t play. Sirianni likes his team’s chances to sneak in. He talked about their connected identity and physical toughness. "It’s not about plays you call or defenses you call or special teams calls,” Sirianni said. "We have a close-knit group of guys that connect. It’s a physical group of guys and guys that leave everything out there on the field.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-saints/
  2. Eagles Activate Miles Sanders, Reveal ‘Rarity’ in Revamped Backfield By Mike Greger Updated Nov 20, 2021 at 6:34pm Getty: Eagles players Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard celebrate as Alshon Jeffery looks on. Miles Sanders is one step closer to resuming the feature back duties in Philadelphia. The Eagles activated the third-year player from injured reserve on Saturday afternoon and he’s expected to play in Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints. How many snaps he sees is anyone’s guess, although head coach Nick Sirianni did say Sanders would be the starter if healthy. Sanders didn’t show up with an injury designation on Friday’s practice report so everything is trending in a positive direction. He suffered a low-grade ankle sprain in Las Vegas and hasn’t played since October 24. Sanders has 63 carries for 300 yards – 4.8 yards per carry, 13th-best in the NFL – in seven games this season. Meanwhile, the Eagles have been running the football at a record clip since Sanders’ injury. They own the third-best rushing attack in football (144.5 yards per game) and the top ground game over the past three weeks (209.3 yards per game). Philadelphia has done all that damage without Sanders in the backfield, instead turning to the two-headed monster of Jordan Howard and Boston Scott. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell has pitched in sporadically, too. Sirianni talked about the possibility of keeping all four running backs active this week on Sunday. He credited Eagles general manager Howie Roseman for stacking the roster and creating depth at the position. "I know it’s a rarity. Again, I’m glad that we have the four backs that we have,” Sirianni said. "They all have a special skill set that we like and that we can use. Again, a tribute to Howie and his staff of the depth that we’ve created there. "Again, just think a lot of every back in that room and I think a lot of teams would like to be in the situation we’re in right now, to have four guys that you really trust and can go out there and make plays.” Eagles Ink Avonte Maddox to 3-Year Extension The Eagles announced a three-year contract extension for nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal was worth $22.5 million, including $13.3 million in guaranteed money. Maddox becomes the fourth player from the 2018 draft class inked to a long-term deal. He joins defensive end Josh Sweat, tight end Dallas Goedert, left tackle Jordan Mailata as the Eagles double down on youth. "We have a game on Sunday and I’m focused on that, but it’s a big moment for me,” Maddox told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. "It’s something you always dream about. I’m just so thankful that the team recognized it and here we are. We’re building big things here.” Dallas Goedert Talks New Contract Goedert, a second-rounder in 2018 (49th overall), becomes either the second- or third-highest-paid tight end (OverTheCap broke it down nicely). It’s a mega-rich deal for a player starting to blossom in Philadelphia after taking over for Zach Ertz. The 26-year-old thanked the Eagles’ organization at a Friday press conference while calling himself "one of the best tight ends” in football. "I believe I’m one of the best tight ends in the league and I’m always going to have that mindset,” Goedert said. "But to be paid up there, I feel like the respect that the team showed me it’s just really cool that they see the hard work that I’ve put in day in and day out, to believe that I deserve, earned it, and all that. It’s a really cool feeling that they see what I can do.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/miles-sanders-activated-2/
  3. Eagles CB Earns All-Pro Nickname After Highlight-Reel Play By Mike Greger Updated Nov 1, 2021 at 4:02pm Getty: Tay Gowan came over to the Eagles as part of the trade that sent Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals. Lost in the shuffle of a dominating 44-6 performance was the play of new cornerback Tay Gowan. The young player received from Arizona in the trade for Zach Ertz saw 16 defensive snaps, including an impressive pass breakup on KhaDarel Hodge. Gowan’s highlight-reel play came in garbage time so it probably went unnoticed to most fans. He had perfect coverage on a tight throw down the sideline and tipped a would-be touchdown out of Hodge’s hands. Twitter was abuzz with reaction from friends and former teammates. One user referred to Gowan as the "Tom Brady of corners” and labeled him "Gowan Island.” The latter being a reference to former All-Pro Darrelle Revis, one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever do it. He retired with 29 career interceptions over 11 seasons, with teams usually refusing to throw to his side of the field. The sixth-rounder out of Central Florida seemed to enjoy the comparison to Revis immensely. He called himself "Gowan Island” in a tweet and used an island emoji with palm trees. The Eagles may have found themselves a steal in the 6-foot-2, 185-pound corner who built a reputation in college as being a "strong challenger” on 50/50 balls (via NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein). Gowan had two interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 12 games in 2019. He opted out of the 2020 football season after testing positive for COVID-19. Round 8 Going on Round 9 The Eagles are on to Round 9 after scoring a knockout in Round 8. Head coach Nick Sirianni likes to use the boxing analogy when describing his one-game-at-a-time philosophy. The team returns to the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field for a home date against the Los Angeles Chargers. Kickoff is slated for 4:05 p.m. Before they take the field, Sirianni wants to see another strong week of practice. The days leading up to beating the Lions were extremely competitive. "Today [October 31] was Round 8 for us and my message to them [the team] was sometimes it just takes a big round where you cut somebody and win a round to build some momentum,” Sirianni said. "There was no secret to why we performed well today. "It happened every day in practice. What happened on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – the intensity was so high, the detail was so high – again, that was our message as we continue to grow. The only way to continue to grow is to have that intensity in practice.” Jason Kelce: ‘Roots on Three!’ Jason Kelce is an unintentional public relations guru, or maybe he knows exactly what he’s doing. The Eagles released a video of Sirianni’s post-game locker room speech in Detroit. The head coach talks about needing to win a "big round” and playing physical football, then Kelce works his magic. The All-Pro center breaks the team down and incorporates Sirianni’s infamous "flower” metaphor, the one where he talks about roots growing underneath the soil. Kelce huddles his teammates up and shouts out: "One, two three … roots!” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/tay-gowan-island-nickname/
  4. Jalen Hurts Addresses New Dynamic in Eagles QB Room By Mike Greger Updated Oct 28, 2021 at 12:09am Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts remains the starter in Philadelphia despite his recent struggles. Head coach Nick Sirianni made it perfectly clear that Jalen Hurts is the starting quarterback. He has no immediate plans to replace him despite a 2-5 start and a plummeting completion percentage. Still, the decision to name a new backup ahead of Week 8 got people pondering a change. Hurts hasn’t progressed in the way the Philadelphia Eagles were hoping in his first 11 starts. He’s done a lot of positive things, mainly on the ground with 715 career rushing yards. But in the pocket and through the air, it’s been a struggle at times. And the stats don’t lie: 3-8 record, 57.7% completion percentage, 16 touchdowns against eight interceptions. Gardner Minshew’s sudden promotion to second-stringer isn’t an all-out indictment, although it has been lighting up the sports-talk radio phone lines in Philly. The No. 2 quarterback is always the most popular guy in town. Hurts was asked if he needed any verbal reassurance from Sirianni that he was the starter moving forward. He doesn’t. "Nah, I want to win,” Hurts told reporters. "All that matters is winning, another opportunity this week.” Another opportunity to lose ground in the court of public opinion, too. It’s not like Minshew is the second coming of Nick Foles – ironically, he replaced the Super Bowl MVP in Jacksonville – but losing breeds controversy. Which could breed a desperation move by the Eagles. "You can’t be result-oriented, you got to trust the process,” Hurts said. "Sometimes, you have so many different things that go on, where they’re trying to take you off what the main thing is. Keep the main thing the main thing. And just work, get better every day. It’ll turn over, it’ll turn over, and I believe that.” He also thanked outgoing backup Joe Flacco for his support, along with new No. 2 Minshew. "I called Joe and I told him how much he meant to me, and how much I valued the relationship we were able to build,” Hurts said. "Before every game, I’d tell him honestly – I tell him and I tell Gardner, too – how much I appreciate them helping me prepare for the week.” No Panic in Birds’ Locker Room The Eagles know the product they’ve been putting out on the field hasn’t been acceptable. Or close to "good enough,” according to Jason Kelce. But the locker room still believes in the message coming down from the head coach. They are doubling down on his five core principles and relying on their veteran leadership to set the example. "If you want to be a good team, you’re in it together. That’s what being a team is all about,” Kelce said. "I think we have good leadership here. If guys weren’t buying in, that would be a direct reflection of leadership, in my opinion. "And I think we have good players here, good people, good coaches. We’re not producing the way we want to right now, it’s not showing up on the field the way we want, but the only way we’re going to get better is by sticking together.” That doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating. Kelce was noticeably upset after he lost his helmet against Las Vegas and lashed out. The refs tagged him with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, a visible sign of things unraveling at the time. Yes, to a point. Kelce revealed there was more going on there. "My helmet got knocked off, and then the guy kind of hits me in the balls,” Kelce said. "They always get the second guy, so I just got to be smarter. I didn’t think I did anything that egregious but whatever. There was a lot of frustration building up at that point.” Hurts Getting All First-Team Reps Sirianni confirmed that Hurts will continue to "get all the reps” at practice. Some coaches split those up between the first team and second team as a way to build chemistry in case the backup quarterback has to go in. The first-year head coach doesn’t believe in that philosophy, something that could help curb the tide in promulgating a quarterback controversy. "Our quarterback’s taking all the reps,” Sirianni told reporters, "and that’s why Gardner is standing behind Jalen while the play is going and taking the virtual, or the rep behind there, the visualization rep.” That didn’t stop Sirianni from heaping praise on Minshew. He continues to grow in the offense, but it didn’t sound like he was ready to hand him the reins. "The main thing is I have seen him grow in the offense,” Sirianni said. "You see that in our developmental periods. Knowing where to go with the football, knowing what we are asking him to do, what receivers are going to do etc. We already knew he could play, that’s why he’s here in the first place. So, it’s really what we are confident in is that he is growing in the offense. And that’s because he puts so much work into it.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-gardner-minshew/
  5. ‘Excited About Gardner’: Eagles OC Hypes Jalen Hurts’ New Backup By Mike Greger Updated Oct 26, 2021 at 5:06pm Getty: Former Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew is the new QB2 for the Philadelphia Eagles. The decision to promote Gardner Minshew to backup quarterback was the right move. The Philadelphia Eagles probably should have done it the minute they traded for him. Now the conversation turns to how much Jalen Hurts might be looking over his shoulder. Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was asked to comment on Minshew’s rise up the depth chart. The former Jacksonville Jaguars starter had been running the scout team, so Minshew’s been heavily involved with gameday preparations. The 25-year-old has been a healthy scratch for the first seven weeks, although he’s supplied tiny shots of energy whether it be in the meeting rooms or out on the practice field. Steichen expressed confidence in a quarterback with 20 NFL starts under his belt. "He’s played a lot of football in this league and had success when he was in Jacksonville,” Steichen told reporters. "He prepares like a pro in those meetings. He’s in the meetings every day getting ready like he is up. So excited about Gardner being the backup.” There is also familiarity with the mustachioed cult favorite. Steichen spent time getting to know Minshew during the pre-draft process back in 2019. Their interactions were brief, but the then-Chargers assistant walked away impressed by Minshew’s football intelligence. "I had a little bit of interaction with him at the combine, really smart, intelligent, when we interviewed him,” Steichen said. "His football IQ is really good. Obviously, he’s able to create plays and make plays out of the pocket and obviously in the pocket as well. So good player.” Evaluating Jalen Hurts Through Seven Games The Eagles’ 2-5 record isn’t a complete indictment of Hurts. Sure, there are a ton of plays the second-year quarterback wants back. That fumble at the goal line against the Raiders was a particularly bad one. However, Hurts has supplied plenty of highlight-reel moments to start the season. The coaching staff isn’t ready to pull the plug on a guy vying to be the face of the franchise. "Jalen is an explosive player, as we know,” Steichen said. "He creates big plays out of the pocket on the scrambles, and he’s continued to create big plays with his feet in the run game. Obviously, he is rushing the ball really well right now. We’re really excited about Jalen.” Hurts has wowed with his legs and ranks second behind Lamar Jackson in rushing yards (361) for a quarterback. And his 1,716 passing yards is 16th-best in the league. Where he’s really struggled is with accuracy – an area of concern heading into camp – after turning in three straight games with a completion percentage lower than 60%, including a career-low 46.2% in Week 7. Hurts is at 61.2% for the year. "Obviously, we want to complete more passes,” Steichen said. "That’s our job as coaches to put him in those situations to give him easy completions. So, we’re looking at that this week to get that up.” Running Back By Committee The Eagles have no desire to sign a free-agent running back with Miles Sanders likely out for Week 8. Those carries will be doled out between Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell, with Jordan Howard possibly mixing in. The one-time Pro Bowler has been stashed on the team’s practice squad and hasn’t been promoted yet this year. Steichen and head coach Nick Sirianni both hinted that Howard would probably be called up. He has 126 rushes for 552 yards and six touchdowns in parts of two seasons in midnight green. Look for Howard, Scott, Gainwell all to have roles. "We’re looking through that, obviously with Miles being down,” Steichen said when asked if the Eagles would use a committee approach. "Kenny is a good player. Boston’s played a lot of football in this league, and so has Jordan. We’ll look through that this week.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/gardner-minshew-jalen-hurts/
  6. Nick Sirianni Addresses Eagles Star’s Critical Comments By Mike Greger Updated Oct 25, 2021 at 11:35pm Getty: Fletcher Cox has one sack and three QB hits through seven games. Things aren’t going too well for Nick Sirianni through seven weeks. The Philadelphia Eagles sit at 2-5 after two straight losses, with concerns mounting over their porous defense. Fletcher Cox voided his displeasure after the team’s 33-22 loss. Cox has already been critical about defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and his read-and-react scheme. The six-time Pro Bowler doesn’t think it fits what he does best: sack the quarterback, play in the backfield, tackle. Cox only has one sack and three quarterback hits so far this season. And the 30-year-old star defensive tackle keeps stirring the pot with his words. Head coach Nick Sirianni was asked for his thoughts on Cox’s comments. He chalked it up to frustration and offered that he understood. The team will address any issues they have together – face-to-face, behind closed doors. Sirianni didn’t appear ready to punish Cox for questioning a member of the coaching staff. "You know what, frustration, everyone has frustration after you lose. As players, coaches, everybody is going to have frustration,” Sirianni told reporters. "We’ll talk about everything. We’ll talk through it. We’re going to address anything that we need to address as a team. "But I’ll keep those conversations private that we’ll have there. I understand Fletch’s frustration. I’m frustrated. He’s frustrated. We just got to do everything we can do to get the ship righted.” Cox’s main gripe is that his aggressiveness is gone in Gannon’s scheme. He can’t be his havoc-raising self out there. The All-Pro openly challenged the defensive play-calling on the sideline in Week 7. Sirianni reiterated he has faith in Gannon to get everything fixed, but he didn’t dismiss the notion that Cox’s criticism was valid. "Well, we address everything,” Sirianni said. "When we went in there today to evaluate the tape and evaluate the looks on the tape, we talked about everything in the sense of how are we going to improve the performance that we had yesterday? That’s always going to be discussed whether a player says something about it or not.” Miles Sanders Ruled Week to Week Miles Sanders was carted off the field in Las Vegas in what some people initially feared was a season-ending injury. The Eagles running back rolled his ankle trying to avoid a tackle from Denzel Perryman, then left the game for good. The injury is being called a "right ankle inversion sprain” and Sirianni ruled it week to week. "It’s a stretch for him to be up this week,” Sirianni said, "but we’re not ruling anything out yet.” Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell split the carries when Sanders went down against the Raiders. Scott finished with 24 yards on seven carries and a score, while Gainwell gained 20 yards on five carries. Sirianni mentioned calling Jordan Howard up from the practice squad to add depth. The Eagles aren’t planning to sign a free agent there. "We have Jordan on the practice squad as well,” Sirianni said. "We feel really good about him.” Explaining ‘Lack of Possessions’ Comment Sirianni was taking heat for comments he made in regard to a "lack of possessions” (via John Clark) stymying their offensive rhythm. Some interpreted to mean he was ripping Gannon’s defense for not stopping the Raiders and getting the ball back to Jalen Hurts. Sirianni explained he wasn’t calling anyone out, except for himself. His name is attached to everything the Eagles do – offense, defense, special teams, whatever – and he points the finger at himself first. "In no way, shape or form was I putting any blame on the defense or Jonathan Gannon at all,” Sirianni said. "I have utmost faith in Jonathan Gannon. I have utmost faith in our defense. I’m putting that responsibility on me and nobody else.” Sirianni added that he watches the defense practice every day and has a hand in game-planning on that side of the ball. Gannon does have the final say, though. "When I say the defense needs to tighten up and needs to get the ball back to the offense, I’m saying that that’s my responsibility, right?,” Sirianni said. "That’s my responsibility to say, ‘Hey, on this one, I want to tighten up and play man coverage on this one.’” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/fletcher-cox-nick-sirianni/
  7. NFL Rumors: 6 Eagles Players to Sell at NFL Trade Deadline By Mike Greger Updated Oct 23, 2021 at 10:45am Getty: All-Pro tackle Lane Johnson would be a perfect fit for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Philadelphia Eagles remain steadfast in their desire to keep the band together and turn this fading season around. To be fair, they have put a competitive product on the field. Their average margin of defeat in four losses is 11 points. And now comes the easy part of the schedule. But the decision to trade Zach Ertz sparked rumors that general manager Howie Roseman may be an active seller at the deadline (Tuesday, November 2). He denied a fire sale was on the horizon while pointing to the "next 11 games to show what kind of team we are.” That journey begins with the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7. "I don’t view us as being sellers,” Roseman told reporters. "I view us as still having an opportunity in the next 11 games to show what kind of team we are. And I think this was more about the opportunity to really put the pieces of the puzzle together for this team at that position and kind of moving forward. It’s not to give up on the season in any way, shape or form. I’m certainly not thinking about anything going south.” Six-Pack of Eagles to Sell at Trade Deadline The Eagles entered the 2021 campaign devoid of expectations. They weren’t picked to be a playoff team and a 6-11 record seemed like a favorable outcome. This year was about seeing if first-year coach Nick Sirianni was the right hire, and if new quarterback Jalen Hurts was the franchise’s future. The jury is still out on both those things. So, it’s only natural to ponder whether the Eagles would revert course and become sellers if the losses keep piling up. If they do, here’s a look at a few pieces to unload: Steven Nelson: His one-year $3 million deal is insanely cheap. That makes him extremely attractive for a contender. Nelson has held his own on the outside: 70.8 defensive grade, 26th-best in the NFL (via Pro Football Focus). Parting ways with the 28-year-old cornerback would create opportunities for young players like Tay Gowan, Zech McPhearson, Josiah Scott, Mac McCain III. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a plug in their banged-up secondary which ranks seventh-worst in the NFL. Fletcher Cox: He’ll turn 31 on December 13 and there have been signs of slight regression, plus Cox isn’t the best fit for Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. The All-Pro defensive tackle is still regarded as one of the best players at his position so his trade value is high. He only has one sack and three QB hits through six games – skewed stats when you look at the amount of double teams he draws. Still, Cox may want to move on for his own good, like Zach Ertz, and chase a ring somewhere else. Kansas City makes a lot of sense since Andy Reid drafted him. [CLINK ON LINK TO ARTICLE TO VIEW COX VIDEO] Dallas Goedert: How can the Eagles think about trading him after losing Ertz, right? Goedert is the new starter who ranks third on the Eagles in receiving yards. Sure, but the fourth-year player is angling for a huge extension – $70 million, per reports – while showing a penchant for staying off the field (injuries, bar fights, COVID-19). I’m told the organization isn’t as high on him as people think. They love Tyree Jackson’s potential. Unloading him now before he gets to the negotiation table could be a sneaky win. Trade him to the Buffalo Bills who just lost Dawson Knox to a hand injury. Darius Slay: Finding someone to take on the salary of the fifth-highest paid cornerback in football (via Over The Cap) will be a challenge. However, a contending team with secondary issues and cap space (see: Baltimore Ravens) might bite the bullet. Slay has been the 12th-best cornerback this season, per Pro Football Focus. The Eagles would have to look themselves long and hard in the mirror before trading him. His leadership and personality are off the charts, but he could net a big return in a trade. [CLINK ON LINK TO ARTICLE TO VIEW SLAY VIDEO] Miles Sanders: One of the most exciting young running backs in football can’t get out of Nick Sirianni’s doghouse. He’s been chained in the yard all year. No one knows why, but the organization hasn’t been high on him since the offseason when they drafted Kenny Gainwell and tried out Kerryon Johnson. Sanders has 1,955 rushing yards in 34 career games while averaging 4.9 yards-per-carry. The San Francisco 49ers immediately come to mind as an ideal trading partner with Raheem Mostert out for the year. Lane Johnson: Anxiety and depression issues aside, Johnson just hasn’t been able to stay healthy since 2018. The All-Pro right tackle remains one of the best players at his position when he’s on the field. The latter has been a big if. So moving on from the talented 31-year-old could be a savvy move before the deadline. His replacement, Jack Driscoll, is already on the Eagles’ roster. The Cincinnati Bengals could be perfect suitors. Surprise contenders in desperate need of offensive line help. Johnson would be the best player on that unit. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/nfl-deadline-sellers/
  8. NFL Rumors: Broncos Interested in Eagles Young QB? By Mike Greger Updated Oct 23, 2021 at 12:46pm Getty: Gardner Minshew II #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Philadelphia Eagles don’t seem ready to bench Jalen Hurts despite soft whispers from a few confused media members. That means the quarterback depth chart could be used as trade fodder. Joe Flacco is the backup behind Hurts, with Gardner Minshew stuck holding the third-string clipboard. The Eagles have made him a healthy scratch for all six games this season. And there’s no reason to think he would be elevated unless a major injury hits the quarterbacks room in Philly. So, would the team consider moving him ahead of the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, November 2? It’s possible. Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski spelled out a plausible scenario where Minshew heads to the Denver Broncos. Starter Teddy Bridgewater has been underwhelming out there. Here’s what Sobleski had to say: It’s an interesting idea, especially if the Eagles’ season spirals out of control. They sit at 2-4 with 11 games left on the docket. Meanwhile, Sobleski listed backup left tackle Andre Dillard as another prime trade candidate. He shipped the former first-rounder off to the Carolina Panthers to protect Sam Darnold. He also mentioned the Eagles possibly landing New York Jets safety Marcus Maye if the team chose not to sell at the deadline. Keeping Hurts On-Schedule, In the Pocket Head coach Nick Sirianni has been very vocal about his desire to keep Hurts on-schedule, or more patient in the pocket. The dual-threat quarterback is quick to take off and use his legs before going through all his reads. It’s been a continual point of emphasis from the coaching staff, one Sirianni brought up the other day when discussing Hurts’ development as a passer. How do you fix it without sacrificing his big-play scrambling ability? "You got to do it with making him feel comfortable with the plays that you’re calling and what you’re doing,” Sirianni told reporters. "So, we’re talking about the drop-back pass game, the play action game, the screen game. We just got to do things, and that’s your evaluation after six weeks. What are we doing well, not doing well? "Because when he’s feeling comfortable with that – so at first, I’m putting it on me. It comes down to play calling, putting him in positions where he feels comfortable with the play to read it out versus different looks he’s going to get.” Eagles Fans Invade Las Vegas Football in Las Vegas is a beautiful thing. And hundreds of rowdy Eagles fans are heading out to the desert to cheer on the hometown team. John Clark of NBC Sports shared the following video from a recent flight: (clink on link to article to view video). The cheapest seat was going for $176 per ticket on StubHub. Kickoff between the Eagles and Raiders is slated for 4:05 p.m. on Sunday, October 23. It should be a wild one. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/gardner-minshew-trade-2/
  9. NFL Rumors: Could Jalen Hurts Be Headed to Eagles Bench? By Mike Greger Updated Oct 19, 2021 at 6:23pm Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has the second-best selling jersey in the NFL after Week 1. The Philadelphia Eagles don’t have a Jalen Hurts’ problem. What the team has right now is an offensive identity issue. Problem is, when things start going south the blame usually gets heaped on the starting quarterback. Hurts hasn’t put the Eagles on his back and single-handedly won them any games in 2021, but he hasn’t lost them any. Statistically, Hurts has held his own and his five rushing touchdowns ranks first among all qualifying quarterbacks. He also has 1,480 passing yards, 18th-best in the NFL. Yet there is a whimper for the team to bench him coming from a few rabble-rousing reporters in the know. The Inquirer’s Marcus Hayes – a guy who notoriously likes to stir the pot – wrote a column calling on the Eagles to start Joe Flacco. Yes, he actually mentions Flacco by name. Let’s get this out of the way: there is absolutely nothing to be gained from throwing a 36-year-old journeyman (at this point in his career) under center. Gardner Minshew, maybe. You could make an argument that the former Jacksonville Jaguars starter deserves a look – that’s assuming the organization has little or no faith in Hurts. No one knows the answer to that million-dollar question. Either way, sending Hurts to the bench would be the wrong move. Philadelphia has to see what Hurts can do over the course of a 17-game schedule. Yet another reporter – Bo Wulf of The Athletic – pondered the idea of "burning it down.” The focus wasn’t on Hurts as much as it was on selling off high-priced veterans like Jason Kelce, Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox. Miles Sanders is a young asset easily tradeable, too. The Eagles aren’t using him properly and don’t value his long-term potential. This scenario makes sense. It would put the burden of proof on Nick Sirianni to coach better and the front office to draft well. Jalen Hurts vs. Nick Sirianni Nick Sirianni’s play-calling is probably more to blame than anything Hurts has or hasn’t done. The first-year head coach looks confused and unable to draw on the quarterback’s strengths. Or make up for his weaknesses. Everyone knows Hurts lacks an arm cannon and struggles with accuracy, so utilize the ground game (see: the Baltimore Ravens). It’s been said the Sirianni-Hurts marriage isn’t a good fit. The 40-year-old coach attempted to explain the disconnect, including whether he caters his offense to what Hurts can do. "I think a wise man avoids all extremes. It’s not like it’s, ‘Hey, here is our offense, learn it and do it and if you can do it, cool, if not, we’re going to fail.’ It’s not that way,” Sirianni told reporters on October 15. "And it’s not like, ‘Hey, we’re going to do everything that you do well and we’re going to scheme it all through.’ Because you don’t know. "When you try to go and do something, when it’s like, ‘Hey, I’m going to devote everything to this system right here or this style of play right here,’ well you might not know everything there is to know about that, either, right. It’s a both-and. You want some staples that you have in your offense, that we’ve had in our offense for a long time to be there and to be existent if our guys can execute and do it, but then you also want to adapt to your player.” Eagles Protect Practice Squad Players The Eagles protected four practice squad players ahead of their Week 7 matchup: T Le’Raven Clark, WR John Hightower, DB Elijah Riley, TE Noah Togiai. All four guys are safe from poaching from rival teams and could be elevated to the active roster on gameday. The team returns to practice on Wednesday, October 20 after a lengthy break coming off a loss on Thursday Night Football. The Eagles travel to Las Vegas next to take on the Raiders. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-benched-2/
  10. Eagles Engaged in ‘Recent Discussions’ for Deshaun Watson: Report By Mike Greger Updated Oct 21, 2021 at 12:47am Getty: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans. The Houston Texans are expected to trade Deshaun Watson very soon. The leading candidates to land the embattled quarterback are the Miami Dolphins, but don’t count out the Philadelphia Eagles from making a late push. Watson has been rumored to be on their wish list for quite some time. According to Jeff Howe and Aaron Reiss of The Athletic, the Eagles were one of three teams to engage in "recent discussions” with Houston over Watson’s availability. The Dolphins and Carolina Panthers are the other two. The report doesn’t know the "seriousness” of those talks, saying they could have ranged from a "casual conversation to actual trade negotiations.” Meanwhile, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Dolphins and Texans were putting the finishing touches on a Watson trade. The timeline was thought to be as soon as Friday, October 22 as the two sides worked out compensation. One sticking point appeared to be Houston not being sold on taking Tua Tagovailoa in the deal. Where do the Eagles fit in in all this? It’s tough to say what’s real. General manager Howie Roseman could just be dipping his toes in the water to jack up the asking price. Obviously Philadelphia would prefer Watson stays in the AFC and head to South Beach, rather than join a possible NFC contender like Carolina. Or maybe the Eagles do have genuine interest in Watson, the three-time Pro Bowler who faces 22 active civil lawsuits accusing of him sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Eagles Have Draft Assets to Acquire Watson The asking price for Watson has long been valued at three first-round picks, plus another player or two. No team is positioned better to get a deal done than Philly. If the season ended prior to Week 7, the Eagles could offer them the No. 2 overall pick, the No. 8 overall pick, the No. 9 overall pick. There are 11 more games to be played so that order is bound to change, but the fact they have so many assets to dangle out there has to be appealing for Houston. Miami only has one first-rounder next year, valued at No. 13 overall based on current standings; and Carolina has just one first-rounder, valued at No. 15. Roseman Already Addressed Watson Rumors Roseman has already addressed the Watson rumors on several occasions, most notably following the team’s trade for Gardner Minshew. The preseason had just ended and final roster cuts were on the horizon when he met with the Philly media to discuss their plans. Roseman expressed satisfaction with the quarterbacks on the roster: Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco, Minshew. He couldn’t mention Watson by name, due to NFL tampering rules, but he didn’t seem interested at the time. "Yeah, I think we’re very confident and comfortable with the quarterbacks that we have on our roster. Any player that is on another team is property of that team, and we’re going forward with who we’ve got here,” Roseman said on August 31. "We’ll see what happens here in the next 24 hours with the rest of our roster, but when we talk about that quarterback room, we think we’ve got a good blend of youth, of experience, of talented guys, and we’re excited to start the season and to see the players that we have on this football team.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/deshaun-watson-dolphins/
  11. Eagles Coordinator Addresses Miles Sanders: ‘Don’t Really Know’ By Mike Greger Updated Oct 20, 2021 at 11:30am Getty: Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen needs to get his playmakers more involved in the Philly offense. It’s one thing to throw the ball more than you run it. That’s not the main issue hindering the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense. The team has been relying too much on RPOs over designed runs, another way the coaching staff has put the brakes on their Ferrari. Miles Sanders – their Ferrari, in this case – had nine carries for 56 yards in Week 6, down from 11 rushes in Week 5 and 15 in Week 1. Head coach Nick Sirianni’s argument on not getting his feature back involved early in games has been that the Eagles have been trailing a lot this season. It’s a fair point, but doesn’t explain why Sanders only had one touch in the first half against Tampa Bay. When the Eagles finally started mounting a comeback late, it was on the strength of Sanders’ legs. He needs to eat. But who is to blame? Sirianni or Jalen Hurts? Quarterback Jalen Hurts has the option to hand it off or throw a quick pass on those RPOs. One easy solution is to run a more traditional offense and call more designed runs for Sanders. They could start by putting Hurts under center instead of in the shotgun on almost every play. Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen acknowledged the need to get Sanders "going” during his media availability on Tuesday, October 19, adding that sometimes the "naked eye” can’t tell. "We popped some late in the game where he popped them, and those could have been called runs, they could have been RPOs,” Steichen said. "From the naked eye just looking at it, you don’t really know. Not trying to get too schemey with it, but Miles is a heck of a back and we’ve got to get him going.” Getting Quez Watkins, Other Playmakers Going Sanders isn’t the only weapon the Eagles need to detonate moving forward. Quez Watkins has exploded in limited targets, 3.6 per game – and the speedy receiver needs to be a focal part of the offense. He ranks second on the team in receiving yards (311) and fifth in the entire NFL in yards-per-catch (19.4). Steichen referred to a third-down conversion from Watkins against Carolina in Week 5. The completion went for 53 yards and put the Eagles in striking distance. They scored a touchdown on that drive and eventually won the game. More Watkins is necessary, per Steichen. Ditto for DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. "Quez has got big play ability,” the offensive coordinator said. "Obviously, DeVonta is a big-time player, Dallas is a big-time player, Miles is a big-time player. As much as we can get everyone involved, we want to do that.” Replacing Zach Ertz at Tight End Goedert will see increased snaps following Zach Ertz’s departure. He was already the starter there, but the snaps were being shared. Not anymore. Steichen confirmed that Goedert would have a much bigger role while singling out Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson, Noah Togiai. It’s going to be a collective effort at tight end, with Goedert leading the way. "I think Dallas will do a heck of a job,” Steichen said. "He’s explosive, he’s got really good hands, he’s strong, he’s powerful, he’s good in the run game. So, really excited about Dallas moving forward.” Steichen also made sure to thank Ertz for his professionalism and leadership in their brief time together. "I just want to wish Zach the best,” Steichen said. "Being around him the short time that I was during training camp and these first six weeks, he was an ultimate pro, did everything you wanted, studied the game, loved the game, worked hard and I wish him nothing but the best.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/shane-steichen-miles-sanders/
  12. NFL Insider Responds to Eagles Coach Being on ‘Hot Seat’ By Mike Greger Updated Oct 18, 2021 at 3:33pm Getty: Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is holding himself accountable for the team's loss in Week 2. Six games into the Nick Sirianni experience and there are already calls for his ouster. His unbalanced offensive play-calling has come under fire, as well as game management issues from the first-year head coach. All fixable things, but that won’t quiet the rumor mill from placing him on the proverbial "hot seat.” Perhaps a vote of confidence from a plugged-in NFL reporter will shush the noise. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports gave an emphatic "no, not at all” answer when asked if Sirianni was in danger of being fired. The Philadelphia Eagles hold a 2-4 record – tied for second place in the NFC East – after losing four of their last five contests. The schedule softens up a bit in the coming weeks, so there is hope for a turnaround. If not, Sirianni probably gets a pass in year one. Glazer said the following: Sirianni Takes Blame for Poor Play-Calling The run-to-pass ratio has been an issue in Philly dating back to Andy Reid’s tenure. It is the first thing fans start to question and point at when the Eagles are losing games. Sirianni’s play-calling through six contests has made the running game an after-thought. And Miles Sanders has been a ghost. He rushed nine times for 56 yards in Week 6 to raise his total rushes this season to 57. That’s only 9.5 carries per game. He also has 18 receptions on 23 targets. Not enough. "There’s no doubt we’ve gotta get the ball to Miles more,” Sirianni told SportsRadio 94WIP, "and we gotta be more balanced pass and run. I get their frustration. And like I said, we’re doing everything we can to fix that.” Compare that to 53 rushes for quarterback Jalen Hurts. Not acceptable. And Sirianni knows it. "Well, when you’re not playing good on offense that’s the first place that the fans should look, is the play caller, and what he is calling and if it’s working or not,” Sirianni told Angelo Cataldi. "And right now, these last few games in particularly, we’ve been bad on offense, there’s no hiding it, there’s no question about it. So I understand their frustration.” Sanders Making Most of Limited Touches The weirdest part of the grounded run game is that Sanders isn’t playing poorly. He has 270 yards in six games while picking up 4.7 yards a clip. The third-year running back has every right to complain about his lack of involvement, but it’s not in his nature to do that. After a Week 3 beatdown in Dallas – one in which Sanders received just two carries – the running back seemed resigned to his role. "I can only control what I can control,” Sanders said, via Pro Football Talk. "And the way the game was pretty much out of hand early, I can see why the game plan or whatever they had planned didn’t go as planned.” Later, he noted: "I do believe to have a successful offense, you have to run the ball.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/nick-sirianni-hot-seat/
  13. Jalen Hurts Hurdles Lamar Jackson in Key Offensive Stat By Mike Greger Updated Oct 19, 2021 at 10:44am Getty: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson stiff arms a Los Angeles Chargers defender during Sunday's game. All the talk about Jalen Hurts not being the franchise quarterback in Philadelphia may be overblown. Sure, the record isn’t up to snuff for the organization’s gold standard but that doesn’t mean the man under center hasn’t done enough. Hurts has put up some incredibly gaudy statistics in 10 career starts. The 23-year-old has thrown for 1,480 yards and eight touchdowns this season while rushing for 300 yards and another five scores. While many skeptics are pointing at too many designed runs for Hurts – and lamenting a lack of touches for Miles Sanders – it’s important to put Hurts’ rushing statistics in perspective. According to Pro Football Focus, the dual-threat quarterback is ahead of Lamar Jackson in total fantasy points from rushing production dating back to Week 14 of 2020. Hurts only trails Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, David Montgomery, Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott in that department. Some other not-too-shabby milestones for Hurts include a career-high five rushing scores in 2021, the second-most by an Eagles player since Michael Vick in 2010. And he’s just the third NFL quarterback since 1950 to produce eight or more rushing touchdowns in his first 10 starts. And Hurts has also recorded at least one touchdown in 11 consecutive games. The bottom line hasn’t been where the Eagles want it, though. Philadelphia has dropped four of its last five contests to fall to 2-4. Stats don’t mean much after tough losses. "I see it as I’m not doing enough. I’m not doing enough right now to win,” Hurts told reporters on October 14. "I’m not doing enough to start fast. We all know that this is a team sport and that it takes a collective group, and it takes all eleven. But that one in the eleven is me, and it starts with me, and I will be better.” NFL Analyst Thinks Eagles Might ‘Ruin’ Hurts Former Pro Bowl safety Ryan Clark has been watching Hurts and the Eagles from afar. The player-turned-analyst gave a brutally honest take during a recent appearance on ESPN’s "First Take” show. Clark ripped into first-year head coach Nick Sirianni for not being "inventive” or "creative” in his play-calling. He thinks the organization is ruining Hurts. What was Clark’s solution? Sirianni needs to give up the play-calling duties to someone else on his coaching staff. Torrey Smith Defends Hurts Former Eagles receiver Torrey Smith rushed to Hurts’ defense on Twitter when a user questioned the quarterback’s ability to read defenses. The fan also complained about Hurts’ accuracy and arm strength before Smith shut him down. The two-time Super Bowl champion wrote: "I played with a qb that couldn’t read coverages and he started.” Smith’s comment led to a whole another debate over which teammate he was talking about. The retired receiver played with Carson Wentz and Nick Foles in Philadelphia, so obviously a few people thought he was referring to Wentz. Other popular guesses were Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco. Smith didn’t reveal the name. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-lamar-jackson/
  14. Eagles’ Lane Johnson Reveals Reason for Lengthy Leave of Absence By Mike Greger Updated Oct 18, 2021 at 12:54pm Getty: Eagles right tackle will undergo another ankle surgery and his 2020 season is officially over. The Philadelphia Eagles have been without Lane Johnson since he mysteriously left the team on Sunday, October 3. The starting right tackle reported to the practice facility to update teammates on his "personal matter” but never disclosed what was ailing him. Now there’s finally an answer. Johnson shared a Twitter message on Monday, October 18 where he cites "depression and anxiety” as the reasons for his hiatus. The 31-year-old thanked the Eagles’ organization and fans for supporting him and revealed he would be re-joining the team this week. He has seen 187 snaps in three games before giving way to a combination of Jack Driscoll and Jordan Mailata at right tackle. The three-time Pro Bowler’s veteran leadership has been sorely missed. Brandon Brooks – Johnson’s linemate on the right side – has been very open and honest about his own struggles with anxiety over the years. He has missed five games dating back to 2016 because of the illness which included vomiting and nausea during games. Johnson has been one of Brooks’ best friends in times of trouble, so it’s safe to assume the two have been working past their issues together. "Depression and anxiety are things I have dealt with for a long time and have kept hidden from my friends and family,” Johnson wrote on social media. "If you’re reading this and struggling, please know that you are not alone.” Johnson is expected to return to his starting spot at right tackle, with Mailata likely moving back to left tackle. Andre Dillard should move back to the bench. Nick Sirianni Offers Strong Support Head coach Nick Sirianni had been reluctant to reveal what had been keeping Johnson out. He wanted to respect his star player’s privacy and protect the "personal matter” he was dealing with. After Johnson’s announcement, Sirianni doubled down on his support. "Lane is a big part of everything we want to do here. He’s a great player, great person. I look forward to seeing him in the building and getting him back out there ready to roll,” Sirianni told SportsRadio 94WIP, via the team’s website. "We just want our players to know that we’re all here to support them at any time. Anything they’re going through, good or bad, that’s what a team does and that’s what we do here.” Teammate Jason Kelce talked about how much Johnson meant to the locker room when he met with reporters, too. "I’ve talked to Lane. I just wish the best for him,” Kelce said. "Everybody in here loves that guy. He’s such a great person to be around, a guy that makes our room a lot more fun – a lot more energetic, obviously he’s a great football player, and I just wish him nothing but the best. I can’t say enough good things about Lane Johnson.” Eagle Not Sellers at Trade Deadline Following the Zach Ertz trade, there has been chatter of the Eagles possibly being sellers at the NFL trade deadline. General manager Howie Roseman denied that notion and Sirianni was quick to agree. The team has 11 games to forge an identity and make a playoff push. "I just know what we think in this building, that we’re trying to win every single game,” Sirianni said. "All our goals are still out there in front of us, and that we’re trying to win as many games as possible.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/lane-johnson-anxiety-depression/
  15. Eagles Nab Physical, ‘Underrated’ CB in Zach Ertz Trade By Mike Greger Updated Oct 15, 2021 at 5:29pm Getty: Former Cardinals CB Tay Gowan was sent to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Zach Ertz trade. Zach Ertz will one day be inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame. A three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, the 30-year-old got the perfect outcome to his months-long trade request. He’s going to a legitimate contender in the NFC. Ertz was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in a ho-hum kind of move. The Eagles received cornerback Tay Gowan in the deal, a player who could actually make an immediate impact in a suspect secondary. He’s an outside cornerback who could push Steven Nelson for playing time. The former sixth-round pick (223rd overall) has yet to see a single NFL snap but he’s a promising prospect. Gowan (6-foot-2, 186 pounds) came out of the University of Central Florida with decent hype despite sitting out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. He actually tested positive for the novel coronavirus and battled it. Gowan started nine contests in 2019 and recorded 31 tackles, two interceptions, eight passes broken up, one fumble recovery and one tackle for loss. The Miami (Ohio) transfer finished his collegiate career with two interceptions and 32 total tackles in 13 games. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, prompting some draft experts to prop him up on their boards. Lance Zierlein of NFL Media wrote the following scouting report on Gowan: Meanwhile, the smart folks at NFL Draft Diamonds praised his physicality and mentioned that his 26.2 passer rating in single coverage ranked second-best in college football. "Gowan may have slipped through the cracks after opting out of the 2020 season,” wrote Damond Talbot. "I think the Eagles are getting a great player.” Ertz: Philadelphia is ‘My Home’ Ertz had been angling for a trade – and a new contract – dating back to last season so the decision to unload him wasn’t shocking or unordinary. But seeing the news play out in real time still brought out intense emotions for Eagles fans. And for Ertz. Few players have ever done a better job making the City of Brotherly Love their adopted home like he did. Ertz got emotional explaining that connection in a 17-minute farewell press conference. "One of the things that kind of irked me the past couple days is when this was coming about,” Ertz said, "and people started to know about it, well, you know you’re going back home, you’re going back to California, Julie’s home. This is home. Philadelphia is home. And that was tough. Just to kind of articulate that to people that I love this place.” What he loved more than anything else was the fan base’s authenticity. Some guys (see: Carson Wentz) can’t handle it. They want the most out of you seven days a week, not just on Sundays. "This city loves their players. And they want to see us succeed as much if not more than we want to succeed,” Ertz said. "And so for me, it’s what I loved about this place. People were honest. They’re blunt. They don’t care about you apologizing about a game on social media if you played poorly. They want to see you put in the work Monday through Saturday to get better for Sunday and for me that’s why I think I resonated in this city because all I knew was how to work hard and that’s why I love this place.” Hard Day for Eagles Organization Trading Ertz had been a foregone conclusion this summer, then the star tight end showed up at training camp. He dyed his hair blond and showed everyone he had plenty left in the tank. Ertz has 18 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns in six games. There was never any real tension between Ertz and the front office. They wanted the best for each other’s futures. The Eagles needed to get younger while freeing up salary cap space. Ertz wanted one more run at another Super Bowl. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman thought all parties won in the end. "First of all, Zach Ertz, his lasting legacy on this team, on and off the field in this city, some of the most iconic moments in the history of the franchise were from Zach,” Roseman said. "Just tremendous appreciation for him as a player; Eagles Hall of Famer; on the verge of maybe the NFL Hall of Fame and as a person. "The amount of conversations you have with him and his love of the game and his love of the city. It’s a hard day in terms of why we did this. It was about opportunity. Opportunity for the Eagles, opportunity for Zach as we move forward.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/tay-gowan-zach-ertz/
  16. Eagles Reveal Plan for NFL Trade Deadline: Buyers or Sellers? By Mike Greger Updated Oct 16, 2021 at 4:08pm Getty: Eagles GM Howie Roseman chats with head coach Nick Sirianni prior to a game in 2021. Following the Zach Ertz trade, there are two ways the Philadelphia Eagles can go from here on out. They can ignite a fire sale by slowly shedding high-priced veterans or stay the course. Don’t tell general manager Howie Roseman the team can’t make a playoff push. Yes, the Eagles have dropped four of their last five games but optimism continues to run high in the front office. The decision to cut ties with Ertz was more about doing what was best for an all-time great player. He gets a chance to chase another Super Bowl ring in Arizona, maybe even parlay any success out there into one last pay day. Back in Philadelphia, Roseman has his eyes set firmly on the future. And he likes the way the roster looks at the tight end position. He doesn’t anticipate being sellers when the NFL trade deadline rolls around on Tuesday, November 2 at 4 p.m. "I don’t view us as being sellers. I view us as still having an opportunity in the next 11 games to show what kind of team we are,” Roseman told reporters. "And I think this was more about the opportunity to really put the pieces of the puzzle together for this team at that position and kind of moving forward. It’s not to give up on the season in any way, shape or form. I’m certainly not thinking about anything going south.” Roseman Gushes Over Tyree Jackson One reason why Roseman feels so confident moving forward has to do with a 6-foot-7, 249-pound former quarterback. Tyree Jackson was enjoying a breakout training camp until a back injury – an unfortunate bone fracture suffered during a joint practice on August 17 – forced him onto injured reserve. But Jackson’s potential is undeniable, and his strong showing this summer helped expedite Ertz’s departure, according to Roseman. He was supposed to miss eight to 10 weeks, so Jackson is now coming up on his window to return. "I think some of the circumstances that changed was getting the chance to see Tyree Jackson,” Roseman said, "and wanted to see him in games as he comes back over the next couple of weeks.” Dallas Goedert will be the immediate starter, but he hasn’t been the most reliable player over the years – injuries, bar fights, COVID-19 – and Roseman knows there are no hometown discounts. Goedert is pushing for a multi-year deal in the range of $70 million. "There’s going to be no discount on Dallas Goedert,” Roseman said. "So, we know that, so we want to get as much information and give him as much opportunity to take over that and see him in that role as much as possible, as opposed to guessing on it.” The smarter financial move may be to roll the dice on the "young guys” on the roster, undrafted free agents like Jackson, Jack Stoll, and Noah Togiai. "We want to make sure that we’re going into next year knowing as much as we could. If he’s going to look like he did during training camp, like, that’s going to be a player for us,” Roseman said of Jackson. "But he’s got to show it in games. "And this is an opportunity for him to come back and for us to see that. We don’t think that’s just a shot in the dark. We think this guy’s got some traits. So, we want to see that, and Jack [Stoll] and Noah [Togiai] are two guys we’ve been high on.” Eagles Scouted Tay Gowan Prior to NFL Draft Tay Gowan wasn’t a household name in Philadelphia prior to the Ertz trade. Now everyone is Googling his college highlight-reel tape and pointing out how fast the kid from Central Florida is. According to Roseman, the Eagles scouted him extensively and were high on him heading into the 2021 NFL draft. Gowan went 223rd overall to Arizona, one pick before the Eagles took LSU safety JaCoby Stevens in the sixth round. "He’s a guy we spent a lot of time with in the draft process. He was somebody that we would have considered with our sixth-round pick,” Roseman said. "He was in a group of names. He went right before we picked and he’s a long corner. He’s got tremendous speed.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/howie-roseman-trade-deadline/
  17. Eagles Star ‘Steals’ Cowboys Blueprint for Stopping Panthers By Mike Greger Updated Oct 10, 2021 at 9:47pm Getty: Eagles CB Darius Slay tallied two big-time interceptions in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers. It’s not illegal to steal tips from your division rivals, even if that team wears an obnoxious blue star on their helmets. One week after watching the Dallas Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers, Darius Slay dug into the game tape. The Philadelphia Eagles cornerback was searching for clues on how to stop D.J. Moore. The guy Slay studied during the week was Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, arguably the best player at the position in 2021. He has intercepted a pass in five straight games while earning a 78.8 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. Slay followed Moore on every defensive snap, save one where the Panthers receiver motioned over from the other side of the field. He learned how to contain him by mimicking Diggs. Slay held Moore to 42 yards on seven targets. And the 30-year-old wasn’t too proud to learn from someone six years younger than him. "I’m not one of them older guys that can’t look at younger guys, that can’t learn from them,” Slay told reporters. "I’m one of them guys, I want to soak [it all in]. I’m a sponge, I want to know what everybody do to win. And I watched him [Diggs] play and he kind of controlled the game with him [Moore] so I said I’m going to steal some of this and then I started controlling the game.” Diggs picked Sam Darnold off twice in Week 4. Ditto for Slay in Week 5. It was his best statistical performance in a midnight green jersey, although the nine-year veteran – his second season in Philly – cautioned about confusing picks for production. "I had A lot of great games [last year],” Slay said. "It’s just some of them I didn’t get thrown at. The only reason you could consider it my best game is because I got two picks but other than that, no, I’m straight.” Slay Credited Teammates for Support Slay’s first pick upped his total to 21 in 123 career games. However, it was his first interception since Dec. 27, 2020. Some people were starting to get on Slay’s case for not living up to the $50 million contract he inked last offseason. Well, that debate has been tabled after "Big Play” lived up to his name against Carolina. "Our first thing was to confuse the quarterback as much as we could and we did that today,” Slay said. "Shoot, I made the play that was coming to me. And when it needed to be made.” His third-quarter interception didn’t lead to a touchdown, but it swung momentum back to the Eagles following a Panthers interception 79 seconds earlier. Slay credited his teammates for getting him prepared for the game. He missed a practice and a walk-through earlier this week due to the birth of his "baby boy.” "Busy week. Shout out to my teammates,” Slay said. "I told Rod (Rodney McLeod), Ant (Anthony Harris), and the rest of the defensive backs that I needed everyone today. I appreciate them for having my back out there and put me in the position to make the plays that I made.” Nick Sirianni’s Halftime Message Things weren’t going according to plan on the offensive side of the ball. Head coach Nick Sirianni praised his defense for keeping the Eagles in the game, then shared what his halftime message was to the locker room. "We all knew it wasn’t going great. So, why isn’t it going great? And let’s get solutions,” Sirianni told reporters. "I’ve said this before about my college coach Larry Kehres. He was the type of guy who was in your face all week and then when the game came he kept his composure the entire time. He made the adjustments he needed to make, to go and be able to do our job. And that’s what I felt my job was as a leader.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/darius-slay-trevon-diggs/ NOTE: CLICK ON LINK TO VIEW VIDEOS EMBEDDED IN ARTICLE
  18. Jalen Hurts Addresses Ugly Eagles Win: ‘Don’t Want to Talk About That’ By Mike Greger Updated Oct 10, 2021 at 7:10pm Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts helped fuel a 21-18 comeback win over the Panthers in Week 5. The Philadelphia Eagles’ offense was sputtering for three-plus quarters, then the not-so-secret weapon detonated. Jalen Hurts hit Quez Watkins for a 53-yard pass play. The comeback was on as they rallied to beat the Carolina Panthers 21-18. Watkins tracked down a slightly overthrown ball from Hurts with 38 ticks left in the third quarter. Two plays later, after a defensive pass interference call, Hurts plowed ahead for a one-yard touchdown run. That score made it a two-point game at 15-13 and helped the Eagles survive a frustrating day for the offense. "Quez, I told y’all before he wasn’t a secret,” Hurts told reporters. "He’s a big-time player and definitely did a lot for our football team today. And the defense, the way they played, kept chopping at it. Offensively, we put ourselves in bad situations, a ton to overcome, but we persevered and we overcame.” Philadelphia put up 273 yards of total offense, with each possession resembling a failed treasure hunt. The Eagles couldn’t get anything going on the ground while Hurts struggled with his accuracy. He finished 22-of-37 for 198 yards and one interception, plus two touchdown runs. "I thought Jalen overthrew him and it was unbelievable to see Quez put the afterburners on and go and track that ball,” head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters, referring to the Watkins’ play. "So great individual play by both those guys, and the protection was really good on that play, too.” Penalties were a problem for a fifth straight week: six more flags for 60 yards, including another touchdown erased. They have committed 50 infractions for 341 yards this season. And that makes five scores called back due to penalties in 2021. It didn’t matter in Week 5. Ugly wins count just the same in the NFL. "Sometimes you win ugly like that. That’s just the way it is in this league,” Sirianni said. "It’s a matter of keep fighting, keep going. It was emotional. It was a great win to get.” Hurts Not Talking About Offense, Credits Defense After the game, Hurts didn’t want to talk about their offensive woes or penalty problems. The second-year quarterback wanted to focus on how well the defense played. Jonathan Gannon’s unit kept them within striking distance. "I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about how the defense played,” Hurts said. "How Darius Slay came out, added another munchkin to the bunch this week. He came out here and had two picks. And [Steven] Nelson came out here and got a pick in a clutch situation. One thing I’ve been preaching is we control the outcome of everything.” Slay recorded two momentum-changing interceptions, one on Carolina’s second possession and another in the third quarter. He became the first Eagles player to grab two picks in a contest since Jordan Hicks in 2017. His big day occurred three days after the birth of his "munchkin.” Nelson’s takeaway came right before the two-minute warning and secured the win. The Eagles also registered three sacks (all on third down) and eight quarterback hits on Sam Darnold. "I believe truly we gotta have each other’s backs through everything,” Hurts said. "And, today, you know, we had each other’s backs. Complete team win, seeing special teams making the plays they’re making, defense making the plays they’re making. We had each other’s back and that’s the beauty of this sport.” DeVonta Smith Overcomes Fumble DeVonta Smith keeps proving why the Eagles used the 10th overall pick on him. The rookie receiver finished with seven catches for 77 yards. His two-yard touchdown catch came off the board following an offensive pass interference call on Greg Ward. Smith also fumbled the ball away in the third quarter after an 11-yard completion. "I was a little mad but you got to let it go,” Smith said of the fumble. "Game is still going on, you can’t sit up there and think about that the whole time. So, just correct it and catch the ball and tuck it faster.” Smith said he got a nice pep talk from Slay following the fumble. The main message being to let it go and keep your head up. The Eagles were going to need him to make a big play later in the game. Which Smith did when he hauled in a two-point conversion in the back of the end zone to make it 21-18. That was the final margin of victory. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-panthers/
  19. Jalen Hurts Shares What Patrick Mahomes Told Him By Mike Greger Updated Oct 7, 2021 at 6:34pm Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has been electric in four starts, including a career-high day against Kansas City. There was a brief moment last week when Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts shared an embrace at midfield. Players usually keep those conversations close to the vest, but the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback shared a portion of what the NFL MVP told him. Hurts had just enjoyed arguably his best on-field performance, or at least the greatest one of his professional career. However, it came in a brutal 42-30 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. After the game, Mahomes whispered some encouragement into Hurts’ eager-to-listen ears. "Keep on playing the way you’re playing, you know, keep ballin’, it’s going to come, it’s coming,'” Hurts told reporters when asked what Mahomes said to him. "But, obviously, training with him in the offseason and working with him and being able to build a relationship with him … I have a lot of respect for him, obviously, and I’ll see him again one day.” If that last part sounds like a threat, maybe it was. Hurts is a prideful player and he keeps reiterating how close the Eagles are to putting it all together. They are inches away – the distance between Hurts’ thumbnail and index finger – from getting back in the win column. It’s coming. "This close, we’re coming,” Hurts said. "It’s going to click and when it does, it’s going to be real pretty.” Making Accurate Throws, Creating Plays Rattling off the numbers from Week 4 is a torturous exercise. Why? Because, on paper, it looks like the Eagles won the game. Hurts threw for a career-high 387 yards and 32 completions while combining for 434 yards of total offense. More importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over and threw for the most passing yards since Nick Foles chucked it for 406 yards without an interception in 2013 (via Eagles stat guru John Gonoude). Head coach Nick Sirianni called it the top quarterback performance he’s ever seen. He’s been impressed with Hurts through the first four weeks, but not surprised. Remember, this is the guy he made compete for the job at training camp. "What I love about how Jalen is playing is I think he’s playing the position of quarterback well, right? He’s making the right decisions with the football,” Sirianni told reporters. "He’s making accurate throws. When he needs to create, he’s creating. And he’s getting to where we want him to play.” The next part of Hurts’ development centers on consistency. Stacking days as the cool kids say. "I think he’s playing really good football and he’s turned himself into a good quarterback,” Sirianni said. "And so, we’re looking to just – but part of that is consistency. And we’ve just got to do that each and every week, so looking forward to the challenge we have this week with Jalen and with the Panthers.” Le’Raven Clark Restored to Practice Squad The Eagles made a minor roster move earlier this week when they restored Le’Raven Clark to the practice squad. The veteran swing tackle played in 47 regular-season games (15 starts) during a five-years run with the Indianapolis Colts. To make room on the roster, the team released linebacker Christian Elliss from the practice squad. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-patrick-mahomes/
  20. ‘Hard to Get Settled’: Eagles All-Pro Explains Production Problem By Mike Greger Updated Oct 6, 2021 at 7:00pm Getty: Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro Fletcher Cox takes down NY Giants QB Daniel Jones in 2020. Everyone has been taking a hatchet to Fletcher Cox’s legacy. It seems like his nine-year reputation as one of the NFL’s most dominating defensive tackles disappeared overnight. Not recording a sack in six straight games might have something to do with it. The six-time Pro Bowler for the Philadelphia Eagles has taken a backseat to teammate Javon Hargrave. He’s been terrorizing quarterbacks. His five sacks are 1.5 shy of his career high. Some of those opportunities have been caused by double teams on Cox, although the 310-pounder wouldn’t absolve himself of blame. He needs to play better, especially when it comes to winning his one-on-one matchups. "I could be better, I know I could be better,” Cox told reporters on Oct. 6. "So that’s the problem that I gotta fix and embrace whatever that we’re doing, and make the best of it. I’m seeing some double teams, some singles, and the biggest thing is when I get the one-on-ones, you gotta win them and win them quick knowing that the quarterback’s really not going to hold the ball.” Cox wasn’t afraid to admit that it’s been a struggle for him adjusting to first-year coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s "scheme-less” defense. He doesn’t always line up in the same place and switches between the 3-technique (outside shoulder of the guard) and 4i (inside shoulder of the tackle). The uncertainty can make it hard to get in a good pass-rushing rhythm. "It’s just one of them things where it’s very hard to get settled in during the game when you’re playing so many different positions and doing different things,” Cox said. "From scheme-wise, some things are different. Me, last year, we were able to run off the ball a little bit, more than what we’re doing now.” No Friction with Gannon, Coaching Staff It might sound as if Cox is complaining about the way Gannon is using him. To be clear, he is not throwing anyone under the bus. It’s just a different style he’s adapting to while trying to grow with a new defensive coordinator. "Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do,” Cox said. "I’m going to do it to the best of my ability, and be a pro about it. Be very professional about it, and go out and make the best out of it.” Cox was freer in Jim Schwartz’s system. In it, he lined up mainly in 3-technique and chaotically rushed the passer whenever he wanted. This year it’s important to mind your gap assignments. Again, that’s not an indictment on Gannon or the players around Cox. "You can’t get frustrated about it, you can’t get frustrated about this game because frustration causes tension between coaches and players,” Cox said. "There’s going to be some growing pains, we just gotta be better. Ain’t nobody gonna jibber jabber behind JG’s back. We all got his back and whatever defense is called on Sunday or today in practice, you gotta go out and execute it at the highest level.” Gannon Thinks Highly of All-Pro Tackle Gannon was asked to evaluate Cox’s performance through the first games when he met with reporters on Oct. 5. He said Cox was "doing a good job” and the "production will come.” The Eagles defensive honcho also reminded everyone that he played a lot of 3-technique in Week 4. "You know, his skill set is one of that it makes it a hard matchup for different people to block him,” Gannon said. "So that’s one of the guys that I think – along with most of our guys, that’s why we’ve trained them to play in different spots for matchup-driven reasons. And we got to continue to do that with Fletch, to give him the best matchup possible. But there’s not a guy that lines up on Fletch, that in my mind, that he cannot beat.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/fletcher-cox-jonathan-gannon/
  21. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Issues 2-Word Answer After Loss to Chiefs By Mike Greger Updated Oct 3, 2021 at 8:28pm Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts takes a sack during a 42-30 loss to Kansas City in Week 4. Jalen Hurts wasn’t the reason the Philadelphia Eagles lost in Week 4. Nick Sirianni called it one of his best outings he’s seen from Hurts. And one of the better performances he’s ever witnessed from a quarterback. Hurts went 32-of-48 for 387 yards and two touchdowns while rushing twice for 47 yards. He battled hard behind a makeshift offensive line that lost another starter hours before kickoff. The Eagles still lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 42-30. After the game, a somber-toned Hurts stared out into the press conference room and gave a two-word answer to sum up the day. "We lost,” Hurts told reporters. "We lost. We lost the game. We got to do more. We got to do better.” His honest assessment had no excuses in it. The Eagles simply need to play better and learn from their third straight loss. Every time they strap on the pads is another opportunity, according to Hurts, and the new face of the franchise shared that message with his teammates in the locker room. "My message is this, we control our own destiny,” Hurts said. "We’re the masters of our own fate, the captain of our own soul, and we control everything moving forward. I think that’s the mentality of this team. We’re gong to continue to grow, continue to get better. That’s what I believe and that’s what we believe.” Three Touchdowns Called Back for Penalties The biggest hurdle for the Eagles right now is "self-inflicted wounds,” according to Sirianni. Philadelphia committed nine penalties (for minus-49 yards) versus Kansas City to bring their season total to 44. That’s a whopping 11 flags per game. Worse yet, they lead the league in that department with 13 more than the next closest offenders (Houston Texans). Sirianni’s team had three touchdowns called back due to penalties in Week 4. One was negated by an offensive pass interference call on J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Another came off the board for "illegal touching” after DeVonta Smith stepped out of bounds. And a third was reversed due to an illegal man (Andre Dillard) down the field. "Small [penalties] hurt [us]. Nothing the other team is doing,” Smith said. "We are doing it to ourselves, just little penalties and things like the small details and plays.” Smith attempted to explain what went wrong on his "illegal touching” play. That penalty wiped out a 30-yard touchdown for the rookie receiver who finished with seven catches for 122 yards. "I just need to squeeze and hold my line,” Smith said. "I got pushed too far to the sideline, so I just need to squeeze and hold my line and that will not happen.” Eagles Defense: ‘Just Had a Bad Game’ The Eagles surrendered 471 total yards to the high-powered Chiefs’ offense, including 271 through the air. Neither team punted in the game which was back and forth in the first half. Problem was, Philadelphia kept settling for field goals and Kansas City tallied seven touchdowns on eight drives. Game over. "They’re explosive but, I mean, we had a bad game,” defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said. "We got Carolina next week, so we’re looking to bounce back.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-chiefs/
  22. Eagles Activate ‘Ballhawk’ Ex-Jaguars CB, Add O-Line Depth By Mike Greger Updated Oct 2, 2021 at 5:04pm Getty: Former Michigan State CB Josiah Scott will compete for the starting slot corner spot this year for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles activated two players ahead of their Week 4 matchup at Lincoln Financial Field. The team added cornerback Josiah Scott and guard/tackle Jack Driscoll to the 53-man roster, meaning they are eligible to play versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Scott gives the Eagles interesting depth in the secondary if they make him active. Darius Slay and Steven Nelson are the unquestioned starters on the outside, with Avonte Maddox manning the slot. Rookie Zech McPhearson seems to have fallen out of a favor with the coaching staff after a stellar training camp. He has seen only two defensive snaps this season and none since Week 1. Andre Chachere and Mac McCain III are the options behind him. Meanwhile, Driscoll fills an immediate need on the offensive line. The 6-foot-5, 312-pounder is a hybrid lineman who can play either tackle or guard. The Eagles lost left guard Isaac Seumalo for the year, while right guard Brandon Brooks remains on short-term injured reserve. Andre Dillard is set to make his second straight start at left tackle for an injured Jordan Mailata. He’s due back in six to eight weeks. Nate Herbig and Landon Dickerson are sliding in at left and right guard, respectively. It’s the same old song for Philadelphia who endured 14 different offensive line combinations in 16 games last season. Scouting Report on Josiah Scott The Eagles shipped cornerback Jameson Houston and a sixth-rounder in 2023 for Scott back in May. Not too much was about the trade at the time as it was seen mostly as a low-risk, high-ceiling move. Scott, a three-year starter at Michigan State, could potentially see snaps at nickel corner if Maddox struggles. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. He played in six games last season and saw 80 defensive snaps. Scott only had 11 total tackles, although the scouting reports were promising on him coming out of college. NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein compared Scott to Maddox and wrote: Rodney McLeod’s Leadership Needed The return of Rodney McLeod – no matter what kind of role he has versus Kansas City – should band-aid a lot of flaws in the Eagles’ secondary. He is their defensive leader on the backend, plus one of six team captains. His ability to rally the troops and get everyone on the same page can’t be overstated. "That’s huge to have that veteran leadership out there,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. "And so, really excited that he’s going to get back out there and be able to contribute in this game. And because, you know, we need those guys out in the field that have that type of leadership that Rodney has. So really excited to have him back.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/josiah-scott-jack-driscoll/
  23. Brian Dawkins Evaluates Jalen Hurts, ‘Dark Side’ of Eagles Fans By Mike Greger Updated Sep 27, 2021 at 6:35pm Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts doesn't have the "cannon" that Donovan McNabb had but he can make plays with his legs. Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins went to five NFC Championship Games in 13 years as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. He fell four points shy of hoisting that elusive Lombardi Trophy in 2005 and never made a return trip. Not for lack of effort. Dawkins wore his emotions on his shoulder pads in 224 career games, including 183 in midnight green. He would get a ring in 2018 when the Eagles won the only Super Bowl in franchise history after transitioning to a front-office role. It was bittersweet, according to Dawkins, and it was a long road getting there. Dawkins jumped on a Zoom call with Heavy to talk about his legendary career and the state of the current Eagles. Spoiler alert, it’s probably too early to compare Jalen Hurts to Donovan McNabb. Here is what B-Dawk had to say about Hurts and the state of the current Eagles: Mike Greger (MG): It’s only been two starts in 2021, but what have you seen out of young Jalen Hurts? Brian Dawkins (BD): He knows how to pick himself up. He’s already had a lot of negativity in his young life and look at how he’s handled it, right? So that tells me that when things are rough, when things are not going well, he can be a calm in the midst of the locker room to help guys move in a better direction. He’s young, I’m not putting everything on him right now but it seems like, everything seems to me, he’s already battle tested. MG: Do you see any comparisons between Hurts and your old teammate Donovan McNabb? BD: The ability to get out of harm’s way, the ability to maneuver, to move the pocket – Those are some of the things that you see both of those guys are able to do. I think Donovan had a stronger arm. Donovan had a cannon on him, so he had a stronger arm. But what I see about Jalen that I’m most excited about is not his play on the field, it’s him having to earn the quarterback position in Alabama then lose it, pick himself back up to go somewhere else to earn that starting job. That tells me that you have a young man that is not going to crumble under pressure. MG: Just listening to Hurts during press conferences and to hear his teammates talk about him, it’s eye opening. He appears to have the mental side conquered. Which is harder to do, right? BD: The mental allows the game to slow down. When our mental is running all over the place, just like when you’re watching it as a fan, it’s moving at lightning speed but when your mental is under control, the game literally – for those that really understand it – the game looks like a walk-through. That’s how slow it begins to move when you have your mental under control.” MG: I know you have a relationship with K’Von Wallace, the second-year safety who got his first start last week for the Eagles. He and your son, Brian Jr., were roommates at Clemson. How is he developing? BD: It’s early. There are still things that he needs to get better at, and he knows that, pretty sure he knows that. For a lot of this team, it’s the same thing. They are going to have to learn on the fly a little bit about how things are done in the National Football League. It’s different than college. So he’s on the field, which is a good thing. That bodes well for him going forward, if he can stay away from the penalties. MG: The safety position in Philly is a legit thing. That goes back to Wes Hopkins and Andre Waters before you. Is there added pressure playing safety for the Eagles? BD: It started before me, I wanted to up the ante when it came to the safety position. Hop back in the day, Wes Hopkins and Andre Waters, going all the way back to Bill Bradley. My idea of what a safety should be is an absolute game-changer. That idea didn’t come from anyone in Philadelphia history, it came from someone in 49ers history, and that’s Ronnie Lott. He affected the game in every statistical category, there was not an area of his game that he was weak in. That’s how I modeled my game. No Hard Feelings Toward Eagles’ Organization Dawkins endured a nasty divorce from the Eagles in 2009, one that left a bad taste in his mouth at the time. He eventually made amends with the franchise that drafted him 61st overall in 1996, but it was a stark reminder that the NFL is a business. And something that his "big bro” Troy Vincent reminded him of. So Dawkins was forced to sign with the Denver Broncos and play out his final three years in the Mile High City where he made two more Pro Bowls. MG: You say in the book that the Eagles made you a low-ball offer, not what you expected in 2009. Any hard feelings at a all toward the organization? BD: One of the things that I had to do was forgive. Because if you don’t forgive someone, it doesn’t hurt that person, it hurts you. So I didn’t necessarily forgive them for them, I forgave them because I did not want that to impinge upon my relationships going forward. Because if I’m holding onto this hatred, this distrust or whatever the case may be, that poison filters into other relationships whether you realize it or not. MG: Eagles fans didn’t want you to leave, though. Not like that. It didn’t seem fair. BD: And the relationship it would have leaked into, it would have poisoned my relationship with the fan base and I did not want that, or my former teammates. No, I did not want that to happen. I’m not allowing the decision-making of a couple of individuals, whoever it was, to then negate everything I had worked so hard for. Playing with Passion, Repping Philly The affection between Dawkins and the Philly faithful was a natural one, born out of a similar mindset. They shared a certain kind of "dark side.” The Hall of Famer goes into great detail about how much he adores and respects them in his new book "Blessed by the Best.” In it, Dawkins talks about giving an Eagles fan the gameplan on a Saturday night and sending him into the locker room on Sunday. He truly believes that person – assuming he was athletically-gifted – would be successful (see: Vince Papale). And that’s the way Dawkins played the game. MG: The connection you had with Eagles fans was something no Philly athlete had before you. Where did that come from? How did a kid from Jacksonville achieve that? BD: And so my mentality was, I don’t expect you to cheer for me. I’m supposed to give you a reason to cheer for me. That was my mindset. Because I’m working. I’m not going to blame somebody else. Sometimes, it’s not my fault but I’m going to take blame and give away praise so when you look at me like ‘Dawk, you made that play’ and I’m like, ‘No, I have to give credit to you because he’s the one that got pressure on the quarterback and so forth and so on. MG: Tell me about the Vince Papale effect. Why do you think someone from the South Philly playground could come in and play on Sundays? BD: I played with my emotions on my sleeve, doggone-it, I didn’t care what you thought. I’m going to have a good time. I’m going to come on the field and act the fool. And I believe fans, if you had a chance to play, and you were given that chance on a Saturday night – all of a sudden, you showed up in the hotel and you knew the gameplan, you had athletic ability and you played the position – if you played the safety position or you played defense, you would have played the way I played. You wouldn’t have been all calm. No, you would have been all over the place. Because that’s your only chance to play the game. You would have played the game the way I played it. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/brian-dawkins-jalen-hurts/
  24. Eagles Owner ‘Green Lights’ Deshaun Watson Trade: Report By Mike Greger Updated Sep 28, 2021 at 8:30pm Getty: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson making a move towards the end zone vs the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s only been one bad game for Jalen Hurts, but the Deshaun Watson rumors are circling like green-feathered buzzards. The Philadelphia Eagles might want to seek out a trade for a franchise quarterback if things don’t turn around soon. And Watson remains available. Yes, the baggage is there – 22 civil lawsuits, ongoing investigation, possible suspension – and so is his immense talent. The three-time Pro Bowler doesn’t want to play another down for the Houston Texans and there are two teams vying for his services: Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles. Those talks could heat up with exactly five weeks between now and the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 2. According to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Dolphins are the front-runners to land Watson in a trade. Miami was already interested in Watson before starter Tua Tagovailoa fractured his ribs. He was placed on injured reserve and stands to miss at least three weeks. It’s a perfect fit. But don’t rule out the Eagles from swooping in. Chris Simms and Mike Florio recently debated the chances of Watson landing in Philadelphia on their Pro Football Talk podcast. The conclusion was a resounding yes. In fact, Simms relayed that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has already "green-lighted” the move. Remember, the Eagles have three potential first-round picks to dangle out in a deal depending on what happens with Carson Wentz. Here is what Simms had to say: And a losing record could expedite the process for both the Dolphins and Eagles. Miami sits at 1-2 with a softer schedule than Philly, including games against the Colts (0-3), Jaguars (0-3), Falcons (1-2) coming up. The Eagles (1-2) own one of the tougher slates in football with a murderer’s row on deck: Chiefs (1-2), Panthers (3-0), Buccaneers (2-1), Raiders (3-0). Watch out. Eagles Make Minor Roster Moves The biggest news on Tuesday (Sept. 28) for the Eagles was the loss of Isaac Seumalo. The starting left guard is done for the year with a Lisfranc injury. The team also placed starting safety K’Von Wallace on short-term injured reserve. Neither move eased the pain of that 41-21 loss to Dallas. Meanwhile, Philadelphia released veteran tight end Richard Rodgers and started the 21-day practice period for tackle/guard Jack Driscoll and cornerback Josiah Scott. Driscoll could be a vital addition considering the injuries along the offensive line. He could slide into a starting spot if Landon Dickerson continues to struggle at right guard. Scott is in line for snaps at nickel cornerback. Nate Herbig is expected to take over for Seumalo. Hurts Named Brand Ambassador for Eastbay Hurts remains the face of the Eagles’ franchise heading into Week 4. He is also set to be the face of Eastbay Performance, per the Philadelphia Business Journal. The new athletic brand will launch on Oct. 4 and features "apparel that can be worn on the field, in the gym or in casual settings for men, women and kids.” Expect to see items like jackets, hoodies, fleece pants, T-shirts, shorts and tights. https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/deshaun-watson-green-light/
  25. Eagles ‘Big Money’ Pass Rusher Talking Trash to Teammates By Mike Greger Updated Sep 25, 2021 at 2:58pm Getty: Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat is stepping up his trash-talking game with Brandon Graham out. The Philadelphia Eagles lost their loudest trash talker when Brandon Graham went down. The team needs someone to step up into that all-too-important role. And fourth-year defensive end Josh Sweat is making his pitch. Fresh off signing a $40 million contract, Sweat has been letting his emotions fly on the practice field. He knows he can’t replace Graham’s vocal leadership, but that hasn’t stopped the 265-pounder from talking trash to his teammates. Javon Hargrave – a guy who called Sweat "big money” earlier in the week – is the one player drawing his wrath right now. "I like to bring the competition, man, the competition, that’s what I’m all about,” Sweat told reporters on Saturday (Sept. 25). "So when I talk to trash to – especially Hargrave right now, me and him have a little battle going on for fastest get off – I just like to talk trash to people, just to bring it up. It’s all from a good place. And they know that. It’s fun.” When asked who is winning the battle for "fastest get off” in the defensive line room, Sweat deferred to Hargrave for an answer. "I ain’t going to say it right now,” he said. "He’ll let you know.” Sweat wasn’t willing to commit on having an increased role with Graham missing in action either. "We’ll see, I think so,” Sweat said. "It doesn’t matter to me. I’m just going to play as hard as I can for whatever it is.” Heavy on Eagles! Rodney McLeod Ruled Out for Week 3 The expectation coming out of training camp was that Rodney McLeod would be ready for the season opener on Sept. 12. Three weeks later and McLeod hasn’t seen a single snap of the 2021 campaign. And he’s out again. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed the starting strong safety would miss the Eagles’ Week 3 matchup on Sept. 27 as he continues to rehab from knee surgery. McLeod remains day to day, according to Sirianni. "I think he’s been doing good, is looking good,” Sirianni said of McLeod. "Again, he’s day-to-day here, so he didn’t have a setback, nothing like that. Just he’ll play when he’s ready.” Sweat Talks Contract Negotiations It sure seemed like the three-year, $40 million contract that Sweat inked last week ($42 million with incentives, plus $26.9 million guaranteed) came out of the blue. The Eagles appeared to have more pressing deals to dole out, namely Dallas Goedert. But the franchise has long valued the guys in the trenches, especially along the defensive line. The decision to get Sweat – 10 sacks in 41 career games – squared away was a sound one. And the 24-year-old pass rusher is happy they did. "I just thought it was right. I thought it was a great opportunity and we came to a great agreement,” Sweat told reporters. "And I thought it would be nice to get some nice security before I went out and played football. We came to a nice agreement.” Sweat didn’t want to get into the exact details on how the negotiations went down. However, he did reveal say that the process "wasn’t quick.” Sweat has no regrets. "It shows that they have a lot more confidence in me and that’s reassuring,” Sweat said. "I love the city and the fans and stuff like that, very uplifting, and they hold me accountable.” https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/josh-sweat-javon-hargrave/
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