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  1. Eagles News: Jalen Hurts was the NFL’s most explosive rusher last year Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/11/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jun 11, 2022, 12:02pm EDT Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Next Gen Stats’ 10 most explosive runners of 2021: Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson on the board - NFL.com 1) Jalen Hurts. Philadelphia found itself in a bit of an offensive rut in 2021 before reimagining itself as a run-first, dual-threat attack with Hurts leading the way. From there, the Eagles, well, took flight, with Hurts using his abilities to keep defenses guessing. The shift in philosophy produced the league’s top rushing offense. Hurts led the league in designed QB runs (72), rushing yards gained on such runs (377) and yards per carry on such runs (5.2, min. 30 such runs). In addition, his 146 rush yards gained over expected, eight touchdowns scored and 11 first downs gained over expected on such runs led the league. So did Hurts’ +20 rushing expected points added on designed QB runs. Philadelphia’s offensive identity has set an expectation for which every defense must prepare. It’s not just about containing Hurts’ arm; they’ll have to plan to stop his running, too (and it’s not just Hurts — his teammate, Miles Sanders, nearly made this list, as well). Eagles All-22 Film Review: Kyron Johnson is intriguing - BGN Kyron Johnson was a linebacker until this past year, where he played strictly as a defensive end. He looks like a great fit for the SAM Hybrid LB/EDGE that the Eagles signed Haason Reddick to play. He should fit the bill as someone who can be as a LB on the LOS but can rush the quarterback too. The Eagles have made a huge emphasis the past two seasons to get faster. Kyron Johnson clearly fits that bill. As a 6th round pick, he may never even play on defense, but I think he has a great shot to make the roster because of just athletic he is and how good he should be on special teams. If he becomes a special teams star only, he would still be a good pick in the 6th. WGA East Strike Threat Looms On Monday, 300 Vox Media Staffers Sign Letter Pandemic-Shaming CEO Jim Bankoff - Deadline Gearing up for a potential strike on Monday, more than 300 Vox Media employees have signed an angry letter to their boss, CEO Jim Bankoff. They were pandemic-shaming him for asking for cost-of-living and 401(K) roll-backs in the media conglomerate’s ongoing contract talks with the WGA East. "We’re absolutely ready to strike on Monday,” said a guild source. "We don’t want to, but we’re absolutely ready to.” The guild’s ruling body, the Council, unanimously authorized a strike on Tuesday, and the bargaining unit is scheduled to take a strike authorization vote as soon as Friday. The letter comes in the wake of a "strike pledge” signed by 95% of the bargaining unit, which includes editors, writers, producers, reporters, podcasters, and other staffers who work for Vox, The Verge, Eater, Polygon, SB Nation, Recode and Seeker. Eagles player review: Jason Huntley edition - PhillyVoice He is also probably the best kick returner on the team, right? In 2021, the Eagles were the 30th ranked team on kick returns, according to DVOA. Opposing teams did not fear guys like Jalen Reagor, Kenny Gainwell, Quez Watkins, or Boston Scott, so they often opted to kick for hangtime and land the ball inside the 5, forcing a return, instead of trying to boot through the back of the end zone. This strategy worked, as non-Huntley returners averaged a paltry 17.6 yards per kick return. In an extremely small sample size, Huntley had three returns for 84 yards, or 28.0 yards per return. The Eagles’ average starting field position on Huntley’s three returns was the 32 yard line. In college at New Mexico State, Huntley had 59 career kick return attempts, averaging 25.8 yards per attempt, with 5 TDs. He ran a 4.40 40 at his college pro day. Huntley is probably the fourth running back currently on the Eagles’ depth chart, and could fall further if they add a big back to the rotation. He is a bubble player, but in my opinion one who should be given a real opportunity to make the roster. The Eagles haven’t shown that they care all that much about kick returns, or Huntley would have been active against the Bucs in the playoffs. Maybe their acceptance of a non-threatening kick return game (relatively speaking) should change? Where are they now? Head Coach Ray Rhodes - PE.com Rhodes is now enjoying his well-deserved retirement. He and his wife, Carmen, who make their home in Allen, Texas, have four daughters: Detra, Candra, Tynesha, and Raven; and several grandchildren. On May 7, Rhodes was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. Following his sophomore year at Dunbar High School, Rhodes transferred to Mexia High School in 1967, where he played a substantial role in integrating the school. A standout running back and defensive back, Rhodes also lettered in basketball and track and field. Ron Rivera fines Jack Del Rio $100,000 for his comments on the January 6th Capital attack and George Floyd protests - Hogs Haven Rivera also announced that he has fined his defensive coordinator $100,000 which will be donated to the United States Capital Police Memorial Fund by the team. There have been calls from fans, organizations, and celebrities to have Del Rio fired for his comments, but Rivera is not letting public pressure sway a decision that many fans thought should have happened after last season. PFF ranks the Cowboys WR corps 12th in the NFL heading into the 2022 season - Blogging The Boys As you can tell, PFF is extremely high on CeeDee Lamb heading into the season, and there’s plenty of reason to be. With that being said, we’ve still yet to see Lamb really showoff number one potential in his first two years in the NFL. The Cowboys will need a big year three from Lamb and catapult himself into a top ten wide receiver. While a lot of the credit goes to Lamb, PFF also shines light on James Washington, an offseason addition that many people have seemingly written off. While Washington has yet to really blossom in the NFL, getting a fresh start in Dallas with a better quarterback certainly will not hurt him. Last but not least, PFF gives Jalen Tolbert his props in their write up. Mentioning Tolbert as a potential vertical threat, and a guy who should get on the field sooner rather than later. [BLG Note: The Cowboys are suddenly eight spots behind the Eagles are No. 4.] Big Blue View mailbag: Darius Slayton, J.C. Tretter, more - Big Blue View Darius Slayton. No doubt. Why would the Giants have bothered to negotiate a pay cut with Shepard if cutting him this season was even a consideration? Simple — they wouldn’t have. Cut Shepard and that’s a $4.245 million dead money hit this year and next, while saving only $2.058 million this season. That would make no sense. Cut Slayton, on the other hand, and the Giants save $2.54 million with a minimal $58,497 dead money hit. I don’t know that they will cut Slayton, though I think it’s a strong possibility because of the Giants’ still-shaky cap situation. Slayton’s performance has slipped drastically since his hope-inspiring 2019 rookie season. To stick on the 2022 Giants, I think Slayton is going to have to make the team’s new coaching staff believe he can still be the player he hinted at being as a rookie. The Look Ahead #92: Three (ish) big questions for the NFL in 2022 - The SB Nation NFL Show RJ Ochoa asks Rob "Stats” Guerrera three big questions about the upcoming 2022 season. What comes in sets of threes that you like? (15:06). What happened this offseason that other teams will copy? (16:52). Who is best set up to win Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year? (23:21). What is the national opinion that’s just wrong? (32:15). Who will be the breakout QB of 2022? (42:34). Are we sure Mac Jones will be good without Josh McDaniels? (45:15). If you could inject one person with truth serum and ask one question, who and what would it be? (47:22). https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/6/11/23163797/eagles-news-jalen-hurts-nfl-most-explosive-rusher-last-year-2021-season-football-stats-metrics-qb
  2. Nick Sirianni explains Shane Steichen taking over Eagles’ play-calling Plus, the head coach talks OTA practice format and Jalen Hurts’ development. By Alexis Chassen@Lovelybuckeye Jun 8, 2022, 11:00pm EDT The Eagles had their final OTA practice on Wednesday — thanks to WR coach Aaron Moorehead catching a punt and Thursday’s practice being cancelled — and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters about their practice format, the change to play-calling, and how Jalen Hurts is developing. Sirianni acknowledged that it’s huge to have the entire coaching staff back and together for a second year. Not only for the camaraderie among the staff and their players, but also because having to teach a new coach the system, whether on offense or defense, takes a lot of additional time that they can instead put toward other things. Here’s what else the head coach had to say: On play-calling duties Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen confirmed last week that he would be taking over the play-calling responsibilities this season, and Sirianni elaborated further about the change. Sirianni said it came down to him trusting Steichen and the two spending so much time together during the week to come up with the game plan. He noted that they made the change during a game last season, and he liked how it freed him up to do some other things. He also later mentioned that they are on the headsets together during games talking about what both the head coach and OC want with the next set of plays, and collaborate in-game, too. So, while Steichen is handling the play-calling, Sirianni is still very much involved. He also admitted that there’s no bump to his ego stemming from the decision, and he fully supports what’s best for the team. On Jalen Hurts and his development Sirianni also mentioned noticing that the QB’s fundamentals are improving and him having good OTA practices, but also spoke about Hurts’ needing to continue to build on that foundation. On the offseason program As for the shortened structure of their OTA practices — getting about 24 reps during 7v7 plus an additional 10 reps during the rookie development phase — Sirianni spoke about having researched different ways of doing things, and finding that this worked best for them. They took out the 11v11 drills because they’re able to go full speed without having to worry about the guys up front going to hard. Some teams have five or six team periods, compared to the Eagles’ two, but that affects how much individual time they have — and Sirianni wants more individual time at this point of the offseason to focus on fundamentals. The head coach also acknowledged that OTAs are voluntary so he didn’t want to point out anyone’s attendance (or lack thereof), but said that they had very good attendance, and also understand that things come up for players, as well. Regarding Jalen Reagor specifically, he wasn’t at the two practices attended by the media, but Sirianni said that the WR had great attendance throughout the offseason program. He went on to say that his message to Reagor following the 2021 season was that the WR isn’t at TCU anymore, and won’t see 11 targets in a game, so he needs to make the most out of the few that he does get. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/6/8/23160597/eagles-nick-sirianni-explains-shane-steichen-taking-over-play-calling-ota-practice-jalen-hurts
  3. Eagles News: Philadelphia among NFL’s most overlooked teams entering the 2022 season Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/8/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jun 8, 2022, 10:12am EDT Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... The 5 most overlooked teams entering the 2022 NFL season - PFF Why They Are Being Underrated. Jalen Hurts‘ development as an NFL passer is something for him to build on in 2022. From his first to his second NFL season, his PFF passing grade, rushing grade and big-time throw rate all increased on a far larger snap sample size. But many remain skeptical of the 23-year-old’s ability to lead the Eagles’ offense for years to come. He finished just 22nd of 33 qualifying passers in accuracy percentage (based on ball location data) last season and faded down the campaign’s stretch overall, making just four big-time throws across his final five outings. So while Hurts has improved as a more aggressive passer, his decision-making and accuracy remain points of contention for Eagles skeptics. [...] The Eagles traded for A.J. Brown during the draft to pair him with second-year talent DeVonta Smith, giving them their best wideout duo since DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. And on defense, getting Georgia teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean in the first three rounds does wonders for their defensive front. Davis and his 86.5 run-defense grade from 2021 will surely boost the team’s anemic run defense from a year ago. Dean may be a bit undersized, but his top-five pass-rushing grade (91.3), top-five coverage grade (90.4) and top-ranked defensive grade (91.8) at the linebacker position in 2021 highlight the versatility he can provide in the NFL. In free agency, the Eagles obtained an underrated CB2 option in James Bradberry at an affordable price while maintaining the nucleus of their stellar pass-blocking unit, led by Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson at the tackle spots. The roster talent is evident at many major positions, potentially opening the door for another surprise playoff run. NFC East Mixtape Vol.60: Give us the truth serum! - BGN Radio RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton come up with questions that they’d ask various individuals from each franchise in the division if they had to give their honest answers. Where are the Eagles deep, and not so deep, after the 2022 NFL Draft: Defense edition - PhillyVoice Are the Eagles in good shape here relative to the rest of the league? We haven’t seen much of McPhearson or Scott in games, and we haven’t seen Gowan, Vincent, or McCain at all yet in training camp, so it’ll be interesting to get a closer look at all of those guys this summer. I’m also curious to see how undrafted players like Jobe, Goodrich and Blackwell play in camp. And then there’s Moreland, an experienced fourth-year corner who has played in 37 games, and started seven. It seems the Eagles’ strategy at corner is to get a good look at as many young guys as they can, and see if someone pans out. I kinda like that strategy. In the meantime, they’re set at the starting spots. Why is Siposs still the Eagles’ punter? - NBCSP As much as Clay defended Siposs, he left the door open for Howie Roseman to bring competition in for training camp depending who’s available and what the 90-man roster looks like. "You never know what’s going to unfold from now until September,” Clay said. "There may be some legs out there that we do want to bring in, but for right now I think we’re going to work with our three, get that confidence back up there.” Eagles partner with Every Kid Sports to invest in local youth athletes - PE.com The Philadelphia Eagles are pleased to announce they are teaming up with Every Kid Sports (EKS), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to provide increased access to youth sports. The activation partnership includes an initial community investment of $10,000 and a commitment to fund sports registration fees for 500 youth in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The funding will help cover the registration fees for income-restricted families through grants provided by the Every Kid Sports Pass, the flagship program offered by Every Kid Sports. "We are excited to work with Every Kid Sports to provide more opportunities for our city’s youth athletes to engage in the sports they love,” said Julie Hirshey, Vice President of Community Relations, Philadelphia Eagles. "We look forward to helping break down the financial barriers facing families in the Philadelphia community and allowing more kids to get on the playing field.” The objective of the partnership is to increase awareness for the Every Kid Sports Pass and encourage youth sports participation in Philadelphia and surrounding communities. The Eagles are the second professional football team from the NFL to solidify a partnership with Every Kid Sports. NFL draft 2023: Projected order for top 10 picks, including where Jets, Bears, Steelers, others could land - ESPN 10. New York Giants. Chance at No. 1 pick: 2.8%. Chance at top 10: 37.7%. Why they are here: Daniel Jones has been disappointing for a sixth-overall pick, but he has upside under center. There’s potential in the offensive line and wide receiver groups, and with a new offensive-minded head coach, the Giants should improve from their 30th-ranked offensive efficiency last season. But still, ESPN’s FPI believes this is a team that will be below average (23rd on offense, 27th on defense) on both sides of the ball. You might as well start mocking for 2023 - Big Blue View For 2023, PFN, like most everyone else, has C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young as QB1 and QB2, respectively. After that, it’s anyone’s guess who the best alternative options at QB will be. The NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board currently has Will Levis of Kentucky as QB3 at No. 14, and as the consensus pick for the Giants. The history of Levis’ projected draft position is one of the biggest mysteries in football (figure from NFL Mock Draft Database). Why Dalton Schultz’ absence from OTAs could be a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys - Blogging The Boys Like it or not, skipping OTAs, and maybe even more of the offseason, is probably in the best interest of Dalton Schultz and his future, whether it’s with the Cowboys or not. There’s no real reason for him to be out there opening himself up to a potential injury that could put his 2022 season in jeopardy. And, it could actually be a blessing in disguise for Dallas. The Cowboys already know what they have in Dalton Schultz. What they don’t know is what they have depth-wise behind him at the tight end position. After Blake Jarwin’s release, Dallas is in search of a new TE2 to replace him. With Schultz now expected to be out for an unknown amount of time, an opportunity arises for someone to step up to claim that job. Say What You Want About the Re-Brand, but the Commanders New Uniforms are FIRE! - Hogs Haven When Washington announced the new name, it was met with mixed reaction. Team president Jason Wright has said numerous times that the team wasn’t looking at the "immediate”, rather 6-12 months from now, and the long-term sustainability the brand would carry. Fans were outraged the choice wasn’t RedWolves, but to some, Commanders has grown on them over these past few months. Others will NEVER accept the new name, and will still refer to Washington as the Redskins. One thing that seems to be really taking hold, however, are the new uniforms that were unveiled. Now of course, not EVERYONE will embrace change. Many have referred to the new gigs as looking like an arena team, and some have even said the white jerseys look like the Arizona Cardinals or Atlanta Falcons. Still, the majority of fans are really coming around on the new digs - especially after seeing some of our players donning them. Walmart heirs will soon own almost every Colorado pro sports team - SB Nation I was explicitly told not to mention Walmart, to play dumb if anyone asked about their cost, and should anyone push for an explanation, tell them "cost of manufacturing had increased,” which I knew was a lie. The larger stores were fine with it. They were accustomed to price movement and didn’t really care. To the small shoe stores this was a big deal. Socks had a great profit margin for them and didn’t go out of style and create dead stock like shoes did, so they were extremely upset. After a week of making these calls I was reprimanded for not towing the company line. I refused to lie to the small stores that pressed me and came up with my own answer to skirt around the issue "business conditions have changed.” Two weeks later the company generated an excuse to fire me, saying my "focus was divided” and that "I seemed distracted” because I shared with my manager months earlier that I was a sports blogger on nights and weekends. I later found out it’s because a few of my clients intuited correctly about my "business conditions have changed” line and asked why Walmart was able to charge the same cost for their seven pair pack that they did with six pairs if cost of goods were increasing. There was no answer. So, just as Walmart was able to push around a multi-million apparel company and screw over the little guy by proxy, so too is the family behind this corporation now in charge of sports in Denver. I’m not saying the same practices will take place in Denver, and honestly I don’t know what the Walton and Kroenke link to the company is these days anyway — but the opportunity is there. We deserve to know the business practices of those who buy our teams, and who wield this much power. NFL Daily Kickoff, Wednesday - the world champion Rams reconvene, Deebo shows up, DK doesn’t - The SB Nation NFL Show A number of teams began their mandatory minicamps on Tuesday, including the world champion Los Angeles Rams. The New England Patriots, who could have a new, "streamlined” offense, were also back in the mix. Deebo Samuel showed up, but DK Metcalf didn’t. Quick updates in Tampa, Indianapolis, Chicago and Buffalo. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/6/8/23159619/eagles-news-philadelphia-nfl-most-overlooked-teams-entering-2022-season-football
  4. Eagles News: Jeffrey Lurie has reportedly stepped back and given Howie Roseman free rein Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/22/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton May 22, 2022, 10:35am EDT Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Sources: Howie Roseman has taken almost total control of the Eagles’ decisions. He’s on a roll. - Inquirer Sixteen months ago, I wrote this about Eagles general manager Howie Roseman:“... let King Howie rule. Give him a free and terrible hand. Diminish his ‘advisers.’ Give Howie the scouts’ information, let the coaches have their input, then sit back and let Roseman reign.” According to two NFL sources, that’s exactly what has happened. The early returns seem good. Often the least popular figure in Philadelphia sports, Roseman is riding a wave of support unlike any he has ever enjoyed, even as his staff undergoes a massive upheaval. [...] If you like the job he’s doing, then give him full credit, because, according to the sources, today he’s less influenced by others than ever. That includes his boss, owner Jeffrey Lurie. Since the Eagles fired Doug Pederson and hired Nick Sirianni in January 2021, Lurie has stepped back, shut up, and given Roseman free rein. Roseman has run with it. Above the Nest with Raichele #51: James Bradberry makes an immediate impact to the Eagles roster - BGN Radio Howie Roseman has done it again! Raichele Privette breaks down the Eagles free agent cornerback signing and explains how adding James Bradberry immediately makes the Birds the team to beat in the division. Better roster: Eagles or Cowboys, defense edition - PhillyVoice Overall: As noted above, Parsons is the best defensive player in the division, and Diggs gave the Cowboys’ offense a boatload of extra possessions in 2021. That’s a good start for the Dallas defense. But on paper, the Cowboys’ advantages over the Eagles at edge rusher, rush linebacker, and safety are minor, while the Eagles have more extreme advantages over Dallas, most notably along the interior of the defensive line. Dallas has more star power, but Philly has a more complete defense with fewer glaring holes. Edge: Eagles. 2022 Eagles Autism Challenge - PE.com Championed by Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles Autism Challenge sets out to fund innovative research, drive scientific breakthroughs, and provide critical resources to create a major shift from awareness to action. One hundred percent of participant-raised funds from the team’s signature charity event are invested into the autism research and care community, with more than $16 million raised in its five years. Eagles Autism Challenge raises a record $4.1 million - NBCSP The football season hasn’t even started yet, and the Eagles are already setting records. The team’s fifth annual Eagles Autism Challenge, held Saturday at and around the Linc, raised a record $4.1 million, the team announced. The Eagles have now raised more than $16 million since the inception of the Eagles Autism Challenge, which offers fans a chance to raise money for research to battle autism through bike rides of various distances and a 5K run or walk. "I think it’s a big deal for the city, I think it’s a big deal for our organization and the autistic community,” Jalen Hurts said after participating. "The foundation that we’ve created, Mr. Lurie’s created, it just shows that we just want to bring awareness to it, and I think an event like this does a great job of doing that. What we’re building now is very special, connecting, coming together as a football team and as an organization to do great things in the community and on the field. It all matters.” Why Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, teammates took part in fundraiser to benefit those with autism - NJ.com Hurts, who is heading into his second season as the team’s starting quarterback, has worked with people who had autism in the past, dating back to his time at the University of Alabama, taking part in mentoring people with autism and going to a prom with them. Hurts said that it was important to be here to show support to those who have autism and their families. "I’ve always had a passion for helping autistic kids and autistic people,” Hurts said. "I know they experience their differences and have their battles, but ultimately having their back and having their support. Showing them that support is the least that I can do. They’re human just like we are, and I think everybody needs to understand that.” Report: Michael Vick will leave retirement to join Fan Controlled Football - ESPN Michael Vick, the once-dynamic NFL quarterback whose involvement in a dogfighting ring paused a breathtaking career in its prime, has agreed to come out of retirement to join startup league Fan Controlled Football, a source told Reuters on Friday. Vick, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL draft and who last suited up for an NFL game in 2015, will make his debut on May 28, the last day of the regular season, according to the source, who said an official announcement is expected next week. The 41-year-old has not yet been assigned a team. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout to Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons: ‘Take it easy on my birds!’ - Blogging The Boys We are of course talking about Angels outfielder Mike Trout who may just be the best player in baseball. That is obviously a different debate for another day. What you may or may not know about Trout is that he is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. Interestingly it is the Eagles’ fault that Micah Parsons is a Cowboy given that they traded up with Dallas during the 2021 NFL Draft and paid the Cowboys a third-round pick only to select Micah at number 12 overall. After the Rangers/Angels game Trout gave Parsons a signed bat with a message scribbled on it: ‘Take it easy on my birds!’ GET HIM OUT! - Hogs Haven With the NFL owner meetings taking place this week, and a lot of smoke behind the owners possibly grouping together to get the 24 of 31 votes needed to force the diminutive tyrant to sell the team, this could be a VERY interesting week for Commander fans. One can only hope and pray that a room of 31 billionaires (Snyder will supposedly not be attending), at minimum 24 will have the stones to make his ousting a reality, and help turn this once-proud franchise back towards the path of respectability. Giants’ WR Kadarius Toney recovering from minor knee surgery, per report - Big Blue View Kadarius Toney had minor arthroscopic knee surgery during the offseason, according to a report from the Daily News. Toney was one of more than a dozen Giants wearing a red non-contact jersey during Thursday’s OTA, which was open to the media. The red jersey generally indicates that a player is not cleared for full practice participation. NFL Reacts #41: All-Rookie Draft, and Saints Wide Receiver Chris Olave - The SB Nation NFL Show Welcome to another edition of NFL Reacts! Stephen Serda and Justis Mosqueda are drafting their all-rookie fantasy squads! We couldn’t do an all-rookie draft without including some of our favorite IDP players for the upcoming fantasy season. We finish things up by chatting with new Saints wide receiver Chris Olave. Chris shares his surprise on the Saints trading up to draft him, his thoughts on NIL deals, and his top NBA 2k squad. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/5/22/23136763/eagles-news-jeffrey-lurie-reportedly-stepped-back-given-howie-roseman-free-rein-power-front-office
  5. Eagles lose top scouting department member to the Steelers Philly’s suffered a lot of front office losses this offseason. This departure is the biggest one yet. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton May 25, 2022, 8:43am EDT Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports The Philadelphia Eagles are indeed losing Andy Weidl to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Just not exactly as expected. Weidl is joining the Steelers as their new assistant general manager. He’s not getting the full on GM title he interviewed for. That’s instead going to internal candidate Omar Khan as he succeeds Kevin Colbert. Regardless, Weidl leaving the Eagles is a big deal. Listed at the top of their scouting department on the team’s official website, Weidl served as Philly’s vice president of player personnel since Joe Douglas left to become the New York Jets’ general manager in 2019. Weidl originally joined the Eagles (with Douglas) during the 2016 offseason. The impact of Weidl’s exit is exacerbated by the Eagles experiencing no shortage of front office departures this offseason. To recap: EAGLES FRONT OFFICE DEPARTURES Vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl Senior football advisor Tom Donahoe Director of player personnel Brandon Brown Director of player personnel Ian Cunningham Vice president of football operations Catherine Raîche Director of scouting operations Casey Weidl Player personnel executive T.J. McCreight Southwest area scout Shawn Heinlen Scouting assistant Evan Pritt The Eagles have already begun the process of making some new hires but they still have multiple holes to fill. Here’s a recap of their additions thus far. EAGLES FRONT OFFICE ADDITIONS Broncos vice president of player personnel Matt Russell Browns national scout Charles Walls It’s currently unclear who’s in line to replace Weidl. Perhaps it’s Russell, given his previous high-ranking title with Denver? Senior director of college scouting Anthony Patch has been with the organization since 2002 and could be primed for a promotion. It’s probably worth noting that former Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell is on staff. Or maybe the Eagles look to go with a different external hire. Again, there’s something to be said for the Eagles employing front office people who are coveted elsewhere in the NFL. And the holes left by their departures give Howie Roseman an opportunity to attract more talent. But there’s also an obvious downside to losing talented executives. Especially a bunch of them in the relatively short amount of time of five months. The Eagles are bound to officially announce front office changes in the near future. We’ll be staying tuned. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/5/25/23141065/eagles-andy-weidl-news-top-scouting-department-member-steelers-philadelphia-pitttsburgh-gm
  6. Eagles News: PFF says Philadelphia has two of the NFL’s best 31 wide receivers Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/25/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton May 25, 2022, 10:03am EDT Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Treash: 2022 NFL wide receiver rankings and tiers - PFF 10. A.J. BROWN, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. The 2022 NFL offseason featured several blockbuster moves, including the trade of wide receiver A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles. The birds now have one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. Throughout his three-year professional career, Brown ranks top-five in both receiving grade and yards per route run. He is an excellent complementary piece to 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith. [...] 31. DEVONTA SMITH, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. Like his former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith kept getting better as his rookie campaign progressed. From Week 9 on in 2021, he ranked 11th in receiving grade (81.9) while not dropping a single one of his 56 targets. He finished the year as the 18th-most valuable wide receiver in the NFL, according to PFF WAR. Smith was heavily utilized downfield over that span, generating the fifth-highest average depth of target, and he held up his end of the bargain. Many in the NFL community were concerned about how the 6-foot-1, 175-pound wide receiver would handle physicality in NFL with his thin frame, but it wasn’t an issue in Year 1. Smith is capable of taking a leap into one of the top tiers of talents at the position in the coming seasons. Eagles All-22 Film Review: Nakobe Dean could prove to be a huge steal - BGN I went into watching Nakobe Dean thinking he may have been overrated by many fans considering where he was drafted. I changed my mind really quickly. The film is not just excellent but it’s perfect for the modern NFL. I expected to see outstanding blitzing as I had already watched Georgia when watching Jordan Davis, but the versatility in coverage and the ability to play man will be vital at the next level. The coverage element of his game caught me a little by surprise. I have absolutely no doubt there are legitimate injury concerns that caused him to fall. I think there are concerns over his size, tackling and ability to cover tight ends down the seam considering his size and this may have caused him to fall out the 1st round but there’s no way he falls out the second round without injury concerns. I just don’t see it. Special: EAGLES #JerseyNumberAnalytics PODCAST 2022! - BGN Radio Everyone’s favorite annual activity is back for another year! Brandon Lee Gowton and special guest Benjamin Solak run through the Eagles’ ENTIRE roster and evaluate every jersey number. The guys determine which players are poised for big years and which guys are in trouble in this highly scientific and very accurate exercise. Don’t forget to get in on the conversation with #JerseyNumberAnalytics! Follow and tweet at the show hosts: @BrandonGowton and @BenjaminSolak. Why retiring media legend Ray Didinger means so much to Philadelphia sports fans - The Athletic When Ray Didinger announced earlier this month that he’d be retiring, the first thing I did was text my dad. "I heard it on WIP,” he responded. "Sorry to hear that but happy for him.” Didinger’s voice has been a constant in my dad’s ears for roughly 35 years. For others, the relationship goes back even further. Didinger’s first year on the Eagles beat was 1970. He’s been educating and entertaining us ever since — 53 years in all. If it were up to Didinger, he would’ve announced his retirement on one of his final shows this weekend. But his radio partner and close friend, Glen Macnow, convinced him that people needed the opportunity to say goodbye. "It’s been overwhelming,” said Didinger, who has been staying up until 3 a.m. many nights responding to emails. "That’s really the only way to describe it. It’s been very emotional the whole time and painful in some ways, knowing you’re walking away from something you’ve done for 50 years and really loved.” James Bradberry: ‘The goal is to be great together’ - PE.com They are in the early stages here, feeling out what the players can do and staying open-minded with the X’s and O’s of the defense, so neither new Eagles cornerback James Bradberry nor Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon is making any predictions or looking ahead. Just believe that Bradberry is glad to be in Philadelphia and that Gannon is "excited” that Bradberry is here and the daily work is in progress. An offseason of progress is measured in part by a slew of additions made to the defense – including linebackers Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, and Kyron Johnson, defensive tackle Jordan Davis, and now Bradberry. A Pro Bowl cornerback with the Giants in 2020 and a starter since the moment Carolina selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Bradberry has had two days under his belt learning Gannon’s scheme and, well, let’s just say the early results are promising. Steelers reportedly preparing to name Omar Khan their next General Manager - Behind The Steel Curtain There will be a contingent of the fan base who is likely wondering how the team could settle on a man who is more of the front office type, a salary cap guru, than someone with a scouting acumen. Well, it is also being reported by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette there was a contingency plan for naming Khan as the next GM. That plan was former Philadelphia Eagles Vice President of player personnel, Andy Weidle, would be named the Assistant GM in Pittsburgh. PFF ranks Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb just outside of top 10 and ‘elite’ category - Blogging The Boys This certainly speaks highly of Lamb and indicates that he could find himself in an ‘elite’ category after this season. It feels like the overall consensus really is that he has all of the tools and for the first time in his career the opportunity is going to line up with that. Obviously part of the reason for Lamb’s soon-to-be increased volume is the departure of Amari Cooper. Many believe that the Cowboys gave up on a top-flight wide receiver, but PFF doesn’t seem to be one of them. They have Cooper at number 22, right behind free agents Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr.. Report: Daron Payne has decided to sit out the on-field portion of OTAs due to his lack of a contract extension - Hogs Haven It has been widely reported that wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, is skipping OTAs, and earlier had skipped the on-field portion of minicamp, while he waits for a new contract. Fans seem to be very accepting or supportive of McLaurin’s situation. Payne, who is currently under contract on his 5th-year option, has been the subject of reports that suggest the team does not plan to offer him an extension and that they quietly offered him in trade earlier in the offseason. Unlike the general attitude of fans toward McLaurin’s situation, where the prevailing attitude seems to be to "pay da man”, there seems to be a general acceptance that Daron Payne would be traded or allowed to play out his contract and leave in free agency at the end of the season. Apparently, that’s not what Daron Payne wants to do, and he is using the venue of voluntary OTAs to make his feelings known. Former GM puts Daniel Jones in the bottom tier of QBs - Big Blue View The New York Giants have plenty of questions heading into 2022. What kind of offense will the collaboration between Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka produce? Do the Giants have the personnel to run Don Martindale’s hyper-aggressive defense? But hanging over all of those questions is the question regarding Daniel Jones. Can he be a true "Franchise” quarterback? Writing for the 33rd Team, former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum ranked the league’s various starting quarterbacks. Giants fans will need to scroll down a while to get to Daniel Jones’ ranking, as Tannenbaum put him in his bottom tier of quarterbacks. Tannenbaum ranks Jones among the likes of Zach Wilson, Marcus Mariota, Mitchell Trubisky, and Drew Lock in the seventh tier of starting quarterbacks. The Pro Bowl sucks. Let’s fix it - SB Nation The Pro Bowl sucks. I know it, you know it, the players know it, and the NFL knows it. Without question the Pro Bowl is the worst all-star game in professional sports, and it’s time to make a change. After years of tepid, boring football, the NFL is finally looking to try something different with the annualized pointless affair — though it’s unclear at this time whether they’ll actually find any changes that can be compelling. NFL Daily Kickoff, Wednesday - Welcome to Walk-It-Back szn, NFL spring meeting updates - The SB Nation NFL Show On today’s episode, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill walks back his comments from a few weeks ago, Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill says he loves Tua’s arm, a roundup of NFL spring meeting updates and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not yet been at Green Bay’s OTAs. We finish with speed updates in Buffalo, Cleveland, San Francisco, Carolina, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Arizona and Pittsburgh. What we know about the Uvalde elementary school shooting - Vox An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and at least two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday morning, just 10 days after another mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that claimed the lives of 10 people. It’s the deadliest US school shooting in years: In 2018, 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; in 2012, a shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut killed 26 people. The death toll in the Uvalde shooting, reported earlier on Tuesday to include 14 students and one teacher, rose throughout the evening. It marks the 27th school shooting this year alone; in addition to the deaths reported in Uvalde, 25 people have been killed in school shootings since January. In a national address on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden called for lawmakers to pass "common sense gun laws.” As vice president, he tried and failed to pass universal background checks, a new assault weapons ban, and a prohibition on high-capacity gun clips. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/5/25/23141135/eagles-news-pff-philadelphia-nfl-best-31-wide-receivers-aj-brown-devonta-smith-wrs-football-rankings
  7. Reactions to the Eagles trading for A.J. Brown There was a lot of excitement around this wide receiver addition. By Alexis Chassen@Lovelybuckeye Apr 29, 2022, 7:16am EDT Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK Shortly after the Eagles traded up to No. 13 for DT Jordan Davis, they pulled off a blockbuster move that fans have been waiting for — Howie Roseman not only traded for WR A.J. Brown, but also signed him to a four-year, $100 million extension. Brown instantly impacts the Eagles offense, and is another familiar face for Jalen Hurts. The QB and WR have already been working out together this offseason, so that’s convenient. It’s a move that was mostly unexpected, but was instantly celebrated. Brown is that big receiver the Eagles offense needed, and alongside DeVonta Smith, will pose a big problem for defenses this season (and probably three more seasons after that). There is no doubt whatsoever that the A.J. Brown trade was well-received among his new teammates. The move was also celebrated by analysts. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/4/29/23047874/eagles-nfl-draft-aj-brown-trade-reactions-jalen-hurts
  8. Ray Didinger’s five NFL Draft sleepers for the Eagles Names to remember. By JosephSantoliquito Apr 9, 2022 Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Every year, around this time, there are piles upon piles of yellow legal pads filled with notes milling around Ray Didinger’s home. Probably more so than normal. That’s because the Hall of Fame football writer and NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles’ analyst and 94WIP broadcaster seemingly goes over every player, on every down, in every college football game played the previous season. No one will ever question how meticulous Didinger is when it comes to evaluating football talent—at every college level to the NFL. A recent recipient of the prestigious Francis "Reds” Bagnell Award by the Maxwell Football Club, Didinger took the time to speak with Bleeding Green Nation about five sleepers the Eagles could look at in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Christian Watson, North Dakota State, WR, 6’4,” 210 pounds "I first took notice of him last year when I was looking at film of Trey Lance. I kept noticing this real tall receiver catching everything. I took note of him and filed it away, thinking, let’s see what he looks like the next year with a different quarterback. He was still good. He came into my purview as a sleeper, so I’m going to keep him there, but he is rising. From an Eagles’ standpoint, I like him. I think the Eagles still need a receiver. Watson is very good. He’s 6-4, 210 and he returned kicks in college. He runs better than you would think, like a 4.47. He’s a big guy, with a small-man’s quickness. He reminds me of Jordy Nelson. He had another real good year at North Dakota State, and he got invited to the Senior Bowl. Down in Mobile, I wanted to see how he would do against the better Division I corners than he did at the (FCS) level. The fact of the matter is he was beating the top cover guys as badly as he was beating the defensive backs at North Dakota State. I think he’s legit.” Daniel Faalele, Minnesota, OT, 6’8,” 384 pounds "What I’m struck by is that he is 6-8, 380 and the similarity between him and Jordan Mailata. He really looks like Mailata and comes from the same background as Mailata. He became an all-Big Ten offensive lineman. I read an interview with him a couple of months ago where he said Jordan Mailata was his hero. The Jordan Mailata story about where he came from and how he made it to the NFL has really been the inspiration for Faalele. He’s hoping to follow the same path as Mailata. Watching him play, they are very similar. He’s not quite as fluid an athlete as Mailata, who has great feet for someone that big. He’s not quite as nimble as Mailata, but he has the same size and power. He has an awful lot of ability that can be developed. If I were the Eagles, I would draft him and put him in a locker next to Jordan Mailata and let him learn from him and Jeff Stoutland every day. Let him hone his skills for a couple of years and when Lane Johnson is ready to retire, you have your right tackle right there.” Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Quentin Lake, UCLA, Safety, 6’ 1,” 205 pounds "The Eagles need help at safety. Quentin Lake is the son of Carnell Lake, who was a very, very good safety for many years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The son isn’t exactly the blue-chip prospect his father was, but it’s obvious he grew up around the game, he’s a very smart player and a good safety, and very good against the run. He’s a very good open-field tackler and at 205, he be a little on the light side, but he certainly doesn’t give anything away to the physical part of the game. He’s the kind of player who can come in and be on special teams immediately, and possibly work his way into a nickel or dime role in the secondary.” Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State, ILB, 5’11,” 230 pounds "Rodriguez is a true sleeper from Oklahoma State. I know he’s not going to get drafted high because of his size, he’s 5-11, around 225, which is not your classic NFL middle linebacker, but he can be someone who can be a really good special teams player. If you watched Oklahoma State play, Rodriguez was all over the field on defense. He’s smart, relentless, has great instincts, knows how to find the football—and never misses a tackle. He’ll immediately upgrade your special teams. I think he has a chance to work his way into a role on your defense. To me, he’s a true sleeper, where he was a really, really good college player that the pros will look at and say he’s too small. He’s all football player.” E.J. Perry, Brown, QB, 6’2,” 210 pounds "E.J. is an outlier. I don’t see him in the Eagles’ plans, but I’m fascinated by E.J., because I had heard good things about him and saw he was picked to play in the East-West Shrine Game. I was curious to check him out. I heard some people say, ‘You know he’s from the Ivy League, which is not exactly a breeding ground for NFL quarterbacks,’ but, E.J. is pretty good. He played in the Shrine Game and was the MVP (passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns almost leading the East All-Stars back from a 19-0 deficit), and I wasn’t expecting that. I like his size. He doesn’t have a great arm, but he has a good enough arm, and he moves around. You would think he didn’t have a lot of mobility, but he does. We saw Ryan Fitzpatrick come out of the Ivy League and develop a long, long, long NFL career. Sometimes it happens. Perry has just enough tools that he might be able to do the same thing. I don’t know if he’s going to play for 15 years the way Fitzpatrick has, but I can see him being a quarterback with the right situation making a team.” https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/4/9/23017814/nfl-draft-sleepers-ray-didinger-philadelphia-eagles-christian-watson-safety-linebacker-underrated
  9. Eagles executive believed to be "front-runner” for Steelers general manager opening Philly might lose the head of their scouting department. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Apr 7, 2022, 8:28am EDT Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Eagles vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl might not be staying in Philadelphia much longer. Weidl is believed to be the "front-runner” to replace Kevin Colbert as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ general manager. At least, that’s what longtime Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac recently indicated during a chat on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Steelers previously announced that they officially interviewed Weidl. Here’s what we wrote at the time: Indeed, the Eagles were none too happy about losing directors of player personnel Ian Cunningham and Brandon Brown earlier this offseason. So much so that they co-proposed a resolution that would’ve allowed them to retain those executives until after the NFL Draft. That resolution was successfully passed at the league’s owners meetings last week. One would think the Eagles wouldn’t be thrilled about losing Weidl as well. But there’s nothing teams can do to block candidates from taking an external promotion to a general manager position. The timing here is kind of strange in that Weidl is tasked with having an important role in a key draft for the Eagles right before potentially heading out the door. But that just might be how it goes. If Weidl leaves, Howie Roseman will really be tasked with restocking the Eagles’ scouting department. It’s possible we see some internal promotions (perhaps former Jacksonville Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell gets a bump?). It’s also possible the Eagles will be able to attract some external candidates. Perhaps the Steelers will ultimately choose to go in a different direction. For now, though, it’s looking like Weidl might be their guy. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/4/7/23014592/eagles-andy-weidl-steelers-general-manager-gm-opening-nfl-draft-news-philadelphia-pittsurgh-colbert
  10. Eagles News: Philadelphia gets an A+ for their trade with the Saints Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/5/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Apr 5, 2022, 8:26am EDT Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... NFL free agency: Grades for every big signing and trade of 2022, plus draft outlook for each move - ESPN+ Saints grade: B ... Eagles grade: A+. The Eagles, who entered the day with three first-round picks in this draft, have always been seen as the most likely team to trade a first-round pick. They made the playoffs last season, and their lack of immediate needs plus the value of trading a top pick meant that other teams were calling. With this move, they remain in good position to draft an impact prospect now but also have two first-rounders for 2023 should they want to address the quarterback position. At pick Nos. 15 and 18 overall, Philadelphia will be able to address wide receiver (Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave), defensive end (Jermaine Johnson II) or linebacker (Devin Lloyd, Nakobe Dean) with high-level prospects. Perhaps most importantly, the team is loaded, with two first-rounders in 2023 and two second-rounders in 2024 should Jalen Hurts not establish himself as the long-term quarterback. The Eagles now have the capital to go after a prospect such as Bryce Young (Alabama) or C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) next year — if Hurts struggles. Eagles trade for Saints’ 2023 first-round pick and more while swapping some selections this year - BGN It has long been said in this space that the Eagles NEEDED to trade away one of their 2022 first-round picks for a selection in 2023. With this year’s draft class not necessarily holding a ton of promise at quarterback, the Eagles now might have a better shot at acquiring a new passer next year. That much not be necessary if Jalen Hurts flourishes ... but the Eagles are clearly preparing for the possibility (read: probability) that he fails to erase all doubt as their long-term starter under center. For all his faults, Roseman is pretty good when it comes to maneuvering. This trade is another example of him showing off his strengths. The Eagles (and their fans) will happily root against the Saints the next two seasons to hope those picks end up being as favorable as possible. Philadelphia Eagles’ big draft trade puts Jalen Hurts on the clock - ESPN That last sentence seemed to cancel the previous one out, or at least amend the thought to committed to Jalen ... for now. Lurie went on to talk about the idea of an "automatic franchise quarterback” and how such a player is "almost nonexistent.” It was strange to hear him talking about a franchise quarterback as being almost mythical after spending so much time and energy chasing after one over the past couple of decades. The search has continued in recent months, with the Eagles taking a serious look at Deshaun Watson and doing their homework on Russell Wilson. Lurie would only acknowledge that they do due diligence on every player who becomes available. But it was more than that. Eagles GM Howie Roseman Beats His Peers to the Punch With Draft Picks Trade - MAQB This is not the year to be looking for a quarterback. Next year, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Bama’s Bryce Young loom as high picks, and there are guys like Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke who’ve shown promise that they could grow into high-end prospects. So high picks next year, whether you’re looking for a quarterback then or not, figure to be more valuable. To me, I’d guess this means the Eagles stick with Jalen Hurts in 2022 (though I’d heard them connected to Malik Willis the last couple weeks) and see how Hurts progresses. If he doesn’t show them something, then they get aggressive with those picks to get either a veteran (and who knows who’ll be available then) or a rookie. If he looks great, well, then you have ammo to put more around him. The clock is ticking on Jalen Hurts after the Eagles’ trade into 2023 - Inquirer While the adage "watch what they do, not what they say” is a safe one to heed in regards to the Eagles, when it comes to quarterbacks, their words can often forecast their actions, or at the least, reveal their motivations.“That’s why we’re committed to Jalen at age 23,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said last week when asked about the Eagles’ commitment to quarterback Jalen Hurts. "Who knows what the future holds, right? That’s where it goes.” Translation: Hurts gets the 2022 season and then all bets are off. Howie Goes Howie - Iggles Blitz The Saints are going to be a very interesting team this year. They will be missing a terrific head coach in Sean Payton, their star LT and a pair of good safeties. That’s a lot of talent, but also key veteran leaders. The Saints could really struggle. If so, that 2023 first round pick might look great. The Saints could also gel and play better than expected if Dennis Allen proves to be a good coach, Jameis Winston plays well and Michael Thomas stays healthy. Maybe the pick ends up in the 20-30 range. Howie was smart to take the chance. If the Saints do struggle and this ends up being a high pick, the Eagles would have a chance to get one of the star QBs next April. That would be huge if Jalen Hurts flat lines this year. If Hurts turns out to be a high level starter, the Eagles can add a key player at some other position. Smart risk. Saints reportedly agree to blockbuster draft trade before the 2022 NFL Draft - Canal Street Chronicles Here’s the easy way to think about it: The New Orleans Saints traded a 2022 3rd round pick (of which they had two) and a 2024 2nd round pick to convert next year’s first round pick into a first round pick this year. The Saints went from having 3 picks within the Top 100 selections to having 4 picks in the Top 100, including two picks in the Top 20. The biggest takeaway from this trade is that New Orleans Saints front office must really, really like the first round talent in this year’s draft to make this move now, without knowing how the board falls on draft day. This move also communicates that the front office believes the 2022 New Orleans Saints are going to be a contender and they believe, at least right now, that their first round pick next year will be a low one. Cowboys free agency 2022 rumors: Dallas was interested in trading for now-Patriots WR DeVante Parker - Blogging The Boys Having traded away Amari Cooper the Cowboys are obviously now in need of a wide receiver. Many believe that the 2022 NFL Draft is where they will ultimately find an answer, but trades and free agency still exist as options. The Cowboys did add a receiver in free agency by signing James Washington. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they were also in on the DeVante Parker discussions with the Dolphins before New England won out. Washington’s injury numbers were miserable again in 2021 - Hogs Haven With the new trainer signing on the horizon, and Washington’s roster continuing to get younger - last year it was the 13th oldest in the league - through the loss of players like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Scherff, the expectation is that they should be able to crawl out from the league cellar injury-wise, but only time will tell if they can finally shake the ignominious distinction of "most injured team in the NFL.” Giants "don’t want to make” two top-10 picks — Peter King - Big Blue View Just a "wild guess” on my part, but I would say it’s likely that King’s wild guess has some intel behind it. Maybe the Giants make both of their picks at Nos. 5 and 7, maybe they don’t. Trading out of one of the two picks for added draft capital, especially including a 2023 first-round pick, makes too much sense for the Giants not to believe it is something GM Joe Schoen will consider. 2022 NFL Draft: Six Round 1 trades that would make sense - NFL.com Seahawks receive: No. 5 overall pick (Round 1). Giants receive: No. 9 overall (Round 1), No. 72 overall (Round 3), No. 145 overall (Round 5, from DET via DEN). If the Seahawks are not interested in acquiring the disgruntled and displaced Baker Mayfield from Cleveland to replace the departed Russell Wilson, they need to come away with one of the top quarterbacks in this draft. Malik Willis (who boasts playmaking ability), Matt Corral (who has a lightning-quick release) or Kenny Pickett or Desmond Ridder (both steady performers) must be on their radar. Seattle could move into the top three to select one of those quarterbacks, given the past proclivity shown by general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll for trading future assets to acquire a valued player; just two years ago, the team coughed up a package for former Jets safety Jamal Adams that featured multiple first-rounders, including the Seahawks’ original first-round choice this year. I’ll conservatively project, however, that they instead give up two mid-to-late round selections (in addition to the ninth overall pick, secured from Denver via the Wilson trade) to jump ahead of two other teams looking for young passers: Carolina (which possess the sixth overall selection) and Atlanta (eighth). These two franchises are aware of this possibility, as well, so don’t be surprised if one of them leaps into the top three to prevent being leapfrogged. Monday Football Monday #82: Things we forgot happened this year in the NFL - The SB Nation NFL Show Talk about the power of the news cycle, Pete Sweeney and RJ Ochoa reflect on some of the things we forgot that happened on and off the field this past year. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/4/5/23011223/eagles-news-philadelphia-trade-saints-howie-roseman-nfl-draft-picks-2022-2023-jalen-hurts-qb-grade
  11. Eagles News: Philadelphia has one of the NFL’s easiest schedules in 2022 Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/1/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Apr 1, 2022, 8:38am EDT Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... 2022 NFL Strength Of Schedule, Regular Season - Sharp Football Analysis Based on projected win totals, the Washington Commanders have the easiest strength of schedule for the 2022 NFL season. The next easiest schedules, in order, are the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, and Seattle Seahawks. [...] Last season (2021), the Top 7 teams with the easiest schedule were: Bills, Buccaneers, Bengals, Broncos, Eagles, Dolphins & Cowboys. Warren Sharp’s 2021 NFL Strength of Schedule methodology correctly forecasted that 6 of these Top 7 teams would rank inside the Top 10 easiest schedules (only the Bengals did not). Eagles All-22 Film Review: Kyzir White brings speed to Philadelphia’s defense - BGN I can see why White was signed to a pretty low 1 year deal, but I can also see the huge appeal from an Eagles point of view. He will instantly become the Eagles best linebacker in coverage and I think he has basically signed to play a similar role that they hoped Davion Taylor could play last season before injury. The Eagles have not had a linebacker with the speed to match up to tight ends and running backs in man coverage or a linebacker with instincts as good as White’s in zone coverage. I think White creates a good pair with TJ Edwards who will play the more physical, downhill linebacker whilst White will use his speed to clean up. Edwards struggles in coverage with his athleticism too so White will be a valuable asset. Eagles do not appear content to stick with their 2021 run-heavy identity - PhillyVoice With the Eagles being unable to trade for Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson, Hurts seems to have survived the free agency portion of the offseason. If he can also survive the 2022 NFL Draft and remain the team’s starter this season, it appears that he’s going to have to show that he can win through the air, and with (for now) basically the same cast of characters. Kirk Cousins, the Vikings, and the Dynasties of Mediocrity - Football Outsiders The Philadelphia Eagles are an odd duck, as their run includes their Super Bowl victory in 2017, which is almost perfectly counterbalanced by the 4-11-1 Carson Wentz disaster year of 2020. Scratch those two years out and the Eagles have won either seven or nine games every year since 2015; an impressive level of consistent blandness. Those two outlier years really do hurt them; they have the fifth-highest win variance on the list. But they do seem in position to rattle off a bunch more average years, which will help lower the impact of those outliers over time. NFL 2022 QB Gravitron: What advanced metrics say about Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes and others - The Athletic Jalen Hurts makes enough plays to make the Eagles think he could be their future at quarterback. Yet his IQR last season placed him 18th, among the likes of Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Bridgewater and Jackson. Now is that what Philadelphia is looking for in a passer? The IQR doesn’t take into account Hurts’ rushing ability, as he tallied 784 rushing yards and 10 TDs. But even with Hurts’ overall game, he amassed only a 0.03 EPA, again lurking around Wentz and Jackson at 19th. Terrell Owens returning to play in Fan Controlled Football league - PFT Fan Controlled Football is a 7-on-7 indoor league that allows fans to call offensive plays and vote on rules. Manziel announced last week he was returning for a second season. Marshawn Lynch, Austin Ekeler, Richard Sherman, Dalvin Cook and Tiki and Ronde Barber own teams in the league. The league, which begins its second season on April 16, is expanding from four teams to eight. All games will be played at Pullman Yards in Atlanta and broadcast on NBCLX and Peacock. ‘The vision is big’: Boston Scott sees a future for himself with both the Eagles and esports - Inquirer There’s a practical side to Scott’s multitasking into esports. Other pros who have taken on two traditional pro sports, such as Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, who both played in the NFL and MLB, have had to contend with more physical wear and tear.“I’m not putting myself at risk of getting injured,” Scott pointed out, but gaming still gives his competitive focus, concentration and mental reaction under pressure a good workout. "Yes, it’s a video game, but you’re still teaching yourself skills, it still takes cognitive function, you’re still teaching your brain to learn new things that keep you sharp. The skills that you can practice in Rocket League, it is kind of similar to catching a football, to doing hand-eye coordination drills. That’s something I’ve fallen in love with, the process of getting better at my craft, in football. And so, with a game that’s as hard as Rocket League, the competitor in me is like, man, it’s so rewarding.” DraftKings has Dallas Cowboys tied for third-most over/under win totals in NFC in 2022 - Blogging The Boys The Cowboys are coming off of a season where they won 12 games and lost in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. So far their roster appears to be weaker than when they last took the field, but the 2022 NFL Draft still has yet to come. Ideally the Cowboys will improve upon last year and therefore win more than 12 games; however, a 12-win season is a pretty impressive thing. What’s more is that while history isn’t necessarily an indication at how this current group will respond, the Cowboys franchise has had difficulty repeating success year to year. Giants mock draft tracker: A new leader at No. 5 - Big Blue View For the first time since we began posting 2022 NFL mock draft trackers, there is a new top choice at No. 5 for the New York Giants. Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal is now the player mock often mocked to the Giants at No. 5 in Round 1. Neal was the choice in 16 of 55 mock drafts (29.1 percent). North Carolina State Ikem Ekwonu, the leader in all of our previous trackers, was chosen in 14 mock drafts (25.5 percent). Congress investigates Washington for financial improprieties; Roger Goodell still protects Dan Snyder - Hogs Haven This has been another long week in Dan Snyder’s disastrous, decades-long ownership of the NFL’s Washington franchise. Roger Goodell spoke to the media and weaved a wonderful tale about Dan Snyder’s non-hands on status with the franchise. He told whoever would believe him that he doesn’t believe Snyder has been to the team’s facilities, and they would talk about Snyder’s status soon. This contradicted previous reports, and new reports about Dan Snyder’s status within the franchise. Ron Rivera has said on multiple occasions that he discusses team matters with Dan and Tanya Snyder. Dan has been to games throughout the season, and photos were posted by the team’s own social media managers to show his attendance. This rugby tackle literally knocked a dude out of his shorts - SB Nation I’m not going to say this is the greatest tackle of all time, but I will say this hit by Semi Valemei in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) has made my short list of the best tackles of all time, regardless of sport. The Look Ahead #83: Something doesn’t smell right in Tampa + 2022 Over Unders - The SB Nation NFL Show Rob "Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa react to the news that Bruce Arians is stepping away from coaching the Bucs. Plus the 2022 win totals are out and there are some fascinating bets available. Why the Bucs’ story about the coaching change doesn’t smell right (3:58). One issue with the transition from Arians to Bowles that could be a problem in the future (8:20). Todd Bowles didn’t get a raw deal with the Jets (13:28). Coaching change doesn’t affect the Bucs’ win total (19:35). Why doesn’t Vegas believe in the Chiefs (21:37). The Cowboys look like a safe over (27:26). The 49ers may be the most volatile bet of them all (33:46). https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/4/1/23006076/eagles-news-philadelphia-nfl-easiest-schedules-2022-strength-football-difficulty
  12. Eagles News: Might Derek Barnett end up returning to Philly? Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/23/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Mar 23, 2022, 6:00am EDT Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Cases for and against Eagles’ bringing back remaining free agents - NBCSP Derek Barnett. For: The longer Barnett is on the market, the cheaper he might become. While some thought he’d get $11-13 million per season, he’s still out there for a reason. Barnett hasn’t gotten a ton of sacks but he has 76 QB hits in his first five NFL seasons. The only Eagle with more in the last five years is Fletcher Cox with 82. Barnett also knows the defense and would at least be an average player to rotate at the defensive end position. After all, the Eagles signed Reddick, but he’ll be more of a hybrid player. The Eagles could do worse than Barnett as a rotational defensive end. Against: You really want to bring back Derek Barnett? The guy who has underperformed as a first-round pick? The guy who had 2 sacks last year in a contract season? The guy who has piled up dumb penalty after dumb penalty for the last five seasons? It’s better for both sides to go their separate ways. 6 things to know about new Eagles wide receiver Zach Pascal - BGN By and large Colts fans are happy to see Pascal go. This is not really a reflection necessarily on Pascal himself. However hard a worker he is, there are clearly limits in his ability to get separation. Much of his production can be attributed to Frank Reich’s ability to scheme receivers open, and when facing good defensive backs in games when they absolutely needed someone to make a play, Pascal wasn’t setting himself apart as a guy who could do that. During his 2019 season, Pascal had some of the best hands on the team, and regularly made clutch plays in critical downs. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that same player as consistently. In fact, his position as the 2nd receiver in yards over the past two seasons says more about the state of the Colts receiver room than it does Pascal himself. Colts fans want the team to move on and upgrade at the position with players who can really strain defenses, and they simply don’t believe Pascal is that guy. The QB Factory Reboot #50: Special guest Carmen Vitali joins to discuss the QB carousel that continues - BGN Radio Raichele Privette and Mark Schofield are joined by Senior NFL reporter for The Draft Network and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff writer, Carmen Vitali. They discuss all of the recent QB moves throughout the league, Kenny Pickett’s Pro Day on Monday and how to improve the Eagles roster. FILM STUDY: What to expect from Zach Pascal in Philadelphia - TouchdownWire Over Pascal’s four-year career, he has 1,467 receiving yards when lined up outside and 1,869 from the inside. That said, he won’t strictly stay in the slot. Pascal likely will be the Y receiver, but we probably will see him and X receiver DeVonta Smith switch spots at times. Pascal will do a lot of motioning to get the defense moving. Expect to see him and Smith working side-by-side in high-low concepts where Pascal can reach the first-down marker with his long strides. Pascal isn’t a player who is going to get many yards after the catch, but he has good field awareness and will reach the first down in-route whether it’s over the middle or on the sideline. Thumbs up or down: Eagles beat reporters weigh in on Zach Pascal signing - Inquirer Still, only Reagor (0.62) finished with a lower yards per route run than Pascal (0.78) among NFL receivers with more than 46 targets in 2021, per Pro Football Focus. Both played in run-based offenses, which had something to do with the lack of production. But the numbers don’t lie. Both receivers struggled last season. Sirianni loves Pascal, as do other coaches in Indy, but the Colts still allowed him to walk. Without knowing what else the Eagles plan to do at receiver, it’s an underwhelming signing. Jalen Hurts, if he is to remain the starting quarterback, needs ball catchers who can help make him better, not the other way around. It’s probable that in some cases Hurts, a run-heavy offense, and the Eagles’ middling roster likely dissuaded receivers from wanting to come to Philly if they had more attractive options. Eagles-only mock draft, version 4.0 - PhillyVoice There are some Eagles fans who would like the quarterback discussion to go away, but let’s not fool ourselves. The Eagles had interest in trading for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson this offseason. They can say they love Jalen Hurts until they’re blue in the face, and maybe then do, but they were looking to upgrade on him in the trade market and still could be in the draft. The Eagles have shown interest in Kenny Pickett, as Howie Roseman traveled to Pitt to watch him play in person in November. They took him out to dinner after his pro day. Gotta keep the factory churning. 2022 offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams after NFL free agency - PFF PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: CB, LB, S. Philly’s CB2 spot opposite Darius Slay is looking bleak. Steven Nelson started opposite Slay last year, but he posted a career-low 60.9 coverage grade and remains unsigned as a free agent this offseason. Zech McPhearson, Kary Vincent Jr. and Tay Gowan — Day 3 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft — are the next men up if Philly sticks with what they have. Eagles announced NFL Draft Party - PE.com With three first round draft picks, this is bound to be one of the most exciting Eagles drafts yet! Who will the Eagles select? Join us for the Philadelphia Eagles 2022 Draft Party at Lincoln Financial Field, presented by SportsRadio 94WIP, Dietz & Watson, Lincoln Financial Group, and DraftKings. Draft Party activities include stadium and Eagles locker room tours, field access (weather permitting), appearances by Eagles Cheerleaders and SWOOP, free face painting and much more. Don’t miss your chance to watch the biggest Eagles draft in years with your fellow Birds fans! Tickets for this event are just $10 with all net proceeds benefiting Eagles Autism Foundation. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 21 at 10:00 AM. Space is very limited. Limit six (6) tickets per order. Free agent LB Genard Avery visits Falcons Tuesday - The Falcoholic He shouldn’t come at an outrageous cost, and clearly has some upside left since he’s only 26 and seeking his second contract. This is one of several workouts without an immediate signing in the past week or so, as they’ve also hosted veterans like wideout Tre’Quan Smith, offensive lineman Nick Easton and tight end Tyler Kroft recently and have yet to signthem to deals. We’ll see what happens with Avery, who would make you feel a bit better about the team’s depth at linebacker if he joins. The Falcons barely have any cap space at the moment, but once they find their way to more via cuts and/or trades, we’ll likely see a small flurry of signings. Co-Conspirator Of Former Philadelphia Eagles Sentenced - Patch The former roommate of Mychal Kendricks, then a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court here to two months in federal prison for participating in an insider trading scheme. U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter also ordered Mark Wayne Ramsey, 32, of San Francisco, Calif., to serve three years of probation following the jail sentence. He was fined $5,000. In September, a jury convicted Ramsey of four counts of security fraud and two counts of conspiracy. Colts OT Matt Pryor Will ‘Get the First Shot’ at Starting Left Tackle - Stampede Blue After being traded by the Philadelphia Eagles—along with a 2022 7th round pick for the Colts’ 2022 6th round pick, Pryor developed into a high quality swing tackle for Indianapolis during his debut campaign—making 5 starts in 2021. As Ballard indicated, Pryor played all over the Colts offensive line, showcasing his versatility. Specifically, Pryor played 266 total snaps at right tackle, 94 snaps at left tackle, and 69 snaps at right guard during 2021. Cowboys free agency 2022: Dallas reportedly "unlikely” to sign free agent linebacker Bobby Wagner - Blogging The Boys For the last week and a half or so the Dallas Cowboys have been connected to one specific name in free agency. There have been a number of players that Cowboys fans have wanted to see the team pursue, but chief among them has been veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Cowboys have already brought back Leighton Vander Esch and Luke Gifford this offseason, but adding someone like Wagner would allow even more flexibility for Micah Parsons to float towards rushing the passer. Wagner is a big name which means Cowboys fans should have tempered their expectations towards signing him. Clearly the team has been interested, but according to The Dallas Morning News, a reunion between he and Dan Quinn is unlikely. The Commanders should avoid a WR at #11 - Hogs Haven As is the case essentially every year, there are a bumper crop of WR prospects who have worked draftniks into a frenzy. The Ohio State duo of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. The injured speedster from Alabama, Jameson Williams. The injured contested catch WR from USC, Drake London. The aspiring Deebo Samuel clone, Treylon Burks. The Combine freak, Christian Watson. Add to that list Dotson, Pickens, Tolbert, and Ross, among others. At the end of the day, there are a solid 10 to 15 top WR prospects whose performance most "experts” would be very hard-pressed to accurately estimate over the course of the next several years. Some will surely bust. Others will almost certainly pan out as eventual WR1s. If history is our guide, it’s very likely that a roughly equal numbers of WRs taken in the first and second round will occupy that second category, and Washington would be wise to focus its first round efforts elsewhere this year. Giants depth chart after flurry of moves in 2022 NFL free agency - Big Blue View If the 2022 NFL Draft works out in optimal fashion, one or both of offensive tackles Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu will be available to the Giants in Round 1. If not, they could take Charles Cross or Trevor Penning, though the wisdom of taking either in the top 10 splits the draft community. If the Giants have to address the right tackle spot later in the draft, the presence of Matt Gono should mean a Day 2 or Day 3 tackle selection wouldn’t be forced to play before he is ready. Really, that’s the same at the interior spots. GM Joe Schoen has bought himself time to develop longer-term solutions along the line. Brieda should provide serviceable backup running back snaps at a lower cost than the released Devontae Booker. The 4 biggest surprises from Mel Kiper’s latest NFL mock draft - SB Nation No. 1: Drake London is the first WR off the board, and early. This one really took me aback. I can honestly see a toss-up between Garrett Wilson and London as the top receiver in this draft depending on what teams value. Wilson is very much in the mold of what teams want in receivers right now. He’s a huge talent after the catch with a natural feel for how to evade defenders and pick up extra yards. There isn’t a perfect comparison, but think of him more in the Cooper Kupp mold. Wilson is going to make a quarterback look better, he’ll catch some downfield passes, but his real skill comes from putting the ball in his hands and have him make plays. London is the complete opposite. He’s a big-bodied receiver with a mammoth catch radius that plays more like a hybrid tight end. The skill set isn’t dissimilar to that of Kyle Pitts or a Mike Evans, which is extremely attractive to teams. These are players who can take a questionably jump ball and turn it into a big play, purely because they can grab passes smaller defensive backs can’t reach. This makes a lot of sense for the Jets, who Kiper have taking London at No. 4. This feels ludicrously early, but he is a receiver who can help Zach Wilson immensely, who’s always had a propensity to throw 50/50 balls and ask his receiver to make the play. Off Day Debrief #81: Power Ranking the AFC Quarterbacks - The SB Nation NFL Show Rob "Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton bring back the NFL podcast kingdom’s only 100% accurate power rankings and use them on the QBs in the AFC now that the dust has largely settled there. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/3/23/22992329/eagles-news-might-derek-barnett-philly-nfl-free-agency-rumors-defensive-end-contract-football
  13. What the Eagles should do at offensive guard Eagles roster outlook: position-by-position. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Feb 17, 2022, 12:37pm EST Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Our Philadelphia Eagles roster outlook series continues by examining the offensive tackle position. PREVIOUSLY: Quarterback | Running back | Tight end | Wide receiver | Offensive tackle. THE PLAYERS LANDON DICKERSON STATS: 859 snaps, 13 starts, 22nd out of 88 guards graded by PFF, 2 sacks allowed, 8 hits allowed, 23 hurries allowed, 5 penalties PLAYOFF STATS: 66 snaps, 1 start REVIEW: Dickerson spent the entirety of training camp on the active/non-football injury list while recovering from the injury he suffered in December 2020. The rookie blocker hardly had time to be eased in since Brandon Brooks’ injury thrust him into action in Week 2. Dickerson started his first game in Week 3 and struggled early in the year, especially when it came to pass protection. But Dickerson eventually settled in at the left guard spot. He was a starter for arguably the league’s best offensive line. He was able to use his size and strength effectively as a run blocker, paving the way for one of the league’s best rushing attacks. Given his previous injury concerns, it was good to see Dickerson avoid missing games. [For a great All-22 analysis of Dickerson’s 2021 season, CLICK HERE.] OUTLOOK: The Eagles have seemingly found a long-term starter in Dickerson, assuming his injury issues are truly behind him. The question is: where will he be playing in 2022? If Jason Kelce retires, there’s a chance he could move inside to center. But since it looks like Kelce might return, the Eagles could just keep him at left guard next to Jordan Mailata. But do the Eagles then move Isaac Seumalo to right guard, where he hasn’t played much in the NFL? The guess here is the Eagles keep Dickerson at left guard but we’ll just have to see if that’s the case. Whichever spot he’s at, it would be nice to see him improve a bit in pass protection (48th out of 88 guards in pass blocking grade). Having a full healthy offseason could be good for his development. MY TAKE: Stay. JACK DRISCOLL STATS: 512 snaps, 9 starts, 20nd out of 88 guards graded by PFF, 1 sack allowed, 3 hits allowed, 14 hurries allowed, 1 penalty REVIEW: Driscoll got hurt in training camp and began the season on injured reserve. He was activated in October and immediately started in place of Lane Johnson, who was away from the team for mental health reasons. Driscoll then shifted to right guard, where he remained until suffering a season-ending injury in late November. OUTLOOK: Driscoll has played fairly well when healthy, especially relative to backup expectations. But the problem is that Driscoll hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s been on the injured reserve list three times over the past two seasons. If Driscoll can put the injury issues behind him, he has a chance to be the Eagles’ top backup at left guard, right guard, and right tackle in 2022. MY TAKE: Stay. NATE HERBIG STATS: 481 snaps, 5 starts, 31st out of 88 guards graded by PFF, 1 sack, 4 hits allowed, 11 hurries allowed, 3 penalties REVIEW: Herbig didn’t see regular starts until after both Brooks and Driscoll were out for the season. He was somewhat surprisingly inactive for the Eagles’ playoff game against the Bucs. OUTLOOK: The Eagles like Herbig enough to go to him if they really have to ... but they’re not really eager to get him out on the field. Herbig is a restricted free agent this offseason. It would cost $2.4 million to tender him at the lowest level. He’s not worth that much when the Eagles are regularly able to find quality depth with Jeff Stoutland around. The Eagles should gauge his interest in signing a short contract extension that gives him some money up front but keeps him cheap and under team control for an extra year. Otherwise, let him test free agency and only bring him back if he doesn’t receive interest on the market. I could see the Jaguars potentially having interest in Herbie with the Doug Pederson connection down there. MY TAKE: Go. ISAAC SEUMALO STATS: 168 snaps, 3 starts, 17th out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 1 hurry allowed, 3 penalties REVIEW: Seumalo was off to a good start in 2021 before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 3. OUTLOOK: Injury issues have caused Seumalo to miss 22 games over the past two seasons. That’s concerning. There’s still reason to believe Seumalo has plenty of good football left in him considering he’s entering his age 29 season. But the Eagles need more durability from Ike. If Kelce retires, Seumalo might actually be the top option to replace him at center. If Kelce is back, Seumalo could be asked to move to right guard to keep Dickerson in place at left guard. Seumalo does have experience playing right guard; he made nine starts at that spot in his final year at Oregon State. He also played 137 snaps at right guard during his rookie season in 2016 ... but hasn’t really been at that spot since then. 2022 is a big year for Seumalo because his contract will void after this year. The Eagles would ideally be able to sign him to an extension now to lower his $7.7 million cap number but the injury concerns might prevent them from doing that. MY TAKE: Stay. SUA OPETA STATS: 163 snaps, 2 starts, 22nd out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 1 sack allowed, 1 hit allowed, 9 hurries allowed, 1 penalty PLAYOFF STATS: 66 snaps, 1 start REVIEW: Opeta saw his first start right before Christmas when Dickerson missed a game while on the COVID list. Opeta started again in Philly’s meaningless Week 18 game against the Dallas Cowboys. And then a third time when the Eagles played the Bucs in the playoffs. OUTLOOK: Opeta is signed through 2022. Easy call to bring him back as a cheap depth option who has some game experience under his belt. MY TAKE: Stay. BRANDON BROOKS STATS: 96 snaps, 2 starts, 105th out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 3 hurries allowed, 1 penalty REVIEW: Brooks missed some time in training camp before returning to the field ... but not for long. He suffered a chest injury in Week 2 and landed on injured reserve. Lane Johnson suggested Brooks had a eight-week recovery timeline but Brooks never returned to action. The three-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement following the season. OUTLOOK: It’s a shame that Brooks just couldn’t stay healthy. He had to go through two Achilles injuries, one separated shoulder, and one torn pectoral muscle since January 2019. Though Brooks’ career didn’t exactly end on a high note, he will be remembered fondly as a great Eagle. He’s an incredibly smart guy who will undoubtedly thrive in life after football. Brooks said he plans on applying to Penn’s business school. MY TAKE: Go and prosper in a post-playing career. KAYODE AWOSIKA STATS: 43 snaps, 11th out of 137 guards graded by PFF, 2 sacks allowed, 0 hits allowed, 1 hurry allowed, 0 penalties REVIEW: Awosika showed some promise last summer; there was thought the undrafted rookie free agent signing could earn a roster spot. The Eagles instead kept him on the practice squad, often using protections on him to make sure he wasn’t poached. Awosika finally got to see some playing time in Week 18. OUTLOOK: Awosika is an intriguing player to watch moving forward. He’s demonstrated some potential and offers guard/tackle versatility. The Eagles might be able to develop him into a nice backup player. He’s stuck behind some other guys on the depth chart so he’ll need a good offseason to prove he deserves to stick around. MY TAKE: Stay. OTHER PLAYERS WITH GUARD VERSATILITY Jack Anderson is officially listed as a center/guard on the Eagles’ roster. He played 31 snaps at guard in Week 18. Brett Toth played 14 snaps at right guard in 2021. Toth also played seven snaps at offensive tackle, where he’s mostly lined up in practice and preseason settings. But he curiously played 30 snaps at center in Week 18, so I’m putting him in the center position review since maybe the Eagles are most interested to see what he can do at that spot? FREE AGENCY OR TRADES The Eagles won’t be spending big money on the guard position. NFL DRAFT APPROACH If Kelce retires, there’s thought the Eagles can draft Tyler Linderbaum to replace him and keep Dickerson/Seumalo at guard. We’ll touch more on Linderbaum in the center position outlook post. With uncertainty surrounding Seumalo’s future (injuries/contract), the Eagles could afford to add a guard at some point. Perhaps late Day 2 or some point on Day 3. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/2/17/22938590/eagles-roster-outlook-isaac-seumalo-landon-dickerson-guard-center-jack-driscoll-nate-herbig-brooks
  14. Eagles News: Will Philadelphia draw inspiration from the Matthew Stafford trade? Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/13/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Feb 13, 2022, 10:35am EST Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... The Matthew Stafford trade could be a blueprint for the Eagles this offseason - Inquirer There is still legitimate concern about the 23-year-old’s potential. And if Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson becomes available, or if sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson reach some kind of finality, each would qualify as a significant improvement, although not without arguments against. "For me, I don’t think their position is to win a Super Bowl in the next year or two,” former Eagles president Joe Banner said. "So Rodgers, to me, isn’t really a viable option. Wilson, I’d probably have a reasonable estimation of four years, so that’s viable. [The 49ers’ Jimmy] Garoppolo, I actually like more than most people, but he can’t stay healthy and be consistent. "Watson will be interesting to me because, when it’s all said and done, there are going to be far fewer teams interested in him than people think, and it may be somebody you can get at a discounted price. Obviously, his cases have to get to a certain point before you could even consider that.” Eye on the Enemy #84: Super Bowl 56 Preview w/ Jeff Kerr - BGN Radio On Episode 84 of "Eye on the Enemy,” host John Stolnis is joined by CBS Sports NFL writer Jeff Kerr to talk about the biggest storylines for Super Bowl 56. Did Cincinnati or Los Angeles have the tougher road to the Super Bowl, which QB/WR duo is better, and how engaging is this matchup? Also, an Eagle legend is elected to the Hall of Fame! 11 Eagles Pro Football Hall of Fame snubs - NBCSP Troy Vincent: The Pennsbury High School graduate was one of the most complete cornerbacks of his era, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s he was as productive as any corner in the league. Vincent finished his career with 47 interceptions and four more in the postseason, but he was also a physical presence, a sure tackler, a willing run supporter and a good blitzer. He made five straight Pro Bowls from 1999 through 2003, and during the four-year span from 1999 through 2002 – the first four years the stat was kept - he had an NFL-high 83 pass knockdowns, including an NFL-record 27 in 2001, second-most ever recorded in a season. 5 surprising stats from the 2021 Cowboys season - Blogging The Boys Dak Prescott threw for more touchdowns in three games (13) than Trevor Lawrence did in 17 games (12). This is not meant to serve as an encouraging stat; it should actually be interpreted as the opposite. Because as explosive as the Dallas offense appeared at times, they were equally absent in a handful of games. Because in the Panthers, Giants, Football Team, Falcons, and both Eagles games, the Cowboys put up a combined 271 points. That is more than the 253 points the Jaguars put up all year. Where was that offense in the playoff game and over the end of the year? Where was the "thirteen touchdowns in three games” Dak Prescott against the 49ers? The apparent distinction is that the Cowboys took advantage of a poor division, wiped the floor with the bad teams, and then struggled against good teams. It is just confusing to consider now that the end of the season has arrived. Super Bowl Sunday ‘things I think’ about Odell Beckham, the Giants, more - Big Blue View Odell Beckham Jr. is the most notable former Giant in the Super Bowl. I feel good for all of them, even the hard-to-like Eli Apple. When it comes to Beckham, anyone who has been around BBV long enough knows I was critical of the young Beckham with the Giants. You also know that I thought the Giants did the right thing when they traded him to the Browns. All I ever hoped for from Beckham was that he would grow up a little, stop making headlines for silly reasons that distracted from his immense talent, and let us focus on how good he can be on the field. He never really showed that talent in Cleveland, and I wondered how much of it was still there. He is happy, productive and — as of this writing — awaiting the birth of his first child. Good for him. Rams cornerback Donte Deayon was always a favorite of mine. I didn’t think much of Grant Haley as a player, but always appreciated how hard he worked. On the Cincy side, B.J. Hill is a good guy and deserves his success. As for Bengals special teamer Michael Thomas I’m still of the opinion that Joe Judge made a massive mistake by jettisoning Thomas for Nate Ebner, one of his personal favorites. Aaron Rodgers in positive place with Packers as decision on his future looms - NFL.com Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ own words spoke as loudly as anything has over the last year. He accepted his MVP award Thursday night and thanked — by name — Green Bay President/CEO Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst, among others. That was notable. After spending a week talking with those in the know on Rodgers’ looming decision, two facts are clear: The relationship is in as good a spot as it has been in quite a long time, leading to optimism and hope from many involved that he will choose to return. No one knows for sure what Rodgers will do, except Rodgers, and no one will rush him to do it. Why you should root for the Bengals, and why they’ll beat Rams in Super Bowl LVI - Cincy Jungle This has been a season for the ages, to put it lightly, and the postseason run has fans thinking about destiny like they’ve never thought before. We’ve seen this happen with the New York Giants in 2007 and the Ravens in 2012. The best team on paper doesn’t always win the biggest game in American sports, but the team that gets hot at just the right time usually does. Destiny very much seems to be on Cincinnati’s side, but claiming that as the main reason why they’ll win Sunday isn’t fair to the players and coaches. This is years of hard work and battles with adversity that would break most in this league. The movement from "Why not us?” to "It is us!” symbolizes the realization that this team belongs in this moment. They were built for it. Why you should root for the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56 - DraftKings Nation WHO DEY?! This is the battle cry for the Cincinnati Bengals and as a non-fan, I do not understand it. It resembles the New Orleans Saints’ "Who Dat?” chant, but it riles up the whole city and their fanbase so whatever works I guess. The Bengals emerged from a competitive AFC North division when they had only won six games combined in their last two seasons and they have picked in the top-five of the NFL Draft both seasons. Now, they are playing in their first Super Bowl since January of 1989. But, let’s break down who to watch and why you should root for the Bengals. Apart from an adoration of the city of Cincinnati and whatever you want to classify skyline chili as there is a lot to cheer for the Bengals. Quarterback Joe Burrow reeks of coolness and has turned the franchise around in only his second season. Could Sean McVay retire early, move to broadcasting if Rams win Super Bowl? - Turf Show Times It’s fair to say that McVay has his eyes set on life aspirations outside of coaching in the NFL, and he’s had those aspirations for a while. At some point he could make the jump to broadcasting in order to allow more time to start a family - it could even happen as soon as after the Super Bowl Sunday night. McVay’s departure from the Rams is more of a question of when than if, but it’ll be difficult for him to leave behind a team with as much talent as this 2021-22 roster. Fantasy Football Volatility Index: The riskiest and safest plays for NFL Super Bowl LVI - Fake Teams WR Ja’Marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals). I’m conflicted about this thing. Is this the most boring pick ever, or the most exciting one? Of course, you know where I come from. Chase is the only player to pop up in the hyper-volatile chart above, which makes it just impossible to pick any other guy for this slot. But Chase is also the most exciting possible pick after what he’s done as a rookie in the NFL this season: flexing on haters, and then some. So good was Chase that his high volatility mark, unique in the league at this point, probably has more to do with Chase "resting” his way through the last few games of the season and postseason instead of just underperforming or performing too randomly to stay low in the VOL leaderboard. To wit: 1.3 PPR points at Denver (W15) and 4.6 at Cleveland (WC Round) getting just four targets in each of those two matches playing 51 and five snaps respectively. Other than that, the resume is impeccable. Remove that stupid Browns game from the sheet and look at Chase’s last five games while trying not to faint: 19, 55, 23, 16, and 17 PPR points on his way toward the Super Bowl. Risky? Maybe. But just because Chase chose to walk that path. Pay for this man. You won’t regret that. Rams elevate Eric Weddle, Blake Countess from practice squad for Super Bowl - PFT Weddle and safety Blake Countess have both been elevated from the practice squad. Weddle paused his retirement to sign with the Rams before their playoff opener and has 13 tackles and a tackle for loss since returning to action. Countess did not appear in any regular season games and has played 24 snaps in three playoff contests. [BLG Note: That’s former Eagles draft pick Blake Countess.] Ultimate Super Bowl scouting report: What to expect from the Rams on Sunday - SB Nation The Los Angeles Rams are headed to Super Bowl LVI — and hoping to become just the second team in history to win a Super Bowl in their own stadium after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers achieved that feat last year. To get there, the Rams had to rack up plenty of wins during the regular season and knock out postseason opponents in every phase of the playoffs, including the reigning champion Bucs. The Rams will now take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13, with LA heading into the game as 4-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook. To help you get ready for the big game on Sunday — and to learn all you need to know about the Rams — we turned to the experts at our team communities to find out what they learned when the teams they cover played LA this season. Super Bowl Roundtable, Day 5: 49ers QB Trey Lance + SB Predictions - The SB Nation NFL Show Rob "Stats” Guerrera, Brandon Lee Gowton, and Pete Sweeney wonder why there doesn’t seem to be as much juice going into this Super Bowl as there has been in the past - and we think we have an answer. Plus, Stats talks with 49ers QB Trey Lance (17:00) about what he learned last year and expectations in 2022. Finally, the guys make their official Super Bowl LVI predictions. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/2/13/22931840/eagles-news-philadelphia-inspiration-matthew-stafford-trade-rumors-super-bowl-56-bengals-rams-qb
  15. Eagles All-22 Film Review: Landon Dickerson had a really, really good rookie season Encouraging signs from Philly’s 2021 second-round pick. By Jonny Page Feb 10, 2022, 8:08am EST Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports Time for another Eagles rookie review. This post will follow the same format as last week’s article on DeVonta Smith. I’ll be totally honest, evaluating individual offensive lineman is not something I focus on a great deal during the season (shock!). You don’t have to be a genius to know Jason Kelce played really well. I care about the performance of the offensive line as an overall unit more than I do any individual. I do find watching offensive lineman on an individual basis a lot of fun though, so it is a great thing to do in the off-season. I was a bit worried about the Landon Dickerson pick due to his injury history, but he stayed healthy throughout the season and I think nearly all Eagles fans would say he had an excellent rookie season. Let’s get to the film. FYI: Don’t expect a detailed breakdown of offensive lineman technique here, I won’t pretend to discuss things like I am an offensive line coach, because I am not! I hope you understand… Stats/Scheme Notes Mainly from PFF as usual. Played a lot this year. 925 total snaps. 834 snaps at LG exclusively after week 2. Total PFF grade 22nd in the league (interior OL). PFF credited with 2 sacks allowed, 8 hits, 23, hurries. Strengths + This is a large, large human being. It is noticeable on film just how big this dude is, even next to a giant in Jordan Mailata. He has noticeably wide shoulders. + Very aware of his surroundings. Rarely saw him beat by stunts. + A bully in the run game, wants to physically dominate opponents. Can drive his opponents into the ground and completely take them out the play. Plays nasty and aggressive on every snap. + Quick hands and wants to make the first move in pass protection, doesn’t just wait for the opponent to come to him. Often wins very early in the rep. Has the ability to deal with counter moves showing good hand usage. + Has light, quick feet and hands at the point of attack in the run game. Can get to the second level defenders and is strong enough to dominate linebackers + Excellent on the move in pin/pull scheme, power and counter run plays. Good at locating second level defenders and making blocks out in space. + Extremely strong. Can handle the biggest and strongest of the defensive lineman, put a lot of good tape out there against Vita Vea (twice). Very helpful when playing next to an undersized center in Kelce. + This is just a personal opinion but he seems to be one of those offensive lineman who manages to do ‘just enough’ even on reps where he struggles with technique or loses his balance. You rarely saw him get ‘badly’ beat. + Handled the variety in the Eagles run game well. The Eagles were had a very multiple run game this year with a lot of different concepts and he was able to handle it as a rookie. + Always has a fantastic reaction when the defense jumps early! Weakness - Injury history is obviously a concern but… lets not worry about that for now. - Looks a little bit heavy footed on occasions. This is rare but sometimes looks slow to move his feet which mean he can get beat in pass protection. - Can get caught out in pass protection when he relies on strength and leans into defenders. Smaller quicker lineman can catch him off balance. - Just being honest, I watched a lot and didn’t see many clear weaknesses... Overall Dickerson played better than I thought on a second watch. I thought he had a pretty good rookie season after watching him throughout. After really focusing on him more, I thought he had a really, really good rookie season. He is an outstanding run blocker and is a pretty good pass blocker too. There aren’t many interior lineman in the league as good as him in the run game. He has an awesome combination of power, speed and nastiness. As much as I have praised him, I do think it is fair to point out that this offense suited him perfectly as he is better as a run blocker then a pass blocker. The Eagles ran the ball a lot and didn’t have a lot of games where they dropped back 45+ times. If the offense changes in the future and becomes more of a drop back offense, he may have to improve his pass protection slightly to be considered one of the best at this position. The Future… Dickerson’s future could go a number of different ways depending on what happens with Jason Kelce. I really like Isaac Seumalo too and if he is fully healthy after his injury, he would be a very good guard or center next season. My personal preference would be to keep Dickerson at left guard to avoid him having to learn another position. It would be perfect if Kelce can come back next as I think continuity is important and it will good for Dickerson to play next to the same center and left tackle. I don’t think it’s a crazy statement to say that Dickerson has all-pro potential. He really could be one of the elite interior lineman. Another reason I would keep Dickerson at left guard is that occasionally he would get caught out by quicker defensive lineman at the start of the rep, I would rather he didn’t have to worry about snapping the ball. Especially as he plays as a very aggressive offensive lineman who wants to get his hands on the defensive line as quickly as possible. I really do think he has the toughness and physical ability to be one of the top interior lineman very soon. Milton Williams is up next week! CLICK ON LINK TO ARTICLE BELOW TO VIEW VIDEOS https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/2/10/22926066/eagles-all-22-film-review-landon-dickerson-rookie-season-nfl-analysis-guard-center-offensive-line
  16. Eagles News: Terrell Edmunds among potential free agent fits Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/9/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Feb 9, 2022, 8:31am EST Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Three free agents who make sense for the Eagles, version 2.0 - PhillyVoice Terrell Edmunds (Age: 25), S, Steelers (6’1, 217). Edmunds was a 2018 first-round pick of the Steelers who is likely headed to free agency after Pittsburgh declined to exercise his fifth-year option last offseason. It should be noted that the Steelers traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was a first-round pick the same year as Edmunds, so having two safeties play on their fifth-year options in 2022 would have been quite expensive. Fitzpatrick’s fifth-year option was picked up, and Edmunds’ wasn’t. As such, Edmunds is a rare first-round pick who has been a decent player for the majority of his rookie contract who is set to become a free agent after just four seasons. Edmunds has good size at 6’1, 217, he has never missed a game due to injury, he just turned 25 years old, and he has outstanding athleticism. Should the Eagles make another high pick at wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft? - BGN The last two NFL drafts have been loaded with top tier receiving prospects. While this draft doesn’t have any prospect on the level of Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith, it has a ton of Top 40 worthy talents that they Eagles should show interest in. Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks are all surefire first rounders while Jameson Williams, Jahan Dotson, David Bell, John Metchie and Wan’Dale Robinson make sense as potential fringe Day one or early day two picks. Players like London, Bell and Burks are the X-type receivers who have the size and athleticism to win in a variety of ways. Wilson and Dotson are route running specialists who can create instant separation while Olave, Williams, Metchie and Robinson have speed for days. The class has plenty of interesting prospects beyond the top guys. Calvin Austin, Justyn Ross, Skyy Moore, and Jalen Tolbert are just a few mid rounders who could be a great addition to an Eagles depth chart in need of talent. Simms explains taking an L on Hurts, thoughts on Hurts’ future - NBCSP "Yes, there’s still meat on the bone in my opinion as far as the evaluation with Jalen Hurts,” Simms said. "You guys saw the playoff game. You saw a number of other games during the year when you probably would have had the same type of questions. Where you just go, ‘Man, if they have to pass the ball, can they really rely on him and the passing game to get it done?’ And I think that’s still a question for me.” Simms said it’s tough to win in the playoffs with the style of play the Eagles will need to utilize to get the most out of Hurts. The Eagles became a run-heavy team in the second half of the 2021. Malik Willis out of reach for Eagles? How the Senior Bowl impacted Philly’s draft outlook - ESPN Reid previously identified Willis as the best fit for Philadelphia among this group of quarterbacks. And given that he needs time to develop, the case can be made for adding Willis to learn behind Hurts and maybe even backup Gardner Minshew for a season or two. The QB play at the Senior Bowl was "underwhelming across the board,” per Reid, due in part to the bad weather in Mobile for part of the week, but Willis was the most impressive. "I thought he had the strongest arm of any of the quarterbacks down there,” Reid said. "His accuracy was a little bit scattershot throughout the week but when he was able to put it all together Wednesday, I thought he separated himself from the bunch.” Reid now has Willis going sixth overall to the Carolina Panthers in his latest mock draft, up from 14th in his original mock, followed by Kenny Pickett (11th overall), Matt Corral (18th overall) and Sam Howell (20th). "There were a lot of unanswered questions [about this quarterback class] going into it, and it kind of feels a lot of the same way exiting Mobile, too,” Reid said. Could Eagles be in the QB market in the draft? They had a close look at the Senior Bowl - The Athletic Roseman wishes he never uttered the oft-mocked "quarterback factory” line upon drafting Jalen Hurts in 2020, but the spirit of the comment was accurate: The Eagles will almost always look at quarterbacks and will explore their options if there’s one they like. So even if the Eagles are not embarking on the offseason with the stated intentions to upgrade at quarterback, they shouldn’t be categorically eliminated from the quarterback market. Most of the attention for a potential acquisition is focused on a top-flight veteran — Russell Wilson rumors will heat up if he becomes available — but the Eagles didn’t have blinders on when Willis and Pickett were practicing at the Senior Bowl. They might have been just as focused on Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson or Boston College interior lineman Zion Johnson, but the quarterbacks were the main attraction in Mobile. Report: Giants to hire Don "Wink” Martindale as defensive coordinator - Big Blue View It always seemed likely that Martindale would get the nod for the Giants. He was the first candidate they interviewed after Patrick Graham’s departure for the Las Vegas Raiders. Martindale was also interviewed by the Giants’ for their head coaching vacancy prior to the hiring of Joe Judge in 2020. The Giants were reportedly "infatuated” with the Ravens way of doing business during their search for a general manager following the departure of Dave Gettleman. Martindale had been with the Ravens since 2012, first as a linebackers coach, then their defensive coordinator. Martindale runs a similar system to Patrick Graham, relying on coverage and an aggressive blitz scheme. The Ravens fielded a Top 5 defense from 2018 to 2020, before injuries and free agent losses forced them to take as step backward in 2021. The Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott, and the sunk cost fallacy - Blogging The Boys After the season was over, it was revealed that Elliott was playing through a partially torn PCL most of the season. That is an argument that he could be more like he was in the past after an offseason to heal. But the way that decision to keep him on the field played out certainly suggests that maintaining his role as the lead back was driven by financial rather than production factors. Countering that is how running backs have a notoriously short shelf life in the league on average. Even if he does fully recover and look more like he used to, there is the risk that the decline has started. He also has that dismal history in the passing game. Admittedly, the chances of the Cowboys moving on from Elliott before 2023 at the earliest fall between slim and none. But he remains an example of the muddled thinking on roster management and game-time usage in Dallas. Clarity there is not any more likely to come. Deshazor Everett released on bond after warrant issued for involuntary manslaughter - Hogs Haven Deshazor Everett appeared at the Loudon County Magistrate’s Office today and was served with a warrant for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Olivia Peters. His lawyer released statement after he was released on bond saying asking that people reserve judgement until all the facts are investigated and litigated. How each AFC team can supplant the Bengals at Super Bowl LVII - NFL.com The Colts must: move off Carson Wentz. Nothing about the Colts’ defense screams "top-five group,” and they need to replace defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who left to coach the Bears. The receiver group needs more explosiveness. Perhaps those shortcomings lead to general manager Chris Ballard looking elsewhere, but I’d argue that it only outlines the need to cut their losses with Wentz, one year after they acquired him. There are great pieces here, from the star players to the front office to the coaching staff. If they recognize Wentz is not the future, they should aggressively try to upgrade to avoid spending the present in purgatory. Patriots officially re-hire Joe Judge as an offensive assistant - Pats Pulpit Just a few hours after first reports emerged, the New England Patriots announced re-hiring Joe Judge as an offensive assistant. Judge had spent the last two seasons as head coach of the New York Giants. [BLG Note: Lol.] Jacksonville Jaguars to hire Mike Caldwell as defensive coordinator, per report - Big Cat Country Caldwell does not have any previous defensive coordinator experience, however he has a strong relationship with Pederson. Caldwell and Pederson both spent time as assistant coaches under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009 through 2012. Additionally, Pederson and Caldwell were teammates during their NFL playing days in Philadelphia in 1999. Garafolo first reported that Caldwell was a potential target for Pederson and the Jaguars on Feb. 4. Report: Rory Segrest is expected to reunite with Doug Pederson on Jaguars staff - PFT Rory Segrest is expected to reunite with Doug Pederson in Jacksonville. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reports Segrest, the Louisiana defensive coach/assistant head coach, will take a job with the Jaguars. [BLG Note: Segrest was rumored to join Doug in Philly back in 2016 but it never happened.] Every NFL coaching hire in 2022, graded - SB Nation I don’t love Doug Pederson in this role, but I get it. The question will always be what could have been, with Byron Leftwich seemingly having the job in the bag until the Jaguars botched it. That said, Pederson is a hell of a consolation prize that will unquestionably make the Jaguars a far better team than the debacle with Urban Meyer. No, this isn’t an exciting, revolutionary hire that will shape the Jags into the modern NFL team, but it’s also not a major whiff. That’s a win as far as I’m concerned when it comes to this organization. I expect the bare minimum from Jacksonville, and when I get anything more than that I’m pleasantly surprised. At the minimum Pederson will have time to develop players, and I think he’ll be a positive influence on Trevor Lawrence. All things considered I like this. Grade: B+. Off Day Debrief #75: Who are the most important non-QBs in Super Bowl LVI? - The SB Nation NFL Show Rob "Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton debate which QB is more important in the Super Bowl, and power rank the five most important non-quarterbacks in the game. Which QB is more important to their team (3:39). The biggest advantage Burrow has over Stafford (5:39). Does Stafford have to win the change the narrative about him? (12:39). Who are the most important non-QBs? (15:04). Aaron Donald’s potential to destroy everything (18:10). Why Cooper Kupp means so much to the Rams’ offense (21:33). OBJ will show he’s still good at football (24:56). Jalen Ramsey is the perfect weapon against the Bengals (28:00). Could this be Sean McVay’s last game as the Rams coach if they lose? (31:12). https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/2/9/22925107/eagles-news-terrell-edmunds-free-agent-fits-philadelphia-pittsburgh-steelers-safety-targets-signings
  17. Doug Pederson hired as the Jaguars’ new head coach Good luck in Jacksonville, Dougie P. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Feb 3, 2022, 10:40pm EST Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images Doug Pederson is back in the NFL. After being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles last year, the Super Bowl-winning head coach has resurfaced with the Jacksonville Jaguars. NFL insider Adam Schefter was first to report the news. There are reasons for mixed emotions when it comes to "Doug Pederson, Jaguars head coach.” On one hand, it’s great to see Doug getting another opportunity. He deserved it after his success with the Eagles. Though he contributed to the team’s 2020 struggles, he was hardly the main culprit for their failures. On the other hand, it’s fair to wonder if Pederson is getting a fair shake in Jacksonville. The Jaguars aren’t just merely bad; they’re downright disastrous. Good friend Noah Becker recently did a nice job of putting their dysfunction into perspective: I’m worried Pederson might be destined to fail due to factors outside of his control. The presence of both Khan and retained general manager Trent Baalke is troubling. Pederson himself reportedly has reservations about taking this job at first. It seems like he may have ultimately decided to take it because it was the only head coaching offer available to him this offseason. Here’s hoping that Doug finds a way to succeed in Jacksonville. It’s possible that he can get Trevor Lawrence playing at a high level. It also doesn’t hurt that the Jags will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to work with as well. It’ll be interesting to see how Pederson fills out his staff. Will he be looking to get the band back together? Press Taylor as his offensive coordinator? Cory Undlin as his defensive coordinator? Those were reportedly his plans for his staff if he returned to the Eagles in 2021. Will Pederson be able to poach any assistants away from Philly’s current coaching staff? Eagles fans will get an opportunity to give Pederson a warm welcome when he returns to Philly as the Jags’ head coach during the 2022 season. We’ll find out exactly when that game takes place when the NFL schedule is revealed in April or May. Another interesting angle to consider about Pederson’s hire is that he’s joining the same division as Carson Wentz. That is, assuming the Indianapolis Colts retain their starting quarterback after he struggled in 2021. At the very least, Pederson will be going up against his old offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, twice per season. Except for when he’s playing the Eagles, Philly fans should be rooting for Pederson to succeed with the Jags. There’s no Super Bowl parade up Broad Street and Vince Lombardi Trophy at the NovaCare Complex if it wasn’t for Doug. Legend. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/2/3/22917258/doug-pederson-hired-jaguars-new-head-coach-jacksonville-nfl-news-philadelphia-eagles-super-bowl-khan
  18. Eagles News: Washington "preparing to take a big swing at a quarterback” Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/1/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Feb 1, 2022, 6:12am EST Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... MAQB: The Washington Football Team Has Plenty to Pitch to a Veteran Quarterback - SI We’ve got another team for you that’ll be all the way into the 2022 quarterback derby. The Washington Football Team is preparing to take a big swing at a quarterback this offseason, per team sources. The team has just one quarterback, veteran Taylor Heinicke, under contract for next year, more than $40 million of cap space to work with and the 11th pick in the draft to potentially dangle in a trade. Last year, Washington threw its hat into the ring on Matthew Stafford, initially offering the 21st pick and a third-rounder for him, then upping its offer (talks stalled when the Lions asked for players in return) before the Rams got more aggressive. From there, Washington turned to Plan B: signing Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal. Fitzpatrick suffered a season-ending hip injury in Week 1, and Heinicke took over from there. As to the effort to find its next franchise quarterback, with big names like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson potentially out there, Washington feels like it has plenty to pitch such a veteran. While Brandon Scherff’s free agency looms (it’ll be open-minded approaching a new contract), WFT had the NFL’s sixth-ranked offensive line per PFF last year, and its depth was proven through significant absences that led to the coaches going to their fourth center, fourth tackle, and fourth and fifth guards. [BLG Note: Washington is SO going to end up with Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been to two NFC Championship Games in the last three years. Whereas Washington haven’t been to an NFCCG since 1991.] What the Eagles should do at quarterback - BGN Russell Wilson to the Eagles is a possibility that’s been rumored dating back to last year. One NFL executive said "would put Philly in the driver’s seat” for Wilson. Then, in November, Chris Mortensen said "there’s no question in my mind that Russell Wilson would top their list.” There’s already been a lot of debate whether the Eagles should trade for Wilson and those discussions will only rage on until there’s clarity about his future. We’ll save our lengthy arguments for/against acquiring Wilson for a separate article(s) but the short take here is ... they should absolutely be pursuing a perennial MVP candidate and future Hall of Famer who could be the best QB in the conference with Tom Brady (and maybe Rodgers) leaving the NFC. Watson is a player that many understandably don’t enjoy seeing the Eagles connected to. The Houston Texans quarterback still faces an unresolved legal situation regarding 22 lawsuits involving allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct. Whether you want him on the team or not, though, I fully expect the Eagles to revisit acquiring Watson; they showed a ton of interest in him last offseason. Especially now that Miami might no longer be the obvious destination for him with Brian Flores gone. The Eagles might very well strike out on trying to trade for a top quarterback. But one would be naive to believe they’re not going to seriously gauge the market. Playoff Lessons - Iggles Blitz Some people see Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers losing as proof you don’t need an elite QB. That’s not my read at all. The two Super Bowl QBs were both drafted number one overall. Matt Stafford was outstanding at Georgia and then played well for a bad franchise in Detroit. Joe Burrow won the Heisman and National Championship in 2019 and has played well since coming to the NFL. The question you have to ask…can Jalen Hurts do the things you seeing Stafford and Burrow do? Hurts will get better, but will he get to their level. I know Jimmy Garropolo got to the Super Bowl a couple of years ago and was in the NFC title game on Sunday, but he’s an anomaly, carried there by a stout defense, top shelf run game and some special skill players (Deebo, Kittle). As we talk about the QB situation, I can’t stress this enough. The Eagles might stick with Jalen Hurts for 2022, but that doesn’t mean he’s the guy long term. He might be the best option for now. You can’t make a great QB be available. That’s not how it works. Don’t make a change for the sake of making a change. 2022 offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams - PFF PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: CB, LB, S, EDGE. Several starters on the Eagles defense are slated to hit free agency, including safeties Anthony Harris and Rodney McLeod, edge defender Derek Barnett, off-ball linebacker Alex Singleton and cornerback Steven Nelson. All of these players posted PFF grades below 65.0 in 2021, so an upgrade is in order at every position. The bright side is that Philadelphia owns three top-20 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to replenish whatever position it needs. Why the Eagles shouldn’t try to find a WR in the draft - NBCSP 2. I don’t trust Howie to draft another receiver in the first couple rounds. I don’t even like using the word bust, but J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor are failed draft picks on a historic level. JJAW is only the 4th WR in NFL history – and first since the late 1980s – drafted in the 1st or 2nd round to play in at least 40 games in his first three seasons and have fewer than 300 yards. Reagor is only the 4th WR in NFL history drafted in the 1st round to start at least 24 games in his first two seasons and have fewer than 700 yards. These aren’t just disappointing picks. They are all-time catastrophes. Smith looks great, but he was a top-10 pick, and the farther down in the round you go, the less I trust this front office to nail a WR pick. Roseman’s record drafting on defense is better. Guys like Derek Barnett and Rasul Douglas had disappointing Eagles careers, but at least they were functional starters. Reagor and JJAW aren’t even that. Ex-Eagle Jon Dorenbos recounts saving the life of restaurant owner who caught on fire - PhillyVoice It’s why Jon admires players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, because, he says, they’re able to process intense pressure situations in nano-seconds. It’s one thing to do it on the football field. It’s another thing entirely to throw yourself in harm’s way without hesitation. "Pressure hits and you execute, and then you freak out later,” Jon said. "I’m happy with what I did. But Ana’s recovery is my priority. I’m making calls and trying to reach out to see what we can do to help her out. It’s going to be a long recovery and I want to help this family out. "We’re very happy Ana is alive. It’s why I wanted to bring attention to this story. It’s why it came out later than it did, because Ana and her family need help.” Groundbreaking donation aids launch of girls flag football league - PE.com Football is the most popular sport in the nation as millions of people have grown up following a team and falling in love with the game. For young girls watching their favorite athletes, they crave to play the game of football. And finally, they can with girls flag football. To help grow the sport, the Eagles have been working with high schools around Philadelphia to bring girls flag football onto their campuses. After standing in the stadiums, girls can get on the field, and more young women are joining in on the fun. "Football to me is the best sport out there,” said Christine Donnelly, school counselor at the Academy at Palumbo and head varsity girls basketball coach. "The idea of offering it (girls flag football), and so many girls have had an interest in playing sports over the years, but they have that fear of tackle football. They like football but the boys are just bigger and stronger.” A new opportunity will allow girls to get involved in flag football at the high school level. The Eagles have been working closely with the Philadelphia Public League and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools to launch the first Girls Flag Football League for high schools in Pennsylvania. The girls will be in action this spring. Update: Joe Theismann says he doesn’t know new name; if it’s Commanders people will get excited about it if they win - Hogs Haven Joe Theismann was interviewed by Damon Amendolara for CBS Sports and seems to have spoiled the Washington Football Team’s plans for the new name reveal on the Today Show, which is scheduled for Wednesday(2/2/22!). Below is the transcript and the audio. Judge for yourselves. Go Commanders?!?! JT: I think the Commanders is a name that is going to be one that hopefully people like going forward. Colts the latest team to request interview with Cowboys Joe Whitt Jr. for defensive coordinator position - Blogging The Boys Earlier today we noted that the future of Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is still up in the air as the Miami Dolphins decide on their head coach. But Moore isn’t the only Cowboys coach who still may not be settled at the Star for 2022. Cowboys passing game coordinator/secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. has drawn interest from multiple teams, and another has jumped into the mix. The Indianapolis Colts lost defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus (an ex-Cowboys linebacker coach) to the Chicago Bears as they made him their new head coach. As such, the Colts are looking for a replacement defensive coordinator and they want Whitt to be in that mix. Grading NFL head-coach hires in 2022: Josh McDaniels to Raiders, Brian Daboll to Giants, Matt Eberflus to Bears, more - ESPN+ Graziano: B-. I’ve been trying to be consistent and take some points off when guys are hired who haven’t done the job before, because we really don’t know how he’s going to do until he does it. But I did give Daboll a little bump over the first two guys who were hired this cycle (Hackett and Eberflus) because of how important Jones is to the Giants’ future. Daboll has also worked for both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban — though the last Giants head coach did as well. The single reason the Jaguars coaching search is a disaster - Big Cat Country Regardless of what the truth is in the coaching search for the Jaguars right now, the optics of it are an abject disaster. It appears no worthwhile candidates want to work with Trent Baalke at the top, with good reason. It also appears the Jaguars are seemingly being stubborn to a fault with keeping Baalke on hand, who’s track record as a general manager in the NFL is actually awful. I don’t know where this is going to end, but the Jaguars are now over 40 days in their coaching search where they had a head start on everyone in the NFL, but it appears as if they’re starting over from scratch. The coaching search is a complete disaster because of the Jaguars insistence on keeping a bad general manager with a bad reputation around the league. Tom Brady ‘still going through the process,’ has made no decision on playing future - NFL.com Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said Monday that he has yet to make a decision on his playing future. "I’m still going through the process that I said I was going through,” Brady said on the Let’s Go! podcast. "Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do and I think when the time is right I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or the other.” Brady’s comments are his first since NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback plans to retire, according to multiple sources close to the QB. Saturday’s news was met by Brady’s agent Don Yee stating that, "Tom will be the only person to express his plans with complete accuracy,” while Tom Brady Sr. told NFL Network’s Mike Giardi that his son "has not made a final decision one way or the other.” The Rams and Bengals Are Going to the Super Bowl Because They Got the QB Question Right - The Ringer Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford both elevate, and occasionally save, their offenses. And together they’ve shown that no agent of change in the NFL is more powerful than the right quarterback. Joe Burrow can hit first ever quarterback Triple Crown with Super Bowl win - SB Nation Joe Burrow has been on a rocket ship to success since the start of his season senior at LSU. Burrow went from a pretty average quarterback as a college junior to historically good as a senior with the Tigers, powering an undefeated season that included a national championship, Heisman Trophy, and one of the best statistical passing seasons in the history of the sport. When his smell of his victory cigar with LSU cleared, Burrow became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was inheriting a team coming off a 2-14 season. Only 10 games into his rookie year, Burrow suffered a torn ACL. He came back with a vengeance this year, leading the Bengals to an unlikely AFC North championship. Burrow then won three straight nail-biters in the 2022 NFL Playoffs, capping his team’s Cinderella run with a come-from-behind upset win over Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. The worst blackjack player ever loses at Sixers game - DraftKings Nation I can’t believe what I just saw. The Philadelphia 76ers had a timeout contest during their game tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. And the Parx Casino in Bensalem, as a sponsor of the contest, had someone choose to play a hand of blackjack agasint Franklin, the Sixers team mascot. It ended... poorly. Monday Football Monday #73: Matthew Stafford was the difference, Is Joe Burrow elite? - The SB Nation NFL Show RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney break down all of the NFL’s Conference Championship Sunday action. The guys discuss whether or not Joe "Cool” Burrow is elite, explain why Matthew Stafford was the difference for the Rams and share their Super Bowl LVI picks. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/2/1/22912050/eagles-news-nfl-trade-rumors-washington-preparing-take-big-swing-quarterback-new-team-name-wilson
  19. Report: Eagles, Brandon Brooks agree to contract restructure that signals his end in Philly Philadelphia is moving on from a great player. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jan 26, 2022, 10:31am EST Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Brandon Brooks and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a contract restructure that signals the end of his time in Philly, according to a report from NFL Network. This restructure isn’t totally dissimilar to how the Eagles moved some money around to set the table for them eventually releasing Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson as designated post-June 1 cuts last year. NFL salary cap expert Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap offered some more insight on what this Brooks restructure means: (Note that a player retiring and a player being released works the same from a salary cap perspective.) The TL;DR version is that the Eagles cleared extra space this year but they’ll take on more dead money in the future. They’re not so worried about that latter part with the anticipation that the cap will eventually explode (in a good way). Opening up around $12 million with this Brooks restructure means the Eagles are projected to have about $24 million entering free agency. That projected figure is currently the 14th most in the league. Getting back to Brooks, it’s a shame that his Eagles career had to end this way. He proved to be a great free agent signing, making 67 total starts (including playoffs) from 2016 through 2020. In addition to being the Eagles’ Super Bowl starting right guard, he earned three Pro Bowl berths. Unfortunately, injuries derailed Brooks’ career. Brooks originally made a remarkable recovery from an Achilles injury in the Eagles’ January 2019 playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. It was a surprise to see him ready for Week 1 of the 2019 regular season. But then Brooks suffered a separated shoulder in the regular season finale that year. And then he suffered another Achilles injury during the 2020 offseason, preventing him from playing all year. The Eagles reportedly gave thought to trading Brooks during the 2021 offseason but he returned and made two starts before suffering a chest injury in Week 2. Lane Johnson suggested Brooks was going to be able to return in eight weeks but that never happened and Brooks instead remained on injured reserve. Brooks should be remembered as a very good Eagles starter who was underrated from a national perspective. His impact on lives off the field through his mental advocacy was also remarkable. Brooks is a sharp dude who will likely have a bright post-football career in whatever he decides to do. Moving forward, the Eagles will have to figure out who they want to start at right guard. They could move Landon Dickerson to that spot if Jason Kelce returns for another season and Isaac Seumalo plays at left guard. If Kelce doesn’t come back, though, it could be Seumalo at center, Dickerson at left guard, and Jack Driscoll or a rookie filling Brooks’ place. PROGRAMMING NOTE: Brooks will address Philly reporters via virtual press conference at 11:00 AM Eastern this morning. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/1/26/22902556/brandon-brooks-eagles-news-nfl-contract-restructure-philadelphia-salary-cap-space-retire-release
  20. Eagles News: "Even as Jalen Hurts gets better, sticking with him feels like a low-ceiling approach” By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jan 17, 2022, 6:45am EST Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... The Eagles’ Future With Jalen Hurts Has Never Been Murkier - The Ringer If Hurts gets better, it may mean he has a quicker trigger, becomes more accurate, and makes tougher throws. But his fundamental strengths and weaknesses as a player won’t change. The offense that created no structural challenge for the Buccaneers? That let them sit with their corners off the ball and loaded boxes, daring the Eagles to challenge them with in-breaking routes? It’s nicely optimized to Hurts’s style of play. Another legit wide receiver and a good secondary tight end threat who can move around the formation would help, but this is decently close to the final form of a Hurts-led offense. There just isn’t much more you can do to help this player beyond what Sirianni already did this season. That offense was perfectly respectable down the back stretch. But without elite play from several positions, it sure doesn’t seem like a playoff-caliber offense. The Eagles are a rebuilding team that overachieved this year, so talking about their ceiling might be presumptuous—but, even as Hurts gets better, sticking with him feels like a low-ceiling approach. Hurts is clearly an NFL quarterback. He deserves more starts, more opportunities to grow, and better receivers. But on the path he’s currently walking, Hurts looks like a career backup and spot starter. For a second-round pick once billed as a running back playing quarterback, that’s a great achievement. For Philadelphia, it’s a good reminder: Hurts is a step on the path from the failed Wentz experiment to another future with a yet-unnamed passer. 2021 NFL playoffs: What we learned from Buccaneers’ win over Eagles on Super Wild Card Weekend - NFL.com 2. Jalen Hurts regresses after late-season improvement. The second-year quarterback looked overmatched most of the contest until garbage time — much like he did versus Tampa in Week 6. Against a juggernaut Bucs run D, the matchup would always come down to Hurts’ arm. Credit the QB for fighting back to make the scoreboard more palatable in garbage time, but his struggles early cost Philly as they got down 31-0. Hurts struggled much as he did during the Eagles’ early-season swoon. The QB fled the pocket too soon at times, missing opportunities for big plays. He often missed high and wide. Nothing down the field from Hurts was on target as he went 2 of 11 for 63 yards and an INT on deep passes. His two interceptions killed any chance for the Eagles to keep it close. The inconsistent play Sunday belied the improvement the young signal-caller displayed down the stretch of the regular season. After the stinker, Philadelphia will spend the offseason debating whether Hurts has done enough to retain the starting gig in 2022. Cowboys losing in hilarious fashion takes some sting out of the Eagles’ elimination - BGN Well, Sunday wasn’t ALL bad for Philadelphia Eagles fans. While there’s really no sugarcoating the Birds essentially getting blown out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at least there’s some solace to be had in the Dallas Cowboys also being eliminated from the 2022 NFL playoffs. Despite entering their wild card home game as three-point favorites, the Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Whereas the Eagles were playing with "house money” to some extent, the Cowboys were viewed as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. And they couldn’t even get out of the first round. BGN Instant Reaction Show: Eagles got exposed by the Bucs, Jalen Hurts looked awful, why didn’t Birds target DeVonta Smith more?! - BGN Radio Eytan Shander and Jessica Towne Taylor unload their frustrations with the Eagles after they struggled against Tom Brady and Buccaneers, falling 31-15. Roob’s Obs: Sirianni struggles, DeVonta disappears, and more - NBCSP 1. Let’s start with Jalen Hurts. This was as much of a disaster as you could imagine for the 23-year-old quarterback. He rushed through his progressions, threw sideways too much, tossed the ball up into traffic, didn’t see guys running open, threw late and behind guys, showed terrible pocket awareness, threw two interceptions and really just looked overmatched while the game was still in the balance. That goal-line INT just before halftime was an absolute killer. Chance to go into halftime down 10. Just cannot make that throw. I’ve been pretty clear about giving Hurts 2022, and maybe that still makes the most sense. But this was such a regression it has me wondering. He came up so small in such a big game, and what’s most alarming is that the mistakes were self-inflicted. It’s not that the Eagles didn’t win, it’s just how lost Hurts looked. Every one of his limitations was on full display Sunday. Now, Hurts ran around and made some plays late in the game, and you see why he’s such an intriguing player. But honestly, when this game ended I asked myself, "Can this team win a Super Bowl with Jalen Hurts at quarterback?” And I feel less confident about it than I did before the game. I expected a lot more from him. Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Buccaneers wild card round game - PhillyVoice Entering the season, the two biggest concerns about Hurts’ overall game were his accuracy, as well as his decision-making and mental processing from the pocket. The latter improved at times over the course of the season, as was expected of a young, intelligent kid, but Hurts’ inaccuracy lingered. In the playoffs, Hurts threw wildly all over the field, missing receivers long, short, left, right, and everything in between. He also missed some receivers who were open for potential big plays. Hurts did a lot to make a case that he should be the Eagles’ starting quarterback at least in 2022, but he was so bad against the Bucs in the playoffs that his last impression is going to be difficult to shake. He finished 23 of 43 for 258 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs, which looks bad enough on paper, but the eye test showed that the passing game often didn’t even look functional. If the Eagles can upgrade the quarterback position this offseason, they should. It’s the most important position in sports, and they shouldn’t settle if there are opportunities to get better there. However, if the right opportunity doesn’t come around, Hurts at least showed enough that staying with him for another season is a perfectly reasonable option as well. Eagles face difficult questions in pivotal offseason following beatdown by Bucs - ESPN QB breakdown: Some notable Jalen Hurts stats from the first half, via ESPN Stats & Info: He was 2-of-8 with an interception on passes with more than 10 air yards, 2-of-6 with a pick when pressured, and 0-of-4 with an interception on passes outside the pocket. His interception near the end of the first half in the end zone was the beginning of the end for the Eagles this season. Eye-popping stat: This was the Eagles’ 47th playoff game in franchise history. They were held scoreless in the first half of a playoff game for just the second time in their history, per ESPN Stats & Information. The other time was in the 1996 wild-card game at the San Francisco 49ers. Troubling trend: The Eagles were held scoreless in the first quarter for the fourth time in five games, the exception being the regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys in which Philadelphia rested most of its starters. It marks the fifth straight Hurts start in which the Eagles were held without a point in the opening frame. Eagles routed by Buccaneers: Despite Jalen Hurts’ promise, Philly must explore QB options for 2022 - CBS Sports The Eagles followed a general pattern in 2021: against similar or lesser teams, they thrived as a run-first attack, with Hurts rightly deployed for his legs as much as his arm. Against actual contenders (or, alternatively, when they just tried too hard to throw the ball), they failed. Hurts’ defenders might pin blame on Sirianni for refusing to lean on the ground game more, and the coach certainly put a big burden on the young QB out of the gate, but that’s ignoring the greater reality: when push came to shove against good teams like the Bucs, Hurts and Sirianni tended to hurt — not help — each other. And in today’s NFL, you shouldn’t be able to criticize a coach for asking his quarterback to consistently pass the ball. That’s not to say Hurts can’t grow as a decision-maker, or that the duo can’t run it back in 2022 with better help and better results. But the former Alabama and Oklahoma star has long leaned more on scrambling than passing to win, and that remained the case in big spots this year, with Hurts notably struggling to read opposing looks or properly time throws early in games. Jalen Hurts was overmatched in his first playoff game — now the Eagles must decide if he’s their QB of the future - The Athletic The best-case scenario for the Eagles has always been Hurts excelling as the starting quarterback and proving he’s a player around whom the Eagles can build. That would allow Roseman to invest the draft picks elsewhere, and the Eagles would benefit from having a starting quarterback on a rookie contract. When they won the Super Bowl in 2017, it helped that they had a cost-controlled starter. But Eagles management won’t be satisfied with being a nine-win team sneaking into the postseason as the No. 7 seed. They want to host playoff games. They want the decided quarterback advantage in playoff games. And they’ll need to determine if Hurts is the guy who can fit that description. "My third year starts tomorrow,” Hurts said. It’s up to the Eagles to decide if he’ll be the unquestioned starter in Year 3. Welcome to the offseason. Jalen Hurts will be the Eagles starter in 2022, but a loss to the Bucs sure makes you wonder about his skill set - Inquirer The question is whether he has what it takes to get better. Playing quarterback in the NFL requires the ability to make a certain set of throws, and an ability to see the field well enough to identify opportunities to make them. Of all of Hurts’ good moments this season — and there have been plenty — few have come as a result of either of those qualities. He simply does not have the arm strength to consistently deliver the sorts of throws that the game’s elite quarterbacks make as a matter of routine. And he has yet to display an ability to dissect a defense at the line of scrimmage and in the pocket. He is a leader, and a playmaker, and a guy who will keep you more competitive than a lot of the quarterbacks in this league. But the biggest games have consistently been when his limitations are most glaring (they are now 0-7 against playoff teams). NFL Wild Card Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Philadelphia Eagles 15 - PFF Jalen Hurts has outperformed a lot of expectations this season, but this was a game that raises questions about how far he has to go and how good he can be as a passer when the team faces better opposition. Hurts threw for 258 yards, but he made multiple turnover-worthy plays and 68% of that yardage came after the catch through an endless sequence of screens and short passes. Wild-Card Weekend: 49ers Survive, Cowboys Crumble, Bills Dominate In Opening Of NFL Playoffs - FMIA I wonder if sometimes you’re Shaq Barrett or Lavonte David and you think, Uh, other guys are on this team other than Brady. I mean, all indications are there’s zero Brady-envy in the Tampa Bay locker room. But when that D comes to play, the Bucs could win with the ghosts of Bucs quarterback past. Through 44 minutes Sunday in Tampa, the Bucs had a 31-0 lead and the Eagles had just 172 yards. Philadelphia changed its offensive style to a run-based attack in midseason, and the Bucs snuffed that out on the first two series. They stopped Jalen Hurts for a five-yard loss on the first series of the game, and stopped Miles Sanders for another five-yard loss on the second series. The Bucs are getting healthier on defense at the right time, welcoming back Barrett and David on Sunday. Now if they can only accelerate that bad hamstring of mainstay running back Leonard Fournette. He was held out Sunday. The sooner he plays, the less pressure there will be on Brady. The First Step - Iggles Blitz Jalen Hurts finished 23-43-258 with a TD and 2 picks. A lot of that came after the game had been decided. Early on, Hurts was not seeing open guys or not seeing them quick enough. You have to see those guys in the playoffs and get them the ball on time. The QB must be able to make big plays from the pocket. That just didn’t happen enough on Sunday. The skill players didn’t always help. Dallas Goedert dropped a pass that would have put the Eagles inside the Red Zone. Receivers and runners routinely made poor reads when trying to make plays with the ball in their hands. The defense was too soft early on and didn’t make a play until it was 17-0. They settled in at that point and started to get pressure on Brady. The Eagles finished with 4 sacks. Amazingly, Ryan Kerrigan played his best game of the year. He had 1.5 sacks and 2 TFLs. Resilient Eagles unable to muster one final comeback - PE.com The Eagles never recovered, and they were unable to get into any kind of rhythm offensively all day. The idea was to control the line of scrimmage and eat the clock and run the football, but Tampa Bay’s defense loaded the box and took away that option. The Bucs also blitzed effectively off the edge and the Eagles tried to counter with the screen game, but as Sirianni said afterward, "We weren’t good enough against their run blitzes.” Hurts moved the ball for a couple of drives in the second quarter, but one possession ended on downs and another ended when Hurts rolled left and threw for Smith in the end zone, only to see safety Mike Edwards recover in coverage and intercept the ball at the pylon in the end zone, a play on which Hurts said he just got the ball out of his hands later than he wanted. Tampa Bay led 17-0 at the half and then added to the lead midway through the third quarter as the Bucs pounced on a Jalen Reagor muffed punt at Philadelphia’s 48-yard line. Five plays later, Brady threw to tight end Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone to widen the difference. Buccaneers vs. Eagles recap: Super Bowl defense begins with 31-15 win - Bucs Nation Sunday marked the second time the Bucs have ever pitched a shutout in the first half of a playoff game. The first time came in 1997, when they held the Eagles scoreless over the opening half of a Wild Card game. The Dallas Cowboys point fingers and blame officiating following their season-ending loss - Blogging The Boys Ever since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2016 we have seen Dak only say and do the right thing as far as when he is in the public space. For him to openly endorse fans throwing debris at officials because they did not like the calls that they made is poor judgment by Prescott. Losing sucks and will always put people in bad moods, but as the leader of the organization Dak has to be better than this. Sunday was really disappointing in that the Cowboys completely collapsed as a football team. Seeing them point fingers and blame officiating in the aftermath only solidified some of our worst fears in that they don’t believe they were in the wrong in any real way. That’s a big problem. Giants position review: What does the future hold for Saquon Barkley? - Big Blue View Will the new regime, though, decide that the best way to maximize Barkley’s current value to the franchise would be to find a trade partner and amass draft capital to try and add some much-needed talent? That move would also save the Giants from having to make a long-term decision on Barkley, although the franchise tag could be a 2023 option if he is still with the team. Co-owner John Mara said recently that a Barkley decision would not be his. That the new coach and general manager would make that choice. Booker carries a $3 million cap hit in 2022. The Giants can save $2 million of that by cutting him. Despite the productive year he had, you wonder if a new regime might choose to do that to create some financial flexibility. Which WFT players provided the best value in 2021? - Hogs Haven DeAndre Carter proved to be top value, providing help both on special teams and as a wide receiver ($243,000/AV). Sunday Late Night Wrap Up #19 - Wild Card Sunday doesn’t disappoint - The SB Nation NFL Show Rob "Stats” Guerrera recaps all of Sunday’s Wild Card action with the plays, stats, and storylines you need to know! The 49ers edged the Cowboys on the weirdest ending of all time, the Chiefs rolled over Pittsburgh and retired Big Ben, and the Bucs handled the Eagles. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/1/17/22887630/eagles-news-jalen-hurts-gets-better-sticking-feels-low-ceiling-approach-quarterback-buccaneers-nfl
  21. Eagles News: Philadelphia will be a "sneaky tough foe” for the Buccaneers Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/10/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jan 10, 2022, 8:39am EST Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Week 18: ‘Sometimes You Get A Sense.’ Ben Roethlisberger And The Steelers Crash NFL Playoffs – Barely! - FMIA That was the start of something big. Between Weeks 8 and 16, the Eagles ran for 194.3 yards per game, first in the NFL in that period. Jordan Howard, Boston Scott and Miles Sanders took turns gashing foes. After a real clunker loss to the Giants in Week 12, the Eagles reeled off four straight wins to clinch a playoff spot. They’ll be a sneaky tough foe on Wild Card Weekend for Tampa Bay. Philadelphia plays at the No. 2 seed Bucs on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Using 12 and 13 personnel groupings (two- and three-tight-end formations), it turns out, has saved Sirianni’s rookie year. And it all came from the brainstorming in the mini-bye after the Thursday night loss in October. "For as tough as it is to get ready to play on Thursday night,” Sirianni said, "you get some benefits from it. The players can rest, and we can work on some self-scouting that we might not have time to do during a regular week. Sometimes, as a staff, you’ve got to swallow your pride and change course. And since midseason, we’ve been one of the higher 12- and 13-personnel teams in the league. I can tell you, that really helped us. One way it helped was we didn’t have to put as much on Jalen with the running game performing so well.” First seven games: 19.8 percent multiple-tight-end formations. Next nine games: 33.5 percent. In the meantime, Hurts has done his best to convince Eagles GM Howie Roseman to use the team’s three first-round picks next year on non-quarterbacks. "One of his best qualities is he’s totally unfazed by things,” Sirianni said. "He plays a bad game against the Giants, Gardner Minshew comes and plays great to beat the Jets, this city’s got a big quarterback controversy, and Jalen just comes back and has his best three-game stretch. It doesn’t bother him. Great example: Did you see when the stands collapsed at Washington after the game and fans spill out onto the field? Did you see Jalen? Never flinched. He’s there, just helping people.” NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles will play Buccaneers in wild card round - BGN In the Eagles’ first game against the Bucs, they didn’t even really try to run much against Todd Bowles’ No. 1 ranked rush defense. Making more of an effort could make a difference this time around, especially considering the Bucs’ D has fallen off a bit (tied for 13th in opponent yards per rush attempt). Then again, the Eagles’ defense has much to prove when it comes to stopping non-terrible quarterbacks. And Brady just so happens to be the best player at his position in the history of the sport. Given how they’ve exceeded expectations, it’s hard not to feel like the Eagles’ 2021 season can already be declared as a success. Still, there’s value in evaluating Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, and Jonathan Gannon in a really big spot. Will they be able to rise to the challenge and pull off the upset? NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Wildcard round edition - PhillyVoice In the end, the Eagles got a first-round pick and a third-round pick for a player that they tried to go above and beyond to make happy. In his new home in the Midwest, where the "culture and values” fit his vibes, Wentz got to play with a coach credited for being able to get through to him in Frank Reich, and the Eagles were left with a seemingly less talented quarterback in Hurts that the Eagles themselves tried to upgrade on throughout the 2021 offseason. Hurts and the Eagles will be competing in the playoffs next Sunday, while Wentz won’t, mainly because he stunk in the Colts’ final two games of the regular season. The Eagles also have the Colts’ first-round pick in the process. Credit the Eagles for moving on. It was no doubt an extraordinarily difficult decision, given the time, resources, and emotion that had built over time with a player they thought was the face of their franchise. It’s hard to come to realization that the player you once thought was a winner... isn’t. But they obviously recognized that, acted on it, and shipped him off to go wreck some other team’s otherwise promising season. It was the best thing they did in 2021. NFL playoffs first look: What to like, dislike about 12 teams playing on Super Wild Card Weekend - NFL.com What’s to like: No team runs the football better than the Eagles. They morphed into a ground-and-pound attack out of necessity — they were 2-5 at one point — and they’ve taken off ever since. Currently, the Eagles rank first in the league in rushing. They’ve also won seven of their last 10 games, with that season-ending loss to Dallas basically being a giveaway. The Eagles aren’t pretty by any stretch. However, they know who they are and how they have to play to win games. That means plenty at this time of year. What’s not to like: Quarterback Jalen Hurts is battling an ankle injury. The Eagles didn’t need to risk him playing in that loss to Dallas, but they’ll need him as close to 100 percent as possible for the Super Wild Card Round. Hurts still has to answer a lot of questions about whether he’s this team’s long-term answer at quarterback. The reality is he’s their best short-term hope of navigating through the playoffs. If he’s still gimpy this week, Philadelphia’s fun ends in a hurry. Raiders, Steelers, and the Playoff Balance of Power - Football Outsiders Eagles Playoff Prognosis: The Eagles have all the earmarks of a happy-to-be-here, one-and-done playoff team. If that turns out to be true, fans should at least hope for an encouraging game as a passer, rusher, and decision-maker from Hurts. If he is truly developing into a franchise-caliber quarterback, then the final score of Sunday’s game won’t matter much in the long run. Welcome to the playoffs: A newcomer’s guide to the postseason-bound Philadelphia Eagles - The Athletic Sirianni is a credible coach of the year candidate. His team overperformed to a significant degree, and he was willing to refashion his offense in the middle of the season. One complaint from some Eagles fans: his relative lack of in-game aggressiveness. For an analytically forward organization, the Eagles have been relatively conservative on fourth down. Sirianni ranks 14th in fourth-down aggressiveness. Then again, the Eagles clinched their spot in the playoffs on the strength of two fourth-down conversions for touchdowns in the Week 17 win over Washington. Sirianni’s passivity on fourth down has been confounding at times considering the quality of his offense, but perhaps he’ll be more willing to roll the dice as the proverbial David in a playoff matchup. Debunking myths for 14 NFL playoff teams: Why you’re wrong about Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, more - ESPN+ The myth: Jalen Hurts won’t be able to win a playoff game with his arm. The Eagles’ first-year starting quarterback has shown great improvement since the start of the season, but their success really began once they started leaning on the running game. Through 17 weeks, Hurts ranked 20th in the league in passing yards, 19th in Total QBR, 23rd in touchdown passes and 24th in completion percentage (61.3%). He has been a big part of the aforementioned run game, with 784 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, but he hasn’t been a topflight passer yet. Why it’s wrong: From Weeks 8 through 17 — he rested in Philly’s Week 18 loss to Dallas — Hurts ranked ninth in the league in completion percentage above expectation (CPOE), which indicates he has an ability to make tough throws. And over the season’s first 17 weeks, he had the 10th-lowest off-target rate among passers in spite of posting the fourth-longest average pass distance. Hurts feels like a guy it’s not wise to underestimate, and while the Eagles’ DNA on offense is the run game and he’s a huge part of that, there’s at least some evidence to indicate he can make throws when he has to. It’s never too soon for Eagles to overhaul WR position - NBCSP Meanwhile, Jalen Reagor was doing his usual thing – five offensive touches for a pathetically ineffective 29 yards – and JJAW was doing his usual thing – dropping passes at every possible opportunity. Reagor finished the season with 299 receiving yards and a ridiculous 3.2 average on 10 rushing attempts. Not to mention a paltry 7.3 punt return average. The Eagles kept trying to invent ways to use him and he came up small every time. The last 1st-round WR who wasn’t a rookie to start at least a dozen games and not reach 300 receiving yards? It was 32-year-old Andre Rison 22 years ago. Meanwhile practice squad running back Jason Huntley steps on the field for the first time this year and on the third kick return of his life busts it for 35 yards and shows more elusiveness on one play than Reagor has shown in his career. Eagles will face the Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round - PE.com "Really the same message we’ve had the entire time, right? So, the first message is – what’s that saying, ‘We didn’t come this far to only come this far.’ So, let’s make sure we’re locked into what put us in this position in the first place,” Sirianni said. "Detail in meetings, starting with the coaches going to the players, full speed in walkthrough to the snap and then high intensity at practice and just try to get a little bit better each day to put ourselves in position to go 1-0 this week. So, that’s our formula, that’s our process, and that’s what we’ll continue to preach throughout.” A step-up in the level of competition also means the Eagles will have to bring their best to the table from the very start of the win-or-it’s-over games. Slow starts in late-season games against Washington (twice) and the New York Giants put the Eagles in first-half holes that they were able to climb out from, but in the postseason against a much better team, Philadelphia will search for instant production. "We, obviously, want to get our game going quicker than we have the last couple weeks, so that’s one area that we need to improve,” Sirianni said. "And we know that we’re going to be in positions on defense that we’re going to have to be able to stop the pass. We’ve done a good job … of stopping the run. We’re going to have to be able to stop the pass here moving forward.” NFL Wild Card Playoffs Schedule: Buccaneers to host Eagles on Sunday - Bucs Nation The Tampa Bay Buccaneers locked up the second spot of the NFC Playoff Standings Sunday after their 41-17 win over the Carolina Panthers with help from the San Francisco 49ers as they beat the Los Angeles Rams 27-24 in overtime. That means if the Bucs win during next week’s Wild Card round and advance to the divisional round of the playoffs they will then have a second playoff game at home. Next week’s opponent will be the Philadelphia Eagles, a matchup that was already slated to happen regardless of seeding. And if curious as to when that game may be, the NFL has released the schedule for the first round of the postseason. The Buccaneers will be kicking off against the Eagles next Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM ET. The game will begin the journey through the playoffs for Tom Brady and the Bucs to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Carolina Panthers select QB Sam Howell at No. 6, New Orleans Saints land Ole Miss QB Matt Corral at No. 16 - PFF 15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins😞 Edge David Ojabo, Michigan. After playing just 26 career snaps before this season, Ojabo broke out in a big way in 2021, racking up 42 pressures and earning an 86.9 pass-rushing grade. While he’s a project, he’s already progressing by leaps and bounds. After Shocking End to Season, Colts Leadership Must Evaluate Key Positions to Start Early Offseason - Stampede Blue However, the Colts’ top leadership has to treat that 2022 first round pick like a sunk cost, as it’s already gone, and definitively cut their losses if a clear upgrade over Wentz actually presents itself (i.e, the Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers or Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson actually become available). With a projected $53.4M of total team cap space (and potentially saving $13.3M more if cutting Wentz), the Colts cannot be completely ruled out of going ‘QB hunting’ again for the third straight offseason. They’d be foolish not to consider it, as Wentz’s shakiness late in the year raises serious concern of whether he’s the franchise’s long-term answer at the position—or even in 2022. At the very least, if the Colts completely close the door on pursuing a potential starting quarterback upgrade this offseason, it would be a clear mistake. Wentz simply hasn’t shown enough in that regard. Dallas Cowboys open as 3-point favorites against the San Francisco 49ers - Blogging The Boys The 49ers will pose a unique test for the Cowboys as they are a team that can run the ball with the best of NFL teams. The Cowboys defense, while overall being a top unit, has sometimes struggled containing the run. The Cowboys offense will have to deal with a tenacious 49ers defense that will make Dak Prescott and Company work. It will be an interesting matchup to watch. Glazer: Joe Judge losing support inside Giants’ locker room - Big Blue View The belief that he still had the support of the players despite the losing and awful performances that peppered the second half of the season is one of the few reasons to offer in support of keeping Judge for a third season. If Judge’s public comments and the way he has coached some of the games down the stretch, including embarrassing his team with back-to-back quarterback sneaks from a tight formation on Sunday, have lost him support in the locker room that could seal Judge’s fate. Washington Football Team Vs. New York Giants (Game Two) - Studs and Duds - Hogs Haven Taylor Heinicke - Heinicke played poorly on the afternoon, going 9/18 for 120 and no touchdowns. He was erratic yet again, missing a wide open Cam Sims in the back of the end zone early in the game. He fumbled a snap (which Washington was fortunate to recover), had an easy interception dropped on a poor throw, due to McLaurin’s great defensive play, and constantly took too long in the pocket to get rid of the football - once resulting in an unnecessary sack. Here’s the NFL Draft order entering the playoffs - SB Nation The 2022 NFL Draft order is set now that Week 18 is in the books, and the immediate winner (as we’ve known for a while) is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, who are already a playoff team, are boasting an astonishing three first rounds picks this year as a product of a two smart trades. Philadelphia not only has its own top pick, but Miami’s (which it got through a pre-draft trade in 2021), and Indianapolis’, coming from the deal for Carson Wentz. While none of the picks are in the Top 10, the 2022 class is deep and this could be a defining moment for Philadelphia to find significant upgrades. That could be major for a team that’s already good. Sunday Late Night Wrap Up #18: The playoff field is set, but how’d we get there? - The SB Nation NFL Show The playoff field is set! Rob "Stats” Guerrera takes you through the twists and turns of an incredible Week 18 in the NFL. If you missed anything on Sunday, you’ll catch up on exactly what you need to know in about 15 minutes. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/1/10/22876158/eagles-news-philadelphia-sneaky-tough-foe-buccaneers-nfl-playoff-picture-wild-card-round-jalen-hurts
  22. Carson Wentz melts down against Jaguars to help Eagles get a better draft pick Philly thanks you, Carson. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jan 9, 2022, 4:34pm EST Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK The Indianapolis Colts entered Week 18 with a very simple playoff clinching scenario: beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Win and in. All they had to do was beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team with the worst record in the NFL. The team that lost by 40 points last weekend. The team that was 15.5-point home underdogs. It didn’t happen. The Colts failed to beat the Jaguars. And they were officially eliminated from the AFC playoff picture when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens. In fairness, Jacksonville has somewhat inexplicably been a house of horrors for indy. The Colts haven’t won a road game against the Jags since 2014. But it’s not even like the Colts got edged out in a close game. They were dominated by the team that will own the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft for the second year in a row. The Colts’ ineptitude is the Philadelphia Eagles’ gain. Had Indy made the playoffs, the Colts’ 2022 first-round pick owed to Philly from the Carson Wentz trade would’ve been finished somewhere between No. 19 and No. 32, pending the team’s playoff finish. With the Colts missing the postseason, however, the pick will be no worse than No. 18 overall. Bringing it back to Wentz, he was an absolute disaster for the Colts in Jacksonville. He completed just 58.6% of his attempts for 185 yards (6.4 average), 1 TD, 1 INT, and a 74.6 passer rating. Wentz’s one score came in garbage time. And his passing numbers don’t show that he had a really bad fumble that was recovered by the Jags. (Not to mention another pick that was fortunately ruled incomplete.) Watching a meltdown like that, one can only be thankful that the Eagles were able to fleece the Colts for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick. As a reminder, the Eagles used Indy’s third last year to move up from No. 12 to No. 10 to select DeVonta Smith. The Eagles kindly thank Wentz and the Colts for their help. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/1/9/22875249/carson-wentz-melts-down-colts-jaguars-eagles-nfl-draft-pick-2022-results-philadelphia-afc-playoff
  23. Eagles-Cowboys Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy Previewing Philadelphia’s Week 18 game. By Brandon Lee Gowton The Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) are hosting the Dallas Cowboys (11-5) at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday evening. In order to preview this (not particularly meaningful) Week 18 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Blogging The Boys. Dave Halprin kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming tilt. Let’s take a look at his answers. 1 - It appears that the Eagles will be sitting their starters in this game. Mike McCarthy indicated the Cowboys are NOT going to rest their guys. Do you believe him? And is risking injury the right move for Dallas? What’s the realistic upside? Hard to say because Mike McCarthy likes to keep his secrets and there have been times throughout the season where the Cowboys have said one thing during the week and done another. Of course, that usually gets blown up by Jerry Jones talking to the media before the week is out so I tend to pay more attention to what he says, not because he makes the decisions, it’s McCarthy’s team, but because once he knows what the plan is he can’t help but tell the media. I think the Cowboys will try to win it, but I can see them being selective in who they play and for how long. A guy like Ezekiel Elliott could use a rest as he’s been playing with a banged up knee for half the season. They could also rest a guy like Tyron Smith who has been battling an ankle issue. I don’t think they will go all out because it’s a very narrow window where they can move to third or second in the seeding. But I do think that if players are fully healthy they will play, although I could see heavy substitutions and guys getting moved to the bench depending on the score and flow of the game. 2 - What is the Cowboys’ biggest strength entering the playoffs? Right now, based on recent play, it’s the front seven of the defense. That excludes Trevon Diggs who has all those turnovers, but it’s the guys up front on the defense who have been doing the job since everyone got back to health. Everyone has heard about the season Micah Parsons is having, and he deserves all the accolades being thrown his way. He is so versatile and everything he does he does well. But it is his pass-rushing ability that really sets him apart. He is so quick but can also turn speed into power. He is now playing with DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory in the pass rush, and both of them are healthy since missing time in the middle of the season. Throw in guys like tackles Neville Gallimore and rookie Osa Odighizuwa, and defensive end Dorance Armstrong, plus linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Keanu Neal, and you have a front seven that is dangerous. When they are on their game they can totally disrupt an offense. 3 - What is the Cowboys’ biggest weakness entering the playoffs? It’s the offense, and that is crazy to say considering how many stars the Cowboys have on that side of the ball and their current rankings in volume stats on that side of the ball. But ever since the Cowboys bye week, that offense has been very hit or miss and can spend large portions of games spinning their wheels. We know they can be dominating like they were earlier in the year and on occasion like games against Atlanta and Washington, but their inconsistency lately is driving everyone mad. I say the whole offense because there are multiple offenders. Dak Prescott has not looked right for much of the second half of this season. His accuracy has taken a hit, and his ability to hit the deep ball, something he used to do very well, has evaporated. He’s also not getting much help from wunderkind offensive coordinator Kelln Moore. His creative play-calling seems to have stalled somewhere along the way. We only see it in bits and spurts. And the offensive line struggles in pass protection and they are not getting much done on the ground either in recent games. Receivers drop balls, and Elliott is battling injury. We have spent much of the second half of the season trying to figure out what is going wrong there. Some of the recent games where the Cowboys are scoring a lot have come in catch-up mode or garbage time. 4 - How would you rank the Cowboys’ potential wild card opponents in terms of most threatening to least threatening? (Arizona, San Francisco, Philadelphia) The Cardinals are the top-tier threat for multiple reasons. One is they just handed the Cowboys a loss at the Cowboys stadium. And they weren’t even playing at close to full strength in terms of health and COVID. So it is frightening that we might have to run it back with them to open the playoffs. Also, Kyler Murray just dominates us and it’s very frustrating. After that, I think the Eagles and the 49ers are on similar levels, although I would probably rank Philly ahead of the 49ers right now because of the QB situation in San Fran. Having an unsettled QB position, and possibly starting a rookie with little game experience at QB in the playoffs is a very risky thing. So the Eagles would be the second-most threatening, followed by the 49ers. 5 - What’s your prediction for the rest of this Cowboys season? Do they get back to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 1995 season? If you had asked me this last week after the team obliterated Washington, I would have had a lot of confidence they could get to the NFC Championship game. They were the #2 seed, and would have had home field except for the Packers, it was all lining up. It looked like they had figured out their offensive woes. Then they looked pitiful against the Cardinals until the fourth quarter. Not exactly inspiring confidence. Still, they are absolutely talented enough of a roster to make a run, the question is can the offense regain its swagger. I’ll stand by them and say yes, they make the NFC Championship. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/1/5/22868656/eagles-cowboys-game-preview-questions-answers-enemy-nfl-philadelphia-dallas-rest-starters-mccarthy
  24. Eagles News: Jalen Hurts says we haven’t seen the very best of this team Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/1/22. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Jan 1, 2022, 10:21am EST Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Jalen Hurts: ‘You haven’t seen the very best of us’ - PE.com "You have to be ready to go and I think that is one thing we’ve done extremely well throughout the team,” safety Rodney McLeod said earlier in the week. "Prepare to be the starter, so that when it’s your time, you are ready. It sounds like everybody would do that anyway, but that’s not always the case. With this team, we’ve all taken that approach.” That comes from Sirianni, so as the final word of 2021, know that he has been the guiding force in his rookie season as the head coach. Sirianni and the Eagles are 8-7 after a string of early injuries hurt the team in the trenches, after they started 2-5, as they navigated the ongoing infection of COVID-19, and how they’ve grown together to reach a pivotal moment in the season. "You haven’t seen the very best of us,” Hurts said. "We’re still waiting for that day when we put it all together and say that we’ve played our best. Until then, we’re always striving for more. I think that’s the definition of what we’re trying to accomplish here.” Weapon X Mailbag: How would you rank the Eagles among NFC teams? - BGN The Colts are currently the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs. To win the AFC South, they’d need to win their final two games of the season over the Raiders and Jaguars AND would need the Titans to lose their last two games to Dolphins and Texans. I don’t see that happening. In that case, I just can’t imagine Carson Wentz winning three playoff games on the road to make the Super Bowl. Can Dallas make the Super Bowl? For sure. I’ll be sick, but it’s way more possible than Indianapolis making it. If they, SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, face off in the Super Bowl, you pretty easily have to root for the Colts and hope that Jonathan Taylor rushes for 250-plus yards and Wentz throws, like, just nine passes so he can’t get too much credit for the win. Is the Eagles’ season already a success? - BGN Radio Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) and Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) touch on a whole lot in this week’s jam-packed episode. The guys discuss takeaways from the Giants game, a Jalen Hurts stock report update, if the Eagles’ season is already a success, and whether to buy or sell the team’s defensive improvement. Other topics include previewing this week’s Eagles-Washington game, predicting whether Philly will officially clinch a playoff spot or not in Week 17, and looking at potential postseason opponents. Plus: BLG and Jimmy answer some listener questions and pay tribute to John Madden. Happy New Year! Cosell Coaching Tape: Week 16 - Fantasy Points What stood out versus Giants was how basic the Eagles pass game was re: concepts, Focus on 2 man route concepts and half field reads; That surprised me given Hurts has now started more than the equivalent of one full season. Washington vs Philadelphia Week 17: Five Questions with Bleeding Green Nation - Hogs Haven The quality of the Eagles play is largely being driven by their trenches on both sides of the ball. The Eagles OL is ranked 2nd in pass block win rate and 2nd in run block win rate according to ESPN analytics. Similarly, the Eagles DL is ranked 3rd in pass rush win rate and 7th in run stop win rate. It’s fair to say the Eagles have the best OL/DL combo in the NFL. As a result, the Eagles have been successful running the ball with a committee approach. Miles Sanders is their lead RB with 754 rushing yards, though QB Jalen Hurts also has 740 rushing yards on the season (2nd most on the team). Sanders is likely to be out for this game due to a broken bone in his hand. Additionally, QB Jalen Hurts hasn’t been rushing nearly as much since spraining his ankle week 12. I asked Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation five questions to better understand the state of the Eagles and what to look for in this game. Pro Bowl or not, Lane Johnson is becoming the best version of himself - Inquirer Johnson is not alone, although the battle is often waged in solitary. There is no shame in seeking or needing assistance. Resuming his medication has certainly helped, but Johnson said last month that finding a purpose and a "why” has also aided in his recovery. "I feel good playing football again, not going through symptoms or what I was feeling,” Johnson said. "You’re kind of manic and you’re going through those phases. When I’m not feeling like that, I feel like life’s a lot easier. "I can just go play football.” And he has played some of his best since, and even caught his first career touchdown pass last Sunday against the New York Giants. The "East Texas” trick play, named after Johnson, didn’t exactly compensate for the all-star snub. "I think I’m the best version of myself right now,” Johnson said a few days later when asked about his on-field play compared with past seasons. Pro Bowl or not, that’s all that matters. What Washington game will tell us about Jalen Hurts’ future - NBCSP A win over the Washington Football Team combined with a Vikings loss to the Packers virtually assures the Eagles of reaching the playoffs, and that would make Hurts – at 23 years, 148 days – the youngest quarterback ever to take the Eagles to the postseason. Donovan McNabb did it at 24 in 2000, Nick Foles at 24 in 2013, Randall Cunningham at 25 in 1988. There’s so much at stake Sunday. A win combined with a Vikings loss at Lambeau – where the Packers are 21-2 the last three years - give the Eagles a 99 percent chance at the postseason. A loss – even if the Vikings lose – drops that figure down to 45 percent. So it’s not technically win and you’re in. But it’s awfully close. These are the games quarterbacks are judged by. Not so much by what they do in September or October but how they respond in those few moments that define a season. Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Football Team Week 17 cheat sheet: News, matchups, players to watch, more - The Athletic Berman: This will be a tougher game than the Eagles have encountered in recent weeks — the point spread suggests it’s a pick ’em on a neutral field — but I like the way the Eagles’ trajectory compares with Washington’s. The Dallas loss was concerning. The Eagles are peaking at the right time, and a healthier Hurts should help the offense. Hurts’ legs must be a factor — especially with injuries in the backfield. The Eagles should control the lines of scrimmage as they did two weeks ago. It might not be pretty, but the Eagles will do enough to win. A 49ers win coupled with a Vikings loss will punch the Eagles’ ticket to the postseason. Philadelphia 23, Washington 19 NFL Week 17 fantasy football questions and answers: Reporters give advice on Rex Burkhead, Isaiah McKenzie, more - ESPN Too little, too late to trust DeVonta Smith, or was Week 16 enough to sell you on him as viable this weekend in Washington? It really depends on your options. He’s averaging six targets per game, and as we’ve seen, he’s a gifted receiver capable of putting up big numbers. But, like most rookie receivers, his stats fluctuate from week to week, and he’s operating in a run-heavy offense. Smith is usually good for a handful of catches a game. Whether he bolsters his production by finding the end zone is a flip of the coin. After further review: The Cowboys are peaking at the right time - Blogging The Boys Obviously, these are not reliable numbers. This is the NFL, and this season more than most has reminded us of just how unpredictable things are. There are no guarantees in this business, which is why playing one less game in the playoffs is such a big deal. The point, though, is that this Cowboys team has done all they can at this point in the season to prove they’re not only capable of winning the Super Bowl, but they don’t even necessarily need that top seed to get it done. Just keep that in mind in the event that the Packers don’t help out their former coach’s new team in the next two weeks. Big Blue View mailbag: Draft, GM, Joe Judge, quarterback — we hit them all - Big Blue View Ed says: Eric, in my ‘Kudos and Wet Willies’ review of Sunday’s game, part of the headline was ‘Maybe Daniel Jones is actually good.’ That was partially tongue in check, though I know some people did not take it that way. What does the regression of the offense say about Jones? Well, it says he is a more competent quarterback than Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm. That’s not saying a lot — I’m not sure the bar can be set much lower than that. It does say that the Giants were reliant on Jones’ running ability and his athleticism, and that he is a better thrower of the football than Glennon or Fromm. In the end, the situation probably tells us less about Jones than it does the broken, incompetent mess around him. Kirk Cousins going on Vikings’ COVID-19 list, out for Sunday Night Football - Daily Norseman Sufficient to say, this really, really puts a significant dent in the Vikings’ chances to keep their playoff hopes alive on Sunday night. A win basically eliminates them from the playoff race, and now they’ll be going into it without their starting quarterback. How big a deal is this? If you’re looking at the gambling lines, you’ve probably noticed by now that the line has jumped from Packers -6.5 to Packers -13.5. That’s. . .a lot. The 12 best, funniest, and weirdest sports stories of 2021 - SB Nation What a magical horrible year it’s been. While 2021 has been yet another pandemic-filled hell hole, we can at least appreciate that it gave us some of the dumbest, funniest, and weirdest sports stories of all time. It turns out that when the world is turned upside down sports get really weird. Who knew?! So let’s go back through a year that gave us so much weird joy — because it was kinda the only place to find joy all year. NFL Reacts #21: championship week, Trey Lance, and Pick 3 - The SB Nation NFL Show Welcome to another edition of NFL Reacts! Stephen Serda and Justis Mosqueda are getting you set for fantasy football championship week! The Kansas City Chiefs have a big match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals that should see plenty of points. The 49ers need to figure out who their starting quarterback will be this week, and if it’s Trey Lance he might have some championship week upside. We finish things up with ‘pick 3’ to help you set your daily lineup and place some of our favorite bets of the week. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2022/1/1/22862359/eagles-news-jalen-hurts-says-we-havent-seen-the-very-best-of-this-team-quarterback-philadelphia
  25. Eagles News: Is Fletcher Cox playing his final games with Philly? Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/25/21. By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Dec 25, 2021, 6:00am EST Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles (-10) links ... Are Fletcher Cox’s days with the Eagles nearing an end? - Inquirer Sideline tirades happen, but Cox had another the next week and couldn’t contain his annoyance afterward in the press room. Internal conversations ensued, some of them bitter, and Cox was given permission to talk with other teams, Eagles sources said. Several suitors called, with the Steelers having the best offer, two sources close to the situation said. But general manager Howie Roseman’s demands were steep, mostly because the Eagles would have had a $37 million dead money cap hit after restructuring his contract before the season. The remaining money on Cox’s reworked deal seemingly makes it difficult to move him next offseason, although Roseman has worked wonders before. Both parties may ultimately agree upon a mutually beneficial parting. Cox may not be the force he once was, but he can still make an impact, as evidenced by the Washington game. And if his relationship with the Eagles has been momentarily repaired, as he suggested Thursday when asked if Gannon has earned his trust, maybe another year together can be salvaged. But with Hargrave likely back, rookie Milton Williams in line for a larger role, and the Eagles armed with three first-round draft picks, Cox’s tenure in Philly could be nearing its end. A late surge could entice another team. He said he can still play at an elite level. What if the Eagles had run the ball all year? - BGN In their last seven games the Eagles have run the hell out of the ball, becoming the first team since the 1985 Bears to have at least 175 rushing yards in seven straight games. That it has been 36 years since anyone has put up those numbers for less than half a season shows that it is next to impossible to keep that up for a whole year. But just for fun, what if they had? How absurd would the Eagles offense look if they had played the way they have over the past seven games over the full 14 games? The short answer is that it would be ridiculous. Eye On The Enemy #78: Eagles vs. Giants Preview & Nick Sirianni Coach of the Year? - BGN Radio On Episode 78 of Eye on the Enemy, host John Stolnis breaks down this week’s rematch with Ed Valentine, Editor-in-Chief of SB Nation’s Giants site Big Blue View. Also, the Eagles’ offensive turnaround over the last seven weeks has been nothing short of remarkable. If the Birds make the playoffs, where does Nick Sirianni rank among NFL Coach of the Year candidates? Eagles vs. Giants: Five matchups to watch - PhillyVoice As you can see, they remain in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed per game and per attempt, and they give up a healthy number of rushing first downs. Interestingly though, they have not allowed many explosive plays in the run game, as their three rushes of 20+ yards allowed is tied for the best in the NFL. That’s sort of similar to the Eagles’ rushing offense, by the way. The Eagles are averaging 5.1 yards per carry on the season, and they don’t have a single rush of over 40 yards. Still, the Eagles can run on any team, and they sure as hell can run on this team. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just run the damn ball. The Eagles’ Running Game Has Made Them a Potential Playoff Spoiler - The Ringer It would be easy to believe that the Eagles’ running game is good solely because of Hurts, but this doesn’t fully capture the picture. The Eagles are tied for fifth in the league in EPA per attempt on pure handoffs—no read options added, no designed quarterback runs. Even though the Hurts’s keeper will always float in the corner of the defense’s mind, the running game is working for the Eagles outside of Hurts’s influence. And here, some of that credit now goes to Miles Sanders, the Eagles’ third-year running back who has shown improvement in two key areas: decision-making and vision. Sanders is still good for a couple of runs a game in which he careens into the back of his own blocker, or rushes a decision and puts his blocker in a bad position. You can see center Jason Kelce, on this viral play, throw up his hands in frustration that Sanders didn’t wait for him to make the final block and pave the way to the end zone. Best veteran contracts for all 32 NFL teams: Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, James Conner among the most valuable deals - ESPN+ Philadelphia Eagles: C Jason Kelce. Age: 34. Remaining contract (cap hit, percentage of cap): 2021: $5,574,000 (2.6%), 2022 [Void]: $5,999,000 (2.7%). If the Philadelphia Eagles do one thing really well, it’s run the football. They’re third in Football Outsiders’ run offense DVOA, and sixth in adjusted line yards. In addition, the Eagles are third in adjusted line yards running in the middle or between the two guards. Kelce has been the linchpin in that rushing offense, as the veteran’s consistent ability to get out and move has sparked a diverse run game in Philadelphia. The best part about Kelce? His contract is extremely workable. He signed a reworked contract this offseason, but his future money can also be voided if the Eagles go in a different direction. If they stick with Kelce, his cap hit will go down every year until he’s a free agent. The veteran has given his all to the city of Philadelphia, and his contract remains team friendly as he gets older. Sirianni optimistic he’ll be back for Sunday; Eagles ready if he’s not - NBCSP Throughout the week, Sirianni has coached the Eagles virtually from his hotel room. The Eagles have a plan in place if Sirianni can’t coach the team on Sunday, but he’s still hoping he’ll be cleared in time. "I feel great,” he said. "Just waiting for my test to come back and get good news, hopefully.” The Eagles have had a few cases of COVID go through their team this week, but Sirianni said the rest of the coaching staff is healthy and ready to coach on Sunday. The only question is whether or not Sirianni will be with them. And he doesn’t have any sort of timetable in mind. "Whenever they tell me I can, I’m ready to go,” he said. "If they tell me a minute before the game, I’ll be there. If it’s two days before the game, I’ll be there. When they tell me I can go, I’m ready to go. Prepared the same way obviously as if I was in the building all week. The sooner the better.” Eagles-Giants Week 16 cheat sheet: News, matchups, players to watch, more - The Athletic Berman: This game isn’t as much of a gimme as it might seem, considering the Eagles are playing on a short week, have injury questions and might not have their head coach on the sideline. Plus, the Giants already beat them. Still, oddsmakers made the Eagles double-digit favorites for a reason. They’re the better team, the hotter team and they’re playing at home. The Eagles will win this game along the lines of scrimmage. They’ll continue to run the ball effectively, Hurts will take better care of the ball and the defense will have a banner performance. The Giants have scored two or more touchdowns just once in the past five games. It won’t be much better this week. The Eagles will have their first winning record since Week 1. Eagles 20, Giants 10 2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers for Week 16 - Fake Teams WR37) DeVonta Smith. It’s hard to trust WRs on PHI while Jalen Hurts is at QB but Smith remains the only one to start in fantasy. Gets a NYG defense that gives up the 11th most PPG to WRs. Bears to start Nick Foles at QB vs. Seahawks - Windy City Gridiron Foles appeared in 9 games for the Bears last season, starting in 7 as he split the starting quarterback role with Mitchell Trubisky. The team went 2-5 with him in the starting lineup, excluding his comeback win against the Falcons for which he started as a backup. He finished with 1,852 yards, 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions with a 64.7 completion percentage. With the signing of Dalton and the draft selection of Fields, Foles has been inactive for much of the 2021 regular season and has yet to play a snap this year. He will be tasked with taking on a Seahawks defense which has allowed the most passing yards in the NFL through 15 weeks. https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2021/12/25/22853439/eagles-news-fletcher-cox-playing-final-games-philadelphia-defensive-tackle-contract-nfl-trade-rumors
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