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  1. How Edwards reacted to the Eagles adding three linebackers Reuben Frank EAGLES INSIDER If you’re an Eagles linebacker and you just watched your team add Haason Reddick, Kyzir White and Nakobe Dean, it would be understandable if you felt a little skittish about your own role. That’s not how T.J. Edwards is wired. Will his snaps decrease in 2022? Probably. Will the Eagles be better in 2022? Probably. And that’s all he cares about. "It’s awesome, really what it is,” Edwards said of the Eagles adding pass-rushing linebacker Reddick and off-ball linebackers White and Dean. "The more depth you have, the more pieces you have, the more you can do. We’ve brought in some really good additions, guys that have really played football at a high level, so I think it just adds more to what we can do. "So you look at that and you look at it as competition and everybody’s going to get better from that, really.” Edwards was the Eagles’ best linebacker down the stretch last year after replacing Alex Singleton in the starting lineup. He played 37 percent of the defensive snaps the first eight games, then 96 percent the next eight games as the Eagles turned their season around and reached the playoffs after a 2-5 start. With White and Dean now on board, you’d think Edwards will be closer to that 37 percent figure this year than 96 percent. But you’re not going to hear Edwards complain about most likely losing his starting job and a considerable amount of playing time. "For me, I’m a team-first guy from the start,” he said. "I’ll always be the guy that will pass on whatever I know to help anybody that I can because I think that’s how we all get better." And that’s what a leader really is. Edwards is the only linebacker left from 2019, when he made the team as an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin. He’s outlasted Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, Nate Gerry, Genard Avery, L.J. Fort, Duke Riley and Singleton, his teammates as a rookie. There’s a good reason for that. Smart, physical, versatile and a true team guy. It all adds up to make him the unofficial leader of the room. "I definitely want to be that,” he said. "I want to use my voice as much as I can. I think I’m a guy who’s seen a good amount, you know? A couple years in this scheme, and obviously just being around the building, kind of know the ins and outs and able to relay that. "Really, I just want to pass on what I’ve seen and I also want to be a sponge myself, too. I want to learn from guys like Kyzir. I still want to be a sponge and gain my knowledge, too.” However they line up, at least on paper this is the most talented and deepest group of linebackers the Eagles have had since … in a very long time. Edwards said he’s enjoyed getting to know White and Dean and getting started working with them. "They’re quick learners, obviously great guys,” Edwards said. "I think anyone that comes in the building, our front office does their homework, and they’re really good dudes,” he said. "Kyzir’s been around for a while, and Nakobe’s a sponge. I think he really wants to be a good player, he’s asking questions to everybody and I think everybody’s trying to make sure they’re pushing each other.” Edwards has played more games than any Eagles linebacker over the last five years, and his 30 career starts are second-most ever by an undrafted Eagles linebacker in his first three seasons. Mike Reichenbach started 33 in the mid-1980s. Whatever his role, Edwards will hang onto his mentality of an undrafted player who constantly has to prove himself. It’s the nature of being undrafted. "I think my first couple years, that was my thing, I was underrated and all that and I think I put a lot of attention on it, but I don’t think it’s anything that will ever go away for me,” he said. "It’s just my mindset going year to year, I was undrafted, I was like ninth on the depth chart. It’s just one of those things that I don’t think will ever leave. But I definitely feel a lot more confident this year and I’m ready to take that next step.” https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/tj-edwards-eagles-offseason-2022-eagles-linebackers
  2. Jason Kelce on Jalen Hurts: 'Somebody I want in my corner' Reuben Frank EAGLES INSIDER They were both doubted early in their career. People questioned whether they had the physical tools to get the job done. There was constant speculation about their future and who would replace them. They weren’t big enough. They weren’t good enough. "Being honest, there’s a lot of similarities between myself and Jalen Hurts,” Jason Kelce said Wednesday. "I think in some ways we’re cut from the same cloth.” Kelce, appearing on the 94 WIP Morning Show, spoke at length about Hurts Wednesday and why he believes Hurts can be the Eagles’ long-term solution at quarterback. It starts with something Kelce is very familiar with: Hurts’ resilience, strength and toughness in the face of the constant doubt and questions and rumors. Not all professional athletes can handle that. We’ve seen a couple high-profile instances of that in Philadelphia over the past year. But Kelce said one of the most impressive things about Hurts is how that outside stuff only drives him in a positive way. "I don’t think it bothers Jalen Hurts,” Kelce said. "I probably wouldn’t be a fan of a guy if it did bother him. "I think at the end of the day, this is what happens in the NFL. Everything is critiqued, you’re going to be judged, people are going to tell you you’re not good enough and are you going to have the mental fortitude to believe in yourself – and your teammates – despite all that to become the best player you can be. "I like when people are getting criticized to see their reaction in some regards. I don’t want to speak for Jalen in terms of this, I’m sure it does piss him off to some extent, but I think it makes him a better player and I know when I’ve gone through it it’s made me a better player.” We’ve analyzed Hurts’ strengths and weaknesses for a couple years now. We know he’s a great athlete, we know he’s a tremendous leader, we know he has to get more accurate. But hearing a likely Hall of Famer like Kelce break down Hurts’ game is fascinating. Kelce has snapped the football as an Eagles center to Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Michael Vick, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Vince Young, Gardner Minshew, Matt Barkley, Nate Sudfeld, Mike Kafka, Josh McCown, Trent Edwards and Josh McCown. He knows a little bit about quarterbacks. “[Jalen] has certain measurables and things that cause people to question his game, but he’s proven people wrong every step of the way so far,” Kelce said. "That’s somebody that I want in my corner, somebody who’s proven he can fight and push through adversity. He uses probably some of that as fuel to make him a better player. "There is unquestionably a lot of support within our team for Jalen Hurts for who he is and the player he can be and has been. So I’m a big Jalen Hurts fan and I have been since the moment I got to know him. He’s got a great personality, obviously the intangibles everyone knows about, but I think he has tools that make him unique. He has tools that separate him in a game where it’s hard to be unique at a level that it’s hard to be unique. "He has athleticism, he has the ability to make all the throws. I know the arm strength is a question, but I’ve seen him make every throw. If he can anticipate and deliver it with good technique and the proper mechanics, he can make throws. I will always bet on guys that continue to prove people wrong.” https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/eagles-legend-jason-kelce-opens-jalen-hurts-future
  3. A second head coaching interview for Gannon Reuben Frank EAGLES INSIDER The Vikings have requested permission from the Eagles to interview defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon for their head coaching vacancy, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Saturday morning. It’s the second request for Gannon, who is in his first year with the Eagles. The Broncos have also requested permission to meet with Gannon. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was asked Friday what kind of head coach Gannon would be. "I really believe in Jonathan Gannon, the type of coach he is and the type of person he is,” Sirianni said. "If I didn't, there would be no way he'd be in this building. "I have so much confidence in him and so much faith in him, and I believe in him in the job that he can do as a football coach. I think he'd be a great head football coach in the NFL. I just think he has all the intangibles, all the qualities that I think you need to be a good head football coach. Jonathan has those things. Anything I can do to help him get ready, I will do because he deserves an opportunity. "Obviously, I would never want to lose Coach Gannon, but I think he's more than ready to be a head football coach.” The Eagles face the Bucs Sunday in a wild-card game in Tampa, and both Sirianni and Gannon said this past week that preparing for the Bucs was Gannon’s first and only priority at the moment. "We're all thinking about this game, and when it's time to interview, when it's time to do all those things, we'll do those and think about that,” Sirianni said Friday. The Vikings fired head coach Mike Zimmer after eight seasons and general manager Rick Spielman after 10 seasons on Monday. The Vikings were 72-56-1 in Zimmer’s seven seasons. His best season was 2017, when the Vikings went 13-3 but lost 38-7 to the Eagles at the Linc in the NFC Championship Game. Soon after that game, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, the Colts hired Frank Reich as head coach and he hired Gannon as defensive backs coach and Sirianni as offensive coordinator. Sirianni replaced Doug Pederson after the 2020 season and brought Gannon with him. Gannon is the fifth reported candidate for the Vikings’ opening, one of eight head coaching vacancies league-wide. Also in the mix to replace Zimmer is 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who spent 2012 through 2015 playing for the Eagles at the end of his 10-year NFL career. Others the Vikings are planning to interview include Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Among the Vikings’ GM candidates are Eagles director of player personnel Brandon Brown and Eagles vice president of football operations Catherine Raiche. Without elite personnel, the Eagles finished 10th in the NFL in defense this year after ranking 19th last year. Their five-game improvement from four wins in 2020 to nine wins this year was the third largest in Eagles history. Gannon, 39, is a native of Cleveland and played high school football at St. Ignatius before playing at Louisville. When he suffered a career-ending injury led him to coaching. He began his NFL coaching career as an intern in 2007 with the Falcons under Zimmer — who was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator — then worked in scouting for a few years with the Rams before getting a quality control job on Mike Munchak’s Titans staff in 2012. He joined Zimmer in 2013. Other known candidates for the Broncos’ opening include former Eagle Eric Bieniemy, who’s been Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator with the Chiefs since replacing Pederson in 2016, as well as Bengals OC Brian Callahan, Packers QBs coach Luke Getsy, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo along with Moore, O’Connell and Quinn. The Broncos fired Vic Fangio on Sunday after he went 19-30 without a winning record in three seasons. https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/eagles-jonathan-gannon-becomes-candidate-vikings-head-coaching-job-report
  4. Ryan Kerrigan placed on Reserve/COVID-19 list Reuben Frank EAGLES INSIDER Veteran defensive end Ryan Kerrigan is the latest Eagle placed on the COVID-19 Reserve list. The Eagles placed Kerrigan on the COVID list on Thursday. Left guard Landon Dickerson has been on the list since Sunday and backup offensive tackle Andre Dillard since Monday. Kerrigan has been the Eagles’ third defensive end most of the season and has played 30 percent of the defensive snaps (280 of 926), although over the last six weeks rookie 6th-round pick Tarron Jackson has played more snaps than Kerrigan (92 to 89). The 33-year-old Kerrigan, a four-time Pro Bowler with Washington, is officially credited with three tackles, two quarterback hits and one tackle for loss in 14 games. Last week, Kerrigan spoke for the first time in several months about his disappointing season. The Eagles promoted 27-year-old practice squad edge rusher Cameron Malveaux as a COVID replacement for Kerrigan. Malveaux, who played college football at Houston, has played in 15 games with the Dolphins, Cards and Browns and has two sacks and 19 tackles. He’s also been with the 49ers and Chiefs. Malveaux has been on the practice squad since Sept. 29. He last played in Week 12 last year for the Browns in a win over the Jaguars. A week earlier, he played in the Browns' win over the Eagles at the Linc and forced a Miles Sanders fumble. The Eagles have avoided any major COVID outbreak so far this year. Sua Opeta missed two games earlier in the season and Dallas Goedert missed one. Dickerson and Dillard both missed the win over Washington on Tuesday. Their status for the Eagles' game against the Giants Sunday at the Linc remains up in the air. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni also remains in the protocol, and his availability for the Giants game is also unknown. https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/eagles-ryan-kerrigan-placed-reservecovid-19-list
  5. Why Hurts has to play vs. the Jets Judging from what Nick Sirianni said after the Patriots game, it sure doesn’t sound like Jalen Hurts is going to play against the Jets. Hurts played 10 snaps against the Steelers, and he was sick and didn’t play Thursday night against the Patriots. And with a three-game preseason this year, the Jets a week from Friday is the final preseason game of the summer. Maybe I’m reading Sirianni wrong, but after the Patriots game, when he was asked about Hurts playing against the Jets, he emphasized that Hurts will get good work in joint practices during the week. "Next week we have two practices against the Jets and two other practices,” he said. "I've said before, those are like games, so he is going to be able to get two more there. I'm pretty confident that we'll get a lot of good work against the Jets.” Sounds like the decision has already been made. Joint practices against the Jets and then shut him down. That would mean the sum total of Hurts’ first preseason as a starting NFL quarterback would be two drives, 10 snaps, three completions, one field goal, one stomach ache and a whole lot of standing around watching. Now, I love joint practices. I’m all for the Eagles holding two sets of sessions with other teams. That’s valuable work in a controlled setting that really helps teams get better without putting players at risk. And I also don’t have a problem with the nature of Sirianni’s practices. They’re short, and there are no live periods, but the workouts are fast-paced, dynamic and efficient, and when supplemented by a healthy dose of classroom work and film study they’re an effective method of preparation. Everything is geared toward getting 53 guys to opening day healthy. That said, football players need to play football to be ready for the season. And 10 snaps isn’t enough. This goes for the entire team, especially the offense, but Hurts in particular. He needs to play Friday night, and he needs to play significant snaps. He needs reps with DeVonta Smith, who he hasn’t played a snap with in an Eagles uniform. He needs work with Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins, who the Eagles will be leaning heavily on. He needs work behind the starting offensive line, which he’s never gotten. He needs to face a live rush, which he hasn’t other than a handful of snaps against the Steelers. He needs to make the kind of quick decisions in the pocket that practice just can’t replicate. Hurts has had a nice training camp, and I’m excited to see what he can do once the regular season begins in Atlanta on Sept. 12. But 10 snaps 31 days before the season opener is not enough to get him ready. Joe Flacco was asked about his poor play against the Patriots Thursday night coming on the heels of two very good days in joint practices. His answer speaks volumes: "You have to come out and prove it every day in this league,” he said. "Just because you do something one day doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed anything the next. Practices aren’t games.” Practices aren’t games. Flacco may have been talking about himself and the second-team offense, but his words apply to Hurts as well. Hurts just hasn’t played that much NFL football. He only played three games start to finish last year, and now he’s in a different offense with different plays and different coaches and a different play caller and different teammates, and considering all that, 10 snaps isn’t enough. I want to see the starting offense take most of the first half Friday night against the Jets. I want to see Hurts do all the things he’s been doing in practice but in a live setting. Let’s see an extended drive. Let’s see the football in the end zone. Let’s see the ball spread around. Let’s see Hurts take off and use his legs if it’s warranted. Let’s see Miles Sanders catch a pass, Smith get down the field, Jalen Reagor finish a play, the o-line work together as a complete unit. Joint practices are fine. But they’re not enough. They’re not football. And Hurts needs to play some football before Sept. 12. https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/eagles-jalen-hurts-eagles-ny-jets-nfl-preseason-nick-sirianni
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