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The brilliance of Jeff Stoutland in Roob's Eagles Observations


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The brilliance of Jeff Stoutland in Roob's Eagles Observations


The wit and wisdom of Jeff Stoutland, a curious Miles Sanders-LeSean McCoy comparison and the mystery of Nick Foles’ career.

Three months from opening day, here’s this weekend’s Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Observations!

1. Did you have a chance to watch Jeff Stoutland’s presser the other day? If not, you should. It’s required viewing. Stout’s an all-timer. Legitimately one of the greatest assistant coaches in Eagles history. It’s not even about what he says but how he says it. He’s just one of those guys you could sit and listen to all day. No matter what he’s talking about. The guy is 59 and has been coaching football for 38 years and you won’t find anybody who’s more passionate about the game. Listen to him talk about how he’s a better coach today than he’s ever been. Listen to him talk about how tough he is on his players. Listen to him get fired up talking about a Jordan Mailata / Sua Opeta combination block that sprung Boston Scott for an eight-yard gain against the Giants in the middle of a miserable 4-11-1 season. We’ve been so fortunate to have phenomenal offensive line coaches around here over the last 25 years. Juan Castillo, Howard Mudd and Stoutland have held down the job since 1998, and Stoutland may be the best of the bunch. I hope he coaches forever. The dude IS football.  

2. Reggie Brown had more receiving yards in his first three seasons than Harold Carmichael, Tommy McDonald or Zach Ertz.

3. The difference wasn’t enormous, but Jalen Reagor was clearly more productive with Jalen Hurts at quarterback than Carson Wentz. Reagor played 6 ½ games with Wentz and the equivalent of 4 games with Hurts, but three of his four-longest receptions (23, 34, 39) were from Hurts. He averaged 34 yards per game with Wentz and 44 yards per game with Hurts. And he had only three fewer first-down receptions from Hurts (11 to 8  ) despite playing 2 ½ fewer games. Some of that may just be Reagor feeling more comfortable and getting healthy later in his rookie year. But I don’t think there’s any question Reagor and Hurts had some chemistry that was missing earlier in the season. Which is a good sign going into 2021. 

4. Was impressed to hear tight ends coach Jason Michael reveal on Thursday that he’s had multiple conversations with estranged tight end Zach Ertz. That means the Eagles haven’t given up on convincing Ertz to spend the 2021 season here. Otherwise, there would be no reason for those conversations to take place. Michael was honest. Said he hopes Ertz plays for the Eagles this year, and it says a lot about a new coach that he’s reached out to Ertz – more than once – to speak with him and try to find some common ground. I still think it’s a longshot for the Eagles to reach some sort of peace with Ertz, who’s been at odds with the front office since contract talks broke down last summer. But I like to hear that Michael is trying, and it’s at least a little encouraging that Ertz is listening. 

5. Joe Flacco has more touchdowns, passing yards, pass attempts and wins than any quarterback in NFL history who’s never made a Pro Bowl. He’s got 6,066 attempts, 224 TD passes, 40,931 yards and 98 wins. Ryan Fitzpatrick is second in attempts (5,054), TD passes (223) and passing yards (34,977). Craig Morton is second with 81 wins. 

6. Has Nick Foles had the most bizarre career in NFL history? If not, he’s awfully close. He’s won 13 regular-season games over the last six years but four playoff games, including a Super Bowl. Foles has had three games over the last seven seasons with 350 yards and three TDs. Two of them were the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. As an Eagle, he was 25-13 as a starter with 69 TDs, 28 INTs and a 94.0 passer rating. With his four other teams combined he’s 7-16 as a starter with 23 TDs, 20 INTs and a 69.7 passer rating. When it mattered the most? He was unstoppable.

6. The similarities between LeSean McCoy and Miles Sanders in their first two season are striking:

LeSean McCoy’s first two seasons: 4.7 yards per carry, 1,717 rushing yards, 900 receiving yards, 84.4 scrimmage yards per game, 13 TDs.

Miles Sanders’ first two seasons: 4.9 yards per carry, 1,685 rushing yards, 706 receiving yards, 85.4 scrimmage yards per game, 12 TDs.

Shady blew up in Year 3, with 1,309 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, his first Pro Bowl and 1st-team all-pro. Very curious what kind of Year 3 Sanders has.

7. If Eric Wilson shows he can be a consistent tackler, he’s going to really help this defense.

8. Only three NFL quarterbacks in the last 40 years have averaged 13.7 yards per pass and 5.5 yards per carry in a season with four or more starts: Steve Young in 1991 (14.0, 6.3), Cam Newton in 2012 (13.8, 5.8) and Jalen Hurts last year (13.85.6). Hurts is the first rookie to do it since Bob Chappuis of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Pete Layden of the New York Yankees in 1948. I really thought Chappuis was gonna be a star, but he was out of the league by 1949. 

9. I’m surprised the Eagles haven’t brought in a kicker to challenge Jake Elliott, who was just 14-for-19 last year for 73.7 percent, which ranked 26th of 30 qualifying kickers. Elliott had two misses shorter than 30 yards and was just 2-for-4 in the 50-to-55 range, where the NFL average is 70 percent. 

10. In the last 40 years, there have been only four instances of an Eagles running back rushing for at least 169 yards in a game while averaging 7.0 yards per carry. One was Duce on opening day 2000 in Dallas in the Pickle Juice Game. Another was Shady in 2013 at the Linc in the snow against the Lions. The other two? Bryce Brown twice in the span of seven days in 2012. Brown is one of only 14 players in NFL history with at least 347 rushing yards and an 8.0 average in any two-game stretch. Among the others are Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Adrian Peterson, Barry Sanders, Frank Gore, Derrick Henry, Chris Johnson and LaDainian Tomlinson. Some of the greatest running backs in NFL history. But here’s the crazy thing. After one of the greatest two-game stretches in history, Brown played 31 more NFL games and averaged 3.3 yards per carry. How is any of this even possible?


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