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Ravens vs Eagles, Day 2

Posted: August 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Ravens are in town for a two days of joint practices with the Eagles. Let’s talk about what happened on Day 2.

Here are your practice links.

Jimmy Bama

Brandon Lee Gowton

Jeff McLane

Mike Kaye

PE.com

***

The biggest news on Tuesday was OG Brandon Brooks taking part in 1-on-1 drills. Brooks doesn’t get the attention of Jason Peters or Lane Johnson. He doesn’t get the notoriety of Jason Kelce. He doesn’t get the scrutiny of Isaac Seumalo. Brooks quietly does his job at a high level and he’s a key piece up front. Getting him on the field for these drills is a big step in the right direction.

Oh yeah, and he looked good in the drills.

The key to the 2019 season is Carson Wentz. The key to Wentz is him staying healthy and the key to that is the guys up front playing at a high level. If Brooks can get ready for the opener, that would be great news.

***

OT Andre Dillard had another good day. I’m curious to see if the Eagles give him any reps at RT in Thursday’s game. Dillard has played at a high level this summer.

Might be time to experiment with him at RT in case he needs to play there during the season.

***

Josh McCown had some good moments in his second Eagles practice. You know how we have human years and dog years? We might need something like that when talking about McCown. His second practice is like 14 for a young QB.

McCown is making good pre-snap reads and adjustments. He’s throwing the ball well. He looks like a QB who has been practicing since the Nixon administration. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch, but think of it like this. McCown is attending his 18th Training Camp. Clayton Thorson is attending his 23rd summer on earth.

***

Carson Wentz did make some impressive throws today. His highlight throw was a lowlight for Mack Hollins, though. Hollins got open deep and Wentz put the ball right on him only to see it hit the ground. Hollins has been up and down in his return from injury. I’m sure part of this is him knocking the rust off. That said, he’s got to get better. The final two preseason games will be big for him to play better and build up some confidence.

Wentz did play better than he did on Monday.

***

Tim Jernigan had some really good moments. That is one motivated man. I can’t wait to see him in action this season. I hope we see him a little on Thursday.

***

Vinny Curry dropped on a zone blitz and picked off a pass. I’m sure Lamar Jackson got a lot of grief for that. Never good to have a DE picking you off while he’s in coverage. Tipped balls are one thing, but legit INTs? Ugh.

The Eagles have used zone blitzes in both preseason games so far. This isn’t something they do a lot of, but it is a useful weapon when mixed in. Jim Johnson certainly loved those “fire zones”.

***

Jordan Howard had some good runs. He hasn’t gotten a ton of attention this summer because we’ve all been focused on Barry Miles Sanders. Howard will be an important part of the Eagles running game this year, whether he’s the primary back or not.

Corey Clement had another strong day. Sounds like he is all the way back from his injury and is ready to go. Love the fact the Eagles have more weapons than last year.

***

Former Penn State QB Trace McSorley had a rough return to PA. He was picked off multiple times by the Eagles backup defense. It will be interesting to see McSorley in action on Thursday. He’s made some impressive throws this summer, but still is very much a project.

***

Alshon Jeffery is still kinda decent at football stuff. So good to have him healthy this summer.

***

Glad to have these injured guys working their way back. The regular season is getting closer.

_


Ravens vs Eagles, Day 1

Posted: August 19th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Ravens are in town for a two days of joint practices with the Eagles. Let’s talk about what happened on Day 1.

Here are your practice links.

Jimmy Bama

Brandon Lee Gowton

Jeff McLane

Mike Kaye

PE.com

x

Carson Wentz was up and down. Part of that is on him and part of it is due to the Ravens stingy secondary. Baltimore has a good trio of corners and a pair of veteran safeties. Going against a tough defense should help Wentz in the long run. Going against your teammates over and over only tells you so much. You need outside competition. And the fact they’re tough makes it even better.

If Carson beats Deiondre’ Hall for a big play, nobody cares. Beat Earl Thomas and it means something.

***

Corey Clement drew rave reviews from everyone. He got reps with the starters and looked good. Clement is important to the Eagles offense. He’s very good in the Red Zone. He also provides the coaches with a player who can run, catch and block. You can trust him.

The Eagles backfield could be substantially better than last year. Either Jordan Howard or Miles Sanders will be the workhorse. The other guy will provide a starter-level backup. Clement is an excellent role player. Then you have Darren Sproles on top of that. You can also consider keeping Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood or Boston Scott. For perspective, the top two rushers from last year could struggle to make the team.

***

Cody Kessler returned to practice. I sure didn’t anticipate this. He has zero chance to make the team, but could help the team get through the final two preseason games.

Clayton Thorson had one of his better practices. Everyone is surprised at how he’s come alive since last week’s game. People are finally seeing the talent that the Eagles saw when they scouted him prior to the draft. Should we actually get excited about seeing Thorson on Thursday night?

Josh McCown practiced. This was more of a chance for him to get a feel for the offense than anything else.

***

Ronald Darby played and looked good. The Eagles need his coverage skills, but also his ability to make plays.

***

DE Derek Barnett flashed. He mixed in a spin move that got everyone’s attention. I really look forward to seeing what he can do this year, especially if he’s worked on more moves and counter-moves.

***

Mack Hollins had an active day. It was good to see him play against the Jaguars and then to read about him having good moments against the Ravens tough secondary. Hollins is a talented receiver, but I feel like people have almost given up on him because of last year. The injury situation was weird, but Hollins seems to be healthy now and heading in the right direction. He’s important because he can do the dirty work. He’ll block and play on STs.

***

With Paul Worrilow out…

Worley is here to eat up reps in practice and snaps in games. And to compete.

***

TE Richard Rodgers got hurt. Ugh. He got hurt last summer as well.

***

New OL Brett Toth lined up as the third string RT.

***

https://twitter.com/Tim_McManus/status/1163564399854084097

Good summary.

*****

Make sure to read the links if you want details on what the writers saw.

_


Updates and Changes

Posted: August 18th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

So let’s talk about what’s going on with the roster and where some players stand in their return from injuries.

I hate this. Worrilow was a hometown player and never got the chance to suit up in a game for his Eagles. He tore his ACL last year and then struggled with injuries again this spring and summer. The Eagles had to make a move. They can bring in another LB to help eat up reps in the final two preseason games. Or they could add depth to another spot. Worrilow just wasn’t going to work out.

The good news is that L.J. Fort and T.J. Edwards have been solid in the games so far. The Eagles aren’t anywhere close to loaded at LB, but no one is pulling a Corey Nelson this year. I mention LJ and TJ because Worrilow was going to be depth and a STer. Those guys can fill that role. The top three LBs are still Nigel Bradham, KGH and Zach Brown. Nate Gerry is after them for now.

Not a big deal. How disappointing was Miller as an Eagle? He made Kamar Aiken look like Jerry Rice.

Doug Pederson made it sound like Toth would focus on OT for now. It makes sense to have him focus on one position at the moment. He’s got to learn the playbook, the scheme and adjust to pro football. You can mix in other positions in the future (if there is a future here for him).

Toth has the right attitude about how to attack this situation and also wanting to know multiple positions.

Yikes. Doesn’t sound too serious, but Sweat’s knees are less than ideal. You don’t want anything happening to them. Hopefully this is just the wear and tear of August. I sure hope Sweat’s favorite Eagle wasn’t Victor Abiamiri.

Interesting. Wiz has struggled with snaps in TC and in games. You wonder if the Eagles would consider cutting him to go younger up front. Herbig has snapped the ball well so far. He’s bigger, stronger, younger and cheaper. Something to watch.

Great news. The Eagles need Bradham back. He is the key to the LB corps. They can move KGH, Brown and Fort around. They need Bradham.

Good to have Darby back in practice. He is the Eagles most talented CB. You can figure out how best to use Jones, Douglas and Maddox, but having Darby back is a big boost. He’s started 45 games in his career and generally played well. You want him on the field, if he’s healthy and all the way back. The Eagles have enough depth at corner that they haven’t had to rush Darby back. Still, this is a contract year for Darby so you know he’s itching to get out there and show what he can do.

Brooks has made amazing progress since his injury. He’s hoping to play in the opener, but the Eagles won’t play him until they think he’s ready. They have Big V ready to step in if needed. Brooks will be back soon. Big V has had a solid summer, but Brooks is a Pro Bowl OG and the guy you want out there.

Can’t wait to see this dude. Eagles are loaded at DT this year. If teams continue to double up on Fletch, other guys will make them pay.

_


Eagles Add a McQB

Posted: August 17th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Eagles finally decided enough was enough. When was Nate Sudfeld going to be healthy? How bad was Cody Kessler’s concussion? Were either of them truly ready to be the primary backup for a Super Bowl contender.

This isn’t a casual relationship. The Eagles are paying McCown $2M, fully guaranteed. He could earn up to $5.4M with incentives. Josh McCown is now the backup QB. Sudfeld drops back to the #3 spot. You have to think Kessler will get released.

What about Clayton Thorson? He’s coming off a promising performance. He was probably feeling good about himself and now he’s looking at the practice squad. I can’t imagine the Eagles would consider keeping four QBs on the roster.

McCown is 40 years old and he’s played for seven teams. This nugget puts McCown into good perspective.

Wow.

The Eagles are getting a smart, veteran player. He started at least three games every year between 2013-2018. He started 13 games for the Jets in 2017 and finished with a passer rating of 94.5. If something were to happen to Carson Wentz, McCown is a guy who can step in and get the job done. He has the ability and the experience.

Frankly, I’m surprised the Eagles didn’t make a move prior to this. Kessler hasn’t done much to impress anyone in Training Camp. He certainly hasn’t impressed me with his preseason play. At a certain point, you have to admit your mistake and move on. The Eagles have finally done that.

McCown has been a starter and backup. He can step in to finish a game or take over as QB for a month. He’s faced just about everything in his 237-year NFL career.

There is added value with McCown. He can help young QBs like Wentz and Sudfeld. McCown has seen just about every defense possible. He has played in just about every scheme possible. McCown has been coached by Mike Martz in multiple stops. He’s worked with veteran offensive coordinators like Rich Olson and Aaron Kromer. He played for former college coaches Jeff Tedford and Lane Kiffin when they were in the NFL. He also played for some guy named John DeFilippo a couple of years ago.

There is real value in having a veteran in the QB room. The coaches have plenty of knowledge and experience, but a veteran player brings something they can’t. He can be a bridge between the young players and the coaches. He speaks both languages. Chase Daniel was good for Wentz in 2016. Nick Foles was good the past two years. McCown takes that role for 2019.

I can’t promise you that McCown will play like Foles if he gets on the field, but you at least feel like he gives you a chance to win. This will easily be the best team McCown has ever played on. Previously that would be the 2008 Panthers who went 12-4. If McCown does have to play, he can do his job and there should be enough talent to win games. McCown won’t have to be something he’s not.

I’ve always thought of McCown as a pocket passer with good size (6-4, 220), but it appears he’s more athletic than I remember.

That’s more than a decade ago, but still…wow. How did I not know about that?

*****

I want to update one bit from my previous post. I talked about Jordan Mailata starting at OT in 2020.

Mailata had some great moments and a few bad ones. He’s got to be starting at OT in 2020, right? At some point, you have to put this guy on the field and let him show what he can do.

You notice the question mark there. This wasn’t me trying to push the greatness of Mailata. That’s Brian Baldinger’s job. I didn’t say he should be the Eagles LT. This comment was more about enthusiasm for a young player who has enormous potential. With another year of practice and another offseason, I think he’ll be ready to be on the field.

That’s my perspective. I have no idea if the Eagles agree.

The Eagles could consider replacing Lane Johnson with Mailata after this year. They could trade Mailata for a pick or a player. We know other teams are desperate for OT help. The Eagles could also be greedy and just keep him as a backup for another season.

From my perspective, I just want to see him on the field. I want to find out what he can do. Mailata could turn out to be a major disappointment or he could be really good. There is risk, but that’s true with all young players.

Mailata isn’t ready right now, but he’s headed in the right direction.

_


Another OL to the Mix

Posted: August 17th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

The rich get richer.

https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/1162471540736311296

Okay, it is fair to say I might have overstated things a bit with that opening line. Toth hasn’t played football in more than a year. He will be rusty. He played in an option offense in college so the pro game will be a major adjustment.

But the point is that the Eagles have a loaded OL already and just added another talented prospect. Did you watch the Jags OL on Thursday? They were desperate. Toth is a luxury for the Eagles.

I am curious to see where they project him. When you see Toth’s movement skills in those clips, he might remind you of Jason Kelce. I wonder if the Eagles might like Toth in there. They could also think of him as an OG. He is at his best getting to the next level and/or blocking on the move.

The Eagles added a talented piece to the OL. I’m sure they’ve got a plan for how to use him. It will be interesting to see if they try to get him on the field this preseason. Is he football ready?

*****

Daeshon Hall is having one heck of a summer.

He has played two games and gone up against multiple OTs. Hall has beaten them all.

Hall was good enough to be a third round pick out of Texas A&M. He had great length and good athleticism. For whatever reason, things didn’t click for Hall when he was with the Panthers. Thankfully they cut him and he came to Philly.

The Eagles had him bulk up and he’s spent a lot of time working on his technique. Hall is on his way to making the Eagles roster and becoming part of the DL rotation. I know the coaches say good things about Josh Sweat, but I can’t imagine they have him graded higher than Hall right now.

*****

I’m still re-watching the Jags game. Mailata had some great moments and a few bad ones. He’s got to be starting at OT in 2020, right? At some point, you have to put this guy on the field and let him show what he can do. He is incredibly talented. There would be risk in playing him right now, but he’s so physically gifted that he would win his share of battles.

Rookie Josh Allen did get the best of Mailata here.

*****

I can’t stress enough how much I loved this play.

The Eagles went for it on fourth down. Good.

Thorson didn’t look just for a sticks throw. He was willing to take a chance down the field. While he didn’t make a great throw, he put the ball where his guy could get to it and make something happen.

And Ward did make that play. Mr. Practice showed up in a game and stood out in a big moment. This makes me feel a lot better about Ward pushing the Eagles to keep a sixth WR. You have to earn that roster spot. This is the kind of play coaches will remember.

_




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