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Eagles News: ESPN says Jim Schwartz is Philadelphia's best offseason addition

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/20/16.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Best offseason acquisitions for all 32 NFL teams - ESPN
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz - The Eagles made a huge amount of change this offseason, from hiring a new coach to trading up for what they believe will be a new franchise quarterback. But the offseason move that could have the biggest impact isn't as obvious. Defensive coordinator Schwartz is a former head coach tasked with running the Eagles' defense. If he can coax dominant play out of the Eagles' miscast defenders, it will make everything Doug Pederson is trying to do on offense work that much better.

Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz get equal reps on first day of practice - PhillyVoice
For now, anyway. When the Eagles get into training camp, Pederson explained that the starter, presumably Bradford, will see his reps increase. Pederson was asked if it there were any drawbacks to splitting reps equally.  "This time of the year, no," he said. "All three of these guys are smart guys, they are sharp guys. I don't have any issues with dividing it up three ways. I know once we get later into camp, we need to get our starter, Sam, we need to give him more reps, but right now I'm not concerned with that."

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Opportunity For Smallwood - Birds 24/7
Just about every time you looked up, there was Wendell Smallwood. The Eagles are a bit short-handed at running back at the moment. Darren Sproles has been absent all offseason and Oregon rookie Byron Marshall is among those impacted by the NFL graduation rule. That left the likes of Ryan Mathews, Kenjon Barner, Cedric O’Neal and Smallwood to carry the load as OTAs got underway at the NovaCare. "Duce [Staley] gave me a lot of reps. I was with the twos and the threes," said Smallwood following Tuesday’s practice. "He’s telling me I’ve got to get my motor going. He wants me to be contributing to this team so I definitely think I’m going to have to get a lot of reps and have to get better."

Brandon Graham excited, not discouraged, about DE rotation - CSN Philly
From the time Brandon Graham entered the league in 2010, he worked toward becoming a starter for the Eagles. That finally happened last season, although he’s now back to coming off the bench for the Eagles this year.  But the veteran, entering his seventh NFL season, said he doesn’t care. In fact, he quite likes the rotation new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is implementing at the defensive end position. The Eagles have three starting-caliber defensive ends, but Graham thinks there will be plenty of snaps to go around.

Time To Step Up - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles are willing to bet Agholor will take a serious step forward. The team knew it didn’t have an ideal WR situation, but rather than panicking, they decided to give Agholor and Josh Huff another chance to show what they can do. The Eagles hedged their bet a little by signing free agents Chris Givens, Rueben Randle and T.J. Graham. They didn’t add any receivers in the draft, but did sign key UDFA Cayleb Jones.

10 offensive rookies in need of reboot for 2016 season - Yahoo
Despite the hope that he'd be an immediate cog in the Eagles' offense last season, Agholor had physical and mental hurdles that hampered his adjustment to the NFL. In some ways, the difficulties were fairly garden variety for wide receivers – adjusting to the tougher nature and speed of the NFL and absorbing a new offense. Confidence was a factor, too. All in all, the NFL was a much bigger stage and adjustment than Agholor anticipated. Ultimately, he had to go back to the drawing board this offseason when it came to aspects like diet, study and workout habits. That sounds like a lot, but the Eagles feel like it was the more typical shock/adjustment issues that face NFL rookie receivers. There won't be a lot of patience in Year 2. The Eagles have a significant need for a consistent playmaker next to Jordan Matthews, and they'll be looking at Agholor to take the biggest stride in the wide receiver group.

Eagles execs admit they also bleed green -
A question from the audience concerned the switch from Kelly Green to Midnight green and if team ever planned to return to the Kelly green color. "We have looked at it, maybe not on a permanent level, because Midnight green is our color," Smolenski said. "There is a league rule that says no team can change the color of their helmet, so we would have to stay with the dark jerseys and it clashes with the Kelly green." According to NFL rules, if a team does change the color of the helmet, they are locked in for a period of time. "The NFL isn't very flexible with the color," he said.

Eagles improve in the offseason, earn B+ grade - PFF
Training camp draws closer with the Eagles looking improved on both sides of the ball after a solid draft and free agency period with notable additions at offensive line and in the secondary. Of course, that’s usually the case for most teams at this time of year. How they fare in 2016 season will depend on making it through camp without major injuries and the play of their signal caller, whomever that ends up being. Bradford looks like the likely starter at this point, and despite not quite living up to his No. 1-draft status, he’s graded above average in the last four seasons he’s played, including a 10th-ranked passing grade in 2015. But there’s always the injury concern and he’ll be competing with Wentz and a quarterback in Daniels who has more familiarity with Pederson.

The Glaring Needs that Remain for 10 NFL Teams | The MMQB with Peter King
Free agency and the draft have come on gone, but these teams still have glaring holes on their roster (Eagles WR corps makes an appearance on the list.)

How NFL Quarterbacks Are Made | The MMQB with Peter King
For Carson Wentz, there was no offseason football in his formative years. No camps. No powerhouse high school program or influence-wielding coach. He didn’t have multiple college offers, which gives the quarterback an opportunity to pick the offense best suited to his skills and ambitions. It shouldn’t have worked out for Wentz, but it did. He refused to let his circumstances dictate what was possible, and his prodigious arm led the way.

Playground Builds Resonate With Coaches -
Even under gray skies and a few drizzles of rain, nothing could dampen spirits on Wednesday as Eagles players, coaches and staff came together to transform Hamilton Disston Elementary School in Northeast Philadelphia at the organization’s 20th annual Playground Build. For those taking part in the build, it was a mix of veteran volunteers and first-timers. And, although the Eagles have a brand new coaching staff for the upcoming 2016 season, head coach Doug Pederson and wide receivers coach Greg Lewis were among those who are Eagles Playground Build experts, as both have participated in the past as players, along with director of player engagement Quintin Mikell.

The NFL's softening stance on Vegas is convenient - SB Nation
With Los Angeles now largely off the table, the NFL suddenly appears open to a team moving to the Sin City.

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