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Eagles News: Philadelphia's secondary has the potential to be much improved

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/27/16.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Secondary on the Rise - Iggles Blitz
The secondary has been a trouble spot for the Eagles in recent years. In 3 of the past 4 seasons, opposing QBs finished with a rating of 91 or higher against the Eagles. That’s not good. Even more troubling, the Eagles have had a decent amount of INTs in that span. Take those away and the rating would be even higher. The Eagles have not covered well. That might be changing. Might is the key word, of course. I like what the Eagles have done with the secondary this offseason and wrote about that for There are no guarantees this group will pan out as expected, but the moves this year feel so much smarter than some in recent years.

Lawlor: Secondary A Spot To Watch -
Making moves doesn't guarantee success. After all, the Eagles added Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, Eric Rowe and JaCorey Shepherd to try and fix the secondary just a year ago. Maxwell didn't turn out to be as good as the team hoped. Thurmond was solid at safety. Rowe started five games and showed promise. Shepherd had a strong spring, but then tore his ACL in Training Camp. The Eagles allowed more than 280 passing yards a game. They gave up 36 passing touchdowns and opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 92.8. This year feels different. Let's start with McLeod. The Eagles gave him a big deal to come to Philly. McLeod isn't just a good player; he's 26 years old and in the prime of his career. McLeod played in a scheme similar to what the Eagles will run so he's not a blind projection. He should be a good fit. The Eagles will be asking him to do things he's already done well.

Eagles 2016 rookie projections - PhillyVoice
In a best case scenario, the Eagles would love to be competitive in 2016 with Sam Bradford having his best season as a starter (not a high bar). That will make it easier for Howie Roseman to flip Bradford for a decent draft pick during the 2017 offseason. It's very clear the Eagles want to be extremely patient with Wentz, a player they view as the long term centerpiece of the franchise, but not in any way some kind of short term fix. Even if Bradford gets hurt, count on pricey backup Chase Daniel to take over the reins as the starter. There's a very good chance Wentz won't even dress on game day, as teams typically only keep two quarterbacks active.

Malcolm Jenkins, Pro Bowl Safety and Leader of the Cult of the Bow Tie - Bleacher Report
Jenkins doesn't do things the way most athletes do them, whether it's a small-business startup or a youth football camp with a hefty dose of sports science. His tastes are eclectic, his interests diverse. Everything he does has its own spin. That's why this is the story of a safety and a sewing machine. "I was complaining to my wife that I couldn't find bow ties that fit my personality," Jenkins says. "She said, 'Then make your own.'

The NFL’s best interior D-linemen -
When any player signs the kind of contract Cox did on June 14—a six-year, $103 million extension with $63 million in injury guarantees—the first logical question is, "Is he worth it?" When we set aside the salary cap increases that are expected to raise the price tag for elite players across all positions over the next few years, we’re left judging by what Cox does as a player in unique circumstances. He totaled 9.5 sacks and 77 total pressures in 2015. Cox played on the end in Philly’s 3–4 base defense, but he also lined up pretty frequently as a zero-tech nose tackle—straight over the head of the center—and used his impressive bull-rush and pocket speed to disrupt there as well. It is rare in today’s NFL to see a guy be this type of a wrecking ball as a two-gap player, and now that new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will move the Eagles back to a 4–3 base, Cox could really disrupt as a one-gap three-tech tackle and occasional sub-package end. So again, we’re back to the big question: Is he worth all that money? It’s a subjective question, but there are few interior players better than Cox in the league today.

Fantasy Football: Third-Year Wide Receivers to Watch - FOX Sports
It's hard to get too worked up about Matthews, especially given Philadelphia's shaky quarterback situation with Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. Still, Matthews has the kind of size (6-foot-3, 212 lbs) to be a red zone weapon, and his eight touchdowns in each of his first two seasons provide a nice baseline moving forward. The issue is that Matthews just isn't terribly explosive, as his 11.7 yards per catch would attest. If the Eagles go with Wentz at any point, receivers with rookie quarterbacks are rarely appealing from a fantasy standpoint, especially ones that can't take a 5-yard slant to the house.

10 most important players on Eagles -
Was there any doubt that Wentz would top this list? Wentz turning into a franchise quarterback is going to decide the jobs of nearly everyone in the NovaCare Complex. He has the ability to either take the Eagles back to the Super Bowl, or to keep them out of the playoffs. Not only is he the most important person in the Eagles' building, he might be the most important figure in Philadelphia sports right now.

'I've been blessed immensely': Eagles WR Jordan Matthews hosting 7-on-7, youth combine in Huntsville -
Jordan Matthews is giving back to his hometown the best way he knows how: With football. The former Madison Academy standout and third-year Philadelphia Eagles receiver is hosting a 7-on-7 tournament and youth combine Saturday at his alma mater in Huntsville. The event comes after Matthews formed his charitable organization, Matthews Mission, earlier this year. The organization's theme is "FEED", an acronym for "Feed the hungry, Educate the children, Empower the family and Donate to those in need." Saturday's event will benefit New Futures Family Lodging, a non-profit agency that helps homeless families.

NFC East Roundup: How Good Are the Receivers? - Birds 24/7
Let’s take a spin around the NFC East to see what’s going on with the rest of the division.

Eli Apple's mom dropped him off for his first practice like it was the first day of school - SB Nation
New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple has several weeks of practices under his belt now, and will have to wait until the end of July before the team reports back to the team facilities for training camp. Maybe the gloss of being in the NFL will have worn off a bit by then, but his mom enjoyed every second of it in the days after he was drafted. On Thursday, Annie Apple shared videos of the day she dropped off Eli for his first practice with the Giants in May. While he was trying to play it cool, Annie went full mom.

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