Eagles news and links for 9/19
Many of the Browns scouts fired before the draft favored Carson Wentz - CBS Sports
The Browns' decision to pass on Carson Wentz in the draft combined with the rookie's sterling performance against them in Week 1, a potential season-ending injury to Browns starter Robert Griffin III and comments from Browns official Paul DePodesta intimating the Browns didn't believe Wentz would be a "top-20 quarterback" have created a tempest in Cleveland. As it turns out, not everyone involved in scouting quarterbacks in Cleveland before the 2016 draft was in agreement.
According to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, several of the more seasoned scouts and evaluators the Browns parted with prior to the draft -- an unusual time to release such employees -- actually preferred Wentz to quarterback Jared Goff and believed him to be the greater pro prospect. It was clear to many in the organization dating back to December, when the Browns held intense draft meetings, that the newly-empowered analytics department, soon to be spearheaded by DePodesta, strongly preferred Goff. And new coach Hue Jackson and his offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton, were not high on Wentz but prized Goff, sources said, and made that clear to the rest of the organization.
Hoffman: On distractions and divisions for the Eagles - Daily News
It was during the NFL players’ strike of 1987 — the year when the owners assembled teams full of strikebreakers to play three games that, to this day, count in the standings and in all of the league’s official statistical manuals. It was a long time ago and the Eagles’ coach, Buddy Ryan, had a dilemma.
Coaches are management by definition, but Ryan was determined to stick by his players in every conceivable way. There were a lot of reasons he got fired three years later, but the seeds were planted during that strike, and in that pro-player stance. Ryan’s message to his players and to the team’s two player reps, John Spagnola and Reggie White, was simple enough — that he was with them, but that he wanted them to be together. If they stayed out on strike, he wanted all of them to stay out on strike. If they crossed the picket line, he wanted them to cross as one.
As it turned out, Spagnola and White did their work well and the Eagles all stayed out — one of only a couple of teams not to have any veterans cross the line. It forged them as a group and created an indelible bond with their coach.
What this has to do with Doug Pederson and Malcolm Jenkins and the news that at least some Eagles players plan some type of demonstration during the national anthem on Monday night is a question. Pederson said he would join the players in their demonstration — the latest to follow the lead of the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick — if they all did it. But Jenkins said he does not believe everyone will participate.
Bowen: Eagles' Wentz ready for silent night - Daily News
Working on the silent count is a process, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said.
"It's always something that early in the week, you can have your issues, but as each day goes by you get better and better with it, especially the tackles and tight ends that need to really focus in on the football and their man across from them," Pederson said Saturday, in his last media session before the game. "It's worked out really great this week. We've worked it not only from the shotgun but under center as well, just in case . . . We can still work the different tempos of the cadence as well, even in silent."
Eagles center Jason Kelce said the silent count is "a timing thing."
Kelce said he doesn't expect a lot of confusion, and he said he thinks he and Wentz will be able to communicate effectively on protection calls. One of the biggest surprises of the opener was how well the rookie QB adjusted protections, when the Browns switched up looks at the line of scrimmage.
"He came in right from the get-go understanding blocking schemes and he (prioritized) knowing where his 'hot' (read) was, know who was picked up, know how to fix it," Kelce said.
Having a "knack and a feel for the silent count" is crucial to winning on the road, offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "I think that takes some time to develop, so we've been working on it all offseason. We get to put it to the test Monday night."
Dorial Green-Beckham sees model to follow in Bears' Alshon Jeffery - PennLive
Green-Beckham explained this week he likes to take time to watch other tall, physical receivers across the league to see if he can lift aspects of their performance and implement them in his own game. The second-year receiver aims to mimic only the most explosive pass-catching targets. So he glues his eyes to video of former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald.
And one of the younger players Green-Beckham said he emulates will be on the opposite sideline when the Birds play in Chicago on Monday night: Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
"Alshon, he's a guy that with his size and speed, I can sort of play like him," Green-Beckham said. "I feel like I can bring to our offense what he does in Chicago."
At 6 feet, 3 inches and 218 pounds, Jeffery is slightly smaller than Green-Beckham. Both players did, however, run 40-yard dashes in under 4.5 seconds at the NFL Combine, and they each spent time starring in the SEC.
Green-Beckham envisions replicating Jeffery's professional success, too.