Eagles news and links for 9/25
KAHLER: Do you have any personal stories of being racially profiled?
JENKINS: In our NFL security meetings that we do every year, the head of security for our team speaks to us about numerous topics like gun safety, domestic violence, how to keep our house secure, personal security, everything. And in the last two years, they have talked about police encounters, but this year stood out to me specifically because he started by saying, I am not here to get into a conversation about what is right and what is wrong and what your rights are as a citizen. I am here to simply coach you up on how to survive the encounter. There was a little bit of rumbling and he said, Look I get it, there are a lot of things going on, a lot of things that aren’t right, but we are here so that you survive the encounter. In that moment you knew that he was not talking to Carson Wentz. He said, look if you get pulled over, most of you probably have tinted windows, so roll all your windows down, keep your hands on the steering wheel. If the officer asks you to pull out your license and registration, don’t just reach for it, announce and say, Hey, officer, I am reaching for my license. He said, I know all of this is not right and this isn’t in line with the rights you have as a citizen, but we need you to survive this encounter and you can report the officer later after that. The fact that we even have to have this conversation tells you that there is something wrong.
Carson Wentz has created a frenzy in Philadelphia, but it will continue only if he can stay on the field. Wentz's throws and decisions won't prompt any squirming, but the same can't be said about the hits he has taken.
"I'm mad at myself," Wentz said. "I don't want to take those hits by any means. I'm still learning and I can tell myself over and over again, but it's one of those when you're in the heat of battle, I need to keep reprogramming myself."
Wentz, who is 2-0 in his first two starts with the Eagles, gives the franchise hope that it has finally found its long-term starting quarterback. For that to happen, it won't just be a matter of his performing at a high level - he must also stay healthy. Wentz missed three weeks this summer with broken ribs and eight weeks last year at North Dakota State with a broken wrist. So he's vulnerable to injury, and the risk is heightened every time Wentz bypasses sliding or the sidelines to take a big hit.
It's those plays in which he has scrambled that the Eagles and Wentz most want him to fix. If he stands in the pocket and delivers a throw, getting hit can be part of the job description. But when he's running, he can slide before contact or run out of bounds.
In this week’s installment of opposition research, we talked to Steelers beat writer Dale Lolley. We discussed how Pittsburgh will attack Carson Wentz, what key match-ups could determine the winner of the game and who will come out on top, among several other topics.
What are Pittsburgh’s strengths?
"Definitely the offensive side of the ball; they can score with anybody. Ben Roethlisberger is at the top of his game, Antonio Brown is one of the best receivers in the league, they’ve got good depth at the receiver position, the offensive line is very good and I don’t know if there’s a better No. 2 running back in the league than DeAngelo Williams. They haven’t missed a beat with DeAngelo Williams in there."
What are Pittsburgh’s weaknesses?
"The secondary is still a big question mark. They were 30th last year in pass defense; right now, they’re 31st. That being said, they’ve given up one touchdown pass in the first two games. Even though they’ve given up about 350 yards a game through the air, that’s because the two teams they’ve played have thrown the ball about 50 times apiece. But the pass defense is still a work in progress. It’s not great for sure."
Desmond King, CB, Iowa (5'10, 203)
King has outstanding ball skills, as he racked up 13 pass breakups and tied for second in the NCAA with 8 INTs in 2015. He also has versatility that the Eagles emphasize, as he looks comfortable playing both on the outside and in the slot, and contributes as Iowa's primary kick and punt returner.
Here's King against Pitt last season, when he bested 2016 second-round pick Tyler Boyd. Note that his two picks come on plays in which King made the play, as opposed to being the beneficiary of some kind of errant pass.
The one thing working against King is his 'height,' at 5'10, but that seems to be less of a concern to Jim Schwartz if the guy can play.