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Eagles News: Jim Schwartz blames defensive struggles on lack of urgency

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/21/17.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Jim Schwartz: Lack of urgency playing into Eagles' defensive struggles - ESPN
The majority of Jim Schwartz's 15-minute news conference Tuesday was a dance between coach and reporter around the issue of what's ailing the Philadelphia Eagles defense. For the most part, it went in circles. In the closing moments, however, the Eagles defensive coordinator pivoted and hit on what had the makings of a root cause: lack of urgency. "It shouldn't take giving up three straight touchdowns to get that urgency," Schwartz said of his unit's performance early against the New York Giants over the weekend. "We needed to come out with more fire. If we're disappointed in anything, let's be disappointed in that. "A little bit like halftime with the Rams, it took us two straight drives of giving up touchdowns before all of a sudden we said, 'Hey, it's time to play.'"

Ronald Darby responds to criticism following Eagles-Giants game - BGN
Ronald Darby did not have his best game as a professional in the Eagles’ win over the Giants on Sunday. It wasn’t all bad; he made a crucial interception and had good coverage during other moments. But when you allow 139 receiving yards in a single game, that’s obviously just not good. Darby’s performance drew criticism and media alike. He responded to said criticism on Tuesday via his official Twitter account.

Brandon Brooks dishes on Nick Foles, his favorite Christmas movie and gifts, and more - PhillyVoice
That wasn’t the case at all. For us, it’s been this way the whole season. It’s about what we’re doing and what we can control. We came around, just like we did every other week, we made different mistakes here and there. Going into the playoffs, we just can’t make those kinds of mistakes.

Red Zone Success Key To 12-2 Record - PE.com
There are many reasons why the Eagles are 12-2, and all of them are valid. Balance in the offense has been impressive. The giveaway/takeaway ratio is among the league’s best. Special teams has had a big hand in many of the wins, two (both Giants games) specifically. Here is a reason that is part of the equation, a big one at that: The offense’s performance in the red zone has been the best in the league, and it’s not even close …

12 biggest snubs of the Pro Bowl roster selections - PFF
Jason Kelce, C, Philadelphia Eagles. PFF grade: 94.4. (Replacing Travis Frederick). It’s tough to overstate just how good Kelce has been as a run-blocker this season. His quickness and ability to execute any block assignment thrown his way has been instrumental in that offense running as efficiently as it has. If you need any example of how well he is playing, just look at what he did this past weekend, where he was a huge reason Damon Harrison had his lowest-graded performance of the season in the middle of the Giants defensive front. Kelce has been the best run-blocking center in the game by some margin, and easily deserves a spot.

Film Room: The Good, the Slants, and the Sluggo - Locked On Eagles
Mills bails from press just as the ball is snapped, opening his gate and closing hard on a slant from his outside leverage. Once again the run action holds the linebacker, important to note for the second part of this article that will be released soon. That’s (#12) WR Tavarres King with a pretty sluggo route that gets Mills to take the cheese. Yes, the same Tavarres King that had 20 career catches and 2 touchdowns over a three year career. This was just the beginning for the Eagles poor day on defense. Mills would recover fairly quickly, largely putting his mistake behind him and showcasing his trademark elephant memory, but this can’t be said for the rest of cover men, including the safeties and linebackers.

Why Eagles needed dogfight with Giants - NBC Sports Philadelphia
They were supposed to blow the Giants out. They should have blown the Giants out. The best team in football against one of the worst? It didn't happen that way. And looking back at the way things unfolded Sunday at the Meadowlands, Doug Pederson says now there may have been some value in the way everything happened. The Eagles escaped East Rutherford, New Jersey, with a way-too-close win over a last-place team, and Pederson says now being down two touchdowns to a two-win team on the road with your backup quarterback maybe wasn't the worst thing for this football team to experience. "The beauty of it is, we were in a dogfight and we needed to be in a dogfight," Pederson said Wednesday.

All-22: Eagles' defensive issues go beyond needing ‘more fire’ - The Athletic
Of course, what had to irk Schwartz was that this should have been about a 21-yard gain, not a 67-yard touchdown. McLeod whiffed on the tackle; Nigel Bradham had a chance too but couldn't make the play. That's been a running theme over the past few weeks. The Eagles had one of the best tackling secondaries in the NFL over the first 12 weeks of the season, but recently, that hasn't been the case, and it's led to too many explosive plays. Another example was the 57-yard completion that Darby allowed. It's the common slant/flat route combination, but after allowing the reception, Darby failed to limit yards after the catch.

Eagles film breakdown: Why has the pass defense been struggling? - Inquirer
Each week this season, we’ll breakdown a player, trend or scheme from the Eagles’ previous game using the coaches all-22 film. This week, we spotlight the Eagles’ pass defense, which has struggled the last three games, but especially in Sunday’s game at the New York Giants.

MTS: Are the Eagles still favorites in the NFC? - NFL.com
Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah explains why he still believes in the Eagles.

Goff and Wentz Show There’s Hope for Kizer and Trubisky - Sports Illustrated
“I think he’s taken command,” Ertz said. And he wasn’t talking about being an emotional authority in the locker room. He was talking about the day-to-day negotiation that happens in every quarterback meeting room between the starter and the coaches. “I think there are plays he doesn’t love, and he tells the coaches he doesn’t want them in the game plan, and they’re not in,” Ertz continued. “I think there are plays he loves, and he ran them in college, and he’ll get them in. I think they trust him. The coaches respect him because of the work he puts in to prepare. They’re not going to put in every play that he likes, and he can’t get rid of everything he doesn’t like, but him being so confident in every play that we call is the difference.”

Rams place K Greg Zuerlein on season-ending IR with back injury - Turf Show Times
This is going a huge loss for the Rams as Zuerlein was having a career year, and was just recently named to the 2018 Pro Bowl. GZ was 38/40 on field goal attempts this season with one of the misses coming from 63 yards away. He was also leading the NFL in points, and was on pace to break the all-time record by points for a kicker in a single season. Not only was he as automatic as they come, Legatron’s ability to pin the ball deep on kickoffs was a major help as well allowing his coverage units to trek downfield and typically pin opposing teams in bad position. With this news, the Rams moved quickly to grab a replacement in Sam Ficken.

The Worst Salary Cap Situations - Over The Cap
Though salary cap space will be at a record high in 2018, there are still more than a few teams that have to navigate some difficult salary cap situations and I wanted to share my thoughts on the teams that I feel are in the worst salary cap shape moving forward. This is not to say that these teams have the least cap space in the NFL just that they have limited cap room and some tough decisions moving forward that can really compromise their financial stability. Teams like the Steelers and Eagles, both of whom project to have the least cap space in the NFL, simply don’t have those decisions since their rosters are more or less set and are successful.

A year after anxiety diagnosis, Philadelphia Eagles' Brandon Brooks relishes 1st Pro Bowl nod - PennLive
A day after Brandon Brooks earned his first Pro Bowl invite, the Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard thought Wednesday about a teenager he met nearly a year ago. That was shortly after Brooks revealed he was dealing with an anxiety disorder that left him vomiting, weak and unable to play in two games in 2016. Brooks received his diagnosis last December and talked to reporters about his struggles with mental illness, vowing to push through them to continue his promising career. As Brooks, 28, relayed his message to high school students in Delaware a while back, he said one stuck out.

Week 15 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
The Rams rate even better in weighted DVOA than they do in full-season DVOA, since seven of their last nine games (going back to Week 6) had a single-game rating over 50%. Since Week 6, there have only been 24 other games where a team recorded a single-game DVOA of 50% or more, or less than one per team. The Rams have seven. The only other teams with more than two of these games during the same period? The Philadelphia Eagles have three, and the Baltimore Ravens -- who narrowly climbed ahead of Pittsburgh this week to rank as the top AFC team in DVOA -- have a surprising five similarly dominant games since Week 6.

SMU graduate assistant GJ Kinne to call plays in Frisco Bowl - CFT
New SMU head coach Sonny Dykes has been busy assembling his staff as he prepares to jump right in the saddle to coach the Mustangs in the Frisco Bowl next week, but he will have one holdover from the previous staff to help call the shots on offense. Graduate assistant GJ Kinne will call the offensive plays for the bowl game, according to Adam Grosbard of The Dallas Morning News.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will sell team, Tina Becker named COO - SB Nation
Richardson, who is under investigation for allegations of workplace misconduct, is selling the team after the season.

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