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Eagles News: Wendell Smallwood could be key to Carson Wentz’s success

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/10/17.

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Miami Dolphins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Looking for more touches, Smallwood has to prove he can protect Wentz - The Athletic
Now that Smallwood finds himself inside the NovaCare Complex, he’s forced to pay much more attention to blitz pickup. The second-year running back, who is walking in Westbrook’s shoes, says that the first thing the Eagles' offense does is focus on blitz pickup, something that didn’t always come easy for him as a rookie. As was once the case with McNabb, the Eagles have quite a bit invested in second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. The Birds are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013, but more than anything, the 2017 season boils down to Wentz progressing from an up-and-down rookie season. With all of this in mind, protecting Wentz ranks high in terms of priorities for the Eagles' offense. Smallwood called it “the number one thing we go over every day.”

Report: Eagles players and coaches believe Jim Schwartz is “waiting to usurp” Doug Pederson’s head coaching job - BGN
Well, this is interesting.

This Week In Fantasy - Week 1 Matchups -
James Seltzer welcomes back Sigmund Bloom the as they go through each matchup for opening weekend of the NFL season! Sits, starts, wavier wire and a lot more! Grab some popcorn and a pencil, class is in session.

10 Eagles predictions heading into the 2017 NFL season - PhillyVoice
As I noted in our offensive preview this season, in the eight training camps I've covered since 2010, Carson Wentz's camp performance this year was the best I've seen of any Eagles quarterback I've covered. That's not a high bar considering the list of names who have started at least one game for the Eagles during that span: Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Nick Foles, Michael Vick, Matt Barkley, Vince Young, and Kevin Kolb. Still, Wentz was much better than he was a year ago, particularly from an accuracy standpoint, which was his most obvious and important concern. Add in that he'll have far better weapons in the passing game than guys like freaking Dorial Green-Beckham, not to mention a full offseason knowing that he is "the guy" instead of learning that fact a week before the season, and Wentz will be a much better position to succeed in 2017.

Lawlor: What Will Be Doug Pederson's Game Plan To Spark The Offense? -
There was mystery and excitement as the Carson Wentz era began a year ago. The situation is vastly different heading into the 2017 season. There is still some mystery, but the questions have changed. We wondered if Wentz was ready for the NFL a year ago. The questions now are how good Wentz can be and if he can lead the Eagles to the playoffs this season. The Eagles were in the playoff hunt last year, but having a rookie quarterback and a roster in transition proved to be too much to overcome. Wentz now has a year under his belt and a much improved supporting cast around him. This year, there are expectations.

Fashion over function: A safer helmet battles the 'cool' factor - ESPN
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz -- owner of arguably the most valuable brain in Philadelphia sports -- wore the VICIS helmet for one day before ditching it. Wentz gave it a test ride during an organized team activity, but quickly concluded it wasn’t for him. “It’s just kind of big -- big and bulkier than the other ones," he said. "There’s a fine line, knowing it’s the safest but feeling comfortable in it at the same time.”

Now it counts: Nelson Agholor aims to carry momentum into regular season - CSN Philly
So what did Agholor think about his spring and summer? "I look at it as a great period in time to get better and stuff to grow on," Agholor said of his offseason. "I look at it as it was all stepping stones to this point. The best thing about what happened in the past is, I used it as momentum to this point. And that's my focus, continuing to progress and not regress." The key for Agholor is obviously turning his offseason progress into regular-season production. As Jordan Matthews pointed out in the summer, before he was traded to Buffalo, he has never seen Agholor have a bad training camp. In early August, Matthews pointed out that come Week 1, all of Agholor's training camp heroics wouldn't matter anymore. All that matters is his production from this point on.

Billick To Lombardi: ‘You’ve Never Coached An NFL Down In Your Life’ - CBS Philly
Super Bowl winning head coach Brian Billick fired back at former executive Mike Lombardi, over his comments regarding Eagles Doug Pederson. “With all due respect to Mike Lombardi, what in your resume qualifies you to say how good any coach can be?” Billick said on Thursday’s 94WIP Morning Show. “You’ve never coached a down in this league in your life. That’s not right.”

Something else in common with Jon Dorenbos - Daily News
Jon Dorenbos and I have something in common besides the fact that we’re both good-looking guys who are married to stunningly beautiful women. Both of us also have aortic aneurysms. Jon’s is quite a bit more serious than mine. The former Eagles long-snapper, who was traded to the New Orleans Saints on August 28, needs surgery to repair the damage to his aorta.

Dave Spadaro: The Eagles Insider - Philly Mag
Dave Spadaro is one of the best-known reporters covering the Eagles. How much does it matter that he works for … the Eagles?

Redskins v. Eagles Staff Picks: “Living In Interesting Times” - Hogs Haven
After a long “interesting” offseason, it’s time to make some Week 1 predictions.

Saints' trade for Jon Dorenbos likely saved his life after heart condition discovery - SB Nation
New Orleans Saints long snapper Jon Dorenbos will have surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm and go on the team’s non-football injury list before he ever played a game with the team. Dorenbos, 37, began his career with two seasons with the Buffalo Bills before joining the Eagles during the 2006 season. He spent 11 seasons in Philadelphia before he was traded to the Saints in August for a seventh-round pick in 2019. But open heart surgery may mean the end of his NFL career.


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