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Eagles News: Jalen Mills named one of the most improved defenders in 2017

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/30/18.

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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Top 10 defensive players to improve their PFF grade in 2017 - PFF
The seventh-round corner had a rookie year to forget in 2016 as he ended his first year in the league ranked dead last among cornerbacks with a PFF overall grade of just 31.8. Throughout the year, he was the league’s most frequently targeted cornerback, with opposing signal-callers opting to throw into his coverage once every 4.5 coverage snaps. All told, he allowed 58 of the 91 passes into his coverage to be caught while giving up a monstrous 848 receiving yards, the second-most among all cornerbacks. However, Mills showed significant improvement in Year 2 and he was a reliable presence during his team’s Super Bowl run. He ended the year allowing 1.07 yards per coverage snap, a dramatic improvement from his 2016 mark of 2.07, which put him 116th of 118 qualifying cornerbacks. In particular, he performed much better against the deep ball in 2017, where he allowed just 18.2 percent on his targets of 20 or more yards downfield to be caught, bettering his 2016 mark of 44.8 percent.

Source: Eagles will host small school cornerback/punt returner on a pre-draft visit - BGN
Central Arkansas cornerback Tremon Smith is one of 30 2018 NFL Draft prospects who will meet with the Eagles in Philadelphia for an official pre-draft visit, according to me.

Conversations: Former Eagles LB Kevin Reilly - BGN Radio
Vince Quinn sits down with former Eagles LB Kevin Reilly and his amazing story about his life, family and relentless pursuit of getting his life back. Kevin has a new book call Tackling Life and shares how much strength he thinks willpower has in your life.

Eagles are standing by Michael Bennett - PhillyVoice
When recently acquired defensive end Michael Bennett was indicted on “injury to the elderly” charges last Friday, it caught the Philadelphia Eagles by surprise. For now, however, the Eagles don’t appear to regret their decision to trade for him, and seem steadfastly in Bennett’s corner.

Why keeping Darren Sproles is so important for Eagles - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Since turning 30, he’s averaged 4.5 yards per carry, which ranks 12th of 97 running backs — of any age — with at least 200 carries since 2013. Since turning 30, he has 225 receptions, eighth-most among all NFL running backs over the last five years. Since turning 30, he has four punt return touchdowns, tied with Deion Sanders for most in NFL history by a player in his 30s. Here’s a list of every player in NFL history to average 4.5 yards per carry and catch 200 passes in his 30s: Darren Sproles. Sproles in his 30s is better than most running backs in their 20s. His body was just built differently. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s never had to carry the load. He’s averaged about 8 ½ offensive touches per game over the last decade, a perfect number for him to be electrifying but still not get beat up.

Chalk Talk: Nick Foles’ Key To Success -
Former veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky chats with Fran Duffy about what makes for a successful backup quarterback in the NFL and how Nick Foles went from the bench to the podium as the Super Bowl MVP.

Why the Eagles’ Super Bowl win means more for the Phillies than you think - CBS Sports
Although the Birds may have permanently stolen the City of Brotherly Love spotlight, not to mention rewritten the area’s sports identity, by capturing their first-ever Super Bowl title in February, the Eagles may also have indicated the dawn of a new era of Phillies success with their own dominance. How so? History tells us that when the Eagles are good (and we mean good), the Phillies usually are, too.

Wendell Smallwood on Meek Mill, the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory and Wilmington - DelawareOnline
“The song came on one time, I think in the locker room, and we just started getting hype to it. I think that the story and the lyrics really tell a genuine underdog story and it resonated with the rest of our team. Meek Mill is one of our community leaders and we wanted to show him that we had his back. What’s crazy is Meek Mill is the only person I listen to when I’m warming up for a game.”

Projecting the top wide receivers in the 2018 NFL draft - ESPN In$ider
Of the three wide receivers Scouts Inc. believes are likely to go in the first round, Playmaker likes D.J. Moore the best. Moore might appear to have only average receiving numbers for a top prospect (80 catches, 1,033 yards, eight touchdowns), but those numbers are quite impressive when put in the context of how little the Terrapins threw the ball. Maryland attempted only 318 passes during Moore’s junior year. Moore also was used (effectively) in the running game, gaining 61 yards on five carries. That said, Moore is not quite an elite prospect like Beckham or Amari Cooper. Playmaker gives him the edge over top-rated prospect Calvin Ridley, despite a significant adjustment for Ridley’s projected draft position.

Legal Sports Gambling is Coming, and the NFL Is Getting Ready to Capitalize (Of Course It Is) - Sports Illustrated
Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who played for over a decade in the league, chalked up player grousing to age, saying that he understands why players have a hard time understanding. “When you’re young, you don’t think about that stuff,” Pederson said. “And that’s why some of the old coaches in the room, I appreciate the stuff they’re talking about because they’ve been there, done that. They start looking at life after football, what it’s going to look llike. We have to make sure we’re educating the young players about that in this whole process.”

The NFL’s new helmet-hit rule creates more problems than it fixes - SB Nation
Don’t do it, NFL. Please. Don’t take one giant step forward with the new catch rule, only to take two steps backwards with the new targeting rule. The NFL had to change the catch rule, as I’ve explained before. They scored a big publicity win with that news. Then reports dropped they are exploring the possibility of ejecting players who lead with the crown of their helmets to initiate contact against an opponent on any play. As it stands now, any player who initiates helmet-to-helmet contact, no matter the intent — whether it’s a safety on a wide receiver, a lineman pulling around the edge, or maybe even a running back in the hole — is subject to ejection.


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