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Eagles News: Jerry Jones says he doesn’t see a big gap between Eagles and Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/5/18.

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Jerry Jones doesn’t see a huge gap between Cowboys, Eagles - ESPN
The Cowboys finished 13-3 in 2016 and the Eagles finished second in the division and out of the playoffs. The Cowboys, however, were not able to capitalize on home-field advantage in the postseason, losing to the Green Bay Packers. “I think that if the gap is defined as them winning the Super Bowl and [us] not even getting in the playoffs, then we’ve got to close the gap,” Jones said. “I think that we should’ve been in the playoffs. We weren’t. But I don’t believe that us not being in the playoffs this past year is the size of the gap.”

NFL Mock Draft 2018: Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay each make a pick for the Eagles - BGN
NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have teamed up for a new ESPN Insider mock. Instead of alternating, Kiper and McShay each made two selections for every pick in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Philadelphia Eagles don’t own any Day 2 picks, which is really a bummer (especially as far as mock draft content goes), but at least Kiper and McShay gave the Birds two different choices at No. 32 overall.

The Kist & Solak Show Ep.21: Chatting CBs with Trevor Sikkema - BGN Radio
Michael Kist reacts to the Brandin Cooks Rams/Patriots trade and is joined by Trevor Sikkema from Pewter Report to talk about the 2018 NFL Draft Class!

Non-Eagles thoughts: A look at the Rams’ odd trade for WR Brandin Cooks - PhillyVoice
Using the draft value chart, the Patriots actually got better value in the trade of Cooks to the Rams than they had to give up when they acquired him the previous year, despite his low cost (at the time) of $1,563,198. Here’s the tale of the tape of the value of each trade, from the Patriots’ perspective. That’s awful, frankly, considering Cooks is due to become a free agent next offseason, playing on his fifth-year option in 2018, and he’ll cost $8,459,000 on the Rams’ cap in 2018, or 5.4 times as much as he counted on the Patriots’ cap in 2017.

Busy Day - Iggles Blitz
Rodgers has solid size at 6-4, 255. He has excellent quickness, whether releasing into a pass route or coming off the ball to block. He is slow. You don’t want Rodgers running downfield very much. He does have very good hands and can make some incredible catches. Rodgers is an effective blocker. He’s not going to be mistaken for a 6th O-linemen very much, but he gets the job done. You see good effort. He gets a wide base and uses his hands well. How does Rodgers compare to Celek? He’s not as good a blocker, but might be a slight upgrade as a receiver. Rodgers is still in his prime and has the potential to improve. Green Bay has a mixed track record with skill player development. The Eagles have had interest in Rodgers for a while. TEs coach Justin Peelle was at his Pro Day at Cal to check Rodgers out back in the spring of 2014. Maybe Peelle and the Eagles offensive system can get the most out of Rodgers.

Two Veterans Added Who Could Help In 2018 -
Two days, two veterans added and the Eagles are taking care of the “need” part of the roster well in advance of the NFL Draft three weeks from now. Signing Paul Worrilow to the linebacker corps provides excellent depth to a unit that has some question marks, and with Worrilow’s 52 NFL starts and his experience playing in the middle and on the outside, the Eagles just got a lot better there. Bringing in Richard Rodgers to the tight end group ...

Former Packers tight end Richard Rodgers agrees to 1-year deal with Eagles - Acme Packing Company
However, Rodgers’ lack of speed and athleticism limited his upside, as did his deficiencies as a blocker. The Packers brought in free agent Jared Cook in 2016 to serve as the lead tight end and signed Martellus Bennett a year later in the same capacity. Even after the Bennett experiment went up in flames, Rodgers saw only limited opportunities, especially in the red zone. He finished 2017 with just 12 receptions for 160 yards and a single touchdown.

Metrics that Matter: Does a pass-catcher’s drop rate matter? - PFF
It’s interesting to note Torrey Smith at the top of the list. He has a similar skillset (speedy, deep-ball specialist) to Ted Ginn, who ranked sixth-worst in drop rate during his last two seasons in Carolina. Devin Funchess ranked worst over this stretch and seventh-worst over the past three seasons. Perhaps Carolina doesn’t think drops are a “metric that matters” very much for receivers.

Why Frank Reich will likely go for it on 4th down way more than Chuck Pagano did - IndyStar
Here’s the scenario: The Colts are leading by 10 points and have the ball fourth-and-2 from their own 48-yard line late in the third quarter. What does new Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich do? Play it safe and punt or let Andrew Luck and company try to put the game all but out of reach with a first down? Reich’s predecessor, Chuck Pagano, faced a scenario like this – fourth down with his team leading by 10 or fewer points in the first three quarters — 50 times in six seasons and went for it three times. Reich watched the Eagles go for it in that scenario three times in a single game last season. “There’s no question that a byproduct of working in Philly and seeing how sometimes conventional football wisdom can be challenged and it needs to be updated in ways,” Reich said of fourth-down strategy while at the owners meetings last week in Orlando. “I think it was indicative of how aggressive (Eagles coach) Doug (Pederson) was on fourth down and the consistency of that and the trust in the players to get it done.

Matt Nagy will point to Eagles as example of surviving “bad times” - PFT
Nagy referenced injuries to quarterback Carson Wentz and others by saying the Eagles “had some down times” that they fought through by sticking together as the year unfolded. “As we get into who we are as a team, I want them to understand there’s going to be ups and downs,” Nagy said, via the team’s website. “It’s going to be a roller coaster. You usually don’t go 16-0 and win every game and ride off into the sunset. When bad things happen, when adversity strikes, how do you react to that? The great teams will respond in the right way. They’ll have a bunch of leaders on the team that stick together, a bunch of coaches that stick together, that get through that, and they roll.”

The Rams Are Taking a Win-Now Experiment to Its Limit - The Ringer
All these factors are compounded by the fact the Rams are a prime regression candidate in what’s looking like an increasingly stacked NFC field. L.A. was incredibly lucky with injuries last year, finishing with fewer adjusted games lost than any other team in the past seven seasons, per Football Outsiders. That isn’t likely to continue. And even with Cooks onboard, it wouldn’t be surprising if they struggle to maintain the offensive efficiency they showed last year.

2018 NFL free agency: Bennie Logan visited the Titans - Music City Miracles
The Titans have a huge need on the interior of the defensive line. They parted ways with Sylvester Williams and Karl Klug last month. They pursued Ndamukong Suh to help fill that void, but he chose the Los Angeles Rams because, like most people around the country, he doesn’t understand how good the Titans are going to be in 2018.

‘I Can’t Be Stopped’: Stedman Bailey Opens Up on Shooting, NFL Comeback Attempt - B/R
His finger traces the path of the bullet that should’ve killed him on site. Right here, he points. Right here, one bullet struck him near his right temple, traveled through his head and exited just above the eyebrow. His skull shattered. Shards of bone fell into his lap, blood gushed, and a car screeched away. The shooters used hollow-point bullets, he explains, bullets designed to expand and destroy and kill on impact. Thirty hit the SUV in all. Eleven struck his cousin. Two struck Stedman Bailey in the head.

Report: Ravens sign Robert Griffin III - Baltimore Beatdown
With Ryan Mallett’s contract expiring, Baltimore has decided to go a different direction at backup quarterback. Certainly Griffin comes with some concerns, but he does have plenty of potential and experience as a solid quarterback in the NFL

How Orlando Brown can become a good NFL lineman despite a bad combine - SB Nation
When a guy has one of the worst workouts in combine history, I think its human nature to try to look at his film for answers. How, Sway?! Brown was only able to get up 14 reps of 225 pounds. He ran a 5.85 (!) in the 40, his vertical was less than 20 inches, and the short shuttle might have been his worst performance of all, clocking in at 5.38 seconds. I know not every good player tests wells athletically, but that was pitiful. You can’t just erase something like that from your memory, so it stands to reason that I might have been a little biased at first against Brown’s on-the-field performance, trying to find any hint of laziness in his play, to make sense of what happened at the combine. After a while, I became aware of that bias and started completely over, watching Brown’s tape without trying to focus so much on his shortcomings and instead looking for things he did well.


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