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Eagles News: Philadelphia has what it takes to sustain success

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/3/18

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Kirt Dozier-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Start of Something Big - Iggles Blitz
I’m pretty confident in the Eagles because of what we saw last year. They were the best team in the league all year long. They beat good teams and blew the doors off bad teams. They dealt with a challenging schedule (logistically speaking). They overcame a slew of key injuries. This wasn’t a case of a team winning a bad division and then getting hot in the postseason. This wasn’t about lucky matchups. The Eagles beat the defending NFC champions in the first round of the playoffs. Then they beat the best defense in football. Then they beat the top offense (and defending SB champs) to win the Super Bowl. That’s about as legit as you can get. If history is any indicator, the Eagles are going to be a lot of fun to watch for the next few years.

Lawlor: Can Eagles Avoid Being A One-Hit Wonder? - PE.com
Sustaining greatness is incredibly hard. The Eagles were a great team in 2017. I honestly believe this team has a chance to sustain that because they chemistry in the organization is so strong - on and off the field. That all starts with Doug Pederson and his leadership. Ditka ruled with an iron fist. He screamed at players and coaches. He was a fiery player and that continued when he became a coach. That worked for a couple of years, but constant altercations wear people down. Compare that to Pederson, also a former player. Pederson was a quarterback and not remotely a fiery guy. He was friendly and cerebral. When Brett Favre came off the field, Pederson was there to offer support. He would give advice or listen to Favre, depending on the situation. As Jeffrey Lurie would say, Pederson had emotional intelligence.

Who are the most underrated and overrated Eagles players? - BGN
Give us your picks.

Agent’s Take: Gronk among 12 prime candidates to sign contract extensions prior to season - CBS Sports
Extending Brandon Graham’s contract, which is set to expire after the 2018 season, has reportedly been on Philadelphia’s radar screen for quite some time. Recognizing that the four-year, $26 million contract Graham was playing under left him dramatically underpaid, $1.5 million of performance bonuses were added to the deal last preseason. Graham has been thriving in the attacking 4-3 scheme Jim Schwartz installed once he was named defensive coordinator two seasons ago. His 83 quarterback pressures in 2016 were the third most in the NFL according to PFF. Graham had a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2017. His late-game strip sack of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady helped seal Philadelphia’s Super Bowl LII victory. Graham, who is 30, recently indicated that he is comfortable playing out his contract if necessary. It’s hard to envision Graham accepting less than the four-year, $58 million extension with $34 million in guarantees Everson Griffen, who is a few months older, received from the Vikings last July.

Carson Wentz’s return could dictate if Eagles repeat as champs - ESPN
QB Carson Wentz: Nick Foles’ heroics in the postseason? Unbelievable. But the best chance of the Eagles reaching those heights once again are with Wentz under center. The MVP candidate has been attacking his rehab hard and is confident he’ll be back on the field in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. If he can return to form, Philly has a legit shot to make a run at another Lombardi trophy.

PFF Closer Look: NFL teams utilizing safeties in the slot - PFF
While Malcolm Jenkins spent the majority of his time in the box, he played 30 percent of his snaps covering the slot. Of course, the Philadelphia Eagles had one of the best true slot corners in the league last season in Patrick Robinson, however, it goes without saying that Jenkins’ versatility and ability to play inside were instrumental in their historic Super Bowl run. Jenkins graded the highest of these five safeties with an overall grade of 84.2.

Meet the NFL’s New Generation of Superstar Pass Rushers - The Ringer
Derek Barnett made the most of limited opportunities as a rookie, and he still managed to record five sacks and a forced fumble while playing in a rotation behind Brandon Graham, Chris Long, and Vinny Curry. Barnett’s going to have to fight for snaps again in 2018, but Curry’s gone and Long and Bennett aren’t getting any younger. Expect his production to increase along with his role in the pass-rush rotation.

The secrets behind the Eagles’ No. 1 run defense - The Athletic
While there should be legitimate concern surrounding Jernigan’s injury, the Eagles have done a good job in free agency to put themselves in the position to not only continue to field a strong pass rush but also an elite run defense. With the additions of Bennett and Ngata, there is an argument to be made that the defense could be even better in both facets. On one hand, players like Bennett and Ngata are facing the likelihood of decline. On the other, I made it through an entire story about the run defense without ever mentioning the name Jordan Hicks. The Eagles defense should once again be fun to watch in 2018.

Four Giants who could disappoint in 2018 - Big Blue View
I started off the look at potential pleasant surprises with Ereck Flowers and noted the potential positive impact Nate Solder could have on him as a mentor. But I also have to start this off by noting Solder as a potential disappointment for the Giants in 2018. A big part of that is his contract. After missing out on Andrew Norwell, Dave Gettleman made Solder the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL and to paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great contract, come great responsibility. If the Giants, and fans, are basing their expectations on his contract, they are bound to be disappointed.

Ranking the NFC East: Edge Rushers - Hogs Haven
The Eagles got older, letting 30-year-old Vinny Curry leave in free agency, and replacing him with 32-year-old Michael Bennett. Chris Long is now 33, and Brandon Graham is 30. This veteran trio, however, is supplemented by last year’s first round pick, Derek Barnett, and this year’s 4th rounder, Josh Sweat. The Eagles’ front seven has a reputation for being one of the best in the league; will that reputation be justified as this high profile group of edge rushers seeks to defend Philly’s super bowl championship?

Why Daryl Johnston says firing Jason Garrett would ‘sabotage’ the Cowboys - SportsDay
Jason Garrett, in my opinion, moving forward gives Dallas the best opportunity. They’ve got that window right now with a quarterback and a very talented running back on rookie contracts. To make a change right now, that would be sabotage to that organization. Keep everything in place, take a run with this window that’s there.

Making the Leap: Redskins’ offense to rise with Alex Smith - NFL.com
“I believe that we have more firepower than ever,” Gruden told Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post after minicamp. “Not to say that the teams in the past didn’t have any. I just feel good about our depth and the weapons that we have once they become healthy.”

Heckert focuses on health as he departs Broncos - 9NEWS
Tom Heckert has spent 27 years in the NFL, including general manager stints with the Philadelphia Eagles (2006-09) and Cleveland Browns (2010-12). He joined the Broncos as director of pro personnel prior to the Broncos’ Super Bowl 48 season of 2013. He spent the previous two seasons serving as a senior personnel advisor.

Kam Chancellor essentially announces retirement due to neck injury - SB Nation
One of the most important players on the Seattle Seahawks and one of the best safeties in the league has unfortunately been forced to hang up the cleats. Kam Chancellor announced his retirement, or something close to it, on Sunday. It’s due to a neck injury he suffered during the 2017 season. It’s “something close to it” because, as reported by Ian Rapoport, it’s not an official retirement but Chancellor will not be medically cleared going forward. This is important because it effectively means Chancellor is still due his $6.2 and $5.2 million salaries for 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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