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Eagles News: Brian Dawkins opens up about his struggles with depression

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/31/18.

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New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles - September 17, 2006 Photo by Brian Killian/NFLPhotoLibrary

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

Brian Dawkins reveals his career-long battle with depression - NBCSP
Overall, I didn’t have any outlets, and so I began to drink a little more than I needed to, and that quickly spiraled down into depression. I went through a real dark, deep depression. Alcohol was a tremendous crutch. There were times I didn’t even want to be around my family, didn’t want to be around my son. ”I just wanted to be in a dark room by myself with nobody. My room, I won’t say was a frequent occurrence, but it was something I would do. My faith back then wasn’t that strong, so I listened to the other voice in my head, and that’s where suicidal thoughts came in, and then actually planning out how I would go about it in such a way that Connie (his wife) and my son would get the money from my insurance policy.”

Winners and losers from Week 1 of Eagles training camp - BGN
Carson Wentz - Barring a setback, it looks very likely he’s going to start in Week 1. Wentz looks healthy and he’s been lights out throwing the ball on most days.

Inside the hit that defined Brian Dawkins’ Hall of Fame career - ESPN
Dawkins: “It was going to be a physical contest. We knew that going into it; we talked about it all week long amongst ourselves. I felt personally disrespected to be honest with you. They were talking too much about how things fell into Atlanta’s hands: it was snowing, they were a running team, they were going to run over us ... their defense is better. I kept hearing that over and over again. To me, that’s disrespect -- you come into a man’s house talking about what you’re going to do in his house. It just so happened that Alge was the one that got the brunt of the blow when it comes to the frustration and anger I felt.”

Brian Dawkins, on the verge of Hall of Fame induction, has made peace with his messy departure from Philly - Daily News
Banner dealt strictly with Dawkins’ agent, Jim Steiner, during the negotiations. In hindsight, while the Eagles never were going to match Denver’s offer, he regrets that he didn’t reach out personally to Brian. “The one thing I wish I would’ve done differently that I think would’ve changed things was to have reached out to Brian,’’ Banner said. “When somebody’s engaged in a negotiation or becoming a free agent, it’s normal to talk through the agent. And I’m not blaming the agent here. I just think that given the relationship I had with Brian, if we had talked to him directly and understood what he was looking for and he understood what we were trying to do, I think it would’ve ended differently.’’ Lurie doesn’t disagree, saying “I wish Joe had” talked to Dawkins personally.

Here’s what an NFL team of still active ex-Eagles would look like - PhillyVoice
RB: LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, Kenjon Barner, Byron Marshall, Frank Gore. This is actually quite a talented group of running backs that any team would gladly have on their roster, except for, you know, maybe McCoy with the recent horrible allegations made against him.

Darren Sproles’ recovery a matter of body, work - SDUT
Sproles previously overcame a big injury as a young player. In the 2006 preseason, he suffered an ankle fracture dislocation, similar injury to what Odell Beckham suffered last year. Few remember Sproles even had that big ankle injury early in his career, as he has gone on to amass 19,155 all-purpose yards, eighth-most in history. It looks like he is on track to add to that.

Training Camp Is About To Get Very Real - PE.com
Everybody is encouraged with the progress made by veterans like linebacker Jordan Hicks and left tackle Jason Peters and, yes, quarterback Carson Wentz. Seeing those players, along with running back Darren Sproles, on the field last week was truly exciting. Now comes the next step, and it’s a big one. Peters now can finish off his blocks in the running game. He’s got to take his tempo up a notch in pass protection with at least a portion of practice “live.” Same with Hicks. The coaching staff will get a realistic look at Hicks as he sheds blockers and gets to the football and makes tackles.

Two Seconds or Less - The Ringer
If you can combat this, you can win. In 2017, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles were the only team in the NFL who applied pressure on the quarterback within 2.5 seconds on 30 percent of pass plays, according to Pro Football Focus, while the Pittsburgh Steelers were second at 28 percent. Both of those teams got to the quarterback within 2.33 seconds on average. As Eagles pass rusher Chris Long put it, “You have to do everything faster.”

Rob Gronkowski sits atop the list of the top 10 NFL tight ends for 2018 - PFF
5. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles. The dynamic in Philadelphia will be fascinating heading into 2018 with Ertz now teaming up with rookie Dallas Goedert to form one of the most potentially dynamic duos in the league. Ertz has seen more than 100 targets in each of the past three seasons including the playoffs, with last year giving him four PFF grades of 80.0 or more over his career.

2017 Slot vs. Wide: RBs and TEs - Football Outsiders
Can Saquon Barkley diversify the New York offense? Is Le’Veon Bell really that unique of an offensive weapon? Just how great was Rob Gronkowski again, and how badly did Dallas misuse Jason Witten?

DeMeco Ryans has been a gift for the 49ers linebackers, one in particular - The Athletic
“He’s a special one,” Chip Kelly, who coached Ryans for three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, said in a recent phone interview with The Athletic. “First and foremost, he gives everything you want: His approach to preparation, how he is in the weight room, how he is in the team room,” Kelly said. “You hear that saying about ‘he’s a coach on the field.’ DeMeco truly was a coach on the field.”

Browns sign Kevin Bowen, waive Victor Salako - PFT
[BLG Note: Salako spent last preseason with the Eagles.]

Dez Bryant signing with the Browns would make more sense than you think - SB Nation
The market for three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant hasn’t been especially hot this summer. The former Cowboy turned down a potential multi-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens, then languished as his search for the right opportunity — as well as his preference for a one-year contract and declining returns on the field — limited his options for a new team in 2018. But there’s one team that’s still publicly interested — even if it’s not a high-profile destination. The Cleveland Browns, 1-31 in their last two seasons, are interested in bringing the veteran wideout to bolster a roster that’s added two useful quarterbacks this offseason but just one high-profile target for them to throw to.

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