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Eagles News: Sidney Jones is Philadelphia’s X factor

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/1/18.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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The X Factors for All 32 NFL Teams - Ringer
Philadelphia Eagles: CB Sidney Jones. Super Bowl–winning teams always face the specter of a subsequent free-agent talent-drain, and the Eagles were not immune to that this offseason. The departure of veteran slot cornerback Patrick Robinson threatens to erode the defending champs’ efficiency and depth on the back end of their defense—but that problem could be mitigated (or eliminated altogether) with a breakout campaign from second-year corner Sidney Jones, a former second-rounder. Jones missed most of his rookie year with a torn Achilles tendon, but the former Husky’s been lighting it up at Philly’s training camp from both the outside and the slot. If he can emerge in 2018 as a playmaking cover corner, it’d be tough to see the Eagles skipping a beat on that side of the ball.

Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Good day for Jordan Hicks and 2017 draft picks - BGN
It was hard not to notice Jordan Hicks today. The fourth-year linebacker is showing no signs of injury. Rather, he’s flying around the field and making plays. He notched a “sack” on Nick Foles at one point. Another rep involved him sticking Dallas Goedert in coverage and knocking the ball down as it arrived for the rookie tight end. Hicks also landed a big hit on Greg Ward Jr. after the receiver caught a short pass over the middle of the field. Having a healthy Hicks could be such a big boost for the Eagles’ defense in 2018. He’s a stud.

NFL video tutorial leaves Eagles players confused on new rule changes - PhillyVoice
On Sunday, a few referees stopped by the Philadelphia Eagles’ complex to provide a video demonstration on the NFL’s rule changes for the upcoming 2018 season. The media was then welcomed to watch it as well. The tutorial did little to clear up the players’ confusion about a controversial rule change in which players are no longer allowed to lower their heads to make tackles. Here is what the players and media saw on Sunday, which I shot with my phone.

TC Notes – Tackling Begins - Iggles Blitz
Brandon was impressed by Jordan Hicks. The young LB was active and made his share of plays. It is very encouraging to hear about him playing well. Hicks and Nigel Bradham give the Eagles a terrific duo at LB.

Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills Look To Form A ‘Dangerous Duo’ - PE.com
Two of the standout players early in Training Camp, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are still in search of respect even after winning the Super Bowl.

13 incredible stats from Brian Dawkins’ unique career - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Brian Dawkins was one of the greatest players in NFL history and also one of the most unique. This weekend in Canton, Ohio, he’ll become only the ninth pure safety in NFL history to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and only the seventh player who spent most of his career with the Eagles to become a Hall of Famer. Did you know Dawk is the only player in NFL history with 25 interceptions, 25 sacks and 25 forced fumbles?

Q&A with Joe Banner: Opening up about Brian Dawkins’ career and exit from Philadelphia - The Athletic
Banner: We were going into that draft with a real desire to focus on getting high quality, really driven players. And we wanted to increase the physical toughness of the team. So we were going into the draft with that kind of a bias. And then I remember some of the scouts starting to talk about Brian as we were looking at second-round picks and the group of names. And then I remember he participated in the Senior Bowl, and he had two of the biggest special teams hits you’ll ever see in the Senior Bowl — where he was the gunner and got past and really had a free run at the returner. In that game, people are conscious of both making an impression but not getting anybody hurt. But clearly Brian just saw this guy lined up, and there was nothing that was going to slow him down. He just massively laid him out.

Celebrations, catches and controversy: TO’s HOF legacy - ESPN
Owens’ reputation for outlandish celebrations made him one of the league’s most polarizing players, but none drew the immediate (and physical) response that his midfield celebrations against the Dallas Cowboys did. After hauling in a 3-yard touchdown pass for the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter, Owens raced to midfield, put the ball down and raised his arms in celebration while standing on the Cowboys’ star logo. Dallas running back Emmitt Smith mimicked the celebration when he scored on a 1-yard touchdown run a little more than a minute later. But Owens wasn’t done. After catching a 1-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, he again sprinted to the star for another round. This time, Dallas safety George Teague chased him down and delivered a physical hit to Owens, setting off a scrum between the teams with about four minutes left in a game the 49ers would win 41-24.

NFL receiving corps rankings: All 32 teams entering 2018 - PFF
17) The Eagles lost Torrey Smith this offseason, but he was more decoy than productive receiver in Philly. His 0.97 yards per route were 84th among 93 qualifying receivers last year. Either Mike Wallace or Mack Hollins should easily be able to pick up where Smith left off. The most interesting takeaway from this receiving corps last year was Nelson Agholor’s drastic turnaround when being moved to the slot. Agholor averaged a putrid 0.65 yards per route the first two seasons of his career before jumping to a respectable 1.56 last year, while spending the majority of his time lined up inside.

Rasul Douglas wants to ‘keep building’ with Philadelphia Eagles, leans on college teammate entering second season - PennLive
“It was hard when I stopped playing,” Douglas said. “Going from playing to being inactive to not playing at all, it was hard, but it’s not really up to me. I learned from the guys that I’m watching, Darby, Jalen [Mills], [Malcolm] Jenkins, learning and taking what they see on the field. It’s always a learning experience.”

Former Sixers sideline reporter Molly Sullivan joins the Eagles - Philly.com
Molly Sullivan, who until last month was the Sixers sideline reporter for NBC Sports Philadelphia, has landed a new gig — with the Eagles. Sullivan has been hired as a reporter and host for the Eagles’ own training camp coverage, where she will cover the team on social media and PhiladelphiaEagles.com through the first two home preseason games. Her first day is today. “Your support the last 6 weeks has been a powerful, unforgettable feeling. I’ve always been loyal (to a fault) & won’t let you down,” Sullivan wrote on Twitter. “Much more to come.”

NFL training camp power rankings: Eagles have competition in NFC - USA Today
1. Eagles (1): On paper (games evidently aren’t played there), lineup looks stronger than Super Bowl version, assuming Carson Wentz and Jason Peters are full go by Week 1 and Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata fully assimilate.

Can Connor Barwin be a complete linebacker for the Giants? - Big Blue View
Back on July 23 the New York Giants made the move to sign Connor Barwin and add a veteran EDGE player to their revamped defense. Barwin has played in a variety of defenses in his 10-year career, playing in both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses for the Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Rams. His signing was with the understanding that the Giants would be getting an experienced player and steady veteran to help ease the transition for some of their younger players, such as Lorenzo Carter and Avery Moss. It also helps that Barwin knows both his head coach and linebackers coach from his years in Philadelphia. “Thought it was the right fit for me, good opportunity for me. Good defense for me. I know Shurm [Pat Shurmur], I know [linebackers coach] Bill McGovern,” said Barwin this week in training camp

The truth behind why NFL players are protesting and how their message gets lost in the politics - SB Nation
Hardly anyone noticed the first couple of times Colin Kaepernick protested during the national anthem in the 2016 preseason. That changed the third time he did — and its effects continue to be felt today. But the way we talk about the protests is still the same as it was in 2016. The NFL fan base remains divided on the topic, in part because it gets exploited for political purposes that have nothing to do with the reason the protests began. There is no magical cure that will make every team, owner, player, and fan happy. But the league has still tried to find a solution that everyone can agree on. It has tried to reach compromises that aren’t really compromises. It has tried to do the impossible and quiet Donald Trump. And the point of the protests can be easily lost.

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