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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s secondary projects to be the best one they’ve had in years

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/3/18.

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Taking stock of the Eagles after one week of training camp - Inquirer
This is the best secondary the Eagles have had in years. In recent summers, I’ve written about cornerback concerns on the Eagles. There are no such concerns this summer. With Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, and Rasul Douglas, the Eagles have a top four that is better than any time since I’ve started covering them on a daily basis in 2012. Add in the players behind them – Avonte Maddox, DeVante Bausby, etc. – and it’s remarkable to see how the Eagles have changed the position in 24 months. None of these cornerbacks were on the team when Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz came to Philadelphia. Only Mills played for the Eagles in 2016.

34 observations from the Eagles’ most intense training camp practice this summer - BGN
Today was a great member for those of us in the #KamuClub. Kamu Grugier-Hill had hell of a practice, as Benjamin Solak already noted. He flew into the backfield on multiple occasions in order to pick up two tackles for loss. Kamu also intercepted Nate Sudfeld in the end zone. It ended up being a pass breakup. It was great to see Eagles defensive players get really fired up about Grugier-Hill’s performance. They were yelling out KA-MUUUUUUUUUU! There’s been a heavy rotation at first team linebacker aside from Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. I still like Kamu to win the WILL job.

Training Camp Notes Roundup – More Hitting - Iggles Blitz
BLG raved about Kamu Grugier-Hill, who made multiple plays. One of them was an INT. Plays like that will get you noticed in a big way. Seems like the light has really come on for Grugier-Hill. He’s been a great athlete the last two years, but something wasn’t working when he played LB. That’s changed and he’s got a real chance to be the WLB.

Malcolm Jenkins grew up trying to be like Eagles’ Brian Dawkins – and, boy, has he succeeded - PhillyVoice
On Thursday, ahead of Dawkins’ enshrinement into he Pro Football Hall of Fame, Jenkins was asked about his predecessor and mentor, his struggles with depression and how the legendary safety contributed to the Eagles’ Super Bowl season.

Cheers, Tears, And Appreciation For Brian Dawkins -
He is ours, one of the most beloved Eagles in franchise history, and we’ll all understand the tears and we’ll take to heart the message and we will know exactly where Brian Dawkins is coming from when he addresses the world upon his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. A special year for the Eagles and for Eagles fans around the world gains new appreciation when Dawkins, as he is introduced by former teammate Troy Vincent, takes to the microphone.

With Carson Wentz, the Eagles Are Sticking to The Plan—Though The Plan Is ‘Fluid’ - Sports Illustrated
File this as something Zach Ertz didn’t know about his new teammate, fellow tight end Dallas Goedert. “He is a lot further along at the point of attack,” Ertz said, “than I thought he would be, coming from what school he came from.” Goedert, drafted in the second round out of South Dakota State in April, looks ready to make an impact as a rookie as a complement to Ertz. The Eagles’ tight end room is different this year—Brent Celek was released this spring, and Trey Burton signed with the Bears in free agency—but Goedert’s flexibility has Ertz seeing a lot of possibilities for the tandem. “In years past, when it was me and Brent on the field, it was more run-dominant. When it was me and Trey, it was more pass-dominant,” Ertz said. “So teams are really going to have to choose whether they want to go base or go nickel to the two of us. ... Put one of us down, one of us in the slot, and vary it up.”

Healthy Destiny Vaeao might really be Eagles’ starting DT - NBC Sports Philadelphia
We’ve now gotten through a full week’s worth of Eagles training camp practices and on all seven of those days, Destiny Vaeao has lined up next to Fletcher Cox as a starting defensive tackle. It’s time to really start considering the possibility that Vaeao might start Week 1. While Tim Jernigan is on the Non-Football Injury list in a pretty mysterious situation, and while Haloti Ngata has been working with the second-team defense all summer, Vaeao has been trying to make the most of his reps with the starters. And he hopes to stay there. “Everybody coming into this league, that’s their main goal,” Vaeao said. “To be a starter. You ain’t just coming in here to be a backup or a second-team player. That’s everybody’s mentality. This is my time to get out there and do what I’ve been doing.”

The NFL’s 2018 All-New-Team Team - The Ringer
Michael Bennett isn’t a pure edge rusher, per se—he frequently lines up and rushes from the inside, too—but at 32 years old, he’s still a force off the edge. The former Seahawk, acquired in a trade for receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, notched 8.5 sacks in 2017 and finished the year tied for seventh among 4-3 ends in total quarterback pressures (70), per PFF. Bennett’s not the fastest guy in the world, but he knows how to use his hands to get off blocks, and utilizes a quick first step to slice through opposing lines. He finished tied for 14th among all edge players last year in defeats (21—same as Khalil Mack, by the way), and he’s going to be an integral part of the Eagles’ Super Bowl title defense.

Fantasy running backs most helped and hurt by their offensive lines - PFF
Running backs to confidently invest in: Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles retained the top spot from our end of 2017 rankings heading into the 2018 season. Bringing back perennial All-Pro Jason Peters will only be an addition to this offensive line that performed admirably in his absence (nine games). Lane Johnson was our No. 5 graded run-blocking tackle, Brandon Brooks finished fourth among guards, and Jason Kelce led all centers in this category in what was a major bounceback year for him. Among all backs with at least 70 rush attempts, Ajayi tied for third at the position with the 3.6 yards after contact per attempt. The player he tied with? Former Philadelphia teammate LeGarrette Blount.

Predicting the 2019 Hall of Fame Class - Football Outsiders
CB Asante Samuel: He is likely to draw some consideration down the road thanks to his high interception count (51) in an era where players with 50 interceptions don’t exist anymore. The active leaders in picks are Terence Newman (42), Reggie Nelson (36), and Aqib Talib (34). Samuel won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, made four straight Pro Bowls, and had seven interceptions (including four pick-sixes) in the playoffs from 2005 to 2008. However, it could be the one interception he is perceived to have dropped late in Super Bowl XLII that keeps him out of Canton. With that pick, the Patriots finish 19-0 and Samuel is a hero of Malcolm Butler proportions, but with a much better resume. I still say he gets too much heat for that play when he had to reach with full extension to have a shot at it, and he would have had a hard time landing with both feet in bounds. If fans want to scapegoat a potential Hall of Famer over that drive, keep it to Rodney Harrison for not breaking up the Helmet Catch.

Seahawks position battles: Marcus Johnson came to play - Field Gulls
This year there’s no Richardson, Darboh has more to prove, as does David Moore and McEvoy, and the newly-added Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown. The Seahawks will stick with Baldwin and Lockett in the rotation for sure, but the rest is open for debate. Johnson is now in front of that debate. Through four days of training camp, Johnson has been perhaps the most-mentioned receiver on the roster.

Los Angeles Rams COO/VP Kevin Demoff on negotiations with DL Aaron Donald: “We just don’t agree” - Turf Show Times
The Rams and Donald (and his representation) are at an impasse. And it’s not about numbers. It’s about a team trying to exploit a window of opportunity and a player trying to exploit market vulnerabilities. And the two parties are just not near agreement.

Ranking the biggest brain fart plays in NFL history - SB Nation
3. Kirk Cousins took a knee instead of spiking. As far as derps go, this is pretty much the definition. Kneeling is used to run out the clock, spiking is used to stop it. Apparently Kirk Cousins forgot the difference at the end of the first half of a 2015 game against the Eagles. With six seconds to go before halftime, all Cousins had to do was spike the ball to set up a 23-yard field goal to give Washington a 19-10 lead over the Eagles. Instead he kneeled and Washington got nothing.


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