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Eagles News: The DeSean Jackson reinjury aftermath

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/5/19.

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Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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

Help Needed - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles were counting on DeSean’s return. Now they must make changes. Doug Pederson said a couple of interesting things at his press conference. He admitted the team has to consider adding WR help. That sounds brutally obvious, but coaches don’t always admit that. They love to talk about counting on the players already on the roster. The Eagles clearly need help. I’m glad Pederson can acknowledge that. He did also talk about the need to get J.J. Arcega-Whiteside involved in the offense. I know the rookie hasn’t done a thing all year, but he hasn’t been given much of a chance. The coaches have mixed him in here and there, but haven’t made a distinct effort to get him going. That will change.

Potential wide receiver free agent options for the Eagles - BGN
JJ Nelson. Nelson reportedly had a strong camp and exhibition season but got hurt in the Raiders’ Week 1 match-up against the Denver Broncos. He returned to action in Week 3 and caught a 29-yard TD pass on a flea flicker. However, he was a surprise inactive in Week 4 and was cut by the team a few weeks ago. Nelson would be an interesting receiver to invite in for a workout during the bye week. He’s 27 and he’s fast.

Andrew Sendejo or a fourth-round compensatory pick: Which should the Eagles choose? - PhillyVoice
But Jimmy, it’s only one pick, and it’s in between the fourth and fifth rounds. That’s not going to make or break the Eagles’ future. And the Eagles stink at picking players anyway. Why would I want another Donnel Pumphrey instead of Sendejo? Good question, hypothetical annoying objection guy/gal. Certainly, the Eagles won’t have a mindset of, “We suck at picking players, so we should just piss away all of our draft picks.” But also, even if the the Eagles don’t value fourth-round picks highly, you know who does? The rest of the league! In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Eagles used fourth- and sixth-round picks to jump three spots from pick No. 25 to pick No. 22 to draft a player in Andre Dillard that really had no business being available that late in the first round. The more picks you have in a draft, the more maneuverability you have, and in the event the Eagles gain three compensatory picks, they would have 10 total in the 2020 NFL Draft. And oh by the way, the 2020 draft looks like it will be loooooaaaded with speed receivers.

Beat back and forth: After DeSean Jackson injury, what’s next for Eagles? - The Athletic
I did question the decision to play Jackson against the Bears given the impending bye, but I’m not knowledgeable enough to know if that would have made a difference. Maybe Jackson’s injury was always going to be exacerbated once he ran at full speed. The proper vetting of the Eagles’ handling of Jackson’s injury requires information we don’t have, but we can call out the roster malpractice from where we sit. Relying on Jackson as the sole speed threat was a mistake heading into the year. Drafting a wide receiver without speed in the second round was probably a mistake. Not addressing the position via trade was a mistake if part of the calculus was expecting Jackson to return. If you want solutions instead of problems, there’s nothing available to the Eagles beyond Band-Aids. They should spend the bye reconfiguring the offense to highlight Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in the passing game however possible. They each played nearly 80 percent of the snaps against Chicago, so that evolution might be coming. The Eagles can replace Mack Hollins with someone like Jordan Matthews or J.J. Nelson. Maybe they have seen something from practice squad wide receiver Robert Davis. Most of all, they need Alshon Jeffery to play like a No. 1 wide receiver and Nelson Agholor to play like someone worth close to $10 million. Without either of those two players stepping up, it’s impossible to imagine the offense growing beyond the run-based attack it’s been for the past few weeks. Embrace the bog.

Eagles weighing receiver change during bye week - ESPN
Although a slow start for a rookie is understandable, it’s harder to accept low-impact play from some of the veterans. Nelson Agholor, who is making $9.4 million this season, ranks 87th in receiving yards (282) behind Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders (305). Jeffery is 66th with 353 receiving yards, which puts him on pace for his lowest output since his rookie season. He missed time early with a calf strain and hasn’t looked like himself most of the season. The Eagles now know they won’t be saved by Jackson, and they can’t pin their hopes on whomever they might bring in to take his spot. The remaining members of the receiving corps that built up so much promise for this season need to deliver.

Eagles offense prepares to play on with what it has -
Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh will revolve the offense around what the team has now on the roster. You are going to see a lot of 12 personnel, with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert lined up all over the formation. You’re going to see Miles Sanders and maybe even Darren Sproles have some packages in the passing game designed for them. You’re going to see a team rely on its powerful offensive line to run the football and establish the line of scrimmage. You’re going to see quarterback Carson Wentz make plays with his arm and his legs. You’re going to see an offense that has played without Jackson since Week 1, an offense that has been short of spectacular, but certainly has been mostly functional and, at times, terrific. The Eagles will move forward and continue to march toward the postseason with a defense that should be as whole as possible when New England comes to town after the bye week and an offense that still has some mighty good pieces.

Eagles-Bears: What we learned: Birds mediocre enough to make the playoffs - Inquirer
In receiving yards per route run, Jeffery is tied for 51st in the NFL out of 100 receivers with more than 18 routes run, and Agholor is 90th. Mack Hollins is 98th. Collectively, that is terrible. Wentz hasn’t been perfect on all his throws, but how many times have any one of those three made a grab to help their quarterback? Jeffery’s had maybe one or two. I think Agholor made one nifty grab a few weeks back in Dallas. Hollins has become a nonfactor. I couldn’t foresee this kind of drop-off. Jackson was bound to get hurt at some point, but Jeffery has a long history of being a No. 1-caliber receiver. The same can’t be said of Agholor, who is solid in the slot as a No. 3 or 4 option. But he is not best suited to line up outside or be counted upon as one of Wentz’s top options. He seems to fall down on at least 50 percent of passes thrown deep. He’s got the speed, but he doesn’t have the physical skills to win 50-50 balls downfield. Jeffery is the opposite, although his ball skills have decreased.

Sources: DeSean Jackson will have surgery Tuesday - NBCSP
DeSean opted to not have surgery seven weeks ago because it is a really tricky injury. Some players can recover by just rehabbing. Some core muscle surgeries are successful, some aren’t. Some players say their injury is worse after surgery. Some players still feel soreness and pain even after surgery.

NFL Week 9 Team of the Week - PFF
RG Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles. Brooks led all offensive linemen with at least 25 snaps played in Week 9 in overall grade largely because of his efforts in the run game. But in addition to his high run-blocking grade, Brooks allowed zero pressures across his 45 pass-blocking snaps.

Week 9 Quick Reads - Football Outsiders
11 - Carson Wentz. With or without DeSean Jackson, the Eagles just can’t get any big plays out of their wide receivers. On passes to Jackson, Nelson Agholor, and Alshon Jeffery, Wentz went 8-of-17 for all of 62 yards, and a long catch of only 13 yards. An 18th throw resulted in a DPI for 8 more yards.

Big Cat Country Q&A: What has changed about the Gardner Minshew quarterback situation? - Big Cat Country
Q: Does Gardner Minshew start Week 1 next year? ... A: That’s a great question and it deserves a longer piece (which I’ll have later in the week) but my knee jerk reaction is yes. Nick Foles has a chance to win the starting job for 2020 but I just don’t see him getting more than the four wins that Gardner Minshew got in the first half of the season. I think they finish 7-9 or 8-8 and they stick with Minshew going forward, meaning they’ll try as hard as they can to trade Foles in the offseason

The case for and against Nick Foles getting his starting job back from Gardner Minshew -SB Nation
The Gardner Minshew honeymoon is over. After Sunday’s loss to the Texans in London — one in which the rookie quarterback had more turnovers (four) than the Jaguars had points scored (three) — Jacksonville is 4-5 and trails the Texans by two games and a tiebreaker in the AFC South. Nick Foles, the man the club signed for four years and $88 million back in March, is set to return from the broken collarbone that ended his Duuuuuuval debut after just eight passes. The Jaguars can activate the Super Bowl 52 MVP during the team’s upcoming bye week, giving him extra time to prep for his team’s pivotal Week 11 showdown on the road against Indianapolis. That leaves a big decision on head coach Doug Marrone’s shoulders — one he’s not yet prepared to make in the wake of Week 9’s 26-3 defeat.


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