Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Smart NFL People Share 25 Ways To Make Pro Football Better - FMIA
Chris Long: “I learned to never make a decision based on just one thing. The decision to retire was complicated. It was based on health, which is still very good, and family, we have two small children, and football fit, which includes a chance to win and my role and geography. Philadelphia is where I wanted to play a couple more years. I love Philadelphia. But as a player I learned the most important thing to me is Sunday, and having a chance to be a big part of it. It seemed like player-coach was kind of the role that was going to be carved out for me—maybe playing 10, 12, 15 plays a game. I’m a rhythm player. I need to set people up, I need to be in the flow of the game. If I sit on the bench for three series, I can’t get rhythm, and I’ll get cold and maybe I’ll hurt myself. Some people think that’s great—play less and you won’t get hurt. Man, I want to play ball. In Philadelphia, after they signed Malik Jackson, it didn’t seem there was much of a chance to compete there. But they were honest with me the whole time. I appreciate the honesty. I’ll always love Philadelphia and the Eagles, but I didn’t want Week 4, 5, to come around and people think, Whoa, where’s Chris? Did Chris retire? I’d rather do it this way than just fade out. And I didn’t want to start over again across the country somewhere.”
Chris Long’s Eagles career was unlike any other - BGN
You had to be there. We were.
Long Gone - Iggles Blitz
After Sweat and Miller, the Eagles have Daeshon Hall and Joe Ostman. I actually like Hall and think he could be a player to watch. Hall had half a sack in the game vs Houston. He stood out on STs a few times. He will have a full offseason in the scheme and I think he’ll open some eyes. Ostman feels like Steven Means 2.0. He’ll be great in practice and his teammates will rave about him. At the end of the day, I just don’t know if he’s good enough to play in the NFL. I would love for him to make me eat my words (with Funyons on the side). We’ll see how Ostman does this summer.
The Colts Are Quietly Winning the Offseason - MMQB
Happy trails to Chris Long, who was as interesting a guy as you’ll find in the NFL. He’s Howie Long’s son. He went to Thomas Jefferson’s school. He was the second pick in the draft. He played a long time for a sad-sack team in a small market. He got dumped by that team a few weeks after it announced its move to L.A. The next year, he won a Super Bowl with the era’s greatest dynasty, then came back the year after with another team to beat that dynasty and win another title. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in the offseason to raise money for clean water in Africa. He’s been at times the only white face in the NFL players’ fight for social justice reform. He was a four-time Pro Bowl alternate but never played in the game. And his last honor as NFL player came after his final game, when he was named the NFL’ Walter Payton Man of the Year in February. That, I’d say, is a lot for a guy who just turned 34. Ex-NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis, who came into the league a year after Long, played seven years with him, captained the Rams defense with him, and wound up cut on the same 2016 day as him, texted me this on his buddy Sunday: “It was such an honor to share the huddle with Chris. Such a great teammate, a ball-buster, but a guy who approached the game the right way. Never questioned his heart. His willingness to face the noise when things were rough in St. Louis set a great example for me to do the same. It was with great joy I got to see him raise two Lombardis, but greater joy to see him do the things with waterboys and the youth education initiative that he’s done. He’s done much more away from what the public is aware of, and it’s because of his heart to use his platform for the betterment of everyone else that makes it an honor to call him a friend. Cheers to a hell of a career.” And here’s hoping Chris makes his next 34 just as unique as his first 34.
Veteran experience, promising youth defines DE picture - PE.com
You might not be too familiar with the name of Daeshon Hall, but it’s time to get to know him. A third-round pick of Carolina in 2017 out of Texas A&M, where Hall played in all 52 games with 39 starts and strong production, Hall played nine defensive snaps in his Week 1, 2017 NFL debut but suffered a knee injury in a later practice session that ultimately sent him to Injured Reserve and ended his rookie season. Hall was released by the Panthers as the team reached its 53-man roster limit last September, a surprising move to give up on a third-round draft pick just one year later. Hall then joined San Francisco’s practice squad for three weeks, then played on Houston’s 53-man roster for a few weeks, and then was cut by the Texans and signed to Houston’s practice squad in October. The Eagles, thin at defensive end due to a rash of injuries, added Hall from the Texans’ practice squad on December 11 and he played 16 snaps in the remainder of the regular season, and had half a quarterback sack against Houston, and seven snaps in the two playoff games. Hall, a lanky 6-5, 265-pounder, impressed the Eagles with his athleticism and his burst off the ball, as well as his size and speed running down the field on kickoff coverage. As he reported to the team’s offseason program, Hall’s work between the end of the 2018 season and April was noted by Howie Roseman. [BLG Note: Hall gets mentioned before Josh Sweat in this article, for what it’s worth.]
What’s next for the Philadelphia Eagles defensive ends after Chris Long’s retirement? - PennLive
The Eagles’ first addition in free agency was defensive tackle Malik Jackson, a former Pro Bowler who was the highest-paid player at his position at one point earlier in his career. He gives the Eagles a dynamic interior combination with All-Pro Fletcher Cox, and he should give the Eagles pass rush a boost, too. In the past six seasons, Jackson has averaged nearly 5.5 sacks per season with a career high of 8.0 coming in 2017. Over the past two seasons, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz would move a defensive end — Brandon Graham in 2017, Michael Bennett in 2018 — inside to rush at defensive tackle, and Long would enter the game to rush off the edge in clear passing situations, especially on third down. With Jackson in the fold, the Eagles can keep two defensive tackles on the field in those situations more often. That was one of the clear ways Long’s playing time was set to decrease. Jackson is going to be one of the main ways the Eagles pass rush looks a little different in 2019. If he can return to his 2017 form — he had 3.5 sacks last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars — the Eagles should be able to get good push up the middle and off the edge.
Former St. Louis Rams DE Chris Long retires - Turf Show Times
Perhaps fittingly, Long was jettisoned as the Rams relocated to Los Angeles. The timing was right for Long to seek out the kind of environment the current Los Angeles Rams are offering talented, end-of-career veterans. And he found those environments with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles where he won Super Bowl rings, one with each. But Chris Long was more than a football player. He lived a life of charitable works that extended far beyond the football field into his Waterboys campaign to deliver clean water to parts of Africa to his efforts to raise awareness to help eliminate homelessness to becoming the first white player in the NFL to support the protests during the national anthem when he put his arm around Eagles CB Malcolm Jenkins who raised his fist just one week after the riots in Long’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Jeffrey Lurie cites Doug Pederson, Nick Foles in commencement address - Inquirer
“In the end, you have to make a judgment about human character that no algorithm can really capture,” Lurie said. “When we decided to hire Doug Pederson as our new coach, we got plenty of criticism for what seemed like a completely unconventional choice based on his career experience at that point. But what I saw in Doug was someone not just with expertise about football strategy and tactics, but a unique level of empathy for players as individuals – and real insight about how people work together as a team.”
Eagles mailbag: Derek Barnett’s potential breakout, Carson Wentz’s durability and contract concerns - NBCSP
I guess this answer depends on your definition of “break out year.” Barnett’s 2018 season ended prematurely with a shoulder injury that hampered him before the Eagles shut him down. But early in the year, I thought he was the best defensive end on the team (by that point Michael Bennett hadn’t played well and Brandon Graham was getting over his ankle injury). In six games, Barnett had 2 1/2 sacks. But before the shoulder injury, he had 2 1/2 in four games before he missed Week 5 with the shoulder injury that eventually ended his season. So Barnett was on pace for 10 sacks before the injury. With plenty of opportunity this season, I think Barnett can be a double-digit sack guy. Sure. That’s a good bar to set. Before Fletcher Cox did it in 2018, the last Eagle to top 10 sacks was Connor Barwin in 2014. One thing is for sure: this is a big year for Barnett. The Eagles traded away Bennett, Chris Long just announced his retirement and the Eagles passed on taking an edge rusher early in what was supposed to be a historically deep class. Barnett needs to not just be a starter, but be extremely productive in Year 3.
Will Jets stars Le’Veon Bell, Leonard Williams remain part of Adam’s family? - ESPN
Next man up: I don’t think the Jets are going to rush into a GM decision, nor should they, but the word around the league is that Joe Douglas is the odds-on favorite. Checking in with different factions in the industry -- scouts and agents -- I’ve heard nothing but good things about Douglas, the Philadelphia Eagles’ vice president of player personnel. He spent 16 years in the Baltimore Ravens’ personnel department, working alongside the well-respected Ozzie Newsome, who just retired as GM. Douglas’ résumé is impressive, but he has never run an organization. Until a person is in the big chair, you never really know for sure how they will handle the pressure. Don’t buy the Peyton Manning rumors; it’s intriguing, but not on the current radar. Another question: Do you trust ownership to find the right match? The Jets haven’t had a successful coach-GM tandem since Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum.
The NFL Concussion Settlement Just Keeps Getting Worse And Worse - Deadspin
In what plaintiffs’ attorneys view as a total disaster, the federal judge overseeing the NFL concussion settlement on Thursday denied a motion to reconsider rules changes for physicians she had approved last month. Those changes, as noted earlier, stand to make it even more difficult for players to get paid and represent an enormous victory for the NFL. The ruling by Senior Judge Anita B. Brody came as no surprise. It followed a court hearing that took place last week in Philadelphia at which Brody’s tone and line of questioning indicated her belief that the primary issues affecting the settlement’s claims process remain the potential for players, lawyers, and doctors to defraud the system—even as hundreds of claims are still getting denied, being appealed, or languishing in audit.
Tony Romo’s botched hold in Seattle needs a deep rewind - SB Nation
But what about what came before that? So much had to fall perfectly so in order to make this moment what it is, and how it remains in our mind. The pain and heartbreak of an entire franchise, the fans forever divided over the quarterback, the lack of playoff success. It masked what led us to this moment. We forgot everything that raised hope so high and made the landing after the fall so much harder. Welcome to a moment in history.
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