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Eagles News: Zach Brown makes list of NFL’s best linebackers

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/22/19.

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The NFL’s 11 best linebackers - Touchdown Wire
The Eagles lost star linebacker Jordan Hicks to the Cardinals in free agency in the offseason, but typical of Howie Roseman and his staff, there was a plan in place. That plan was to add Brown, the former Redskins standout who was signed to a one-year deal after Washington released him in a salary cap move. Bad news for the Redskins, who will certainly miss a guy who amassed nine pressures, 74 tackles, 17 assists and 35 catches allowed on 48 targets for 160 yards and no touchdowns. Coverage was an issue with Brown in previous years, but he really put that skill together last year, and that will serve him well in an Eagles defense requiring its linebackers to cover a ton of ground. One of the most assignment-correct linebackers in the NFL, Brown has a great ability to tear off to either sideline and still keep his body under control to make the tackle. There are few wasted steps and movements in anything he’s doing, whether he’s blitzing up the middle or taking a receiver down in slant/flat coverage.

NFC East Outlook: The top player at every offensive position - BGN
QUARTERBACK: Carson Wentz (Eagles. There’s a reason every time you see Dak Prescott’s stats favorably compared to other quarterbacks, they always include his rookie year. It’s because for the last two years he hasn’t been able to duplicate that success. Meanwhile, Wentz had a more typical rocky rookie season and followed up with two stronger performances than Prescott has been able to string together. This isn’t a matter of “Eagles writer favors Wentz”; you’ll be hard pressed to find a credible analyst, outside of the Cowboys media, that would argue Prescott is the better of the two. The question at this point comes down to future health and I’m not a doctor. The book isn’t fully written on those two, but if I had to pick right now, I’m going with Wentz.

Special Guest Mike Garafolo - BGN Radio
John Stolnis is joined by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network to talk Eagles, Wentz, the NFC East, playoff contenders and much more!Presented by SB Nation & Bleeding Green Nation.

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Clayton Thorson - PhillyVoice
Being a fifth-round rookie quarterback, I tried to comp him to a career backup, but I really couldn’t come up with anyone that fit. The guy he sort of reminds me of that you’ve all heard of? Jay Cutler, minus the cannon arm. Let’s go through the similarities. Thorson and Cutler have similar size. Thorson is 6’4, 222, while Cutler was 6’3, 226 coming out of college. Their college careers were similar in many ways. They were both four-year starters at schools that are traditionally overmatched against their conference opponents. Thorson went to Northwestern; Cutler went to Vanderbilt. While both of those schools have occasional decent seasons, both quarterbacks didn’t have a lot of help from their skill position players or offensive lines during their tenures. Partly as a result of their lack of talent as well as their willingness to take shots down the field anyway, they both had bad completion percentage and INT numbers.

Appreciating the Eagles, Vol. 2 - Iggles Blitz
I’m not a huge NBA fan by any stretch, but it was frustrating to see how the Sixers handled the draft on Thursday night. Derek Bodner wrote an excellent piece for The Athletic, breaking down why the moves were bad or at the very least, highly questionable. The Eagles take every advantage possible when trying to win. They are the most creative team in the league when it comes to salary cap management and contracts. They are very thorough when it comes to scouting. You see coaches and scouts at almost every Pro Day. The team has one of the bigger front offices in the league. There is no cap on front office spending.

Appreciating the marvelous talents of Jason Peters -
In his 16th NFL season, at the age of 37, Jason Peters knows how to ramp up to play football. He knows what it takes to get his body and his mind right, to work through the dance steps required to play left tackle. When the Eagles report to the NovaCare Complex on July 24 to begin the 2019 Training Camp, Peters will be there. He’ll be ready to ball. Among all the stories on this Eagles roster – and there are plenty, to be explored more in depth when camp opens – Peters is one of the more remarkable. You know about his transition from undrafted tight end to first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame left tackle, but his journey is more nuanced and, thus, to be appreciated more.

What offseason? It’s a big mistake for NFL teams to make training camp less accessible to fans - The Athletic
The Philadelphia Eagles have taken a bad trend and made it worse. The Eagles will open their training camp to the public just once this summer, and it’ll come at a cost. To watch that one practice, at Lincoln Financial Field, fans will have to pay $10 and purchase the ticket through Ticketmaster. All proceeds will go to the Eagles Autism Fund, but the charitable aspect here should not allow the Eagles to escape criticism for this move. We might be able to find NFL games on television three nights a week all fall, but the league remains largely inaccessible to most fans — except during training camp. This is the one time where fans can sit in the grass or bleachers and watch practice, while kids can slap high fives and pose for pictures with and get their jerseys autographed by their favorite players. In Cleveland, you can watch Baker Mayfield sling it, then adopt a puppy! In Minnesota, your kids can play in a bouncy house while you sample all sorts of fried delicacies from food trucks parked near the practice fields. In Green Bay, a Packer might even ride your child’s bike! In Philadelphia? You can watch ONE scrimmage from the stands in a massive stadium. It’s not intimate, and it isn’t special.

Are the 2019 Eagles better or worse along the offensive line? - NBCSP
Why they could be better: Healthy bodies. Noticing a trend in this series? The Eagles’ bad injury luck in 2018 hit the offensive line hard, even though the affected players somehow missed a grand total of one game. Jason Peters was coming off a torn ACL to begin with, then went on to exit somewhere around half the games early with various dings. Jason Kelce battled injuries all year, yet hardly missed a snap, and Lane Johnson only failed to suit up once when it turns out he wasn’t practicing pretty much the entire season. All three were already playing better down the stretch, a sign the unit was getting healthy. Kelce hasn’t missed a game since 2014, Johnson is traditionally very durable (suspensions notwithstanding) and Peters is another year removed from major knee surgery. Obviously, injuries can strike at any time, but 2019 is setting up as a clean slate for 60 percent of the Eagles’ front, which is a good sign.

Gil Brandt has bad news for the New York Giants - Big Blue View
1) Philadelphia Eagles. What puts the Eagles in the top spot isn’t just the roster assembled by GM Howie Roseman -- it’s the fact that so much core talent is locked into contracts through at least 2021. That core includes several who are considered among the best at their respective positions, like quarterback Carson Wentz (signed through 2024), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (2022), tight end Zach Ertz (2021) and center Jason Kelce(2021). The Eagles are also at the point where the NFL draft can be used to build for the future rather than being relied upon as a source of players who can provide an immediate impact. For example, Philly was able to snag offensive tackle prospect Andre Dillard, who can essentially redshirt for a year while being groomed to replace Jason Peters next season, in this year’s draft.

Alex Smith says he wants to continue his NFL career after major leg injury - Hogs Haven
Smith also talked about the next steps after the external fixator is removed. He can begin jogging and learning how to run again. The plan is to play football again if and when he gets to that point. He has already started throwing a football. Smith said one of the biggest mental obstacles is regaining trust in his leg.

Not Gone, but Forgotten: Who Has the Journeyman Backup QB Belt? - The Ringer
The NFL is a humbling workplace. Chase Daniel was the EA Sports National Player of the Year in high school, not to mention a state champion in Texas high school football. In college he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In the NFL he does videos where a hat and sunglasses are enough for his teammates to not recognize him. The thing is he’s not really wearing a disguise. Imagine if you walked through your office wearing a hat and sunglasses and none of your coworkers recognized you. You’d probably think it was funny. Then, after you thought about it, you’d probably be sad.

2018 YAC+ - Football Outsiders
Our annual look at YAC+ reveals an unlikely new team atop the all-time leaderboards. Plus, a good year for rookie receivers, a weakness in the Seattle passing game, and a Farewell to Gronk.

10 best bets for over and under Vegas NFL win totals in 2019 - SB Nation
It’s win total time! Our experts offer up their favorite overs and unders for 2019.


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