Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
The NFL’s 10 Most Important Players Entering 2019 - B/R
10) DeSean Jackson - There were times last year when the Eagles wide receiver corps consisted of Nelson Agholor (a slot guy), Jordan Matthews (a less effective slot guy) and Kamar Aiken (no idea). Even when Alshon Jeffery returned from injury and Golden Tate (yet another slot guy) arrived via trade, the Eagles offense lacked a credible deep threat, allowing defenders to squat on all of those short passes into the flats. Jackson earned rave reviews in his return to Philly this offseason: He looked as fast as ever, and he was reportedly dialed in with Carson Wentz. After leading the NFL in yards per catch (18.9) for the third time in five years in 2018, it’s clear that even at the age of 32, Jackson still has wheels. A couple of Jackson bombs are all the talent-laden Eagles need to make another Super Bowl push—and help Wentz justify his new $128 million extension with an MVP-caliber campaign.
Eagles Question of the Day: What is the one barometer of success for the 2019 season? - BGN
After signing the QB to a mega-extension, the team (and fans) need to see that Carson Wentz can make it through a whole season healthy, and getting at least one playoff win will give the young quarterback experience and a boost of confidence. Sure, he got the team to the playoffs in 2017, but likely has a lot of “what if” questions had he been healthy enough to compete in that Super Bowl run. Proving to himself and the Eagles organization that not only can he stay healthy enough to compete in the postseason, but can also rise to the occasion and win, will go a long way in setting up many Super Bowl runs in the team’s near-future.
Eye On the Enemy Extra: RJ Ochoa of Blogging the Boys - BGN Radio
Michael Kist is joined by RJ Ochoa of Blogging the Boys to wrap-up the Dallas Cowboys’ Eye On the Enemy installments! Garrett vs. Moore, Zeke vs. Saquon, final win predictions and much much more!
Miles Sanders - Iggles Blitz
If Sanders does pan out as hoped, he will add a new dimension to the Eagles offense. He has the kind of big play ability that the running game hasn’t had on a consistent basis in recent years. The Eagles were 29th in the league last year in runs of 20 or more yards. They only had seven. For the sake of comparison, Jordan Howard had five on his own. Howard is not exactly known as a speedster. The combination of Howard and Sanders should move the Eagles up considerably when it comes to runs of 20 or more yards. The Eagles did lead the league in runs of 20 or more yards in 2017. They were back down at 21st in 2016. The potential is there. The O-line will open holes and get things started. It is up to the RBs to get the job done and make plays.
The NFL’s 11 best centers - Touchdown Wire
A sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft out of Cincinnati, Jason Kelce is one of the best draft bargains of his era. He’s allowed just 11 sacks and 138 total pressures in 7,902 career snaps, and over the last few seasons, he’s transformed himself from a mobile, agile center with some strength issues into the most complete center in the NFL. In 2018, he allowed no sacks and just 11 total pressures in 1,153 snaps. Kelce has always been tremendous when on the move—he targets at the second level exceptionally well, and he gets on the hoof on sweeps and pulls with quickness and a consistent pad level. What’s been different in recent seasons is how he uses leg drive, a low pad level, and active arms to work bigger defenders out of the play—and to the ground, if necessary. Kelce’s career is an optimal example of how a player can come into the NFL with a few attributes and over time, become a total player—and the best player at his position.
Audible: Jeff Stoutland at 2019 Minicamp - PE.com
Listen in to offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland as he was mic’d up during 2019 minicamp.
Are 2019 Eagles better or worse at defensive tackle? - NBCSP
Thanks to the Jackson signing, the defense probably won’t need to depend on a whole heck of a lot from Jernigan. Yet, imagine if he’s healthy and providing a high-end starter’s level of talent off the bench, at a position where the Eagles were literally plugging in journeymen like T.Y. McGill last season. Yes, that is a real person who wore midnight green in ’18. Jernigan basically missed all of the previous year with a mysterious back injury, pretty much only making a few bit appearances in the playoffs. But just one year earlier, he was a regular on a Super Bowl-winning defense, recording a respectable 2.5 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits. He posted even bigger numbers with the Ravens before that. Now, he’s the No. 3, playing on a team-friendly one-year deal, with much to prove. If he’s healthy and motivated, the Eagles may very well field the best interior in the league.
The best three-year stretches of the PFF era - PFF
Evan Mathis, Philadelphia Eagles — 96.1 overall grade, 2011-2013. One of the very best to ever play the position, Mathis takes first, second, third and fourth place on the list of the top three-year stretches by offensive guards. His best of the lot, 2011-13, saw him earn overall grades of 92.8, 92.8 and 94.9, respectively, with the latter mark being the best overall grade ever recorded by a player at the position. Mathis really was in a league of his own as a run-blocker over this period. His run-blocking grade of 95.8 and his impact run-block percentage of 19.4% both ranked first among all offensive guards over this three-season span.
Ranking the NFC East, 2019: Offensive Lines - Hogs Haven
The big news for the Eagles is their first round draft pick, Andre Dillard. With Jason Peters getting older and more hobbled by repeated injuries, Dillard is the young future-anchor of the Eagles offensive line. The question seems to be one of timing; when will Dillard step up and push Peters permanently to the sideline? Jason Kelce may or may not be the best Center in the NFC East, but Lane Johnson is almost certainly the best RT in the division, and possibly in the entire NFL.
2018 Defeats - Football Outsiders
Our look back at 2018 data continues. Today we are going to focus on defeats, and what they can tell us about some of the best defenders in the league. We have lots of statistics to measure quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, even kickers, but our numbers for individual defensive players are a lot more limited. Defeats are one way to account for defenders who make frequent appearances on highlight reels. [BLG Note: Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins, and Rasul Douglas (!) notably make this list.]
WHB’s Kevin Kietzman taken off air indefinitely following comments on Reid’s family - The Kansas City Star
Kevin Kietzman on Tuesday was suspended indefinitely from appearing on his Kansas City sports radio talk show “Between The Lines” on WHB (810 AM), the station announced Tuesday. The action comes a day after he was criticized by fans in Kansas City and by national media outlets for his comments about Chiefs coach Andy Reid and his family. In a message on the station’s website, Union Broadcasting wrote: “We are aware of the controversial comments made by Kevin Kietzman during yesterday’s broadcast of Between the Lines. We have decided to take the immediate step to take Kevin off the air until further notice as we review this matter. We take Kevin’s comments and those of all on-air staff seriously. Kevin’s comments were clearly not to his or our standards. Please know that we will take necessary appropriate actions.”
The NFL’s 20 biggest outlier contracts, and why a fullback reigns again - ESPN
When the Giants turned down the option to stick Landon Collins with the franchise tag for one year at $11.2 million, Washington pounced with a six-year, $84 million deal. Those numbers seemed shocking for a safety, and there was some assumption that the contract specifics would yield a much less impressive deal, but that’s not really the case. Collins is only guaranteed $26 million, but the structure of this deal makes it extremely likely that he will take home that full $45 million figure over three years. (The only way Washington could get away with paying Collins $26 million would be if they cut him after one year, at which point Daniel Snyder & Co. would owe $22 million in dead money.) How much is $45 million over three years for a safety? Before 2019, the only safety to make more than $33 million in cash over the first three years of his deal was Eric Berry, who was coming off of one of the most impactful seasons a safety has had in the modern NFL. The Collins deal was a huge leap forward for the position, and it helped reset the market for guys like Mathieu and Thomas, who signed shortly thereafter.
Jonah Williams has shoulder surgery and likely out for entire rookie season - Cincy Jungle
Alas, the Bengals will now rely on Cordy Glenn at left tackle. Glenn briefly moved to left guard after Williams took over the left side during OTAs. Losing the 11th overall pick before he plays a down of football is never ideal, but we’re all used to it by now since the Bengals have the worst luck when it comes to their top picks missing significant time as rookies. [BLG Note: Trade Big V to the Bengals?]
How the NFL Has a Softer Salary Cap Than the NBA - MMQB
Next week the sports world will marvel at the size of NBA free agent contracts. Our Business of Football expert explains some differences between the NBA and NFL.
Which sport has the worst instant replay system? An investigation - SB Nation
Sports. Technology. Two great tastes that go great together. OK, that is a barefaced lie. As much as we have fallen in love with the innovations technology has brought to sports, we also often hate the implementation of things like instant replay and referee review. It’s because, somehow, no matter how good this stuff sounds on paper, it always ends up sucking and makes us all furious anyway. But, there are striations of sucking. Variances in implementation and exercise that definitively make some instant replays more off putting than others. It’s difficult to evaluate which instant replay is the best without being woefully subjective. So I’ve implemented a fool proof* method for objective evaluation I call the “Universal Suck Quotient,” or the USQ. We take the total search results for a given sport, like say “NFL” and divide those by the Google search result number for “[sport] replay sucks.” This gives us an idea of what percentage of people interested in the sport thinks the replay system sucks. From there I will implement my own subjective writer’s tilt, which I promise to exercise only then it’s important.
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