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Eagles News: PFF says Philadelphia has the NFL’s best offensive line heading into 2019

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/10/19.

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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

NFL offensive line rankings: All 32 teams’ units entering 2019 - PFF
1. Philadelphia Eagles — PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP: Left Tackle: Jason Peters, Left Guard: Isaac Seumalo, Center: Jason Kelce, Right Guard: Brandon Brooks, Right Tackle: Lane Johnson ... The Eagles spent their first-round pick on Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard to act as insurance should the ailing Jason Peters fail to play a complete season in 2019. However, Philadelphia has earned top-ten team pass- and run-blocking grades in each of the last three seasons and PFF data suggests that they will accomplish this feat again as they enter the 2019 season with the top-ranked offensive line in the NFL.

Top 10 offensive lines in NFL: Tight race between Eagles, Steelers for top spot ahead of Cowboys, Colts, Patriots - CBS Sports
2. Eagles: It’s actually a little surprising to see the Eagles rank this highly after their statistical struggles in 2018, when they ranked 19th in run blocking and 17th in pass protection, via Football Outsiders’ metrics. They also allowed 40 sacks, which placed in the middle of the pack. But it’s clear the Eagles have the talent to improve in 2019, from Jason Peters to Jason Kelce to Brandon Brooks to Lane Johnson. Don’t forget about backup tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai or rookie Andre Dillard, both of whom provide the Eagles with depth up front. This is one of the deepest groups in football.

The Eagles’ backfield will be much better in 2019 ... right? - BGN
A look back at the Eagles’ 2018 rushing stats is ... depressing. Only two NFL teams ranked worse than Philadelphia in terms of rushing yards per play. Undrafted rookie free agent Josh Adams actually finished last year as the Eagles’ leading rusher with 511 yards. And yet he was entrusted with just one carry (for two yards) in two playoff games. Wendell Smallwood, who was phased out of the running back rotation at one point, finished second on the team in rushing. It’s entirely possible neither Adams nor Smallwood are even on the 53-man roster in 2019 and it’ll likely be one of them at most. The Eagles addressed the running back position during the 2019 offseason by both trading for Jordan Howard and drafting Miles Sanders. On paper, those additions seem like a significant improvement over last year’s backfield. How reliable is that projection? Let’s take a closer look.

High Expectations - Iggles Blitz
You could worry about how high expectations will affect a team, but I think the Eagles have the right combination of people to handle this. Doug Pederson is quiet, calm, but also confident. He will embrace the expectations, at least privately. Publicly, he will likely avoid saying anything too strong. Wentz is comfortable in the spotlight and he’s used to having pressure. North Dakota State might not be the same as Alabama, but NDSU teams are expected to win national titles. Anything less is failure. Wentz won a pair of titles in college and then help the 2017 Eagles to win the team’s first Super Bowl. Nick Foles suited up in the postseason, but if you don’t think Wentz had a significant impact on that team, you have a lot to learn. Schwartz isn’t scared of pressure situations. He has coached five playoff games for the Eagles and has allowed 20 or fewer points in 4 of the 5 games. Only Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski broke through that barrier when they put up 33 points in Super Bowl LII (the Eagles still won, in case you forgot).

Eagles’ Miles Sanders expects ball to ‘spread out a lot’ - NFL.com
“It’s definitely going to be competitive. That’s what I like about rooms likes this. It was like this at Penn State. It was a very talented running back room. But I’m just used to that stuff: competing and making each other better. Nobody’s really going to be the star running back, I think,” said Sanders on Total Access on Tuesday. “I think the ball’s going to be spread out a lot, and that’s what I kind of like, too.”

Picking the NFL’s best offenses at every personnel grouping - ESPN
12 personnel — The team that ran it best: I’m picking the Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles here, but it was close. Why? I love the tight end combo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in Philly. But Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tossed 13 touchdowns out of 12 personnel last season, which led the league. Plus, three of Mahomes’ top targets -- Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins -- finished in the top 20 of receiving yards with one back, two tight ends and two wide receivers on the field. In short, both Andy Reid and Doug Pederson can scheme up opposing defenses in this personnel grouping.

Eagles 2019 breakout candidate: Dallas Goedert needs to get on the field - NBCSP
The way this shakes out is that either Agholor or Goedert will be on the field. Now, there will be different variations. The Eagles are multiple and they have players with versatility. Will DeSean work out of the slot sometimes? Sure. But we’re just looking at the basics for now and the basics say either Agholor or Goedert will be on the field. A lot of this should be matchup dependent and based on how teams decide to defend their different personnel groupings. So the fact that we’re not just entertaining the thought but saying that Goedert should take snaps from Agholor (who is making $9.4 million this season!) kind of tells you about the expectations for Goedert in Year 2.

Ranking the NFC East, 2019: (inside) linebackers - Hogs Haven
The fact that the Eagles signed Zach Brown is perhaps a sign of the lack of quality depth they have at the linebacker position, on a team that is otherwise pretty deep. Aside from Brown and Nigel Bradham, the Eagles have Paul Worrilow, the 29-year-old former Falcon and Lion who missed all of last season in Philly with a torn ACL and who signed a vet minimum deal for 2019, Kamu Grugier-Hill, a spot starter in 2018, picked up on waivers from New England, Nathan Gerry, a 5th round pick from 2017, LJ Fort, a 5-year NFL journeyman, and a few more street and college free agents. This appears, to my eye, to be the weakest link on a pretty strong roster.

How The New York Giants Won Super Bowl 54 - The Draft Network
In reality, Eli Manning invented human cloning because, in response to his generally swandiving play in the last few seasons, they decided trading Odell Beckham Jr. out of the arsenal would somehow improve the offense. With no real weapons to hang his hat on in this passing game, Manning wanted to clone Saquon Barkley seven or so times to fill out all the major roles on the offense: X-receiver, which doesn’t exist; right tackle, currently filled by Chad Wheeler, of all people; Y-tight end, cause Evan Engram is just a glorified slot; fullback, of course, and full-time back-up QB. Manning, who is a nerd even if he’s not a nerd, because of his facial expressions, had been working on the formula for decades, of course -- a crude preamble of the current concoction was the means by which Eli robbed Peyton of his arm strength in the twilight of the better Manning’s career. Manning was unable, however, to deploy his Saquon Sycophants, as the broadcast cameras couldn’t fit two players with thighs the size of Barkley’s, let alone eight. Now he just keeps them in storage: Barkley will never get injured again.

Youth Appeal Is a Bigger NFL Business Concern Than Protests or Concussions - MMQB
Concussions and protest policy have drawn much attention but not had much affect on the NFL’s bottom line. The league’s biggest business challenge will be holding on to young fans, and winning them over could involve sharing more data than teams will be comfortable with.

The Patriots almost moved to St. Louis in 1994. What if it had happened? - SB Nation
No team had fewer fans show up during the 1992 season. The Patriots averaged 38,551 fans per game — well south of the now-demolished Foxboro Stadium’s 60,292 capacity. For one December game against the Colts, the Patriots couldn’t even get 20,000 people to show up. So it wasn’t too shocking that the Patriots were in the relocation crosshairs, especially when they had a revolving door of owners at the time. First, the Sullivan family sold the team to Victor Kiam in 1988. Not long after, Kiam sold it to James Orthwein in 1992. Orthwein was born and raised in St. Louis, and bought the Patriots specifically with the goal of moving the team to his hometown in Missouri. Had he succeeded, the NFL would probably look much different today.

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