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Eagles News: Fletcher Cox among NFL’s most indispensable players

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/21/19.

Wild Card Round - Philadelphia Eagles v Chicago Bears Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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NFL’s most indispensable defensive players for the 2019 season -
7) Fletcher Cox, DT, Philadelphia Eagles: Eternally underrated. Well, not here. This marks the fifth straight year that Cox has held a spot on this list. And for good reason. He wrecks games in so many different ways along that Eagles’ defensive line. He’s a winner and a true champion who is tough and clutch and makes everyone around him better. The player sitting atop this list, Aaron Donald, gets all the shine when people discuss DT disruption. Understandable, but unfortunate. Cox is a monster in the middle of Philly’s defensive front, fresh off a first-team All-Pro season that saw him log a career-high 10.5 tackles.

Eagles schedule preview: Vikings - BGN
What are they bad at? Asset management. Only the Patriots are spending more at QB this year. Only the Dolphins are spending less on their OL. Eight other teams are spending more on their defense than their offense, and they all fit into two groupings. The first are the Texans, Ravens, Jets, and Cardinals who all have starting QBs on rookie contracts, which isn’t the case in Minnesota. Then there are the Dolphins, Jaguars, Broncos, and Panthers who are all coming off losing seasons and aren’t contenders. The Vikings think they’re a Super Bowl contender, but they aren’t really built like one.

Eagles training camp battles to watch - PhillyVoice
Because of Zach Brown’s experience and impressive numbers, when the Eagles signed him, the feeling among many was that he would be the starting linebacker opposite Nigel Bradham. Don’t be so sure of that. The Eagles like Grugier-HIll, and the belief here is that they want him to earn a starting job during training camp. ”He’s made incremental progress every year that we’ve had him here,” linebackers coach Ken Flajole said of Grugier-Hill in June. “I fully expect him to be able to take the next step, and be more than just a special teams guy and a spot player on defense. I’d like to think that he can be a real factor for us.

More on Sproles - Iggles Blitz
The other issue for me is that Sproles can hurt the offense. The QBs can lean on him too much in some third down situations. One of the strengths of the offense in 2017 is that Carson Wentz never forced the ball to anyone. He spread it around, looking for the open guy. Eagles RBs caught 53 passes in all of 2017. Sproles caught 5 passes in the 2017 season opener and 4 passes in the 2018 season opener. When he’s on the field, QBs tend to look for him. That was great when he was the team’s best playmaker. That’s no longer the case. He’s no longer a player you force the ball to. If the coaches and QBs can embrace the idea of Sproles as a role player, and he buys in as well, there could be value to having him back. If they try to feed him the ball, this is a bad move.

Big Question: Who wins the battle at cornerback? -
The big question as the ever-so-optimistic Spadaro pointed out is how quickly can they return to full form. Now, the wild card for me in Training Camp is Maddox, the second-year players who benefited from the injuries in 2018. He pushed Jones for the nickel job in the summer last year. After Rodney McLeod’s injury, Maddox was thrust into the starting lineup alongside Malcolm Jenkins for four games. Then the injuries at cornerback forced Maddox to shift to both the nickel and outside spots. In all, Maddox played in 15 games, starting 11 (including playoffs). He was also a key player on special teams. Maddox had a strong spring playing at cornerback. Man, the competition is going to be outstanding at this position as it has been for the past few seasons.

As clock ticks for Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott, Zeke plans to travel out of the country - PFT
Our popcorn is indeed ready. The Cowboys report for camp in five days. Running back Ezekiel Elliott may or may not be there. Per a league source, Elliott currently is believed to be making plans for a trip out of the country.

Will Zach Ertz be a Hall of Famer? - NBCSP
Maybe it’s silly to project Ertz as a Hall of Famer before his 29th birthday, but if he can stay healthy and keep stringing together the type of seasons he has been, it’s going to happen. Since becoming a full-time starter four years ago, Ertz has averaged 86 catches, 914 yards and 5 ½ touchdowns. If he keeps up that pace for six more years and plays until he’s 34, which most top tight ends are able to do, he’ll have 953 catches, 10,311 yards and 62 TDs after the 2024 season. Not to mention a game-winning late fourth-quarter TD catch in a Super Bowl. If he does that, nobody is going to keep him out of Canton.

Ranking the NFC East, 2019: tight ends - Hogs Haven
Zach Ertz has grown into one of the top tight ends in the NFL, garnering Pro Bowl selections in both 2017 and 2018, and he broke the NFL record for receptions by a tight end in 2018, with an astonishing 116. He also collected 1,163 yards and 8 TDs. With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, he trails, perhaps, only Travis Kelce as one of the most dangerous tight ends in the game.

The original ‘NFL Primetime’ can never be topped - SB Nation
NFL Primetime was the best NFL show to ever exist — and it still hasn’t been topped, despite the most popular form of the program ending over a decade ago. I remember sneaking down into the living room after it was time for bed to watch Chris Berman and Tom Jackson recap a day’s worth of NFL games in rapid-fire form. It was such an integral piece of the NFL cycle that it was worth getting in trouble to watch. As someone who didn’t have NFL Sunday Ticket, this was really the only way I could see all the action of the day before starting a new week. The highlight packages, Jackson’s analysis of what was happening on the field, and Berman’s ad-libs made it appointment viewing for football fans of all ages.


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