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Eagles News: PFF says Philadelphia has the NFL’s best group of wide receivers

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/1/19.

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

NFL receiving corps rankings: All 32 teams entering 2019 - PFF
1. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles took steps this offseason to improve what was already an above-average unit in 2018 with the additions of DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Jackson showed last year that he hasn’t lost a step, leading all NFL players with 50-plus targets in average depth of target at 19.6 yards while grading 25th at the position. Arcega-Whiteside came in at 23rd on the PFF Big Board after hauling in a draft class-leading 19 contested catches in 2018. [BLG Note: PFF previously had the Eagles with the NFL’s top ranked offensive line AND top ranked pass rush.]

15 observations from Eagles training camp practice - BGN
I’ve often described Nate Sudfeld’s offseason as “up and down.” Today was more up than down. Sudfeld connected with Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Richard Rodgers for red zone touchdowns. He also threaded a tight window back shoulder throw to Marken Michel along the back of the end zone. (The defense claimed Michel was out but some offensive players disagreed. Regardless, it was a legit throw.) Even going back to last summer, I feel like the red zone is an area where Studfeld plays well. He makes good decisions and throws an accurate ball.

Special: Evan Silva Predicts Fool’s Gold & Hidden Gems - BGN Radio
Michael Kist is joined by special guest Evan Silva of Establish the Run to give their thoughts on teams that they feel will over/underachieve in the 2019 NFL Season! Brought to you by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Malcolm Jenkins says Eagles’ defense is ‘whoopin’ the offense’s ass’ so far at training camp - PhillyVoice
“Oh, we run this team. That’s not a question,” the three-time Pro Bowler said. “At the end of the day, we want to score as many points as possible, but if the opponent doesn’t score, we win, so... [shrugs]” Of course, Jenkins and the Eagles defense have a slight advantage at training camp, as the offense keeps their play calling as vanilla as possible, waiting until closer to the start of the season before implementing their more complicated plays. But that won’t stop Jenkins from letting his teammates on the other side of the ball — or the rest of the world, for that matter — know who has looked better so far at camp. ”For the next four or five weeks, it’ll be very generic as we go against other opponents, so we’ll just focus on the basics and the fundamentals of the game,” Jenkins added. “And in the basics and fundamentals, we’re whoopin’ the offenses’ ass.”

Backup QBs - Iggles Blitz
The key here is to fairly evaluate Sudfeld. He’s not Carson Wentz, a possible league MVP. He’s not Nick Foles, a Pro Bowl player and Super Bowl MVP. Sudfeld is an unproven backup QB. He might become A.J. Feeley, but he also could be a bigger, more athletic version of Matt McGloin. Feeley was an excellent backup QB and spot starter. McGloin was not. Sudfeld isn’t likely to start playing at a super-high level. That would be great if it happened, but history says it won’t. We need to see Sudfeld show that he can make some plays and some tough throws. It sure sounds like he did that on Wednesday.

How’s the Carson Wentz, DeSean Jackson connection? ‘Every day it grows’ - ESPN
The 32-year-old Jackson, back with the Eagles after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March, was a regular at voluntary workouts this spring to help build that rapport, a decision that has paid early dividends. ”[Wentz] made a comment earlier to me, like, ‘I saw you make a break and you were expecting the ball. If you weren’t here during spring ball, I probably wouldn’t have been able to notice that,’” Jackson said. “So just the time we’ve spent together, knowing when I’m going to break or when he’s dropping back he knows where I’m going to be and I know where the ball’s going to be.”

Darren Sproles Hasn’t Changed. Football Has. - The Ringer
Sproles’s ability to disappear is legendary. He plays a sport in which defenses plan to account for every blade of grass, and yet he finds yards of space. “[Artie Burns] was reading the quarterback,” Sproles said of his touchdown catch against the Steelers. “He thought the quarterback was about to run, and as soon as I saw him turn around, I just turned up the field deep.” Even though this play occurred on third down, Sproles said defenses actually let him disappear more on first down. His reputation as a third-down killer is so solidified by now that defenses key in on him on third and play more traditional defense in first, letting Sproles slip by. “It’s easy to lose him, especially with a mobile quarterback like Carson [Wentz], because guys lock in on Carson,” said Boston Scott, another 5-foot-6 running back on the Eagles. “Is he going to scramble? What’s he doing? And with Darren being smaller it’s easy to lose him. The game has been evolving, the athletes are getting more freakish, and it’s been amazing to see him accomplish what he has.”

Rasul Douglas has matured into a confident Eagles veteran looking to nail down a full-time starting role - Inquirer
“Good ball skills, great competitor, great tackler,” fellow corner Avonte Maddox said about Douglas. “He can be big – just give him some time. When his time comes, he always steps up to the plate. “He’s always got good footwork, long arms and legs. It’s hard to get around him when you’re a receiver.” Maddox reported, however, that Douglas cannot beat him in Fortnite, and that Douglas once blamed defeat on his infant son for drooling on the controller. “I’m not good at Fortnite,” Douglas acknowledged. Douglas does have a presence, on and off the field. “He’s a cool, funny guy,” Maddox said. “He’s always talking. If something funny starts” in the defensive backs’ meeting room] “it usually starts with him.”

Shhhh ... It’s quiet around Eagles punter Cameron Johnston (and that’s a great thing!) - PE.com
In his first NFL season, all Johnston did was set an Eagles record for both gross punting average (48.1 yards) and net punting average (42.7 yards), ranking third and fourth in the entire NFL in those categories, respectively. He thinks he has improved since then. And that’s why the dozens of reporters who cover the Eagles on a daily basis don’t spend much time around Johnston. There isn’t any drama here, folks. “I guess that’s the way we like it,” Johnston said. “We’re just out there doing our jobs, so maybe it’s boring. We have a lot of time to make sure we recover – get in the cold tub and things like that. Basically, when we’re not kicking, we like to stay out of the way. We don’t want anyone to worry about us. We’re going to do our jobs and make sure we take care of what we can control. After that, there’s no point in worrying about what we can’t control.”

Meet Cody Kessler, the quarterback that Nick Foles brought to the Eagles - NBCSP
“He was actually the first person to talk to me other than my family and my agent,” Kessler said. “When Jacksonville let me go, he called me that day and we had a really good talk, really about a 45-minute talk just about his journey and what he went through and we started getting to know each other after that. The way he talked about this place was something that really intrigued me, and he wasn’t lying. The locker room is special, the city is special, this team is special. It’s been great.

Cowboys will have league-high 20 open preseason practices - PFT
That gives the Cowboys a league-high 20 open training camp practices, one more than the Broncos. The Eagles have only one open practice in training camp, and the Raiders have none open to the public.

Report: Redskins are having trade discussions about Trent Williams - Hogs Haven
Now Jeff Howe of the Athletic is reporting that the Redskins are having trade discussions about Trent Williams. This could just be the Redskins exploring their options, a negotiating tactic, or things are really this bad and they’re looking to move on.

‘Madden NFL 20’ is finally understanding its audience. Here’s our complete review - SB Nation
Last year, I recommended the latest iteration of the Madden NFL franchise, calling it the first one in a long time that I could recommend as a complete $60 package. After spending time with Madden NFL 20, which releases for all major platforms on Aug. 2, I can again say that EA is getting pretty good at making tangible improvements that go beyond a simple roster update. That said, Madden NFL 20 is not without its flaws. There’s a growing disconnect between fans of the more realistic, almost sanitized Madden of today, and fans who prefer the minigame-packed, looser-feeling Madden of yesteryear. EA has tried to bridge that gap in recent games with the introduction of “arcade” style play vs. “simulation”, which aims to create a faster-paced game with more big plays. It’s a noticeable difference, and now EA has added development traits like Superstar X Factors and Zone Abilities, which elevate the highest-rated players beyond mere mortals. From the new Face of the Franchise story mode to the graphic upgrades, I’ll run you through all you need to know about Madden NFL 20.

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