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Eagles News: Miles Sanders pegged as a “rookie riser”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/16/19.

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NFL: Preseason-Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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

David Montgomery, Tony Pollard among 2019 NFL rookie risers -
Sanders had a disappointing [spring] offseason after being sidelined by a hamstring injury. Now healthy, Sanders is poised to push Jordan Howard for the starting running back gig. Sanders managed just 3 yards on three carries in his preseason debut. But you can expect the competition to unfold throughout the preseason, as the Eagles rotate through and sort out the options in their very deep running back unit. The thing that I like so much about Sanders is that he’s fresh, having played behind Saquon Barkley for most of his time at Penn State, and he can catch the ball, which means he doesn’t have to come out in obvious passing situations. I think he’s going to impress this season.

10 things we learned from the Eagles’ second preseason game - BGN
Miles Sanders is good. He’s clearly got juice. I’ve already been saying it in my Eagles training camp practice notes but you could see it for yourselves, right? The rookie running back finished with five carries for 31 yards, which is a 6.2 average. Sanders was surely aided by good blocking but he also created some yardage on his own. He was first contacted around the 8-yard line on his 16-yard run but he fought through the defense to get to the 21-yard line. Further, Sanders did a good job in pass protection on Thorson’s touchdown throw. Watch him take on the blitzing linebacker up the middle.

PFF ReFocused, NFL Preseason Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 10 - PFF
Rookie Wisconsin product TJ Edwards logged two solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, against the Jags on Thursday. The young off-ball linebacker avoided negative plays and added a handful of strong plays both in coverage and run defense on the night. Brandon Graham was an unstoppable force off of the left edge early in the game. The Jaguars’ right tackle was outclassed by a variety of pass-rushing moves. Aziz Shittu also made the most of his playing time late in the game with a couple of batted passes and pressures while rushing the passer.

15 observations from an impressive Eagles night in Jacksonville -
5. Wide receiver Mack Hollins caught only one pass for a 5-yard gain and he didn’t show up statistically on special teams, but he made an impact. First of all, it was great to see Hollins on the field after missing all of last season with a groin injury that needed surgery. And on special teams, he was a force as a gunner. With the fifth wide receiver spot open – and the Eagles certainly could keep a sixth receiver as well – Hollins is back in the thick of the competition. His ability to play special teams is a big plus.

2019 Eagles Training Camp Awards: MVP, Most Improved, Most Disappointing and more - The Athletic
Most Improved: Jordan Mailata. Now playing primarily right tackle after spending his rookie season at left tackle, Mailata struggled early in camp, especially against Joe Ostman, who seemed to victimize Mailata with the same inside spin move time after time. With Andre Dillard in tow as the left tackle of the future, Mailata’s roster status no longer appeared certain. Then, coincidentally around the time Ostman suffered a season-ending injury, Mailata started making the kind of daily strides he showed last summer. His physical tools remain tantalizing and his upside is now as Lane Johnson’s heir apparent. It’s likely that Mailata will still spend the majority of the season among the gameday inactives, but he remains a part of the team’s future.

We Salute You, Founding Fathers of the NFL’s Analytics Movement - The Ringer
In Week 3 against the New York Giants in 2017, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson went for it on fourth-and-8 from the Giants’ 43-yard line with just over 2:30 to go in the first half. Quarterback Carson Wentz was sacked, but Pederson explained himself the next day by saying that the decision improved their chances of winning by 0.5 percent. Frigo and the people at EdjSports were floored. The head coach of the Eagles, one of their clients, was citing one of their metrics. “I’ve never heard that language coming out of an NFL franchise,” Frigo told The New York Times. When the Eagles marched to their Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots, crediting analytics along the way, they also changed the language of football. The NFL is a copycat league, and teams began replicating Philadelphia’s analytically minded aggressiveness. The information is more accessible to fans and media members alike, and coaches are now criticized for being too conservative more than they are for being too aggressive. If baseball and basketball are any guides, this influence on in-game coaching is just the first frontier of what will likely be a sweeping change over the next two decades.

NFLPA issues ‘work stoppage guide’ to players - ESPN
As collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NFL and NFL Players Association continue to make little progress, the NFLPA has issued a “work stoppage guide” to its players to help them prepare in case of a strike or lockout following the 2020 season. Sources on both sides continue to insist a work stoppage is unlikely. But the NFLPA has said all along that its mission is to “negotiate for the best while preparing for the worst.” So while the current CBA doesn’t expire until March 2021, the players’ union is trying to make sure its members are prepared in case negotiations go sideways.

Ravens waive defensive tackle Elijah Qualls - PFT
Even with a game to be played Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, the Baltimore Ravens elected to waive defensive tackle Elijah Qualls prior to the game. Qualls was signed by the Ravens last weekend to fill the roster spot vacated by the trade of guard Alex Lewis to the New York Jets. [BLG Note: Welp, so much for Qualls getting to visit his old team with the Ravens practicing against the Eagles in a few days.]

How much power does Dak Prescott really have in negotiations with the Cowboys? - SB Nation
However, when you dig into advanced stats, it’s clear Wentz is much better. According to Football Outsiders, Prescott’s best season was in 2016, his first in the NFL. Remember, he was dropped into the perfect situation as a rookie. That offense was tailor-made for a young quarterback: the best offensive line in football since the early 2000s Chiefs, and skill position players to match. Prescott played well, much better than Wentz. But, since that season, Wentz has been much better.


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