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Eagles News: Philadelphia must get more explosive on offense

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/21/20.

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Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

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How far away are the Eagles? Some reminders from Sunday -
4. Make explosive gains on offense. It doesn’t matter how it happens; it just has to happen. The grind-it-out offense is wonderful and it leads to winning the time of possession battle – not as important from this perspective as some believe – and it leads to a “balanced” attack – also an overrated statistic – but what’s really important is “chunk” plays. San Francisco had four plays of 30-plus yards on Sunday. Green Bay had two passing plays of 40-plus yards. Kansas City had a 60-yard touchdown play and a 27-yard touchdown run and three other plays of 20-plus yards. Tennessee had five plays of 20-plus yards. The Eagles had a total of five passing plays during the entire season that gained 40-plus yards. Two of them went to DeSean Jackson in the opening-game win over Washington – the touchdown connections of 51 and 53 yards. Once he went down, the offense lacked explosiveness. Sanders is an explosive element out of the backfield. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are explosive. Jackson, of course. The Eagles need to find ways to gain more big plays on offense. They ranked 21st in the NFL with a 5.2-yard-per-play average in 2019, while both Kansas City (second, 6.3 yards) and San Francisco (fourth, 6.0) ranked among the top five in the league.

Jim Caldwell leaves Dolphins but still has interest in coaching - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator search has reached multiple dead ends at this point with James Urban opting to stay with the Baltimore Ravens and Graham Harrell choosing to remain at USC. There’s also thought that the Kansas City Chiefs might block the Eagles from interviewing Mike Kafka. But while other doors have closed, another has opened. Jim Caldwell will NOT return to the Miami Dolphins in 2020 but does still want to coach, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. Caldwell originally joined Brian Flores’ staff last year with the title of “assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach” before taking an indefinite leave of absence in July due to health issues. Caldwell never returned to coaching in 2019 and instead served as a consultant. Now that the 65-year-old has had some time off to get better, he’s ready to return. And that’s good news for the Eagles.

Mailbag: How many new starters will the Eagles have in 2020? - PhillyVoice
I see parallels in that both guys played the same position, and meant a lot to the team both in terms of ability and intangibles. However their situations are different. In Dawkins’ case, he was a free agent. The Eagles wanted to keep him, but he got away. In Jenkins’ case, he is under contract in 2020. He can’t get away. If he is unhappy, all he can really do is just, you know, not play. Of course, the Eagles could trade him, release him, etc., but Jenkins can’t just go sign with another team like Dawkins did. I do think that there is a lesson to remember about Dawkins, however. From the time Dawkins left in 2009 until the year the Eagles signed Jenkins in 2014, the following players started at least one game for the Eagles at safety: Quintin Mikell, Sean Jones, Macho Harris, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson, Jarrad Page, Jaiquawn Jarrett, David Sims, Patrick Chung, and Earl Wolff. Some of those names will bring back painful memories for Eagles fans. Good safeties aren’t easy to find, and if you move on from Jenkins, there’s a chance that it will be a while until you find another one.

The Big Red Debate - Iggles Blitz
When I’m down at the Senior Bowl, there is a wave of people that go to see Reid. You’ll see scouts, former assistants, agents, media people…you name it. Andy talks to all of them. And not just a brush off type of hello. He gives them all his time and attention. Andy Reid has meant a lot to me even though I’ve never met him. I will be pulling for him to win the Super Bowl with all of my heart. It would mean the world to me to see Big Red hoist the Lombardi, just as it did when Reggie held in back in 1996 as part of the Packers. Andy deserves to win it all. He has helped a lot of players and coaches during his time in the NFL. He’s made the game better. Bill Belichick is a genius, but also can be an annoying blowhard. Andy is Andy. And the NFL is a better place for it.

Eagles Stay or Go 2020: Time for a decision on Alshon Jeffery - NBCSP
Roob: This is the ultimate stay or go this offseason. I guess Alshon and Jason Peters. He really is the Eagles’ most talented wide receiver, and it’ll be a cap killer if they cut him. I just can’t get past not wanting him around. Addition by subtraction. I don’t even know if there’s a practical way that he goes. Any trade value, and I don’t think there was much, has been compromised by his foot injury. But I’m sticking to what I’ve said for a while now. He goes because it just doesn’t make sense for him to be here anymore. Verdict: Goes.

Super Bowl LIV Is Set, Thanks to an Intense—but Effective—Pep Talk From Kyle Shanahan and a Classic Patrick Mahomes Performance - MMQB
Love the Eagles thinking outside the box and bringing in Graham Harrell to interview for their offensive coordinator job. It fits right alongside their previous affection for Kellen Moore, and the team wants to inject some new ideas into what it’s doing. Doug Pederson saw ex-Nevada coach Chris Ault do that for Andy Reid in Kansas City, so it’s no surprise he’s exploring those avenues for the Eagles.

The 50 best available NFL free agents in 2020 - PFF
4. CB BYRON JONES. A move to cornerback rejuvenated Jones’ career in 2018, as he showed that he could play single coverage on the outside at a high level. He finished with the 14th-best coverage grade among corners in 2018 (80.4) before dropping to 21st in 2019 (74.8), but those are extremely valuable numbers as he hits the open market. Many will point to Jones not picking off a pass over the last two years, but his 74.1 coverage grade in single coverage is 11th-best during that time, and he has also shown the ability to match up against tight ends when called upon. Jones brings youth and coverage ability to the open market, making him the top defensive free agent heading into the offseason.

Rick Gosselin’s 2019 NFL special teams rankings: a heavenly finish for Saints - Talk Of Fame Network
[BLG Note: The Eagles finished 15th.]

Vikings’ George Paton will meet with Browns a 2nd time this week and could be hired as GM; Chris Spielman says ‘it makes the most sense for Kevin Stefanski’ -
Vikings assistant general manager George Paton interviewed with the Browns on Saturday for their GM job and will meet with them in Berea a second time this week, a league source told If all goes, well, he could be hired as GM before the week is out. The other two candidates interviewed were Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry and Patriots Director of College Scouting Monti Ossenfort, who both came to town on Friday. [...] Originally, Paton contemplated declining the interview because he figured the job would go to Berry, a favorite of Jimmy Haslam and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta. But the chance to work with his longtime Vikings associate Kevin Stefanski enticed him to meet with the Browns. It went so well the first time, he’s coming back for round two.

Five reasons why Jason Garrett to the Giants could be a little concerning for the Cowboys - Blogging The Boys
1. His track record as an offensive coordinator is pretty good. If you’ve been a Cowboys fan longer than 12 years, then you probably remember a time when people absolutely loved Garrett. He was this fresh new offensive coordinator who was as sharp as a tack. In his first year as the team’s new OC, the Cowboys finished 13-3 and had the no. 1 seed in the NFC. They led the NFC in points scored, and only trailed the New England Patriots who set a new NFL record with 589 points that season (the year they went 16-0). The Cowboys point total was the second-most ever in franchise history, trailing only the 1983 team by just 12 points. Tony Romo set a new Cowboys franchise record in passing yards and touchdowns. Terrell Owens also set a new franchise record in receiving touchdowns (since passed by Dez Bryant in 2014). The team also had a two-headed rushing attack of Julius Jones and Marion Barber, where Barber had a Pro Bowl season despite never starting a single regular season game. It was pretty fantastic. Under Garrett, the Cowboys offense always played well. Even during Wade Phillips’ last season when the team finished 6-10, the offense ranked seventh in the league in yards gained and points scored (the defense finished second-worst in points allowed). And you might think - well, that’s all because of Romo, but you’d be wrong. Romo missed 10 games that year as the offense was forced to rely on the arm of backup quarterback Jon Kitna.

Round Table: BBV writers on the Giants’ hiring of Jason Garrett - Big Blue View
I am of ... Four minds about the hiring of Jason Garrett. My initial reaction is the same as when the Giants and Garrett were first linked back in November: “This is one of the most ‘Giants’ moves possible.”. Dave Gettleman was the Giants’ Director of Pro Personnel almost 20 years ago when Garrett was signed as the team’s backup quarterback and the Giants have been playing against Garrett’s offense since 2007. They are intimately aware of what Garrett likes and wants from an offense, and what his tendencies are. Other than keeping Pat Shurmur on as offensive coordinator or bringing back Kevin Gilbride, it’s hard to find anyone with whom the Giants are more familiar.

‘Winning one for Andy’ has become key source of Chiefs’ motivation — whether he likes it or not - Arrowhead Pride
“I don’t even think it has hit me yet — it hasn’t even hit me,” said linebacker Reggie Ragland. “I’m excited. I don’t think it’s going to hit me until I walk in that tunnel and all of those lights are flashing (at the Super Bowl). I’m excited. I’m going to enjoy this for 24 hours and then it is time to get back to work. I’m excited for everybody.” Then, unprompted... “Coach Reid doesn’t have one, so we have to go out there and bust our butts and get one for him.”

Ten Chiefs and 49ers players and coaches who took a step toward Super Bowl redemption - ESPN
I probably don’t need to remind you too much of Reid’s playoff résumé. One of just eight coaches in NFL history with 200 wins, Reid is just behind Marty Schottenheimer, who went 5-13 in the playoffs and never won a Super Bowl. Reid’s 14-14 record is clearly better, but for a decade, it seemed like he would never make it back after losing in his lone Super Bowl appearance during the 2004 season. Reid was 1-5 in conference title games before Sunday, and while the longtime Eagles coach seemed to revitalize his career after moving to Kansas City, his Chiefs lost playoff games in even more heart-wrenching fashion. They blew a 38-10 third-quarter lead to the Colts and lost 45-44. A game-tying two-pointer against the Steelers was called back for holding, and they eventually failed in an 18-16 loss. After blowing a 21-3 halftime lead to Marcus Mariota and the Titans in the 2017 playoffs, the Chiefs installed Patrick Mahomes as the starting quarterback and came back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter the next year to tie the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, only to lose in overtime without ever touching the ball.

‘That guy deserves a Super Bowl’: Chiefs coach Andy Reid one game away from cementing legacy as one of the best - The Athletic
Among the first players to seek out Reid on the field amid that cloud of confetti was Eric Fisher. “I want to win Coach Reid a Super Bowl more than anything,” Fisher said. “That guy deserves a Super Bowl. He’s worked and worked and worked and dedicated his life to this. Coach Reid needs a Super Bowl. We’ve got to get that for him.” Fisher was Reid’s first draft pick in 2013, when Reid was hired within days of being fired in Philadelphia after 14 years to take over a Chiefs franchise at its rock bottom.

The Starting 11: Chiefs vs. 49ers Is a Dream Super Bowl Matchup - The Ringer
On Sunday’s Ringer NFL Show, Kevin Clark and I wondered what Mahomes might look like if he were stuck in a middling offense without much help—how he might perform if asked to carry mediocre receivers in a stagnant scheme. We’re both glad that we don’t have to find out. Mahomes and Andy Reid are a perfect football pairing. Reid has long been one of the sport’s preeminent minds, but in 21 seasons as a head coach he’s never had a quarterback—or even a team—like this. There’s no question that Reid is the best head coach in NFL history to never win a championship; two weeks from now, that description might no longer apply.

Raheem Mostert: “Look where I’m at now” - PFT
“You know, I did have a lot of doubters and naysayers, and now I get to actually tell them look at where I’m at now,” Mostert said, via quotes distributed by the team. “I never gave up on my dream. I never gave up on the opportunities when it presented itself. And I always worked hard no matter what. And it’s crazy that I’ve been on seven different teams. I actually still have the cut dates. And I look at that before every game. I look at the cut dates when I got cut. I’ve been on, like I said, seven different teams. The journey’s been crazy. Not even — not everybody can deal with that type of stress and pain and agony that I went through.”

Why the Chiefs can win Super Bowl 54, and why the 49ers can - SB Nation
Wow, folks. I’m emotional. This is awesome. For those who don’t know, my brother, Mitchell Schwartz, is the starting right tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs. And he’s now in the Super Bowl. How cool. I’m so happy for him and for his team. The Chiefs face off against a very complete San Francisco 49ers team. They are a beast. This is an exciting contest that either team can win, as evidenced by the early line, which opened with the Chiefs as a 1.5-point favorite. At quick glance, let’s explore why each team will win.


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