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Eagles News: PFF says Darius Slay is poised to bounce back in Philly

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/23/20.

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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Darius Slay is poised to bounce back for the Philadelphia Eagles - PFF
When Slay was drafted in 2013, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was the head coach in Detroit. While they only lasted one year together, that familiarity is another key component in Slay’s projection. Prior to Lions head coach Matt Patricia’s arrival in 2018, Slay had played in defensive schemes that relied on mixing up coverages and playing more zone concepts, and that’s what he will be doing under Schwartz with the Eagles. Over the last three years, the Eagles rank in the middle of the pack in both man and zone concepts, and that coverage mix fits Slay’s skillset better than just playing man coverage on most of his snaps. The Eagles have thrown a lot of bodies at the cornerback position over the last two years, both by design and by necessity due to injuries, and Slay immediately steps in as their No. 1 option on the depth chart. They’re hoping that his play is closer to the 2014-18 Slay than the one we saw last year.

Is Yannick Ngakoue trying to get the Eagles to trade for him? - BGN
Yannick Ngakoue caused a stir among Eagles fans last week when he did some things on social media that hinted he wants to play in Philadelphia. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ star pass rusher “liked” on a report about the Eagles being interested in trading for him before then putting up a picture of an eagle emoji and then another of Reggie White on his Instagram story. NFL insider Mike Garafolo threw some cold water on the buzz by saying there was “nothing going on” with a trade for Ngakoue. But that didn’t stop Ngakoue from creating more intrigue via his social media. He posted a picture of a cheesesteak with the caption: “Need 1. Never had it.”

Free Agency Period Report Card - BGN Radio
Jimmy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton update you on everything going down with the Eagles and around the league during free agency! Topics include: ’Sul on the Block! Jenkins didn’t want to leave? Grading the off-season moves Zach Ertz’s contract situation. A look around the division/league. Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Assessing the Secondary - Iggles Blitz
Schwartz has a legitimate #1 corner in Slay. He has three safeties that can all run and can switch positions. I don’t think we’ll need to come up with a nickname for this secondary anytime soon, but they have the potential to be a solid group. I feel better about Maddox playing outside, but there are concerns. Deep speed is one, but durability might be the biggest issue. He’s gotten hurt in each of his first two seasons. Nothing structural, but he has missed time. Maddox throws his body around and that leads to some tough hits and landings. One thing really jumped out when I re-watched the games…Cre’Von LeBlanc. He just makes things happen. I want him on the field. LeBlanc plays with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I think that has an effect on his teammates.

Inside the Eagles’ decision to part with Malcolm Jenkins - Inquirer
Both Jenkins and the Eagles had expressed some hope in January that he would return, but a separation was ultimately a foregone conclusion. What happened behind the scenes wasn’t much different than what transpires before there is a split: a difference of opinion regarding value. Jenkins didn’t want top safety money or an average salary of $12 million to $13 million, as had been reported elsewhere. He was under contract with the Eagles for one more season at $7.6 million. He wanted a higher salary, of course, but what he wanted most was a two-year commitment. The Eagles offered to “tweak” his salary for 2020, but that was far as negotiations would get this offseason. That was the indication to Jenkins and his people that he wouldn’t get a new deal with guaranteed money in 2021, and they asked for his release before free agency.

Quarantines and Cheesesteaks: How Sean Payton’s Coping With Covid-19 During a Seismic Week of NFL Moves - FMIA
1. I think of all the things I heard this week that never occurred to me in a crazy time, this was the most interesting: Daniel Jeremiah told me, So Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz are in their fifth year running the offense and defense for Philadelphia. The three other teams in the NFC East all have new coaches, with new offenses and new defenses. Has there ever been more of a competitive advantage for a team entering a season than the Eagles have? Jeremiah was quick to add that Kellen Moore returns at offensive coordinator for Dallas but likely it’s Mike McCarthy’s offense the Cowboys will run. Amazing thought, particularly in a season when chemistry could well be in short supply.

Need for speed: Eagles add it in a big way on defense -
So is the impact of adding more speed to the defense. The Eagles want to be nasty and aggressive and they want to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage in 2020, and acquiring a player like Hargrave, who did just that as a nose tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is so vitally important. The Eagles see the combination of Fletcher Cox/Hargrave/Malik Jackson/Hassan Ridgeway/Anthony Rush as that kind of defensive tackle depth chart – subject to change through the course of Training Camp and the preseason – that creates tremendous havoc for offensive blocking schemes. The defense begins there.

Best move, worst move and other awards from the first wave of NFL free agency - The Athletic
There are a lot of teams hoping to find wide receiver help in the draft. And some — like the Eagles and Vikings — will be expecting the first-year players to contribute right away. But even though the draft is loaded, hitting on the right guy is not easy, and teams should guard against overconfidence, whether that means showing patience and signing low-cost veterans or exploring the trade market for wide receivers.

Ranking the top XFL players who could sign NFL contracts - ESPN
2. Cam Phillips, WR, Houston Roughnecks. Key stat: Led XFL with 455 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Phillips has been highly productive wherever he has played. He caught 236 passes in four seasons at Virginia Tech but went undrafted in 2018. He is undersized at 6 feet tall, and he ran a 4.87 40-yard dash at his pro day, but he is clearly a player who shows up on game day.

Seahawks adding offensive lineman Chance Warmack - Field Gulls
Touted as one of the best guards in the draft that year, he struggled at times in his career, and after receiving praise for his early play, the Tennessee Titans moved on from him after declining his fifth year option. He then spent consecutive seasons playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, but started only three games over the course of the two years.

Report: Browns sign S Andrew Sendejo - Dawgs By Nature
Sendejo joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019 as a free agent, but played in just nine game before being waived. He went back to the Vikings to close out the season. He spent some time as a slot cornerback with the Vikings last season as the team was dealing with injuries.

UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has filed for reinstatement - Blogging The Boys
Moments after our post went out noting that Randy Gregory was preparing to file for reinstatement into the NFL, the proverbial shoe dropped. According to ESPN Gregory has in fact filed for reinstatement.

2020 NFL Draft prospect profile: Antoine Winfield Jr, S, Minnesota - Big Blue View
Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield has good athleticism, very good instincts, football IQ, very good tackling, and good ball skills to go with the versatility to play a variety of roles in a modern NFL defense. Winfield lined up in a variety of alignments for the Minnesota defense, from on the line of scrimmage as a psuedo-linebacker to a true center-fielding free safety. He showed comfort everywhere he played, with a combination of athleticism and football IQ giving him very good play strength. Winfield Jr. frequently moved just before the snap, helping to disguise Minnesota’s coverages and blitz intentions. He reached depth quickly and efficiently when asked to cover a deep zone, such as in a Cover 2 or Cover 3 defense, while also keeping his eyes in the backfield to lead him to the football. Winfield also showed the quick feet and fluid hips needed to turn and run with receivers in man coverage.

The best, worst, and biggest moves in the first wave of NFL free agency - SB Nation
Best reunion: Sean Payton brings Malcolm Jenkins back to New Orleans. In a surprise move before the official start of free agency, the Eagles announced they weren’t picking up Jenkins’ contract option. That made the veteran safety and team captain a free agent — for a few hours anyway. It didn’t take Payton long to pounce, giving him a chance to make good on one of his biggest coaching regrets: letting Jenkins leave New Orleans in the first place. Jenkins started his career with the Saints in 2009, when they drafted him in the middle of the first round. He became a free agent after the 2013 season and then joined the Eagles. In six seasons in Philadelphia, Jenkins was a three-time Pro Bowler who never missed a game and was a much-needed playmaker in the secondary. He’s headed back to New Orleans, where Jenkins will be a valued leader on the field, in the locker room, and in the community. Even at 32 years old, Jenkins is still playing at a high level and will be a boost to a team trying to get another championship before Drew Brees calls it a career. The Saints won a Super Bowl in Jenkins’ first season in the NFL. Maybe they can do it again now that he’s back where he started.


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