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Eagles News: Philadelphia makes list of most improved NFL defenses

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/27/20.

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

NFL’s most improved defenses after the 2020 NFL Draft and free agency - PFF
The addition of Nickell Robey-Coleman also means the Eagles now have one of the top slot cornerbacks in the NFL. In 2019, Robey-Coleman ranked 19th on PFF’s list of top 25 corners with a 74.1 coverage grade, and he finished eighth in yards allowed per reception (9.3). Robey-Coleman has the short-range quickness that’s needed to excel as a slot-defender, and that shows in his 86.6 slot coverage grade since 2016, which is third to only Desmond King II and Chris Harris over the last four seasons. The Eagles also signed free agent interior defender Javon Hargrave to join Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham on a defensive front that ranked top-10 in several pass-rushing metrics last season. Hargrave is coming off a career year in Pittsburgh where he recorded career-best figures in pass-rush grade (76.8) total pressures (49), pass-rush win rate (17.1%) and pressure rate (14.2%) and figures to make a strong Eagles defensive line even stronger. The Eagles do not have far to go before reshaping themselves into one of the best defenses in the league. By improving their secondary personnel, it now means they have a good mix of both pass-rush and coverage, which improves their ability to keep the score down and take the ball away in the passing game.

NFL insider discusses the latest on the Eagles’ interest in Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy - BGN
If Freeman isn’t willing to come down from his demands, which seems possible, McCoy just might end up being the most realistic option for Philly. Shady’s going to have to be more realistic about his value given how he turns 32 in July and he was a healthy scratch during the Kansas City ChiefsSuper Bowl run.

The 10 worst contracts in the NFC East - PhillyVoice
1) Alshon Jeffery, Eagles: When the Eagles drafted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, it felt a lot like Jeffery’s time with the team would soon be coming to an end, seeing as Arcega-Whiteside’s skill set closely mirrored Jeffery’s. Just before the start of the 2019 season, the Eagles made the error of guaranteeing Jeffery’s 2020 salary in exchange for a small pay cut. It was a puzzling move at the time, and it turned out to be disastrous, as Jeffery proceeded to have the “bad year trifecta.” He had a down year as a player on the field, both in the stat sheet and on the “eye test.” In November, the Eagles’ radio network partner’s sideline reporter, WIP’s Howard Eskin, outed Jeffery as the anonymous (Alshonymous) source who criticized Carson Wentz in each of the last two seasons to national ESPN reporter Josina Anderson, which created significant distractions for the team. (This matches with what I know about Jeffery’s anonymous criticisms of Wentz behind the scenes, which are not limited just to Josina Anderson, if indeed Jeffery was Anderson’s source.)

2020 NFL season projections: Chances to make Super Bowl, win division, land top draft spot, more - ESPN
Despite the mediocre .500 record, the Cowboys finished the 2019 season as FPI’s seventh-ranked team. That was fueled almost exclusively by the team’s offense, which finished third in efficiency, while the defense was merely average. The Cowboys didn’t win enough, but they were good enough. As mentioned, offense is more consistent year to year. So with many of the key ingredients back — including quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Zack Martin — there’s every reason to be bullish on the Dallas offense. And it’s a big reason to be bullish on the Cowboys overall. McCarthy might bring a pass-heavier approach, and while it is not represented in the model, it supports the notion even more. Dallas has a 5% chance to win the Super Bowl and a 48% chance to win the NFC East. In fact, its divisional chances might be even higher if the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t directly behind Dallas in FPI’s rankings at No. 6 overall (Philadelphia has a 44.7% chance to take the NFC East).

A football nerd’s guide to the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2020 season - The Athletic
In terms of accuracy, Wentz was 23rd in Next Gen Stats’ completion percentage above expectation metric, which looks at the likelihood of a completion on every throw and compares the expected completion percentage to the quarterback’s actual completion percentage. This is better than traditional completion percentage because it takes into account where the target was on the field, how open he was and whether the quarterback was pressured. But it doesn’t factor in drops. When looking at the percentage of throws that were on target, Wentz ranked 14th, according to Sports Info Solutions. He’s never going to be the most accurate quarterback, but when Wentz is at his best, he can make second-reaction plays and “wow” throws that make up for some of the routine misses.

Words can’t explain what Eagles’ Boston Scott means to his father during coronavirus crisis - NJ.com
Anthony mimics his son’s mouth movements as the children’s song continues. “Q, R, S … T, U, V … W, X … Y and Z.” The Scotts aren’t reminiscing about Boston’s formative years. They aren’t taking part in a family singalong … at least by conventional standards. Scott is coaching his father through speech therapy in Baton Rouge, La., during the coronavirus pandemic, and the “ABC” song has become a regular exercise. “Just trial and error, I guess, let me see if there’s something I could associate with his memory and try to apply that to speech therapy,” Scott told NJ Advance Media. “When he can’t pronounce a word, I get him to sing his ‘ABCs’, which I think is a staple in a lot of our minds. Singing your ‘ABCs,’ that’s something you can remember from your childhood.”

Who are the best Eagles to never make a Pro Bowl? - NBCSP
Running back: Duce Staley. A no-brainer. Staley ran for 4,807 yards in an Eagles uniform with three 1,000-yard seasons. No other non-Pro Bowler in Eagles history had one 1,000-yard season.

Ranking each NFL team’s fantasy football prowess - Fake Teams
24) Eagles. Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz.

What ‘The Last Dance’ means for 2020 Eagles - PE.com
While Jordan was amazing, and this is not in any way a slight to him, the Bulls winning all of those titles was more than just one man and his best-in-the-world talents. It was Jordan and everything and everyone around him working together to make the pieces fit. In football, the ultimate team game, the concept goes to another level and with the current world, it’s at a level we’ve never experienced. Everyone has to do his/her part. Stay the course. Know your role. Do what is best to win for everybody. That’s what the Eagles did in the 2017 season. That’s what is needed now as the Eagles start their fifth week of the offseason program, looking for a victory one day at a time.

Dynasty Rankings, Part V: Nos. 11-20 - Football Outsiders
You have to put these Eagles teams in historical context. Philadelphia entered the league in 1933, and had zero winning seasons until 1943. It’s not like they were getting close and just missing out, either; they had three one-win seasons and four two-win seasons in their history. They were hopeless; and even exchanging the entire roster for that of the Steelers in 1940 (…long story) didn’t change their fortunes. No, the Eagles didn’t become good until they selected Steve Van Buren in the first round of the 1944 draft. Van Buren was, to that point, the greatest running back to have ever played in the NFL. He certainly had the statistics to back up that claim — he led the league in rushing yards per game every year between 1945 and 1949 and was the all-time leader in rushing yards when he retired, sure. He may have been the first back to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season (there’s some conflicting reports as to whether Beattie Feathers’ 1934 season really was over 1,000 yards or not), and he certainly was the first player to do it twice. He scored 18 touchdowns in 1945 — in a 10-game season. Only Jerry Rice, Marshall Faulk, and LaDainian Tomlinson in their very best seasons managed to score at a higher rate than Van Buren did. Paul Zimmerman called him the greatest sloppy-field runner in the history of the game, and sloppy fields were to be expected in the 1940s. Van Buren arrived right at the beginning of the post-war period, where the NFL was still rebuilding its strength after years of able-bodied men having something better to do with their Sundays. So one all-world player was enough to turn a joke of a team into perennial contenders.

Seahawks lucky Devonta Freeman declined contract Carlos Hyde accepted - Field Gulls
What all those color bars mean are the more purple and blue are better, while more green and yellow is bad. As Lopez explains it in his article, “Ezekial Elliott’s typical carry ended in the 67th-percentile of what a typical running back would gain, while Devonta Freeman was in the 37th-percentile.” That, of course, is bad for Freeman, and could make the fact that Freeman declined the Hawks advances very luck for the team. On the flip side, it works out well for the Seahawks who are now slated to have two of the top five running backs in the NFL in this metric on the roster for 2020 in Hyde and Carson. Both will be returning from injuries that will have somewhat limited them during the early portions of the offseason. What impact that rehab will have on their on field performance this season remains to be seen, but if 2019 is an indication, the Hawks could have a solid one-two combination in the backfield from the get go.

Joe Thomas destroying ‘The Titan Games’ is proof NFL players are superhuman - SB Nation
The most unfair misconception about NFL linemen is that they’re just big, strong dudes without much athleticism. On Sunday night former Browns legend Joe Thomas smashed that stereotype.

Calendar of when sports leagues will return in 2020 - DraftKings Nation
Sports are slowly starting to return in some countries, but it will take some time for many leagues to get back on track. We’ll be using this space to provide the most recent update as to the status of each sports league and its intended return date. to track news and what it means for the return of various leagues.

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