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Eagles News: PFF ranks Philadelphia’s secondary

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/29/20.

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NFL secondary rankings: All 32 units entering the 2020 NFL season - PFF
12. Philadelphia Eagles. Trading for Darius Slay will go a long way to finally answering the Eagles’ problems at cornerback. Ronald Darby was meant to be that player, but his time in Philadelphia never quite worked out. Slay is coming off his worst coverage grade since his rookie season, but his tape shows a player who played in tight coverage consistently but continued to come out on the wrong side of the play against some elite receivers in the NFC North. Slay is still a high-end, man-to-man corner, and he has more pass breakups than anybody over the past five seasons. Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas will battle it out to start opposite Slay, while Nickell Robey-Coleman will cover the slot after coming over from the Los Angeles Rams. Robey-Coleman has been consistently one of the best slot defenders in the league, so snagging him — as well as Slay —represents something of a coup for the Eagles. He may have just one interception in two years, but he has limited opposing quarterbacks to a below-average passer rating for four straight seasons. Jalen Mills has been moved to safety but is still likely to start, despite having earned PFF grades under 60.0 in three of his four NFL seasons. Mills will likely start next to Rodney McLeod, though Will Parks will also push for playing time and has a better case to start than Mills, given what we’ve seen from each so far in the NFL. K’Von Wallace was a fourth-round rookie and could also easily get in that mix for playing time.

Eagles have Jalen Reagor learning multiple wide receiver positions - BGN
Reagor noted that the coaches have emphasized for him to learn the X and Z receiver positions. Interesting because Doug Pederson previously said he was only set to learn Z behind DeSean Jackson. It sounds like Reagor could be in the mix to start at Alshon Jeffery’s X role.

At the Podium: Doug Pederson Kicks Off Training Camp - BGN Radio
Doug Pederson’s video conference with the media 7/26 taking questions about COVID’s impact, training camp, the lack of preseason, the return of Jason Peters and more! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Goodwin Opts Out - Iggles Blitz
It is possible the receivers on opening day could be DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on the outside with Greg Ward in the slot. Jalen Reagor would be the top guy off the bench. Putting Jeffery on the PUP list isn’t a surprise. This was an expected move. The Eagles will have to pull him off the list before the season or wait until almost midseason to get him back. We still don’t know just how much the Eagles want him back, but the loss of Goodwin could make him more valuable. Keep your fingers crossed that this group stays healthy.

Losing Marquise Goodwin puts Eagles in precarious position - NBCSP
What do they really have after Jackson? The most accomplished of the group is Greg Ward, who has 28 career receptions. The most experienced of the group is JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who played 16 games as a rookie last year. The most promising of the group is Jalen Reagor, the rookie first-round pick. Four of them are rookies and two of them — Deontay Burnett and Robert Davis — are virtually rookies. Of the receivers the Eagles project to have on the field on opening day, Jackson and Arcega-Whiteside are the only ones who’ve played more than seven career games. Now, there’s a lot to be excited about with these young guys. Reagor has a chance to be a stud, Arcega-Whiteside has to be better than what we saw last year (maybe?) and speedy rookies Hightower and Watkins will now get more reps, more of a look, more opportunities with Goodwin opting out. But this is a very difficult offseason for rookies, with no minicamps, no preseason games and only a handful of real practices leading up to opening day. And let’s be honest. Howie Roseman does not have a very good track record when it comes to signing or drafting wide receivers.

Bold 2020 NFL training camp predictions for all 32 teams - ESPN
Receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will break into the starting rotation. His rookie season was a disappointment, as he managed 10 catches for 169 yards while several of his peers around the league flourished. It’s too soon to count him out. Arcega-Whiteside was slowed by injury and weighed down mentally by having to learn all three receiver positions. Less burdened entering Year 2, he’ll make a case for being the starting receiver opposite DeSean Jackson — especially with Alshon Jeffery still on the mend from a Lisfranc injury.

Transforming the NovaCare Complex for a Training Camp unlike any other -
From the entrances to the hallways, to the locker room, the meeting rooms, and the cafeteria, the NovaCare Complex has had an extreme renovation all in the name of safety for the Eagles’ players, coaches, and staff members taking part in Training Camp, 2020. From the time the Complex was closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic in mid-March to this point, an entire organization has worked together to make it work with the vision of team success in the months ahead. It hasn’t been easy. It has been, in fact, a series of planned, highly calculated moves to transform a building that opened in 2001 into something that works for an entire football team in this current, physical-distancing age. For Tom Hunkele, the team’s director of sports medicine who was hired in February, the total team effort has paid off taking advantage of outside-the-box thinking, common sense, a commitment to education, and a willingness to everything possible to make the NovaCare Complex a safe working environment, even it if looks dramatically different than it did back in March.

7 Philadelphia Eagles on defense hurt the most by no preseason - PennLive
DEs Genard Avery & Shareef Miller. The Eagles acquired Genard Avery at the deadline from the Browns in exchange for a 2021 fourth-round pick, and he recorded a half-sack over the final eight games of the season while playing only 33 defensive snaps. Shareef Miller, a fourth-round pick out of Penn State in 2019, played just two special teams snaps all season. Both players are in the mix to be the No. 4 defensive end in the rotation, and the preseason would have given them live action to impress during after barely playing last season.

32 things that were true of NFL teams a year ago - Turf Show Times
Philadelphia Eagles - Would you feel confident in your receiving group headed into 2019 if DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery were your starters, Nelson Agholor was your option three, and then you also had second round rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside? No? SB Nation ranked them as the sixth-best WR group headed into last season.

The 20 Biggest Dead Money Contracts Currently on NFL Payrolls - MMQB
19. Nigel Bradham, former Eagles linebacker. 2020 cap hit: $5.3 million. Bradham was a core contributor to Philadelphia’s Super Bowl team, and he was recognized for his efforts with a five-year extension. But as so many NFL contracts do, it contained option years for the Eagles to get out of it rather easily. That’s exactly what they did when his playmaking abilities disappeared over the last two seasons to the tune of one interception, two sacks and zero forced fumbles in his last 30 games, including the playoffs.

Steelers sign running back Wendell Smallwood - Behind The Steel Curtain
The Steelers were down a player after defensive back Arrion Springs was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/Covid-19 List, and they filled that spot with running back Wendell Smallwood. The 26 year old running back played college football for the University of West Virginia and was drafted in 2016 by the Philadelphia Eagles where he played for three seasons before joining the Washington Football Team for the 2019 season. Smallwood has never been a major part of the offense for any team, but he is a versatile running back who can run and catch and had started 12 games in the NFL. He has been a staple special teams player for several years as well.

Safety Patrick Chung becomes the sixth Patriots player to opt out of the 2020 NFL season - Pats Pulpit
Patrick Chung has elected to opt out of the 2020 season. The 32-year-old becomes the sixth member of the Patriots to use the opt-out that was embedded into the NFL-NFLPA Coronavirus deal — and the third starter after linebacker Dont’a Hightower and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon. Running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Danny Vitale and guard Najee Toran have also decided to go the same route and sit out the 2020 campaign over concerns stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic.

What are realistic expectations for Cowboys first-round pick CeeDee Lamb? - Blogging The Boys
For Lamb, he’s walking into a perfect situation on the depth chart. With Cedrick Wilson, Devin Smith, Noah Brown, and Jon’Vea Johnson as the only valuable wide receiver replacements on the roster, it’s hard to see a situation where Lamb isn’t on the field in 11-personnel formations. There is already a ready-made spot for Lamb in the slot, a position that was vacated by Randall Cobb in free agency. As previously noted on this site, while Lamb ran just over a quarter of his routes from the slot last season in college, the average yards resulting from those routes were much higher than on the outside. But given his size, speed, and route-running ability, Lamb is able to lineup anywhere on the field for the Cowboys, and so is Amari Cooper. That makes for endless opportunities for Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore to mix-and-match formations and route-combinations. With the season that Cooper and Gallup are coming off, Lamb will really have to blow up early for the Cowboys to bump Lamb into the top two receivers in 2020, but we shouldn’t totally count that out.

Ron Rivera speaks to the media: QB “is going to be a pure competition” - Hogs Haven
On Tuesday morning, Ron Rivera spoke to the media. He talked about player health, roster concerns, training camp expectations, the challenges brought on by COVID-19, managing the organizational culture, his relationship with Dan Snyder and more.

‘Valentine’s Views:’ A feeling of trepidation, rather than joy, at the return of football - Big Blue View
Trepidation. Back to that word. I think it’s the perfect word to describe how I feel about the return of football. I want it. I enjoy it and, by the way, I make my living from it. I just don’t know if it’s going to work. I worry about the health and safety of everyone involved in the game, everyone players, coaches, and staff members go home to, and everyone community member all those people come in contact with. With the disrupted offseason, opt-outs, illnesses, and injuries I worry about the quality of play we might see. I worry about the validity of a fractured season?. Can the NFL get to 16 games for all teams? What happens if some teams play more games than other teams? I’m glad football, such as it is, is at least trying to return. Each day, though, is going to bring challenges and questions.

The Impact of the Covid Rules on the Salary Cap and NFL Contracts - Over The Cap
With players beginning to opt out of the 2020 NFL season I have started to get a number of questions relating to the contracts. This is kind of uncharted territory so lets start with the statement that this is my interpretation of the rules and could be incorrect. If anyone sees something incorrect please contact me by email (you can find it on the top of the page if you don’t already have it) and let me know so I can fix it. Ill update things on the site as we do get more information on the procedures.

NFL Opt-Outs Show How the Coronavirus Is Already Upending the League - The Ringer
Even before training camps began opening across the NFL, it was obvious the 2020 season would not be normal. Teams would need to take new precautions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, fan capacity in stadiums would be limited, the preseason wouldn’t be held, and lost revenue would affect the salary cap through at least 2024. Now, the immediate impact of the coronavirus is becoming increasingly apparent.

NFL braces for potentially hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases from first tests - The Athletic
Expect the number of players on that list to grow in coming days, as test results from across the league are returned from BioReference Laboratories, the private lab conducting testing for all 32 teams. Test results are expected within 24 hours or less. For some teams, a BioReference lab is located in the team’s home city; other specimens will have to be flown off-site. “The first six to seven days are going to be so critical to making this thing work,” said Reggie Scott, the Los Angeles Rams’ vice president of Sports Medicine and Performance who is also president of the Pro Football Athletic Trainers Society. “That’s going to start with onboarding appropriately and really screening people on the front end. We want to start our ecosystem as virus-free as possible.” Even with the massive testing program and screening protocols, NFL medical officials understand that doesn’t mean players or employees won’t wind up contracting the virus after the initial round of tests.


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