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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s top bounce-back candidate

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/7/20.

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NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL bounce-back candidates for 2020: Picking players for all 32 teams - ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles: Darius Slay, CB. What went wrong: From 2014 to 2018, Slay was one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks, ranking as the fourth-most-valuable corner over that span. His grade slipped some under Lions coach Matt Patricia, largely because of the scheme. Detroit plays a significant amount of man coverage, which resulted in Slay facing far more single-coverage targets than other NFL corners. That invited more opportunities for wideouts to beat him and subsequently lowered his grade. Still, he shadowed the NFL’s best receivers fairly well and continued to display a knack for being around the ball. Outlook for 2020: There are a few factors to consider when evaluating Slay’s “down” 2019 season: His relationship with Patricia was on the rocks, trade winds were swirling around him, and he was playing a lot of straight-up man coverage against the opponents’ best receivers. Jim Schwartz’s defensive scheme will offer more zone concepts for Slay, who is happy and motivated to prove that he is still one of the elite corners in the game.

Eagles 2020 Opponent Preview: Cleveland Browns - BGN
“This is the year the Browns are finally gonna be good again!” has been a thing for multiple offseasons now. Naturally, such optimistic expectations have never actually come to fruition. Cleveland is still looking for their first winning season since they went 10-6 back in 2007. But maybe this is the year for real this time? If so, the Browns are going to need Baker Mayfield to break out of his sophomore slump that saw him finish with a 78.8 passer rating. The Browns are counting on former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator and new head coach Kevin Stefanski to be the guy to get the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft back on track.

From the Bleachers #28: Eagles 2001 BGN Watch Party Companion - BGN Radio
Shamus Clancy gets you prepped for this weeks BGN watch party as we take a trip back in time to the Eagles 2001 NFL season and beyond! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

A look at Carson Wentz’s red zone and third down efficiency, explosive plays, and fumbles - PhillyVoice
In 2019, the top five teams in third down efficiency were as follows: Ravens, Cowboys, Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers. In other words, it was Patrick Mahomes, Wentz, and three teams with elite rushing attacks. Factor in that the leading rusher during the Wentz era has been Wendell Smallwood, and again, it’s all the more impressive that they have managed to be such an efficient offense in this metric.

How the NFL’s perception of Carson Wentz has changed - NBCSP
I liked Carson’s answer when I asked him last week about not being in the top 100. “You can always use anything and everything as just a little bit of extra motivation,” he said. “I’m not going to let that cause me to lose any sleep or anything, but I do look forward to going out this year and showing what I can do.” I’m glad he’s pissed. Or as close to pissed as Carson gets. I want angry Carson. Because you can hang your head and feel bad about being snubbed by somebody’s list or you can shrug it off and go do something about it and win some games and get to the playoffs and prove you really are one of the 100 best players in the league or maybe one of the 10 best.

Ranking every NFL defense from 1 to 32 going into the 2020 season - The Athletic
12. Philadelphia Eagles. Last year: 12th. In four years with Jim Schwartz, the Eagles’ defense has produced two top-five finishes and has never finished lower than 15th. Their defensive line could be special in 2020. The Eagles signed Javon Hargrave to team with Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. Derek Barnett has been a solid starter and is only 24 years old. And the Eagles will get back Malik Jackson, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 last season. It’s a deep and talented group that could be among the league’s best. In the secondary, the Eagles traded for Darius Slay and signed Nickell Robey-Coleman. The plan is to go with a heavy dose of man coverage. The secondary still has questions at safety and corner, and the linebackers will almost certainly be a weakness, but between Schwartz and the defensive line, this defense has a high floor.

The Eagles’ offseason loss no one is talking about -
However, Lopez won’t have to remember any of the Eagles’ “usual” requests anymore. After 13 years, he is moving on to become a Chef Instructor at Jules E. Mastbaum Vocational Technical High School in Philadelphia, making him one of the Eagles’ biggest offseason departures that no one outside of the NovaCare Complex talks about. To those inside of the building, however, Lopez’s bright and exuberant presence will be sorely missed. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Lopez said during a recent episode of the Eagles Insider Podcast about working with the team.

Devonta Freeman “trying to pick the right situation” - PFT
“Picking the right spot where I can be really, really highly utilized and get a real good opportunity,” Freeman said. “The business part with the contracts, of course that’s always up there as well.” Freeman has been linked to the Seahawks, Eagles and Bucs at various points this offseason, but the Seahawks signed Carlos Hyde and the Bucs landed LeSean McCoy since those reports were issued. That may lead to an even longer wait for Freeman to find a place to continue his NFL career. [BLG Note: Freeman needs to be willing to accept a smaller role for the Eagles to sign him.]

UCLA coach Chip Kelly tested positive for coronavirus early in the pandemic - Los Angeles Times
In a college football season on the brink before the opening kickoff, the losses mounting before the first touchdown, Chip Kelly can point to all the ways things can go wrong despite the best of intentions. He can tell his own story about how he mysteriously contracted the virus that is threatening to wipe the 2020 season off the books. The UCLA football coach tested positive for the novel coronavirus in late March after campus was shut down, according to multiple people close to the football team who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss a private health issue.

Randy Gregory provides an update on being reinstated: “I’m asking more questions than I’m getting answered” - Blogging The Boys
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many activities in the NFL. According to Randy Gregory, it is being used as something to prevent him from returning to the Cowboys. This update from the pass rusher it still leaves us with questions. If Gregory is ready, able, and willing, then why has the NFL taken so long with his case specifically? They already reinstated Aldon Smith and did so per the normal timeframe associated with the process. What is the difference here?

Los Angeles Rams fantasy football team preview - Fake Teams
The outlook for the Rams’ offense in 2020 is not great. Sean McVay’s inability to adapt offensively—to personnel, opponents, or gamescript—has hampered his team’s box score productivity. In the closing weeks of the 2019 season, we saw a large uptick in 12 personnel usage (2 tight ends, 2 receivers, 1 running back) when the Rams were winning or within one score (Sharp Football’s 2020 Football Preview). His reliance on 11 personnel (3 receivers, 1 tight end, 1 running back) in emergency situations continues to plague him. Couple that with the Sharp Football’s Strength of Schedule projections and it looks as though his 12 personnel usage will not be as frequent as many have hoped.

A Modest Proposal to Save the 2020 NFL Season - Sports Illustrated
MLB is already on the brink, and college football is struggling to conceive how to stage a season at all. It’s time for the NFL to consider a much different approach to 2020, one that means fewer total games, but just as much TV exposure and—most importantly—a potentially safer way to play football during a pandemic.


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