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Eagles News: Darius Slay is one of the NFL’s most intriguing players

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 9/8/20.

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Credit: (Pool Photo) Chris Szagola/Associated Press.

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

The 25 most intriguing players for the 2020 NFL season - The Athletic
23. Darius Slay, CB, Philadelphia Eagles. The organization had options this offseason. It could have taken a big swing on a wide receiver like DeAndre Hopkins or Stefon Diggs. Instead, the Eagles’ big move was to trade for and extend Slay in hopes that he can be a difference-maker for a defense that was mediocre last season. The plan is to play more man coverage and have Slay often travel with the opponents’ number one wide receiver. But Slay is 29 years old and did not play great with the Lions in 2019. The Eagles believe they’re getting a top-five corner. If Slay plays that way, given the defensive line talent, this defense has the upside to be much better than last season. But it’s a high-variance group, and if Slay struggles, the Eagles could be left second-guessing whether they missed on another cornerback.

Over/under win total explanations for the Eagles and all of their 2020 opponents - BGN
Why over: Carson Wentz managed to lead the Eagles to nine wins last year despite working with the NFL’s worst wide receivers. There’s reason to believe his supporting skill players will be better in 2020. DeSean Jackson is healthy and looking spry as ever, Jalen Reagor looks ready to contribute when he gets healthy, and pretty much all of the Eagles’ receivers looked good in training camp. Philly’s offense has the potential to be much more explosive. The defense is also expected to improve with the additions of Darius Slay and Javon Hargrave. Jim Schwartz is one of the better defensive coordinators in the NFL and he’s gotten more out of less in recent years.

Players to watch in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season - PFF
Terry McLaurin vs. Darius Slay. These two went toe to toe last season, and the result was must-see TV. I don’t imagine anything will be different now that they’re facing off twice each year in the NFC East. McLaurin’s rookie season exceeded all expectations. He finished with an 86.5 receiving grade that ranked behind only Odell Beckham Jr.’s debut in 2014 (91.2) among qualifying rookie wide receivers in the past decade. Slay, meanwhile, has earned his reputation as the lockdown, man-coverage cornerback who will shadow the opposing team’s top receiver week in and week out while with the Lions. McLaurin is clearly that guy for Washington, and you have to expect Slay will see a heavy dose of him in his first game as an Eagle. His 48 forced incompletions in man coverage since 2015 trail only Stephon Gilmore.

Eagles Find a LT!!! - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles obviously felt the combination of Miles Sanders and Corey Clement gave them enough size at RB. They wanted more speed. And I’m assuming they had a good draft grade on Huntley. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry as a senior at New Mexico State and ran for 1090 yards and 9 TDs. Huntley was also a dynamic KOR. He ran 5 kickoffs back for TDs. He caught 134 passes, but I can’t tell you how good of a receiver he is. Huntley has explosive speed. He is a bit of a straight line runner, but speedy guys can get away with that. He isn’t overly elusive. He will make guys miss here and there, but speed is his main weapon. Get him in space and he’s got a chance to deliver a big play.

After kicking down doors, Eagles QB Carson Wentz has found his voice - ESPN
Asked if he feels like he has aged 50 years over his four seasons in Philadelphia given all that has been packed in, Wentz, 27, said, “I’m not sure how to answer that, but yes. No doubt.” Any naiveté he carried with him from North Dakota to New Jersey has been blasted out of him like a foot through a gas station door. The diversity of the city he has immersed himself in, and the testimonies of so many of his teammates who are hurting, has awakened him to the pain being felt in the Black community, compelling him to use his voice to raise awareness and champion change — actions that have resonated strongly in the Eagles’ locker room. “He’s embraced it, for sure, because you can definitely see that he’s speaking up a lot more,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. “You can tell that he’s more confident. ... You know who’s the head of the team.”

A knock at the door, a meeting, and the LT concern is no longer -
Peters had a message for the head coach. “I want to play left tackle,” is the general gist of what Peters had to say. “I was excited about that. I assured him that everything was going to be OK, that we would get him the proper reps over there and get him ready to go,” Pederson said. “I was excited. He was excited. I said, ‘Let’s put everything behind us and move forward and focus on Washington.’” In this age of physical distancing, there was no man embrace, no hug of any kind. A fist bump was sufficient for a resolution of a matter that, quite frankly, was probably No. 1 on the concern list for the Eagles heading into Sunday’s opener.

Duke Riley opens up about path from despair in Atlanta to starter in Philly - NBCSP
At one training camp practice this season, Riley picked off a pass and took it the other way. Normally, when someone picks off a ball, there’s a celebration, maybe a few guys go crazy. When Riley picked off that pass, the entire defense went nuts, guys were screaming, lining up to congratulate him. They see how hard he’s worked. And they might not even understand how far he’s come. “It just felt right,” Riley said. “It felt right when I walked in the building. It felt like I’m meant to be here.”

Which NFL divisions score and allow the most points? - Fake Teams
NFC East Takeaways: NFC East is all over the place in being average and then fantastic and then horrible. They are up on offense than down and likewise on defense and none of it runs in connection with their scheduled inter and intra-conference opponents. This kind of makes sense when you consider how the Eagles, Cowboys, Giants and Washington Football Team are all over the place over the last few years. Quarterback uncertainty, trades and moves, consistently being inconsistent is thematic with this division. The only thing that is consistent – the top two teams will be the Eagles/Cowboys and the bottom two will be the Giants/Washington Football Team but I have no idea what order it will be.

Devlin Hodges joins Wendell Smallwood on the Steelers practice squad filling out the group - Behind The Steel Curtain
The Pittsburgh Steelers finalized their 2020 practice squad on Sunday, sort of. Of the 16 potential spots on the expanded 2020 practice squad, the Steelers filled 14. Those two spots were expected to be filled once players were available, and the Steelers filled one of the vacancies with running back Wendell Smallwood.

Washington Football Team begins signing players for 17-man practice squad - Hogs Haven
[BLG Note: WFT signed former Eagles WR Shelton Gibson to their PS.]

Breaking: Giants to release CB DeAndre Baker, per reports - Big Blue View
This is a move that has been expected for some time. A warrant was first issued back on May 14th of this year for Baker’s arrest for his alleged role in an armed robbery. Since then the legal case has taken a number of twists and turns, and at the time the Giants asked him to stay away from meetings and the team facilities.

Status of all 32 NFL stadiums for attendance at home games in 2020 - DraftKings Nation
NFL teams are announcing plans for whether or not they’ll have fans in attendance during the 2020 regular season. We break down the latest news for all 32 teams.

Announcing The SB Nation NFL Show: For Fans, By Fans - SB Nation
The NFL season kicks off next Thursday, but we’ve got even more football news to celebrate at SB Nation. We’re excited to introduce our new podcast, The SB Nation NFL Show: For Fans, By Fans. Subscribe for free on your preferred platform HERE.

How to vote by mail in 2020 - Vox
Like just about every other facet of life in America, Election Day is going to look a little bit different in 2020. Though voters will still go to the polls, at least in most states, a record number of people are expected to vote by mail from the comfort of their homes. But while in a normal election you probably just need to know two dates — when to register to vote by, and what day the election is — there are a few more to keep track of if you plan to vote by mail this November. Vox is here to help.


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