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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s top breakout candidate

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

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Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Photo by Chris Szagola-Pool/Getty Images

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Predicting every NFL team’s 2020 breakout player - PFF
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: WR JJ ARCEGA-WHITESIDE. Arcega-Whiteside’s first season in the NFL could not have gone much worse. He battled injuries and produced a lowly 52.6 receiving grade on his 19 targets while struggling against tight coverage — an area in which he excelled at Stanford. In 2018 with the Cardinal, Arcega-Whiteside produced the third-best receiving grade in the FBS against tight coverage and tied for the most contested catches ( 22). He was as strong as one can be at the catch point in college. Assuming the injury played as big of a deal in his poor 2019 as it was reported to have, Arcega-Whiteside should get back to bodying defenders in contested situations in 2020.

Eagles depth chart revealed ahead of Philadelphia’s Week 1 game - BGN
People might expect K’Von Wallace to be the No. 3 safety with Will Parks hurt but I think it’s going to be Marcus Epps. Schwartz was really talking him up and even called him by nickname: “Eppsy.” Epps switched from wearing No. 37 to No. 22, formerly worn by Sidney Jones. Huge upgrade for him. #JerseyNumberAnalytics.

Doug Pederson now leads an unorthodox coaching staff, and it’s his job to make it work - Inquirer
When Lurie does get involved, though, it’s mostly on matters related to the offense. He has seen the NFL evolve to disproportionately favor that side of the ball. When the Eagles offense struggles, he takes it personally. For instance, when the Eagles beat the Bears in the 2018 playoffs, his celebration was muted because the offense had scored only 16 points. And that can often place Pederson under additional owner scrutiny. But Pederson’s affable manner mostly makes it work. And the same could be said of his partnership with the type-A Roseman. Many coaches wouldn’t hear of a GM’s advice on game-day rosters, but Pederson embraces the weekly back and forth.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 0 - PhillyVoice
6) Eagles (9-7 in 2019): Now that Jason Peters has decided that wrecking the Eagles’ season isn’t worth staying at a position he probably doesn’t really want to play anyway, the offensive line should be fine-ish, for now. Of course, the reserve offensive linemen have a grand total of three career combined snaps. So that’s not great, considering Peters gets hurt every year, Johnson hasn’t practiced in like three weeks, and Kelce will turn 33 in a couple months. The receivers, secondary, and D-line should be better, though.

Let’s Talk Defense - Iggles Blitz
While it is great to hear Schwartz’s enthusiasm for these young DBs, it is fair to want to see some proof of this improved play. Every summer we hear about guys who looked great. Sometimes that shows up in real games. Other times it doesn’t. I’m genuinely curious to see James. He drew praise from everyone who saw him at Training Camp. Schwartz also had a lot of good things to say about rookie DE Casey Toohill. This is another case of a player earning a roster spot. It is easy to get down on Shareef Miller, but Schwartz focused on Toohill having a terrific summer. We don’t know if Toohill will play this week, but we do know Schwartz likes him quite a bit.

Philadelphia Eagles 2020 season preview: Carson Wentz needs O-line to hold up - ESPN
The Eagles’ offensive line is a question mark for the first time in a long time. Philadelphia lost its second starter to injury this offseason when left tackle Andre Dillard went down with a torn biceps in training camp. He joins standout guard Brandon Brooks (Achilles) on the sideline. They got good news this week when Jason Peters, 38, told the team he would move from right guard back to his old post on Wentz’s blind side. While that is the best solution for now, it’s fair to wonder whether Peters will hold up for the full 16-game slate. Depth is a serious concern, as the backup tackle options at the moment — Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata and rookie Jack Driscoll — have zero professional starts at tackle between them. Veteran Cordy Glenn was in for a workout recently, evidence the Eagles are looking to bolster the position.

The interview: Chris Long talks Chase Young’s hype, Alex Smith’s hope, Eagles - The Athletic
The Eagles have a ton of upside, too, and I think they’re going to be very motivated. … We all know the biggest narrative is that (quarterback) Carson (Wentz) can’t stay healthy. And I don’t agree with that necessarily. I think that sometimes you’re not injury-prone, but you have some injuries that are bad luck. … I think Carson, though, has to prove this year that he can start another 16 games. … Last year, by the way, with everybody shitting on him, he threw for 4,000 yards to a bunch of guys that you’ve never heard of. He’s got to stay upright. And I think one of the biggest things is you can’t have the pocket collapse if you’re Philly. If you’re going to get beat (by the pass rush), get beat with speed. I don’t want people feet-chopping back into Carson, landing on his ankles, with somebody table-topping him. If they can keep Carson upright, and (first-round receiver) Jalen Reagor comes back healthy, I think I think they can make a run at this thing.

Defensive challenge: Slow the big-play passing game -
Numbers don’t lie. Isn’t that the old saying in football? That and, “the eye in the sky doesn’t lie,” or something like that. Anyway, the Eagles gave up too many big plays in the passing game last year. Like, 50 plays of 20 or more yards. And in two games against Washington and its rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, it wasn’t pretty. The Eagles twice beat Washington in 2019, but neither game was easy. In the opener at Lincoln Financial Field, the Carson Wentz-to-DeSean Jackson love line obscured a struggle for the Eagles’ defense, which gave up a whopping 186 yards after the catch that included touchdown grabs-and-runs of 69 yards (McLaurin, more on him later) and 48 yards (by tight end Vernon Davis) in the 32-27 Philadelphia victory. Later in the season, the Eagles squeezed out a 27-17 victory, but the defense allowed 8.7 yards per pass attempt from rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, with another five catches, 130 yards, and a 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run by McLaurin.

How Eagles’ Josh McCown became oldest practice-squad player in NFL history -
However, McCown said he wasn’t ready to coach just yet. “I just knew with my family dynamic, and where I am, I just wasn’t ready to move forward in that area right now,” McCown said. “We kept an open dialogue about it but there was never anything offered or anything like that. It was more of a discussion on the future and things of that nature.” McCown joined team meetings for the first time on Monday. He listened in on team and quarterback virtual meetings and watched practice film once it was uploaded into the Eagles’ video system. He immediately offered a return on the team’s investment in him, as he texted Wentz at night to go over what he saw on film.

2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide receivers for Week 1 - Fake Teams
Also make sure you start DeSean Jackson and Will Fuller this week as this might be the only week of the year that we know with certainty they are healthy and will play. Both have terrific matchups and there’s a real chance they come out guns a-blazing to start the year.

Washington Football Team Releases Depth Chart after roster is finalized - Hogs Haven
Washington only kept three TEs on their initial roster, and two of them are new faces this year. Logan Thomas is a former QB turned into a TE after he got to the NFL. He took command of the starting job during training camp, and quickly became a favorite target of Dwayne Haskins. Jeremy Sprinkle surprised some people by making the roster, and is still trying to prove something as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. Marcus Baugh came out of nowhere to claim the final TE spot in camp.

Five thoughts about the Cowboys as we sit on the edge of the 2020 season - Blogging The Boys
Starting right tackle La’el Collins is beginning the season on IR, which is not a good thing. At all. For those with any memory at all, it brings back echoes of the Burning in Atlanta, when Tyron Smith was out at LT in 2017 and the Falcons abused Dak Prescott to the tune of about 132 sacks, roughly. They chased Green right off the field - not that Byron Bell was noticeably better. Prescott, who was just in his second year, was visibly rattled the rest of the season, and didn’t really shake his case of nerves until midway through the next. We were told repeatedly through training camp that the team expected Collins to be ready for the season, but apparently someone’s lips were moving. His injury leaves Cameron Erving, Brandon Knight, and UDFA rookie Terence Steele to fill in. We don’t really have any significant data to believe they are upgrades over Green and Bell, partly because we saw almost nothing of them due to the McCarthy Curtain that descended across training camp, and because what little we heard tended to be them getting abused by DeMarcus Lawrence, Everson Griffen, Aldon Smith, and surprising rookie Bradlee Anae.

Giants roster moves: DB Ryan Lewis, RB Rod Smith added to practice squad - Big Blue View
Lewis played seven games for the Buffalo Bills in 2018. He played in 13 games for three teams — the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles — last season.

The Sounds of Silent NFL Stadiums - The Ringer
The COVID-19 pandemic means far fewer fans will be in NFL stadiums this season. How will their absence impact the games, and the television-viewing experience?

The beef between Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy - SB Nation
In January 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles brought on Chip Kelly as their new head coach. Their first year together made it look like a good match, and then the next two seasons turned the experiment into a big, sad fart. One major character in Chip’s Philadelphia story is LeSean McCoy, the running back who sat atop the league only for Kelly to cast him aside in an trade returned mostly beef (Kelly feuded both with McCoy and the beef statue that was Kiko Alonso). In this episode of Beef History, we explore how their relationship bloomed and rotted before our eyes, but it’s also worth highlighting a different area of this timeline. Looking back at that 2013 coaching landscape, the Eagles might have played the available cards perfectly. Kelly’s reign in Philly is memorable because he actually accomplished something. Had the Eagles gone a different route, that might not have been the case. Here are some of the other pitfalls they could’ve dropped into. I present you with the other head coaching hires made that same offseason.


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