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Eagles News: Carson Wentz was the NFL’s least accurate quarterback from clean pockets in 2020

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/16/21.

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Arthur Smith won’t be the Eagles’ next head coach - BGN
The next Philadelphia Eagles head coach will NOT be Arthur Smith. It’s the Atlanta Falcons who are instead hiring the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator to be their new boss. The team officially confirmed as much on Friday evening. The Eagles interviewed Smith on Thursday night. They were said to be “really impressed” with him. But that ship has sailed. For what it’s worth, Eagles fans were divided on the idea of hiring Smith.

Eye On The Enemy #45: Divisional Round Preview & Eagles Coaching Search w/ CBS’ Cody Benjamin - BGN Radio
On Episode 45 of Eye on the Enemy, host John Stolnis talks with CBS Sports NFL writer Cody Benjamin about the Eagles’ coaching search and this weekend’s NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Eagles never really embraced Doug Pederson as “their guy.” How on earth can they bring back Carson Wentz next year? Explanations for Doug’s firing make no sense. Preview of and picks for all four NFL Divisional Round games.

Handing out 10 awards from Jeffrey Lurie’s delusional press conference - PhillyVoice
To begin, the idea that Douglas or Berry were staples of the Eagles’ organization is false, even if not stated that way by Lurie, and maybe only sort of implied. Douglas made his bones in Baltimore, under Ozzie Newsome, and he was hired away from the Eagles after being in Philadelphia for only three years. Meanwhile, Berry was with the Browns for three years as their vice president of player personnel before the Eagles hired him. He barely even had a chance to set up his office in Philly before the Browns hired him back to be their GM. But more importantly, WHO CARES?!? Fans of the team couldn’t care less about front office credentials. They want the front office to pick good players in the draft, and sign good players in free agency.

Recruiting problem: Joe Banner says Eagles’ head-coaching job is not viewed as very attractive to top candidates - Inquirer
Domo: Jeff was asked a number of times the other day about Howie’s performance and why he continues to have so much faith in him. He pointed to all of the experienced people they’ve hired in personnel over the last few years, including two – Joe Douglas and Andrew Berry — who have gone on to be GMs with other teams. He also said there are about five people currently in the scouting department that he could project as GMs. But that doesn’t really explain why they’ve drafted so poorly lately. In fact, it makes it even more egregious, doesn’t it? JB: That should’ve been the follow-up question. It’s hard to reconcile the two. Howie and his staff have to prove themselves. They have to go out and knock the ball out of the part in the next couple of drafts. It’s a hard thing to give somebody credit for at this point. Jeff’s in the building and he’s listening to the conversations and he obviously feels like he has more insight. But at the end of the day, you’re judged by whether you won or lost. You’re not sitting there fearing the subjectivity of the boss. So, if we use that same criteria and you look at the last few years, Howie himself has acknowledged that they’ve made some mistakes, and in hindsight, would’ve done some things differently. Now he has the opportunity to prove that the last couple of years were an aberration.

Eagles’ coaching search has a whiz kids flare, from Jerod Mayo to Joe Brady - ESPN
There is a pattern developing in the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching search now that it’s in full swing following Monday’s firing of Doug Pederson: almost all the candidates they’re being tied to are young. Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady is 31. Dallas Cowboys O-coordinator Kellen Moore is 32. (As one Eagles devotee pointed out on social media, both are younger than 33-year-old center Jason Kelce.) New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is 34. The list goes on. Outside of Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (57), all of the confirmed outside candidates for the Eagles’ opening to date are 41 or younger.

Brett Favre thinks Philadelphia Eagles picked Carson Wentz over Doug Pederson - PennLive
“And that’s OK,” Favre said. “Jeffrey Lurie owns the team, he can do what he wants. But I mean we’re not that far removed from their first Super Bowl title ever. How quickly you forget, you know? Look, the record the last few years, since the Super Bowl win, has been not up to par but you can point to a lot of things that have contributed to that. But you don’t win a Super Bowl by being a bad coach. I’m sorry, you just don’t.” The sentiment that the Eagles picked Wentz, who turned in the worst season of his five-year career in 2020, over Pederson is shared by some other observers, too. Fox analyst and former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman expressed similar thoughts as Favre during a podcast interview earlier this week.

Cowboys rookie report: Evaluating CeeDee Lamb’s first season - Blogging The Boys
CeeDee Lamb’s first highlight mixtape as a member of the Dallas Cowboys is chock-full of record-breaking hits that easily vaults its status to the top of the rookie wide receiver charts. He entered training camp as a preeminent jersey sales leader based on popularity and college résumé alone, and his on-field production in 2020-21 was a more-than-worthy pitching presentation to attract buy-in approval from fans and coaches alike towards his potential for 2022 and beyond. No. 88, who joined an elite Hall of Fame fraternity upon being granted the number from team owner Jerry Jones, lived up to the hype – and then some – that surrounded his highly-chronicled first-round draft selection. Lamb’s initial campaign shattered a bevy of seemingly timeless records, which included a 55-year old receptions mark held by Olympic gold-medalist sprinter by day/football player by night, “Bullet” Bob Hayes.

What does the future hold for Washington Football Team’s 2021 free agents? - Hogs Haven
The writing seems to be on the wall regarding Ryan Kerrigan. He wants to be a starter; with the current defensive roster in Washington, that can’t happen here. There are other teams where RyKer can probably make more money, and, perhaps more importantly, have a bigger on-field impact. He will leave in free agency, but come back in a few years to see his name and number added to the Washington Ring of Fame.

Giants’ defensive line: Can they keep the band together? - Big Blue View
Still, the way Williams played in 2020 and the respect he commanded is going to earn him a ton of money in free agency this offseason. Williams had a career-high 11.5 sacks, his first double-digit total in six seasons. He was third in the league in pressures, per PFF, with 62. Williams’ pass rush productivity rate of 7.8 was fifth among 72 qualifying interior defensive linemen. Williams was only 32nd in sacks created — sacks where he was the first defender to create pressure — but the knock on him over the years has been an inability to finish plays. He did that in 2020. Williams figures to command a rich multi-year contract with an average annual value of at least $17.5 million, which would put in the top 10 in annual contract value for defensive linemen. Will the Giants be the ones shelling out that money?

BREAKING: Ernie Sims Promoted To Linebackers Coach, Other Staff Changes Announced By USF Head Coach Jeff Scott - The Daily Stampede
South Florida Bulls head coach Jeff Scott announced today that Ernie Sims has been promoted to linebackers coach, and that safeties coach Wes Neighbors, and running backs coach Pat White are no longer with the program. Sims joined Scott’s staff last year as a graduate assistant and defensive analyst working alongside defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer. He and Spencer have a previous relationship from Florida Atlantic, as he was a part of the coaching staff under Lane Kiffin alongside current offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. [BLG Note: Yes, it’s former Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims.]

Falcons hire Arthur Smith as new head coach - The Falcoholic
After Arthur Blank fired former head coach Dan Quinn after just 5 games into the 2020 season, Falcons fans have wondered just what the team would do at head coach. After finishing 4-12, would the team keep Raheem Morris in the position he fulfilled through the remaining 11 games? Well, it looks like they have decided to move in a brand new direction while also getting younger in the process. After an interview process that saw the team talking to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and others, it appears the team is ready to hire Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith as their next head coach, and they made it official just a short while ago.

Report: Dan Campbell is the ‘favorite’ to be next Detroit Lions head coach - Pride Of Detroit
The Detroit Lions may have their new head coach less than 24 hours after deciding on Brad Holmes as their next general manager. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell has emerged as the “favorite” for the Lions job. Campbell cannot have a follow-up interview with the Lions until the Saints have been eliminated from the playoffs, so nothing is official yet, but given Rapoport’s wording, it does seem that he may be the guy.

Justin Jefferson: Being the fifth receiver drafted was disrespectful - Pro Football Talk
Yet, Jefferson waited a long time to hear his name called on draft day. He was the fifth receiver off the board, following Henry Ruggs III (No. 12), Jerry Jeudy (15), CeeDee Lamb (17) and Jalen Reagor (21). Jefferson was the only rookie receiver to break 1,000 receiving yards, and his 88 receptions topped the rookies, too. “I kept a chip on my shoulder, if you want to say that,” said Jefferson, who played at LSU. “I just felt like I was one of the top receivers, especially off of the performance I did with the national championship, having over 1,500 yards, having 18 touchdowns. So being the fifth receiver picked up, I felt that was disrespectful on their part.

The Keys to Every NFL Divisional-Round Matchup - The Ringer
L.A.’s defense is a paradox. The Rams have one of the few defenses in the NFL that prioritizes stopping the pass instead of the run. As The Athletic’s Robert Mays noted, this unit lines up in light boxes more than any other defense. This suggests that coordinator Brandon Staley’s group could be gashed on the ground. Instead, they were the best run defense by expected points allowed per play. And their pass defense is great too, ranking in the top five in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. This is the most frustrating defense to play in the entire NFL. But if anyone can figure it out, it’s Rodgers.

NFC Divisional Round Preview 2021 - Football Outsiders
For all their strengths, Green Bay is a relatively flawed team as far as top seeds go. Over the course of the season, DVOA thought that New Orleans and Tampa Bay were both better in the NFC. This is a club that trailed Jacksonville in the fourth quarter for crying out loud. And when the Packers did lose, it’s because they got steamrolled — the Bucs, Vikings, and Colts averaged over 150 yards on the ground in wins over Green Bay. In that light, one can imagine the Rams taking a lead and riding Akers and their defense to a win. That’s probably just imagination, though — reality isn’t so kind. In Football Outsiders Almanac 2020, we wrote that “the Rams absolutely need Goff and Donald to deliver if they are going to advance far into the playoffs.” Those two players are going into this game with a total of three healthy thumbs and less than the ideal number of intact ribs. It’s doubtful that Donald will make his usual impact, and even more doubtful that Goff will be able to match Rodgers in a snowy shootout. The Packers are our favorite team to win outright this weekend; yes, even more than Kansas City.

NFL playoffs 2021: Bracket, schedule, scores, and more - SB Nation
Eight teams are left standing in the 2021 NFL Playoffs after an action-packed opening weekend in the expanded Super Wild Card round. Now we’re left with the final four teams in each conference vying to continue their season and ultimately crash Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay on February 7. The Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers finally know their opponent as the top seed in their respective conference. The Chiefs will face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon after the Browns became the story of the weekend for upsetting the Steelers in their first playoff game in 18 years. In the NFC, the Packers now draw the Los Angeles Rams, who shocked the Seattle Seahawks. LA suffered a number of injuries to critical players in round one — including Aaron Donald — and will need its defense healthy and inspired to have a chance at knocking off Aaron Rodgers and company on Saturday afternoon.

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