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Eagles News: Jalen Reagor anticipates playing in the slot more often

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/26/21.

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

Jalen Reagor sees a reload as the Eagles’ pass game gets more diverse - Inquirer
But the Eagles look much different, and on offense, Reagor did hint at how his role could change in Sirianni’s system. “Every offense has similarities. We have some, but the only thing that’s pretty much different this year is just me being in the slot,” Reagor said following a light practice at the NovaCare Complex. “Honestly, I think this is going to make the whole team better. It’s not necessarily me being in the slot, but every receiver being interchangeable.” Reagor did line up in the slot 23% of the time last season, so it’s not as if Doug Pederson had him exclusively outside. But the receiving roles in the former Eagles coach’s West Coast offense could be rigid. It also helped simplify the learning process. While the Eagles’ overall struggles played a factor in Reagor’s ho-hum rookie year, as did several injuries, there’s no denying that he underwhelmed after being drafted in the first round. He had some moments, but his route running was unsteady, his ball skills unreliable, and most disappointing was the lack of explosion the Eagles hyped upon his selection.

Eagles OTA Practice Notes: Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith, Nick Sirianni update, and more - BGN
No better place to start than with Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith. The young guys didn’t have trouble connecting ... as should be the case with no defense present. Still, fun to see another early glimpse of these two working together.

At the Podium: Maddox, Singleton, Edwards and Reagor at OTAs - BGN Radio
The Eagles’ began their 2021 modified OTA practices today, hear from Avonte Maddox, Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards and Jalen Reagor as they spoke with the Philly media.

Where are the Eagles deep, and not so deep, after the 2021 NFL Draft: Defense edition - PhillyVoice
We sit and wait for the Eagles to slap a Band-Aid on the starting outside CB2 spot opposite Slay, but for now, this is arguably the most troublesome position on the roster. Slay was somewhat disappointing in coverage in 2020, while Maddox predictably could not play on the outside at his size. The Eagles did add McPhearson in the fourth round of the draft, and he’ll have a chance to play immediately out of necessity, even if he isn’t ready. Are the Eagles in good shape here relative to the rest of the league? Lol, no.

DeVonta - Iggles Blitz
I am more excited about DeVonta Smith than any Eagles draft pick in a long time. Smith blew me away all year with his play at Alabama. I kept waiting for someone to slow him down, but it never happened. He truly was a special college player. There is no guarantee he’ll make it in the NFL, but I absolutely believe in him. He’s physically gifted, but also has a focused, driven mindset. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. That can make or break a career in a league full of players who are physically gifted. Work ethic and attitude can make a huge difference. I want to compare Smith to another Eagles receiver, but you really can’t. He is an unusual player, in a good way.

Projecting top NFL rookie leaders in 10 key stat categories: Top five in passing, rushing, receiving, sacks, more - ESPN+
Receiving yards. 1. Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals: 1,003 ... 2. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles: 964 ... 3. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins: 875 ... 4. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons: 780 ... 5. Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens: 657. Three wide receivers — Chase, Smith and Waddle — were picked in the top 10 of April’s draft. That probably didn’t get the attention it deserves, considering zero wide receivers were picked in the top 10 in the prior three drafts, and a total of 11 were taken in those picks during the prior 10 drafts (2011-20). Of those 11, only two failed to appear in at least 10 games as rookies (John Ross and Kevin White). Six of the remaining nine reached 900 receiving yards, scored seven-plus touchdowns and were top-30 fantasy WRs. This paints a very positive picture for Chase, Smith and Waddle in 2021. Assuming they stay healthy, all three are positioned to play significant offensive roles out of the gate.

How McPhearson’s Hula Bowl performance led to Eagles’ drafting him - NBCSP
Rex Ryan admits he didn’t know much about Zech McPhearson in January as he flew to Hawaii to coach Team Kai in the annual Hula Bowl. He learned quickly. “This kid jumped out,” Ryan said to NBC Sports Philadelphia last week. “In 1-on-1s, he jumped out in that, he jumped out on the field. He’s not the biggest guy, maybe 5-11ish, around that, but he can run and, man, he can shadow and mirror and he has ball skills. To me, I was like, ‘Hell, this kid looks pretty damn good to me.’ “I heard he was a fourth-round pick and I was like, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ The kid’s got cover skills, seems like a really nice young man. So, shoot, I think they got a chance with this kid.”

Is Fitzpatrick Washington’s Answer at QB? Cowboys, Eagles Need Defense - Football Outsiders
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman seems to have read the division-rival Giants perfectly with a trade-up to the 10th pick and selection of wide receiver DeVonta Smith. It’s ironic then that the Cowboys—another division rival and Roseman’s trade partner—settled on the draft’s top linebacker Micah Parsons and left the Eagles wanting at the position. That may seem strange to hear since Eagles incumbent Alex Singleton and free-agent addition Eric Wilson each accumulated 120 tackles in 2020, but both players were productive because of volume rather than efficiency. In fact, Singleton, Wilson, and middle linebacker T.J. Edwards all finished in the bottom third of linebackers with 25 or more tackles allowing between 18.3% and 19.5% broken tackle rates according to Sports Info Solutions charting. Sophomore Davion Taylor and rookie JaCoby Stevens offer some internal hope at the position, but the former played just 32 defensive snaps in his first season, and the latter is a tweener linebacker/safety whose size spurred his fall to the sixth round. Recent roster management suggests the Eagles do not value the position the way that some teams do, but just once it would be nice to see a plus linebacker play behind the team’s consistently excellent defensive line.

Intriguing 2021 in-game matchups: Week 1 vs. Eagles - The Falcoholic
Fast forward to present day and Pees now has a pair of athletic linebackers in Jones and Oluokun at his disposal in Atlanta. They are also a pair of linebackers who will likely anchor the middle of the Falcons newly installed 3-4 scheme. They will need every bit of that athleticism as they face off against a quarterback in Hurts that is look to establish himself as starting quarterback in the league. This past season, Hurts showed a little promise and some notable red flags as a first time starter. In one particular matchup against Arizona last season, Hurts was blitzed a season-high 25 times, was sacked on six occasions and pressured a total of 12 times. While he passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns, he completed barely 55% of his passes and the constant harassment proved to be enough for the Cardinals to earn a hard fought win. Keeping Hurts in line with the athleticism of Jones and Oluokun should be a main priority for the Falcons defense in week one.

Report: Jaylon Smith paying “close to mid-six figures” to move from jersey number 54 to number 9 - Blogging The Boys
This whole subject was really thrust into the forefront as far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned in early April when linebacker Jaylon Smith intimated on social media that he would like to wear number 9. Obviously this particular number belonged to one of many people’s favorite Cowboys players in quarterback Tony Romo which is why the issue was met with much debate. Lo and behold, Smith paid the necessary amount and will in fact be switching to number 9.

The roster race is back on at TE with the signing of free agent Ricky Seals-Jones - Hogs Haven
Coming into 2021, more offensive weapons have been added, but Logan Thomas is unambiguously the team’s starting tight end. Despite the 2020 season being the only statistical highlight on his tight end resume, he is the most proven player on the roster at the tight end position. After that? Well, it looks like a horse race.

Should the New York Giants trade for Julio Jones? - Big Blue View
Should the Giants part with a first-round pick for Jones? Probably not. He’s played 10 seasons. He missed significant time (seven games) to a hamstring injury in 2020 and per Breer would cost them $17.3 — plus the draft pick — for a probable one-year rental. The Giants would likely have to remove a player or two from the roster to make it work. The league’s public salary cap report currently shows the Giants with $4.801 million in cap space. Breer believes the Falcons would “probably” trade Jones for a second-round pick. Should the Giants do that, even with Golladay, Toney, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton? In my view, probably not. Still, this is a player heading to the Hall of Fame who would make Daniel Jones’ life easier in 2021.

Which Julio Jones Trade Partners Make Sense? - The Ringer
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have the cap room and could dangle their second-round pick in exchange for Jones (assuming the conditional second-rounder they traded to the Eagles becomes a first, which will happen if Carson Wentz plays 75 percent of snaps, or 70 percent and the Colts make the postseason). However, the biggest question is whether Indianapolis fits the contender label. The Colts made the playoffs last season for the second time in three years under coach Frank Reich’s direction. Still, Indianapolis didn’t improve mightily this offseason via free agency. Indianapolis enjoyed production out of Pittman during his rookie season, but Hilton (8.2 yards per target, third-lowest single-season output of his career) didn’t recapture his past form and the rest of the receiving corps doesn’t have much proven production. Jones is a star no. 1 wideout who could immediately pay dividends for the Colts.

The Texans Shouldn’t Trade Deshaun Watson Until 2022 - Battle Red Blog
Because of this, Nick Caserio has to know what the Texans are getting if they trade Watson. They cannot, and I repeat, cannot trade Watson before or during the 2021 NFL season. Caserio has to know what any newly acquired draft picks are worth before he acquires them. The overall selection is more important than the round picks are acquired. A team with Deshaun Watson under center, unless he’s suspended for the majority of the 2021 season, should in theory be good enough to find the NFL Playoffs—Bill O’Brien’s 2020 Texans were a special case in futility.

Off Day Debrief #38: Aaron Rodgers continues to annoy + people under the most pressure in 2021 - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and Brandon Lee Gowton react to what Aaron Rodgers said on ESPN last night, and explain why both he and the Packers are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. Plus, who is under the most pressure in 2021? Rodgers misses a chance to make things better. Can the situation still be saved? Two non-QBs that have more pressure on then than anyone else. BLG hates on the Cowboys - again!

Guy Fieri would be one of the highest paid athletes in the NFL, NBA or MLB - SB Nation
Guy Fieri is bringing the fuego to Flavortown with a new Food Network contract that is paying him an astonishing $80 million over three years. I’m not going to hate at all, the dude is the MVP of Drivers, Dine-Ins, AND Dives — three essential skills every TV host needs. That said, it’s beyond hilarious that Fieri’s $26.7M per year makes him higher paid than some of the biggest players in the sports world. I’m mentioning this not to shame the incredible athletic ability of these players, but rather as a bargaining chip in negotiations so they can tell a team “you gotta pay me more than Guy Fieri.”

A “supermoon” and a lunar eclipse are both happening on May 26. Here’s why. - Vox
On May 26, the Earth will pass between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow across the moon’s surface and making it appear a deep red color for 14 minutes and 30 seconds. Around moonset — right before sunrise — the West Coast of the United States will be able to see a nearly total eclipse. Many parts of the Americas and Asia will be able to see a partial eclipse. And if you’re in Eastern Australia, you’re in luck: The entire eclipse will be visible to you. If you’re in an area that can see the eclipse, its total phase will begin at 11:11 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on May 26 and end at 11:25 UTC. (This will be after sunrise for many parts of the world. Convert UTC to your local time here.) On the night of the full moon, the moon rises in the east after the sun sets and then sets in the west before the sun rises. This will be the first total lunar eclipse since 2019.

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