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Eagles News: Best and worst case scenarios for the 2021 season

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/9/21.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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Best- and worst-case scenarios for every NFC team ahead of the 2021 NFL season - PFF
WORST: 10th percentile outcome: 4-13. How they get there: Philadelphia’s weaknesses on the perimeter remain an issue, and age starts to affect the play of perceived strengths in the trenches. Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts cannot lead an effective passing attack one season after 29.4% of his passes were charted as uncatchable, the highest rate among quarterbacks who attempted at least 100 passes last season. And whoever starts at cornerback alongside Darius Slay is targeted frequently when the Eagles are on defense. Avonte Maddox earned just a 37.1 coverage grade in that role last year. [...] BEST: 90th percentile outcome: 9-8. How they get there: An offensive line no longer playing musical chairs due to injury makes a big difference. Lane Johnson (88.8 PFF grade in 2019) and Brandon Brooks (92.8 PFF grade in 2019) return at full strength, and Andre Dillard wins the left tackle job, looking like the player Philadelphia was hoping for when they spent a first-round pick on him two years ago. DeVonta Smith shows that any pre-draft concerns over his weight were overblown, too. That all gives Hurts a chance to show that he can be the franchise’s future at the quarterback position.

Who is the Eagles’ most underrated player? - BGN
Anthony Harris feels like the correct answer to the posed question. The veteran safety is seemingly being slept on. Harris had a down season in 2020 but he’s not too long removed from the Minnesota Vikings franchise tagging him. He was Pro Football Focus’s No. 1 graded safety in 2019 when he had six interceptions, allowed just a 44.2 passer rating, and missed just three tackles. Now reunited with his former position coach, Jonathan Gannon, Harris might bounce back and prove to be a good piece for Philly’s secondary.

Wishing They Won - Iggles Blitz
I fell in love with Trent Cole when he was still in college. I was thrilled when the Eagles drafted him and he turned out to be a terrific player. Cole never had ideal size and he wasn’t special athletically, but he was tough and had a great motor. God, he was fun to watch. I would have loved seeing him win a title.

4 Eagles players who could sign contract extensions in 2021 - NJ.com
DE Derek Barnett. Barnett is in a somewhat similar situation to Goedert. While he’s a former first-round pick playing on a $10 million fifth-year option, Barnett doesn’t have the resume suitable for a top-of-market extension. Barnett has dealt with injuries, inconsistent play and low sack numbers since entering the league in 2017. He’s flashed impressive skill during his career, but his inconsistency is likely to give the Eagles some hesitation with a new deal.

Legends of DVOA: The Life and Times of Charlie Garner - Football Outsiders
Before Alvin Kamara, there was Charlie Garner. Both were mid-round picks out of Tennessee. Both were (are) diminutive, dynamic all-purpose backs. Both played for offensive masterminds and made a big impact for not-quite championship-caliber teams. Heck, Kamara and Garner were almost the same guy! Or perhaps our memories of Garner are a little cloudy. Yes, he was one of the most effective all-purpose runners of his era, with five top-10 finishes in rushing DVOA and four top-10 finishes in receiving DYAR. But times were tougher for everyone, especially tiny scatbacks, in the days when running back workloads weren’t well monitored, marijuana use was considered a serious character issue, and concussions often went undiagnosed. This is the story of an outstanding player who spent his career shunning a spotlight that some of his teammates and coaches couldn’t stop hogging.

NFL 100: At No. 98, Steve Van Buren, ‘the most unassuming, naturally humble superstar’ - The Athletic
The Athletic ranked Van Buren the No. 98 player in NFL history. He played from 1944 to 1951 and retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He led the league in rushing four times. He won two NFL championships with a Philadelphia Eagles franchise that had never finished better than fourth before his arrival. Yet Van Buren was just as well known for his understated personality. When Didinger would visit Van Buren in his later years, Van Buren lived in a spartan apartment in Northeast Philadelphia with his cat. There were no vestiges of his greatness, no trophies or memorabilia. He kept photos of his grandchildren, but you wouldn’t know he scored the game-winning touchdown in the 1948 championship game, a play that was ranked the 91st greatest in league history. As the legend now goes, Van Buren almost missed his most memorable moment.

Giants RB Saquon Barkley remains vague on status as training camp creeps closer - NFL.com
Barkley appeared on the Rich Eisen Show on Thursday and expertly dodged multiple questions about when exactly he might be ready to play in 2021. The running back relied on the tried and true motto of “taking it day by day” and sprinkling in a dash of “trying to get one percent better every single day.” That’s far from definitive, so Eisen dug deeper by asking Barkley if he might end up on the physically unable to perform list. Barkley bobbed and weaved, floating like a butterfly but choosing to avoid stinging like a bee. “I think I know better than that,” Barkley said when prompted to speak about his injury. “I’ve been in the NFL for a little bit now. I think I learned a thing or two.”

Cowboys hoping Amari Cooper’s ankle isn’t an issue going forward - Blogging The Boys
Mike Fisher writes that the Cowboys aren’t concerned about Cooper’s ankle, but Cooper’s had a history of issues with his ankles and feet in the past. Fisher reports that a source believes that Cooper will be “cutting it close” for the start of camp workouts.

The 5 O’Clock Club: Ron Rivera is ready to win now with great defense and a low-cost QB - Hogs Haven
Fitzpatrick is playing the best football of his career, earning back-to-back top-8 QBR rankings playing in Miami, and throwing for over 4,400 yards in his last 16 games, with a 2 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio. I think Ron Rivera knows what he is doing. Last season, he managed to win consistently with a top-5 defense and Alex Smith playing on one good leg. His defense is better this year with a more experienced Chase Young, a healthy Matt Ioannidis, and the addition of veterans like CB William Jackson and FS Bobby McCain, and rookies Jamin Davis and Benjamin St-Juste. With a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp as the clear #1 guy for the first time in years, expectations should be high for the Football Team in 2021.

XFL planning 2023 return after talks on partnership with CFL tabled - ESPN
The XFL announced on Wednesday that it is planning to relaunch in 2023 after talks with the Canadian Football League about collaboration between the two leagues were tabled. The XFL and CFL both said in separate statements that the decision was jointly reached between the leagues.

NFL Daily Kickoff, Friday - Patrick Mahomes says his toe is feeling great - The SB Nation NFL Show
We are officially less than four weeks away from the preseason! Exciting times are here and such seems like it is particularly the case for the Kansas City Chiefs considering Patrick Mahomes says his toe feels “great.” Check out the latest episode of NFL Daily Kickoff as we catch you up on everything that you need to know.

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