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Eagles News: Philadelphia’s most improved player

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/18/22.

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New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

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Every NFL team’s most improved player in 2021 - PFF
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: CB AVONTE MADDOX. PFF Grade change from 2020 to 2021: 37.8 → 71.0 (+33.2). Maddox was moved exclusively to outside corner for 2020, and it went poorly, as evidenced by his 37.8 PFF grade. In 2021, Maddox moved to the slot where he belongs and saw a drastic improvement. He actually finished the year as a top-five-graded defensive back in the slot. Maddox’s tackling was on point, with just five misses on 77 attempts and 24 defensive stops.

What the Eagles should do at offensive guard - BGN
REVIEW: Jack Driscoll got hurt in training camp and began the season on injured reserve. He was activated in October and immediately started in place of Lane Johnson, who was away from the team for mental health reasons. Driscoll then shifted to right guard, where he remained until suffering a season-ending injury in late November. OUTLOOK: Driscoll has played fairly well when healthy, especially relative to backup expectations. But the problem is that Driscoll hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s been on the injured reserve list three times over the past two seasons. If Driscoll can put the injury issues behind him, he has a chance to be the Eagles’ top backup at left guard, right guard, and right tackle in 2022.

Babes on Broad #78: What Will the NFL Look Like in 2022? - BGN Radio
We’re back post-Super Bowl talking about our thoughts on the big game, what the NFL will look like in 2022, and how that impacts the Eagles. We also spend some time breaking down our thoughts on the Harden trade and the MLB lockout situation.

Mailbag: Would Russell Wilson even want to play for the Eagles? - PhillyVoice
So if Wilson truly wants out of Seattle, he’ll have to expand his list of acceptable landing spots beyond those four teams. This time last year, you can understand why the Eagles weren’t on that list. They had just come off a 4-11-1 season after which they fired their head coach, their roster was in disarray, and they had major cap issues. Fast forward a year and the Eagles maybe don’t look so bad anymore: They have a player-friendly head coach who coaxed a 9-8 season out of an inconsistent second-year quarterback. They have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, which would easily be the best line Wilson has ever played behind, at least on paper. They still have work to do at the skill positions, but DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert are a good start, and the Eagles will be able to spend in free agency this offseason for the first time in a while. Philly is a big market where football is king. It’s certainly reasonable to believe the perception of the Eagles has changed for a player like Wilson over the last calendar year.

Secrets to Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith’s fashion game, from a Bruce Lee build to hidden zippers - ESPN
Fashion designer Brian Alexander Lunsford started cracking up at the thought of the “special trick” he and Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith use to get the cut of his suits to match his very specific standard. If you watched Smith accept the 2020 Heisman Trophy, saw him on draft day in April when he was selected 10th overall by Philadelphia, or caught footage of him walking into the stadium on Sundays during his rookie season, you know he takes his suit game seriously. It’s a passion that was lit at an early age when his mom made him dress up for church, was stoked in high school when the football team was required to wear dress shirts and ties on game days and has developed to the point where Smith has a degree of fashion expertise that has helped him gain the respect of teammates and experts alike. “His style is next level,” said Tom Marchitelli, who has designed suits for several NFL players, including Smith, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski and most recently, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow for his Super Bowl debut. “There are guys that are wearing perfectly-tailored suits, and then there is DeVonta, who is taking it to another level that most guys aspire to be at.”

The biggest offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams and how teams can fill them via the draft, trades and free agents - The Athletic
Position of greatest need: Defensive back. Based on the team’s priorities, defensive end will be No. 1 on this list. But if one’s judging needs by trying to fill spots on the depth, the Eagles have voids in the secondary considering starting safeties Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris and cornerback Steve Nelson are all free agents. The Eagles have internal options for those spots, but it’s more likely they’ll add reinforcements in free agency and the draft. Sheil Kapadia’s list of the top 75 free agents includes eight safeties, and the Eagles could be active for second-tier options such as Justin Reid or Jordan Whitehead if they’re priced out of the top safeties. They’re more likely to address cornerback in the draft, where Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr. are potential options with one of the Eagles’ three picks in the teens. Five quarterbacks had completion percentages of at least 80% against the Eagles last season, and an improved secondary will help their pass defense. But an improved pass rush will be even important, so look for the Eagles to prioritize edge rusher with one of their first-round picks.

Why did Wentz’s career end up like this? - NBCSP
I’ll never forget what Wentz said the first time we talked to him after the ACL four years ago. “I am who I am. Injuries aren’t going to change me.” And that’s the problem. He keeps trying to play like Carson Wentz of 2017 and his body won’t let him. Instead of focusing on what he can still do – which is throw a football really well – he continues to try to be Superman and make plays that he simply can no longer make. And who knows how that same stubbornness has affected his relationships with his coaches and teammates. There are strong signs that it has. If your coaches are trying to get you to play one way and you won’t, that’s when you become uncoachable. And that’s when two teams in two years sour on you.

Breaking down the new USFL jerseys - DraftKings Nation
Philadelphia Stars — The Stars go over the top in a fun way. They lean fully into the ketchup and mustard aesthetic and it stands out from the rest. This is one of the only uniforms that I’d like to see in different color patterns. They could pull it off.

ESPN: “There’s a feeling around the league the Cowboys might have blown their best chance at a title” - Blogging The Boys
A big reason for Dallas’ success last season was the play of players like Randy Gregory who (sort of) came from nowhere. Gregory had obviously had success for the Cowboys before, but nothing like the sustained play we saw this past season. He is going to be a free agent soon and it feels rather important for the team to figure something out with him. Of course, it is not just Gregory who is on an expiring contract. There are a number of notable Cowboys that are going to hit the market soon. This is part of the reason that some within NFL circles, according to ESPN, feel that the Cowboys squandered their best opportunity to win a Super Bowl this past season.

Giants mock draft: What does New York get with first three selections? - Big Blue View
5. New York Giants. OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State. Cross to the Giants is not commonly mocked, but I think we will start seeing it more, and it makes sense. Cross is an uber-athletic redshirt-Sophomore who was still growing into his body as recently as a few years ago. He is listed at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, and it appears he has long arms. He shows rare athletic traits for an offensive tackle; all of this will have to be confirmed at the combine. His athleticism is evident on tape. He has quick feet to mirror, fluid hips, plays balanced, and is excellent in space. He doesn’t possess the mass of Neal or Ekwonu, but he still did a solid job anchoring and handling power. I also loved his hand technique and ability to adjust to the defender’s counter moves.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Doug Pederson finalize coaching staff - Big Cat Country
As such, Pederson’s offensive staff, particularly his offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, have all had extensive experience coaching QBs, while they have also all played the position at some level. Defensively, the Jaguars will have yet another first-time coordinator, again with extensive coaching experience. The difference, however, is defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell has played in the NFL - a linebacker for several teams over the course of his 11-year career.

Five big-name NFL players who should be traded this offseason -
Saquon Barkley. I know the running back position doesn’t carry the value it once had. And to be honest, the market for a running back coming off two injury-ravaged seasons isn’t great. The Giants need to be choosy about which skill players stay around to start the Brian Daboll era. It’s obvious Saquon is talented, but Daniel Jones should be given a chance to develop without having to worry about featuring a running back. And full disclosure, I would be willing to give Kenny Golladay and Evan Engram, a free agent this offseason, another shot. Moving Barkley to a team that needs a little juice at running back makes a lot of sense, especially considering Devontae Booker, who was more efficient than Barkley in 2021, is under contract for cheap through 2022.

How Eli Apple became the laughing stock of the NFL - SB Nation
The only thing getting burned more than Eli Apple in the Super Bowl is Eli Apple after the Super Bowl. The outspoken Bengals corner has become a lightning rod for jokes and criticism, and he’s getting dragged all over the internet. It’s okay if you’re confused as to why. We’ve seen corners burned before, lord knows Cooper Kupp has left dozens in his wake this season. So why has Apple suddenly become the league’s biggest punchline? It all comes down to his past and his attitude.

The Look Ahead #77: Who are the coaches on the hot seat going into 2022? - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa examine that craziness happening in Dallas with Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy. Then, RJ has his top five coaches on the hot seat going into the 2022 season. What Mike McCarthy did this week that proves he knows he’s on the hot seat (2:20). One NFC East coach that had better win quickly in 2022 (18:50). This coach’s team made the playoffs this year, but that isn’t enough to save him from the heat (23:09). The AFC South coach more people should talk about on the hot seat (27:20). One AFC East coach RJ never should have included on the list (36:00). The coach RJ forgot to add that absolutely deserves to feel the heat in 2022 (42:40).


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