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Eagles News: A.J. Brown among most interesting NFL players to watch in training camp

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/21/22.

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Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Workout Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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NFL Training Camp 2022: What to watch, storylines and reports - PFF
A.J. Brown’s impact on the Philadelphia Eagles. Few offseason moves excite me more than the addition of A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles offense — not just because of what he brings to the table but because of what it can do to elevate the play of people already in the offense. Brown has an elite skill set that has allowed him to dominate in the NFL, particularly against aggressive press-man coverage. No matter how you look at the numbers, Brown consistently ranked among the top receivers in the league against press coverage over the last couple of years. That’s the biggest concern after seeing DeVonta Smith in his rookie year. Brown’s arrival alleviates those concerns, allowing Smith to settle into a role where he can excel as a Z receiver, away from the physicality that his 166-pound frame may continue to struggle with. Smith caught only 11 of the 27 contested targets he saw in Year 1, and he only generated 41 contested targets throughout his entire Alabama career — such was the potency of that offense.

NFL wide receiver, tight end, running back rankings for all 32 teams in 2022: Stacking best and worst offensive playmakers - ESPN+
8. Philadelphia Eagles. Like the Dolphins, the Eagles are riding a promising young wideout and a superstar trade acquisition up these charts. Here, of course, it’s DeVonta Smith and former Titans star A.J. Brown, who was acquired on draft night for a first-round pick. I wrote about the Brown deal on draft night and broke down how Brown can reach new heights. In short, I suspect Philadelphia is going to bump up his snap rate from the 73% mark he saw in Tennessee toward 85%, which should create more opportunities. Smith wasn’t quite as valuable as Jaylen Waddle during their respective rookie campaigns, but the Eagles have a major advantage with the Dolphins if you compare their tight ends. Gesicki is a solid power slot option, but Dallas Goedert was on another level last season when given the opportunity. Pushed into the primary role for good by the trade of Zach Ertz, Goedert averaged 2.6 yards per route run, which led all tight ends. He dropped five of his 75 targets, which isn’t ideal, but even with those drops, the only players with at least 60 targets who averaged more yards per target than him were Deebo Samuel, Ja’Marr Chase, Kendrick Bourne and Tyler Lockett. Quez Watkins, who comes up one target short of that list, averaged 11 yards per target as the team’s third wideout while simultaneously posting the best catch rate over expectation (CRoE) in football, per NFL Next Gen Stats. This team is stacked with receiving talent, even if Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside haven’t panned out. It’s hard to argue running back is a weakness given that Miles Sanders averaged 5.5 yards per carry, but he struggled in short-yardage and came in six first downs below the expectation of an average back. Sanders did get his fumbling under control, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Eagles funnel more work to backup Kenneth Gainwell in 2022.

2022 All-NFC East Team: Defense edition - BGN
Haason Reddick, Eagles: Haason Reddick had an inauspicious start to his NFL career, being miscast in Arizona under two different coaching staffs before catching fire in his final year with the team. Reddick kept that momentum going in his single season with the Panthers in 2021. Reddick has sacked the quarterback 23.5 times in his last two seasons, finally fitting in on an NFL defense. Now on his third team and three years, Reddick will look to make an impact as a do-it-all defender on a defense loaded with versatile pieces in the front seven. He can help revitalize an Eagles pass rush that failed to consistently sack the quarterback last year.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.66: Questions about each team - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and RJ Ochoa put together their NFC East All-Stars for special teams and discuss the biggest questions for each team in the division heading into training camp.

The Return Game - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles don’t need him to be a dynamic returner. They need someone who can be a solid returner and deliver a good return from time to time. That just hasn’t been happening in recent years. If Covey isn’t the answer, the Eagles need someone else to emerge. Maybe things will finally click for Reagor, but that feels more like a pipe dream than a possibility. Greg Ward is not the answer. Quez Watkins did some returning in college. Boston Scott has NFL experience on both punts and kickoffs. He just hasn’t had much success. Covey won’t be intimidated. He’s 25 years old and that should bring a maturity and professionalism that isn’t present in all rookies. Reagor was 21 when he got to the NFL and it showed. Covey was a tough, aggressive player in college. He wasn’t afraid to work the middle of the field. Covey didn’t run out of bounds when he was outside. He fought for every yard. That mentality will serve him well as he tries to carve out a role in the NFL.

5 Eagles heading into 2022 poised for Pro Bowl jump - NBCSP
5. DeVonta Smith. The No. 10 overall pick from the 2021 season had a pretty good rookie campaign. As the No. 1 option in the Eagles’ offense last season, Smith caught 64 passes for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns. You could argue that the presence of A.J. Brown might hurt Smith’s numbers, but you could also argue that Brown will warrant enough attention to give Smith a chance to get open. After facing all top corners as a rookie, Smith will presumably be facing more CB2s in 2022 and that’s with a year in the league already under his belt. His numbers will need to improve to get into the Pro Bowl.

Spadaro: Here’s what you need to know with Training Camp upon us -
1. As is usually the case, the weather is heating up in Philadelphia just in time for Training Camp. The temperature is projected to be in the 90s when the players report and it could stay that way at least through the first week of practice. Head Coach Nick Sirianni kept his players on the field last year anywhere from 75 minutes to 90 minutes per morning session and that is likely to continue. Keeping the players healthy is a priority, so working efficiently on the field is critical to get enough reps for all 90 players. 2. The Eagles will travel to Berea, Ohio, for a couple of days of practice before the August 21 preseason game at Cleveland and then return to Philadelphia before heading to Miami to work against the Dolphins in joint practices before the August 27 preseason game. The time, then, at the NovaCare Complex, will be limited. Last year’s joint practices at the Jets were beneficial both from a football standpoint and a chemistry-building perspective, so the long time away from South Philadelphia in August can really be a plus.

Jason Peters: I’m staying in shape and waiting for a team - PFT
After 11 years with the Eagles, the veteran left tackle started 15 games for the Bears last season. Now at 40, he’s looking to play at least one more season. In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Peters said he’s been staying in shape and waiting for a team to come calling. And he’s not just looking to join a club that’s contending for a Super Bowl in 2022. “I just let my agent talk to those teams and he’ll hit me and let me know who’s interested and who’s not,” Peters said. “Looking for an upcoming offensive line, good team — or a playoff team. Either/or is good for me, because I can pass my torch on to some guys who are trying to get better, the younger guys, the new generation. Or if I get on a team with some vets, they already know how I rock, and we can just go into the playoffs and make a run and try to win another ring.

Sean Payton predicts return to coaching: Top 2023 destinations for longtime Saints coach - CBS Sports
1. Cowboys. This one’s been rumored, reported and speculated for years, and for good reason. Owner Jerry Jones likes Payton almost as much as he likes teasing current coach Mike McCarthy’s apparent lack of job security. McCarthy could actually be on the hot seat if he can’t guide a top-10 quarterback and offense past the wild-card round in his third year at the helm. And Payton has all the right connections: he’s got family in Texas, he alluded to America’s Team in his Saints farewell, the Cowboys are built to win now, and Dallas launched his own head coaching career, serving as his home from 2003-2005.

3 Cowboys questions that we’ll start to get answers to in training camp - Blogging The Boys
1. Can Dak Prescott reach the next level? League wide everyone knows Dak Prescott is a quality quarterback. Dak has developed into a high level passer, a smart decision-maker, and has continued to be a great leader for his team. Whether you have him in your top 10, or just outside of it, his talent and skill set cannot be denied. Many people within the organization and league wide believe he has that special ‘it’ factor about him, however many agree that Dak has not quite taken that leap to put himself in that upper echelon to solidify himself within the top 5 of the leagues best QB’s. The word out of Dallas about Dak heading into camp is that he is healthier than he has ever been, including a new found diet and body regiment that has him looking lean and more agile than we have seen before. How all this translates to on field success is still to be determined, however, what can’t be understated is how important Dak is and it’s clear that heading into year seven this is a pivotal point in his career. There is another level that has yet to be unlocked for QB1, and if the Cowboys want to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, Dak will need to find that.

Giants will bring back classic blue uniforms for pair of 2022 games - Big Blue View
The classic blues are back. The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that they will bring back their classic blue uniforms from the 1980 and ‘90s for a pair of legacy’ games this season. The classic blues, including the throwback helmet with ‘GIANTS’ on it, will be worn Oct. 2 vs. the Chicago Bears and Dec. 4 vs. Washington at MetLife Stadium. The uniforms were worn from 1980-1999.

NFL University #49: Madden Ratings, Rookies to Watch, & President of the PFRA George Bozeka - The SB Nation NFL Show
Welcome back to another edition of NFL University! Stephen Serda, Kyle Posey, and Justis Mosqueda need to discuss the Lions hype that’s going on ahead of NFL training camps. Madden is dropping their ratings all this week–with plenty of questionable decision-making. With the NFL season right around the corner, we sit down with the President of the Pro Football Researchers Association George Bozeka–to discuss the Hall of Fame finalists for the 2023 class.


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