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Eagles News: Kevin Byard trade is a “really smart move”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/24/23.

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Los Angeles Chargers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images

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

Eagles Trade for a Safety - Iggles Blitz
Byard is a Philly native and I’m sure he’s excited about coming home. He is a two-time All-Pro player. He has 27 career INTs. The Eagles know his best years are behind him, but safety is a spot where brains and instincts are more important than speed and athleticism. You can get by with a veteran safety and still get a good performance from him. Byard hasn’t been making plays this year. Part of that has to do with pressure. The Eagles have 55 QB hits this year. The Titans have 31. When QBs aren’t under pressure, they can shred defenses. QBs have a rating of 101.0 against Tennessee this year. Is that because Byard is struggling? Will playing behind a strong pass rush help Byard to start making plays? I think you know which way the Eagles lean on this one. I think this is a really smart move. The Eagles add a guy they can plug into the defense. Byard isn’t a specialty player. He can play SS or FS. He can play in the box or back deep. He gives them flexibility. He’s also a smart veteran with 111 career starts.

Kevin Byard trade: Eagles acquire Titans’ All-Pro safety for draft picks and a player - BGN
Byard, who turned 30 in August, is a two-time first-team All-Pro safety (2017 and 2021) who has a track record of making plays on the ball. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2017, he’s logged 27 interceptions, 59 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and three sacks in 98 games played. Though he doesn’t have a pick this season, Byard had four last year and he only allowed a 77.8 passer rating when targeted. He also boasts low missed tackle percentage numbers over his career. Byard has been very durable; he hasn’t missed a game in seven seasons. That’s a comforting thought considering the Eagles have been banged up on the back end this season. Philly just beat the Miami Dolphins without two starting safeties since Reed Blankenship is dealing with a ribs injury and Justin Evans is on injured reserve. Byard is obviously a huge upgrade on the departing Edmunds, who mostly struggled when forced into action. It’ll be Byard and Sydney Brown starting at safety until Blankenship is ready to return. At that point, Byard and Blankenship figure to suddenly form one of the NFL’s best safety tandems. A position of weakness has the potential to be turned into a big strength.

At the Podium: Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown on Week 7 win over Dolphins - BGN Radio
Following the Eagles Week 7 win against the Dolphins, Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown spoke with the Philly media.

Titans trade Kevin Byard to the Eagles - Music City Miracles
Well, we knew over the weekend this was a possibility. The Tennessee Titans are trading Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The Titans are reportedly getting a 2024 5th and 6th round pick plus safety Terrell Edmunds. I can’t say enough about what Byard has meant to this franchise. He has been a great player on and off the field. Unfortunately, with this team going nowhere this season, they are going to start to sell off parts. Byard is the first. [...] It is sad to see Byard go. He might have been the best draft pick that Jon Robinson made in his tenure as the GM in Tennessee.

NFL trade grades: 2023 deadline report cards for big deals - ESPN+
Grade for the Eagles: A-. The Eagles just upgraded, again. Philadelphia is banged up at safety and played the Dolphins on Sunday night without either of their Week 1 starters — Justin Evans (on IR with a knee injury) and Reed Blankenship (ribs). Byard, a 30-year-old two-time All-Pro, will presumably pair up with Blankenship once the latter is healthy. Nearest defender statistics are particularly noisy for safeties, but what we see from Byard is strong. This season he has allowed 0.5 yards per coverage snap and minus-1.2 EPA --- both above average for the position, per NFL Next Gen Stats. While the sample is small, it’s consistent throughout his career — he’s averaged 0.5 yards per coverage snap since 2016 and has amassed minus-67 total EPA. By comparison, Edmunds, who is being sent to Tennessee in the deal, has career averages of 0.7 yards per coverage snap (average) and plus-37 total EPA allowed (worse than average) over his career. Pair the numbers together with Byard’s strong reputation — including two All-Pro nods — and we’re confident Philadelphia is improving via this deal. Byard is also incredibly durable, having never missed a game in eight seasons.

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 8 edition - PhillyVoice
13) Commanders (3-4): Jonathan Allen has been in the NFL since 2016 and during that time the Commanders are 50-69-2 (0.421). He has experienced one “winning” season, when he was a rookie, when Washington went 8-7-1. He has played in one playoff game, in 2020, which he lost, after Washington won the division with a 7-9 record. After the Commanders’ loss to the sorry Giants on Sunday, Allen’s frustration boiled over. It must suck to be a good player with an awful franchise. Also, for anyone who thought there would be an immediate turnaround with this franchise just because Dan Snyder is no longer the owner... nope.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Chiefs reclaim No. 1 spot; rampaging Ravens soar into top five -
2) Eagles. The Eagles were down both starting safeties and their slot corner, and they still held Miami to a season-low 244 yards and 10 offensive points. Tua Tagovailoa was under pressure all game, and even taking into account his ability to get the ball out quickly, it seemed to have a cumulative effect. This is where defensive coordinator Sean Desai might be able to separate himself from his predecessor. I loved how Desai would not let Miami off the hook, providing constant pressure. And while the offense might not quite be operating at that same level as it was last season, the Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown connection has arguably never been more potent. They’ve now combined for 701 yards over Brown’s past five games. The Eagles also won every big fourth down on Sunday. That’s my kind of team. And now Philly’s getting Kevin Byard? Watch out, folks.

Week 7 DVOA: Ravens Climb to No. 1 after Week of Upsets - Football Outsiders
Philadelphia’s DVOA rating went from 17.8% to 19.3% but that wasn’t enough to pass another team in the rankings. The Eagles have a single-game DVOA of 42.5% for the victory, which is excellent but not one of the top games of the year . Their offense went down a little bit, counterbalanced by a good improvement for their defense. A couple of turnovers for Jalen Hurts didn’t help. I agree that it “feels” like the Eagles should be ranked higher than this, but they still haven’t won a game by more than two touchdowns. The simple rating system at PFR, for example, has the Eagles way down at 11th. ESPN has the Eagles also seventh in their FPI.

Spadaro: Eagles Culture lifting Jalen Carter to early success -
They’ve been impressed since the first day Jalen Carter walked into the NovaCare Complex as an Eagle. It’s been so much more than the on-field ability, which was obvious to everyone. Making an impact requires far more than talent, and the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft has done all the little things that are mandatory. “He’s learning how to be a pro. That’s something that means everything – being on time, knowing when to ask questions, listening to the people around him, fitting in with all of us. All of that stuff is important,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “When you go through this for the first time it can get to a lot of guys. He has fit right in from the start.” What Carter has done in his first six games is undeniably impressive – 3.5 quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles, five QB hits, and 13 tackles in this 6-1 start (he missed the Jets game with an ankle injury) while playing half of the defensive snaps – and he has been lauded for his performance. He returned to play against Miami on Sunday night and was a disruptive force with his quickness off the ball, his speed, and his strength. Carter played 19 snaps and was a handful for Miami to handle. “Every time I’m out there,” he said, “is a chance to get better.”

In Roob’s Eagles Stats, the growing absurdity of A.J. Brown’s season - NBCSP
1. As you know by now, Brown on Sunday recorded his fifth straight game with at least 125 receiving yards, something only two players had ever done, both with the Lions – flanker Pat Studstill in 1966 and Calvin Johnson in 1982. But did you know the Eagles once went parts of 24 seasons without anybody recording as many as two 125-yard games in a row? In Week 13 of 1986, Mike Quick had 145 yards against the Raiders and a week later 127 yards against the Cards. Then the Eagles didn’t have anybody with consecutive 125-yard games for nearly a quarter of a century. In 2009, DeSean Jackson had 178 yards against the Giants and 140 against the 49ers. The Eagles went from Week 11 in 1994 through Week 1 of 2001 with a total of five 125-yard games (four by Irving Fryar, one by Michael Timpson). So they had five 125-yard games in the span of 88 games over parts of eight seasons. Now one guy has had five in a row.

NFL Week 7 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 31, Miami Dolphins 17 - PFF
Rookie spotlight: Eagles rookie edge rusher Nolan Smith got his first sack of his NFL career in this game. Though it was one of the easier sacks he’ll get in his career, we won’t take any glory away from him. He finished the game with one tackle and one quarterback hit.

With Kevin Byard traded by the Titans, is Derrick Henry next? - PFT
It makes sense to keep an eye on the possibility — and to watch closely for any significant running back injuries this weekend. Or maybe a team on the fringe of contention will decide to make an all-in move. Maybe the Rams will decide to “eff them picks,” again. Maybe the Bills will decide to kick their running game in the ass by adding one of the best running backs in football. Maybe the Browns will roll the dice on the closest thing the NFL currently has to Jim Brown. Or maybe nothing will happen at all. Regardless, the Byard trade is a potential clue that can’t be ignored.

Arizona Cardinals placing Zach Ertz on injured reserve per reports - Revenge Of The Birds
Ertz has been up and down this season. He is not the athlete he once was, and coming off an ACL tear looks to have slowed even more. However, when the ball is within his frame he was able to make catches. The problem has become, anything outside of the frame for Ertz has become a tough play for him to make.

Cowboys playoffs: Dallas on track to be playoff team entering schedule after bye - Blogging The Boys
Right now the Cowboys easily project to be a playoff team. There are 13 teams in the NFL who have at least four wins through seven weeks, obviously some of them have had their bye like Dallas, but soon enough we will start to see some separation here. For the Cowboys to reach the postseason this season you would assume that they would have to win at least 10 or 11 games meaning that they have to win 6-7 of their remaining 11 contests. As noted, they are favored to win their next immediate one. The fine folks at FTN Fantasy track playoff odds as the season goes along and prior to Week 7’s Monday night contest believed that the Cowboys will win 10-11 games, almost on the dot at 10.5 even. Dallas’ mean wins here at 10.6 and they have an 85.3% projection of reaching the playoffs with the most likely path in being as the top Wild Card team in the conference as they were last season.

Daniel Jones has to be the Giants’ quarterback once he is healthy - Big Blue View
Taylor has not turned the Giants into an offensive juggernaut. The Giants scored 9 points against the Bills and it was Taylor’s bone-headed decision to check to a run play at the end of the first half — an inexcusable decision for a 13-year veteran with :14 on the clock and no timeouts — that cost the Giants that game. They scored 14 points Sunday against a bad Washington team and had seven of 14 drives end in three-and-outs. They did not score a point in the second half. Taylor is a good backup quarterback, the type of backup every NFL team should aspire to have. He is not, though, the answer at quarterback for the Giants. Maybe Jones isn’t, either. There is, though, still a chance he might be. The Giants need to spend the rest of the season figuring out whether they believe the answer is yes or no.

Chase Young/Montez Sweat trade rumors heat up after another Washington Commanders loss - Hogs Haven
Even though we’re a week away from the trade deadline, we’re still a long way from any trades happening. Rivera said this yesterday: “We’re not going to go around cutting a bunch of people, trading for a whole bunch of people, trying to hire a whole bunch of people. We’re trying to develop a young football team to be a very good football team for the future.” He’s under heavy scrutiny from fans, media, and a new ownership group looking to restore the Washington franchise to its glory days. If Rivera the GM is unwilling to make moves, especially if they lose again on Sunday, ownership would need to take that decision out of a lame duck coach’s hands if they aren’t going to actually fire him. A big issue will be the compensation Washington would be willing to take for either pass rusher. Both of them would require new contracts from their new team, and Washington would likely extend or franchise tag the other player. Young has been labeled as the player more likely to be traded, but the likely compensation would be less than most people would want, but likely more than a 3rd round compensatory draft pick they might get in 2025. Would a low compensation offer motivate Washington’s decision makers to trade one of their biggest “names”? We’ll likely have to wait until next Tuesday to find out.

Deshaun Watson is the worst trade in NFL history - SB Nation
It’s a great week for Minnesota Vikings fans. Not because of whatever will happen on Monday Night Football (presumably a Vikings loss), but because they might be bailed out in the annals of history. It’s fast approaching the point where the Browns’ trade for Deshaun Watson is the worst in the history of the NFL. Up to this point there was seemingly nothing that could compare to the 1989 Herschel Walker trade. That’s when Minnesota, in their eternal football desperation, gave up five players, a host of draft picks for their “missing piece” in Walker, only to fail — and arguably help the Cowboys forge their early-90s dynasty with picks that resulted in Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson and Russell Maryland. Now there’s a chance the Deshaun Watson trade could be even worse. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. [BLG Note: Watson not wanting to play in Philly saved the Eagles from making a big mistake.]


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