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Eagles News: PFF says Philadelphia should sign another safety

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/15/23.

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One last offseason move for all 16 NFC teams: Marcus Peters to the Falcons, Jadeveon Clowney to the Panthers - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: S DURON HARMON. Harmon has logged more than 1,000 snaps in three consecutive seasons, a valuable source of reliability with Philadelphia’s current position group largely made up of younger and/or inexperienced players. Harmon earned a 77.6 coverage grade in 2022 with multiple interceptions for the sixth year in a row to go along with a career-high 67 tackles and 11 defensive stops. After a very strong Eagles draft that also addressed positional needs, there are effectively no holes on the team’s roster. Depth at tight end was an area we planned to mention here, but Philadelphia went ahead and added free agent Dan Arnold.

An early look at five Eagles’ upcoming camp battles - PhillyVoice
Sean Desai has shown in the past that he likes to utilize three-safety sets, so there’s a good chance that all three of Edmunds, Blankenship, and Brown see significant action in 2023. Edmunds is the biggest of the three safeties at 6’1, 217, and before the 2022 season he had never missed a game due to injury. He was a 2018 first-round pick who has impressive athleticism and plenty of starting experience (75 career starts). Blankenship was probably the Eagles’ most impactful rookie last season, collecting 34 tackles, two pass breakups, and one INT. He made the team out of training camp as an undrafted rookie free agent, and began the season as the No. 4 safety. At some point during the season, he leapfrogged K’Von Wallace for the No. 3 safety role, and was called on to start after Gardner-Johnson went down with his kidney injury against the Packers. In that Packers game, Blankenship intercepted Aaron Rodgers and made several nice plays in run defense. With Gardner-Johnson out, Blankenship would start against the Titans, Giants, Cowboys, and Saints, playing well overall in those four games. Upon Gardner-Johnson’s return to the lineup, Blankenship still kept a role. Gardner-Johnson started at safety in the base defense but moved to the slot in nickel with Blankenship coming off the bench to play safety.

Eagles Film Review: Tanner McKee might actually be a good fit in Philly - BGN
Tanner McKee is the reason I like watching players after we have taken them. I will be honest, I had no idea why we drafted Tanner McKee when the pick happened. I did not see a point in drafting another quarterback when we already have a clear backup quarterback. As well as this, Tanner McKee is basically the opposite of Hurts and Marcus Mariota which is what really confused me. However, after watching him, I sort of love the pick. I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I love these big old-fashioned pocket passers even if the NFL has passed them by. Five years ago, Tanner McKee is definitely an early-round pick. He can do so many things well. He throws with beautiful touch down the field, is pretty consistent with his ball placement, and can get through his progressions.

2018 vs 2023 - Iggles Blitz
Wentz/Foles – We had no idea just how impactful the Foles playoff run would be. Carson Wentz was never the same player after watching Foles lead the Eagles to the Lombardi Trophy. Wentz always had too much “hero ball” in him, but it felt like he tried to win the Super Bowl every week. He missed too many layups, while jacking up 3-pointers like Trae Young. He made enough to win games, but not get back to the level he played at in 2017. Foles relationships with his teammates also got affected and the tight bond of 2017 wasn’t there in future years. He still had some close friends, but the overall vibe with the team wasn’t the same.

Roob’s Observations: Why ‘ankle flexion’ is actually huge for rookie Smith - NBCSP
1. “Ankle flexion” is a phrase you hear a lot before the draft when analysts are talking about edge rushers. The better a pass rusher is able to turn the corner on his ankle while maintaining speed and balance, the more he’s able to cut down the angle to the quarterback, which gets him there faster. If you can’t make a sharp turn past an offensive tackle, you’ll end up rushing out of the play, no matter how big, strong and fast you are. When you watch Nolan Smith at Georgia, you see his ability to turn the corner and take a flat route – a straight route - to the quarterback because of his outstanding ankle flexion. The more direct a route an edge rusher takes, the faster he gets to the QB. Now, ankle flexion hardly guarantees that a pass rusher will be successful. So much more goes into it. Derek Barnett was heralded for his world-class ankle flexion but it’s never translated into big-time production. But the Eagles believe Smith will be a consistent pass rusher in the NFL because of his assortment of pass rush moves, his speed, his power, his work ethic and, yes, his ankle flexion.

The must-watch games on the NFL schedule? We pick one for all 32 teams - The Athletic
Arizona Cardinals: at Eagles, Week 17. By this point, we’ll know a lot about Jonathan Gannon’s first season. How long it took for Kyler Murray to return from ACL surgery. If Budda Baker, who recently asked for a trade, is happy. Maybe even where Arizona, which has Houston’s 2024 first-round pick as well as its own, might stand in the upcoming draft. But this game still will be big simply because of Gannon’s return to Philly. Eagles fans weren’t thrilled with his performance as defensive coordinator in last season’s Super Bowl loss to Kansas City. And they’re not exactly a forgiving bunch.

NFL Power Rankings 2023: 32-team poll after the NFL draft - ESPN
3) Philadephia Eagles. Post-FA ranking: 4. Most improved: Cornerback. The big win was re-signing free agent James Bradberry and retaining Darius Slay when a trade or release seemed inevitable. They also signed former Cleveland Brown Greedy Williams to a one-year deal and then drafted Georgia standout Kelee Ringo in the fourth round of the draft to bolster the position further.

What’s next for Carson Wentz? - PFT
Per the report, the second overall pick in the 2016 draft is “open to starter or backup roles.” While we’ve yet to encounter a single player who isn’t open to a starting role, there’s no starting role open for Wentz — barring a rash of injuries or a polio outbreak in the quarterback room. The mere fact that the “S” word crept into a slow Sunday quid pro quota report suggests that Wentz isn’t ready to accept his football fate. Which makes him a less-than-ideal fit to be someone else’s understudy. Panthers coach Frank Reich, who coached Wentz in Philly and Indy, could have signed any veteran. Reich opted for Andy Dalton.

Wait! I can bike alongside Eagles players and coaches?!? -
Celebrating success on the streets of Philadelphia is a time-honored tradition among Eagles faithful. Although the team is in its offseason, players, coaches, staff, and the greater Eagles community will take to the streets, but this time to run, bike, or walk in support of the Eagles Autism Foundation. A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, and Dallas Goedert are among more than a record number of Eagles who have committed to participating in this year’s Eagles Autism Challenge, which will include 30-mile and 10-mile bike rides, a 5k run, and a sensory walk. “I’m excited, just to be around the fans and give back to the community,” said wide receiver A.J. Brown, who will be doing the Wawa Junior/Shorti 10-mile ride. Throughout the Eagles’ exciting playoff run, the community was vitalized with passion for the team, and it carried over into an outpouring of support for the Eagles Autism Foundation. More than $1 million dollars was raised in support of EAF, and the organization’s yearly fundraising efforts will culminate at the end of the month following this year’s Challenge.

Ranking the best 5 opposing quarterbacks on the Dallas Cowboys 2023 schedule - Blogging The Boys
1. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles, Weeks 9 and 14. While Cowboys fans won’t like hearing this, the best quarterback currently in the NFC is Eagles QB Jalen Hurts. In just his third season with the team, Hurts produced 22 passing touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 101.6 passer rating. He also did damage on the ground, rushing the ball for 165 carries, 760 rushing yards, and 13 touchdowns. Along with being a serious contender for NFL’s Most Valuable Player award up until his injury late in the regular season, Hurts led the Eagles to win the division and the NFC conference prior to losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The Cowboys defense will continue to have their hands full defending the dual-threat that Hurts brings to the field in 2023.

Cowboys ST coordinator John Fassel considering ‘anybody else on earth’ for potential kicker addition -
“It’s probably the easier way (to go) because you know more what you’re going to get,” Fassel said. “If you’re going to bring them in, you’ve got to be excited about what it is. There’s veterans on the street right now — let’s face it, there’s Mason (Crosby), there’s Robbie (Gould), there’s (Ryan) Succop. There’s a lot of guys that have performed at a good level in the NFL, and you weigh that against everything else. There’s really no secrets of who’s available. I think the good thing for us at the kicker spot is just being patient and deciding who that second guy is we’re going to bring in, whether it’s now or training camp to compete against Tristan.” Fassel noted that bringing back Brett Maher isn’t off the table, despite the kicker’s horrific finish to the 2022 season, in which he got the yips, missing four of five extra points in the Cowboys wild-card win and another PAT in the Divisional Round (two made field goals).

How will the Saquon Barkley-Giants’ contract drama end? - Big Blue View
The Giants could use the salary cap relief they could get in 2023 by extending Barkley, but they have other ways to gain some cap space. I discussed on Saturday why they might not want to extend the contracts of Leonard Williams and Adoree’ Jackson. They could extend the contracts of placekicker Graham Gano and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. They could release Darnay Holmes. Point is, the Giants have options. They can wait for Barkley’s price to come down. If the running back wants to play football in 2023, Schoen knows it will have to be for the Giants. It would be best for Barkley to get a long-term deal done. At this point, I agree with the sentiment that he will likely have to take less than he wanted to make that happen.

5 Commanders players who should be concerned following Washington’s offseason moves - Hogs Haven
Casey Toohill. Last year, Washington began the season with five defensive ends. They started this offseason with one defensive end signed through 2024, and then that one - Shaka Toney - got busted for gambling and was suspended indefinitely. They added two more in the draft though, KJ Henry and and Andre Jones Jr. Obviously, Chase Young and Montez Sweat are locks. Behind them, I would say James Smith-Williams, who filled in ably for Young most of last year is also a lock. That likely leaves Efe Obada, KJ Henry, Andre Jones, and Casey Toohill competing for two roster spots. My suspicion is that Obada and Henry make the cut, and Jones comes down with mysterious “injury” before the season starts and gets assigned to IR to develop this season. I think Toohill is the odd man out.

The Sale of the Commanders Is Good for the NFL. Unfortunately, It’s Also Good for Dan Snyder. - The Ringer
In 1999, Dan Snyder bought Washington’s NFL team, taking control of one of the league’s oldest, most popular, and (at the time) most successful franchises. Over the next 24 years, he ran that team into the ground through personal meddling in the on-field product, an outwardly hostile relationship with local fans and media, a penny-pinching approach to management, and a series of high-profile off-field scandals. He was a bad businessperson and was particularly bad at the business of football. Washington had won three Super Bowls in the 20 years before Snyder took over; it won two playoff games in his 24 years in charge. For his failures, Snyder will receive $6 billion.


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