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Eagles News: Taylor Swift shows love to the Birds in Philly

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/17/23.

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Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Philadelphia, PA Photo by Lisa Lake/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS

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

Taylor Swift reveals Philadelphia Eagles fandom at Lincoln Financial Stadium concert - ESPN
Taylor Swift is in her Philadelphia Eagles era. On Friday night, during the first show of her sold-out, three-show concert series at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia, Swift seized the opportunity to end rampant speculation surrounding a hotly debated topic. If you’re thinking this is the part where we reveal whether the pop star is romantically linked to Matty Healy, the lead singer of The 1975, you came to the wrong place. No, rather, Swift opted to shed some light on who exactly she was referring to in her 2020 song “gold rush.” The lyric in question, “with my Eagles T-shirt hanging from the door,” has had fans uncertain whether the West Reading, Pennsylvania, native was talking about the legendary band or the football team. Unfortunately for the “team band” crowd, the “team football team” contingency proved to be in the right. “Guys, like, c’mon. I’m from Philly,” Swift said much to the delight of the crowd. “Of course it’s the team.”

The Eagles made friendship bracelets for Taylor Swift’s Philly tour stops, then pulled them last minute - Inquirer
Swift’s media team did not respond to requests for comment and has not spoken publicly about what happened. An Eagles employee close to the situation who would not speak publicly said that the bracelet idea was paused “due to production timing.” “There was concern that they would not be ready in time for Friday’s show,” they said. “Rather than have one group of concertgoers left out, a collective decision was made to pivot away from the bracelet experience.” But without a public explanation, fans speculated the shutdown might have had something to do with Swift’s tour logo being used on the bracelets; in the past, Swift’s team has notoriously targeted small businesses that violated trademarks. The bracelets were intended as a giveaway, the Eagles initially told O’Connell. As news spread that the bracelets were nixed, fans criticized the canceled promotion as wasteful. Some joked about dumpster diving to find the originals. Others wondered how many were made that would never see the light of day. It’s unclear how many bracelets were produced before the team pulled the plug.

Eagles Film Review: Moro Ojomo is really fun to watch - BGN
When I get to breaking down the Day 3 picks, it can sometimes get harder to find the motivation to write about them. I’m just being honest. But after I started watching Moro Ojomo, I couldn’t stop. I watched him a lot. I kept trying to find obvious holes in his game and to figure out what I am missing with him. Watching Ojomo reminded me of watching Jalen Mills’ film after the Eagles selected him in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. It was just obvious he was better than a 7th round pick, and it felt the same watching Ojomo. Ojomo is really fun to watch. I can’t believe he fell to the 7th round and had I watched him pre-draft, I probably would have had a 4th-round grade on him.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.112: Predicting the NFC East - BGN Radio
Now that the 2023 NFL schedule has been released, RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton go game-by-game predicting each team in the division’s win-loss and overall record.

2023 NFL season: Bengals, Eagles among teams likeliest to replace Chiefs as Super Bowl champs -
The Eagles still look like the class of the NFC after an offseason that was far more encouraging than perhaps most expected. Following their loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, several critical personnel decisions awaited. Philadelphia took its hits in free agency (including the loss of valuable contributors like defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, running back Miles Sanders and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson) but also held onto other key veterans (center Jason Kelce, defensive end Brandon Graham and cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry). The draft was good to the Eagles, who found defensive tackle Jalen Carter and edge rusher Nolan Smith in the first round and traded for Lions running back D’Andre Swift on Day 3. As much as those moves helped, this team also would’ve been pretty good with most of the returning players from last season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts turned himself into an All-Pro quarterback and MVP runner-up, earning a massive contract extension. He’s still operating behind one of the best offensive lines in football, and his supporting cast — especially the receiving tandem of DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown — remains scary. The only reason the Eagles aren’t ranked higher is the departure of offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon for head-coaching jobs with the Colts and Cardinals, respectively. Head coach Nick Sirianni will have this group prepared, but there will be some transition here.

What If – Injury Edition - Iggles Blitz
Is there one Eagle who you go “What if he had stayed healthy?” I can’t think of one great example. There are tons of guys in the sports world…Bo Jackson, Greg Cook, Grant Hill, Eric Lindros, etc. We still got to see flashes of greatness, but not what could have been. The Eagle who fits this the best is probably Shawn Andrews. He was the first round pick in 2004 and earned the starting RG spot on a team that was loaded. He got hurt in the season opener and missed the rest of the year. Andrews started from 2005-2007 and was arguably the best RG in the NFL. He was an absolutely dominant run blocker, but still light on his feet and able to get out in space. He was a wall in pass pro. Andrews was special. He only played in 2 games in 2008 and that was it for his time with the Eagles. Andrews played one season for the Giants a few years later. It is beyond frustrating to think that his final game as an Eagle came at age 25. He had 8 to 10 years of time left in his career.

The toughest stretch in Eagles history? The evidence says yes - NBCSP
This isn’t rare. It’s way beyond rare. From Week 9 through Week 14 this coming season, the Eagles will play five consecutive games against teams that won at least 12 games last year and three straight against teams that won 13 games last year. To put this into context, only seven NFL teams even won 12 games last year, which makes it really hard to play five of them in a row. But that’s the reality of the Eagles’ schedule. It’s brutal. Depending how you measure it, that stretch is the Eagles’ most challenging five-game stretch in nearly half a century. From Nov. 5 through Dec. 10, the Eagles face the 12-5 Cowboys, 14-3 Chiefs, 13-3 Bills, 13-4 49ers and 12-5 Cowboys again, with the Chiefs at Arrowhead on a Monday night, the Bills at home on a short week and the second Cowboys game in North Texas on a Sunday night. That’s five opponents and a combined 64-20 record in 2022, a .762 winning percentage.

NFL 2023 over/under win totals: Best bets and picks for all 32 teams - The Athletic
Philadelphia Eagles. Over 10.5 (-150). The only thing standing in the Eagles’ way is a stretch of games in Weeks 11 through 15 — at Chiefs, home vs. Bills and 49ers, at Cowboys and at Seahawks. But Jalen Hurts and the Eagles should be able to survive that and earn a high playoff seed that allows them to march toward the Super Bowl again. They replaced every key player they lost in the offseason and continued to use Georgia, the nation’s top college program, as their own farm system.

7 Coordinators Who Will Be 2024 NFL Head Coach Candidates - The 33rd Team
He had two college head-coaching interviews after the 2020 season — South Carolina and Boise State — before accepting Nick Sirianni’s offer to be his quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia. Johnson is taking over one of the best offenses in the NFL. The Eagles finished third in scoring, fifth in rushing and second in pass plays of 25 yards or more last season. They have what is regarded as the best offensive line in the league. “The quarterback really trusts and likes him,’’ Baldinger said. “Barring injuries, they should be a top-5 offense again this year. “It’s a quarterback-driven league, and everybody is trying to get their quarterback developed. Brian helped develop Jalen like nobody’s business. In two years, he went from a second-round pick that everybody was questioning to the MVP runner-up. “Brian’s a smart, young guy who’s been around some really good programs, both college and pro. He’s ready to be a head coach.’’

2023 NFL power rankings post-schedule release - DraftKings Nation
3. Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had a great draft and appear to have recharged their defense enough that I’m not too worried about their off-season losses. Jalen Hurts is great, but he’s not Mahomes, which puts these few teams vying for second overall close together in my mind. The Eagles, 49ers, Bills and Bengals are all grouped together and I could see moving them around fairly interchangeably. But, the Eagles have a consistent roster throughout and will be hard to take down in a weak NFC.

Ty Zentner: His Path to Punting, to the Eagles, and Why He Is in Rare Company - The Philly Cover Corner
The Eagles were the first team to contact me and work me out following the Combine. They were very transparent in the process, they told me what they liked about my style of punting and how it can fit into their system. I had a great connection with Coach Clay and Coach Brown so the interest was very mutual from the start. The improvement hasn’t stopped. I asked him what he has been working on since the end of the season and it’s the length of his steps which he said has “been a game-changer for me since the season ended”. The only knock which every scouting report and person that reviews Ty will hit on is his mis-hit rate. But watching these, two things. First, he has gotten some bad bounces that brought the short punt back. And second, he never misses off the side of his foot. Why is this important? Because it is very fixable and his work on repeatable step length is going to help here. We only got to see two punts from last weekend’s rookie mini-camp but there is reason to be excited.

What are Michael Clay’s goals for special teams in 2023? -
More than any phase of the NFL game, the special teams are the farthest from being set. So much of what Eagles Special Teams Coordinator Michael Clay will work with in this 2023 season is far from being set and truly won’t be until the roster is reduced to 53 players, but now is the time to teach the system, learn about the players, and understand that with competition – and with this strong 90-man roster, there is a lot of that – Philadelphia can expect the coverage, return game, and kicking game iron to be sharp. “I think with this whole draft and how the 90-man (roster) is structured at this point, I think a lot of the guys that we took in our draft, Howie (Roseman) does a great job, the personnel department does a great job, they all can contribute in some way,” Clay said. “You see Nolan Smith blocked a few punts in Georgia. He’s an athlete, a freak athlete that you could use. Sydney Brown did a heck of a job in terms of his career at Illinois. He and (Seattle first-round cornerback) Devon Witherspoon were their gunners, and having the opportunity for those guys coming in with their speed and the prowess of playing some special teams coming in, I think it’s only going to make this team better because competition usually breeds the greatness in everything. Having guys come in, whether they’re young, second-year guys, I think it’s going to be beneficial for our team going forward.”

Part I: What happened to Kevin Kolb? - Go Long
Four concussions rocked the quarterback’s world more than anyone knew. Kevin Kolb is the story of pro football as much as any star on TV, and he opens up to Go Long about it all this two-part series.

Steelers sign Hakeem Butler - PFT
Butler, 27, had 51 receptions for 599 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games with the St. Louis Battlehawks in the XFL. The Cardinals made Butler a fourth-round pick in 2019, but he missed his rookie season with a broken hand and failed to make the team out of camp the next season. He appeared in two games for the Eagles in 2020 and had a pair of brief stints in the CFL before landing in the XFL.

Cowboys schedule 2023: 7 way-too-early record predictions for Dallas - Blogging The Boys
Chris Halling - (@Cowboys_Squad) 14-3. The Dallas Cowboys had one of the more talented rosters in the NFC heading into the offseason. While they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of last season’s playoffs, the team had an impressive regular season record of 12-5. Jerry Jones and company were able to significantly improve their roster this offseason, while the NFC continued to get worse. The front office added veterans WR Brandin Cooks and CB Stephon Gilmore, while also addressing their need for a player to stop the run in the first round of the 2023 draft by selecting Michigan DT Mazi Smith. This Cowboys team has Super Bowl expectations in the 2023 season. It would certainly be considered a disappointment if the team couldn’t at least reach the conference championship game, something the team hasn’t done since the 1995 season. The Cowboys will have a very strong regular season. They will drop their first matchup to the Philadelphia Eagles in week 9 on the road. They will later lose to the Buffalo Bills in week 15, in Buffalo. While the hype will be surrounding the “Diggs vs Diggs” matchup, considering the game will be in December, the weather and atmosphere will favor the Bills tremendously. That will have the Cowboys sitting at 14-2 heading into the final game of the season against the Washington Commanders. The team will likely rest their starters as they will have already clinched the first seed in the NFC, resulting in a loss and finishing the season with a 14-3 record, with the NFC running through AT&T Stadium.

Giants pulling offer to Saquon Barkley ‘an unusual step’ — Joel Corry - Big Blue View
With Saquon Barkley and his representatives having turned down offers from the New York Giants with an average annual value of $12.5 million or more, the Giants placed the franchise tag on the star running back and took their contract offer off the table. Former sports agent and current CBS Sports cap analyst Joel Corry told the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast that he was surprised by that move from general manager Joe Schoen. “Usually you table discussions, that offer remains. Pulling the offer raised eyebrows to me,” Corry said. “That’s an unusual step. Maybe that’s how Schoen is going to do things in the future, but that would send a message to me if I’m the player that this is going to be a truly tough negotiation.” When the Giants do make another offer to Barkley some time before the July 17 deadline to reach a long-term deal, what will that look like? We recently discussed the idea of whether the Giants’ next offer could actually be for less than previous proposals — something like three years, $30 million, with incentives to push the value higher. Corry wasted no time shooting down such an idea.

ESPN story provides a gold mine of information about the Commanders franchise and the new owners’ expectations - Hogs Haven
This is a wonderfully detailed article that I highly recommend as reading for anyone interested in the sale of the Commanders. The item that made the biggest impact on me was the discussion of stadium completion. The Harris prospectus discusses the 2031-32 season as the target date, but the ESPN article quotes at least one source as saying that the time frame is unrealistic — in other words, the source believes that the stadium will be completed much later than the ‘31 season.


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