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Eagles News: A.J. Brown was the NFL’s best wide receiver on slant routes

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/14/23.

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Highest-graded receivers by route type: A.J. Brown dominated on slant routes, Deebo Samuel continues to shine on screen passes - PFF
Slant routes (minimum 10 targets). 1) A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles: 97.0. 2) Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns: 93.7. 3) Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills: 93.2. A.J. Brown has the combination of size (6-foot-1 and 226 pounds) and speed that allows him to slip through tackles with apparent ease. The Eagles used this to their advantage by featuring Brown on slant routes last year, and he was a nightmare to cover. The fourth-year wideout saw 34 targets on slants last year — 10 more than any other player at the position — and he caught 26 of them for a position-leading 386 yards. In all, 19 of his slant catches went for a first down, and he turned 10 into explosive gains of 15 or more yards. He finished the year averaging 7.72 yards per route run on slants, a full yard more than the next-closest wide receiver. [BLG Note: Brown also finished with the second best grade when it came to go routes.]

Hurts says there’s ‘no limit’ to growth with stud wideouts - NBCSP
Not only are they young, but they expect to be together for a long time. Hurts is under contract through the 2028 season, Brown is under contract through 2026 and Smith is under contract through 2024 with a fifth-year option that almost guarantees the Eagles keep him through 2025. That’s at least three more seasons with this trio together. (And star tight end Dallas Goedert is under contract through 2025 too). They already made history in 2022 as Brown and Smith became the first duo with 1,000 yards receiving each. They’ll have plenty of chances to do it again. Last year, Brown and Smith were one of five receivers duos in the NFL with 1,000 yards each. The others were Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in Tampa, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf in Seattle, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle in Miami and Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in Cincinnati. The only trio of that group younger than the Eagles’ trio is in Cincinnati. The Eagles have a really good chance to join an elite group in 2023.

Eagles All-22 Film Review: Feeling conflicted about Cam Jurgens - BGN
Well, despite all of my better judgment... I am going to be predicting Jurgens to go into the ‘boom’ category when he replaces Jason Jelce, despite only seeing him play in one preseason. I have seen enough. The athleticism and ability to get to the 2nd level are elite. Honestly, Jurgens is my favorite player I have ever watched in the preseason. Ever. Just go up and look at the clips again! He moves like a rocket. It was like watching a prime Jason Kelce at times. The flaws that I saw in college just were not there as much either, which is a huge credit to Jeff Stoutland. I am so conflicted about Jurgens. I really, really want to see him play. I think he flashed so much last preseason and I really want to see him get a chance to start. But, I just see a center and not a guard. I might be horribly wrong (and I hope I am) but I can’t really see Jurgens starting next to Jason Kelce. If it works, it might be excellent and will be incredibly fun to watch. But it feels light and they just feel too similar. I can’t picture him as a guard next to Kelce but... it doesn’t mean he can’t do it. BLG and Jimmy Kempski had a fantastic discussion about this on a recent BGN Radio podcast, too (Episode #323).

Five Eagles players whose stock is up after OTAs - PhillyVoice
1) EDGE Nolan Smith: Smith measured in at the NFL Combine at 6’2, 238, which is quite small for an edge rusher. Some guys look smaller in person than their listed heights/weights, and some look bigger. Smith was the latter. If I had no idea what Smith weighed in at in Indianapolis in February, I would not look at him and think, “That dude is small.” He is jacked up. On the field, it was fun watching Smith hustle all over the place. In 7-on-7’s, he was rushing the quarterback, and then when he got close he would slam on the breaks and trail the play from behind. There were a few occasions in which he chased plays like 30 yards down the field in a full sprint. In the other OTA practice, he was treating every special teams rep (in this case a punt block drill) like he was competing for a roster spot. His enthusiasm was obvious, and that kind of energy can rub off on other players. If Smith turns out to be a good player, it’s pretty clear to see that he’ll be a leader on and off the field.

School Back in Session for Eagles Rookie Nolan Smith at Von Miller Summit - SI
The first weekend of Nolan Smith’s summer vacation wasn’t spent on a beach or the back of a boat. The second of the two first-round draft picks the Philadelphia Eagles made this past April was in Las Vegas at the seventh annual Von Miller Pass Rush Summit on Saturday. Maybe Smith snuck in some pool time or visited a casino or two during his stay, but the trip was about getting better at a game he said he loves to play. His zest for the game manifested itself during the two brief periods reporters were allowed to watch during the team’s OTAs, which ended on Thursday.

Eagles QB Room - Iggles Blitz
As Florio points out, players are only part of the equation. The Eagles have strong coaches to teach the QBs and run the offense. Nick Sirianni was a successful offensive coordinator and has been an excellent head coach. Brian Johnson did great work with Hurts the past two years. He will now run the offense and Alex Tanney will take over the QBs. Tanney was the quality control coach in 2021 and assistant QBs coach last year. Kevin Patullo will be the passing game coordinator for the third straight year. That is an excellent set of coaches. Think about Russell Wilson and where he is now vs a year ago. He was considered one of the best QBs in the league in March of 2022. Being on a new team and dealing with a rookie coach brought out the worst in him. Now he’s a question mark. As good as the Eagles QBs were a year ago, it is possible that QB1, QB2 and QB3 could all be better this season. Hurts can continue improving. Mariota could be an upgrade on Gardner Minshew. McKee could be an upgrade on Book. Outstanding QB play should help to keep the Eagles at the top of the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys may get production in 2023 from two late-round picks - Blogging The Boys
Now we understand there is a massive hill to climb for Scott to come in here and be a consistent contributor, but for a late-round pick at a deep position on a good football team, this start to his career probably could not have been scripted any better. Scott is going to put a lot of pressure on guys like Kelvin Joseph and Nashon Wright and if his trajectory stays on this upward path, Scott could find himself in the mix sooner rather than later.

Giants’ contract offer to Saquon Barkley ‘back on the table’ - Big Blue View
Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants might have taken a small step toward reaching a long-term contract with the news on Tuesday that the contract the Giants pulled after placing the franchise tag on the star running back is “back on the table.” “They do have time to get a deal done. The two sides have had conversations,” said NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. “The fact that they have had conversations and are talking is good news and a Saquon mentioned [in his remarks on Sunday] there is plenty of time. “We’ll see if this gets done. I do not have a crystal ball, but at least there is a chance because both sides do seem to want the same thing.” Barkley has reportedly turned down offers from the Giants reported to be worth $12 million or more annually. On Sunday, Barkley termed as “misleading” the reported values of the contracts he turned down.

The 5 O’Clock Club: Commanders trade opportunities in declined fifth-year options - Hogs Haven
LB Isaiah Simmons (Arizona Cardinals): Simmons is an intriguing player because he fits the versatile type Ron Rivera likes in linebacker/safety hybrids. Simmons, in fact, is one of the players that a lot of fans wanted to see Washington draft instead of Chase Young back in 2020. The Cardinals appear to be in full-on tank mode in 2023, so acquiring some draft capital while shedding Simmons as he finishes his rookie contract might be appealing.


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