Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Next Gen Stats’ top 10 NFL deep passers of 2022: Geno Smith, Tua Tagovailoa excel at airing it out - NFL.com
3rd) JALEN HURTS. Hurts landing here shouldn’t surprise anyone. As quarterback of the NFL’s third-ranked offense, he accounted for a large number of Eagles highlights in 2022. He fit in seamlessly with his team’s major acquisition from last offseason, receiver A.J. Brown, powering the ninth-best passing offense in the league. Hurts was stellar in every area of the game, including throwing downfield, breaking double digits in deep touchdown passes — an accomplishment only half of the quarterbacks on this list can claim. But he trailed Prescott in deep CPOE and passer rating. So why did Hurts end up ranked ahead of the Cowboys QB? Well, with so many players deadlocked at 99 in passing score, the best way to separate them was by diving deeper into the categories that help determine that metric. In EPA, which factors heavily into passing score, Hurts (37.3) was clearly better than Prescott (28.9), producing nearly 10 more expected points added, thanks to his 10:2 TD-INT ratio, which doubled Prescott’s output with only 17 more such attempts. Hurts also gained nearly 300 more yards on deep attempts than Prescott, although that is a result of Hurts’ advantage in volume. Ultimately, points are what win you games. Hurts helped his team in that category more than Prescott, giving him a narrow edge over his Dallas counterpart after a season in which the teams split their matchups.
Eye on the Enemy check-in: the San Francisco 49ers - BGN
The last time we saw the San Francisco 49ers, they were trudging off the field, dispirited and depressed, after a crushing 31-7 loss in the NFC Championship Game in which their third-string-turned-starting quarterback was knocked out of the game in the 1st quarter and their fourth-string-turned-second-string QB was forced out in the third quarter. It’s easy to forget it was only a 7-0 game when Brock Purdy’s elbow got messed up by Haason Reddick, or that it was 14-7 when Josh Johnson committed an awful turnover just before halftime to give the Eagles a 21-7 halftime lead. Of course, arguments that the Niners lost that game because they were left without a human being who could throw a football for the final quarter-and-a-half rings hollow, given Johnson’s abysmal play after coming into the game for Purdy, but that hasn’t stopped many San Francisco players from whining incessantly throughout the off-season. That being said, head coach Kyle Shanahan still possesses one of the conference’s best overall rosters and the 49ers are likely the most significant obstacle to the Eagles repeating as conference champs.
Eye on the Enemy #140: Jeremy Reisman on where the Lions stand after the draft and free agency - BGN Radio
John Stolnis checks in with Pride of Detroit’s Jeremy Reisman about his thoughts on where the Lions stand after the draft and free agency.
Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Edge Nolan Smith - PhillyVoice
The popular comp for Smith throughout the draft process was Haason Reddick, which we even made here. However, after some consideration I think his game more closely resembles former Packers and Rams edge rusher Clay Matthews. Above we noted that in Smith’s best college season he had 53 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 INT, and 3 forced fumbles. Interestingly, in Matthews’ best season at USC, he had 57 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles while playing on a loaded defense that included 13 future NFL players. Matthews’ hallmark traits over his 11-year NFL career were his motor, toughness, instincts, versatility, and ability to bend around the edge with his athleticism. During his NFL career, Matthews played at around 250 pounds, but he weighed in at just 240 at the 2009 Combine, just two pounds heavier than Smith at the 2023 Combine.
Lucky Break - Iggles Blitz
For those who question the Eagles moving on from Hurts after 2021, you have to erase last year. The Eagles made the playoffs in 2021, but fell behind Tampa 31-0 in that game and you could see Hurts was in over his head. He failed to see open receivers and made some bad decisions. Hurts was a gifted runner, but had a long way to go as a passer. He threw 16 TDs in 15 starts. That’s hardly a QB you “know” is going to be a star. The Eagles couldn’t find a better option so they stuck with Hurts and gave him the weapons he needed. That led to a magical season and hopefully more of those to come.
Roob’s Observations: Could Christian Elliss solve a huge question mark? - NBCSP
1. Am I nuts for thinking, “Don’t count out Christian Elliss for a starting linebacker spot?” Or at least a significant role in a rotation? First of all, Elliss has one thing that none of the Eagles’ other off-ball linebackers have and that’s size. The Eagles might list him at 231 – only six pounds more than Nick Morrow – but he sure looks closer to 240 if not a little more. Elliss languished on the bench most of last year before the Eagles were forced to activate him in Week 13 to add some juice to special teams. Which he did immediately. And when he got a handful of defensive reps he made the most of them – how about 11 tackles on 22 defensive snaps vs. the Titans and Giants? And while I’m definitely not going to get carried away with OTAs, his interception of Marcus Mariota Thursday gave a glimpse of his athleticism and coverage ability. The thing about playing Nakobe Dean and Morrow is that you have two guys who are smallish backers at around 225. Dean obviously isn’t going anywhere, but why not give Elliss a shot in the mix? Whenever he’s on the field, Elliss does something to get your attention. And there’s a reason the Eagles kept him around all last year. They must like him. Morrow has been OK with the Raiders and Bears, but I find Elliss intriguing, and I’d like to see him get some reps with the 1’s at camp to truly get a sense of what kind of player he can be.
1-on-1 With Eagles DC Sean Desai - PE.com
Eagles Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai joins Fran Duffy to talk about his journey back to Philadelphia, where his coaching career began. Other topics include his first nickname in coaching, where his philosophy comes from on defense, and the various influences in his career.
Cowboys rumors: Dallas and Trevon Diggs have had ‘check-ins’ on long-term contract - Blogging The Boys
Now firmly in the month of June, the Dallas Cowboys have received an infusion of salary cap space by way of the release of Ezekiel Elliott that happened a few months back. Sometimes money like that can burn a hole in one’s pocket, but the Cowboys are known to be a bit more measured in situations like this. It can be argued that using the money they just found within the couch cushions on someone like wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes the most sense, but perhaps the better move is the pending extensions that have to happen with various players. Players like CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons have contracts that the team will have to address in the near future but they are not pressing in our current moment. Quarterback Dak Prescott needs a re-worked deal, but there is still a bit of sand in that hourglass. The most pressing matter for the Cowboys right now is easily cornerback Trevon Diggs as he is entering a contract year with the team. It seems they are getting to work on that.
The Giants face a difficult 2023 schedule..or do they? - Big Blue View
None of that means that the 2023 Giants can improve on their surprise 2022 performance despite what looks like a tougher schedule. Injuries to key players, 50-50 plays that go the wrong way, and a dozen other things can lead to a season playing out differently than was envisioned. Giants fans need look no further back than 2017. A surprise 2016 Giants team with a supposed offensive genius as head coach that got “smoked” in the playoffs (to use a Daboll term) collapsed in 2017 to 3-13. Vegas’ forecast for the 2017 Giants was 8.5 wins, and the experts surveyed for this article predicted a record anywhere from 8-8 to 12-4. But perhaps more than the perceived quality of opponents, the quality and flexibility of the coaches on the Giants’ sideline is the best predictor for the season ahead. Are the Giants more or less “roster-proof” with Daboll and his staff at the helm? The Pittsburgh Steelers have pretty much been that way under Mike Tomlin, who has never had a losing season in his 16 years there, has been to two Super Bowls, and has won one. Would you sign up for that kind of career from Brian Daboll, Giants fans?
The 5 O’Clock Club: Washington Commanders - the most improved team in the NFL in 2023 - Hogs Haven
In a recent article published on ESPN, Bill Barnwell ranked the 32 franchises on the basis of “most improved”. Barnwell’s definition was: “what a team did during the offseason to increase its chances of winning a Super Bowl, in the short term and long term, given the roster and resources it had to work with at the end of the 2022 season.” Barnwell ranked the Commanders #1 out of 32.
Sources: Josh Harris to see committee about Commanders sale - ESPN
Josh Harris, who reached an agreement to buy the Washington Commanders last month, will meet with the NFL’s finance committee Wednesday, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN. It’s another step towards a possible vote by NFL owners to approve the sale this summer. Harris has been working with the NFL to make the required adjustments to his offer to complete the sale, a source told ESPN. He’ll meet with the eight finance committee members in New York. The Washington Post first reported the meeting.
SEC football teams look scared to compete against each other with 8-game schedule - SB Nation
I never knew that the S and C in SEC stood for Scared Competition. With powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma coming into the SEC next year, the annual coaches’ meeting in Destin was a chance to revise things such as the schedule and divisions for the season following this upcoming one. There were some small changes made, but otherwise, it was kind of slow. Except for this.
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