Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
‘Madden NFL 24’ cover reveal: Five players who deserve consideration - NFL.com
1) Jalen Hurts. Surely it can’t be Patrick Mahomes again, right?! The reigning AP Most Valuable Player has been chosen twice in the last four years. EA Sports should instead consider turning to Hurts, the quarterback who finished second to Mahomes in both Super Bowl LVII and MVP voting and has the talent to go toe-to-toe with Mahomes for years to come. Not only did Hurts throw for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns against just six interceptions last season, but he also rushed for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns. He made a compelling case to become the face of this year’s game by putting up the video game-like numbers Madden players strive for.
4 insane ideas to change the NFL - BGN
Rather than reward bad teams with top prospects on “merit”, every team would have to earn the rookies they sign. But this wouldn’t cause the NFL to get top heavy with a handful of teams hoarding the best players like we are seeing with college football. Caleb Williams is not going to sign with the Chiefs or Bills, because he’s not going to get playing time there. But he might also not sign with, say, the Raiders or Texans because of the direction those franchises are going. Maybe instead he signs with the Lions, a good team in need of a long term solution at QB, or maybe he signs with his home town Commanders to kick off a rebuild under new ownership. Everyone would have a chance. That’s parity.
Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: S Sydney Brown - PhillyVoice
I’ve seen a number of interesting comps for Brown, including the Cardinals’ Budda Baker and the 49ers’ Talanoa Hufanga, but the player that he reminds me of is Donte Whitner, who formerly played for the Bills, 49ers, Browns, and Washington. Like Brown, Whitner was a short safety with some heft who displayed impressive speed, explosiveness, and strength at the Combine.
Desai and Duffy - Iggles Blitz
My only frustration with this is that Desai talks about how he wants his guys to play and tries to focus on that. Fair enough, but his description of defense fits all 32 teams in the league and every team in organized football. That’s as simple and generalized as you can get. I assume Nick Sirianni has told Desai there are 2 primary goals: come up with takeaways and limit explosive plays. Those were the goals under Jonathan Gannon, because those are Sirianni’s goals. Desai would be wise to talk about something like that, to give us a better sense of what he’s trying to accomplish. Saying “fast, physical, smart” isn’t going to cut it when you coach the Eagles. The fans are smart and there is too much media content out there. You’ve got to open up a bit. I did like Desai talking about how he’s got to have answers for his players. Gannon did a good job as the Eagles DC, unless he faced a top QB. He just didn’t have the answers for how to deal with them. That’s where Desai can prove his value. Beating Kirk Cousins is nice, but what are you going to do against Dak Prescott or Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes? This is where Desai’s time with a lot of good coaches can be a difference maker. He saw first hand how Vic Fangio put together gameplans for star QBs. He saw the adjustments that were made.
Is Jalen Hurts still too low on Chris Simms’ QB list? - NBCSP
While Simms praised Hurts for his decision-making, saying the Eagles’ QB seems to make the right decision on every play, he still doesn’t think Hurts is a finished product as a passer. “There’s more meat on the bone,” Simms said. “There’s still a lot of throws when you watch him, you go … he misses throws. Now, they’re so good, like we talked about with Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson and some of these other instances we’ve had, they’re so good that the next play they run for 15 up the middle or somebody else is open over the middle and he hits it and we forget about it. So there’s a little bit more room for error there. And I’m not saying it as a negative. That’s just the facts of the matter there. And, yeah, he took advantage of a lot of it. But, yes, there is another level here that he can go in that department.
5 takeaways from Sean Desai’s exclusive interview on the Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast - PE.com
4. Desai served under a litany of outstanding coaches in the NFL ranging from Mel Tucker and Vic Fangio and Chuck Pagano in Chicago to Pete Carroll with the Seahawks last season. Here’s what he learned from Fangio. “I would say first, in terms of NFL football experience, how to be a coach in the NFL is the biggest thing that he’s taught me. That was the biggest influence and then going down the list a little bit would be how to prepare for an NFL game week in and week out and how to make sure that you’re adaptable and flexible enough to suit the needs of your players while responding to offensive trends and needs,” Desai said. “You can never go into a game without having an answer. And you got to make sure that you get to your answer fast. You’ve played enough football and coached enough games, you have ups and downs. You stay poised with what you got and you trust your process and you rely on putting your players in the best position that they can handle and be in to execute at a high level. And it’s about that process, right? It wasn’t about the outcome. It was about the process and focusing on that detail to make sure that we’re playing good fundamental, sound, tough, physical football and that we’ve got the answers to put them in different spots and then create havoc and create confusion and create different things for an offense to prepare for.”
Five Games From the 2022 Season That Explain the Next Level of the NFL Scheme Wars - The Ringer
What it means for 2023: On this night, we watched a hobbled Mahomes burn down Philly’s elite but hardly complex defense while Hurts’s dynamic skill set laid waste to a well-thought-out defensive plan. This new batch of elite quarterbacks can throw, they can run, and they’re getting pretty damn good at the mental aspects of the position. Offensive coordinators lucky enough to work with one of these dynamic talents are bound only by their own imaginations. With defenses getting better at defending more complex concepts, schematic flexibility will become a necessity for a successful offense rather than a luxury. If defenses are going to keep pace, they’ll have to get more creative. Simply lining up in static two-high coverages isn’t as effective a solution as it may have been a year ago. Quarterbacks are already learning how to pick those defenses apart, and the dual-threat QBs don’t even need to put the ball in the air to do it. The 2022 season showed us that the only way to keep pace with the league’s increasingly creative offensive strategies is with equally creative defensive answers. This means more shrewdly designed coverage disguises, more simulated pressures, and even more game plans specifically tailored to stopping individual offenses. In that way, the NFL’s scheme war is becoming an arms race in which quantity is just as vital as quality.
LeSean McCoy Could Replace Shannon Sharpe As Skip Bayless’ Partner - Front Office Sports
LeSean McCoy is emerging as an early possible contender to succeed Shannon Sharpe as Skip Bayless’ debate partner on “Undisputed.” The former NFL star turned co-host of FS1’s “SPEAK” is expected to have an extended audition with the irascible Bayless once Sharpe takes his contractual buyout from Fox Sports, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports.
Can the Giants, Vikings continue their success in 2023? - ESPN
Red flag No. 2: Relying on wins in close games. Well, you knew this was coming. I like using a team’s record in games decided by seven points or less as the best measure of what they did in close games, but stretching it to eight points might do more justice to what the Giants and Vikings did a year ago. The Giants went 8-4-1 in games decided by eight or fewer, with their only win by more than eight points coming in a blowout victory over a tanking Colts team with Foles and Sam Ehlinger at quarterback in December. The Vikings, meanwhile, were without historical precedent. They became the first team in NFL history to go 11-0 in games decided by eight points or less. No team had ever gone 9-0 or 10-0 in those same contests, let alone making it all the way to 11. A surprising number of teams who post gaudy records in one-score games during the regular season then lose a close game in the playoffs, with the 2020 and 2021 Packers as recent examples. So of course, the Vikings proceeded to then lose by seven points to the Giants in the wild-card round. Teams that win all of their close games in a given year don’t keep that up the following season. If we go back through 1950 and look at the NFL franchises that played at least five games decided by eight points or less and went undefeated in those contests, they weren’t able to hold onto their mastery of the narrow margins. After going 110-0 in those close games, those teams went a combined 73-68-4 (.518) the following season. Convincing yourself you can win coinflips is a dangerous way to survive in the NFL.
Cowboys updates from Stephen Jones on DeAndre Hopkins and pending contract situations - Blogging The Boys
While the prospect of Hopkins joining the offense is a fun one to talk about, there is legitimate logic to the Cowboys passing, presuming Hopkins wants a sizable contract wherever he winds up. The salary cap can certainly be manipulated but it is a real thing that has to be accounted for (no pun intended). And the Cowboys have a handful of contractually-related things to address as well.
Leslie Frazier, ex-Bills DC, might join Giants’ coaching staff - Big Blue View
The New York Giants might be on the verge of making a huge addition to their defensive coaching staff. CBS Sports is reporting that Leslie Frazier, defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills from 2017-2022, is in discussion with the Giants to join their staff. Frazier, though, has options. He is also reportedly being sought by the Green Bay Packers and Washington Commanders. Frazier, 64, was head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from the middle of the 2010 season thru 2013.
Steelers sign Darius Hagans, Jarrid Williams - PFT
Williams spent time on the practice squads in Detroit and Philadelphia last year. He was undrafted out of Miami and also played at Houston during his time in college.
Hakeem Butler could be the cherry on the top of the Chase Claypool trade - Behind The Steel Curtain
The funny thought is what if Chase Claypool continues to struggle in Chicago, and somehow ends up having a less productive season than Hakeem Butler. Because that would be a huge amount of salt to pour into the wound from that trade. But even if Claypool bounces back and is a solid #2 receiver for the Bears and Hakeem Butler isn’t able to be more than a #4 receiver on the Steelers who plays few snaps and doesn’t produce much, the 2022 season showed Claypool had lost most of his value in the Steelers offense once he lost the #2 receiver spot to George Pickens.
Apple’s AR goggles are coming to change sports if anyone can afford them - SB Nation
Apple announced it’s entering the VR space with “Apple Vision Pro,” which was unveiled at WWDC on Monday. Little is known about how the headset will work in practice, outside of being the crispest, highest-fidelity set of goggles on the market.
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