Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Next Gen Stats’ top 10 disruptors of 2022: Reigning NFL DPOY Nick Bosa ranked, but not No. 1 - NFL.com
4) Haason Reddick. The Eagles flirted with history in 2022, coming just short of resetting the single-season record for sacks registered by one team. There’s a reason two Eagles made this list, and Reddick was the best of the team’s talented group. Reddick was an absolute machine in 2022, recording 16 sacks, three turnovers caused by pressure, and a QB pressure rate north of 15 percent. Folks who watched him in his one-season stint in Carolina (2021) could see this coming. Unfortunately for Philadelphia’s opponents, they didn’t see it soon enough. In 2022, Reddick was undeniable. He was all but inevitable. And at $15 million per year, he’s a steal for the Eagles.
Eagles Notebook - Iggles Blitz
Mix in Nick Foles playing out of his mind in the playoffs, Corey Clement playing his best game in the Super Bowl and some other tough to replicate performances and you can see why the Eagles weren’t able to keep playing at a high level. Forget postseason success, the 2017 team won 13 regular season games. The team only won 22 games over the next three seasons combined. The Eagles lost some key players from last year’s team, but this feels different. The Eagles have drafted better in recent years and the coaches have done a better job of developing players. There seems to be more of a sense of continuity. Isaac Seumalo is gone. Tyler Steen and Cam Jurgens will battle for his job. Javon Hargrave is gone. Milton Williams and Jalen Carter will battle for his job. TJ Edwards is gone. Nakobe Dean is ready to take over for him. We’ll have to wait and see this team in action to get a better feel for what they can do, but it sure feels like they are in better position to sustain success than the 2017 team.
Jalen Hurts’ 20-year story with Eagles OC Brian Johnson has new twist - ESPN+
Brian Johnson kept his long-standing relationship with quarterback Jalen Hurts under wraps. He had no prior history with newly minted Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni or then-offensive coordinator Shane Steichen before interviewing for the quarterbacks coaching job in January 2021. The first time the three met was when they walked into the NovaCare practice facility together that day. They ended up talking ball for eight hours and not once did Johnson mention that he had known Hurts — the Eagles’ second-round pick in 2020 — since he was in preschool; that Johnson was coached by Hurts’ father, Averion, as a high school quarterback, and was close with the entire family; that he recruited Hurts to join him at Mississippi State, and later the University of Florida; and that he was one of the first to see in Jalen what others might have missed. “I didn’t want to really put that out there,” Johnson said. It wasn’t until after Johnson got the job that he told them about his history with Hurts, who had no idea Johnson was even up for the gig.
Roob’s observations: Why linebacker VanSumeren is such an intriguing rookie - NBCSP
1. Looking for a crazy training camp long shot to keep an eye on? How about Ben VanSumeren, undrafted rookie linebacker from Michigan State? VanSumeren wasn’t invited to the Combine but had a ridiculous pro day in East Lansing, running a 4.4 at 6-foot-1, 237 pounds to go with 29 reps at 225 pounds, a 131-inch broad jump and a 42.5 vertical jump. For the sake of comparison, only one linebacker at this year’s Combine ran 4.4 (Auburn’s Owen Pappoe, the Cards’ 5th-round pick), no linebackers jumped 131 inches (Jags 5th-round pick Yasir Abdullah was tops at 129 inches), no linebackers had a 42.5 vertical (undrafted Saints signee Anfernee Orji hit 38.5) and only Pappoe also did 29 reps. Going back to 2000 — as far back as Combine results are available — only four linebackers have run 4.4 (including Micah Parsons), only four have done 29 reps, eight have jumped 131 inches (including 1st-round picks Isaiah Simmons and Jamin Davis) and nobody has had a 42.5 vertical (three linebackers — including Davis — have recorded a 42). So why wasn’t VanSumeren drafted? He just hasn’t played much linebacker. He began his college career as a running back at Michigan before transferring across the state and really didn’t play significant snaps at linebacker until this past season, when he started 10 games. He had another year of eligibility but decided to turn pro instead, and he was considered by most draft analysts as at least a late-round talent. The Eagles gave VanSumeren a decent $130,000 guarantee, so you know they like him. At worst you keep him around on the practice squad and let him learn how to play NFL linebacker. At best maybe he can help out on special teams this year if he has a great camp. He’s clearly a long-term project. But with his athleticism and off-the-charts traits — and the Eagles’ lack of young linebacker prospects — he’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.
5 free agents the Dallas Cowboys should have on standby - Blogging The Boys
LB Deion Jones. Much like the tight end position, linebacker is one in which the Cowboys could stand to add a proven veteran with actual NFL game time experience. Outside of Leighton Vander Esch, and a handful of starts by Damone Clark last year as a rookie, Dallas’ LB position leaves much to be desired as far as starting experience in the league is concerned. Because of that, signing a vet for depth is a real possibility. Although there are several veteran linebackers the Cowboys can choose from still available via free agency, Deion Jones’ connection with Dan Quinn during their time together with the Atlanta Falcons could put him at the top of their free agent LB list. He was a Pro Bowl player under Quinn in Atlanta, however, hasn’t played up to that level since then. Despite that though, he could be a perfect fit in Dallas as an insurance/depth piece.
What can Giants expect from WR Sterling Shepard? - Big Blue View
It’s anyone’s guess how much Shepard, 30, has left in the tank. His game is predicated on agility and acceleration, allowing him to create separation from defenders. It’s very possible that consecutive leg injuries have had long-term effects on his quickness. It’s also unknown when Shepard will be fully recovered, though he was seen running routes during minicamp and recently stated that his goal is to be ready for Week 1. His experience and dependability will allow him to find some role on the field if he’s healthy. Shepard’s ability to line up anywhere on the field is also important, since the Giants have a number of other smaller receivers that can thrive out of the slot. Still, perhaps expectations should be tempered somewhat for Shepard this year.
How does John Bates compare to other TE2s in the NFL? - Hogs Haven
With Logan Thomas the clear starting tight end on this team when he’s healthy, John Bates has been the team’s TE2 for the past couple of years. There was hope for Armani Rogers, and there’s some simmering excitement this offseason that Cole Turner might be able to step up this year, but - production wise - what’s a reasonable expectation for a second tight end in the NFL?
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