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Eagles News: Joel Bitonio accuses Philadelphia of taking “cheap shots”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/16/23.

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Joel Bitonio: ‘Sometimes there are cheap shots’ - Dawgs By Nature
A day after the Cleveland defense got the better of Philadelphia’s offense, the Eagles defense decided to flex its muscles. A scuffle ensued after the first of two interceptions by Philadelphia safety Reed Blakenship, and Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat got a bit too familiar with Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson by knocking the ball out of his hand on what would have been a sack. It was that last bit, along with a few other indiscretions, that got under the skin of Cleveland left guard Joel Bitonio, who came to practice, not fight, against the Eagles (quote via a team-provided transcript): “We’re going into this week trying to get better in practice and work, and sometimes there are some cheap shots and things like that where you want to defend yourself. And I don’t know the exact situation, but there’s a couple shots today where we’re trying to make sure we’re getting the best out of practice and not fighting. But it was just a little heated. Second day, it always gets a little bit more fired up.

Eagles dominate Browns as Reed Blankenship shines in joint training camp practice - BGN
Blankenship had a great practice. After intercepting Watson as described above, he stepped in front of another Watson pass intended for Jordan Akins later in practice. Make that three Blankenship picks in the past two days. The second-year safety also had a nice pass breakup on a throw to David Njoku. Blankenship was flagged on the play but it looked clean to me and some other observers. It’s been a great summer for No. 32. [...] The Browns had no answer for DeVonta Smith over the past two days. Their best shot of stopping him was an inaccurate ball from Hurts. After practice, Darius Slay said “it’s not going to be too much longer that we’re saying Smitty is the best receiver in the league for sure.” [...] Jalen Carter had an eye-opening rep where he shoved two-time first-team All Pro and five-time Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio on his back right after the snap. Bitonio may have tripped to make it look worse than it was for him ... but, still, the Eagles’ rookie defensive tackle showed some serious power to knock him off balance like that. Carter’s stock continues to rise.

Eagles training camp Day 12 recap (2nd Browns joint practice) - BGN Radio
From Reed Blankenship making plays to DeVonta Smith shining, Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski take you through the twelfth day of training camp action. The guys also hand out their daily MVPs, LVPs, and play of the day awards! Interact with us on Twitter: @BrandonGowton, @JimmyKempski, @BGN_Radio, @BleedingGreen. Check out Wrong Crowd Beer Company! (21 or older.) Use discount code BGN20 at for 20% off your order! Same promotion applies at Contact Kristin Roach at

Mailbag: Is the Eagles’ lack of experience along their interior defensive line cause for concern? - PhillyVoice
If Kelce were to miss full games and the Eagles have a week of preparation, it would be an easy decision to start Jurgens to C and have someone fill in at RG, with Steen likely being the top choice. It’s when players go down in-game that Stoutland typically doesn’t like to shake up the line too much. However, in the in-game scenario, who plays center? Is it Josh Andrews? Is he good enough? I’m not sure. Like, is Andrews at C and Jurgens at RG better than Jurgens at C and Steen at RG. I think my preference would be the latter, even if it requires subbing two guys to replace one.

Inside Eagles WR A.J. Brown’s quest to get faster — and the GPS data that confirms he actually did - Yahoo! Sports
A.J. Brown says it matter-of-factly, as if the precision of his goal isn’t actually as unusual as it is. “This offseason, I was hitting 23 miles per hour a couple of times, and that’s what I needed,” the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver said last week in a sit-down interview with Yahoo Sports. “The goal for me is to get in the best shape possible and to run my routes around 18, 19 miles per hour every single time.” It’s a striking goal, not only because of the minuscule percentage of humans who could accelerate to 18-plus mph if they tried. It’s also striking because while NFL players are constantly seeking to hone their crafts, few define and measure their success so concretely.

2023 NFL season: One pivotal rookie for each team -
JALEN CARTER: Carter’s off-field issues clearly impacted his draft position, but he’s still the most talented player in this entire rookie class. Carter can be nearly impossible to block when he cranks it up, but he needs to prove to the Eagles (and the league) that he can stay focused and in shape. If he’s firing on all cylinders, Carter can be the kind of game-wrecker who helps propel Philadelphia back into the Super Bowl.

How are the first-round rookies from the 2023 NFL Draft faring? A player-by-player review - The Athletic
No. 9: Jalen Carter, DT, Philadelphia Eagles. In his first play of his first preseason game, Carter pushed away the offensive guard and exploded into the pocket with an inside move before dropping the quarterback while the ball was being released. He said that’s an example of what can be expected entering his rookie season, with the stated goal of winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Carter is part of a rotation on the interior that includes Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis and Milton Williams, but his potential is clear and his role could grow throughout the season. [...] No. 30: Nolan Smith, edge, Philadelphia Eagles. Smith’s most likely role as a rookie will be to spell Haason Reddick as the Sam linebacker, given their overlapping skill sets. But that would mean being on the field just about 25 percent of the time, which is one reason new defensive coordinator Sean Desai has given Smith a handful of reps elsewhere, from off-ball linebacker to interior pass rusher. His speed and athleticism have shown up throughout training camp, as has his motor. His preseason debut featured more of the same, though his aggressiveness led to him getting out of position on a couple snaps. He figures to be involved early and often.

Surviving Camp, Part 4: Ojomo makes most of joint practices - NBCSP
Moro Ojomo knifed through the Browns’ offensive line, picked up running back Jordan Wilkins and flung him to the ground. Then Ojomo flexed and let out a primal scream. “I think I was just excited,” said Ojomo, who smiled in acknowledgement of the play and subsequent celebration. “We were out there competing and it feels good when you do good. If you play this game, you gotta have fun playing this game.”

Spadaro: Greg Ward shows why persistence matters -
It seems a lifetime ago, Greg Ward admits, when he was a college quarterback at the University of Houston who was as deadly as any in the land: In 2015-16, only Ward and Deshaun Watson produced 6,000-plus passing yards and 1,500-plus rushing yards. The dreams of being an NFL quarterback ended for Ward when he signed with the Eagles as an undrafted rookie in 2017 and since then, he’s been working on his craft as a wide receiver. Ward’s Eagles’ career has been about persistence, resiliency, leadership. He has been on the active roster and has had moments of glory – how about that game-winning touchdown catch to beat Washington at FedEx Field in December 2019, beating star cornerback Josh Norman? – and he has had times when digging deep and ignoring the pain was the only thing that kept him going. Ward has played in 40 NFL games with 13 starts since signing with the Eagles in ‘17, catching 88 passes for 768 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ward led the Eagles in 2020 with 53 receptions and 6 touchdown catches, but since then he’s had just 7 receptions for 95 yards and 3 touchdowns, all in the 2021 campaign.

Assessing the Cowboys potential 53-man roster after their first preseason game - Blogging The Boys
We got our first look at Mazi Smith as he logged quite a bit of snaps. He wasn’t at the forefront of the big plays from the defense, but he was still a key part. When he was single-blocked he reset the line of scrimmage causing ball carriers to redirect, and when he was double-teamed he chewed up blocks and allowed the linebackers free licks. Neville Gallimore and Quinton Bohanna were neither bad nor impressive against the Jags’ backup defensive linemen. They continue to be on the fringe due to the excessive depth the Cowboys have along the defensive line.

Micah McFadden ‘definitely leading’ Giants’ competition for starting ILB spot - Big Blue View
Micah McFadden hated New York Giants’ post-game film sessions a season ago. A rookie linebacker at the time, he knew what he was about to see. He did not want to look at it. “I’m going to be honest. A lot of times I didn’t want to go back and watch the film. Before even watching it I knew how I played,” McFadden said on Tuesday after practice. “It’s a feel thing. When you’re out on the field you can tell how you’re doing every play. “I think I did some things that were good last year, but for the most part I just don’t think it was up to my standard in how I wanted to play.” The 2022 season was an up and down one for the Giants’ fifth-round pick out of Indiana. He played in all 17 games, with seven starts.

Report: Pug Dederson was next in line for long snapping duties in Jaguars vs Cowboys - Big Cat Country
In an unexpected turn of events, Jacksonville Jaguars long snapper Ross Matiscik injured his shoulder while making a fumble-inducing tackle during Saturday’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. With Matiscik down, the Jags turned to backup tight end Josh Pederson to fill the void. Pederson’s efforts to step up despite not having any known experience at the position were admirable. His first snap was low but serviceable while his second was high and to Cooke’s right. Cooke caught the punt and showed off his athletic prowess in the process. “That catch Cooke made on Saturday … dude would’ve been a starting wide receiver for us back in 2014,” said Jaguars’ veteran Tyler Shatley.

Teddy Bridgewater’s new weird number is even more majestic on the field - SB Nation
With the NFL’s new number rules becoming more lenient, and EDGE rushers along with linebackers beginning to wear more single digit jerseys, we were bound to get to a skill position player being put in a jersey number that is far more befitting of a player much bigger than him. New Detroit Lions QB Teddy Bridgewater has just crossed that lexicon, and folks it’s more beautiful than I imagined.


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