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Eagles News: Tanner McKee making his case to overtake Marcus Mariota as QB2

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/18/23.

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NFL: Preseason-Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Wulf: Rookie Tanner McKee should be the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback - The Athletic
To watch McKee and Mariota over the first two preseason games is to watch two players at the same position playing a different sport. As a passer, Mariota has been frenetic and scattershot. He looks panicked in the pocket and his passes have a remarkable ability to land nowhere near the intended receiver. The interception he threw Thursday night, when he sailed the ball over the head of an open Grant Calcaterra into the waiting hands of Browns safety Ronnie Hickman Jr., was all too typical for those who have watched Mariota in practice this summer. Through two preseason games, he has completed 16 of 28 passes for 144 yards on 5.1 yards per attempt. McKee, working with an inferior supporting cast and behind a lower-level offensive line, has thrown for 295 yards on 7.8 yards per attempt. It has been an interesting summer for McKee. Early in camp, it was clear he was seeing the defense and trusting his reads. Unlike with the jittery rookie quarterbacks of training camps past, the ball came out quickly and accurately. Most of those throws, though, were within about 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Unleashed against unfamiliar defenses, he’s been bombs away.

Observations from the Eagles’ preseason tie with the Browns, 18 to 18 - BGN
Tanner McKee: 10/18 (57.1%), 147 yards (8.2 average), 1 TD, 0 INT, 100.9 passer rating. The rookie QB got little help from his receivers, who had several drops throughout the second half. McKee is not afraid to throw the ball deep and looks a lot more comfortable on the field than the other Eagles QB who played on Thursday.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Browns preseason game - PhillyVoice
For the second straight game, McKee’s play on the field was better than what the stat sheet showed. He was 10 of 18 for 147 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, which are good numbers, but he also had a completed two-point conversion and his receivers dropped at least four good throws. McKee was aggressive and accurate throwing the ball down the field, and he has indisputably been better than Mariota so far this preseason.

Eagles 18, Browns 18 - Iggles Blitz
Is Tanner McKee this year’s Brock Purdy, the late round pick who fit in right away? Hopefully McKee doesn’t see the field this year, but he’s played really well in the first two preseason games. He’s poised and smart. He makes good throws. McKee is very accurate down the field. He is aggressive and gives his guys a chance to make plays. I’m very impressed with McKee so far. He does not look like a rookie QB.

2023 NFL preseason, Week 2: What We Learned from Browns-Eagles tie on Thursday night -
Do Eagles have cause for concern at QB2? Marcus Mariota’s stay in Atlanta didn’t end well, and his time in Philadelphia isn’t off to a great start, either. Mariota was woefully inaccurate in his first-half showing, missing high often, holding on to the ball too long and simply coming up short when it came to leading the Eagles offense. Checkdowns and scrambles were his only saving graces as he completed 9 of 17 passes for 86 yards, a dreadful interception to Ronnie Hickman and a 42.8 QB rating. It’s never apples to apples in the preseason, considering who you’re playing alongside and against, but rookie Tanner McKee looked much sharper than Mariota, to boot. Franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts plays a rough-and-tumble style of ball and has missed games in each of his last two seasons. Having a viable backup option could be crucial for the Eagles. Mariota has the resume to fill that spot, but as of late hasn’t displayed the ability. His evening ended with him holding on to the ball for too long before taking a sack. It was a telling conclusion to an uninspiring preseason showing for the veteran QB.

Roob’s Eagles Instant Observations: How concerned should we be about Marcus Mariota? - NBCSP
What makes this whole situation more intriguing is how impressive Tanner McKee continues to be. He’s seeing the field well, unloading the ball quickly, delivering it accurately, driving it down the field and placing it where only his receivers can get it. McKee was 10-for-16 for 148 yards vs. the Browns with a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Brady Russell late in the fourth quarter and then the game-tying two-point conversion to Johnny King. He was also victimized by three drops, including one by Deon Cain in the end zone after a sweet play fake, roll-out to the right and across-the-body throw. McKee has been very good – especially for a rookie 6th-round pick. And Mariota has struggled. But I just can’t imagine Nick Sirianni making a switch. Not now. McKee has been playing against 2’s and 3’s, and there’s a big difference between making some big throws against guys who won’t make an NFL roster and playing regular-season football. McKee is on the right track and there very well could be a point where he moves up to No. 2. And that point might be fairly soon. But we’re not there yet. Mariota has played nearly 5,000 NFL snaps, and he’s still the best option at No. 2. Even though it might not seem that way right now

Marcus Mariota: I was sloppy Thursday night - PFT
Jalen Hurts missed a couple of games in the final weeks of the 2022 season and the Eagles put themselves at risk of losing the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a pair of losses, so the team knows the value of a backup quarterback. Thursday night’s game against the Browns didn’t do much to inspire confidence in their current No. 2. Marcus Mariota was 9-of-17 for 86 yards and an interception while taking three sacks and overthrowing his intended receivers on multiple occasions. “I was sloppy,” Mariota said. “I can do a better job of getting our guys operating cleaner and more efficiently. But that is what preseason is for. Kind of get some of that stuff ironed out. Clean off some of the rust. We’ll find ways to get better.” Upgrading from Mariota at this point in the offseason would be difficult and Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said the team has to figure out ways to put Mariota in positions to succeed when they have to put the ball in his hands.

Do the Eagles have a No. 2 quarterback problem with Marcus Mariota or is the answer Tanner McKee? - Inquirer
Sirianni has been around long enough to know two preseason games aren’t enough to make sweeping conclusions. And Eagles fans, at least the older ones, have been around long enough to remember a variety of quarterbacks who did well early only to crack under closer examination. If the Eagles, in the unlikely scenario, want to replace Mariota, they’re probably not going to look at the rookie — at least not before the start of the season. There are options, although one that rhymes with Dick Moles and not Farson Bentz makes more sense. But the notion isn’t as bizarre as it might have seemed just a little while ago. “I just want to play my best and reach my potential,” McKee said. “As far as depth chart and who makes the team, that’s going to be out of my hands.” Not necessarily.

Preseason Week 2 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles - PFF
Rashaad Penny entered the game immediately after and broke off a 16-yard run on his first carry. However, he played only six snaps over two drives. The fact that he played so little is probably a good sign for his chances of making the roster, as players on the roster bubble typically get more opportunities. Trey Sermon also got playing time in the second quarter, but he immediately fumbled. He looked better in the second half but clearly remains behind the other four running backs.

Eagles tie with Browns 18-18, BGN Instant Reaction Show Week 2 Preseason - BGN Radio
Jessica Taylor, Shane Haff and Victor Williams discuss the biggest storylines from the Birds Week 2 preseason game against the Browns.

Spadaro: Nolan Smith adds juice to an already explosive pass rush -
He plays with energy and relentlessness, a physical and fast defensive impact player. Rookie edge rusher Nolan Smith makes you notice him on every snap, and in his second preseason game, Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field against the Cleveland Browns, Smith made a difference for the Eagles’ defense. There is, everyone expects, much more to come. Smith started and played for a few defensive series before leaving the game with a shoulder injury, and he was only credited with one assisted tackle. But if you watched the game and saw No. 3, you saw much more. He bent the edge and forced quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to step up in the pocket and take a sack. On his final snap, the second play of the second quarter, Smith chased down wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, taking an end-around pitch, and tackled him for a 5-yard loss, displaying speed and closing ability and tenacity to make the play in the backfield. There were other “flash” moments that didn’t show up in the stat sheet, but the coaches will see them. And as the Eagles close in on the regular season, they’re liking more and more of what they’ve seen from Smith, the 30th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. And with that, we all wonder, how will the Eagles use the University of Georgia product who won two National Championships there and who comes to Philadelphia feeling it. This is not too big for him. This is just the next step. “I need to do a lot better,” Smith said after the game. “I’m not where I want to be. Coach Wash (Jeremiah Washburn) talks to me about it every day and he coaches me hard and that’s how I like to be coached and he tries to get the most out of me, not try, he gets the most out of me every day.”

NFL preseason 2023 Week 2 takeaways and schedule - ESPN
Linebacker Nakobe Dean provided some hope that the middle of the defense is in good hands. One of the only projected starters to see action for Philadelphia, Dean generated a turnover near the Eagles’ goal line when he shot into the backfield and hit running back John Kelly Jr., knocking the ball loose. Safety K’Von Wallace recovered it for a Philly takeaway. The Eagles face uncertainty at linebacker after the departures of starters T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agency. Dean, the second-year player out of Georgia, is expected to secure the MIKE linebacker spot, where he’ll be charged with relaying the calls and getting the defense set. He has been dealing with an ankle injury and has had a pretty quiet summer to this point, but flashed some of the playmaking ability Thursday that made him a star for the national champion Bulldogs.

The Cowboys need to ramp up the pressure on kicker Brandon Aubrey - Blogging The Boys
The available veteran options, such as Mason Crosby and Robbie Gould, likely will want to avoid signing with the team and being in a kicking competition. A veteran like Nick Folk, who currently is, might not be opposed to the idea if the New England Patriots released him. Folk was drafted by the Cowboys in 2007, making the Pro Bowl that same year. The team should give Aubrey a chance to win the job. But the team should be giving themselves (and the fans) the assurance that they did all they could to provide themselves with the best chance to win games throughout the season.

Giants host former Pro Bowl LB Anthony Barr - Big Blue View
The New York Giants hosted linebacker Anthony Barr on Thursday, per a report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Barr had previously met with the New Orleans Saints, but left New Orleans without a deal. Rapoport added that no deal appears imminent with the Giants as well. The Giants appear set at off-ball linebacker at the moment, with Bobby Okereke in place as their starting MIKE, with second-year linebacker Micah McFadden at the WILL position. Fellow sophomore linebacker Darrian Beavers is coming along as well, though DC Wink Martindale has McFadden in the lead for the starting job alongside Okereke.

Sam Howell has been named the starting QB for the Washington Commanders - Hogs Haven
Update: Sam Howell is the starter.

Ravens sign veteran cornerback following Marlon Humphrey’s foot surgery - Baltimore Beatdown
The Ravens brought in a pair of free agent corners on Thursday for visits . According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, nine-year veteran Ronald Darby is signing with the team. [...] He spent the last two years with the Denver Broncos, 2020 with the Washington Commanders, 2017-2019 with the Philadelphia Eagles where he won a championship in his first season with the team after being acquired via trade.

Make your Week 1 picks for our 2023 NFL Survivor pool - SB Nation
We’ve got a Survivor contest this season with a prize for the winner!


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