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Eagles News: Early signs point to Sean Desai being more aggressive than Jonathan Gannon

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/29/23.

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NFL: AUG 24 Preseason - Colts at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Nguyen: Young QBs, Chiefs WRs, DJ Moore among most notable preseason takeaways - The Athletic
Desai looks like he’ll be a lot more aggressive than Gannon. Former Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon mostly called zone defense (12th in zone coverage percentage) and was around the middle of the pack in blitz percentage per dropback (15th). If the preseason is any indication of what new defensive coordinator Sean Desai has planned, he’s going to be a lot more aggressive. In three games, the Eagles ranked eighth in man coverage percentage and third in blitz percentage per dropback. It’s not just blitz frequency, it’s the types of blitzes Desai was calling. In the image above, on third-and-11, against the Colts, Desai called a Cover 0 blitz. The Eagles have one of the NFL’s most talented defensive lines and don’t need to blitz to get to the quarterback, but blitzing does help create more one-on-ones for the defense line. It also gives opposing offenses more to prepare for and keeps them on their toes. Desai may not keep up this level of aggressiveness in the regular season, but it looks like the Eagles will look to dictate what the offenses do more with scheme than they did last season.

Report: Eagles allow Derek Barnett to gauge trade market “for the potential to play more elsewhere” - BGN
The Eagles have put together one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and along with that comes rotational players and fewer snaps to go around. For guys like Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, that’s been a good thing, but apparently Derek Barnett is looking for more playing time, according to one report.

Report: Eagles sign former Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers - Stampede Blue
Per PFF, Rodgers was their 5th best graded cornerback this past season with a +82.1 overall grade—featuring a +81.5 coverage grade. Specifically, Rodgers was targeted 25 times for 17 receptions (68.0% completion rate) for 125 receiving yards (7.4 yards per reception average), 2 touchdowns allowed, 0 interceptions, and 2 pass breakups. While Rodgers started out strong, he faded a bit down the season’s stretch, much like the rest of the team and may be a more natural fit in a defensive scheme that isn’t Gus Bradley’s, who prefers bigger, longer cornerbacks. It’ll be interesting to see how Rodgers transitions to the Eagles in a year’s time following a year removed from the NFL. Here’s hoping he can learn from the mistake and move on.

Howie Time - Iggles Blitz
Derek Barnett is #5 in that group. Smith has value because he can help on STs. The other three all had double-digit sacks last year. That leaves Barnett inactive a lot of the time. I can see where he’d like to go elsewhere. The Eagles are willing to keep him because they value depth, but if Rosenhaus can find a team in need of a rusher, the trade could happen. The Eagles won’t just give him away. Rosenhaus has to find a team that expects to compete this year and feels trading for a veteran DE makes sense. I would love to see the Eagles be able to trade Barnett. That would free up a roster spot for someone like Janarius Robinson, a cheap, young guy with some upside.

Eagles notes: Perspective on Bradberry in slot, top WRs learn from each other, more - NBCSP
It wasn’t that long ago when Eagles fans were clamoring for the team to find just one elite receiver. Now, the Eagles have two in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. What makes it so much fun to have two guys with this much talent are the little things that separate them from most of the receivers in the NFL. They’re both extremely advanced in certain areas. So over the last couple of days, I asked both of them what part of the other’s game they have adopted. Here are their answers: Smith: “I would say playing with the hands and things like that. Using your hands at the line of scrimmage. Late hands. Catching passes over the shoulder. Things like that.” Brown: “We always trying to pour life into each other and speak about routes and stuff. I’d definitely say just the routes he runs, how clean he runs them. I’m definitely always trying to learn something. I’ll learn from anybody. I’m a student of the game. It doesn’t matter who runs the route, but everybody knows DeVonta is slippery. He runs really clean routes.”

Executives and coaches audit NFL Rank: Hits and misses of top 100 - ESPN+
Would you rather have Jalen Hurts (No. 3) or Joe Burrow (No. 4)? The consensus is Burrow, but this is closer than I expected. Burrow was the overwhelming No. 2 quarterback in our summer rankings from league personnel, but some favor Hurts’ versatility. “The run-game element is such a threat,” an NFL personnel director said. “Hurts is improving as a passer every year, and when you combine that with how savvy of a ball handler and rusher he is, it’s really problematic for a defense.” On Philly’s offensive line, center Jason Kelce and others have raved about how Hurts’ decision-making as a runner and a passer makes their jobs easier. But Burrow is still Burrow. “Outside of [Patrick] Mahomes, Burrow is that next guy that you would build a team around,” an NFC exec said. “Everything he does says winner.” And fair or not, some evaluators still want to see Hurts do more as a passer. “[The Super Bowl] was really the first time Hurts had to carry the team with his arm, in my opinion,” an AFC personnel evaluator said. “He did it, to his credit. But I’d like to see him do it again.”

Despite chatter of interest in Carson Wentz, Chiefs will stick with two quarterbacks for now - PFT
Carson Wentz will not yet be adding a fourth team to his workout ensemble. Despite social media chatter from at least one Dov-bot account suggesting that Jeremy Fowler of reported that the Chiefs have some degree of interest in the free-agent quarterback (we have no idea whether he actually reported that; it’s not on his Twitter page), we’re told that the Chiefs are inclined to enter the season with only two quarterbacks on the roster.

3 Dallas Cowboys roster thoughts before cutdown deadline - Blogging The Boys
For the last two weeks, the Cowboys tipped their hand not so subtly when it came to the kicker position. Brandon Aubrey has been the only kicker in camp and what looks to be clear is he is the man for the job - for now. We saw Aubrey attempt his first two real field goals of the preseason when he went 1 for 2 on 59-yard attempts. The kicks looked confident and he strikes the ball well. While all of that sounds good, he is an unknown commodity heading into week one and the Cowboys seem content with that. There are free agents available, we all know the names by now, but the Cowboys for better or worse are riding with Aubrey. Just how long that leash is though remains to be seen.

Giants to activate Wan’Dale Robinson from PUP list, per report - Big Blue View
Robinson has spent the 2023 offseason on the PUP list as he works his way back from the torn ACL that ended his rookie year. He suffered the injury in the Giants’ Week 11 loss to the Detroit Lions. It was suspected that Robinson, nine months removed from the injury, would start the season on the PUP list. However, optimism that he could start the season grew when he was spotted running routes just before the end of training camp.

The Arizona Cardinals cut Colt McCoy; expected to start Joshua Dobbs Week 1 vs the Washington Commanders - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders were expected to open their season against the Arizona Cardinals with Colt McCoy under center. Kyler Murray is the team’s “franchise QB” but he tore his ACL last year, and the team has a new head coach(Jonathan Gannon) and GM(Monti Ossenfort). The Cardinals have been trading off assets, but also picked up their new starting QB via trade. Joshua Dobbs signed with the Cleveland Browns after starting the last two games for the Titans last season. The Cardinals traded a 5th round pick for Dobbs and a 7th round pick. Dobbs played against the Commanders in the second preseason game and went 8-16 for 77 yards with an INT and 11 yards rushing.

Preseason passing stats for every NFL rookie QB - SB Nation
NFL preseason is over, and now we have the short wait until the opening week of the 2023 season. At this point the majority of rookie QBs had a chance to get their feet wet in live fire, and for the most part the 2023 class did pretty dang well.


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