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Eagles News: PFF suggests a free agent target

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/20/24.

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One free agent each NFL team should pursue in the 2024 offseason - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles: CB L’Jarius Sneed. No Eagles cornerback earned a PFF coverage grade of 70.0 or better in 2023. If the team wants to get back to contending after a disappointing final stretch to the 2023 season, they will have to invest in the position again. Sneed would be a big splash in that regard. He is a capable, physical cornerback from either the inside or the outside, earning PFF coverage grades of 70.0 or better in three of his four NFL seasons.

Travis Kelce thinks Jason Kelce still has some football left in him, if he wants it - BGN
Travis Kelce was asked on Friday about his brother’s decision, and he pointed out that, “It came out that he retired, and he didn’t really say any of that.” “The end of that game, I think everyone kind of felt for him, knowing that he has been thinking about it a lot over the past couple years [...] It’s been cool to see everybody appreciate who he’s been over the years, this past week, but I think the big guy’s still got some football left if he wants it.”

Eye on the Enemy #166: Jody McDonald on the future of Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts’ regression season - BGN Radio
John Stolnis talked with Jody McDonald of Birds 365, WIP, WFAN and CBS Sports Radio about the future of Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts’ regression season. They also previewed the NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Eagles stay or go: Brian Johnson, Sean Desai, Matt Patricia, and Michael Clay - PhillyVoice
Patricia was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator from 2012-2017, before landing a head coaching job with the Lions in 2018. He was fired in 2020, went back to the Patriots in a role on offense, and called plays on offense in 2022. He was relieved of those duties after a disastrous season, and landed with the Eagles as a “senior defensive assistant” in March of 2023. As noted above, after the Eagles’ three-game stretch against the Bills, 49ers, and Cowboys, the Eagles turned to Patricia to turn the defense around, but it only got worse, as players often didn’t know how to line up or what their assignments were. Opposing offenses bulldozed them in the run game, and easily found ways to get receivers running wide open through the secondary. A season ago, the Eagles faced virtually no adversity whatsoever, and their response to two bad losses was a drastic panic move at defensive coordinator that screamed “bad vibes” for a team that was 10-3 when they made the switch. #JimmyVerdict: Fire Patricia into the sun. Go.

In Roob’s Observations: The move that doomed the Eagles - NBCSP
1. Changing defensive coordinators after the Cowboys game will go down in history as one of the greatest mistakes in franchise history. Think about this: Going into the Bills game, the Eagles had held four playoff teams to 17 or fewer points – they beat the Bucs 25-11, the Rams 23-14, the Dolphins 31-17 and the Chiefs 21-17. All were top-10 offenses except Tampa. Through Week 11, no other NFL team had won four games holding playoff teams to 17 or fewer points. The defense wasn’t perfect, but there was a lot to like. The Eagles were 12th in the NFL in overall defense, allowing a respectable 21 points per game. The Bills game was a shootout against a very good team, and the defense got the stops they needed late to win. So really the change from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia was the result of the games against the 49ers and Cowboys. And the 49ers game was an awful performance by the defense, but the Eagles did hold the Cowboys without a touchdown in the second half and thanks to the Eagles’ terrible offense the Cowboys needed a bunch of short fields and 59- and 60-yard field goals to get to 33 points. In retrospect, changing coordinators after one disastrous game and one poor game was an astonishing over-reaction. The defense had done some good things throughout the season, but the change made things so much worse in two ways: 1) First of all, just changing from one system and one philosophy and one set of terminology to another in midstream is virtually impossible even if the new coach is a genius. Especially on a defense with so many new guys still trying to learn Desai’s system. As Haason Reddick said after the Arizona loss, “It’s hard. It’s extremely hard.” 2) Compounding the change was just the simple fact that Patricia had no answers. So not only were guys trying to learn a new scheme, they were trying to learn a new scheme that was horribly ineffective. What happens when players who aren’t that talented to begin with have two sets of terminology, two philosophies, two approaches to the game floating around their head? We all saw the results against the Seahawks, Giants, Cards and Buccaneers. Guys who didn’t know where to go, guys who didn’t know their assignments, guys who didn’t know what they were doing. Maybe things would have gone south if Desai had stayed in charge, but once the change was made the defense had no chance. And looking back it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone.

Why the Dallas Cowboys were right to retain Mike McCarthy - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys may have been able to find another head coach out there who would perform better in the playoffs, but that is a gamble with alarmingly low odds. And for the first time in literal decades, the Cowboys have a coach who consistently gets them to the playoffs. The fans understandably want more, but you can’t get to the Super Bowl without making the playoffs first. Keeping McCarthy around for 2024 gives the Cowboys their best odds of achieving their goals. As is the case every offseason, Will McClay and this personnel department will work to shore up any roster weaknesses and give McCarthy a talented roster that should be able to compete for a championship. Retaining the coach doesn’t mean that the Cowboys won’t try to fix what went wrong this past year. It just means they’re being realistic about their best path forward, even if it isn’t what will satisfy their fan base in the moment.

Big Blue View mailbag: The Daboll-Martindale divorce, offensive line, defensive coordinator, more - Big Blue View
Bob, let me be honest. I did not know who Carmen Bricillo was until he interviewed for the offensive line job and was hired by the Giants. There is, obviously, no guarantee Bricillo will have the magic cure for the line. I’m intrigued, though, for a couple of reasons. First, Bricillo had some exposure with the New England Patriots to Dante Scarnecchia, the great Patriots’ offensive line coach who is now retired. Second, because a non-descript Las Vegas Raiders offensive line outperformed expectations in each of the past two seasons with Bricillo coaching that group. The Raiders’ offensive line was ranked No. 10 by Pro Football Focus in each of the past two seasons. Left tackle Kolton Miller was a 2018 first-round pick (15th overall). He is the only truly early pick. Guard Dylan Parham is a third-round pick, center Andre James and guard Alex Bars are former UDFAs, right tackle Jermain Eluemenor is a journeyman fifth-round pick, Greg Van Roten is a 33-year-old journeyman guard and swing tackle Thayer Munford is a seventh-round pick. Along with Miller, those are the players who have played most of the snaps the last two seasons. On paper, not an impressive group. Yet, in PFF’s words, the group “played well above expectations,” even when Miller was injured. That is why I have optimism about the hiring of Bricillo.

Commanders fans understand the need for patience as the rebuild process is undertaken under new leadership - Hogs Haven
Commanders owner Josh Harris has been preaching patience to long-suffering Washington fans, reminding them that building a winning franchise takes a bit of time, and that going fast may not be compatible with building an organization that will consistently compete for championships. The message appears to have been received by Washington fans, who appear to be ready to embrace a one- or two-season process of restructuring the front office, installing a new coaching staff, and constructing a highly competitive roster.

Analytics predicts winners for NFL playoff Divisional Round games - SB Nation
Edge: 49ers - The other game with a 9.5-point spread, San Francisco has a huge gap on the defensive side but is much closer on offensive DVOA. Based on what we saw last weekend, this could be a closer game than expected even if the Niners still pull out the victory.

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