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Eagles News: Looking back at “The Book of Fangio”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/27/24.

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

The Book of Fangio - Read Optional
The “Fangio Defense’’ has a few trademarks. Fangio’s defenses consistently are at the top of the league in two-high shells before the snap. The two-high structure allows for flexibility in the secondary. Safeties can move before or after the snap, react from depth, and ultimately be used as tools to attack the offense. The roll of the safeties often comes very late and can change the picture for quarterbacks who turn their backs to the defense in play action. As the wide-zone-then-boot offense became the orthodoxy for NFL offenses (again) with the rise of the Shanahan-McVay-Stefanski-LaFleur style of offenses, changing the picture on the quarterback while his back is turned to execute a play fake has become a go-to tool for coaches looking to disguise, bluff, and add extra beats to a quarterback’s decision-making process – beats that can lead defenders to crash the pocket or the quarterback to make a poor decision with the ball. Dissecting what occurred on a play can even be difficult because of the way the safeties’ responsibilities vary so much depending on what the offense presents. To combat Sean McVay’s famed “illusion of complexity” (the idea that a few core concepts are presented in different ways), the Fangio Defense uses the appearance of simplicity. The same exact defensive look can end up in a plethora of coverages, pressures, and assignments. [BLG Note: Great article by Shawn Syed from Sumer Sports, check out the whole thing. Originally published on January 11, 2023.]

Report: Brian Johnson interviews for 2 more offensive coordinator jobs - BGN
Make that three offensive coordinator interviews for Brian Johnson. The former Eagles OC is set to meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints in addition to the Cleveland Browns, according to NFL insider Dianna Russini. Unlike the Browns job (due to the presence of Kevin Stefanski), the Bucs and Saints openings offer play-calling power. Between multiple head coaching interviews and multiple OC interviews, Johnson is clearly someone that NFL teams are interested in. The soon-to-be 37-year-old is still viewed as a promising coach despite being dismissed by the Eagles.

On the Shane Page #15: Jalen Hurts 2023-24 season Film Review - BGN Radio
Jonny Page and Shane Haff take a close look at Jalen Hurts’ film from the 2023-2024 season and discuss some areas that he regressed and where he improved.

Eagles mailbag: A lot of coaching staff talk - PhillyVoice
Question from @StokesTheWriter: Rank the following coordinators based on their Eagles careers: Sean Desai, Jonathan Gannon, Brian Johnson. Oof, Gannon is No. 1 here. Quality quarterbacks shredded his defense, but at least the Eagles wrecked the bad ones. Then I’d say Brian Johnson. His tenure as the offensive coordinator will always remind me of a kid at a restaurant. His menu was limited, and he was probably getting strong suggestions from his superior on what to order. It is probably not fair that he was made the scapegoat for the offense’s failings, but at the same time he was also pretty clearly a downgrade from Shane Steichen. [...] But yes, among the three known interviews, the worst hire in my opinion would indeed be Kingsbury, who runs an “Air Raid” offense, which is a spread, up-tempo, mainly shotgun approach, and its effectiveness is contingent on how well the players can master and execute a predictable, limited playbook. If Nick Sirianni and the Eagles are looking for “fresh” ideas as they repeatedly said they were during Sirianni’s press conference on Wednesday, that ain’t it.

Assistants Update - Iggles Blitz
If there is an OC the Eagles want but can’t name, that would likely mean he is still alive in the playoffs. Looking at the coaching staffs, Klint Kubiak from SF is the one who seems to make the most sense. He was an OC with the Vikings in 2021. He was the passing game coordinator with Denver in 2022 and has that same role with the Niners this year. In the past, he was a QB coach with the Vikings. Kubiak isn’t exactly a veteran coach, but he has run an offense. He has worked closely with productive QBs. He also knows the Shanahan offense, which means using motion, a creative run game and QBs playing under center. That would seem to check a lot of the boxes that the Eagles should be looking for. This is just a guess on my part. The Eagles have not been linked with him at all. It is possible that Sirianni was given a mandate to get rid of Tanney and Brady and upgrade from the outside. We’ll get some answers soon enough. I still think Eric Bieniemy and Kellen Moore should be key OC candidates. Bieniemy is a veteran coach with a good track record. Moore is young, but has been an OC for five years and is a creative play-caller. Both make a lot of sense to me.

‘I know the type of player I can be:’ Nakobe Dean counting down days till 2024 - NBCSP
“It was crazy because I’ve been rehabbing hard, just basically trying to get my foot up and everything and the only thing I can think about is, ‘I can’t wait for the OTAs, I can’t wait for training camp, I can’t wait until next year,’” Dean said,. “But then I’m looking at the other guys, and they’re still out there playing this season, and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a minute, not going to be there for a while. “But just keep the faith, keep the faith, keep the confidence, and do everything I can do in my power to come back and be better than I’ve ever been.” Dean, a 3rd-round pick in 2023, is only the third linebacker Howie Roseman has drafted since initially becoming general manager in 2010. He drafted Mychal Kendricks in the second round in 2012 and Davion Taylor in the third round in 2020. Chip Kelly was GM when the Eagles took Jordan Hicks in the third round in 2015. Kendricks is the only off-ball linebacker the Eagles have taken with a top-50 pick since Barry Gardner in 1999. “I feel like I really barely ever get hurt and then for me to just have two foot things back-to-back like that, it’s kind of crazy,” Dean said.

Devon Allen tore ACL at Eagles practice last month, still hopes to compete in Olympics - PFT
Eagles wide receiver and Olympic hurdler Devon Allen tore an ACL at practice in December, but he says he still believes he can compete in the Summer Olympics in early August. Allen has now suffered three ACL tears, all on the football field, and he told LetsRun.com that the talents that make him a great hurdler may also make him more susceptible to applying more force to the ground than his knee ligaments can handle. “It really just comes down to the way my body is built,” Allen said. “What makes me me is that I apply a lot of force to the ground and sometimes I can’t stop that force as well as I can apply it. And I couldn’t really tell you. The play I that injured my knee on, I’ve done probably 100 times this season, the same route, the same kind of movements.”

Report: Detroit Lions will NOT play TE Zach Ertz vs. 49ers - Pride Of Detroit
Later on Saturday, the Detroit Lions are expected to elevate a player or two from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, but according to a report from ESPN, newly-acquired tight end Zach Ertz will not be one of them. Per Jeremy Fowler, Ertz worked hard to play catch up all week after signing on Wednesday, but he won’t be activated for Sunday. That will leave the Lions relatively shorthanded at tight end, as both Brock Wright and James Mitchell have been placed on injured reserve this postseason. The Lions will only have the services of rookie Sam LaPorta and veteran Anthony Firkser at tight end available to them.

Buffalo Bills interview former Eagles DC Sean Desai - Buffalo Rumblings
Is it possible the Buffalo Bills and head coach Sean McDermott are looking to hire a defensive coordinator? National NFL Insider Ian Rapoport has reported that former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai is interviewing with the Bills on Saturday, January 27. McDermott served as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator for the 2023 NFL season, after former assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier stepped down.

Buccaneers not wasting any time interviewing candidates for their offensive coordinator vacancy - Bucs Nation
Several outlets have tied the Bucs to potential candidates as the team has begun the process of requesting permission to interview them. Those names are: Zac Robinson - Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator, Brian Johnson - former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore - former Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey - former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator. The biggest of the four names Tampa Bay has been tied to is Robinson. Robinson worked with Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield when the veteran was signed by L.A. to play for an injured Matt Stafford in 2022.

Cowboys running back roster review: Dallas currently has no real lead back under contract - Blogging The Boys
There will be different degrees of change throughout the Cowboys roster this offseason. Some groups may only see minor shifts, while others may look very different in 2024. One position that could be in for huge turnover is running back, where both Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle are headed into free agency. Pollard spent 2023 on the franchise tag and was, if this is even possible, quietly productive. Despite only having one 100-yard game all season, Pollard finished with 1,005 rushing yards, 311 receiving, and six touchdowns. He started all 17 regular-season games and in the playoffs, but his numbers were held back but career lows in efficiency. He only managed 4.0 yards per rush and 5.7 yards per catch. Dowdle finally stayed healthy and delivered in his fourth year with the club. Playing as the backup and only appearing on 22% of the offensive snaps, Dowdle chipped in 361 rushing yards, 144 receiving, and four touchdowns. His 4.1 average per run was on par with Pollard’s, but he did fare better as a receiver with 8.5 per catch. Both are set to become unrestricted free agents this offseason. Pollard is about to turn 27 and Dowdle 26; not exactly prime ages in the modern RB landscape. And after an underwhelming season running the ball, the Cowboys may feel like they’d be better off going with cheaper options and devoting their cap space to bolstering the offense line and other parts of the roster.

Big Blue View mailbag: Saquon Barkley, QB situation, Andre Patterson, more - Big Blue View
John, I will be shocked if the Giants offer Barkley a contract that includes guaranteed money extending into a third season. They weren’t willing to do that last offseason, when he was a year younger, had suffered one less injury and had roughly 300 fewer touches worth of wear and tear on his body. No way I see them being willing to do that this time around. I have no idea right now what Joe Schoen and the Giants think is fair. Personally, I have always thought three years and $36-39 million with the first two years fully, or close to fully guaranteed would get a deal done. I don’t think the Giants were willing to go to those numbers a year ago. If you use the $12.1 million as a starting point for negotiations, maybe the Giants would rather do two years and $25 million with about $18-20 million guaranteed. They might not even be willing to do that. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to commit to Barkley for more than two more seasons.

2024 NFL Draft: Javon Foster, Spencer Rattler among prospects who could rise at Senior Bowl - NFL.com
7) Jalyx Hunt, Edge, Houston Christian (6-4, 248). Like most prospects coming from outside the FBS, Hunt must prove he can hang with the physicality and athleticism of more highly recruited players. There’s no issue with his quickness, as the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year has the bend and closing speed to wrap up quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield. He covers a lot of ground when dropping into coverage or taking on slot receivers, which he was asked to do regularly. If Hunt outclasses the top-rated tackles in Mobile, he’ll earn comparisons to Steelers star Alex Highsmith.

Is No One Going to Hire Bill Belichick? - The Ringer
With just two open jobs remaining, it’s looking increasingly likely that there’s no spot for a 71-year-old coach with eight Super Bowl rings. How did Belichick end up the loser in this year’s head-coaching cycle?

NFL playoffs Conference Championship final boss battles that will determine winners - SB Nation
Welcome back to Establish the Fun, where football is fun and I’m establishing that with more excitement than Jim Harbaugh’s random tweet in 2015. It’s Conference Championship weekend, which means that we’re simultaneously one step closer to the Super Bowl and one step closer to the final Establish the Fun of the year. I’m sure that I’m going to say it when we get there, but I just want to thank all of you for reading and following along. I’m genuinely thankful to be in the space that I’m in, and writing these almost every week has been as much of a benefit to me as I hope it’s been to y’all reading. Ok, now that we got the sappy stuff out the way, let’s have some fun!

TGIFootball #25: Previewing the Conference Championships - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa, Brandon Lee Gowton, and Stephen Serda preview Chiefs at Ravens and Lions at 49ers ahead of the NFL’s Conference Championships.

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