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Pennsylvania governor makes an announcement that impacts the Eaglesby Brandon Lee Gowton on May 27, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Sports back soon? Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf is lifting COVID-19 restrictions on pro sports teams in the Keystone State, according to an official announcement. The Wolf Administration has worked with Pennsylvania’s professional sports teams to develop guidance that allows for competition to resume. Professional sports, defined as any sporting event at which the participants are paid by a league or team, or at which individuals or teams receive prizes or purse, are allowed to practice or play in the yellow and green phases of reopening without on-site or venue spectators if the team (or league on behalf of the team) has developed a COVID-19 safety plan. Such a plan must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and include, among other requirements, testing or screening and monitoring of all on-venue players and personnel. Also, no fans or spectators may be permitted on interior or exterior venue property. Professional sports organizations are encouraged to contact the Wolf Administration to share their reopening plans and get them approved by the Department of Health. Philadelphia is still in the red phase but all PA counties are expected to at least be in the yellow phase by next week on Friday, June 5. Once Philly goes yellow, the Eagles will be allowed to practice in some capacity. Of course, it’s not actually that cut and dry. The NFL has permitted teams to reopen their facilities to some extent but coaches and players aren’t really able to report just yet. The league is making an effort to maintain competitive balance by preventing teams from practicing until every team is allowed to do so. A recent report indicates that head coaches could return to team facilities next week before some kind of minicamps open in mid-to-late June. It remains to be seen if that plan will actually come to fruition. While the status of spring practices are up in the air, it looks like things are trending towards Eagles training camp still beginning in late July. Hopefully that’s the case.
Eagles alternate timeline OTA practice notesby Brandon Lee Gowton on May 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports No, I’m not bored. Why do you ask? In an alternate timeline (read: not the one we currently live in) where there’s no coronavirus pandemic, the Philadelphia Eagles held an OTA practice earlier today. The session was open to media and I was there. Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren’t allowed to wear pads until training camp. There’s only so much to be gleaned from guys running around in shorts but here’s what I noticed. • CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Wentz picked up right where he left off after getting hot down the stretch in 2019. The Eagles’ franchise quarterback excitingly connected with Jalen Reagor, who’s already seeing some first team reps, for a 40-yard touchdown. Reagor’s ability to stack defenders is apparent. Wentz targeted Reagor again on an out route but the rookie receiver dropped it. Hopefully that doesn’t become a common theme in these practices. Wentz threw another touchdown to JJ Arcega-Whiteside in 3-on-3. The second-year used his vaunted jump ball skills to catch the fade for the score. That was good to see considering JJAW struggled with some contested catch opportunities in practice this year. It was a quiet practice for him outside of that one play, however. It looked like Wentz overthrew JJAW on one rep but there may have been a miscommunication. Unclear. Wentz had multiple completions to Greg Ward, who was lining up as the first team slot receiver. Overall, encouraging start to OTAs for No. 11. • ATTENDANCE UPDATES: No sign of Alshon Jeffery, who is still making his way back from the Lisfranc injury he suffered in December. Jeffery also skipped OTAs last year. Dallas Goedert missed practice due to personal reasons. • INJURY UPDATES: Brandon Brooks was doing some conditioning on a side field. Back in January, Brooks told reporters he’s going to be ready to practice at some point in June. Looks like he might be on track for that. DeSean Jackson didn’t participate in team drills; the Eagles are taking it easy on the 33-year-old. Prince Tega Wanogho isn’t practicing yet. • DEPTH CHART UPDATES: Avonte Maddox took all the starting outside cornerback reps outside of Darius Slay. Maybe Sidney Jones will eventually get a look there but for now he’s running with the second team. Nathan Gerry and T.J. Edwards are the first team linebackers. Jordan Mailata is Andre Dillard’s top backup at left tackle while Jack Driscoll is lining up at right tackle. Driscoll also took some third team guard reps. • Maddox and Slay each had one pass breakup. The latter broke out his finger wag celebration after the rep, which elicited a similar reaction from Jalen Mills. Maddox gave up a couple completions while no one was doing anything against Slay. • Hey, here’s a new offensive wrinkle: the Eagles are using a fullback more often. This development likely stems from new senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello’s background with Kyle Shanahan. The San Francisco 49ers employ a Pro Bowl fullback in Kyle Juszczyk while Denver Broncos used one on about 13% of their offensive snaps last year. Alex Ellis was the guy lining up as a lead blocker. Could be a good sign for his roster chances. • Edwards had some good moments in OTAs last year and he’s off to a good start again this offseason. The second-year linebacker sniffed out a screen and got in the backfield to disrupt the play. For what Edwards lacks in athleticism he makes up for with mental acumen. • Nate Sudfeld is getting the second team quarterback reps. Up and down showing. He got picked off by Sidney Jones on a pass that was tipped by Jatavis Brown. He did complete a nice ball up the seam to Ellis. • Jalen Hurts’ mobility was on display during his first Eagles practice. Of course, it helps that defenders get near him. Still, he wasn’t shy to take off running when he got the chance. Hurts had some solid completions over the middle but his deep attempt for John Hightower was deflected by Grayland Arnold. Hurts was not used in any kind of Taysom Hill packages. He only lined up as the third team quarterback. • Derek Barnett got by Dillard for a would-be sack. Dillard also effectively stood him up a couple times. • K’Von Wallace is already playing in multiple spots. He tooks some reps at nickel cornerback in addition to being a box safety/quasi-linebacker. • Trevor Williams could be this year’s De’Vante Bausby. The veteran cornerback did well covering Quez Watkins, who looks slight. Watkins looks like he’s going to need some development. • Davion Taylor’s athleticism is apparent but so is his lack of experience. The rookie linebacker blew a coverage and got an earful from the coaching staff. • Kyle Lauletta looked accurate during his limited reps. I wonder if he can actually challenge Sudfeld for a roster spot. • Deontay Burnett made a tough diving grab over the middle. He’s a practice squad candidate if he doesn’t manage to sneak on to the roster. Burnett’s entering his third NFL season but he’s only 22, which makes him younger than second-year JJAW (23) and rookie Hightower (turns 24 this week). • Marquise Goodwin is taking some first team reps. • Feel free to ask me questions about any players you didn’t already see mentioned here.
Eagles notes: Fletcher Cox hosts defensive line workouts, DeSean Jackson talks potential Shady returnby Brandon Lee Gowton on May 27, 2020 at 1:40 pm
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a pretty slow time for Philadelphia Eagles news. We’d normally have OTA practice developments to talk about around this time of year but that’s obviously not the case now. Instead, social media is often the source for the latest Eagles happenings in these quarantine times. Here are some notes gleaned from an Instagram Live chat between Brandon Graham and DeSean Jackson on Tuesday evening. Graham said Fletcher Cox is hosting the Eagles’ defensive line for workouts at Cox’s Shady Trell Ranch in Jacksboro, Texas. Graham didn’t specify all those in attendance but he did note that Javon Hargrave — whom he referred to as “Hargraves” — wasn’t able to make it out. Graham said the Eagles are working out with “Wash.” I’d be surprised if he was referring to his former defensive line coach Jim Washburn considering how he once said “the low point [of my career] was when [Washburn] was here.” Perhaps Graham was instead referring to Eagles director of player personnel/senior defensive assistant Jeremiah Washburn, who is Jim’s son? That the Eagles’ defensive line is working out together makes you wonder if other position groups might plan on doing the same. It remains to be seen if Carson Wentz will hold some kind of passing camp with the receivers. After talking with Graham for a bit, Jackson got on Instagram Live with actor and comedian Michael Blackson. Blackson asked Jackson about LeSean McCoy potentially returning and Jackson said: “We might get him back.” Jackson and McCoy previously hinted at a reunion in Philly earlier this offseason. The two former teammates also appeared on Instagram Live together during the first night of the 2020 NFL Draft. McCoy was wearing his old No. 25 Eagles jersey at the time and Jackson was talking about how Howie Roseman told him the Eagles were going to draft a speedy receiver. Sure enough, the Eagles selected Jalen Reagor at No. 21. Maybe Jackson should consider being an NFL insider after he retires.
BGN Quarantine Watch Party Poll: Help us decide what Eagles game to watch next!by shamus_clancy on May 27, 2020 at 12:54 pm
Photo by JERRY HOLT/Star Tribune via Getty Images T.O.’s big day? A McNabb-era classic? We’re back with a new poll for this Friday’s quarantine watch party! I want to preface by saying that I apologize for some of the technical issues with last week’s watch parties. We were still able draw an amazing crowd of over 1300 viewers, but, again, I’m sorry for those who unable to do so. Those settings issues will be rectified this week. This week’s watch party will be on Friday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. EST. As a reminder: The website we used to watch old games on YouTube is called Watch2Gether, where we can all do a live-running text thread discussing the game as the video plays. While there are a ton of old Birds games available to watch on YouTube, a lot of them are copyright-protected, meaning that we won’t be able to view them through Watch2Gether. I’m going to use some past poll choices as nominees for this week. Here we go: 2004 Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens What I said then: On Halloween 2004, Philadelphia was at the peak of Terrell Owens mania. Against the second-best defense in the NFL according to DVOA, the Birds grinded towards a 15-10 win. Owens exploded with eight catches for 101 receiving yards and a touchdown, where he mocked Ray Lewis’ famous intro dance in the end zone afterwards. This victory put the Birds at 7-0 and solidified them as the top team in the NFC. 2002 Divisional Round against the Atlanta Falcons What I said then: In the last Eagles victory at Veterans Stadium, the Birds pulled off a 20-6 win to advance to the NFC Championship Game for the second-consecutive season. Cornerback Bobby Taylor got the Saturday night party started early with a huge first quarter pick 6. Brian Dawkins also memorably laid a vicious hit on Michael Vick that lives on to this day in highlight videos. 2004 Divisional Round against the Minnesota Vikings What I said then: In the first of many playoff wins over Minnesota in the 21st century, the Eagles advanced to their fourth-straight NFC Championship Game after beating the Vikings 27-14. Freddie Mitchell miraculously had two touchdowns in this game. This was the lone two-touchdown performance of FredEx’s incredibly odd career. Thi win, obviously, was a stepping stone on the path towards the Birds’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1980 season and is definitely a favorite of Eagles fans of all ages. 1979 Wild Card Round against the Chicago Bears What I said then: In the first playoff win of the Dick Vermeil era, the Eagles overcame a 17-10 halftime deficit, as they scored 17 unanswered points on their way to victory. Hall of Fame receiver Harold Carmichael balled out, hauling in six passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Go Birds!
The Linc - Eagles make list of most improved NFL defensesby Brandon Lee Gowton on May 27, 2020 at 11:06 am
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/27/20. Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... NFL’s most improved defenses after the 2020 NFL Draft and free agency - PFFThe addition of Nickell Robey-Coleman also means the Eagles now have one of the top slot cornerbacks in the NFL. In 2019, Robey-Coleman ranked 19th on PFF’s list of top 25 corners with a 74.1 coverage grade, and he finished eighth in yards allowed per reception (9.3). Robey-Coleman has the short-range quickness that’s needed to excel as a slot-defender, and that shows in his 86.6 slot coverage grade since 2016, which is third to only Desmond King II and Chris Harris over the last four seasons. The Eagles also signed free agent interior defender Javon Hargrave to join Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham on a defensive front that ranked top-10 in several pass-rushing metrics last season. Hargrave is coming off a career year in Pittsburgh where he recorded career-best figures in pass-rush grade (76.8) total pressures (49), pass-rush win rate (17.1%) and pressure rate (14.2%) and figures to make a strong Eagles defensive line even stronger. The Eagles do not have far to go before reshaping themselves into one of the best defenses in the league. By improving their secondary personnel, it now means they have a good mix of both pass-rush and coverage, which improves their ability to keep the score down and take the ball away in the passing game. NFL insider discusses the latest on the Eagles’ interest in Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy - BGNIf Freeman isn’t willing to come down from his demands, which seems possible, McCoy just might end up being the most realistic option for Philly. Shady’s going to have to be more realistic about his value given how he turns 32 in July and he was a healthy scratch during the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. The 10 worst contracts in the NFC East - PhillyVoice1) Alshon Jeffery, Eagles: When the Eagles drafted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, it felt a lot like Jeffery’s time with the team would soon be coming to an end, seeing as Arcega-Whiteside’s skill set closely mirrored Jeffery’s. Just before the start of the 2019 season, the Eagles made the error of guaranteeing Jeffery’s 2020 salary in exchange for a small pay cut. It was a puzzling move at the time, and it turned out to be disastrous, as Jeffery proceeded to have the “bad year trifecta.” He had a down year as a player on the field, both in the stat sheet and on the “eye test.” In November, the Eagles’ radio network partner’s sideline reporter, WIP’s Howard Eskin, outed Jeffery as the anonymous (Alshonymous) source who criticized Carson Wentz in each of the last two seasons to national ESPN reporter Josina Anderson, which created significant distractions for the team. (This matches with what I know about Jeffery’s anonymous criticisms of Wentz behind the scenes, which are not limited just to Josina Anderson, if indeed Jeffery was Anderson’s source.) 2020 NFL season projections: Chances to make Super Bowl, win division, land top draft spot, more - ESPNDespite the mediocre .500 record, the Cowboys finished the 2019 season as FPI’s seventh-ranked team. That was fueled almost exclusively by the team’s offense, which finished third in efficiency, while the defense was merely average. The Cowboys didn’t win enough, but they were good enough. As mentioned, offense is more consistent year to year. So with many of the key ingredients back — including quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Zack Martin — there’s every reason to be bullish on the Dallas offense. And it’s a big reason to be bullish on the Cowboys overall. McCarthy might bring a pass-heavier approach, and while it is not represented in the model, it supports the notion even more. Dallas has a 5% chance to win the Super Bowl and a 48% chance to win the NFC East. In fact, its divisional chances might be even higher if the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t directly behind Dallas in FPI’s rankings at No. 6 overall (Philadelphia has a 44.7% chance to take the NFC East). A football nerd’s guide to the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2020 season - The AthleticIn terms of accuracy, Wentz was 23rd in Next Gen Stats’ completion percentage above expectation metric, which looks at the likelihood of a completion on every throw and compares the expected completion percentage to the quarterback’s actual completion percentage. This is better than traditional completion percentage because it takes into account where the target was on the field, how open he was and whether the quarterback was pressured. But it doesn’t factor in drops. When looking at the percentage of throws that were on target, Wentz ranked 14th, according to Sports Info Solutions. He’s never going to be the most accurate quarterback, but when Wentz is at his best, he can make second-reaction plays and “wow” throws that make up for some of the routine misses. Words can’t explain what Eagles’ Boston Scott means to his father during coronavirus crisis - NJ.comAnthony mimics his son’s mouth movements as the children’s song continues. “Q, R, S … T, U, V … W, X … Y and Z.” The Scotts aren’t reminiscing about Boston’s formative years. They aren’t taking part in a family singalong … at least by conventional standards. Scott is coaching his father through speech therapy in Baton Rouge, La., during the coronavirus pandemic, and the “ABC” song has become a regular exercise. “Just trial and error, I guess, let me see if there’s something I could associate with his memory and try to apply that to speech therapy,” Scott told NJ Advance Media. “When he can’t pronounce a word, I get him to sing his ‘ABCs’, which I think is a staple in a lot of our minds. Singing your ‘ABCs,’ that’s something you can remember from your childhood.” Who are the best Eagles to never make a Pro Bowl? - NBCSPRunning back: Duce Staley. A no-brainer. Staley ran for 4,807 yards in an Eagles uniform with three 1,000-yard seasons. No other non-Pro Bowler in Eagles history had one 1,000-yard season. Ranking each NFL team’s fantasy football prowess - Fake Teams24) Eagles. Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz. What ‘The Last Dance’ means for 2020 Eagles - PE.comWhile Jordan was amazing, and this is not in any way a slight to him, the Bulls winning all of those titles was more than just one man and his best-in-the-world talents. It was Jordan and everything and everyone around him working together to make the pieces fit. In football, the ultimate team game, the concept goes to another level and with the current world, it’s at a level we’ve never experienced. Everyone has to do his/her part. Stay the course. Know your role. Do what is best to win for everybody. That’s what the Eagles did in the 2017 season. That’s what is needed now as the Eagles start their fifth week of the offseason program, looking for a victory one day at a time. Dynasty Rankings, Part V: Nos. 11-20 - Football OutsidersYou have to put these Eagles teams in historical context. Philadelphia entered the league in 1933, and had zero winning seasons until 1943. It’s not like they were getting close and just missing out, either; they had three one-win seasons and four two-win seasons in their history. They were hopeless; and even exchanging the entire roster for that of the Steelers in 1940 (…long story) didn’t change their fortunes. No, the Eagles didn’t become good until they selected Steve Van Buren in the first round of the 1944 draft. Van Buren was, to that point, the greatest running back to have ever played in the NFL. He certainly had the statistics to back up that claim — he led the league in rushing yards per game every year between 1945 and 1949 and was the all-time leader in rushing yards when he retired, sure. He may have been the first back to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season (there’s some conflicting reports as to whether Beattie Feathers’ 1934 season really was over 1,000 yards or not), and he certainly was the first player to do it twice. He scored 18 touchdowns in 1945 — in a 10-game season. Only Jerry Rice, Marshall Faulk, and LaDainian Tomlinson in their very best seasons managed to score at a higher rate than Van Buren did. Paul Zimmerman called him the greatest sloppy-field runner in the history of the game, and sloppy fields were to be expected in the 1940s. Van Buren arrived right at the beginning of the post-war period, where the NFL was still rebuilding its strength after years of able-bodied men having something better to do with their Sundays. So one all-world player was enough to turn a joke of a team into perennial contenders. Seahawks lucky Devonta Freeman declined contract Carlos Hyde accepted - Field GullsWhat all those color bars mean are the more purple and blue are better, while more green and yellow is bad. As Lopez explains it in his article, “Ezekial Elliott’s typical carry ended in the 67th-percentile of what a typical running back would gain, while Devonta Freeman was in the 37th-percentile.” That, of course, is bad for Freeman, and could make the fact that Freeman declined the Hawks advances very luck for the team. On the flip side, it works out well for the Seahawks who are now slated to have two of the top five running backs in the NFL in this metric on the roster for 2020 in Hyde and Carson. Both will be returning from injuries that will have somewhat limited them during the early portions of the offseason. What impact that rehab will have on their on field performance this season remains to be seen, but if 2019 is an indication, the Hawks could have a solid one-two combination in the backfield from the get go. Joe Thomas destroying ‘The Titan Games’ is proof NFL players are superhuman - SB NationThe most unfair misconception about NFL linemen is that they’re just big, strong dudes without much athleticism. On Sunday night former Browns legend Joe Thomas smashed that stereotype. Calendar of when sports leagues will return in 2020 - DraftKings NationSports are slowly starting to return in some countries, but it will take some time for many leagues to get back on track. We’ll be using this space to provide the most recent update as to the status of each sports league and its intended return date. to track news and what it means for the return of various leagues. ... Social Media Information: BGN Facebook Page: Click here to like our page BGN Twitter: Follow @BleedingGreen BGN Instagram: Follow @BleedingGreenInsta BGN Manager: Brandon Lee Gowton: Follow @BrandonGowton BGN Radio Twitter: Follow @BGN_Radio