“Wentz” Did It Go Wrong?

17-0…17-24

*sighs*

For those who are unaware, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost to the Washington Football team. In rather embarrassing fashion might I add, squandering a 17-0 lead. Last year it was the Eagles who came out of the tunnel after halftime and rode hot handed DJAX to a eventual comeback of their own. This year, the Eagles came out hot, and lost all steam once Jack Driscoll was removed from the game.

The negatives of this game are abundant, and positives are few and far between, but, there are a few;

Jack Driscoll- The rookie tackle had a few hiccups, none resulting in anything catastrophic and all fixable mistakes. He’s a bright spot simply because once Mailatta was forced to replace him, the drop off was VERY evident. Overall, at this point Jack Driscoll is no Lane, true. I think more importantly we know he’ll be at worst servicable down the road, pending his injury diagnosis.

Defensive Line- Realistically Washington didn’t light us up offensively, Haskins took advantage of numerous short field situations. A product of our either a interception or failed 4th down conversion. The defense held up and players like Josh Sweat and Malik Jackson made some big plays, this is huge to see as they are key contributors going forward.

Wentz and DJAX are OK- As trivial as it sounds, we have to be happy two of our “projected” key contributors stood healthy. We have to assume they will move on to week 2 eager to erase the memory of the week 1 loss.

Rams are next….Let’s just say if this offensive line isn’t in tact by then, Aaron Donald may have a field day.

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Casey Toohil 7th Round Steal

Casey Toohil Earns Roster Spot

The ink is beginning to dry, leases are being signed, and moving trucks are being rented. The Philadelphia Eagles have announced their 53 man roster, and while there were many surprise cuts made, one man defied the odds and earned his spot.

When you think of 7th round picks, you think practice squad hopful, when Casey thinks 7th round pick, he thinks opportunity! The Eagles for much of their franchises life span has prided themselves on their ability to solidify the trenches. Our defensive line was a strength going into this year, while we knew there would be a couple people fighting for rotational spots, no one could have predicted the outcome.

At pick 233, The Eagles selected a 23 year old LB/DE out of Stanford. North of 240 pounds, Casey ran an impressive 4.6 40! Combine that with a 10.5 inch broad jump and some impressive cone drills, scouts took notice of the athleticism Casey possessed. At the time of the selection, the overlying issue was whether he’d be a stand up lb or DE at the next level.

Eagles signed him to add depth to a pass rush that is getting older by the minute. Anchored by veteran Brandon Graham, and a underwhelming Derek Barnett. Younger players such as, Shareef Miller, Genard Avery, Josh Sweat etc all fought for playing time. Well, that fight continued through training camp and Miller unfortunately was deemed the odd man out.

I’m excited to see what Casey can do, he needs to work on using his hands and becoming a solid run stopper, but let’s be honest if he can consistently get to the QB we can work with the rest.

What do you guys think? Who was a suprise cut for you? Watch this weeks Sunday Sports Talk now on youtube for my analysis on breaking news and the upcoming Thursday night game.

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Is Jason Peters Worth A New Contract?

Will the body guard need to make his return to LT?

With the NFL kickoff mere days away, The Philadelphia Eagles face a major decision. As many may have heard second year LT, Andre Dillard, suffered a season ending bicep tear causing Philly to orchestrate a major reshuffle of their 2020 offensive line.

When announced Brandon Brooks would likely be out for the remainder of the season, Howie called upon old reliable. Jason Peters a perennial pro bowler, 6x all pro, as well as a part of the NFL all decade team is a lock for the Hall of Fame. Has his age finally become an issue though? At the ripe age of 38 the all world LT was called to fill the hole Brooks injury created. He did so on a team friendly low cap hit contract.

Now that we face a major injury at the position that earned him the moniker, “The Bodygaurd”, most eagle fans assumed he’d slide right back into his previous role. Well, not so fast, he’s not made clear that he is NOT willing to move back to LT without a revision to his contract.

One thing about me is, I’m a player first type of fan, but to me this mentality is selfish and unwarranted quite frankly. Jason Peters has not stayed healthy nor consistent the past few years. If we were to bet on a elite or even above average out put from him is in my opinion unrealistic.

My decision would be to give these young Lineman a shot and revisit the issue after game one if necessary. The future is now for Philadelphia Eagles and they need to treat this move with that in mind. Jason Peters needs to be a team player in this situation.

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Injuries…Already?

As the NFL gears up for its inaugural kick off, The Philadelphia Eagles rev the energy up at their training camp.

Due to the cancellation of preseason, this elongated training camp is looked to provide teams the opportunity to evaluate their young talent. The Eagles are doing just that, while young players like, Reagor, Watkins, and more begin to make their imprint on the team vets seem to be lagging behind.

Hargrave, Sanders, Peters, Lane, and more have all had to sit out multiple practices due to either injury or illness. When does this become a cause for concern, or is this the smartest play for the Eagles?

With less than a full month to go, the Eagles need to begin to build chemistry and solidify who will be starting where. While I’m not too concerned with the rest the vets are getting I am definitely keeping a trained eye on the progression of our depth chart. Still many questions left unanswered!

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Carson Wentz’s value and outlook for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020

Seldom too often we tend to give the “ your excused card” to an NFL Quarterback . But if any Quarterback deserved it in 2019 it had to be Carson Wentz. Going into the 2019 Season the Eagles and their fans had high expectations for a lethal offense and at the snap of a finger their entire receiving core was ravaged with injuries, putting Carson Wentz into an extremely difficult position. Not only Carson but putting extraordinary stress on the run game, All the respect but Miles Sanders was just a baby(rookie)

Come mid season the Eagles were in quite the slump (losing 2 of 4 in October and 3 of 4 in November,2-5 total)but December brought out a better version of Miles Sanders and a consistent Wentz as they ended the season on a 4 game win streak. They ultimately lost in the first round of the playoffs and sooner rather then later the injury bug caught Carson Wentz yet again, suffering a concussion early in the first quarter. But when it’s all said and done a quarterback without his Receivers is like peanut butter without jelly, it just can’t happen.The Eagles will look for health from Carson Wentz and most importantly a Receiving core that can stay on the field, along with some key additions to this teams defense there’s no reason to believe an NFC East Division title is unattainable in 2020,no matter how much those dirty Cowboys are hyped up again !

BATTLE BREWING FOR CB2

CB2 BATTLE

A lot has been made of the arrival of lockdown corner, Darius Slay, rightfully so. Yet with all the stability Slay adds to one side of the secondary, we face just as much doubt on the other.

Candidates for CB2 include familiar faces such as, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, and fan favorite Avonte Maddox. With the latter seemingly more fit to run slot does that make it a two man race?

I believe the three will battle for the CB2 spot well into the season, do not be surprised to see a rotation at CB2 even if only for the first few weeks. I feel as though Sidney Jones is the best on paper fit for the role, but will need to become far more consistent. Rasul, while having the prototypical size and arm length, he lacks the speed and overall ability to follow the Terry Mclaurin’s or even the Slaytons on our schedule.

Which brings me to Avonte Maddox, I believe he is our best CB outside of Darius Slay. I do, however feel due to his size being an outside corner may be a bit more than, the 5’9 183 pound 24 year old, can handle. Yet with the Nickel Roby-Coleman looking like all but a lock to start in the slot, the outside may be all that is left for Maddox.

Quez Watkins turns on the afterburners against CB Rasul Douglas in one on ones

My prediction is, Sidney Jones begins as the “#1 CB” but wouldn’t be surprised to see Maddox fight him the whole year for playing time. As far as Rasul goes, unfortunately I don’t see him being an Eagle much longer.

What are your thoughts? Who do you see winning the CB2 battle?

Written by; Joe Castro of Philly Philly The Podcast

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NFC BEAST? OR NFC LEAST?

2020 RECORD PREDICTIONS

While times seem to become more uncertain off of the gridiron, the NFL looks to add a bit of normalcy to our lives. Multiple reports indicate the 2020 season will be beginning on time. So I decided now is a good time to give my division picks. Will the NFC East reclaim its powerhouse reputation, or will all the drama be too much for some teams to overcome? Here’s my take;

Eagles: Philadelphia while not totally drama free (see DJAX posts) we have been able to avoid major issues. Same head coach, same playbook, and for the most part those commonalities should propel the Eagles to a division title. I predict the Eagles will go 11-5 and win the division led by Carson Wentz and sophomore sensation Miles Sanders.

Giants: This is a shocker to most, understandably, but I am a believer in Daniel Jones and Saqoun Barkley. I don’t think they will be a wildcard team but I do believe they will navigate their EXTREMELY tough schedule this year, and see an improvement in record to the tune of 7-9. With the exception of a couple arrests, the Giants have been able to avoid negative media attention.

Cowboys: Obviously this isn’t an indictment on their talent, I do believe they are on paper the most “talented” team in the division. My concerns are solely based on Dak Prescott, while he has great stats and has lead the Cowboys to a playoff win, his lack of contract speaks volumes to the confidence Jerry world has in the QB. Dak will be playing under a microscope for the entire season, not to mention having a proven starting quality QB (Andy Dalton) chomping at the bit to take over at a discount if Dak was to falter. I see the pressure being the undoing of this team, new coach, new system, and too much uncertainty. I see the Cowboys regressing in a big way, 6-10 for “Dem Boys”

The Team in Washington: I’ll begin by saying, they have the talent to compete. Now that is out the way, this organization is a sinking ship. I see this year being a complete rebuild starting with the culture. While I love AP, no amount of old man strength will save this franchise at least not this year. I see the Washingtons(lol?) as basement dwellers, 3-13 might be a generous record.

Who do you have as your division winners?

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The Eagles Offensive Situation

Ben Carlson

QB: The QB situation for the Eagles is pretty straight forward. Carson Wentz will obviously lead the team as the starter as long as he is eligible to play, and Nate Sudfeld will likely back him up. The addition of Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round of the draft confused a lot; however, I am confident that Coach Pederson and Howie drafted Jalen Hurts mainly to use as a gadget player like the Saints use Taysom Hill.

RB: With the departure of Jordan Howard this offseason a lot of people are wondering what the Eagles will do to replace him for the 2020-2021 season. Their have been some big names popping up such as Carlos Hyde, Shady McCoy and Devonta Freeman. Me personally, I have a ton of faith in Miles Sanders as an RB 1; however, bringing in a vet that can help with the workload and potentially guide Miles for a year isn’t something I wouldn’t be opposed to.

WR: The front office did a great job at adding new weapons for Wentz this offseason. The additions consisted of Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. Pederson and Howie were obviously going for speed and I’m all for it. I have high hopes for Jalen Reagor, I think he will have an impact from the start of the season. Marquise will be a good speed guy to have along side D-Jax. As for John Hightower and Quez Watkins, they were both good picks (especially for when we got them) and from the looks of their college tape if needed they will be ready (I really do think they are better than being just random backups but I don’t know what the front office will do about it, for we have a lot of WR on the roster) . To top that all off we still have Alshon Jeffery, Greg Ward, JJAW, Robert Davis, Deontay Burnett and Shelton Gibson

TE: The TE situation similar to the QB room is also really straight forward. We have the three headed snake from last year consisting of Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedart and Josh Perkins. I’m a big fan of our TE corp, year after year they continue to be reliable and consistent.

O-Line: As usual we still have a dominant O-Line; however, Vaitai left and is now on the Lions. A solid player and a pretty big lose, but definitely replaceable. As of right now it looks like the starting lineup will be Andre Dillard, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo and Lane Johnson. This is a lineup I’m extremely confident in despite Isaac Seumalo’s super mediocre past. The front office did make some moves this offseason to pad the line such as draft Jack Driscoll and draft Prince Tega Wanogho. Both excelled in college and were good picks in the 4th and 6th round. The main obstacle is not being able to avoid injuries, we need to stay healthy. That doesn’t go for just the O-Line, the entire roster needs to stay healthy if we want to succeed this season.

Speed is Going to be Key for the Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles had a goal going into the off-season to get Carson Wentz’s speed. I think it’s fair to say that I got some speed. Now the talent of that speed is another question, but let’s evaluate the need for speed the Eagles have.

It’s clear that the Eagles missed Desean Jackson last year. Considering that Jackson totaled the fifth-most receiving TDs’ for the Eagles this season while only playing three games (only one full one), was a problem. We all saw what could happen when Wentz had an option that could get open 25 yards plus, and catch the ball. In particular, the two plays that we all remember from Wentz to Jackson last year were the two touchdowns in week 1. Both of those plays were 50 yards or more (51 and 53 yards to be exact). Even with two 25+ yard touchdowns in one game, Wentz went on to only have three more in the other 15 games of the season. So it’s clear that the Eagles needed speed.

“But we already knew that!”

Yet there is a pattern to Wentz’s performance to the amount of TDs’ of 25 yards or more he has per season. Wentz had five touchdowns that met that criteria in 2019, three in 2018, eight in 2017, and three in 2016. It makes sense, the more big plays you have, the better your team will be.
Wentz’s best year was in 2017 when he was arguably on his way to win the MVP award. It makes sense that his most “big plays” came in that year. For 2019, arguably his second most impressive year, and then 2016 and 2018 follow behind. The Eagles investing a first-round pick in Jalen Reagor, trading for Marquise Goodwin, and drafting John Hightower and Quez Watkins in the later rounds was an attempt to give Wentz more speed.

In the games when Carson Wentz throws 25 yards or more for a TD, the Eagles are 10-4 in those games. For games when he throws 30 yards or more and it results in a touchdown, the Eagles are 9-2 in those games. 40 yards or more 6-1. The outlier in the last one was the Titans game from 2018, so that really doesn’t count.

All those statistics are just evidence to show that Wentz with speed, equals wins. With all of this speed, the Eagles are trying to build a foundation that gives the teams weapons down the field. With Ertz, Godert, Jeffery, and whoever 25 yards and in placing options for Wentz, Jackson, Reagor, and Goodwin will cover everything else.

No Eagles fan will question the method of getting speed for the Eagles, now the players that they acquired to do so, maybe.

“Are Reagor’s hands good enough?”

“Can Jackson or Goodwin play a 16 game season?”

“Why did they draft Jalen Hurts?”

Okay the last one might be for a different matter, but nevertheless before you blast Howie Roseman for having the worst draft ever, evaluate. The Eagles did get faster, Wentz now has speed. We don’t know right now if Reagor over Jefferson was a mistake, or spending two later round draft picks on players with the same skillset was the right decision.

In conclusion, Howie Roseman addressed the speed aspect for Carson Wentz. The players we can debate, but the fundamental ideas were addressed. I’m not saying Roseman has given Wentz everything he has ever wanted, nevertheless, the Eagles have answered on speed end for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Grading the Eagles' Free Agency Moves

After letting some big name free agents slip through their hands on day one, Eagles fans seemingly lost hope in the front office. Byron Jones signed with the Dolphins, Stefon Diggs got traded to the Bills, and most of the names Eagles fans wanted to target were off the market. The signing of Javon Hargrave only exacerbated the frustration of Eagles fans as the front office chose to superload a position of strength when there were glaring weaknesses on the roster. Then Darius Slay happened. The trade for Darius Slay was a phenomenal move by Howie and the rest of the guys. The Lions were in a poor position after they signed Trufant and were forced to trade Slay in a couple of hours. This allowed the Eagles to acquire Slay at an extremely low price. The birds followed this acquisition with a couple of strong depth signings. That being said, here are the grades for our free agency moves thus far:

Resigning DB Jalen Mills to a 1 year/ $5 million deal: A-

I’m still not sure how the Eagles managed to sign Mills for such a cheap price. Mills came back from his Lisfranc foot surgery in an emphatic way. He solidified his position as our CB1 and offered stability at a relatively unstable position. The move to safety is one that I, and many other Eagles fans, am excited to see. Mills played safety at LSU and excelled there. If it weren’t for off the field issues he would not have dropped to the 7th round. He has been told that he will assume the Malcolm Jenkins role. These are obviously huge shoes to fill. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Green Goblin. He has this gaudiness to him that makes him fit to be a CB, S, or LB. His tackling ability is top notch and he backs down to no man. Much like Jenkins, he embodies the Philly mentality. Losing Jenkins was gut wrenching and left a sour taste in the mouths of all Eagles fans, but the resigning of Mills should act as a mint.

Signing DT Javon Hargrave to a 3 yr/ $39 million deal: B+

The duo of Cox and Hargrave will give offensive coordinators literal nightmares. Fletcher Cox had a poor statistical season last year because of the constant double teaming he faced. If teams double him this year with Hargrave lined up right next to him? Good luck. Now this signing didn’t address our principal needs which is why it didn’t reach an A, but this is going to be fun to watch. Hargrave is a strong, bull of a man who simply knows how to attack the QB. He was shadowed by Tuitt, Watt, Dupree and many other talented defensive Steelers last year, but with more reps, he will prove how he is a force to be reckoned with. The move was a bit puzzling at first, but after watching some film, one can understand how disruptive Hargrave truly is. We already know that Schwartz rarely blitzes but with this signing, it seems as if he doesn’t even have to. Oh, and did I mention Malik Jackson is rostered and healthy as well? The best part of this signing is that we can finally see Cox getting one on one matchups. Because Schwartz rarely blitzed, Cox was the target of a lot of offensive gameplans and thus, a lot of double teams. This year will have a different narrative.

Trading for and signing CB Darius Slay to a 3 yr/$50 million deal: A

Darius Slay is a straight playmaker. The clear differentiation between him and Byron Jones is that Slay has a knack for locating and intercepting the ball. The Eagles haven’t had this type of talent at CB since Asante Samuel. Now, we’ve seen the Nnamdi Asomugha experiment fail and the same thing be done for the Byron Maxwell signing. But this just feels different doesn’t it? To make matters better, in the two games Darius Slay has faced Amari Cooper, he has been utterly shut down. Cooper has 0 TDs and averages only 21 yards per game when being followed by Slay. Darius Slay is the type of cornerback to welcome a challenge against opposing teams number one guy. In fact, he prides himself on doing just that. And in a 2020 schedule when the Eagles face Hopkins, Beckham, Thomas, Green, Kupp, Cooper (twice), McLaurin (twice), and Smith-Schuster, the acquisition of a true CB1 who is not afraid to cover any receiver in this league was crucial. The Eagles simply delivered. They covered up a hole that has been a detriment to this organization for years. And they only traded a 3rd and a 5th to do so. Howie has outdone himself with this signing, and the fact that Slay is in Philly for 3 more years is exciting to say the least.

Signing LB Jatavis Brown to a 1 year deal: B

This is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward type move. Jatavis Brown had a down year last year, but had more than 90 tackles in 2018. He’s athletic and most importantly, he’s young. He wasn’t a full time starter in Los Angeles, but a change of scenery may turn him into just that. With the departure of Nigel Bradham, the depth at the LB position has thinned and the Eagles were (and still are) in dire need of quality LBs. At the worst, Jatavis will come in an immediately help in Special Teams, but an impressive training camp could bump him into being a starting linebacker.

Signing S Will Parks to a 1 year/$1.6 mil deal: A

When two sides want to make something happen, chances are that it’ll happen. Philly native Will Parks wanted to come back to his hometown in such a great fashion that he took a paycut to play for the Eagles. He’s a physical, passionate player who in my eyes, should take over the Malcolm Jenkins role. He lacks elite coverage skills, but he makes up for it in tackling and athleticism. I would love to see him in the box, confusing the defense and acting as the wildcard for our defense. The cheap price tag is the most mind boggling part of this deal. Parks could’ve easily signed for more money elsewhere. Instead, he chose to come to Philadelphia. We should all respect that fact.

After receiving some criticism on day 1 of free agency, Howie has delivered in an emphatic way. Headlined by the Darius Slay move, the Eagles free agency period has improved the talent on the team without breaking the bank and has left them flexibility to sign a couple more role players. What Howie Roseman has done so far is remarkable. And draft season is only getting started…