“Wentz” Did It Go Wrong?



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.


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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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.

Could This Unconventional NFL Draft be the Best Ever?

The 2020 NFL draft will go on as the world is shut down due to COVID-19. The draft will not be in Vegas, instead, it will be in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s basement. It would be an understatement to say that this draft will be unconventional. General managers, scouts, coaches, and owners who are used to sitting in a state of the art war rooms, will now make decisions that could cost them their job while their kids may be fighting in the other room. Of course, things could be MUCH worse but it’s less than ideal circumstances for the teams trying to pick the best player. At face value, these new situations that teams are placed in would make you think that this draft will probably have more busts and more players that just don’t work out. Yet will it? Could these altered interactions help the NFL teams draft better?

 It’s not just the actual NFL draft that had to be changed due to COVID-19 but also the events leading up to the draft. In a normal NFL year leading up to the draft there is the combine (which the NFL was able to get in), and then the other major events which are pro days. Pro days are held by schools to help showcase their talent, think of it as a mini-combine. At these pro days, it provides players an opportunity to show their skill to scouts of NFL teams that they can help their team if they are drafted. This is an opportunity for players who ran too slow at the combine to get a second chance and allow players that weren’t invented to the combine to showcase their skills to scouts. Unfourtantly, pro days were canceled this year due to the coronavirus. Yet, there are two other key aspects of pro days that play pivotal parts in helping a player get drafted. That’s scout communication and player-team conversations. 

 First, with scout communication, this is a key element of the draft process. NFL scouts are human, so when they travel to all of these pro days across the country, they talk. Some of those conversations are about the NFL draft and about where they have players ranked and who they may like. I’m not saying one scout is giving the other his team’s draft board, but there is a communication of which players they may like. Of course, the obvious thing right now is that this doesn’t exist. Scouts may be talking with scouts from other teams but the odds of the team finding similarities make it much more difficult. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network sent out a tweet this week detailing the exact point saying there will be “less groupthink in the draft this year”. Now, what does that mean?

 Since there will be less awareness about which players are valued as superior, the more likely we see players that are low on some boards to be ranked higher on others. The advantage of this is for the players. Teams will rely more on what they see and take players based on the talent from the tape rather than what everyone else thinks. A lot of teams may second guess taking a player higher because other teams don’t value player X that high. Less of that will happen in this draft because teams will go with their instinct and draft player X because they won’t have as much knowledge of what other teams are thinking. 

 The second element of this equation is the removal of person-to-person interactions that teams use to interview players. Now luckily in today’s society, we have Skype, Zoom, and hundreds of more ways to talk to people through devices. Although, anyone that has ever used any of these devices realizes that it doesn’t exactly feel like the same experience. Teams will place lesser emphasis on this interaction because it simply isn’t the same thing as sitting across from someone and looking them in the eye. Then how is this a good thing? I’m going to rely on Malcolm Gladwell to help me with this.

 A lot of people have made a similar reference that I’m about to make, but this example might have more than one connection. For that reference, I look back at Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book Talking to Stranger. Those not familiar with Gladwell’s work, he proposes theories that are backed up through historical references and tied together to make a point. One particular part of the book connects closely to this idea of social interaction being a deterrent in our ability to judge someone’s character. Gladwell uses the example of when British prime minister Neville Chamberlain met Adolf Hitler. Just wait, it ties together.

 If you don’t know how this infamous meeting unfolded, I’ll explain. Chamberlin decided to meet with Hitler, at his request to talk about Hitler’s future plans. The year of this meeting was 1938 which was before WW2 began and Chamberlin wanted to make sure that this would never happen (spoiler alert it did). Hitler at the time was talking about invading Sudetenland, which if he did would have started WW2. So Chamberlin sat down to talk to Hitler, and Chamberlin shifted the questioning, to if Sudetenland was all that Hitler wanted. Of course, Hitler said yes, and Chamberlin came away with the impression that Hitler was “a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word.”

“a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word”

Neville Chamberlain on meeting Adolf Hitler

 Chamberlain would fly back to talk to Hitler two more times and he stayed convinced that he would stick with his word. Obviously, Hitler didn’t stick to his word and the events later would, of course, be the start of WW2. So why did I mention that? The connection that Gladwell drawls from this event connects to the draft (obviously on a very different scale). When people interact it’s impossible to know their real intentions, and it creates a bias. When we talk to someone face to face we create a connection and everything we do in the conversation gives us a basis on how to feel about a person. It’s clear how this connects to the NFL draft. 

 When a team talks to a player, no matter what, they are now going to be influenced by the interview (obviously). The question then arises, how much does that help? Teams have tape, numbers, references from the player, why do they need to talk to them? People usually answer this with, “You can learn a lot by looking a man in his eyes”. From the example, maybe not. If Adolf Hitler could convince someone that he was loyal, then an NFL draft prospect can easily convince someone of some small detail that the team is questioning them on. I’m not saying that all prospects lie, or that nothing can be gained from the person-to-person interaction. What I am saying is that, when evaluating if a player is talented enough to be chosen with a first-round pick, how much do you gain when talking to them? Just through one example, it’s evident that we have much more to lose. 

 Of course, there is a downside to this alternative draft system that the NFL has thrown together. There is less systematic data to rely on, and the other main downfall is limited medical information. For Tua Tagovailoa, the former Alabama QB who suffered a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture is one of the players that is going to be hurt by this pseudo draft process. Since team doctors can’t meet with the players, there are less reliable sources giving information about the impacts that his injury may have. It’s going to hurt his draft stock, but the fraction of players, like Tagovailoa, that fall into this category is small. Also, even if teams could check out his injury, the past has shown that this also may be misleading, just ask the Dolphins with Drew Brees. 

 Overall, I’m by far not saying this is a great outcome for the NFL. The world right now is suffering and the NFL draft will serve as a much-needed distraction for people. I understand that people are angry that they aren’t able to attend the draft, and for the prospects who are stuck inside as their lifelong dream comes true. For those same fans and players, I believe that a little bit more of them will be able to celebrate at a later time, possibly in Canton. 

How Fast is Too Fast? Breaking Down the NFL 40 Yard Dash

This week is the NFL Combine where players entering the 2020 draft will be testing their measurement skills to see how high they can jump or potentially drop on draft boards. It’s only Tuesday yet combine measurements for QB hand sizes came out the other day, which sparked some conversation. News broke that primed number one overall pick Joe Burrow out of LSU has a 9-inch hand measurement. For NFL standards these are smaller hands. I’m not going to go into why hand measurement doesn’t play a difference in football, but it made me start to think about another important stat that is seen as the “make it or break it” part of the combine. The 40-yard dash.

“The 40” as it’s usually referred to, is the time a certain player can run 40 yards. Simple enough, right? For certain positions, this is a very big deal, one of those positions is WR. If you watched any Eagles game this year, it wouldn’t be hard to understand why the Eagles would be in the market for one. There are a lot of great options in this year’s WR class, such as Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs, in particular, has been mentioned a lot with the Eagles for his elusive speed along with other great WR traits. It’s not just the media who thinks he’s fast he does too.

Ruggs recently stated in an interview that his goal is to be “the fastest ever”, he’s going to try and beat John Ross’s record of 4.22 back in 2017. Now, this gets into the meat of the question, does the 40 matter?

Yes, it does. Though to get more specific, does a 40 time under 4.3 matter?
With the 40 many times are considered “good”, a lot of it depends on the player’s position. For example, Lane Johnson isn’t expected to run the same time as Desean Jackson. So with that put into consideration a “good/great” time for a WR in the 40 is sub 4.4. If it’s over 4.4 that’s fine for players but they better have certain skills that can make up for it. Getting a sub 4.4 is an incredible feat, but to shave off another ten seconds from there is very hard to do. That’s why a lot of people are taken aback when a player can run a sub 4.3.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to other combines where a WR ran a sub 4.3. In 2017 as I mentioned, John Ross ran a 4.22 which skyrocketed himself to the 10th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2013 Marquise Goodwin ran a 4.27, 2010 Jacoby Ford ran a 4.28, and 2015 J.J. Nelson ran a 4.28.

Only four players since 2006 have reached that sub 4.3 records. No wonder why people are making a big deal out of Ruggs potentially joining those ranks. Yet looking at the “ranks” of these players it’s clear to see that there is no Hall of Famers on that list. Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins, and Micheal Thomas are absent from this list. I’m not going to trick you, they aren’t that far behind but not in the same range these players were held in. And if you’re wondering what Desean Jackson ran well that would be a 4.35.
Let’s look at the players that did make the list, starting with Jacoby Ford. You may have no idea who he is, but you may oddly remember his name recently… well that was in the XFL. Ford had a short-lived NFL career and the 40 was the highlight of it. Now looking at J.J. Nelson, who was with the Oakland Raiders the past season, only played 2 games for the silver and black. Down the list to the record setting John Ross, who has had a down NFL career riddled with injuries. The case is still out on Ross but it looks like he might be another player that will be an interesting trivia question one day. Lastly, Marquise Goodwin has a total of 13 touchdowns in his seven-year career. Goodwin was with the 49ers the past season but ended the season on IR.

That doesn’t look good. All four WRs who ran a sub 4.3 at the combine had unknown, mediocre to bad careers in the NFL. Yet the biggest difference is such, Henry Ruggs III is better than all of them. Other than Ross, all other players were taken in later rounds than the first. So all of this was for nothing?

No, because it’s important to understand what this information means before we talk about it as fans. This is to help you later this week when a player runs a very fast 40, maybe even sub 4.3 and everyone loses their minds. As a fan, I think back to all the players, all four of them, who did the same thing and how that ended.

If Henry Ruggs III runs a sub 4.3, I’m not saying he’s going to be a bust. But I am saying that if he or anyone else runs a sub 4.4 but not a 4.3, they might just be alright. Because a big part of the NFL is about patterns, and I think we are seeing one being discovered over time.