Hope everyone is having a great weekend. For those in need of a quick fix, let’s take a spin around the NFC East to see what’s going on with the rest of the division:
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports has started a podcast where he goes one-on-one with decision-makers in the league about how they worked their way up the ladder and the different experiences that have helped shape them.
This week’s subject was Howie Roseman, who spent nearly an hour talking about his path. He recounted his serendipitous run-in with Jack Elway on a plane when he was seven-years old that gave him the confidence to go after a career in football, to his dogged pursuit of said career and the many obstacles he faced. Roseman revealed that he chose to attend the University of Florida because he was “obsessed” with the passing game at the time and wanted to find a job with the Steve Spurrier-led Gators en route to the NFL. Read more »
Football is coming.
The Eagles announced their 2016 training camp schedule Wednesday. Rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans will begin practice on Monday, July 25 with the remaining vets set to report July 27. The first full-team practice will be July 28 at 3:30 pm.
Most of the training camp practices will be held at the NovaCare Complex and will have an 8:15 start time. Those are open to a limited number of randomly-selected Eagles season ticket holders. There will also be two open practices at Lincoln Financial Field this year — July 31 at 10 am and August 14 at 7 pm. They are free to the public and do not require a ticket.
The off days this year are August 2, August 9 and August 12. Training camp wraps on August 16.
What strikes you is how casually they greet the alleged corruption.
Congressional investigators recently released a 91-page report supporting the claim that the NFL inappropriately attempted to influence a sports-related study on brain disease by the National Institutes of Health. After committing an “unrestricted” $30 million donation to the NIH, the NFL apparently balked when a $16 million grant was given for research efforts to be led by neurodegenerative disease expert Dr. Robert Stern, who has been critical of the league in the past, and attempted to redirect funds to grant applicants with league ties.
“No conversations [with the NFLPA] yet. I think everyone is waiting to get a little more information,” said Eagles player rep Malcolm Jenkins. “But I also don’t feel like anyone is caught by surprise. I feel like we’ve felt like that was the case the entire time anyway.”
That what was the case?
“That the NFL wasn’t being 100 percent [in respect to] their findings of the investigations on concussions… I’m going to speak for myself, but I don’t think players really have the confidence in the league to do the right thing — or completely the right thing — when it comes to player safety.” Read more »
Here’s what we saw during today’s practice as OTAs were opened up once again to the media: Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins is the perfect example of why scheme fit matters.
The 28-year-old has proven to be one of the top acquisitions of the Chip Kelly era. Though his signing was met with little fanfare (T.J Ward and Jairus Byrd were the two big free-agent safeties that year, you’ll remember), Jenkins came in and brought stability to the position for the first time since Brian Dawkins departed for Denver in 2009. This past season, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the second best safety in the NFL.
Such success makes it easy to forget some of the struggles he had before arriving in Philly. Back in 2012, the same site had him as the league’s lowest rated safety along with his defensive backfield partner Roman Harper thanks in part to a combined 32 missed tackles. Read more »
Let’s take a spin around the NFC East to see what’s going on with the rest of the division:
Jason Reid of ESPN did a longform piece on Robert Griffin III detailing some of the dysfunction that accompanied his time in Washington.
Feb. 5, 2013 — Griffin called for a meeting. He declined to tell Mike Shanahan what he wanted to discuss, saying only it was important. Griffin, Mike and Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur gathered in the offensive meeting room at the team headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia. With the coaches seated, Griffin walked to a blackboard and wrote:
- Change things.
- Change our protections.
- Bottom line.
It’s early and it was just a single glimpse but it’s at least worth noting that on the first day of Eagles’ practice this spring, Jim Schwartz chose Vinny Curry and Connor Barwin as his front-line defensive ends. Read more »
Just about every time you looked up, there was Wendell Smallwood.
The Eagles are a bit short-handed at running back at the moment. Darren Sproles has been absent all offseason and Oregon rookie Byron Marshall is among those impacted by the NFL graduation rule. That left the likes of Ryan Mathews, Kenjon Barner, Cedric O’Neal and Smallwood to carry the load as OTAs got underway at the NovaCare.
“Duce [Staley] gave me a lot of reps. I was with the twos and the threes,” said Smallwood following Tuesday’s practice. “He’s telling me I’ve got to get my motor going. He wants me to be contributing to this team so I definitely think I’m going to have to get a lot of reps and have to get better.”
Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins and Jordan Matthews reminded those gathered around them Tuesday of a fundamental truth about the NFL: it’s a business.
“There’s 52 guys in here that feel like they’re overworked and underpaid. That’s just the reality of it,” said Matthews. “Everybody wants more money. Everybody wants this and that.”
For proof, reporters simply had to shift their eyes down the locker room some to the vacant stall typically occupied by Fletcher Cox. The standout defensive tackle has been missing all offseason as efforts to re-up his contract continue. Darren Sproles, too, has been a no-show, which reportedly has something to do with trade discussions that were held over draft weekend. Yet there has been very little external blowback, particularly compared to the storm that Sam Bradford‘s recent actions created. Read more »