How Jaylen Watkins Has Made Schwartz ‘Very Proud’

Ed Reynolds, Jaylen Watkins, and Nolan Carroll. (Jeff Fusco)

Ed Reynolds, Jaylen Watkins, and Nolan Carroll. (Jeff Fusco)

Jaylen Watkins was spending the afternoon on his birthday last year with his girlfriend watching football. He was on the practice squad in Buffalo — where he played with his brother, Sammy — at the time, and he was getting ready to go to Sammy’s house for their Thanksgiving meal.

But before he left, he watched as the Lions dominated the Eagles, and he witnessed Nolan Carroll’s season-ending injury in the second quarter. When Carroll went down, Watkins and his girlfriend wondered aloud whether the Eagles would bring him back. Just a couple of months earlier, the Eagles cut Watkins, whom they drafted in the fourth round in the previous year, leaving the cornerback not wanting to talk to anyone nor wanting to return home.

But the Eagles did bring Watkins back that day, and almost a year later, he has switched to safety and he has a much better chance of making the 53-man roster in a couple of weeks. Read more »

Farewell, Tim; And Welcome, Brandon

Left: The young gun with the best hair in Philadelphia, and Jalen Mills. Right: The Notorious BLG.

Left: The young gun with the best hair in Philly, and Jalen Mills (Jeff Fusco). Right: The Notorious BLG (Courtesy of CSN).

As Tim and I wondered around aimlessly in Arlington, Texas at 2 a.m. last year, we just wanted to find our rental car. It was hours after the Eagles topped the Cowboys in overtime in the beginning of November, and only lamp posts lit the dark, empty streets.

After a random man pulled up in a silver Chevy, rolled down his front passenger window and yelled at us (“I’m Uber, get in!”), we realized our car had probably been towed.

The only open business was Walmart, which we were unusually excited about because they had an ATM. We were somewhat worried the towing company would only accept cash, so I withdrew $200. (Fun fact: If you withdraw hundreds of dollars from an ATM 1,500 miles from your home after midnight, you set off all kinds of fraudulent alarms). Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A ‘Great Opportunity’ Ahead

Dorial Green-Beckham. (USA Today Sports)

Dorial Green-Beckham. (USA Today Sports)

It only took Dorial Green-Beckham 24 hours to play in a game after putting his pads on in Philadelphia for the first time, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that a little more than a week later, he’ll play with the first-team offense in the most important game of the preseason.

Doug Pederson doesn’t know how much Green-Beckham will play on Saturday in Indianapolis, and the 23-year-old receiver isn’t sure how he’ll be used, but both agree on the big opportunity that lies ahead for one of the newest Eagles.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity, especially for me to move from one team to another,” Green-Beckham said. “Being here a short period of time and being able to play with the ones, it’s a big opportunity for me to go out there and show them why I’m here, what I came here to do. For me, that’s my mindset is to stay focused and try to do those little things and try to impress my teammates.” Read more »

Seumalo Out, Wisniewski To Start Against Colts

Stefen Wisniewski. (Jeff Fusco)

Stefen Wisniewski. (Jeff Fusco)

UPDATE: The Eagles have waived wide receiver Hunter Sharp with an injury settlement.

Original Story

Isaac SeumaloJordan MatthewsCarson WentzMike Martin, Aaron GrymesHunter Sharp, and Alex McCalister will not play in Saturday’s preseason game in Indianapolis. Lane Johnson, who is dealing with a back injury, is expected to play.

Seumalo is day-to-day with a strained pectoral, while Stefen Wisniewski will take his place at starting left guard. Pederson is not counting out Wisniewski for a starting job on the offensive line.

Pederson also plans for the starters to play into the third quarter, and possibly the entire third quarter. Dorial Green-Beckham will play with the first-team offense, which Pederson wants to see improvements from. Read more »

Lane Johnson Getting ‘More Pissed Off Each Day’

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Two weeks after the news leaked about Lane Johnson’s impending suspension, the Eagles’ right tackle still faces much uncertainty. He doesn’t know when he’ll receive the results of his B sample, when he may potentially be banned for 10 games and when he could appeal if he suspended.

He’s been given no timeline, and he’s unsure of how long the appeals process would take. That uncertain future, Johnson says, is what’s irritated him the most over the past few weeks.

“I just get a little bit more pissed off each day, to be honest. That’s where I’m at right now,” Johnson said. “It’s just been frustrating. You come in, want to have a good season and shit hits the fan again. Got to go through this stuff all over again. It’s just been more mentally frustrating, hard to concentrate on what you need to concentrate on.” Read more »

Smallwood And the Importance Of Pass Protection

Wendell Smallwood, Kenjon Barner, and Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

Wendell Smallwood, Kenjon Barner, and Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

There were many positives for the Eagles’ coaching staff to take away from their shutout win last week in Pittsburgh, at least on the defensive side of the ball. On offense, the starters managed to score just three points in the first half, while the backups scored only one touchdown in the second half.

But Frank Reich, who’s trying to figure out the running back depth chart behind an injury-prone starter, was especially excited about the pass protection, both from the offensive line and from the running backs.

“You don’t want to be just a first- and second-down back,” Reich said. “I can’t emphasize that enough. I’ve said it before over the last couple weeks, but it’s just so important in any offense that the backs fully understand all the protection calls, what’s going on, because it all starts in the passing game with protecting the passer, and the backs are a big part of that.” Read more »

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