The Marcus Smith Dilemma: Keep Or Cut?

Marcus Smith. (Jeff Fusco)

Marcus Smith. (Jeff Fusco)

After two years of little production and play that only strengthened the “bust” label that surrounded him, Marcus Smith has finally given the Eagles a glimpse of why some once thought he could be a dangerous threat off the edge.

The defensive end has only played in two preseason games, one of which was against a weak Colts offensive line, but he still showed something. His performance in Pittsburgh, when he recorded four tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and one sack, earned him praise from Jim Schwartz, who doesn’t hand out compliments lightly.

“Marcus was doing really well. He just had a setback with the concussion and missed time. But he sort of picked up right where he left off. The thing I’m most proud about with Marcus is that he’s done a good job in the run game,” Schwartz said. “He’s a very skilled athlete. He’s fast and he’s smooth. I think he was a quarterback when he first went to Louisville. I mean, that stuff shows. Where he’s really making good improvement is setting the edge of our defense [and] attacking tackles. He did that against a physical group from Pittsburgh. That was a great sign.” Read more »

Pederson: Smallwood Still In Concussion Protocol

Wendell Smallwood. (Jeff Fusco)

Wendell Smallwood. (Jeff Fusco)

Wendell Smallwood has not yet cleared the concussion protocol, Doug Pederson announced Tuesday afternoon. Isaac Seumalo, who is battling a pectoral injury, will not play in the preseason finale on Thursday against the Jets, but he’s expected to be ready to play next week. Vinny Curry (knee), Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and Taylor Hart (knee, ankle) should also be good to go for the regular season opener against the Browns.

With most of the Eagles’ first-team offense sitting out this week, Chase Daniel will start the game and most likely play for the entire first half, while McLeod Bethel-Thompson will play in the second half. Lane Johnson will play on Thursday, and if he isn’t suspended before the regular season, he is expected to start for the Eagles against the Browns. Read more »

Jenkins: Tavarres Has ‘Full Support’ From Teammates

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

While Myke Tavarres decided yesterday whether he would sit down during the national anthem before the Eagles’ preseason finale on Thursday, he spoke with Malcolm Jenkins.

Tavarres considered following Colin Kaepernick’s lead to protest the injustices he sees in the United States by not standing up, but Tavarres’ agent, Corey Williamsreleased a statement last night saying the linebacker would stand. Jenkins, who met with the Philadelphia Police Commissioner a month ago with several other NFL players to discuss ways to improve relations between communities and local authorities, told Tavarres he had his back and would support him no matter what.

“He’s a young player that sees what’s going on in America, who sees all of the issues and wants to do something. I think from that standpoint, I totally agree with what he wants to do. Now, how he chooses to convey that or get that message out there is completely up to him,” Jenkins said. “At the end of the day, the issues are the issues and if somebody else gets offended, then that’s fine because the things that they are standing for are just as egregious.” Read more »

Kelce On the Offensive Line’s Surprising Success

Jason Kelce and Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

Jason Kelce and Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles’ first-team offensive line has allowed just two sacks in the preseason, with the first coming on a naked bootleg in Pittsburgh they couldn’t have done anything about. The other was on their opening play in Indianapolis, when Nate Irving blitzed in between Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks to take Sam Bradford down for a 13-yard loss.

Irving timed his running start almost perfectly, shooting through the line of scrimmage nearly untouched while leaving Bradford nowhere to go.

“It’s a good thing Brandon actually touched him,” Kelce said, “otherwise (Irving) may have killed Sam right at the line.”

But it was also just one flaw in an otherwise impressive performance during the Eagles’ 33-23 win over the Colts. Read more »

Tavarres Changes Mind, To Stand For Anthem

Myke Tavarres. (Jeff Fusco)

Myke Tavarres. (Jeff Fusco)

UPDATE: Tavarres will now stand for the national anthem, according to his agent Corey Williams.

Doug Pederson also released the following statement:

“We respect the national anthem, its history and our many freedoms as Americans that it celebrates. We also respect an individual’s freedom of expression.”

Read more »

Wentz Frustrated About Missing Preseason Finale

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz confirmed he won’t play in the Eagles’ preseason finale Thursday night against the Jets, but he does expect to be good to go once the regular season hits next weeks.

“It’s frustrating. I was obviously hoping to get out there one more time in the preseason, but it is what it is. I’m going to still try and learn as much as I can and get ready for Cleveland,” Wentz said. “Especially me as a competitor, coming in here these preseason games were going to be big for me. It’s tough.” Read more »

Pederson: Wentz Will ‘Probably Not’ Play Thursday

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz will “probably not” play on Thursday in the preseason finale if his 11th rib is still only 60 percent healed, according to Doug Pederson. The Eagles’ head coach added Wentz’s CT scan revealed the rookie quarterback’s 10th rib, however, is fully recovered.

“Obviously, where we are this late in the process as far as training camp goes, it definitely hurts from a young quarterback’s standpoint in his position to fully grasp and understand the offense,” Pederson said. “But again, I just go back to see what I see in the classroom, what I see off the field — his work ethic here [and] just what he knows and what he understands. The situation where it is right now with Sam [Bradford] and Chase [Daniel] and then him obviously going into the season as the third [quarterback], it doesn’t concern me as much right now.” Read more »

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