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 »

The Most Important Technique In Schwartz’s Scheme

Beau Allen and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)

Beau Allen and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)

On the first play of 11-on-11s, Vinny Curry lined up opposite of Lane Johnson at left defensive end. When the ball was snapped, he moved around the edge so quickly Johnson barely got a hand on him. If defenders were allowed to hit the quarterback, Curry would have surely had a sack, and perhaps even a forced fumble.

This happened on Saturday, but Curry — and his teammates — make similar plays every day during training camp. The 28-year-old’s explosiveness is already well-known — that’s a big reason the Eagles signed him to a five-year contract extension worth $47.25 million in February. But through the first week of training camp, and even during OTAs, Curry looks noticeably quicker.

“I just feel like it’s a product of working with [defensive line] coach [Chris] Wilson,” Curry said. “He’s taking what people do in our room good, tweaking it up a little bit and putting finesse on it, but then also still teaching us different things to make us even better to take us to the next level.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ranking the Assets

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

How do you rank the top longterm players on the Eagles? -Terry

NFL teams unexpectedly cut and trade players all of the time, but one thing Howie Roseman has brought to the Eagles this offseason — at least for the near future — is clarity. By giving out twice as much guaranteed money as any other team since the beginning of the calendar year, it’s clear who the team values and wants to build around.

But one of the biggest question marks with Roseman has never been his salary cap management — it’s talent evaluation. So this is an interesting mailbag question to consider, and although the Eagles made a big trade to acquire a guy they think could be a franchise quarterback, they are building around a core group of players who went 7-9 last year and were on a team which often appeared worse than their record suggested.

Is that a nucleus you can win a Super Bowl with? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Strengthening the Core

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Howie Roseman retold the Fletcher Cox draft story Thursday. About how they had a trade worked out with Seattle to move up from 15 to 12 if one of their targets happened to still be on the board; that they never anticipated one of those primary targets — Cox — to actually last that long; and how a last-second offer forced them to contemplate their chosen course of action.

“When he got to 12 and we were ready to make the pick, we had agreed on the trade, and then we got a call from another team offering us to move back for a future one,” said Roseman. “And so we just kind of took a minute and just thought about Fletcher and what we projected him to be. And if he was that, how would we get that guy again? And all around the room, everyone agreed that to get a 6-4, 310-pound guy, 35-inch arms, powerful, athletic, great character, we’d have to pick in the Top-5 — 21 years old. For us, even if that future one was a 12 or 13 or 14, we thought it was a unique opportunity that we were able to get that kind of guy, so we just kind of made the pick.”

Roseman called it “one of my favorite stories that we’ve had here.” And no wonder: it’s a triumphant tale involving the single-best pick he’s ever made. Chances are, he’s got some good ones about Vinny Curry and Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson as well.

The key thing, as we work to make sense of the decision to pour $143 million of guarantees into those four players, is the very fact that there are stories to tell. Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Here’s what we saw during today’s practice session as OTAs wrapped up:

10:00 — Before practice begins, Doug Pederson updates us on injuries. Jordan Hicks won’t practice as he’s been getting treatment for a quad spasm, although he’ll be back on the field next week for mandatory minicamp on a limited basis. Rueben Randle, who had gallbladder surgery, will also be back and limited next week. Both Nolan Carroll and JaCorey Shepherd have been cleared for team activities next week and are doing “extremely well.”

10:20 — We’re inside the bubble today because it’s raining, and Carson Wentz is the first quarterback there, followed shortly thereafter by Chase Daniel. No sight of Sam Bradford yet, who is likely hanging with T-Mac on the yacht today. Read more »

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