What They’re Saying About the Eagles
This week’s roundup of the latest national news and notes about the Eagles.
ESPN’s Ashley Fox examines Howie Roseman’s offseason in depth, specifically looking at the moves he made in the context of Chip Kelly’s firing.
“Some of these moves he’s made here are really good,” the head coach said. “You start trading these guys that you don’t really want and really haven’t done much, and you get rid of their money and get draft picks. I’m like, ‘Why aren’t we getting that done?’ I’m wondering how he pulls it off, how he got people to make some of these deals. I thought it was really good what he’s done so far.”
And how the presence of Roseman may have impacted Jeffrey Lurie‘s decision to move on from the coach.
Someone close to Lurie said Lurie is well aware of Roseman’s shortcomings, but the 64-year-old owner didn’t blink about returning Roseman to power.
“It may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy,” the league source said. “It’s obvious. I’m not telling you anything people don’t know. Howie has Jeff’s ear. And Jeff trusts him a lot and puts a lot of weight in what he has to say, and he’s influenced by him.
“This isn’t to say that Chip didn’t have detractors that are justified and he didn’t have some players in the locker room that were more than happy to see him go. But [Bill] Parcells had that. [Bill] Belichick has that. To only get one year after winning 10 games back to back and with a team that was pretty depleted from a talent perspective — some of it your mistakes and some of it the things you inherited because of the failures of the people before you — I’m not sure that happens if you don’t have someone in the building that Jeff trusts and has his ear pointing out the mistakes versus the successes.”
Kevin Van Valkenberg of ESPN.com sheds some light on the intangibles so many teams have become smitten by when evaluating Carson Wentz.
IT’S 36 HOURS from Wentz’s pro day, and the compliments are snowballing. Jon Gruden says Wentz is the most NFL-ready quarterback he’s seen in years. Mike Mayock thinks he’s comparable to Andrew Luck. Gil Brandt says his arm reminds him of Joe Flacco’s.
Still, are you skeptical? Does the hype feel just a tad overcooked? Don’t apologize. If Wentz ends up being one of the top picks — the Browns have privately told people they’re leaning toward grabbing him — it will represent one of the biggest gambles in the modern era of the draft…
If he ends up with the Browns, it will be easy to cast him as the anti-Johnny Manziel. Wentz earned an A in every class he ever took. He’s been with his girlfriend, Melissa, since high school. He likes to drink a little beer now and then, but in college his idea of a wild night involved playing pool with his offensive line at a sparsely populated bar. His senior year, when everyone knew he was headed to the NFL, he still had a reputation for showing up early for class — classes people figured he might blow off — to sit quietly and read his Bible. After games, he’d insist the staff upload film onto his iPad immediately so he could critique his performance. Occasionally on date nights, Melissa would take his phone away after catching him watching game film surreptitiously under the table.
Todd McShay has a new three-round mock draft out. Here are his selections for the Eagles:
Analysis: No, I don’t normally advocate for taking a running back in the first round, but there are exceptions to every rule. Adrian Peterson was one back in 2007, Todd Gurley was another in 2015, and Elliott is yet another this year. He’s an instinctive runner, a tough blocker and a natural pass-catcher. A Day 1 starter, Elliott would take pressure off QB Sam Bradford from the get-go. Both Howard and Coleman would help the Eagles add depth at cornerback and tackle, respectively.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com highlighted one burning question for each NFC East team in the shadow of next year’s regular season.
Will the decision at No. 8 come down to pass rusher vs. cornerback?
The Eagles have several areas to fix — yet, after watching their defense in contests like the home games vs. the Bucs and Redskins, there is no question this team must get better versus the pass. The No. 8 pick could come down to, say, Shaq Lawson or Vernon Hargreaves. After taking a Pete Incaviglia swing-and-a-huge-miss on free agents like Nnamdi Asomugha (a few years back) and Byron Maxwell (last year), drafting a promising cover man like Hargreaves sure makes sense.
Chad Reuter recently compiled a do-over mock of a notoriously poor 2011 NFL draft. In it, he had the Eagles landing Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb.
Pick: Danny Watkins, OG
Do-over:Randall Cobb, WR
Putting Cobb with Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews would make for a strong receiving triumvirate.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke identifies the Eagles’ biggest needs.
Biggest need: Cornerback
Other needs: Offensive tackle, running back, wide receiver
Analysis: Addition by subtraction for the Eagles at cornerback with the trade of high-priced disappointment Byron Maxwell, but the front office is mid-makeover at cornerback. Free-agent addition Ron Brooks barely played last season and his former/current teammate Leodis McKelvin was a Buffalo cut. The other listed spots on offense could be good to excellent if everything goes well. Flip side: Philadelphia has to worry about Jason Peters’s health at left tackle, Ryan Mathews’s workload at RB and the development of all their young wide receivers.
Tim McManus contributed to this post.