What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Jeffrey Lurie explains why he's happy with Doug Pederson so far.

Jeffrey Lurie and Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Jeffrey Lurie and Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

This week’s roundup of the best Eagles links around the web.

Jeffrey Lurie is happy with Doug Pederson’s “emotional intelligence,” reports the MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas.

It’s now about four months into Pederson’s tenure, so I asked Lurie last week how he felt his new coach was faring in terms of “emotional intelligence” and “opening his heart” to players, another criterion he mentioned in December.

“Doug is doing a great job,” Lurie said at the league meetings in Charlotte. “He is communicating great, respects everybody he is in communication with. The players, I think, really gravitate toward him, in a human way. In a real, human way, not just an employee-employer type of way. And that’s important. Players play for passion, they play with passion and they want passion and great interaction.”

Lurie also praised Pederson for being smart, knowing the offense like the back of his hand, and assembling a good staff, including bringing in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and retaining special teams coordinator Dave Fipp. A strong coaching staff, Lurie says, was “one of the prerequisites” for the first-time head coach. “And Frank Reich and John DeFilippo are terrific quarterback coaches,” Lurie added, “which is why, with our investment in quarterbacks, we surrounded them with real good people.” (Reich is the offensive coordinator and DeFilippo is the quarterbacks coach, but Lurie’s point was that both men know how to coach quarterbacks).

Jimmy Kempski has the details of the Eagles’ trade that sent Mark Sanchez to Denver.

Back in March, the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos agreed to a trade that sent quarterback Mark Sanchez to Denver for a conditional draft pick. Details of that pick were previously unknown.

According to a source, the Eagles will receive the Broncos’ seventh-round pick if he makes Denver’s roster. It will become a sixth-round pick if Sanchez starts at least four games.

The sixth-round pick, however, requires further explanation. The Broncos had previously traded their 2017 sixth-round pick as part of a package to acquire tight end Vernon Davis. They do, however, own the Titans’ sixth-round pick in 2017, which the Eagles would receive instead in that scenario. The Titans are likely to be drafting higher than the Broncos in 2017.

Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar breaks down the film to show where Sam Bradford’s game needs to grow.

From an accuracy perspective, Bradford’s worst game of last season was a 27–7 win over the Giants in Week 6, when he threw three ugly picks. The first two were the result of Bradford and receiver Riley Cooper miscommunicating on routes. The third, shown below, was even worse: Bradford had an easy man coverage read off of motion, safety Landon Collins had tight end Zach Ertz bottled up, and Bradford mtried to force in the throw anyway. It’s a clear example of how Bradford still needs to work on his reads and patience in the pocket at times. Too often, Bradford struggled with reads in a simple offense and just didn’t get it done. He improved a bit as the year went on, but he still has a lot of things to work out to prove that he can quarterback a contender to the playoffs.


Bradford has overcome a lot throughout his career to become a perfectly serviceable option at the game’s most important position. But faced with what looks to be at most a two-year tryout for the Eagles’ new regime, he’s going to have to earn it all over again if he wants the long-term deal (or the fresh start) he sought this off-season. Can Bradford be one of the best in the game? He showed that potential in college, and he showed some flashes in the NFL, but his future as even a reliable starter is still cloudy, and only he can clear it up. Working with the Eagles’ new coaching staff to maximize his opportunities in 2016 would be the best possible first step.

The Eagles have the No. 1 defense in the NFL that’s “ready to climb in 2016,” says NFL Network’s Heath Evans.

This is addition by elimination. Yes, Chip Kelly is gone. So guess what? That offense will be much more balanced, so who will benefit? The defense. They won’t be on the field 35 minutes a game, or 34 minutes a game to be exact as they were last year. It will be more balanced; they’ll spend 30 minutes a game, or maybe 29 or 28 depending on how well they can run the ball on the offensive side of the ball.

This front-seven is stacked, the front-four might be the best front-four in all of football. I expect a huge year from this defense of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Phil Sheridan offers a few Eagles predictions for ESPN’s top-100 list.

Nelson Agholor will open eyes in his second training camp. After a disappointing rookie season, the 2015 first-round pick bought his own JUGS machine so he could catch passes at home. That’s dedication.

Fletcher Cox will torment offensive linemen in training camp. After skipping OTAs in pursuit of a new contract, Cox will be highly motivated to prove his worth.

Sam Bradford will remain the Eagles’ No. 1 quarterback through the preseason. First-year head coach Doug Pederson will not want to flip-flop on his first major (and very public) decision.

The Eagles signing Chase Daniel was one of the worst moves in this NFL offseason, writes Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus.

9. Eagles handing Chase Daniel a $21 million contract to be a No. 3 QB

The quarterback market is a wildly overinflated place, but even in that context, the money the Eagles handed Chase Daniel is vaguely absurd. Daniel now has the 24th-highest contract among quarterbacks in terms of average per-season money, and the 26th-highest total contract value at the position. He has a contract worth more than several starters, and he is a No. 3 quarterback on this Eagles’ roster. Even if you assume the deal was handed to him with a view that he will be No. 2 in a year’s time when Sam Bradford departs and Carson Wentz is starting, that means Daniel will receive $7 million this season just as a placeholder, and then be the best-paid backup in football for the next year or two of the deal.

It isn’t for nearly as much money, but this contract is the Ndamukong Suh version of backup quarterback contracts—one that doesn’t set the market, but instead jumps it completely and becomes a stark outlier.

Brandon Brooks is one of the offseason additions most likely to make an immediate impact, concludes John Breitenbach of Pro Football Focus.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ guard play in 2015 was atrocious. Matt Tobin was a disaster at right guard, giving up 10 combined pressures in a season-defining game against Washington. In contrast, Brandon Brooks surrendered only 24 combined pressures all year. The Eagles simply couldn’t prevent an interior rush in 2015, completely debilitating the offense. Brooks is the perfect antidote for the issues that plagued the Philly offensive line. He’ll provide a major boost for an O-line unit that is in desperate need of treatment.