What They’re Saying About the Eagles
This week’s roundup of the best Eagles links around the web.
Howie Roseman was a guest on Andrew Brandt’s the Business of Sports podcast to explain what the Eagles were looking for in their head coaching search, as well as Doug Pederson‘s staff.
When we went into the coaching search, we had to find the coach that was best for the Philadelphia Eagles. Maybe not the best coach for other teams who were looking for a head coach, maybe not the best coach for what the media thought was their best coach, but what was the best coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and what we were looking for. We were looking for a leader, we were looking for someone who had a clear plan. We were looking for someone who understood this market and the people in this market, and someone who understood how it looked like when we were having incredible success. And so Coach Pederson had all of those qualities.
And when you sat down with him and he talked about his vision for his staff, it got us all excited. I think that’s one of the more underrated qualities of a head coach and the head coaching search is the staff that they can put together. And we feel very fortunate that he was able to attract this coaching staff.
Byron Marshall makes a projected 53-man roster, from Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com.
Running backs (4):Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Byron Marshall.
Marshall projects as a younger version of Kenjon Barner, so it makes more sense for the Eagles to keep him. It won’t be shocking if the team goes with three backs here, which would make Marshall a candidate for the practice squad.
Wide receivers (5):Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Rueben Randle, Chris Givens, Josh Huff.
It is possible one of the rookie wide receivers – Xavier Rush seemed to find a connection with [Carson] Wentz at minicamp – displaces Huff, but the Eagles’ wide receiver corps appears set. Not particularly imposing, but set.
Will Dallas and Washington be happy to see Doug Pederson as head coach and not Chip Kelly? Todd Archer and John Keim of ESPN.com pen responses for their respective teams.
Todd Archer, Cowboys: The Cowboys seemed to hold up pretty well against Kelly’s high-motored offense. Only once did Dallas give up more than 30 points in regulation. The team had some ugly moments against Kelly, too, so I don’t think they were sad to see him go. As far as Pederson is concerned, if he manages the clock the way Reid seemed to manage the clock, then the Cowboys will be happy. For all the grief Jason Garrett receives about clock management, that seems to be something Reid has yet to figure out. To me, the No. 1 job of the head coach is about getting his team ready to play while the coordinators handle the X’s and O’s. The Cowboys need to be more concerned about what new Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz can do to slow down their offense. I think the head-coaching move in Philadelphia is something of a wash for the Cowboys. They held up well enough against Kelly, but shouldn’t be scared of what Pederson brings to the Eagles.
John Keim, Redskins: The longer Kelly stayed in Philadelphia, the better Washington fared against Kelly. The Redskins lost their first three games against the Eagles during his tenure, but won the last three. Their average yards per play vs. his offense decreased from 6.08 his first year, to 5.83 in his second, to 5.61 last season. Some of that was the defense feeling more confident in how to defend his system — it was never the most complicated scheme to diagnose, but it tested their communication because of the speed. And some of that was Kelly getting rid of playmakers. Washington’s offense performed well against the Eagles’ defense in that time as well, averaging 27.5 points per game. So I think there has to be a part of them that will miss Kelly. It’s hard to know what Peterson will do, but he learned from an excellent coach in Reid. I’ll also be curious to see the impact of Pederson’s defensive coordinator, Schwartz. I have a feeling that if nothing else, the Eagles’ players will be a bit happier with this change, which could result in improved play.
With the myriad of changes in the offseason, Jamey Eisenberg of CBS Sports writes how the Eagles will impact Fantasy Football.
One of the many moves the Eagles made to move on from Kelly was trade DeMarco Murray to the Titans. No one of significance was brought in as a replacement, so Ryan Mathews steps into the starting role and should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy running back. He’s worth drafting in Round 5 in the majority of leagues.
Jordan Matthews was inconsistent in his second year in 2015, but he still has upside heading into his third year. Matthews is worth drafting with a mid-round pick as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver.
And Zach Ertz finally started playing at a high level toward the end of last season. If that carries over to this year, which is what we expect, he’s a breakout candidate worth drafting with a mid-round pick as a Top 10 Fantasy tight end.
Along with Nelson Agholor, Rueben Randle and Darren Sproles, this can still be a highly-productive offense. But first the Eagles have to settle on a quarterback, whether it’s the veteran placeholder in Bradford or the future starter in Wentz.
Of course, the Eagles could always go a different route and start journeyman backup Chase Daniel, who followed Pederson from Kansas City. But that would be a huge stretch, and it would definitely deviate from what made the Eagles successful when they paired Reid and [Donovan] McNabb together in 1999.
Chase Daniel is on the path of being an NFL coach, just like Doug Pederson, writes Sheridan.
Quarterback Chase Daniel
The obvious answer here is Daniel, the backup quarterback acquired during free agency. Daniel is here to play the role Doug Pederson played for Andy Reid back in 1999. Pederson, of course, is now the head coach of the team. Daniel’s football IQ and lack of on-field accomplishment combine to make him a prime coaching candidate when his career is over.
The Eagles currently have one of the longest Super Bowl/NFL Championship droughts, from Will Brinson of CBSSports.com.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (1960): How long ago does Donovan McNabb puking in the huddle feel?
Not that long when you compare it to the Eagles’ last title, which was an NFL Championship in 1960 (again, we are still pre-merger). That featured the late, great Chuck Bedarnik. You should watch video of him because he was a bad, bad man.
Sheridan thinks that Washington won’t be the first team since the Eagles of the mid-2000s to repeat in the NFC East.
Phil Sheridan, Eagles: The trend in the division suggests the latter. No NFC East team has won the division in back-to-back seasons since the Philadelphia Eagles did it in 2003 and 2004. But when you look at the way Scot McCloughan is running the show in Washington, you get the feeling the team is being built for sustained success. Obviously, so much depends on Kirk Cousins. A few years ago, you might have been asking a similar question after Robert Griffin III led Washington to the 2012 NFC East title. The competition should improve — especially if Tony Romo can stay healthy and if the Giants’ defense is better — but Washington has the look and feel of a team that will contend.
Reggie White is the team’s greatest defensive player, opines Elliot Harrison of NFL.com.
Philadelphia Eagles: Reggie White, defensive lineman.
If Lawrence Taylor is the premier defensive player ever, then Reggie White is No. 2. Despite the fact he played six high-profile seasons in Green Bay — and even had a cup of coffee with the Panthers — White’s eight-year stint in Philadelphia is beyond reproach. “The Minister of Defense” was named first-team All-Pro six times during those eight seasons. He averaged — averaged — 15.5 sacks a year while in Philly. In 1987, despite taking part in just 12 games due to the player’s strike, White sacked passers a staggering 21 times — that’s almost two per game! White could play outside. He could move inside and pummel the guard. And he was a team leader. His only real competition for this honor? Chuck Bednarik. That is called elite company.