What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Reactions from the Dorial Green-Beckham trade and much more.

Dorial Green-Beckham. (USA Today Sports)

Dorial Green-Beckham. (USA Today Sports)

Here are some of the best links around the web about the Eagles, including plenty of Dorial Green-Beckham thoughts.

According to Field Yates, Andrew Gardner took a pay cut and is now earning the veteran’s minimum:

Out in Tennessee, if Green-Beckham wants to succeed in his new home, he’ll have to give more of an effort and change his mentality, opines Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com.

But his inconsistency was even more apparent as he worked in a group of receivers that added veteran Rishard Matthews and rookie Tajae Sharpe, precise route runners who rarely make mistakes or drop passes.

DGB made a key block on a 71-yard touchdown run by DeMarco Murray in Saturday night’s preseason game. But later, on a go route when the Titans wanted to throw deep to Green-Beckham up the left side, he didn’t run hard off the line.

“I think we made too many mistakes with DGB early [Saturday night],” head coach Mike Mularkey said. “I would have liked to see him have a chance to make that play on the go route. I thought his release was poor, which immediately gives you no chance on the deep ball.”

[Jon] Robinson, who traded Green-Beckham to the Eagles on Tuesday, wants nothing to do with that sort of effort and mentality. It’s a mentality, by the way, that will get Green-Beckham crushed in Philadelphia by a far less-forgiving fan base.

The Eagles received an okay grade on the trade from Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus.

Eagles trade grade: C+

If there’s a winner in this trade, it has to be Philadelphia. [Dennis] Kelly has had more time on the field to prove himself, for better or worse, and what he has shown has not been good. Last season in just 402 snaps, he allowed five sacks, one hit, and 21 hurries bouncing between guard and tackle, and even though the Eagles are low on O-line depth, they’re pretty desperate for receiver help, as well.

Green-Beckham may not have shown much last season to suggest that he can be the guy to lift this corps, but he is only a year removed from being a highly-touted prospect. He has size and the ability to run past people, and all of the physical attributes that you can’t teach. Even last season in what was seen as a disappointing rookie campaign, he caught four touchdowns for 549 yards and averaged 17.2 yards per reception, forcing five missed tackles on 32 catches.

That yardage figure would have been second-most on the Eagles’ roster in 2015, almost twice what Nelson Agholor managed, and Agholor is the guy the Eagles are leaning on to have a big second season.

After missing out on Anquan Boldin, the Eagles were still interested in signing a wide receiver, and began trade talks with the Titans, writes Conor Orr of NFL.com.

The deal seemingly came out of nowhere, though the tea leaves would suggest Eagles coach Doug Pederson was desperate to find more wideouts who fit his system — and the Titans were looking for the right chance to bail on the Green-Beckham experiment. As NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted, Philadelphia was hot on the trail of free agent Anquan Boldin before losing him to the Detroit Lions. Green-Beckham, a mercurial but incredibly talented second-year receiver, turned out to be an intriguing backup plan for the right price.

“Not to speak on Philly’s behalf but they inquired about it,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said. “They thought it was a good opportunity for him, and we thought adding Dennis would be good for our football team. We are moving on. I appreciate everything Dorial did when he was here. He bought in to what we were trying to do. But in the end we felt like this was the best decision for the team.”

Matt Bowen of ESPN In$ider writes that if Green-Beckham can maximize his skill set, he could be a good acquisition for fantasy football owners.

The rooks? These guys struggle, often, with the transition to the NFL. Route running, defeating the press-man and so on. This stuff is hard. Is there potential there? Yeah, no doubt. And that’s the right spot in the draft to start scooping them up.

However, Green-Beckham might be that lottery ticket. Unlike the rookies, he’s got a year of experience, he’s produced some numbers, and the ceiling here, though ultra risky, is off the charts in my opinion.

Plus, as I mentioned above, Green-Beckham is going to start working in an offense (a West Coast system) that will cater to his skill set. Think of inside breaking routes, balls being thrown between the numbers and the hash, the seam routes, the high-low combinations, etc. These are all basic concepts that [Doug] Pederson will bring over from Kansas City. Do you like a wide receiver with size and a massive catch radius in those West Coast staples? I do.

Really, this is all about risk and reward. The talent is there. The size is ridiculous. And the offense — on paper — is a nice fit. Can the second-year wide receiver turn it on now in a new setting and start to maximize his potential? And is Green-Beckham worth taking a risk on with a late-round pick?

For me, he is. Take a shot. You might strike gold.

Matt Mullin of PhillyVoice.com writes about what Green-Beckham’s ‘rare skill-set’ means for the majority of the wide receivers.

But what does this mean for the team’s current receivers not named Matthews — guys like Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor, Rueben Randle and Chris Givens, among others?

First, it likely means that one fewer of them will still be around after the roster is trimmed all the way down to 53 guys. Depending on what side you’re standing on — the player’s or the coach’s — that added competition can be viewed very differently. The overall message it sends, however, is one that both the coaching staff and front office have preached all summer long.

“All along, my stance has always been about competition at every position,” Pederson said. “Obviously, that goes back to the quarterback issue way back in the spring. And this is no different. … We’ve just got to continue to evaluate every position and if we can get players in here that can compete, we want to do that. We want to take advantage of these situations.”

“I think it’s a message to the whole team that we’re going to try to upgrade our talent level anyway we can,” Roseman added. “That’s hard this time of year, but that’s the kind of competition we want to have here.”

But given that the GM has always referred to offensive line as a “continuity position,” the decision to trade a guy in Kelly who has been around long enough to develop said continuity with the rest of the Eagles offensive lineman (if nothing else) — especially with a possible 10-game suspension looming for Lane Johnson — the team clearly sees the wide receiver position as one that really needs an upgrade.

Green-Beckham’s biggest influences in his life are his adoptive parents, writes John Glennon of the Tennessean.

The adoption by the Beckham family officially put an end to years of nomadic existence for Green-Beckham, whose mother, Charmelle Green, had struggled with substance-abuse issues even before her son was born. He never knew his biological father.

Green-Beckham considers his adoptive parents the two most important influences in his life, the couple who taught him to appreciate a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner, guided him through the maze of college recruiting and provided him the security he’d never had.

The Beckhams also have supported their son despite his three “red-flag” incidents at the University of Missouri — the last of which was enough to get him kicked off the football team in 2014. Those off-the-field character issues are why Green-Beckham slipped to the 40th overall pick and why some questioned his selection by the Titans.

Green-Beckham knows that his parents stand at the head of his support network, as the supremely gifted athlete with the checkered past begins his NFL career with the Titans.

“They are the best people in my life,” he said.

Peter King of the MMQB says that Carson Wentz should continue with his style of play, even though it did get him injured last week.

I wouldn’t overreact to the Carson Wentz injury. The second pick in the draft suffered a cracked rib on a hard hit against Tampa Bay, which will set back his progress. I watched every throw he made, plus the hit that hurt him, and it was encouraging to see his adjustment from FBS to the NFL.

There’s no way I’d tell him to change how he plays because it’s a preseason game. What got him drafted is his mobility, his smarts out of the pocket, his decision-making on the run. He’s got to play like that to be who he is.

Wentz’s debut got a B- grade from Bucky Brooks of NFL.com.

The second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft teased Eagles fans with a debut performance against the Bucs that showcased his diverse skills as an electric playmaker. Although he was far from perfect, Wentz flashed outstanding arm strength, touch and accuracy when firing passes both from the pocket (if Eagles receivers hadn’t dropped three of his passes, his numbers would’ve looked better) and on the move (during impromptu scrambles).

In addition, he displayed the athleticism and movement skills that made him a legitimate dual threat at North Dakota State. Yes, he tossed a costly red-zone interception. He also suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs that has the rest of his preseason up in the air. But the bottom line is, on Thursday, Wentz showed patience, poise and judgment throughout the game while dealing with big hits and free rushers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front line.

Zach Ertz‘s role as a blocker will be big in Doug Pederson’s system, pens Chris Burke of SI.com.

Philadelphia: Zach Ertz continues to come along as a blocker, and the importance of that development as it pertains to Doug Pederson’s more traditional scheme (compared to Chip Kelly) cannot be understated. Ertz helped clear space in multiple ways Thursday, including as part of a three-tight end, overload set on Ryan Mathews’s early touchdown run.

Later, he carried his block a good seven or eight yards downfield on a Kenjon Barner run. There has been definite progression from Ertz as a blocker during his career. If he can perform the way he did against Tampa Bay, he could make the leap to a Pro Bowl level.

Although he won’t play Thursday against the Steelers, Cameron DaSilva of FoxSports.com is keeping an eye on Jalen Mills as a rookie to watch.

Jalen Mills, DB, Philadelphia Eagles

Mills was taken in the seventh round due to character concerns, but he’s gaining momentum as a starter in the Eagles’ secondary. Mills has had an outstanding training camp, surpassing 2015 second-rounder Eric Rowe on the depth chart as a second-string cornerback. He had an up-and-down debut in the preseason, but he’s a draft sleeper who can have a huge impact as a rookie. Mills is a playmaker, which Philadelphia desperately needs.

Despite their projections, Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com thinks that Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles will go over their expectations.

Ryan Mathews
ESPN Fantasy Projection: 930.1 yards, 6.1 touchdowns

Darren Sproles
ESPN Fantasy Projection: 327.5 yards rushing, 2.4 touchdowns, 47.9 receptions, 401.4 yards.

One thing to keep an eye on with the Eagles is coach Doug Pederson’s history with the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year, with Jamaal Charles hurt, the Chiefs won 10 consecutive games with Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware and Knile Davis running the ball. Pederson wants to run the ball, and it will be a focus of the offense.

The other factor: Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is facing a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Left tackle Jason Peters is 34 and already missed a preseason game with a quadriceps injury. So it is reasonable to wonder how effective the Eagles’ running game can be.

That said, take the over on both of these projections. Mathews has a long injury history, but he should be a 1,000-yard back if he can remain healthy while running this offense. He has done that twice in his career, so it’s not impossible. And Pederson’s focus on the run — especially given the lack of big-play weapons at wide receiver — should give Mathews some opportunities.

As for Sproles, Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich have practically gushed about his potential. Pederson loves the short passing game, and Sproles’ ability to create mismatches with defensive players will be impossible to resist. Sproles has some age on him, but he still moves as quickly as ever.