The preseason has been a little bit of a combined bag for the Tremendous Bowl champions thus far, no less than relying in your perspective. On the constructive aspect of the ledger, the Eagles have not picked up any further critical accidents and their star quarterback is nearing a return to motion. The dangerous information? They’ve seemed fairly pedestrian once they’ve suited up for video games.
However that is a mixture you will take each time in case you’re an NFL staff, and Philadelphia could have one other probability to show themselves on Thursday night time of their third preseason recreation towards the Cleveland Browns. With starters anticipated to play roughly the whole first half, per head coach Doug Pederson, we should always have a extra concrete concept of how ready they’re for a title protection.
(Or, at the very least as concrete an concept as you possibly can have with the beginning QB on the sideline and the recreation solely being a preseason matchup.)
As the date with these world-beating Browns looms, let’s examine in on what some people round the league have to say about the group.
- 1 Massive second for Nick Foles, with uncertainty forward
- 2 Dallas Goedert leads spectacular summer time for Eagles rookies
- 3 Steven Means and the ache his teammates want
- 4 Can the Eagles’ protection maintain down the workforce this yr?
- 5 Mychal Kendricks: The Browns have extra expertise than the Eagles
- 6 No debate over whether or not Wentz performs Week 1
- 7 Joe Walker is a possible breakout participant
- 8 NFL’s greatest place teams by staff: Eagles are loaded
Massive second for Nick Foles, with uncertainty forward
Dave Spadaro | Eagles.com
To be type to Nick Foles, his first begin of the preseason might have gone a lot better. And when Nate Sudfeld got here out and dropped dimes throughout the New England Patriots — granted, towards lesser competitors — it made the Tremendous Bowl MVP’s begin to the night look that a lot worse.
So with Carson Wentz nonetheless unsure for Week 1 and Foles not understanding what he’ll be anticipated to do to begin the yr, Thursday night time is an enormous night.
It’s all about the “now,” a mindset that has served Foles properly in his up, then down, then very up NFL profession. He says his “body feels great. I’m very fortunate with my shoulder” and that’s all that issues on this second. On Thursday, it’s going to be a special story. The Eagles have performed sloppy, mistake-ridden soccer the first two weeks of the preseason. Coaches speak about “self-inflicted wounds” and the Eagles have had a slew of penalties, giveaways, missed assignments, and dropped passes.
The chance to flip it round and head into the common season with some momentum is available in Cleveland.
“I think having a half, getting out there, moving the ball, running our offense, I think it will be great for us,” Foles stated.
There’s some significance to this preseason recreation, one which clearly doesn’t rely in the standings however one which issues to Foles and his reliance on contact and timing. He didn’t have a lot of both final week. Thursday night time, it’s a completely new expertise, and one he hopes will vault the offense into that September 6 focus and no matter which may imply for No. 9 and the quarterback place. [philadelphiaeagles.com]
Provided that this man stepped in as a backup and gained the entire dang factor, I think about he is going to be okay.
Dallas Goedert leads spectacular summer time for Eagles rookies
Tim McManus | ESPN
The rookie tight finish was shut to getting his arms on a pair of touchdowns towards New England after arising with a rating in his opening recreation, so expectations are naturally beginning to get excessive for Goedert. Assuming he will get up to velocity as a blocker, the Eagles are going to give groups matches with the versatility of Goedert and Zach Ertz.
He is not the solely rookie making a press release this preseason, nevertheless. Cornerback Avonte Maddox is difficult for the beginning nickel nook place, and even Jordan Mailata has proven some flashes in his first actual soccer motion.
Make no mistake although, it has been the Goedert present all summer time.
Goedert has been one among the actual shiny spots of camp. He has made the transition properly from South Dakota State to this level, displaying off the athleticism and playmaking capacity that drew the Eagles to him. His physique sort and motion are so comparable to Zach Ertz’s, it is arduous to inform them aside on the subject. Goedert ought to see enjoying time instantly. [ESPN.com]
Steven Means and the ache his teammates want
Sheil Kapadia | The Athletic
There is a pure expectation for the greatest guys on a given group to be the greatest leaders, too. It is why there tends to be a little bit of debate about who deserves to put on the ‘C’ on a hockey group — is your prime scorer all the time meant to carry that badge with them?
Final yr proved the Eagles have loads of pure leaders on their workforce, together with additional down the bench. And from the sound of issues, the instance of exhausting work set by Means has an affect on each side of the ball.
Throughout video games, [Lane] Johnson will ask Means to regulate him vs. opposing pass-rushers and supply ideas. Johnson will typically come to the sideline and inform Signifies that apply was a lot more durable than the recreation.
Typically, Peters will ask Means to ease up. Means doesn’t pay attention, and in order that they get shut to preventing. Throughout Means’ rookie season, earlier than they have been teammates, Peters offered his “Welcome to the NFL” second by slamming Means to the floor throughout a recreation. Reminded of that, Means begins laughing and begins wanting round the locker room for Peters.
“I’ll go at whoever,” he says, unable to hold a straight face. “JP knows what’s up, man. Where’s JP at? Let JP know if I see him out there today, I’m gonna pay him back just because you said something.”
Means’ power is essential to the Eagles’ tradition. There are midweek practices in November the place the season looks like a grind. The gamers are grumpy, worn down and in bodily ache. That’s the place Means is available in.
“He’s somebody who inspires me,” stated Chris Lengthy. “If I’m feeling a little bit tired or old or not motivated on any given day, I can look at Steve, and he picks me up just by his example. I think you don’t have to be a guy who plays a ton to be a leader. And I think of Steven as a leader.” [theathletic.com]
Can the Eagles’ protection maintain down the workforce this yr?
Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report
Whereas it was Philadelphia’s offense and their MVP-caliber quarterback who stole a number of the headlines final season, it was typically the Eagles’ protection who set the tone for his or her success in the common season. The best way the Tremendous Bowl performed out has blurred that now, however crushing run protection and a knack for arising with massive stops fueled Philadelphia’s dream season.
Is that a part of the group robust sufficient to maintain down the fort as key offensive contributors, Wentz and Alshon Jeffery amongst them, try to return from damage?
In 2017, the Eagles have been in a position to paper over the warts on the protection with nice success, however that was as a result of that they had a number of issues going for them.
First, Schwartz is sweet at what he does. The workforce additionally had a confirmed linebacker in Kendricks who might fill the void when Hicks acquired harm, and its smothering run protection compensated for the occasional lapse in protection. The offense would march proper down the area and rating if the protection faltered.
Now, nevertheless, Kendricks is gone. So is arguably the staff’s greatest cowl man. The assumption that Philadelphia’s secondary will probably be higher in 2018 is grounded as a lot in hope as empirical reality. And with the offense struggling to get wholesome, there isn’t any assure the Eagles shall be in a position to win shootouts—particularly early in the season.
None of this implies the protection cannot carry the workforce for some time. Schwartz has proven that he can craft one through which the entire is bigger than the sum of its elements. And that line—man, oh man, that line is stacked. I ranked the Eagles first in Bleacher Report’s NFL energy rankings, and they may keep there by means of a minimum of Week 1.
Such is the advantage of being the defending champs. [BleacherReport.com]
Mychal Kendricks: The Browns have extra expertise than the Eagles
I am simply going to throw this in right here actual fast.
Kendricks says “we’ve got so much more talent in this room than we had in Philly, it’s not even funny.” for the teaser to subsequent week’s Onerous Knocks pic.twitter.com/NQMCWQ5oUR
— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) August 22, 2018
Going to have to go forward and disagree with you there, chief. However nobody ever accused skilled athletes of being shy about speaking up their talents!
No debate over whether or not Wentz performs Week 1
Andrew Kulp | NBC Sports activities Philadelphia
There was some speak framing Wentz’s return to play as a possible debate, even when he is dominated wholesome by the docs. As the argument goes, the third-year QB wants time to rise up to recreation velocity and ensure that his legs are actually beneath him earlier than he heads again on the market. Apart from, they’ve a Tremendous Bowl winner on the bench to maintain down the fort.
Some individuals are simply sick of getting the debate.
The one sort of opinion there’s room for is a medical opinion, ideally that of anyone who’s immediately concerned in Wentz’s remedy.
The Eagles have tried pouring chilly water on this cycle all alongside, repeatedly telling reporters over the course of many months there’s a plan for Wentz’s rehab, and docs will finally inform the workforce when he’s prepared.
But, we’re just a little greater than two weeks from the Eagles’ common season opener towards the Falcons, and it appears everyone needs to give their two cents on what ought to occur.
If Wentz is prepared, nice. If he isn’t, that’s not an issue, both. The Eagles nonetheless have Foles. Clearly, there’s no purpose to rush Wentz again.
Besides there isn’t a indication the Eagles would do this. If Wentz performs Week 1, will probably be as a result of the group’s medical employees is assured he’s no extra susceptible to critical damage than some other human being who steps on the subject that Thursday night time. What extra would you like? [nbcsports.com]
Joe Walker is a possible breakout participant
Stephen White | SB Nation
This looks like a reasonably daring prediction, given that there is just one actual opening in the linebacker group and Walker has not precisely risen above the crowd in the preseason. Extra speak from the guys who analyze these things for a dwelling has targeted on the likes of Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry probably beginning at the WILL linebacker spot.
However White believes Walker will emerge from this image a winner, offered he stays wholesome. That perception rests on the concept that Jim Schwartz may ask Jordan Hicks to slide to the outdoors extra this season.
At 6’2 and 236 kilos, Walker is an old-school thumper sort who matches proper in as a run stopper. He was all the time on his toes, typically inching ahead proper earlier than the snap, and did a very good job recognizing runs and getting downhill in a rush final season. Walker additionally had no drawback taking over offensive linemen and preventing off these blocks. He didn’t thoughts blowing up a fullback on ISO performs, both.
At the similar time Walker additionally did a great job of enjoying beneath management and often wasn’t fooled by play motion passes. He didn’t play a whole lot of man-to-man or something, however he appeared to be getting good zone drops and breaking apart passes that got here into his space. He is probably not an awesome man in protection, however I didn’t see him as a lot of a legal responsibility when he did have to drop, both.
Hicks goes to keep in on passing downs anyway once they go to nickel, and there are extra issues you are able to do with him as an outdoor linebacker than you’ll be able to simply maintaining him in the center all the time. It simply is sensible to me to shuffle them round in order that their linebacker unit as an entire is at its greatest.
If it goes that method, Walker’s manufacturing ought to explode this season as a starter. In the event that they select to hold Hicks in the center and begin another person outdoors, whilst a backup, I might expect Walker’s manufacturing this season will dwarf the 10 tackles he was credited with final yr.
A method or one other I consider the man goes to have a breakout season, regardless. The one query now’s if it is going to be as a starter or not. [SBNation.com]
NFL’s greatest place teams by staff: Eagles are loaded
Nate Davis | USA At this time
A staff that simply gained the Tremendous Bowl has lots of strengths. Information at 11.
In all seriousness, the areas during which the Eagles have depth have a tendency to be people who affect the consequence of soccer video games the most. Everyone knows how robust the QB group is, so let’s take a gander at what Davis has to say about the offensive line.
The Cowboys are naturally compelling with LT Tyron Smith, G Zack Martin and C Travis Frederick every proudly owning legit arguments that they prime the charts at their respective positions. Dallas’ entrance 5 might be even higher in 2018 with the addition of second rounder Connor Williams at left guard.
However the champion Eagles are the selection given their combo of high quality and amount. Jason Peters is coming again from a serious knee damage however stays one among the premier left tackles of his era. Cellular C Jason Kelce and mauling RT Lane Johnson each earned all-pro honors in 2017 whereas G Brandon Brooks emerged as a Professional Bowler. Stefen Wisniewski can play guard or middle, whereas Probability Warmack and Isaac Seumalo bolster inside depth. And let’s not overlook Halapoulivaati “Big V” Vaitai, who capably protected each Wentz and Foles final season after Peters went down. [USAToday.com]
It is all the time good to be robust in the trenches. When you possibly can accomplish that and get nationwide media to prop you up at the expense of the Dallas Cowboys? Even higher.
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