Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/4/21.
Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …
NFL roster rankings for all 32 teams for 2021: Strengths, weaknesses and X factors for every team’s starting lineup – PFF
29th) Biggest weakness: The Eagles ranked third in pressure rate as a defense in 2020 but just 21st in average yards allowed per pass play. As you can probably guess, that’s because they fielded one of the NFL’s worst secondaries. Things aren’t looking much better in that regard for 2021, either. Avonte Maddox, fresh off a 37.1 coverage grade in 2020, is still the team’s No.2 cornerback behind Darius Slay. Philadelphia will also be relying on starter contributions from either fourth-round rookie Zech McPhearson or an unproven player such as Craig James or Michael Jacquet. X factor for 2021: Size be damned. DeVonta Smith couldn’t be covered in the SEC or on the game’s biggest stage last season at Alabama. He went from averaging an already impressive 3.5 yards per route run in 2019 alongside three other first-round talents to averaging an otherworldly 4.4 yards per route run in 2020. Smith now has the opportunity to elevate the league’s lowest-graded wide receiver unit since 2018 as a member of the Eagles. PFF projects Philadelphia’s first-round pick for 60 receptions this season. [BLG Note: Not exactly a surprise since 1) the Eagles were pretty bad last year and 2) PFF said the Eagles don’t have any top 50 players on their team. Only the Texans, Lions, and Jets finished behind Philly.]
Above the Nest with Raichele #16: Eagles snubbed from another list and Carson Wentz’ banner to be removed – BGN Radio
Raichele Privette discusses the Pro Football Focus players ranking and touches on the news that Carson Wentz banner at Lincoln Financial Field will soon be replaced.
Eagles player review: Sua Opeta edition – PhillyVoice
One of the silver linings of so many offensive linemen going down last season was that we got to see some of the young reserves play for the first time. Jordan Mailata and Nate Herbig in particular played far more than anyone would have anticipated, and both players helped themselves in terms of potentially important roles going forward. I believe that Opeta played well enough in his two-plus games to warrant some optimism as well.
Ranking the offensive lines in the NFC East – Big Blue View
As a whole, the Eagles’ line is the most difficult to project because their success is dependent on players remaining healthy and veterans staying consistent. If everything comes together for them, the Eagles could boast one of the best lines not only in the division, but in the league. But it is still too soon to tell.
Ranking all eight NFL divisions by quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes helps AFC West edge NFC West entering 2021 – CBS Sports
8. NFC East. QBs: Dak Prescott (Cowboys), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Washington), Jalen Hurts (Eagles), Daniel Jones (Giants). Prescott does everything well as the point guard of Dallas’ loaded offense, so long as the Cowboys’ banged-up line can keep him upright upon his own return from injury. Fitzpatrick is a clear upgrade on Alex Smith, bringing more pizzazz to Washington’s aerial attack, but he’s also 38 with an extensive injury and turnover history. Hurts has the legs, the smarts and the poise to capture Philly’s heart, but he’s still unproven as a long-term passer. Jones, meanwhile, remains physically gifted as a dual threat and now has solid weaponry but has lost the ball — or control of the game — too many times early on to be fully trusted.
Damontae Kazee might be the most underrated free agent added by the Dallas Cowboys this offseason – Blogging The Boys
When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys defense there is one particular place where they have refused to devote legitimate resources in recent (more than that honestly) memory. Many fans have repeatedly thought that any given year would finally be the one for Dallas to draft someone to hold down things at the back end only to be left wrong and frustrated in the aftermath. While the Cowboys did not draft a safety highly this year again (they did select Israel Mukuamu in the sixth round), they did throw a number of darts at the position in free agency. Now technically one of the safeties that the Cowboys signed in free agency, Keanu Neal, has already been moved away from the position to linebacker, but it is Neal’s former Atlanta Falcons teammate that could be one of the more notable additions when the season is all said and done. Damontae Kazee was ultimately secured for the Cowboys for much less than they landed fellow safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last year, but unlike Clinton-Dix, Kazee looks like he could be a legitimate contributor to the team. [BLG Note: Kazee was my pick for the Cowboys’ most underrated defensive player on this week’s episode of the NFC East Mixtape. If you cared to know.]
Ex-Eagles player Chris Long to Cole Beasley on COVID vaccine: ‘Just shut the [bleep] up’ – NJ.com
Long said that he would be willing to give other players a pass when it came to their decisions, but he would take on Beasley or any player making public statements against the vaccine. Beasley said he would retire if he were forced to get vaccinated. “If I’m sitting next to Cole Beasley, I’ll debate him, or I’ll tell him to like stop whining about it,” Long said. “If you’re not going to get shot when you make a bold stance, just shut the f*** up and be bold, dude. … If you just said, ‘I’m not getting vaccinated,’ and then you don’t go on that big diatribe, that’s my point.”
Colts’ GM Chris Ballard on acquiring QB Carson Wentz: ‘I think it’s gonna be fun to watch this year.’ – Stampede Blue
“Look, Carson’s got some things that he’s got to do better, and he’s worked really hard this offseason on them, Ballard said. “But I think it’s gonna be fun to watch this year — I think it’s gonna be fun to watch Carson and our team come together and play together.” Additionally, Ballard recognizes that, even with the work Wentz, Reich and others within the offensive staff are putting in this offseason, that doesn’t mean there won’t be potential adverse barriers to overcome this season. “It’s always great, ‘cause everybody thinks it’s gonna be rosy right from the start,” Ballard said. “But there’s always gonna be a bumpy road. I mean, there just is.”
Eagles released into the wild in Aitkin County after apparent raccoon attack – Star Tribune
A family of three bald eagles soared into the blue sky over Clear Lake in Aitkin County on Friday — a happy ending for birds that were rescued and treated for injuries suffered in what appeared to be an attack by another animal. Lt. Robert Gorecki, a conservation officer with the state Department of Natural Resources, released the birds in Glen, Minn., with help from members of the family who found the injured eagles on June 21 at their Clear Lake cabin. Also assisting were staff from the Garrison Animal Hospital and Wild and Free Wildlife Rehabilitation Organization in Garrison, about 100 miles north of the Twin Cities.
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