This is awesome.
After donating his first six game checks to fund scholarships in Charlottesville, Long announced he’s donating his remaining 10 game checks to “further his support of educational equity.”
It’s not often that you see an NFL player donate an entire year’s pay to charity. It’s unclear if it’s ever happened before. This is an awesome move by Long.
Long has made it clear that he doesn’t want to “stick to sports” and instead wants to use his platform to create positive change in the community. He’s putting his money where his mouth is.
The Eagles signed Long to a two-year, $4.5 million contract this offseason. On the field, he’s been a valuable contributor as a rotational pass rusher. His off-field efforts make him even easier to root for.
More information from the official press release.
The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Chris Long will donate his upcoming 10 NFL game checks to further his support of educational equity. In conjunction with his contribution, Long is launching the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign. The campaign encourages fans, businesses and every person with a desire to join in his pursuit of equal education opportunities for all students to make a donation. The goal is that Long’s donation will be matched by pledges made by those inspired to join the effort -- because together we can accomplish more.
“In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I’ve had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift,” said Long. “Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America.”
Long’s 10 game check donation is in addition to the six game checks he previously donated to fund scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, VA. In summation, Long is donating his entire 2017 salary to education-based causes because he believes education is the key to building a bright future that produces social equality.
Long’s foundation has identified four organizations whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character. The four organizations are based in the three communities in which Long has played during his NFL career: St. Louis, Mo., Boston, Ma., and Philadelphia, Penn.
Three of the four organizations identified (Summer Search Boston, Summer Search Philadelphia and College Bound), provide a holistic support system to each student beginning in their sophomore year of high school through the completion of their undergraduate degree. Summer Search and College Bound provide mentoring, develop academic competency and nourish the overall well-being of students facing systemic inequities that could deter their pursuit of higher education. The Little Bit Foundation in St. Louis begins their student advocacy program in elementary school and addresses the needs of the whole child – body, mind and spirit – so that students can focus on their education all the way through graduation.
Each of the four organizations participating in the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow (#Pledge10) campaign will receive a $100,000 donation from Long. Fans and business are encouraged to join Long by pledging a recurring donation for each game remaining in the NFL regular season or by making a pledge of $10. The city with the most pledges to the campaign will receive an additional $50,000 from Long.
The #Pledge10 campaign was launched in hopes of inspiring others to be a part of the change set forth in Long’s mission of spreading educational equity.
“By joining forces we will have the power to make a bigger impact and create a rich, educated culture for all of our youth,” said Long. “These kids will be the kids that can propel positive change in their communities.”
For those that wish to join the cause and/or learn more about the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign and its beneficiaries, please visit www.pledgeit.org/Pledge10.
Subject: Flyers 5, Panthers 1: What we learned in the Flyers establishing a win-streak
Some observations for your morning...
It’s a Wednesday in mid-October, and for the first time this season, the Flyers have a win streak going. I mean, it’s only two games, but it’s a streak, nevertheless. A lot happened in last night’s game, so let’s get into it.
1. Slow starts and slippery business
You know the old adage-- a player with good puck control plays like he has sandpaper on his stick. It sort of makes sense, in a way, I think. You get the picture. And if a player with good puck control plays like he's got sandpaper on his stick, through the early part of the first period, the Flyers played like they had... well... whatever the opposite of sandpaper is.
This was an issue that plagued them through the first half of the period-- their puck control was shaky, their passing was inaccurate, and this led them into a number of sticky situations. I suppose in this way, the Flyers are lucky to have Travis Konecny, to chase down and disrupt players on breakaways, to clean up after some of these mistakes.
Never forget to back check folks! pic.twitter.com/BNLoalA0kQ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 17, 2017
Florida all but dominated the first eight or so minutes of the period, with the time marked by broken up plays and being more or less stuck in the neutral zone. It felt a lot like the very beginning of Saturday’s game, except the miscues never seemed to end--not until the Flyers got their first power play at least. They recovered, ultimately, and things picked up in the latter half of the period, but with the slow starts beginning to set in as a sort of trend, it’s an area where we’d like to see them tighten up.
2. First period shot drought
Along with their troubles with passing and turnovers, the Flyers were also struggling early with generating shots on goal. Through the first 8:19 of play, before the Flyers picked up their first power play opportunity, they only registered one shot on goal. This slow going also carried through the power play itself, as over the course of the two minutes, they were only able to add two shots to the board, and zero actual points. As with their early struggles in passing and puck control, the second half of the period saw them able to pick up some momentum, and more or less even out the performance. They went into the first intermission with 11 shots, a not altogether laughable figure, but one which one wishes was more evenly distributed over the twenty minutes.
3. The first line still delights
We’ve been singing the praises of the first line through the first few games of the season, and we’re still not done, not just yet. Last night saw another impressive performance from this line, as they continue to be one of the team’s most productive. They’ve continued to capitalize on their synergy, bringing production through getting everyone involved. In the process of opening up scoring for the night, Couturier picked up his fourth goal of the season, while Voracek and Giroux picked up their tenth and sixth assists, respectively. Giroux also picked up his 400th career assist, with the Couturier goal. After a slow start, this production worked to jump start the offense that had been relatively stagnant before that, and this is exactly what you want to be seeing from a line lead by your high powered veterans.
4. And another first!
With the night of firsts also came the first Gostisbehere goal of the season. Ghost has been really good so far this season, flexing his strength and what makes his game so effective. And it’s probably because he’s been on the ice. (Sorry, I had to).
Gostisbehere, as we’ve noted, has been solid so far this season, but he was certainly due for this first goal. The second of the game and working to double the Flyers’ lead over the Panthers, after the puck was rushed back in, it came as a snipe from deep in the offensive zone. The momentum had been churning after the Couturier goal, and Gostisbehere put in a great effort to continue and capitalize on this. And it’s just excellent to be able to say that Ghost is back to scoring goals in the regular season.
And while we’re on the topic of firsts and defensemen…
5. A nod to Robert Hagg
Up until this point, we haven’t talked too much about Robert Hagg, and that’s probably for the best. He’s been quietly very solid through the early part of the season, keeping his head down and putting in the work, which is pretty much exactly what you want to see from his type of player, who isn’t bringing in a ton in the way of offense, but who, rather, acts as the balance to the partner who does. He’s been solid to date, and last night in particular was, on the whole, an equally strong showing.
In the second period, put on the penalty kill, he made a nice move to clear the puck out of the zone and break up the Panthers’ play. He blocked a shot and picked up an assist-- his first point of the regular season-- on Gostisbehere’s goal. The slashing call late in the third period was definitely a bit of a hiccup, but it was one of the first he’s had all season. So, he hasn’t been flashy, but he’s doing his job, and bringing to it a veteran confidence, which is striking to see so clearly in a rookie.
6. After a long break, Neuvirth still holds up
So, the Flyers might have consistent, competent goaltending now? I know that feels like a stretch, like a foreign concept, but you aren’t dreaming. Things have been good so far.
What… what’s that?
I’m being told that Neuvirth allowed a goal by McGinn and it wasn’t very pretty. Oh man.
But let’s all hold on for a second. It would have been great to see Neuvirth pitch a shutout, and it was disappointing to not see that happen, but he was still very good throughout the entirety of the game. Beyond looking like he briefly lost the puck on the first Panthers shot while the Flyers killed off the Weise penalty, he showed a definite confidence and control. The Panthers outshot the Flyers 41 to 38, and Neuvirth was kept busy, but he took it all in stride. His rebounds were well managed. His positioning was sound. He made a number of impressive glove saves, specifically. With his rough general performance from last season in mind, this is a nice change to be seeing, so far. We’re not expecting Neuvirth to set the world on fire-- especially not as what seems right now to be the 1B-- just to hold up under pressure. And he’s doing that well, so far.
7. The sequence leading up to the Giroux goal was the weirdest
One of the stranger or more difficult to follow sequences came in the middle of the second period. The Flyers were on a power play after Aaron Ekblad took a hooking penalty. They allowed for Florida to break out of their defensive zone, and then things got a little whacky. Let me break it down for you.
A Panther on a breakaway takes a shot, has it blocked, and skates into Neuvirth.
Gostisbehere, flanking him, doesn’t take too kindly to this, and gives him a little shove before Simmonds arrives.
And this is unusual. We know that Ghost doesn’t really fight much, so anyone watching that is on the edge of their seat. What’s gonna happen now?!
Giroux’s gonna be left open for a breakaway, that’s what.
Picking up the puck from Filppula, he would bring it up on Roberto Luongo, free of tight coverage, and the Flyers would have their first power play goal of the game. It was a perhaps unconventional approach to picking up the power play goal, but I guess if it works, it works. And, let’s be honest, it was a whole lot of fun.
8. A welcome full line effort from the Patrick line
We’ve seen each of the four lines having moments where they’re really clicking, and nowhere is this more evident in when the full line gets involved in a scoring play. This has been one of the hallmarks of the first line, especially in the last few games, but last night saw the third line diving into this method, which would culminate in Weise’s first goal of the season.
It was a solid all around effort by each of the forwards on the ice. It started with Konecny bringing the puck in on goal with speed, breaking out, putting the first, ultimately blocked, shot on goal. Patrick collected the rebound, and, with an absolutely stunning between the legs pass, shucked it off the Weise, who buried it.
This Nolan Patrick pass was amazing and you need to watch it again. pic.twitter.com/XBvgzefBxv— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 18, 2017
And for a line that’s seemed a bit slower in building up the strong connections that some of the other lines have, it’s nice to see them doing that, now. It was a particularly flashy example, but it was each player making heads up plays and showcasing their strengths, and getting excellent results.
9. The wheels kind of came off late in the third
This game, if nothing else, was little short of symmetrical. They struggled through the first half of the first period, and again they struggled in the last half of the third. It wasn’t to the same degree or in the same ways as the early issues, but the end was a little rough, for a bit, there. The plague this time? Penalties.
Starting with a slashing call on Weise at 10:57, the Flyers accumulated three penalties in just over five minutes. They killed the first penalty but it was not long before they picked up the next, and then another, to give the Panthers 45 seconds of a five on three. They were able to kill this off, but not the back end of the Hagg penalty, where they allowed the McGinn goal.
Of course, you could make an argument that some of these calls, the slash on Hagg specifically, were a little shaky at the very least. So the blame for the rough end of the period may have not been entirely on the Flyers, but they weren’t completely blameless either. They didn’t let off the gas and give up a lead, but they could’ve stood to tighten up a bit, here, as well.
And that’s all. I bet you were worried I was going to make a Jordan Weal/wheels pun, at some point in this one. Well, not this time, folks. You’re safe for now.
10. The only damn thing I know
So, normally the in-arena, tv timeout dance-cam, kiss-cam, whatever-else-cam segments are kind of lame. They’re a game mainstay, part of the formula, so we tolerate them, but they’re, for the most part, overdone and a little passé. But the Flyers may have found the remedy to that.
If you’ve been to one of the home games so far this season, you may have seen the Wells Fargo Center usher making a dance-cam appearance, and man does he really go for it. I’m talking the worm, the sprinkler, b-boying, all of the things. And it’s good. It’s fun. For now.
Maybe the charm will wear off eventually, but for now, dance-cam usher is a real treat.
Subject: BSH Radio reacts to a 5-1 win over Florida
Bill Matz gives his post-game thoughts following Tuesday night’s blowout victory
The Ginger Line continued to dominate, Shayne Gostisbehere got his first goal of the year, and Nolan Patrick showed off those greasy mitts in a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
The Flyers have scored five or more goals in four of six games this season, including three straight, and Bill wants to celebrate a fun start to the season on the Facebook Live post-game chat.
Wayne Simmonds dropping the gloves, Michal Neuvirth’s excellent performance, and the overall speed, skill and depth of this roster are all topics on this extended edition of the #BillAfterDark.
Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Subject: NFL Power Rankings Roundup Week 7: Eagles ranked as high as the top overall spot
A look at what the experts are saying about the Birds.
Today we continue our weekly roundup of how various media outlets have ranked the Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL power rankings. It’s always interesting to see how the Birds stack up from an outside perspective. But first, let's start by revisiting mine.
1 - Philadelphia Eagles - Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Eagles have a strong case as the best team in the NFL. They’re the league’s hottest team with four wins in a row. Carson Wentz is an MVP candidate. Philly’s offense can put up points and their run defense ranks No. 1 in the league. Yes, the Eagles lost to the Chiefs earlier this season. But how could I not move KC down given how they struggled in Week 6? With their next three games all being played at home, the Eagles have a big opportunity to secure their lead and remain on top. (LW: 3)
1 - After a loss to the Chiefs, the Eagles rattled off wins over the Giants, Chargers, and Cardinals. But none of those were as impressive as the 28-23 win over the Panthers Thursday. Carson Wentz has been playing extremely well and Philadelphia is rolling. With Aaron Rodgers out with a broken collarbone, the Eagles are the unopposed frontrunners for now in the NFC. (LW: 2)
2 - The 5-1 start to the Eagles' season is bolstered by the fact they've won three on the road. Now they get to play their next three at home, where they're 2-0 this season and 8-2 over the past two years. (LW: 4)
2 - As I wrote in the intro, this team is not moving. (And if you are one of those who skipped the intro to go straight to the Eagles blurb ... quit skipping the intro. P.S.: I love you.) Admittedly, I was not able to watch as much of Philly's Thursday night win over Carolina as I would've liked. I got locked out of my house and had to drive over to my ex-girlfriend's place to get my spare key. So I listened to much of the second half on the radio. The broadcast focused on Philly's big plays, particularly the six-play, 75-yard drive that bridged the late-third and early-fourth quarter and really decided the game, 14 game minutes before this deal officially ended. Two things I like: Leggie Blount getting 14 carries. Keep working him. Also, Nelson Agholor contributing big plays, including the touchdown reception to cap that second-half drive. There's another story in there somewhere. (LW: 2)
2 - They are on a roll and showed at Carolina that they are one of the best teams right now. The defensive front is nasty. (LW: 2)
2 - A good argument can be made for them being No. 1. However, they played the No. 1 team and lost. It was a competitive game in Kansas City, but it’s still part of the resumes. (LW: 4)
1 - Will the Eagles be the NFL’s best team at season’s end? Probably not. But they are making progress and they have earned the top spot after an impressive triumph Thursday night at Carolina. Second-year QB Carson Wentz is getting better all the time while utilizing the help he has around him on a bolstered offense. The defense is pretty solid. Another major test looms Monday night with the Redskins coming to Lincoln Financial Field. (LW: 3)
2 - Plain and simple, the Eagles are one of the best teams in football. They're definitely one of the top teams in the NFC. We know about quarterback Carson Wentz and his playmaking ability. Now that the Eagles have added a strong downhill running game, the offense is a more balanced and dangerous unit. It would behoove Philadelphia to run the ball even more, but Wentz is a superstar—one of the five best quarterbacks in the game—and this offense is a quality unit. Philadelphia's defensive front seven goes from really good to special when Fletcher Cox is in the lineup. As we saw against the Panthers, Cox can take over a game. There are still questions about the secondary, but when the defensive front plays like it did in Carolina, some of the deficiencies can be masked. The Eagles are a tough, physical team on both sides of the ball. They don't beat themselves on defense, and they have a balanced offense that can control the tempo and the clock. The Eagles are going to be a factor all season long. (LW: 6)
2 - Fletcher Cox leads front four that anchors league's best run defense and consistently jeopardizes quarterbacks without much blitz help. (LW: 5)
2 - The Eagles are 5-1 after a huge road win against the Carolina Panthers and Pete Morelli's officiating crew. Perched high above the rest of the NFC East, the Eagles look poised to cement their playoff hopes early with a strong 3-game home stand.
2 - Carson Wentz is slowly building his MVP case, but the biggest strength of this team is premier play on both the offensive and defensive lines. They are a legitimate threat to finish atop the NFC in the end. (LW: 4)
2 - Carson Wentz needs to avoid contact, or the Eagles won’t be able to avoid having to play multiple games without him. (LW: 2)
3 - One of the most impressive teams of the weekend played last Thursday in Charlotte. With Carson Wentz improving on his downfield passes (sixth with a 108.1 passer rating on such throws), the Eagles have been able to move the ball both through the air and on the ground. Couple that with the return of Fletcher Cox (six pressures Thursday) to go along with Brandon Graham (10), and the Eagles have the makings of a team that might be atop this list sooner rather than later. (LW: 6)
2) No explanation (LW: 5)
2) No explanation (LW: 5)
3) No explanation (LW: 6)
The rankings range from as high as 1 to as low as 3. The most common ranking is 2. The average ranking is 1.9, which is up over two spots from last week’s average of 4.2.
There’s a legitimate case to be made the Eagles are the best team in the NFL right now. Despite their home loss to the Steelers, however, a number of power rankers weren’t willing to drop the Chiefs below Philly.
Maybe the Eagles can change some minds with a win over the Washington Redskins this week. It’s another big game for the Birds. A win over Washington would make it very easy for the Birds to win the NFC East. A loss wouldn’t entirely doom the Eagles’ season but it would be a hard pill to swallow.
As for the Chiefs, who are mostly ahead of the Eagles, they play in Oakland this week. Kansas City will be able to hold on to their first spot with a win over a reeling Raiders team. A loss, however, opens the door for the Eagles to move up as the undisputed No. 1 in the NFL.
Subject: Limousine Riding Son of a Gun! Seven Takeaways from Flyers 5, Panthers 1
Subject: I Like the Difficulty of the Sixers
Subject: NFL Draft Prospect of the Week: LJ Scott
The Spartan Running back wowed last weekend
It is hard to overstate the overflowing presence of talented running backs in college football right now. With the current landscape, it is easy for backs to somehow go unnoticed while bigger names run rampant on a weekly basis.
One of the names that slipped under the radar this season was Michigan State’s LJ Scott. The 6’1”, 229 junior had a solid season in 2016 despite Michigan State’s down year; rushing for just under 1,000 yards at 5.4 yards per carry and six touchdowns. There were big expectations for Scott going into his draft eligible season, but he started relatively slowly.
The first four weeks of the season featured only one game where Scott eclipsed 20 total touches and he never rushed for over 100 yards in any of those games. After missing Michigan State’s game against Michigan, LJ Scott was all but out of the conversation among top running back prospects in the country.
Scott has re-entered the conversation.
Against Minnesota last week, the massive power back rushed 25 times for 194 yards and two touchdowns. According to PFF, Scott forced ten missed tackles and picked up over 90 yards after contact. Most amazing was Scott’s consistency. Averaging a whopping 7.8 yards per carry, Scott’s longest run was 33 yards; suggesting that he was picking up big chunks with every carry and that his numbers weren't inflated by a 50+ yard breakaway.
Scott’s performance exhibits his ability as a true battering ram type of running back with incredible size, power and attitude. This was truly a breakout for Scott and more games like this will have people forgetting Scott’s slow start to the season.
Other performances of note
- James Washington, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State: In an absolute thrashing of Baylor, James Washington averaged nearly FORTY yards per catch on six catches (235 yards) and scored two touchdowns. On the season, Washington is averaging almost 26 yards per catch and has scored six touchdowns on only 34 catches. That is insane production for the senior receiver.
- Michael Gallup, Wide Receiver, Colorado State: Michael Gallup is quietly leading the country in receiving this season and is averaging an impressive 16.1 yards per catch on 59 catches. Gallup dominated Nevada last weekend with a 13 catch, 263 yard, three touchdown performance and the Rams needed every one of those catches in a 44-42 victory over the Wolf Pack. Gallup is a very solid receiver and continuing to put up eye popping numbers is going to put a lot of NFL people on notice.
- Duke Dawson, Cornerback, Florida: While Texas A&M was able to squeak by the Gators on Saturday, Duke Dawson did everything he could to limit the Aggies and their explosive offense. Dawson allowed only one catch on seven targets, knocked away two passes and added in a tackle for a loss. A&M tried to exploit the middle of the field and attack the Florida slot cornerback but he did a great job all game.
Subject: The NFL Draft Is Going To Dallas
Subject: Jonathan Allen Injury: Redskins lose first round pick for the season
Tough loss for Washington.
Washington Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2017 NFL season, according to a report from ESPN. Allen suffered a Lisfranc injury during Washington’s Week 6 game against the 49ers.
Washington selected Allen with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, just a few spots behind Philadelphia’s selection of Derek Barnett. Allen had been starting and playing well at 3-4 defensive end for Washington.
It was originally thought Allen would only miss three-to-four weeks but now his recovery time-frame is clearly longer. This is a significant loss for Washington’s defense. Reaction from our associates over at Hogs Haven:
Over the first third of the season, Allen has made a significant impact, racking up ten total tackles and one sack, having started in all five of the Redskins’ contests.
It is expected that Anthony Lanier, a previously undrafted free agent in his second NFL season will be tasked with filling in for Allen along the D-line. Lanier has not yet suited up for Washington this season, and played in four contests in 2016.
Allen will miss Washington’s game against the Eagles on Monday Night Football this week. Washington is dealing with a number of other injury issues as well.
Here’s a look at the remainder of Washington’s 2017 schedule.
Week 7 - at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 8 - vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 9 - at Seattle Seahawks
Week 10 - vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 11 - at New Orleans Saints
Week 12 - vs. New York Giants
Week 13 - at Dallas Cowboys
Week 14 - at Los Angeles Chargers
Week 15 - vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 16 - vs. Denver Broncos
Week 17 - at New York Giants
Subject: 2018 NFL Draft will be hosted in Dallas, not Philadelphia
The 2018 NFL Draft will NOT be held in Philadelphia. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reports the host site of next year’s event will be Dallas, Texas. The NFL has since officially confirmed the news.
Well, sort of. The 2018 NFL Draft will be hosted at the Cowboys’ home field — AT&T Stadium — which is actually located 20 minutes west of Dallas in Arlington, Texas. Close enough, I guess.
There was thought the NFL Draft might be coming back to Philly for the second year in a row after the city did such a good job of hosting the 2017 NFL Draft. I wrote about the experience earlier this year.
The numbers speak for themselves. A record-breaking crowd of 250,000 — one quarter of a million! — people. Exactly ZERO arrests. Yes, you read that corectly. ZERO!
The atmosphere was awesome and energetic. The weather was beautiful. There were no shortage of entertainment options for the fans.
There’s little question Philadelphia raised the bar in terms of hosting the draft. Now it’ll be up to Jerry Jones and the evil empire to show what they can do.
One silver lining to the 2018 NFL Draft being hosted in Dallas: the Eagles can potentially have their own version of a Drew Pearson moment. Wouldn’t it be great to see Brian Dawkins up on stage taunting a ton of Cowboys fans?
Subject: Joe Walker receives Eagles Ed Block Courage Award
The award “honors those National Football League players who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage” and is determined by a vote from the players.
Walker earned the recognition this year after bouncing back from a season-ending ACL injury he suffered in August 2016. Walker worked his way back to earn a spot on the roster as a backup linebacker and special teams contributor.
The Eagles selected Walker with the No. 251 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was the third-to-last player drafted that year.
Philadelphia Eagles Ed Block Courage Award Recipients
2017 Joe Walker
2016 Nolan Carroll
2015 Fletcher Cox
2014 Jeremy Maclin
2013 Jason Kelce
2012 Colt Anderson
2011 Mike Patterson
2010 Jason Avant
2009 Michael Vick
2008 Jon Dorenbos
2007 Montae Reagor
2006 Jerome McDougle
2005 Chad Lewis
2004 Derrick Burgess
2003 Correll Buckhalter
2002 Shawn Barber
2001 Duce Staley & Tommy Brasher
2000 Cecil Martin
1999 Mike Mamula
1998 Bobby Taylor
1997 Rhett Hall
1996 Kevin Turner
1995 Charlie Garner
1994 Fred Barnett
1993 Andre Waters
1992 Jerome Brown
1991 David Alexander
1990 Ron Solt
1989 Mike Quick
1988 Wes Hopkins
1987 Gerry Feehery
1986 Jody Schultz
1985 Ron Jaworski
1984 John Spagnola
Subject: The Process is Dead, Long Live The Process
Subject: One of the best moves the Eagles made this offseason wasn
The SB Nation NFL team sites will be doing theme weeks all throughout the 2017 NFL season. This week’s theme is: “What would your team do today if they could go back and change one move they made in the offseason? Would it instead be a move or addition they didn't make?”
Usually this is a pretty easy question to answer.
It’s typically not difficult to point to a player the Eagles should have signed/drafted instead of the one they acquired.
But with the Eagles sitting pretty at 5-1, it’s hard to point to a lot of glaring mistakes.
I still maintain that the Eagles could have done a better job at addressing the running back position, even though LeGarrette Blount has been playing pretty well. But complaining about the Donnel Pumphrey selection feels too nitpicky for today’s post and I’ve already complained about that enough.
So in honor of staying positive, I’m going to flip today’s question around into: “Where would the Eagles be if they HADN'T made a certain move?”
There was concern about removing Matthews’ production from the offense. There was concern about losing a valued member of the locker room. There was concern about how this trade would specifically impact Carson Wentz.
At this point it’s clear those concerns were overblown.
The reality is that the Eagles’ offense has been more efficient and explosive with Matthews gone. The addition of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith as outside threats has certainly helped in this regard, no doubt, but so has giving Matthews’ targets to Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor.
Ertz, who functions similarly to Matthews, is finally having that breakout year with JMatt gone. Ertz leads the Eagles in receptions (34), receiving yards (405), and touchdowns (4). He’s establishing himself as one of the best tight ends in the league.
Remember when everyone laughed off Daniel Jeremiah saying that Agholor would be the Eagles’ slot receiver this year? Well, Agholor has defied expectation to become a legitimate weapon in Philly’s offense. He ranks third on the team in receptions (20), second in receiving yards (321), and tied for first in touchdowns (4). Agholor’s presence has given the Eagles a more explosive, shifty option in the slot.
Two months prior to the Matthews trade, I argued that his production was flawed and that he would not be worth what it would take to re-sign him. The Eagles, who clearly read BGN to figure out what moves they should make (just joking), felt Matthews wasn’t the indispensable piece some made him out to be.
The Eagles made the right decision to trade Matthews. I bet you there hasn’t been a single moment this season where you’ve thought “oh, I wish we still had JMatt.” Trading him, along with adding Jeffery and Smith, has really allowed Ertz and Agholor to flourish. The feeling here is JMatt’s targets are much better utilized by them instead of him. There’s a true “addition by subtraction” feel here.
And look, I’ve barely touched on the Darby aspect of the trade to this point! It’s very unfortunate that he got hurt in Week 1, but the good news is he should be returning with the next few weeks or so. In addition to his pre-Eagles resume, I saw enough out of Darby this summer to feel confident he’s going to be a good piece for this team. Philly’s defense has the potential to be even better when he’s able to get back on the field. Great trade by Howie Roseman.
Another angle I considered for this post is that some of the best offseason moves the Eagles made were the ones they didn’t make at all. We now know trading Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks for peanuts would’ve been a mistake. Cutting Jason Peters to save some salary cap space? That would’ve been a disaster. Credit to Roseman once again.
Now I turn today’s question over to you: “What would the Eagles do today if they could go back and change one move they made in the offseason? Would it instead be a move or addition they didn't make?”
Subject: Keeping the Horse in Front of the Cart: Realistic Expectations for the 2017 Sixers
Subject: Thursday Morning Fly By: You
Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...
*The Flyers are back on it tonight and they might be without Wayne Simmonds, which would be a very very huge loss. We should know some time this afternoon. Ahead of tonight’s game let’s look back at what we learned from Tuesday’s fun one. [BSH]
*Praising Dave Hakstol while Travis Sanheim sits in the press box feels icky, but to his credit he seems to be allowing his fun creative players to actually be fun and creative so far this season. [Courier-Post]
*A big part of the Flyers’ early success has been their speed. Which has almost certainly increased. [Flyers]
*Check out some of Kate Frese’s photos from Tuesday’s game. [BSH]
*So it would appear that the Flyers are starting to make some noise among the national hockey media. [ESPN]
*If the “woo” thing that seems to be happening at games annoys you, it doesn’t seem to annoy the team, who have fully embraced woo culture. [NBC Sports Philly]
*Phil Myers is doing very well up in Lehigh Valley which is very excellent news. [The Morning Call]
*Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts, which require no enticement because you should always read them. [Sportsnet]
*And finally, Gord Downie died late Tuesday evening. You may not know him, or his music, but both he and it were inextricably linked to hockey culture in a way that no other artist has been - or probably will be - again. Rest in peace, Gordie baby. [The Hockey News]
Subject: Eagles News: Jason Peters is the NFL
Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/19/17.
Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
The Eagles' Jason Peters is PFF's top ranked tackle through Week 6 - PFF
Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles is PFF’s top ranked offensive tackle through Week 6 with an 86.9 overall grade. The Eagles have two of the top four tackles so far this season with Lane Johnson currently ranking fourth.
BGN Radio Daily #33: Next Level Podcast - BGNRadio.com
Turron and Barrett Brooks break down what they saw against the Panthers, go over the expectations for the rest of the Eagles season, Wentz's play, the LB corp and a lot more on this episode of the Next Level Podcast.
Brandon Brooks: The Eagles are building something special - PhillyVoice
We all take [being 5-1 atop the NFC East] with a grain a salt, just because it’s early on. We’re doing a lot of good things and playing good football right now. But it’s not about right now. It’s about winning the NFC East, getting back to the playoffs, getting to the dance and going from there. Back with the OTAs in the offseason, when conditioning started, you can see guys coming together, you can see guys hungry. You can see guys putting in the extra time. Right now, the hard work is paying off. Back in OTAs, I was talking about building something special here and how you can see there is a difference in the team between year one and year two [under head coach Doug Pederson].
Carson Wentz-to-Zach Ertz connection among best in NFL - ESPN
The Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz-to-Zach Ertz connection has quickly developed into one of the most prolific in the NFL. It might not be Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski or Ben Roethlisberger-Antonio Brown in terms of stature and longevity, but their recent production has them ranked alongside or even above some of the more celebrated tandems in the NFL. Consider these numbers from ESPN Stats & Information: Their 34 completions this season is the most of any quarterback-tight end duo through Week 6. They have six red zone hookups, second only to Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald (7) to this point in the season. Wentz has targeted Ertz eight times in the red zone, which is even with Brady-Gronkowski, while their four red zone TDs is the most of any QB-TE combo.
Q&A with Joe Banner: Where do Eagles rank in NFC hierarchy? - The Athletic
I think you'd have to say they're as good as any team in the NFC right now. You've got to factor in that Aaron Rodgers got hurt. The Falcons had a crazy game where they were way ahead but then lost. The Eagles beat Carolina. Washington is playing a little better than I think most people thought — certainly than I thought — so we'll see how this week goes. The teams on the west coast have been a little bit up and down. So I'm hard pressed to say they're the best. On the other hand, I can't really name teams that I think are better. So I'm just going to say that they're in the mix with any team in the NFC. They've got to stay healthy, although they've been winning these games with a couple of key injuries. I don't see any reason that they can't go into any game the rest of the year in which they wouldn't have at least as good a chance, if not better, than whoever they're playing.
Off The Field, Eagles Try To Win Every Day - PE.com
If it is a day off in the bump and grind of the NFL season, you’ll generally find Eagles players taking care of their business. Some of it involves football, of course, because taking care of the body is a 24/7 demand. Much of it, though, includes community work, making a difference to those in need ...
For Torrey Smith, North Dakota trip revealed critical quality about Carson Wentz - NBC Sports Philadelphia
Torrey Smith spent four years with Joe Flacco, who won a Super Bowl in 2012. And he spent two years with Colin Kaepernick, who lost a Super Bowl in 2012. And he sees those Super Bowl qualities he saw in Flacco and Kaepernick in Carson Wentz. "I think Carson has that make-up," Smith said. "That's why they picked him here." Smith was one of the Eagles' receivers that spent some time this offseason with Wentz in Fargo, North Dakota, where Wentz starred at North Dakota State. And he said after visiting the North Dakota State football complex and spending some time around the Bison program, he understands how Wentz got to be the way he is. "I'd say one of the biggest things I learned about him just by going to North Dakota is you see how and why he's that way," Smith said. "Obviously, he's like that as an individual, but the way they built their program is the same way. "There's nothing celebrated about all the championships they won. You see it in their trophy case, but you go in that weight room, there's nothing. It's work time. It's all about getting to the next one. Their success, they're worried about the future, and I feel like he's kind of the same way."
As injuries ravage NFL, Eagles want Carson Wentz to balance tenacity with caution - PennLive
But offensive coordinator Frank Reich insinuated this week that Wentz's attempt to bulldoze Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson and safety Mikes Adams was unwise. The Eagles would rather have their franchise quarterback avoid those type of violent collisions. "When you look at his whole body of work, he's done a really good job with that," Reich said. "We had one little outlier incident that hopefully just remains an outlier."
Eagles' wide-9 defensive alignment no longer widely disparaged - Daily News
Only eight NFL teams are allowing fewer points per game than the Eagles’ 20.3 through six games. The Birds lead the league in run defense, giving up 65.7 yards per game. Five years ago, if you’d told an Eagles fan such figures were possible while employing a wide-9 defensive front, that fan would have said, “By your leave, sirrah, I sense that you are attempting to make merry at my expense!” Or words to that effect. The Eagles players trying to execute the scheme at the time might have had a similar reaction. But now they know better.
Sudfeld offers Eagles insight on former team Washington - DelcoTimes
The quarterback room with Carson Wentz and Nick Foles is full of height as Sudfeld is 6-6, the others 6-5. Additionally, Sudfeld and Foles are baby faced lookalikes. There isn’t anything they wouldn’t do for each other, including autographs. “It’s been dying down but fans for sure think that I’m Nick because obviously we kind of have a similar build, similar hair color and stuff,” Sudfeld said. “We were playing the Chiefs, I think, and every week it would be ‘Nick, Nick, come on, sign this, sign this.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not Nick.’ And they didn’t believe me. So I went and signed a few things for Nick because I didn’t want them to think he was a bad guy and just ignoring them. I felt kind of bad about it.”
Mike Freeman's 10-Point Stance: Does Kaepernick Have a Chance to Beat the NFL? - B/R
Here at 10-Point Central, we love passion. I'm serious. I got an email recently that I loved because it was an agent sticking up for his client. Last week I wrote about how some in the NFL believe the Chiefs' Travis Kelce is the best tight end in football. That column drew a ton of reaction, from positive to negative to snarky (shocker). The most interesting response came in an email from Steve Caric, the agent for Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. Take a look.
Why the 2nd quarter of the Redskins season is the biggest of the four - Hogs Haven
This week against the Eagles is what makes the second quarter of the season the biggest of the season. Following Philadelphia, there are match-ups against the Dallas Cowboys at home and Seattle Seahawks on the road. Two games that will be bigger than the previous week’s game. Does that mean the season is over if the Redskins finish 1-2 or 0-3? Not at all. However, it does mean that the Redskins will be seeking the help from other teams in the final month of the season. If the Redskins wanted a time period to prove they are a legitimate threat in the NFC, the next three games against formidable opponents gives them that moment.
The Truth Behind Rising Injury Rates - Football Outsiders
Zachary O. Binney tries to explain the rise in NFL injury rates over the past decade. Are players getting hurt more often? Or are teams doing a better job of diagnosing and reporting injuries?
The Raiders were supposed to be fun this year. What happened? - SB Nation
The 2016 Raiders were 12-4, and probably would’ve been 13-3 if Derek Carr had been healthy at the end of the season. They were an offensive juggernaut, at the top of the league in many offensive categories. This season, after starting 2-0, they’ve lost four in a row, totaling the same amount of losses they did last year in just six weeks this year. What is happening in the East Bay? It’s eerily similar to what’s happening in Dallas.
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Subject: Your Thursday Morning Roundup
Subject: Glass Half Full: Six Observations from Wizards 120, Sixers 115
Subject: Crunching The Numbers: Washington Redskins
Will the Eagles sweep the Redskins for the first time since 2013?
Welcome to another edition of Crunching The Numbers, where I compare the Eagles against their upcoming opponent in a set of select statistics to preview the game. If you want more information on my methodology, or read previous posts, check out this hub.
The Eagles have a big game this week against what appears to be their biggest threat to winning the division for the first time in four seasons. But first, I want to adjudicate my “game plan” for the Panthers by seeing how my thoughts and suggestions held up against what actually happened. My main points were:
- The Eagles should be aggressive (again) and attempt some fourth downs in the game. They should also go deep, specifically early in the game.
- The defense should focus on playing contain, pressuring Newton with four rushers, and only allowing completions underneath.
The one big thing I got wrong here was how the Eagles would utilize ball control. I figured they would use the same strategy of killing the clock to keep Newton on the bench, but instead they opted for an up-tempo attack to put pressure on the defense. The Eagles lost the time-of-possession battle for the first time this season, but it worked for them.
Other than that, I felt I was fairly accurate with my predictions. They did indeed play contain with four rushers - the running backs were held to under ten yards and while Newton got his, he was rarely able to turn the corner and mostly took stuff up the gut. I also specifically mentioned the defense preventing the deep ball and forcing Newton to use McCaffrey as a safety valve. Well, two of Newton’s deep passes were picked (McCleod’s was called back by a phantom penalty) and McCaffrey ended up with ten receptions. Offensively, my main point was about being aggressive, and boy were they ever. They went for a 4th-and-1 inside the 10 after getting a red zone pick. There are few things more demoralizing then coming up empty after being gifted field position like that, but Fearless Doug wasn’t worried about that. He wanted to go for the jugular, as was further evidenced by his decision to take points off the board after a penalty on the PAT and go for two.
My favorite line from last week’s post?
I won’t be upset if [the Eagles] win the toss and defer [they lost the toss and received], but the defense better be ready to be physical right out of the gate if that happens.
I think it’s safe to say that the Eagles were indeed physical on defense.
But enough about the Panthers. What does my crystal ball have to say about the Redskins? (NOTE: Numbers in parenthesis represent league rank. Boldface numbers represent which team has the edge in that matchup.)
For as much skepticism as we’ve had about the Redskins, they are certainly performing well in three of the five categories. In particular, Kirk Cousins’ 8.0 YPA is tied for first in the league... with Tom Brady. They are also top ten in TOP and PTS/1HLF. The Eagles have a lot going for them right now, but given the way Washington plays them and the fact that they’re actually playing decent football, we should not be expecting a cakewalk by any means. This will be a hard-fought game and it is very possible the Redskins steal a win on Monday night.
Let’s look to see what Philadelphia can do to prevent that from happening.
When The Eagles Have The Ball
The one thing that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet are injuries, and while the Redskins have been without Josh Norman for a few weeks, they just recently lost their other starting corner, Bashaud Breeland, in their last game. They still haven’t been as injured as the Eagles have been here, who have missed their free safety, best corner, and best cover linebacker at different times this season. And yet their secondary has produced similar numbers defending the pass, allowing 10.4 OY/CMP to the Eagles’ 10.5.
What I’m trying to say here is that Washington needs to be tested on the deep ball early and often. If this sounds like a broken record from the last two weeks, my apologies. I can’t really help that the Eagles happen to be facing defenses with similar strengths and weaknesses for three straight weeks. Which is why it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that the Eagles should also be... aggressive again! Like Arizona (27th) and Carolina (20th), Washington also struggles with OY/PT. As the Cardinals and Panthers showed us, this means they will give up touchdowns. Don’t settle for three if seven is there to be had. This is especially true if Cousins decides to think he’s Aaron Rodgers like he tends to do against the Eagles. If this game turns into a shootout, which it might since Washington is averaging 15 PTS/1HLF, Fearless Doug needs to carpe diem on fourth downs.
When The Redskins Have The Ball
As I touched on a bit above, the Redskins have been a well-oiled machine on offense, producing top ten numbers in YPA (1st), TOP (5th), and PTS/1HLF (6th). Given Cousins’ ability to push the ball down the field and Jay Gruden’s style of offense, I really want to see some press-man to disrupt the intermediate timing routes while playing two-deep bracket coverage on the speedier receivers. Chris Thompson has been the big surprise for Washington this season, as he leads the team in both rushing and receiving. As good as the Redskins are up front, I think Schwartz needs to trust that his line will hit home and give the second level some room to key in on Thompson. I don’t think putting a spy on him would be too crazy of an idea, actually. He is clearly their biggest playmaker right now and shutting him down could make Cousins uncomfortable if the pass rush is having success.
Playing a strategy like this is not without risks, as it requires extreme discipline with communication in the secondary. Playing a two-deep cover shell will provide some easy reads for an experienced quarterback, and if someone blows their assignment that can go for a long touchdown.
Outside of those suggestions, in general I think it’s crucially important to set the tone as soon as possible. Washington’s ability to find a rhythm early in the game and score in the first half should be respected. Taking that away from them early would take them out of their element and should open things up for the Eagles later in the game.
After beating the Panthers on a short week in Charlotte, the Eagles look like a team that can take on anybody. But as any fan of the NFC East knows, division games are a different animal altogether. We should NOT sleep on the Redskins. They are a legitimate threat in the division and unless the Eagles play good, clean football they can easily lose this one. It wasn’t too long ago that we were lamenting how Washington had managed to beat us five times in a row.
Of course, ever since they found their ground game in Week 3, when adversity has challenged the Eagles they have risen to the occasion. I’m a big believer in Doug Pederson and have no reason to feel that this game, at home in a rocking Linc on ten days’ rest, will be any different.
The Redskins are good, but they are beatable. It’s time to fully turn the tables on the recent rivalry.
Subject: Eagles place Chris Maragos on injured reserve, promote Nate Gerry to active roster
This is a bummer.
The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced a few roster moves on Thursday morning.
Losing Maragos is unfortunate. He’s Philly’s special teams captain. He also provides emergency depth at safety. Depending on the severity of his injury, Maragos could potentially be brought back later this season. He’s eligible to return to the roster after eight weeks if the Eagles decide to use one of their two allowed “return from IR” designations on him.
With Maragos placed on IR, the Eagles had an open roster spot. They decided to fill it by calling up 2017 fifth-round pick Nate Gerry from the practice squad.
Gerry played safety at Nebraska but the Eagles have been transitioning him to linebacker in the NFL. Philly will be counting on him to contribute to their special teams unit.
UPDATED LOOK AT THE 2017 EAGLES PRACTICE SQUAD
WR Rashard Davis
CB DeVante Bausby
QB Nate Sudfeld
C/G Josh Andrews
TE Billy Brown