Eagles

Nelson Agholor and Howie Roseman, please accept our apologies

Nelson Agholor and Howie Roseman, please accept our apologies

Wednesday on Quick Slants, we felt the need to own up to our mistakes. We had previously written off two men who have helped the Eagles to their NFL-best 6-1 record, so a couple apology letters were in order.

• • •

Dear Howie,
Like many ... there was a time when I felt that you had to go. Some of your personnel decisions left me beating my head against the wall, wondering who thought it was a good idea to put you in charge. Your drafts and free-agent signings were more misses than hits.

For every Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox you drafted, there were way too many Danny Watkinses, Marcus Smiths, Jaiquawn Jarretts and Daniel Te'o-Nesheims.

Many of your free-agent signings were free falls. Yeah, I'll give you credit for getting it right with Connor Barwin and Malcolm Jenkins. But you bamboozled us with Nnamdi Asomugha, Bradley Fletcher, Vince Young and Byron Maxwell.

But you were man enough to step to the podium time and time again to dodge every verbal stone hurled your way to explain your perplexing moves and vowed to get it right.

After the Chip Kelly fiasco, surely Jeffrey Lurie would look outside the organization to bring a fresh thought process to lead this team in a new direction, but oh nooooo, he put you back in charge, and I thought to myself: Another seven-year drought is upon us.

But lo and behold, since you've returned from exile after wandering the deserts pondering football life, you've become the Theo Epstein of the NFL. You cleaned up and cleared out Kelly's mistakes. You brought in a true football mind in Joe Douglas, and you revamped your scouting department.

What you did in 2016 to maneuver up the first-round ladder in the draft to select your new franchise quarterback was nothing short of brilliant. The free agents you signed in 2017 have been excellent.

This year, I don't go to practices wondering how many of these guys are getting cut after the season. Instead, I wonder how many of them you will be able to keep. 

Like you, I stand here today a changed man. I no longer call for your head on a silver platter. Instead, I applaud you for being aggressive and daring. I'm man enough to admit I was wrong about you. You have finally earned my respect.

Sincerely,
D-Gunn

• • •

Dear Nelson,
Let me first apologize for not being sympathetic to your cause. 

I never had the weight of living up to being the first-round draft pick of the Eagles. I was drafted in the second round.

I saw what Mike Mamula went through mentally to live up to those expectations. I also admit that I played O-line, so I never had to catch a football thrown 50 yards over your shoulder while a 220-pound safety running a 4.4 40 comes hurling at you trying to knock your head off.

Although I never signed the petition to get you cut — because I don't believe in stopping a player from getting their money — I did wager a dollar, or two, or three, or even 4,000 that you wouldn't last the offseason in Philly.

So I now give you mad props and respect for proving myself and the 3.5 million people in Philadelphia wrong for selling you short and thinking you wouldn't last as an NFL player.

Congrats and carry on — you are now the best wide receiver on the roster. So, my apologies, Nelson Agholor.

I know what it is to feel the high expectation of playing in the City of Brotherly Love, which gave you no love. At least they let you stay and work out your difficulties. Me? They cut and kicked me the hell out of town!

Sincerely,
Barrett Brooks

A backup again? Life after Super Bowl has Nick Foles more than happy

A backup again? Life after Super Bowl has Nick Foles more than happy

The question to Nick Foles was how long did it take to fully understand exactly what he had accomplished.

For the reality to really hit him.

“Still working on it,” he said. “You know, I don’t know if it’ll ever really set in. I don’t know if it’s ever really meant to.”

Foles, who replaced an injured Carson Wentz in December and then led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship with a record-setting postseason performance, met with the Philly media Tuesday for the first time since the Wednesday after the Super Bowl and spoke about what the last few months has meant to him.

“To be part of and to do it in the city of Philadelphia with the guys I did it with after everything that had gone on, it’s something that’s very humbling and very special,” he said. “I feel undeserving to be a part of it.

“There’s times where I wake up and I’ll walk in [the next room] and see the banner and I’m like, ‘Wow, did that really happen?'"

Foles completed an NFL postseason-record 73 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception that plopped right out of Alshon Jeffery’s hands during playoff wins over the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots.

At some point, he’ll go back to backing up Wentz and next year he’ll likely be starting somewhere else. But he said Tuesday he’s not thinking about the future right now. He’s just grateful to be an Eagle.

“I look in my locker and I see the Eagles colors in my locker and part of me is like, ‘I’m a part of the Philadelphia Eagles,’ because once I wasn’t here,” he said. “So I’m still adjusting to all that.

“It’s really special for the city and it was really special for me to be a part of it. It’s really special for everyone in that locker room. It will be forever.

“I’ve run into so many people across the country — because I live in California in the offseason, that’s where my wife’s from, that’s probably where we’ll raise our kids — and still there’s Eagles fans everywhere.

“Grown men coming up to me at dinner when I’m with my father, pretty macho guys, that all of a sudden break down crying and you see the emotion and the heart of it.

“They’ve waited their whole life, their father waited his whole life, their grandmother, and I know when we won the game all of us in this locker room realized this, and that’s why it was so special, because we did it in such a unique, special city.

“That’s why like when everyone wants to talk about, ‘Hey, do you want to go start [somewhere else]?’ Yeah, I have aspirations to lead a team.

“Do I wish I could play my whole career here? Absolutely. But I know the situation and I am grateful to be in this locker room at this moment to be here because I genuinely do love the city.”

Brandon Brooks restructuring deal for Nick Foles a 'no-brainer'

Brandon Brooks restructuring deal for Nick Foles a 'no-brainer'

A few days ago, the Eagles and Nick Foles agreed to rework his contract.

The restructured deal included a $2 million signing bonus and incentives based on whether Foles starts and reaches certain goals, plus a mutual option for 2019 (see story). Monday, it became clearer how the Eagles were able to get Foles more money up front when Pro Bowl offensive guard Brandon Brooks tweeted this:


Brooks restructured his current deal last Friday to help out his quarterback (see story)

NBC Sports Philadelphia had Brooks and RT Lane Johnson on Quick Slants Monday. Brooks had this to say about the restructure and his tweet:

Whenever it comes to a restructure, I just wanted to throw it out there — one, to clarify as far as exactly what happened and then two, probably the most important thing is look at what Nick did. I literally did whatever it took to get him extra money. I mean, everything he’s done for us as a team, for us as a city. The Super Bowl MVP. You know, going out there, launching that thing every week. The leader he is. The high character guy he is. And when they approached me about it, it was kind of like, 'Nah,' but then after understanding it was for Nick Foles, then I said, 'Without question, let’s go ahead and get it done.' He deserves it, he brought the first championship to the city, so it was a no-brainer, without question for me.

Brooks' close friend and linemate Johnson added:

The man was thrown into the fire and came out on top. I mean, he was really thrown into a tough situation and only had two weeks the last part of the season to kind of get in a rhythm, and you know how those games went. The guy went out there and delivered. I’m just so proud of him. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. We’re all happy for him.

As it gets closer to the 2018 NFL draft, the rumors continue to swirl that Foles could be traded. If it happens, a number of his teammates have told me Foles deserves his own team.

Will Foles be in Eagles green come September? Only time will tell, but whether he’s here or elsewhere, Foles will always have the respect and admiration from a group of guys who completed a magical season.