Why Eagles OC Frank Reich found rough night 'exciting'

Why Eagles OC Frank Reich found rough night 'exciting'

By now, you know all the ugly stats.

The Eagles were 1 for 14 on third down.

They had just 37 yards on nine drives in the second half.

They managed just one first down after halftime.

They rushed for just 25 yards after the first quarter.

They turned the ball over twice.

The Eagles' offense was putrid Monday night against the Raiders. Beyond putrid.

It was so ugly it's easy to forget the Eagles actually won the football game.

And ultimately, all that matters is the W.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich spoke Wednesday about that lackluster performance and what actually impressed him about the way the Eagles handled it.

"Been there, been through games like that before," Reich said. "The exciting thing is when things aren't clicking, I just know from a lot of years in this business, it always is going to feel like it's the quarterback, but I just always know it's all of us.

"We talk a lot the whole year about (head coach Doug Pederson's) mantra has been ownership. We own the good and the bad. There's been a lot of good to own this year, and we own it together. Sunday wasn't a good offensive performance, and we own that. Coaches, players — we own that.

"But here's the exciting thing to me. I've been on sidelines when things aren't going well, and you think, ‘Oh, geez, here we go again.’ But the positive thing about the culture that has been created, the confidence and the swagger that our players have and that our coaches have, is as bad as things were offensively in that game, there was always a sense we were going to find a way to win.

"I didn't care if the defense had to win it for us or if we had to get a return … I don't know, there's something about this team right now that we just feel like we're going to win, and it's not always pretty."

As bad as the offense was Monday night in that 19-10 win over the Raiders, as bad as Nick Foles was, when they needed to make plays, they did.

Foles completed four straight passes on the Eagles' final drive of the game to get into position for Jake Elliott's game-winning field goal.

"I walked over to Nick [before the last drive], and I said, ‘This is it, this is how it works, just be clutch right here,’ and he was," Reich said. "It wasn't a great performance. But he goes down and makes three or four perfect throws to maximize the yardage on every throw.

"It’s got to be good ball placement on the crossing route, so Nelson (Agholor) doesn't have to slow down for it. Zach (Ertz) is going to the sideline. You need all those five yards on those catches. You don't need three. You don't need the throw to be down or behind him. You need them to be perfect, and he was when we needed him to be. [Then] make a kick.

"That's the fun part about where we're at right now."

Concert celebrating Eagles' Super Bowl season sounds pretty epic

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Concert celebrating Eagles' Super Bowl season sounds pretty epic

Eagles fans will probably never stop reliving the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

While watching highlights, wearing championship apparel and occasionally just looking in the mirror and reminding yourself, "We won the Super Bowl" are all good ways of remembering what the Birds accomplished, there's a pretty unique new way that you'll be able to experience it all over again.

On July 24, the Mann Center will be hosting "A Championship Season," a special event to honor the Eagles. 

Going by the Mann Center's description, it should be an incredible night.

The Mann Center, NFL Films, and the Philadelphia Eagles take center stage this summer to celebrate the Eagles’ Championship Season with the world premiere of this “Philly Special” concert event. Hosted by the “Voice of the Eagles,” Merrill Reese, relive NFL Films’ stunning video highlights of the Philadelphia Eagles Championship Season on three giant screens alongside the great Philadelphia Orchestra, performing live the inspiring, uplifting and wonderfully symphonic music of NFL Films. 

Part of the proceeds from "A Championship Season" will benefit the Eagles Autism Challenge and the Mann Center's free art education programs. 

If you want to be part of the epic celebration, get your tickets here

Carson Wentz was great in 2017, but there's one thing he'd like to improve

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Carson Wentz was great in 2017, but there's one thing he'd like to improve

He was among the NFL’s best in virtually every category. Fourth in passer rating. First in touchdown percentage. Eighth in interception percentage. Second in TD-to-INT ratio. He was even third in wins despite missing the last three regular-season games.

So what’s Carson Wentz’s approach going into 2018?

“I think we can improve everywhere,” he said. “Overall, I think we can keep making strides and keep our foot on the gas.”

And that starts with completion percentage.

Wentz completed just 60.2 percent of his passes last year, which ranked 23rd of 30 quarterbacks who threw at least 400 passes. 

Ahead of only Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton, Mitch Trubisky, Cam Newton, Trevor Siemian, Jacoby Brissett and DeShone Kizer.

Not the kind of company he wants to keep.

Wentz was so good in every other area he still fashioned a passer rating over 100. In fact, his 101.9 rating was the highest in NFL history by a quarterback completing 60.2 percent of his passes (minimum 400 attempts).

The league average last year was 62 percent. And for the sake of comparison, Nick Foles completed 64.7 percent of his passes if you combine the regular season and postseason.

Wentz dropped from 62.4 percent as a rookie to 60.2 percent last year.

Among 36 active NFL quarterbacks who’ve thrown at least 1,000 passes, Wentz’s 61.5 completion percentage ranks 21st.

 “I know I’d like to see my completions go higher,” Wentz said last week. “I think I was right around 60 percent and I expect more out of myself in that area.”

After 2016, Wentz identified red zone and third down as two areas he hoped to improve on. 

And he wound up leading the NFL in both red zone efficiency (NFL-best 116.3 passer rating) and third-down efficiency (NFL-best 123.7 rating).

“Third down, red zone, we were really good,” he said. “That’s something we really focused on from Year 1 to Year 2, but we (still) all feel we can definitely improve in those areas.”

Wentz also committed nine fumbles in 13 games, and only Jameis Winston and Russell Wilson had more.

“I think we had too many fumbles,” he said. “Balls on the ground too many times.”

Wentz, now nearly five months out from his knee injury, said he’s used a lot of his extra time at the NovaCare Complex this offseason focusing on what he can improve on in 2018, and one of those things is his upper-body strength.

“With all the extra rehab and not being able to run and do a lot of things early on you’ve really just got to focus on some different things and I got to do a lot of seated throwing and trying to build my arm strength and really take care of my upper body more than I have in the past,” he said.

“It’s been an interesting process not being able to get that true conditioning and that rehab in, but it’s exciting to start easing into the running and conditioning stuff. … 

“I feel good. I definitely feel working with the strength guys, we had some friendly competition stuff with the other (injured) guys in there rehabbing and I definitely feel like I’m making some strides in there.”