Eagles

Chance Warmack: Jeff Stoutland 'influenced my decision' to join Eagles

Chance Warmack: Jeff Stoutland 'influenced my decision' to join Eagles

The first four years of Chance Warmack's NFL career haven't quite gone according to plan. After he was taken as the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Warmack simply hasn't lived up to his draft status nor his stellar college career.

But if there's one guy who can help him reach his potential, that guy's in Philly.

At least that's what Warmack is banking on.

As Warmack became a top draft pick and a two-time national champion as the left guard for the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2011-12, his offensive line coach was Jeff Stoutland. Yes, the same Jeff Stoutland who has held the same position for the Eagles since 2013.

"Oh, that influenced my decision very much. He's my guy," Warmack said. "Helped me a lot in college, took me to the next level. I'm hoping to make that magic work again here. I've already met with him, we've already talked scheme, so I'm just excited, man, I'm ready to go."

Warmack, 25, wasn't just good in college. He was incredible. And that's why he has Ray Didinger tripping over himself about the Eagles' decision to sign him to a one-year deal (see story).

Continually during his press conference Friday, Warmack said he thought coming to the Eagles on a one-year deal -- and leaving other offers on the table -- was the right move for him. He thinks Philadelphia was the best fit.

And it might be oversimplifying, but it sure seems like Stoutland was the biggest part of that decision.

"He's a dynamic coach," Warmack said. "He's a guy that's going to pull everything he can up out of you. And he knows me. He knows the type of player I am from Alabama. I feel like that relationship in itself is what's going to take me to the next level."

As for Stoutland, he walked down the hallway in the NovaCare Complex a couple hours before Warmack took to the podium and said he's pretty excited about having his former pupil back.

From the time Warmack was drafted, he was immediately thrust into the starting lineup in Tennessee. That won't necessarily be the case in Philly. The Eagles still have Brandon Brooks as their starting right guard and Isaac Seumalo, Allen Barbre and Stefen Wisniewski fighting for the left guard spot.

Still, it wouldn't be crazy to think about Warmack coming in and impressing enough to be a starter. Then if everything worked out, maybe he'd sign a long-term deal to stay with the Eagles.

"Honestly, wherever I fit, wherever I plug in, wherever I can help the team the best way, I'm going to do that," he said. "Whatever they ask of me to do, whether it's play left or right, I'll do that for them. I'm here to be a team player, I'm here to help the team."

He wouldn’t really talk about the one-year deal Friday, other than to say coming to Philadelphia was the right situation for him.

In 2016, Warmack's season ended after just two games. He tore a tendon in his finger and needed surgery. But now, he said he's 100 percent healthy. To prove it Friday, he balled his hand into a fist and gave a fist bump to a reporter in the first row.

"They cleared me," he said. "Ready to grab, punch, all that."

To most, Warmack's four-year career, thus far, has been a disappointment. How would he evaluate it?

"I feel like there's a lot more for me to do in terms of my game, in terms of developing as a player," he said. "You can always get better as a player. You just have to fit in the right situation and I feel like I really feel like this is it. This is where I needed to be."

Eagles QB Carson Wentz favorite to win NFL MVP

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Eagles QB Carson Wentz favorite to win NFL MVP

Carson Wentz is in his second NFL season, but he could already be on his way to his first MVP award. 

At least, he's now the favorite. 

The Eagles' starting quarterback is now the favorite to win this year's NFL MVP award, according to Bovada. Wentz is just ahead of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. 

Here's the top five: 

1. Carson Wentz: +175
2. Alex Smith: +200
3. Tom Brady: +400
4. DeShaun Watson: +1,000
5. Russell Wilson: +1,200

Basically, this means that a $100 futures bet would win $175. Since Wentz pays out the least, he's the favorite. 

It's no surprise Wentz and Smith are atop this list. They have both led their teams to 5-1 records (tops in the NFL) through six games. 

Wentz has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,584 yards, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 99.6. He's well on his way to becoming the first Eagles quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. 

The last (and only) Eagles player to win an MVP came during the 1960 championship season, when quarterback Norm Van Brocklin took the award. 

The last player to win the MVP award in his second NFL season was Kurt Warner in 1999. But Warner had a long road to get to the NFL and was 28 years old in 1999. Wentz is just 24. 

Vegas isn't alone with the Wentz hype. According to Dick's Sporting Goods, the Eagles' quarterback has the best-selling jersey of all NFL players. In another few months, those people might have the jersey of an MVP winner. 

Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

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Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

This week’s Rob’s Rants has a sole focus — or should I say a troll focus. It’s more of a public service announcement, if you will. I am imploring all Philadelphia sports fans: Don’t take the bait!

Trolling was around long before the advent of social media. Contrarians have been going against the grain and saying things they don’t even believe to invoke a reaction since the beginning of time. Or as far back as Jaromir Jagr’s rookie season. Same thing. 

Just six weeks into the NFL season, we’ve already heard from some of the usual suspects, who will go nameless in this post. I refuse to give them the attention and ratings they are so desperately begging for. You know who they are, I know who they are, don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t continue to line their pockets. Don’t let yourself walk into their trap. A reply on Twitter or some other social platform, a tune in, a reaction, is a win for them.

So brace yourself for the inevitable national talking head contrarian with the hot take of, “Carson Wentz looks like a deer in headlights.” Or, “besides the Panthers, who have the Eagles played? Or, “they haven’t even won a playoff game since 2008 and the fans have them in the Super Bowl.”

The trolling won’t be reserved exclusively for Eagles fans either. Prepare yourselves, Sixers fans. As we embark on the start of the NBA season, the anti-process truthers are just lying in wait with pithy Joel Embiid barbs about minute restrictions or injuries or tanking. It’s only a matter of time before we get something like, “see what another year of tanking gets you? Markelle Fultz isn’t even good enough start.” It’s coming.

There’s a fine line between trolling and having a strong, thought-provoking, independent point of view. The goal of any good columnist, radio host, television host or analyst is to make you think or react. Whether you agree or disagree. But there is a cottage industry now of blowhards who don’t have an original, creative or sincere thought of their own. They are either told by a producer or boss or decide on their own to go after a city, player, or team ... one typically with a fan base that will be reactive. You don’t see a lot of shade thrown at the Atlanta Hawks. You know why? No one cares. Not even their fans. Say something about Carson Wentz or snowballs at Santa and loyal Philadelphia fans will go bonkers. Mission accomplished for the troll.

So revel in the Eagles' early season success. Be excited for the infusion of youth for the Flyers. And what could be if Embiid, Ben Simmons, Fultz and Dario Saric can actually stay on the court.

Soak it in. We appear to be exiting out of the dark days. Just be prepared for it and don’t allow yourself to be lured into the troll trap.