Rob's Rants: Eagles' start; Seumalo's struggles; Marshawn's dancing

Rob's Rants: Eagles' start; Seumalo's struggles; Marshawn's dancing

Here's the latest edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

If I told you before the season the Eagles would be 1-1 after starting with two road games — one against a division opponent, the other in one of the tougher venues in sports — an objective person would have been satisfied. That doesn’t mean losing a very winnable game in Kansas City wasn’t a tough pill to swallow, but when you consider that the Birds' neighbors in the NFC East have not exactly looked like world beaters, there is room for much optimism if they can clean some things up. Despite his costly turnovers and tendency to hold the ball too long, I’m convinced Carson Wentz will be a star. The Eagles' defensive line has looked fierce. And certainly in part because of the line, the Birds' defensive backs — despite major injuries — have held up pretty well. There are absolute positives with this club. 

But here are some of the things with the Eagles and beyond that have me in rant mode. 

Get your tokens ready
Saying Isaac Seumalo has been bad is like saying Donald Trump is polarizing. Seumalo's been a turnstile. His play has been alarming through two games and Doug Pederson may need to make a decision fast to avoid getting Wentz killed. But the Seumalo issue runs much deeper than the surface. He was a third-round pick last year, 79th overall. The club’s next selection after Wentz. Third-round picks need to be able to play. 

Now, you could very well chalk his struggles up to growing pains. By Week 10 we may see a completely different player. But perhaps even more disturbing was the Eagles' judgment that Seumalo was ready to start. Howie Roseman dealt veteran Allen Barbre early in camp to Denver for a 2019 seventh-round pick. The Eagles did save minimal cap space as well. And while Barbre won’t be confused with Zack Martin any time soon, he was a competent player. Surely an upgrade from what we’ve seen from Seumalo thus far. The objective is to keep your franchise quarterback upright and available. So far, not so good. 

Escape plan
Since signing that monstrous contract prior to last season, Vinny Curry has made no big plays. That streak continued Sunday against the Chiefs. Go back to the fourth quarter, game tied at 13, K.C. driving with a 3rd-and-4 on the Eagles' 25-yard line. Curry had Alex Smith all but wrapped up for the sack, which at the very least would have forced Kansas City into a long field goal attempt. Smith escaped the 6-3, 279-pound defensive end and two plays later the Chiefs scored on a shovel pass to Travis Kelce to take a 20-13 lead. That play, along with the Eagles' two turnovers, were game-changing plays. Once again, Curry came up small.

Catch the Damn Ball Part II     
Last week this rant was directed at Alshon Jeffery. This week it applies to the Eagles' other big money offseason wide receiver signing. There were two plays Sunday that again weren’t easy but need to be caught by a good receiver. The pass catcher in question is Torrey Smith. The first drop on the Eagles' opening drive could and should have been a touchdown. Later in the game, Wentz made a nice back-shoulder throw that was covered well but the ball was where it needed to be and Smith could not bring it down. These plays are the difference between three points and seven points or keeping a drive alive or winning and losing. 

Cue Lee Ann Womack
I don’t think “I Hope You Dance” was what Marshawn Lynch was Beast Mode-ing  to on the sideline during the Raiders' 45-20 smackdown of the woeful Jets. In fact, it was “I’m Really From Oakland Tho” by Vell and DJ Mustard. Love it when those two crazy kids collaborate. New York in fact was not loving Lynch’s sideline moves. Some Jets players were upset that the Oakland native was dancing with time still left on the clock. There’s a simple solution to that issue: Stop him. If the score was flipped, Lynch would not have been shaking his groove-thing. It’s OK for a player to have fun and celebrate. It’s all about time and place. And by the way, the Jets should get accustomed to opposing players celebrating. In fact, when your front office’s objective is to tank the season, it could look like a conga line on the opposite sideline all season.

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

USA Today Images

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

Brian Dawkins has chosen longtime teammate and close friend Troy Vincent to introduce him this summer at Dawk's Hall of Fame induction.

Dawkins was selected in February for enshrinement in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.

"The presenter that will actually be on the stage will be Troy Vincent," Dawkins said in a video posted on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website.

"My teammate in Philadelphia. We came there the same year. Almost from Day 1 he kind of ... not kind of, he took me under his wing on becoming a professional. Not just a football player but a professional. The details. The details that he went through, the particulars of how he played the position of cornerback was the same way he lived his life (and ran) his businesses that he had off the field.

"He's a guy I can call anytime. Any time of night. And tell him 100 percent all what's going on with me, and I know he's not going to judge me, and it's not going to leave his lips (for) anybody else.

"And the most important thing for me, being a man of faith, is that I know he's going to pray with me. So all those things combined are the reasons why Troy was the perfect guy to introduce me to the Hall of Fame."

Vincent, a native of Trenton and graduate of Pennsbury High in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins before signing an offer sheet with the Eagles before the 1996 season that the Dolphins didn't match.

The Eagles drafted Dawkins in the second round a month after signing Vincent, and the two spent eight years together in the secondary, reaching the playoffs five times and the NFC Championship Game three times.

During those eight seasons, Vincent reached Pro Bowls and Dawkins made the first three of his nine Pro Bowls.

Vincent retired after the 2006 season and Dawkins after the 2011 season.

Dawkins, Vincent and Eric Allen are the only Eagles defensive backs picked to five or more Pro Bowls.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Dawkins' former Eagles teammate, Terrell Owens, will also be inducted. He hasn't yet announced who will present him.

Dawkins will be the 21st former Eagle inducted into the Hall of Fame but only the ninth who spent the majority of his career with the Eagles.

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

USA Today Images

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

Offseason quarterback controversies are a rite of passage in the NFL. A time-honored tradition, really. 

We’ve certainly had our share in Philadelphia over the years. There were calls for Ron Jaworski to sit in favor of a young Randall Cunningham. Then cries for Jim McMahon to take Randall’s place. When Andy Reid drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007, that began a groundswell that he was the better choice than Donovan McNabb. Of course, most recently we had the Michael Vick/Nick Foles back and forth. To look back now, it seems silly these were even debates.

Most of the time, when you have these “controversies,” it generally means you have no quarterback on your roster. Not always. The 49ers in the late-80’s and early-90’s had Joe Montana and Steve Young, both Hall of Famers and all-time great quarterbacks. Both also won Super Bowls for San Francisco. But that is the exception. So is the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles’ situation.

I use the word “situation” and not “controversy.” Because there is no controversy. If Wentz is cleared by the Eagles’ medical staff, he starts Week 1. Period. What Foles did was incredible and will go down as one of the great — if not the greatest — stretch we have seen in Philadelphia sports history. He came up as big as you can. But Wentz he is not. That’s no disrespect to Foles. There are a handful of people on the planet who are in Wentz’s class.

Just a refresher course on what Wentz did in 13 games last season (his second in the NFL, by the way). He threw for 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 3,296 passing yards and had a 101.9 passer rating. The 33 TDs were the second-most in the NFL despite his missing the final three games. He also led his team to an 11-2 record before succumbing to that knee injury late into that Rams game that clinched the NFC East. He would have been the league MVP had he not gotten hurt.

There is a great luxury having Foles on this team. Wentz does not have to come back before he is able. If he’s not ready, you have the best backup in the league to start the season. But that’s the only scenario in which Foles plays Week 1. Simply put: Wentz is the better quarterback. And he has earned the right to start the opener if cleared. 

Some people read into Wentz's Instagram video of himself throwing earlier in the week as him somehow sending a message to Foles. I don’t buy it. I think Wentz’s message was to the fans and himself that I’ll be back, better than ever.

Wentz and Foles are both good teammates who put the team above themselves. Sure, Foles is a competitor and would likely prefer to start. But there won’t be any behind-the-scenes maneuvering to undercut Wentz. And Wentz is secure enough to be able to handle a Super Bowl MVP backing him up and all that goes along with that. Not to mention a coaching staff and organization that won’t allow outside noise to become a distraction.

Wentz over Foles. There’s no quarterback controversy.