Rob's Rants: Finding stuff to rant about after a big Eagles win

Rob's Rants: Finding stuff to rant about after a big Eagles win

Keep in mind, there was a lot of good to take away from the Eagles' season-opening win on the road at Washington. Division victories on the road are never easy and rarely pretty. This was neither. Who cares?

Carson Wentz showed you why he will be a franchise quarterback. Think about how many QBs in the NFL can make the Houdini play he made on the Nelson Agholor touchdown. Less than 10? He wasn’t perfect and showed his youth at times, but he is legit.

My key to the Eagles' season was the defensive line, and it delivered. Four sacks, three turnovers, 64 rushing yards allowed and a direct hand in 10 of the Birds' 30 points.  

Wentz. The D. Agholor. Zach Ertz. There was a lot of good.

But this is not Rob’s Rhapsody’s. ... It’s rant time.

Balancing act
Thirty-nine passes to 24 called runs. That includes Wentz's four rushes/scrambles. This was a fear going into the season after Wentz threw the ball a rookie-record 607 times last year despite having a woeful receiving corps. Early on, I thought the Eagles did a nice job mixing things up. But as our Reuben Frank pointed out (see story), that ratio was 36 passes to 13 runs in the final three quarters. Two to one in favor of the pass is far too predictable. It’s not like the Eagles were trailing big and had to throw to get back in it. Blaming the backs and the line is valid. But the head coach has to stay committed to the run and avoid predictability.
Come on, Alshon 
Alshon Jeffery is being paid far too handsomely to not make plays on contested balls. It’s one game and they were not easy catches by any stretch, but one of his greatest attributes is winning 50-50 balls. And he did not win them Sunday. 
Just say no, Doug
Repeat after me, Doug: No more wide receiver screens. Once again, no more wide receivers screens. The Birds have a lot of more weapons this year. And by the look of Pederson’s chart, there are plenty of other options on the voluminous menu. Use them. 

Upon further review
The last thing I need in my life is more officials. Check that, the last thing I need in my life is more Dean Blandino. You remember good ole Dean, the former NFL vice president of officiating. As well as the chief Jerry Jones Dallas party bus guy and part-time Twitter troll. The Deaner is now one of FOX Sports' rules analysts along with Mike Pereira. 

So we now get to have Blandino shoved down our throats during game broadcasts. Lucky us. I’m sure he will be completely objective when it comes to reviewable plays during Cowboys games. The national media needed another Dallas sympathizer because Troy, Tony, Deion, Moose, Michael, Jimmy, Woodson, Keyshawn, etc., weren’t quite enough.       

Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

USA Today Images

Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

One day after being released from the Eagles, Vinny Curry has reportedly already found a new home.

The defensive end is heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth up to $27 million, with an $11.5 million injury guarantee, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

After signing him to a five-year, $47.25 million extension in 2016, the Eagles moved on from Curry and his scheduled $11 million cap hit on Friday. The transaction saved the Eagles $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money.

While Curry, 29, had the best season of his career in 2017, his production still didn't match his high cap number and he became more expendable after the Eagles acquired Pro Bowler Michael Bennett from the Seahawks.

Curry will join former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen in Tampa Bay. Allen signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Buccaneers earlier in the week. 

As Bradham re-signs, he lauds former teammate

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As Bradham re-signs, he lauds former teammate

After getting the opportunity to stay with the Super Bowl champions, Nigel Bradham spoke at length and quite passionately about someone who didn’t get the same opportunity.
Brent Celek.
Bradham, the veteran linebacker, spent the last two years with Celek, who the Eagles released earlier this week after 11 seasons.
“That’s obviously devastating, man,” Bradham said. “Taking about a guy who was here his whole career and the way he came every day and his character every day.
“He really … me and a lot of guys on our team what it takes to win a Super Bowl, and he let us know it doesn’t come easy, it takes work, and he came in and worked every day. Like no other.”
Celek was due to earn $5 million in 2018 but is counting only $1 million in dead money against the 2018 cap, so the Eagles gained $4 million under the cap by releasing him.
That cap space certainly helped them find room to re-sign Bradham, who enjoyed a career-best season in 2017 for the Super Bowl champs.
But Bradham was effusive in his praise for the veteran tight end, who has played the fourth-most games in Eagles history.
“You would never know he was (11) years in because of the way he worked,” Bradham said. “So when you lose a guy like that it obviously takes a toll on your team.
“You hate to lose guys like that that meant so much and impacted this team so much. His leadership was on another level. He went over and beyond the things he could have done as a leader. Obviously, wish he could be here still.”