Brandon Brooks

Eagles Stay or Go — De'Vante Bausby to Brandon Brooks

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Eagles Stay or Go — De'Vante Bausby to Brandon Brooks

In the second part of our 12-part offseason series examining the future of the world champion Eagles, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro try to figure out who will be on the roster in 2018.

We go alphabetically. Part 1 was Nelson Agholor to Derek Barnett. Today is De'Vante Bausby to Brandon Brooks. 

De'Vante Bausby
Roob: The Eagles liked Bausby enough to keep the 25-year-old cornerback on the practice squad all year. What does that mean for the former undrafted free agent from Pitt (Pittsburg State in Kansas)? Probably nothing. The Eagles are loaded with young corners. Between Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, they have four corners 24 or younger to build around. Bausby has logged some regular-season playing time with the Bears, but if he hopes to ever really compete for a roster spot on a team's 53-man roster, he's in the wrong place, because it won't happen here.

Verdict: GOES 

Dave: The Eagles added the young cornerback to their practice squad the week before the Chiefs game in Week 2. At the time, it looked like they simply added him because Bausby had previously been with the Chiefs. He heard plenty of that early on during his time with the team, but then he lasted the rest of the season on the practice squad and was re-signed after the year ended. He was good enough to stick around, but the Eagles have plenty of depth at corner to keep him off the roster. 

Verdict: GOES

Will Beatty
Roob: Beatty joined the Eagles halfway through the season as an emergency backup offensive tackle, but with Doug Pederson making it clear that he expects Jason Peters back at left tackle next year, that means Halapoulivaati Vaitai would be the leading backup tackle. I would expect the Eagles would draft a tackle at some point, and that guy could be the fourth tackle. Beatty has had a nice career and now has two Super Bowl rings, but it's hard to imagine that he has any kind of future with the Eagles.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: There's a reason Beatty was on the street until the Eagles called in November. The Birds probably need to upgrade at their backup tackle spots and Beatty is past his prime and shouldn't be the answer. He helped the scout team down the stretch and worked hard to help the Eagles get a Super Bowl ring, but it's time to move on. 

Verdict: GOES

LeGarrette Blount
Roob: This is a tough one because Blount meant so much to this team, both with his unflinchingly unselfish attitude in the locker room and his big-time production on the field. How do you cut ties with a guy who was 14-for-90 rushing with a touchdown in a Super Bowl? But that's the reality the Eagles are facing. Blount is 31 and a free agent. Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement are the future at running back. And as mighty as Blount was in the Super Bowl, he did average 3.5 yards per carry or worse in eight of the last 13 games. Blount is a fun guy to be around and a tremendous natural leader. He played his heart out for this team. It'll be tough to see him go, but I think we'll have to.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: Blount is a 31-year-old unrestricted free agent running back and it wouldn't be crazy to bring him back. After all, Blount shouldn't be very expensive and he was able to combine with Clement and Ajayi to form a pretty dynamic running back group. But Ajayi is going to get an offseason with the Eagles and he's going to take over more of the offense. The Eagles will have a decision to make with both Blount and Sproles hitting free agency. This is a pretty tough one, actually. 

Verdict: GOES 

Nigel Bradham
Roob: The Eagles have several valuable free agents you'd like to have back, but nobody is as important as Bradham, who had a very good year in his second season with the Eagles. The Eagles have depth at running back, tight end, and cornerback, where their most prominent free agents play, but they have very little at linebacker. Especially with Jordan Hicks missing half of two of his three NFL seasons, the Eagles must find a way to sign Bradham.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Bradham is an unrestricted free agent and should be the Eagles' top priority this offseason. It flew a little under the radar, but Bradham's 2017 was a huge reason for the Eagles' successful run to the Super Bowl. After Hicks went down, the Eagles relied on Bradham to make the defensive calls like a MIKE. He and Mychal Kendricks ended up being huge keys to the season. He's still just 28 and it'll be interesting to see how much he'll demand. Either way, the Eagles have to try to bring him back, especially as Hicks recovers from his Achilles tear. And you better believe Jim Schwartz will make his case for keeping a guy who has played for him more than anyone on the team. 

Verdict: STAYS

Bryan Braman
Roob: The Eagles brought Braman in late in the season after injuries took such a toll on special teams, and the former high school javelin star got himself a Super Bowl ring for his six games of work. But there's a reason Braman wasn't on a roster the first few months of the season. He's 30 years old now, turns 31 in May, and special teams is a young man's game. And Braman really doesn't have a position, although he's listed on the roster as a linebacker. It's tough for teams to really invest in a 31-year-old special teams specialist.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: After they brought him back in December, Braman did provide a certain spark to the Eagles' special teams group. But he's 30 now and doesn't give anything on defense. He carved out a nice career in the NFL as a special teams ace, but it seems like his time might be over, especially now that the Eagles have other key special teamers like Kamu Grugier-Hill. 

Verdict: GOES

Brandon Brooks
Roob: Like so many guys on the Eagles, Brooks left a challenge-filled 2016 season in his wake and enjoyed tremendous success in 2017. He played all 16 games, he successfully dealt — in a very public and constructive way — with the anxiety that had been plagued him on and off the field, he made his first Pro Bowl and was an absolute wrecking machine at right guard, especially in the postseason. Brooks is signed for three more years. He's not going anywhere.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: This season, Brooks finally fulfilled his potential and became one of the most dominant offensive guards in the league. More importantly, he bravely put his issues with anxiety in the rearview. Brooks started every game for the Eagles this season and was their most consistent offensive lineman. He also made his first Pro Bowl team in 2017 and it shouldn't be his last. He's under contract for three more seasons. 

Verdict: STAYS

Eagles to ring bell at tonight's Sixers' game

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Eagles to ring bell at tonight's Sixers' game

There’s going to be Eagles mania at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Super Bowl champions will be in the building Tuesday evening for the Sixers game against the Wizards.

The Eagles' starting offensive line composed of Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, and the injured Jason Peters will ring the ceremonial pregame bell.

They won’t be the only ones in the arena. Other Eagles players and front office members also are expected to be there.

And judging by this quick Twitter poll last night, Sixers fans (loudly) will be showing their appreciation for the Eagles bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia.

How Brandon Brooks started having fun again

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How Brandon Brooks started having fun again

As kickoff before the most important game of his life neared, Brandon Brooks realized something wasn't quite right. 

He hadn't vomited. 

The Eagles' right guard has moved past the anxiety issues that forced him to miss two games last season, but he hasn't dropped a ritual he picked up when he entered the league in 2012. Normally, every game morning, Brooks wakes up and vomits. Every once in about eight games, it doesn't happen, but this was the NFC Championship Game and shortly before the game started, nothing had happened yet. 

Finally, it did and then he was ready to go.

"As weird and as bad as that sounds, I felt cool, I felt good," Brooks said. "That's really what I needed, to be honest. When I threw up, it was like it was game day, just like any game day." 

It might not sound like the healthiest thing, to rely on throwing up before every game, but Brooks has come an incredibly far way since last year, when he realized his trouble with anxiety, owned it and took the steps to control it. 

This season, Brooks had his first Pro Bowl season, but perhaps more importantly, he didn't miss any of the Eagles' 16 regular season game or the two playoff games. He'll be starting in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4. 

"My mindset it so much further than it was last season as far as dealing with it," Brooks said. "You're going to have situations where you're going to feel it come on. And really how you handle it in that split second is going to tell you if you have a grasp on it or if you're just kind of holding it down for a little bit. There's been situations where I feel the anxiety come on but I know what it is, so I just don't let it affect me the way it did last year." 

Brooks, 28, admitted this week life would have been a lot easier if he had discovered how to identify and deal with his anxiety much earlier. Oh well, going through something has helped create his character. 

Because of the way he's handled his anxiety this season, Brooks is having fun playing football again. He no longer focuses on each mistake and obsesses about being perfect.

Adversity has a real way of putting things in perspective.  

"When you go through something real like that, man, the things you thought you were worried about, they don't matter," Brooks said. "For me, with the anxiety and the way I looked at it, after going through that and being around this group up front, I just realized there was no need for me to think of the game like that. There's far worse things that I can worry about and have anxiety about than this game. Going through that, it actually made me have a lot more fun playing. I'm not necessarily worried about making mistakes. Obviously, you want to go out there and do the best you can and you have a job to do. 

"You make mistakes, man, it is what it is. Life goes on. You don't want to make that, but it happens. I just have a lot more fun with the game, man. Probably individual, I'm probably a lot more confident and comfortable in my skin."

While Brooks' anxiety is the most dramatic example, he's not the only member of the Eagles' offensive line that had gone through some adversity. Really, all five guys who start for the Eagles have gone through something. 

Brooks had his anxiety. Halapoulivaati Vaitai had one of the worst debuts imaginable and had fans writing him off, but he's taken over for Jason Peters this year and has done a great job. Stefen Wisniewski came to Philadelphia as a backup and had to fight his way into the starting left guard job this year. Jason Kelce had the worst year of his career in 2017 and heard it plenty from fans; he's rebounded to have an All-Pro season. And Lane Johnson, although it was more self-inflicted, has served two suspensions totaling 14 games. 

All five have something to prove.  

"I think it helps your perspective on things," Wisniewski said. "I think when you just start and play well and nothing happens to you, you might take it for granted. I think when you go through some kind of adversity like we've all gone through, you start to appreciate it more. I think people who have a grateful attitude toward their situation are generally going to work harder and just have a better heart and ultimately are going to play better."