Eagles

Alshon Jeffery on Josh McCown: 'A guy you love being around'

Alshon Jeffery on Josh McCown: 'A guy you love being around'

When the Bears drafted Alshon Jeffery seven years ago, their backup quarterback was Josh McCown.

They didn’t know each other — McCown is 11 years older — but McCown had spent time with the Panthers and was living in Charlotte, which is right up I-77 from Columbia, South Carolina, where Jeffery played college football for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

When I first got drafted in Chicago, he was the first one who gave me a call,” Jeffery recalled Sunday. “He lived in Charlotte and that was right up the street from where I went to school. I went to work out with him and we developed a relationship ever since then.

McCown and Jeffery were teammates for two years in Chicago, before McCown bounced to the Buccaneers, Browns and Jets. 

Now, six years later, they’re reunited in Philly.

They were having a lot of fun with it on Sunday, their first day as Eagles teammates.

Jeffery stood on a chair in his locker room videotaping McCown’s chat with the media a few lockers away and even got in a question before the interview ended: “How’s No. 17 as a basketball player?”

McCown laughed and yelled back: “He’s not bad. He’s got some skills. But I can lock him down, just so we’re clear. But 17's not bad.”

McCown had announced his retirement after finishing last season with the Jets, but he said the opportunity to play with a team like the Eagles, a team with Super Bowl aspirations, was too good to pass up.

He said the Eagles were one of the few NFL teams he would have come out of retirement to play for.

They’re getting a great player but a great human being, a great leader, an all-around great guy,” Jeffery said. “Josh is awesome. I don’t know one person that I know that could say one thing bad about him. He’s a great father, he’s a great human being. He’s just a guy you love being around. He comes in the room, everyone just gravitates to him.

McCown is 40 now, older than any quarterback in Eagles history.

Only 17 players in NFL history have thrown a touchdown pass after their 40th birthday, and if all goes well, Carson Wentz will stay healthy and McCown will never even get the opportunity.

But Jeffery said he’s not surprised McCown is still healthy enough to crank it up for an 18th season of professional football.

“We were just talking about that,” he said. “Eighteen years, that’s a long time. But he can still hoop, he’s still athletic, so I know anything’s possible.”

How good a basketball player is the 6-foot-4 McCown?

“I’ll take Josh over most of the guys in this locker room,” Jeffery said.

What about as a quarterback?

“He’s a gamer,” Jeffery said. “He just makes plays and makes things happen."

McCown has completed passes to 105 different receivers in his NFL career, including 116 to Anquan Boldin, 38 to Jeffery, 21 to Emmitt Smith and four to current Eagle Will Tye with the Jets in 2017.

McCown seems thrilled to be back in the NFL and equally thrilled to be reconnected with Jeffery.

“That’s my guy,” he said. “From his rookie year to now — we were just having lunch talking about that, it’s crazy, it’s gone by fast. Respect him as a player, first and foremost, and who he is as a person and what he’s about. He’s a good dude.”

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5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

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USA Today Sports Images/@SirRobin83/Twitter

5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

With professional sports on pause around the world, fans are looking for anything - video games, simulations, classic games - to satisfy that live sports itch.

We may have found the ultimate placeholder: a five-year-old imitating Boston Scott's infamous spin-o-rama.

On Saturday afternoon, Twitter user Robin Stanley tagged Scott in a quick video of his son, Beckett, pretending to be the Eagles running back:

I mean, c'mon: the likeness to Scott's spin move against the Giants is kind of uncanny.

In case you need to jog your memory, here is Scott's spin:

Scott, of course, made fun of himself for the move at the time, admitting that when he saw the clip after the game, it "looked pretty silly".

I'd say Beckett's spin had a little more swag.

Stanley's dad, a Philly native, told NBC Sports Philadelphia his son was expecting to play his first season of flag football this spring down in Nashville, but the league was postponed because of social distancing mandates, so he's making do.

On Saturday, Scott saw Stanley's video and gave the little man a nod of approval:

That's just good, clean fun. Thank you, Beckett, for the sports-related smile.

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Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Four years ago, when Rodney McLeod became a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, one of the reasons he wanted to join the Eagles was for the chance to play next to Malcolm Jenkins. 

And for the last four years, he did. The two formed a safety tandem that played 49 regular season games and four playoff games, including Super Bowl LII, together. 

But now Jenkins is back in New Orleans with the Saints and the Eagles are preparing to play without him for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile, McLeod signed a two-year deal to return to Philly. 

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, McLeod said he learned a lot from Jenkins over the past four seasons. 

What were some of those lessons? 

Just as a competitor,” McLeod said. “And then the ability to get the most out of guys, whether it’s on the defensive side or from an entire team standpoint. I think as a leader, that’s your kind of job. How can you get guys to play at the highest level and get the most out of your players. I think he was one of the best at doing that and understanding everyone … I learned a lot from him. 

“Not just on the field but off the field, the way he handled himself and what he did in the community for the city. I’ll always admire him. It’s hard to match. But like I said, his legacy will live on. The Saints are getting a good guy. Now, us as Eagles, playing with a new group of guys and we’re ready to move forward.

There’s no question that the Eagles are going to miss Jenkins’ contributions on the field. They will use some combination of Jalen Mills and Will Parks to replace him at that position and that won’t be easy. 

But the Eagles will also miss the leadership Jenkins brought to the locker room. He wasn’t just the leader of the secondary or even just the defense; Jenkins was oftentimes the key leader for the entire team. That’s hard to replace too. 

It’s not that McLeod, 29, hasn’t been a leader during his first four years in Philly. But now that role might need to expand and will become more important with the absence of Jenkins. 

“I think it’s important for me to be myself and be who I’ve always been,” McLeod said. “And that’s a guy that leads by his actions and leads by example. I think if you ask a lot of guys on the team, that’s what they’ll tell you most. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I think there will be times for me to speak up when needed. When my teammates need me most, I’ll be ready to do that.”

For the most part, McLeod has been the quieter of the two safeties and Jim Schwartz has previously called him the calming presence in the defensive backfield.

But McLeod can speak up too. 

It’s really just about finding a balance between his two sides and putting the lessons from Jenkins into practice in 2020. 

“Myself, being a leader on this team for some time, will of course be asked to step up as well as other guys from a defensive standpoint and on the team,” McLeod said. “I think we’re prepared for that. And guys will be willing to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Myself first and foremost.”

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