Eagles

Eagles' Boston Scott has lofty goals as he prepares for 2020 season

Eagles' Boston Scott has lofty goals as he prepares for 2020 season

Boston Scott became a fan favorite in 2019 as his performance down the stretch helped propel the Eagles to the playoffs. 

And he’s not done yet. 

Scott joined the Eagle Eye podcast from Louisiana on Thursday afternoon to talk about the chance he’s had to reflect on his breakout performances late last season and some of his lofty goals going into Year 3 of his NFL career. 

“Everything is earned,” Scott said. “I know going into this next year, organizations are going to be able to game plan, organizations are going to be able break down the film. 

“So I know that, by no means, have I arrived. By no means have I made it. I gotta continue to work on my craft, continue to build on the things that I was able to do this past season moving forward and just continuing to build.” 

After beginning the 2019 season on the practice squad, Scott said the best part of last season was being able to show his teammates how much can help them on the field and how much they can rely on him. He wants to continue that in 2020. 

While Scott’s ultimate goal is to help the Eagles win a championship, and that comes first, he also sets personal goals for himself too. 

Yeah, obviously, ultimately, I want to stay healthy. I want to be available,” Scott said. “That’s one of the biggest things. But I have goals for myself. I think it’s important as a player at this level to have that amount of confidence in yourself. I want to be the Offensive MVP. I want to bring that to my team. Those are goals that I want to accomplish. I want to be in the league for 10 years. Those are goals that I set for myself. All the greats they set those goals and then they chop away at it day by day and they see what happens.

Yeah, becoming the Offensive Player of the Year is a pretty lofty goal to set, especially for a player who is coming into the season as RB2. But having confidence — not being cocky — is important and it has gotten Scott this far. 

Scott, 25, joined the Eagles late in the 2018 season after he was signed off the Saints’ practice squad. While he started the 2019 season, he was called up in October and by the end of the season was a huge part of the offense. His three-touchdown performance against the Giants in Week 17 earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. 

As great as that success was, he isn’t resting on it. 

“But like I said, just having that confidence in myself and knowing and trusting in the process, trusting in the coaches, I know that this is just the beginning,” Scott said. “I haven’t reached the standard that I have for myself.”

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The biggest hurdle as Jalen Mills attempts to change positions 

The biggest hurdle as Jalen Mills attempts to change positions 

The good news is that Jalen Mills knows the Eagles’ defense. And he knows the safety position. 

Now he just has to learn the safety position in the Eagles’ defense. 

The effectiveness with which he does so will have major implications for the Eagles in 2020 as the team tries to have the former cornerback replace their veteran leader Malcolm Jenkins in the secondary. Jim Schwartz thinks Mills has all the tools to play safety in his defense but Mills has to prepare to play it in a most unusual offseason. 

The toughest part of this transition for Mills comes down to one word: Communication. 

That’s why once the virtual spring began this offseason, Mills and returning free safety Rodney McLeod put in extra time on their own. The two had private film sessions to work on chemistry and communication. At Mills’ request, they started with Week 1 and went through the Eagles’ opponents for the 2020 season. 

I really just wanted to hear the way that he communicated,” Mills said. “Because, of course, he’s been on the back end and I was playing on the outside. Now, me hearing how he’s communicating. I told him I didn’t want to switch anything that he did because he’s been successful at that spot. Just more of learning from him and the different type of verbiage that he uses. 

“So I don’t get out there and say something and it may throw him off or slow him down. I just wanted to make sure that he’s still playing fast. At the end of the day, I know the defense, I just want to get the exact verbiage that he may have been using on the back end.

For the last four years, McLeod has played next to Jenkins and the two developed a rapport. While McLeod has played with Mills, it has been in a completely different capacity. They need to be way more in sync this year to make things pop. 

Mills explained that when he played outside corner, if he couldn’t hear a call from the MIKE linebacker, he’d look to the sideline for a hand signal and then be ready for the snap. But as a safety, Mills will have more responsibility. Once he gets a call, it’s part of his new job to relay that information. He’ll have to make sure everybody — corners, linebackers, defensive linemen — knows the call. 

And to do that, it’s all about communication, knowing how to communicate with the rest of the defense. That’s where those extra sessions with McLeod came into play. 

Mills also needs to get rid of some of the rust when it comes to just thinking like a safety again. It’s been a while since he played the position at LSU. 

“Making sure he sees the game the right way as he’s now switching positions and the hardest part for him is not defense, right?” McLeod said. “Like he knows all the schematics but it’s now lining up in a different spot. It’s now him understanding, ‘Where do I need to have my eyes here?’ ‘How are you seeing things?’ 

“I believe the chemistry, man, is going to be a lot easier than people think. And so far, so good. It seems like within the couple of days that we’ve been together as a unit, he’s really taken a step further. I’m very confident that we will be good once Week 1 hits and he’ll be ready to rock and make a lot of plays at his new position.”

While the Eagles are technically already in training camp, their first practice won’t happen until Aug. 12. After that, their first padded practice won’t be until Aug. 17. 

So from the time the Eagles begin padded practices they’ll have less than a month to prepare for their season opener in Washington on Sept. 13. That means less than a month of practices for Mills to make his position switch. 

That’s where that extra time might really pay off. 

If Mills doesn’t work at safety, the Eagles also have free agent Will Parks and rookie K’Von Wallace on the team. But it’s pretty clear that Mills is the guy to get the first crack at the job. 

“Though he is making a position switch,” McLeod said. “I think he will thrive in his position.”

We’ll find out soon enough. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Appreciating Fletcher Cox’s prime

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Eagle Eye podcast: Appreciating Fletcher Cox’s prime

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro get together after the NFL’s opt-out period is over. 

The Eagles had just one player opt out of the 2020 season. Exploring more questions about having a season and Doug Pederson’s role as a virtual coach. 

Is it really a good year to be an undrafted free agent? Plus, takeaways from interviews with Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills and Fletcher Cox. 

  • (0:29) — Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out.
  • (12:23) — Doug Pederson is still leading the team... virtually.
  • (18:06) — Good year for undrafted free agents?
  • (25:31) — Takeaways from zoom interviews with Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, and Fletcher Cox.
  • (42:48) — Shady signs with Tampa Bay.

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles