Eagles

Buccaneers' Ryan Fitzpatrick loves and hates Eagles' defense

Buccaneers' Ryan Fitzpatrick loves and hates Eagles' defense

Game film is pretty boring. There’s no sound, no graphics, just a bird’s-eye view of each play in succession. 

It’s football but without any glitz or glamour. 

That’s why this quote from Ryan Fitzpatrick on Wednesday about the Eagles’ defense stood out so much: 

I think the thing that you see right away when you turn on the tape of this defense is they play so fast, flying around, having fun. They have a swagger about them and it shows up even on the player tape we watch, the coach’s tape. This is a defense you love watching play and hate to go against because of how fast and physical they are.

For swagger to show up on game film … that’s pretty incredible.

The veteran quarterback, who will face the Eagles on Sunday in Tampa Bay, said this to a group of Philadelphia reporters in a conference call in advance of the game. This is Fitzpatrick’s 14th season in the NFL, so his being impressed by the Eagles’ defense is really saying something. 

It’s not hard to figure out where the Eagles’ defense gets its swagger from. Jim Schwartz is oozing with it. Everything about his being oozes confidence, from the sunglasses on his face to his sleek suits to his walk. His players have taken on that same personality. 

That’s why a former seventh-round pick like Jalen Mills has been confident enough to earn a starting gig, win a Super Bowl and keep getting better. 

Just look at Mills before Thursday’s game: 

If there has ever been a situation where dancing is in direct correlation to on-field play … this is it. 

Based on all we know about the Eagles’ defense, it shouldn’t be surprising that swagger has shown up on boring game film. But it doesn’t make it any less impressive. 

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NFL Rumors: Former Eagles DL Tim Jernigan finds a new home for 2020 season

NFL Rumors: Former Eagles DL Tim Jernigan finds a new home for 2020 season

Former Eagles defensive lineman and Super Bowl LII champion Tim Jernigan is returning to the AFC.

The 27-year-old defensive tackle is expected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Garafolo clarified that the deal isn't done just yet, but Jernigan visited with the team on Wednesday, and barring something unforeseen, Jernigan will spend his seventh year in the league with the Jags:

Jernigan joined the Eagles in a 2017 trade with Baltimore - which also netted the Eagles Rasul Douglas  - and played 28 games over three seasons in Philly. His 2018 was derailed by back surgery, and he appeared in just three games that season. He compiled 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss during his time with the Birds.

Once viewed by the organization as a possible long-term piece on the defensive line, Jernigan signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Eagles in November of 2017. But the Eagles declined the option on his deal after the 2018 season, before bringing him back on a one-year deal worth up to $2 million.

The two sides parted ways after the 2019 season.

Interestingly, Jernigan was previously set to sign a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Texans during free agency this offseason, until the deal fell apart in June, seemingly in part because of his injury history. It's currently unclear how Jernigan's prospective deal with the Jaguars compares to his reported agreement with the Texans.

Jernigan started in all three playoff games during the Eagles' 2017 Super Bowl run, and is credited with a pair of quarterback hits on Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII (the Eagles won, 41-33).

Jernigan was the Ravens' second-round pick in 2014.

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Former Eagles OL coach Howard Mudd dies at age 78

getty_mudd.jpg
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Former Eagles OL coach Howard Mudd dies at age 78

The 1964 NFL draft was held Dec. 2, 1963.

A week later Howard Mudd got a phone call.

"The 49ers mailed a letter to our athletic director (at Hillsdale College) letting them know they had drafted me and inviting me to training camp," Mudd told me in the summer of 2012. "Our AD opened his mail and called me, and that's how I found out I was drafted."

Mudd, the 49ers' 9th-round pick, went on to a brilliant playing career and a spectacular coaching career, including two years on Andy Reid’s staff with the Eagles. 

Mudd, considered one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history, died on Wednesday, two weeks after a motorcycle accident in Seattle, his family announced through Mike Chappell of Fox 59 in Indianapolis. 

He was 78.

Mudd was a guard on the NFL’s team of the decade for the 1960s. He was only 28 when he retired after a serious knee injury.

He began his coaching career at Cal in 1972 and spent 1974 through 2012 as an offensive line coach with eight teams before retiring.

Mudd came out of retirement in February of 2019 to briefly serve as a senior offensive assistant with the Colts under former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who had worked with Mudd as an assistant with the Colts in 2008 and 2009. Mudd retired from that position in September.

Mudd's last full-time job was the Eagles' offensive line coach in 2011 and 2012. He came out of his first retirement to replace Juan Castillo after Castillo replaced current Bills head coach Sean McDermott as Eagles defensive coordinator.

"(Reid) said, 'I want you to consider coming out of retirement. Would you consider that?'" Mudd told Philly reporters after joining the Eagles in February of 2011. "I was kind of stumbling around for things to say and I said, 'I'm very flattered.' We talked and chatted. Andy is pretty persuasive. My daughter said, 'Dad you retired. You get to do anything you want.' I said, 'I want to go coach. That's what I do.'"

Jason Kelce was a rookie 6th-round pick in 2011, Mudd's first year with the Eagles. In a "Five Minutes with Roob" segment in 2017, Kelce recalled Mudd telling him to think like a starter:

"I definitely didn't have a mentality that I was going to be the starter, to tell you the truth," he said. "My mentality was just to go out there and compete and make the team and I think just do the best I can, and fortunately I had an offensive line coach who believed in me, Howard Mudd, and he taught me a bunch of techniques as an under-sized player that I could utilize at this level. I still remember having a conversation with him where he said, 'Do you want to play this year?' And at that point that wasn't really in my mind."

Here's a story Dave Zangaro wrote about Mudd in the fall of 2011, after Mudd had hip replacement surgery.

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