Eagles

Wentz, Pederson don't get much love in NFL awards

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USA Today Images

Wentz, Pederson don't get much love in NFL awards

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Eagles will have to settle for a chance at the Lombardi Trophy consolation prize tomorrow. 

Carson Wentz was not named the NFL MVP and Doug Pederson was not named the Coach of the Year. 

They both had strong cases. 

Wentz received just two MVP votes, while Tom Brady won the award with 40 and Todd Gurley finished second with eight. 

Pederson received just one Coach of the Year vote, tied with Bill Belichick for fourth. Sean McVay, whose team lost to the Eagles at home, won the award with 35 votes. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer got 11 and Jaguars coach Doug Marrone pulled in two. 

Wentz had a tremendous season that was cut short when he tore his ACL and LCL in Los Angeles on Dec. 10. Before then, he looked like the favorite to win the award that ended up going to Brady. It's Brady's third MVP. 

Through 13 games, Wentz was tremendous. He guided the Eagles to an 11-2 record while throwing for 3,296 yards, with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Even after missing the last three games, Wentz's 33 touchdown passes were still second in the NFL behind Russell Wilson's 34. 

Back in early January, Eagles receiver Torrey Smith said he thought Wentz should still win the MVP award based on what he did for the team. He also brought up the point that he probably wouldn't have played in the regular season finale, so it was like the injury only forced him to miss two games. 

Smith admitted he was biased but thought Wentz deserved it.

"Tom Brady's the G.O.A.T. though. He is the G.O.A.T.," Smith said. "But Carson was able to make plays athletically that Tom can't physically do, even though he's the greatest quarterback ever. Carson plays the game differently and what he's meant to us on third down, when he's scrambling, the crazy plays he's made. It's not like he's Vick or anything, but the way he makes those plays, it was huge for us. 

"At times we were struggling and those plays turn into opening the gates. He's made some amazing plays all year. I don't know, put their highlight tapes together and see what you think."

Wentz revealed last week that he actually tore his LCL in addition to his ACL but doesn't think it will impact his recovery too much. In fact, his goal is still to be ready for the 2018 season opener, though he didn't want to talk about timelines. 

Pederson put together a strong resume too this year. While postseason achievements don't factor into the voting, he had a pretty good regular season as well. He helped turn a 7-9 team into a 13-3 team that won the NFC East and the top spot in the NFC. 

Oh yeah, and he did it while losing Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Caleb Sturgis along the way. 

The Eagles didn't walk away completely empty handed on Saturday night at the NFL Honors event. Their offensive line was named the "Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year" and Wentz won the FedEx Air Player of the Year. 

Oh yeah, and the Eagles won the inaugural Celebration of the Year award for their electric slide. 

With a win on Sunday, they'll get the important trophy and probably dance a lot more too. 

Greg Ward still learning wide receiver position after great college career at quarterback

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Greg Ward still learning wide receiver position after great college career at quarterback

Greg Ward threw more touchdown passes in college than Carson Wentz and had a higher career passer rating than Nick Foles. 

These days, his job is catching passes, not throwing them. 

It’s quite a transition from big-time NCAA Division 1 quarterback to NFL wide receiver, but at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, the former Houston Cougar knows where his future is.

Ward spent all of last year on the Eagles’ practice squad, learning the nuances of a new position and figuring out how to think like a receiver instead of a quarterback. 

He looked surprisingly polished at wide out in training camp, caught nine passes for 63 yards in the preseason and then spent the season focusing on getting better.

“I still haven’t 100 percent gotten the position,” Ward said after a recent rookie camp practice. “I always feel like I can get better, always feel like I can learn something new, feel like there’ll always be something to improve on. 

“Last year was a big year for me. Just learning a new position, learning football period, learning from Alshon (Jeffery), Torrey (Smith) and Nelson (Agholor), it was a very important year for me.

“Just gathering every bit of information I could watching those guys practice and watching them in games and then learning how to apply what you’ve learned to your game.”

Ward never did get a chance to play, but he said he felt himself getting better as the year went along.

“Everybody wants to play,” said Ward, who led Houston to a Peach Bowl win over No. 9 Florida State in Atlanta at the end of his junior year. 

“You’re a competitor, that’s why we all do this. But I was humbled and thankful just to be on a Super Bowl team. Just to be in the NFL period. Some guys aren’t able to play football at all. I’m just grateful to be on a football team. 

“But this is not the end of my story. I am going to get out there and I am going to play.”

Ward was with the Eagles during their postseason run and he was there in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl.

He used every moment, every day, as an opportunity to improve. Even if nobody could see it happening.

“The biggest thing I learned was just being patient, just being humble,” he said. “Our team last year, there was nobody that was selfish. Nobody who thought they were bigger than anybody else. I learned patience and the importance of doing extra. Getting extra work, studying more, watching more film. That’s what it takes to win a championship.”

The Eagles have quite a crowd at wide receiver, with Jeffery, Agholor and Mack Hollins back, Wallace and Markus Wheaton in the fold and guys like Bryce Treggs, Shelton Gibson and Rashard Davis all also in the mix.

But Ward doesn’t concern himself with the numbers.

“The next step for me is to separate myself,” he said. "As a competitor, especially coming from being undrafted, you have to separate yourself. You have to be different. 

“You have to catch whoever’s eye it is, head coach, position coach, catch everybody’s eyes. They have to see value in you. That’s where I am right now. Trying to separate myself.”

How long will it take?

“I’m leaving that up to God,” he said. “I know I’m putting in the hard work and I know one day it will pay off. I know that day will come.”

Jay Ajayi's publicist denies Eagles' RB trashed an L.A. mansion

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Jay Ajayi's publicist denies Eagles' RB trashed an L.A. mansion

Eagles running back Jay Ajayi is strongly denying accusations made in a lawsuit that he trashed a Los Angeles house after the Super Bowl (see story)

The lawsuit, as reported by TMZ earlier this week, accuses Ajayi of throwing three parties at the L.A. mansion he was renting even after the owner told him not to. Ajayi is being charged $25,000 by the owner. 

Shortly after the story broke on Monday, a representative for Ajayi claimed the lawsuit was bogus. 

Now, we have an even stronger detail from Ajayi’s camp. 

Ajayi’s publicist Melanie Wadden told the Miami Herald that Ajayi didn’t throw any parties and caused no damage to the property. 

Additionally, Wadden denied the home owner’s claim that Ajayi pushed him in a menacing manner after confronting him.

“Jay was not involved in any physical altercations,” she said. 

Ajayi’s publicist also told the Herald that Ajayi was a guest and not the renter and the owner wanted the group to pay cash instead of through Airbnb. 

"The entire group voluntarily left the property several days early — no security or police were ever involved or on-site," Wadden said. "They filed a complaint against the owner through Airbnb back in February that included screenshots of the owner asking for cash and trying to communicate outside of their platform [against Airbnb policy]."

Ajayi, who came to the Eagles in the middle of last season in a trade, has one year left on his current contract.