Eagles

Carson Wentz proclaims confidence in himself to turn things around

Carson Wentz proclaims confidence in himself to turn things around

Carson Wentz knows you’re frustrated. 

He’s frustrated too. But he is also confident he’s going to turn it around. 

Things haven’t gone to plan this year. The Eagles are 5-6 with five game remaining and Wentz is coming off one of the worst games of his NFL career. Sure, the offensive line struggled on Sunday and his backup receivers ran sloppy routes, but Wentz needs to play better. He knows that. 

In the summer, Wentz talked about the importance of letting go of stress and playing with a sense of freedom. He hasn’t looked very free recently. 

On Wednesday, I asked Wentz if it has been harder to play stress-free over the last couple of weeks. His answer was interesting. 

Not really,” Wentz responded. “Just because, shoot, there’s always stress, there’s always pressure, there’s always that stuff. For me, just to be confident in who I am, the good, the bad, the ugly. I don’t really get caught up in what people say, think, whether it’s good, whether it’s bad. I’m confident in who I am as a player. 

“You’re going to go through highs and lows, you’re going to go through peaks and valleys. For me, just being confident in who I am as a person, as a player and as a man of God. That’s really all that matters. 

“I have so much confidence in my ability to turn this around and do my best and get these things fixed, that I don’t get too high or too low going through these things.

This is definitely a valley for Wentz, but he’s trying to keep his routine. 

That means that on Sunday night, he spent time with his family and then watched the game tape before he went to sleep. 

“I try to stay the same whether we’re undefeated or completely defeated,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter.” 

When Wentz watched the game tape on Sunday night and then again on Monday morning, he had the same takeaway: He can’t cough the ball up. Against the Seahawks, he fumbled three times, lost two, and threw two interceptions. 

Wentz acknowledged that it’s a constant learning process to figure out when he should try to extend plays and when he should concede them. No matter what he does, Wentz insisted, he needs to learn how to make sure he doesn’t turn it over. 

It can sometimes be a trap that players and coaches fall into, saying, “If we take away X, it wasn’t that bad.” But in this case it makes some sense. If the Eagles don’t turn the ball over on Sunday — at least not five times! — they have a much better chance to win. Taking away turnovers wouldn’t solve all their offensive problems but it would be a good start. 

The next three games — at Miami, vs. New York Giants, at Washington — are extremely winnable for the Eagles. Those three teams are all 2-9, so the Eagles have a chance to turn things around. 

For now, though, Wentz heard your boos on Sunday. And he understands them. 

“They have a right to be frustrated,” Wentz said. “They play money to sit in those seats, they pay money to cheer us on and they are so passionate about it. And I’m the same way. When they’re frustrated, I’m frustrated too. So, for me, just to walk that fine line and not get too high or low no matter what it is. 

“Without a doubt, they have the right to be frustrated when we’re slumping the way we are these last two weeks. At the same time, I’m excited to go forward and hopefully they’re excited to see us turn this thing around.”

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It looks like Eagles’ high-ranking front office member might stay after all

It looks like Eagles’ high-ranking front office member might stay after all

It sounds like Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry might be staying in Philadelphia after all. 

Berry, 32, interviewed with the Browns for their vacant general manager position last week but it seems like another candidate is going to get the job. 

According to Cleveland.com, Vikings assistant GM George Paton “could be hired as Browns GM early this week” as the top candidate for the gig.

Berry has been a hot name this offseason; he’s been mentioned for two possible promotions outside the Eagles’ facility. The other was with the Panthers but the Eagles reportedly turned down their request to interview him because the Panthers’ job wouldn’t involve final personnel say.

So despite plenty of interest in Berry, it appears there’s a pretty good chance he stays put for at least another season with the Eagles under Howie Roseman. 

Berry joined the Eagles last winter. The Eagles created the position for Berry because they wanted to find a way to get the Harvard-educated fast-riser into their building. Before coming to the Eagles, he was already in Cleveland as the Browns’ vice president of player personnel for three seasons. 

It was in that former role that he formed a relationship with Kevin Stefanski, who interviewed for the head coaching job in Cleveland before but finally got hired this offseason. The problem for Berry is that Paton is even closer to Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota. 

With Roseman firmly entrenched as the general manager in Philadelphia, it seems inevitable that the Eagles will eventually lose Berry. But it’s beginning to seem like that won’t happen this offseason. 

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NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 2.0: Some new names linked to Eagles

NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 2.0: Some new names linked to Eagles

As the football world takes over Mobile, Alabama, this week for Senior Bowl, we’re now in full mock draft season. 

We still have months before the 2020 draft but that hasn’t stopped the internet from doing what it does best: mock drafts! 

Here’s the latest roundup of possibilities for the Eagles with the 21st pick in April: 

NBC Sports Washington, Tyler Roman

Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama

What they said: It’s no secret that the Eagles had one of the worst secondaries in the league this year, so it would make sense to rectify it this off-season. McKinney is a versatile chess piece for a team that really needs talent on the backend. McKinney can cover the slot and hold his own against the run, he’s the prototypical safety prospect for today’s NFL.

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama 

What they said: 32-year-old safety Malcolm Jenkins would like a new deal and Rodney McLoud could be headed for free agency. The Eagles would love to upgrade the cornerback position but three of the top CBs are already off the board. McKinney is a top-flight safety, and could possibly emerge as the top safety in the class by draft night.

My take on McKinney: The Eagles definitely need help at the cornerback position. Their two starters from 2019 (Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills) are both set to become free agents in March and it’s not exactly like the Eagles have a bunch of talent waiting in the wings. But they might need safeties too. Malcolm Jenkins said he won’t play on his current contract and Rodney McLeod is going to be a free agent. 

I listed McKinney as a cornerback because both Wilson and Roman did, but he’s really more of a versatile safety who can play everywhere. McKinney is an impressive athlete and the Eagles could plug and play him at a few different spots. In some ways, it’s hard not to see similarities to former Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick because of the versatility. And we’ve seen how Jim Schwartz has been able to use Malcolm Jenkins over the last few years. I think this would be a solid pick. 

San Diego Union-Tribune, Eddie Brown

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: The Eagles wide receiver corps is in shambles. The inconsistent Nelson Agholor faces free agency while DeSean Jackson isn’t getting any younger (or healthier). Higgins is a big-play machine with elite size (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) and speed. He has an “above the rim” mentality as a former basketball player and would be a steal this low in the first round. 

SB Nation, Dan Kadar

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: Higgins may have only had three receptions in Monday night’s national title game, but he still profiles as a No. 1 receiver option in the NFL. As the season wore on, it was obvious that the Eagles need weapons on offense. A receiver like Higgins should be the first of a few added in this draft.

My take on Higgins: He’s been the most popular name mocked to the Eagles in the early mock draft season. It’s obvious the Eagles need receiver help and there are plenty in this draft, especially in the first round. We’ll probably see at least a half dozen receivers go in the first round and Higgins is likely going to be one of them. 

Higgins is big and fast. He really does have a good size/speed combo and there’s a lot to like about him. He’s coming off a great junior season when he had 59 catches for 1,167 yards (19.8) and 13 touchdowns. That’s great production, which used to really matter for the Eagles when Joe Douglas was here. But at his year-end press conference, Howie Roseman noted that production doesn’t always translate and there were successful rookie receivers who weren’t as productive in college. That doesn’t mean production at the college level is a bad thing, but it’s maybe not as important for the Eagles this time around. 

USA Today, Luke Easterling

Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU 

My take on Fulton: There were no explanations in this mock draft but we don’t need an explanation of why the Eagles need cornerbacks. They desperately need help at that position. And Fulton is a really good one. He has the potential to be a great man corner in the NFL and he’s coming from a school that has produced a ton of great DBs. He had just two interceptions in his time at LSU, which is noteworthy because he doesn’t appear to be a ballhawk. But he can cover. And the Eagles need guys who can cover. 

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