Eagles

Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott leads off Roob's 10 random Eagles observations

Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott leads off Roob's 10 random Eagles observations

Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott, a crazy Greg Ward stat and the forgotten greatness of Marion Campbell.

Not to mention the world's greatest Wendell Smallwood stat!

It's all here in this weekend's edition of Roob's 10 random offseason Eagles observations! 

1. It’s always fun to compare Prescott and Wentz, and it’s really impossible not to. They came into the league the same year, they’re in the same division, they’ve both been to the Pro Bowl, they have incredibly similar stats, they face off twice a year, they’ve each led their team to two division titles in four years and they’re actually tied for eighth place in NFL history for most TDs by a quarterback in his first four years. But instead of comparing Wentz and Prescott, let’s take a moment to compare who they throw to. Here’s a list of the 10 receivers who’ve caught the most passes from Prescott and Wentz in their first four years in their league:

Prescott

Jason Witten (194), Ezekiel Elliott (189), Cole Beasley (174), Amari Cooper (132), Dez Bryant (118), Michael Gallup (99), Terrance Williams (97), Blake Jarwin (58), Randall Cobb (55) and Geoff Swaim (33).

Wentz

Zach Ertz (303), Nelson Agholor (156), Alshon Jeffery (143), Jordan Matthews (95), Dallas Goedert (82), Darren Sproles (68), Trey Burton (56), Miles Sanders (48), Dorial Green-Beckham (36), Torrey Smith (33), Wendell Smallwood (33).

I can’t wait to see what their numbers look like when Carson’s weapons match Dak’s.

2. I’ve never understood why so many Eagles fans don’t like Jim Schwartz. The Eagles have allowed the seventh-fewest points in the NFL (and won a Super Bowl) in four years with Schwartz as their defensive coordinator. And that’s with just two elite players — Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins. And about 50 cornerbacks. Speaks volumes of the job Schwartz has done with limited resources.  

3. The most comical complaint about Schwartz is that “he doesn’t adjust.” Only four teams have allowed fewer points after halftime than the Eagles since 2016 (the Patriots, Titans, Ravens and Vikings). 

4. One of the most underrated figures in Eagles history is Marion Campbell. If all you know about the Swamp Fox is that he went 18-29-1 in three miserable years as the Eagles’ head coach between Dick Vermeil and Buddy Ryan, you’re missing out. First of all, Swampy was a two-time Pro Bowl lineman for the Eagles and a first-team All-Pro who started on the 1960 NFL Championship team. As Vermeil’s defensive coordinator, he had the Eagles ranked in the top 10 in defense every year he coached — five straight years! — with the exception of the strike-shortened 1982 season. The Eagles were No. 1 in 1980 and 1981 — the only times since 1951 they’ve been the top-ranked defense in the NFL. Campbell, who died in 2016 at 87, is a notable omission from the Eagles’ Hall of Fame.

5. Speaking of the Eagles’ Hall of Fame, why the heck is running back Ollie Matson in there? Ollie is a Hall of Famer, but that’s because of his five straight All-Pro seasons with the Cards early in his career, long before he arrived in Philly. By the time he joined the Eagles in 1964, he was 34 years old and a deep reserve. Matson managed just 608 rushing yards and a 4.1 average and 25 catches for 301 yards with 10 total TDs in three seasons with the Eagles. He barely played. Miles Sanders already has more scrimmage yards than Matson as an Eagle!

But in 1987, for reasons nobody can remember, Matson was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame. Bizarre. May as well put in Art Monk, James Lofton and Richard Dent while we’re putting in guys who were way past their glory years by the time they became Eagles.

6. Ertz is one of only four tight ends in NFL history with five straight 70-catch seasons. The others are Travis Kelce, Witten and Tony Gonzalez. 

7. I was watching Mike Patterson’s remarkable 98-yard fumble return touchdown against the 49ers at Candlestick Park in 2006 on YouTube the other day. Remember the play? Dawk stuffed Frank Gore at the goal line and stripped him, and before anybody else even realized the ball was out, Patterson scooped it up and began rumbling toward the opposite end zone while Quintin Mikell blocked Alex Smith all the way down the field. Just timed Mike with a stopwatch: 13.7 seconds from the time he picked up the ball till he scored! Not bad for a 305-pounder! That was a fun play.

8. One of the reasons I don’t worry about Wentz is his remarkable consistency. He has 29 starts since 2017 with a passer rating of at least 90, fifth-most in the league, behind Drew Brees (33), Kirk Cousins (32), Russell Wilson (31) and Philip Rivers (30). Bad games? He’s had just three games with a passer rating under 70, and since 2017 some 43 quarterbacks have had more. When you’re usually very good and rarely very bad, it’s a winning formula … if you’re healthy.

9. I never realized this before, but when LeSean McCoy played one snap in the Chiefs’ 51-31 playoff win over the Texans in January it was the first and only snap Shady ever played in his career in a postseason win.

10. If you take Ward’s 28 catches over the last six weeks of last season and project them over 16 games, he catches 75 passes. If you take Mack Hollins’ 0 catches over the last 12 weeks and project them over … oh, never mind.

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

Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

They're tired of being known as the worst group of wide receivers in the league.

And they may finally have a coach who can help them get rid of that tag.

"We have an expectation to be one of the top groups in the league," new Eagles receivers coach Aaron Moorehead said Thursday. "That's what we expect. This group is coming out with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder I think because of last year, and that's a good thing."

Eagles receivers last year combined for just 137 passes for 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns, the worst WR numbers in the league.

It was the fewest yards by an Eagles receiving corps since 2000, when Charles Johnson, Torrance Small and Friends had 1,481.

For the first time since 1966 no Eagles wide receiver even had 500 yards.

Out with Carson Walch, in with Moorehead, the Eagles' fifth receivers coach in five years under Doug Pederson.

It doesn't take much time with Moorehead – even on a Zoom call – to sense his confidence, passion, dedication and communication skills.

And he's already instilled a hunger in this wide receiving group to go from one of the worst in the league to one of the best.

"At the end of the day, a little added extra motivation (doesn't hurt)," he said. "In this day and age (with) social media, you can try to ignore it, but people hear what (critics) say, and I think guys understand that we do have something to prove, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with that, and I enjoy a good challenge and I enjoy coaching a group that has something to prove."

DeSean Jackson is 33 and managed one healthy game last year. Alshon Jeffery struggled then got hurt and has been largely disappointing since he signed here. Second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had a miserable rookie year. And rookie Jalen Reagor keeps hearing how the Eagles should have taken Justin Jefferson instead.

You can understand why this group feels disrespected.

"I think that's good," Moorehead said. "I've coached groups that people believed were the best [...] and I've coached groups that people disrespected and felt like they weren't very good, so it's not anything new to me. I think we have a really good group. I know we have a really good group. It's just up to us to stay healthy and prove it week in and week out."

The Eagles haven't had a wide receiver with back-to-back 100-yard games since Jordan Matthews in 2015.

They haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.

On paper they should be better. How can they not be?

Their goal isn't just to be better. It’s to be among the best.

"So far they've taken the approach that [they're] ready to go out there and prove every day why we should be one of the top groups in the NFL," Moorehead said.

You have to love Moorehead's approach and his personality.

If his receivers can match his confidence and swagger, the Eagles just might finally have a receiving corps to get excited about.

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

Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

us_ee_ertz.png
USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro take a look at Zach Ertz’s contract situation after George Kittle and Travis Kelce got huge extensions. 

The guys pick some things they would have watched in the preseason opener, talk about Doug Pederson’s structure for practice and give their first impressions on a couple of new Eagles coaches. 

Plus, remembering the great Howard Mudd, who died at 78 this week. 

  • (1:02) — What Travis Kelce and George Kittle's contract mean for Zach Ertz.
  • (16:45) — Things we would have watched tonight in preseason opener.
  • (23:08) — Doug Pederson details Eagles’ 2020 training camp structure
  • (28:45) — Aaron Moorehead and Matt Burke speak on their roles. 
  • (36:54) — Remembering Howard Mudd
     

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