Eagles

Carson Wentz vs. Donovan McNabb in Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations!

Carson Wentz vs. Donovan McNabb in Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations!

Alshon's future, a crazy Shelton Gibson stat, Carson Wentz vs. Donovan McNabb and lots more in this weekend's 10 Random Eagles Offseason Observations! 

1. The question I’ve been asked more than any other since the season ended is: “What are they going to do with Alshon?” And it’s an intriguing one. Howie talked about Alshon when he met with the media a couple weeks ago, and bringing him back - if he’s healthy - makes sense in a way. When he’s healthy, he’s the most talented WR on the roster … by far (I know, I know, low bar), they’ve got to pay him anyway, and you can’t replace an entire corps of wide receivers, so why not keep the best one? But then I keep coming back to … I just don’t want this guy in my locker room. I don’t want him anywhere near Carson Wentz. I don’t want him near the young, impressionable wideouts the Eagles are going to draft. It’s a tough call, especially because of the economics. And Jeffery’s foot injury complicates everything. But bottom line is I just don’t think it’s a good idea for him to be in the building, and it’s up to Roseman to figure out a sensible way to make sure he's not. 

2. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Graham Harrell as offensive coordinator. He’s obviously a bright offensive mind, but what I like is that he’s an outside voice who can bring some fresh ideas to Doug Pederson, but philosophically he’s coming from the same general place as Doug. Harrell is a disciple of Mike Leach - he played for him and coached under him - and Leach is not quite part of the Andy Reid coaching tree, but he used to visit Reid, Marty Mornhinweg and Pederson at Lehigh to pick their brains about their offense. They’re different enough because there’s no direct connection between Pederson and Harrell, but there’s enough common ground that it seems like a heck of a fit. 

3. I wrote this past week about Doug Pederson’s struggles hiring assistant coaches, and one of the more troublesome trends is that he’s now fired three coaches he brought in and then promoted. He hired Carson Walch in 2018 as assistant wide receivers coach and promoted him to WR coach after one year, he hired Phillip Daniels in 2016 as a quality control coach and promoted him to d-line in 2018 and he brought in Mike Groh as WRs and promoted him to offensive coordinator after the 2017 season. Groh lasted two years and Walch and Daniels one year. I don’t get how you can be so wrong about guys who’ve been on your staff that you want to get rid of him that quickly.

4. For the first time since 1984, the Eagles didn’t have a punt return of 20 yards this year. Their longest  was a 17-yarder by Darren Sproles on opening day. In 1984, their long was a 16-yarder by Evan Cooper against the Patriots. Overall, the Eagles ranked 25th in punt return average at 5.8, their lowest figure since 5.7 in 1983. Makes it tough on everybody when so many of your drives start deep in your own territory. Greg Ward is a nice slot receiver, but he's not a punt returner. Just another need for 2020. 

5. There’s no down-side to Connor Barwin joining the Eagles’ front office. He’s a smart guy, he knows the game, he really loves this team and wants to see it succeed as much now as when he played here. The more people like Connor Barwin in your organization the better off you are.

6. I still believe in Carson Wentz, but interesting to think that four years into Donovan McNabb’s career he had already won four playoff games and reached two NFC Championship Games. 

7. One-time Eagles training camp phenom Raheem Mostert, who plays for the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, has a higher career rushing average than every running back in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

8. Shelton Gibson has more position coaches than receptions in his career. Gibson has three career catches. He’s had four position coaches - Mike Groh in 2017, Gunter Brewer in 2018, Adam Henry with the Browns this past season and then Carson Walch for a week. If Gibson stays here this offseason? That disparity will go up.

9. Just a reminder for those clinging to their membership in the Jim Schwartz Sucks Cabal: Since 2016, the Eagles are No. 7 in the NFL in points allowed, No. 1 in run defense, No. 3 stopping third down, 10th in sacks, 9th in takeaways and 2nd in first downs allowed. With a Super Bowl title in there last time I checked. And allowing 17 points per game in six playoff games. And that’s with two players you’d classify as elite — Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins. He's not the problem.

10. Jason Peters has been an Eagle for so long he blocked for Brian Westbrook! Crazy, ain’t it? Going to be tough to see J.P. go. But it’s time. 

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Darius Slay explains why he’s wearing 24 to honor Kobe Bryant

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Darius Slay

Darius Slay explains why he’s wearing 24 to honor Kobe Bryant

You can still hear the giddiness in Darius Slay’s voice when he talks about Dec. 6, 2015. 

That was a special day for the Eagles’ new cornerback. 

That was the day he met the Kobe Bryant. 

The meeting between the late NBA superstar and the then-third-year NFL pro came after a Lakers-Pistons game at The Palace of Auburn Hills during the 2015 season. It’s a day and a moment Slay will never forget, getting the chance to meet his favorite basketball player and a personal idol. 

And now with the Eagles, Slay will honor Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, by wearing the No. 24 for the football team Bryant loved. 

“I was surprised that he even knew me,” Slay said. “I don’t know if the people told him, ‘You got Darius Slay out there waiting on you from the Detroit Lions’ or gave him a pre-talk about me or something. I don’t know. 

“But the fact that he came around the corner and (there) was like 20 to 30 reporters waiting on him, he kind of walked past all the reporters, everybody and came directly to me, like, ‘What’s up Slay? I love your game, man.’ He was talking about my style of play and we just chopped it up for a minute.”

Slay said he was so in shock that day he barely had any words to speak but he was able to hold a short conversation. Then Slay got Kobe’s autograph and they took a few photos together, including this one: 

Slay previously wore No. 23 in Detroit but that number is occupied by Rodney McLeod with the Eagles. And Jordan Howard, who wore 24 last year, left for Miami as a free agent. So things lined up perfectly for Slay to take the second of Kobe’s two retired numbers. 

When Bryant died in January, it became even more apparent how much he meant to his fellow athletes. When Bryant visited the Eagles in LA during the 2017 season, there was a similar giddiness with them. There’s a really good chance that Bryant was your favorite athlete’s favorite athlete. 

“I just love how much he competed,” Slay said. “He was a true competitor. He worked on his craft. I believe the work you put in is [what] you get out of it.” 

Slay said he also really admired that Bryant was always willing to seek out answers from others, most notably Michael Jordan. Even though Bryant was constantly being compared to Jordan, he was never hesitant to pick Jordan’s brain. 

Similarly, Slay said he loves talking to other cornerbacks and asking advice. He doesn’t care who that cornerback is; if he has a question about their technique or facing a particular receiver, he’s going to ask. 

“It’s just the part about doing anything and be willing to do anything to be good and be great,” Slay said. “That’s why I took out a lot of stuff that he did and that’s what I’ll continue to keep doing.”

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5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

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USA Today Sports Images/@SirRobin83/Twitter

5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

With professional sports on pause around the world, fans are looking for anything - video games, simulations, classic games - to satisfy that live sports itch.

We may have found the ultimate placeholder: a five-year-old imitating Boston Scott's infamous spin-o-rama.

On Saturday afternoon, Twitter user Robin Stanley tagged Scott in a quick video of his son, Beckett, pretending to be the Eagles running back:

I mean, c'mon: the likeness to Scott's spin move against the Giants is kind of uncanny.

In case you need to jog your memory, here is Scott's spin:

Scott, of course, made fun of himself for the move at the time, admitting that when he saw the clip after the game, it "looked pretty silly".

I'd say Beckett's spin had a little more swag.

Stanley's dad, a Philly native, told NBC Sports Philadelphia his son was expecting to play his first season of flag football this spring down in Nashville, but the league was postponed because of social distancing mandates, so he's making do.

On Saturday, Scott saw Stanley's video and gave the little man a nod of approval:

That's just good, clean fun. Thank you, Beckett, for the sports-related smile.

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