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Deserving Hall of Famers, Agholor's improvement, more in Roob's observations

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Deserving Hall of Famers, Agholor's improvement, more in Roob's observations

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — One day left until Super Bowl LII finally gets here, and it's a happy edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Super Bowl Observations because it starts with …

1. Dawk is a Hall of Famer (see story).

2. That deserved its own line. But let me share a quick story. It was the day before the Eagles left Lehigh for the 2006 Hall of Fame Game in Canton, and I wanted to talk to Dawk about one day maybe being a Hall of Famer. Dawk at that point was getting ready for his 11th NFL season and his career was already remarkable, although he would go on to make four more Pro Bowls, three of them with the Eagles. I waited and waited and waited for Dawk, who was out on a practice field talking to Sean McDermott, now the Bills' head coach but back then the Eagles' assistant defensive backs coach. Eventually, there was nobody left at the entire compound except Sean and Dawk, talking intensely as the sun blasted down on them, and me standing there watching from 40 yards away. Finally, after close to half an hour of intense conversation, they began walking over toward me, and I asked Dawk what they had been talking about. And he said, "We were just talking about the Hall of Fame and what it takes to become a Hall of Famer and what it means to be one and the level of play I need to continue playing at if I'm going to one day become one." Dawk always wanted to be the best ever, and on Saturday he was recognized that way. Nobody is more deserving.

3. As for T.O., I can't say I'm happy for him. I don't particularly like him or care about him. I saw the effect he had on that 2005 Eagles team. He set out to destroy the Eagles from the inside because he was unhappy with his contract, which really speaks volumes about what he was all about as a player and a person. But this is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Teamwork or Hall of Unselfishness. There's no denying the numbers. He was definitely deserving (see story).

4. I keep having this vision of Alshon Jeffery having a huge game Sunday. Alshon has been strong in the postseason so far, with nine catches for 146 yards and a couple touchdowns against the Vikings. I don't think the Patriots can cover him. I don't think they can stop him. I think he has a T.O. 2004 Super Bowl type of game.  

5. I spent a few minutes Thursday just watching a very self-assured, very relaxed, very poised Nelson Agholor sitting on a podium surrounded by TV cameras and microphones fielding all sorts of questions about Nick Foles, about Doug Pederson, about Jeffery, about the Super Bowl, and I couldn't help think … "This guy couldn't catch a pass and got benched last year." And look at him now. It's just remarkable how far Agholor has come. From a guy who caught 11 passes for 99 yards the entire second half of last season to playing a major part on a Super Bowl team. I asked him if he's taken a moment to reflect on the last year and he said he hasn't. Which probably is another sign of how far he's come. "I’ll be able to process it when it’s all said and done," he said. "The most important thing right now is to get my energy and my focus and for us to get the job done. And when I’m home in the offseason with my family, we can give hugs and I can thank them, but right now the most important thing is to get the job done. Just being here isn’t my dream. I feel like a lot of my teammates understand that and feel the same way. I don’t want to just be here. Being on this podium is cool and we appreciate being here, but at the end of the day getting the job done is the most important thing.”

6. So how much sleep do you think you'll get tonight?

7. Interesting to note that the Patriots have never scored in the first quarter of their seven Super Bowls under Bill Belichick. But they’ve also only allowed one touchdown in those seven first quarters and 15 total points. The Patriots are so good at adjusting and finishing strong. Of their five Super Bowl wins, they've only led going into the fourth quarter twice. They are just never out of a game, which we obviously saw last year. Then again, the Eagles are pretty darn good late in games as well. They haven't allowed a second-half point in their two playoff games, and they've outscored their last five opponents 45-15 after halftime. But the Patriots are 184-22 when leading at halftime, including a 48-2 mark in their last 50 games. They're 19-4 under Belichick in the postseason when they lead at halftime. I feel like it's really important for the Eagles to get off to a strong start. Be physical early. Set a tone that, "Hey, we belong here as much as you!"

8. Foles has handled himself so well this week. Definitely not wide-eyed or in awe of the moment. If he's overwhelmed, it's not showing at all. Two months ago he was an anonymous backup running scout team with Shelton Gibson, Marcus Johnson and Greg Ward. On Sunday, he starts in a Super Bowl. God, I love sports.

9. Time for my pick. I just feel like the Eagles have the edge up front on both sides of the football. I expect the Eagles' offensive line to give Nick Foles time to throw and give the running backs room to run and their defensive line to overwhelm the Patriots' offense and wear down New England's O-line. The strength of the Patriots is the greatest quarterback of all time. The strength of the Eagles is their two lines. And I'll take the team relying on two dominating lines over the team relying on a 40-year-old quarterback. I'm going Eagles 27, Patriots 20, and Philly celebrates an NFL championship for the first time in 57 years.

10. Nick Foles Mind-Boggling Stat of the Day: Postseason performances with 69 percent accuracy and no interceptions in Eagles history: Nick Foles 3, Every other quarterback in franchise history: 0.

A fascinating trend in Howie Roseman's drafts and more in Roob's Random Observations

A fascinating trend in Howie Roseman's drafts and more in Roob's Random Observations

Finding a pattern in Howie Roseman's drafts, Duce Staley and his future and the latest with Matt McGloin.

Even in the middle of February, there are 10 Random Eagles Observations!

1. Take a long look at this list of Eagles: 

Nick Foles

Vinny Curry

Mychal Kendricks

Fletcher Cox

Bennie Logan

Zach Ertz

Lane Johnson

Marcus Smith

Isaac Seumalo

Carson Wentz

Derek Barnett

Dallas Goedert

Miles Sanders

Andre Dillard

Pretty strong group, right? Obviously Smith was a bust, but the rest range from functional pros like Curry, Seumalo and Logan to budding stars like Goedert and Sanders to Pro Bowlers like Cox, Ertz, Johnson and Wentz. This is a list of every player Howie Roseman has drafted in the first three rounds since 2012 … with the WRs and CBs removed. It’s pretty remarkable. That’s 23 guys and one swing-and-a-miss. Howie’s record drafting corners and receivers is brutal. His record drafting everything else is pretty damn good. Imagine if the Eagles can get that WR / CB thing figured out?

2. For the record, the corners Howie has drafted in the first three rounds during that period are Curtis Marsh, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, and the receivers are Josh Huff, Jordan Matthews and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. (Eric Rowe and Nelson Agholor from that 2015 draft are the responsibility of Chip Kelly).

3. All that said, the Eagles can’t shy away from drafting what they have to draft in April: Corners and receivers. That has to be the focus. They just have to be better.

4. There’s been a lot of talk the last few days about Duce Staley, people wondering why he would stay with the Eagles as running backs coach when he’s been bypassed for promotions three times now. It’s a valid question. I can’t speak for Duce, and I’m sure we’ll have a chance to talk to him at some point this spring. I don’t know if he’s frustrated or not. But I do know one thing. He loves what he does. He loves coaching Eagles running backs, and he’s not going to quit just because he’s mad about not getting a promotion. From talking to him over the years, he doesn’t think that way. I’m sure he’d love a chance to be an offensive coordinator or college head coach or one day NFL head coach, and he'd be great at it. But he doesn’t think of what he’s doing as some sort of lowly job that he has to get out of. He takes so much pride in the work he does with the Eagles’ backs, and he’s damn good at it. Whether it’s squeezing one more big year out of LaGarrette Blount, getting a remarkable Super Bowl performance out of undrafted rookie Corey Clement, getting a decent year out of undrafted rookie Josh Adams or guiding Miles Sanders to a remarkable rookie season, Staley has that ability to get the most out of the guys he works with. There’s a reason Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson both kept him after he began his coaching career under Andy Reid. If you’re looking for Duce to be disappointed, maybe he is. I wouldn’t blame him. But if you’re looking for him to be anything less than the best running backs coach in the NFL as long as he’s in that role, that’s just not happening.

5. How much has quarterback play evolved in the NFL recently? As of 1990, only four QBs in NFL history had a season in which they threw for 235 yards per game, had a passer rating over 90 and an interception percentage under 2.4 INTs per 100 attempts (Joe Montana twice,  Ken O’Brien, Bernie Kosar and Warren Moon). This past year? Those marks — 235 yards, passer rating of 90 and a 2.4 INT average — were the NFL averages. 

6. A day doesn’t go by where it doesn’t just hit me how special Miles Sanders is. Some reminders:

—> This past year, Sanders became only the 7th rookie in NFL history with 750 rushing yards, a 4.5 rushing average and 50 receptions. Only one player in NFL history has reached those milestones in his first two seasons, and that’s Sanders college teammate, Saquon Barkley. 

—> The only other Eagles to reach those plateaus even once in their entire career are Brian Westbrook three times, LeSean McCoy twice and Timmy Brown once. 

—> In the last 50 years, only nine running backs have netted more scrimmage yards in a season on fewer touches. 

7. It’s a shame Harold Carmichael and the other Centennial Hall of Famers won’t have the chance to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the other honorees during the usual summer enshrinement weekend. The Hall still won’t even confirm when the Centennial inductees are going in, but it’s apparently going to be sometime in September, after the regular season has begun instead of during enshrinement weekend with the Class of 2020. Every summer, Hall of Fame Weekend, the weekend before the preseason games begin, is the focus of the football world, and the inductees are treated like Gods in Canton, from the parade through town to the lavish dinner to getting interviewed during the Hall of Fame Game broadcast to the ceremony itself inside Fawcett Stadium. Harold and the other Centennial inductees won’t get to experience any of this. I understand there are logistical issues with so many people going into the Hall, but they could have worked around those. Putting Harold and the other all-time greats into the Hall when nobody is paying attention does them all a grave disservice. 

8. Hard to believe this coming season will be the Eagles’ 18th at the Linc. After their 18th season at the Vet, they only had 14 years left there. Somehow I think the Linc will last a little longer.

9. Shocked things aren’t going well in the XFL for Matt McGloin. Never saw that coming.

10. Every time I see that Clowney hit it blows my mind that he wasn’t penalized or fined. What a joke. The NFL can never talk about player safety if they’re going to allow that kind of stuff to happen.

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Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay embraces Philly mentality in American Idol experience

Eagles cheerleader Kyle Tanguay embraces Philly mentality in American Idol experience

The Eagles cheerleading squad looked a little different in 2019 thanks to rookie Kyle Tanguay. Not only because he was the first male cheerleader the organization has had in decades, but because of his bright, contagious personality and being completely fearless in everything he does. 

The 21-year-old has only been in Philadelphia since the summer of 2017 but has completely fallen in love with the city, the fans and more importantly, the Eagles. Not even a week into his time here, he was already watching the Eagles to make friends and share a common interest. 

Little did anyone know that just two years later, he’d be cheering for the team. What’s even crazier is that he had never done something to this degree before. 

“The biggest challenge was not really knowing what to expect,” Tanguay said. “I had never done professional cheerleading in my life, I had never even done a dance team in my high school and my college doesn’t have one.”

Pretty surprising to believe, especially when he shines during every performance. 

Philadelphia had taken to Tanguay essentially overnight and those who came to cheer on the birds every Sunday, also cheered for him. Not only was he welcomed with open arms, but an unbreakable bond was also created. 

“The fans of Philadelphia are the greatest fan base in the entire world,” Tanguay said. “I think the reason that the Philadelphia fans love us so much as a squad is because it’s very clear to see that we have the same amount of passion as them.

“One thing that I appreciated about them and something that they appreciated about me was that we both shared this intense love for the Eagles. Maybe we don’t look the same, maybe we don’t act the same, maybe we have different values, but at the end of the day I’m an Eagles fan and so are you so that’s what brings us together.”

Now, with the NFL offseason in full swing, there’s a new challenge for Tanguay to face —  ‘American Idol.’

Tanguay noted that he was a newly born singer but based off of videos he had posted on social media, it seemed like he had been doing this for a while. 

How long has it been since he started?

“I think I’ve been singing since October [2019],” Tanguay said with a laugh. 

“The first time I ever sang in front of anyone that wasn’t my roommates … was my audition.

“I did chorus in high school — I never wanted a solo, I always stood in the back and I always kept to myself. I would sing in the shower, I would sing in the living room, I would really only sing in front of my roommates if we were tired and had the sleepy ha-ha’s and so for me, this opportunity presented itself and I got to go down to Washington D.C. and try out for ‘American Idol.’ 

“It was the most craziest experience ever and it really allowed me to remind myself that it’s okay to step outside your comfort zone. The experience on the show was so awesome, so exciting and it’s something that I cannot wait for the world to see.”

It was mentioned before, but Tanguay is fearless. To make your mark in the NFL and step fully outside of your comfort zone to perform in front of the top artists in the music industry within the same year is nothing short of incredible. 

This field can be tough, competitive and even make some turn away from their goals. When asked about the best piece of advice Tanguay could give those who need to stay inspired or motivated, the most sincere answer was given. 

There’s a quote that was plastered in my middle school gymnasium that said ‘stand up for something you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.’ And that is something that I’ve always carried with me.

No is only two letters. It’s a small word if anyone tells you no there’s just another yes around the corner. I’ve heard no so many times in my life. So many times in my life. It has always made the most crazy, windy path … but it’s been my path. 

It’s a mindset that not many people have at such a young age. To thrive off of being told ‘no’ and instead of being knocked down, simply changing direction to get to where you want to be is a special thing. 

Being positive is infectious, and when Tanguay left for the day, I felt inspired. Inspired to just put a smile on my face, to do something kind for someone else, to push myself a little more than what I typically do. Not everyone can say they have that kind of power — he absolutely does. 

‘American Idol’ premieres this Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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