Eagles

Doug Pederson continues to assure Carson Wentz he's The Man for Eagles moving forward

Doug Pederson continues to assure Carson Wentz he's The Man for Eagles moving forward

Doug Pederson said he’s continued to meet with Carson Wentz to assure him he’s the Eagles’ quarterback when healthy, no matter what happens in the meantime.

Wentz, who went 5-6 in 11 starts before being sidelined indefinitely by a fracture in his back, watched as Nick Foles replaced him last year and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship and was on the sideline again Sunday night in Los Angeles as Foles led the Eagles to an upset win over the Rams.

Foles will make his fourth start of the year Sunday afternoon at the Linc against the Texans.

Pederson has made it clear publicly that Wentz remains the Eagles’ quarterback when healthy, but he said it’s important that he continues to make that clear to Wentz:

I think No. 1, I can stand here and say that Carson is our quarterback. He’s our quarterback of the future. That’s why we drafted him. That’s also why we have Nick here as a backup, as a veteran player, I don’t want to say to bail us out, but to come in and execute the offense, and I think we just continue to re-confirm that with Carson and let him know that and continue to say, ‘Hey listen, you’re going to be here for a long time and have a long career,’ and we just have to commit to that and communicate that to him and let that kind of sink in.

Wentz’s status beyond Sunday is unknown. He remains on the 53-man roster but was inactive for the win over the Rams and is expected to be inactive Sunday.

The Eagles haven’t made Wentz available to reporters covering the team since immediately after the Cowboys game.

Pederson indicated Friday that Wentz wants to play.

“Does he want to play through it? I would say this — and not speaking for Carson, I don’t want to put words in his mouth — but I think as an athlete who has an injury this time of year, if it’s not going to set them back, then yeah, I would say that everybody wants to play through injury,” he said.

“You see it around the league, not just with Carson, Avonte Maddox, Jordan Hicks, I think these guys have enough pride and want-to to try, but we’ve got to make sure they’re 100 percent. That’s kind of been our philosophy around here.”

This is a tricky situation.

The Eagles are 21-5 since 2013 when Foles starts and plays more than a quarter. The combination of his success and Wentz lacking some of the consistency of last year as he comes off his ACL injury has turned a segment of the fan base against Wentz.

So Pederson has to juggle two quarterbacks, one who was the second pick of the 2016 draft and played at an MVP level last year and the other who was the Super Bowl MVP.

But Pederson said this is really simple.

When the doctors say Wentz is ready, Wentz will play.

“Listen, it kind of goes back to the beginning of the year,” he said. “We’re going to trust the medical staff. It’s one of those deals, and you’ve got to make sure there won’t be any setbacks when you put him back out there.”

But Pederson acknowledged that it can be tough to keep Wentz on the bench when he wants to be out there.

“It can be,” he said. “But, listen: As long as we communicate and we’re up front and honest with him and have tough conversations — which we’ve had, not just me and him but the doctors and the medical staff — and he understands, I think we’re OK.”

What if Foles leads the Eagles back into the playoffs? What if Wentz replaces Foles going into the postseason and the Eagles lose? What if Foles gets the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game? Do you still change QBs?

Pederson is facing a complex issue. But one thing is certain: Having two quarterbacks capable of greatness is a much better dilemma than having none.

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Redskins sign Eagles Super Bowl starter Ronald Darby

Redskins sign Eagles Super Bowl starter Ronald Darby

The Eagles will now see Ronald Darby twice a year. Which is about how often they’ve seen him the last few years.

OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but Darby, who missed 22 games in his three years with the Eagles, agreed to terms of a one-year, $4 million deal with the Redskins Sunday, according to ESPN.

The Eagles acquired Darby from the Bills just before the 2017 season for Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick in 2018. Darby missed nine games with an ankle injury before returning to the starting lineup and playing at a high level down the stretch as the Eagles went on their Super Bowl run.

He suffered a torn ACL that cost him the last seven regular-season games and the postseason in 2018 and missed five games last year with hamstring and hip injuries.

Darby, who won a bronze medal in the 200-meter dash at the 2011 IAAF World Championships, had six interceptions as an Eagle, the most by any Eagles cornerback during the Doug Pederson Era.

At his best, he was a speedy, aggressive playmaking corner, but the Eagles just did not see that player very often, especially the last two years.

The Eagles went into the offseason committed to revamping the secondary, and they never had any intention of re-signing Darby, who made $5.625 million last year.

In Washington, Darby will be playing for new head coach Ron Rivera. The Redskins signed Kendall Fuller as a free agent but traded Quinton Dunbar, who started 11 games at corner for the Skins last year, to the Seahawks last week.

Darby is the seventh Eagles’ unrestricted free agent to sign elsewhere, following Halapoulivaati Vaitai [Lions], Jordan Howard [Dolphins], Kamu Grugier-Hill [Dolphins], Malcolm Jenkins [Saints], Nelson Agholor [Raiders] and Richard Rodgers [Redskins]. All but Howard were members of the 2017 Super Bowl team.

The Eagles made no effort to re-sign any of them.

Of the Eagles’ 15 free agents, only Jason Peters, Nigel Bradham, Vinny Curry and Josh McCown remain unsigned. The Eagles brought back Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Nate Sudfeld and Hassan Ridgeway.

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Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

When the Eagles signed Will Parks, who grew up at 2nd and Allegheny and attended since-shuttered Germantown High School, it got me wondering how many Philadelphia natives have played for the Eagles.

The answer is not many. Especially recently.

Going back to 1940, we found 14 Philly natives who played in at least one regular-season game for the Eagles.

We’re not including players from the suburbs [Vince Papale, Josh Adams, Matt Bahr] or Philly natives the Eagles drafted who never got into a game [Raheem Brock, Steve Ebbeke].

Anybody missing?

SHAREEF MILLER [2019]: You don’t have to go very far back to find the last Philly native to play for the Eagles. Miller, their 4th-round pick last year, graduated from George Washington High up in Somerton, and he did play for the Eagles last year – two special teams snaps against the Bills.

BRUCE PERRY [2005-06]: Perry, also a George Washington graduate, was the Eagles’ 7th-round pick in 2004. He played five games with the Eagles and had 16 career carries. On the last day of the 2005 season, he ran 15 times for 70 yards against the Redskins, a 4.7 average. He never had another NFL carry.

UHURU HAMITER [2001-02]: Hamiter was a defensive end who played at Mastbaum High in Kensington, leading the Panthers to the 1996 Public League championship. After playing at Delaware State, he went undrafted in 1998, but he signed with the London Monarchs of the World League and had seven sacks. The Eagles brought him into training camp that summer, and although he didn’t make the roster, he did resurface in 1999 with the Saints and played five games. He returned to Philly and played in eight games.

CHUCK WEBER [1959-61]: Weber went to Abington High, but he grew up in Philly, so we’ll keep him in the Philly section. Weber was actually the Eagles’ middle linebacker in 1960, when Chuck Bednarik played outside. Weber had six INTs in 1960, most by an Eagles linebacker until William Thomas had seven in 1995. In a 1960 game against the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl he became the first linebacker in NFL history with three INTs in a game. He remains one of only six Eagles with three interceptions in a game and the only linebacker. Kurt Coleman is the last to do it.

EDDIE BELL [1955-58]: Bell went to West Philadelphia High and played at Penn. The Eagles drafted him in the 5th-round in 1953, and Bell, one of the first African-Americans to play in the NFL, had nine INTs in four seasons with the Eagles before spending time in the CFL and then the AFL with the New York Titans, who eventually became the Jets.

JOHN MICHELS [1953]: Not to be confused with the John Michels who was once traded for Jon Harris, this John Michels was a guard who went to West Catholic and then played at Tennessee. He was a 25th-round draft pick in 1953 and played 11 games for the Eagles.

JESS RICHARDSON [1953-61]: Richardson was from East Falls and went to Roxborough High. He was the Eagles’ 8th-round pick in 1953 as a defensive tackle out of Alabama. Ray Didinger tells me Richardson grew up blocks away from the Kelly family and was friends with Grace Kelly, who became Princess of Monaco. He played nine of his 12 NFL seasons with the Eagles, made a Pro Bowl in 1959 and started on the 1960 NFL Championship team.

WALT STICKEL [1950-51]: Stickel went to Northeast High and played at both Tulsa and Penn before the Bears drafted him in the 21st round in 1945. He finished his career with the Eagles, playing in 11 games.

MIKE JARMOLUK [1949-55]: Jarmoluk, an interior lineman, attended Frankford High and Temple and was drafted by the Lions in 1945 before finishing his 10-year NFL career with the Eagles.

BILL MACKRIDES [1947-51]: Mackrides played at West Philly and Nevada and was the Eagles’ 3rd-round pick as a QB in 1947. He spent all but three games of his six-year career with the Eagles and was a backup on two NFL Championship teams. He threw 15 touchdown passes.

BERT KUCZYNSKI [1946]: Kuczynski went to Northeast High and Penn and played in one game for the Eagles.

MIKE MANDARINO [1944-45]: A West Catholic and La Salle grad, Mandarino played in 13 games for the Eagles in the 1940s.

BUCKO KILROY [1943-55]: Kilroy grew up in Port Richmond and attended Northeast Catholic and played college ball at both Notre Dame and Temple and also served in the Merchant Marines before spending his entire 13-year NFL career as an interior lineman with the Eagles, often playing both ways. He started 103 games for the Eagles, playing on both the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams and was named to the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1940s. After his playing career, Kilroy spent nearly 50 years as an NFL executive, including 37 years with the Patriots.

JACK FERRANTE [1941, 1944-50]: Great story. Ferrante grew up in South Philly and then West Philly and briefly attended high school somewhere in the city, although nobody seems to remember exactly where. He left school to work during his sophomore year and was only 18 when he starting playing semi-pro football. After earning a local reputation, he got a tryout with the Eagles in 1941. He played three games and caught two passes, then got another tryout in 1944, and this time he stuck. Ferrante wound up spending the next seven years with the Eagles, catching 169 passes for 2,884 yards, 31 TDs (tied with Brent Celek for 12th-most in Eagles history) and a 17.71 average (7th-best in Eagles history) while starting for the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams.

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