Eagles

Why Doug Pederson really wanted to promote Press Taylor

Why Doug Pederson really wanted to promote Press Taylor

INDIANAPOLIS — Press Taylor stood toward the back and listened.

On Tuesday, inside the Indianapolis Convention Center, his brother and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor stepped to Podium 5 at high noon and answered question after question about the first pick in the draft, Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and a franchise that has been stuck in the mud.

Zac answered a couple dozen questions and handled himself quite well, much to the delight of little bro. The two brothers sound eerily similar, so if you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t have been able to tell if it was Zac or Press speaking into the microphone.

For younger brother, it might be only a matter of time.

Press Taylor is just 32 years old and after a month-long search for an offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson promoted him by adding the title of “passing game coordinator” to his responsibilities as quarterbacks coach. There’s no question that the Eagles see Taylor as a rising coach in the NFL landscape, destined to be an offensive coordinator and eventually a head coach.

Pederson viewed this promotion as a necessary step.



“I really felt that in order for Press to grow, I’ve got to give him more as a coach,” Pederson said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday. “ I’ve got to put more on his plate. I still want him in the QBs room. I still want him to be around Carson and the guys. He’s done an outstanding job there.”


While hiring Rich Scangarello as a senior offensive assistant was an undoubtedly important move this offseason, Pederson on Tuesday revealed that he’s leaning toward letting Taylor lead offensive meetings during the season, a sign of how much he thinks of the young assistant.

Taylor will still work extensively with Carson Wentz and the other quarterbacks on the team — he’s had pretty good success with Wentz and Nick Foles — but the promotion was made with the idea that Taylor will now have much more influence on game-planning. Previously, Taylor had been responsible for the red zone portion of planning but will now see his duties as a game-planner expanded to all other areas.

“I really feel like Press has a bright future as a coordinator, so I’m trying to groom him the way Andy (Reid) did with me and brought me along,” Pederson said.

Reid, during his 14 years in Philadelphia and now seven years in Kansas City, has always been known for helping his coaches move up in the NFL. Think about how many of Reid’s offensive coordinators and quarterbacks coaches have moved on to become head coaches. Think about how many times he has hired a low-level coach, groomed him and helped him get a promotion with another team; he did it with Pederson. It’ll be a huge part of Reid’s legacy in the NFL.

And much of Pederson’s makeup as a head coach was molded by Reid. This is just the latest example. Pederson wants to do for Taylor what Reid did for him and many others. If he’s able to emulate this part of Reid’s coaching career, Taylor is the first project but won’t be the last.

Late in Pederson’s run with the Chiefs, Reid actually gave him some chances to call plays. On Tuesday, Pederson didn’t hesitate to say he hasn’t considered giving up play calling, something that he admitted limited the pool of coaching candidates during the search for an offensive coordinator this offseason. Eventually, Taylor might need to move on to another team to gain that responsibility.

But for now, let’s see how Taylor handles his new role with the Eagles. Pederson certainly has no doubts that he’ll handle it well.

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Andy Reid has jokes about a crucial lesson he learned from Eagles tenure

Andy Reid has jokes about a crucial lesson he learned from Eagles tenure

Andy Reid is working on defending his first Super Bowl title, if the NFL does in fact hold a full 2020 regular season this fall, but he still has time for a few one-liners.

Reid conducted an offseason conference call with reporters on Thursday, and he made a few typical Reid jokes (we'll get to those in a minute) and stopped, for a second, for a quick remark about his time with the Eagles.

You see, Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins is due to cost $21 million against the Chiefs' cap space this year, a number the team would obviously like to be smaller.

Reid was asked if the team had any progress in contract restructuring talks with Watkins, but according to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, good ol' Big Red is staying far away from personnel matters:

During the end of Reid's time with the Eagles, he had final say over most personnel decisions. Reid said years ago that he wasn't focusing enough on coaching in those years, which he feels ultimately cost him his job here in Philly, a sentiment his successor Chip Kelly can probably share. (The difference being, of course, that Reid was at least a good coach.)

Now, with a Super Bowl title in tow and years of distance from his firing, Reid is happy to joke about his past mistakes. Good on you, Big Red.

For anyone wondering, Reid hasn't changed too much else of what makes him a lovable NFL figure. This week, he was grinding tape:

And he gave this classic Reid answer to a question about how he's dealing with social distancing mandates during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:

Yep, Andy is still Andy.

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How much cap space do the Eagles really have?

How much cap space do the Eagles really have?

A detailed look at the Eagles’ cap figures really provides a fascinating look at how Howie Roseman likes to build a roster.

Now that we have detailed — and accurate —contract information about all 66 players the Eagles have under contract, let’s take a look at some of the trends that jump out.

The basics: The Eagles as of Thursday morning had $27,869,777 in cap space under their adjusted 2020 cap figure of $222,776,734, which includes a carryover from 2019 of $21,484,051. The Eagles have 66 players under contract, but only their 51 highest cap figures count against their cap. From that, approximately $9 million will be set aside to cover rookie wages. Roseman likes to keep at least $15 million in cap space going into the season, so they are right where he likes to be.

What Howie learned from Big Red: From the day he got here, Andy Reid preached the importance of both lines, and Howie and Doug Pederson both believe in that philosophy. The Eagles offensive and defensive linemen have a combined cap figure of about $86.4 million, or nearly 40 percent of their total cap allocation. That's the 4th-highest combined o-line / d-line figure in the league (behind the Chiefs, Colts and Raiders).

The new guys: The Eagles have signed nine players this offseason — five defensive backs, two defensive tackles, a linebacker and a quarterback — and they have a combined 2020 cap liability of just $20,831,875, and the highest cap figure of the bunch is Darius Slay's $4.3 million. It’s rare to be this active in free agency without using up a ton more cap space.

Cheap-o linebackers: All six linebackers under contract have cap figures under $900,000, and their cap figures average $773,661. According to Spotrac, only the Bengals have a lower composite cap figure for their linebackers (and they only have four under contract).

What's important to Howie? The Eagles currently have 19 players with cap figures of at least $2 million, and 15 of them are linemen, receivers or corners.

Looking down the road: The Eagles have 36 players signed through 2021 but only 14 through 2022 and only six through 2023.

Bargain basement: The projected 2020 starters with the lowest cap figures are Nate Gerry ($825,000) and Miles Sander ($1.2 million). If either T.J. Edwards or Jatavis Brown starts at inside backer, they're also under a million.

Dead money: The Eagles have over $15 million in dead money in 2020, most of it coming from voiding the Malcolm Jenkins, Nigel Bradham and Ronald Darby contracts. Those three count over $14 million against the Eagles’ 2020 cap. When a team adds dummy years to a contract to pro-rate the initial signing bonus over more years and lessen the initial cap hit, they pay on the back end when they release that player because the remaining pro-rated bonus amounts accelerate into the next year’s cap.

Here are the 2020 cap figures for everybody the Eagles currently have under contract:

Quarterbacks [$21,345,065]

$18,656,536: Carson Wentz
$2,000,000: Nate Sudfeld
$688,529: Kyle Lauletta

Running Backs [$2,619,351]

$1,218,234: Miles Sanders
$750,000: Boston Scott
$651,117: Elijah Holyfield

Wide Receivers [$30,112,831]

$15,686,205: Alshon Jeffery
$8,609,000: DeSean Jackson
$1,125,278: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
$750,000: Shelton Gibson
$750,000: Robert Davis
$697,348: Jordan Mailata
$675,000: Deontay Burnett
$675,000: River Carcraft
$675,000: Greg Ward
$610,000: Marcus Green
$610,000: Marken Michel

Tight Ends [$15,665,395]

$12,481,500:Zach Ertz
$1,533,895:Dallas Goedert
$825,000: Alex Ellis
$825,000: Josh Perkins

Offensive Linemen [$38,798,277]

$15,686,205: Lane Johnson
$7,790,632: Brandon Brooks
$7,414,000: Jason Kelce
$2,811,730: Andre Dillard
$2,326,000: Isaac Seumalo
$783,196: Matt Pryor
$697,348: Jordan Mailata
$679,166: Nate Herbig
$610,000: Keegan Render

Defensive Ends [$13,514,947]

$6,288,000: Brandon Graham
$4,088,951: Derek Barnett
$898,398: Josh Sweat
$825,000: Daeshon Hall
$797,098: Shareef Miller
$617,500: Joe Ostman

Defensive Tackles [$34,068,000]

$22,847,000: Fletcher Cox
$4,661,000: Malik Jackson
$3,450,000: Javonte Hargrave
$1,010,000: Hassan Ridgeway
$750,000: Bruce Hector
$675,000: Albert Huggins Jr.
$675,000: Anthony Rush

Linebackers [$4,641,666]

$887,500: Jatavis Brown
$825,000: Nate Gerry
$825,000: Duke Riley
$750,000: Genard Avery
$679,166: T.J. Edwards
$675,000: Alex Singleton

Safeties [$5,334,375]

$2,350,000: Rodney McLeod
$1,484,375: Will Parks
$825,000: Rudy Ford
$675,000: Marcus Epps

Cornerbacks [$16,110,730]

$4,300,000: Darius Slay
$4,000,000: Jalen Mills
$2,309,572: Rasul Douglas
$1,953,658: Sidney Jones
$1,100,000: Cre’von LeBlanc
$1,097,500: Avonte Maddox
$1,350,000: Nickell Robey-Coleman
$775,000: Trevor Williams
$750,000: Craig James
$750,000 Tremon Smith

Specialists [$4,476,000]

$2,629,000: Jake Elliott
$1,097,500: Rick Lovato
$750,000: Cameron Johnston

Dead Money [$15,471,695]

$6,111,000: Malcolm Jenkins
$5,302,500: Nigel Bradham
$2,800,000: Ronald Darby
$583,334: L.J. Fort
$205,776: Clayton Thorson
$158,917: Mack Hollins
$150,000: Richard Rodgers
$64,312: Shelton Gibson
$47,353: Jordan Matthews
$16,667: Aua Opeta
$6,667: DeAndre Thompkins
$6,667: Kevin Wilkins
$5,000: Joey Alfieri
$3,334: Ryan Bates
$3,334: Keegan Render
$3,334: Anthony Rush
$2,500: Alex Singleton
$1,000: Jay Liggins

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