Eagles

Drew Brees torches trio of Eagles who weren’t on roster a month ago

Drew Brees torches trio of Eagles who weren’t on roster a month ago

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees against Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby and Cre’Von LeBlanc went about as well as you’d expect. 

The future Hall of Famer, in the middle of his best professional season, torched a bunch of cornerbacks who weren’t even on the Eagles’ roster a month ago. 

“It’s tough,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “You put it together, we piece it together, we brought guys up off the practice squad this week to elevate their play and get them in the game. It’s hard when you’re going against a Hall of Fame player in Drew and the weapons they have on offense, it’s a difficult task, but again, we’re not going to hang our heads and we’re going to keep fighting.” 

Already down Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, the Eagles lost Rasul Douglas (knee), Avonte Maddox (knee) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) throughout the 48-7 beatdown. That meant they were down to three cornerbacks who haven’t been on the roster a month. 

Here’s when the trio that ended the game arrived to the 53-man roster: 

11/17: De’Vante Bausby promoted from the practice squad 
11/5: Cre’Von LeBlanc claimed off waivers 
10/25: Chandon Sullivan promoted from the practice squad 

Of the group, LeBlanc has the most NFL experience. He played in his 33rd-career game Sunday. It was Bausby’s fifth-career game. It was Sullivan’s third. It was career game No. 259 for Brees. 

To be fair, it's not like Douglas, Jones and Maddox were having good games before they left either. They were torched early before the next trio was torched late. 

Brees had a passer rating of 153.3, the highest of what seems to be an MVP season. He was likely going to go off no matter what happened in the Eagles secondary … and then a decimated unit was again ravaged by more injuries. 

That’s not great, especially against a guy like Brees and in a stadium like the Superdome. The Saints were off and running on that fast track. 

“He’s a good quarterback. He did his thing,” Bausby said. “I ain’t gonna lie. Some plays out there we should have made. Back to the drawing board.”

Brees threw for 363 yards, four touchdowns and completed over 73 percent of his passes against the Birds, which is nearly unprecedented. He’s just the fifth player to ever put up those numbers against the Eagles. Although, Ryan Fitzpatrick did it earlier this year.

Things might not get any better in a hurry for the Eagles at corner either. Jones hurt his hamstring as he returned from a hamstring injury that kept him out three weeks. Douglas had a brace on his knee as he left the locker room. And that Maddox injury didn’t look pretty. 

“It’s very unfortunate but the injury rate in this league is 100 percent,” Sullivan said. “On any given play, it can be the last play of the season. It’s just the next man up mentality. We just have to go out there and keep fighting with the guys we have and move forward.”  

The guys on the roster have no choice but to move forward after all these injuries. But that doesn’t mean things are going to get any easier.

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Eagles reportedly losing top executive Andrew Berry

Eagles reportedly losing top executive Andrew Berry

Less than a year after the Eagles created a high-level front office position for Andrew Berry, they are losing their Vice President of Football operations to the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple reports.

Berry is the Browns’ new general manager and executive vice president.

The Eagles brought Berry aboard last Feb. 25 after he spent the previous three years with the Browns as their VP of player personnel. At the time, the Eagles just really liked Berry and wanted to find a way to add a young, fast-rising football mind to the building. But with Howie Roseman firmly entrenched as the general manager in Philadelphia, Berry will head back to Cleveland.

According to NFL.com, Berry got a five-year deal and will have 53-man roster control in Cleveland. 

At 32 years old, Berry will become the youngest general manager in NFL history, taking away that title from Roseman, who was 34 when he was promoted back in 2010.

This is the second straight year the Eagles have lost a top executive to a GM job elsewhere. Last offseason, the Jets hired VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to be their general manager.

It isn’t a surprise that Berry is getting a GM job, but perhaps it’s slightly surprising it’s happening so quickly. But he’s a Harvard-educated former football player with a degree in economics and computer science. He began his NFL career with the Colts in 2009 and worked his way up from a scouting assistant to pro scouting coordinator before he left in 2015 to join the Browns.

Just a few days ago, Vikings assistant GM George Paton took himself out of the running for the GM job in Cleveland, which left Berry as the clear-cut top candidate and the Browns moved quickly. While Paton had a long history with new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, Berry got to know Stefanski during the coaching search just after the 2018 season when the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a vice president job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

In Cleveland, Berry will be a full-fledged GM with roster control. His time in Philadelphia didn’t last very long.

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NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 3.0: Some heavy hitters weigh in

NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 3.0: Some heavy hitters weigh in

The Senior Bowl is over and the next big event in the pre-draft process will be the combine in Indianapolis that begins in less than a month.

That’s when the pre-draft season will kick into high gear.

But we’ve already seen dozens of first-round mock drafts with different possibilities for the Eagles with that 21st pick. Here are a few more, starting with a couple mock drafts from heavy hitters in the industry:

ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr.

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: Philadelphia has to upgrade at wide receiver — its two top pass-catchers in 2019 were tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert — and the depth and talent in this class could set up perfectly for the Eagles to have several options here. At 6-foot-4, Higgins is the biggest wideout of the first-round talents, a jump-ball specialist and touchdown machine (25 the past two seasons). He's not super explosive like Lamb, Jeudy or Ruggs, but he'll box out cornerbacks in the red zone and pick up first downs, not unlike Alshon Jeffery, who struggled to stay on the field this season. The Eagles would have liked more from second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in Year 1, and I still like his upside, but Higgins has No. 1 receiver talent. As is always the case for Philadelphia, this is another spot to watch for an edge rusher.

My take on Higgins: Higgins has been the most popular pick in these early mock drafts for the Eagles and it’s easy to understand why. He’s a solid, do-it-all receiver who had a very good college career. It’s worth noting that Kiper has Higgins as the fourth receiver off the board, after CeeDee Lamb (12), Jerry Jeudy (13) and Henry Ruggs III (15). In other years, I’d imagine a player like Higgins would go earlier but this is a really good receiver class. He has an impressive size/speed combination and getting him at 21 would probably make most fans pretty happy.

NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah 

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

What they said: Speed! The Eagles are focused on getting faster this offseason, and Ruggs is the most explosive player in the draft.

SI.com, Kevin Hanson

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

What they said: Given the depth at receiver in this year’s draft class, one of the best in recent memory, it’s possible some of them get pushed down a bit. A top-12 prospect on my big board, Ruggs would provide the Eagles with the vertical element their passing attack has lacked. A legitimate threat to the NFL combine’s 40-yard dash record, Ruggs scored on one of four touches over his collegiate career.

My take on Ruggs III: I’m not very convinced Ruggs will be on the board when the Eagles pick at 21 but if he is, this would be an exciting selection. It’s worth noting that Jeremiah used to work in the Eagles’ front office and his expectation is that the Eagles will focus on getting faster this offseason; that should be an obvious goal. And Ruggs would certainly help with that.

In recent years when Joe Douglas was around, the Eagles really prioritized college productivity. But at his year-end press conference, Howie Roseman noted that some of the receivers who had good rookie seasons in 2019 didn’t have incredible college production. So when we look at Ruggs’ stats, they’re not as impressive as some of the other receivers in this class:

2018: 46 catches, 741 yards (16.1), 11 touchdowns

2019: 40 catches, 746 yards (18.7) 7 touchdowns

That is something that might have mattered more to the Eagles in years past. Not sure they’ll care as much this time around.

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama

What they said: Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry were the Eagles' two most efficient pass rushers, according to PFF, but Graham is 31 and Curry appears headed for free agency. Lewis was able to stay healthy in 2019 after suffering injuries in the two previous seasons and he looked pretty good. He looked even better at the Senior Bowl last week, and that will only help his draft stock.

My take on Lewis: It’s probably never a crazy idea to mock a lineman to the Eagles in the first round. Since 2010, the Eagles have had nine first-round picks and seven of them have been used on the OL or DL (four of those seven on DL). The Eagles will return Graham and Barnett as their starters in 2020 but Graham is on the wrong side of 30 and Barnett hasn’t developed into a star. Perhaps they will look for some edge help in Round 1. The part of Wilson’s mock draft I’m having a hard time with is that Ruggs comes off the board with the next pick at 22. If that happened, Eagles fans wouldn’t be very happy.

Baltimore Sun, C.J. Doon 

Grant Delpit, S, LSU

What they said: With DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery returning from injury, the need for a wide receiver isn’t as strong as the need for help in the secondary. Delpit was hit-and-miss in 2019, but his coverage skills would be a welcome addition to a beleaguered group of defenders.

My take on Delpit: I really like Delpit and in my first mock draft last week, I had him going to the Eagles too. Safety might not be as pressing a need as receiver or cornerback but it’s an important position in the Eagles’ defense and one in question right now. In my mock, I had the top four receivers off the board, which left the Eagles in a position to take BPA and Delpit was that for me. But in this mock draft, Higgins is still available and he goes to the Bills at 22. Again, another situation that probably wouldn’t make Eagles fans very happy.

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