Eagles

Eagles storylines heading into 2020 NFL Scouting Combine

Eagles storylines heading into 2020 NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL will take over the Indianapolis Convention Center this week as it does every time around this year.

This is one of the biggest NFL events of the year and it’s our last chance to get everyone in the same city before free agency and the draft.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson are expected to speak to reporters on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30. And NFL prospects will speak to reporters all week during predetermined sessions.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest Eagles storylines heading into the week:

Some explaining to do

This will be the first time talking to the Eagles’ brass about the most significant coaching changes the team has undergone during the Pederson Era. The team fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh, wide receivers coach Carson Walch and defensive line coach Phillip Daniels. And then defensive backs coach Cory Undlin left for a promotion, taking the defensive coordinator job in Detroit.

But the biggest change in the coaching staff is that the Eagles won’t have a traditional offensive coordinator. Instead, Press Taylor is now the pass game coordinator and Jeff Stoutland is the run game coordinator and former Broncos OC Rich Scangarello was brought in as a senior offensive assistant.

Maybe we’ll get some answers on how all of this will work.

What to do about Malcolm

One of the biggest situations looming over the Eagles this offseason is about Malcolm Jenkins. We won’t necessarily get any answers in an official capacity but there might be some information to leak about whether or not there has been any progress on a potential new deal. Jenkins said on locker cleanout day that he would not be back on his current contract and my guess is that he means it. So something has to give here.

Even though Jenkins is 32 now, he’s been an indispensable part of the Eagles defense and didn’t miss a snap for the second straight season. There’s a fine line here. On one hand, the Eagles don’t want to lose an important leader. On the other, Jenkins is an aging player and the Eagles have to ask themselves if they feel comfortable paying him.

CBA talks

This is a different storyline from most combines but the NFLPA and the NFL will meet this week as they work toward a new collective bargaining agreement. The NFLPA did not vote on the proposal last week but is expected to vote this coming week after meetings with the NFL.

While there are plenty of Eagles storylines this week, this will be the biggest story of the week from a league perspective.

Which free agents stay

In all the Eagles have over a dozen pending unrestricted free agents. They’ll have until the legal tampering window on March 16 to try to get deals done while they have exclusive negotiating rights. Last year at the combine, they worked out a three-year extension with Brandon Graham to keep the veteran Eagles player in Philadelphia.

Several key players like Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, Jordan Howard and Nate Sudfeld might be in the same boat this offseason if the team wants to work to re-sign them.

This is also the time of year where NFL executives can chat about trades. Howie Roseman often likes to lay ground work for future trades during the week in Indianapolis.

Time to get a wideout

Oh yeah, the real reason the NFL takes over Indy every year is to scout and interview college prospects. There’s a reason why just about every mock draft has the Eagles taking a receiver with their 21st pick. Not only is it arguably their biggest need but this is also considered to be an incredibly strong receiver class. As many as six or seven receivers could be selected in the first round. The Eagles’ track record when it comes to picking receivers isn’t great, but they’ll have their opportunities.

… And a cornerback

The other spot the Eagles need to figure out is cornerback. The reason the Eagles need to draft receivers and cornerbacks is because they’ve struggled to draft receivers and cornerbacks. The Eagles have tried every way imaginable to get top-tier corners but it hasn’t worked. It’s a position they desperately need to solidify and they can start to do that this week in Indy.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Building now vs. the future around Carson Wentz

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Eagle Eye podcast: Building now vs. the future around Carson Wentz

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro dive into plenty of topics, starting with Howie Roseman’s short-term vs. long-term plan to build around Carson Wentz. 

Breaking down the Eagles’ salary cap space. Why trading for Brandin Cooks wouldn’t make sense. The game that showed the Eagles Jalen Mills could play safety. 

Roob hates the new playoff format and plenty more: 

• Building now vs. future around Carson Wentz 
• Breaking down Eagles’ salary cap space 
• Some cap tricks Howie Roseman uses 
• Should Eagles trade for Brandin Cooks? 
• More on Jalen Mills’ position switch 
• And his switch from No. 31 to 21 
• Ronald Darby is heading to Washington 
• Dave’s latest Eagles-only mock changes it up
• Roob hates the new NFL playoff format 
• What the guys are doing to stay sane 

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NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

The NFL has officially expanded its playoff format to 14 teams in time for the 2020 season. 

Starting with this upcoming season, the playoff field will expand from 12 to 14 teams, allowing one more wild-card team from each conference. 

Here are a few of the major points of this new format: 

• The AFC and NFC will each have seven playoff teams, but just the top seed from each conference will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

• In wild-card weekend, the other 12 teams will play — the No. 2 seeds will host 7s, the No. 3 seeds will host 6s and the No. 4 seeds will host 5s. 

• For this upcoming season, wild-card weekend will have three games on Saturday, Jan. 9 and three games on Sunday, Jan. 10. 

• One of the additional wild-card games will be on CBS on Jan. 10 at 4:40 p.m. The other will be on NBC on Jan. 10 at 8:15 p.m.

This is the NFL’s first expansion of the playoff format since the 1990 season, when the field went from 10 to 12. 

The Eagles made the playoffs as a division winner with a 9-7 record in 2019 and that would still be an option with this new format. This change simply adds another playoff team in each conference. In the 2019 NFC that would have been the 9-7 Rams. 

If you’re looking for a recent example in Eagles history of how this new format would’ve helped, look back at the 2014 season. The Eagles finished with a 10-6 record in Chip Kelly’s second season but missed the postseason. If this format was around, they would have been the third wild-card team after the 11-win Lions and Cardinals. 

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