Eagles

Eagles' Brandon Brooks enters pivotal week in Achilles recovery

Eagles' Brandon Brooks enters pivotal week in Achilles recovery

Brandon Brooks is entering a very important week in his Achilles recovery. 

The Eagles’ Pro Bowl right guard hasn’t yet been cleared for full-team drills, but has been given the go-ahead to participate in 1-on-1s this week as the Ravens come to town for joint practices. 

Brooks says Week 1 is still a possibility. 

“Still got time,” he said. “The biggest indication is going to be this week in 1-on-1s, see how it feels, not just against defensive players, but against another team. If things go well from there, progress from there.”

Brooks, 29, had a checkup on his Achilles last Wednesday, when they cleared him for the next step in his recovery. Now about seven months removed from the injury to his right leg, Brooks claims he’s still on schedule. 

More importantly, Brooks thinks there’s still enough time to get cleared and then prepared for the opener.  

“We've got 2½ weeks, so I’d say there’s more than enough time,” he said. 

This week, Brooks said, they want to see how his recovering leg responds. 

If things go well over the next several days, there’s a chance he could be cleared to progress to 11-on-11 team drills next week. 

“With team drills, man, you have a lot more going on around you, guys falling to the ground, things like that,” he said. “I think the best way you get live contact and it’s controlled is in 1-on-1s, that’s why we started there.” 

If Brooks isn’t ready for Week 1, Halapoulivaati Vaitai would fill in at right guard in the interim. 

We’ll learn a lot this week, one of the most important in his recovery yet. 

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NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 2.0: Some new names linked to Eagles

NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 2.0: Some new names linked to Eagles

As the football world takes over Mobile, Alabama, this week for Senior Bowl, we’re now in full mock draft season. 

We still have months before the 2020 draft but that hasn’t stopped the internet from doing what it does best: mock drafts! 

Here’s the latest roundup of possibilities for the Eagles with the 21st pick in April: 

NBC Sports Washington, Tyler Roman

Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama

What they said: It’s no secret that the Eagles had one of the worst secondaries in the league this year, so it would make sense to rectify it this off-season. McKinney is a versatile chess piece for a team that really needs talent on the backend. McKinney can cover the slot and hold his own against the run, he’s the prototypical safety prospect for today’s NFL.

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama 

What they said: 32-year-old safety Malcolm Jenkins would like a new deal and Rodney McLoud could be headed for free agency. The Eagles would love to upgrade the cornerback position but three of the top CBs are already off the board. McKinney is a top-flight safety, and could possibly emerge as the top safety in the class by draft night.

My take on McKinney: The Eagles definitely need help at the cornerback position. Their two starters from 2019 (Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills) are both set to become free agents in March and it’s not exactly like the Eagles have a bunch of talent waiting in the wings. But they might need safeties too. Malcolm Jenkins said he won’t play on his current contract and Rodney McLeod is going to be a free agent. 

I listed McKinney as a cornerback because both Wilson and Roman did, but he’s really more of a versatile safety who can play everywhere. McKinney is an impressive athlete and the Eagles could plug and play him at a few different spots. In some ways, it’s hard not to see similarities to former Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick because of the versatility. And we’ve seen how Jim Schwartz has been able to use Malcolm Jenkins over the last few years. I think this would be a solid pick. 

San Diego Union-Tribune, Eddie Brown

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: The Eagles wide receiver corps is in shambles. The inconsistent Nelson Agholor faces free agency while DeSean Jackson isn’t getting any younger (or healthier). Higgins is a big-play machine with elite size (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) and speed. He has an “above the rim” mentality as a former basketball player and would be a steal this low in the first round. 

SB Nation, Dan Kadar

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: Higgins may have only had three receptions in Monday night’s national title game, but he still profiles as a No. 1 receiver option in the NFL. As the season wore on, it was obvious that the Eagles need weapons on offense. A receiver like Higgins should be the first of a few added in this draft.

My take on Higgins: He’s been the most popular name mocked to the Eagles in the early mock draft season. It’s obvious the Eagles need receiver help and there are plenty in this draft, especially in the first round. We’ll probably see at least a half dozen receivers go in the first round and Higgins is likely going to be one of them. 

Higgins is big and fast. He really does have a good size/speed combo and there’s a lot to like about him. He’s coming off a great junior season when he had 59 catches for 1,167 yards (19.8) and 13 touchdowns. That’s great production, which used to really matter for the Eagles when Joe Douglas was here. But at his year-end press conference, Howie Roseman noted that production doesn’t always translate and there were successful rookie receivers who weren’t as productive in college. That doesn’t mean production at the college level is a bad thing, but it’s maybe not as important for the Eagles this time around. 

USA Today, Luke Easterling

Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU 

My take on Fulton: There were no explanations in this mock draft but we don’t need an explanation of why the Eagles need cornerbacks. They desperately need help at that position. And Fulton is a really good one. He has the potential to be a great man corner in the NFL and he’s coming from a school that has produced a ton of great DBs. He had just two interceptions in his time at LSU, which is noteworthy because he doesn’t appear to be a ballhawk. But he can cover. And the Eagles need guys who can cover. 

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Another candidate for Eagles' offensive coordinator job says nope

Another candidate for Eagles' offensive coordinator job says nope

USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, who the Eagles had targeted as a candidate for their offensive coordinator vacancy, is staying at USC, according to Bruce Feldman, who covers college football for The Athletic.

The 34-year-old Harrell emerged last week as a candidate, and with his connections to Mike Leach and his Air Raid Offense it made a lot of sense. Leach isn’t technically part of the Andy Reid coaching tree, but he is a student of Reid’s offense, and when he was between the Texas Tech and Washington State jobs he was a guest of Reid, Peterson and Marty Mornhinweg at training camp at Lehigh.

Harrell played for Leach at Texas Tech and coached under him at Washington State. This past year, in his first year as offensive coordinator at USC, the Trojans averaged 32.5 points per game, 35th-best in the FBS, and 454 yards per game, 20th- best.

The Eagles are in the market for an offensive coordinator after firing Mike Groh, who held the position the last two years. It’s been 11 days since the Eagles fired Groh.

Previously, the Eagles had reported interest in Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban, who coached under Reid with the Eagles, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Saturday that Urban would be staying with the Ravens.

The Eagles reportedly are interested in Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, who Reid drafted in 2011. But there’s a chance Reid could block the Eagles from interviewing Kafka if they do formally request permission to interview him.

Does anybody want this job? Why are candidates turning down the Eagles’ advances? 

Head coach Doug Pederson calls the plays here, and working as an offensive coordinator under an offensive coach who calls the plays isn’t always the most desirable job.

Several other candidates who might have made sense have taken other jobs, like Pat Shurmur in Denver, Joe Brady in Carolina and Bill Lazor and John DiFilippo with the Bears

Jim Caldwell, the former Lions head coach who's now quarterbacks coach with the Dolphins, would make a lot of sense. Mike Shula, who was Shurmur's offensive coordinator the last two years with the Giants, is still available, as is former Redskins coach Jay Gruden. 

Internal candidates such as Duce Staley and Press Taylor are already in the building. 

Of the 10 teams in the market for offensive coordinators this offseason, only the Vikings, Jaguars and Eagles have yet to name one. The Jaguars were reportedly interviewing Gruden on Monday.

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