Eagles' coaching changes were made with Carson Wentz in mind

Eagles' coaching changes were made with Carson Wentz in mind

All the changes, all the coaches getting hired and fired, all the emphasis on new ideas?

It’s all about Carson Wentz.

With this team, it always is. It has to be.

Because if the Eagles are going to win another Super Bowl, Wentz has to be healthy first of all but exceptional as well.

Doug Pederson, in an interview with the Eagles Insider podcast on the team’s official web site, made a very clear connection between the team's recent coaching staff overhaul and the need to get the most out of their 27-year-old quarterback.

We know we have a dynamic quarterback and it starts with that,” Pederson said. “He’s great at play action, he’s great at movement, getting him out of the pocket where he can see and do some things with his legs. That’s where he excels. We’ve got to start with that.

The Eagles last year eventually got around to running more moving pocket stuff for Wentz, who clearly is more comfortable and more effective when he gets out of the pocket.

But Pederson said it was important to surround Wentz with coaches who can maximize that ability.

The Eagles made major changes this offseason to the offensive coaching staff. To recap:

FIRED: Offensive coordinator Mike Groh, WR coach Carson Walch
HIRED: Offensive assistant Rich Scangarello, WR coach Aaron Moorehead, passing game analyst Andrew Breiner
PROMOTED: QBs coach Press Taylor is now also passing game coordinator.

The two moves that were made specifically with Wentz in mind appear to be Scangarello’s hiring and Taylor’s promotion.

Pederson said he has no history with Scangarello but was intrigued by his background with current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and his emphasis on play action, moving pocket and outside zone runs.

Scangarello was the Falcons’ quality control coach in 2015, when Shanahan was Dan Quinn's offensive coordinator, and he was quarterbacks coach in 2017 and 2018 under Shanahan in San Francisco.

Really, really was intrigued by his resume, where he’s come from and how he’s worked himself up in this league,” Pederson said. “He started as a quality control coach, just like myself, very sharp, been around some really sharp football minds. … I’m really excited about Rich because he comes from a world where it’s play action, it’s Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, it’s Atlanta with (Shanahan and) Matt Ryan, where it’s a lot of play-action pass, it’s a lot of quarterback movement, which is what our quarterback excels at. So why not have a guy like that on my staff who has these types of ideas that can just enhance what we already have and make our offense better?

Then there’s Taylor, who originally came here in 2013 as one of Chip Kelly’s quality control coaches, was promoted by Pederson to assistant quarterbacks coach in 2016 and this month received the additional title of passing game coordinator.

Pederson emphasized how important it is for Wentz to keep Taylor in his current role with the quarterbacks while giving him additional responsibilities.

I think it's important that we don't disrupt that (quarterback) room,” Pederson said. “I don't want to disrupt the quarterback room. I think Carson's in a great place right now athletically, mentally as a quarterback, so I want to keep Press in that room. But I do want to give Press an opportunity to have more of (his) fingerprints on the game plan. Even though we're such a collaborative offense that way in gameplanning, this gives Press an opportunity to have more hands on with gameplanning during the week.

It’s all about surrounding Wentz with coaches who can get the most out of him.

Something that's been missing the last couple years.

Wentz has ranged from occasionally shaky to usually very good to often terrific when healthy in his first four NFL seasons.

These moves are Pederson’s way of trying to make sure he’s even better moving forward.

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Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

If you’re avid on Eagles social media, chances are you’ve come across their biggest Eagles fan. That fan is none other than Giovanni Hamilton. 

Giovanni has been stealing hearts of Eagles fans for quite some time with his reaction videos to the team combined with an abundance of positivity, but he has definitely stepped up his game during the offseason. 

Recently, he started a video series breaking down some of his favorite fun facts that are located within the team media guide given out at the start of the season. He was gifted it and wanted to share his new knowledge with the rest of his followers. 

He has already covered some of his favorite players, but don’t fret. If you missed them, they’re below! 

The first video that kicked off his fun series was about his hero, Carson Wentz. There was too much information to pack into a quick post on Twitter, so he had to upload the whole thing to YouTube. What a way to start things off! 

Jalen Mills has always been a favorite for Giovanni. Ever notice how his hair was green in the past? He was inspired by Mills to dye it so he can match the Eagles’ safety. 

Earlier this week, he decided to focus on Zach Ertz in what was probably his most successful video yet. 

Success meaning the tight end himself saw and shared the video with his own message to Giovanni. 

Next, he completed a fun facts video on Jason Kelce. Not only did we learn Kelce’s love for another sport but his passion for Christmas music as well. 

Kelce, if you’re seeing this — make sure to let Giovanni know what your favorite Christmas song is … it’s safe to say we’re all curious about it now. 

Most recently, he went on to talk about the only Dallas that Philadelphia fans like — that’s right, Dallas, Goedert. 

“He just wants to help make this strange time we’re in better for people and hopes to put a smile on their face,” said Shannon, Giovanni’s mom.

The positivity of this series has been doing just that — adding smiles to every Eagles fan who has come across these wonderful videos. 

If you want to stay up to date with Giovanni’s series, you can follow him here

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2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles secure an elite receiver

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

We finally have the details on Rodney McLeod’s two-year contract with the Eagles and it’s much less lucrative than we were first led to believe. 

Initially reported as a $12 million deal, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth just $8.65 million, according to a league source. But it also includes $7.8 million in guaranteed money. So you can count on McLeod being with the Eagles through the 2021 season. 

Now that we have full contract details for McLeod, Jalen Mills and Will Parks, we can see that the Eagles are going to have the entire safety position for a very reasonable price in 2020. Will the experiment work? We’ll find out later this year. 

But it is a cost-effective plan. In 2020, all three combine for a cap hit of $7,134,375 million. To put that into perspective, had the Eagles picked up Malcolm Jenkins’ option (if he were willing to play on it), Jenkins would have counted as a $10.887 million cap hit by himself in 2020. 

(By the way, Jenkins this offseason got a four-year deal with the Saints that might turn into a two-year deal.)

According to Spotrac, the Eagles used over $17 million in cap space at safety in 2019, the second-highest total in the league. They will be much lower on that list in 2020. 

Let’s take a look at each individual Eagles deal: 

Rodney McLeod

The Eagles used one of their favorite tricks with the McLeod deal and it’s one they already used earlier this offseason when they signed Javon Hargrave.

Technically, McLeod’s deal is for five years, but the final three years will void automatically (and are included only) for salary cap purposes. The shortest version of this is that the Eagles can spread out the salary cap hit from his $3 million signing bonus over five years instead of two, saving cap space each season. 

McLeod has base salaries of $1.05 million and $3.75 million over the next two seasons. 

Here are McLeod’s cap hits over the next three seasons: 

2020: $1.65 million 
2021: $5.2 million 
2022: $1.8 million 

Remember, in 2022, he won’t be on the team anymore (at least not with this contract) so that money is just left over dead cap money (prorated salary bonus money) the team wanted to push off its books for the next two seasons. 

So in total, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth $8.65 million with $7.8 million guaranteed. But he also has the chance to earn up to $1.7 million in incentives. 

Jalen Mills 

Mills is back with the Eagles in a new hybrid safety/corner position on a one-year deal worth $4 million, but he has the potential to earn another $1 million in incentives. So this could end up being worth a total of $5 million. 

Mills has a base salary of $2 million and got a signing bonus of $2 million, so both count against the cap this year:

2020: $4 million 

His cap hit in 2020 is the highest of the three safeties, but McLeod has a higher one coming in 2021. 

Mills’ deal guaranteed just $2 million and he got that in the form of his signing bonus. His base salary this season isn’t guaranteed, so the Eagles could theoretically cut him to save $2 million but they didn’t sign him to cut him. 

Will Parks 

The newcomer of the group, Parks signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Eagles. He has a $1M fully guaranteed base salary, a $375K signing bonus and $125K in per-game roster bonuses. 

It’s a little tricker to figure out Parks’ salary cap figure for 2020 so stick with me here. For per-game roster bonus money, the cap figure is calculated based on the amount of games Parks played last season, which was 14. So the full $125K would could toward the cap if he played a full season in 2019 — but because he didn’t, we count just $109,375. This doesn’t mean Parks earns any less money; it’s just for cap purposes. 

So we add the base salary, signing bonus money and per-game roster bonus cap hit for a grand total of … 

2020: $1,484,375

It’s a very team-friendly deal for Parks, who is coming off his rookie contract and has some potential. We know McLeod will be with the Eagles in 2021 and it seems like Mills and Parks will get a chance to earn a contract to join him. 

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