Eagles

Eagles Injury Update: Another big step for Rodney McLeod at training camp

Eagles Injury Update: Another big step for Rodney McLeod at training camp

Rodney McLeod went through a second straight day of 7-on-7s and said after practice he’s really encouraged where he is.

And on a day when the Eagles had a long, hot, very physical full-pads 2½-hour practice that included live periods, the Eagles didn't experience any known new injuries, which is definitely good news (more observations from practice here).

For McLeod, it’s been about 10 months since he tore his ACL in the Eagles’ win over the Colts last September, and going from individual drills to 7-on-7 has been a big step for him.

That’s huge. It felt good getting back out there, actually getting in position, covering guys, moving, putting myself in those game-like situations, that’s what I need. I need more reps in that. So I continue to talk to the trainers and let them know what I’m feeling and I trust in them and they trust in what I’m telling them and we’re going to keep growing each day.

It’s hard because up to this point you’re doing a lot of drills on your own. Now you’re actually putting a body in front of you, and you’ve got to react off someone else, off their movements. But that’s what I need. That’s what I’m going to be facing all year.

McLeod missed only two games in his first six NFL seasons, so this has been a new experience for him.

He still hasn’t done any full-team drills but said he feels like he’s close. And he’s got Aug. 22 circled on his calendar. That’s the third preseason game, Eagles-Ravens at the Linc.

He said he doesn’t have to play in the preseason but he wants to.

I think where I am in my career I can do without it, but in my heart I would like to get out there. You treat that [third preseason] game like an actual regular-season game, so looking forward to that.

There’s a lot at stake for McLeod, who after a contract restructure in January is now scheduled to become a free agent after this season.

I definitely believe I will get back to the level I need to be at that the team expects me to play at. Just keep working hard. That’s what got me to this point where I’m able to compete right now early on in camp. Just looking forward to adding more reps each day. I’m just trying to grow every day and every week. I’ve already seen growth, just from [Monday] to [Tuesday]. It feels like I’m a rookie all over again but it’s a good feeling. I’m hungry and I’m really excited.

Mack Hollins

Hollins was back out at practice Tuesday after missing Monday with what Doug Pederson called an unknown “lower-body” injury, but the third-year receiver didn’t participate in any drills. Hollins indicated Monday the injury wasn’t serious and Pederson said it’s unrelated to the sports hernia that sidelined him for 18 months (see story).

Blake Countess

The recently reacquired safety was back out for a second straight day of practice after missing a couple days with what is believed to be a foot injury dating back to last year with the Rams and OTAs.

Paul Worrilow

The veteran linebacker missed a second straight practice with an unknown injury. Worrilow missed all of last year with a knee injury suffered in OTAs.

Cre'Von LeBlanc 

LeBlanc missed a fourth straight day of practice with a foot or ankle injury. The slot corner was out at practice for a while, still in a walking boot.

Jeff Lurie

The Eagles’ owner, watching practice from the sideline, went down in a heap after Shelton Gibson ran him over at the end of a play. Lurie quickly popped right back up and didn’t miss a rep. The durable Lurie has never missed a game.

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Learning more about Rich Scangarello’s role in Eagles’ offense

Learning more about Rich Scangarello’s role in Eagles’ offense

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s a pretty ambiguous title.

The Eagles earlier this month hired former Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello as a senior offensive assistant. But if Doug Pederson is the play-caller, Press Taylor is the passing game coordinator and Jeff Stoutland is the run game coordinator, it begs a pretty obvious question:

What the heck is Scangarello going to do?

At the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, Pederson finally answered that question with at least a little bit more depth than we previously heard.

“He’s going to be able to bridge the gap,” Pederson said Tuesday. “He’s going to be able to bring together the run division and the pass division. With a blend of formations and plays and things that really tie everything together. He’s going to have his hands all over the game plan as well. A lot of communication. A lot of film study. Yeah, he’ll work with the quarterbacks, just like I do. He’ll have a chance to have some input there."

OK, so we don’t exactly know how Scangarello will fill every minute of his work days but we’re starting to get a clearer picture.

Pederson said he and Scangarello bonded over their early backgrounds in the West Coast offense but it’s Scangarello’s close ties to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan that the Eagles found most intriguing. Scangarello worked under Shanahan in both Atlanta and San Francisco and the Eagles are hoping to blend some of those concepts with the offense Pederson is already running.

Namely, the Eagles are hoping this hire really helps Carson Wentz. That’s the No. 1 reason Scangarello was hired.

In addition to the time Scangarello will spend actually coaching the quarterbacks, the idea of QB movement is key. For whatever reason, the Eagles seemed hesitant to move Wentz in and out of the pocket early last season but once they did, he thrived.

That movement, throughout Wentz’s career, has always seemed to get him in a rhythm. And the Eagles are finally ready to lean into that.

“It was important for me,” Pederson said. “I think when I look back at our season and how we kind of finished the season, the thing Carson excelled at was basically those two elements. The play action, the QB movement stuff, the screens were important. And the run game ties into all that.

“This was what was intriguing with Rich, the background, what he’s learned. He studies this game now. You’ll learn when you get to speak to him. This guy has spent a lot of time studying the game. Now helping us, helping our offense. That’s why he was so intriguing to me.”

Despite finding a relatively high level of success with rookie quarterback Drew Lock in Denver, Scangarello lasted just one year as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator.

After the season, head coach Vic Fangio fired Scangarello and replaced him with Pat Shurmur. There’s plenty of smoke around the idea that Fangio and Scangarello didn’t have the strongest of working relationships.

Check out this exchange I had with Fangio on Tuesday morning:

What were some of Scangarello’s strengths?

“Rich is a good football coach. He knew the system well that he came from, does a good job with quarterbacks. I think Rich has got a bright future.”

What specifically did you like about Scangarello as a coach?

“I think for the first year in there, he did a good job. We played with three quarterbacks, so that has some stress to it. He did a good job of handling that.”

So why didn’t it work?

“That’s a long answer to a short question. I’m not going to get into that.”

See? Plenty of smoke.

Fangio did say on Tuesday that he wanted his offense to be more aggressive in 2020, so perhaps that’s another reason they elected to make a switch.

The word out of Denver is the area where Scangarello struggled was on game day, calling plays. On the flip side, he seemed to excel in preparation and game-planning. The good news for the Eagles is that Pederson is probably never going to give up play-calling responsibilities, so they won’t need Scangarello to do much on game day anyway. They’ll be able to utilize his strengths without worrying about his weaknesses.

Only Pederson really knows the logistics of how this new offensive structure will really work. It’s rare for a team to not have someone with an offensive coordinator title but it’s not unheard of. And the Eagles even thought of deviating from the norm back in 2018 when they promoted Mike Groh.

If this structure doesn’t work in 2020, that failure will belong to Pederson. But if it does work, Scangarello will be a big reason why. 

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How Andy Reid’s life has changed since winning the Super Bowl

How Andy Reid’s life has changed since winning the Super Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS — If you were expecting Andy Reid to win his first Super Bowl and turn into a different guy, you don’t know Andy Reid.

At the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, Reid spoke to a huge gathering of reporters at the first big NFL event since his Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

And guess what?

Not much has changed for Big Red.

“I stay in the office, so I’m isolated a little bit that way. There’s not much change there. I’m sure the players, if you talk to them, they’re out there and being recognized as world champs. 

I have gotten a couple free meals. That was nice. But I’m not out there that much to where I’m affected by it too much.”

Gotta love when Andy plays the hits.

Reid said he and his staff enjoyed the Super Bowl for a few days. They had a parade and reveled briefly but then it was back to business as usual. The focus then had to immediately switch to free agency and the draft in what was now a suddenly short offseason.

“Maybe someday when we get a little older and we’re out of the game, you can sit back and go, hey, you know what, we did pretty good there,” Reid said. “But right now, it’s buckling down and making sure we take care of business."

During the Chiefs’ run to the Super Bowl, Reid was very aware of the support he was receiving from Philadelphia, where he spent 14 seasons as head coach. Not everyone was rooting for him but it seemed like a large portion of Philadelphians were happy to see Reid hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

On Tuesday, Reid was asked if he’s heard from folks in Philly since winning the big game.

"Yeah, I’ve talked to all those guys. I’ve stayed close to the organization,” Reid said before scanning the crowd in front of him. “Guys like Les (Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Les Bowen) I’ve stayed close with.”

Les gave a wave.

“There are a couple other guys here that are Philadelphia here,” Reid continued. “I spent 14 years there. I appreciated every bit of it. Jeff Lurie, I appreciated him being at the game and supporting me there, too."

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