Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Faith in Nate Sudfeld, Vinny Curry signing, spreading it around

Eagles Mailbag: Faith in Nate Sudfeld, Vinny Curry signing, spreading it around

The offseason marches on with your questions. 

I already answered your first bunch, including questions on Sidney Jones, Jay Ajayi and running backs in the draft. Now, it’s time for Part 2 of 3. 

Let’s get to it: 

I got a few questions about Nate Sudfeld this week and I certainly understand why. He’s now the Eagles’ backup quarterback and Carson Wentz has finished the last two seasons on the shelf. I think there are legitimate reasons for concern. From the time the Eagles got Sudfeld, I thought he was a possible QB2. The problem here is that he is unproven; we haven’t seen much of him outside of summer practices and minimal game action. It’s somewhat of a gamble for a team with Super Bowl aspirations to go into a season with an unproven backup, especially because of Wentz’s injury history. 

But, to be clear, I like what I’ve seen from Sudfeld. He seems to be pretty athletic and has a big arm. The Eagles have shown how much they like him at every turn. This is one of those situations where I’m skeptical, but just kind of trust their evaluation. 

I don’t think the Curry signing affects Long’s decision as much as it tells us the Eagles are preparing for the possibility Long isn’t back. You have to remember, Curry can play inside and outside, so he might not take as many reps from Long as you think. We’ll see what happens soon with the draft. Long has said he doesn’t want to return as just a locker room guy and a high draft pick would take even more playing time away from him. The Eagles should hope he returns, though. Even at his age, he’s still a productive pass rusher. 

This is one of the big ideas I want to ask Doug Pederson about next week at the owners meetings. The Eagles now have a bunch of different pass catching options. They have a really talented trio of receivers to go along with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Even though Goedert is a really impressive young player, it’s hard to imagine he would be left out at times. The Eagles didn’t trade for DeSean Jackson to sit him on the bench and they aren’t pay Nelson Agholor over $9 million this season to be a spectator. And Alshon Jeffery is going to play. 

It’s a good problem to have, but Pederson needs to figure out a way to get everyone involved. It might be a nightmare for fantasy football owners, though, because I think the game plan will change based on the matchups from week to week. Some weeks they’ll go heavy 11 personnel, but I wouldn’t rule out heavy 12 personnel with Ertz and Goedert on the field sometimes too. 

I don’t. I do agree that running back and linebacker are their two most pressing needs, but I just wouldn’t use a top pick on a linebacker. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I think it’s much more likely they leave the first two days of the draft with a running back instead of a linebacker. I still believe the Eagles will use No. 25 on a lineman (offense or defense) and will then look at running back with one of their second-round picks. I think they use a Day 3 pick on a linebacker unless they really think they found tremendous value. 

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'Man up!' Rex Ryan tore into Doug Pederson after brutal loss to Cowboys

'Man up!' Rex Ryan tore into Doug Pederson after brutal loss to Cowboys

Doug Pederson kinda-sorta guaranteed the Philadelphia Eagles would go down to Texas and beat the Dallas Cowboys. Then he walked his words back a bit.

Then the Birds went down to Dallas and got their butts handed to them by the Cowboys.

Pederson stepped up and took responsibility for the ugly loss, calling it one of the two worst losses of his career.

Owning up for the pathetic effort isn't the same as "manning up," at least according to former head coach Rex Ryan who went in hard at Pederson this morning on ESPN's Get Up.

"Doug Pederson set the tone for the whole game," Ryan said. "You see the Cowboys' take on it, 'hey, he guaranteed it.' You know what he did? He backed down on what he said. In his locker room, whether he said it or not, you put in there that you really don't believe it. To me, man, pull a Buddy Ryan. If you're gonna say it, double down. My dad would have doubled down and he would have beat Dallas, like he always did."

"I get it, you won a Super Bowl and all that. Coach Frank Reich might have had something to do with that also. You're a legend. I'm just telling you right now, man up. Philly wants you to say, 'I'm going to beat Dallas' and go out and do it. Now he whimpers away. I lost some respect there."

For Doug's part, he told reporters after the game that he didn't regret his declaration

“I just felt like I had a lot of confidence in this football team, a lot of trust, a lot of faith in the guys,” Pederson said. “Had a good week of preparation. Quite honestly, after a game like this, we all have to step back, look in the mirror, especially myself. It starts with me. This is one of those games that I take personal from that standpoint. We didn’t play well and that’s personal on me. I gotta get that fixed.” 



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Eagles snap counts: Mack Hollins has become invisible

Eagles snap counts: Mack Hollins has become invisible

Remember when Mack Hollins had nine catches for 112 yards in a two-week span? 

It actually happened in Week 2 and Week 3 — of this season! — but that feels like it was years ago at this point. 

Since then, Hollins has disappeared and the former fourth-round pick was completely invisible again in Sunday night’s 37-10 loss to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. 

Hollins, 26, played 30 snaps and was targeted just once. He didn’t catch a pass. 

That means that in the last four weeks, Hollins has played 138 offensive snaps. All he has to show for it is one catch for 13 yards on six targets. In the last three games, he’s played 98 snaps without a catch. 

It seems nearly impossible for someone playing as much as Hollins to be a complete non-factor, but here we are. 

And to make matters worse, since Hollins is playing so much on offense, he isn’t playing special teams, where he’s supposedly good. He had just three special teams snaps Sunday. 

More offensive notes 

• To be fair to Hollins, there wasn’t a ton of offensive production from anyone on Sunday aside from Dallas Goedert, who had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown on 36 snaps (but he did fumble). 

Nelson Agholor: 57 snaps, 2 catches, 24 yards, 4 targets
Alshon Jeffery: 57 snaps, 2 catches, 38 yards, 5 targets
Zach Ertz: 49 snaps, 2 catches, 38 yards, 5 targets 

• For the first time since the Lions game, Miles Sanders (33) had more snaps than Jordan Howard (23). Sanders again struggled on the ground, picking up 21 yards on six carries. Howard went 11 for 50. 

• The entire O-line played every snap, including Andre Dillard, making his first-career start at left tackle. 

Offense

Andre Dillard: 61 snaps (100%)
Isaac Seumalo: 61 (100%) 
Brandon Brooks: 61 (100%) 
Lane Johnson: 61 (100%) 
Jason Kelce: 61 (100%)
Carson Wentz: 61 (100%) 
Nelson Agholor: 57 (93%) 
Alshon Jeffery: 57 (93%) 
Zach Ertz: 49 (80%) 
Dallas Goedert: 36 (59%) 
Miles Sanders: 33 (54%) 
Mack Hollins: 30 (49%) 
Jordan Howard: 23 (38%) 
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 12 (20%) 
Boston Scott: 8 (13%)

Defensive notes

• Sidney Jones was not on the injury report all week, but still didn’t play on Sunday. Craig James got four snaps over Jones. It seems like Jones might have been benched. Ronald Darby, coming back from a hamstring injury, didn’t play at all either. 

• In his first game action in nearly a year, Jalen Mills played 64 snaps (91%) and held up fairly well. It was impressive he was able to play as much as he did. 

• Nate Gerry played all 70 defensive snaps, followed by Kamu Grugier-Hill (59) and T.J. Edwards (22). In addition to his 70 defensive snaps, Gerry played 17 on special teams. That’s a really heavy workload and Gerry struggled on defense. 

• In addition to Gerry, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod played all 70 snaps. For the season, Jenkins is 475/475. 

• Since Hassan Ridgeway got hurt, Akeem Spence played 47 snaps, his highest total yet with the Eagles. 

Defense 

Malcolm Jenkins: 70 (100%)
Nate Gerry: 70 (100%) 
Rodney McLeod: 70 (100%)
Jalen Mills: 64 (91%) 
Rasul Douglas: 63 (90%)
Kamu Grugier-Hill: 59 (84%)
Derek Barnett: 53 (76%) 
Fletcher Cox: 51 (73%) 
Brandon Graham: 50 (71%) 
Akeem Spence: 47 (67%) 
Orlando Scandrick: 36 (51%) 
Vinny Curry: 26 (37%) 
Andrew Sendejo: 24 (34%) 
Josh Sweat: 23 (33%) 
Hassan Ridgeway: 23 (33%) 
T.J. Edwards: 22 (31%) 
Daeshon Hall: 9 (13%) 
Duke Riley: 5 (7%)  
Craig James: 4 (6%) 
Rudy Ford: 1 (1%)

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