Eagles

Eagles might be in trouble for 1st 2 games without Alshon Jeffery

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Eagles might be in trouble for 1st 2 games without Alshon Jeffery

The news wasn’t all that surprising but it doesn’t make it any more palatable. 

The Eagles are reportedly going to be without their top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for at least the first two games of the 2018 season (see story)

For obvious and not-so-obvious reasons, that’s a huge blow. 

And the Eagles might be in trouble without him. 

Even when Jeffery wasn’t putting up huge numbers last season, he was still clearly the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver. If Jeffery wasn’t making catches, he at least demanded attention. And despite tearing his rotator cuff — that’s what eventually needed the surgery that will keep him out to start this season — Jeffery managed to play all 19 games last season on the way to a parade down Broad Street. 

Without their top receiver for a couple weeks, the Eagles are going to have to rely on a group of receivers that has suspect depth. 

Sure, Mike Wallace and Nelson Agholor are now the starters — both are pretty good. 

But Wallace is 32 and coming off a lackluster preseason in which he missed some time. He’s still an upgrade over Torrey Smith, but it’s fair to question just how good he’ll be, especially without Jeffery on the other side garnering his usual dose of attention.

Agholor is coming off a tremendous breakout season. While Jeffery was the team’s best receiver, Agholor was their most explosive. But he did the majority of that work in the slot. Without the Eagles' top WR, Agholor will probably have to play outside a little more — that’s a spot where he has never had the same level of success. That might take away a big dynamic of the offense.

And those are just the top two guys! It gets even sketchier from there. 

Mack Hollins is seemingly the next guy up on the depth chart. At least, it was Hollins who had been the guy filling in with the starters for Jeffery early in training camp. But after a modest rookie season, Hollins has had a forgettable summer. He didn’t flash at all in training camp and didn’t have a catch in the preseason. Part of that might be because he reportedly had a sports hernia surgery this offseason. That might excuse his play, but it certainly doesn’t instill any confidence that he’ll be a contributor. He hasn’t even been able to practice recently thanks to a “lower-body” injury. 

In Hollins’ absence, Shelton Gibson has really emerged. He’s been making plays all summer, including in the first three preseason games. Gibson looks like a different guy and the Eagles might actually have something there. But if you’re counting on a fifth-round pick from a year ago, a guy who has two career receptions, to fill in for a player who had 73 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl, you need to rethink that. 

With Jeffery on the shelf for a while, the Eagles are probably going to keep six receivers on their 53-man roster. But do you really expect DeAndre Carter or Rashard Davis or Greg Ward to contribute immediately? 

Maybe this opens the door for Markus Wheaton or Kamar Aiken to make the team, but those two have been hurt this summer too and are seemingly past their best days in the NFL. 

Or maybe the Eagles can try to scour the waiver wire after final cuts and find a player to plug in. The problem is that after winning the Super Bowl, the Eagles are 32nd in the waiver wire order. Hard to imagine getting a stud that no one else wanted. 

The Eagles still have Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and Corey Clement and Darren Sproles, and it still seems likely Jay AJayi will be ready for the opener. So they still have weapons. But, depending on Carson Wentz’s health, we could have Nick Foles throwing to Shelton Gibson in Week 1. That’s not great. 

Jeffery played the entire last season with that torn rotator cuff, so getting a Super Bowl ring is an easy trade-off for missing the first few weeks of the next season. 

But, now that we’re here, it doesn’t make it any easier. 

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Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael: 'I didn't know if I was good enough'

Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael: 'I didn't know if I was good enough'

Harold Carmichael learned back on Monday that he had finally made it into the Hall of Fame, but for logistical reasons he wasn’t allowed to tell anybody until after the official announcement on Wednesday.
 
As it happened, on Tuesday night, Harold found himself sitting next to his close friend and long-time coach Dick Vermeil at a dinner at NaBrasa Brazlian Steakhouse in Horsham.
 
For three hours.

Vermeil had just learned he didn't make it into the Hall of Fame. Carmichael had just learned he had.

And he couldn't say a word.
 
“It was killing me,” Carmichael said. “We talked about being disappointed that he didn’t get in, but I couldn’t say anything to him. He was promoting Dick Vermeil wines and we had about 160 people and they were asking me if I’d heard anything yet and I would just get off the subject. I really didn’t want to lie to anybody. I just couldn’t say anything about it. It was very, very tough for me. It’s still tough for me right now because I’m still trying to answer a lot of the texts. Got over 400 just in the past 24 hours and phone messages. My mailbox is full. They just gotta have patience. Like I did for 36 years.”
 
Carmichael’s wait is over.
 
This fall, he’ll be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside more than 300 other all-time greats.
 
Carmichael retired after the 1984 season, so he’s been eligible since 1989. Despite ranking 5th in NFL history in receptions when he retired, he was never even a finalist until this year.
 
“I didn’t know if I deserved to be in there,” Carmichael said Thursday. “I’ve been hearing I should be in there for the past 30-some years. It was not a lock for me. I didn’t know if I was good enough. I tried to do my best, but it was not for me to say I should be in the Hall of Fame. It was for me to try to put the numbers up and try to be the type of person they would want to represent the Hall of Fame.”
 
From 1973 through 1983, Carmichael led the NFL in yards (8,414), touchdowns (77) and catches (549). 
 
When he retired after playing two games with the Cowboys in 1984, Carmichael ranked 5th in NFL history in catches, 7th in yards and 7th in TD catches.
 
Today, 36 years after his last touchdown, Carmichael still ranks 24th in NFL history in TD catches.
 
This is all from a kid who didn’t get recruited to play major-college football, was a walk-on at Southern University in Baton Rouge and was drafted in the 7th round.
 
“When I got here, Harold Jackson and Ben Hawkins were the starting receivers,” Carmichael said. “They were veterans and I was trying to learn how to be a football player and questioning whether I could play in the National Football League.”
 
Now, nearly half a century later, Carmichael has been recognized as one of the greatest of all time. 
 
He’s only the 8th receiver drafted in the 7th round or later to make it into the Hall of Fame and the first whose career began in the 1970s or later.
 
Carmichael, 70, said the last 24 hours have been a whirlwind as congratulations have come in from 50 years worth of friends, teammates, coaches and associates.
 
“My son said to my wife, ‘Mom, I didn’t know so many people loved dad like this,’” Carmichael said.

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Eagle Eye podcast: What’s taking so long, Doug?

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Eagle Eye podcast: What’s taking so long, Doug?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro try to figure out what’s taking Doug Pederson so long to hire an offensive coordinator. 

Some top names have already found jobs. The guys update the remaining vacancies and speculate about the Eagles’ plan and toss out one new theory. 

They also look back at the biggest lessons from the 2019 season. 

• Coaches are getting hired all over the NFL 
• Updating offensive coordinator opening
• What are the Eagles’ waiting for? 
• Lessons from the 2019 season 
• Will Jordan Howard be back in 2020? 
• Figuring out which DEs are on the bubble 
• Our championship weekend predictions 
• Harold Carmichael is finally Hall-bound
• Which Eagles player is next? 

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