Eagles

Eagles minicamp observations, Day 3: 'I just want the rings'

Eagles minicamp observations, Day 3: 'I just want the rings'

The Eagles finished their spring practices Thursday and it really felt like the last day of school. 

Actually, it felt even better than the last day of school for most of the team. The Eagles get their Super Bowl rings in a private ceremony tonight.

That’s where we’ll start today’s observations: 

1. Jalen Mills walked out to practice with even more swagger than normal — and he normally has plenty. But as he walked onto the field, he yelled, “Give me my Super Bowl ring!” That came after he posted videos of him on Instagram wearing Super Bowl gear and posing with the Lombardi Trophy. 

The team backed up his excitement with the playlist. It started with Kap G’s “Rings” and then went to “Big Rings” from Drake and Future. 

2. Still no Sidney Jones or Haloti Ngata practicing. Both were watching at practice, but haven’t been participating. We’ll get to see them at training camp in a little over a month. 

Tim Jernigan and Brandon Graham walked out of the facility together. They obviously haven’t been at practice, Jernigan getting over surgery for a herniated disc and Graham getting over ankle surgery. Graham is still using crutches. 

3. During the team portion of practice, we saw some more tricks for the second straight day. Today, it looked an awful lot like the Philly Special. Former college quarterback Greg Ward took a pitch and then threw the ball to Nick Foles, who rolled right, in the end zone for a touchdown. It looked awfully familiar. 

4. Carson Wentz again participated in 7-on-7s, but today they were in the red zone for part of it. For that part, Wentz hit Ward in the back of the end zone for a touchdown on a play where Ward clearly wasn’t his first read. The next play, he hit Dallas Goedert in the front left corner of the end zone. 

5. Let’s talk a little about Goedert on that play. Because it was a nice throw from Wentz, but the rookie made the play. He used his body masterfully to shield linebacker Corey Nelson from the ball. This is something we’ve seen Ertz become great at in the last couple of years and Goedert is starting off being pretty good at it. 

6. We saw how much the Eagles began to use RPOs late in the 2017 season because Foles was really comfortable with them. It’s interesting, because I think it’s now going to be a big part of the Eagles’ offense. Today, even Joe Callahan was running RPOs, so it’s a part of the playbook for everyone, not just Foles. It’s kind of crazy to think that Wentz’s injury has led to another big wrinkle in the Eagles’ offense. 

7. Avonte Maddox got some reps with the first team as the slot corner during 7-on-7s. It’s the first time we’ve seen Maddox with the ones. The rookie corner has struggled some over the last few weeks, but there’s a steep learning curve, especially at nickel corner, a spot that’s new for him. 

8. We’ve talked so much about Goedert because he’s the shiny new toy, but Ertz is still really good and is getting better. He’s had a great spring. With that looming breakout year talk over, he is going to be one of the top TEs in the league for years to come. 

9. Wentz threw a loooong deep ball that Rashard Davis had trouble tracking. It was just one of those plays where it felt like Wentz was going to unload and he did. It probably traveled 50-60 yards in the air. He’s still got a rocket on his shoulder. 

10. At the end of practice during a special teams drill, Foles, Nate Sudfeld and Callahan played a game where they tried to hit the crossbar on the goal posts in the fewest attempts. Once everyone hit it, they moved back five yards. 

From the goal line
Sudfeld: 4th try
Foles: 3rd
Callahan 1st

From the 5
Sudfeld: 3rd
Foles: 1st
Callahan: 2nd

From the 10
Sudfeld: 3rd
Foles: 5th
Callahan: 2nd

From the 15
Sudfeld: 9th
Foles: 1st
Callahan: 3rd

That first throw from Foles from the 15-yard line was a bullet. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: I shouldn’t have stood so close to the speaker. Now my ears are ringing, which is pretty funny, considering all the songs today were about rings. 

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Live stream: Doug Pederson Eagles' press conference at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Live stream: Doug Pederson Eagles' press conference at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is set to speak to the media at the NovaCare complex this morning.

Pederson and the Eagles are gearing up to play the Detroit Lions on Sunday before a tight turnaround against the Green Bay Packers four days later.

The Eagles are 0-1 against the Lions since Pederson took over in 2016. However, the Eagles are familiar with Lions head coach Matt Patricia's defensive scheme. The Eagles racked up 41 points and over 500 yards of offense against Patricia in Super Bowl LII when he was the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

 

The Eli Manning Hall of Fame debate has one obvious answer

The Eli Manning Hall of Fame debate has one obvious answer

Eli Manning is one of only 12 quarterbacks in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl.

Is that enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?

Manning was benched by Giants coach Pat Shurmur Tuesday in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. 

Manning is 38 and in his 16th season. He's faced the Eagles more than any quarterback in NFL history.

Maybe he’ll get another chance to start somewhere, but most likely the body of work that he’s put out in 246 games so far is essentially what he’ll be judged on when the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters start considering his candidacy five years after he retires.

Let’s take a look!

The case for Eli Manning 

Manning is one of only 12 quarterbacks in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl, and of the eight QBs who are already eligible for the Hall, seven have been enshrined. 

The exception is Jim Plunkett, who beat the Eagles in 1980 and the Redskins 1983.

But it’s tough to make any sort of case for Plunkett, who played 16 seasons, was a full-time starter eight years, had a winning record twice, never made a Pro Bowl, threw 34 more interceptions than touchdowns and has the 8th-lowest passer rating since 1970 among QBs who played at least 100 games.

You can definitely make a case for Manning.

• He didn’t only win two Super Bowls, he was MVP of both and he toppled the greatest dynasty in NFL history, the Bill Belichick Patriots, in both. He's one of only six multiple Super Bowl MVPs in history.

• Manning never missed a game because of an injury, starting 210 straight games — second-longest QB streak ever — before sitting for one week in 2017. 

• Manning ranks seventh in NFL history with 56,537 passing yards and eight with 362 touchdown passes. Every eligible QB who’s reached either 50,000 passing yards or 300 TD passes is in the Hall of Fame.

• From 2005 through 2012 — his first eight seasons as a full-time starting quarterback — the Giants never had a losing season. Manning made his first three Pro Bowls during that eight-year stretch, and only three QBs won more games during that span — Tom Brady, older brother Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. 

The case against Eli Manning 

• I start with this: When I’m judging a player for Hall of Fame consideration, I ask whether he was ever the best in the NFL at his position for any five-year span. Manning never even came close close. His best five-year span was probably 2011 through 2015, and during that span he ranked 19th in the NFL in passer rating, 20th in completion percentage and 15th in wins. He was seventh in TD passes but first in interceptions.

• He was never great over a full season. Manning played 14 full seasons and finished in the top 10 in passer rating once — he was seventh in 2011. He also ranked 20th or worse six times. He never had a passer rating over 93.6. Sure-fire Hall of Famers like Drew Brees, Brady, Peyton, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger have each had a passer rating over 93.6 at least eight times.

• He never led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdowns, passing yards, yards per game, passer rating or any other major category except interceptions. He led the NFL in interceptions three times.

• Manning’s 3.09 interception percentage ranks closer to the bottom since he entered the NFL than the top. It’s 49th-best out of 73 QBs who’ve thrown at least 1,000 passes since 2004.  

• How many of those 246 games was Eli Manning truly great? He has five career games with 300 passing yards, 3 TD passes and 0 interceptions. That’s the same number as Jared Goff, who’s played 206 fewer games.

The verdict 

On Feb. 3, 2008, and Feb. 5, 2012, Eli Manning was the best quarterback in the world. For nearly all of the other 244 football Sundays since his career began he not only wasn’t the best QB in the world he was remarkably average.

He has a .500 career record, and in 12 of the 14 seasons he was a full-time starter the Giants failed to win a playoff game.

Even Manning’s Super Bowl performances weren’t off the charts. 

In the first one — after the 2007 season — he had a modest passer rating of 82.5, which is 13th-worst of any winning quarterback in Super Bowl history, and he put up just 17 points. In the other, he was very good but still only threw one TD pass.

A lot of people will tell you when talking about Manning that he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, he should be in the Hall of Very Good. 

Honestly, I’m not so sure he belongs in that one either.

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