Eagles

Eagles storylines at 2019 NFL owners meetings

Eagles storylines at 2019 NFL owners meetings

PHOENIX — Free agency has finally cooled down but it’s still gonna be hot in Arizona this week … like high-80s hot. 

It’s time for the NFL’s annual league meetings at the luxurious Arizona Biltmore. It’ll be our first chance to talk to the Eagles’ decision-makers since the new league year and it’ll be one of our last chances to talk to them before April’s draft. 

Here are some of the biggest Eagles storylines for the week ahead: 

Dust settles on moves 
The Eagles didn’t make a ton of huge splashes in free agency, but they were active. They brought in Malik Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Vinny Curry, Andrew Sendejo and L.J. Fort. They brought back Ronald Darby and Jason Peters. They traded Michael Bennett. They re-signed Brandon Graham and extended Isaac Seumalo and Jason Kelce. Plenty to talk about and this is our first chance to find out why the Eagles made these moves. 

Hints at draft  
Do any of those moves change the Eagles’ philosophy in the draft? They shouldn’t. But with the draft about a month away, there might be some hints about where the Eagles are looking. 

Time with Lurie  
We don’t get to talk to owner Jeff Lurie very often, but this is the one time per year he always speaks with reporters. He watched as the Eagles talked about the new norm, got off to a slow start and then went on a run in 2018. Are you wondering what he thought of all that? Or what does he think about all the moves made by Howie Roseman? 

Hey, Howie!
Speaking of Roseman, I have some questions about philosophy this offseason. As you might have noticed, the Eagles have signed a good number of older players and haven’t really signed many young ones. I don’t think it’s as big a deal as some have made it out to be, but it’s still worth figuring out. 

And, is he ever going to add a running back? 

Time with Doug 
We also get our hour-long breakfast with Doug Pederson. The top question on my mind for the head coach surrounds his offense. After adding Jackson, the Eagles have a talented trio of receivers and a pair of really good tight ends. As far as problems go, this is a good one to have. But it’s up to the play-caller to get everyone involved. 

New rules
As always, the annual league meetings are a chance for the NFL to vote on new rules for the following season. Many of the rule proposals this season deal with replay, including the two submitted by the Eagles. 

One would add review of player safety-related fouls as subject to coaches’ challenge rules. The other would add scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul to the replay system. 

The Eagles did submit a proposal that would force the Cowboys and Lions to play every other Thanksgiving game on the road. But the Eagles withdrew that proposal. 

Kraft services 
Even after his apology (?), Robert Kraft is going to be the big story at this year’s event. He will be in Phoenix and is expected to remain on all his committees. 

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Jeff Lurie's production company announces Hitler documentary

Jeff Lurie's production company announces Hitler documentary

The timing is a coincidence. But it's a fascinating coincidence.

On Thursday afternoon, just days after Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was condemned by the team for sharing "appalling" social media posts citing quotes he thought were from Hitler, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie’s new film production company announced the completion of a documentary, “The Meaning of Hitler.”

A release from Cinetic Media and Play/Action Pictures, a documentary film production company founded by Lurie, described the movie as “a provocative interrogation of our culture’s fascination with Hitler and Nazism set against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy, the normalization of antisemitism, and the weaponization of history itself.”

The movie has been in production for three years, the announcement of the film was planned several weeks ago, and the timing is a total coincidence. 

But the fact that Lurie, who is Jewish, has been working on this project for several years does give us an idea of how important this topic is to him and gives us a sense of how hurtful Jackson’s actions must have been to him.

The film is based on the award-winning 1978 book, “The Meaning of Hitler,” by Raimund Pretzel, who wrote under the pseudonym Sebastien Haffner. The book won several international awards, including the Wingate Literary Prize.

Lurie is listed as co-executive producer of the film along with Marie Therese Guirgis, who won the 2018 DuPont Award for Documentary Feature for On Her Shoulders.

Before he bought the Eagles in 1994, Lurie produced several movies, including Sweet Hearts Dance, I Love you to Death and V.I. Warshawksi. He’s won two Academy Awards - one as executive producer of Inside Job, which won Best Documentary in 2011, and another as executive producer of Inocente, which won Best Documentary Short Film in 2013.

According to the release from Lurie’s production company, the film took three years to produce and was filmed in nine countries. It was directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker, who produced a series of acclaimed documentaries about the Iraqi war, and features contributions from numerous noted historians.

“As fears of authoritarianism and fascism now abound, the film explores the myths and misconceptions of our understanding of the past, and the difficult process of coming to terms with it at a time in our history when it seems more urgent than ever,” the release states.

“We couldn't be prouder that The Meaning of Hitler is the first completed film made by our new documentary production company, Play/Action Pictures,” Lurie said in a statement. “I envisioned Play/Action to be a leading creative force for films that engage with the most crucial and challenging issues of our time. The rise of white supremacy and neo-fascism in the United States and the world over are among the most important and serious threats we face today."

Lurie’s company is currently working on three other documentaries, including “Black Woodstock,” directed by Philly native Questlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson), an author, movie producer and drummer in the Roots.

The press release from Lurie’s production company does not mention Jackson.

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NFL rumors: League's nonsensical jersey rule rightly clowned by star players

NFL rumors: League's nonsensical jersey rule rightly clowned by star players

Pro sports leagues are trying to find ways to safely play games and entertain fans amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is obviously a tough and tall task.

But the NFL's latest proposed measure missed the mark... completely.

The league is looking to ban the popular post-game jersey swap tradition, according to NFL.com, as a proposed safety measure:

Under proposed NFL-NFLPA game-day protocols, teams would be forbidden from interactions within six feet of each other following games, and jersey exchanges between players would be prohibited, per sources informed of the situation.

If you think that sounds like a total waste of a rule, after the teams are engaged in hand-to-hand action for three hours, you're not alone.

Why the NFL feels the need to distance players after allowing them to breathe, sweat, and bleed on each other during a game is unclear. The league didn't provide an explanation.

Probably because there isn't one.

These are uncharted waters for sports leagues, and mistakes will be made, but sometimes it helps to just use common sense.

A few Eagles players were quick to point out the seeming absurdity of the rule on Twitter:

And a couple other star players from around the league chimed in as well:

Interestingly, NFL.com's Kevin Patra included this qualifier at the end of his story about the ban:

The proposed protocols are set to be in effect during any preseason action, if agreed to. As are all things during the pandemic, they're subject to change as the science, data and situations develop.

That sounds like the league already setting itself up to change the rule down the line, considering the initial reception from players. 

We'll see if it lasts an entire season.

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