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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Eagle Eye podcast: Demolished in Dallas

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Eagle Eye podcast: Demolished in Dallas

On this Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro sort through the rubble of the Eagles’ 37-10 loss to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. 

The Eagles suffer one of the biggest losses of the Doug Pederson era and have lost back-to-back games by a combined 45 points. 

• How awful was that loss? 
• Nelson Agholor is bad right now
• The offense is completely out of sorts
• The defense isn’t any better
• Schedule isn’t getting any easier
• At least the NBA is starting soon 

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Doug Pederson doesn’t regret his declaration, but his confidence was misplaced

Doug Pederson doesn’t regret his declaration, but his confidence was misplaced

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Six days after Eagles head coach Doug Pederson went on WIP and said the Eagles were going to go to Dallas and “win that football game,” the Eagles suffered what Pederson agreed was one of the worst losses during his tenure as head coach. 

The Eagles were crushed by the Cowboys, 37-10, at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night in front of a national television audience. 

So late Sunday night, did Pederson regret his declaration? 

“Nope,” he said. “Do not.” 

Pederson was confident in his team. But that confidence was clearly misplaced, because his team put out a pathetic performance against their biggest rival in a game that would have moved them into first place in the division. 

Why didn’t he regret his words? 

“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.” 

This was the Eagles’ worst loss at the hands of the Cowboys since a 34-0 drubbing in 1998, the year before Pederson joined the Eagles as a player. 

Pederson said he didn’t think he was overconfident heading into this week and disagreed with the notion that the Eagles were unprepared for the game. He pointed at the two early turnovers as costly mistakes, but ones that didn’t indicate unpreparedness. 

We’ve heard this now after every loss, right? The Eagles’ mistakes are correctable. They can fix them. They can still be the team we thought they were going to be. 

But seven games and a 3-4 record into the 2019 season, it’s time to wonder if that’s really the case. In back-to-back weeks to start the toughest stretch of their schedule, the Eagles have lost by 18 points and now by 27. 

So maybe it’s fair to ask, simply, is this Eagles team is talented enough? 

In fact, I asked Pederson that on Sunday night. 

He said it is. 

But why does he believe that? 

“Because you see signs of it, you see glimpses of it,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we’ve injured and we’ve got some guys that are missing, but we don’t use that as an excuse. And I do feel like we’ve got enough talent on this football team to get the job done.”

Glimpses aren’t enough. Glimpses don’t win football games. Glimpses don’t get you into the playoffs. 

And the Eagles certainly didn’t look all that talented on Sunday night. The offense couldn’t get going. The defense couldn’t stop Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott. Even their special teams unit had a couple blunders, too. 

Pederson looked weathered after the loss. But he stood there and tried to explain problems for which he clearly didn’t have answers. He tried to take blame. 

“It starts with me,” Pederson said. “So I’m going to own this one. This one will be on me.”

His biggest crime might have been believing in this team. 



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