Eagles

Eagles reach out to Torrey Smith to gauge his interest in unretiring

Eagles reach out to Torrey Smith to gauge his interest in unretiring

With a clear need for receivers, the Eagles recently reached out to Torrey Smith to gauge his interest level in possibly ending his retirement, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reported.

Smith said no thanks.

Smith is 30 now and officially announced his retirement in September. He was cut by the Panthers on Sept. 1 and decided that was enough for him. He walked away from the NFL with two Super Bowl rings.

I can’t blame the Eagles for trying to at least see if Smith would be interested. At least he has speed, which is what they’re really lacking now that DeSean Jackson is on IR. But trying to lure a 30-year-old out of retirement does have a hint of desperation.

Make no mistake about it, the Eagles should be somewhat desperate. Their receivers have struggled to produce without Jackson over the last month and a half and now we know his season is likely over.

The Eagles also worked out Jordan Matthews on Tuesday.

Even before Jackson went on IR, Doug Pederson on Monday admitted the Eagles were looking to possibly add a receiver.

“At this point it’s something we'll take a look at,” Pederson said. “We have to take a look at it, obviously. It's real. We're sort of at the halfway point, a little over a game over the halfway point of our season and we have time this week to make these decisions.

“We'll take a look at it, but nothing right now.”

It seems like they’ll be doing something soon. With Jackson on IR and after waiving Andrew Sendejo, the Eagles have two open roster spots on their bye week.

The Eagles traded Smith to the Panthers in March of 2018 for Daryl Worley, but also to get his salary off their books. In 11 games with the Panthers last season, Smith played in 11 games and had 17 catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

In his one season with the Eagles, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns. His last game with the Eagles was Super Bowl LII, when he caught five passes for 49 yards. In that postseason, he had 13 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game.

Those memories will have to be enough.

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Terrell Owens makes it clear there’s no reconciliation coming with Donovan McNabb

Terrell Owens makes it clear there’s no reconciliation coming with Donovan McNabb

As a bunch of people try to figure out ways to stay in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens offered his driveway sit-up routine that he made famous back in 2005. 

In a tweet on Monday, Owens tagged a bunch of celebrities in the post and included NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark, which lead to a lengthy interview on Tuesday. 

Of course, Clark had to bring up Owens’ response to one fan who asked why he didn’t tag Donovan McNabb in the workout tweet. 

Yeah, the gloves are off, but they’ve been off for a while. 

Here’s what Owens had to say: 

I’m just trying to have fun with the situation. I think everybody is aware of how … I wouldn’t say toxic, our relationship is, but at this point, it is what it is. I really considered him a friend, a teammate at one point in time. Over the years, I think the relationship has deteriorated to the point to where right now, I just don’t care anymore. I’ve tried to be the bigger person in a situation but then recent events, he came out and did an interview and started bringing up and rehashing certain things. In the back of my mind, I’m like ’this is what he really kind of thought about me the whole entire time.’ Now I’m like ‘the hell with it.’ I’m just gonna go with whatever flows at this point.

Owens, 46, brought up an interview McNabb gave a couple months ago to Bleacher Report in which he said Owens’ antics were a “major distraction” for the team.

When Clark brought up the idea that maybe he could get the two together on a Zoom call to hash all this out, Owens said, “Absolutely not.” 

So there you have it. 

Anyway, Owens shared his workout plan on Monday and then got into a little detail about the original driveway press conference during his interview with Clark: 

“I just tried to make light of a situation, especially being sent home from Lehigh where I was in training camp,” Owens said. “Andy Reid and I, we kind of bumped heads and we clashed a little bit and we had a disagreement about something. He told me to go home and then when he told me that, he goes, ‘make sure you stay in shape.’ So that was really the reason behind me bringing the ab bench out.”

Owens said he didn’t expect to arrive to his Moorestown, New Jersey, home and see a bunch of media members. But he thought about a way to poke fun of the situation and the impromptu press conference with his then-agent Drew Rosenhaus came to mind. 

And now 15 years later, it’s providing a little levity during a tough time. 

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The 1 game that led to Jalen Mills’ position switch to safety

The 1 game that led to Jalen Mills’ position switch to safety

If you’re wondering how Jalen Mills will fare in his new hybrid defensive back role with the Eagles, he says to look back at the Patriots game last season. 

Because in that game Jim Schwartz used Mills all over the field, as a corner, nickel corner, dime linebacker and more. The Eagles lost 17-10, but Mills and the Eagles’ defense played very well. 

In fact, Mills thinks it was one of his best games of the 2019 season. 

I had fun that game,” Mills said. “I was around the ball almost every play. I think the biggest thing for me is always wanting to be around the ball, whether it’s getting a pass breakup, getting a chance to pick the ball off or make a tackle, blitz. I think that’s the biggest thing, trying to be a tone-setter and a game-changer. 

“Football comes down to two to three plays really every game, whether a guy misses a tackle, whether a guy scored a touchdown on one play, whether a guy got a sack or an interception or a pass breakup on another play. For me, the biggest thing is wanting to be around the ball each and every play if possible and to make those game-changing plays, not only for the defense but for the team.

While the Eagles didn’t approach Mills about a position switch until long after the season was over, that game against the Patriots last November made him think that perhaps his future could look like that. After signing a one-year deal to remain an Eagle — and after Malcolm Jenkins was let go — Mills will assume that type of hybrid role. It’s unfair to expect Mills to simply replace Jenkins, but that’s the type of role he’s expected to have. 

In that 17-10 loss to the Patriots on Nov. 17, Mills played all 74 snaps. It was the only game all season in which he played every snap. He had four tackles and a pass breakup. Overall, he played well. 

Take a look at how those 74 snaps broke down by position. According to ProFootballFocus, this shows how the Eagles used his versatility in that game: 

Left corner: 43 (58%)
Slot corner: 13 (18%)
In the box: 13 (18%)
At the line: 4 (5%) 
Free safety: 1 (1%) 

This was the first time in Mills’ career that he played 10-plus snaps at three different positions. And he wasn’t just playing there, he was good. 

Against the Patriots, his PFF grade in that game was 77.3, his highest on the season and third-highest in his career. He was targeted 9 times and gave up 3 catches for 11 yards. 

Now, it’s also fair to realize that the Eagles put this in their game plan for a week against the Patriots and the Patriots didn’t have a chance to prepare for it. In 2020, opposing teams will be able to game plan knowing about Mills’ hybrid role. 

And just because Mills played well for one game in this type of role, it doesn’t mean he’ll succeed over the course of a 16-game season. But at least the Eagles and Mill shave some sort of idea about how it’ll work. And that’s better than nothing. 

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