Former Eagles fan favorite Connor Barwin joining the Giants

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Former Eagles fan favorite Connor Barwin joining the Giants

A former fan favorite with the Eagles, Connor Barwin is coming back to the NFC East. He’ll be signing with the rival Giants, Barwin announced Monday. 

After piling up 31½ sacks in four seasons with the Eagles, Barwin went out west in 2017, spending the year with the Los Angeles Rams. He was injured and missed the game when the Eagles beat the Rams to wrap up their division title in December. 

Barwin, 31, played for the Rams on a one-year deal in 2017 and has been a free agent since March. 

So apparently, Barwin thinks the Giants can win the Super Bowl in 2018. 

That would be something. 

The Giants went 3-13 last year to finish in the basement of the NFC East and fired their head coach along the way. For what it’s worth (not much) that same coach who was fired thinks the Giants will win the division this year (see story), but it’s hard to imagine them making that kind of leap or taking down the Eagles, who should be well-positioned to repeat as division champs. 

Barwin’s heading to the Giants makes some sense. He’ll reunite with linebackers coach Bill McGovern, who was the Eagles’ outside linebackers coach during the Chip Kelly years. He also is plenty familiar with Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was Kelly’s offensive coordinator and eventually interim head coach after Kelly got canned. Aside from that, Barwin will still get to play in a 3-4 scheme, in which he seems better suited. He played in Jim Schwartz’s 4-3 for one season in 2016, but it wasn’t a perfect fit. 

The real question is: How will Eagles fans respond to Barwin when he comes to town on Nov. 25 as a member of the Giants? Because even after Barwin was released and then went out to L.A., he continued his incredible charitable work back in Philly. His Make the World Better Foundation continues to excel in creating parks in the City of Philadelphia, where Barwin really felt at home. 

He probably deserves to be cheered, but if that game means something, you can forget about it. Good for Barwin to find a new gig, but as far as fans are concerned, he’s the enemy now. 

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Eagles reportedly have a new secondary coach

Eagles reportedly have a new secondary coach

Marquand Manuel is the Eagles’ new secondary coach, according to a tweet by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

The 40-year-old Manuel replaces Cory Undlin, who had served in that role since 2015, first under Chip Kelly and the last four years under Doug Pederson. Undlin was named Lions defensive coordinator two weeks ago.

Manuel and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz go back a ways. Manuel played for the Lions in 2009 when Schwartz was their head coach.

Manuel was not in the NFL this past year. He spent the previous four years under Dan Quinn with the Falcons, two years as secondary coach and two years as defensive coordinator before getting fired following the 2018 season.

The Falcons reached the Super Bowl in his second year in Atlanta, losing to the Patriots in Houston.

Before Atlanta, Manuel spent three years working under Quinn with the Seahawks, holding a variety of titles on the defensive staff.

Manuel, who played for Steve Spurrier at Florida, was the Bengals’ 6th-round pick in 2002 and spent eight years as a safety in the NFL with six different teams — the Bengals, Seahawks, Packers, Panthers, Broncos and Lions.

He played in 116 games, starting 58, with two interceptions and a pick-6 while he was with the Packers in 2006 off Jon Kitna of the Lions.

The Eagles also reportedly interviewed Browns defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker for the position.

The Eagles already have a safeties coach on the staff, former Eagle Tim Hauck. He was Pederson's teammate with the Eagles in 1999 and has been on Pederson's staff since 2016.

Quinn had this to say about Manuel on the Falcons’ web site back in 2018:

From the time I've met him from now, one thing that's cool to see that has stayed consistent is the energy and enthusiasm he has for players. He made the transition from player to coach really seamlessly because he knew the boundaries of coach, but he also stepped across to say, I can push you. That's not easy to do. He's always had mental quickness of a quarterback or someone who gets concepts really quickly. That transferred into this coaching fast. He can communicate concepts and ideas quickly to people on the run, in the moment, that's a really valuable asset as a coach.

The Eagles still have openings to replace the three assistant coaches Doug Pederson fired: offensive coordinator Mike Groh, wide receivers coach Carson Walch and defensive line coach Phillip Daniels.

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Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Just a few days ago, it seemed like the Eagles weren’t going to lose Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry because it looked like the Browns were going to hire someone else.

Well, that someone else has dropped out of the race.

Vikings assistant GM George Paton has taken himself out of the running to be the Browns’ next general manager, which means Berry is now the new favorite, according to Cleveland.com

This is certainly an interesting turn of events.

According to Cleveland.com, “Paton was reluctant to accept the initial interview because he assumed the job would go Berry.”

Now it might.

It would have made plenty of sense for the Browns to hire Paton, who has a long-standing relationship with new head coach Kevin Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota. But according to reports over the past few weeks, it seems like Berry has been a favorite of ownership and the front office.

While Berry and Stefanski have never worked together, they did get to know each other during the coaching search in Cleveland a year ago. After that search, the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens and Berry left for Philly. But now, Berry and Stefanski might actually get a chance to work with one another.

The Harvard-educated Berry, 32, was with the Browns from 2016-18 as their Vice President of Player Personnel before he joined the Eagles last season in a role they created for him. Berry initially came up in the Colts franchise, first as a scouting assistant and finally as a pro scouting coordinator. He’s been a quick-riser in the NFL world.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a Vice President job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

Final say is something Berry will likely never have here in Philadelphia. Despite a few missteps in recent years, Howie Roseman has pretty solid job security and he isn’t going anywhere. If Berry is going to become a GM, it’s going to be in another city. And it seems like that day might be coming soon.

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