Eagles

The Greatest Eagle of All-Time: Brian Dawkins

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The Greatest Eagle of All-Time: Brian Dawkins

When I started covering the Eagles 30 years ago, the conversation over who was the best player in Eagles history centered on Chuck Bednarik and Steve Van Buren.

Then Reggie White did his thing, and it became a three-man race.

Brian Dawkins came in a decade later, and by the time he was done, it was, "Well, Dawk is in the top 5, just behind Van Buren, Bednarik and Reggie." But you know what?

Dawk's résumé holds up against anybody. He redefined the safety position. He didn't just play a hybrid linebacker/cornerback style that nobody had ever seen before, covering deep, delivering thundering hits over the middle and supporting the run like a maniac. He changed the way safeties play.

It's tough comparing running backs, linebackers, defensive ends and safeties, but I don't think anybody has ever meant more to this franchise than Dawk. He took the Eagles from laughing stocks in the late 1990s to perennial Super Bowl contenders in the 2000s. He took the Eagles from the Vet to the Linc. He took the Eagles from just another team to elite.

And I wasn't here for Bednarik or Van Buren, but I can safely say that no player in the last 50 years was as beloved as Dawk for the player he was and the person he is. I got to talk to Dawk before the Eagles-Panthers game this season, and he spoke about how he realizes now that the reason all this happened, the reason he had this career, was to set him up for his true calling in life, which is to start a conversation about mental health and depression, to share his experiences, to help others, to make a difference in peoples' lives, to teach that anybody from an incredibly wealthy and decorated pro athlete like Dawk to you or your friend or family member can suffer from depression and that help is available.

Put it all together and you have Dawk, one of the most genuine, unique and passionate people I've ever met. Put it all together and you have the greatest Eagle of them all.

Be sure to tune into tonight's matchup of two GOATs as Tom Brady and the Patriots square off against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

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Eagles claim tight end Caleb Wilson, the son of former DL coach

Eagles claim tight end Caleb Wilson, the son of former DL coach

The Eagles have claimed tight end Caleb Wilson, the son of former defensive line coach Chris Wilson, who was with the Eagles from 2016-18. 

Wilson, 24, was waived by the Washington Football Team on Monday. 

The Eagles also placed Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks on Active/PUP list Tuesday. Brooks tore his Achilles last month and is rehabbing. He’ll get the boot off his foot next week. 

Brooks is obviously unlikely to play this season and the Eagles brought back Jason Peters to fill in for him at right guard. 

The Cardinals drafted Wilson out of UCLA with the very last pick (No. 254) of the 2019 NFL Draft, making him Mr. Irrelevant 2019. He didn’t make the Cardinals’ roster in 2019 but spent most of last season on their practice squad. 

Wilson (6-4, 240) was signed to Washington’s active roster last December but he didn’t play in any games for them. He was with the team until he was waived on Monday. 

During his three years at UCLA, Wilson put up some really solid numbers. As a junior in 2018, he caught 60 passes for 965 yards and 4 touchdowns. That was also his father’s last year with the Eagles, so it’s safe to say the Eagles were well aware of him back then. Chris Wilson is now the DL coach at the University of Colorado. 

At the 2018 combine, Caleb Wilson ran an impressive 4.56 time in the 40-yard dash. 

Here’s what TheDraftNetwork’s Joe Marino wrote about Wilson as a prospect two years ago: 

“Wilson has been a productive middle of the field receiver for UCLA across the last two seasons but projecting him to do the same at the next level is challenging given his restrictions. While he ran an excellent 40-yard dash time at the Combine, his overall athletic profile is disappointing. That, combined with inconsistent effort, leads to lazy routes that lack the separation quickness to get open at the next level. His effort and functional strength also miss the mark as a blocker. Wilson has low level TE2 upside, likely used in a flex role in sub packages.”

With the Eagles, Wilson will actually have a decent shot to make the roster. While Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are obviously locks for the 53-man roster, there are just two other tight ends on the roster: Josh Perkins and rookie Noah Togiai. 

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NFL rumors: LeSean McCoy says Eagles had interest before he signed with Bucs 

NFL rumors: LeSean McCoy says Eagles had interest before he signed with Bucs 

For months — well, years really — LeSean McCoy seemed excited about the possibility of returning to Philadelphia, where his No. 25 has remained available. But that didn’t happen. 

Shady signed with the Buccaneers and will join Tom Brady in Tampa (Tompa) Bay. 

But on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday, Shady said the Eagles were showing him interest even just before he signed with the Bucs. 

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles had expressed some interest in veteran running backs and the three they were linked with most were Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman and McCoy. The only one of the three that remains available is Freeman. 

The Eagles feel pretty comfortable with the running back group they have right now and are ready to roll with some younger players. Their top two running backs are Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. After that, they have Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield, Mike Warren and Adrian Killins. 

Coming into training camp, the Eagles wanted to get an extended look at some of those younger players. For instance, they had a draft able grade on Holyfield last year and had a draftable grade on Warren this year. 

McCoy is 32 now and it seems like his best days are behind him. Even though he was with the Chiefs last year, he didn’t play in the Super Bowl. 

But he’ll always be remembered as an Eagle. The Birds drafted him at No. 53 in 2009 and he played six seasons in Philly before Chip Kelly traded him to Buffalo. McCoy is a six-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro and the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher. 

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