Eagles

Gunn-on-One: Malcolm Jenkins pleasantly surprised with Avonte Maddox

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Gunn-on-One: Malcolm Jenkins pleasantly surprised with Avonte Maddox

Malcolm Jenkins is the jack-of-all-trades for an Eagles’ defense that is hurting on the back end. 

No. 27 is this week’s Gunn-on-One subject.

Gunn: Give me your assessment of this team after six games.

Jenkins: The real assessment is we’re 3-3. We’ve earned three wins and I think when you look at the three losses, most of them we felt like we gave those away. And so we’re coming off a big win on a short week in the division, but as we look out at the landscape in the NFC East, all of our goals are right in front of us. While it hadn’t started like we wanted to, it’s still very much alive, so we’re focusing on each week, making sure that we’re putting out the best performance we can to be successful, and nothing bigger than coming home against the Carolina Panthers. A team that has been to the playoffs. A really good running game, obviously a premiere quarterback, premiere tight end, premier receiver, premier running back, some great challenges, and a defense that can get after you with some linebackers that know how to make plays. So we’ve got a challenge and we’re excited about that opportunity to compete.

Gunn: You guys are nicked up on the back end. You have pieces moving all over the place. How much more responsibility falls on you to hold it together back there?

Jenkins: I think initially that’s kind of the reaction — that a lot of that falls on me, but it’s been a pleasant surprise for me to see Avonte Maddox step up the way he has. Not only is he playing a new position, but we’ve given him the responsibility to call the defense, set the defense, which takes a little bit off my plate. He’s really filling a role so that my role doesn’t change. We got other guys that we have to cross-train just because we’re so thin with depth as a contingency plan. One: it gives us better depth. Two: it gives us a little bit of an advantage as well. It’s my responsibility to make sure these guys are prepared.

To see the expanded version of my Gunn-on-One with Jenkins, go to the #MyTeams Philadelphia sports app, and also watch Eagles Pregame Live this Sunday between noon and 1 p.m.

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Eagles Injury Update: A glimpse of Mike Wallace sans boot

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Eagles Injury Update: A glimpse of Mike Wallace sans boot

Updated: 4:25 p.m.

Eagles receiver Mike Wallace is still on injured reserve after fracturing his right fibula in Week 2, but we got a glimpse of him at practice. 

Just last week, we saw Wallace in the Eagles’ locker room with a walking boot on his right leg. That walking boot is off. 

Wallace, 32, was a spectator as Thursday’s practice inside the practice bubble. He was out of that boot, but still seemed to be walking with a limp. See for yourself. 

This is notable because earlier this week, the Eagles designated Richard Rodgers to return from injured reserve. That means they have just one spot remaining for either Wallace or fellow receiver Mack Hollins. Both are eligible to return now. Just last week, we saw Hollins working with trainers on a side field. So it appears Hollins is closer to returning than Wallace. 

The Eagles might have a decision to make. Is it worth getting back Hollins, who has never really been a productive receiver, but is a good special teams player? Or is it worth bringing back Wallace, who, at his best, is a big-time downfield threat? 

Here’s the full injury report from today: 

Did not practice: Ronald Darby (knee), Jalen Mills (foot), Josh Perkins (knee), Darren Sproles (hamstring)

Limited: Lane Johnson (knee), Haloti Ngata (knee)

Full: Malcolm Jenkins (wrist), Sidney Jones (hamstring) 

None of the guys who didn't practcie are expected to play this weekend. Jones said he will be able to play, which will be big for the Eagles. 

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How Andy Reid stole a play from Carson Wentz

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How Andy Reid stole a play from Carson Wentz

The Chiefs ran a play on opening day last year that helped them to a 42-27 upset win over the Patriots in Foxboro, and it’s a play that would look very familiar to Carson Wentz.

Here’s why:

With the Patriots holding a 27-21 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, Andy Reid’s Chiefs had a 1st-and-10 on their own 22-yard-line.

What were the Chiefs facing? The Patriots at that point were 105-0 at home with Tom Brady when entering the fourth quarter with a lead.

Reid called a play where Kareem Hunt — playing in his first NFL game — lined up in the backfield, just to the right to Alex Smith, Tyreek Hill was in the left slot, Travis Kelce lined up tight to the right and and WR Chris Conley was wide left.

Hill went into motion to the right, drawing safety Duron Harmon down to the line of scrimmage. Cornerback Eric Rowe, the Eagles’ second-round pick in 2015, was lined up on Hill but dropped back when Harmon moved up.

Rowe then picked up Kelce as he ran a crossing pattern, leaving the middle of the field open, and giving the Chiefs a great matchup of linebacker Cassius Marsh on Hunt.

Smith had tremendous protection and dropped a perfect pass to Hunt, who caught the ball just past midfield and ran in for a 78-yard touchdown. The Chiefs wound up winning by 15.

It was a perfectly designed play.

And it came right out of the Carson Wentz playbook.

In her SI.com piece, “Andy Reid is Creating Football’s Future, and Patrick Mahomes is Living It,” SI writer Jenny Vrentas explains that Reid first saw the play that resulted in that 78-yard touchdown — and which the Chiefs have had success with other times as well — while watching tape of Wentz at North Dakota State.

The Chiefs weren’t planning to draft a quarterback in 2016, but Reid always watches film of the top quarterback prospects anyway, and while watching North Dakota State film, he saw Wentz and the Bisons run that play over and over ... with great success.

“We were studying Carson and kind of snuck that one,” Reid said.

According to Vrentas, North Dakota State calls the play "He-Man," and the Chiefs call it "All-Go Special Halfback Seam."

Whatever the name, it works, and it neatly connects the Eagles’ current quarterback with their former head coach.

Ironic that Reid snagged a play from Wentz, who now plays for Doug Pederson, who was Reid’s quarterback in 1999 and offensive coordinator with the Chiefs from 2013-15 and now coaches Wentz.

Do the Eagles have that play in their playbook? Probably. But they definitely don’t have a Kareem Hunt.

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