Eagles

If Daeshon Hall doesn't make Eagles’ roster, what are we doing?

If Daeshon Hall doesn't make Eagles’ roster, what are we doing?

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Daeshon Hall is going to sleep easy tonight. He’s earned that and more. 

Because if the 24-year-old defensive end doesn’t make the Eagles’ roster based on his dominance this preseason, why are they even playing the games? 

Hall, who joined the Eagles during the season in 2018, was a standout throughout this preseason despite a nagging shoulder injury and a stinger he suffered on Thursday night. He led the Eagles in sacks (4), tackles for loss (4), QB hits (11) and forced fumbles (3) and he was among the league leaders in every category too. 

Heck, it seems like we shouldn’t be talking about whether or not Hall has the roster made, but about what his role should be this season. 

Maybe that’s why he isn’t worried. 

“I’m relaxed,” Halls said on Thursday night. “I feel like whatever is for me is for me. Whatever God has in store for me is going to happen. Whether that means me being here or me being on another team. I’ll be grateful for whatever opportunity comes.”

For a long time, it seemed like Hall might be the casualty of a numbers game. The Eagles have their top three defensive ends in Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Vinny Curry. And they used fourth-round picks in back-to-back years on Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller. Hall was once a third-round pick, but the Eagles didn’t draft him. 

You can forget all that, though. Hall has done enough to earn a roster spot. And if he doesn’t get it, the devalued preseason means even less than we thought. 

Doug Pederson has admitted that when the Eagles evaluate players, they care more about practice than games, but it should be impossible to ignore what Hall has been able to do over these four preseason games. Sure, you can argue the competition Hall faced wasn’t great. He has been going against some players who will never play in the league, but so have Sweat and Miller. … And Hall simply outplayed both of them all summer. 

Hall was happy with his performance over the last month, but wouldn’t say whether or not he thought he did enough to make the roster. That’s a question for the coaches, he said. 

“I feel like I did a lot,” Hall said, “but there’s always plays you wish you could have back. Just like stuff with your technique and stuff you wish you could have back. I just tried to give my best effort.”

The Eagles have to have their 90-man roster whittled down to 53 players by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline, but Hall won’t be sitting by his phone, stressing. He said he will be resting, catching up on some sleep. Maybe he’ll watch some TV or a movie or play some video games. 

He’s eagerly awaiting the release of NBA 2K20. The release date for that game is Sept. 6, two days before the Eagles open the season at home against Washington. 

I have a hunch he might be busy then. 



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Jason Kelce egregiously snubbed by NFL's all-decade voters

Jason Kelce egregiously snubbed by NFL's all-decade voters

Jason Kelce was the best center in the NFL over the last decade and no fraud all-decade team is going to change that.

The NFL on Monday announced its team of the decade, and it was good to see LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Fletcher Cox and Jason Peters named. All are deserving.

But the absence of Kelce is egregious. 

Not surprisingly, the same people who haven’t figured out that Eric Allen was one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play the game — the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters — are the same people who have decided that Kelce wasn’t one of the two best centers in the NFL from 2010 through 2019.

Alex Mack and Maurkice Pouncey were the centers named to the team of the decade, and guess what.

Kelce has made first-team all-pro more than both of them combined.

Kelce three times, Pouncey twice, Mack zip.

Pouncey deserves one of the two slots. He’s made eight Pro Bowls with the Steelers and played on six playoff teams and a Super Bowl loser. Hell of a career.

Mack? Ask any defensive tackle in the NFL if he’d rather face Kelce or Alex Mack. 

Mack’s been a really good player, and he does have more Pro Bowls than Kelce. But he was a 1st-round pick, and those guys tend to make Pro Bowls much earlier than 6th-round picks like Kelce. 

Kelce didn’t make his first Pro Bowl until his fourth season, and he was absurdly snubbed in the Pro Bowl voting in 2017 and 2018, when he was the best center in football, made first-team all-pro both times and didn’t get picked to the Pro Bowl team.

Kelce is the only active player in the NFL that’s had two all-pro seasons in which he didn’t make the Pro Bowl and one of only six in history.

It’s tough making up ground when you’re a 6th-round pick. You come into the league with no hype, and unless you see the guy play every Sunday you can’t imagine he’s really that good.

The rest of the country finally realized in 2017 what we already knew. Kelce guy is a beast. It took way too long. And judging by this NFL all-decade team people still haven’t figured out how good he is.

Kelce has added a dimension of athleticism to the center position that may be unprecedented. What he lacks in size and strength he makes up for in determination, intelligence and leverage. 

Kelce is one of six centers in NFL history to make first-team all-pro three straight years, the only one to do it in the last 20 years. All the others are Hall of Famers.

He’s also one of only seven centers in NFL history to be named all-pro three times AND to win a Super Bowl or NFL Championship. He’s the only one to do it in the last 35 years.

Kelce did make the Pro Football Writers Association all-decade team, so at least somebody got it right.

The thing that’s really disturbing is that Kelce is building a Hall of Fame resume, and the people that snubbed him for this honor could very well do the same when he’s in the Hall of Fame conversation. All-decade teams are one of the leading criteria Hall of Fame voters cite when justifying their picks.

All I know is Kelce is one of the smartest, toughest guys I’ve ever seen. He’s played through injuries that would have ended most guys’ seasons and some guys’ careers.

And he’s done it at a consistently high level since beating out Jamaal Jackson for the starting job in the summer of 2011.

Kelce probably doesn’t give a darn about all this. He’s never been one to take individual honors seriously. That’s not why he plays the game. 

He plays the game for moments like Feb. 4, 2018, and that’s something that none of the so-called experts can ever take away.

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NFL to reverse controversial pass interference rule for 2020 season: report

NFL to reverse controversial pass interference rule for 2020 season: report

After a one-year flirtation with pass interference challenges didn't really solve anything, the NFL is expected to end the experiment.

Pass interference replay "almost certainly will not be extended", according to a report Monday from NFL.com's Judy Battista:

This isn't terribly surprising. The rule was put in place largely because Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints complained very loudly after an enormous missed call in the 2018-19 postseason.

That crucial uncalled pass interference, you might recall, was committed by new Eagles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman:

The 2019 regular season allowed coaches to challenge pass interference calls, either called or uncalled, but the results were a mixture of underwhelming and frustrating.

Eagles fans probably remember this very obvious Avonte Maddox pass interference that wasn't called, was challenged by Packers coach Matt LaFleur, and then still wasn't called:

That was insane.

"The cumulative effect of the misses, plus the replay spotlight on these misses, has really taken its toll," former NFL ref and current NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay told the New York Times last November.

The line for what constitutes pass interference was shown - as football watchers already knew - to be an indistinct and ever-moving line, and the ability to challenge the calls just created one more layer of aggrivation.

If the league does indeed remove the rule, it will be a victory. Fans, players, and coaches will still yell about missed pass interference calls - but at least they won't have to do it twice.

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