John Clark is keeping busy with Zoom, music, exercise and 'Curb'

John Clark is keeping busy with Zoom, music, exercise and 'Curb'

During this time of self-quarantine, we’re checking in with those in the Philly sports world to see How They’re Keeping Busy. Next up, NBC Sports Philadelphia airport specialist, John Clark.

What are you doing to keep busy during these strange times without live sports?

I am making sure to get outside every day and get some sort of exercise like running, biking, and tennis -- keeping plenty of physical distancing. Thank goodness the weather has been pretty good here. Places like Chicago, it’s tough to get outside when it’s in the 20s and 30s.

How are you getting your sports fill?

I am getting my sports fill right now covering NFL free agency and the Eagles moves. And tracking down the new Eagles players and doing interviews with them over the zoom app. It’s really hard for me to watch old games, except for the Eagles Super Bowl win. Part of sports for me is not knowing what’s going to happen. The suspense of that is amazing. My parents tape Villanova games and other sports and watch them sometimes a day later. I just can’t do that! And I would have heard what happened before it’s too late.

Tip(s) for everyone stuck at home who may be stressed?

Listen to plenty of music, the artists and songs that make you feel good. I have also tried to reach out to one person a day that I haven’t talked to in a long time that I am friends with or used to be friends with and we’ve lost touch.

Specific content you’d recommend to others? Anything you’re binging/reading/listening to?

If you want to laugh, I would suggest Curb Your Enthusiasm. And I watch Impractical Jokers a lot and the immature silly humor makes me laugh every time. Netflix standup comedy specials can give you a good laugh too. I think it’s also cool to go back and watch some concerts you have been to on YouTube or listening to them on Sirius radio, it brings you back to such a great night. Music always makes me think of good memories.

Is there a local business or charity you’re supporting during these tough times?

I am going to pick up food a lot because I wanna support restaurants and businesses that need it right now. I have friends who are restaurant owners who have laid off a lot of their staff and been forced to close down. Times are so tough for these businesses and I feel we need to support them. And I’m trying to leave bigger tips when picking up food.


Is there hope for Sidney Jones?

Is there hope for Sidney Jones?

Who’s CB2?
Whenever we toss around all the scenarios, there’s one that’s so unlikely we generally just dismiss it outright.
What if Sidney Jones can play?
The Eagles currently seem to have Avonte Maddox penciled in at outside corner opposite Darius Slay, the three-time Pro Bowler they acquired in March from the Lions. That would leave Cre’Von LeBlanc and Nickell Roby-Coleman competing for the slot.
It’s hard not to like what Maddox brings to the defense. He’s tough, physical, smart, instinctive and active. 
He’s also probably best suited to the slot and only projected as an outside corner because Jones has been injured and ineffective, Rasul Douglas has been inconsistent and prone to allowing big plays, Jalen Mills is now penciled in at safety and LeBlanc is also probably best as an inside corner as well.
It’s not ideal. 
But what if Jones figures it all out in Year 4? What if it all comes together mentally and physically for the former second-round pick out of Washington.
It’s hard to imagine because Jones’ first three NFL seasons have been so disappointing.
The first year he rehabbed the Achilles, blown out before the draft at his pro day. The second year he started the first six games of the season in the slot before hamstring injuries ruined the rest of his season. And last year he was again in and out of the lineup with more hamstring injuries and eventually as a healthy scratch.
It’s not much of a resume.
But here’s the thing about Sidney.
We’ve seen some flashes. Enough that we can at least pose the question: Can Sidney Jones be a viable starting cornerback for the Eagles in 2020?
Let’s look at those first six games of 2018, before he got hurt. The Eagles only allowed eight TDs in those six games — sixth-best in the league at that point — and were fourth in the NFL allowing just 18.3 points per game. That was with Jones playing about 40 snaps per game.
And there were moments last year where he showed up.
He picked off Matt Ryan with the Eagles down 10-3 in Atlanta to set up a field goal. He batted down Dak Prescott’s 4th-down pass to Michael Gallup in the final moments of a huge over the Cowboys. He had that INT off Daniel Jones at the Eagles’ 6-yard-line at the Meadowlands on the final day a week later to seal a win and get the Eagles into the playoffs.
It’s not a lot to go on. And certainly the disappointing moments have outnumbered the encouraging ones by a long shot.
Getting benched against the Vikings. Hamstring injury after hamstring injury. Dropping below Craig James and even Orlando Scandrick at one point on the depth chart. A healthy scratch in last year’s playoff loss to the Seahawks. 
But here’s the thing. Jones just turned 24 last week. He’s younger than Andre Dillard, who’s only in his second season. At one point before his 2017 pro day he was seen as a mid-first-round talent.
We’ve seen him make a few plays that make you think, “Maybe?”
If he can ever get his hamstrings healthy enough to run, can he be a viable starter?
Heck, as CB2 he wouldn’t even have to match up with the best receivers the Eagles face. Slay would handle that, and Jones would only have to contend with the other team’s WR2.
This is Jones’ last chance with the Eagles. He’s going into the final year of his four-year rookie deal, and if he doesn’t figure this thing out this summer, his next opportunity will be somewhere else.
Sometimes last chances have a way of getting a player’s attention. Maybe something will click, he’ll find a way to get physically stronger and more durable and get his speed back to the 4.47 he ran at the combine.
Is any of this likely? Honestly? No. 
The odds are against Jones. He’s a longshot at this point. 
But when you’ve seen a guy make plays here and there, it’s hard not to wonder whether he can make them consistently.
In this strangest of NFL offseasons, maybe we all have one more giant surprise in store for us.

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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Can Boston Scott keep it going?

Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Can Boston Scott keep it going?

Over the next two weeks, we’re taking a look at 10 Eagles players who might be primed for a breakout season in 2020. 

Up first: Boston Scott 

Age: 25

How acquired: Signed off Saints practice squad in December 2018 

Entering: Year 3 

Some would argue that Scott already broke out against the Giants in Week 17, when he had three rushing touchdowns and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, but now we need to see Scott play at a high level consistently. 

There’s been a lot of buzz around the Eagles’ possibly adding a veteran free agent running back to the mix, but even if they do, Scott should still have a chance to have a significant role with the Eagles. Will he do enough to be the true No. 2 after Miles Sanders? 

It certainly seems like he has that potential. And a Sanders-Scott 1-2 punch could be a long-term thing if he continues to progress. 

Remember, for as good as Scott was at times in the 2019 season, he still has just 61 career carries. But what was certainly encouraging was the way Scott played down the stretch when the Eagles needed him to show up. In the last four games of the regular season, Scott had 151 yards rushing and 199 yards receiving; he averaged 87.5 scrimmage yards per game during that span. 

And despite his limited height (5-6), Scott has a nose for the end zone. That natural leverage and his stout build (he’s listed at 203 pounds) help him score touchdowns. He scored five touchdowns on 61 carries in 2020 and three of them were 2-yarders. 

On runs where the Eagles needed 1 to 5 yards for a first down, Scott converted 12 times, including 4 touchdowns. 

During last season, Scott showed off his versatile set of skills. He’s a good runner between the tackles, but has the ability to be shifty in open space, catch out of the backfield and even return kicks and punts. 

Scott was originally selected in the 6th round by the Saints out of Louisiana Tech in the 2018 draft. The Eagles’ signed him off the Saints’ practice squad in Week 15 back in 2018. 

At Louisiana Tech, Scott in his senior season had 1,228 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns, while also handling kick return duties his last three years. He had just 32 receptions in college but it’s a part of his game that was underutilized back then. He ended up with 24 catches in his second NFL season once he finally got on the field. 

Scott began the 2019 season on the Eagles’ practice squad but was called up in October and ended up being a big reason the Birds got into the playoffs. 

Last season, Scott ended up third on the team in all-purpose yards with 721. But there’s still room for growth and it’s up to Scott to solidify his role in 2020. 

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More on the Eagles