Most improbable season in Eagles history?

Most improbable season in Eagles history?

A guy or girl walk into a bookstore (no, this is not a bad joke premise), they ask one of the workers where they would find the book about the NFL team that lost its starting quarterback, starting left tackle, middle linebacker, returner, special teams captain and kicker. Oh, and that team still managed to reach the Super Bowl. Oh, and it'll play the same team that beat it 13 years ago in said game.

After the worker finished laughing, they pointed them to the fiction section instead of sports.

That Cliffs Notes version of the Eagles' season really doesn’t begin to do it justice. This has been the most improbable ride in the history of the organization.

The Eagles' over/under win total prior to the season was 8½ in most sports books. Optimistic fans thought this team would top out at 10 wins and a playoff appearance. And that was if the Birds remained healthy. They are now 15-3 and playing in the Super Bowl.   

Carson Wentz was the best player in the NFL until his season-ending injury Week 13 in Los Angeles. The second-year starter had thrown for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and a 101.9 passer rating with only seven picks. That was with three-plus games left to play in the regular season. Enter Nick Foles, fresh off a season as a backup in Kansas City following a disaster of a year in St. Louis as a benched starter. Right there, most seasons would have been written off. Or perhaps when Foles threw for a combined 34.3 passer rating in his game-and-change to close out the regular season. Surely he had lost his mojo and this would be a one-and-done in the playoffs with him at the helm. Not so fast. Foles not only beat the best defensive team in football in the NFC title game, he took it apart to the tune of 26 of 33 passing, 352 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 141.4 passer rating.

The Eagles' defense was excellent all regular season long. Including the Falcons game in the divisional round. It had allowed 9.2 points per game in its last six home games prior to the Vikings. Yet all the talk entering this past Sunday's game was about Minnesota’s defense. Final score: 38-7 Eagles. Enough said.        

Peters/Big V
Everson Griffen racked up 13 sacks in the regular season. He was the first Vikings player on that side of the ball who Doug Pederson mentioned in the week leading up to the game. Griffen is on a milk carton today. He was a non-factor. And the man who put him there is Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was the supposed weak link after future Hall of Famer Jason Peters was lost in Week 7.                 

Beneath the “awe, shucks” demeanor lies a smart, in-tune, competitor whose players buy in. That’s what we know now about Pederson. Prior to the season, at least on the outside, the jury was out. Was he nothing more than the anti-Chip, a Reid-clone? Would he be the Eagles' head coach in 2018? These were all the questions. Little did we know, Pederson had all the answers.

Rodney Dangerfield
The Eagles were underdogs against the Falcons in the divisional round, ditto in the conference title game vs. the Vikings and will be once again in the Super Bowl in their rematch with the Patriots. Few, if any on the outside, have believed. And this team likes it that way. Not since Rodney Dangerfield has any person or team fed more off the disrespect angle. New England is installed as a 5½-point favorite in less than two weeks in Minneapolis. There could be no better final chapter written to a season or for a franchise than avenging a loss in the sport's biggest spectacle to the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady-led Pats dynasty.

And that most certainly is fact, not fiction.

Brian Dawkins stepping down from full-time role with Eagles

AP Images

Brian Dawkins stepping down from full-time role with Eagles

Just a couple months before he’s set to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Brian Dawkins is leaving his full-time role with the Eagles. 

The Eagles announced the news on Tuesday evening, saying Dawkins will continue to be a consultant for the team, “while also pursuing other endeavors including entrepreneurship and philanthropy.” Dawkins told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn that he plans on starting a non-profit company as a part of that work.

Dawkins, 44, released the following statement: 

“I want to thank Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, Don Smolenski and Coach Pederson for blessing me with the opportunity to return to this great organization. This is a special time in Philadelphia Eagles history and I am grateful to have been a part of the team’s first Super Bowl championship — something I wanted to help bring to this great city, one way or another. I will always cherish the relationships I have within the building and it was a privilege to work side-by-side with so many great people. 

“I have put a lot of time in prayer into this decision, and after talking it over with my family and listening to the Lord, I am being called in a different direction as I take the next step in my life and career. Although I am leaving my full-time role in football operations, I will always be a part of the Eagles family and the Philadelphia community. I look forward to continuing to work with the organization as a consultant while I also pursue other endeavors that are extremely important to me and my family’s purpose to inspire hope and increase the minds, bodies and souls of so many to come.”

Dawkins was made a full-time employee with the Eagles in August of 2016 and was given the title of “Football Operations Executive” after a nine-month stint working in the scouting department. At the time, it was explained that his role would be to help with player development. Aside from that, it wasn’t uncommon to see Dawkins spending time with defensive backs on the field after practice, either. 

Speaking on NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Quick Slants last February, Dawkins didn’t shoot down the idea of one day becoming an NFL GM, which undoubtedly had Eagles fans picturing the day when their favorite player would be running the franchise. At the time, he said he didn’t want to limit himself to anything. It looks like that day isn’t coming … at least not anytime soon. 

The Eagles released the following statement on Tuesday evening: 

“Brian Dawkins will always be a Philadelphia Eagle. We greatly appreciate all of Brian’s contributions to our football operations department over the last two seasons and we are excited that he will continue to help us going forward. As an NFL Hall of Famer and a Philadelphia Eagles legend, Brian is able to provide valuable perspective and draw on his extensive experience in the NFL while working in our front office. Our doors will always be open to him and we will support him in anything he does — both professionally and personally — as he continues his post-playing career.”

Eagles' Paul Worrilow out for season with torn ACL

Eagles' Paul Worrilow out for season with torn ACL

On the first day of spring workouts, the Eagles have already lost a player for the season. 

Veteran linebacker Paul Worrilow collided with a teammate during a 7-on-7 red zone drill on Tuesday and the news isn’t good. 

Worrilow is out for the season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN and NFL Network first reported Worrilow's season was over. 

Based on Worrilow's reaction earlier in the day, that’s not much of a surprise. As soon as Worrilow went down after colliding with Corey Nelson on the pass to Donnel Pumphrey, Worrilow clutched at his right knee and began to pound his fist on the ground. 

The entire NovaCare Complex’s practice bubble became silent while players took a knee and waited for the cart to arrive after the music was turned down almost completely. Worrilow’s right leg was stabilized by an aircast as he was helped onto the cart. 

Worrilow, 28, was signed to a one-year deal worth $790,000 this offseason. He was brought in to provide some depth. 

Worrilow, a Wilmington, Delaware, native, started 43 games for the Falcons from 2013-15 before becoming a rotational player for Atlanta in 2016 and then the Lions last year. He started eight games in Detroit in 2017.