New safety Deiondre' Hall already going crazy for Eagles

New safety Deiondre' Hall already going crazy for Eagles

On Thursday night, Deiondre' Hall found himself in his hotel room in South Philadelphia rooting on guys he had known for just a few days. 

He was going crazy. 

The Eagles traded a conditional seventh-round pick to get the safety on Sept. 1. A few days later, Hall was already fully invested in the Eagles’ season opener, even if he couldn’t be there. 

Hall, 24, was suspended for the first game of the 2018 season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That suspension followed Hall from Chicago and meant he was forced to watch the Eagles’ 18-12 win over the Falcons from his nearby hotel room.

“Seeing those guys go and ball out was crazy, especially in those last two minutes,” Hall said Monday afternoon. “I’m jumping and screaming at the TV.”

For the first time since joining the Eagles a little over a week ago, Hall will be allowed to practice with his new team this week. The safety, with a corner background, was once a fourth-round pick out of Northern Iowa. 

He’s already fitting in. 

“I came in and I haven’t stopped smiling since I’ve been here,” Hall said. “It’s a little different culture, but it’s a winning culture.” 

It’s been helpful that he had a previous relationship with Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas (it’s probably why he’s here) and some members of the team, like cornerback De’Vante Bausby. 

Oh yeah, he also knows the franchise quarterback. 

Hall and Carson Wentz were frequent competitors during their college days, Hall at Northern Iowa and Wentz at North Dakota State. Including the Eagles-Bears game in 2016, Hall and Wentz have faced each other five times before. 

Who has had the advantage? 

“Wentz definitely did,” Hall said. 

From 2012-15, Northern Iowa was 1-3 against North Dakota State. Add that to the Bears’ loss to the Eagles in 2016 and Hall is 1-4 lifetime against Wentz. 

He’s pretty happy to be on the same team now. 

“[Wentz] was one of the first faces I saw when I got in the building,” Hall said. “It was great to see him. We used to go up against each other all the time in college. Now to be teammates, that’s awesome.”

Hall is the Eagles’ fourth safety and he isn’t sure yet which special teams units he’ll be on. When Chris Maragos is ready to come off PUP and is healthy enough to play, the Eagles will have a decision to make. 

It’ll be up to Hall to make it a tough one. 

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Saints plan against Eagles was to ‘put the game on Wentz’

Saints plan against Eagles was to ‘put the game on Wentz’

The Saints had a plan coming into Sunday’s game: Make Carson Wentz beat them. 

He obviously couldn’t. 

We know the Saints’ plan because NBC Sports’ Peter King was embedded with Sean Payton the Saints for their preparations Saturday night and he learned some fascinating things. One of the most fascinating things was how the Saints wanted the game to go. 

Here’s an excerpt from King’s Football Morning in America:

And then, a bit of a surprise. “We want to put the game on [Eagles quarterback Carson] Wentz,” Payton said. Payton likes Wentz as a player, but his player-personnel analyst, Ryan Herman, gives him trends and numbers every week, and Payton tells the group two interesting ones about Wentz, from Herman: The Eagles are 1-11 when Wentz plays and they allow more than 26 points. And he’s 0-9 when he passes for between 308 and 364 yards, the point being if he does that, the Eagles likely won’t be running the ball well, and the Saints feel they can beat a one-dimensional offense.

Wentz had what was probably the worst game of his professional career Sunday in New Orleans, passing for 156 yards and three interceptions (see story)

If nothing else, this is proof to Doug Pederson to avoid being one-dimensional. His lack of commitment to the run game, at times, can play right into what the opposition wants. As far as Wentz, I’m sure this is true to some extent with most quarterbacks. Most teams would rather face a one-dimensional offense. But it’s still worth noting the Saints were comfortable seeing if Wentz could beat them. 

The other telling part of King’s column was that the Saints wanted to attack Sidney Jones as he returned from a hamstring injury. 

“Our emphasis in this game is to run at 22 [cornerback Sidney Jones],” Payton said. “He’s coming off a hamstring, and we don’t think he can hold up.”

They were right. On the Saints’ first play from scrimmage, they ran right at Jones. Mark Ingram ran through an arm-tackle attempt from Jones and scurried for a gain of 38 yards. The Saints also wanted to throw at Jones and they did. 

Eventually, Jones might be a good player (I still think he will be), but Sunday, he was an inexperienced corner coming off a soft tissue injury. The Saints had a good plan to exploit him and, sure enough, Jones didn’t finish the game. He left with a hamstring injury again.

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Against Saints, Eagles see a Carson Wentz we've never seen before

Against Saints, Eagles see a Carson Wentz we've never seen before

NEW ORLEANS — This was a Carson Wentz we’ve never seen before.

Throwing balls up for grabs. Making poor decisions. Unable to get into a rhythm. Making mistake after mistake.

And never being able to fix it.

Wentz stumbled through the worst game of his three-year NFL career Sunday against the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense.

The 48 part of 48-7 wasn’t that surprising. The Saints have been doing this to everybody.

The 7 part was shocking, considering the Saints had been allowing nearly 30 points a game.

“I’ve played a lot of football games in my career and this is one of the worst losses I’ve ever been a part of, and yes, it’s frustrating,” Wentz said. “It’s frustrating all the way around. Offensively, defensively, special teams. We just got beat. We have to be better, and it starts with me.”

Until Sunday, Wentz had been able to overcome his slow starts with big finishes.

Against a Saints defense that had given up 19 touchdowns and had just six interceptions while allowing a monstrous 108.8 passer rating through nine games, Wentz was 19 for 33 for 156 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

“The last couple weeks, it’s (been) frustrating,” Wentz said. “I definitely take a lot of it on my plate, on my shoulders. I have to come out better.”

How bad was Wentz?

• He became the first Eagle to throw three interceptions and no touchdowns in a game since Matt Barkley against the Cowboys in 2013, the first starting QB to do it since Donovan McNabb against the Panthers in the 2003 playoffs and the first in a regular-season game since Ty Detmer against the Colts in 1996.

• Wentz’s 31.9 passer rating is lowest by an Eagles starting quarterback in 11 years, since A.J. Feeley had a 30.0 rating against the Seahawks in a 28-24 loss at the Linc.

• It’s also worst against the Saints since Mark Sanchez had a 27.0 rating in a 24-10 win over the Jets in 2009.

• Wentz saw his NFL-record streak of games with at least one TD pass and one or fewer interceptions end at 22.

• Wentz also saw his streak of consecutive games with a passer rating of at least 83 end at 21, three short of Peyton Manning’s record streak of 24.

The Eagles have now lost five of their last seven games after a 2-1 start, and Wentz, like everybody else, has no answers.

“We know what we’re capable of,” he said. “I know. The product that we’re putting out there is not up to our standards. I’m not playing up to my standards. I think you go down the list and everybody is saying that.

“But we know the guys we have. We know the talent we have. We know the chemistry we have. It just hasn’t clicked out there all together. At the end of the day, all that really matters is the guys in that building. The guys in that locker room. We all believe. That belief is never going to go anywhere. You’ll never see us quit.”

Wentz’s numbers until Sunday were exceptional, but the Eagles are a 4-6 team that’s won two games since Week 3.

Wentz needs to be better. He needs to start better. He needs to finish better. He needs to be more consistent. He needs to raise the level of the people around him.

Without Wentz playing at an elite level, this team has no chance.

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