Eagles

NFL Top 100 rankings: Eagles' Carson Wentz reacts to his ridiculous snub

NFL Top 100 rankings: Eagles' Carson Wentz reacts to his ridiculous snub

Josh Allen is No. 87. 

Kyler Murray is No. 90.

Carson Wentz? 

He was nowhere to be found in NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2020, revealed this week. And Wentz admitted Thursday evening that he'll use that as motivation if there is a 2020 season to be motivated for.

On Thursday evening, on a Zoom call Wentz did with Philly media, I asked Wentz about the snub.

"You've seen me over the years," he said. "I usually don't get caught up in a lot of that stuff. When I see it, I usually wish I didn't see it or didn't hear about it. But you can always use anything and everything as just a little bit of extra motivation. So it is what it is, voted on by the players. I'm not going to let that cause me to lose any sleep or anything, but I do look forward to going out this year and showing what I can do with my teammates."

Wentz last year threw for 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions despite throwing to the NFL's worst collection of wide receivers. He completed 64 percent of his passes, had a 93.1 passer rating and became the first QB in history to throw for 4,000 yards without a WR over 500 yards. Alshon Jeffery led the team's WRs with 490 yards. 

Wentz was 5th in the NFL in TD passes last year, 9th in passing yards and 4th in interception ratio despite a shaky cast around him.

Some 970 NFL players voted in the poll.

But I’m not sure how much credibility any poll has when Pat Mahomes isn’t No. 1.

Quarterbacks ranked ahead of Wentz were Lamar Jackson (No. 1), Russell Wilson (No. 2), Pat Mahomes (No. 4), Drew Brees (No. 12), Tom Brady (No. 14), Aaron Rodgers (No. 16), Deshaun Watson (No. 20), Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 43), Dak Prescott (No. 43), Kirk Cousins (No. 58) and Ryan Tannehill (No. 68), along with Allen and Murray.

Wentz was No. 3 in 2018 and No. 96 last year.

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Doug Pederson back coaching after clearing COVID-19 protocols

Doug Pederson back coaching after clearing COVID-19 protocols

Some good news from the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday morning: Doug Pederson is back to work. 

Pederson, 52, had been away from the team facility since early August when he tested positive for COVID-19. He informed his team on the evening of Aug. 2 and had been out since then. In order to return, Pederson had to pass the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. 

While Pederson ran virtual meetings from his home, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley took over all in-person head coaching responsibilities while Pederson was quarantined. 

Before Pederson even tested positive, he spoke about the need for the Eagles to have contingency plans for all players and coaches. The Eagles had to use their contingency plan for him pretty early. 

But Pederson noted he was lucky in a way to contract the virus when he did. In fact, the timing worked out great. The Eagles enter the Gradual Ramp Up Period of training camp on Wednesday, which means Pederson will be able to coach the first practice of the summer in person. 

Despite his positive test, Pederson remained confident about a 2020 season. 

“My confidence hasn’t changed at all. I’m extremely optimistic,” Pederson said on Aug. 3. “I feel like we’re going to play. I’m confident that we’re going to play. 

“It’s unfortunate. Like I told my team last night, this virus, it holds no prejudices, right? It doesn’t matter. It can affect any one of us. I’m sure many of you have had family members or loved ones or people you know who have been affected by this virus. That part of it doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that we’ve got to abide by the protocols that are in place. They’re in place for a reason, our safety. Our building is a great place to be. It is a safe place to be for our players and our coaches and all who are involved. 

“I’m looking forward. It’s full-steam ahead for me. Obviously, I’m itching to get back in the building at some point and be around our players and get these guys ready for a season.”

While there’s no list for coaches, the Eagles have placed three players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Of those three, who were placed on the list in late July, Lane Johnson and Nathan Gerry have been cleared to return to action. Only Jordan Mailata remains on the list. 

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Jason Kelce, Jason Peters already blending their 25 years of NFL experience

Jason Kelce, Jason Peters already blending their 25 years of NFL experience

Jason Kelce and Jason Peters have been teammates on the Eagles’ offensive line for nearly a decade, but 2020 is a new experience. 

Now, they’re lining up next to each other. 

Sure, it’s a bit of an adjustment as two of the longest-tenured Eagles learn how to play next to each other while Peters also learns how to play an entirely new position. 

But if anyone can figure it out, it’s gotta be these two right? 

Between them, Peters and Kelce have 25 years in the NFL, making them the most experienced center-right guard combo in the entire league and it’s not close. The next closest duo belongs to the Steelers, who have Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro (17 years). 

“We’re talking more than we ever have, really, to iron out all these details,” Kelce said on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday. 

I’d watch that TV show. Absolutely. 

Think about the high-level discussions going on right now between two of the smartest and most cerebral offensive linemen in the entire NFL. These are two guys who could probably coach an OL room tomorrow. And they’ve been busy exchanging ideas and techniques. And even though Peters has never played the guard position, he’s still making suggestions and bringing a unique perspective to the Eagles’ interior OL as the two learn to play next to each other. 

Obviously, with JP being new to the position, we’re obviously fast tracking a lot of that,” Kelce said. “We’re trying to iron out how he’s going to step, where he’s going to go, against what kind of defense we’re going to go with, maybe a different aiming point against maybe a different defense where we go a little wider. These are discussions that we’re going to continue to have. 

“It’s been awesome, honestly, to work with Jason Peters. He’s got so much knowledge from playing the game for so long and the ability to try to take all of that knowledge he has at left tackle and now apply it to a new position. He’s not really starting from ground zero. He’s not starting with a lack of reference. He understands the game, he understands angles, he understands footwork. Being able to bounce things off and really ask him questions. 

“Maybe there’s some things at right guard and center that he’s going to be learning throughout his whole thing but he’s already brought up a few things on ways to maybe do something better. Or ‘why aren’t we doing it this way?’ To be able to talk to a guy who has the amount of experience he does and really have those types of conversations, it’s really fun for an older guy.

It’s not a quick process, learning how to play next to another guy. In fact, Kelce said that he still has those same conversations with Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks. So to expect he and Peters to figure all this out in one training camp just isn’t realistic. But they hope to at least get to a point by Sept. 13 where they have a base from which to build. 

Kelce on Tuesday said he had been hoping the Eagles were going to bring back Peters even before Brooks went down with an Achilles tear. Of course that didn’t happen. The Eagles are committed to playing Andre Dillard at left tackle and didn’t bring back Peters until they needed to replace Brooks. 

Brooks, by the way, said last week that he’ll be happy to offer Peters any help he can. … He just doesn’t think Peters will really need it. 

If Peters does need help, there are plenty of people around to lean on. Peters is playing between two Pro Bowlers in Kelce and Lane Johnson. And Kelce said Seumalo has also been a big resource for Peters. 

And Peters is still a big resource for this entire O-line. 

“Yeah, it’s definitely going to make me better in some ways,” Kelce said. “He’s got so much experience, so much knowledge from playing the game. … This is a great learning experience for both of us. I’m going to try to impart as much wisdom as I have playing center. I think all three of us talking about things, how things happen on the interior. 

“I’m excited to see how all three of us grow and get better and how we go about having success.” 

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