Nick Foles to the Bears brings up 5 very wild Eagles connections

Nick Foles to the Bears brings up 5 very wild Eagles connections

The Jaguars sent Nick Foles back to the NFC on Wednesday (see story), trading him to the Bears for a fourth-round pick after the Eagles legend spent one unpleasant year in Jacksonville.

It's not clear what impact Foles, who has had one of the most unique careers in NFL history, will have on the Bears' success.

What is clear: Eagles fans have plenty of reasons to pay attention to Chicago Bears games this year, because the number of Philadelphia dots this move just connected is super wild.

1. Another Foles vs. Brady showdown

We don't know when the game will take place, but we know it will happen: the Bears face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their new quarterback Tom Brady next season, in Chicago. The last time Foles and Brady met, one dropped a pass and one caught a pass, and then Super Bowl history was made.

Will this game be as entertaining? It's basically impossible. But the chance for Foles to best Brady once again will absolutely lead to a huge spike in viewership in the Delaware Valley.

2. A Philly Special pairing, reunited

Speaking of Super Bowl LII (Eagles beat Patriots 41-33), there's a pretty fun reunion in the wings with Foles in Chicago: he's back on the same roster as Trey Burton, who threw the fateful Philly Special pass to Foles at the end of the first half.

Considering the Bears ran the Philly Special the very next season - though Burton opted not to participate as the pass-thrower - you can bet opposing teams will be on high alert every time Burton moves pre-snap, or any time Foles moves toward the line for an audible.

3. Returning to the Double Doink

Foles' lone season with the Jaguars was cursed from the first week, and he never won a game with Jacksonville, which means the last time he won a game... was in Chicago, when the Eagles beat the Bears in the NFC Wild Card round, a contest we all remember as the Double Doink game.

Matt Nagy's inability to get over that loss is well-documented, so while he may have found a stable kicker in Eddy Pineiro, perhaps Nagy sees bringing Foles to the Windy City as one last step towards expunging the Doink's ghost from Soldier Field.

(Sorry, Matt, but the Doink will echo through Chicago's streets forever.)

4. Recapturing that magical QB room

A big part of the Eagles' magical 2017 Super Bowl run has been attributed to the collection of coaching talent in the quarterbacks room that year. Between Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, and John DeFillipo, the melding of their minds lead Carson Wentz to an MVP-caliber season and turned Nick Foles into a Super Bowl MVP.

This past offseason, the Bears hired DeFillipo as the team's new quarterbacks coach after he spent the past two seasons in one-year offensive coordinator stints with the Jaguars and Vikings. 

Nagy, who worked with Foles in both Philadelphia and Kansas City, probably talked with DeFillipo and convinced himself they could turn Foles back into the logic-defying gunslinger who defeated Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

5. The Philly-to-Chicago QB pipeline

With Foles on the roster in 2020, the Bears will have a former Eagles quarterback on the roster for the fourth time in the last five years. Matt Barkley played in Chicago in 2016, and Chase Daniel spent 2018 and 2019 as Mitchell Trubisky's backup.

We get it, Bears: you want to be the Eagles. I guess it can't hurt to keep trying.

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Eagles bringing back receiver Marcus Green

Eagles bringing back receiver Marcus Green

The Eagles are bringing back wide receiver Marcus Green, who spent last season on their practice squad, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Green, 23, was among four Eagles released a week and a half ago. And now he’s coming back. NFL Network first reported the news.   

Green (5-8, 191) was a Falcons 6th-round pick out of Louisiana-Monroe last year. After he was waived at final cuts, Green joined the Eagles in early September and spent the entire 2019 season on the Birds’ practice squad. 

In four years at Louisiana-Monroe, Green caught 202 passes for 2,698 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also had 51 rushing attempts for 492 yards (9.6) and 1 touchdown. He also returned kicks and punts in college. He’s less of a pure receiver and more of a playmaker. 

With Green back, the Eagles have a full roster at 80, although that includes Brandon Brooks and Alshon Jeffery who are both on Active/PUP and are not healthy enough to practice. That 80 does not include Matt Leo who has an International exemption. 

Still, the Eagles are at the 80-man limit to keep them from going split-squad at practices. The Eagles are still in the Acclimatization Period of their collectively bargained training camp. They won’t hold non-padded practices until Aug. 12 and the first padded practice won’t be until Aug. 17. 

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Eagles' Fletcher Cox keeps getting better and it's scary

Eagles' Fletcher Cox keeps getting better and it's scary

He’s going into Year 9 now, he’s made five straight Pro Bowls, and he’s at the point now where some veterans just coast through the rest of their career and pile up the honors and pocket millions of dollars and are OK with just being OK.

Not Fletcher Cox.

This guy will never be content.

“I just want to get better at everything,” Cox said Wednesday.

There’s a lot to admire about Cox. The intensity he plays with. The way he attacks practice. The ferocious physical nature of his game that rubs off on the rest of the team. The team-first mentality that’s built into his personality.

And there’s an impossibly high standard he’s constantly trying to live up to, a standard that drives him no matter how many honors he gets, no matter how many sacks he records.

The great ones all share that trait. Whether it was Reggie White, Seth Joyner or Eric Allen, they all had that burning determination to be even better, that refusal to be content with where they’re at as players.

And that’s the company Cox is in. One of the best in Eagles history. 

If you’re a young player or any player really and you see the highest-paid or most-honored players working their ass off every day, you’re going to follow in line.

That's what leadership really is. Not all that rah-rah stuff. It's setting an example for the people around you.  

That’s why veterans who mail it in are so damaging to any team. 

Because young guys are always going to follow the lead of the established veterans, and if those guys are taking shortcuts and not fully committed, that’s when you get disasters like the 2011 Dream Team.

Cox was at work at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday, self-scouting, watching tape of himself, and that’s all he could think about.

The plays he didn’t make.

I was watching film yesterday, we were all in there, and I saw some things I can get better at, and I’ve got to work on those things during training camp,” he said. “I feel like if I can get off of blocks [better], there are three or four or five [more] sacks out there for me. When you look at it on tape, man, if I would have gotten off a second sooner it’s a sack. Just little things like that. But not only me getting better but the whole group getting better.

Think about Cox’s career.

He’s got 48 sacks in eight seasons despite dealing with constant double teams. And he stuffs the run as well as anybody in the game.

And for a lot of his years here, he’s been a one-man wrecking crew. 

The Eagles haven’t had a double-digit edge rusher since Cox was drafted, although Brandon Graham has been close a couple times. 

And the defensive tackles he’s played next to the most — Bennie Logan, Timmy Jernigan, Cullen Jenkins, Haloti Ngata, Beau Allen, Derek Landri and Isaac Sopoaga — have all been either average, injured, disappointing or washed up. 

He’s never had the benefit of elite talent around him. 

In fact, the only Pro Bowlers Cox has ever taken the field with here are Malcolm Jenkins in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and Connor Barwin in 2014.

Reggie had Jerome, Seth, Clyde, Byron Evans, Wes and Andre and Eric Allen around him.

Cox has carried this defense for almost a decade. 

And all he talks about is getting better.

Last year wasn’t Cox’s best year. He spent the offseason rehabbing the toe injury he suffered in the Saints playoff game and wasn’t really himself until the last month or so.

He still made his fifth straight Pro Bowl just because he’s that good.

But this offseason, he was able to get back to his normal offseason routine, and now he has a healthy Malik Jackson and newly acquired Javon Hargrave next to him, more interior talent than he’s ever seen.

If there is football this fall, the NFL is going to see a Hall of Fame talent wearing No. 91 for the Eagles.

A healthy, motivated, driven Fletcher Cox is scary news for opposing offenses. 

We're lucky to have him.

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