Eagles

Nick Foles is in a tricky position

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USA Today Images

Nick Foles is in a tricky position

Doug Pederson says this is Nick Foles' team now.

Not so fast, says Foles.

"I feel like the confidence level (is there), absolutely," Foles said. "But this is Carson's team."

Foles is in an interesting position and it can be a little bit tricky. He feels like he needs to defer to Carson Wentz, his teammate and close friend when it comes to the big picture. He knows Wentz will be back behind center next year as soon as he's healthy.

But he also understands he has to assert himself as the leader of a playoff-bound football team.

"Now, I get like, 'Oh wait, you're the guy,' and all that, but that's just how I am," Foles said. "I respect Carson Wentz. I love that guy. I work with him every day and I'm going to give him his respect because he is this franchise's quarterback.

"My job right now is to be the starting quarterback, to lead the guys on the field and I'm going to do that. I've been here, I've done that. I know what it entails, I know the responsibility.

"But this is Carson Wentz's team and I respect him too much to make that statement. … Doesn't change my mentality. My mentality when I step on the field is, 'Let's roll.'

"I don't need to be named the starting quarterback. I'm going to go play and help my team win and be aggressive and be the player I've always been."

Foles threw four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first start in 14 months Sunday, leading the Eagles past the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

He'll make his second career playoff start next month in the conference semifinals at the Linc.

So it's a tricky balance. Foles knows he needs to show a tremendous amount of leadership in the huddle, in meetings, on the field. But he still thinks of this as Wentz's team.

"When you're in a position like I am, where you're the backup quarterback and you're out on the field and you're leading the guys, I'm myself," Foles said.

"I'm not changing. You just become more vocal and you have more responsibility and people look to you more because you're the one that's throwing the football.

"I understand the different roles. Carson is still the leader, he's still here, but right now he's in a different role. But we're all doing this together. It's just a different role.

"It's a crazy sport and things happen fast."

Sunday was a very important day for Foles, who other than a brief appearance at the end of the Rams game a week earlier had never played with guys like Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith.

Part of becoming this team's leader is proving you belong. Foles did that Sunday.

"The only way you do that is in the huddle in a game," he said. "You can practice as much as you want, but when the lights turn on and you're on the field, people can change.

"So you're never really sure until you experience it and go through adversity on the field, you're in the huddle, you see a guy get hit, you see a guy make a play and then that 'ah-hah' moment of 'this guy can do it.'

"And then it's just the relationship. You go through a game, you build camaraderie, you make plays together, you fight together. That's big."

Wentz has been around this past week. Not all day, but he's around for rehab every morning and Foles said he's popped into meetings and is always a big part of everything the other quarterbacks do.

"He's very much still involved," Foles said. "He loves this team, he's the leader of this team, he's the quarterback of this franchise, and he's going to be around.

"He's a huge presence and he's a huge reason why we're in this position."

5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

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USA Today Sports Images/@SirRobin83/Twitter

5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

With professional sports on pause around the world, fans are looking for anything - video games, simulations, classic games - to satisfy that live sports itch.

We may have found the ultimate placeholder: a five-year-old imitating Boston Scott's infamous spin-o-rama.

On Saturday afternoon, Twitter user Robin Stanley tagged Scott in a quick video of his son, Beckett, pretending to be the Eagles running back:

I mean, c'mon: the likeness to Scott's spin move against the Giants is kind of uncanny.

In case you need to jog your memory, here is Scott's spin:

Scott, of course, made fun of himself for the move at the time, admitting that when he saw the clip after the game, it "looked pretty silly".

I'd say Beckett's spin had a little more swag.

Stanley's dad, a Philly native, told NBC Sports Philadelphia his son was expecting to play his first season of flag football this spring down in Nashville, but the league was postponed because of social distancing mandates, so he's making do.

On Saturday, Scott saw Stanley's video and gave the little man a nod of approval:

That's just good, clean fun. Thank you, Beckett, for the sports-related smile.

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Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Four years ago, when Rodney McLeod became a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, one of the reasons he wanted to join the Eagles was for the chance to play next to Malcolm Jenkins. 

And for the last four years, he did. The two formed a safety tandem that played 49 regular season games and four playoff games, including Super Bowl LII, together. 

But now Jenkins is back in New Orleans with the Saints and the Eagles are preparing to play without him for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile, McLeod signed a two-year deal to return to Philly. 

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, McLeod said he learned a lot from Jenkins over the past four seasons. 

What were some of those lessons? 

Just as a competitor,” McLeod said. “And then the ability to get the most out of guys, whether it’s on the defensive side or from an entire team standpoint. I think as a leader, that’s your kind of job. How can you get guys to play at the highest level and get the most out of your players. I think he was one of the best at doing that and understanding everyone … I learned a lot from him. 

“Not just on the field but off the field, the way he handled himself and what he did in the community for the city. I’ll always admire him. It’s hard to match. But like I said, his legacy will live on. The Saints are getting a good guy. Now, us as Eagles, playing with a new group of guys and we’re ready to move forward.

There’s no question that the Eagles are going to miss Jenkins’ contributions on the field. They will use some combination of Jalen Mills and Will Parks to replace him at that position and that won’t be easy. 

But the Eagles will also miss the leadership Jenkins brought to the locker room. He wasn’t just the leader of the secondary or even just the defense; Jenkins was oftentimes the key leader for the entire team. That’s hard to replace too. 

It’s not that McLeod, 29, hasn’t been a leader during his first four years in Philly. But now that role might need to expand and will become more important with the absence of Jenkins. 

“I think it’s important for me to be myself and be who I’ve always been,” McLeod said. “And that’s a guy that leads by his actions and leads by example. I think if you ask a lot of guys on the team, that’s what they’ll tell you most. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I think there will be times for me to speak up when needed. When my teammates need me most, I’ll be ready to do that.”

For the most part, McLeod has been the quieter of the two safeties and Jim Schwartz has previously called him the calming presence in the defensive backfield.

But McLeod can speak up too. 

It’s really just about finding a balance between his two sides and putting the lessons from Jenkins into practice in 2020. 

“Myself, being a leader on this team for some time, will of course be asked to step up as well as other guys from a defensive standpoint and on the team,” McLeod said. “I think we’re prepared for that. And guys will be willing to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Myself first and foremost.”

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