Eagles

Philly Jewish Sports Hall of Fame reaches out to DeSean Jackson

Philly Jewish Sports Hall of Fame reaches out to DeSean Jackson

A few days after DeSean Jackson accepted a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor’s invitation to visit a Nazi concentration camp in Poland, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has extended an invitation to the Eagles’ receiver to attend its next enshrinement ceremony.

Stephen Frishberg, president of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, wrote on the organization’s web site that he believes Jackson could learn about the rich history of Jewish men and women throughout Philadelphia sports history by attending the April, 2021, event.

Jerry Wolman, who owned the Eagles from 1963 through 1968 and was also one of the original owners of the Flyers organization, will be posthumously honored in April.

The Eagles fined Jackson after his recent social media posts citing a fake Hitler quote. Jackson apologized but the Eagles told him if he doesn’t “commit to supporting his words with actions,” he will be released.

In a statement on the organization’s web site, Frishberg explained why Jackson’s social media posts were so hurtful and offensive:

Words matter. Jews have had to endure anti-Semitism for centuries. This is nothing new to us. Anti-Semitic comments now appear in the mainstream and violence against Jews is commonplace. Making statements like the ones made by Desean the other day normalize these types of stereotypes, which is dangerous to our already fragile society. But I don’t single out Desean any more than others who are on social media and write hateful, racist, and threatening comments about people they don’t know based on the color of their skin, distinguishing features, political leanings, religion or their surnames. It’s time for all of us to be much kinder to one another, and to put ourselves in our neighbor’s shoes for just a moment.

The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Museum’s first induction class was in 1997. Among the inductees are Howie Roseman, basketball Hall of Famers Dolph Schayes and Larry Brown, long-time Steelers tight end Randy Grossman and one-time light heavyweight boxing champion Barney “Battling” Levinsky and Olympic decathlete Irv Mondschein and voice of the Eagles Merrill Reese.

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Doug Pederson hints at big role for Greg Ward Jr. with Eagles this season  

Doug Pederson hints at big role for Greg Ward Jr. with Eagles this season  

Greg Ward Jr. became a great story for the Eagles last season, when he began the year on the practice squad and ended up being their best receiver down the stretch. 

But is he more than a good story? 

Doug Pederson seems to think so. 

The one thing now as he goes into this season, he's in that rotation, in that starting mix for us,” Pederson said on a Zoom call with reporters Wednesday. “It's just a matter of him embracing every day, getting better. Being a former quarterback, he understands our offense. Being in our offense, he knows the concepts and the routes. He and Carson (Wentz) have a really good feel for one another.

“I think for him now it's just a matter of continuing to get better each and every day and putting in the work. We expect some really big things from Greg. He can also be a leader. He can be a leader of that group. Him and DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, these guys, they can be leaders now and mentors to these young players.

In one year’s time, Ward has gone from practice squad player to being a leader in a wide receiver room that includes three draft picks, an undrafted rookie and a second-year draft pick. 

Ward, 25, is technically in Year 4 of his NFL career but he didn’t get a chance to play until the 2019 season and even then he didn’t play until November. 

Ward finished last season with 28 catches for 254 yards and a game-winning touchdown in a huge contest against Washington. 

Maybe Ward will never become a star player in the NFL, but he’s sure-handed, dependable and earned the trust of his quarterback and coaching staff last season. 

If you look at the Eagles’ group of receivers, Ward is probably the top candidate to win the slot job. DeSean Jackson is going to be the starting Z receiver and at the X the Eagles have Alshon Jeffery and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Rookie 1st-round pick Jalen Reagor is learning both outside spots. 

Eventually, could Reagor play in the slot? Absolutely. In fact, I’d love to see him in there because he’d bring an explosiveness to the position that Ward probably can’t offer. 

But Ward is going to play a lot in 2020. He’s going to have a chance to become more than a great story. 

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Eagles activate Jordan Mailata from Reserve/COVID-19 list

Eagles activate Jordan Mailata from Reserve/COVID-19 list

The entire Eagles roster will finally be back together on Thursday after the team activated Jordan Mailata from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. 

Mailata was the last remaining player on the list. And head coach Doug Pederson also returned to the NovaCare Complex yesterday after his positive COVID-19 test. 

Back on July 29, the Eagles placed Lane Johnson, Nathan Gerry and Mailata on the list. The Reserve/COVID-19 list is for players who either test positive for the coronavirus or who have been exposed to someone who has. Only Johnson publicly announced he contracted the virus. 

Gerry was activated on Aug. 9, Johnson on Aug. 11 and Mailata today. 

The Eagles have not put any other players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list since those original three back in July. 

This is a big season for Mailata, the 23-year-old former rugby player. He’s entering Year 3 in the NFL and has obviously been a project player. 

Earlier this offseason, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said he couldn’t give a real answer as to whether or not Mailata goes from project to legitimate backup in 2020, but he has seen some good signs. 

“I can say this: In the meetings that we have, the virtual meetings, he was a completely different guy in the meetings,” Stoutland said. “And, you’re going to say, ‘What do you mean by that?’ His confidence level. Because we require these guys to know a lot and to be able to convert blocking schemes and calls. Completely, completely different in the meeting. 

“Now, will that carry over to the field? Every morning when I come here I pray that’s what will happen. Do I think that will happen? Absolutely. But I can’t guarantee that. We’re going to find out, though. That’s what this is all about. And if it does carry over then we got action. We’re going to be in good shape.”

While Mailata missed over two weeks, he missed just one practice day. The Eagles were finally allowed to practice on Aug. 12. So Mailata will get the rest of the non-padded practices under his belt before the pads come on next Monday. 

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