Eagles

College coach thinks Prince Tega Wanogho ‘has the ability to be awesome’

College coach thinks Prince Tega Wanogho ‘has the ability to be awesome’

Former NFL lineman and Auburn offensive analyst Kendall Simmons thinks Prince Tega Wanogho has the potential to be a great starting offensive tackle in the NFL. 

It’s just going to take some time. 

“I do think he can be a starter,” Simmons said to NBC Sports Philadelphia last week. 

The Eagles drafted Tega Wanogho in the sixth round last month after many thought he would go significantly earlier. But a knee injury and subsequent surgery scared many teams off. Simmons, who coached Tega Wanogho and fourth-round pick Jack Driscoll, said the only thing that worries him about Tega Wanogho is his health.

But if Tega Wanogho can get past this knee injury, Simmons thinks the rookie can grow into a starter at the NFL level. 

I think Prince will be a good starting tackle in the league and he has the athletic ability,” Simmons said. “He’s more athletic than Jack (Driscoll). Jack right now is a helluva lot better player right now than he is. That’s just truthful. And Tega knows that. 

“Tega has the ability to be awesome. He just has to get over the health thing and turn his motor on. And decide that this is what I want and I’m gonna stay here until they kick me out the league. He has the ability to be that good. He just has to want to be that good.

Tega Wanogho, 22, has an incredible backstory that Simmons thinks he can continue to use for motivation. He grew up in Nigeria and flew by himself across the Atlantic Ocean with a backpack and $20 in his pocket. 

Because Tega Wanogho didn’t begin playing football until his arrival in the United States in 2014, he simply doesn’t have the football experience many rookies already have. 

Even after starting three years in the SEC, Tega Wanogho is still catching up to his peers in terms of basic football experience, even if he doesn’t see it that way. 

“I don't see myself like that,” Tega Wanogho said shortly after getting drafted. “I don't feel like I'm actually catching up to them. I'm a guy who's going to come in there and actually work hard. Obviously like if it means so much to you, you'll find a way. I'm a guy who will always find a way, and I take pride in whatever I do. Doesn't really matter what it is. I take pride in it.”

But during his short time with Tega Wanogho, Simmons said what he worked on most with him was his ability to anticipate things before the snap. They worked on film study and always having a plan. 

Simmons, 41, was drafted out of Auburn in the first round of the 2002 draft and was a starting guard in the NFL for seven seasons. 

“Coach Kendall came in and showed us a little bit of tendency, what to expect, how to read defenses, and just little things like that,” Tega Wanogho said at the combine. “And that actually did help. It did help a lot."

Those are the types of things that might be second nature to guys who grew up playing the sport but they’re things Tega Wanogho still needs to work on as he enters the NFL. The good news is that with the Eagles, Tega Wanogho will play for Jeff Stoutland, who is widely considered to be one of the better offensive line coaches in the league. 

It’s Stoutland’s job to help the talented rookie realize his potential. 

“He has to grind and get it, but the (offensive line) coach will have to be very patient with him and teach him,” Simmons said. “Because he wants to learn and he’ll do it. Tega has the ability and he can adapt as well, but he doesn’t have the football knowledge that Jack does. He doesn’t have much football experience under his belt and he’s really still learning to play tackle.” 

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Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Jalen Reagor hasn't yet set foot on a football field wearing midnight green, but the Eagles' first-round pick is already a pro at comebacks.

Professional Talker Skip Bayless popped off about Reagor's (admittedly unexpected) draft slot late last week, making fun of the Eagles for taking Reagor at No. 21 overall.

Here's what Bayless had to say:

I about fell out of my chair over that, for the wrong reason. Jalen Reagor went way higher than any draft expert had mocked him. I'm mocking that pick right now, because I thought it was a silly pick, because there were four, five other receivers I would've taken over Jalen Reagor.

There are, of course, different ways to responds when a person like Bayless (loud, looking for attention) singles out a player.

You can try to argue the points made, and point out that while Reagor going at No. 21 overall may have been a surprise, you'd be hard pressed to name four wideouts who went after Reagor and are widely seen as better players.

Justin Jefferson at No. 22? Fine. Brandon Aiyuk at No. 25 is a pick 'em, as is Tee Higgins at No. 33, and most basically everyone would give Reagor the edge over guys like Laviska Shenault, K.J. Hamler, and Chase Claypool.

You can take the petty angle and remind Bayless, a noted Cowboys fan, which team is the reigning NFC East champion. (It's the Eagles.)

Or you can be Reagor, and simply tell Bayless that you heard what he thinks, and keep it moving:

Nice and subtle. Reagor is keeping a list, but he's unbothered. Perfect.

Something tells me this clip will be re-shared plenty when Reagor scores his first touchdown against the Cowboys.

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How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

ESPN's decision to seize on the success of "The Last Dance" by teasing a similar documentary about Tom Brady has grabbed sports fans' attention, even if the doc doesn't come out until 2021.

And while reliving Brady's greatest accomplishments isn't an ideal way to spend several hours, the way the Eagles are intertwined with Brady's Patriots legacy certainly suggests there will be tons of insights for Philly fans in the final product.

Like, maybe, Brady saying he feels the fabled 'Patriot Way' began because of the Eagles.

Here's the doc's producer Gotham Chopra, talking to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, on the way Brady viewed his time in New England:

CHOPRA: There was something we recently did on that 2004 Super Bowl, where he talked about the culture of that team. All this stuff you hear about Patriot Way, and Do Your Job, stuff that Bill has created over the years, the philosophies, this is the year that really happened.

He’s like, ‘First year, kind of a miracle. The next Super Bowl, O.K., now we’re getting our feel. And that first Eagles Super Bowl, this is where the Patriot Way was born.’

Welp.

Odds are good the Patriots would've been great for the last 15 years no matter what, but it's sort of frustrating to know the Eagles losing to Brady helped, at least in Brady's mind, establish New England's brand of success.

Who knows: If Donovan McNabb & Co. managed to pull out the win, maybe we would've had a very different last 15 years.

One thing Eagles fans can get excited for, at least, is Brady's reaction to losing Super Bowl LII to the Eagles.

It's unclear how much behind-the-scenes stuff we'll see from the game - Chopra said Brady suddenly got cold feet about filming in Minneapolis that week - but It sounds like it really changed him as a person:

CHOPRA: What he told me about that Eagles loss, it was dealing with it as a father, dealing with it as a husband. He was a very different person than with the Giants losses, he had a different perspective that I think poised him for that game. I thought, ‘Wow, it’s really interesting how a guy who’s still at it is learning like that.’ Because he’s like [Michael] Jordan, he’s incomparable. There’s no one else who has that story, has that perspective.

It's so strange to think how, despite playing in a different conference, the Eagles have played a pretty significant role in shaping the way the world sees Brady and the Patriots.

For better, and for worse.

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