Eagles

What happened to Rasul Douglas and more in Roob's 10 random Eagles observations

What happened to Rasul Douglas and more in Roob's 10 random Eagles observations

A Donovan McNabb stat you won't believe, an empty open practice before the 1960 Championship Game and where did it go wrong for Rasul Douglas.

All that and more in a Monday morning edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles offseason observations!  

1. There was a point where I was really high on Douglas. I really believed he had a chance to be a high-level starter at cornerback for the Eagles. He’s around the ball, he’s physical and aggressive, he gets interceptions, has great size, is durable. Now he’s going into Year 4 and he just took a pay cut down to minimum wage just to avoid getting cut.

What happened? I feel like Douglas' lack of high-end speed and what seemed at times to be a lack of focus just caught up with him. All those positive qualities are fine, but he ran a 4.59 at the combine, which was fifth slowest of the 31 corners who ran in 2017, and the more he played the more glaring his lack of speed became. But it wasn’t just that. Especially last year, there were plays where he just seemed to lose focus, and when you’re a cornerback and that happens, it’s a 50-yard touchdown.

The Eagles spent much of the offseason rebuilding the secondary, and while I think Sidney Jones — drafted a round earlier than Douglas in 2017 — will still be here, I don’t see where Douglas fits in. His skill set does seem to lend itself to playing safety, but obviously the Eagles believe Jalen Mills translates much better to that position switch. Will be interesting to see what happens down the road with Douglas, because his game does have some strengths. Just probably not enough to keep him here.

2. I don’t know what this means, but the last six Eagles head coaches won at least 10 games in their second season here (not counting the 1987 strike season):

1988: 10-6 under Buddy Ryan, won the NFC East
1992: 11-5 under Rich Kotite, won wild-card game
1996: 10-6 under Ray Rhodes, lost in wild-card round
2001: 11-5 under Andy Reid, lost in NFC Championship Game
2014: 10-6 under Chip Kelly
2017: 13-3 under Doug Pederson, won Super Bowl 

3. The last Eagle to rank in the top 10 in the NFL in receiving yards per game was Terrell Owens, fifth in 2004 at 85.7 yards per game. Before that it was Mike Quick, fourth in 1985 at 77.9. So the Eagles have had one top-10 receiver in the last 34 years.  

4. What would it mean if the Eagles had to play at the Linc with no fans? They could lose one of the biggest home-field advantages in the NFL. The Eagles are 23-9 at the Linc under Pederson (.719), tied with the Saints and Vikings for the fourth-best home record since 2016. They’re 15-17 on the road during the same span (.469), the 12th-best road record. The only teams with a larger home-road disparity during the last four years are the Packers and Dolphins. There are probably other factors that affect home-field advantage, but it’s hard to believe many teams would miss their fans as much as the Eagles would.

5. Only three players in Eagles history have had more receptions in their first eight career games than Greg Ward, who had 31. They're Keith Jackson (48), DeSean Jackson (34) and Jordan Matthews (32). The only active undrafted player with more catches in his first eight career games is Willie Snead, who had 35.

6. In 2006, there were 41 wide receivers at the NFL Scouting Combine. Only four ran slower than Jason Avant, who was timed in 4.62. Avant caught 346 passes in a 10-year NFL career, and only four of the 36 faster receivers caught more passes in their career.

7. McNabb is the only quarterback in Eagles history to win a playoff game before his 28th birthday, and he won five of them.  

8. Doing some research on Saturday I stumbled across a story by Frank Dolson from the Dec. 24, 1960, Inquirer about the Eagles’ preparation for the Packers in the 1960 NFL Championship Game, which was held two days later at Franklin Field. Incredibly, the Eagles’ practice at JFK Stadium — then still called Philadelphia Stadium — was open to the public. But nobody showed up

“There wasn’t anybody watching,” coach Buck Shaw told Dolson. “It was too damn cold.”

Imagine an Eagles practice open to the public two days before the NFL Championship Game and nobody showing up? Things have changed a bit.

9. I’ll always wonder what would have happened if Nate Sudfeld had been No. 2 going into the Seattle playoff game. I kept saying that once he was healthy Sudfeld should have been No. 2. I admire Josh McCown and his tremendous effort in that game, but I’ll always believe the Eagles would have had a better shot to beat the Seahawks with Sudfeld. 

10. Chase Daniel has a higher career completion percentage than every quarterback in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Just two days after we learned the NFL’s plan to cut the 2020 preseason in half, the NFL Players Association is reportedly recommending that the league cancel the entire preseason. 

The NFLPA’s board of representatives voted unanimously on the recommendation, according to ESPN. 

On Wednesday, ProFootballTalk reported that the NFL was cutting the preseason in half because of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping Weeks 2 and 3 but eliminating Weeks 1 and 4. Other reports indicated that those preseason games would be pushed back later into August. 

If the Eagles end up playing the original Weeks 2 and 3 of their preseason schedule, they will face the Dolphins on the road and the Patriots at home. They were originally scheduled to be at Indianapolis in Week 1 and at home against the Jets in Week 4, but those games have already been canceled. 

The NFL is still planning for training camps to begin on July 28 with rookies and select vets allowed to report earlier. 

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this offseason that his team will need the entire five-to-six-week training camp to get ready for the 2020 season, especially after missing the entire spring workout schedule because of the pandemic. 

The Eagles are scheduled to begin their 2020 regular season in Washington on Sept. 13. 

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Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

He said he would never do it.

"We'll never change the name of the team," Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. Never. You can use caps."

Now, amid an increased national focus on racism and social justice and mounting pressure from million-dollar sponsors, his tune has suddenly changed.

The Redskins' owner said in a statement Friday that the franchise will review the team's name, seen by many as racist and offensive to Native Americans and others.

Protests against the Redskins' name and logo have been ongoing for decades, but when companies like FedEx and Nike join those protests, things can change very quickly.

Considering the growing pressure now on the franchise, it would be surprising at this point if the franchise elects not to change its name.

"In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name," the statement read. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has consistently supported Snyder's decision to keep the team name, released a statement saying only, "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step."

FedEx, which paid $205 million for the naming rights for the Redskins' stadium in 1998, asked the Redskins earlier Friday to change the team name. And Nike, the NFL's official uniform supplier, on Thursday removed all Redskins gear from its website while continuing to allow customers to order merchandise from all 31 other teams.

In the statement released by the team, Snyder said: "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field."

First-year Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, a former Eagles assistant coach and one of three Latin American head coaches in NFL history, indicated in the statement that he favors a name change.

"This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military."

The team's current name dates back 87 years.

The NFL Boston Braves franchise was founded in 1932 and one year later moved to Fenway Park, which it shared with the baseball franchise of the same name. To avoid confusion, owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to Redskins. The franchise moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the name.

Marshall, who owned the franchise until his death in 1969, refused to allow black players on the roster until 1962, which made the team the last in the NFL to integrate. 

Not until U.S. attorney general Robert F. Kennedy threatened to rescind the team's lease at city-owned RFK Stadium did Marshall finally allow the team's roster to be integrated.

Last month, team officials removed Marshall's name from the Redskins Ring of Honor at FedEx Field, and a statue of Marshall was removed from RFK Stadium by city officials after it was vandalized.

Protests against sports teams and logos perpetuating stereotypes of Native Americans and their culture have grown more widespread in recent years but have been held for decades.

In 1991 — nearly 30 years ago — there were organized protests against the Atlanta Braves and Redskins over their team names and logos, according to an Associated Press story. The story quoted Clyde Bellecourt, director of a group called the American Indian Movement, which organized protests outside Braves and Redskins games.

"It's a racist term," Bellecourt told the AP in October of 1991. "We're not thin-skinned, this just makes a mockery of uses a people and of our culture."

And now, it looks like the franchise is finally going to do something about it.

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