Eagles

Rather than crush Fox News, Zach Ertz flies high

Rather than crush Fox News, Zach Ertz flies high

Zach Ertz could have crushed Fox News after the cable network used photos of him kneeling before games in a misleading fashion during a broadcast. 

He didn’t. 

Instead, the Eagles’ 27-year-old Pro Bowl tight end took the high road. 

“I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t upset, I think it was just kind of disappointed,” Ertz said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m not going to judge who created the video and I don’t know what they’re going through as an individual, what the network wanted them to do. I’m not here to judge anyone. I was disappointed a little bit, obviously, but at the same time, I’m not there to judge them. I just go about my day. I think that was kind of sad. 

“I was most disappointed about, I feel like our community right now, there’s either one side or the other. Whereas in my opinion, everyone should be trying to build up this country, build up everyone. No one should be trying to prove, beat down their point. It’s not my job to beat down my opinion over someone else or vice versa. That’s all I was kind of disappointed about.”

The original piece that aired on Fox News Tuesday was about President Donald Trump’s disinviting the Eagles from the White House “due to the national anthem policy.” That’s when they showed several photos of Eagles players kneeling in prayer before games (see story).  

Ertz and defensive end Chris Long responded to the piece after it was sent out of Twitter from the Fox News Twitter account, which has 17.9 million followers. Later in the morning, the Twitter account did send out an apology and the station apologized on air much later in the day — the tweet of that on-air apology was sent at 12:07 a.m. Wednesday. 

Long explained why he felt the need to stick up for his teammates. 

“We have great men in our locker room, men of faith, might have a different higher power they’re praying to,” Long said. “But for guys who are praying to be misrepresented by a major news network, I thought that was irresponsible. I’m not taking a side there, I’m just calling it how I see it. They apologized a little after midnight last night on the air. It is what it is. We have great guys in this locker room and I just hate seeing their names dragged through the mud like that.” 

When asked, Ertz said he never thought about a defamation of character lawsuit. He said he hasn’t received an individual apology from Fox News, nor does he covet one. 

“I just hope as media members, I feel like people should try and get the facts right and not skew it one way or the other,” Ertz said. “In terms of an apology, I don’t need an apology. I just hope people will learn from it and get better. Because when I make a mistake on the football field, I learn from it and get better. And that’s what I hope happens.”

Eagles report card: Grades aren't pretty after blowout loss to Saints

Eagles report card: Grades aren't pretty after blowout loss to Saints

Nobody should’ve expected the Eagles to beat the Saints, or even cover the eight-point spread. But their humiliating, nationally televised 48-7 defeat in New Orleans is the largest loss by a defending Super Bowl champion ever.

Time to add insult to injury and grade this bad boy.

Quarterback
Carson Wentz: 19/33, 156 YDS, 3 INT

Worst game of Wentz’s career. Full stop.

Grade: F

Running backs
Josh Adams: 7 ATT, 53 YDS, 1 TD

The lone bright spot in this game — not at all an exaggeration — was Adams’ 28-yard touchdown. But since the Eagles had a 17-point deficit before the offense could call nine plays, there wasn’t much reason to run the ball.

Grade: C

Wide receivers/tight ends
Golden Tate: 5 REC, 48 YDS

Tate led the Eagles in catches and receiving yards, so I suppose the free-agent-to-be was worth the third-round pick.

Grade: D

Offensive line
Pretty sure Stefen Wisniewski can put the conspiracy theories about his benching to rest after watching him fill in at center for an injured Jason Kelce.

Grade: D

Defensive line
T.Y. McGill: 3 TKL, 1 TFL

The Eagles only managed to hit Saints quarterback Drew Brees once. Wide receivers are out there blocking Chris Long. And Saints running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined to rush for 174 yards, a 6.0 average and two touchdowns.

Grade: F

Linebackers
Jordan Hicks: 7 TKL

Not sure what’s worse: Jordan Hicks’ face on the side of a milk carton or Nigel Bradham prominently featured on a poster of Saints third-string wide receiver Keith Kirkwood.

Grade: F

Secondary
Malcolm Jenkins: 9 TKL

You can only be so hard on somebody like Chandon Sullivan, who should be on the practice squad, not covering Saints wide receiver Mike Thomas. But as it turns out, Rasul Douglas also belongs on the practice squad, not covering Mike Thomas.

Grade: D

Special teams
Corey Clement: 4 KR, 28.5 AVG

Tre Sullivan got an offsides penalty on a kickoff. In 2018. When running starts have been eliminated. How is that even possible?

Grade: C-

Coaching
Eagles’ record: 4-6

There’s probably nothing Jim Schwartz could do. Injuries have the secondary in total disarray, and the Saints are the hottest team in the NFL right now. The Eagles’ offense isn’t much better off, but Doug Pederson’s game plan and decision making didn’t do them any favors. There’s no excuse for scoring seven points.

Grade: D

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Drew Brees torches trio of Eagles who weren’t on roster a month ago

Drew Brees torches trio of Eagles who weren’t on roster a month ago

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees against Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby and Cre’Von LeBlanc went about as well as you’d expect. 

The future Hall of Famer, in the middle of his best professional season, torched a bunch of cornerbacks who weren’t even on the Eagles’ roster a month ago. 

“It’s tough,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “You put it together, we piece it together, we brought guys up off the practice squad this week to elevate their play and get them in the game. It’s hard when you’re going against a Hall of Fame player in Drew and the weapons they have on offense, it’s a difficult task, but again, we’re not going to hang our heads and we’re going to keep fighting.” 

Already down Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, the Eagles lost Rasul Douglas (knee), Avonte Maddox (knee) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) throughout the 48-7 beatdown. That meant they were down to three cornerbacks who haven’t been on the roster a month. 

Here’s when the trio that ended the game arrived to the 53-man roster: 

11/17: De’Vante Bausby promoted from the practice squad 
11/5: Cre’Von LeBlanc claimed off waivers 
10/25: Chandon Sullivan promoted from the practice squad 

Of the group, LeBlanc has the most NFL experience. He played in his 33rd-career game Sunday. It was Bausby’s fifth-career game. It was Sullivan’s third. It was career game No. 259 for Brees. 

To be fair, it's not like Douglas, Jones and Maddox were having good games before they left either. They were torched early before the next trio was torched late. 

Brees had a passer rating of 153.3, the highest of what seems to be an MVP season. He was likely going to go off no matter what happened in the Eagles secondary … and then a decimated unit was again ravaged by more injuries. 

That’s not great, especially against a guy like Brees and in a stadium like the Superdome. The Saints were off and running on that fast track. 

“He’s a good quarterback. He did his thing,” Bausby said. “I ain’t gonna lie. Some plays out there we should have made. Back to the drawing board.”

Brees threw for 363 yards, four touchdowns and completed over 73 percent of his passes against the Birds, which is nearly unprecedented. He’s just the fifth player to ever put up those numbers against the Eagles. Although, Ryan Fitzpatrick did it earlier this year.

Things might not get any better in a hurry for the Eagles at corner either. Jones hurt his hamstring as he returned from a hamstring injury that kept him out three weeks. Douglas had a brace on his knee as he left the locker room. And that Maddox injury didn’t look pretty. 

“It’s very unfortunate but the injury rate in this league is 100 percent,” Sullivan said. “On any given play, it can be the last play of the season. It’s just the next man up mentality. We just have to go out there and keep fighting with the guys we have and move forward.”  

The guys on the roster have no choice but to move forward after all these injuries. But that doesn’t mean things are going to get any easier.

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