Eagles

In redshirt season, defensive end Shareef Miller convinced he’s improving

In redshirt season, defensive end Shareef Miller convinced he’s improving

It would be understandable if, three quarters into what looks like a redshirt season, Eagles rookie Shareef Miller was running low on confidence. 

Instead, the opposite has happened. 

Because, sure, Miller hasn’t played a single defensive snap all season. But the fourth-round pick is absolutely convinced he’s a better player now than when he came in the league. And he thought he was pretty good before. 

“If I can get some snaps, they gonna know,” Miller said. “They definitely gonna know. There’s a lot of people out there talking. But I understand it, so stuff don’t bother me. I know what kind of player I am.”

Through 12 games, Miller has been inactive 10 times. In those other two games, he’s played a total of two special teams snaps. 

This isn’t what the 22-year-old expected from his rookie NFL season, but he’s trying to take it in stride, he’s trying to be patient. He has accepted and thrown himself into his role, which means giving the best possible look for the Eagles’ offensive line as a scout team player. 

The Philly native has heard some of his detractors. There are some folks ready to call him a bust, which is probably more indicative of society in 2019 than it is of Eagles fans or any fans, for that matter. Miller tries to not pay any attention to the noise. 

“It really ain’t my fault,” Miller said. “It ain’t got nothing to do with my ability or talent at all. It’s a numbers game. That I learned. I just gotta wait my time.” 

Starting defensive end Derek Barnett is coming into Monday’s game with an ankle injury, so perhaps there might be a small role for Miller in this game. But the Eagles still have Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall and Genard Avery. It would be nice to see the fourth-round pick contribute, but there are a lot of bodies in front of him. 

As a scout team player, Miller has been rushing from the left side of the defensive line in each practice. That means going against Lane Johnson daily. 

Miller thinks all those reps against one of the best tackles in the game has really helped him. 

“Hell yeah,” Miller said. “Lane’s the best tackle in the league, so I go against him and get better. I talk to him about rush angles and get his feedback from what he’s seeing from me and stuff.” 

From the time the Eagles used the last pick in the fourth round on Miller, he wasn’t expected to play a very big role this season. This has basically become a redshirt season for the Penn State product. 

At times, it can be hard to stay patient. But Miller doesn’t have much of a choice. 

“I’m good,” Miller said. “I’m young, I’m a rookie, I’m only 22. Still got a lot of time. My time’s gonna come. When my opportunity comes, I’m going to make the most of it.”

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Erase Jay Gruden's name from your Eagles coaching wish list

Erase Jay Gruden's name from your Eagles coaching wish list

Another of the most qualified remaining candidates for the Eagles’ offensive coordinator vacancy is off the board.

Jay Gruden, recently fired after six mediocre years as the Redskins’ head coach, is close to joining the Jaguars to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Assuming the deal is completed, Gruden will become the Jaguars’ third offensive coordinator in three years. He replaces former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, fired last week after just one year in Jacksonville. DeFilippo replaced Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired and spent this past year in the same position with the Packers. DeFilippo was recently hired by Matt Nagy as QBs coach of the Bears.

Ten teams were in the market for an offensive coordinator when the regular season ended.

Of those 10, the Eagles are one of only two still hanging a "Help Wanted" sign on their front door. 

The other is the Vikings, whose offensive coordinator this past year, Kevin Stefanski, was named last week as head coach of the Browns.

Gruden, whose older brother John was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator under Ray Rhodes from 1995 through 1997 and is now head coach of the Raiders, spent 2011 through 2013 as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator before replacing Mike Shanahan as head coach of the Redskins in 2014.

His teams went 38-57 in six years and reached the playoffs only once, losing a wild-card game to the Packers in 2015.

In Jacksonville, Gruden will presumably be working with 2017 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who was the Jaguars’ opening-day quarterback this past year but was hurt much of the season and then benched later in the year for rookie Gardner Minshew.

It’s not known whether the Eagles had any formal interest in Gruden, but he was certainly one of the most intriguing remaining candidates for the opening.

The Eagles fired Mike Groh 12 days ago after two years as offensive coordinator one day after head coach Doug Pederson said both would remain on his staff.

Among the candidates the Eagles have been linked with who are now expected to remain in their current position are Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, Ravens QBs coach James Urban (who spent three years as Bengals WRs coach under Jay Gruden) and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.

Other qualified candidates who are off the board include Chan Gailey, hired as Dolphins offensive coordinator; LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady, who was hired by the Panthers; Joe Moorhead, who was hired Tuesday as Oregon’s offensive coordinator; and former Eagles offensive coordinator and recently fired Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was hired as OC of the Broncos.

Earlier Tuesday, we outlined some of the top remaining candidates, including current Eagles position coaches Duce Staley and Press Taylor.

The Eagles also remain without a wide receivers coach, a secondary coach and a defensive line coach. The team fired receivers coach Carson Walch and d-line coach Phillip Daniels, and secondary coach Cory Undlin accepted the defensive coordinator position with the Lions.

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Here's a sneak peak of the 2020 NFL Draft venue ... and it's 100% Las Vegas

Here's a sneak peak of the 2020 NFL Draft venue ... and it's 100% Las Vegas

The blueprint for the 2020 NFL Draft venue has been revealed and it's just what you would expect it to be in Las Vegas.

The draft has become quite a production in recent years, but this has to top all previous attempts if it's executed the way they're saying.

Reportedly, players will be transported to the stage by a boat. Which could be an epic moment for the draftees ... but could also add a significant amount of time to the already long night of events.

The red carpet stage has a more traditional look when it comes to a draft setting, but since it's Vegas, it's go big or go home.

There are currently mixed opinions about it all, but here are some of the funniest:

 

 

 


The draft will be held from April 23-25 where the Eagles currently hold the 21st overall pick.

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