Eagles

Longtime NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall opens up about Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson as teammates

Longtime NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall opens up about Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson as teammates

Longtime NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who had 43 interceptions and made three Pro Bowl teams before retiring following the 2017 season, wrote this week about his five favorite teammates of all-time.

Two of them are very familiar names.

In a piece on NFL.com, Hall listed Michael Vick as his favorite teammate of all-time and also included DeSean Jackson at No. 4.

Considering that he had over 500 teammates, that's impressive! 

Hall spent 2004 through 2006 with Vick in Atlanta and 2014 through 2016 with D-Jack in Washington. He wrote about his favorite teammates in a first-person piece on NFL.com.

Here’s part of what Hall wrote about Vick:

Growing up in Virginia, I remember watching Vick play at Virginia Tech from afar (before I got there) and was mesmerized by what he did as a quarterback. When I arrived in Atlanta my rookie year, I quickly realized that everything people said about Vick was true. He was revolutionary. Sure, I was used to seeing quarterbacks run all over the field in high school and even college. It was unusual to see a player do it at the NFL level, though, and he did it all the time. I remember getting up out of my seat on almost every drive when our offense was on the field -- when the defensive players usually sat down to catch our breath on the sidelines -- because Vick was exciting as hell to watch. And, hey, we had the best seat in the house.

Vick, who went on to spend five seasons with Jackson in Philly, had one of his best seasons ever with Hall in Atlanta in 2004, when the Falcons wound up losing to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

“One thing Vick didn't get enough credit for was his arm strength,” Hall wrote. “Until you're physically on the field and trying to stop Vick, you don't realize how difficult it was. I had to be in tight coverage on every route because he could throw the hell out of the ball and drop it right into the receiver's hands. I gained much more respect for that part of his game after playing with him in Atlanta early in my career.”

The Falcons traded Hall to the Raiders in the middle of 2008, but they released him after just eight games.

He signed three days later with the Redskins and spent the last 9½ seasons of his career in Washington, including three years with Jackson.

We didn't start out as great friends. That's no secret,” Hall wrote. “With Jackson being a Philadelphia Eagle for the first six years of his career and me being a DB in Washington at that time, how could we be? But when I got the chance to help recruit him to Washington in 2014 -- my then-teammate Pierre Garcon, rapper Wale and I took him out in D.C. -- I was stoked because I would no longer have to play against him. And from his first day in Washington, he pushed me and made me work in practice like no other receiver had. I generally wasn't worried about receivers out-running me, but I was with DJax. He was a younger speedster and I was a veteran who still felt like I could stay with anyone. He forced me to perfect my technique because I couldn't rely solely on my speed against him. We were both great at tracking the ball -- an aspect of my game that I always prided myself on -- and we had fierce competitions in practice. I wish that I had been healthier during our time together and that I had been teammates with a receiver of his caliber for more of my career. Iron sharpens iron -- and we bettered each other.

Jackson signed with the Redskins after Chip Kelly engineered his release from the Eagles after the 2013 season. 

Jackson caught 142 passes for 2,702 yards and 14 touchdowns in three seasons with the Redskins before spending two years in Tampa and then returning to the Eagles before last season.

Hall said Jackson “is the total package as far as receivers are concerned, in my opinion, and it's too bad he didn't reach even greater heights with the Redskins. Sure, he had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Washington and led the league in yards per catch in 2014 and '16 (20.9 and 17.9 ypc, respectively) but I still think DJax could've been more of a centerpiece for us during those years. Years later, he's still playing at a high level -- just with those damn Eagles again.”

Hall had four interceptions in his career against the Eagles, tied with Ricky Manning for the most vs. the Eagles in the last 20 years. He victimized Donovan McNabb, Nick Foles, Vince Young and Kevin Kolb once each.

So he might speak fondly of Vick and D-Jack, don’t expect many people in Philly to speak fondly of Hall.

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A lost opportunity for Sidney Jones in Roob's 10 Observations

A lost opportunity for Sidney Jones in Roob's 10 Observations

A lost opportunity for Sidney Jones, an unbelievable Sam Bradford stat and the continuing saga of Reb Russell.

It's all right here in this weekend's Roob's 10 Eagles Observations! 

1. I keep trying to convince myself, "This will be the year we see the real Sidney Jones." And coming out of last year, I really believed Jones, going into Year 4, had a chance to really get his legs healthy this spring and then show everybody in minicamps, OTAs, training camp and the preseason games that he could hold down the CB2 opposite Darius Slay. But if the curtailed offseason and preseason hurts anybody the most, it's Jones. The Eagles have made it clear Avonte Maddox is the projected starter, and as long Maddox stays healthy I don't see how Sidney can win the job. Without any spring workouts or preseason games? Can Jones do enough just in a few weeks of training camp practice to beat out Maddox? I don't think so.

2. Who has the highest 4th-quarter passer rating among Eagles quarterbacks? Going back to 1994, as far back as the Pro Football Reference database logs quarter-by-quarter stats, here's the surprising answer (minimum of 100 4th-quarter attempts):

95.9 ... Sam Bradford

88.4 ... Michael Vick

84.5 ... Carson Wentz

83.6 ... Donovan McNabb

81.9 ... Nick Foles

76.9 ... Rodney Peele

76.7 ... Mark Sanchez

70.3 ... Ty Detmer

64.1 ... Bobby Hoying

62.7 ... Randall Cunningham

59.0 ... Koy Detmer 

(Remember, this only includes Randall's last two years with the Eagles) 

3. As good as T.O. was in 2004, he was on his way to an even bigger season in 2005 before he imploded and got himself suspended. Owens was 47-for-763 with 6 TDs after seven games, which put him on pace for 107 catches and 1,744 yards with 13 TDs. The only players in NFL history to reach those plateaus in a season are Jerry Rice and Isaac Bruce. T.O.'s 93.5 yards per game as an Eagle is 23 yards per game more than any other WR in franchise history. DeSean Jackson (69.7), Mike Quick (64.0), Irving Fryar (63.9) and Jeremy Maclin (63.6) are next.

4. If the NFL does wind up reducing rosters from 90 to 75 because of the curtailed or eliminated preseason and for social distancing purposes, the league needs to give each team the opportunity to retain the rights of some or all of the players they're forced to release. Maybe pay them a weekly reduced salary and let them participate in virtual meetings and remain part of the team without actually being at practice. It would be a shame to see the Eagles forced to cut ties with promising kids like Adrian Killians Jr., Grayland Arnold, Raequan Williams, Mike Warren, Sua Opeta or Deontay Burnett because of the current circumstances. The league and the NFLPA need to find a way to make sure that doesn't happen.

5. I just remembered the Eagles paid Nelson Agholor $9.387 million last year.

6. The Frankford Yellow Jackets won the 1926 NFL Championship, but by the early 1930s, they may have been the worst professional sports team in Philadelphia history. They won only 3 of their last 24 games and scored 7 or fewer points in 20 of those 24 games. 

7. What are the odds that the Eagles' two recent Hall of Famers — Brian Dawkins and Harold Carmichael — went to the same high school? Both graduated from Raines High in Jacksonville. Raines has produced numerous other NFL players, including Lito Sheppard, Shawn Jefferson and Ken Burrough, along with baseball's Vince Coleman. Surprisingly, 16 high schools produced multiple Hall of Famers, including one — George Washington in L.A. — that produced three (James Lofton, Hugh McElhenny, Bill Walsh). 

8. Carson Wentz's 32 wins are 15th-most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first four seasons. He's also one of only five of the top 20 that didn't win a playoff game during those four years. The others are Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Steve Grogan, Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer. Ryan won one in his 5th season, Manning in his 6th and Palmer in his 14th. Dalton and Grogan never did win one. One of these years, Wentz will win one. Right?

9. Donovan McNabb had already won four playoff games and reached two NFC Championship Games by the end of his fourth season.

10. Everyone seemed to enjoy last week's excerpt from newspaper coverage of the Eagles' first game in franchise history in 1933, so here's an excerpt from the Inquirer story reporting the first win in franchise history, 6-0 over the Reds later in 1933: 

"Tall, slab-sided, loose-limbed Swede Hanson, the new Galloping Ghost of the commercial gridiron, raced over the last white stripe today, as the Philadelphia Eagles achieved their first conquest of the season, 6-0. Hanson, lean and lank and lantern jawed, was the hero of this game, as he has starred in all of the frays in which the Eagles have been a part. For two periods, the Birds and their Red foes battered away at the line or sought the air but all in vain. In the third quarter, however, the Wraymen turned into a devastating horde." 

The story goes on to describe Hanson's touchdown, the game's only score: 

"It was fourth down now and the goal line beckoning in tantalizing fashion straight ahead. Then Hanson and (Reb) Russell outwtitted their foes. Reb came tearing in as if to shoot off tackle. The Reds tumbled through upon the former Purple hero, however, who was ready for this emergency. As the gang tried to pile up, Russell flipped a lateral, straight and unerring, right into Hanson's arms. Like a flash, the Swede lighted out for the end, slipped past two tackles and went over the line."

Wraymen? Really? Remember, that team's coach was Lud Wray. Guess I should start calling the Eagles the Dougmen?

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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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