Eagles

Roob’s 10 observations: Agholor, underrated Super Bowler, Shady’s career

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Roob’s 10 observations: Agholor, underrated Super Bowler, Shady’s career

More improvement from Nelson Agholor, an underrated Super Bowl performer, two agonizing yards from a milestone and an incredible accomplishment that LeSean McCoy is closing in on.

It’s all right here in this week’s edition of Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Observations!

1. Doug Pederson has found the perfect balance these past few months of allowing his players to really enjoy being Super Bowl champions while still keeping an eye on 2018, and that’s not an easy thing to do. The Eagles have celebrated when it’s time to celebrate and they’ve worked when it’s time to work, and honestly, I feel like most of the guys on this team would rather be at an OTA practice under the hot June sun than at some banquet re-living Super Bowl LII. Which is the beauty of this team. Zach Ertz put it beautifully when he said this: “There’s always going to be one-hit wonders in this league. Teams that won one Super Bowl or players that made one Pro Bowl and then you didn’t hear from them again. But it’s the great players and the great teams that are able to have that sustained success.” And that right there is the mantra for this football team. Last year was incredible. But it’s in the past. It’s time to move on. It’s time to go to work.

2. Five quarterbacks in NFL history have had a passer rating of 101.9 or higher in their second NFL season [minimum of 200 attempts]. Three of them are Hall of Famers – Otto Graham, Kurt Warner and Dan Marino. The other two are … Carson Wentz and Nick Foles.

3. This is insanity, but there’s no doubt in my mind T.O. can still help a football team. I know, I know. He’s 44. The oldest player in NFL history to catch a pass is Jerry Rice, Owens’ former teammate, who was 42 years, 67 days, when he caught his last three career passes – 3 for 25 yards from Matt Hasselbeck for the Seahawks against the Jets on Dec. 19, 2004. The only other player to catch a pass in his 40s is Brett Favre, who caught a batted pass that he threw (for minus-two yards) against the Rams at 40 years, 1 day, for the Vikings in 2009. I know T.O. hasn’t played since 2010, when he caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine TDs playing for the Bengals. But T.O. is different than other human beings. He’s a freak of nature. He could play till he’s 50. But considering his history, no team is ever going to take a chance on him. It’s a shame, but that’s the reality.

4. It still blows my mind that the Eagles won the Super Bowl just two years after Chip Kelly was fired. Think about that. Jeff Lurie, Howie Roseman and Pederson overhauled the entire franchise from late 2015 train wreck to 2017 NFL champs in 769 days. 

5. During that span, the Browns have won one game.

6. Kind of lost in all the Super Bowl insanity – Philly Special, Nick Foles’ performance, Brandon Graham’s strip-sack, the 4th-down conversion to Zach Ertz – was LeGarrette Blount’s remarkable performance. Blount’s 6.4 rushing average that day (14 for 90) is highest in NFL postseason history by a back 31 or older. The previous record was Tiki Barber’s 5.3 for the Giants in the 2006 wild-card game that the Eagles won at the Linc. Blount destroyed that record. And it came after a stretch in which Blount had averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in his previous eight games. Blount wasn’t here long but what a tremendous impact he made both as an unfailingly unselfish leader and as a battering-ram running back.

7. Hard to believe DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are the only Eagles draft picks with a 1,000-yard receiving season since Fred Barnett, who was drafted 28 years ago. I expect Nelson Agholor to do it this season.

8. I’m still sad Brent Celek is sitting there with 4,998 career receiving yards. 

9. Wondering what the heck the Redskins are thinking is a way of life around the NFL, but it still blows my mind that they believe they have a better chance of winning with a 34-year-old Alex Smith and than with a 29-year-old Kirk Cousins. 

10. LeSean McCoy has averaged 101 yards from scrimmage per game in his brilliant nine-year NFL career, and he now has 13,470 net yards from scrimmage – eighth-most in NFL history by a player before his 30th birthday (behind seven Hall of Famers). Every back in NFL history who’s gained 16,000 yards from scrimmage — and there are 10 of them — is in the Hall of Fame. At his current pace, Shady would get to 16,000 in Week 9 of the 2020 season. I’m sure as heck not betting against him. 

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Unapologetic Donovan McNabb addresses his Carson Wentz comments, Lane Johnson, relationship with fans

Unapologetic Donovan McNabb addresses his Carson Wentz comments, Lane Johnson, relationship with fans

Donovan McNabb is not backing down. 

After garnering headlines over the last few days for his comments about Carson Wentz , which didn’t sit well with Lane Johnson, McNabb was on 94WIP Tuesday afternoon with Jon Marks and Ike Reese. 

McNabb didn’t back down from his comments at all during the interview that was at times combative and yet still full of McNabb’s trademark laughter. 

“Do I need to apologize for anything?” McNabb said. “Absolutely not. Should I say anything toward it? There’s no need to say anything about the situation, really, to be honest. 

“And then I know you probably want to go into active players that are playing and their comments. I don’t play Twitter war games with kids. I said what I said. They understood what I said. Move on and do your job.” 

Here are a few more notes of interest that came out of the interview: 

Soften up on Wentz? 
It was proposed to McNabb that he could perhaps be more positive in his analysis of Wentz, given that McNabb himself is a former franchise quarterback. McNabb defended himself and said he was simply giving his opinion. McNabb understands most people don’t have a problem with the message, that it’s the messenger — it’s just that 5 doesn’t seem to care. 

Hey Jealously
At least McNabb seems to understand part of the perception of him in this town. 

“See, what they always want to attribute me to when I say anything about the Eagles is about envy and jealously. I’m not jealous about anything. I’ve played the game, I’ve moved on. I got another life.”

Relationship with the team
Reese, McNabb’s former teammate, asked McNabb about his relationship with the organization. 

“I have no problem with the Philadelphia Eagles. My relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles is the same as was when I played. I was excited about being drafted there in 1999. I enjoyed my tenure there as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, everything we accomplished as a team. I was very excited about it and one that I would never regret or try to change by any means because it made us, as individuals, who we are as people. I have no ill-will toward the Philadelphia Eagles. I was excited for them when they won the Super Bowl. I was excited when I put a tweet out, meeting Nick Foles and happy for Nick Foles. I mean, I took a photo with Carson Wentz. My son took a photo with Carson Wentz. I have no problem with any of them. For them to try to make it like I have a bad relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles or Carson Wentz, it’s just a cover up to aid in the dislike in who I am or whatever I say.”

Relationship with Wentz 
Reese asked McNabb if he has any type of mentor-type relationship with Wentz: 

“I reached out to Carson and talked to Carson on many occasions, when he got hurt, when he came back, this whole little deal with the locker room saying he’s arrogant or selfish or he’s not a team guy. I’ve been a part of that. I talked to him. This is the thing people don’t realize about what I do. I know what Carson is going through. I reached out to him, but I don’t make that public. I don’t think that’s something that needs to be put out there. That’s between me and him.” 

Back and forth with Lane
Marks attempted to play comments from Johnson’s appearance on WIP earlier in the week and McNabb cut him off and said there was no need. 

“There’s no need for me to respond to any of that. I told you. I don’t play Twitter war games with kids. I’m not going back and forth. One thing that people don’t realize is being a former player, there’s a relationship and a bond there. These young guys, some guys don’t get it. It’s not like I’m going personal at Carson. I have no issues. Now he wants to make his comments and I’m not going to go personal with him. There is no battle back and forth of who is going to get the last word. I don’t play that game.” 

Relationship with fans
McNabb said he has no problem with Eagles fans and he appreciates those who supported him during his time in Philly. He understands not everyone has the same opinion and he’s OK with that. 

The whole interview is about 15 minutes. Check it out here: 

 

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Eagles’ Chris Long even more unsure of football future

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Eagles’ Chris Long even more unsure of football future

As the 2019 NFL draft nears, one of the Eagles most veteran players still hasn’t made a decision about his football future. 

We’ve known that 34-year-old Chris Long has been pondering retirement for a while now, but here’s what he said to the USA Today’s Jarrett Bell after a Players Coalition town hall meeting at George Mason University Arlington: 

“In March, I really wanted to play. Now, I don’t know.” 

Bell theorizes that Long is contemplating taking a pay cut, which he insinuates could be the reason for Long’s indecision. This seems unlikely to me. In March, the Eagles reportedly pushed back Long’s $2 million roster bonus until after the draft because, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Long felt uncomfortable taking it with an uncertain future. 

And Long is the guy who once gave away his entire year’s salary, so to think money is the reason he might not return just doesn’t quite add up. 

Long confirmed his decision has nothing to do with money: 

It seems far more likely Long is — as he’s said plenty of times before — making a football decision. He has said he doesn’t want to be a “locker room guy” and wants to be a contributing player. Based on his 2018 season, he still has plenty productivity left in him. 

This offseason, even though the Eagles traded Michael Bennett, they re-signed Brandon Graham and brought back Vinny Curry. Perhaps even more importantly, they signed defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who could take away third-down snaps from Long. In the last couple years, the Eagles have slid Graham or Curry inside on passing downs, but Jackson has the ability to be a three-down player next to Fletcher Cox. 

It made sense that the roster bonus was pushed back until after the draft because if the Eagles use a first- or second-round pick on a defensive end, they’re probably going to want to get that player snaps in Year 1, which would then minimize Long’s role. 

"I’m pretty undecided, but from the looks of things they’re going to make it hard for me in my favorite city,” Long said to USA Today. “We’ll see.”

Bell took that to mean something about his contract, but if I had to venture a guess, I think it probably means more about the roster. If he returns, Long is set to have a cap hit of $5.6 million in 2019, which seems like a relatively fair price. The Eagles have $24.975 million in cap space, according to the most recent public report from the NFLPA, so it’s not like they desperately need to create space. 

The Eagles begin OTAs in May, but Long said he definitely doesn’t feel like going to OTAs. They’re voluntary anyway and the Eagles have brought back players like Darren Sproles and Corey Graham well after the spring workouts. They’d likely be fine doing the same for Long if he decides he wants to come back. 

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