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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Eagles promoting RB Josh Adams to 53-man roster

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Eagles promoting RB Josh Adams to 53-man roster

Updated 1:05 p.m.

With a couple injuries to their running backs, the Eagles are promoting rookie Josh Adams to their 53-man roster from their practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.

To make room for the rookie, the team waived receiver DeAndre Carter.

Adams, 21, missed some time this preseason with an injury of his own but had 23 rushing attempts for 90 yards and was impressive enough to warrant consideration for the 53-man roster out of the summer. The talented rookie running back from Notre Dame has been on the practice squad for the first two weeks of the season. 

Darren Sproles missed Week 2 with a hamstring injury and then Jay Ajayi got hit in his lower back during the game. On Sunday night, Ajayi was frustrated and in some pain because of the injury as he went to see the trainer. 

Even though Ajayi toughed it out and returned to the game, the Eagles were left with just Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood as their completely healthy running back options for this coming week in practice. 

Even after Mike Wallace went down in Sunday's loss to the Bucs, Carter played just 19 snaps and had zero catches.

By waiving Carter, the Eagles have just Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson and Kamar Aiken at the wide receiver position.

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How did Eagles give up 75-yard bombs twice? A look at the film

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How did Eagles give up 75-yard bombs twice? A look at the film

On Sunday in Tampa, the Eagles battled their way back and gave themselves a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. 

Now, imagine if they didn’t give up two 75-yard bombs. 

The Eagles went into their Week 2 game knowing about the Bucs’ deep threats and then on the first play from scrimmage got burned for a 75-yard touchdown. They got burned for another 75-yarder in the second quarter. 

At one point, the Buccaneers had run 21 offensive plays. They gained 150 yards on those two touchdowns and just 68 on the other 19. A couple big plays can absolutely ruin a game. 

“That’s 14 points, those two plays,” Jalen Mills said after the 27-21 loss. “We take those away, we win the ballgame.”

He’s right. 

Let’s take a closer look at those two plays: 

 

At the top of the screen, you’ll see how much of a cushion Jalen Mills is giving DeSean Jackson. He knows the kind of deep threat Jackson is, but it’s still not going to matter. 

On the bottom of the screen, we’re going to see a blitz from Ronald Darby, which means Rodney McLeod is going to take over coverage. That leaves Malcolm Jenkins as the single high safety; that’s important to remember. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking at DeSean the whole way. He doesn’t care that Mike Evans has single coverage on the bottom of the screen. The Bucs are going deep to start this game. You can see here at the point of the throw, for whatever reason, Jenkins starts driving. But Jackson isn’t pulling up on this route; he’s running a deep post. 

“I just vacated the post,” Jenkins said. “Inexcusable mistake.” 

 

Look how far out of the play Jenkins is by the time Jackson catches this ball. Mills admitted his coverage needed to be tighter, but he just doesn’t have to speed to stick with DeSean, who got up over 20 mph on this touchdown. 

 

Mills actually did a good job of cutting off Jackson’s angle and forcing him back inside. If Jenkins hadn’t completely blown his responsibility a few seconds earlier, he would have theoretically been there to make a touchdown-saving tackle. Instead, Mills’ momentum is going one way and Jackson uses a cut to get inside and speed into the end zone. 

Just a brutal way to start the game, but the Eagles come back and tie it at 7-7. It looks like that one blemish won’t ruin the afternoon. But another big play is coming. 

We’re now in the second quarter and the Bucs have the ball just after the Eagles scored to tie the game. 

It’s 1st-and-10 from their own 25-yard line. Bucs TE O.J. Howard is circled in red. He’s going to run a cross, while Jordan Hicks is actually going to provide some pretty tight coverage. You’ll notice RCB Ronald Darby is circled at the top of the screen. Remember that. 

We’ve got to give credit to Fitzpatrick, who is just feeling it right now. Not a big window to throw this ball into and if it’s a split second behind, Hicks knocks it down. But Fitz hits Howard perfectly in stride. 

This image is pretty damning. It’s shocking to think this play is about to go for a 75-yard touchdown. There are three potential tacklers and just one potential blocker. Howard should have been brought down for a gain of like 15 yards. 

But Darby is about to have a really bad missed tackle that takes McLeod out of the play. That will leave Jenkins as the last hope, although he starts jogging toward the play, likely thinking Darby and McLeod should be able to bring Howard down. Didn't like the hustle from him here. 

Darby just takes a weird angle and the arm tackle of a big tight end like Howard isn’t going to work. You can see that McLeod was coming over to try to make a play, but Darby actually takes him out. That will leave Howard off to the races and the outside receiver is going to do a nice job blocking against Jenkins, who breaks out of his job into a sprint once Darby misses the tackle. Too late. 

“It was just a bad play,” Darby said. “A missed tackle. Get it fixed and move on to next week.”

The Eagles desperately need to get these issues fixed, but it’s not like they didn’t know they couldn’t give up big plays coming into this game. It was a focus during the week. Now, they just need to correct these errors. 

This is how good teams can lose games with just a couple big missteps. 

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