Eagles

Roob's 10 observations from Eagles-Browns preseason game

Roob's 10 observations from Eagles-Browns preseason game

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CLEVELAND — Officially, this will go down as a 5-0 Browns preseason win over the Eagles at FirstEnergy Stadium.

I'm calling it a 7-5 Eagles win because Rashard Davis's 37-yard fourth-quarter touchdown catch should never have been overturned.

Whatever you want to call it, it was really ugly (see breakdown).

So two weeks before the opener against the Falcons, where are the Eagles?

Lots of questions on offense, lots of confidence in the defense.

So here we go with our 10 instant observations off the Eagles' 7-5 win Thursday over the Browns! (Or not.)

1. Level of concern about the first-team offense? I’d say moderate. No Carson Wentz, no Nelson Agholor, no Jason Peters, no Darren Sproles, no Jay Ajayi, no Alshon Jeffery, no Corey Clement. And minimal game planning. You have to take all that into account. Still ... this was really ugly. The Eagles wound up playing 14 drives with Nick Foles and the quote-unquote first-team offense on the field this preseason, and those drives netted zero points. Or more accurately, minus-two points, thanks to a safety when Foles was tackled in the end zone in the first quarter Thursday night. And I don’t care if it’s the Super Bowl, a preseason game or a midget flag football game at halftime, turnovers on four straight drives is unacceptable. Four turnovers, a safety, a failed fourth down, three sacks. I don’t want to overreact. I still think the offense will be fine come Sept. 6. But I have to admit, I’m not quite as certain as I was 24 hours ago.

2. Which brings us to Foles. How can a guy who was so brilliant in the postseason last year play like this? How can a Super Bowl MVP just stand there and throw the football to the other team? I can’t explain it. I can’t understand it. I know Foles talks about taking risks in practice and preseason games that he wouldn’t take in a real game, so maybe that’s part of it. He obviously misses his regular receivers. I still think if he has to start a game or two before Wentz is ready, he’ll be fine. And whatever happens, he’ll always be the guy who led the Eagles to the promised land. But there’s just no excuse for any veteran quarterback playing the way he did Thursday night. 

3. Wendell Smallwood got off to a rough start — 6 for 17 in the first quarter — but once he had some room to work, he was decisive to the hole and ran hard. Smallwood finished 12 for 53 with 2 for 14 receiving, all in the first half. This is exactly what the coaches wanted to see from Smallwood. He's been able to stay healthy throughout the preseason, and he moved the chains Thursday night. Is it enough to lock up a roster spot? Probably not. I would think the Eagles will still scour the waiver wire on Sept. 1. But Smallwood helped himself, no doubt about it.

4. Have to be a little concerned with offensive line depth. Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled badly again. Matt Pryor has leveled off after a hot start. Chance Warmack doesn’t seem to even be in the picture anymore. Jordan Mailata isn’t ready. Isaac Seumalo seems to be the top backup everywhere, but he’s been up and down. Then again, last year Jason Peters was lost for the year and the Eagles won a Super Bowl. So I’m not going to lose a ton of sleep about it. I’d just like to see more from that group.

5. History is filled with hot-shot preseason wide receivers, but I don’t care. DeAndre Carter can play. He got here three days into training camp and was like 500th on the depth chart, but he’s gradually worked his way up to the point where he’s contending for a roster spot. It’s so tough for a guy like Carter who wasn’t here for OTAs, missed the first few days of camp, didn’t know the offense or any of his coaches or teammates, but still has found a way to perform in the games. Carter caught a 20-yarder in the preseason opener, was 3 for 48 against the Patriots and then 4 for 73 Thursday night against the Browns with a 29-yard punt return. I’m not sure what the Eagles will do with Carter, but if it were me, I’m finding a spot for him on the 53. 

6. No complaints with the first-team defense. It lost contain on a couple back-to-back early running plays, gains of 33 yards by Carlos Hyde and 21 yards by Nick Chubb. But it followed that with a sharp goal-line stand, keeping the Browns off the scoreboard after they had a 1st-and-goal on the 1-yard line. The first defense played six series and allowed three points, and those came on a 54-yard field goal after a drive of minus-one yard. The first group allowed 100 yards on six drives, and more than half came on those two long runs. It got good pressure, stuffed the run, didn’t allow any big plays. This defense is ready for greatness.

7. Loved seeing rookie corner Avonte Maddox pick off Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter (although I would have liked to have seen him take it to the house). He’s been really good the last couple weeks. Just another young cornerback in a large stable of them. I think Sidney Jones starts out as the first nickel but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim Schwartz finds ways to get Maddox on the field. It's tough for rookie corners to hold up in the preseason, but the Eagles keep churning them out. 

8. You don’t see many guys who’ve been accomplished pros in the NFL fall apart the way Matt Jones has. It’s kind of tough to watch. Considering he was one of the leading rushers in the NFL halfway through the 2016 season, it’s been a disastrous preseason for him. He followed his three-drop game against the Patriots with a fumble Thursday night in Cleveland. He’s a good kid and I wish him well. But it’s not happening here.

9. Rookie Josh Adams, on the other hand, continues to show up. The Central Bucks South product ran four times for 33 yards Thursday night against the Browns’ backups and also caught two short passes. I would have liked to have seen him get a little work against the 1s just to evaluate him against better competition, but he’s shown enough to at least warrant a spot on the practice squad, assuming Smallwood gets that No. 4 spot on the 53 behind Ajayi, Clement and Sproles.

10. Finally this: After watching Wentz’s intense 35-minute pregame workout, I’m more convinced than ever he’ll be ready for the opener. Now, the doctors might look at his MRI and decide he still needs another week or two. I haven’t seen his MRI and I don’t know how to read an MRI anyway, so I can’t make that call. But from a purely football standpoint, he looks phenomenal. Everything you look for — footwork, dexterity, arm strength, mechanics, the ability to right himself when he slips (which he did during his pregame workout Thursday night) and deliver the ball — is there. I don’t know what else Wentz can do to prove he’s ready except make sure that MRI tells the doctors what they want to see (see workout).

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Eagles rookie K’Von Wallace shows off his giant eagle tattoo

Eagles rookie K’Von Wallace shows off his giant eagle tattoo

K’Von Wallace has been an Eagle for just a month but now he has a permanent (and large) reminder of the Eagles on his back. 

Wallace posted an Instagram story of some tattoo work he’s getting done and his entire back is getting covered in a mural of a tiger and an eagle. He played for the Clemson Tigers and now he plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

It looks like the Eagle part is mostly finished. 

Hopefully this works out better than the last time I remember a fourth-round pick getting a notable tattoo. Donnel Pumphrey once got an NFL logo tattooed on his calf and then never played in a regular season game. Wallace has a better shot though. 

Wallace was a fourth-round pick last year but many thought he could have gone earlier. With some real questions at the safety position in front of him, Wallace could end up being a long-term solution. 

Shortly after the Eagles drafted him, Wallace was already in love with the fan base. 

“It's crazy to see,” he said. “The Eagles fan base is the best I've seen. It's up there with Clemson, man. Just seeing how they supported me even before I got drafted. During the first round they were telling the coaches to pull the trigger, and all these fans, DM’ing me on Instagram and saying, ‘We can't wait for you to be an Eagle.’ The fan base is incredible. It's incredible.”

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Who are the best Eagles to never make a Pro Bowl?

ap_rodney_peete_brent_celek_duce_staley_eagles.jpg
AP Images

Who are the best Eagles to never make a Pro Bowl?

The Eagles have had 113 Pro Bowlers in franchise history going back to the first NFL All-Star Game in 1950.

A bunch are Hall of Famers, like Reggie White, Brian Dawkins and Harold Carmichael.

A bunch are fairly obscure, like Buck Lansford, Jess Richardson and J.D. Smith.

And then there’s everybody else.

This story is about everybody else.

This is the all-time Eagles Never-Made-a-Pro-Bowl team.

These are the best players in franchise history who never made a Pro Bowl, either as an Eagle or with any other team at any point in their career.

The best of the rest.

We start with the all-time Eagles Never-Made-a-Pro-Bowl offense, with the defense and specialists coming on Wednesday.

Arguments are welcome.

Quarterback

Rodney Peete
It’s not easy finding a quarterback for this team. All the successful QBs in franchise history have been to a Pro Bowl — Donovan McNabb, Ron Jaworski, Carson Wentz, Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Randall Cunningham. 

That leaves people like Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Ty Detmer and Bubby Brister. Incredibly, Peele was 15-9 as an Eagles starter and is the only quarterback to win 10 games in an Eagles uniform and never go to a Pro Bowl. And he's the only non-Pro Bowl QB ever to win a postseason game for the Eagles. So Peete gets the nod.

Running back

Duce Staley
A no-brainer. Staley ran for 4,807 yards in an Eagles uniform with three 1,000-yard seasons. No other non-Pro Bowler in Eagles history had one 1,000-yard season.

Wide receivers

Ben Hawkins, Jason Avant, Jordan Matthews
Hawkins is the best receiver in Eagles history to never make a Pro Bowl — he’s 11th in franchise history with nearly 5,000 receiving yards.  

Matthews is one of only five receivers in NFL history to begin his career with 800 yards in each of his first three seasons and never make a Pro Bowl. 

And Avant was just a steady, consistent slot who caught nearly 300 passes in an Eagles uniform.

Tight end

Brent Celek
Another no-brainer. Celek piled up 398 catches for 4,998 yards and 31 TDs in his 11 years with the Eagles but never made a Pro Bowl. John Spagnola would be the next guy on the list, more than 2,000 yards behind. 

Offensive tackles

Todd Herremans, Vic Sears
Two long-time Eagles from different eras. Herremans started more games than any non-Pro Bowl offensive lineman in franchise history and was a steady, consistent guard or tackle on a bunch of really good teams for 10 years. Sears was a starter on two NFL Championship teams and spent his entire 13-year career here before retiring after the 1953 season.

Guards

Ron Baker, Stefen Wisniewski 
Baker was a backup on the 1980 Super Bowl team and then a steady starter for most of the 1980s. Wiz wasn’t here long but was huge during the 2017 run and in the Super Bowl. 

Center

Guy Morriss
Morriss played 15 seasons in the NFL, started 173 games, played in Super Bowls for two different teams and never made a Pro Bowl. But he was a capable 11-year starter for the Eagles from 1973 through 1983 before finishing his career in New England.

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