Eagles

Tim Jernigan is back to himself just in the nick of time

Tim Jernigan is back to himself just in the nick of time

Late in the second quarter in Week 1, Timmy Jernigan picked up his first full sack in nearly two years, started celebrating, realized the Redskins were in their hurry-up offense, got back across the line and then finished his celebration. 

He rotated his index fingers in circles around his ears. 

“Go loco,” Jernigan said smiling Thursday. “Go crazy.” 

Yeah, Timmy Jernigan is back. 

After an ankle injury late in 2017 and that scary back injury last year, Jernigan is now as healthy as he’s been in nearly two years. That comes just in the nick of time too, because Malik Jackson is out for the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury. Jernigan is a starting defensive tackle again. 

It might sound silly, but there’s one way his teammates know Jernigan is really back: He’s dancing again. 

After plays, during practice, on the sideline, Jernigan is always letting his unique personality fly. Jim Schwartz once said Jernigan meant something to the spirit of their defense. It’s pretty clear he brings the juice. 

“He’s just Timmy,” his battery mate Fletcher Cox said. “He’s always got his own vibe. He’s always smiling and having fun and just being Timmy. It always keeps the guys going.”

One of their young teammates on the practice squad, Bruce Hector, said when the defensive line huddles up on game days, it’s Jernigan who is always in the middle, dancing. “Then after that, he’s always on the sideline dancing,” Hector said. 

Jernigan is just being himself, but he said he knows it rubs off on his teammates. 

While Jernigan was still his fun-loving self last year, he wasn’t really all the way back. He was able to somehow play late in the 2018 season and in the playoffs, but did so after working out just a couple of times. This offseason, it’s been a lot different. And he’s worked hard to get to where he is. 

There’s no question the Eagles will miss Jackson, who was brought here to be a pass-rush specialist from the DT position. But having Jernigan definitely helps soften that blow. 

“Timmy’s flying around, he’s having fun,” Cox said. “He’s got a lot to prove, a lot of people counted him out. He worked his butt off all offseason, all training camp and everything. I’m excited for him. It sucks for Malik because we had a pretty good rotation going. But [Jernigan has] been in a position where he started the whole season, started the Super Bowl, he knows what it takes to win a football game.”

Hassan Ridgeway has been with the Eagles since late April, but he already knows that it’s Jernigan who gets his teammates going. Ridgeway explained that Jernigan works to amp himself up, but then it gets the rest of the defensive line going too. 

Without Jackson, it’s also possible Jernigan gets on the field for a few more pass-rushing situations. He’s never had more than five sacks in a season and he has just 3 1/2 since the Eagles traded for him before the 2017 season, but that was a big one he picked up on Sunday. Even though the Redskins were able to get a field goal out of that drive, Jernigan thinks it gave the Eagles’ defense some momentum. 

And it was his first full sack since Nov. 19, 2017, so you’ll understand why he wanted to celebrate. He’s been through a heckuva lot since then. 

“I had to snap out of it in the moment,” Jernigan said about realizing he needed to get onside. 

That meant we didn’t get to see the full “Timmy’s shimmy” as Schwartz called it, a term that left Jernigan near speechless. “Coach Schwartz,” he said, lowering his giggling face into his massive palm. 

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Eagles send high-ranking official to Colin Kaepernick’s workout

Eagles send high-ranking official to Colin Kaepernick’s workout

According to those who attended Colin Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta on Saturday, the Eagles were well represented.

The Eagles could have sent a regional or a low level scout to watch Kaepernick, but instead, they sent vice president of football operations Andrew Berry, which seems noteworthy.

On Friday, head coach Doug Pederson was asked if the Eagles would be in attendance at the workout.

“I would assume that we would,” Pederson said. “Obviously for us, we're in season so I can't be there. I’m comfortable with the guys we have, but I'm assuming that we would have somebody there.”

Pederson might be comfortable with the quarterbacks the Eagles have now, but it makes sense that the Eagles would at least take a look at Kaepernick. While Carson Wentz will be in Philly for a long time, his backups — Josh McCown and Nate Sudfeld — are both set to be unrestricted free agents after this season is up.

McCown will be 41 at the beginning of the 2020 season and Sudfeld has attempted just 25 career passes. The Eagles also have Kyle Lauletta on their practice squad.

Philadelphia, more than any other NFL city, should realize how important the backup quarterback position can be. Sure, maybe Kaepernick gets a crack at a starting job, but after three years out of the league, that’s certainly not a given. And the Eagles, with their progressive owner, might just be willing to sign Kaepernick despite potential backlash. Or maybe this leads nowhere.

Despite a last-minute move to a location 60 miles away from the Falcons’ facility, Berry and a few representatives from other NFL teams still made it to the workout.

The whole workout on Saturday was seemingly thrown together hastily and was organized by two sides that clearly have a contentious relationship. There were plenty of issues between them, including ones about the liability waiver, media availability and video footage. The move happened 15 minutes before the workout was scheduled to happen.

After the workout, Kaepernick explained why the move happened:

The NFL on Saturday released a statement saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout.” He didn’t appear for the workout at the Falcons’ facility, but the 32-year-old quarterback did appear at the high school sight in Georgia and apparently looked good.

The Eagles pride themselves on searching everywhere for talent and evaluating all options. Kaepernick is certainly an option. Of course, there’s a lot more to the Kaepernick story than a former Pro Bowl quarterback looking for a new team. The NFL in February settled a collusion grievance with Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid. And Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016, claiming collusion after he began a series of protests over social and racial injustice in the United States. He famously kneeled during the national anthem before games.

It’ll be interesting to see if this workout leads anywhere for Kaepernick or if the Eagles would actually pursue him. For the rest of this season, the Eagles are in a good spot when it comes to the quarterback position, but when this year is over, it’s more questionable. That’s probably why they looked at Kaepernick today.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Jay Ajayi, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham and more in Roob's random Eagles points

Jay Ajayi, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham and more in Roob's random Eagles points

Who's been the most productive quarterback ever at the Linc? What about at the Vet? Where does Brandon Graham rank all-time among Eagles defensive ends? What about JJ Arcega-Whiteside? What about Jay Ajayi? What about Jason Kelce?

It's all here in this weekend's edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles observations!

1. Even if Jordan Howard can’t play Sunday, I love the matchup between the Eagles’ running game and the Patriots’ rush defense. Over the last six weeks, the Eagles are averaging 141 rushing yards per game and the Patriots are allowing an NFL-worst 5.6 rushing yards per carry. The Eagles have actually run the ball over the last six games more than they’ve thrown it. I’m thinking Miles Sanders gets his first 100-yard game, and the Eagles get a little bit of a contribution from whoever else runs the ball, whether it’s Boston Scott, Jay Ajayi or De’Angelo Henderson. With this offensive line, I think the Eagles can control this game with the running attack.

2. I get that Ajayi has a history of knee problems, but as long as Doug Pederson doesn’t get carried away and overuse him, Ajayi can help. Sanders and Howard — when healthy — are going to be the main ball carriers, but give Ajayi six or seven carries and he can produce. The guy’s a 4.5 career runner, which puts him eighth among active running backs (minimum 500 carries). This is a guy who’s been a Pro Bowler, had a 1,200-yard season, made big plays in a Super Bowl. I want him on my team. 

3. If it was my call? I’d run Andre Dillard out there at left tackle, even if Jason Peters is healthy. I don’t know how you can count on Peters to play a full game at this point. He’s played all or most of only 21 games over the last three seasons — that’s 20 of 46 games. So he’s more likely to miss snaps than play all of them. A 100 percent Dillard isn’t a 100 percent Peters, but when Dillard plays, I know he’s going to play a full game at a high level. At this point, I’m surprised when Peters does. When Peters has to leave in mid-stream, that doesn’t benefit anybody.

4. Carson Wentz has had a grand total of two games in the last three years with a passer rating of 80 or below. That’s remarkable. That’s 31 of 33 games, or 94 percent, and that’s the highest percentage of any QB who’s made at least 16 starts since opening day 2017. That’s an incredible record of consistency, especially considering he played last year with a worsening back injury and the lack of help he’s gotten this year from his wide receivers. Here’s the top five by percentage:

94 percent: Carson Wentz (31/33)
92 percent: Patrick Mahomes (23/25)
88 percent: Drew Brees (30/34)
87 percent: Aaron Rodgers (27/31)
85 percent: Tom Brady (35/41)

5. Never take Jason Kelce for granted. The dude is 32, a two-time first-team all-pro and in his ninth season he’s playing at as high a level as he ever has. Since missing four games in 2014 with a sports hernia, he’s started 88 consecutive games, longest current streak among centers. An all-time great Eagle.  

6. It blows my mind that there are still fans out there — not a ton of them but enough to drive me crazy — clinging to this belief that the Eagles should have kept Nick Foles instead of Wentz, and they try to justify their misguided beliefs by constantly tearing Wentz down. We’ll all always love Foles for who he is and what he did, but the argument that Foles is somehow superior to Wentz because Foles won a Super Bowl with Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, and those guys are struggling this year with Wentz is laughable. Have you seen Jeffery? Have you seen Agholor? Do you honestly believe they’re the same players they were in 2017? Come on. Did Jeffery drop all those passes against the Bears because Wentz threw them? Did Agholor drop all those deep balls because Wentz threw them? Foles is a legend here. Always will be. You don’t need to tear down Wentz to prove it.

7. The top-10 career passer ratings at the Linc (minimum 50 attempts): 

118.3 — Tom Brady
112.1 — Kirk Cousins
100.0 — Carson Wentz
96.5 — Aaron Rodgers
96.5 — Matt Schaub
96.4 — Cam Newton
96.0 — Jon Kitna 
94.1 — Drew Brees
92.8 — Donovan McNabb
92.1 — Tony Romo

8. Which got me wondering about the highest passer ratings ever at the Vet! Here they are, thanks to Pro Football Reference:

95.9 — Boomer Esiason
89.6 — Sonny Jurgensen
89.2 — Kerry Collins
86.6 — Ty Detmer
86.5 — Chris Miller
85.3 — Jeff Hostetler
84.0 — Rich Gannon
80.5 — Donovan McNabb
80.3 —  Steve Pelluer
80.1 — Bubby Brister

(For the record, Peyton Manning had a 146.6 rating but only 49 attempts. Joe Montana had a 142.2 with 34 attempts.)

9. Where would you rank Brandon Graham all-time among Eagles defensive ends? For me, the top three are no-brainers … Reggie White, Clyde Simmons and Trent Cole. Then you have Hugh Douglas, Greg Brown and B.G. in a second group, and maybe William Fuller and Dennis Harrison. If you’re not familiar with Brown and Harrison, Harrison had three straight 10-sack seasons in the 1980s and made a Pro Bowl, and Brown had 41 1/2 sacks from 1983 through 1986. For me, the No. 4 spot comes down to Douglas and B.G. In his four full seasons in his first stint here — 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002, he had 49 1/2 sacks and made three Pro Bowl teams and an all-pro team for some very good teams. Graham is going to give you more against the run, and The Sack in the Super Bowl adds to his legacy. But Douglas had 54 1/2 sacks in 82 games with the Eagles, while B.G. has 48 1/2 in 136 games. I’ll put Douglas in the No. 4 spot and B.G. No. 5, with Brown and Harrison next. But B.G. isn’t done yet. There’s still time for him to move up.

10. I feel like JJ Arcega-Whiteside is going to be OK.  

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