Jim Schwartz gets another cog in an already impressive defensive front four in Michael Bennett, who fits the scheme Schwartz wants to run.
Bennett can play both defensive end and tackle at a Pro Bowl level. Bennett’s pass rush, I would say, mainly consists of moves that come from his power. The initial step is always toward the QB, which forces the O-lineman to punch or grab him. As an OL myself, I wanted to be the first to initiate contact because I knew the snap count and the direction I wanted the defender to go. Bennett is so explosive and physical with his first step that he forces the issue. It's constant pressure on the O-line, always working toward the ball.
Bennett also has very good hands. Good pass rushers never allow an O-lineman to get his hands on them. (Hand-to-hand combat in the trenches is where the game is won on passing downs.) Bennett is pretty good at using Mr. Miyagi's wax-on, wax-off technique as he knocks an O-lineman's hands off of him on his way to the QB.
The Eagles will use Bennett across the defensive line at every position but probably the most at DT. With the probable departure of Beau Allen to free agency, depth would have been a problem. Not anymore.
There will be serious competition at the starting DT opposite of Fletcher Cox. Yes, Tim Jernigan earned his extension last year, but Bennett will push to be a starter. Schwartz rewards results with more playing time and Bennett is good enough to compete as a starter in the middle at DT.
From an X's and O's breakdown, Bennett can be a major factor in the middle on pass-rush downs. On third down, the Eagles like to use Nascar personnel — three defensive ends and Cox. It’s hard to imagine being an offensive coordinator game-planning which D-lineman to double-team and which to chip with a running back. Which way do you slide the protection?
Think about the Eagles D-line rotation OCs will have to prepare for. You'll have Brandon Graham-Cox-Jernigan-Derek Barnett or Graham-Cox-Bennett-Barnett or Chris Long-Bennett-Graham-Barnett. Prepare for a lot of QB-crushing hits from a top-notch defensive line that just got even more versatile.
We now officially know Carson Wentz will be somewhere in the top 10 of the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2018.
We just don’t know where he’ll land.
As far as the other Eagles on the list, the Super Bowl champions weren’t extremely well-represented: 68. Zach Ertz, 69. Fletcher Cox, 95. Lane Johnson, 96. Malcolm Jenkins.
Before tearing his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles, it seemed like Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. In 13 games, Wentz threw for over 3,200 yards and a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes.
Wentz is the only player in the top 10 who has never been anywhere on the top 100 list before. Can he go from off the list to No. 1?
Here’s the list of players (in alphabetical order) who will be unveiled in the top 10 on Monday night.
- Le'Veon Bell
- Tom Brady
- Drew Brees
- Antonio Brown
- Aaron Donald
- Todd Gurley
- Julio Jones
- Von Miller
- Aaron Rodgers
- Carson Wentz
In the comments below, leave your top 10 in order. We’ll see how close everyone can get.
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Carson Wentz held his inaugural AO1 Foundation softball game earlier this month and the event was a huge success, raising over $850,000 for charity.
Saturday afternoon, another Eagles player has a charity softball game.
This time, green-haired cornerback Jalen Mills will take over FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. The home run derby starts at 1 p.m. and the softball game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Tickets are still available.
According to the website, the game will help benefit the National Youth Foundation.
As for the list of players and celebrities, several of Mills’ current and former teammates are expected to show.
Here’s the full list provided on the website:
Other NFL players
Musical artist Fat Boy SSE
Former Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis
Philly rapper Gillie Da Kid
Competitive eater Notorious B.O.B.
Sports agent Drew Rosenhaus
Radio host DJ Diamond Kuts
Super fan Barry “The Hatchet” Vagnoni
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