Eagles

You don't want to see this report about Eagles' QB coach

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You don't want to see this report about Eagles' QB coach

Highly regarded Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo is expected to get a second interview for the Cardinals’ head coaching job, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

DeFilippo, in his second year as the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach, interviewed for the Bears' head coaching job that went to former Eagles assistant coach Matt Nagy. He’s already interviewed once for the Cards' job that opened up when Bruce Arians retired. 

The Eagles blocked DeFilippo from interviewing with the Jets last year for their offensive coordinator job, but they’re not allowed to block anybody from interviewing for a head coaching job.

Since the Eagles are playing in the NFC Championship Game, the Cards aren’t allowed to interview DeFilippo until either the Eagles have a bye week or they lose, so either way it would be Monday morning at the earliest.

DeFilippo, 39, is the son of former Villanova athletic director Gene DeFilippo and played high school football at Radnor High in Delaware County. He played college football at James Madison, and he had coaching stops at Fordham, Notre Dame, Columbia and San Jose State along with the Giants, Raiders, Jets and Browns before joining the Eagles.

DeFilippo’s stock skyrocketed this year as Carson Wentz emerged as one of the NFL’s top young quarterbacks in his second year.

It also hasn't hurt that Nick Foles, despite modest stats, has kept the Eagles winning in Wentz's absence. The Eagles are 4-0 since Wentz's injury in games with postseason implications.

Eagles injury update: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles day to day; big week for Alshon Jeffery

Eagles injury update: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles day to day; big week for Alshon Jeffery

Doug Pederson was pretty happy when he started his press conference on Wednesday morning. He knew there wouldn’t be any more questions about Carson Wentz’s health. 

“The galaxy is in balance now,” Pederson said. “You guys can relax.” 

Wentz will get the full complement of first-team reps this week and make his 2018 debut on Sunday against the Colts. 

But there were some other injury nuggets from Pederson’s press conference: 

Jay Ajayi

The Eagles’ lead running back got hit in his lower back during Sunday’s game and was in pain after he toughed it out. Just before he went to get some treatment, he said, “My s--- is f-----.” 

But, according to Pederson, Ajayi is day to day. “We’ll see where he’s at, at the end of the week,” Pederson said. He might be able to play. 

Darren Sproles

Pederson said Sproles (hamstring) is also day to day but is “a little bit longer.” That makes it seem likely the Eagles’ running back is more likely to miss his second straight week. 

Alshon Jeffery 

It doesn’t seem like Jeffery (shoulder) will play this weekend, but he is definitely getting closer to returning from that torn rotator cuff and subsequent surgery. 

“He’s a lot like Carson was a couple weeks ago, being able to get back into the mix and do some 11-on-11 stuff,” Pederson said. “This will be a big week in that regard.”

Getting Jeffery back in 11-on-11s is the step before getting him back for games. This is an important development. 

Jason Peters

The future Hall of Famer left Sunday’s game early with a quad injury he suffered during the previous week. Pederson said he expects to have The Bodyguard this week vs. the Colts. 

Jordan Matthews

The Eagles officially brought back their former draft pick on Wednesday morning. Matthews, when he was cut by the Patriots in August, was dealing with a hamstring issue, but is healthy now. Pederson said Matthews looked good in his workout and the doctors didn’t see any issues when they checked him out. 

Mike Wallace 

To make room for Matthews on the roster, the Eagles moved Wallace to IR with that fractured fibula. Pederson called him “week to week” but didn’t rule out a possible return later in the season. The Eagles are allowed to bring back two players from IR per season. They might have some decisions to make later this year.

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He's slow and boring, but Jordan Matthews is Eagles' best option

He's slow and boring, but Jordan Matthews is Eagles' best option

Jordan Matthews isn’t a big name, and he’s never been to a Pro Bowl, and he’s been cast off by three teams in the last 14 months, and honestly he was probably just about dead last on most Eagles fans’ wish list when it came to finding wide receiver help.

He’s not the fastest guy. He’s not the most exciting guy. He’s never been on a reality show or done sit-ups in his driveway or been suspended for a positive drug test.

He’s slow and boring.

For this Eagles team right now? He makes the most sense.

When you’re looking for a wide receiver who can come in and contribute immediately – and we can all agree the Eagles desperately need that – it doesn’t matter how many Pro Bowls a guy has been to or how big a name that guy is or how many Instagram followers he has.

You need someone who knows the playbook, who fits into a team’s culture, who has a history with the coaches and understands what they’re looking for, who has the QB’s trust.

Matthews has all of that, and now he’s apparently healthy enough to play.

And there’s no reason to doubt that he can go out as early as Sunday against the Colts and catch the football.

Of all the available options — and there weren't very many — he made the most sense.

Matthews is one of those guys a good portion of Eagles fans inexplicably have never liked.

I never got that.

He’s not a superstar and never will be. He doesn’t run a 4.2. But if there’s anything we learned from 2017 it’s that you don’t need a bunch of superstars to win a championship.

From 2014 through 2016, his three years here, Matthews averaged 75 catches, 891 yards and 6 ½ touchdowns. Only 11 other wide receivers matched that during that stretch.

You can’t argue with that sort of consistency.

Here’s a list of players with the most receptions in their first three NFL seasons:

288 … Odell Beckham Jr.
288 … Jarvis Landry
260 … A.J. Green
259 … Anquan Boldin
239 … DeAndre Hopkins
238 … Mike Evans
238 … LaDainian Tomlinson
230 … Larry Fitzgerald
226 … Brandon Marshall
226 … Randy Moss
225 … Jordan Matthews
224 … Isaac Bruce
224 … Michael Thomas
218 … Percy Harvin
216 … Keyshawn Johnson

There’s a reason quarterbacks love him. He’s solid, unselfish, smart, productive.

He’s not DeSean Jackson and never will be. He’s a different kind of player. A pure slot, a possession guy, a productive player who’s still only 26.

It made sense to trade him to the Bills last year in the Ronald Darby deal, and it makes just as much sense to bring him back.

He’ll help. He won’t show up on a bunch of highlight reels, but he’ll catch passes, which is exactly what this team needs.

I remember talking to Carson Wentz on the grass fields at training camp the morning after Matthews was traded. Wentz completed 73 passes for 804 yards and three TDs to Matthews as a rookie, and he was devastated at losing his favorite receiver:

"It's tough. You have to trust what they are doing upstairs. On the personal side, it's tough. It's someone that was one of my best friends. I spoke with Howie. He obviously knew how I felt with Jordan being one of my best friends. He knew that, he was prepared for that and I told him that."

Now he has him back, and anything that makes Carson happy should make Eagles fans happy.

The Eagles might not be a flashier team than they were yesterday.

But there’s no question they’re a better team.

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