Eagles

Zach Brown enjoying Eagles' locker room dynamic which he says differs from Washington in one big way

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Zach Brown enjoying Eagles' locker room dynamic which he says differs from Washington in one big way

Zach Brown admits free agency didn’t go as expected. Who would’ve thought a 29-year-old Pro Bowl linebacker with 64 starts, 633 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 7 interceptions in seven NFL seasons would still be on the street in May?

But once the Eagles became interested, none of that mattered to Brown.

“When my agent told me that the Eagles called, I was like, ‘Cancel everything else. Don’t even take calls from anybody else. I want to go there,’” said Brown after Monday’s practice.

It was the first time Brown spoke to reporters since signing with the Eagles one month earlier, and the first time he practiced in front of reporters during OTAs, taking first- and second-team reps at outside linebacker. He doesn’t know where he’ll be lining up come September, but he’s learning everything and will play wherever he’s needed.

Brown wasn’t as concerned about his specific role as he was landing in a better situation than he came from in Washington.

So far, so good with the Eagles.

“It feels different when you walk into the building,” said Brown. “It’s a different mentality. Everybody comes to work. You joke around on the sideline, but you still paying attention and you’re out there doing your job.”

“They want to win. It’s not, ‘Oh you’re rebuilding.’ Nah. They’re trying to get back to the game, and I’m trying to get there.”

Having never played in the postseason, the opportunity to win was clearly a plus for Brown. He noted the Eagles have one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Carson Wentz, one of the best tight ends in Zach Ertz and a good offense all around.

Playing under Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in a defense that can pressure opposing passers while rushing four was attractive to Brown as well. It doesn't seem likely that he will be competing with Kamu Grugier-Hill and fellow 2019 free agent pickup L.J. Forte for one of two outside spots alongside Nigel Bradham.

“I like Schwartz because everywhere Schwartz goes he’ll always have a good defense,” said Brown. “Even when he was at Buffalo (in 2014), the defense was crazy. And it’s not like he asks a lot of you to do all this crazy ‘go out at receiver’ or something like that.”

From a desire to win and X’s and O’s standpoints, joining the Eagles was a no-brainer.

Yet, Brown also enjoys clowning around having fun with his teammates. He tried to get a laugh out of Boston Scott while the Eagles running back gave an interview at the locker next to his. He reminisced about Ertz having a big game against Washington last season, but made sure to point out he wasn’t covering the tight end.

The tone is a lot different in the Eagles locker room compared to Washington, which meshes much better with Brown’s lighthearted attitude.

“Nobody has a problem with anybody,” said Brown. “Everybody is cool.

“This locker room is different from the locker room I came from. There’s no cliques. It’s one big clique. I can talk over there and mess with the linemen, talk with them, chit chat, play cornhole. The running backs are right here, so I always give them s***.”

Brown has even settled his trash talk beef with Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson, whose locker is directly across the room from his.

“I was messing around with him all last week,” said Brown. “There ain’t nothing wrong with good competition, but me and Lane, he’s right there so we talk, chit chat every time. Good person.”

Now, the trash talk is aimed in the opposite direction, though Brown said little inflammatory about his former team of two seasons, coming across as more interested in looking ahead with the Eagles.

All Brown had to say is Washington views the division rivalry a little differently than they do the Eagles.

“That’s all they talk about,” Brown said of Washington. “‘Oh the Eagles, oh this, oh that.’ But the Eagles, they’re worrying about — we’re worrying about winning a championship here."

“Of course, it should be known there’s nothing wrong with a little revenge.”


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Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Can Boston Scott keep it going?

Eagles 2020 breakout candidate: Can Boston Scott keep it going?

Over the next two weeks, we’re taking a look at 10 Eagles players who might be primed for a breakout season in 2020. 

Up first: Boston Scott 

Age: 25

How acquired: Signed off Saints practice squad in December 2018 

Entering: Year 3 

Some would argue that Scott already broke out against the Giants in Week 17, when he had three rushing touchdowns and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, but now we need to see Scott play at a high level consistently. 

There’s been a lot of buzz around the Eagles’ possibly adding a veteran free agent running back to the mix, but even if they do, Scott should still have a chance to have a significant role with the Eagles. Will he do enough to be the true No. 2 after Miles Sanders? 

It certainly seems like he has that potential. And a Sanders-Scott 1-2 punch could be a long-term thing if he continues to progress. 

Remember, for as good as Scott was at times in the 2019 season, he still has just 61 career carries. But what was certainly encouraging was the way Scott played down the stretch when the Eagles needed him to show up. In the last four games of the regular season, Scott had 151 yards rushing and 199 yards receiving; he averaged 87.5 scrimmage yards per game during that span. 

And despite his limited height (5-6), Scott has a nose for the end zone. That natural leverage and his stout build (he’s listed at 203 pounds) help him score touchdowns. He scored five touchdowns on 61 carries in 2020 and three of them were 2-yarders. 

On runs where the Eagles needed 1 to 5 yards for a first down, Scott converted 12 times, including 4 touchdowns. 

During last season, Scott showed off his versatile set of skills. He’s a good runner between the tackles, but has the ability to be shifty in open space, catch out of the backfield and even return kicks and punts. 

Scott was originally selected in the 6th round by the Saints out of Louisiana Tech in the 2018 draft. The Eagles’ signed him off the Saints’ practice squad in Week 15 back in 2018. 

At Louisiana Tech, Scott in his senior season had 1,228 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns, while also handling kick return duties his last three years. He had just 32 receptions in college but it’s a part of his game that was underutilized back then. He ended up with 24 catches in his second NFL season once he finally got on the field. 

Scott began the 2019 season on the Eagles’ practice squad but was called up in October and ended up being a big reason the Birds got into the playoffs. 

Last season, Scott ended up third on the team in all-purpose yards with 721. But there’s still room for growth and it’s up to Scott to solidify his role in 2020. 

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Emotional Nick Foles opens up on George Floyd death

Emotional Nick Foles opens up on George Floyd death

Saying he’s been “torn up” this week, Nick Foles tweeted out a message of inclusion Sunday afternoon, joining the growing number of pro athletes urging racial tolerance and understanding during an increasingly tense time in the U.S.

Foles, the Super Bowl MVP for the Eagles two years ago, tweeted out a lengthy message saying his “heart is with the black and brown communities and the family of George Floyd. (His wife) Tori and I are constantly praying for y’all.”

Floyd died on Monday following an encounter with Minneapolis police.

Here’s part of what the Bears’ quarterback tweeted:

My favorite part of playing football has not been winning a Super Bowl or running the Philly Special. It has been to Glorify God and to play with men from all different backgrounds and races. To use football as an example … the beautiful thing about playing football has been the diversity within the locker room. Men come together to achieve the common goal of winning games no matter what their background. To do that they must love one another, genuinely. It becomes a real brotherhood. I’ve been a part of some special teams. The special teams did not always have the best playbook but they did have the strongest brotherhood. Sports show us what is possible when we stop looking at the difference in skin color and look at the heart of an individual. Christ tells us to love our neighbor. No matter how they look or what their color of skin is we are to genuinely love one another. Football shows us that this is possible and it is truly a beautiful thing when it is from the heart. To all my brother and sisters in the black and brown communities, Tori and I dearly love y’all and we are here to walk alongside y’all and to listen.

Foles went on to quote two Bible verses preaching equality and added, “We are to not just read this verse but to live it out.”

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