Eagles

Hey, Jim Schwartz, why was Zach Brown released?

Hey, Jim Schwartz, why was Zach Brown released?

A day after the Eagles released starting linebacker Zach Brown, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wasn’t all that interested in explaining why. 

“Well, that’s probably more of a question for Doug (Pederson) and Howie (Roseman),” Schwartz said on Tuesday afternoon. “I will say this: We need more production from our linebacker position in general.”

Schwartz also mentioned that Kamu Grugier-Hill has been getting healthier coming back from his MCL sprain and it seems like he’s ready to take back his more significant role in the defense. A starting three of Nigel Bradham, Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry is probably what we’re looking at going forward, depending on the severity of Bradham’s ankle injury. During training camp, Bradham and Grugier-Hill were the Eagles’ linebackers in their nickel package. 

Still, it certainly seems unusual that the Eagles cut Brown a day after he played 58 defensive snaps (82 percent) against the Vikings. Brown, 29, started every game for the Eagles through six weeks. 

So was there something specific that happened to lead to Brown’s release? 

“I’ll just leave that to those guys,” Schwartz said. “They can address those roster decisions.” 

Of course, Brown did trash talk about Kirk Cousins heading into last weekend and then Cousins threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles. Perhaps that had something to do with his release, but that’s just speculation at this point. Pederson’s next press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. 

Schwartz was also asked specifically about a role for rookie T.J. Edwards, who has played just 12 defensive snaps all season. Schwartz said the release of Brown could “maybe” mean more of a role for the rookie from Wisconsin. 

“All that kid has done when we put him in the game is made the plays that have come to him,” Schwartz said. “He’s been physical, he’s been a sure tackler and he’s been assignment-sound. Those are all three good things to be said about a linebacker.”

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Add Ronald Darby to the list of injured Eagles

Add Ronald Darby to the list of injured Eagles

Starting cornerback Ronald Darby popped up on the Eagles’ injury report Friday with a hip flexor strain and is questionable for the Eagles’ game Sunday against the Redskins.

Darby wasn’t on the injury report Wednesday or Thursday and was a full participant in practice. He’s listed as a limited participant on Friday, which likely means he either got hurt during practice or an injury he suffered Monday night against the Giants got worse.

In either case, it’s yet another injury for an injury-riddled team. The only defensive players to start all 13 games are Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Rodney McLeod.

The Eagles do have some depth at cornerback, since they’re carrying seven corners on the 53-man roster.

Jalen Mills is expected to be OK for Sunday after hurting his elbow in the Giants game. He was a full participant on Friday after being limited on Thursday.

Rasul Douglas would likely be the starter opposite Mills if Darby can’t play. Douglas has started 17 games in his three-year career, including five earlier this year.

Avonte Maddox can play outside but has been in the slot for the nine games he’s been healthy, averaging 46 snaps per game. Sidney Jones, who started four games earlier this year, is also available. Cre’Von LeBlanc is being brought back slowly after being on IR most of the year, and Craig James hasn’t played a defensive snap in nearly two months.

Darby missed half of the 2017 season with an ankle injury, half of last year with a torn ACL and four games earlier this year with a hamstring injury. He’s played only 29 of a possible 50 games since he got here in the summer of 2017.

The Eagles have don’t have a cornerback who’s played defense in every game this year. They’ve used eight different combinations of starting corners in 13 games.

The Eagles signed the 25-year-old Darby to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. He has two interceptions in nine starts.

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Eagles vs. Redskins 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

Eagles vs. Redskins 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

The Eagles (6-7) are visiting the Redskins (3-10) at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon. 
 
Here’s everything you need to know:  

•12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
•1 p.m.: Eagles at Redskins on FOX 
•4 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP 
•10 p.m.: Birds Outsiders on NBCSP 
 
The FOX broadcast crew for this game is Thom Brennaman (play by play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline). You can also stream the game on FuboTV.
 
Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP. 
 
The Eagles opened as 6-point favorites in some places but that has slipped to around 4 1/2 points. The over/under is 39. 

The referee for Eagles-Redskins is second-year referee Shawn Smith. This is his first game reffing an Eagles game. The Eagles were 2-1 with him as an umpire in 2016 and 2017. 

Keep it going

The Eagles got off to a terrible start against the Giants last week before they turned it around, scoring the last 20 points of the game and getting a huge overtime win. So which team shows up on Sunday? The team that fell behind 17-3 to the Giants or the team that rallied to a win? 

It’ll be key for the Eagles to find what works for Carson Wentz in this game a little earlier. They got him into rhythm last week, but that didn’t happen until the third drive of the third quarter. 

No receivers left 

The Eagles began the season with DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. That was nice for that one game. Going into Week 15, with Agholor’s status uncertain, the Eagles’ top three receivers might be J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and Rob Davis. Not exactly what the Eagles had in mind this offseason. 

A rookie QB 

The last time the Eagles faced Washington, in the opener, Case Keenum was the starter. So this will be their first time facing rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. While the Redskins have won two of three, they’re still a mess of an organization, so who knows what the future holds for Haskins. They have an interim coach and it’s possible the next head coach will want to pick his quarterback, which could leave Haskins in limbo. But there’s also a possibly Haskins is still their long-term QB. It’ll be interesting to see what happens down there.  

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