Eagles

Chris Long supports Malcolm Jenkins during national anthem protest

Chris Long supports Malcolm Jenkins during national anthem protest

Updated: Friday, 1:41 a.m.

Chris Long supported his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, Thursday night by wrapping his left arm around Jenkins, who continued to raise his right fist in protest of racial injustice during the national anthem prior to the Eagles' preseason game against the Bills at Lincoln Financial Field.

Long's intention Thursday night was not immediately known. While he's been outspoken on Charlottesville, Virginia, he did not specify how he would conduct himself during the anthem.

Following the Eagles' 20-16 win, he explained his action.

"I've heard a lot of people say, 'Why do athletes get involved in the national anthem protests?' I've said before that I'll never kneel for an anthem because the flag means something different for everybody in this country, but I support my peers," Long said (see story). "If you don't see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don't think you'll ever see it.

"Malcolm is a leader and I'm here to show support as a white athlete."

Long and Jenkins both publicly criticized President Donald Trump's response to the racial tensions that resulted in the tragic violence and the death of Heather Heyer last weekend in Charlottesville, Long's hometown.

Last Sunday, Long touched on his comments by speaking to reporters, reiterating his disappointment in President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, where white nationalists held a "Unite the Right" rally in protest of the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

"Some people are tired of hearing me tweet because they want me to stick to football but I like to use social media like I was a regular guy because I think I am," Long said Sunday. "I don't tell people to stick to their job when they want to talk politics. And this isn't political. That's the thing. Everybody is trying to turn this political. This isn't a political issue. This is right or wrong. I believe you're on one side or the other. For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything. And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn't."

Last season, Jenkins began raising his fist during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice. Dating back to last season, Jenkins has openly supported quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who pioneered the protests by kneeling during the anthem before 49ers games.

Kaepernick, who has said he would stand during the anthem this season, remains a free agent, and Jenkins has been vocal on why he believes that's the case.

"This is just some other teams being, quite honestly, cowards, to say that they're afraid of backlash to sign someone to make their team better when fans' input has never been in the equation when it comes to signing people in the past," the Eagles' safety said earlier this month to DelawareOnline.com's Martin Frank.

"It's certain owners' way of making an example out of [Kaepernick] to discourage anybody else from doing what he did."

Prior to the Eagles' preseason opener against the Packers, Jenkins said he was uncertain if he would continue his anthem protests.

"It was a very effective demonstration in that regard, when it comes to starting conversation," Jenkins said. "It did exactly what it was supposed to do. But looking where we are compared to last year, I don't think we're any better. I think possibly worse. I think there's still a lot of work to be done. There's been a lot of work done by a lot of guys. It's one of those things that regardless of a demonstration or not, that work is going to continue."

10 Eagles observations, including the greatness of Reggie White

10 Eagles observations, including the greatness of Reggie White

A wild Nick Foles stat that has nothing to do with the Super Bowl, the miracle of the A.J. Feeley trade, the greatness of Reggie White and the bizarre career of Hank Baskett!

That's only a small sliver of the wonders that await you in this weekend's edition of Roob's 10 Random Offseason Eagles Observations! 

1. I can't even imagine an Eagles game without fans. I can imagine empty venues for other sports. I’ve watched some of those Korean baseball games over the past couple weeks and barely even notice there are no fans. Hockey and hoops, the crowds are more active and louder. But football? NFL? Eagles? The synergy between what’s happening on the field and the fans is so different in football than any other sport, and the old cliche about players feeding off the fans’ energy is very real. You can feel it. You can sense it. When the Linc erupts after an Eagles touchdown or big play, there’s literally nothing like it. It's not just cheering, it's an ocean of joyous noise that envelops your soul. I’d rather have Eagles football with no fans than no football at all, but I just can’t visualize Carson Wentz throwing a game-winning touchdown pass to Zach Ertz and … complete silence. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, it’s really going to be weird.   

2. One of the most amazing things about Nick Foles’ Eagles career has nothing to do with the Super Bowl or even the 2017 season. In 2013, Foles threw 27 touchdown passes in just 317 attempts. That’s the fewest attempts by any QB throwing at least 27 TDs in the last 44 years.

3. When I was putting together the all-time Eagles Never-Made-a-Pro Bowl teams last week, I was reminded of what Ron Baker said the day he announced his retirement at JFK Stadium at the start of training camp in the summer of 1989. Baker, a solid right guard, had played 11 NFL seasons as a 10th-round pick, the last nine seasons with the Eagles. He and Roynell Young were the only guys who played in the 1980 Super Bowl and were still with the Eagles in 1988 for the Fog Bowl. But when a 34-year-old Baker showed up for camp in 1989 and saw the Eagles’ depth chart, he knew it was time: “When I looked at the depth chart, I saw that I was on the fourth team, and I’ve been around long enough to know there is no fourth team.” And with that, he hung up the cleats and never looked back. Class act, Ron Baker.  

4. From 1997 through 1999, Sean Payton, John Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, Doug Pederson, Bill Callahan, Ron Rivera and Andy Reid were all with the Eagles as a player or coach. All seven became Super Bowl head coaches and all but Rivera and Callahan won. Those three teams Eagles teams? They went 14-33-1. 

5. The last time the Cowboys won playoff games in consecutive seasons was 1995 and 1996. The last time they even reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons was 2006 and 2007. 

6. I think back to training camp in 2011 when every fan in attendance at Lehigh could hear new defensive line coach Jim Washburn constantly berating and insulting his players in a way that was so inappropriate and so offensive and so demeaning I’m surprised Andy Reid let it continue. This went way beyond a coach being a hard-ass or a strict disciplinarian. This was awful. Reid finally fired Washburn halfway through the 2012 season, but a lot of damage had been done. I wouldn’t want that guy coaching my worst enemy.

7. Reggie White had 33 games as an Eagle with two or more sacks. Only six other Eagles have had 33 games with at least one sack.

8. It still blows my mind that the Eagles were able to trade A.J. Feeley to the Dolphins for a 2nd-round pick — a very high 2nd-round pick — after the 2003 season. What had A.J. done to convince the Dolphins he was their QB of the future? In 2002 he went 4-1 in relief of an injured Donovan McNabb, although he had just five TDs and five INTs and a modest 72.6 passer rating in those games. Nonetheless, the Dolphins not only traded the Eagles a 2nd-round pick, they gave A.J. a $3 million signing bonus when they restructured his deal. Feeley went 3-5 with 11 TDs and 15 INTs in eight starts in Miami before the Dolphins gave up on him, benching and eventually releasing him. The Eagles drafted Reggie Brown with the pick they got from the Dolphins — the 35th pick overall in 2005 — and Feeley wound up rejoining the Eagles and even threw a TD to Brown in a game against the Patriots. The Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since making that trade.

9. Before last year, only four players in Eagles history had netted 150 yards both rushing and receiving over the last four games of a season (Wilbert Montgomery twice, Keith Byars in 1988, Herschel Walker in 1993 and Brian Westbrook twice). Last year, both Miles Sanders AND Boston Scott did it, making the Eagles the first team in NFL history with that distinction. Doug Pederson’s ability to effectively use both backs as receivers and runners with the wide receiver cupboard bare was a crucial dimension of the Eagles’ 4-0 finish. It will be interesting to see how Doug deploys his backs this year with presumably an upgraded wide receiving corps because they sure look like a lethal combination. Scott needs a role in this offense. 

10. Gotta finish with a great Hank Baskett stat! The fact that Baskett is one of only five players in NFL history with three career touchdown catches of at least 85 yards is one of the strangest things in football history. Hank only had three other touchdown catches in his career, none longer than 10 yards. He actually had three TD catches of at least 87 yards but NONE between 11 and 86 yards. That’s absurd.

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Howie Roseman’s 5 best trades as Eagles GM

Howie Roseman’s 5 best trades as Eagles GM

Howie Roseman is never afraid to be aggressive when it comes to making trades. 

Some of them work and some of them don’t. 

Roseman spent most of the last decade in charge of every Eagles trade. He has been the Eagles’ GM or de facto GM from 2010-14 and 2016-now. 

Here’s my ranking of the top five trades in Roseman’s time as the Eagles’ GM:

5. Trading Kevin Kolb to Arizona 

Back in July of 2011, the Eagles shipped Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick. While with the Eagles, Kolb had started just seven games and with the emergence of Mike Vick had become expendable. So the Eagles flipped him to the Cardinals who were banking on the hope that Kolb could become their guy. 

Kolb started 14 games for the Cardinals over the next two seasons. He had a 6-8 record and 17 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Kolb was out of the league not long after because of post-concussion syndrome. 

Meanwhile, the Eagles got DRC, who played two years in Philly. They also got the 51st selection in the draft, which they turned into Vinny Curry (at 59) and Brandon Boykin (at 123). 

4. Cutting ties with Donovan McNabb 

Roseman was the Eagles’ GM for technically just a few months before the Eagles traded away the best quarterback in franchise history. While the credit for this move should undoubtedly go to Andy Reid, Roseman was a part of it. It wasn’t just that the Eagles got back three draft picks, including a 2nd-rounder, when they traded him away on Easter Sunday, it was that they made the shrewd decisions to move on from McNabb when they spotted the decline. 

The Eagles used the three picks they got from Washington on Nate Allen, Trevor Laws and Quintin Demps. Meanwhile, McNabb played just 13 games with the Redskins in 2010 and was out of the league two years later. 

3. Trading for Darren Sproles 

In March of 2014, the Eagles were able to send a 5th-round pick to New Orleans for Sproles, who was one of the most exciting offensive weapons and return men in the league. While Sproles was good in New Orleans and San Diego before that, he ended up being a Pro Bowler in each of his first three seasons with the Eagles. Sproles put together a borderline Hall of Fame career and the Eagles got the best seasons from him. 

Meanwhile, the Saints used that 4th-round pick on linebacker Ronald Powell, who lasted one year in New Orleans. 

2. Dumping Sam Bradford  

With the 2016 season days away, the Eagles decided that Carson Wentz was ready to be their starter. The problem was that they still had Bradford under contract and had been preparing him to start. But Teddy Bridgewater suffered a horrific injury on Aug. 30 and the Vikings found themselves in desperate need of a starting quarterback. 

Give the Eagles a ton of credit here: They were very opportunistic. They were able to get back a first-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2017. Remember, the Eagles weren’t supposed to have a first-round pick in 2017 after trading up to get Wentz, so this move recovered that pick. 

Eventually, that first-rounder became Derek Barnett and that fourth-rounder became Josh Sweat. Bradford played in 17 games for the Vikings in 2016-17 and posted a 9-8 record. 

1. Unloading Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso 

The trade with Miami in 2016 was the first step toward the Eagles’ landing Carson Wentz at No. 2. They unloaded two players who weren’t in their future to move up from the 13th draft pick to the 8th. This trade put them in a position to eventually trade up to the No. 2 spot to get Wentz. The price to trade up from 8 to 2 was steep — ultimately it was worth it — but the master stroke was moving two players they didn’t want as the first step to getting their franchise quarterback. 

This is a trade Roseman has talked about a lot. It came together because of Roseman’s long-standing relationship with then-Dolphins GM Mike Tannenbaum and began at the NFL combine that year. It wasn’t a complete loss for the Dolphins as Alonso played three full seasons for them, but Maxwell was cut two games into the 2017 season. 

Honorable mentions: Trading for DeMeco Ryans, Trading for Jay Ajayi, trading for Tim Jernigan, dumping DeMarco Murray. 

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