Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Torrey Smith owns up to not falling on fumble

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Torrey Smith owns up to not falling on fumble

It didn't look good and Torrey Smith knows it. 

As the ball rolled on the grass just in front of the 50-yard line at FedEx Field, and as players from both sides, including Carson Wentz, tried to jump on it, Smith stood and watched. 

That's when Washington linebacker Mason Foster grabbed the loose ball to give his team great field position in a game that still could have gone either way. 

"Oh gosh," Smith said when asked Thursday about what happened on the fumble. "First of all, I didn't know it was a fumble and that's why I didn't jump on it, which is pretty stupid because everything tells you, you pick it up regardless of what the situation is."

After the play was over and after the ref signaled that it was Washington's ball, replays show Smith standing over the play as a bunch of Washington players celebrated around him. 

"Yeah, you feel stupid," Smith said. "Like, 'Come on, man' type. It goes against everything you're coached to do. I just thought that it was high and [Nelson Agholor] dropped it. I didn't realize it was a fumble." 

A part of the reason the play even resulted in a fumble was that Smith wasn't able to block cornerback Kendall Fuller at the onset of the player. He explained that Thursday too. 

Smith said he was watching the ball for the snap because, being in a loud road stadium, he couldn't hear the cadence. Just before the snap, Fuller shifted to his left and while Smith saw it out of the corner of his eye, he didn't want to move and get called for offsides.

"And by the time I looked out, he's flying, ready to blow right by me," Smith said. 

At least Smith owned up to his mistakes because it certainly didn't look very good at the time. 

Bringing in a spy?
When the Eagles signed former Kansas City cornerback De'Vante Bausby this week, it was nearly impossible for everyone who heard the news to not roll their eyes.

They signed a spy? 

Bausby smiled before the question was finished. He knew it was coming and couldn't help but laugh. 

"They actually didn't even need me, honestly, " he said Thursday. "Because our assistant DB coach (Dino Vasso), he was like the brainiac over there in Kansas City. He knows everything. And Doug Pederson used to be the OC. I wasn't needed. They already had that figured out."

Still, Bausby said the coaching staff did ask him a few questions about specific receivers, but he didn't ask him any technical questions about the Chiefs' defense.  

The Eagles actually gave Bausby a workout last week and then decided to sign him this week, perhaps brought on by the injury to Ronald Darby. After spending training camp with the Chiefs, Bausby has spent the last couple weeks without a team and without actually playing football. He was a little sore two days in. 

Down with the deep ball
The Eagles weren't able to connect on most of their deep balls in their season opener. In fact, Carson Wentz completed just one of his six passes that went 20-plus yards in the air. That one was to Agholor for the 58-yard touchdown. 

He was close to hitting Smith a few times but they couldn't quite connect. Still, just the threat of going deep should have an impact on the Eagles' offense and how defenses try to stop them. 

"They'll respect it," Smith said. "They'll have to. If they don't, then hopefully we dial it up a lot." 

When offensive coordinator Frank Reich was asked about the effect those deep balls have, he got a little more technical. He explained how important it was to have someone run a long post route behind deep crosses. The reason there is to keep the free safety honest. If there's no threat of going deep over the top, the safety is going to "drive" up toward the underneath patterns. He can't do that if Smith is running deep posts and has the potential to go for a long touchdown. 

The players who will benefit most from the deep balls are going to be the ones catching passes on shorter routes in the middle of the field. Basically, those deep patterns just open up the field. Eventually, the Eagles will need to hit on them but for now, defenses at least know they have it in their arsenal. Reich noted that defensive coordinators watching the film from the opener will see that. 

"I think you saw it a little bit," Wentz said. "I think you'll see it even more going forward, things open up. Obviously, we missed a couple down the field to Torrey. We just have to get on the same page. I gotta hit him on those ones. 

"But if nothing else, people saw that Torrey can get behind the defense and I think it's going to open up some things even more going forward for guys like Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor in the slot, Darren Sproles underneath. I think that's kind of the name of our game. We just have to find the right balance of taking those shots and staying underneath."

Light in the wallet
Eagles backup linebacker Joe Walker was fined $24,309 for a hit early in the fourth quarter on a punt against Washington. He was flagged for unecessary roughness on the play when he came in late and hit Jamison Crowder, who was already on the ground. Walker has a base salary of $540,000 this season, so this fine is about 4.5 percent of his salary in 2017. 

Roob Knows: A Billboard's chart topper and a huge Eagles fan

Reuben Frank

Roob Knows: A Billboard's chart topper and a huge Eagles fan

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank discusses Carson Wentz's character through his injury rehab. He takes a look at the Eagles' running back depth. Also, Roob chats with Mondo Cozmo's lead man Josh Ostrander. His single "Shine" hit number one on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart in January 2017. Ostrander, a Philly native and big Eagles fan, shares his journey and experiencing an Eagles Super Bowl championship.

"He's going to play opening day. I'll go as far as saying I'll be surprised right now if Carson Wentz is not the Eagles starting quarterback on opening day."

1:00 - Carson Wentz's character is unique.
5:00 - Doug Pederson has handled this offseason perfectly.
10:00 - Eagles' running back situation
15:00 - Roob Knows unbelievable stats.
17:00 - Roob's interview with Josh Ostrander of Mondo Cozmo.
19:00 - Josh's memories of the Super Bowl run.
22:00 - Josh's crazy path in music.
31:00 - Josh's Philly roots are still important to him.

Subscribe and rate Roob Knows: Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Art19

NFL players, including Malcolm Jenkins, respond to Trump’s request

USA Today Images

NFL players, including Malcolm Jenkins, respond to Trump’s request

You might remember earlier this month, when President Donald Trump acknowledged one of the reasons some NFL players have been demonstrating during the national anthem and asked for suggestions for names of people to pardon (see story).

As a reminder, this is what Trump said back on June 8: 

“I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system,” Trump said. “And I understand that. And I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated — friends of theirs or people that they know about — and I’m going to take a look at those applications. And if I find, and my committee finds that they are unfairly treated, then we will pardon them or at least let them out (of prison).”

Players — at least the Players Coalition, including Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins — responded to that request from the president today in an op-ed in the New York Times

The main idea of the op-ed was that the President’s power to pardon people can certainly help, but it doesn’t change the criminal justice system or help combat systemic racism. 

Here’s part of the op-ed, penned by Jenkins, Doug Baldwin, Anquan Boldin and Benjamin Watson, four members of the Players Coalition made up of NFL players: 

President Trump recently made an offer to National Football League players like us who are committed to protesting injustice. Instead of protesting, he suggested, we should give him names of people we believe were ‘unfairly treated by the justice system.’ If he agrees they were treated unfairly, he said, he will pardon them.

To be sure, the president’s clemency power can be a valuable tool for redressing injustice. Just look at Alice Johnson, age 63, who was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction until her sentence was commuted by President Trump. He should be commended for using his clemency power in that case.

But a handful of pardons will not address the sort of systemic injustice that N.F.L. players have been protesting. These are problems that our government has created, many of which occur at the local level. If President Trump thinks he can end these injustices if we deliver him a few names, he hasn’t been listening to us.

That’s just a very small part of the full op-ed. To read the whole thing, click here

The rest of the piece gets into more specific instances where the players think the criminal justice system should be overhauled and ask the president to use his power to help change it. 

An interesting note toward the bottom of the piece tells Trump, “Our being professional athletes has nothing to do with our commitment to fighting injustice. We are citizens who embrace the values of empathy, integrity and justice, and we will fight for what we believe is right.”

While that might be true, these players have a platform because of their ability on the football field. One they’re using to try to make positive changes in the country. 

Several players, including Eagles defensive end Chris Long and former Eagles receiver Torrey Smith, along with Jenkins, also posted video responses to Trump’s request: 

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