Eagles

Instant Replay: Eagles 14, Jets 6

Instant Replay: Eagles 14, Jets 6

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The Eagles' preseason championship parade will be held at noon on Broad Street this Saturday.

Get there early to reserve a spot.

With most starters sitting on Thursday night at the Linc, the Eagles topped the New York Jets, 14-6, to wrap up their preseason with a perfect 4-0 record.

Of course, the preseason record is in no way an indicator of regular-season success. The 2008 Lions infamously went 0-16 after winning all four of their preseason games that year. The Eagles last went undefeated in the preseason in 2012, then promptly finished that year with a 4-12 record and a fired coach.

The Eagles kick off the regular season in 10 days at the Linc.

With Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz sitting on Thursday night, the quarterback duties belonged to Chase Daniel and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. WILL linebacker Mychal Kendricks was the only starter to play.

The Daniel report
Not a great outing for the Eagles’ $7 million backup quarterback. Daniel went 14 for 22 for 131 yards and two interceptions and a passer rating of 42.0 (see 10 observations).

The Eagles’ best offensive drive of the first half was an eight-play drive that went 64 yards before Daniel threw a ball directly at a linebacker that was tipped and intercepted. It looked like he simply didn’t see the linebacker. The second interception came when there was a big rush up the gut. Daniel tried to get rid of the ball but threw it directly at Taiwan Jones. Daniel’s arm strength didn’t look great on Thursday.

Starting O-line
With the normal starters not playing, the O-line to begin the game was (from left to right): Matt Tobin, Josh Andrews, Barrett Jones, Darrell Greene, Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The line gave up just one sack, but allowed Daniel to get hit a few times. Greene, whom the Eagles reportedly paid a lot to sign with the team, really struggled. The Eagles had just three rushing yards in the first half.

Notorious DGB
Dorial-Green Beckham didn’t play very long on Thursday night, but had back-to-back catches of 16 and 15 yards on that 64-yard drive. Solid performance from him.

Turner time
How can the Eagles possibly justify not keeping Paul Turner on the roster at this point? The undrafted rookie from Louisiana Tech has been the team’s most consistent receiver all preseason. He kept it up on Thursday with six catches for 66 yards and added in a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. He’s gotta make the 53-man roster, right?  

Deciphering the defensive end battle
If Steven Means doesn’t make the Eagles’ roster, he’ll be on a different roster. He’s been playing at such a high level this preseason. The Jets’ offensive line was no match for Means on Thursday night. Marcus Smith played well early, too, with two big tackles for loss. Perhaps there will be room for both of them on the roster (see story).

Pick-6
Ed Reynolds is probably still behind Jaylen Watkins in the safety battle, but his 90-yard interception return for a touchdown on a Christian Hackenberg pass didn't hurt. Reynolds almost had another one in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t haul it in.

Burnt deep
JaCorey Shepherd, a rookie last year, played in his first NFL game on Thursday night and was burnt for a 44-yard touchdown by former Temple star Robby Anderson. Shepherd just hasn’t looked like the same guy we saw during last year’s training camp.

Lane sits
An interesting development on Thursday was that right tackle Lane Johnson, who was expected to play some, didn’t play at all. Johnson is expecting a 10-game PED suspension, but it hasn’t been handed down yet, so it appears the Eagles are starting to prepare for him to be available in the opener (see story).

Doug Pederson said during the week that Johnson will start at right tackle in the opener if he’s available.

Everyone stands
It looked like every Eagle stood during the pregame national anthem on Thursday night. Rookie Myke Tavarres originally told ESPN he was planning on protesting by sitting during the anthem, but changed his mind. He didn’t change it back.

Injuries
Tight end M.J. McFarland left the game early with a knee injury and did not return.

Several players didn’t play on Thursday but are expected to be ready for the opener. Vinny Curry (knee), Taylor Hart (knee, ankle), Isaac Seumalo (pec) and Carson Wentz (ribs) are expected back by the opener. Rookie running back Wendell Smallwood is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Up next
The Eagles must cut the roster from 75 to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday. After that, it’s time to prepare for the regular-season opener at the Linc on Sept. 11 against the Browns.

Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

When the Eagles signed Will Parks, who grew up at 2nd and Allegheny and attended since-shuttered Germantown High School, it got me wondering how many Philadelphia natives have played for the Eagles.

The answer is not many. Especially recently.

Going back to 1940, we found 14 Philly natives who played in at least one regular-season game for the Eagles.

We’re not including players from the suburbs [Vince Papale, Josh Adams, Matt Bahr] or Philly natives the Eagles drafted who never got into a game [Raheem Brock, Steve Ebbeke].

Anybody missing?

SHAREEF MILLER [2019]: You don’t have to go very far back to find the last Philly native to play for the Eagles. Miller, their 4th-round pick last year, graduated from George Washington High up in Somerton, and he did play for the Eagles last year – two special teams snaps against the Bills.

BRUCE PERRY [2005-06]: Perry, also a George Washington graduate, was the Eagles’ 7th-round pick in 2004. He played five games with the Eagles and had 16 career carries. On the last day of the 2005 season, he ran 15 times for 70 yards against the Redskins, a 4.7 average. He never had another NFL carry.

UHURU HAMITER [2001-02]: Hamiter was a defensive end who played at Mastbaum High in Kensington, leading the Panthers to the 1996 Public League championship. After playing at Delaware State, he went undrafted in 1998, but he signed with the London Monarchs of the World League and had seven sacks. The Eagles brought him into training camp that summer, and although he didn’t make the roster, he did resurface in 1999 with the Saints and played five games. He returned to Philly and played in eight games.

CHUCK WEBER [1959-61]: Weber went to Abington High, but he grew up in Philly, so we’ll keep him in the Philly section. Weber was actually the Eagles’ middle linebacker in 1960, when Chuck Bednarik played outside. Weber had six INTs in 1960, most by an Eagles linebacker until William Thomas had seven in 1995. In a 1960 game against the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl he became the first linebacker in NFL history with three INTs in a game. He remains one of only six Eagles with three interceptions in a game and the only linebacker. Kurt Coleman is the last to do it.

EDDIE BELL [1955-58]: Bell went to West Philadelphia High and played at Penn. The Eagles drafted him in the 5th-round in 1953, and Bell, one of the first African-Americans to play in the NFL, had nine INTs in four seasons with the Eagles before spending time in the CFL and then the AFL with the New York Titans, who eventually became the Jets.

JOHN MICHELS [1953]: Not to be confused with the John Michels who was once traded for Jon Harris, this John Michels was a guard who went to West Catholic and then played at Tennessee. He was a 25th-round draft pick in 1953 and played 11 games for the Eagles.

JESS RICHARDSON [1953-61]: Richardson was from East Falls and went to Roxborough High. He was the Eagles’ 8th-round pick in 1953 as a defensive tackle out of Alabama. Ray Didinger tells me Richardson grew up blocks away from the Kelly family and was friends with Grace Kelly, who became Princess of Monaco. He played nine of his 12 NFL seasons with the Eagles, made a Pro Bowl in 1959 and started on the 1960 NFL Championship team.

WALT STICKEL [1950-51]: Stickel went to Northeast High and played at both Tulsa and Penn before the Bears drafted him in the 21st round in 1945. He finished his career with the Eagles, playing in 11 games.

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Nate Sudfeld confident in his ability to be Eagles’ backup QB

Nate Sudfeld confident in his ability to be Eagles’ backup QB

Had Nate Sudfeld not fractured his non-throwing wrist last summer, there’s a very good chance it would have been him attempting to lead the Eagles to an improbable playoff win against the Seahawks instead of 40-year-old Josh McCown after Carson Wentz suffered a concussion. 

But Sudfeld’s injury in August forced the Eagles to go out and lure McCown out of retirement. And once they did, even when Sudfeld was healthy, McCown wasn’t going to be the Eagles’ third-string quarterback. 

It was literally a bad break for Sudfeld. 

The 26-year-old quarterback didn’t technically hit free agency this year but he got close. Sudfeld at least got to test the waters of free agency during the legal tampering period before agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract the day before the start of the new league year. 

When asked if the Eagles offered him any assurances about being the No. 2 quarterback, Sudfeld did not answer directly. But it seems like there’s a really good chance he’ll finally be Wentz’s No. 2 in 2020. 

“I don’t want to get into specifics but I’m very excited about the opportunity to come back and feel really good about coming back to Philadelphia,” Sudfeld said on a conference call this week. “Really excited to get back to work.” 

Will the Eagles bring in another veteran quarterback or draft a rookie to compete with him? It’s unclear. 

I think the NFL is obviously a meritocracy,” Sudfeld said. “As people have said before, it’s really ‘What have you done for me lately?’ What are you doing at each step? You have to keep proving yourself and you have to keep proving. 

“I definitely have a ton of confidence if I’m ever in a situation where I’m head-on-head competing with somebody. I have a lot of confidence in myself. I haven’t ever really had that opportunity so I’m looking forward to that if that comes.

The debate about whether or not Wentz is an injury-prone player has become trite at this point and it’s really not worth getting caught up in. But the fact remains that the final snaps in each of the Eagles’ last three seasons have been taken by his backup. 

Because of that, maybe it would have made sense for the Eagles to go out and grab a backup quarterback with some significant experience, sort of like what they did when they were forced to last year, signing McCown. 

Sudfeld might be great. But we just don’t know. 

Even he admits that. 

“The crazy thing about quarterback, especially, is you never really know about a guy until they’re thrown in there,” Sudfeld said. “The only way to get experience is to get experience.”

The Redskins drafted Sudfeld in the sixth-round out of Indiana back in 2016, but he left after one year to join Doug Pederson and the Eagles. At every turn, the Eagles have shown faith in him. They brought him in from Washington, they promoted him to the active roster that season to avoid losing him, they left him as the backup to Nick Foles in 2017 and 2018 after Wentz went down. And now they’ve brought him back as a free agent. 

And there’s a lot to like about Sudfeld. He’s 6-6 with a big arm and the ability to move in and out of the pocket. He’s shown his skills in practices and in the preseason. 

But in four NFL seasons, he’s thrown a total of 25 passes in the regular season. 

General manager Howie Roseman said that with the unique challenges of this offseason — we still don’t know if there will be spring practices — it was important to bring back a guy who knows the offense. Roseman said they really like him as a player too. 

With the NFL’s open negotiation period last week, Sudfeld got a chance to gauge interest from other teams and learn what they value in his game. It was a good experience, he said. But, ultimately, he felt like there was more left to do in Philly, at least for 2020. 

“Obviously, I want to be a starter someday,” Sudfeld said. “I want to play in this league. But I understand that it’s a process to get there and you have to get on the field.”

In a few months, he might be one injury away. 

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