Arizona Cardinals

Former Eagles linebacker Zach Brown finds a new NFL home with Cardinals

Former Eagles linebacker Zach Brown finds a new NFL home with Cardinals

Less than three weeks after he was released by the Eagles, linebacker Zach Brown has found a new team. 

Brown, 30, on Friday signed with the Arizona Cardinals, his fifth team in five years. 

The Eagles signed Brown in March to a one-year, $3 million contract, but released him after just six games. In fact, Brown played 57 snaps against the Vikings the day before he was released. 

The next day, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz declined to get into the specific reasons of why Brown was cut, but said the Eagles needed more from their linebackers. 

It certainly seemed like there was more to it than that. 

Head coach Doug Pederson was asked about Brown’s release a couple days after it happened. 

“Well, as you guys know, we always do what we feel is in the best interest of the football team,” Pederson said. “I appreciate everything Zach did for us. I think Jim alluded to the fact that we need a little more production out of that group, and so we made a change.”

Was the move strictly for on-field reasons?

“Obviously, we're based on performance,” Pederson said. “I'm not going to get into a lot of the whys as to why we did it, but we need more production there and so we made a change.”

Without Brown and without Nigel Bradham, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, the Eagles have been getting by with a makeshift linebacker group. In the two games since Brown was cut, Nathan Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill and rookie T.J. Edwards have been the Eagles’ three base package linebackers. Bradham has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Bears. 

In Arizona, they’re collecting former Eagles linebackers. Brown joins a linebacker group that includes Jordan Hicks and Joe Walker. And they also have former Temple star Haason Reddick. 



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Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season

Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season

Here are Derrick Gunn's five matchups to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season.

Vikings at Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Key early-season showdown between these NFC North rivals. The Vikes used a ground-and-pound attack to roll over the Falcons with 38 rushes for 172 yards. Kirk Cousins only threw an unheard of 10 passing attempts. Meanwhile, looks like the money the Packers spent this past offseason in free agency and the draft to fix their porous defense paid off. They held the Bears to three points and 254 yards of total offense. The Packers' offense struggled in head coach Matt LaFleur’s debut. You never know what could happen when these two are on the same field. They actually tied in their first meeting in 2018. There will be no tie this time around. The Packers' offense shows enough improvement to slip by the Vikings.

Seahawks at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

The bad part of trying to figure teams out early in a new season is you don’t know if a team is as good or bad as their initial outing showed. The Steelers were the last team to beat New England in 2018 — Week 15 to be exact — but they were no match for the defending Super Bowl champs last Sunday and got embarrassed. The Seahawks, hoping their defense can recapture some of that past dominance, got to Cincy QB Andy Dalton five times. The Steelers' run game (just 32 yards vs Cincinnati) is a vital part of their offense. Mike Tomlin's crew will be focused this week. Two physical teams. Only one can be victorious. I like the 'Burgh at home.

Cowboys at Redskins (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Jerry Jones handed out big money to his big-time players this offseason. While Dak Prescott is waiting to get paid, he’s just going about his business. He really gave the Giants' defense the business last Sunday, throwing for 405 yards and 4 TDs. The Redskins' offense, with a new QB in Case Keenum and new WRs, is still trying to find its identity. It started fast and finished slow against the Eagles.  Now their young RB Derrius Guice, who missed all of last year with an ACL injury, is out 6-8 weeks after having surgery this week to repair a torn meniscus. Dallas has won five of their last six meetings with the 'Skins. They’ll improve that to six out of the last seven this Sunday.

Cardinals at Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson square off for the first time in their young careers. Murray in his NFL debut wasn’t bad throwing for 308 yards and 2 TDs helping the Cards come back to tie Detroit. The negative is he threw 54 passes, which you don’t want him doing against this Ravens defense. Baltimore’s offense put on a show against a young Dolphins defense racking up 643 yards, which included 265 yards rushing and five Jackson TD strikes. Murray will need his track shoes in this one, but the Cards won’t be able to outrun a beatdown in Baltimore.

Saints at Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX)

Just six days after surviving a thriller against Houston, the Saints now have to travel west. Drew Brees and Jared Goff are the headliners, but Alvin Kamara and Todd Gurley are headline grabbers in their own right. Both teams, while known for passing, also take pride in their run games. The Saints rushed for 148 yards and the Rams 166 yards in season-opening wins. Last year in New Orleans these two met and put up a combined 80 points in a Saints 10-point decision. The Rams want some payback and should get it in another close, high-scoring affair.

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Eagles' short-lived experiment with Army tackle already over

Eagles' short-lived experiment with Army tackle already over

That was a short-lived experiment with offensive lineman Brett Toth.

The Eagles brought in the former Army offensive tackle last month after he received a military waiver, but they released him at final cuts this weekend. Now he’s reportedly heading to Arizona, claimed by the Cardinals.

The Eagles presumably would have wanted to sign Toth to their practice squad, but now they won’t have the chance. The Eagles weren’t willing to burn a roster spot on the long-range project, but the Cardinals will have to — at least for a little while.

And the Eagles expect to compete for a Super Bowl this year, while the Cardinals are in rebuild mode. So it makes sense that Arizona would be more willing to use a roster spot on him.

Remember, Toth was away from football for a year after he left West Point. And just a couple weeks ago, he said he was still just 290 pounds, with a target weight of 315. So he’s not even where he needs to be from a physical standpoint, let alone the rust from not playing in a year.

Even Toth admitted it was difficult to keep with football over the last year.

“It was hard,” Toth said. “Again, when you’re thinking about training for the army, a bunch of that is hard to train as an offensive lineman. I did get within the height and weight regulations within the Army. You don’t want an offensive lineman that’s down to 260. Whenever I could, I was getting in the strength room on post there. I’ve just got to get all the movements and techniques back.”

Toth, 22, did play this preseason, but he wouldn’t have had a role with the Eagles this year. As it is, the Birds kept 10 offensive lineman.

While in Philadelphia, Toth worked with the ROTC at Temple University. According to ESPN, he’ll continue his military work at Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

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