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How Eagles' Malik Jackson compares team cultures from stops across the NFL

How Eagles' Malik Jackson compares team cultures from stops across the NFL

Eagles defensive lineman Malik Jackson played just 34 snaps in 2019, his first year with the team, because of a season-ending injury. It was a disappointing start to his three-year, $30 million deal with the Birds.

But while Jackson rehabbed his Lisfranc injury, he got an interesting and unusual introduction to the Eagles' organization: he was a player, but he was also an observer.

And Jackson, who has played for five head coaches across his nine years in the league, says he came away extremely impressed with his first year in Philly.

Jackson jumped on the Adam Lefkoe Show this week to chat about his first year in Philly, his time in the NFL to this point, and what he expects from the 2020 season. It was a fascinating chat with very little filler from Jackson.

Now on his third team, Jackson has seen his share of locker rooms, and Lefkoe asked him to discuss the differences in cultures between Denver, Jacksonville, and Philly.

Jackson's answer was extremely interesting:

I was able to come into Denver with coach John Fox, great guy, and I go up to him one day and I asked, 'Coach, how do you see us as players?' And he said, 'I see you guys as my younger brothers.' And I was like, okay, because the way he talked to us felt like a relationship like that, felt like he was the older brother. 

Jacksonville, you got there and you felt like [laughs] you were the red-headed step child, so to speak. You couldn't do anything right. You had to kind of do this, do that, do this. Very military-style. Not saying that's wrong, just very military-style.

The Eagles? Very fun, very chill, very relaxed. I think it's a little bit of everything in there, though. It's something where, you have an older team, and the Eagles are a very established program, so when you come in here you understand who they are.

I'm not an NFL player, but that's basically exactly what I'd like to hear about a prospective team before I join. 

And his answer about Jacksonville just echoes everything we know about the Jaguars' organization, and why defensive end Yannick Ngakoue wants out ASAP. Maybe he's been talking to Jackson about how much more fun the Eagles would be.

Jackson also gave a great answer about what he saw from Eagles head coach Doug Pederson in 2019, a season during which Pederson dealt with a rash of injuries, and an occassionally-rocky locker room.

"I just learned how [Doug is] able to win, how he treated players. I was able to sit back and not be a part of what he was saying, who he was talking to, seeing how he talked to guys, seeing how guys responded - it was very impressive. And the way he coached, putting guys in position and really winning, being that offensive corordinator - I was impressed, man. It's rare you see coaches like that."

Sounds like nothing but roses for Jackson in his first year with the Birds.

Here's hoping his first year of fully playing goes the same way.

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Washington setting up boring QB battle between Colt McCoy and Case Keenum

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Washington setting up boring QB battle between Colt McCoy and Case Keenum

It looks like Washington will have a starting quarterback battle on its hands this summer between Colt McCoy and Case Keenum. 

I know … exciting stuff. 

According to reports, Washington is about to trade to pick up Case Keenum from the Broncos. Remember, Keenum became expendable because the Broncos traded for Joe Flacco. 

This has quickly become a mediocre quarterback carousel. 

Yeah, it’s a mess. 

But the deal to get Keenum won’t exactly set back the franchise. In fact, it won’t really hurt them much at all. 

So the terms of the deal aren’t horrible for Washington. They have to pay Keenum a little bit of money and they’ll get him for a minimal pick swap. In actuality, this move makes some sense for Washington. There seems to be a pretty good chance Keenum will beat out McCoy for that starting gig in 2019 as Alex Smith is still far away from playing again — if he ever does play again. 

So, maybe, the Skins actually made a move to (minimally) improve their team on Thursday. But the idea of a McCoy vs. Keenum quarterback battle during training camp is going to be a hard sell for fans. Keenum, who has already likely seen his peak in the NFL, is probably a slightly better version of McCoy. 

At least Washington didn’t pay a ton for Keenum, but their interest in him over a guy like Nick Foles doesn’t make a ton of sense. The only way it makes sense is if they draft a quarterback, which still seems to be in play. 

Washington has the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft, which may or may not allow them to draft the next franchise quarterback. They might need to move up higher in the first round to get that quarterback, but if they evaluate one and think they can find the next franchise QB, they have to do it. 

Let’s take a quick look at the starting QBs around the NFC East right now:

Eagles: Carson Wentz 
Cowboys: Dak Prescott
Giants: Eli Manning 
Redskins: McCoy/Keenum 

The Eagles clearly have the best QB in their division. Say what you want about Wentz’s ability to stay healthy, but this is a guy who was in the MVP race not that long ago and who threw 21 touchdowns in limited action between coming back from a torn ACL and suffering a stress fracture in his back. 

The next-best situation actually has to be the Cowboys and Prescott. No, he’s not an elite QB, but he’s at least serviceable and is still just 25. The problem will come when the Cowboys have to pay him big money. 

Then the Giants have a 38-year-old and declining Manning. For whatever reason, they just won’t move on. 

And now Washington will have Case Keenum or Case Keenum-Light starting in 2019. Yikes.

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Cross off the Broncos: Updated top 5 landing spots for Nick Foles

Cross off the Broncos: Updated top 5 landing spots for Nick Foles

I guess we can cross Denver off the list. 

This offseason, as we’ve tried to figure out where Nick Foles might end up in a trade or as a free agent, the Denver Broncos have been on the top of most lists. Not anymore. 

That is certainly an interesting decision by the Broncos for plenty of reasons. We don’t know the exact compensation yet (NFL Network reports it’s a mid-round pick), but Flacco has a huge salary that might need to be adjusted. And I wouldn’t have thought he’d be a better target than Foles. Oh well, cross Denver off the list, I suppose. 

There are still several teams that would make a ton of sense for Foles, but we’ll need to know how the Eagles proceed. After Foles bought back his chance at free agency, the only way the Eagles can trade him would be if they slap a franchise tag on him first. There are plenty of hurdles along that route, including salary cap space, a lack of leverage and the possibility that a move such as that would violate the CBA. 

I still think Foles will eventually become a free agent, which is what he’s going to want. He’d get a chance to earn a longer-term deal and pick where he wants to play in 2019. 

I think these are the top five options left: 

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags need to move on from Blake Bortles and former Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo is now their offensive coordinator. The Jags had a terrible season in 2018 but had a playoff team just the year before.  

New York Giants: This makes a ton of sense to me. Foles could be reunited with Pat Shurmur, who understands how to use him. And the Giants have plenty of weapons for a quarterback in Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram.  

Washington Redskins: It looks like Washington isn’t going to have Alex Smith back this season — maybe he never plays again — so they’re going to need a QB. Dan Snyder would love a splash. 

Miami Dolphins: If Miami is ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill, Foles might be their best option. Miami’s new coach Brian Flores was on the other side of Foles’ incredible Super Bowl LII performance.  

Oakland Raiders: Jon Gruden’s team has a ton of cap space if they want to lure Foles to the Raiders. They still have Derek Carr, but I could see them moving on. They also have three first-round draft picks if the Eagles do end up using a franchise tag. 

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