Eagles preseason

2019 Eagles preseason schedule features matchup vs. Nick Foles

2019 Eagles preseason schedule features matchup vs. Nick Foles

The Eagles will face their former Super Bowl MVP in Week 2 of the 2019 preseason, when they head to Jacksonville to take on Nick Foles and the Jaguars. 

The NFL announced part of the preseason schedule (dates and times TBA) on Tuesday afternoon: 

Week 1: vs. Titans 
Week 2: at Jaguars
Week 3: vs. Ravens
Week 4: at Jets 

All four of the Eagles’ preseason opponents this season are from the AFC. The matchup against Foles will be the biggest draw of the preseason in quite some time. Foles left for Jacksonville this offseason when he signed a four-year, $88 million deal to become the Jags' new starting QB. There will be plenty of emotions for a meaningless preseason game. 

The Eagles will host the Ravens in Week 3 of the preseason after hosting them for a few days of joint practices. Doug Pederson said at the owners meetings in Phoenix that the Eagles would host the Ravens this summer. The last time the Eagles played host to a team in training camp was in 2017, when they hosted the Dolphins. The Eagles felt like they got enough work in that week that their starters didn’t play as much in the third preseason game, which is usually the one where they get the most work. 

As always, the Eagles will finish their preseason against the Jets. 

The NFL will likely release its entire 2019 regular-season schedule next week, but we already know the Eagles' opponents, home and away. We’re just waiting for dates and times: 

Home: Giants, Redskins, Cowboys, Bears, Lions, Patriots, Jets, Seahawks.

Road: Giants, Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings, Packers, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons.

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Eagles’ Shelton Gibson builds confidence 10 minutes at a time

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Eagles’ Shelton Gibson builds confidence 10 minutes at a time

Shelton Gibson keeps building his confidence. 

Ten minutes at a time. 

That’s about how long it takes for Gibson to drive to the NovaCare Complex each morning. That drive has become almost a ritualistic confidence-building exercise for the second-year receiver. Some days, he’ll call his trainer back home to get some words of advice. Some days, he’ll quietly reflect and talk to himself a little. 

“Hey, every time you step onto this field, there’s something that you have to prove,” Gibson said, repeating his message to himself. “Why did they draft you? Why did you leave school early? I had a lot of things that I tell myself.”

Some days, he’ll listen to music. He likes to listen to Gospel on those trips in — Kirk Franklin is a favorite. 

Ten minutes isn’t a long time, but it’s long enough.  

“It’s enough for three songs,” Gibson said with a smile. 

Gibson, 23, has been smiling a lot more this summer. Really, he’s been a completely different player than the one we saw struggle his way through training camp and the preseason as a rookie. He’s come so far that on Thursday night, he didn’t even play in the fourth and final preseason game. He has a roster spot on lock, and has for a while. 

Now, it’s time to wonder if he actually deserves a role in the offense. He probably does. 

Alshon Jeffery will reportedly miss a couple weeks to start the season, so there’s some opportunity at the jump. And while Mack Hollins had a rough summer after reportedly having sports hernia surgery this offseason, it might be time for Gibson to fill the void. After seeing him this preseason, it looks like he’s ready. 

Of course, playing in the preseason is a lot different than playing when the games count. In last year’s regular season, Gibson played just 17 offensive snaps and had just two catches for 11 yards. 

So how does he duplicate preseason success in the regular season? 

“Have that same mindset, that same passion every time you go out there,” Gibson said. “I know it’s going to be different when it comes to the games and everything. Everything is going to be more physical. But I just gotta turn it up a notch.” 

The Eagles showed a ton of patience in Gibson, a fifth-round pick, last summer. They had confidence in him when he didn’t have confidence in himself. 

“Last year, I just felt like I didn’t give them my all and I wasn’t confident,” he said. “But they were confident in me. I felt like I let them down a little bit.” 

So this season for Gibson is all about trying to repay the organization for their faith in him. 

That all starts with confidence. Gibson says confidence is “everything.” And for him, it starts on that 10-minute drive every morning. 

“It wakes you up,” he said. “You don’t want to just drive in there, ‘oh why do I have to come in?’ You want to come in there and show the coaches that you want to be here. That you’re excited to be there every day instead of ‘oh this is another day of work.’ I’m having fun.”

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DeAndre Carter deserves an Eagles roster spot after eye-opening preseason

DeAndre Carter deserves an Eagles roster spot after eye-opening preseason

DeAndre Carter has been through more cut days than he can remember.

Always with the same result.

“It’s pretty nerve-wracking, especially because I’ve been through it before and it hasn’t really come out the way I’ve wanted it to,” Carter said.

“Just going to try to relax, take my mind off it, catch a movie or something. But I feel like I’ve done everything I can.”

Carter, the Eagles’ 25-year-old receiver who’s gone from unknown training camp longshot to legit 53-man roster candidate, has definitely done everything he can.

In a fair and just world, there’s a roster spot waiting for him when final cuts are announced at 4 p.m. Saturday.

How do you not root for this kid?

Has been released five times by four teams but keeps bouncing back. Dedicated his career to his dying brother in 2013, promising Kaylan he wouldn’t quit until he made it in the NFL.

And then he goes out in these four preseason games and makes plays in every one.

“Honestly, I just feel like the Eagles gave me a great opportunity to go out and showcase how I can play football,” Carter said late Thursday night, after the Eagles’ preseason finale against the Jets.

“Not saying other places didn’t give me an equal chance as the Eagles did, but I feel like I made more of this opportunity. I came in and played better and made more plays than I’ve made in other camps, other preseasons, and the numbers show it. Best camp I’ve had.”

He wasn’t here for OTAs and signed a few days into training camp but still produced in each game:

Steelers: 1 catch for 20 yards

Patriots: 3-48

Browns: 4-73

Jets: 3-37

His 178 receiving yards ranked seventh in the NFL this preseason, and his 17.8 yards per catch ranked third.

“There’s always stuff to get better at, but I can definitely say every time I step on the field I give it everything I got,” Carter said.

“I base the day off — whether it was a successful day or not — can I go home and look in the mirror and be OK with what I put on film and I feel like I’ve done that.

“Now hope the coaches feel that way too and want me to be here with the Eagles.”

What’s working against Carter? He’s 5-foot-8. He’s never played in an NFL regular-season game. At 25, he’s older than most prospects.

What’s working in his favor? With Alshon Jeffery expected to miss the start of the season, the Eagles are thin at wideout behind Nelson Agholor. And Carter made plays in each preseason game, and that consistency speaks volumes.

“That’s what this league is about,” he said. “From the top of our receiver list to the bottom of our receiver list, everybody can play, and in this league, everybody can play.

“But the guys who can stick around, the guys who can have 10-year careers, 15-year careers, are consistent and they do it night in and night out, day in and day out and that’s something I know I have to do to continue to stick around in the league.

“You’ve got to be the same guy every day. Regardless of circumstance, what’s happening with o-line, quarterback … Get open and catch the ball. That’s my job.”

I don’t know if Carter is going to survive final cuts, but I don’t know what else he could have done.

While guys like Markus Wheaton, Mack Hollins and Kamar Aiken have been banged up and done little this preseason, Carter came in late and has made plays all over the place.

He’s earned this.

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