Eagles preseason

NFL rumors: League offers zero preseason games in proposal to players union

NFL rumors: League offers zero preseason games in proposal to players union

The 2020 NFL preseason could be over before it begins.

In an attempt to keep players safe and provide sufficient time between training camp arrival and the beginning of the regular season, the NFL reportedly proposed Monday the elimination of all four preseason games.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the news Monday evening:

The news came just 13 hours after reports of the league offering a one-game preseason surfaced on Monday morning. The league previously trimmed the preseason to two games earlier this summer.

This latest proposal from the NFL also comes just a day after many of the league’s stars posted to social media asking the NFL to come up with a better plan to create a safe work environment for them this season. The league, its owners, and the NFL Players Association are all still discussing a number of safety measures, despite players being expected to report to training camp in roughly one week. 

Getting rid of preseason games is likely welcome news for the league's older players, but for those fringe players attempting to earn roster spots across the league, the preseason was the best way to show their abilities in live game action before teams finalize their squads.

It's just one example of the give and take the NFL will be making this year as it tries to safely play a full 16-game regular season.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro examined how the Eagles will be approaching this year's unique lead-up to the regular season:

Eagles rookies are scheduled to report to the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday and the entire team is scheduled to report by July 28. It once seemed like the NFL had a ton of time to figure this out but now the start of training camp is here. 

Doug Pederson said earlier this offseason that the Eagles will need a full five-to-six-week training camp to adequately prepare for the season. So it’s imperative that training camp start on time or close to it. 

The Eagles begin their 2020 season in Washington on Sept. 13.

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A clunker for Clayton Thorson, strong night for D-line in report card for Eagles' preseason finale

A clunker for Clayton Thorson, strong night for D-line in report card for Eagles' preseason finale

The good news is the Eagles’ defense held the Jets to six points in the fourth and final exhibition game of 2019 on Thursday night. The better news is the preseason has concluded.

The bad news is the Eagles’ offense scored zero points. Didn’t even get a field goal try.

The overwhelming majority of these guys won’t be on the Eagles’ roster come Saturday, so we can probably cut them a little bit of slack. That being said, we’ve got a report card to fill out, and at least in one phase, it wasn’t pretty.

Quarterback

Clayton Thorson: 12/26, 84 YDS, INT

Early on, it didn’t look like Thorson was getting much help, which is sort of the nature of these preseason finales. Yet, as the rookie’s confidence waned, so too did his performance. Thorson took some hits and threw to some blanketed receivers. He also missed a bunch of opens targets and made a poor decision with the pick. Looking like the practice squad is in his future.

Grade: D

Running backs

Wendell Smallwood: 7 ATT, 23 YDS

It probably doesn’t matter, but Smallwood’s fumble killed the Eagles’ only decent drive — though he did log the backfield’s only gain over three yards. Not much running room in general, but too much dancing from the Josh Adams and Boston Scotts of the world.

Grade: D

Wide receivers and tight ends

Marken Michel: 2 REC, 30 YDS

Were the receivers not open or was the quarterback not able to get them the ball? Little of column A, little of column B. The highlights were a 15-yard reverse by Greg Ward and a diving, one-handed catch by tight end Alex Ellis, which gained five yards on 3rd-and-forever.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

Not great, but certainly not the Eagles’ biggest problem. For what it’s worth, the unit only surrendered five quarterback hits and two sacks, even if Thorson did not have to move in the pocket on occasion. Then again, there’s a reason backs carries 15 times for 22 yards.

Grade: C-

Defensive line

Kevin Wilkins: 7 TKL, 4 TFL

Can’t say enough about Daeshon Hall’s preseason, and he led the way again with three quarterback hits, a sack and a forced fumble. Plenty of strong performances here, though — especially Wilkins, now no longer just the guy who carried the starting D-linemen’s pads after practices.

Grade: A

Linebackers

Alex Singleton: 12 TKL, QBH

Singleton and T.J. Edwards combined for 22 tackles and were generally solid or better, even if they made few splash plays between them. Chris Worley also showed nice awareness on an interception — granted, it was more of a poor throw/decision/busted play than anything.

Grade: B+

Defensive backs

Josh Hawkins: 6 TKL, INT

The Eagles’ secondary had a rough preseason, particularly its young cornerbacks, so it was nice to see Hawkins get a pick and make some nice tackles. Jets quarterbacks still completed 76.3 percent of their passes for 6.6 yards per attempt, which seems high for a preseason finale.

Grade: C+

Special teams

Alex Singleton: 2 TKL

Coverage was excellent all around, but Singleton stood out, perhaps making his case for a roster spot. Cameron Johnston’s job was never in question, but dropping five of six punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line is impressive nonetheless.

Grade: A-

Coaching

No Carson Wentz. No starters at all. Nothing to talk about.

Grade: N/A



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If Daeshon Hall doesn't make Eagles’ roster, what are we doing?

If Daeshon Hall doesn't make Eagles’ roster, what are we doing?

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Daeshon Hall is going to sleep easy tonight. He’s earned that and more. 

Because if the 24-year-old defensive end doesn’t make the Eagles’ roster based on his dominance this preseason, why are they even playing the games? 

Hall, who joined the Eagles during the season in 2018, was a standout throughout this preseason despite a nagging shoulder injury and a stinger he suffered on Thursday night. He led the Eagles in sacks (4), tackles for loss (4), QB hits (11) and forced fumbles (3) and he was among the league leaders in every category too. 

Heck, it seems like we shouldn’t be talking about whether or not Hall has the roster made, but about what his role should be this season. 

Maybe that’s why he isn’t worried. 

“I’m relaxed,” Halls said on Thursday night. “I feel like whatever is for me is for me. Whatever God has in store for me is going to happen. Whether that means me being here or me being on another team. I’ll be grateful for whatever opportunity comes.”

For a long time, it seemed like Hall might be the casualty of a numbers game. The Eagles have their top three defensive ends in Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Vinny Curry. And they used fourth-round picks in back-to-back years on Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller. Hall was once a third-round pick, but the Eagles didn’t draft him. 

You can forget all that, though. Hall has done enough to earn a roster spot. And if he doesn’t get it, the devalued preseason means even less than we thought. 

Doug Pederson has admitted that when the Eagles evaluate players, they care more about practice than games, but it should be impossible to ignore what Hall has been able to do over these four preseason games. Sure, you can argue the competition Hall faced wasn’t great. He has been going against some players who will never play in the league, but so have Sweat and Miller. … And Hall simply outplayed both of them all summer. 

Hall was happy with his performance over the last month, but wouldn’t say whether or not he thought he did enough to make the roster. That’s a question for the coaches, he said. 

“I feel like I did a lot,” Hall said, “but there’s always plays you wish you could have back. Just like stuff with your technique and stuff you wish you could have back. I just tried to give my best effort.”

The Eagles have to have their 90-man roster whittled down to 53 players by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline, but Hall won’t be sitting by his phone, stressing. He said he will be resting, catching up on some sleep. Maybe he’ll watch some TV or a movie or play some video games. 

He’s eagerly awaiting the release of NBA 2K20. The release date for that game is Sept. 6, two days before the Eagles open the season at home against Washington. 

I have a hunch he might be busy then. 



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