Jordan Poyer

A Bill that got away, exposing a fraud and more in Roob's random points

A Bill that got away, exposing a fraud and more in Roob's random points

An unbelievable Eagles draft stat, my thoughts on Orlando Scandrick, Boston Scott, the one that got away and tons more in this weekend's edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles points! 

1. We’ll learn a lot about Doug Pederson Sunday in Buffalo. His strength has always been getting his players to navigate their way through adversity, and back-to-back blowout losses and plenty of off-field distractions certainly qualify as adversity. Is his message still getting through? Will his motivational techniques still work on an older team that doesn’t seem as hungry or have as much emotionally invested as the 2017 group? Are his players still listening? I think by 4:30 p.m. Sunday, we’ll have a pretty good answer.

2. One quick word about the Orlando Scandrick deal: The video the Eagles tweeted out can’t make it any clearer that Scandrick is a fraud. He’s 32. His playing career is over. He wants a TV job. And I’m sure he saw Thursday’s appearance as some sort of audition. That video is damning evidence that Scandrick was more interested in making a splash and making a name for himself than providing any sort of thoughtful analysis of what was happening with the Eagles. “That’s exactly why you the captain of this defense, bro,” Scandrick tells Malcolm after he forced a fumble against the Vikings. “The way that you f***ing conduct yourself, first snap to the last.” And two weeks later Malcolm is selfish and not really a leader? Either Scandrick was full of it two weeks ago or he was full of it Thursday. Either way, it calls into question everything he said. 

3. This is mind-blowing: The Eagles have trailed by 8 or more points at halftime NINE TIMES since last year. That’s 39 percent of their games. Only the Cards have trailed by at least eight points at halftime more during that span (10 times). Conversely, the Eagles have led by eight points at halftime only four times. They’re a pretty good second-half team. They’ve outscored their opponents by 73 points in the second half since last year started, 6th-best in the league. They’re a dreadful first-half team —  minus-60 in the first half the last two years. That points to one thing. They’re just not ready. That’s on Pederson.

4. Fletcher Cox is the only Pro Bowl defensive player the Eagles have drafted since 2006.

4a. I simply can't believe No. 4.

5. Keep an eye on No. 21 in a Bills uniform Sunday. That’s Jordan Poyer, who's developed into one of the better safeties in the league. He’s now in his seventh season and third with the Bills, where he has 10 interceptions since the start of 2017. He’s a smart, tough, physical player on one of the NFL’s best defenses. What’s interesting about Poyer is that he was a 2013 Eagles draft pick. The Eagles took him out of Oregon State in the seventh round, and he initially made the roster. He played 17 snaps on defense and 15 on special teams in three games before the Eagles released him to make roster space for a running back named Matthew Tucker, who was out of the league after two games and five special teams snaps. Poyer? The Browns claimed him on waivers, converted him to safety, and the rest is history. Sometimes it’s not about who you draft but your willingness to be patient and develop players over time. Turns out Poyer was a great draft pick. The Eagles just didn’t know it.

6. The last five running backs to rush for 500 yards in a season for the Eagles are Josh Adams, Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Ryan Matthews and DeMarco Murray. None are currently on a 53-man roster.

7. What if Boston Scott is a better runner than Miles Sanders? Granted it’s been garbage time, but Scott has run the ball well in both the Vikings and Cowboys games. In limited work, he’s 11-for-62 rushing, a 5.6 average. Sanders is at 3.5 in his first seven career games, just 18-for-42 the last three (2.3). It’s a limited sample size, and I definitely haven't given up on Sanders. But Scott, who the Eagles promoted from the practice squad two weeks ago, seems shifty, gets up to full speed quickly and hits the hole hard and decisively. All qualities we're waiting to see consistently from the rookie second-round pick.

8. The Eagles’ NFL-high streak of games without a 100-yard rusher is up to 40 straight games. That’s the Eagles’ longest since a 43-game streak over the 1970 through 1973 seasons. 

9. Ted Williams was in the Eagles’ locker room after practice Thursday, which was pretty cool. If you don’t know the name, Williams spent more time on the Eagles’ coaching staff than anybody in history — 20 years. Ray Rhodes brought him in as tight ends coach in 1995 and 1996, and then he coached running backs from 1997 through 2012 under Rhodes and Andy Reid, then he went back to tight ends in 2013 and 2014 under Chip Kelly. What’s really cool is that Williams coached Duce Staley, who succeeded him as running backs coach. Williams and Staley are the only running backs coaches the Eagles have had since 1997! 

10. How big is Sunday? How big is the difference between 3-5 and 4-4? Since 1990, when the NFL’s current playoff format was introduced, 32 percent of teams that started out 4-4 have reached the playoffs (57 of 177), according to Pro-Football-Reference’s database. During the same span, only 9 percent of 3-5 teams have reached the playoffs (15 of 170).

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Former Eagles' draft pick Jordan Poyer excited for opportunity with Bills

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Former Eagles' draft pick Jordan Poyer excited for opportunity with Bills

And then there's the former Eagle on the Bills who is a little less famous.
 
It was cataclysmic when Chip Kelly traded LeSean McCoy to the Bills. It was historic when Howie Roseman traded Jordan Matthews to the Bills.
 
Jordan Poyer's journey from Philly to Buffalo is a little bit different and a whole lot less well-known. But the one-time Eagles draft pick has become an important part of Sean McDermott's defense.
 
Poyer, who signed as a free agent with the Bills this past offseason, was the second of three Eagles seventh-round picks in 2013. He made the team as a long-shot cornerback and played in three games as a rookie before getting released on Oct. 19 so the Eagles could sign running back Matthew Tucker off their practice squad.
 
The Eagles hoped to land Poyer on the practice squad, but the Browns claimed him, and he wound up spending four years in Cleveland, playing in 45 games and starting four last year with two interceptions before his season ended with a horrific injury — a lacerated kidney.
 
He finally escaped Cleveland this spring, signing a four-year, $13 million deal with the Bills that includes $7.4 million in guaranteed money and he goes into the regular season as the Bills' starting free safety.
 
Not bad for the 46th defensive back taken in the 2013 draft.
 
“Being in Philadelphia, starting my career here was huge," Poyer said Thursday night after the Eagles-Bills preseason game at the Linc.
 
"I’m in Year 5 now and you never know what would have happened if I didn’t start out here, start my career here. It was a big part of my foundation, learning the NFL game."
 
The Browns went 12-47 while Poyer was in Cleveland, and he played under three head coaches and four defensive coordinators during his stay with Cleveland.
 
“It was a challenge," he said, shaking his head. "We all play this game to win football games. That’s the name of the business, the name of the game. That’s why we start playing when we’re little. Anytime you’re not winning it’s always tough.
 
"I’m trying to put that time of my life behind me now, I’m here in Buffalo now and happy here."

But the one good thing that happened to Poyer in Cleveland was the switch from corner to safety.
 
“It's a lot different and it took some time," he said. "But I feel good about it, felt good about making the switch. Took it and ran with it and learned the position.
 
"It's still a new position, and I still have a lot of things to learn, but I feel like it was good for me. Really one of the best things to happen to my career."

In Buffalo, Poyer's head coach, McDermott, and defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, are both former Eagles secondary coaches. Nobody has a better feel for the secondary than McDermott, who played in the same secondary as Mike Tomlin at William & Mary and worked under Jim Johnson for a decade in Philly before going to a Super Bowl with Ron Rivera in Carolina.

"It's a great situation for me with Sean and Leslie," Poyer said. "Sean coaches us every day, helps us get better, helps get the whole football team better. I learn something from him every day."
 
Poyer has played in more games than 24 of the defensive backs drafted ahead of him in 2013 and in more games than all but five of the 47 other seventh-round picks that year.
 
The only defensive back the Eagles have taken in the seventh round the last 50 years who's played in more career games is Kurt Coleman, another player who revived his career under McDermott.
 
To go from seventh-round pick to $7½ million in guaranteed money is quite a story, but Poyer is so grounded he said he doesn't really think about the big picture of his career arc.
 
“During the season, you’re moving so fast you don’t really have time to sit back and look at what you’ve accomplished or how far you’ve come," he said.
 
"At the end of the season or at the end of my career I’ll look back on it and soak in everything that I had to go through and got to where I am now, but right now, I'm just focused on getting ready (for opening day).
 
"Philly gave me a good opportunity, made a lot of good friends here and now excited to be here in Buffalo."

NFL Notes: Roethlisberger ruled out for Week 7; Packers acquire RB Davis

NFL Notes: Roethlisberger ruled out for Week 7; Packers acquire RB Davis

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger might be a fast healer, but his aching left knee won't be ready in time to face the New England Patriots.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin officially ruled out Roethlisberger for Sunday's showdown with the Patriots. Roethlisberger underwent arthroscopic surgery on Monday to repair cartilage in his knee suffered in a miserable loss to Miami last weekend.

Landry Jones will make the third start of his career for Pittsburgh (4-2). Jones went 1-1 last season, though he was injured early in the one victory and Roethlisberger came on in relief.

The Steelers will also be without defensive end Cam Heyward for a third straight week. Tomlin said there's a chance linebacker Ryan Shazier could return to the lineup for the first time since Week 3 (see full story).

Packers: Acquire RB Knile Davis from Chiefs 
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have traded backup running back Knile Davis to the Green Bay Packers for a conditional draft pick, a person familiar with the trade told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The Kansas City Star first reported the trade.

The Packers were desperate for running back depth with Eddie Lacy nursing a bothersome ankle and James Starks undergoing knee surgery. Lacy was their only active running back against Dallas on Sunday.

Davis had been passed over by Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West on the Chiefs' depth chart, and the return of Jamaal Charles from his knee injury made him expendable (see full story).

Jets: Eric Decker undergoes hip surgery 
NEW YORK -- Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, already on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, has undergone surgery on his hip.

In a release issued by the team Tuesday, the Jets say the hip surgery was deemed necessary after Decker had an evaluation when he was placed on IR last week with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

The team says the anticipated recovery time for Decker's hip surgery is six months. When the wide receiver is off crutches during that period, he will have the surgery on his shoulder -- with recovery time expected to be eight months.

Decker, who had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns, injured his shoulder at Buffalo on Sept. 15.

Patriots: Belichick has had enough of tablet use on sidelines
BOSTON — Bill Belichick is throwing in the towel in his ongoing fight with the use of tablets on the sideline.

Responding to a question in a conference call Tuesday about headset issues the Patriots had during last week's win over the Bengals, Belichick said he "can't take it anymore" with the tablets, adding there isn't enough consistency in the performance of the devices.

He also railed for several minutes about on-going issues with NFL technology, including the communication system between coaches in the press box and those on the field, as well as the coach-to-quarterback play calling system, which Belichick said "fail on a regular basis."

Earlier this season Belichick was caught on camera slamming down a sideline tablet following a Bills touchdown.

Belichick said going forward he's going to stick with low tech -- printed images taken of plays during the game to help strategize on the sideline.

Browns: S Jordan Poyer released from hospital after kidney injury
CLEVELAND — Browns safety Jordan Poyer has been discharged from the hospital after one of his kidneys was lacerated by a vicious hit.

Poyer was taken to Nashville's Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital by ambulance during Sunday's 28-26 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Browns said the 25-year-old Poyer, in his fourth season with the team, will return to Cleveland.

Poyer was injured on a nasty blindside hit by Titans running back Antonio Andrews while covering a punt in the second quarter. Andrews had an unobstructed run at Poyer before delivering his violent blow, which was penalized.

Browns coach Hue Jackson does not think Andrews' hit was malicious.

"I think he was trying to do his job, which was block him, and he did," Jackson said. "He blocked him. He might have led with his head a little bit, but that is what he got flagged for. That is part of this game."

Andrews received a personal foul and will be fined by the NFL.

Poyer's serious injury is the latest for the Browns, who have placed 12 players -- including quarterback Robert Griffin III -- on IR this season. The team can bring one player off IR after eight games.

The team said starting left guard Joel Bitonio underwent foot surgery on Monday. The Browns expect Bitonio, who got hurt on the final play of the first half against New England on Oct. 9, to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2017 season. Bitonio is one of Cleveland's best players and his loss has forced Jackson to again re-shuffle his offensive line.

Also, Browns center Austin Reiter underwent reconstructive left knee surgery Tuesday in Cleveland. Reiter tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Oct. 2 against the Washington Redskins, his former team.

Because of the rash of injuries, the Browns have started three quarterbacks and played five this season. They've also had three centers, lost their starting kicker and before the season started, they lost defensive end Desmond Bryant, their sacks leader in 2015, with a chest injury. In addition, wide receiver Josh Gordon entered rehab just days before he was to return from a four-game league drug suspension.

Colts: Sign Chase Coffman for TE depth
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts signed tight end Chase Coffman on Tuesday, two days after losing starter Dwayne Allen with an injured right ankle.

Coach Chuck Pagano did not provide an update on Allen's injury Monday and there was no scheduled availability Tuesday.

Allen left early in Sunday night's loss in Houston and his lower right leg was wrapped in a huge ice pack.

Coffman signed with the Colts just before the start of training camp in July and was released in the final round of cuts. Before signing with Indy, Coffman played in 37 NFL games with Cincinnati, Atlanta, Tennessee and most recently Seattle last season.

He has 18 receptions, 177 yards and two touchdowns in six NFL seasons.