Eagles coordinator set for Saints, second chance


Eagles coordinator set for Saints, second chance

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Todd Bowles didn't have much success in his debut as Eagles defensive coordinator.

His encore won't be any easier.

After the surging Atlanta Falcons put on an offensive show in Philadelphia en route to a 30-17 win last Sunday, Bowles gets a second chance on Monday in New Orleans. The Saints (2-5) are struggling in their own right, but can still put up big numbers, especially at home.

``The quarterback. The way they attack you. They're always going downfield and they're passing the ball a lot,'' Bowles said of the Saints. ``They're trying to keep you on your heels, and they're an attacking offense.''

The Eagles (3-4) could use some of that, too. Though Bowles' unit allowed 392 total yards, Philadelphia's offense didn't help vs. the Falcons.

``They are fixable. Like I said, we took a lot of good things out of the ballgame,'' Bowles said of his defense. ``There were a lot of things (that we did in) training camp and OTAs, Day 1 kind of things that shouldn't have happened and didn't happen. We corrected them in the meeting and we'll go from there.''

The Eagles have lost three in a row since starting 3-1, and are 0-1 since coach Andy Reid fired Juan Castillo and replaced him with Bowles. Philadelphia is 2 1/2 games behind the Giants in the NFC East, after owning first place just one month ago.

``It was tough because we didn't win,'' Bowles said of his debut. ``Then, the penalties and the third downs. It was one person here and one person there. You can't just single out anything. As a whole on defense, we have to get it done. It wasn't frustrating for me. It was frustrating that we lost. It was frustrating how we didn't play the way we normally play, but you write it off as a bad game and you look forward to the next week.''

Should the Eagles be able to run the ball effectively vs. the Saints, the defense would stay a bit fresher after being on the field for 32:55 against Atlanta. It wasn't a banner day last week for the running game - tailback LeSean McCoy had 16 carries for 45 yards and quarterback Michael Vick had seven for 42 - but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg sees some positive signs.

``I thought we were in a pretty good rhythm. Now, we've got to execute just a little bit better on a couple of those (runs),'' he said. ``We had some drives. We've got to be better and we've just got to play at a higher level on a consistent basis.''

The same can be said for the Saints. Quarterback Drew Brees leads an offense that has thrown up 190 points, but New Orleans opened with four straight losses, including two at home.

``They attack you with the running backs, the tight ends, and the wide receivers. You got to have a good overall game plan against them, and you have to hope that he is off a little bit,'' Bowles said of Brees. ``You have to hope they are a little bit worn down. He's been tough for years now. It's not just this game. He's been tough against everybody. They are the number-one pass offense in the league for a reason.''

The Eagles have two division games up next - vs. Dallas and at Washington- after the Saints game, and a Monday win could go a long way toward a potential turnaround. Philadelphia is just 1-2 on the road this season.

``We've got to play loose and free and we've talked about that,'' Mornhinweg said. ``Just simply (be) unafraid to make a mistake. If we make one, we correct it. It's that simple and certainly that mentality will help us just a little bit with some of our dynamic ability there.''


NOTES: New Orleans RB Darren Sproles has undergone hand surgery and won't be able to play Monday. Interim coach Joe Vitt revealed the seriousness of the injury after Friday's practice. He wouldn't say which hand was injured or even when Sproles was hurt. ... Eagles special teams coordinator Bobby April said WR Damaris Johnson will return punts vs. the Saints. ``Damaris will be the guy. I know he's looking forward to it,'' April said. ``He's from New Orleans. It'll be a big homecoming for him and I think he'll play really well.'' ... The Saints are 1-2 at home this season.


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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 



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