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Philadelphia Eagles

Day 1 Training Camp Notes

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Waking up today felt like waking up for Christmas morning as a young boy. Remember as a kid how much sweeter Christmas morning was when you got an amazing gift on Christmas eve? That is how this 2018 training camp season feels knowing the Eagles are reigning Super Bowl champions.

The Eagles hit the field for the first practice today that involved a new wrinkle in the slot CB conversation, struggles from a particular young offensive lineman, sex jokes from our fearless leader, and more!

The star-studded PUP list

The Eagles released their PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) and NFL (Non-Football Injury) lists  that included a number of key starters from the 2017 title run who are unable to go at the start of camp. The lists included:

DE Brandon Graham (PUP)- Ankle Injury 

WR Alshon Jeffery (PUP)- Shoulder Injury 

DT Timmy Jernigan (NFI)- Back Injury

S Chris Maragos (PUP)- Knee Injury 

WR Bryce Treggs (NFI)- Lower Body (Hockey reference nice)

This isn’t quite as loaded as the 2017 injured reserve squad but there are some notable names on this list. Brandon Graham was hoping to be ready for training camp but his regular season status shouldn’t be in jeopardy.

Like Graham, Jeffery being sidelined is a product of toughing out the title run last year while injured and addressing his shoulder injury this off-season. Don’t expect to see a lot of Jeffery until Week 1 against Atlanta.

Jernigan is the interesting case here. While he could be ready after a few weeks in the regular season, he could also miss at least a month with a herniated disc

Seumalo Struggles

Issac Seumalo the supposed apparent to Jason Kelce did not get off to a great start at center. Specifically with snaps. Countless times Seumalo snapped the ball over the head of his quarterback and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was not pleased.

Dallas Goedert lines up on the outside

The 2018 second round selection was expected to be used in a number of formations on offense with his deep threat ability, big size, and rock solid hands.

At practice today Goedert was seen working as the lone receiver on one side of the ball in four receiver sets with the other three on the opposing side.

Letting Goedert work with some ISO ball is a dangerous idea for other defenses to worry about against the Eagles. The former South Dakota State standout led the NCAA FBS in deep receiving receptions and yards last year.

Sidney Jones worked as the first-team slot corner

It has been speculated all off-season who would replace Patrick Robinson as the new starting slot CB. Although the coaching staff has primarily talked up Jalen Mills for the spot, Sidney Jones has shown over the spring and summer he can play anywhere on the field including the slot where he was the first-team starter on defense.

Devante Bausby had another strong practice but it would be difficult for the Eagles to keep Darby, Mills, or Jones off the field.

If Jones has a strong summer it may instill confidence into Schwartz to put Mills inside in nickel formations.

Rasul Douglas picks off Nick Foles

We mentioned Jones getting first team looks, Mills is set for a starting job on the outside or inside, Darby looks like a clear starting CB, but quietly Rasul Douglas is impressing.

Douglas jumped a route today thrown from Nick Foles that would have been a pick-six in a real game. Douglas’s aggression can often be costly, but with his length and instincts for the ball, he might make it hard for the Eagles to keep him off the field.

Perhaps he plays well enough to push up an eventual Ronald Darby departure? Not likely but it is good to know that when the Eagles need to turn to Douglas as they did in 2017 that he will be a reliable starter.

Carson Wentz doesn’t look injured

Anyone with eyes can see Wentz looks completely healthy. His promising spring and first day of training camp makes the speculative report this week about him starting on the PUP list mind boggling.

Wentz practiced in limited fashion today with the second team, even getting reps in 11 on 11s (he only practiced 7 on 7s in OTAs).

Doug Pederson wants to be cautious with six weeks still to evaluate Wentz but he shouldn’t be cautious just for the sake of being cautious or scared to rush Wentz. That is the way the Sixers handled Embiid at times last year which was often the wrong move.

Healthy is healthy and unless he suffers a setback (knock on wood), it looks like Carson is going to start Week 1.

Carson Wentz made a sex joke

Nice.

 

Louie, an Eagles, and NFL enthusiast all his life has finally found his home to share his thousands of takes on the Philadelphia Eagles with Locked on Eagles. Louie also works in Buffalo sports radio as a producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to working as the Sports Director for 91.3 FM WBNY Buffalo. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Who could the Eagles target from 49ers?

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Eagles could be cooking up another trade. This time with the San Francisco 49ers.

What could Howie Roseman be looking for from San Francisco? The Eagles have already taken care of their DT, WR, and LB needs in free agency by trading for DeSean Jackson, signing Malik Jackson, and L.J. Fort.

They locked up their offensive line core keeping Jason Peters and extending both Jason Kelce and Issac Seumalo.

They even added to the log jam that is the CB position by bringing back Ronald Darby on a one-year deal.

Here are some players the 49ers could be willing to deal to the Eagles that makes sense for Philadelphia.

 

RB Matt Breida

With the signing of RB Tevin Coleman, the 49ers could be looking to shop one of their running backs.

Breida makes the most sense of anyone on the 49ers for the Eagles to have interest in. At just 24, Breida is young, and on an inexpensive contract which are two things Roseman loves to deal for.

After Jerick McKinnon went down last season, Breida carried the 49ers backfield finishing with 814 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

He averaged 5.3 YPC and early on in the season, he was averaging over 7.0 YPC.

That fast start included a Week 2 showing against Detroit that resulted in 138 rushing yards on just 12 carries.

Breida is explosive in short areas, and has the receiving skills Doug Pederson’s offense loves to have in the backfield.

The third year running back surpassed 1,000 yards from scrimmage and would be an all-around weapon the Eagles desperately need at RB.

 

RB Jerick McKinnon 

If the 49ers decide to keep Breida as Coleman’s counter-part in the backfield, that could spell the end of Jerick McKinnon in San Francisco before it even got started.

The former Viking signed with the 49ers last offseason and was expected to be Kyle Shanahan’s new version of Coleman but he tore his ACL before the season started.

McKinnon still has three years left on his contract with a $5.7 million cap hit in 2019.

He is only 26 and like Breida, McKinnon can make defenses pay on the ground and through the air.

In 2017 after Dalvin Cook suffered a season-ending injury, McKinnon became an important piece to Minnesota’s offense finishing with 570 rushing yards and 421 receiving yards.

Between 2016 and 2017, McKinnon had 94 receptions. Much like in Shanahan’s offense, Pederson’s offense is better with that kind of RB.

 

DE Solomon Thomas

The former third overall pick in the 2017 draft hasn’t met that potential in his first two years with the 49ers.

Thomas has just four sacks in two seasons but he could be another young (24 years old), buy-low trade target Howie Roseman takes a chance on.

The 49ers would likely be more willing to deal Thomas after trading and extending DE Dee Ford. San Francisco also holds the second overall pick in a draft class that even Roseman labeled “historic” when it comes to pass rushers.

With Chris Long’s future up in the air, Thomas could be someone the Eagles bring in to compete with Josh Sweat and a rookie if Long doesn’t think more playing time is coming his way for the 2019 season.

 

If the Eagles do make a trade with the 49ers, San Francisco’s loaded backfield is likely where Philadelphia would like to grab a play-maker from. Expect a deal to involve a draft pick but don’t be surprised if someone like Jalen Mills is also involved.

The CB group is now six-deep after re-signing Darby. With four other young, promising corners to develop and Mills hitting free agency in 2020, it seems likely Philadelphia could look to get some value for him now.

The 49ers already have Richard Sherman and signed former Chargers CB Jason Verrett this offseason but Mills has the versatility to play outside, in the slot, or even at safety.

Mills or a late pick for McKinnon/Breida could make sense for both sides.

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Philadelphia Eagles

T.J. Yeldon fits in Philadelphia

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t appear the Eagles were in on big names at running back in free agency. Le’Veon Bell signed with the Jets. Tevin Coleman signed with the 49ers. Mark Ingram signed with the Ravens.

Seeing Ingram and Coleman’s deal both in the $5 million a year range has many scratching their heads about why the Eagles potentially didn’t pursue those two on inexpensive contracts.

While Philadelphia could have been in the hunt for both, a lack of interest would certainly concern fans that want to see the organization invest legitimate resources into the position. It is certainly something to keep a closer eye on.

Howie Roseman can be lackadaisical when it comes to RB including last year, failing to replace Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. However, there is no need to panic just yet. The NFL Draft has talent across all seven rounds.

There are also some intriguing options still out there through trades and free agency that fit what the Eagles want to spend, and how they want to use their backs. Former Jacksonville Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon is perhaps the most interesting option. And he would be a great fit in Doug Pederson’s offense.

An even cheaper option than Coleman and Ingram

It was a bit surprising seeing Coleman and Ingram get less than expected. If the Eagles weren’t players for either, it could be as a result of their serious interest in the draft class, or their plans to spend even less at the position.

Yeldon could be a cheaper option.

If Coleman and Ingram both got $5 million, it seems evident that Yeldon, a less proven player than the other two, would get less.

The Eagles have not spent significant dollars for a running back since Chip Kelly signed DeMarco Murray in 2015. They have targeted younger, cheaper players.

At 25 years old, Yeldon fits that mold.

 

The perfect complementary RB 

If Yeldon and Corey Clement were the compliments to a rookie the front office invests in, it would be hard to do much better.

The former Alabama prospect has the receiving skills this Eagles offense has valued since the days of Brian Westbrook.

Yeldon has 135 catches in the last three seasons, with a career-high 55 receptions for 487 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns in 2018.

He can make some impressive plays with his hands.

The production is there but he isn’t built like other receiving-backs. At 6’2 218 pounds, Yeldon is a few inches taller, and only two pounds lighter than Jay Ajayi. The majority would agree that Ajayi’s label is that of a power runner.

That allows him to be an option in goal-line and short-yardage situations.

 

Chunk plays are abundant 

Yeldon has the ability to turn a four-yard hole, or a three-yard check down into a 15-30 yard play. He is extremely explosive for his size and he isn’t easy to bring down when he is caught. At Alabama, Yeldon forced 54 tackles in his final collegiate season.

Having that kind of weapon with the five dangerous pass-catchers the Eagles already have could be deadly. Wendell Smallwood isn’t that weapon.

In 2018, Yeldon finished with eight receptions of 15+ yards. Four of which were above 20 yards. Tevin Coleman only had five receptions of 15+ yards.

Compared to Alvin Kamara, an elite pass-catching running back, Yeldon only had seven fewer receptions that went past 15 yards.

 

Moves the chains on third down

In short and long situations on third down, Yeldon was a focal point for the Jaguars.

Whether it was a passing play or a running play, he was effective in moving the chains.

Being capable of converting through the air and ground with just one running back helps make an offense less predictable.

 

The Eagles still have quality options if they want to add an RB before the draft. The Browns and Bears are actively shopping Duke Johnson and Jordan Howard. If the front office wants to keep their draft capital however, T.J. Yeldon could be their guy.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Fort Philadelphia

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

On today’s Locked on Eagles:

Analyzing the Eagles signing LB L.J. Fort

DeSean Jackson’s press conference was encouraging

The Giants continue their blueprint of not having a blueprint signing Golden Tate

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