Eagles’ Schwartz: ‘Derek(Barnett) is always a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder’

Philadelphia Eagles DE Derek Barnett might be getting a reputation as a dirty player. In Week 4 against Green Bay,  the third-year player laid a vicious, helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers RB Jamaal Williams, which concussed Williams and sent him to the hospital, and last week against the Jets, during Nathan Gerry’s interception return for a touchdown, Barnett was called for a personal foul penalty for his block on Jets offensive lineman Alex Lewis.

While some may believe Barnett is a dirty player, Eagles DC Jim Schwartz does not think that is the case.

“Yeah, both my daughters wear Derek Barnett jerseys to the games, so that tells you how much I think of him,” Schwartz said on Tuesday. “Derek is always a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder. It’s one of the things that makes him successful.

But you have to be careful about crossing that line, and interception returns traditionally have been — I mean, you go back and I don’t want to bore you — but like 20 years ago the interception return would be like nine guys on defense trying to go mess up the quarterback.

“You get offensive linemen that are knocking you around the pile or holding you the whole time, and now it’s like, I’m going to go get that guy back. You can’t make it a personal war. It has to be about the team, whether it’s who gets the sack or who gets the block, whatever it is.

“The one dynamic that’s a little bit different this year — doesn’t really affect — hasn’t had anything to do with Derek, but the whole peel-back block going in. We’ve tried to really emphasize that, because you can’t go in with any kind of force. You have to wall guys off with your hands.

“It’s so hard to make plays and get interceptions or scoop fumbles. The last thing you want to do is take that away with a penalty. Derek knows that. He just has to balance playing with that chip on his shoulder and playing tough and physical and hustling, all the things we love about him, and just make sure we don’t cross the line into doing something that hurts the team.

Those hits by Barnett were unnecessary, and in today’s NFL, those types of hits will get you fined and maybe even suspended. While it’s too soon to call Barnett a dirty player, it’s in Barnett’s best interest to clean things up moving forward.

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Eagles-Packers second-most watched game for FOX’s Thursday Night Football

Last night’s Thursday Night Football Presented by Bud Light Platinum game featuring the Philadelphia Eagles’ 34-27 win over the Green Bay Packers was seen by an average audience of 18.6 million across all platforms, including FOX, NFL Network, FOX Deportes, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and Yahoo Sports.

The 18.6 million viewers for Eagles-Packers across all platforms is up +25% versus the 2018 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average and up +23% versus last year’s Week 4 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams.

Eagles-Packers is the second most-watched game since FOX began broadcasting Thursday Night Football in 2018, behind the New Orleans Saints-Dallas Cowboys matchup in Week 13 last season (22.2 million).

The Nielsen-measured audience was 17.7 million – up +23% versus the 2018 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average (14.3 million) and up +22% versus the 2018 Week 4 Thursday Night Football game (14.5 million). Additionally, Eagles-Packers averaged a 10.5 HH rating – up +21% versus the 2018 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average (8.7 HH rating) and up +18% versus last year’s Vikings-Rams matchup (8.9 HH rating).

Digital streaming across Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital and Yahoo Sports platforms produced an average minute audience of 1.4 million – the highest digital average minute audience for any regular season NFL game on record. Additionally, digital audience increased +91% versus the 2018 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average (728K) and +70% versus last year’s Week 4 Thursday Night Football matchup (817K).

Amazon Prime Video and Twitch reached a total of 3.2 million combined viewers worldwide for the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show and the Eagles-Packers game. For the Eagles-Packers game alone, 2.9 million worldwide viewers initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch. The average worldwide audience watching the Thursday Night Football game for at least 30 seconds on Prime Video or Twitch was 877K.

Eagles’ Groh: ‘I think you can define Nelson [Agholor’s] career as being resilient’

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor has had a rough couple weeks. He dropped a possible game-winning touchdown in Week 2 against the Falcons, and last Sunday against the Lions, he lost a fumble and had one of the team’s seven drops as Philadelphia(1-2) lost to Detroit 27-24 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Even with those miscues, Agholor has managed to put some decent numbers. The fifth-year player had 16 receptions for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the past two games, and while Agholor did struggle with drops earlier in his career, he has managed to work through those struggles to become a solid wide receiver in the NFL.

“I think you can define [WR] Nelson [Agholor’s] career as being resilient,” Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh said on Tuesday. “He’s always had the self-confidence to bounce back and to move on to the next play, whether it be good or bad, and obviously he made some really good plays over the last couple weeks. What does he got, something like 16 catches or something like that in two weeks? He’s had a lot of production, and obviously, there’s some plays that everybody — and that starts with me — that all of us wish that we had over and could do better. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Nelson Agholor, and he’s going to be one of the reasons we win a lot of games.”

With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson in street clothes, Carson Wentz needed all the help that he could get, and when your team has seven drops, that is not helping your quarterback. Football games are not won or lost by one play, and while many fans want to blame Agholor, he is not the only reason the Eagles lost to the Falcons and Lions.

At this point, there is a lot of issues in Philadelphia. They are not getting after the quarterback, they are not protecting the quarterback, and their secondary is struggling. However, it’s still early, and they have time to fix things. In the end, Agholor is the least of Philly’s issues.

Eagles’ Pederson talks Agholor’s drop against the Falcons

Eagles WR Nelson Agholor had a lot of struggles with drops earlier in his career. However the past two seasons, Agholor has become a reliable receiver for Philadelphia and has shown the ability to make a lot of the plays for the Eagles.

But, last night against the Falcons, with the Eagles trailing 24-20 late in the game, Agholor had an opportunity to put the Eagles in the lead. The fifth-year player was wide open and let a perfect pass from Carson Wentz go right through his hands. Agholor would redeem himself later in the drive by catching a 43-yard pass from Wentz on a big fourth down play. But it was not enough, as the Falcons defense would stiffen and Philadelphia would loss 24-20.

Agholor would finish the game with eight catches for 107 yards and one touchdown, but obviously, that won’t overshadow his big drop.

Today, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson discussed Agholor’s drop against the Falcons.

“Yeah, I talked to [WR] Nelson [Agholor] after the game just before we got on the bus to go to the airport and one, I thought he played really well,” Pederson said. “Really well from — he played, basically, two spots yesterday, having to move around, and it just shows his mental capacity with the offense and where he is.

“He made some outstanding catches yesterday, as well and then I told him after the game, one play is not going to define him or our season. It’s Week 2 in the National Football League, and we have a bunch of football left, and he’s a great player for us. I told him just to keep his head up, keep working, and we’re going to find more ways to win these games than lose them going into the future.”

Drops happen in the NFL, but this drop may haunt Agholor for a little bit. Hopefully, for Philadelphia, this drop won’t come back to hurt the Eagles this season.

Schwartz on Jackson: ‘We’ll certainly miss him’

The Philadelphia Eagles have placed DT Malik Jackson on injured reserved, the team announced today, which will end his season. Jackson signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Eagles this offseason, and according to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury on Sunday against the Redskins. The 29-year-old Jackson is expected to have surgery next week, according to the report.

To replace Jackson, Philadelphia announced today that they have signed DT Akeem Spence, who spent last season with the Miami Dolphins. The 27-year-old Spence was released by the Dolphins back in August.

Obviously, losing Jackson hurts, but according to Eagles DC Jim Schwartz, it’s next man up.

“Malik [Jackson] is an important part of what we do, and we’ll certainly miss him when he’s not on the field,” Schwartz said on Tuesday. “But we have plenty of guys that can step up and play. And that’s nothing new in the NFL, doesn’t change our task from game to game, and it doesn’t change our task over the course of the year.

“We’ll get him healthy and get him back. If I know Malik, he’ll do a good job staying engaged while he’s rehabbing. I’ve been really impressed with him as a professional, not just as a player, but as a professional, I’m sure you guys have too.”

With Jackson out, Timmy Jernigan will be a starter again at the defensive tackle spot, and considering how well Jernigan played for the Eagles in 2017, the Philadelphia does not lose much at the position. However, they do lose depth, which may hurt the team as the season moves on.

Redskins claim Smallwood off waivers; announce practice squad signings

The Washington Redskins have claimed RB Wendell Smallwood off waivers, the team announced today. Smallwood, who was waived by the Eagles on Saturday, spent the past three seasons with Philadelphia.

Smallwood, 25, rushed for 364 yards and three rushing touchdowns last season.

Washington also announced that they have waived RB Byron Marshall and placed LB Jordan Brailford and RB Shaun Wilson on IR.

Additionally, the Redskins have signed the following players to their practice squad:

CB Adonis Alexander, DE Ryan Bee, WR Jehu Chesson, TE J.P. Holtz, T Timon Parris, S Jeremy Reaves, RB Craig Reynolds, WR Cam Sims, LB Darrell Williams.

 

Eagles’ Roseman: ‘I think we have a lot of talent’

On Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles finalized their 53-man roster, and Philadelphia, who won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, is looking to get back to that place in 2019.

On paper, it looks good. The offense seems stacked, with the additions of DeSean Jackson, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, and most importantly, a healthy Carson Wentz. Defensively, the Eagles look solid, as they bring back Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Malcolm Jenkins.

There is a lot of talent, but will it all mesh? That’s the question Eagles GM Howie Roseman has.

“I think we have a lot of talent,” Roseman said on Saturday. “The question is how we come together as a football team. We started here, and we had an opportunity to talk to the team first day of training camp, and we talked about that there was talent in this room, but we need to come together as a team, and that comes through experiences through the course of the season. That comes from dealing with adversity through the course of the season.

“We think that we have the right character and right leadership on this team, on the coaching staff, and on the field to do that. But now we have to go show that.”

The sky’s the limit for Philadelphia, but in the NFL, stuff happens, injuries happen, and chemistry issues happen. However, if the Eagles avoid those things, the talent is there for this football team to do some amazing things in 2019.

It all starts next Sunday against the Redskins.

Pederson on Wentz: ‘I feel comfortable that he’s ready to go’

Eagles QB Carson Wentz, who signed a four-year, $128 million extension in the offseason, will not take a snap in the preseason.  The 26-year-old Wentz is coming off a back injury, which forced him to miss the final three games of the 2018 regular season and playoffs.

The good thing for Wentz and the Eagles is that he is completely healthy. Wentz will start Week 1 against the Redskins, and according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, Wentz being healthy is the most important thing right now.

 “I think it goes all the way back to even the end of the season. Just how he approached the off-season,” Pederson said about Wentz on Tuesday. “He was determined to, No. 1, be healthy. The way he attacked his rehab. He was diligent in his rehab. He trusted the doctors. He trusted the team around him that was helping him physically get back and then just as we progressed through the OTAs with the practices and how we structure practice, just each day he kept getting stronger and stronger and on into camp.

“Training camp was set up that way with that in mind, to have all our starters prepared and ready to go for week one. I’ve seen nothing but improvement each week of training camp with him. He’s had some really good practices here as of late, and I feel comfortable that he’s ready to go.”

There will be some rust that Wentz may have to work off early in the season, but in reality, a lot of players in the NFL will be going through the same thing. Teams around the league are doing their best to keep their stars out of harm’s way. Therefore, starters are not getting a lot of snaps in the preseason anymore, so Wentz not playing in the preseason, will probably be no big deal.

Eagles DC Jim Schwartz reflects on 2017 NFC Championship Game

The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles did something that many did not think was possible coming into that season, especially after starting QB Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14 against the Rams. However, Nick Foles came off the bench and led the Eagles to a victory in Super Bowl 52 against the Patriots.

Before getting to the Super Bowl, the Eagles had a very magical run through the playoffs. In the Divisional Round, Philly beat the Falcons after stopping Atlanta on 4th and goal late in the game, which set up a battle against the Vikings, in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field.

In that game, then Vikings QB Case Keenum, who is now with the Redskins and will start Week 1 against the Eagles, led Minnesota to a touchdown on their opening drive. From there, it was all Philadelphia. The Eagles would go on to beat Minnesota 38-7 to advance to the Super Bowl.

On Monday, Eagles defensive coordinator, who led the defensive that season, reflected on the 2017 NFC Championship game.

“That just happened to be our day. That happened to be the City of Philadelphia’s day,” Schwartz said. “I think a lot of times the first half of that game is a little bit of a blur. I remember P-Rob [former Eagles CB and current Saints CB Patrick Robinson] making that interception and scoring and [DE] Derek Barnett getting the sack strip. Those were big plays.

“But honestly, the second half of that game moved in like slow motion and high-speed at the same time because it was obvious we were going to win the game. It was just really cool. It was sort of a party atmosphere the whole second half, and it was fun to be a part of that.

“Not every game comes down to the last minute. However you’ve got to win it, you’ve got to win it. But that game in the second half was really a special experience. But that doesn’t take anything away from [former Vikings QB and current Redskins QB] Case Keenum. He really had a great year that year, and we had to play really good defense to come out with that win, and we were able to.”

Schwartz and Eagles fans will never forget the 2017 NFC Championship Game.

Foles: ‘I did have elbow issues in 2017’

Eagles DE Brandon Graham raised a few eyebrows recently when he said this about his former teammate and current Jaguars QB Nick Foles earlier this week:

 

As we know, Foles went on to have a magical 2017 season as he led the Eagles to a victory in Super Bowl 52 against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Today, Foles addressed Graham’s comments. Here is what he had to say:

(On Brandon Graham’s comment that 2017 might be Foles’ last season because of elbow issues):

Foles: “Yes, B.G. texted me afterwards saying, ‘I didn’t mean [to start] all that.’ I had some elbow issues that were well-known at that time and documented in Philly, so I missed training camp. The elbow issues, Dr. [Eon K.] Shin is there, a lot of guys go see him. He’s a wonderful guy, so I was able to get everything cleared up. I felt good. It was one of those things where when I was in St. Louis, it was also well-documented that after that, I was going to step away from the game. It was sort of a combination of both of those moments. But, yes, I did have elbow issues in 2017 that were very difficult at the beginning of the season and got better as the season went on.”

(On if he is having any issues with his elbow now):

Foles: “No. My body feels great. Obviously if you play football you’re going to have bumps and bruises and get soreness. But my body feels great. I do everything I can to monitor [my health] – a clean diet and do great recovery.”

Well, based on how things ended in 2017, and based on what we saw out of Foles last season in Philadelphia, it is safe to say that the elbow looks good. in reality, Jacksonville probably does not give him a four-year contract worth $88 million if his elbow was not in good shape.

In the end, this story just makes what happened with Foles and the Eagles in 2017 even more magical.