Sidney Jones re-signs with Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed CB Sidney Jones IV, the team announced on Tuesday.

No word on the length and money of the contract

Jones, 24, appeared in nine games with six starts with the Jaguars in 2020 after spending the first three seasons of his career with the Eagles.

The four-year veteran played well at times with Jacksonville last season. During his 2020 campaign, he totaled 25 tackles, a career-high nine passes defensed, two INTs, and one forced fumble.

On Oct. 11 against the Texans, Jones had a breakout performance as he tallied three tackles and a career-high four passes defensed and an INT, becoming the first Jaguars player to achieve the feat since 2017.

During his time in Philadelphia, Jones struggled with injuries and played in 22 contests over three seasons, including nine in 2018 and 12 in 2019. He was originally drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft by the Eagles.

This is a great opportunity for Jones, who has been a disappointment in his young career. However, he is still young and has shown some flashes, so it should be interesting to see if he can continue to impress in Jacksonville.

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘We have two quarterbacks in Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts that are top-notch’

Philadelphia Eagles new head coach Nick Sirianni met the media for the first time at his introductory press conference on Friday.

The 39-year-old Sirianni, who spent the last three seasons as an offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, will take over for the recently fired Doug Pederson, who spent five seasons with the Eagles.

The biggest question Sirianni will have to answer as he enters his first season as the Eagles head coach is who will be the quarterback for the team in 2021.

Will it be Carson Wentz, who was benched for the final four games of the season, or Jalen Hurts.

According to Sirianni, he has spoken to both Wentz and Hurts, and he believes the Eagles have two very good quarterbacks.

“We have two quarterbacks in [QB] Carson Wentz and [QB] Jalen Hurts that are top-notch,” Sirianni said. “They’re top-notch quarterbacks. A lot of teams don’t have any. Just really excited to work with both of them.”

When asked if there would be an open quarterback competition, in 2021, Sirianni had this to say.

 “Again, that’s something that we have to look at and evaluate,” he said. “I’m not ready to say that either way yet. We’re just evaluating our players, evaluating every position. Every position, right? We don’t know any of these guys really yet from what we’ve seen on tape so far because we haven’t watched any.

“Every position is going to be evaluated, and every position is going to be open, I guess to say. We can’t wait, again, to start watching the tape and seeing what our players can do.”

There were reports that Wentz was unhappy with Pederson and is unhappy with the Eagles’ organization, so you wonder how much that will play into Philadelphia’s decision going forward. 

Based on Wentz’s struggles last season, who appeared to be bothered by having Hurts around, you would think it would be difficult to bring back both Wentz and Hurts, but considering Wentz’s contract ($34 million cap hit if traded and $59 million dead cap hit if released in 2021), Philadelphia might not have a choice.

The contract situation says the 28-year-old Wentz is the guy. However, bringing in Brian Johnson as the QB coach, who was the OC at Florida, and has known Hurts since he was four and tried to recruit him in college, could mean Hurts is the guy.

Who knows what happens going forward, but one thing for sure, it’s going to be interesting.

Eagles’ Pederson on Alex Smith: ‘He’s a proven winner in this league’

When The Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith severely injured his right leg in 2018 and then had a life-threatening infection after surgery to repair the leg, many thought his career was over. However, Smith defied all the odds. After almost two seasons rehabbing the injury, he made his return in Week 5 when Washington’s Kyle Allen injured his arm. Ultimately, Smith took over the job on a full-time basis when Allen dislocated his ankle a few weeks later.

Before injuring his right calf against the 49ers in Week 9, the 36-year-old Smith was 4-1 as a starter and had Washington on top of the NFC East. Now, Smith is looking to work his way back from that calf injury to start on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field against the Eagles. It’s simple, if Washington(6-9) wins, they are NFC East champions. At this point, Smith is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. If Smith can’t go, Taylor Heinicke will start for Washington. Heinicke replaced the recently waived Dwayne Haskins last week in the team’s 20-13 loss to Carolina.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who spent three seasons as an offensive coordinator in Kansas City with Smith, has a lot of respect for the 16-year veteran.

“I’ll tell you something, I really have a lot of respect for Alex Smith, for him and his family,” Pederson said. “Again, the way he has come back from this adversity in his career with the injury and putting him in a position to play this season and potentially start this game Sunday night. My hat goes off to him.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he’s been in this position because our time in Kansas City for three years, just watching him work, the work ethic that he has for himself, number one, to be the best player that he can be, but also within the team, how he can elevate and make things run smoothly with his offenses.

“But he’s a guy that really knows how to run the system. He’s not going to put the ball in harm’s way. He takes care of the football. He utilizes everybody on offense, quite frankly. That’s been one of his strengths. That’s why his win percentage is so good.

“But I think the key is just that he takes care of the football, number one. He’s done that his whole career. I would say there’s probably been a lot of things said and piled up upon him over his career that he can’t do this, he can’t do that. But bottom line, he’s a proven winner in this league at quarterback, and that is what you are measured by, and I have a lot of respect for him.”

Smith is a winner in the NFL. He’s led a team to the playoffs five times. He knows what it takes to get his teams to the postseason, so if he can play, we’ll see if Smith can work his magic on Sunday against the Eagles.

Giants’ Judge: ‘We are paid to win games’

After losing to the Buccaneers in Week 8, the Giants were 1-7, and many thought they would be in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. Then, the team went on a four-game winning streak, including going into Seattle and beating the NFC West champion Seahawks, and at that point, the Giants were in first place in the NFC East, but since that win, New York is on a three-game losing streak after losing on the road to Baltimore 27-13 on Sunday.

However, even in a loss, the Giants still have an opportunity to win the NFC East. If New York(5-10) defeats the Cowboys and The Washington Football Team loses to the Eagles next Sunday night, the Giants win the division.

No one expected the Giants to have much success this season, but after the Ravens’ loss, Giants head coach Joe Judge believes the team needs to do more. 

“I am not trying to take shortcuts, but we are trying to do it the right way,” Judge said after the game. “The results of the last three games are what they are. We are paid to win games. That is what it is, professional football. We have to do a better job coaching, better job playing, we have to do more things to help us win the games. Ultimately, in terms of the character of the team, the work ethic of the team, the toughness of the team, we have the right start to who we are working with, and the direction we are going right now. We just need to make sure we do more on the field to get the tangible results.”

What will happen next week? Washington is clearly struggling at the quarterback position after Alex Smith went down with a calf injury. Washington QB Dwayne Haskins struggled mightily in the team’s loss against Carolina on Sunday. The second-year quarterback threw for only 154 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions and was benched in the fourth quarter, but they will play an Eagles team that will have nothing to play for, so it should be interesting to see how Philadelphia handles this game.

The Cowboys are playing well offensively and have been over 30 points in the past three weeks, but defensively the Cowboys(31st in points allowed) are not the best. However, the Giants are having a hard time scoring(31st in points), so we’ll see if they can take advantage of the Cowboys’ defense.

No matter what happens next Sunday, a very mediocre football team will be representing the NFC East in the playoffs.

Eagles’ Pederson on Hurts: ‘He played mentally and physically tough’

Philadelphia Eagles rookie QB Jalen Hurts went to battle against Cardinals QB Kyler Murray on Sunday, and what we got with an entertaining afternoon in Arizona. Hurts, who made his second career start against the Cardinals, threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 63 yards and another score, but it was not enough as Murray threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns and Arizona would defeat Philadelphia 33-26.

After the game, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson did not declare a starter, but he made it official on Monday. Hurts, who replaced Carson Wentz in Week 14, will start next Sunday against the Cowboys.

“Well, obviously, I’m going to have [QB] Jalen [Hurts] continue to start this week, and obviously, I’m focused on this week and this week right now,” Pederson said. “I want to see how our team and he respond after a tough loss yesterday. So, Jalen will be the starter this week.”

Pederson discussed further what Hurts did against Arizona.

“He just ran the offense,” Pederson said. “He did what Jalen can do. We protected the football, and I’ll tell you this, as I said this morning, too, the guys around him have played better. They’ve elevated their game, as well, and they’re improving each week. That’s all part of I think Jalen’s success, too, is having the guys around him play better.

“But yeah, he led the team. He played mentally and physically tough, which was good to see. He obviously extended plays with his legs. He had to throw probably more from the pocket yesterday because of the nature of the game and getting behind early in the football game.

“But yeah, he — I guess the biggest thing is just leading the team and keeping the guys engaged for the entire game and gave us a chance there at the end.”

When asked if he felt the next four games would give the team a real evaluation of Hurts, Pederson said the following:

“Well, that’s obviously kind of probably a loaded question a little bit. “I think you have a good idea. Obviously, we haven’t had a full body of 16 plus games, a preseason. We really don’t know necessarily. I do think you can go back and just watch him from his college days. Again, Alabama, Oklahoma, how he’s led those teams, and the success he’s had there, I think that gives you a good indication as to maybe who he is and what he can be, I think, down the road.

“We still have to improve, though. There’s room to grow. Nothing is perfect, and there are some mistakes that are still being made that we have to correct, even in his game. It is a little bit of a small sample size to really probably make that determination, overall.”

The Eagles will have a big decision to make if Hurts continues to play at this level. Do you try to trade Wentz, which could be difficult because of his four-year, $128 million contract he signed last summer? Furthermore, Wentz is reportedly not interested in being a backup, so if Wentz and Hurts have an open competition next season, and Hurts wins the job, that could become an issue for the Eagles. But at this point, there’s no denying that Hurts has a lot of potential.

Eagles’ Wentz, Sanders, Graham, Mills react to tie against Bengals

They say in the NFL that a tie is like kissing your sister, and on Sunday, both the Cincinnati Bengals(0-2-1) and the Philadelphia Eagles(0-2-1) kissed their sisters. For the second time in their all-time series, the Bengals and Eagles ended a game in a tie. The last time these two teams ended a game in a tie was in 2008 when the Bengals and Eagles finished the game tied at 13. This time around, al Lincoln Financial Field, the two teams ended the game tied at 23.

Both teams came into the game winless, and both teams left the game winless. After the tie, Philly’s Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Jalen Mills, and Brandon Graham reacted.

Miles Sanders:

“Man, right off the bat, okay. I don’t see it as bad or good. Both teams have to look at the film and just see what we could have done better to get a W.”

Brandon Graham:

“For me, I am not happy about it. But I am more proud of how we fought in the end because the goal line stance to keep them to three, that was big. We could have easily folded right there. We could have been talking about a loss right now. I look at it that we have a lot of work to do, but at the end of the day, we are going to stay together. I am not really worried about it. I know the Bengals were going to come in, and they were going to fight. Every team we match up against, they are going to fight. There are no easy wins and no easy games. I just love that we stuck together through all the stuff that happened. We just messed up in the end. We can’t do that.”

Jalen Mills: 

“At that point, say we do try to kick a field goal, and we miss. Now that team has the opportunity to get field position back, and there’s still time on the clock, and maybe they get in a position to kick a field goal, and we do take the loss. There’s a lot of different ways the scenario could have went. At the end of the day, I mean we tied, and we just have to live with that. Come in on Tuesday, watch the film, look at the mistakes. Because at this point, you don’t care about any good that we did. The result wasn’t what we wanted. Look at the mistakes – offense, defense, special teams – and get them corrected.”

Carson Wentz:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a tie, so it’s just kind of an awkward way to end the game. [It’s] frustrating when you have a chance there to kick the [game-winning] field goal. Even with our drive offensively, a couple times, we felt we were in field goal range, and we had plays [then] we had penalties and things just kept backing us up. The fight was there; the effort was there from guys. We just have to play smarter, play cleaner. I have to be better, as well. It was a frustrating way to end the game, for sure.”

Eagles’ Pederson: ‘I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness’

Eagles QB Carson Wentz started fast against Washington and had Philadelphia up 17-0 in the second quarter. However, near the end of the first half, he threw an interception that set up Washington’s first touchdown. In the third quarter, with the Eagles up 17-7, Wentz threw his second pick, which set up another Washington touchdown. 

Wentz(24-42, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints) and the Eagles would not score another point and would fall to Washington 27-17  at FedEx Field on Sunday. On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked Wentz’s interception before the half.

“After looking at the tape, it’s kind of how I felt and what I saw, live and in-person yesterday in the game,” Pederson said. “We just missed. We missed on a throw. The throw was — came out of his hand after watching the tape kind of slowing things down. Looked like it came out of his hand, ball could have slipped a little bit coming out of his hand. It was left inside. So it happens. Those are things that are going to happen. Especially when it’s warm, and it just is part of the game. It’s just going to take place.”

Many felt the Eagles were too aggressive against Washington, especially right before halftime when Wentz’s pick helped Washington score their first points of the game, but according to Pederson, Philadelphia will continue to stay aggressive.

“As far as the aggressiveness goes, I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness,” Pederson said. “Look, as I said this morning, a 17-0 lead or a 27-10 lead, in any football game in this league is not enough, and you have to continue to maintain aggressiveness. You have to — especially when you have momentum, right, and it’s kind of on your side. You’ve got to use that to your advantage, and my thinking at that time, too, was to try to get points before half with the ball to start the third quarter. We’ve done that many times here where we’ve scored and then come out and scored touchdowns to start the third quarter. That’s a lot of my mindset in these games.”

Another issue in Philadelphia’s 27-17 loss to Washington was the offensive line, which surrendered eight sacks. At times, Wentz did not have a lot of time, and sometimes, Wentz held the ball too long, which Pederson addressed.

“We still have to continue to address him(Wentz) and to address those issues,” he said. “It’s part of the football game. We just have to keep talking that it’s okay to throw the ball away. It’s okay to dirt the ball on a screen pass or something of that nature and look; it’s something that we’ve just got to continue working through. There is a fine line, obviously, as we know, between the aggressiveness, but at the same time, we want to be smart.”

The Eagles’ offensive line has to play better. Hopefully, they can get RT Lane Johnson back next week against the Rams, and Wentz has to get the ball out quicker if he wants to last for the whole season. If those things don’t happen, it could be a long season for the Eagles.

 

 

Eagles’ Pederson is confident Peters can transition to guard

Jason Peters is back with the Eagles. The 38-year-old Peters signed a one-year deal to return for his 17th season(12th with Philly) in the league. However, without Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks(Achilles), and with LT Andre Dillard in place, Philadelphia needs Peters to slide over to the guard spot. The nine-time Pro Bowler, who played in 13 games in 2019, made his mark at tackle, but now, he must learn a new position.

According to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, Peters should be able to make the transition to guard with minimal issues. 

“We had many conversations with Jason,” Pederson said during a video call on Monday. “We took a look at our roster obviously and felt that where Jason is and the type of player he is, obviously his leadership on the football team, that the transition would be relatively easy. I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy, but relatively easy, for him being a veteran guy moving into that guard spot, and quite frankly, we love where Andre is at. He’s had a tremendous off-season.”

Former Eagles OT Tra Thomas recently gave his thoughts on Peters to guard. According to Thomas, it won’t be easy.

“The skill isn’t the problem, it’s the wear and tear on the body,” Thomas told 97.3 ESPN Radio “If you are getting beat up out there playing defensive ends, you’re definitely going to get beat up playing offensive guard when you’re dealing with defensive tackles.”

“Everyone just thinks you can mix-and-match and just move around – it’s not that easy, to just move to different positions like that,” Thomas stressed. “Especially when you have been in a left-handed stance for so long, its takes a long-time to get that muscle memory to change.”

It’s going to be challenging to replace Brooks, but the Eagles are banking on Peters to get the job done. Time will tell if that is the right move.

Eagles’ Brandon Brooks tears Achilles tendon

Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl G Brandon Brooks will have to battle back from injury one more time. According to Brooks, he tore his left Achilles tendon. He is expected to miss the 2020 season.

Brooks tore his Achilles while working out at the NovaCare Complex(team’s practice facility) on Monday, according to CSN Philly’s Derrick Gunn.

The nine-year veteran tore his right Achilles tendon back in the 2018 season against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.

The 30-year-old Brooks has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, including injuring his shoulder last season in Week 17, which caused him to miss the playoffs. 

Obviously, this a big blow for Brooks and the Eagles. But, he did come back from one Achilles injury and made the Pro Bowl, so maybe he can do it again. However, it won’t be easy.

Pederson: ‘I have a ton of confidence in Nate(Sudfeld) to become the backup quarterback’

As we learned over the past three seasons, the backup quarterback position is a big deal for the Philadelphia Eagles. Carson Wentz has missed time in the past three seasons, and while he played all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, Wentz suffered an injury against the Seahawks in the playoffs, and without him, Philadelphia would lose to Seattle in the wild card round.

Barring anything dramatic, and despite Philadelphia selecting QB Jalen Hurts in the second round of this year’s draft, it appears that Nate Sudfeld will be the backup quarterback for the Eagles in 2020. And with some changes to the offseason due to COVID-19, Sudfeld, who has been with Philadelphia for the past three seasons, knows the Eagles’ offense,  which, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, will benefit Sudfeld in 2020.

“I think early on in this season, this becomes a veteran-laden football season,” Pederson said during a video conference call on Tuesday. “Football teams are going to have to rely on their veteran players, and Nate is one of those guys for us. He’s been on our roster the last couple of seasons, and he knows exactly what we are doing. I have a ton of confidence in Nate to become the backup quarterback. Nothing is ever handed to anybody, and we always try to create, I always try to create competition at every position, and quarterback, as you guys know, is not exempt from that. But I fully expect Nate to come in and be aggressive and do the things that he’s capable of doing, and become the backup to [QB] Carson [Wentz].”

Regarding Hurts, Pederson had this to say.

“And then with Jalen(Hurts), Jalen is about, right now, just learning and picking up our system, and he’s another one, another young player that we drafted who, there’s a lot to learn from the quarterback position,” he said. “So, are we going to take it a little bit slower maybe with him until he grasps the offense? You might have to. What I like about it is always the unknown, and the unknown is how well a guy, I think, can progress. And then once we get him on the grass, put him through drills, put him through practices, then we see exactly what these guys are all about.

“Right now, Jalen is doing an outstanding job of picking up the offense, spitting it back to [Eagles Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach] Press [Taylor], and understanding what we are trying to get done, and we go that route with him right now at this time.”

This is an excellent opportunity for the 26-year-old Sudfeld. However, if things go the way Philadelphia wants things to go with Wentz, Sudfeld will never see the field in 2020.