Tebow on playing tight end: ‘I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace’

Tim Tebow is back in the NFL, but this time at a new position. Jacksonville Jaguars have signed TE Tim Tebow, the team announced on Thursday.

Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy with current Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer at Florida, played three seasons in the NFL as a quarterback, including leading the Broncos to a victory in the playoffs back in 2011.

After playing for the Jets in 2012, the Florida native tried to catch on with the Eagles and Patriots, but both times he was cut by both teams before the start of the season. Tebow tried his hand at baseball and spent three seasons(2016-19) in the Mets’ minor league system before retiring in 2020.

“I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be part of this team,” Tebow said. “I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace. I am dedicated to taking the direction of our coaching staff and learning from my teammates. I appreciate everyone’s support as I embark on this new journey.”

Tebow, 33, has never played tight end on any level and has not played an NFL regular-season game in nine years, so this transition won’t be easy. Clearly, this brings more eyes and ears to the Jaguars, and clearly, Tebow is loved in the state of Florida, but it could be a distraction. 

However, it will be fun to see if he can make the transition, and if he does, “Tebowmania” will be off the charts.

 

Philadelphia Eagles announce 2021 schedule; Philly begins season against Falcons

The Philadelphia Eagles announced their complete preseason and regular season on Thursday. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni will make his coaching debut against the Falcons on the road in Week 1 of the 2021 regular season.

Below is the Philly’s complete preseason and regular season schedule.

2021 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule

Preseason

 

Thursday, August 12

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

 

7:30 pm

 

NBC10

 

Thursday, August 19

 

New England Patriots

 

7:30 pm

 

NBC10

 

TBD*

 

at New York Jets

 

TBD

 

TBD

 
   

Regular Season

 

Sunday, September 12

 

at Atlanta Falcons

 

1:00 pm

 

FOX

 

Sunday, September 19

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

1:00 pm

 

FOX

 

Monday, September 27

 

at Dallas Cowboys

 

8:15 pm

 

ESPN^

 

Sunday, October 3

 

Kansas City Chiefs

 

1:00 pm

 

CBS

 

Sunday, October 10

 

at Carolina Panthers

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

Thursday, October 14

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

8:20 pm+

 

FOX/NFLN/Amazon^

 

Sunday, October 24

 

at Las Vegas Raiders

 

4:05 pm+

 

FOX

 

Sunday, October 31

 

at Detroit Lions

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

Sunday, November 7

 

Los Angeles Chargers

 

4:05 pm+

 

CBS

 

Sunday, November 14

 

at Denver Broncos

 

4:25 pm+

 

CBS

 

Sunday, November 21

 

New Orleans Saints

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

Sunday, November 28

 

at New York Giants

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

Sunday, December 5

 

at New York Jets

 

1:00 pm+

 

CBS

 

Sunday, December 12

 

BYE

         

Sat., Dec. 18 / Sun., Dec. 19*

 

Washington Football Team

 

TBD+

 

TBD

 

Sunday, December 26

 

New York Giants

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

Sunday, January 2

 

at Washington Football Team

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

Sunday, January 9

 

Dallas Cowboys

 

1:00 pm+

 

FOX

 

 

 

Postseason

 

Saturday, January 15 and Sunday, January 16 – AFC and NFC Wild Card Playoffs

 

Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23 – AFC and NFC Divisional Playoffs

 

Sunday, January 30 – AFC and NFC Championship Games

 

Sunday, February 13 – Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA (NBC)

 
   

* specific date and time TBD

 

^ nationally televised game

 

+ game time subject to change due to flex scheduling

 
   

All games will be broadcast live on 94.1 WIP

 

Flexible scheduling: “Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-18. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-17, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. 

For Week 18, two Saturday games and the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 9. The schedule does not list Saturday games or a Sunday night game in Week 18, but games with playoff implications will be moved to those time slots.  Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.  

Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.

Scheduling notes:

  • Philadelphia will begin the 2021 season against Atlanta on the road at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Eagles last played the Falcons on kickoff weekend in 2018, when they opened the NFL’s schedule with a home victory coming off their Super Bowl LII-winning campaign in 2017.

  • A national audience will once again be treated to an Eagles-Cowboys matchup in Week 3 on Monday Night Football. With the exception of a nationally televised 2014 Thanksgiving afternoon contest, the division rivals have squared off in primetime every season dating back to 2007.

  • Philadelphia will host the Super Bowl LV Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. The Eagles are one of only two teams with an undefeated record on Thursday Night Football (5-0) since 2016, joining the Seahawks.

  • The Eagles’ final flight of the season will happen in Week 10 when they travel to Denver. Philadelphia will then play four of its last seven games of the season at Lincoln Financial Field. Following their Week 14 bye, the Eagles will close the season with four consecutive games against NFC East opponents, three of which are in front of a home crowd.

 

Eagles’ Gainwell: ‘I’m a rare breed’

For Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell, getting drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of this year’s draft does a few things for him. It allows him an opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing football and a chance to play with his cousin, Eagles DT Fletcher Cox.

Like Cox, Gainwell is from Yazoo City, Mississippi. According to Gainwell, the people of Yazoo City are happy to see Gainwell and Cox together in Philly.

The city is very excited about me and Fletcher(Cox),” Gainwell said on Saturday. “Man, they just excited about us. They’re excited that we play ball, and now we are playing with each other on the same team, so they are going to be even more excited.”

Gainwell opted out last season due to COVID concerns. In 2019, he put up monster numbers for Memphis, including running for 1459 yards with 13 touchdowns on the ground, and he caught 51 passes for 610 yards with three receiving touchdowns. 

According to Gainwell, he spent a lot of time in the gym during his time away from football. 

“I basically just started training,” he said. “So basically, the next week after I opted out, I started training, and I’ve been working out ever since. It’s been basically six months for me working out straight, non-stop. I’ve just been putting in the work, staying down, staying healthy throughout this process.

While Gainwell wanted and some expected him to be picked higher in the draft, he’s happy to be in Philly.

Yeah, I was surprised,” he said about going later in the draft. “But I’m happy now; I’m happy y’all got me. I’m happy I’m with the Eagles. That really don’t matter. It’s time to work. It’s time to put in the work. Getting drafted first, getting drafted at the fifth, it don’t really matter about all that. I am ready to ball for the Eagles.”

Gainwell does not lack for confidence, and when asked who does he compare himself to in the NFL, he had this to say:

“I’m a rare breed,” he said. “I’m a different one.”

Gainwell has a lot of versatility. As the numbers show, he can do things on the ground and in the passing game.  With his skill set, he should add depth to the Eagles’ running back room in 2021.

Eagles’ Smith: ‘I don’t care too much about what people say about my weight’

The Philadelphia Eagles got their man on Thursday night in Cleveland. Philadelphia, who had the 12th pick in this year’s draft, moved up two spots to 10 after a trade(Philly sends 12th pick and a third-round pick in this year’s draft) with their bitter rival, the Dallas Cowboys.

After the deal with Dallas, the Eagles grabbed former Alabama WR and 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

According to Smith, he was surprised that Philadelphia traded up to get him. 

“I was shocked that they had traded up for me,” Smith said on Thursday night. “I was really like, if they traded up for me, then they see something that they like. So I was really excited, and it’s a blessing.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman was happy to get his hands on Smith.

“He was very highly rated on our board, someone who we feel like is not only a great player but a great person, will come in and be ready to roll,” Roseman said. 

Before the draft, much was made about Smith’s stature, mainly his weight. The 6-1 Smith weighed in at 166 pounds at the NFL medical re-check in April, but according to Smith, none of that matters. 

“I don’t care too much about what people say about my weight,” he said. “I understand reporters have a job. It’s their job to make a story. I just let them do their job. I can’t get mad at them for doing their job.”

Smith will be reunited with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, his college QB at Alabama, which he discussed on Thursday night. 

“And Jalen(Hurts), that’s my guy,” Smith said. “Been with him in my time at Alabama. Even when I was a recruit, he was the guy trying to get me to come to Alabama. That’s my guy. I have a great relationship, and I’m ready to work.”

Clearly, both the Giants and Eagles wanted Smith, but the Eagles did what they had to do to get their man. Give Roseman credit, he dropped down to 12 after the trade with the Dolphins in May and got picks for next season(2022 first and fourth-rounder), and then he moved up to get a guy who many believe is a game-breaking wide receiver in Smith.

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘We’re going to have competition at every position’

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded QB Carson Wentz to the the Indianapolis Colts, the thought was that Jalen Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021. The former second-round pick started four games for the Eagles in 2020 as a rookie and went 1-3.

Hurts threw for 1061 yards with six touchdown and four interceptions last season.

Today, Eagles GM Howie Roseman, head coach Nick Sirianni, and vice president of player personnel Andy Weiland met the media. Sirianni was asked if Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback this season.

Here is what he had to say:

“To name any starters at this particular time, we’ve been working with these guys for two days, right? We’ve been working with these guys for two days,” Sirianni said. “My biggest thing is competition. Again, we’ve talked a little bit about my core values. It’s my second core value. It’s this team’s second core value. Competition is a huge thing.

We’re going to have competition at every position.”

Hurts, 22 showed flashes in the four games he started, and on the surface, the Eagles were confident enough in Hurts that they willing to move Wentz. Also, you don’t waste a second-round pick on a quarterback if you don’t believe he can eventually be a starter.

Philadelphia signed 36-year-old quarterback Joe Flacco this offseason, and Flacco made it clear that he was looking to compete for the starting job.

By not declaring Hurts the starter, maybe this is a way for the Eagles to motivate him, perhaps they’re looking to draft a quarterback with the 12th pick in this year’s draft, or maybe there will be an actual quarterback competition. Who knows.

However, when it’s all said and done, expect Hurts to be under center for the Eagles in Week 1.

Lurie on Wentz: ‘Very fixable, and I fully expect him to realize his potential’

The Doug Pederson era in Philadelphia is over. Pederson was fired by the Eagles, the team announced on Monday. Pederson spent five seasons with the Eagles and has been to the postseason three times, including winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2017. 

The 2020 season was a struggle for Pederson and the Eagles. The team finished a disappointing 4-11-1, and reportedly, QB Carson Wentz, who struggled mightily this season, had a bad relationship with Pederson. According to reports, Wentz felt the relationship with Pederson was irreparable. In 12 starts, the 28-year-old Wentz threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions(tied for most in the league), had a 72.8 quarterback rating(second-worst among starting quarterbacks), and was sacked a league-high 50 times. Ultimately, Wentz was benched for the final four games of the season in favor of 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts. 

What the Eagles will do at the quarterback position in 2021 should be interesting, and according to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who addressed the media on Monday after the announcement of Pederson’s firing, the decision on the quarterback position in 2021 is up to the new head coach, but Lurie appears to be a fan of Wentz.

“First of all, I don’t think any owner should decide that,” Lurie said. “Carson, to us, to me, and to I think virtually everybody in our organization, is a quarterback that his first four years was in many ways elite and comparable to some of the great quarterbacks’ first four years in the league.

“Fifth year, obviously not satisfactory, for whatever reasons. There are probably multiple reasons for that. The way I look at it is we have an asset, and we have a talent. He’s a great guy, and he wants nothing but to win big and win Lombardi Trophies for Philadelphia. This guy is tireless. He has his heart in the right place, and he’s really dedicated off-season, on-season – he’s just what you want. It behooves us as a team with a new coach, a new coaching staff, to be able to really get him back to that elite progression where he was capable of, and at the same time, understand that there have been many quarterbacks in their fourth and fifth year … if you trace this, you can come up with many, many quarterbacks that have a single year where it’s just, whoa, the touchdown-to-interception ratio is not what you want. And we’re talking some great ones, like Peyton [Manning] and Ben [Roethlisberger] and guys like that.

“So I take sort of a more, probably a longer view of this was not the best season for our offense, it was a poor season, and we also had a poor season from Carson in terms of what he’s been able to show in the past. Very fixable, and I fully expect him to realize his potential.”

Based on Wentz’s performance, it appeared that having Hurts around was a distraction to the fifth-year quarterback, so the new coach and organization has to figure out how to fix that situation.

As for Pederson, he will get another job. He’s had a lot of success in Philadelphia and has proven to be a very good coach in the NFL, but at this point, it was not good enough for the Eagles going forward. 

 

Giants’ Joe Judge believes the Eagles ‘disrespected the game’ on Sunday night

Many around the NFL are not happy with the way the Philadelphia Eagles handled their season-finale against the Washington Football Team on Sunday night. There was a lot at stake in this game. If Washington wins, they win the NFC East. If they lose, the Giants, who beat Dallas earlier in the day, win the division.

Here is what got a lot of people upset. First, with the Eagles down 17-14 in the third quarter, Philadelphia had an opportunity to tie the game with a short field goal, but Eagles head coach Doug Pederson decided to go for it on fourth down, and ultimately, Washington would stop them.

Finally, Philadelphia decided to remove their starting QB Jalen Hurts, who ran for two touchdowns on Sunday, and replaced him with Nate Sudfeld, who had not thrown a pass since 2018. Well, Sudfeld proceeded to commit two turnovers(fumble, interception) and finished the game 5/12 for 32 yards. Philadelphia would not score again and would fall to Washington 20-14.

With the loss, the Eagles secured the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Washington won the NFC East, and the Giants were eliminated.

On Monday, Giants head coach Joe Judge addressed the situation, and he was not very happy.

 “I’ll let Philadelphia speak for themselves on that in terms of how they approached the game,” Judge said. “Really simply, I was in my office last night. I watched our film from the game yesterday, and then I was actually watching our first Tampa game with the Philly-Washington game on in the background. There’s been a lot made of that game internal or from the outside. Let me just be very clear on this; we had sixteen opportunities this year, that’s it. It’s our responsibility to take care of our opportunities and perform better and execute the situations when they’re on our plate. We don’t ever want to leave our fate in the hands of anybody else. We’re not going to make excuses as an organization. Not now, not ever. We had our opportunities. We need to learn from the lessons we have from this year and carry them forward. That’s the experience you truly gain. That’s really the most important thing right there, our opportunities.

“That being said, obviously, players have asked me throughout the day. The one thing to keep in mind with this season is we had a lot of people opt into this season. We had a lot of people opt-in. Coaches, players, that includes family members as well. To look at a group of grown men who I ask to give me effort on a day in day out basis and to empty the tank. I can look them in the eye and assure them that I’m always going to do everything I can to put them in a competitive advantage and play them in a position of strength. To me, you don’t ever want to disrespect those players and their effort and disrespect the game. The sacrifices that they made to come in to work every and test before coming in. To sit in meetings spaced out, to wear masks, to have shields over those masks, to go through extensive protocols, to travel in unconventional ways, and to get text messages at 6:30 in the morning telling them practice was going to be canceled we have to do a virtual day. To tell them to please don’t have your family over for Thanksgiving, please avoid Christmas gatherings, we know it’s your wife’s birthday; let’s make sure we put that one off to the offseason. There’s a number of sacrifices that have been made by all the players and coaches in this league. There’s a number of sacrifices that come along as well for the family members of the people connected to them. To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success for the National Football League, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win. We will never do that as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants.”

In life and in football, you never let anyone control your destiny, and in the end, New York did not do enough to control their destiny, and because of that, the Washington Football Team are NFC East champions. It’s that simple. 

However, one thing for sure, when the Giants and Eagles play next season, it should be a lot of fun!

Watch Judge below:

Eagles’ Roseman: ‘I certainly regret that comment about quarterback factory’

The Philadelphia Eagles ended a disappointing 2020 season by losing to the Washington Football Team 20-14 on Sunday night. With the loss, the Eagles finished the season at 4-11-1. 

You could argue the season went bad back in April when the team drafted QB Jalen Hurts in the second round. After the selection, Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said the following:

“For better or worse, we are quarterback developers. We want to be a quarterback factory. We have the right people in place to do that. No team in the National Football League has benefitted more from developing quarterbacks than the Philadelphia Eagles.”

On Monday, Roseman talked about those comments. According to Roseman, he now has regrets.

“Of some of the things that I’ve done this season, I certainly regret that comment about quarterback factory,” Roseman said. “Really it was just in terms of how — the importance of the position around the league, the importance of the position to this organization, and really a reflection of our experiences with backup quarterbacks when we did that.”

In 2019, the Eagles signed Carson Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract extension, so it seemed odd that Philadelphia would draft a quarterback the following season. You could argue that Wentz was bothered by the selection of Hurts, and it showed on the field this season. The fifth-year quarterback had his worst year as a pro. In 12 starts, the 28-year-old Wentz threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions(tied for most in the league), 72.8 quarterback rating(second-worst among starting quarterbacks), and sacked a league-high 50 times. All is not on Wentz, but he was not very good in 2020.

When asked if he regrets drafting Hurts, Roseman said the following:

“I think certainly when you talk about Jalen and his talent and his work ethic; it’s all the things that we saw in college in terms of the big picture and how we are building this team, you even see it last night,” he said. “Two teams are playing for a playoff berth with their backup quarterbacks. As we go towards 17 games, depth is important in this league, and I think that’s an important position that you’re trying to find depth and certainly a guy that we liked as a player.”

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Wentz has a poor relationship with Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and wants out of Philadelphia. However, according to Pederson, his relationship with Wentz is solid.

“Listen, I’m not going to speak for Carson, obviously, but I can speak for myself and say that, yeah, the relationship is good. It’s fine,” Pederson said. “It’s something that we’re going to continue to build upon, and listen; I know Carson’s disappointed. It’s not the season that he had anticipated. It’s not the season I had anticipated as the head coach. There were a lot of moving parts. It’s not about one guy here. It takes all of us, and that’s something that we’ve stressed a lot here.”

Hurts showed flashes during his four starts, but he did not blow anybody away. If I’m the Eagles, I try to work things out with Wentz. Outside of 2020, he has played at a high level. Other than this season and his rookie year, Wentz has not thrown more than seven interceptions in a season, so you could argue what happened in 2020 was an aberration. Based on how his contract is structured and barring a trade, Philadelphia could be stuck with Wentz until after the 2021 season, when they will be able to get out of the deal without a significant cap hit. 

However, you don’t draft a quarterback in the second round for no reason, so what happens next should be interesting.

Giants’ Ryan: ‘Regardless of what happens tonight, I feel like we run the division’

The New York Giants(6-10) handled their business on Sunday and defeated the Cowboys(6-10) 23-19 at MetLife Stadium. With the victory, the Cowboys are eliminated from playoff contention, and now they wait for the outcome of the Washington Football Team-Eagles game on Sunday night.

If Washington loses, the Giants win the NFC East, which would be a great accomplishment when you consider they were 1-7 after eight games.

No matter what happens with Washington tonight, Giants S Logan Ryan feels New York is the class of the NFC East.

“Regardless of what happens tonight, I feel like we run the division,” Ryan said after the game. “I feel like we swept Washington. I feel like at the first Cowboys game, they had a great play at the end of the game to get them in field goal range and we kind of let that happen. We came back and avenged that with a great play on our end. The Philly game, it was a similar thing; we failed in a dramatic fashion in the end. Our two-minute defense was being questioned. Our third down defense was being questioned, and we came back and pretty much handled Philly the second time. I can’t talk too bad about Philly because I’m a Philly fan today. I need all my South Jersey people to flap their wings tonight, so I won’t beat up Philly too bad. Other than that, I feel like we’re the best team in the division. We definitely deserve to represent the NFC East.

“It wouldn’t mean anything different, honestly. We won our last game. We did everything we could. I’m not going to hang my head if it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t make me think any higher or any lower of this team. It was an odd year for everybody. It’s an odd year for this division, but we fought our division well. I feel like we’re the best team in the division. We didn’t handle the games outside of the division all the time, so we’ll see what happens. Whether we make it or not, I know that’s great for the fan base, it’s great for the franchise, it great to have a division matter, but I’m not going to think about this team any differently based on the results tonight.”

The NFC East is the NFC East. It’s not a very good division. Maybe, the Giants are the best team in the NFC East, but at the end of the day, if Washington wins tonight, they are the NFC East champions. It’s that simple!

PhotoL @Giants/Twitter

Eagles DC Schwartz tells what happened with Michael Jacquet against Cowboys

Life as a cornerback in the NFL is never easy. In fact, you have to have a very short memory. On Sunday, Philadelphia Eagles rookie CB Michael Jacquet had an unforgettably bad day in the team’s loss to Dallas.

Whether he was defending Michael Gallup or Amari Cooper, Jacquet struggled. According to Next Gen Stats, Jacquet allowed seven catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns. The 182 yards was the second-most given up by a defensive back this season. 

On Tuesday, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz explained what went wrong:

“Yeah, well, we put [CB Darius] Slay on [Cowboys WR Amari] Cooper, and M.J. [Michael Jacquet] was out on [Cowboys WR Michael] Gallup most of the time,” Schwartz said. “And he was having a tough day. And I started going to some zone, but the problem with that is the quarterback just kept checking down to Zeke [Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott], and he would get 10 yards a pop there.

“At halftime, we switched Slay over to Gallup to try to get a little bit more help to M.J., but he was still struggling. What I compare that to, it’s a little bit like a pitcher. Sometimes you don’t have your best stuff, and Skip [the manager] has got to go to the bullpen.

“I felt like we had sort of gone through all the different things. We tried to go to some zone. We tried to switch it up. He was still having a tough day. And we didn’t want to, but we had to go to J-Mill [S Jalen Mills] at corner, and I didn’t want to because he was giving us a lot of solidity in the middle part of the field. I thought Mills did an outstanding job of putting the fire out. I thought him and Slay at that point really started playing well on the outside part of the field.

“Now, we had our other issues that put more pressure on the safeties, and [S Marcus] Epps got banged up a little bit early in the game. We started going with some different combinations back there. Communication wasn’t the best. But we made a little run in the second half, mainly because of Slay and Mills. Again, I think it’s just such a compliment to Jalen that he’s been such an unselfish player. He’s been making progress at safety, and for his career, it’s probably best that he just stays there, but when we said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to move you to corner,’ he never even batted an eye. He’s gone out, and he’s switched to the best receiver before, he’s gone out and just started playing right and left, challenges guys.

“We weren’t able to get back in the game, but that gave us a chance to get back in the game. But M.J. will bounce back. We talked a little bit about his mental makeup and things. Sometimes they’re going to hit a homer off of you, and you’ve got to be able to come back and throw that fastball again, and I have confidence that he will.”

Ideally, Jacquet, who was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Louisiana-LaFayette,  would not be on the field, but injuries in the secondary forced him into the lineup. Hopefully, for Jacquet, better days are ahead for him.