August 02, 2016
Brian Dawkins is now back in the Eagles organization, a move that had a roughly 100 percent approval rating in the Delaware Valley. Weapon X, whose passion was palpable every time he stepped out onto the field, is easily one of the most popular Eagles of all-time. For myself growing up in Philly, it was Iverson and Dawkins at the top. Everyone else was playing for third.
So there shouldn’t be much argument around here against Elliot Harrison’s latest piece for NFL.com. In it, Harrison ranks the top Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate for each of the NFL’s 32 franchises.
For the Birds, he tabs Dawkins:
With apologies to John Lynch, Steve Atwater and Darren Woodson, there was no better safety in pro football from the late 1990s through the late 2000s. Dawkins patterned his game after Woodson, trying to be the most complete safety possible: stopping the run, making impact plays and, perhaps most importantly, being able to cover. Dawkins was named to nine Pro Bowls during his career, but even more significant was all the team success he enjoyed, including five trips to the NFC Championship Game and one to the Super Bowl.
Jimmy has already made the point that Dawkins was better than your dumb favorite recent safety (except, maybe, Ed Reed), and it should be a glorious day when B-Dawk has his own bust in Canton.
Until then, the 42-year-old is going to attempt to work his way up the Eagles organizational ladder as a scout.
1. Recharging the batteries: Leodis McKelvin is already such a high-priority player that Doug Pederson is singling him out for rest? What a time to be alive.
2. Sleeves State of the Union: Nobody in Philly seems to be overly excited about this Eagles team at the moment. For Sam Bradford, that has to be even more difficult due to the high level of interest in his backup’s backup.
3. Perks of the job: Doug Pederson got out of a ticket, because he’s Doug Pederson. Chip Kelly could’ve probably reenacted a racing scene from “The Fast and the Furious” down Broad Street circa 2014.
4. Practice notes: McLeod Bethel-Thompson was 1 for 20 with 12 interceptions?!?! Actually, it was a 10/10/10 day, which means that Jimmy was better off writing about the depth chart at receiver.
5. Shots fired: Jason Kelce seemed to be giving LeSean McCoy a compliment, or he was throwing shade at DeMarco Murray. Probably the latter, mostly.
6. Reich’s musings: The Eagles offensive coordinator went in-depth on some of his skill position players.
Hope springs for Eagles with Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz: Judy Battista, NFL.com
Optimistic piece from Battista (so, a nice change of pace) that doesn’t necessarily cover a ton of new ground for those of us around here (which is fine, it’s meant for a national audience). This section involves Howie Roseman talking about the Chip Kelly era:
"We have a lot of players on our roster acquired over the last two years," Roseman said, when he was asked if anything good came of the Kelly era. "A lot of people in the building are here from the last couple of years. At the same time, there is so much to learn from every experience you have. You take all the good out of it you can."
And what did Roseman learn from last season, when he went on his own personal listening tour to glean wisdom from others?
"The importance of just how you build your team and keeping your priorities in mind," Roseman said.
The Three-Headed QB Situation in Philadelphia: Jenny Vrentas, The MMQB
In which Sam Bradford makes the “Last 7 games” argument by talking about his health:
“Last year going into some of the practices, the way my knee felt just wasn’t really in a great place,” Bradford says. “A lot of it was the pain and the swelling and discomfort I was feeling. When you’d go a few days in a row, it would get sore, and that makes it hard to really drive into that front leg and really rotate on it. Small adjustments that you don’t really think about affecting your throwing motion, but then you look at the tape, and you’re like, ‘Wow, it’s different. I can tell I’m really guarded when coming into that knee.’”
Bradford says that lasted four or five weeks into the 2015 season. As the pain subsided, his performance appeared to improve accordingly.
Training camp predictions for all 32 NFL teams: Phil Sheridan, ESPN
Sheridan thinks Eric Rowe will work his way back into the cornerback conversation:
The former second-round pick slid down the depth chart during OTAs and wasn't mentioned by coaches as training camp began. But Rowe explained that he had trouble with one specific technique that he hadn't been asked to do in college at Utah or with the Eagles as a rookie. Once he gets that worked out, his size and athleticism should make him a factor in Jim Schwartz's defense.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann