July 25, 2019
It's finally here. After the team reported to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday, we'll get our first look at the 2019 Eagles on Thursday as training camp is set to open in South Philly.
Sure, we're still a month and a half away from the start of the season, but at least there will finally be some real football news to discuss. And the Eagles didn't even make it to their first practice without giving us our first bit of training camp news to digest.
Eagles hired Catherine Raiche as their football operations coordinator, per league sources. It’s the latest high-profile hire of a woman to an NFL front-office position. Raiche was assistant GM for the Montreal Alouettes, then worked for Toronto Argonauts and Tampa XFL franchise.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2019
Here's a little more on Raiche, who will work under GM Howie Roseman and vice president of football operations Andrew Berry, from our friend Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation:
Raiche, 30, is a native of Quebec, Canada. She worked in business law prior to getting her start in the Canadian Football League as an intern back in 2015.
It’s cool to see the Eagles among the NFL teams making an effort to increase diversity in the workplace. Philadelphia prioritizes stocking their front office pipeline and Raiche is just the latest addition to a talented group. [bleedinggreennation.com]
In a world that's so totally dominated by men, it's nice to see more women being hired by professional sports teams, especially on the actual sport side of the enterprise, not just in the business offices.
And now, let's take a look at what else they're saying about the Eagles as we head into the first training camp practice of the 2019 season...
There's been a lot of hype surrounding this Eagles team all offseason long, and for good reason. They've been one of the best teams in the league over the last two seasons, and then went out and had a huge offseason that saw them not only shore up some holes, but also add depth at areas where they needed it.
Pederson highlighted the skill position players on offense, and rightly so. This might be the best supporting cast quarterback Carson Wentz has had. He has DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor as his primary receivers, Ertz and the emerging Dallas Goedert at tight end, and an overhauled running back group that includes Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles behind him. They're loaded.
The offensive line is as deep as any in the league. There is firepower along the defensive front led by the defensive tackle duo of Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson. The secondary is anchored by veterans Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, and there is good depth at cornerback. [espn.com]
Over at Bleacher Report, Mike Tanier broke down the Eagles — or, as he likes to call them, "The Team with No Flaws" — heading into training camp.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl two years ago. They survived an injury plague to reach the divisional round of the playoffs last season. They enjoyed a quietly spectacular offseason by addressing needs, adding new faces, getting healthy and locking Wentz into a long-term contract before the Dak Prescott-Jared Goff rush.
But the Eagles lack the Next Big Thing wattage of the Browns, the Saints' "this time it's personal" grudge against the league, the Bears' chest-thumping defense, the Chiefs' explosive offense or the noblesse oblige of the Patriots. That makes them just another playoff contender among many.
Overlooking the Team with No Flaws, however, would be a huge mistake.
Good luck finding a real weakness on the Eagles roster. It's rock-solid from top to bottom and back to front in a way no other team (no, not even the Patriots) can boast. [bleacherreport.com]
Needless to say, he's pretty high on the Birds. However, it's worth noting that Tanier makes a distinction between a team having no flaws and a team being perfect.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports seems fairly confident the Eagles will take back the NFC East title in 2019. After picking each of the eight teams he thought would win the division titles this season and then ranked them based on how confident he was in each.
Unsurprisingly, the Patriots were No. 1 because, let's face it, the rest of the AFC East is a joke. But, somewhat surprisingly since the Cowboys are the reigning champs, the Eagles were his No. 2 team. Here's a look at what he had to say...
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Maybe, perhaps, the Cowboys push them a little bit (should they avoid the wrath of off-field issues, suspensions, potential suspensions and self-created crisis that have been constants), but that's it when it comes to the division. They will pummel the Skins and Giants and may be the best team in the NFC. Carson Wentz has MVP potential and the security of a new deal, the roster is overflowing with depth to the point they may be able to make multiple trades before final cuts to accrue more draft capital to keep the thing going there. The front office is adroit at making constant tweaks and utilizing the trade market unlike most others. Best team on paper, with the highest upside, within the division. [cbssports.com]
Over at USA TODAY, Nate Davis made predictions for the entire NFL season — division and wild card winners, playoff games, and even the Super Bowl. First, let's take a look at his prediction for who will win the NFC East:
Philadelphia Eagles (11-5): They've added intriguing pieces (DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson and RBs Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders). They've got promising youngsters like TE Dallas Goedert and CB Sidney Jones poised for bigger roles. And CB Ronald Darby, DE Derek Barnett and, of course, QB Carson Wentz return from injury to rejoin a championship-proven nucleus. Could be special if it all comes together. And December should be fun with the Iggles' final four games against divisional foes. [usatoday.com]
Davis had the Cowboys finishing second with a 9-7 record and failing to make the playoffs. He also has the Eagles as the third seed in the NFC, falling just short of that first-round bye. However, he doesn't think that will hurt the Birds, as they'll knock off the Saints and Falcons on their way to the NFC title game against the Bears.
In a rematch of last season's wild card game, Davis believes the Eagles will get the best of Chicago and advance to the Super Bowl, where they'll fall to ... the Chargers?
Wild card: (3) Eagles def. (6) Saints; (5) Bears def. (4) 49ers
Divisional: (3) Eagles def. (2) Falcons; (5) Bears def. (1) Vikings
NFC Championship Game: (3) Eagles def. (5) Bears
Super Bowl LIV
Chargers def. Eagles
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