February 05, 2023
Earlier this week, we solicited questions for an Eagles mailbag via Twitter. Thank you as always for doing half the work for me. This is Part II of a two-part mailbag (Part I here). This is just going to be a quicky because I have to head back to the airport for the Eagles' arrival in Phoenix.
Question from @ntarnowski: Make sense of this gem from Jerry. 😂
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sharing his thoughts with reporters today at the Senior Bowl on how the Eagles and Rams turned being aggressive in the offseason into Super Bowl berths the last two seasons: pic.twitter.com/CoPanaV3PQ— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 2, 2023
I think that his comments are accurate when applied to the Rams. They most definitely pushed in all their chips to acquire star talent at the expense of long-term roster building. The Eagles did no such thing. I think the immediate rebuttal is that the Eagles have two first-round picks, including the No. 10 overall pick. They also own an extra second-round pick and an extra fifth-round pick in 2024, and there are succession plans in place at a bunch of positions where players might either retire or leave in free agency.
The Eagles should be a good team for years.
Question from @ihatelettuce2: I feel like the most under-discussed topic leading up to this game is how much could the injuries at wide receiver for the Chiefs impact the game plan for each side?
As you're all aware, the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins this past offseason for a bunch of picks. In Hill's absence, the Chiefs' receivers put up the following numbers in 2022:
|JuJu Smith-Schuster (6'1, 215)||78||933||12.0||3|
|Marquez Valdes-Scantling (6'4, 206)||42||687||16.4||2|
|Justin Watson (6'2, 215)||15||315||21.0||2|
|Mecole Hardman (5'10, 187)||25||297||11.9||4|
|Skyy Moore (5'10, 195)||22||250||11.4||0|
|Kadarius Toney (6'0, 193)||14||171||12.2||2|
Hardman is the speedster. He likely won't play.
Smith-Schuster (knee) and Toney (ankle) were both injured against the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game. Andy Reid said on Thursday that he is optimistic that Smith-Schuster will play in the Super Bowl:
“I think he will be able to do that,” Reid said of Smith-Schuster. “He’s in a good place. The main thing is we let (the swelling) calm down. Right now, it’s doing great. So, I’m very optimistic right now. And his want to is all-in there, so we’ll just see where it goes.”
He's their most important receiver. If he unexpectedly can't go, if even if he's hampered by the injury, that'll obviously be advantage Eagles. But it's worth noting that (a) the Chiefs have a lot of playable receivers, and (b) none of them are stars like Hill was. Certainly they would prefer all their receivers to be healthy, but it's not the same as if, say, A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith were questionable for this game.
Question from @89tremaine: Rank the following as the most likely reason the Eagles win Super Bowl XLII: Passing offense, rush offense, pass rush, pass coverage, in-game coaching decisions.
I'll rank them in order of where I believe the Eagles have the best matchups:
Question from @EmmGrizzle: Can you explain the commissioner's exempt list? Are there player's union ramifications to just up and cutting a player who runs afoul of the law, but is not formally convicted?
Per the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy:
A player may be placed on paid administrative leave pursuant to the Commissioner Exempt List under either of the following circumstances:
First, when a player is formally charged with a crime of violence, meaning that he is accused of having used physical force or a weapon to injure or threaten another person, of having engaged in a sexual assault by force or a sexual assault of a person who was incapable of giving consent, of having engaged in other conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety or well-being of another person, or of having engaged in animal abuse. The formal charges may be in the form of an indictment by a grand jury, the filing of charges by a prosecutor, or an arraignment in a criminal court.
Second, when an investigation leads the Commissioner to believe that a player may have violated this Policy by committing any of the conduct identified above, he may act where the circumstances and evidence warrant doing so. This decision will not reflect a finding of guilt or innocence and will not be guided by the same legal standards and considerations that would apply in a criminal trial.
In cases in which a violation relating to a crime of violence is suspected but further investigation is required, the Commissioner may determine to place a player on the Commissioner Exempt List on a limited and temporary basis to permit the league to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of this investigation, the player may be returned to duty, be placed on the Commissioner Exempt List for a longer period, or be subject to discipline.
A player who is placed on the Commissioner Exempt List may not practice or attend games, but with the club’s permission he may be present at the club’s facility on a reasonable basis for meetings, individual workouts, therapy and rehabilitation, and other permitted non-football activities.
And there's more within the link above if you want to continue. The short-short analysis here is that you don't want to end up on the commissioner's exempt list. Players who have been on it include Michael Vick, Jonathan Vilma, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Josh Brown, Reuben Foster, and Kareem Hunt.
For the Eagles' purposes, Josh Sills is essentially off the team for now.
Question from @SteadPA: To all those complaining about, “The Eagles didn’t beat the 49ers because they had no quarterback," why do they not address the 31 points the No. 1 defense gave up?
They have answers for that, too. I've seen them blaming the DeVonta Smith non-catch on the referees instead of the Niners' staff for not challenging, and they think the drive that put the Eagles up 14-7 was littered with bad defensive penalties (it wasn't).
Question from @old_chester: I can't think of a Super Bowl destination much better than Arizona, but what would your top 3 Super Bowl locations be if you had to rank them?
I'll tell you what would not make my list — Minnesota. I'll circle back and let you know how Arizona goes, but I think the generally recognized gold standard among reporters who go to every Super Bowl is New Orleans.
Question from @usfsucks: What's the best perk of covering a team in the Super Bowl? Do you get to go to any good Super Bowl parties or is it all work all week long?
I'm going to have my head down and working non-stop until Friday, at the earliest, and then if I feel like if I've had a good week I'll try to make sure I pick my head up, look around a bit, and soak it all in.
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