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August 06, 2017

What they're saying about Eagles: Cox vs. Watt, Jernigan's 'violent' past, and more on the corners

Eagles NFL

Welcome to Sunday's edition of What They're Saying. This is your friendly reminder that there are only four more football-less Sundays until the Eagles kick off the 2017 regular season.

But that's not the only good news. After having Saturday off, the Birds also return to practice today – and it's their final open practice of training camp at The Linc. After that, there are only two more days of practice (and three in total) until their first preseason game.

With the aforementioned day off, it's a lighter-than-usual WTS, but consider that a gift from the football gods. I mean, have you been outside? At the very least, I hope you're reading this from your phone and not stuck indoors somewhere.

And if you need something to do, maybe consider heading to South Philly and checking out training camp. 

To help you do that, I won't waste any more of your time.

Fletch is no Watt

Tim McManus | ESPN

Between his time in Houston going up against J.J. Watt every day and now the season-plus he's spent facing Fletcher Cox in practice, Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks has a unique perspective on two of the best defensive linemen in the game.

Following Wednesday's practice, Brooks was asked if Cox is harder to block than Watt. Brooks kept it real.

"To be honest, no," he responded. "J.J. is just a different animal, man. That's no slight to Fletch because Fletch is a damn good player. But, yeah."

Cox is being paid J.J. Watt money, though. Watt signed a six-year, $100 million contract with $52 million in guarantees in 2014. (Watt had two years remaining on his rookie contract at the time.)  []

Door-to-door cornerback

Turron Davenport | The Eagles Wire

Along with fellow cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and C.J. Smith (more on him in a bit), Tay Glover-Wright spent some time after a recent practice getting instructions from a guy who knows a thing or two about playing in the Eagles secondary – future Hall-of-Famer Brian Dawkins. Glover-Wright, a long shot to make the team, had an interesting job between the time he was cut by the Colts and picked up by the Birds.

Only 24 years old at the time, Wright still had plenty of his life left to live so he had to look into work outside of the NFL. He found a job doing door to door sales in Atlanta which only made him want to go back to training for the NFL.

“I was sitting at home after the Colts cut me and I decided to check out marketing. I didn’t have a true idea what direct marketing was,” Wright said after practice. “I didn’t think I was going to be going door to door selling cable but I was one of the top sellers in the office. When I do what I do, I do it well! That wasn’t really for me. I didn’t really like walking around like that and made the call to Coach Anderson at Oregon State.”  []

A history of violence

Dave Zangaro |

With written quite a bit about new defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, but this quote from his backup pretty much sums up the former Raven – and does so in four words.

While Logan was solid, Jernigan has a reputation for being a fierce pass-rusher, which is important in Schwartz's defense that needs to get pressure from the front four. While Jernigan wasn't asked to attack as much in Baltimore, Schwartz said he could see his ability to do so on third downs, when the Ravens unleashed him. 

What kind of player is Jernigan? 

"He's a violent player," backup defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao said. "That's the type of player he is."  []

Chaos is a ladder

David Murphy | The Philadelphia Daily News

No, this isn't exactly how Littlefinger intended it, but chaos is a pretty apt description of the state of the Eagles cornerbacks. And as Murph points out, a guy like C.J. Smith could use that to his advantage and make this team (simply because there are no better options). 

A long-armed 5-foot-11, Smith has decent height for the position and a certain level of smoothness to his movements. At the start of last training camp, his claim to fame was that he played with Carson Wentz at North Dakota State. The Eagles liked his potential enough to keep him around.

“He’s still a young player,” Schwartz said “He has made some plays so far, and we need corners that can make plays. But I think all the guys have made plays. It’s just they need to be consistent. When you play corners, if you make one mistake, it can be a touchdown, it can be a ball over your head. You can spoil three good plays in a row.”

The signing of Graham is an indication that there are no perfect options at this time of year. Smith will get a chance to make himself one of them.  []

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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