August 09, 2017
Over at CBS Sports, Jared Dubin makes the case that last year’s Eagles more or less succeeded in three of the four ways to put Carson Wentz in a position to succeed. They protected the rookie QB well enough, ran the ball fairly effectively, and schemed the offense to his strengths.
The one problem, as we all know by now, wasn’t a small one: Wentz’s weapons weren’t very good at all. And Dubin is impressed by what Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office accomplished this offseason in terms of fixing that problem:
They brought in Alshon Jeffery on a one-year deal. Jeffery has struggled with health issues, but his specialty is taking inaccurate or semi-accurate passes and turning them into completions or touchdowns.
And Jeffery's not the only weapon the Eagles brought in to help Wentz out. Torrey Smith was imported to give the offense a field-stretching element it didn't really have last season, Mack Hollins was drafted to provide even more speed, and scat back Donnel Pumphrey was drafted to take an apprenticeship under Darren Sproles. Not only that but the Eagles added LeGarrette Blount to bring some more power to their running game…
1. Practice notes: Chance Warmack slides up the Eagles depth chart due to an injury, and the less-heralded receivers are still making plays.
2. Numbers game: Pederson doesn't foresee a reduced role for Jordan Matthews, but the numbers suggest otherwise.
3. Sold! Listening to Frank Reich, it seems like the Eagles are fine with Nelson Agholor playing in the slot.
4. New year, new man: I looked back at Carson Wentz’s preseason debut last season and how everything has changed for the Eagles quarterback in just one season.
5. Work left to do: Al Morganti writes that Wentz and the rest of the Eagles roster are still very much a work in progress.
Winners and losers: Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Rosenthal lists the Eagles’ Nelson Agholor (who else?) as a winner for his strong training camp performance. At the same time, he’s suggesting Jordan Matthews that might not have a big role in the Eagles offense:
The consistent drumbeat about Agholor's excellent practices are getting too hard to ignore. Our buddy Daniel Jeremiah said on his "Move the Sticks Podcast" last week that Agholor has enjoyed a "total rebirth" and is destined to be Philadelphia's slot receiver. With Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith as options on the outside and little-known wideout Marcus Johnson making noise, it's unclear where veteran slot receiver Jordan Matthews fits in.
Don't expect as many touchdowns from these 16 players: Mike Clay, ESPN Insider
In terms of fantasy football, don’t expect LeGarrette Blount to rack up 18 touchdowns in the Eagles offense this season:
Blount paced the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns and 24 carries inside the 5-yard line last season. That, of course, came on a career-high 299 carries; he entered the year with 31 career rushing scores and 34 carries inside the 5. His OTD actually wasn't too far off his touchdown total and he'll remain the goal-line back in Philadelphia, but it's unreasonable to expect him to come close to matching his 2016 numbers in a lesser offense. As a nonfactor in the passing game, Blount's fantasy upside is capped, especially in PPR formats.
Carson Wentz stretching for any edge with warm-up routine: Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer
Wentz is already thinking ahead in trying to prolong his career, looking at the level that 40-year-old Tom Brady is playing at:
He paces forward and backward 50 yards with his arms raised in a “U” shape like some Pentecostal worshiper. He repeats the walk, but this time, he bends his elbows back and forth. A photographer who has watched this routine for weeks calls it “The Robot.” Wentz then mixes in a few lower-body stretches before attacking his shoulders and wrists. He extends his arms and turns his hands. He flaps his wings, rotating his sockets so aggressively that even Michael Phelps might be impressed.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
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