Isaac Seumalo Jersey

While it’s sometimes hard to glean a lot from these practices, depth charts are worth tracking. There are two things I really want to see. One, will the OL look the same. Last week, without Peters, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson, the first team included Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Jordan Mailata. A little surprise: Stefen Wisniewski was working with the second team.

On defense, Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Jenkins and Rodney McLeod all weren’t practicing. I want to see if the Eagles keep their first-team corners the same. Last week, they were Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox. It’ll also be interesting to see if Maddox gets any reps at safety during these OTA practices.

Ronald Darby was also brought back on a one-year deal and Brandon Graham signed a three-year extension. The Eagles made quite the improvements on offense this offseason thanks to Jason Peters and Lane Johnson restructured their deals while Isaac Seumalo and Jason Kelce signed extensions.

Mack Hollins Jersey

90 men sit on the Philadelphia Eagles roster. Before they take the field on September 8th to face the Washington Redskins in a game that actually counts, they’ll need to slim that down to 53 men and a practice squad. Two of the younger veterans, Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson, whether they realize this or not, may find themselves on the bubble at the end.

Might one or both of them make the roster? Might one or both of them find themselves on the outside looking in? This figures to be one of the narratives in a roster battle at wide receiver that should keep us all talking throughout training camp.

Let’s look at the tale of the tape.

Both of these Super Bowl champions joined the Eagles the year of their championship run in 2017. Philly took Hollins in Round 4 of that year’s draft at 118. They’d add Gibson a round later, 166th overall.

Philly and their fans fell in love with both quickly, but to this point, there’s been no fireworks show. Hollins, at six-foot-four and 221 pounds, represented a nice combination of size and speed that was on display during a nice catch and touchdown run in a preseason game, but his first regular season trip to the end zone as a rookie would have to wait until Week 7.

Year three of his NFL career is set to begin, and his stat line looks like this: 16 receptions, 226 receiving yards and that one touchdown. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to add to that stat line as he was placed on the team’s IR (injured reserve) on September 6th of 2018. To be honest, we haven’t seen much of him until he popped up at Philly’s most recent minicamp.

Rasul Douglas Jersey

Rasul Douglas had quite the 2018 season for the Philadelphia Eagles, establishing himself as one of the most reliable cornerbacks on the Eagles roster. Once Jalen Mills went down, Douglas started and played very well, allowing 50 catches for 641 yards (12.8 yards per catch) and three touchdowns, while also having three interceptions.

Opposing quarterbacks had a 92.3 passer rating when targeting Douglas, one of the playmakers and better tacklers in the Eagles secondary. Douglas has 58 tackles and four pass breakups in 2018. He also has five interceptions in two seasons.

That was the Rasul Douglas of 2018. Now he’s a cornerback who has completely transformed his body, as displayed in an Instagram story by Douglas last week.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson saw a more confident Douglas last December, a player Douglas is carrying over to 2019.

“It’s just giving those guys an opportunity and being in a position, and just, again, just trusting the scheme, understanding the defense, being in a position, and not doing any more than that,” Pederson said last December. “You don’t have to go looking for plays. Plays are going to come your way when you do make them and that’s what you’re starting to see with these young guys.”

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wants to keep Douglas on the outside, as he admitted last August. Douglas will compete with Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, and Sidney Jones for one of the two outside cornerback jobs.

“Just his body shape. He’s a tall, linear guy. He’s got a lot of strengths, but he’s not as laterally quick side-to-side as some of those other guys. So, that’s one of the reasons we’ve sort of left him in there,” Schwartz said. “And that’s no slight to him, it’s just his skill set. He’s got great length.”

The Eagles will rely on Douglas with Darby and Mills still rehabbing season-ending injuries from last season. Darby is the front-runner for the starting cornerback job, but Mills’s spot appears open.

Mills allowed 32 catches for 516 yards and one touchdown in eight games last season, with no interceptions and nine pass breakups. Opposing quarterbacks had a 107.2 passer rating when targeting Mills this season. There’s the opportunity for Douglas.

Jones can’t be counted out of the equation either, as he arguably has the most pure talent of the cornerbacks on the roster. Jones had success early in 2018, but a hamstring injury limited him in the middle of the season. Once Jones returned from his first hamstring injury, he was a liability in coverage and inefficient in his tackling. The Eagles secondary suffered with Jones on the field as he was playing though another hamstring injury trying to help the team out.

Josh Sweat Jersey

The Philadelphia Eagles took the risk in getting younger at defensive end by trading Michael Bennett and Chris Long retiring. Both Bennett and Long are 34 years old, so a youth movement was necessary. Philadelphia kept some veterans at defensive end, re-signing Brandon Graham (31) and bringing back Vinny Curry (30, will be 31 later this month).

As for that youth movement? The Eagles drafted Derek Barnett in the first round of the 2017 draft and have received production out of Barnett in the 21 games he played. They selected Josh Sweat in the fourth round of the 20018 draft and Shareef Miller in the fourth round of the 2019 draft.

While Miller is a rookie and a project for the upcoming year, Sweat was in that situation last year. This year, the expectations are higher for Sweat with Bennett and Long out of the picture. The Eagles expect Sweat to produce and become the No. 4 defensive end that can spell Graham, Barnett, and Curry.

Replacing Long and Bennett’s production is asking too much for a player who has suited up for one NFL season, but Sweat has to get to the quarterback when he’s on the field. The time is now for Sweat to show the Eagles what he’s got.

“It’s implied,” Sweat said (via Jeff McLane of Inquirer.com). “I know. I don’t need nobody to tell me. But, yeah, it’s definitely implied. You just feel it in the atmosphere. But I’m ready to live up to it.”

Sweat has been off to a good start this offseason and has been a pleasant surprise in Eagles minicamp, showing incredible burst off the line and showcasing his speed against the Eagles right tackles (Eagles have him lined up at left defensive end). He looked impressive when Lane Johnson was in there as well, but it’s important to remember the Eagles are in helmets and shorts.

Sweat appears to be the front runner to get the No. 4 defensive end snaps in 2019, especially since the Eagles believe they got a first-round talent in the fourth round of last year’s draft. Sweat was a project in 2018, expected to be the No. 5 defensive end on a roster full of veteran edge rushers. The Eagles gave Sweat more snaps when Barnett went down (pectoral muscle), but he compiled just one pressure, one tackle and one quarterback hit in 68 snaps.

Sweat’s season ended in Week 14 with a foot injury. He’ll be relied on to take the next step in 2019, especially since there’s playing time available.

Sweat is in a competition for that No. 4 defensive end spot with Miller, former third-round pick Daeshon Hall, and former undrafted free agent Joe Ostman. The Eagles like Hall and Ostman, but they want Sweat to seize that role and be productive in the No. 4 edge rusher spot.

If all goes according to plan, Sweat will move up the depth chart the next year and eventually line up with Barnett on the edge. This season is a huge test for Sweat, one which the Eagles are banking on him to pass.

Avonte Maddox Jersey

Once again, the Philadelphia Eagles have an early riser from a later pick for the secondary. A few years ago, we witnessed the emergence of Jalen Mills. Despite being a seventh-round selection in 2016, Mills established himself as one of the more reliable cornerbacks on the Eagles at that time, which made him a starter for the next two seasons.

Last year, we saw some flashes from rookie cornerback, Avonte Maddox. Although he wasn’t selected as late as Mills, the fourth-rounder still showed some immediate progress when thrown into the fire last year. Maddox wasn’t expected to get much playing time last season, but the injuries to the secondary forced him into a significant premature role.

First, we witnessed him fill in at safety, despite never playing the position in his career. Somehow, Maddox fared well. Then, he was asked to cover in the nickel at cornerback. Once again, Maddox was reliable there as well. Later on down the line, Maddox had to get forced to the outside at cornerback where he hardly practiced at all last season and little did we know, he would become one of the better players to take over the outside last season.

Now, it’s become quite evident that Maddox deserves to be on the field one way or another this season. A starting job won’t be given to him right off the bat, as a battle will ensue. However, it sure sounds like Maddox understands that, and is earning his right to get on the field next season so far at OTAs and mandatory minicamp. Let’s check in on some of the praise he’s garnered from the insiders at the Nova Care Complex.

Will Maddox get a starting position this season? It seems like the odds have gone up. However, it’s also necessary to note that Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills haven’t been able to participate at all this offseason. If they are back by training camp, they will likely be given a fair shot. As of right now though, it definitely sounds like Maddox has the upper-hand.

And considering that the Eagles paid Ronald Darby a decent salary for this one season, there’s no way they plan on benching him. So it feels like the battle will be a four-way fight on the outside between Maddox, Mills, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. May the best corner win.

Jerome Brown Jersey

Michael Irvin is the one of the greatest players in Hurricanes history, not just for the way he played on the field, but also for the way the talked on the field. From 1985 to 1987, Irvin was the heart and soul of the Canes, and was the emotional leader for the team that won the National Championship in 87.

Early in the 1986 season, the second-ranked Hurricanes, with players like Irvin and Jerome Brown, welcomed in the number-one team in the land, the Sooners of Oklahoma led by linebacker Brian Bosworth.

After a sluggish first half for both teams and Miami only up 7-3, the Canes went on the attack in the third quarter. Vinny Testaverde found tight end Charles Henry and Irvin for two scores to make it 21-3. Then later, this time up 21-10 and on the Sooners 30-yard line, Vinny was looking for Irvin again.

Reggie White Jersey

There’s more to Giants undrafted rookie Reggie White Jr. than a familiar name, a familiar number, and familiar stomping grounds.

No, White Jr. is not the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White, but the other Reggie White who played defensive line in the NFL in the 1990s.

No, he did not ask to wear No. 13 on the Giants as a rookie, becoming the first player to wear the number made famous by ex-Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. since his trade in March.

And no, he is not just “the next Miles Austin,” as another undrafted wideout from Monmouth University in New Jersey.

Reggie White Jr. is his own man, and he’s gunning for a spot on the New York Giants’ opening-day roster.

On the field and in the locker room, White Jr. is an intriguing addition to Giants’ camp.

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, White Jr. could fill a much-needed role as a red zone target for Eli Manning. He is the second-tallest receiver on the 90-man roster, and the third-heaviest. But White Jr. isn’t just a big frame. His ball skills, combined with his size, make for a tough player to cover.

“He’s got outstanding hands,” Callahan said. “He has the ability to adjust to the ball and he tracks it very well. Sometimes he makes those difficult catches look easy.”

Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Reggie White Jr. (13) makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

White Jr. has, what his Monmouth wide receivers coach, TJ DiMuzio, calls “deceptive speed” for a big guy. He runs about a 4.50 40-yard dash, which is comparable to smaller speed guys like Victor Cruz (4.47) and Antonio Brown (4.47), and slightly better than similar tall receivers like Mike Evans (4.53) and Davante Adams (4.56).

These gifts helped White Jr. to a record-setting career at Monmouth, a program that has yielded NFL receivers like Austin, Chris Hogan and Neal Sterling. No Monmouth Hawk, not even those guys, has ever had more receptions or receiving yards than White Jr., though.

He’s also the only receiver in school history to be named an All-American. He led the Big South in receiving yards, touchdowns, yards per game, and catches per game last year. He may not have been drafted due in part to his small school stature, but White Jr. became the best receiver ever at a campus known for producing NFL wideouts.

Mike Quick Jersey

Most records were meant to be broken. Some can’t be. You can’t do much better than a 99-yard touchdown. Actually, you can’t do any better, and when anyone who knows anything about the Philadelphia Eagles mentions 99 yards, thoughts go to one person, former “Birds’ wide receiver Mike Quick.

Yes young bucks, before Mike Quick held it down as the color announcer for the Eagles radio team, he was one of the best receivers ‘The Birds’ had ever known. The phrase was ‘if he’s even, he’s leaving’, and that was never more apparent than on a quick pass he took from Ron Jaworski and took to the house.

You knew there would be some footage.

That one had everything, 99 yards, an Eagles great, and Veteran’s Stadium. Yep, we mean that Veteran’s Stadium, the one with the rotten footing, the 700 level and the jail cell.

As great as that ambiance was, ‘The Vet’ was a backdrop in this instance. It was the canvas for something more special. Seeing Quick run brings back so many memories.

It never looked like he was at full speed, but no one could catch him. He had the hands. He had the gift. He had the look. He just looked like an NFL receiver.

Selfishly, it makes you wonder what it would have been like to see him with this roster. Yep, Quick was the man.

He turned 60 years young on May 14th, and we couldn’t think of any way better to celebrate on his birthday week. To be honest, the guy still looks like he’s 35 years old. Who knows? Maybe a found a fountain of youth somewhere.

Chuck Bednarik Jersey

The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame ballot came out on Monday, and there are some names that Carolina Panthers fans may recognize. Ron Rivera, Ed McCaffrey, Dan Morgan, and Julius Peppers are on the ballot this year.

Rivera’s book is still being written. The Carolina Panthers head coach currently has a record of 71-56 and three NFC South division titles to his name. He also has a Super Bowl appearance to his credit, but we won’t delve too much into that. He was a consensus All-American in 1983, and was the East-West shrine game MVP in 1984. There is no doubt he has a very detailed football legacy.

Peppers has an accomplished football legacy of his own. As strange as it sounds, he was a ball hawk, totaling five interceptions in three years at North Carolina. Once he got to the National Football League, he sort of became purely a pass rusher. There was never any doubt that he was a tremendous athlete. In 2001, he won the Chuck Bednarik award, was a consensus All-American, and won the Vince Lombardi award. That is a pretty good resume if you ask me. It is also worth noting that he played basketball during his time at North Carolina. It just speaks to how fierce a competitor he was.

Morgan had a great career for the Carolina Panthers. Playing in Charlotte from 2001-2007, he certainly left his mark in the collegiate ranks. In the year 2000 alone, he won the Chuck Bednarik award, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, the Dick Butkus award, the Big East Defensive player of the year, was a first-team All-American, and was a unanimous All-American. That is an impressive resume.

He managed to keep up that stout level of play in the National Football League. 2004 was his best year. That year, he was An All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl. He recorded 101 tackles in 12 games. For his career, all spent with Carolina, he recorded 386 tackles seven sacks, three forced fumbles, and five interceptions, and 59 games. He was truly a defensive stud for Carolina and would certainly make today’s addition of the Carolina Panthers defense very proud.

Overall, this is a great class littered with Carolina Panthers ties. We are bound to see some Panthers in the Hall. It cannot be understated that there is a tremendous football tradition in the Carolinas, one that is going as strong as ever.

Seth Joyner Jersey

When you’re selected in the eighth round of a 12-round draft, the writing is pretty much on the wall: The NFL doesn’t think too much of you. They see something they like, but not a whole lot. You’re basically feeder for Training Camp to give the players expected to make the team a chance to rest their legs. You’re the dreaded TCB.

“Yeah, I was a Training Camp Body,” Seth Joyner says now, with a laugh. “Absolutely. Anybody drafted past the fifth round looked at themselves that way. There were no guarantees. When I look back at it retrospectively, I feel that way. Back then, I was a 20-year-old kid, the youngest player in the league. I probably had some delusions that I was going to make an immediate impact.”

The year was 1986, the head coach was Buddy Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles were looking for some bite, some toughness. Ryan was in his first year in Philadelphia and he knew his team needed some snarl. So in the eighth round of that year’s draft Ryan took Joyner, a linebacker from the University of Texas El-Paso, and then followed up in the ninth round, 25 picks later, by selecting Western Carolina defensive end Clyde Simmons.

They came in together as Eagles and today they are honored together as the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductees.

“It goes way beyond just being drafted and going into the Hall of Fame together,” Joyner says. “We’re great friends. What people don’t know is that during the whole first year of the offseason program we lived in the same hotel down the hall from each other and hung out together and ate together. We said, ‘Let’s get an apartment and live together.’ Every day we were at the facility together working out. We ate together. We went to the movies together. We were roommates on the road together my entire Eagles career and for two years in Arizona when we both played for the Cardinals. There’s a deeper connection than me being an eighth-round draft pick and Clyde being a ninth-round draft pick. We’ve had a friendship and a bond for quite some time.”

The story of Seth Joyner is an inspiring one.

He grew up with a singular goal in mind, and that was to become a professional football player. He wrote a letter to his mom at the age of 10 saying that very thing, and then Joyner went about the business of making himself into a great one. He let nothing stop him on the way to greatness and a spot in the hearts of Eagles fans forever. UTEP wasn’t exactly a hotbed for NFL talent, but Joyner didn’t let that deter his dream. Nor did the fact that Joyner was cut after that first Training Camp, only to be re-signed later in the season.

Given another chance, Joyner stayed for good. He didn’t want ever again to feel the sting of rejection. He wanted to dictate his career on his terms.

“I think I played well enough to have made the final roster,” Joyner says. “It was a logistics thing from my conversations from Buddy. The team had drafted (running back) Keith Byars and was trying to trade (running back) Earnest Jackson. That took some time. Someone had to go. It was me. So, for those two weeks, not being on the team was very tough for me. It turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me. It created something in me. It drove me my entire career.

Joyner played for the Eagles from 1986-93 and in the span of 120 games established himself as one of the greatest all-around linebackers in the NFL. Joyner was tough and physical against the run. He could chase down the football sideline to sideline. When Ryan, and later defensive coordinator Bud Carson, asked him to rush the quarterback, Joyner got home (his 37 career sacks are still the most by a linebacker in Eagles history).

Playing on a defense that had so many spectacular parts – Reggie White, Jerome Brown, and Eric Allen were previously inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame – Joyner stood out for his fire and the finishing power of his game. A dominating defense through the Ryan years and into the seasons when Carson oversaw the defense, Joyner was a do-it-all linebacker who was put into positions all over the field. He was asked to win one-on-one matchups, and he did just that.

Along the way, Joyner and that defense formed a love affair with a fan base that had been down on the Eagles for several disappointing seasons.