The Linc – PFF says the Eagles have the NFL’s best pass rush unit

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

PFF ranks all 32 pass-rush units ahead of the 2019 NFL season – PFF
1. Philadelphia Eagles: Death. Taxes. And the Eagles’ pass-rush. What defensive lineman wouldn’t want to come to Philadelphia and have every single pocket for them collapsed by Fletcher Cox?If Aaron Donald didn’t exist, we’d be talking about Cox in a similar air. Cox’s 95 pressures last season were the most by any defensive tackle not named Donald we’ve ever charted. [BLG Note: The Eagles are skating by on reputation a little too much here. Not saying their pass rush is bad but No. 1?]

Answering questions about the Eagles’ decision to bring Darren Sproles back – BGN
I do wonder how much Miles Sanders’ inexperience may have factored into the Sproles decision. Sanders is expected to be a passing game factor at the NFL level but it might not come instantly for him. The 22-year-old only logged 32 receptions in three years at Penn State (1.125 per game). Sanders also missed all of Eagles OTAs/minicamp with a hamstring injury so it’s not like he’s been getting NFL practice reps to work on his receiving skills. Bringing Sproles back takes some pressure off Sanders as he develops.

53-Man Roster Predictions – BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton & John Stolnis preview the Eagles 2019 season by predicting the 53-man roster after cut-downs and by giving some bold predictions for the season! Powered by SBNation and Bleeding Green Nation

Some DL Talk – Iggles Blitz
Should the Eagles consider making a move for Jadeveon Clowney? This seems like a real long shot. Clowney is a terrific pass rusher and the Eagles love those guys, but Clowney would cost resources and money. I’m sure Howie Roseman has at least thought about making this move. Guys like Clowney aren’t easy to find. The X-factor in this is that the Texans don’t have a GM. They are going to wait for the offseason to hire one. That could help or hurt the situation. Roseman could try to get a good deal by talking to someone who isn’t used to making trades. Or the acting GM could struggle to pull the trigger on such a key deal as this. I really doubt anything comes of this. It would be interesting to know if Howie even makes a call.

Great news on the eve of Training Camp: Darren Sproles returns! – PE.com
The question now is how will the Eagles incorporate Sproles into the offense and on special teams? That latter seems easy enough, with Sproles instantly becoming the leading candidate to return punts this season. The Eagles have DeSean Jackson, yes, and we know how much of a game-breaking return man he is, but it may be best to save Jackson’s legs for running past defensive backs. Sproles is a leader in the locker room, an example of professionalism for every player and as hungry for success as a man can be. He wants to finish on top after an uneven 2018 campaign. The Eagles are excited to get him into camp and see him in action.

‘The NFL is where I’m going:’ Miles Sanders rode a wave of determination from Pittsburgh to the Eagles – Inquirer
“Miles saw the streets, he saw the areas that were poor,” said Larry Whiteherse, Sanders’ high school running backs coach. “But he never followed in those footsteps.” He was too clever, according to Whiteherse and others. And while some outsiders may question the singular focus for his future, when the Eagles selected Sanders in the second round of the draft three months ago, he had accomplished his sole objective. “Football was Plan A, B, C, and D, which is why he’s successful,” said Williams, who coached Sanders with the Flashes. “He had a vision. He had a goal. When you have a vision and a goal, there’s no Plan B. People who have a Plan B don’t usually succeed because you’ve already said to yourself, ‘Well, if this doesn’t work out, I’ll do this.’ “He was like, ‘No, the NFL is where I’m going.’ ”

Will Fletcher Cox be a Hall of Famer? – NBCSP
Cox is at the same point now that Jason Peters was in his prime. He’s so dominating that he’s going to make the Pro Bowl every year that he’s healthy. Cox is in his prime right now and let’s conservatively give him three more Pro Bowls. That would give him seven in his career, and taking a look at the 15 tackles in NFL history who made seven Pro Bowls, 13 of the 14 who are eligible have already been enshrined in Canton. He’s already won a Super Bowl, made four Pro Bowls, been an all-pro and piled up 44 ½ sacks, and he’s only 28 and still getting better. And the Hall of Fame voters probably won’t consider it, but Cox is a beast against the run, as good a run stopper as we’ve seen in an Eagles uniform.

Eagles, Cowboys land the highest team ratings in Madden 20 – PFT
More motivation for the 2019 season has emerged, in the form of the Madden 20 ratings for all 32 NFL teams. The Eagles have the highest team rating, with an 89. They’re followed closely by their division rivals in Dallas, who landed an 88. (Maybe Cowboys fans shouldn’t boycott the game, after all.)

Run Offense by Number of Backs 2018 – Football Outsiders
The Bears and Colts increased their reliance on single-back runs by 19 and 18 percent, the most and second-most in football in 2018. As with the Rams the year prior, those strategic shifts followed coaching changes. Matt Nagy and Frank Reich each have ties to Andy Reid, the former as Reid’s offensive coordinator in Kansas City, and the latter as coordinator in Philadelphia for Doug Pederson, who himself coached under Reid for the Chiefs before Nagy did. The Bears, Colts, Eagles, and Chiefs combined for just 113 attempts from two-back formations last season, and they all performed better with their ballcarriers alone in the backfield.

Ezekiel Elliott Is Not Worth The Money He Wants – FiveThirtyEight
It’s that overuse that’s the problem. Extending Elliott is the manifestation of an objectively poor offensive strategy. It isn’t just a terrible idea because the valuable portion of Elliott’s production — the situational part — is easily replaced by nearly any back talented enough to make a Week 1 NFL roster. And an early extension isn’t just poor risk management because between 20 to 33 percent of high-volume running backs will incur a serious injury in a given year, though that is also certainly true. The primary reason an investment in an overpriced, risky asset is truly awful is because it can impact play calling in the worst possible way. In an attempt to justify the overspend at the position, a team may be encouraged to run more and pass less. It’s the worst kind of curse, and the Cowboys seem eager to cast the hex on themselves.

Can the Cowboys really go into the season with their current backup QBs? – Blogging The Boys
At this point, very few observers of the Cowboys would feel they are ready to face any games without Prescott in the lineup. There just hasn’t been enough evidence provided by Rush or White to inspire confidence. Maybe, though, Jon Kitna can unlock the potential of one of the two. If not, the Cowboys are playing with fire when it comes to backup QB.

Buffalo Bills sign safety Kurt Coleman; Rafael Bush retires – Buffalo Rumblings
The Buffalo Bills swapped one veteran safety for another on Friday, signing veteran Kurt Coleman to a one-year contract. Coleman, 31, comes to Buffalo after a one-year stint with the New Orleans Saints. He replaces veteran Rafael Bush, who announced his retirement. Coleman has twice played on defenses run by current Bills head coach Sean McDermott. The 5’11”, 208-pound safety entered the league in 2010 as a seventh-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles. McDermott was the defensive coordinator in Philadelphia that year. The two crossed paths again in 2015, when Coleman signed with the Carolina Panthers. McDermott was the defensive coordinator of that team, as well, and they went to a Super Bowl together, losing to the Denver Broncos.

Ask a former NFL player: Which team is the biggest dark horse in 2019? – SB Nation
Q: Who is on your radar as the biggest dark horse in the NFL poised to make a little noise this fall? Personally I like Jacksonville, but that hinges on Nick Foles. — @Chetti60 … A: This is easy for me. It’s the Atlanta Falcons. Nick Foles had an outstanding run for the Eagles, but I doubt it will continue in Jacksonville. We saw last season how Foles mostly came back to Earth, and he won’t have Doug Pederson in his ear anymore. So why the Falcons? Their season was a disaster last year, mostly due to injuries on the defense. Their defense is healthy now and should be much improved, which is all they need with their offensive firepower.

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