Posts for nfl

Is Carson Wentz “Shockingly” Ahead of Schedule?

Kevin Kinkead - June 6, 2018

Buried in the White House and Bryan Colangelo news was a report on Tuesday afternoon that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is “shockingly” ahead of schedule in his return from the ACL and LCL tear.

That’s from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who appeared on NFL live, saying, in part:

“…from people inside (organization) who were somewhat skeptical, I am hearing that he’s not just ahead of schedule — he’s WAY ahead of schedule.

He even participated a little bit in 7-on-7 (Monday). He’s doing individual drills. He threw a ball 60 yards last week effortlessly. His legs are fast. He’s stronger. And I think now, inside, you’re starting to hear they’re not going to be surprised if he really is ready for that opener.

But Doug Pederson, everybody else publicly will say ‘We’re not rushing him.’ And there is going to be some caution. They don’t have to [rush him]. Certainly, you have to be prepared for any setback.

But right now, he’s not just ahead of schedule … he is shockingly ahead of schedule.”

Doug Pederson was asked about that report today, Wednesday, and confirmed that Wentz began participating in 7v7 drills this week:

“Again, part of rehab process with him is just giving him a little.. I don’t want to say ‘freedom,’ but a little more practice time. And so one of the controlled environments we can obviously put him in is 7 on 7 situation. So being able to sprinkle him in and watch him in more of an up tempo kind of a practice, I know situations has been good, we’ll continue to do that these next two days and next week and just keep building as we go.”

So here are some more videos of Wentz at OTAs, which you can compare to his mechanics and form and fluidity from weeks prior:

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The Plot Thickens

Kevin Kinkead - June 5, 2018

Stick to sports!

Well it’s kind of hard to do that when the White House and the Eagles collide head first with one another, figuratively.

The latest piece of news making the rounds is this bit from Politico reporter Annie Karni, who seems to have the White House’s side of the story:

Hmm.. okay. I find it very hard to believe that the Eagles would try to reschedule 24 hours or less after submitting their attendance list.

More:

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Carson Wentz Throwing a Football

Kevin Kinkead - May 29, 2018

Looks just as mobile as he did last week.

The Birds were forced indoors last time, but they’re outside this afternoon and there’s a lot of video floating around:

Looks good to me. I think he’s ready. Eagles Super Bowl repeat.

Eagles OTAs: Jim Schwartz and Mike Groh

Kevin Kinkead - May 29, 2018

Get pumped for more OTAs on a Tuesday.

The players will be back at it this afternoon, but coordinators Jim Schwartz and Mike Groh spoke this morning ahead of the practice session.

Takeaways:

Jim Schwartz

  • on looking back at the Super Bowl – objective is to win the game and we won the game, at the end of the year we divide up all of the games and look at cut ups, look for trends in scheme, things we can do better, try to anticipate changes that we need to make.. Super Bowl analysis was no different than any other game
  • were excited to get Paul Worrilow, has an extensive special teams background and we respected what he did as a player, it’s certainly a loss to us, but injuries at this time of the year gives you time to “chart different courses”
  • weakside linebacker: plan is to have competition and see what comes of it, open minded for all positions at this time of the year, wouldn’t consider anybody getting a “first look” at this time of the year, reps are geared more towards young players than veterans, there really isn’t a depth chart or a first group in the summer.. “nobody is earning any starting jobs now”
  • slot corner: similar to linebacker, you’ll see a lot of different guys in there, Mills, Killings, Bausby, Jones – Sidney wasn’t in the slot on day two of OTAs, some guys they’ll keep strictly outside, but they will cross train slot/outside and safety/corner as well, had Malcolm Jenkins be very flexible last year – “we value versatility”
  • Rasul Douglas, more of a “main outside” guy, but you’ll see him inside occasionally based on how offense lines up
  • Michael Bennett: “I don’t have any comment on participation or attendance” (asked about how he fits in – versatile, fits our scheme, pressure the quarterback, line up inside and on the end, veteran guy)
  • all players deal with some sort of injury during the year, nobody is ever in tip-top physical condition once you start the season
  • Josh Sweat – young player, explosive, can get off the ball and create penetration, has a great future with some challenges, being a rookie and trying to learn and overcoming the knee injury
  • no comment on reports he interviewed for the Giants’ head coaching job – “way too long to recover (anything regarding that)”
  • on releasing Mychal Kendricks – question for Howie and Doug, but not every year can be the same, Patrick Robinson, Beau Allen, Vinny Curry all moving on, have to deal with turnover as a coach, “we just deal with the guys that we have”
  • on Nigel Bradham – biggest contribution last year was being the defensive playcaller when Jordan Hicks went down, #1 thing we’d like to see him do better is to finish more plays that he could have made (dropping interceptions), “he brought that up, wanting to finish plays”

Mike Groh

  • excellent relationship with Doug Pederson, didn’t have prior history together, but working together to plan OTAs and move into training camp
  • “it’s not my offense, this is our offense, it all starts with coach” – will work collaboratively to evolve offense while also keeping in place a lot of the things that provided success last year
  • Sees the game as a quarterback even though he’s been coaching the wide receivers, “I’ve always seen the game through the eyes of a QB,” looks forward to being involved and engaged with them more. Hopes his relationship doesn’t change with the receivers.
  • on Jay Ajayi – says the RB is really enjoying having a full offseason with the team, has a certain amount of comfort now being in Philadelphia
  • on Mike Wallace – first thing that jumps out is his speed, gives the team a home run threat like Torrey Smith, still trying to learn the system, so there will be an evolution there
  • credit Nelson Agholor for the season he had, first in the building, last to leave, was open minded on what it took to improve his game, Pederson suggested becoming a slot receiver last summer and he was open to making the change
  • Mack Hollins’ role – “it’ll play itself out.. did a great job coming in as a rookie and contributing to our season last year.” You’d like to see a guy make a jump in his second year, hopeful he’ll do that.
  • Markus Wheaton – been pleased with how he’s gone about his business, he obviously has straightline speed, can’t speak to reasons why his numbers declined, had some injuries, which would impact anybody’s numbers
  • thinks he’ll be downstairs on the sidelines during games, but nothing confirmed yet

The full video:

Richie Incognito Throws Tennis Balls and Weights in Alleged Fitness Center Meltdown

Kevin Kinkead - May 24, 2018

What’s Richie Incognito up to these days?

The four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman, who was accused of bullying a teammate in 2013 and using racial slurs on the field in January, apparently retired from football not long ago.

He was back in the news this week, taken for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation in Florida after Boca Raton police officers responded to reports of erratic behavior at a local fitness center. Incognito allegedly threw tennis balls and other items at gym members and employees and tossed weights into a swimming pool.

Officers described Incognito as being in an “altered, paranoid state,” as documented in this bizarre police report:

Incognito wasn’t arrested, but Florida’s “Baker Act” allows authorities to take people into custody if they’re seen as a danger to others (or themselves).  Continue Reading

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The NFL’s National Anthem Policy Solves Nothing

Kevin Kinkead - May 23, 2018

Lukewarm take:

The new NFL national anthem policy doesn’t change a thing.

Players who stay off the field will be criticized for staying off the field.  Liberals will still think Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are being blackballed. Conservatives will still think the demonstrators hate America.

This does nothing but reignite a divisive issue that was slowly fading, just like Occupy Philadelphia, which started as a meaningful and peaceful protest and devolved into some blob of bitching and whining that literally had nothing do with anything specific by the time protesters were kicked out of Dilworth Plaza.

And it’s not like the different approaches to the anthem had any partitioning effect on the Eagles’ locker room. You had some black players raise a fist and lock arms with white teammates, while others observed the anthem in their own way. The team ended up winning the Super Bowl, so if there were internal fractures, I can’t imagine they were very large. Then you had more than a million people of different ages/genders/skin tones come down to Broad Street to celebrate their achievement.

Now the league is fanning the flames of conflict just 13 days before the Birds are supposed to travel to Washington to meet with President Trump.

Me, personally, I enjoy the anthem at games. Is it necessary? No, I don’t think so, but I see it as a moment to kind of stop and look around and be grateful for what we have in this country. I see Ron Brooks doing his thing at Sixers games and think, “Hey, I appreciate being an American, I appreciate the opportunities I was given.” Sometimes writers are fumbling around on their computers or some guy forgets to take his hat off, or some lady is at the concession stand buying a $7 hot dog, but I don’t get pissed off at those people and think they’re being disrespectful. You wanna know what’s un-American? It’s un-American to tell people how to behave or what to think. This country was founded by dissidents who certainly weren’t perfect, but valued differences of opinion.

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NFL: Players on Field Must Stand for the National Anthem

Kevin Kinkead - May 23, 2018

The NFL adopted a new policy today to address the issue of kneeling during the national anthem.

Players will now be given the option of staying off the field during the anthem, but will face fines if they are on the field and do not stand.

Here’s a portion of the statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:

“It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.

This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.

We believe today’s decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it.”

Here is the full statement from the league, outlining the changes:

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The NFL is Changing Kickoff Rules, Again

Kevin Kinkead - May 23, 2018

I imagine the kickoff might go away entirely in the near future, but in the meantime owners are giving temporary approval to new changes that are supposed to make the play safer. Concussions are five times more likely to happen on kickoffs than any other NFL play, according to data compiled by the league. 

The following rules will be in place for the 2018 season and will be reevaluated at the end of the year when a new batch of injury data comes out:

  • no more running starts for the kicking team
  • eight return team players must line up within 15 yards of the ball (called the “setup zone”)
  • no blocking inside the “setup zone” until the ball touches the ground or is caught
  • two-man wedge blocks are no longer allowed
  • kickoff team must have five men on each side of the ball and spread out at specific intervals (to prevent overloads and get free runners downfield)

If any of that sounds confusing, the league put together a graphic explaining everything:

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