Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/21/21.
Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …
How DeVonta Smith can be the ideal ‘X’ receiver in the Eagles’ offense – TouchdownWire
As the offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts, Sirianni had TY Hilton (5-foot-10) as his X receiver, and Hilton’s a guy who is a force on the inside with his size and shiftiness but with his route running ability can line up on the outside against the best corner on any defense. When Sirianni was a wide receivers coach with the San Diego Chargers, he had a completely different X receiver in terms of height with Keenan Allen (6-foot-2). Devonta Smith is 6-foo0, prototypical X receiver who lines up on the outside but also lined up in the middle as well; in fact he lined up on the inside 37% of the time in 2020. Just to make it clear, the X receiver doesn’t always have to be lined up on the outside, its simply the guy with the best hands and separation on the team; in terms of location the X is usually lining up opposite of the tight-end. Why? It adds some dimension to an offense, so the defense has to account for every receiver from sideline to sideline. With a guy who has hands, size and speed like Smith, the Eagles are in a great position when he’s on the field with Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz.
ESPN’s NFL future power rankings ranks the Eagles 30th – BGN
The Birds have two first-round picks next year and possibly three if Wentz meets certain benchmarks in Indianapolis. There is not a plethora of top-flight young talent on the roster, but the cupboards aren’t bare, either, and once Wentz’ $33.8 million comes off the cap, general manager Howie Roseman will have more flexibility when it comes to adding more players. However, ESPN’s yearly three-year power rankings of all 32 NFL teams is less-than-bullish on the franchise’s chances of emerging from the ashes within the next few seasons, ranking the Birds 30th out of 32 squads.
Ranking all 32 NFL running back units ahead of the 2021 season – PFF
27. Philadelphia Eagles. Miles Sanders is a player whose PFF grading profile doesn’t necessarily match the public perception. As a rookie, he earned just a 59.1 rushing grade while running behind one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in football, but he did show promise in the passing game. That flipped this past season for Philadelphia when Sanders improved his rushing grade to 75.3. However, he struggled with drops, as his eight spills were tied for the most at the position. He’ll look to clean those drops up and continue to progress as a runner in a backfield that doesn’t offer much real competition. Boston Scott, Kerryon Johnson and Jordan Howard will compete for work behind Sanders.
NFL’s best pass rushers heading into 2021 season? Analysts reveal gold, silver, bronze picks – NFL.com
The last player to lead the NFL in sacks in consecutive seasons was Hall of Famer Reggie White, in 1987 and 1988 with the Philadelphia Eagles. T.J. Watt led the NFL with 15.0 sacks in 2020.
NFL insider: Micah Parsons could have a Von-Miller-like impact on the Dallas Cowboys defense – Blogging The Boys
One of the things that we will all be watching closely when the Dallas Cowboys begin practices out in Oxnard, California is just what rookie linebacker Micah Parsons looks like. Attention always follows the team’s first-round pick, but Parsons happens to play right in the middle of where the Cowboys were disastrous for so much of last season. Plenty of effort and resources have been thrown at fixing this team’s defense in 2021, and however good Parsons is in year one will likely go a long way at justifying the last few months. It is so difficult/fun to imagine where Parsons is going to most help the defense because his athleticism offers the team a lot of different options. Obviously he can roam around and play like a traditional linebacker, but he also was quite the pass rusher while at Penn State. This blend of versatility is one that seemingly led one NFL analyst to compare him to one of the game’s current great linebackers in Von Miller.
Washington’s line play improved dramatically in 2020. What needs to improve in 2021? – Hogs Haven
Looking back at the sack rates of Washington’s 2020 and, likely, 2021 quarterbacks, provides some encouraging data on that front. In 2020, Alex Smith’s “true sack rate” was 7.2%. That is, he was sacked on over 7% of the plays where he either attempted a pass or scrambled. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s “true sack rate” was 4.7% (Tua’s “true sack rate” behind the same line was 6.1%). As a point of comparison, Aaron Rodgers, who most people think of as great at avoiding pressure, had a “true sack rate” of 3.5% last year. For those curious, the Packers’ PBWR was, by far, the best in the league last season. Miami’s was 27th in the league. With a better offensive line, and a less sack prone QB behind it, expect that Washington’s PBWR could make a significant jump in 2021.
How much better are Giants at the skill positions? – Big Blue View
I get it. There are a ton of questions. Barkley keeps adding mystery to the state of his recovery. Golladay played five games last season, and the Giants are paying him to be a Pro Bowl-caliber player when his career high in receptions is 70. Engram is as frustrating a player as you’ll find, a guy whose performance just doesn’t consistently match his talent. Whether the Giants can effectively incorporate Toney into the offense is a question we can’t answer. Still, I think the Giants did everything they could to improve those spots. They signed the best free-agent receiver available. They used a first-round pick on a receiver. They added a quality tight end.
From his honeymoon, Tony Buzbee takes a swipe at Deshaun Watson – PFT
Buzbee, who barely stopped talking about the cases when they were first filed in March, hasn’t said much in recent weeks. This gratuitous slap at Watson suggests that a settlement between now and the start of camp isn’t likely. The question then becomes whether the league will let Watson know before it’s time to report for camp whether he’ll be placed on paid leave.
Peyton and Eli’s ‘all-Manning’ MNF broadcast will either be amazing, or awful beyond belief – SB Nation
There has never been a wider potential variance in sports television. This is either going to be absolutely incredible, becoming the go-to way to watch Monday Night Football, showcasing two bright football minds giving insight nobody else can — or it’s going to be an absolute disaster. The alternate broadcast is being handled by Omaha Productions, the company Peyton and Eli set up earlier this year to handle their joint foray into media. This is their newest venture.
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