Eagles Watch: Why the team believes safety Marcus Epps is right

Why the Eagles might not spend big on safety, Jonathan Gannon’s expectations in 2022 and crazy Boston Scott stats highlight Roob’s 10-game random look at the Eagles’ offseason this weekend.

Maybe even some thoughts on everyone’s favorite topics: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Jalen Hurts.

1. I know everyone is asking the Eagles to get a major safety next, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. The Eagles seem to really like Marcus Epps, and I can see why. Epps had a good year last year. He’s strong, athletic, smart and intuitive, solid tackles, good coverage, around the ball.

The only real problem is that he never became a full-time player. He averaged 32 steals per game last year, ranking 18thth All qualifying safetys in Pro Football Focus – well ahead of Rodney McLeod (43rd) or Anthony Harris (53rd). He’s averaging just 11 fewer steals per game than McLeod, and you’re asking him to go from 32 steals per game to about 50.

Maybe the Hawks could trade some draft picks for a veteran safety and give him a huge contract, but Epps has already signed a $965,000 contract and has a chance of being a pretty good player. If I was calling the shots, I’d keep the pick and let Epps try it.

more: Why the Eagles think Epps is ready to be a starter

2. For those who doubt Gannon will be a more aggressive coach in Year 2, consider this: The Hawks have added James Bradbury, Kezil White, Nacoby on the defensive end since late last year Dean, Jordan Davis and Hasson Redick (and Brandon Graham). Minus Alex Singleton, McLeod, Steve Nelson, Genard Avery, Hassan Ridgeway and Ryan Kerrigan.

why on earth Won’t Is his coach more aggressive? Of course he will. He has players now.

3. If I were to rank all the NFC teams, I’m not sure I’d rank any team other than the Rams, Packers, Buccaneers and 49ers ahead of the Hawks. I feel like the Eagles have bypassed the Cowboys, though it’s close, I’d put them ahead of the cards considering the Eagles’ offseason – they won’t have DeAndre Ho until Week 7 The Pugins — and the Vikings — they’ll be starting over with a new coach.

Who else is there? saint? Seahawks? commander? Do not. The Eagles were a playoff team last year, and they should be even better this year.

4. Injury stats of the week: Over the past 20 years, only four quarterbacks have averaged at least 12.3 yards per completion and fewer than one interception per 45 pass attempts in their first two seasons: Michael Vick, Ma Cuth Mariota, Patrick Mahomes, Foles and Hurt.

5. last week when i wrote Suggest fans shouldn’t boo Carson Wentz when he returns to Lincoln, which sparked the often hilarious (and sometimes ugly) Foles vs. Wentz debate with the usual question: Would the Eagles win the Super Bowl if Wentz wasn’t injured and played the entire playoffs? Would the Eagles win the Super Bowl if Foles had started all year.

My answer to both questions is no.

Wentz has three career playoff passing yards in six seasons, so even though he played in 2017 thinking he was going to go out and beat the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots, I don’t buy it.

And Foles has never won more than eight games in a season and has never started more than 11 games. So I don’t think he’s going to win the Hawks’ No. 1 seed with a 13-3 record.

But really, that’s part of what made 2017 so special. The Eagles did it as a team. They do it as a group. They do it together. With that team, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Especially the quarterback. The 2017 Eagles did not have a Hall of Fame quarterback. They don’t have Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Mahomes. They have two flawed quarterbacks who combine to create a near-perfect historic season.

So why not step back from the whole Foles vs Wentz debate and appreciate what they’re doing together. Wentz started it, Foles finished it, and none of us will forget it.

more: Eagles legend Foles may have found a new home

6A. The Hawks have lost 16 playoff games over the past 30 years, 12 of them to a Hall of Fame quarterback (current or future). Brees three, Brady, Kurt Warner and Troy Aikman two, Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson one each.

The only non-Hall of Famers to beat the Hawks in the playoffs over the past 30 years are Kerry Collins in 2000, Brad Johnson in 2002, Jake Delholm in 2003 and Kerry Collins in 2009. Tony Romo.

6B. Interestingly, the Eagles lost only one playoff game in their first 48 years—the 1947 NFL championship game against Cards in Chicago. They didn’t lose a game at home in the playoffs until 1981. It helped that they only played two games from 1933 to 1978.

7. It’s going to be a big summer for two 2020 draft picks — 3rd– Rounded out Davene Taylor and 4th– Draft pick K’Von Wallace. Both are indeed in the same position. Taylor started seven games in two years, Wallace six games. They’ve all shown some flashes, but none have been able to stay healthy, neither have been able to play consistently, and neither have locked in jobs in 2022.

Especially that linebacker position gets very crowded. Both Taylor and Wallace have had their moments, but nothing is guaranteed in Year 3 as a mid-round pick. They have to show up at training camp to find their way into 53.

8. Scott’s 34-yard rushing TD against the Buccaneers in the playoffs was the longest rushing TD in NFL playoff history. It’s actually twice as long as the second-longest — former Hawks Leonard Weaver’s only 17-yard TD with the Seahawks in a 2008 win over Washington.

9. Maybe the Eagles will keep Isaac Seumalo this year, but you can make a good case for releasing him. Seumalo is a decent guard, but he’s going into Year 7 and has only been a full-time starter once in 2019, and he’s missed most of the past two years due to injury.

And he’s already lost his left-back job to Landon Dixon.

And his salary cap is as high as $7.668 million.

The Hawks could save roughly $1.2 million in cap space by cutting him (or cut dead money to $2 million in 2022 and $3.8 million in 2023 by cutting him after June 1) .

There are guys like Jack Driscoll and Sua Opeta who can play right back and they are just as good.

Why are you keeping him?

10. Was Doug Pederson’s 84-yard touchdown pass to Torrance Small in 1999 the most unlikely 84-yard touchdown pass in NFL history? It was the longest pass of Pederson’s career and the longest catch of Small’s career.

One of the worst quarterbacks in Eagles history lost it to one of the worst receivers in Eagles history. Not surprisingly, the Hawks lost (Michael Strahan’s 44-yard overtime 6th pick against Pederson).

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