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Eagles Looking at Tight Ends, Punters

Eagles Looking at Tight Ends, Punters

While they are constantly tinkering with the 90-man roster, it's not always the Eagles make a move of consequence in late July. This week, there might be two.

The Birds tried out four punters on Monday, including two-time Pro Bowler and former Dallas Cowboy Mat McBriar, who Reuben Frank believes will eventually sign in Philadelphia. Then on Tuesday, the team is set to host Visanthe Shiancoe, while Tim McManus of the newly formed Birds 24/7 blog reported there is also interest in Jeremy Shockey, implying a veteran addition could be on the way at tight end as well.

All of which might amount to competition for Chas Henry and Clay Harbor -- or it could mean the writing is on the wall for one or both.

The news at tight end is certainly the more interesting of the two developments. Harbor had been rumored to be locked in a position battle for the backup spot behind Brent Celek since minicamps, but the only competition as of now is Brett Brackett and Chase Ford, a pair of undrafted rookies. According to Football Outsiders Almanac, the Eagles used either two tight ends or six offensive linemen 30% of the time in 2011, so it's a fairly significant roster spot.

Harbor's blocking is mainly what seems to be under fire, which accounted for roughly two-thirds of his snaps last year according to Pro Football Focus. A fourth-round pick in 2010, Harbor has nice size and athleticism, and it translated well the few times he was targeted on a route last season (13 rec on 19 att for 163 yds, 1 TD -- via FO). However, that accounts for so little of his action, while the blocking has become a more prevalent role as the offense continues its transition to more singleback formations under OL coach Howard Mudd.

While both are into their thirties, either Shiancoe or Shockey might represent an improvement in that department. Both are more accomplished receivers as well.

After starting his career with the Giants to little notoriety, Shiancoe played the last five seasons in Minnesota, averaging 42 receptions and 485 yards. He also caught 11 touchdowns in 2009. Shockey is the more renowned -- and disliked -- of the two. Selected 14th overall by the Giants in the '02 Draft, Shockey made four Pro Bowls in six seasons with New York. He's not the threat he once was, but he still caught 37 balls for 455 yards and four TD for Carolina last year.

Given his natural abilities, it would be a shame if Harbor doesn't pan out. Coming from small-time Missouri State though, it will not come as a huge shock either.

#KickerProblems

Things aren't looking so hot for Henry either, who will almost certainly find himself out of a job in the wake of another signing. An undrafted free agent out of Florida last year, where he won the Ray Guy Award for best punter in the nation, Henry had a mediocre rookie season in the NFL. He ranked 29th in average distance (42.9 yds), 33rd in net average (36.9), and 25th for kicks inside the 20 (19).

The Eagles just released a rookie punter prior to the start of camp (no, I'm not looking up his name), and they tried out veteran Brad Maynard back in June, also one of the four at Lehigh on Monday. Roob says it's likely McBriar though, who last made the Pro Bowl in 2010, but was bothered by a foot injury last season.

Obviously we generally don't think of the punter as a big deal, that is until he's terrible anyway. Maybe Henry can pick up with another team should he be released, but whatever improvements the Eagles can make, however minor they are, they have to consider them all.

CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

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CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Eagles-Giants thoughts: Injury-plagued secondary key to gaining NFC East edge

Eagles-Giants thoughts: Injury-plagued secondary key to gaining NFC East edge

Eagles (1-1) vs. Giants (0-2)
1 p.m. on FOX
Eagles -6


The Eagles try to jump out to a 2-0 start in NFC East play Sunday but host a desperate Giants squad whose season is already on the line in Week 3.

New York's record is in danger of falling to 0-3, which would seriously cripple whatever playoff hopes the franchise has. This is as close to must-win as an NFL game gets in September. However, the league's 30th-ranked scoring offense will be searching for answers against a hostile Eagles defense at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles enter the week with a 1-1 record after a tough loss in Kansas City. A win would not only push the club back above .500 on the year but also keep them ahead of the sticks so to speak in terms of the division standings.

Eli Manning at the Linc
The Giants' offense was broken long before the 2017 season got underway. New York hasn't eclipsed 19 points in any of the last eight contests, including playoffs — a stretch that runs through last December.

As if the unit didn't have enough problems, their quarterback will be walking into an environment where he's been notoriously awful. Since 2009, Eli Manning has completed 60.0 percent of his passes for 6.2 yards per attempt with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Giants are 2-6 in those contests, and 4-14 in their last 18 meetings with the Eagles, period.

In other words, if Manning and his mates are going to get their season turned around, this would not appear to be the matchup to do it. Add in the fact the Eagles' defense looks like it has the potential to be a top-five unit, and New York's offense could be in for another long day.

Key matchup: Giants WR Odell Beckham vs. Eagles secondary
If the Giants get any kind of reprieve at all, it could come in the form of the numerous injuries in the Eagles' secondary. Defensive backs Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins have already been ruled out, and starting free safety Rodney McLeod is questionable. All three are dealing with hamstring injuries.

While this might sound favorable for the Giants' receiving corps, it remains to be seen whether that group will be able to take advantage. Three-time Pro Bowl selection Odell Beckham Jr. missed Week 1 with an ankle injury and was still limited in Week 2, finishing with four receptions for 36 yards against the Lions. Meanwhile, fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepherd have been little more than window dressing in his absence, and tight end Evan Engram is a rookie.

It's going to be interesting to see which Beckham shows up, as he has the potential to raise the level of play of Manning's secondary targets as well. In particular, whether Beckham can get over the top of a gimpy McLeod — or whoever winds up in centerfield for the Eagles — could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.

Balance is important, but avoiding turnovers is essential
For all the talk about the Eagles' run-pass ratio this week, the real reason they failed to pull out a win over the Chiefs came down to something much simpler: turnovers.

The Eagles gave the ball away twice last week, on the road no less, which is a huge no-no. Both plays occurred in enemy territory, too, giving the opponent a short field — a Darren Sproles fumble on a punt return that led to a quick field goal (and cost the Eagles a possession), and a Carson Wentz interception that eventually wound up in a touchdown the other way. Meanwhile, Kansas City did not turn the ball over at all.

Sure, the Eagles need to commit to the ground attack. Even a bad running game has some benefits. But what really cost the team in a seven-point loss last Sunday were the giveaways.

No matter how many times the Eagles run or throw the football against the Giants, there is no excuse for giving a struggling offense more opportunities. Then again, that might mean handing the ball to LeGarrette Blount 20 times for three yards and a cloud of dust and playing the field-position game is the way to go here.

A chance to take a commanding lead
Don't expect anything to come easy. This is a rivalry game, against a team with its share of problems, but a championship-caliber quarterback and respectable defense. If the Giants can't get anything going on offense, the Eagles might be able to run away in this one, but more likely, it will be close.

That being said, if the Eagles can pull off the victory in front of their own crowd, they will be the first NFC East team to 2-0 in the division. The Giants will fall to 0-2, and Washington is sitting at 0-1. Only the Cowboys currently have a win as well and will be 1-0.

A win Sunday moves the Eagles to 2-1 on the season. More importantly, it would put them ahead of the curve in their division, which despite the potential for New York to fall out of the race early, looks like it will be very competitive as usual.