Eagles Sign Bunch of Guys You Most Certainly Won't Call 'Dream Team' But That's Fine

Eagles Sign Bunch of Guys You Most Certainly Won't Call 'Dream Team' But That's Fine

One minute the Eagles hadn't done anything in free agency and the next there are five new guys inked to play for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia next season. They may not have the name recognition of the splashy free agent class that became known as the Dream Team, but that's perfectly fine with me, as we all know how that turned out. The rebuilding Eagles want guys who can buy into a team building from the ground up. Together.

Let's take a look.

NT Isaac Sopoaga, 3 years

Here's Roob on Sopoaga:

Sopoaga, 31, started 80 games for the 49ers from 2005 through 2012 and
gives the Eagles an experienced nose tackle as the Eagles presumably
switch from a 4-3 front to a 3-4 front under new head coach Chip Kelly
and defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

CB Bradley Fletcher, 2 years

Here's Tommy Lawlor on Fletcher yesterday:

The guy who fascinates me the most is Bradley Fletcher from St.
Louis. He missed time in 2011 due to an injury and was just a backup
last year, but if you put on the tape, he's got the best pure cover
skills of any corner on the market. You are taking a bit of a chance on
him, but he played all 16 games in 2010 and 2012 so it isn't like he's
injury prone. The reason he was a backup is that the Rams signed
Cortland Finnegan and drafted Janoris Jenkins early. That pushed
Fletcher to the back burner. He was the No. 3 corner and played well.
Fletcher will turn 27 this summer and has plenty of good football left
in front of him.

LB Jason Phillips, 2 years


S Patrick Chung, 3 years

A backhanded compliment? Or a sad reality?



TE / FB James Casey, 3 years

Casey could fit in nicely to the kind of offense Chip Kelly wants to run and he has a remarkable tale of getting to the NFL and the Eagles. Worth a read.

more coming...

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year, but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Peterson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much. 

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star for Toronto last season when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineups can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP

Rockies
1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. D.J. LeMehiau 2B
3. Nolan Arenado 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez RF
5. Mark  Reynolds 1B
6. Gerardo Parra LF
7. Alexi Amarista SS
8. Tony Wolters C
9. Jeff Hoffman SP