Drew Rosenhaus Visited by the Ghost of T.O. Past

Drew Rosenhaus Visited by the Ghost of T.O. Past

DeSean Jackson has already made waves during his short NFL career. He hears adulation for being one of the league's most explosive players, while listening to criticism for being an excessive showboat. And for the better part of two years now, there has been another story lurking beneath the water, just waiting to emerge as a big problem for the Eagles: Jackson's salary.

Jackson's contract has been prevalent in the news since November 2009, when the young wide receiver switched his representation to Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus, as we're sure you recall, is the famous super agent who orchestrated one of the messiest break-ups in Philly sports history between the Birds and Terrell Owens--so when DJac did not receive an extension last year, plenty of observers were expecting the worst.

Thankfully it hasn't come to that yet, but what's different this time around?

Rosenhaus joined PFT Live on Tuesday, and he revealed what many Eagles fans already know about the local football club: they do things on their terms.

“One of the things I realized with the Eagles is that there’s an approach that works with them and an approach that doesn’t work. And the approach that doesn’t work is to try and strongarm them and allow it to become public and take them on.”

Rosenhaus had to find out the hard way Birds' management doesn't cave easily. Through the years, they've lost high profile players such Jeremiah Trotter, Corey Simon, and Brian Dawkins to free agency over contract disputes. They also traded away corners Sheldon Brown and another Rosenhaus client, Lito Sheppard, in consecutive years.

On the flip side, few players who made a stink in the media have been rewarded with new contracts, just arguably the two most important players for the franchise in the last decade, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook.

Jackson, on the other hand, has been remarkably cool throughout the process, this while seemingly every interview last season focused on the money. He's made it perfectly clear he expects to be paid, but has done little to demonstrate his displeasure. He did skip a voluntary camp last off-season, but otherwise there was nothing overt.

The fact is, they will have to do something for their Pro Bowl receiver and returner once the new league year begins, or risk some serious backlash. DJac is in the final year of his contract, the time when an extension would normally be done, and he is scheduled to make just $565,000 in base salary, which is criminal in comparison to his peers. If he's not extended or traded, a holdout seems almost assured.

As always, the Eagles have done an excellent job managing the salary cap, and there is plenty of money lying around to lock up Jackson for a long time if that's what they choose to do. While he will always have his critics as long as he dances in end zones, Jackson will have earned some respect for handling a difficult and unfair contract situation like a professional.

And amazingly, that might have something to do with Rosenhaus.

>> Rosenhaus remembers lessons of T.O. [PFT]

Flyers Notes: Promising performances from young defensemen

Flyers Notes: Promising performances from young defensemen

The most impressive thing about the Flyers' 4-0 preseason win over the Islanders on Tuesday night was the play of the their young defense and the outstanding work by the penalty kill.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers each gave a strong accounting of themselves while veteran Andrew MacDonald proved why experience helps with some terrific PK work during an extended five-on-three Islanders power play in the third period.

“Overall, they did a good job,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I look at some of the opportunities we gave up, especially in the second period, we gave up three or four Grade A opportunities that Mase (goalie Steve Mason) was great on, but I put those on our forwards.

“We’re still not into regular-season form on our play without the puck. I thought as a whole, the group of defensemen did a good job and the young guys in there were good tonight.”

Sanheim had strong plays the entire game from the point and picked up two assists (see highlights). He gets the puck quickly on net and joins the play up front.

“It took me a little bit, even in this game,” Sanheim said. “As I play more, I started to jump up more and you start to see my game more. It’s something I want to bring to this next level.”

Provorov logged 21:43 of ice time following nearly 29 minutes at New Jersey. He had 5:17 on the PK. Some of his clears weren’t deep or hard enough, at times, possibly because of fatigue.

He also took a bad boarding hit on Joshua Ho-Sang in the third period that set up an Isles five-on-three power play. It became extended because of a trip call to Myers but MacDonald did yeoman’s work on the extended PK.

Provorov quarterbacks the first-unit man advantage for now until Shayne Gostisbehere joins the crowd. He had some very skillful passes. The Russian can find the seam up the ice on the breakout quickly and had a no-look, hard pass to Nick Cousins in the second period for a quality one-timer on net.

Expect Provorov to handle the second-unit power play during the season, should he make the roster.

The goals
Although the Flyers, using a better NHL lineup, were lacking for offensive chances early against the Isles' "B" squad, they found their way in the final four minutes of the opening period.

First, Dale Weise had one of those pinball goals as a bouncing puck hit a couple of players in the slot, including goalie Chris Gibson, to make it 1-0 during four-on-four play.

That was the Flyers' first goal of preseason in three games. A little more than a minute later, Wayne Simmonds scored off a rebound just as a Flyers power play ended. Simmonds had two goals in the game, including a wrister from the left circle to open the final period.

Smallish (5-foot-7) — but bullish — centerman Andy Miele, a former Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey’s top player (Miami-Ohio), made it 3-0, out-battling Thomas Hickey for the rebound of Michael Raffl’s shot.

The shield
Simmonds is wearing a visor for the first time. It’s an experiment for now.

“Everyone is all over me about it,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. It wasn’t too bad tonight. The only thing is trying to track pucks in the sky when you are getting the glare from the lights. A little bit of an adjustment."

He said neither his mother nor girlfriend had pushed him as hard to wear the shield as someone else: “Ron Hextall,” he said flatly. “He gave me a call.”

Because of his tenacious play in the slot where sticks are high and pucks are deflected, a shield makes sense.

“Yeah, I think so, being that front guy and doing work on the PK,” he said. “Getting sticks in lanes like that, the game is really fast and pucks get deflected.

“Sometime you don’t know where they’re going and can’t react to that. Obviously, the shield is good for that."

He added he would wear the shield in a fight, too.

“Every time I fight and someone has a shield on, I’m at a disadvantage so I guess this evens it up,” he said.

Loose pucks
Weise did a nice job sticking up for teammates late during a melee after a Ben Holmstrom crosscheck to linemate Nick Cousins. “It was a bad crosscheck and you’re defending your teammates,” he said. “The ref was in the way and I kind of went overtop him. That’s what I’m about. Guys take liberties on my linemates, I’ll stand up for them.” … Matt Read had just 6:54 ice time through two periods. Fourth-liner Boyd Gordon had more ice time there — 9:39 — but Read finished with 13:55 to Gordon’s 13:41. More than half of Gordon’s ice time was on the penalty kill. … Goalie Steve Mason faced some point-blank chances among the first 17 shots he faced and finished with 23-save shutout.  

Carson Wentz named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Carson Wentz named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Another week, another award for Carson Wentz.

This time the Eagles' electrifying rookie has been named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Steelers.

In the 34-3 win over Pittsburgh, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 125.9. It was the first 300-yard game of his very young career.

Wentz is the first rookie QB in Eagles history to win an Offensive Player of the Week award, and the first Eagle to win the award since Jeremy Maclin in Week 9 of the 2014 season.

Through three games, the 23-year-old has completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns. He's the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to achieve those stats in the first three games of a career. He still hasn't thrown an interception in 102 passing attempts, which is a record for rookies.

It looks like Wentz will have plenty more opportunities for awards this season.