Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz thinks Eagles have talent to win NFC East

Carson Wentz thinks Eagles have talent to win NFC East

Carson Wentz thinks the Eagles have enough talent to go from worst to first in the division. 

After going 7-9 and finishing in the basement of the resurgent NFC East in Wentz's rookie season last year, the 24-year-old quarterback thinks that the 2017 Eagles have enough talent to supplant the Cowboys as the top team in the division. 

"We have high expectations around here," Wentz said in a radio interview on WIP Thursday morning while in Fargo, North Dakota. "We hope and we expect to be playing into January and then to see what happens. I think that's the biggest thing. 

"Our goal is to win the NFC East and we believe we have the guys to do it. 

"We just have to now go put the work in and go make things happen. We have high expectations ... 7-9 is never good enough. I never want to be done after the regular season again. That doesn't sit well with me and it never will. We definitely have high expectations to be playing into January and then hopefully get hot and see what happens."

It's worth noting that the Eagles went 7-9 after a tremendous start in 2016 that saw them win the first three games on the schedule, including a 34-3 walloping of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the Eagles went on to lose nine of their next 11, including a five-game losing streak that lasted a month from November into December. 

On paper, Wentz should have more to work with in 2016. If Lane Johnson can stay on the field, Wentz's offensive line should be much better, and the Eagles added plenty of new weapons in free agency in the draft. 

"We went out and have a couple new additions and everything," Wentz said. "It's been fun. Honestly, it's been fun just to get to work with them. Last year, obviously this time of year, I was working with a lot of the third-team guys. It's just been fun to have a whole offseason under my belt now as we're, I think, 10 days away from camp. Just getting the opportunity to get the team reps. 

"You can throw routes on air and do all those things you want, but the spring, getting those team reps, those valuable reps with a lot of the guys, the new rookie guys, the free agents that we signed and everything in-between. I'm really liking where we're at and it's still a process, it's still a process, but training camp is right around the corner and honestly, I can't wait to get back there."

NFL Notes: Ravens OL John Urschel, 26, retires after 3 seasons

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NFL Notes: Ravens OL John Urschel, 26, retires after 3 seasons

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  -- Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has retired from the NFL after just three seasons.

Urschel, a former fifth round pick from Penn State in 2014, received notoriety for pursuing his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the offseason. He started 13 games over the past three seasons and was expected to compete for a starting role at center or guard. Instead, he will pursue other interests outside of football.

"This morning, John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement Thursday. "We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Broncos: RB Devontae Booker expected to miss 6 weeks with wrist injury
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos coach Vance Joseph's first training camp got off to a rough start with word that Devontae Booker will undergo wrist surgery Friday and is expected to miss six weeks.

Booker was pushing to unseat C.J. Anderson as Denver's starting running back. He suffered a hairline fracture during organized team activities in June, marring a solid spring for the second-year pro as he bounced back from a rough rookie season that followed two knee surgeries.

The Broncos had been planning to split first-team snaps at training camp between Booker and Anderson, who is returning from a torn meniscus that sidelined him over the last half of last season.

If Booker's recovery goes well, he will be back in time for the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11 (see full story).

Vinny Curry healthy, feeling like himself at start of training camp

Vinny Curry healthy, feeling like himself at start of training camp

After signing a huge contract extension last February, the 2016 season was a major disappointment for Vinny Curry. 

Curry finished the year with just 2½ sacks and played just 43 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps. That wasn't good enough production for a player who just signed a $46.25 million extension. 

On Wednesday, as Eagles veterans reported for training camp, Curry said he fought through injuries during the entire 2016 season. Curry sprained his MCL in the third preseason game and said the injury lingered, although he wasn't listed on the Eagles' injury report past the first few weeks of the season. Curry also claimed he dealt with a lingering hamstring injury. 

"It was just a snowball effect of different type of things," he said. "I couldn't do what I do at 100 percent. You could see a flash of it, but then I couldn't finish it. There was something just missing there. I fought through it, showed guts. This year, though, I'm feeling good, feeling healthy, feeling relaxed, feeling like myself."

Curry, 29, said he's now 100 percent healthy and expects to be the type of player the Eagles thought they were getting when they gave him a big contract extension last winter. 

After the Eagles handed out a huge contract to Curry, fans expected the type of production that saw him pick up nine sacks in a limited role in 2014. Instead, they got a part-time player who finished with the second-lowest sack total of his career. There was a lot of criticism coming Curry's way in 2016. 

"I was able to block it out," he said. "We've got a great PR team. But at the end of the day, we all know that I wasn't 100 percent, so it wasn't like I was hanging my head low. It is what it is. That's just sports. Everybody has an opinion. Everybody wants to be a GM or a reporter, or everybody wants to get ahead of the next person to report something. I could not play now and just start talking trash about you and it's not going to ruin your day. You're just going to be like 'Oh, what's Vinny's problem?'"

Last season, the Eagles tried to let Curry start at left defensive end, but eventually Brandon Graham beat him out for the job during camp. During this spring, Curry took over Connor Barwin's old spot as the right defensive end. That's the way Graham sees things staying: Graham on the left, Curry on the right. (The Eagles also have Derek Barnett and Chris Long fighting for time.) 

"I think it's set in stone," Graham said. "I like the left side. Vinny playing on the right. I think sometimes you just want to switch, sometimes it's good to give people a different look. But I think it's pretty set."

The sides defensive ends play, especially in the NFC East, is extremely important. The right defensive end will constantly go up against left tackles, normally a spot that has the best player to protect the quarterback's blind side. In the NFC East, that means going against Washington's Trent Williams for two games and Dallas' Tyron Smith for two more. That means a quarter of the schedule is against one of the best left tackles in football. 

Is Curry up for it? 

"I think he'll be fine," Graham said. "It's all about, like anything, when I had to move to the right side, and play the left tackles, you get used to that side as you take reps and then you get that signature move that you like. And then you have to study your guy and know what he's been getting beaten off of and incorporate that for that week. I think with Vinny and the coaching that we have in that room, he should be really good in Year 2 of this system."

Does Curry have something to prove this year? 

"Just have to get back to being me," he said. "That's it."