Philadelphia Eagles

DBs coach Cory Undlin breaks down Eagles' cornerbacks

DBs coach Cory Undlin breaks down Eagles' cornerbacks

Eagles defensive backs coach Cory Undlin spoke recently about the state of the team’s cornerback position (see story).

Here are Undlin’s remarks on several of the key figures in that cornerback group:  

On Rasul Douglas
“I’ve liked him the whole time, from the combine. Spent a bunch of time with him at West Virginia. Had him on a top-30 (visit). Fortunate to get him there. Like his length, like his change of direction, like his mindset. The guy loves ball. Guy comes in every single day with the mindset to get better. He loves ball. He wants to talk ball all the time. He loves watching tape. I like where he’s going. You guys have seen him in person, he’s a big man. So the technique part of that is what we’re consistently going to have to work on. It’s hard to play that position out there and be efficient and create hard angles when you’re tall. You’ve got to be able to bend, you’ve got to stay down, you’ve got to be able to be efficient with your upper body, not just your lower body. He’s gotten a little bit better since he’s been here. He’s a good player. We’ve got to fine-tune all that stuff, but he’s gotten better since he’s been here.”

On Sidney Jones
"There's a lot that stood out on his tape. Competitiveness, effort, change of direction, ball skills, he can find it down the field, which is obviously imperative for us. I like everything about him. The guy's a good player. Great control of his body, violent in and out of his breaks, guy plays with his hair on fire. He checks off all the boxes. Smart kid, asks a lot of questions, which is exactly what I expected him to do. The difference in my mind between good corners and the ones that are not just good but like really good — great — are the ones that when the wide receiver stops, they stop. And when the wideout goes down and gets out, the corner, with a little bit of awareness and anticipation, can hopefully go down and hopefully match that angle and not have circles and all that other stuff. His ability to drop his body and get his feet in the ground and come out with violence and efficiency, it's special."

On Jalen Mills
"He’s got a year under his belt, which is obviously huge. He’s been in games, he’s been in big games, he’s played good in some games, he’s played bad in some games. So the biggest thing would be whatever happens, wherever he plays, whatever his role will be this year, that there’s a lot more good play than there is good and bad. He was a rookie last year, I’m proud of him for what he did, (but) he’s got to play at a more consistent level and he’d be the first guy to say that. He’s got a ways to go, like we all do, whether it’s him or anyone else in that room, we’ve got a ways to go before we play that first game."

On C.J. Smith
“Both of them (Smith and Mills) are trending upward. Both getting better. They’ve both done a good job. Obviously, Jalen played a lot more than C.J., but C.J,’s doing a nice job as well. Once you’ve been here for a year, just the daily exercise of showing up every single day with the mindset to get better, once you have that, you know now you’re not a rookie in that sense anymore, so they’re different players in that way. I’m glad they’re both here."

On Patrick Robinson
“Patrick’s been, obviously I’ve never been around Patrick, and it goes down just like this. In the meeting room or on the field during individual drills, we’re doing a drill, and as Patrick goes through and I coach him, then the next guy goes through and I coach him and the next guy goes through and then I turn around and Pat’s over them coaching him. In the meeting room, showing a play on tape, going through the discussion, and then Pat says, hey I have a question about this, and I say, hey, you explain it how you see it. So he’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed him in the room and he’ll make us all better. The guy knows ball, he’s played a lot … he gets the game. For players to hear it from me all day long, bang, bang, bang, but for them to hear it from other players, that’s big. He’s doing a good job. On the ground a few times early on, just in Phase 2 and early in OTAs, but you saw him get better. Changed a few things with technique but there wasn’t a lot to change on him, but I like his quickness, the guy can run, he’s smart. There’s just certain things you don’t teach, that you don’t coach. He just sees it. He can see the formation, the splits, the alignments, who’s on, whig’s off, he gets the game. So that’s obviously a bonus."

On Eric Rowe
"He got traded. That's it. I think it was they were thinking about trading a guy and they traded him. You know how this thing goes. Somebody needs a guy, the conversation starts, you weigh your options and you hope it works out. Traded him."

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.

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie makes statement reacting to President Trump's remarks

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Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie makes statement reacting to President Trump's remarks

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has joined the league-wide backlash against comments President Donald Trump made during a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday night encouraging NFL owners to release players who protest during the national anthem.

Lurie released the following statement through Twitter on Saturday night: 

During his speech Friday, Trump sharply criticized players like Colin Kaepernick and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins who have protested during the anthem.

 “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!' Trump said. 

“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith denounced Trump earlier Saturday, and they were joined by several players, including Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith and former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.