Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) from College Football Talk at NBC Sports joined Jeff for an in-depth discussion about the the 2016 college football season. Not only did the interview and college football analysis dive into the Temple, Penn State and Villanova football programs, but coaching at the collegiate level was also discussed. Plus, there’s much more this week on TABLE TALK. We get into it.
The Eagles week 1 game is now in the books! The Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns, 29-10. It was Carson Wentz’s first regular season game as a Philadelphia Eagle, Jim Schwartz’s as defensive coordinator and Doug Pederson’s as head coach. A new era is officially under way. We give our takeaways from the game, get into the team stats and box score and grade the positions and coaches.
But first, on the Brief News & Views segment:
1. Nike and Addias will stop making golf clubs. (3:40)
2. Who might the Phillies bring up this September? (8:35)
3. Radko Gudas is injured. (20:25)
4. Our NFL division, conference and Super Bowl predictions for the coming season. (23:05)
Our Listener Feedback this week focuses on the Eagles – the Bradford trade and much more. (41:20)
Then what we’re throwing down on the Table this week is our 2016 Eagles season preview. First, we take you through the roster position by position. (49:50)
Eagles Insider, Dave Spadaro, then graciously joins us for a great interview where we discuss Carson Wentz, the big trade and quarterback position. We also get into the offensive line, defense and the team’s cohesiveness as the Birds face the Browns at the onset of the season. (57:50)
To close out our season preview, we give our Eagles predictions: how the offense, defense and special teams will rank at season’s end. We also give our Eagles regular season record predictions. (1:16:15)
Ed Kracz from the Bucks County Courier Times, Burlington County Times and Doylestown Intelligencer joins Jeff for a discussion on where the Eagles go from here after trading their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford. A new Eagles era is upon us. With their new franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, set to start and open the 2016 Eagles season against the Cleveland Browns, this team is excited for what is ahead. Ed and Jeff look at the talent on the team and more during this week’s TABLE TALK interview.
The Eagles 53-man roster for the 2016 season will be set in just about 24 hours. Here are my updated projections after having watched and analyzed every preseason game. You’ll read my previous lists – where I was right and where I was wrong – and the update that follows.
Quarterbacks: Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz. All three players remain from my previous projections.
Running Backs: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood. All four players remain from my previous projections.
Wide Receivers: Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Paul Turner, Rueben Randle. I was wrong thinking that Randle would make the team as he was one of the first wide receivers cut.
My updated projection list: Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Paul Turner, Josh Huff (yeah, Huff unfortunately makes it).
Tight Ends: Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton, Chris Pantale. All four players remain from my previous projections.
Offensive Line: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner, Hal Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, (Lane Johnson). Johnson will not count toward the 53-man roster once he’s suspended. However, upon his return from suspension, I’m expecting Gardner to be released.
For me, Gardner was a surprise cut considering he was a veteran. And at this point, Lane Johnson still has not been officially handed his suspension. That leaves the offensive line depth up in the air moving forward.
My updated projection list: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, Hal Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Darrell Greene (Greene was given the most money of any undrafted free agent).
25 total players on offense.
Defensive Tackle: Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart, Mike Martin
Due to the “we love Mike” talk that the Eagles had been bellowing during the offseason, I had initially thought Mike Martin was a lock to play defensive tackle. He was cut last week.
My updated projection list: Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart
Defensive End: Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Bryan Braman, Steven Means, Marcus Smith. All six players remain from my previous projections.
Linebackers: Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Najee Goode, Stephen Tulloch. All five players remain from my previous projections.
Cornerbacks: Nolan Carroll II, Leodis McKelvin, Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks, Eric Rowe
It has been reported by NJ.com that Eric Rowe may possibly be traded, which may not come as a surprise to many. Until that trade happens, I’m keeping him on my projection list, and also adding another gentleman who has impressed during camp taking the number of cornerbacks from my initial five to six. C.J. Smith deserves to make the Eagles final roster.
My updated projection list: Nolan Carroll II, Leodis McKelvin, Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks, Eric Rowe, C.J. Smith III
Safety: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Chris Maragos, Jaylen Watkins. All four players remain from my previous projections.
25 total players on defense.
The Special Teams:
Kicker: Caleb Sturgis
Punter: Donnie Jones
Long Snapper: Jon Dorenbos
3 total players.
GRAND TOTAL: 53 players
As the discussion and industry of sports science becomes more important to the sporting community as a whole year after year, we wanted to go in-depth and learn more about why and how this is happening. This week, Dr. James Hoffman from Temple University joins us for an intriguing conversation about sports science.
1. Carlos Ruiz has been traded. (5:10)
2. Our thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s protest. (15:30)
3. The Sixers trade Kendall Marshall. (24:00)
4. Eagles news and notes: No Wentz anytime soon and roster cuts. (27:15)
5. TAKE IT or LEAVE IT: Is the Eagles success within the preseason real? (34:35)
Our Listener Feedback this week focuses on our interest in soccer and particularly the Union and what Philly sports athlete may go bankrupt. (38:25)
Then what we’re throwing down on the Table is an interview with Dr. James Hoffman from Temple University’s College of Public Health. We examined the history of sports science and where its roots began as well as how the industry has been shaped over the past few decades. As the discussion then focused on enhanced technologies that have become prevalent within sports science, we learn about where the industry is heading and what’s on the horizon. We also discussed Lane Johnson and peptides as well. A great interview you won’t want to miss! (44:45)
Mark Schofield from the Inside The Pylon community joins Jeff for a discussion about the evolution of football analysis and how they’re contributing to the analytics dialogue through ITP. The quarterback position, Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz were topics of analysis as well. We get into it.
By Jeff Warren:
He may not have been the Eagles first choice as head coach, but he’s been winning games in the preseason, which, in the end, really only matters. If you remember the reaction by fans and the national media when Doug Pederson was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles, you could have heard a pin drop. It was one of those situations where one might stare blankly into a wall without physically moving for a few minutes. Some, like myself, simply slumped their shoulders in a defeated manner. However, with offensive productivity being paramount and three wins, thus far, against the Bucs, Steelers and Colts in this preseason, eyebrows are being raised for sure.
Yes, it’s the preseason and we know the trouble it has gotten us into before. Last year with Chip Kelly, the Eagles dominated. Many football analysts and experts actually picked the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. It was the first time in years I had done so. But no one could have guessed a 7-9 regular season.
The NFL preseason is deceptive and misleading. We see it year after year. Some would say it’s even dishonest. Sometimes the talent performs well, sometimes it doesn’t. And at times the talent is held back by coaches who want to keep their teams healthy. Simplistic plays are run consistently not giving fans and press the full picture. What’s interesting about the Eagles this season is that Pederson hasn’t had the luxury of “holding back.” As a new head coach he’s put a lot on the table and shown much of his hand. It’s only natural given the fact that he’s a brand new head coach who’s instituted new offensive and defensive schemes.
Everyone on both sides of the ball have played and seen a fair share of time on the field. No one has been held back without being injured. We’ve even seen some “trick plays.”
According to NFL.com, the Eagles are 19 of 44 (43%) on 3rd down conversions. Sam Bradford has completed 80% of his passes. Ryan Matthews is averaging 6.4 yards per attempt. They’re first in the NFL in defensive rushing and No. 11 in the league in total defense. With eight interceptions, they lead the NFL and they’re tied for fourth in the league with 10 total sacks. The defensive stats, consequently, are a solid testament to Jim Schwartz and how he’s transformed the mentality of the talent.
But then again, the rushing attack is ranked 14th while their passing is ranked 25th. Total offense, they’re also ranked 25th in the league.
We’ve seen the good. We’ve seen the bad. There are still plenty of unknowns that’ll be coming down the pike soon enough.
The reality that Pederson’s on the job training hasn’t hindered his ability to seemingly reach his players is a very positive component to this entire Eagles rebrand. The apparent confidence in his players and coaches continues to provide more hope than doom as the Birds rebuild and look toward the future. For that reason, Pederson has begun to prove himself as a respectable and suitable head coach. Whether he’ll be good, great, bad, or terrible remains to be seen.