EAGLES NOTEBOOK: Yet Another Changing of the Guard
PHILADELPHIA – The headaches along the Eagles’ offensive line continue.
Isaac Seumalo was put on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, so head coach Doug Pederson was asked on Wednesday, who would start at Seumalo’s position of left guard.
His answer was pretty much, anybody could.
Even Nate Herbig could despite settling in nicely at right guard the past two weeks. In that scenario, Matt Pryor could slide in at right guard.
For some reason, the Eagles seem to like Pryor better on the right side than the left, even though it involves impacting two different positions, which is something Pederson has considered a no-no for years.
Moving Herbig to the left side in order to accommodate Pryor on the right side, however, impacts two positions.
In Wednesday’s short glimpse of practice, Herbig was indeed taking some reps during individual drills at left guard next to Jason Peters while Pryor was spotted working at right guard next to Lane Johnson.
As if that didn’t muddy the waters enough, Pederson said prior to the practice session, “We got Jack Driscoll. We got Sua Opeta who was elevated a week or so ago. He can also give us some valuable reps there at guard.
“And then Jamon Brown who we just acquired, but at the same time, catching him up to speed to see where he is. So, there are some options there. We just got to find the best five and the best fit this week coming out of practice.”
Splitting reps during a game week isn’t ideal. The Eagles did that leading up to Washington and the results were disastrous.
Whoever gets the position, it will likely be for more than three weeks, because Pederson said Seumalo could miss more than three weeks.
Don’t discount Driscoll, who played relatively well filling in for Lane Johnson at right tackle against Washington until he limped off in the second half.
“Driscoll is a guy that we worked him at guard during training camp,” said Pederson. “Obviously, he's done a good job for us at tackle. Yeah, he's definitely in the mix to play the guard spot.”
HURTS REAL GOOD
Rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts played three snaps against the Rams, but his presence on the field was beneficial, according to Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, who caught a pass on some misdirection with a pump fake toward Hurts.
“(The Rams) actually called out a screen was going when (Hurts) came into the game,” said Goedert. “The plan was to get the Mike (linebacker) outside the hash and when he did I was going to go right and replace him. It worked out to perfection. It was awesome the way the pulling guard...everything, the execution of that play was perfect.”
So, could Hurts become even more useful as the season goes along? That would seem to be the plan.
“He’s a great athlete,” said Goedert. “He’s going to draw attention, different things, moving him around. Teams know he can catch the ball, run with it, he can catch it and throw it again if we throw it to him backward. I think he’s going to have a big part of being able to free somebody up.”
WHERE’S THE PICKS?
There’s only been one season when Darius Slay failed to record an interception and that was his rookie year in 2013.
There’s plenty of time to add one in 2020, and his next pick will the 20th of his career, it just feels like there is a greater urgency for Slay – or anybody – to intercept a pass since the Eagles still haven’t gotten one yet.
“If we’re blessed enough to play the whole year, we probably got roughly 15 (hundred) to 2,000 plays,” said Slay on Wednesday. “So, there will be plenty of plays to make, just wait until the time is right. There are so many plays, as I’ve always been preaching. So many opportunities. You don’t gotta rush it. It’ll come to you. Do your job, and they’ll be there.”
A fumble recovery would be nice since they don’t have any of those, either.
The Eagles’ lone turnover was from the punt coverage team.
They are minus-5 already in the takeaway/giveaway department, which is a good indicator how successful or unsuccessful a defense is.
Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow visits Lincoln Financial Field, so maybe the Eagles can record their first interception against him, or force a fumble from running back Joe Mixon, to get the turnover ball rolling.
“Looking forward to seeing what (Burrow) can do on the field coming up this Sunday,” said cornerback Avonte Maddox, “and we gotta create some turnovers.”
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
There are 11 teams sitting at 0-2, including the Eagles and their opponent on Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals.
According to www.betOnline.ag, there is a team prop bet on how many of those teams will make the playoffs.
The over is 1.5 at plus-150.
The under is 1.5 at minus-200.
In addition to Philadelphia and Cincinnati, the other 0-2 teams are the Jets, Giants, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Lions, Texans, Dolphins, and Vikings.
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