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Archives for: September 20, 2016

Behind exciting rookie QB and new defense, the Eagles look fantastic

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Carson Wentz’s stat line didn’t look great, but if you watched Monday night’s game you had to be impressed.

It’s easy to be impressed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a whole, too.

Wentz went 21-of-34 for 190 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions as the Eagles dominated the Chicago Bears 29-14 to improve to 2-0.

Randall Liu, the NFL’s director of football communications, said Wentz is the first rookie quarterback since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970 to start and win his team’s first two games of the season without throwing an interception. Wentz isn’t making the mistakes we see out of a lot of rookie quarterbacks. And he can make a ton of plays, as well.

Wentz already understands some of the important details of playing quarterback. The Eagles give him a lot of freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage, which speaks to how well he already knows the offense. And he has impressive physical skills. He can make all the throws with a very strong arm. And he can run well too — though he needs to learn how to slide, before he gets hurt again (see video below … ouch).

Bradford’s first Vikings start was impressive, especially considering he was battered behind an offensive line that struggled to protect. Bradford kept taking hits but came back time after time to make big-time throws. And it can’t be understated that he had almost no time to learn the offense. He had no previous experience in coordinator Norv Turner’s scheme, either. That never seemed to be a factor, which is a compliment to Bradford.

Kaepernick said he knew there would be issues when he started his protest, so death threats are “not something I haven’t thought about.”

It’s sad that someone peacefully protesting, even during the national anthem, would even need to worry about death threats. But we were reminded why Kaepernick is protesting, when Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, was shot with a stun gun by a male officer and then shot and killed by a female officer in Tulsa, Okla.

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Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.: Can’t control who likes, doesn’t like me

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t think he is well-liked “anywhere” around the NFL.

“I don’t know if I’m necessarily liked anywhere, really,” Beckham said Wednesday when asked if there was any lingering resentment among the Dallas Cowboys following his celebrated one-handed catch. “It just is what it is when we’re on the field; off the field, there’s no hard feelings for me anywhere. At the end of the day, it’s football.

“I can’t control who resents, likes, doesn’t like, in a sense. We just go out there, handle our business, play football and keep it moving from there.”

Beckham, 23, is set to start his third professional season with a matchup Sunday afternoon against the Cowboys and cornerback Brandon Carr, who was on the wrong end of Beckham’s famous, behind-the-ear grab two years ago.

Two of Beckham’s three least productive games last season actually came against Carr, with the Cowboys limiting the Pro Bowl receiver to nine catches for 79 yards in the two meetings.

“It just happened that way,” Beckham said. “First game last year was in Dallas’ stadium and, like I said, we really didn’t hit the ground running. It was kind of lackadaisical and we were going through the motions. Make sure this year we hit it and get it right.”

The names of Brown, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and running back Reggie Bush were mentioned during Beckham’s 15-minute news conference Wednesday; he worked out with all three this offseason.

Fangio stressed that he is not upset with Floyd, the ninth overall pick, but is concerned about the rookie’s development, or lack thereof.

“I’m disappointed that, yes, he got sick and missed a few days of practice,” Fangio said. “I’m disappointed he dinged his shoulder and missed a few days of practice and then tweaked a hamstring and missed four or five days of practice. Yeah, I’m disappointed that happened, but I’m not mad at him. He didn’t do it on purpose. But it has retarded his development a little bit.”

Floyd did not react much when informed of Fangio’s comments.

“I think I’m ready as I can be, when my number is called, to go out there and do whatever it takes and help us win,” Floyd said.

“I don’t feel much pressure at all. Because I know me, and I’ll go out there and give it the best I can, and that’s all I can do.”

Bears general manager Ryan Pace cited Floyd’s rare combination of height (6-foot-4), athleticism and speed as justification for trading up two spots to get him in the draft. Floyd, who had 17 sacks in 38 careers games in college, tested extremely well at the NFL scouting combine in February.

However, Floyd’s playing weight is an ongoing concern. The Bears put him on a special nutritional program to pack on pounds over the summer. Listed at 240 pounds in Chicago’s official Week 1 roster, Floyd played much lighter than that at Georgia. But Floyd, who refused to disclose his exact playing weight, said he is only “2 pounds” away from his target goal.

Fangio said the manner in which Floyd handles himself physically will determine the amount of playing time he receives.

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