Good morning, Eagles fans! The Birds have a special few days planned this week and will have joint practices with the Ravens Monday and Tuesday. I’ll be at the NovaCare Complex to chronicle all the action. It could be the only glimpse of quarterback Carson Wentz going against another team’s defense before the season opener Sept. 8. Coach Doug Pederson has made it fairly clear that he sees no point of risking injury, which is why Thursday night’s preseason game against Baltimore will likely be without Wentz and other starters.
— Jeff McLane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When Alshon Jeffery was drafted in 2012, he said that then-Bears quarterback Josh McCown was the first of his new teammates to give him a call.
“He lived in Charlotte and I was right up the street from where I went to school at,” Jeffery said Sunday. “And I went and worked out with him and we developed a relationship ever since then.”
The two former Bears were reunited a day after the Eagles signed McCown to a one-year contract Saturday. A veteran of 17 seasons and six teams in the NFL, the 40-year-old spent three seasons in Chicago, the last two with Jeffery.
While the quarterback and receiver played in only a handful of games together -- McCown backed up starter Jay Cutler -- they developed a quick bond and would play basketball together in the offseason. On Sunday, they had lunch and spoke about their long road to this point.
“That’s my guy,” McCown said.
McCown couldn’t have lasted this long if he still couldn’t play. And the Eagles acquired him not only because of Nate Sudfeld’s and Cody Kessler’s injuries, but so that he could compete with the former as the backup once he returns. But McCown’s character has long made him one of the more respected guy in locker rooms.
“He’s just an all-around great guy,” Jeffery said.
The feeling is mutual.
“I respect him as a player first and foremost,” McCown said of Jeffery. "Just who he is as a person, character, and what he’s about.”
McCown should assimilate into the Eagles fairly easily. Jeffery will assist in the locker room, and Kessler, who spent a year together with McCown with the Browns, should help in the quarterback room. McCown said that he had also previously met starter Carson Wentz and Sudfeld.
It’s unlikely he’ll be in Philly beyond the 2019 season, but if he were to stay, he may have another opportunity to play basketball with his old friend.
“Josh can hoop," Jeffery said. “I’ll take Josh over ... most of the guys in this locker room.”
Toward the end of McCown’s interview with reporters, Jeffery stood on a nearby chair and asked McCown, “How’s No. 17 as a basketball?”
“He’s not bad," McCown said of Jeffery. "He’s got some skills, but I could lock him down if it was one on one.”
McCown said he chose to wear the No. 18 because he’s now in his 18th season. He also noted that he will be able to sit next to Jeffery in the team photo.
Lance, while you raise a good point about Stefen Wisniewski’s snapping woes and whether he may have lost the job as backup center, I don’t think the Eagles will look very far for his replacement. Starting left guard Isaac Seumalo has been taking repetitions at center in practice, and while he has done that in each year he’s been with the Eagles, the snap issues he had in the past appear to be gone.
Seumalo’s best position may be at center and there are some on the team, most notable all pro center Jason Kelce, who believe that he will someday replace Kelce. So if Seumalo is the backup, what does that mean for Wisniewski, who signed a 1-year deal with the Eagles this offseason?
It could give him less value in the long term. But with guard Brandon Brooks’ return from an Achilles injury uncertain, the Eagles may not have the luxury of shedding Wisniewski around cut-down day. He’s still a competent blocker and could be needed at right guard if Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggles in Brooks’ absence.