The postmortems on the Eagles' disaster of a season opener are pretty much concluded. It’s Thursday, and time to turn attention to this week’s matchup, the home opener, against the Los Angeles Rams. For one Eagles defender, they are a familiar bunch, indeed, but first, this: If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @lesbowen.
— Les Bowen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ex-Ram seeks a reckoning
Nickell Robey-Coleman spent three years with the Rams, playing a pivotal role in getting them to Super Bowl LIII. This Sunday at the Linc, he will play against them, as the nickel corner for the Eagles, who signed him after Los Angeles declined to pick up a contract option.
On a Zoom call Wednesday with reporters, Robey-Coleman, 28, left no doubt about his feelings.
“I’m excited to play against my old team. The guys over there, it’s all love, it’s big love over there,” Robey-Coleman said. "But I’m just sharing all the information that I can possibly remember from being in LA. I’m telling Rod [McLeod] right now, like, ‘Yo, hey, if you see this? This could possibly happen. If you see that, that could possibly happen.’
“Me and [Darius] Slay just talking, getting an upbeat on how [Rams coach Sean] McVay uses his offense, and how the guys just work around [quarterback Jared Goff] to get open.”
Robey-Coleman, whose matchup against slot receiver Cooper Kupp figures to be key to the outcome, has told teammates a lot about not getting caught up in all the “window dressing” that accompanies McVay’s offense.
“You know, they’re going to shift three or four times, OK, we focus on the final formation,” he said. “So while they’re doing all that shifting, we’re going to let them shift, we’re going to let them motion, we’re going to let them do all that, but after that settles, now, we’re back paying attention to our keys. We can’t get wound up with the first look they give us, because if we do that, they’re going to shift and we’ll be, like, panicking.
"So we’re not going to let the motions and the shifts overwhelm us. We’re going to stay calm. We’re just going to pay attention to our keys. We’ve got to be very disciplined on the back end with our eyes, and we’ve got to be very disciplined with our feet as well.”
Robey-Coleman said he was surprised when the Rams declined his option, but he said he knows this is how the league works. All the same, though: “Yes, that was the first game I circled on the schedule. I’ve still got it circled, right now. I was like, ‘Yes! Got the Rams! Week 2, let’s do it!’ It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Thanks for reading!
Eagles coach Doug Pederson, on last Sunday’s loss at Washington: "It definitely wasn’t our best, as you guys have so eloquently written about.”
What you need to know about the Eagles
EJ Smith tells us about Malik Jackson’s extraordinary Zoom session Wednesday, which ended up being a conversation about the NFL and social justice. Jackson said the Eagles planned an opening kickoff protest, but couldn’t get the Washington players to agree.
Paul Domowitch renews the 2016 debate about whether Goff or Carson Wentz was a better prospect.
As Jeff McLane details, Wentz again talked about what he needs to do to keep from giving away the ball; the unanswered question is when Wentz might actually start doing those things.
EJ also has good injury news from Eagles practice.
You don’t want to miss Domo’s scouting report for the Rams-Eagles game.
The Birds Eye View podcast is back! Let the sounds of rejoicing resonate throughout the land.
From the mailbag
“Are the Eagles going to sign another defensive end?” — from @eaglesfan4life, via Twitter.
I don’t think so. We aren’t sure that Brandon Graham (concussion) won’t play this weekend. Derek Barnett (hamstring), who did not play in the opener, might get some snaps against the Rams. Rookie Casey Toohill was deactivated in the opener, and there is Joe Ostman on the practice squad. Plus, Malik Jackson can move outside in a pinch.