After a solid start, the Eagles defense has slipped over the past few weeks. They have allowed an average of 28 points in the last three games and that’s not a great reflection on defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Still, he remains a hot coaching candidate, Albert Breer of The MMQB writes.
Schwartz’ head coaching candidacy could be swayed by how things go over the next month. Next up for the Eagles is a intra-divisional showdown with the Redskins and that’s an offense that can put up some points against Philadelphia. Things get a little bit easier after that with games against the Ravens (17th in the NFL in total yards) and Giants (26th), but they close the regular season out against Dallas (4th).
Here’s a look at some more highlights from Breer’s column:
- The Rams recently gave extensions to coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead, but the two men aren’t getting along very well in L.A., Breer hears.
- Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield has had a bizarre journey through the collegiate ranks that has led him to being named a Heisman finalist for the 2016 season. Can he continue to succeed at the next level despite having a skill set that isn’t necessarily geared towards the NFL? “He’s got another year (of eligibility) and all signs point to him returning, but he should probably think about that,” said one area scout assigned to the Sooners. “In a weak quarterback class, he could sneak up there where you wind up saying, ‘Oh wow, I can’t believe he went there!’ Normal year, he’s a late-round guy. But he throws a nice deep ball, he’s mobile and can extend plays, he’s shifty and tough and competitive as hell. He’s impressed me. You wanna say he’s a poor man’s (Johnny) Manziel because of how he makes plays, but Johnny was a lot more talented. But Baker has developed as a passer, he’s developed his fundamentals and mechanics, and he’s an interesting one to look at.” Mayfield’s best comp might be Chase Daniel, a career backup who was valued enough to score a lucrative free agent deal from Philly this offseason. He may never be a starter, but he could be worth a later-round pick given that some backups earn $5MM/year or more. The Sooner QB had 3,669 yards and 38 touchdowns through the air plus six rushing scores during the regular season.
- Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has garnered draft buzz, but his stock has fallen to the point where he is just the No. 3 QB in this year’s draft behind North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer (assuming all three go pro). Watson has completed a high percentage of his passes over the last couple of months, but scouts are growing increasingly concerned about his playing style. “He’s a heck of college player, and he’s a great kid,” said one NFC exec. “He’s thrown for a ton of yards. But for the pro game, it’s tricky with quarterback. He’s not great reading defenses, and you see him force the ball at times. And if the first read isn’t there, you see his first instinct’s to run. And you can see it, in how his eyes come down. That’ll be a problem in the league. In the pocket, you have to slide and move and buy time. All the great ones have pocket presence. And we just haven’t seen it from him.”