Good morning, Eagles fans! The players are back in the building today and will meet the media at 1:20 p.m. Offensive coordinator Mike Groh and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will host their press conferences at 1:45 p.m. which we will bring to you live. Until then, get caught up on all the latest news in our Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with the passing of a larger-than-life Eagles legend in Tommy McDonald.
1. Tommy McDonald: Forever An Eagle
The Eagles family lost a legend yesterday as Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald passed away at the age of 84.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection and key contributor on the 1960 NFL Championship team, McDonald spent his first seven seasons in Philadelphia (1957-63) where he went on to record 287 receptions, 5,499 receiving yards, and 66 touchdowns. He finished his 12-year NFL career with 8,410 receiving yards on 495 catches and 84 touchdowns.
McDonald still holds the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single game (237 vs. Giants on December 10, 1961) and is tied for second for most receiving touchdowns in a single season (13 in both 1960 and 1961).
Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald passed away Monday at the age of 84. Here are some photos from his illustrious career.
2. Farewell, Tommy
McDonald was Ray Didinger's boyhood idol as, among many remarkable memories, he watched him catch a touchdown in the 1960 NFL Championship game from his seats at Franklin Field. He went on to get to know McDonald as a sports writer and after a dedicated push to get McDonald into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Didinger was his hero's presenter in Canton, Ohio.
Didinger shared his favorite stories of his favorite football player in a touching tribute:
The memory I'll cherish though is that of meeting him at Eagles Training Camp in Hershey. He was a rookie third-round draft pick and I was a wide-eyed 10-year-old with an autograph book. I was waiting for him outside the locker room one August morning. I called him "Mr. McDonald." He said, "My name's Tommy."
That's how we met.
3. Tommy And Me
The full story of Didinger's relationship with McDonald and his push to get him into the Hall of Fame is remarkable and has been told scores of times in Didinger's play "Tommy and Me", which just finished its third run. Julie Bacanskas wrote about the early stages of the play in 2016 as Didinger and the actors read over the script for the first time:
"I just knew it was a very unique story, a very one-of-a-kind kind of story about a little kid and his childhood hero, having the opportunity years later to help him," Didinger said. "Once I got into my career, I was in a position to help him get into the Hall of Fame, which is the thing he always wanted. Then when he gets in the Hall of Fame, he turns around and asks me to be his presenter without ever knowing that I was the kid that carried his helmet at Training Camp."
4. Cox Deserves Respect
Eagles' defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has always been an incredible player. Three games into 2018, he has been flat-out dominant. Cox is not only getting to the quarterback quickly, he is breaking up screen-pass attempts, blowing up powerful runs, and stopping checkdowns. Part of Cox's success so far has been his diligence in the offseason, using new methods to train and get quicker and stronger in the later stages of his career.
But while players like Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald get national attention and NFL Defensive Player of the Year buzz, Cox's national chatter has been quiet. Eagles' Insider Dave Spadaro writes that Cox should be considered as one of the very best in the league at his position:
"Quickness, being explosive, getting in and out of turns, change-of-direction stuff, all of the little things that most people don't focus on. I feel one hundred percent different. I can tell the difference when I'm out there. Being able to get people off me quicker, see stuff a whole lot faster, it's helped me a whole lot."
5. Who Was The Unsung Hero In Sunday's Win?
The Eagles' offense looked like its old self on Sunday as Carson Wentz returned to start at quarterback and the team utilized up-tempo drives and multiple tight-end sets against the Colts. Fran Duffy has more on what made the offense work with Wentz back at center and who was the offense's unsung hero in his most recent Eagle Eye column.
6. Practice Squad Roster Move
The Eagles brought back center Josh Andrews to the practice squad on Tuesday morning and released center Jon Toth.