The Philadelphia Eagles‘ special teams unit has caught the watchful eye of the NFL. You aren’t going to believe this one. Heading into Super Wild Card Weekend, league officials had been directed to pay close attention and keep an eye out for ‘cheating’. The Birds’ special teams unit, specifically punter Arryn Siposs (if he winds up playing in the Divisional Round) is apparently one of the guys who are in the crosshairs.
Siposs has been on the Eagles’ injured reserve since December 13th but is out of a walking boot. There are theories that he might be available for the Divisional Round.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Australian-born punter. In Week 14 versus the New York Giants, he almost turned one of the worst special teams plays into a brilliant one, fielding a blocked punt attempt in his own end zone and almost advancing it the necessary number of yards for a first-down conversion. Unfortunately, he stepped out of bounds too early, and to make matters worse, he was blasted out of bounds and suffered an injury on the play.
That isn’t what caught the NFL’s attention, however. Apparently, according to FootballZebras.com, Siposs was seen retrieving a strange-looking object during a field-goal attempt during that same game. Here’s a quote.
"In the NFC East clash between the Eagles and Giants, Philadelphia emergency holder Britain Covey, who pressed into service when punter Arryn Siposs was injured earlier in the game, was seen picking up a small white object from the field after a field goal attempt by kicker Jake Elliott. When the tape is rolled back, the object was seen directly under the ball when the snap was received and was subsequently kicked forward naturally during the field goal attempt."
Oh, it gets much worse. Here’s more.
"This was not detected by the crew on the field. However, by rule, this is unsportsmanlike conduct. According to Rule 11-4-5, “No article of any type may be placed on the field, or used in any manner, to assist a player in the execution of a field goal and/or [extra-point] Try attempt.”This maneuver is just the newest of a wave of illegal strategies that have been seen in 2022 in attempts to improve the kicking game, including wiping down a wet field before a field goal and using a holder and a tee on a kickoff."
Here’s where we stand on this. Jake Elliott is good enough without illegal assistance. If this is true, let’s put this behind us and move on.
More Eagles news: More of Philadelphia’s assistants are granted interviews.
Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and their defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, have both been on NFL radars for a while. Both are on a couple of teams’ lists as guys they’re eyeing for head-coaching vacancies. Gannon completed an interview with the Houston Texans. Other Philly assistants are getting looks as well.
According to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, the Cleveland Browns plan to interview defensive pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson for their vacancy at defensive coordinator. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the New York Jets interviewed passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo for their O.C. job on Friday.
All of that is interesting, especially seeing as how both Wilson and Patullo would be favorites to become the Eagles’ O.C. and D.C. if Gannon and Steichen assumed roles in other cities on other teams.
Keep an eye on everyone mentioned. Things could get interesting at season’s end.