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All offseason Christian
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, the question hovering over the Eagles is whether
quarterback Carson Wentz will be healthy enough to start the opener.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson is going to know soon.

Via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Pederson told
reporters that he expected to decide which of his quarterbacks he planned to
start by Friday.

Of course, he’s not going to tell us, but knowing gives him a chance to spend
a week preparing for the Sept. 6 opener against the Falcons.

Backup Nick Foles is presumably ready to go, though he hasn’t been his
sharpest during the preseason. Wentz still hasn’t been cleared for contact after
last year’s knee surgery, and considering the Falcons would definitely want to
make contact with him Nevin
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, that’s an important hurdle.

Pederson also said the two quarterbacks had been getting equal reps in
practice, which is a good way to maintain suspense but not the most efficient
way for one of them to be prepared.


LAST SEASON: Steelers had little trouble rolling to third AFC North title in
four years but flamed out in playoffs when Jaguars stunned them for second time
in four months, 45-42 in divisional round. Defense led NFL and set franchise
record with 57 sacks, but also had trouble getting stops late in season
following Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier's spinal injury. Pittsburgh allowed
350 yards and 28 points after Shazier went down. Shazier has already been ruled
out for 2018, leaving Steelers thin at inside linebacker. Secondary is being
overhauled after veterans Mike Mitchell, William Gay and Robert Golden were cut.
Offense finished third in yards and eighth in points but it wasn't enough for
coordinator Todd Haley to keep job. Team wasted little time promoting
quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to take over.

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, CB, RB, TE.


POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State; LB Rashaan
Evans Tashaun
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, Alabama; CB Josh Jackson, Iowa; RB Derrius Guice,

OUTLOOK: Steelers have leaned on draft heavily to replenish linebacker group,
using first-round pick for one in four of last five years. With Shazier out and
2015 first-round pick Bud Dupree's long-term status unknown, it's likely
Pittsburgh goes to well again at No. 28 overall. Cornerback would also make
sense early, but Steelers could also tip hand about plans for RB Le'Veon Bell
and QB Ben Roethlisberger in second and third rounds. Bell has yet to sign
franchise tender Russell
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, will head for 2019 free agency with no new deal.
Roethlisberger said after loss to Jacksonville he believes he can play three
more years. If Steelers don't believe him, they could take shot at landing
successor early. They haven't taken QB before fourth round since grabbing
Roethlisberger 11th overall in 2004.

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