Eagles Notebook: Allen downplays criticism of Eagles' defensive play

Posted: September 19, 2013

IT WOULD BE hard to find a nicer person in the NFL than Nate Allen.

It also would be hard to find an athlete Philadelphia is angrier at right now than Nate Allen. And Philadelphia can get angry when a touted player performs poorly, the Daily News has learned.

"To tell you the truth, I haven't even read anything about it. That's the first time I've heard anything like that," the Eagles' fourth-year safety said yesterday, when asked about being the public face of the NFL's 30th-ranked defense after 2 weeks. "I don't read. I don't even worry about it. That's all going to happen. That's all part of this level, so I don't let it worry me too much."

When he watched the tape of his unit giving up 539 yards to the Chargers, Allen said what he saw was "just technique stuff, like I keep saying; there are a couple things we can fix. It's technique and fundamentals and just making a play when we have an opportunity to."

LeSean McCoy talked yesterday about how close he still is to former Eagles coach Andy Reid - McCoy acknowledged he was one of the Birds most upset by Reid's firing - and McCoy said he got a text from his former coach after running for 184 yards on a career-high 31 carries on "Monday Night Football" against the Redskins.

"He texted me, like, 'Wow! You're on fire!' " McCoy recalled yesterday. "It's nothing but love between myself and his family, but it's a football game. It's a business. Just like guys get traded, they play for another team, the same way with coach Reid."

So, Alex Smith is Andy Reid's quarterback in Kansas City. Reid told the New York Times last month that he tried to trade for Smith more than once when Reid was in Philadelphia. For a while there, the 49ers weren't sure whether they were going forward with Smith (the first player chosen in the 2005 draft) or Colin Kaepernick. Then, last weekend, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Reid and the Eagles came close to trading for Kaepernick just before the 2012 draft, in which the Eagles ended up drafting Nick Foles.

The report said the Eagles ultimately decided not to send a second-round pick to San Francisco for Kaepernick, because they thought they could draft Russell Wilson, with Foles as a backup plan. The Birds had two second-round picks in that draft, and used them on Mychal Kendricks (46th overall) and Vinny Curry (59th overall).

Supposedly, they were confident they could get Wilson in the third round, where they ultimately took Foles, 88th overall, after Seattle surprised them by drafting Wilson 75th. This part of the story surfaced in July on NFL Network, from former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah, but nothing was said then about a potential trade for Kaepernick.

"Those questions, you probably need to direct toward Howie [Roseman, the general manager]. His memory is way better than mine. I'm getting old," Reid said when asked about the Kaepernick report yesterday in a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters. Note that wasn't a "no."

Roseman was asked about the report on his 94WIP radio show Monday evening. He declined to comment. Which also was not a "no."

To sum up, the Eagles could have ensured that Smith remained the 49ers' quarterback, by trading for Kaepernick, or they could have traded for Smith themselves. Because they did neither, Smith and Reid are now in Kansas City.

And because the Eagles didn't draft Wilson in the second round, Curry sits around now awaiting a trade to a team that runs a 4-3, one-gap defense.

Curry said yesterday he didn't know whether he will be active tomorrow night, for the first time this season.

Cornerback Brandon Hughes (hamstring) didn't practice yesterday and isn't expected to play against the Chiefs . . . Former Eagles linebackers Jamar Chaney and Omar Gaither were signed by the Falcons yesterday, and ex-Eagles LB/DE Chris McCoy joined the Jaguars' practice squad . . . Mychal Kendricks practiced yesterday, but was on the injury report with the notation "groin." That's interesting in light of the drop-off in Kendricks' play from Week 1 to Week 2.

On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: ph.ly/Eagletarian

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