October 5, 2012 |
THE EAGLES played against a really disruptive, 3-4 defensive scheme in a loud road venue a couple weeks back. Maybe you remember that game, out in Arizona. Didn't go so well. The Cardinals defense that shredded Michael Vick's pocket and his poise was run by defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who came to Arizona from Pittsburgh. Two weeks after getting smacked around by the student, the Eagles will take on the master, 73-year-old Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Can we expect the same level of flustered ineffectiveness we saw from the Birds' offense at Arizona, or did that experience teach some valuable lessons?
October 3, 2012 |
It doesn't work either way, really. A year ago, to hear them tell it, the Eagles were a good team that very easily could have been 4-1. Their actual record might have been 1-4, but that was misleading. If Michael Vick hadn't knocked himself silly bumping into teammate Todd Herremans in Atlanta, the Eagles would have held onto the lead in that game. And if Ronnie Brown hadn't inexplicably tossed the ball away at the goal line against San Francisco, the Eagles surely would have won that game.
September 24, 2012 |
It holds a strange place in Eagles history, this silver spaceship in the desert. It is called University of Phoenix Stadium. It is the site of the last game played by Brian Dawkins, among others, in an Eagles uniform. It is where Jim Johnson coached his final game. It is the place the Eagles' last deep playoff run ended as the four previous runs had - in disappointment and disbelief. For all that, the place and that game don't stand out as sharply as you might expect for fans who take every Eagles win and loss personally.
September 21, 2012 |
Changing after Wednesday's practice, Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromarite slipped on pink socks. One night earlier, he visited a pajama party on the oncology floor of Children's Hospital wearing full-body sleeping gear. Since training camp, he's sported a Mohawk painted midnight green, and there are even midnight green strands of hair in his goatee. Eagles coach Andy Reid has said "every day is a good day for DRC," and there are seldom times when Rodgers-Cromartie isn't smiling or dancing or having fun. But there didn't seem to be much for Rodgers-Cromartie to smile about last season, when he struggled to fit into the Eagles' defense and failed to record a single interception.
September 21, 2012 |
ARIZONA PLAYS and wins a lot of close games, going back to the second half of last season. Special teams play a pretty big role. A blocked punt in New England last week led to the go-ahead touchdown in the Cards' 20-18 victory. The week before, Arizona blocked a field goal in its 20-16 win over visiting Seattle. In fact, Arizona leads the NFL with 15 blocks - 13 field goals, two punts - since 2008. "I think their success at blocking is the main thing they have going for 'em," Eagles special-teams coordinator Bobby April said Thursday.
September 15, 2012 |
Rondae Jefferson says his visit to the University of Arizona could not have gone any better. "I liked everything about it," said the Chester High basketball standout, who made an oral commitment Thursday night to play for the Wildcats. "Everything was perfect. " The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Jefferson, a swingman projected to be a small forward at the next level, said he chose Arizona over Rutgers, Temple, and Florida. Last year, the Wildcats went 23-12 and lost to Bucknell in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.
September 10, 2012
Kevin Kolb, who's had an up-and-down career with the Eagles and Cardinals, might just have proven that Arizona is the land of redemption. Kolb, who lost his starting job to John Skelton before the season opener, came on in relief Sunday to lead the Cardinals over the Seahawks. After Skelton was hurt on a short pass play in the fourth quarter, Kolb entered with 8 minutes, 18 seconds remaining and the ball on his 32-yard line and was masterful: He completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards on the winning drive.
September 2, 2012 |
PHOENIX - The federal abuse-of-power investigation into America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio - has been closed, with prosecutors saying no charges will be filed. Authorities were investigating Arpaio for his part in failed public corruption cases against officials who were at odds with him. The sheriff brought cases against a judge and two county officials in 2009. Federal authorities also said Friday that they had decided not to prosecute matters tied to alleged misuse of county credit cards by sheriff's officials, alleged misspending of jail-enhancement funds, and other matters.
September 1, 2012
It's deja vu all over again for former Eagle Kevin Kolb - the onetime Arizona starter is now the Cardinals backup, beaten out by John Skelton. Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced his decision to go with Skelton over Kolb on Friday. The Cards were the last NFL team to tap a starting QB. Kolb was named the Eagles starter in 2010, then was replaced by Michael Vick after a concussion, and was pretty much the backup after that. He was acquired by Arizona just before last season in the trade that sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to the Eagles, handed the starter's job, and signed to a five-year, $63.5 million contract extension with $21 million guaranteed.
August 14, 2012 |
THE SOUL LOST its championship game on Friday and now there is a possibility they're going to lose their head coach. Doug Plank acknowledged a day after the ArenaBowl loss that he wasn't sure if he would return for the 2013 season. "I'm going to take a couple of days off, go back home and spend it my wife; just discuss the future," said Plank, who shares his Scottsdale, Ariz., home with wife, Nancy, and other family members. "I wish I had an answer right now, but I don't.