March 9, 2016 |
THE TIMING of Monday's trade of Byron Maxwell was remarkably fortuitous if you happened to be a sports writer who already had spent much of his day searching for an anecdote to lead into a column about the fool's gold that is NFL free agency. (Clears throat). And so it was that the Byron Maxwell era was relegated to the same historical waste bucket as virtually every cornerback era since Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard and, arguably, Asante Samuel. Nnamdi Asomugha to Cary Williams to Maxwell.
September 21, 2015 |
Hindsight is a handy thing and awfully good for accuracy, but it tends to make people forget how little they knew before they knew it. After the Eagles lost their opening game in Atlanta - a loss that popped the hopes of those who wrote 13-3 or something similarly silly on their prediction balloons - it was easy to explain away the defeat after the fact. Hindsight is great that way. Opening on the road is always difficult. That's true. Seattle lost at St. Louis last weekend and Indianapolis at Buffalo.
September 2, 2015 |
SO, ABOUT THAT test the Eagles' secondary was going to face this preseason . . . Andrew Luck played 11 snaps. Joe Flacco played 19. Aaron Rodgers played zero. Hey, it's not their fault that preseason football has reached a farcical level of meaninglessness. Still, it would have been nice to see the group in action against somebody other than Brett Hundley and Jeff Janis. In three games, the Eagles' secondary spent 15 snaps in pass coverage against starting wide receivers (Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Randall Cobb)
August 1, 2015 |
By the time he was 13, Eric Rowe had lived in six cities in four states, moving from Ohio to Indiana to Kansas and finally to Texas. It would be convenient if a transient childhood meant that Rowe was better equipped to handle the move from safety to cornerback. More than likely, it does not. He adeptly handled the same position change during his senior season at Utah, switching after three seasons. But Rowe's latest stop will be the most difficult of his career and possibly of his short life.
June 16, 2015 |
CURTIS MARSH, Trevard Lindley, Jack Ikegwuonu, Rashad Barksdale, Macho Harris. The ongoing disaster at the safety position gets more attention, but Brandon Boykin, taken in the fourth round in 2012, is the only cornerback the Eagles have drafted since 2002 who has made a significant contribution to the team. In 2002, the Birds drafted Lito Sheppard in the first round and Sheldon Brown in the second, so, that season, they had Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor as their starters, Al Harris for the nickel, and Sheppard and Brown just in case.
January 1, 2015 |
Among the many "isms" that can stir emotions in this country, heightism is low on the totem pole and, yes, the pun was intended. Nobody is going to lie down in the street or march in Center City because some short guy did not measure up in the eyes of the boss. There is, however, a growing sentiment among Eagles fans that the smallest of their favorite team's five cornerbacks is getting a raw deal and that it needs to stop now. Brandon Boykin, listed at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, is the most popular Eagles cornerback, which after this season is kind of like being the valedictorian in a class of one. What's puzzling is the reason that Boykin has not been given the opportunity to cover wide receivers on a full-time basis.
August 7, 2014 |
WITH 90 GUYS to watch at training camp, reporters make choices, sometimes subconsciously. There are players you know are just out there to take preseason reps, guys who absolutely will not be around when the 53-member regular-season team takes the field. Why waste your time? Unless they happen to be married to Nobel Prize-winning scientists who also sing Karaoke, or grew up in caves after having been adopted as infants by grizzly bears, they are unlikely fodder for an engaging story.
January 29, 2014 |
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie may retire from football if the Denver Broncos win Sunday's Super Bowl. In Philadelphia, Eagles fans are joking, "Didn't he retire two years ago?" But the former Eagles cornerback wasn't kidding about calling it quits even though he's coming off arguably the best season of his career, is still only 27 years old and will likely have multiple suitors when he hits free agency in March. "Coming out of college I gave myself a five-year goal," Rodgers-Cromartie said Monday.
January 10, 2014 |
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was an early morning flight just about 3 years ago. Sean McDermott remembers driving to Philadelphia International Airport in darkness and cold, pondering where his career and his life might be headed, mulling his responsibilities as a husband and a father of two young children. McDermott had been fired after 12 years with the Eagles, the last two of them as defensive coordinator, where he was the designated successor of the late Jim Johnson. McDermott, an overachiever since his days as a football safety and national champion wrestler at La Salle High, had never been fired before, never failed at anything.
September 30, 2013 |
Peyton Manning has no desire to be Bill Davis this week. Davis, the Eagles defensive coordinator, reexamined his old notes. He keeps them after games, cataloging what works and what failed. But there's not exactly a blueprint for stopping Manning. Davis has twice coordinated against Manning - now the Denver Broncos quarterback, previously the Indianapolis Colts quarterback - and both were losses. This is no reflection on Davis, because Manning is a four-time MVP who has won 69 percent of the regular-season games he has started.