June 20, 2014 |
A YEAR AGO, the Eagles wrapped up their spring work on June 6, with optimism, to be sure, but also amid a lot of uncertainty. That was the day Michael Vick acknowledged that splitting the first-team quarterbacking reps with Nick Foles really did bother him, after Vick had parried similar questions for weeks. There was much speculation about what Chip Kelly's first training camp would be like - The tempo! The music! The smoothies! Players found it all intriguing, but to say everyone bought in completely to the new regime would be an exaggeration.
June 11, 2014 |
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been calling the plays, making checks, and setting the first-team defense this spring. Wait, you may be saying, isn't that DeMeco Ryans' job? Well, yes, it remains his responsibility, but the Eagles have put more on Kendricks' plate this offseason. "We're both inside linebackers," Kendricks said. "He does do that, but I'm there for him just like he's there for me. And we both make calls, even though he has the last say in what the call will be. Sometimes, I'm in there making those calls, too. " It's difficult to say for certain why the Eagles decided to give Kendricks a more vocal role.
June 4, 2014 |
The slot receiver position - Jason Avant's old spot - is there for Jordan Matthews to take. The rookie has been running with the Eagles' second team behind veteran Brad Smith during organized team activities, but it's really only a matter of time before Matthews either wins the job or it is handed to him. The Eagles didn't draft Matthews in the second round for him to sit and watch. However, there will be a learning process and the usual bumps in the road that many receivers - even highly drafted ones - face once they reach the NFL. Matthews, 21, has no illusions about whether he is on the fast track to starting or whether he can slide under the radar after shouldering much of the load in Vanderbilt's pass offense.
May 31, 2014 |
Brandon Graham knew there were trade rumors throughout the offseason about his future in Philadelphia, which appeared even more in doubt after the Eagles used a first-round pick on linebacker Marcus Smith. Graham, a former first-round pick who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, took solace in the fact that he's still with the Eagles. "They want me here, I'm still here, all the rumors and whatever it is, it's just rumors," Graham said. "I feel like if it was something they wanted to do, I'd be gone.
May 29, 2014 |
He's been called the toughest four ounces on the planet. He's just a bird, true, but he flies about 20,000 miles a year, bucking headwinds, and dodging storms - a death-defying trip he has been making for at least 21 years. Each time researchers spot him, identifiable by the number B95 on an orange leg band, they figure it might be their last sighting. No bird lives forever, they tell themselves. But Sunday on Delaware Bay, shorebird scientists spotted yet again what has to be the world's most famous shorebird: a red knot in whose honor statues have been erected and a book written.
May 14, 2014 |
The birds of paradise are a group of 39 outrageously feathered tropical species with enough colors to rival a rainbow. They are captured in photos and videos, some of them for the first time, in a National Geographic exhibit now on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. So with all that eye candy on hand, why is a group of younger visitors playing a video game? Children strut, flap their arms, and bounce as a camera tracks their movements to see how well they mimic an avian courtship dance.
May 12, 2014 |
WOODBINE, N.J. - The team of 20 competitors had been on the move since before dawn Saturday, so by 11 a.m., they were ready for a pit stop at the small headquarters building of Belleplain State Forest. But in the intense, 24-hour contest known as the World Series of Birding, a pit stop is no time for slacking off. "Hey guys! There's a bluebird!," team leader Mike Crewe cried as he stood in the parking lot. "Quick. You got to get this. " Out came multiple pairs of binoculars, and sure enough: a brilliant flash of blue.
May 10, 2014 |
NEW YORK - The Eagles went on the clock to make their first pick at 10:34 p.m. Thursday, and the fans who traveled to New York started an "E-A-G-L-E-S" chant. Opposing fans booed. Highlights from the 2013 season came on the board at Radio City Music Hall. There was palpable excitement in the auditorium. Johnny Manziel, the most popular player in the draft, was still on the board. Manziel once broke Eagles coach Chip Kelly's heart by reneging on an oral commitment to Oregon, and there had been speculation that the Eagles might consider Manziel.
May 9, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Johnny Manziel once reneged on a verbal commitment to Chip Kelly. Kelly returned the favor last night. Kelly, who coached Oregon when Manziel backed out and went to Texas A & M and has long gushed over Manziel's abilities, declined to pick Manziel with the 22nd pick. The Eagles traded the pick for the Browns' 26th overall pick and a third-rounder. The Browns ended Manziel's misery. The Eagles picked Louisville pass-rushing linebacker/defensive end Marcus Smith at No. 26. Or Jon Harris, again.
May 3, 2014 |
Well, it was just another week with those chatterbox Eagles. All three major players in the team's hierarchy - Jeffrey Lurie, Chip Kelly, and Howie Roseman - were available to share their thoughts with the public. Blah, blah, blah. You just can't shut up these guys. Kelly emerged to say that releasing DeSean Jackson five weeks ago was a "purely football decision"; Lurie said, "What he said"; and Roseman held a wide-ranging predraft confab with the beat writers in which he confirmed everything except the stuff you couldn't probably figure out on your own. Perhaps all this exposure, which arrived after a month of stonewalling and hiding, was a coincidence, or perhaps an acknowledgment that the organization believes it is time to make nice with the paying public again or toss a bone in its direction.