September 15, 2014 |
The Eagles drafted Brandon Graham 13th overall with their 2010 first-round draft choice. It's been a struggle for Graham. Here is how he compares with the five defensive players taken after him in the first round of that draft: 13. EAGLES - Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan Started 12 of 49 games, 111/2 sacks, 67 tackles 14. SEAHAWKS - Earl Thomas, FS, Texas 3 Pro Bowls, 15 interceptions, twice first-team All-Pro, Super Bowl champion last...
September 14, 2014 |
Sometimes you have to shed more than the blockers when you arrive in the NFL as a first-round draft pick being paid huge money to pursue the quarterback. Sometimes you have to blast through the hurtful rhetoric, too. Injury-prone , underachiever and, worst of all, bust have been attached to Brandon Graham's name. He heard them all. "The hardest part was hearing the fans saying what they say and hearing the media and I wasn't able to defend myself because I was hurt," the pass-rushing outside linebacker said Wednesday after the Eagles finished their first day of practice in preparation for Monday night's game against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
September 5, 2014 |
IT DANGLES from the shelf near the top of his locker, but athletes deserve a modicum of privacy no matter how much access is afforded the press. Another copy - 8 1/2-by-11, laminated, five red bullet points and 16 sub-bullets - lies on the bench near his seat; but still, it belongs to him and no one else. Unless he offers it. Then, he offers it. "If I do these things," Marcus Smith II says, "everything else will take care of itself. " He made the little signs himself and asked the Eagles' equipment manager to laminate them.
August 31, 2014 |
THEY WERE the subject of almost comical speculation before and during training camp. Thursday, in the last rehearsal before cuts today, they were the two best players on the field. Granted, that's not saying much. Matt Barkley, less than 3 years removed from Heisman Trophy candidacy, should be able to operate an NFL offense. Brandon Graham, 4 years removed from being a first-round pick, should be able to push around the Jets' backups. Certainly, nothing either did Thursday night elevated them past their current station in their football lives.
August 29, 2014 |
THE NUMBERS don't compute, and Brandon Graham knows it. The Eagles linebacker was the 13th player taken in the 2010 draft. Yet, in four NFL seasons, he has made only 12 starts, has played only 1,403 snaps, has registered a grand total of 11 1/2 sacks. The 14th player taken in that draft, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, has been to three Pro Bowls and twice been selected a first-team All-Pro. The 15th player taken, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, has been to two Pro Bowls and put up 16 1/2 sacks in his second season.
August 13, 2014 |
THE ONLY EAGLE who grew up with silver-and-green posters all over his walls doesn't want to say the wrong thing, so he talks about how he just wants to "help the team the best way I can. " But Vinny Curry would prefer to help the Eagles by starting at defensive end, the way he envisioned when his favorite team drafted him in the second round, 59th overall, in 2012. It's an odd situation, because in Friday night's preseason opener, Curry and 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham were the Eagles' two most effective pass rushers.
August 12, 2014 |
THE STORY of Nick Foles' seriously underwhelming start to the 2014 preseason was a story of pass-rush pressure - something Foles handled well last season, but hadn't really seen all spring and summer until some Chicago Bears abruptly arrived in his face Friday night at Soldier Field. The Eagles were not able to put Bears quarterback Jay Cutler under similar duress; Cutler enjoyed a secure perch as he picked apart the Birds' secondary on a 13-play, 79-yard, first-quarter touchdown drive.
August 1, 2014 |
It was another placid day at Camp Chip on Wednesday. No fights, no controversy. Very little that resembled news. Just another day of work for a team that has settled into a nice routine under a coach who is anything but routine. "We're back at it today, and that's great," Chip Kelly said. "That's why we're here. " Unlike a year ago, when everything was new on both sides of the ball and a number of jobs were up for grabs, you probably could write out the starting lineups for the Sept.
July 25, 2014 |
When the Eagles host the Jaguars in this season's opener, it will be the first time that Marcus Smith has ever been to an NFL game. Will the top draft pick be more than a spectator? The Eagles have been tempering expectations, knowing full well that rookie edge rushers rarely make an immediate impact in their first seasons. But will Smith even dress from Day 1? "We're excited to have Marcus," Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said last month. "But he's a rookie like the rest of them, and their heads are swimming right now because we got the whole defense in. " Smith is also relatively new to playing outside linebacker.