December 4, 2014 |
Two years ago, Brandon Graham dreaded the questions. Graham knew that when the Eagles played the Seattle Seahawks and safety Earl Thomas, he would hear questions about whether he was a draft bust. Graham, the Eagles' first-round pick in 2010, still hears from fans who wish the team selected Thomas when they traded up to the No. 13 overall pick. Considering that Thomas is a three-time all-pro and Graham has 17 career sacks, that is a reasonable opinion. But Graham has started to shed the bust label this season.
November 28, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Eagles have faced Dallas quarterback Tony Romo enough to know what to expect - a swashbuckling escape artist who can avoid the rush and throw laser-accurate passes down the field. What they saw instead during yesterday's 33-10 thrashing of the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium wasn't even close. Romo, who has been battling a balky back all season, was wildly inaccurate, sailing throws high past open receivers and firing balls up for grabs at times. And, most shocking, they watched the normally elusive scrambler give himself up for sacks on two occasions.
November 26, 2014 |
EAGLES DEFENDERS watched the Cowboys come back to beat the Giants on Sunday night, watched Tony Romo sit back, incredibly unpressured and unhurried, on the seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that gave Dallas the lead for good with 1:01 remaining. Yes, generally they were impressed with the Cowboys' offensive line - though nose tackle Bennie Logan, would only grant that it was "OK," and added: "To be honest, I'm tired of hearing about it. Only thing they did was add one guy [first-round rookie guard Zack Martin]
November 21, 2014 |
WHEN EXAMINING the entire 10-game sample size, the Eagles' pass rush is clearly much improved from a year ago, the defense's 33 sacks just four shy of the total it amassed all of last season. But in the aftermath of Sunday's blowout loss to the Packers, a game in which the Eagles' front seven failed to effectively pressure Aaron Rodgers, those tasked with hounding the opposing quarterback could use a bounce-back performance. "When we look at film, there's a lot of stuff we could have done better," outside linebacker Brandon Graham said.
October 23, 2014 |
The Eagles reunited on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex after a week away from work. During the bye week, they scattered from one end of the country to the other. They went back home to visit family and friends. They went hunting and fishing. They returned to their high schools or colleges to see how things were going. They sat their aching bodies down and put their feet up. They did a lot, and they did nothing. The coaches mostly scattered, too, but Chip Kelly stayed around to evaluate what has happened so far this season and to get a jump on planning for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
October 20, 2014 |
Most valuable player OFFENSE: Jason Peters The all-pro left tackle has been so good that it's easy to take him for granted. With other key pieces missing on the offensive line, Peters has been a security blanket on Nick Foles' blind side. He kept elite pass rushers Robert Quinn and Jason Pierre-Paul from sacking Foles during the last two games. Peters has not allowed a sack since the season opener. DEFENSE: Malcolm Jenkins Although he might not be a star, Jenkins is a significant upgrade at safety and has been valuable to the secondary.
October 16, 2014 |
Connor Barwin's increased sack production this season can be tracked back to March, when the team bolstered its secondary in free agency but failed to add a pass rusher. The Eagles thought they could improve their pass rush with players returning for their second season in Bill Davis' scheme. One idea was to use Barwin more in that role this season. There was not a noticeable change until recent weeks, but it's now paying off: Barwin is tied for third in the NFL with six sacks.
October 10, 2014 |
IT WAS in the spring of 2012 that Brandon Graham declared himself a bust. The Eagles' 2010 first-round pick was weary from sparring, on Twitter and elsewhere, with fans angry with him for not being Earl Thomas or Jason Pierre-Paul, two future Pro Bowl defensive players who were on the board when the Birds traded up to pick Graham 13th overall that year. So during OTAs that May, after 2 years in which a serious knee injury and its aftermath limited him to 16 games, Graham said he would wear the "bust" label, use it as motivation.
October 9, 2014 |
The Eagles defense has eight sacks in the last two games, and while sacks don't tell the entire story, they have, in this case, signified an improved pass rush. The difference after being shut out on sacks in the previous two games, defensive coordinator Bill Davis said, has been the Eagles' ability to generate pressure with only four rushers. They used the standard four-man rush to notch six of the eight sacks, and 51/2 have come from outside linebackers. "The outside linebackers got the production in this game, but the thing that is growing is the four-man rush, and all four of them together," Davis said Tuesday.
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...