December 3, 2013 |
Trent Cole and Brandon Graham say they are getting more comfortable with defensive coordinator Bill Davis' 3-4 alignment, as their relentless pash rush showed during Sunday's 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field. For the second consecutive week Cole had two sacks, while Graham also added two sacks after entering the game with one. "We were both feeding off each other, and when Trent got that first one I said I have to get one," Graham said. That first one set the tone for the defense.
November 18, 2013 |
Now that Nick Foles has quelled the outcry for a franchise quarterback - OK, not exactly - the look-ahead crowd has set its sights on the Eagles' next biggest need: An outside pass rusher. But is it as simple as looking at the total number of sacks generated by outside linebackers this season (five) and coming to the conclusion that the Eagles need to add a pass rusher either via the draft or free agency? Or is the argument more nuanced? Is the sack overrated, as defensive coordinator Bill Davis suggested recently?
October 4, 2013 |
FALL BOW SEASON opened Sept. 14 in New Jersey. Trent Cole already has downed two deer. Quarterback season opened Sept. 9. Cole has yet to bag a QB. He hasn't even scared many. As a matter of fact, Cole hasn't recorded a sack in six games, dating back to 2012. He has been credited with only two hurries this season. Mention this to him, and . . . he flashes his million-dollar smile? Sure. He has been waiting for this issue to arise; and, like any good huntsman, he is prepared.
September 6, 2013 |
If the Eagles are going to be successful this season, and not merely interesting in a lab experiment kind of way, the most valuable player on the football team may be Connor Barwin. Assuming the offense can score points as expected in Chip Kelly's frenetic manner, then it will be up to the defense to actually come through and not give the games back to the other teams. For that to happen, the newly installed 3-4 defense has to function properly, particularly in the base defense, when the outside linebackers have to be able to cover pass receivers.
August 16, 2013 |
PHILLIP HUNT underwent surgery for a partial left ACL tear yesterday, the Eagles said, making Hunt the fourth member of the team to tear an ACL in 3 weeks of training camp. The first three - wideout Jeremy Maclin, linebacker Jason Phillips and wideout Arrelious Benn - all suffered their injuries on one particular reconfigured field at the NovaCare Complex, something Eagles coach Chip Kelly said the team would have to investigate. Hunt was injured during last Friday's preseason-opening loss to the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field, a game in which he made some good plays.
August 8, 2013 |
No Shakira. No Black Eyed Peas. No Kanye West. In addition to having Tom Brady and the New England Patriots lining up on the other side of the ball, Eagles practice was a little different from usual on Tuesday. The loud, up-tempo music that regularly blares overhead during training camp at the NovaCare Complex was missing. "No music was weird," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "It was like, 'Why is it so quiet out here?' " Kelly barks A testy Chip Kelly became a bit more vocal on the practice field than he typically has been at training camp.
August 6, 2013 |
If the Eagles are looking for a leader on defense, or at least one to assist linebacker DeMeco Ryans, Connor Barwin may be as good a candidate as any starter. Barwin, 26, could even have a more prominent leadership role than Ryans because the outside linebacker is likely to play all three downs. Ryans could come off the field in the nickel defense, and it's difficult to lead from the sideline. As stable as Ryans can be, he could not right the Eagles' sinking ship last season.
July 29, 2013 |
IN JUST 6 WEEKS, the Eagles will open the 2013 season in Washington against the Redskins. At the moment, they don't know who their starting quarterback will be in that game, and they also don't know exactly what kind of defensive alignment they will be using. Neither of those things is a cause for concern at the moment. Chip Kelly is letting Michael Vick and Nick Foles duke it out for the starting-QB job and one of them eventually will be declared the winner. As for the defense, well, Kelly's coordinator, Bill Davis, knows the scheme he wants to play.
July 28, 2013
The way Chip Kelly and Billy Davis have put it, the Eagles are going from one end of the spectrum to the other as they transition from the wide-nine, 4-3 defensive front to a two-gap 3-4. Where they stop along the scale will depend on several factors, but above all it will hinge on ex-4-3 defensive ends such as Trent Cole and Brandon Graham and their ability to adapt to becoming stand-up outside linebackers that can both pass-rush and drop into...
July 19, 2013 |
KEY POSITION battles, other than quarterback: 1. Safety: Nate Allen and Patrick Chung seem the most likely starters, but Kenny Phillips could unseat either of them if his oft-repaired knee holds up. Brian Dawkins recently noted that Allen is the Eagles' most talented safety, but that his play is inconsistent. And he could be healthier. 2. Offensive line: We've all decided that first-round rookie Lane Johnson is going to start at right tackle. We'll see if Chip Kelly agrees, when camp is complete.