November 21, 2014 |
ZACH ERTZ sat down with his tight-end coaches, Ted Williams and Justin Peelle, in deep despair just a few weeks ago, Ertz said yesterday. Ertz's 30 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns through 10 games aren't adding up to the breakthough year to stardom many observers predicted, the year Ertz expected of himself. In fact, Eagles coach Chip Kelly, asked yet again yesterday why Ertz isn't getting more snaps and catches, basically told reporters it's because 8-year veteran Brent Celek is still a better all-around player, and a better fit for Kelly's offense.
November 13, 2014 |
There is no longer a mystery about how Mark Sanchez will function as the Eagles' starting quarterback. He threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover Monday in a 45-21 rout of the Carolina Panthers. He can improve his efficiency, and the Eagles must do better on third-down conversions, but Sanchez appears to be a quick study in coach Chip Kelly's offense. Now that opposing coordinators have seen him in the system, Sanchez expects defensive looks to evolve, beginning Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
November 12, 2014 |
NO BUTT FUMBLES. No forced throws. He even covered a dangerously low snap from Jason Kelce early in the game, when the score was close and it mattered. By the end last night, the better version that Mark Sanchez had promised delivered this: Over 300 yards of passing on a night when the Carolina Panthers sold out to stop the run, 31 points engineered in a 45-21 win and, maybe most important of all, zero turnovers. That's right, zero. It marked the first time this season that the Eagles did not give the other team the ball at least once, allowing an offense that was generating points despite itself to show what it is capable of when it gets out of its own way. And allowing a defense tortured by poor field position to feast on the opposite all night long.
October 29, 2014 |
TOMORROW afternoon, Sonny and Christie Acho will occupy the same seats they always do when they attend Arizona Cardinals' home games, in the players' family section at University of Phoenix Stadium. They shouldn't prove difficult to spot. Just look for the only parents wearing midnight green and Cardinals red. "I haven't decided [what to wear], but definitely the Eagles will be represented, maybe in the shirt and Arizona maybe in the hat," Sonny Acho said by phone the other night.
October 18, 2014 |
Brent Celek's statistical production has declined since Chip Kelly became the Eagles coach, but the man who is most pleased with Celek seems to be Kelly. There is no player Kelly speaks about with more reverence than Celek. "When you talk about what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like," Kelly said, "Brent Celek is what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like. " Kelly called Celek "everything you want," elaborating that he is the "ultimate" professional who is "totally selfless. " From Kelly, there are few better compliments.
October 17, 2014 |
IT WAS MIDNIGHT in the locker room after the sixth game of the season. An Eagles tight end had scored two touchdowns in a shutout of the Giants. You would have thought Brent Celek scored both. He scored neither. "Hey, congratulations!" Celek hollered at James Casey, who had a football tucked under his arm - the football he caught for a touchdown that might otherwise have been Celek's. "See him?" Celek asked, unprovoked, pointing at another teammate. "He made unbelievable catches all night tonight.
October 14, 2014 |
The Eagles' best unit this season did not disappoint on Sunday. The special teams, which had four touchdowns in the first five games, appeared similarly potent against the New York Giants. Chris Maragos blocked a second-quarter punt to give the Eagles their third blocked punt in three games. Darren Sproles unleashed a 43-yard punt return. Punter Donnie Jones pinned the Giants inside their own 10-yard line, and kicker Cody Parkey remained a threat on field goals and kickoffs. Sproles has been a significant upgrade as a punt returner.
October 13, 2014 |
LeSean McCoy was ready. It was late, the game was on the line, and he wanted the ball. But his number wasn't called, and he seethed. "Yeah, I was hot. I mean, who wouldn't want the ball?" McCoy said. "I wasn't [angry], but I thought I was getting it. " While the running back's reaction may seem like a reversal from statements he made this past week, the pivotal moment in question wasn't the Eagles' late-game decision to go with Darren Sproles over McCoy against the Rams last Sunday.
September 30, 2014 |
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Turns out, there IS a limit to how much the universe will let you get away with. The Eagles have come back and won three times already this season. In the process, they have overcome large imperfections. They have strained credulity many times, but yesterday, credulity bowed its neck and said "enough," with a minute and 50 seconds remaining in a 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Eagles, with five first downs and no offensive points to their name when they started a drive on their own 9, 6:26 remaining, somehow reeled off a 15-play masterpiece that took them just inside the 49ers' 2-yard line, third-and-goal, somehow given two chances to win a game they richly deserved to lose.
September 25, 2014 |
AS THE Eagles' left tackle, Jason Peters is charged with protecting Nick Foles' blind side. It's a task that the six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All Pro usually performs better than any other left tackle in the business. But sometimes, stuff happens. Stuff happened Sunday with 10:07 left in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 37-34 win over the Redskins. It started with that errant pass by Foles that sailed over the head of tight end Brent Celek and into the arms of Redskins rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland.