September 23, 2011 |
The Eagles' linebacker shuffle may be designed specifically for Sunday's opponent - the New York Giants - defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said. Rookie Casey Matthews , moved from middle linebacker to weak-side, isn't convinced. "They said that. I guess we will see how it turns out," Matthews said Thursday. "If you have success with it I'm sure it will stay. I'm going like it's permanent. " The moves, implemented first at practice on Wednesday, have Jamar Chaney replacing Matthews in the middle, Moise Fokou filling Chaney's spot at strong-side, and Matthews taking over for Fokou.
July 28, 2012 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Brandon Boykin and Damaris Johnson have the early edge as the Eagles' punt and kick returners, coach Andy Reid said Friday. "Obviously we brought Boykin in to do that, so he's right there at both kick and punt," Reid said. "We know he can do both. He does have more kickoff than he does punt. Johnson has done it, so we're kind of leaving him in there right now as the primary punt guy. " The Eagles drafted Boykin in the fourth round out of Georgia. Johnson is an undrafted rookie from Tulsa.
September 8, 2012 |
There's been a merry-go-round at linebacker for the Eagles over the last few seasons, but the team made efforts this offseason to make it stop with the acquisitions of DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks. It might start spinning again on Sunday in Cleveland. Kendricks said Thursday after practice that the coaches had each of the Eagles' six linebackers practicing in various alignments in several packages on defense. "I would expect for all of us to be playing because that's what we're game-planning with," said Kendricks, who is expected to start at the strong side.
October 2, 2011
If sound, logical football decisions are the pathway to success in the NFL, then the Eagles apparently missed that part of the seminar. As they take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon with a 1-2 record, you've got to wonder whether their corporate policy of being smarter than everybody has not only caught up with them but also tripped them into the muddy puddle. Please explain to me how this makes sense: You employ a new defensive scheme called a "wide nine. " This new defensive scheme has all down linemen spread out, leaving gaps as wide as JFK Boulevard, and at the snap has them rushing directly up the field without regard.
March 20, 2012 |
Now we know why the Eagles weren't casting lines to Stephen Tulloch or Curtis Lofton. They were fishing for a bigger score. And they pulled him in Tuesday night - Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans - and on first impression the Eagles looked like they bagged a big one. All they had to give up was a fourth-round draft pick and a swap of third-round picks with the Houston Texans to get the 6-foot-1, 250-pound Ryans. On the surface, the acquisition plugs what were gaping holes on the Eagles defense last year.
August 20, 2011 |
Andy Reid is sticking with one rookie and going with another. Despite criticism that Casey Matthews wasn't up to the task of being the starting middle linebacker after his rocky outing in Thursday night's preseason game against the Steelers, the Eagles coach stuck with the rookie at Saturday's walk-through. The Eagles' entire starting linebacker crew, in fact, did not change after the 24-14 loss in Pittsburgh. Jamar Chaney stayed at strong-side linebacker and Moise Fokou was still at weak side.
September 21, 2011 |
The Eagles are nowhere close to a sinking ship, but the waters were rough enough for the team to shuffle their linebackers after two games. No one was benched, however, despite the swelling call for rookie middle linebacker Casey Matthews to be demoted. Instead, Jamar Chaney will move into the middle, where he showed signs of promise late last season. Moise Fokou will replace him at strong-side, and Matthews will slide outside to weak-side in place of Fokou. Apparently, two games of watching running backs gash the middle of Juan Castillo's defense was enough for coach Andy Reid to make the moves with the home opener against the New York Giants looming Sunday.
August 21, 2011 |
The Eagles' starting linebackers - a group that includes a rookie fourth-round pick and seventh-rounders in their second and third years - have come under scrutiny after the Steelers ran all over the defense Thursday. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said not to worry: He believes this young crop can win a championship. "The linebackers will be ready to win the Super Bowl. Remember, it takes 16 weeks, and then really whoever is playing their best during the playoffs.
December 10, 2011 |
Andy Reid is right; his linebackers are young. They range in age from 22 to 26, average out to 23.9 years of age, and are two years younger than the average age of the Eagles roster. "They're just a young group," Reid said Friday, echoing a refrain he's only recently made. "We're young at safety, we're young at linebacker. Zero excuse on that - that's not what that is - that's reality. " Apparently, it took four months for reality to hit Reid. When the Eagles were signing free agents left and right during training camp - sometimes overstocking at positions like cornerback and wide receiver - the general feeling was they also had to add a veteran linebacker at some point.
September 22, 2011 |
A LITTLE less than 2 months ago, Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo sprung a little surprise on his linebackers, and on the fan base. When the 136-day NFL lockout ended and the Birds reported to Lehigh, Castillo moved Jamar Chaney from the middle to the strongside, where Chaney had never practiced as a rookie in 2010, moved Moise Fokou from strongside to weakside, and most surprising, made fourth-round rookie Casey Matthews his starting...