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.
December 8, 2013 |
The Eagles' success in punt coverage could be summed up with two words: Donnie Jones. But crediting the punter for all of the unit's accomplishments would be slighting how much of a role players like Brandon Boykin, Colt Anderson, Kurt Coleman and James Casey have contributed on special teams this season. As the Eagles prepare for a huge game Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field, the punt-cover team is third in the NFL in return average allowed (a lowly 5.5 yards)
September 24, 2012 |
Like most great leaders, DeMeco Ryans doesn't want credit. He doesn't want bouquets of praise for turning the Eagles defense around. The middle linebacker doesn't believe he's the missing piece to make the wide-nine work. And despite being called "Cap" or "Coach" since high school days, Ryans doesn't think much about why others follow his lead. "There's no magic tricks," Ryans said last week. "For me, I just go out there and be myself and try to do things the right way, so guys if they see me doing it the right way then they'll be more prone to listen to what I'm saying.
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.
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...
September 14, 2011 |
As the Falcons prepare for Sunday's game against the Eagles, their offensive coaches will scour the Birds defense, looking for weak spots. They will look at two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel, who helped force Rams quarterbacks into an 18-of-35 performance on Sunday, and at a pass defense that held St. Louis without a touchdown through the air, and they will shake their heads and move on. They will look at...
September 26, 2011 |
Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin strained his hamstring in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 29-16 loss to the Giants and did not return. The team did not have prognosis on when Maclin will be back, but the last time the Eagles had a player with a hamstring strain he was inactive for two games. That was quarterback Vince Young , whose injury was originally described as being day-to-day. There are, of course, different grades of hamstring strains, but Maclin's status for next week's game against the San Francisco 49ers is up in the air. Maclin injured himself on the same play in which quarterback Michael Vick broke his right hand.