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...
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.
December 9, 2011 |
He was booed. He was labeled a wasted draft pick. Even his family experienced the brunt of fan anger. Casey Matthews hopes that a second chance, and more time to learn, will improve his standing with the Eagles and in the city. Matthews has taken over as the middle linebacker in the Eagles' nickel package, gaining a more prominent role after spending most of the last nine weeks on the bench. "It's another opportunity to go out there and show what I can do and take advantage of it this time," said Matthews, a fourth-round pick.
September 27, 2011
BREAKING DOWN Sunday's ugly loss to the Giants while wondering whether I really needed that hip-replacement surgery last year or, like Mike Vick's hand, it just might have just been a swollen blood vessel: Quick hits * Three changes Juan Castillo needs to make immediately to his defense: 1) Bench rookie Casey Matthews and insert rookie Brian Rolle at weakside linebacker in his base package; 2) Put Joselio Hanson back in the nickel at slot corner. He understands the slot better than both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha and can tackle better than both of them; and 3)