July 26, 2012 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - It's coming soon: pads, real hitting, competition against NFL veterans fighting for jobs and roster spots. Mychal Kendricks, the rookie Eagles linebacker who already projects as a starter on the strong side, is looking ahead with a mix of eagerness and anxiety. "Getting anxious, a little excited. Nerves kicking," Kendricks said Tuesday on the second day of training camp, one day before veterans report and just a handful of practices before he puts on pads for the first time in the NFL. "Whenever you're nervous, you always play better.
April 21, 2012
DEMECO RYANS - A two-time Pro Bowler, Ryans was acquired to be the answer to the question that has long loomed over middle linebacker. He has the pedigree, but has to bounce back from a down season in 2011. JAMAR CHANEY - After a fast start as a rookie, Chaney had a rocky 2011, starting at the strong side and then moving to the middle early in the season. He struggled at times, and will have to move back outside with Ryans in town. BRIAN ROLLE - Rolle was probably the team's most effective linebacker last season, and showed impressive power for his size.
March 22, 2012 |
Omar Gaither, Stewart Bradley, Joe Mays, Akeem Jordan, Chris Gocong, Will Witherspoon, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Jeremiah Trotter 3.0 . . . DeMeco Ryans? Have the Eagles finally found, after five seasons of impostors, their savior at middle linebacker? After the Eagles bagged Ryans in a trade with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, reaction from the team's fans has been overwhelmingly positive. Much of the excitement has to do with Ryans, of course. But underneath it all has been the blue-collar city's desperation for a savior at the most blue-collar of positions.
March 22, 2012
DEMECO RYANS got a text from Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith late Tuesday afternoon, Smith asking if Ryans might have a second to give Smith a call. "It was really weird," Ryans recalled Wednesday. "I was like, 'OK, something's happening.' Mario [Willams] had just left, [Eric] Winston - we were losing a lot of guys on our team. He texted me, I was like, 'Oh, [bleep], my turn.' " Ryans said he told Smith he was about to get something to eat. Smith suggested they meet.
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 13, 2011
For once, Casey Matthews wasn't answering for the failings of the Eagles defense. "It was fun just getting back out there and being on the field and helping our team win," Matthews said Sunday, sweating in the humid postgame locker room after getting his most playing time since Week 3. Matthews took over this week as the Eagles' middle linebacker in the nickel package, and, with the team leading most of the game, played the majority of...
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.
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.
November 29, 2011 |
Well, it was a great 2011 season for the Eagles. Maybe a few minor problems here and there, but nothing that can't be fixed with a little more hard work and putting players in better positions to succeed. The season highlight film will be released any day now, and those season-ticket renewals will be appearing in a mailbox near you very soon. Make sure to look for them. With 2011 in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead and get things moving in the right direction for 2012.
November 27, 2011
With the New England Patriots in town on Sunday afternoon, we have never been more obsessed with the football term tight end . It's a hybrid, created so the fans wouldn't get confused by other receiver-like terms such as end or split end or wide receiver or slot receiver or that really old one, flanker . But never does tight end come into more serious dichotomy than when it involves the New England...