October 4, 2011 |
The linebackers, safeties and offensive line have specific deficiencies. None of those deficiencies should be surprising. None of this will change. The defenders in question cannot cover running backs or tight ends. They tackle poorly in the middle of the field. They are susceptible to power runs, especially as games progress. The linemen - configured AFTER the final preseason game - cannot win battles at the line of scrimmage. Inside of the behemoth tackles, their physical profile - athletic, light and cagey - implies that they should not be winning those battles.
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.
September 29, 2011 |
Looking for another fix to their linebacker woes, the Eagles demoted Casey Matthews as their weakside linebacker - a week after sliding him over from the middle - and replaced him with Brian Rolle . Rolle will start in the Eagles' base defense, and the two rookies will split time in the nickel. Jamar Chaney will remain at middle linebacker, and Moise Fokou will stay at strong side. Rolle confirmed the move, which some speculated would happen, before practice Wednesday.
September 29, 2011
AND SO, the Eagles' Brian Rolle arrives at weakside linebacker with 5 feet, 10 inches of body and 6 feet, 5 inches of confidence. Casey Matthews is out and Rolle is in, and it is fair to say that the team has now picked the right guy out of those two. Whether it makes a difference is another issue entirely. "I feel like I'm a guy that is athletic," Rolle said yesterday. "I'm physical, a guy that knows the game very well and plays hard. I'm not saying that Casey didn't - Casey's a great player, as well.
September 28, 2011 |
Looking for another fix to their linebacker woes, the Eagles demoted Casey Matthews as their weakside linebacker - a week after sliding him over from middle - and replaced him with Brian Rolle . Rolle will start in the Eagles' base defense, and the two rookies will split time in the nickel. Jamar Chaney will remain at middle linebacker, and Moise Fokou will stay at strong side. Rolle confirmed the move, which some speculated would happen, before practice Wednesday.
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)
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.
September 25, 2011 |
When the Eagles selected Casey Matthews in the fourth round of the NFL draft, there was little doubt what the team intended for him. "I know he can step in and be your Mike [middle] linebacker," Andy Reid said. It wasn't just wishful thinking - the coaching staff and player personnel department liked Matthews very much - but if he fulfilled Reid's assertion, that would grant one of the organization's fondest wishes: finding a long-term middle linebacker. Sure enough, Matthews was the first-team man in the middle from the very start of training camp at Lehigh and, just as Reid predicted, he stepped in and held the job when the regular season began.
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.
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...