August 31, 2014 |
Damaris Johnson sat in his locker stall after the Eagles' 37-7 preseason win over the New York Jets on Thursday night and faced an uncertain future. This is the third consecutive year Johnson entered Labor Day weekend unsure of whether he would be employed on Labor Day. His grasp on a roster spot has seemed to wane each season. Johnson impressed this preseason, helping at running back while also filling his receiver and return roles. He finished with nine catches for 90 yards and a touchdown; 12 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown; and averaged 11.8 yards per punt return and 22.6 yards per kick return.
August 15, 2014 |
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - At 10 a.m. yesterday, they assembled near an end zone to begin their stretching lines, nearly 90 green- and white-clad players in helmets and shorts spread out across the width of one of the Patriots' two practice fields outside Gillette Stadium. The Eagles' running backs could be found in the middle of the pack, in the same vicinity as the four quarterbacks sporting red practice jerseys. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles went through the warmups side by side.
November 8, 2013 |
The Eagles changed their kick returner and punt returner in their last game, and those changes could continue Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Damaris Johnson, who has handled both return duties this season, did not start at either spot against the Oakland Raiders after spending much of last week nursing an ankle injury. With DeSean Jackson returning punts and Brandon Boykin handling kickoffs, the Eagles had their longest returns of the season. "We're not ready to make a wholesale change at anything," coach Chip Kelly said.
September 28, 2013 |
The Eagles passing game has survived without Jeremy Maclin in the lineup, although it's clear after three games that they miss the injured wide receiver. The offense has not struggled to accumulate yardage - the Eagles are No. 2 in the NFL in total yards and No. 13 in passing yards - but it has become more dependent on DeSean Jackson. Now the undisputed No. 1 pass catcher, Jackson has 43 percent of the Eagles' receiving yards. That's the third highest percentage in the NFL. "He's a very talented player.
September 20, 2013 |
WHEN THEIR relationship finished its tedious dissolve last January, Andy Reid and the Eagles' brass both spoke of a fresh start. Three games into their first season apart, Andy Reid has his. With yet another workmanlike victory last night, his Kansas City Chiefs have won their first three games this season, already eclipsing the total that gave them the first draft pick last April. Meanwhile, after their first three games, the Eagles and their fans seem just as far from a fresh start as they did when Big Red was finally cut loose after 14 promising and trying seasons.
August 20, 2013 |
IN A YEAR when not much went right for the Eagles, the punt-return game fit right in. Like the rest of the organization, the special teams were overhauled in the offseason. New coach Chip Kelly brought in Dave Fipp from the Miami Dolphins to run the special teams. He came in and instilled confidence in his units, but not in a customary way. "Our special-teams coordinator, coach Fipp, he comes with a great mentality," said punt-return man Damaris Johnson. "He lets the returners be themselves.
May 24, 2013 |
Jeremy Maclin was recently asked about Chip Kelly's offense and which skill-position players would thrive in it. The Eagles wide receiver did not mention obvious names such as DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, or even himself. He singled out Damaris Johnson, the small and speedy receiver who made the roster last season as an undrafted rookie but hardly did enough to suggest a quantum leap in Year 2. Kelly's offense, though, offers a new dynamic. While details such as scheme and starting quarterback are great unknowns, the players, after more than a month of workouts, have intimated that they know enough about the offense to project.
May 21, 2013 |
EVERYBODY loves an underdog, and every year there is a rookie of humble pedigree who catches the imagination of Eagles fans. Sometimes he's a seventh-round draft choice (Nate Ilaoa, a stubby fullback from Hawaii in 2007), sometimes he's an undrafted free agent (Chad Hall, a height-challenged ex-Air Force officer in 2010, or Damaris Johnson, the wideout/returner who supplanted Hall last year). Quite often, this object of fan affection doesn't even make the team. When he does make it, his impact tends to lag way behind the amount of attention he gets on message boards.
December 31, 2012 |
Here is Paul Domowitch's report card from the Eagles' season-ending loss to the Giants. Click here to enter your grades. We will publish the results in the Daily News . RUSHING OFFENSE: Take out Michael Vick's 25 yards on five tuck-and-runs and the Eagles averaged just 3.9 yards per carry against a defense that had given up 702 rushing yards in the previous four games. LeSean McCoy again did more damage as a receiver than a ball carrier. Grade: C PASSING OFFENSE: A rusty Michael Vick completed just 19 of 35 passes and averaged 5.6 yards per attempt.
December 24, 2012 |
Athletes often are defined more by their failures than their successes. That may be unfair, but it's just the way it is. The Super Bowls they didn't win. The fourth-quarter comebacks they didn't engineer. The final out they didn't get. The home run they didn't hit. The last-second shot that didn't go in. So it is with Nick Foles right now. Considering the chaos going on around him, the third-round rookie has played pretty well since replacing Michael Vick as the Eagles' starting quarterback last month.