September 19, 2010 |
Turning-point games don't usually announce themselves ahead of time. They are recognized only in retrospect, across the long sweep of what came next. In that way, there is nothing particularly momentous about the setup for Sunday's game in the cavernous covered garage that is Ford Field in gloomy downtown Detroit between the Eagles and the Lions. The Eagles are already frayed around the edges after just one regular season game, and any outcome, even a loss to the woeful Lions, could be written off as nothing more than the hangover that resulted from the opening binge of injuries and bad luck against the Packers.
September 15, 2010
FOOTBALL IS A bottom-line business. Wins and losses. Points scored and points allowed. So the fact that the Eagles failed for the ninth time in their last 11 games to hold an opponent under 20 points in Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Packers was disappointing to defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. But this wasn't a repeat of the two bloody beatings in Dallas last January. There was nothing good to salvage from those defeats. Not so Sunday. Despite giving up those 27 points, McDermott's unit did a respectable job against one of the league's top offenses, holding the Packers to 299 net yards, which was 80 yards under their 2009 average.
August 18, 2010 |
BETHLEHEM - Little something different for Brandon Graham yesterday. The Eagles' first-round rookie defensive end took some snaps inside - as the pass-rushing tackle, the spot Darren Howard filled the past few seasons. Not a bad fit for Graham, who is a bit of a stubby d-end. He weighs 278 pounds, and is about an inch shorter than his listed 6-2. "We talked about it a long time ago, and we finally just did it today," Graham said afterward. He added that he thinks he'll get some snaps inside Friday night in Cincinnati, when the Eagles take the field for their second preseason game.
July 26, 2010 |
As they left the field on the floor of the Jerry Jones Pleasure Dome and Pole-Dancing Palace last January, beaten soundly for the second straight weekend by the Dallas Cowboys, every member of the Eagles carried something other than his helmet to the locker room. NFL seasons take a long time to arrive, and a long time to play, but when they come to a halt, football players know that the team they just played for will never exist again. In some ways, that was a comforting thought when the Eagles made their threadbare retreat from Arlington, Texas.
June 17, 2010
The flurry of Eagles signings continues. The team agreed to a 4-year contract with defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim yesterday, meaning 10 of their 13 draft picks have signed with nearly 6 weeks left until training camp. The unsigned picks are first-round defensive end Brandon Graham, second-round defensive back Nate Allen and fifth-round wide receiver Riley Cooper. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and Cooper's agent, Joel Segal, say there is no problem, they just haven't been able to get together yet to hash out a deal.
April 6, 2010
THE EAGLES have banned the R-word: rebuilding. You cannot say it, or hint at it, or insinuate it without being corrected by someone on the team, even as they make the change from Donovan McNabb at quarterback to Kevin Kolb. They are very sensitive about the subject, and the word, from coach Andy Reid on down. But they need not be. Because they are going to compete for a wild card this season, which is what they did last year and the year before that. They were not ready to win a championship then and they are not ready to win a championship now. But with Kolb at quarterback, with whatever other changes they have made, the Eagles are going to compete for the exact same prize that they competed for in McNabb's last several years.
March 19, 2010 |
On the day they introduced and signed 25-year-old Darryl Tapp to a three-year contract, the Eagles cut the aging and increasingly expensive Kevin Curtis and Darren Howard. Both players, once highly touted free-agent signings who were released yesterday, had underperformed, considering their contracts. With no salary cap in the NFL this year and with the threat of a lockout next season, the Eagles have made "out with the old" their motto. Since the last week of February, they have released or traded running back Brian Westbrook, linebacker Will Witherspoon, wide receiver Reggie Brown, defensive end Chris Clemons, and guard Shawn Andrews.
February 28, 2010 |
Some splashes are bigger than others. For the team that signs Julius Peppers, it would be a cannonball-sized plunge into the NFL free agent waters and one that could leave all competitors soaked. The Eagles have made such a splash before (see: Jevon Kearse, 2004). And there's no reason to believe they won't at least dip their toe into the sweepstakes for the Carolina defensive end. Peppers, for one, is hoping the Eagles are a suitor. According to a league source, the former all-pro defensive end, who will become a free agent Friday, has the "Eagles on his short list of teams.
December 14, 2009
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - On the Eagles' last scheduled visit to this place, to the site of so many strange doings over the last 3 1/2 decades, to Jimmy Hoffa's windswept sepulchre, it seemed as if bizarre was somehow preordained. Last night at Giants Stadium, it was as if history demanded it. This is where Herman Edwards once committed a miracle, and where Randall Cunningham once punted a ball 91 yards. It is where Clyde Simmons returned an Eagles field goal that had been blocked for a touchdown, and where Brian Westbrook saved an Eagles season with an 84-yard punt return for the ages.
November 2, 2009 |
The game plan was simple enough: Stop the run and get in Eli Manning's face. Normally, with a Sean McDermott-coached Eagles defense, getting into the mug of the Giants quarterback would consist of a steady stream of blitzing. And the original game plan did feature an assortment of blitz packages. But things changed and McDermott showed the type of in-game adjustment that was an unknown coming into his first season as the Eagles defensive coordinator. "If the offense is going to keep eight guys in to protect [and]