August 20, 2014 |
The Eagles defense stayed on the field longer than any team in the NFL last season, and that's not just because of Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense and his indifference toward time of possession. It was also because the Eagles could not find a way off the field on third downs. Only eight teams in the NFL were worse on third downs than the Eagles, who allowed opponents to convert 40 percent of their attempts. The first two preseason games showed no sign of improvement. The Eagles are allowing opponents to convert on 62.5 percent of their third downs.
August 8, 2014 |
Taylor Hart and Beau Allen were selected on the third day of the NFL draft, when the odds of hitting on prospects are about as low as betting on the hard eight. But the Eagles loaded the dice and took defensive linemen they knew, and defensive linemen who knew their scheme. Training camp is only 10 practices old, and Friday's preseason opener at Chicago will be the first true test, but Hart and Allen already have drawn praise from teammates and coaches. That's not often the case for rookies taken in the fifth and seventh rounds.
August 5, 2014 |
CORTLAND, N.Y. - Karl Dunbar, who coaches the New York Jets' defensive linemen, described himself one day here last week as a "man of faith," and he said he draws on that faith when considering the future of his best player. That player is Muhammad Wilkerson, and Muhammad Wilkerson believes himself to be underpaid. He said as much to the New York Daily News last month ("Do I think I'm underpaid? Yeah. "), and it is difficult to argue with him. Since the Jets drafted him out of Temple in 2011, making him the Owls' only first-round pick over the last 28 years, Wilkerson has started 47 of a possible 48 regular-season games, made 114 tackles, collected 181/2 quarterback sacks - including 101/2 last season - forced six fumbles, defended nine passes, and become the most important and versatile player not merely on the Jets' defensive line, but on their entire defense.
June 23, 2014 |
The head coach was asked to assess the team's spring workouts, including the just-completed mandatory minicamp. Going into the long break until the start of training camp, it seemed that everything had been accomplished as planned, and the foundation had been put down for a successful NFL season to come. "It was good to get everybody in the building and everybody working together. Overall, I feel like the team is coming along great, and the unity is where it needs to be at this point, and then when we come back to training camp with the knowledge of the system and people knowing one another, hopefully we can take off from there.
June 9, 2014 |
The 10 pounds Bennie Logan added this offseason beefed the Eagles' starting nose tackle to around 317-319 pounds, depending on the day. Even though that is a little shy of the prototypical nose tackle's weight, the team is confident in Logan, a second-year lineman, and has pledged its support for him. "Most people, when they picture a nose tackle, they picture a 330-plus guy, just clogging up the middle," Logan said. "But the way we play our defense, you've got to be able to run. And I don't feel I'd be able to run or do the things our coaches, in our scheme, require us to do. That's why I'm not 330, or put on that much weight.
May 21, 2014 |
Beau Allen has legs like tree trunks. You look at the 6-foot-3, 329-pound nose tackle and you can understand why the Eagles drafted him in the seventh round. There's more to playing the position in the NFL, but coach Chip Kelly and his staff have certain size parameters for each position. With his ranginess and solid base, Allen checks off a bunch of the Eagles' size qualifications. And then there's his athleticism. Allen wasn't invited to the scouting combine in February, but his vertical leap (31 inches)
May 7, 2014 |
IF ANYBODY at last month's Super Regional Combine in Detroit deserved to be signed, it was Alejandro Villaneuva. Villaneuva, 6-9, 277, hasn't earned any football honors the past four seasons, since playing wide receiver for Army in 2009, but he has accumulated the Bronze Star for valor (pulling wounded soldiers to safety while under fire), the Ranger tab, the Parachutist badge, the National Defense Service medal, the Afghanistan campaign medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism service ribbon, the Army service ribbon, an overseas service ribbon, NATO medal, Combat Infantryman's badge and Expert Infantryman's badge.
May 7, 2014
The Eagles signed Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva on Monday, giving the 6-foot-9, 277-pound defensive lineman his first chance to play football since he was commissioned on May 22, 2010. Villanueva spent the past four years in the Army and served three tours in Afghanistan. He last played football for Army in 2009 and tried out for the Bengals in 2010. The Eagles scouted Villanueva, 25, at the super regional combine in Detroit in April. He will be with the team for the rookie minicamp from May 16-18.
April 26, 2014 |
Before he conducted his first spring football camp, Temple coach Matt Rhule's primary goal was installing a vertical passing game. Last season, Rhule inherited a Temple offense that was at its best running the ball, but Rhule wanted - and still wants - a more dynamic offense. Going into the Owls' annual Cherry and White spring game Saturday (1 p.m. at Cardinal O'Hara High School), Rhule is shifting the emphasis to playing with more physicality and continuity as the young Owls prepare for season No. 2 in the American Athletic Conference.
April 24, 2014 |
NFL NETWORK draft analyst Mike Mayock once again will break down the top draft prospects for the Daily News . He will assess the best player at each position, as well as a player who is rising up the draft board and a late-round sleeper to keep an eye on later in the draft. Mayock, 55, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School. The former safety was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83). 4-3 defensive ends THE BEST Name: Jadeveon Clowney School: South Carolina Height, weight: 6-5, 266 40 time: 4.53 225 bench: 21 reps Vertical jump: 37 1/2 inches Arms: 34 1/2 inches Round projection: 1 Mayock: "He's the most talented player in the draft.