August 16, 2016 |
OVER THE last three seasons, the Eagles' defense was on the field for a total of 3,411 snaps. That's 71 snaps per game, which - surprise, surprise - was far and away the most in the NFL over that period. Connor Barwin was on the field for most of them. As an outside linebacker in Billy Davis' two-gap, 3-4 scheme, he played 3,189 of those 3,411 snaps, or 93.5 percent. And lived to tell about it. Not only lived to tell about it, but played pretty damn well. Had 21 1/2 sacks the last two years and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2014.
August 10, 2016 |
C hris Wilson has scraped and primed the walls, but the new defensive line coach for the Eagles has just begun to paint. Wilson is teaching not only a new scheme, one that is the opposite of predecessor Jerry Azzinaro's 3-4 base front, he's changing the defensive line's mentality from reactive to aggressive. He's had to strip the players down and build them back up. And that takes time. That takes repetition. "When you're going to change mentality, you change foundations," Wilson said on Monday.
August 6, 2016 |
More About the Nittany LionsHere are five questions (and answers) at the start of Penn State training camp: 1 How will the Nittany Lions do in their new hurry-up offense? Penn State spent the first two years of the Franklin regime near the bottom of the Big Ten in offense, and that cost John Donovan his job. Joe Moorhead, the former head coach at Fordham, was hired away from the Bronx last December to install his hurry-up attack that produced some great numbers for the Rams, albeit at the FCS level.
July 28, 2016 |
WE DON'T know much about Doug Pederson as a head coach yet, but we do know this: He doesn't have to be the smartest guy in the room. Actually, it might be in his best interests if he isn't. The best avenue for Doug Pederson to succeed in his first foray as a head coach - his best chance to buy a little time to get a feel for the job - is if Jim Schwartz comes in and proves right away that the Eagles' defensive personnel are much better than last season's effort and record would suggest.
July 28, 2016 |
Typically, when a sentence starts, "When I was playing high school football . . .," it draws a blank stare or an eye roll. When Jim Schwartz uttered the phrase on Tuesday, however, he wasn't about to recount the glory days of his youth. The Eagles defensive coordinator was anecdotally illustrating a point about his scheme. "When I was playing high school football, the coach would always say, 'Hey, everybody stay in your lane. Everybody stay in your lane,' " Schwartz said. "Nobody covers a kick that way in the NFL anymore or college football because [if]
June 8, 2016 |
The Eagles' defensive line was incomplete for the last two months while Fletcher Cox took advantage of the "voluntary" part of voluntary workouts. But Cox is back in Philadelphia this week for the team's mandatory minicamp that begins Tuesday, and his presence changes the outlook at the position. Cox will join Bennie Logan in the middle of the Eagles defense. Logan, a third-round pick in 2013, has started at nose tackle for the last three seasons. The Eagles' scheme change will have a major effect on Logan, who must transition from occupying blockers while lining up over the center to turning into a penetrating tackle.
April 17, 2016 |
Blue-White Game Saturday at 2 p.m., Beaver Stadium, State College Players to Watch: Redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley and redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens are competing for the quarterback job left vacant by Christian Hackenberg's move to the NFL. Head coach James Franklin has not named a starter and said the competition will resume in August at training camp. . . . New offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has revamped the offense to more of a hurry-up, no-huddle attack. . . . The Nittany Lions are looking at improvements along the offensive line, and fresh bodies on the defensive line to replace three starters - Carl Nassib, Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson.
March 23, 2016
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Doug Pederson talked Monday about needing to do more to fix the Eagles' offensive line. Howie Roseman, perhaps more experienced in the keep-them-guessing ethos of the NFL draft, managed to turn a question about the running-back position into a hint that the Birds wouldn't necessarily spurn a chance to draft a runner - presumably, Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott - with their first pick, eighth overall. We're still five weeks away from the start of the draft, but as Roseman noted when he took a break from the NFL meetings at the Boca Raton Resort to speak to reporters, the selection process is about to take center stage.
March 23, 2016 |
Temple offensive lineman Shahbaz Ahmed hopes to sign a professional football contract. A graduate of Paul VI High School, Ahmed can only hope to have as much success signing a football contract as he did with the one he inked with his mother, Tonya. Before entering Temple, Ahmed, who was a two-year starter playing both guard and tackle, signed a pact with his mom that he would earn his degree. There was no timetable for when it would be earned, but Ahmed didn't waste any time. He graduated in December, in 31/2 years, with a degree in political science and a minor in English.
March 11, 2016 |
RODNEY McLEOD was asked what makes him a good fit for Eagles coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense. "Just my physicality," McLeod said in his introductory news conference Thursday, after he signed on for five years and $37 million. "I'm able to just be fearless out there, honestly, even though, my size, you know a lot of people wouldn't say I'm that big (at 5-10, 195). " McLeod, who has played in every game since he arrived in St. Louis as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2012, and has started 48 games in a row at safety, said one of the reasons he took the Eagles' offer was that he wants to play alongside and learn from Malcolm Jenkins.