April 24, 2015 |
DURING Tyler Matakevich's sophomore year in the Temple football program, newly installed head coach Matt Rhule posed a question to his entire football team. Rhule asked how each player wanted to be remembered at Temple. For Matakevich, the answer back then was simple and has remained the same, as he heads for his last year in cherry and white. "A hardworking, nose-for-the-ball type of football player," the senior linebacker said, describing how he wants to be remembered. "A kid that never stops.
December 26, 2014 |
ONE REASON the 2013 Eagles improved from 3-5 in the first half of the season to 7-1 in the second half was the progress made by Bill Davis' defense. It still had issues, some of which were exploited in the 26-24 playoff loss to New Orleans, but the trend was positive; most of us thought Davis did an excellent job scheming to hide weaknesses. This season, as the defensive line grew into a dominant group, and the pass rush from the line and the outside linebackers gained consistency, for quite a while it seemed that the unit's overall progress would continue.
December 2, 2014 |
The most impressive play in the Eagles' Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys might not make any highlight reels. It was a second-down run stuff by defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, and promotional campaigns are not usually built around second-down run stuffs. But DeMarco Murray's 1-yard loss 4 yards away from the end zone helped limit the Dallas Cowboys to a field goal instead of a touchdown in the third quarter of a 33-10 Eagles win, and it exemplified Cox's level of play all afternoon.
December 1, 2014
I SHOULD have listened. The Eagles' defensive line was trying to tell us something during the week, when it refused to get all gushy over the Cowboys' much-lauded offensive line, the engine driving the NFL's No. 2 rushing attack. "The running back's having a good year running, but I don't see anything spectacular about them," nose tackle Bennie Logan said as the Dallas game approached. "Same offensive line we faced last year, and they have one new guy . . . They're OK linemen.
November 29, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - LeSean McCoy did not know what the point spread had been for the Eagles' Thanksgiving Day showdown against the Dallas Cowboys, but he was correct with his presumption that the Eagles entered the game as underdogs. "Were we underdogs today? For sure, right?" McCoy said. "Dallas gets a lot of hype. I'm sure everybody took them in the game. They've got good players. But we've got good players, too. " After the Eagles' 33-10 win, they appeared superior. The gulf between coach Chip Kelly's team and the rest of the NFC East widened in a statement game that could resonate when the playoff bracket is determined next month.
November 29, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - Chip Kelly said the Eagles aren't "into statements. " The coach is always wary of labels, and despite the Eagles' dominating, 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys in front of a national audience, he found no reason to support the notion that his team made a statement on Thanksgiving. But some of the Eagles players, particularly on defense, had no trouble taking the bait. The defensive line chirped all week about earning respect. Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, and Cedric Thornton said they didn't think the Cowboys' offensive line was as invincible as some have suggested.
November 28, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas - It is not exactly a thankless job, playing defensive end in a 3-4 defense, but it is not exactly a glamour position, either. You spend much of your life trying to tie a rope around some mammoth guard on the other side of the line of scrimmage so that one of the linebackers can make the tackle. In pass-rushing situations, well, most of the sacks go to the guys on the outside while you attempt to crash the pocket and move the quarterback off his spot and into their waiting hands.
November 28, 2014 |
IF YOU SAW Teair Tart-Spencer play football this season for West Philadelphia High you might not believe last season was his first as a gridder. At 6-4 and 285 pounds, the senior two-way lineman grew up playing basketball. And when asked about the toughest adjustment, the Northern Liberties resident wasn't able to narrow his focus, at all. "I guess it was learning how to do everything because I couldn't even get into the offensive tackle's stance!" he laughed. "It looked terrible, it looked terrible.
November 21, 2014 |
MATT TOBIN completed the NFL's five-step concussion process and returned to practice yesterday, but Tobin did not return to the starting right-guard spot. Andrew Gardner stayed there, furthering the possibility that the Eagles will field their eighth different starting offensive-line combination Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. "Gardner was in there. I think he's been doing good throughout the week. We'll see; I had a good practice, gotta keep going hard, that's all," said Tobin, who said he began feeling concussion symptoms as he left the field following the Eagles' 53-20 loss at Green Bay. (Hey, didn't we all?
November 20, 2014 |
It's something that Penn State coach James Franklin has said repeatedly: The key to his team's success on either side of the football starts with the guys in the trenches. The defensive line has been excellent all season, but Franklin gave a special shout-out Tuesday to his offensive line for one of its best performances of 2014 that resulted in a season-high 254 yards rushing and a 30-13 win over Temple on Saturday. At his weekly news conference, Franklin credited the return of the Nittany Lions' two most experienced offensive linemen - redshirt junior tackle Donovan Smith and fifth-year senior guard Miles Dieffenbach - with a major assist to the running game, which ranks last in the Big Ten Conference.