September 16, 2016 |
The first play in the Eagles' season-opening win on Sunday was a handoff to Ryan Mathews. The final four offensive plays were also handoffs to Mathews. Those accounted for five of his 22 carries - the second-highest total he's had in a game since 2013. Mathews finished with 77 rushing yards and one touchdown, which came when Doug Pederson kept calling running plays for him near the goal line in the fourth quarter. Mathews didn't need to look to the sideline to see if DeMarco Murray was coming into the game.
September 2, 2016 |
THIS IS the hardest position to handicap, which is one reason why daily fantasy sports leagues have exploded. It's impossible to get stuck with a stiff all year if you can change your lineup each week. C.J. Anderson, Broncos: From Ron Dayne to Steve Slaton to Arian Foster, if head coach Gary Kubiak has a healthy running back, he's going to feed him the ball. Rookie Devontae Booker, a fourth-rounder out of Utah, has surpassed Ronnie Hillman as Anderson's handcuff. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers: Suspended for the first three games, which will include the Sept.
August 9, 2016 |
THE THING is, Ryan Mathews is really good. That was vividly apparent in the Eagles' Saturday and Sunday training camp practices. There was no tackling, but Mathews looked smooth and swift, gliding effortlessly around end, making sharp cuts up the gut. When did the team last boast a physical, 220-pound runner with this much talent? Mathews' position coach, Duce Staley, in his very best years, more than a decade back, probably. But when the Eagles begin their preseason Thursday at home against Tampa Bay, the crowd won't reflect a lot of fans with No. 24 jerseys reading "Mathews" on the back.
July 28, 2016 |
IF YOU'RE one of the five or six people in Philly who still need convincing that this is a football town, consider rookie running back Wendell Smallwood's trip to South Street last Saturday. Smallwood, a fifth-round pick in the draft, was on his way to Lorenzo's to pick up a pizza when, lo and behold, he was recognized by a group of Eagles fans. Now, keep in mind that we're not talking about Carson Wentz or Jason Kelce or Jordan Matthews. We're talking about a 5-10, 208-pound guy who was the 153rd pick in the draft and has yet to play in a game.
May 18, 2016 |
ON PAPER AT LEAST, On paper at least, the Eagles' running-back picture heading into this week's first round of spring OTAs is more say what? than Cezanne. There is injury-prone Ryan Mathews, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry last year, but lugged the ball only 106 times and had more than 11 carries in only two games. There is 5-6, 190-pound Darren Sproles, who turns 33 in mid-June. There is Kenjon Barner, who has all of 34 career rushing attempts. And there are three talented but untested rookies - fifth-rounder Wendell Smallwood (West Virginia)
April 21, 2016 |
When Ryan Mathews said that his mother spent more time following the Eagles' offseason and how it affected her son than he did, it seemed utterly believable. Sure, he followed the DeMarco Murray rumors and his eventual trade to the Titans in March. And, yes, he realized that Murray's departure bumped him up to the top spot on the running back depth chart - at least on paper. But Mathews doesn't appear to be the kind to sweat the uncontrollable. "It dawned on me, but, again, you never know," Mathews said Tuesday before the Eagles' first voluntary practice of minicamp.
March 25, 2016 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - No matter whom you believe or choose not to believe, there aren't any heroes in the story of the dysfunctional Eagles front office of 2015. Chip Kelly, in his first extensive comments on the subject since being fired by Jeffrey Lurie, painted a picture of organizational discord in which the structure created by the Eagles owner essentially sabotaged his first season with final say over the 90-man roster. In Kelly's view, he wasn't responsible for the disastrous free-agent contracts handed out to DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell last offseason.
March 24, 2016 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Andy Reid maintained strong relationships with the Eagles' decision makers after his dismissal. So when they asked him about Doug Pederson, Reid was ready with an endorsement. "I thought Doug was ready to be a head coach," Reid said Tuesday on a conference call. "He'd kind of done everything he could do here. I hated losing him because of our relationship, but I'm very happy and proud of him for the opportunity he has to lead the Birds there. " Pederson was a coordinator for only three seasons, but Reid thought he was exposed to enough to prepare him for a promotion.
March 12, 2016 |
Howie Roseman said the Eagles' decision to trade Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, and DeMarco Murray was "about value," which came from improving draft position and opening cap space to allocate elsewhere. In the trade of Maxwell and Alonso to Miami, Roseman's objective was obtaining a top 10 pick. The Eagles moved from No. 13 to No. 8. "We felt there were 10 players that really stood out to us," Roseman said. "Picking 13th, we felt if we were in position to get one of those top 10 guys, there was tremendous value in that.
March 9, 2016 |
THE GREAT PART about the National Football League is that there never is a shortage of village idiots. The NFL is the most successful sports league on the face of the earth. It generates nearly $14 billion a year in revenue. Yet, you don't have to look very hard to find someone dumber than you. After usurping personnel power from Howie Roseman following the 2014 season, Chip Kelly went all Monty Hall on us (Google him, kids) and engineered a bunch of questionable trades and spent a Brink's truck full of Jeff Lurie's money on a bunch of free agents he thought would help take the Eagles from good to great.