June 11, 2014 |
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been calling the plays, making checks, and setting the first-team defense this spring. Wait, you may be saying, isn't that DeMeco Ryans' job? Well, yes, it remains his responsibility, but the Eagles have put more on Kendricks' plate this offseason. "We're both inside linebackers," Kendricks said. "He does do that, but I'm there for him just like he's there for me. And we both make calls, even though he has the last say in what the call will be. Sometimes, I'm in there making those calls, too. " It's difficult to say for certain why the Eagles decided to give Kendricks a more vocal role.
June 4, 2014 |
THE EAGLES' most irreplaceable defensive player was shaking his head yesterday, smiling but puzzled. Reporters kept asking if offseason personnel additions might allow DeMeco Ryans to play fewer than the league-high 1,157 snaps he logged in 2013. "You tryin' to get me off the field?" Ryans asked a reporter who wondered if there were any packages that didn't include the middle linebacker this year. Like, oh, say, a dime setup, with six defensive backs and one linebacker, which the Eagles didn't feature in their first season under Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis?
May 29, 2014 |
DeMeco Ryans will turn 30 in July, and he is coming off a season in which he played more regular-season snaps than any defensive player in the NFL. After enduring questions last spring about whether he could be a three-down linebacker in the Eagles' 3-4 defense, Ryans now entertains questions about whether he's on the field too much. Ryans played 1,157 snaps last season - 96 percent of the Eagles' defensive plays. Pro Football Focus, which includes penalties and kneel-downs, determined that he played more snaps than any defensive player in the NFL. But Ryans said he feels healthy and is not going to volunteer to take breathers in 2014.
May 2, 2014 |
First of a series of looks at positions the Eagles might target in the May 8-10 NFL draft. Linebacker * What they have: Inside, Mychal Kendricks is a young building block. DeMeco Ryans, leading tackler the two seasons he has been an Eagle, emerged as the defensive leader and played really well against the run in 2013, but wasn't great against the pass. Ryans, who turns 30 in July, won't man the middle forever. Outside, Connor Barwin is a solid, smart player who still should have plenty of mileage left at 27. The other spot is a question.
February 4, 2014 |
THEY HAVE a running back who wants to tackle better. They have a linebacker who seeks encyclopedic knowledge. They have a bull of a nose tackle who wants to be stronger, and a tight end who wants to be the best ever. Only one of these young players started more than half of this season's games for the Eagles. They are a second tier of young talent overshadowed by second-year players such as quarterback Nick Foles and defensive end Fletcher Cox, who already might have shown their strongest hands.
January 9, 2014 |
Chip Kelly's grade for his first season in Philadelphia would not look good on one of his tests at Manchester (N.H.) Central High School in 1981, but the 50-year-old Eagles coach had a logical reason for giving himself a 58.8 percent mark. "That's winning 10 games out of 17," he said. The response drew laughter, and Kelly has also looked at his first season with more nuance than a numeric evaluation allows. The NFL is a bottom-line business, and Kelly is a bottom-line grader.
January 8, 2014 |
NIKE RELEASED ITS first version of Zoom Vick cleats in 2003. "I wore his cleats in middle school, man," Eagles rookie safety Earl Wolff said. DeMeco Ryans had some Vick footwear, too. So imagine Ryans' delight when, as soon as his trade from Houston became public in 2012, he got a ring from No. 7. "He was the first guy from the Eagles to call me when I got traded," Ryans said. "I was, like, 'It's pretty cool to be getting a call from Mike Vick.' " For a generation of football players, Vick represented the Ultimate Weapon.
January 6, 2014 |
Bill Davis' plan was to stop the maestro from conducting the orchestra that is the New Orleans Saints' offense. The Eagles' defensive coordinator didn't want quarterback Drew Brees throwing to tight end Jimmy Graham on one play, then Marques Colston on the next. He didn't want to see Darren Sproles making big plays on catches out of the backfield. "I made the calls for the passing game and tried to make sure we kept the big plays off us," Davis said. That mission was accomplished for the most part, but the cost of doing so was high.
December 28, 2013 |
Earl Wolff was sitting at his locker at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday afternoon, his back to everyone, his head hanging low, when out of the corner of his eye he saw DeMeco Ryans enter the room. A rookie safety, Wolff is nursing an injured right knee and has missed four of the Eagles' last five games. Though he had practiced Thursday, he still felt so sore that he worried whether he'd be healthy enough to suit up Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, for the game that will determine whether the Eagles reach the playoffs.
December 26, 2013 |
DeMeco Ryans was out for dinner on Monday night when he saw the news alert on television that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo might not play in Sunday's game against the Eagles. Ryans' initial reaction was shock. He thought Romo might have injured a knee last weekend, but did not expect a back injury that would sideline Romo for an extended period. "I was puzzled when I first heard the news," Ryans said. But, Ryans emphasized, it did not change what he thought of Sunday's game, which is a de facto NFC East championship.