August 20, 2014 |
THE THEMES of this summer's Eagles camp have centered around injuries and rules. Who can practice and, more importantly, who can't. Who can touch who and when and where. A year ago it was all about the breakneck pace of Chip Kelly's offense and how it would most certainly break some bones in the process, especially those who would play on his overtaxed defense. But then the season played out, the breakdown of bodies did not occur, and the themes shifted to Kelly's employ of the mysterious "sports science," which as far as anyone on the outside can discern, is a pseudo phrase for no more tacos.
September 15, 2012 |
Throughout the preseason, DeMeco Ryans faced questions and criticism about what appeared to be lackluster performances. A 28-year-old, the two-time Pro Bowler endured accusations that he is past his prime and is in decline. These theories were exacerbated when other linebackers started taking his snaps in practice and a dose of buyer's remorse appeared near. So after last Sunday's 17-16 win over the Cleveland Browns, when Ryans was perhaps the Eagles' best player on the field with nine tackles - and three for losses - while playing 60 of the Eagles' 62 defensive snaps, Ryans had his chance to say "I told you so. " He could have smiled and strutted and insisted that he was right all along when he implored that he'll be fine come the regular season.
September 19, 2012 |
It took until the ninth game last season before an Eagles linebacker recorded a sack. DeMeco Ryans needed all of two games to notch his first sack of the season. Linebackers accounted for only three of the Eagles' 50 sacks last season. The low number had something to do with the defense dialing up fewer blitzes. But with the way Ryans and rookie Mychal Kendricks have covered the field in the first two games, it's safe to assume the linebackers will increase that number this season.
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.
March 20, 2012 |
Now we know why the Eagles weren't casting lines to Stephen Tulloch or Curtis Lofton. They were fishing for a bigger score. And they pulled him in Tuesday night - Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans - and on first impression the Eagles looked like they bagged a big one. All they had to give up was a fourth-round draft pick and a swap of third-round picks with the Houston Texans to get the 6-foot-1, 250-pound Ryans. On the surface, the acquisition plugs what were gaping holes on the Eagles defense last year.
May 24, 2012 |
DeMECO RYANS manned the middle of the Eagles' defense for the first time Tuesday, standing in a shaft of light beaming from the heavens that followed Ryans about the NovaCare field, as unicorns frolicked and celestial choirs . . . OK, it really wasn't all that dramatic. Just a guy in short pants and a helmet, wearing jersey No. 59, looking a little bigger than your typical Eagles middle linebacker, at 6-1, 237. Rookie strongside starter Mychal Kendricks stood on one side of Ryans (confirming what had been whispered)
August 5, 2015 |
BE HONEST. When DeMeco Ryans tore the Achilles' tendon in his right foot last November at NRG Stadium in Houston, you thought there was a very good chance he had played his last down as an Eagle, maybe his last down for anyone. I confess I did, and I've been covering professional football for 32 years. The man Chip Kelly calls "Mufasa" had just suffered his second Achilles' injury in five years (he tore the left one in 2010). He was 30 going on 31. You can count the number of thirtysomething NFL linebackers who have made successful comebacks from Achilles' injuries on your fingers.
April 6, 2013 |
One year ago, when the Eagles acquired DeMeco Ryans, the narrative from the first day was that Ryans fit better in the Eagles' 4-3 defensive scheme than the 3-4 defense the linebacker played in with the Houston Texans. One year later, the Eagles must change that narrative. Former coach Andy Reid, who cited Ryans' fit in the 4-3, was fired. Chip Kelly arrives with a new defensive scheme that will likely include elements of the 3-4. Ryans appears be one of the players hurt by the coaching change, and the Eagles are due to pay $6.6 million to a defender who might not be as effective - or on the field - as much as he was last season.
September 24, 2012 |
Like most great leaders, DeMeco Ryans doesn't want credit. He doesn't want bouquets of praise for turning the Eagles defense around. The middle linebacker doesn't believe he's the missing piece to make the wide-nine work. And despite being called "Cap" or "Coach" since high school days, Ryans doesn't think much about why others follow his lead. "There's no magic tricks," Ryans said last week. "For me, I just go out there and be myself and try to do things the right way, so guys if they see me doing it the right way then they'll be more prone to listen to what I'm saying.