September 22, 2014 |
DeMeco Ryans was born and raised in Bessemer, Ala., a small industrial town in the center of the state. Its namesake invented a process to mass-produce steel, but it's perhaps best known now as the birthplace of Bo Jackson. When people talk about the child-abuse charges filed in Texas against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, about a culture that could empower a father to strike the inside of his 4-year-old son's legs with a tree branch until they bled, Bessemer is the kind of place they mean, where a boy's roughest justice could come at the hands of a parent.
October 8, 2014 |
It does not sound as if Eagles coach Chip Kelly plans to make a change at cornerback in the starting lineup. "No," Kelly said about the possibility, before pointing out that slot cornerback Brandon Boykin played all 26 snaps in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 34-28 win over the St. Louis Rams. The undersize cornerback is mentioned most often as a candidate to replace Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams on the outside. With the Rams needing to pass their way back into the game, the Eagles used nickel and dime formations exclusively in the fourth quarter.
September 11, 2014 |
THE EAGLES, who didn't have to place anyone on injured reserve once the season started in 2013, definitely aren't going to be able to say that this time. One game into the 2014 slate, the team announced that right tackle Allen Barbre and reserve linebacker Najee Goode are going on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season. Pro Bowl left guard Evan Mathis is going on IR designated for return, with a torn left MCL, meaning he can practice again in 6 weeks and play in 8, presumably Nov. 10 against Carolina.
September 19, 2014 |
IT SEEMS likely that Marcus Smith's first snaps in the Eagles' defense will come at inside linebacker, quite possibly Sunday, when the Birds host the Washington Redskins. Smith was drafted last spring in the first round, 26th overall, because the team liked his potential as a pass rusher. But the former quarterback's lack of an extensive background in that area has been a problem, probably a bigger problem than the brain trust figured on when it decided to take him on as a project.
March 28, 2012 |
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Eagles have room to add another defensive tackle, with free agents Derek Landri and Trevor Laws still unsigned. Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Antonio Dixon, and Cedric Thornton are under contract, but the Eagles carried five defensive tackles last season. Thornton, an undrafted rookie, could be expendable. The Eagles could be targeting one of a number of attractive defensive tackles in the first round of next month's draft. General manager Howie Roseman agreed that it is a position of strength in the draft.
April 21, 2012 |
When the Eagles traded for DeMeco Ryans, the feeling of relief and excitement among fans was palpable. The team had picked up a name linebacker. Finally. But the big move doesn't necessarily mean the Eagles solved the linebacker problems that were so plain and painful to see last season. Ryans is a two-time Pro Bowler and renowned leader, but after an Achilles tear in 2010 he wasn't the same player in 2011. The Eagles are optimistic about his health and returning him to the 4-3 system in which he excelled, but even if he returns to form, the team might need insurance and definitely needs an upgrade at outside linebacker.
September 8, 2012 |
There's been a merry-go-round at linebacker for the Eagles over the last few seasons, but the team made efforts this offseason to make it stop with the acquisitions of DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks. It might start spinning again on Sunday in Cleveland. Kendricks said Thursday after practice that the coaches had each of the Eagles' six linebackers practicing in various alignments in several packages on defense. "I would expect for all of us to be playing because that's what we're game-planning with," said Kendricks, who is expected to start at the strong side.
March 26, 2013 |
Looking to improve a punting game that has been lacking, the Eagles signed two-time all-pro punter Donnie Jones to a one-year contract after his former team, the Texans, signed Shane Lechler to a deal on Friday. The addition of Jones led to the release of Mat McBriar. Signed by the Eagles during training camp last summer, cut before the season, and then brought back in September, McBriar never fully rebounded from offseason foot surgery and finished tied for last in the NFL in net punting average.
October 22, 2013 |
In a drastic departure, the Eagles defense had to answer questions about picking up the offense after yet another downer at Lincoln Financial Field. While it wasn't enough to stop their inexplicable home skid, or from preventing Dallas from taking over first place in the NFC East, the Eagles defense held its own during Sunday's 17-3 loss to the visiting Cowboys. The Eagles (3-4) have now lost a franchise-record nine consecutive home games, but this one was more the fault of the offense, whose lone score was set up by the defense.
March 22, 2012 |
Omar Gaither, Stewart Bradley, Joe Mays, Akeem Jordan, Chris Gocong, Will Witherspoon, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Jeremiah Trotter 3.0 . . . DeMeco Ryans? Have the Eagles finally found, after five seasons of impostors, their savior at middle linebacker? After the Eagles bagged Ryans in a trade with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, reaction from the team's fans has been overwhelmingly positive. Much of the excitement has to do with Ryans, of course. But underneath it all has been the blue-collar city's desperation for a savior at the most blue-collar of positions.