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.
November 5, 2013 |
OAKLAND, Calif. - Terrelle Pryor does not like to be called a running quarterback. On Sunday afternoon, however, the Eagles defense made sure that label stuck. The Eagles kept the Oakland QB on the run throughout their 49-20 victory over the Raiders at the O.co Coliseum. They forced the pocket to collapse up front, sending Pryor scrambling to avoid being sacked. They blanketed the Raiders receivers in the secondary, taking away his downfield options and forcing Pryor to do much of Oakland's legwork.
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.
November 12, 2013 |
GREEN BAY, Wis. - With one tiny word, Fletcher Cox may have spoken for everyone inside the Eagles locker room. Cox, the Eagles' mammoth defensive end, had just helped his team cruise past Green Bay, 27-13, Sunday afternoon. He was asked about Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien, the man his team had vanquished. "Who?" Cox said. Who is right. Tolzien entered the game having thrown zero - that's right, zero - NFL passes. Heck, Tolzien had been active just three times in his three-year career, and in each of those, he never put down the clipboard.
August 2, 2013 |
DeMeco Ryans said he did not think Riley Cooper's racial slur, caught on video and posted online Wednesday, would rip apart an Eagles team that includes several new players, many of them African American. "I don't think it will fracture the team," the linebacker said. Most of the players who spoke after Cooper addressed the team and apologized at the NovaCare Complex had been teammates of the wide receiver for the last three seasons. "Most of the ones that know me, which excludes the rookies coming in, they know the kind of person I am," said Cooper, who was fined by the team.
August 10, 2012 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - It's time for football, as defensive end Trent Cole said. While the Eagles will play with heavy hearts Thursday night, the show must go on. The Eagles open the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field just four days after Andy Reid's son, Garrett, was found dead. After fans warmly greet him and the Eagles honor his son, Reid will get his first opportunity to see the team he has assembled for 2012 in game action. The starters will play only a quarter, but there will be more to watch as the coach begins the process of whittling his roster from 90 to 53 before the start of the regular season.
April 5, 2013 |
HE CAME HERE to be the glue, to pull together a disjointed defense that had underperformed the year before because of a perceived softness and a lack of leadership. Of the muted criticisms aimed at DeMeco Ryans from time to time, softness or lack of leadership were never among them. He was tough, he could tackle, and he wasn't afraid to talk. None of that, as it turned out, was enough to save the Philadelphia Eagles' defense from itself last season. Whether it was early under the big-play susceptible schemes of Juan Castillo, or later under the more erratic tenure of Todd Bowles, Ryans' hopeful midweek messages to his team and fans began to sound more and more like the rantings of Monty Python's "Black Knight" as November became December, still uttering bravado even when no limbs remained.
December 5, 2013 |
THE BIGGEST difference between the Eagles' 2012 defense and this one, the group that hasn't allowed more than 21 points in any of its last eight games, just might be Connor Barwin. It's a little hard to isolate a single factor, when a team changes schemes, coordinators, cornerbacks, and other stuff, but, hey, the Eagles host the Lions on Sunday. Barwin is from the Detroit area, he has an outline of the Motor City skyline tattooed on the inside of his right biceps. Plus, defensive coordinator Bill Davis set the table for us nicely yesterday.
September 17, 2012 |
Mychal Kendricks said he didn't know what Ray Rice looked like without his helmet on. It almost ruined the joke. Still, when the Eagles linebacker realized that the picture stuck to the bicep of one of his Eagles teammates was Rice - along with Kendricks name scrawled by it - the rookie got the message. "It was kind of like they were calling me out," Kendricks said of his teammates. "Like, 'Look, this is who you're going to have to go against.' " Kendricks said he laughed at the bit, which occurred Saturday night at the Airport Marriott as the Eagles held their final meetings before Sunday's game.
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?