August 6, 2013 |
Asked to name his football favorites, Mychal Kendricks aimed high. "I like to hit quarterbacks," the Eagles inside linebacker said, "and I like to intercept balls and take them for six. " Kendricks didn't do much of either last year as a rookie. The fault was hardly his alone. The Eagles seemed to play away from his skill set in 2012. They barely pass rushed the speedy linebacker, and for most of the season, they had the undersized Kendricks line up on the strong side opposite the tight end. The plan for this season, or at least in the general terms the Eagles have sketched out, is to utilize Kendricks' freakish athleticism.
August 6, 2013 |
If the Eagles are looking for a leader on defense, or at least one to assist linebacker DeMeco Ryans, Connor Barwin may be as good a candidate as any starter. Barwin, 26, could even have a more prominent leadership role than Ryans because the outside linebacker is likely to play all three downs. Ryans could come off the field in the nickel defense, and it's difficult to lead from the sideline. As stable as Ryans can be, he could not right the Eagles' sinking ship last season.
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.
May 25, 2013 |
Part Eight of an online-only series. Here is a look at the inside linebackers on the Eagles roster: Projected first team DeMeco Ryans (6-foot-1, 247 pounds), 28 years old, 8th season; Mychal Kendricks (6-0, 240), 22, 2nd season When the Eagles acquired Ryans in March 2012, one of their stated reasons for his decline in production in his final season with the Houston Texans was the team's move to a 3-4 defense. The Eagles felt Ryans was a natural 4-3 linebacker.
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.
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.
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.
February 1, 2013 |
THE EAGLES have been slow to join the 3-4 defense party, but it sounds as if they are headed that way under new coach Chip Kelly. As everything continues to remain a state secret, we are only going to find out when we find out. But with more and more teams headed that way, there seems to be an unstated-but-growing consensus in the NFL that the 3-4 gives you more options against the variety of wide-open offensive attacks that are now the standard....
November 27, 2012
Up-Down Drill Nick Foles In a season full of disappointment, the latest has been back-to-back uninspiring performances from the rookie quarterback. Any evaluation on Foles' future has to come with the caveat of playing behind a rotten line. But he has not looked like the answer to the Eagles' quarterback problem. Bryce Brown Given the opportunity to log more carries, Brown was amazing and, well, not amazing. The running back set a franchise record for rushing yards in a game by a rookie, but he also fumbled twice.
November 21, 2012
DOMINIQUE Rodgers-Cromartie might not be a man of letters, but he is a man of the world. He peers through orange glasses, his fashion sense and his common sense unclouded by pesky lenses. He observes, and he reports. Sunday evening, DRC's geek-chic getup belied his frankness: "I've seen it many times in this league: Guys pull themselves out for personal reasons. They don't want to get hurt, or whatever. You see them go on the field, their heads down, saying, 'Aw, [shoot], here we go.' " The Eagles had just suffered their sixth loss in a row, their worst run under Andy Reid.