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August 28, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Staff Writer
THE GUY WHO is going to make you forget about DeSean Jackson this season isn't Jeremy Maclin or Riley Cooper or even rookie Jordan Matthews. The guy who is going to make you forget about Jackson isn't even a wide receiver. He's a tight end. He's Zach Ertz. He's not Jimmy Graham. Yet. He'a not Jason Witten or Rob Gronkowski. Yet. And while you might think I'm jumping the gun mentioning somebody who has played only 459 NFL snaps in the same breath with three of the most dangerous pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, Ertz has that kind of ability, that kind of upside.
NEWS
July 19, 1996 | For The Inquirer / BILL CAIN
Enjoying the NFL Experience, Kerri Kappler, 8, of Levittown, kicks a ball at the Eagles' training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. The interactive football event offers nine activities to try.
SPORTS
August 25, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lacking a true position battle for months, the Eagles have less than a week to figure out whether they have a kicker on their roster or if they will have to look elsewhere to fill a thankless position that teams sometimes overlook until it's too late. A series of decisions that stretches back to drafting Alex Henery has the Eagles crossing their fingers that he will find his nerve, or Cody Parkey will be the exception to the rule about rookie kickers, or some better option will drop into their laps.
SPORTS
August 26, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Every player is available for the right price, but quarterbacks are at a premium, even backups like Mark Sanchez. The St. Louis Rams need a starting quarterback after they officially learned on Sunday that Sam Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury. Sanchez, in light of his strong preseason with the Eagles and his previous working relationship with Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, has been mentioned as a possible target. If St. Louis comes calling, the Eagles should ask for at least a conditional third-round draft pick.
SPORTS
August 24, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles were already uncertain about their kicking situation before Thursday's preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is even more concern after Alex Henery missed a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, bruising his tenuous grip on the kicker spot. "I've got to be better," Henery said minutes after the home game. "It will probably ruin my night, but I'll wake up tomorrow ready to go, and get those [bad kicks] out of there, and get myself ready for the next one. " It's reasonable to wonder how many next ones Henery will get. He made a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter, plus three regular extra points, and he connected on nine 33-yard extra points in the previous two preseason games.
SPORTS
August 28, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
SUDDENLY, Lane Johnson is looking at his last game action until October. Johnson, the fourth overall selection in the 2013 entry draft, will sit out the Eagles' first four games after testing positive for a banned substance. He can't be around the team practice facility from Monday until Sept. 29, the day after the Birds play game No. 4, at San Francisco. "I've put some thought into it," Johnson acknowledged yesterday. Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he didn't know how much Johnson would play in tomorrow night's preseason finale against the visiting New York Jets.
SPORTS
August 27, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Staff Writer
WITH A FEW notable exceptions, pass rushing historically has been a young man's game. In the last three years, a total of 58 edge rushers - 4-3 defensive ends and 3-4 outside linebackers - have recorded 10 or more sacks in a season. Just seven of those 58 were 32 or older when they did it. Late Hall of Famer Reggie White put up 12 sacks at 34 and 11 at 36 and 16 at 37. Fellow Cantonite Bruce Smith had 84 sacks after his 32nd birthday. Kevin Greene recorded 15 sacks when he was 36 and 12 more when he was 37 before retiring.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Les Bowen, Daily News Staff Writer
THE LAST several days in the Eagles' locker room, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of tonight's final preseason game, against the visiting Jets. It isn't important to the starters, who won't be playing, or to the key reserves, who if they have to play tonight, can only hope not to get hurt, 10 days before the season opener. But it is important to the guys on the roster bubble, as the cutdown from 75 to 53 by Saturday looms large, and to the ones who have little hope of making the Eagles.
SPORTS
August 15, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Marcus Smith had 14 1/2 sacks last year at Louisville, which was the second in the country. Got most of them the same way most successful college edge-rushers get their sacks: by using his speed to beat the offensive tackle with an outside rush. It hasn't taken the Eagles' first-round pick long, though, to realize his 4.6 speed won't be enough to regularly get him to the quarterback in the NFL. "I've come to realize that speed, in the NFL, doesn't work as good as it did in college," Smith said yesterday after spending 2 hours in the pouring rain jousting with the Patriots' offensive linemen.
SPORTS
August 23, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
A little more than 10 minutes remained in the first half of the Eagles' first preseason game of the summer that included both of coach Chip Kelly's starting wide receivers. All was well. The offense was firing on all cylinders against the Pittsburgh Steelers, even after LeSean McCoy left with a benign thumb ailment. The Eagles scored touchdowns on two of their first three possessions, with quarterback Nick Foles spreading the ball to his multitude of weapons. There were third-down throws to Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, the aforementioned starting receivers, for first downs.
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SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Staff Writer
DON'T BE FOOLED, because this contest is neither fair nor balanced. The battle for the job as the Eagles' third-string quarterback is not there for G.J. Kinne to win. It is there for Matt Barkley to lose. There is a reason why Barkley, the second-year hurler who was drafted in the fourth round of 2013 draft out of Southern California, was named as the starter for tonight's preseason finale against the New York Jets before practice this week had begun. "This is a really good opportunity for [Barkley]
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Safety became associated with a lot of four-letter words to Eagles fans that March day in 2009 when the team let its most beloved player sign as a free agent with the Denver Broncos. What the - insert your own four-letter word here - were they thinking when they let Brian Dawkins leave? When the - again, use the four-letter word of your choice - are the Eagles going to find a replacement for Dawkins? This is the Eagles' sixth season without Dawkins, who is retired and being paid to express his NFL opinions on ESPN.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lane Johnson will start at right tackle in the Eagles' preseason finale against the New York Jets on Thursday, just as he did all of last season. The difference is none of the other starting linemen will be playing with him. And shortly after the game, Johnson will fly to Dallas, where he will stay for the next month. Johnson was suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension was a major blow to the Eagles, who were relying on Johnson at right tackle.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles have one more preseason game and two days before they must trim their roster from 75 to 53 by Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline. Here's one beat reporter's early predictions: Quarterbacks (3): Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley. There had been some speculation that G.J. Kinne could beat out Barkley for the final spot, or that the Eagles could carry only two quarterbacks. But Barkley solidified his No. 3 standing after a rough spring, and Kinne is probably once again practice-squad fodder.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Les Bowen, Daily News Staff Writer
THE LAST several days in the Eagles' locker room, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of tonight's final preseason game, against the visiting Jets. It isn't important to the starters, who won't be playing, or to the key reserves, who if they have to play tonight, can only hope not to get hurt, 10 days before the season opener. But it is important to the guys on the roster bubble, as the cutdown from 75 to 53 by Saturday looms large, and to the ones who have little hope of making the Eagles.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
IF YOU THINK Michael Vick is ticked off at Riley Cooper well . . . think again. The Jets' quarterback downplayed an ESPN.com report that quoted him as being annoyed that Cooper didn't seem grateful that Vick helped smooth over the Eagles wide receiver's N-word controversy. According to Vick spokesman Chris Shigas, Vick spoke with Cooper yesterday afternoon and they are "all good. " In fact, Vick said he will greet Cooper when they meet at tonight's preseason finale at the Linc.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
Buddy Ryan coached and lived in Philadelphia for five years, long enough for his son, Rex, to understand that, despite all the stereotypes to the contrary, the core of the city's sports culture isn't bitterness. It's sentimentality. So Rex Ryan, the New York Jets' head coach, did an interesting thing Thursday night in an otherwise uninteresting football game: He started Michael Vick at quarterback and left him in for one play. Vick took the field, pantomimed throwing the football once, and handed the ball off to running back Daryl Richardson.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Barkley did not create a backup quarterback controversy in his first start in an Eagles uniform. But if the 37-7 win over the New York Jets in the preseason finale Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field was an opportunity for the Eagles to measure the progress of the 2013 fourth-round pick, they can be encouraged by his improvement. The Eagles sat almost every starter and a few top reserves, leaving the game mostly for determining the final spots on the 53-man roster before it must be set Saturday at 4 p.m. "[Friday]
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alex Henery thought he was going to kick, and then he wasn't. It was his turn in the field-goal rotation with competitor Cody Parkey, and the Eagles were about to attempt a 53-yarder Thursday night. But as Henery, with helmet on, prepared to walk onto the field, special-teams coach Dave Fipp held him back. Parkey ran past both onto the field and stroked a kick that sailed through the uprights for his second 50-yard-plus field goal in the Eagles' preseason finale win over the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chris Polk did not play in the preseason finale Thursday against the New York Jets despite his hopes to make his debut. The running back has dealt with a hamstring injury since July 28. He returned to practice this week and estimated that he would be at 80 percent for the game. When the Eagles took the field, Polk was not even in uniform. The injury complicates his spot on the team. The Eagles had expected Polk to be their No. 3 running back behind LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles when training camp started.
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