July 19, 1996 |
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.
August 25, 2014 |
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.
August 20, 2014 |
The Eagles had been handling Marcus Smith with first-round draft pick gloves - the type of cradling a team gives a No. 1 selection who isn't expected to start right away. But the team had surely hoped Smith would contribute and play a part-time role this season. However, after Friday night's preseason loss to the Patriots, the Eagles have taken the gloves off. Chip Kelly was critical of Smith, saying, "If you're going to play that many plays [the second-highest total on defense]
August 26, 2014 |
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.
August 24, 2014 |
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.
August 15, 2014 |
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.
August 27, 2014 |
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.
August 23, 2014 |
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.
August 21, 2014 |
There are all types of wide receivers. Tall ones. Short ones. Fast ones. Not as fast ones. Strong ones. Not as strong ones. Receivers with great hands. Who run great routes. Who have great body control. Most are some combination of the above. Asked to name what kind of receiver would benefit most from the NFL-mandated emphasis on illegal contact downfield, the Eagles varied in their answers. Some said the restrictions on pass defenders would equally aid all receivers. But if a specific sort was cited, aside from the ideal and rare of "big and fast, it was quicker receivers who aren't as physical.
August 23, 2014 |
If the first two preseason games weren't enough to declare the Eagles defense a disaster in waiting, then Thursday night's steadier outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn't enough to pronounce the unit cured of all its issues. But there has been one constant through the preseason, and that has been the performance of linebacker Mychal Kendricks. In the opener against the Bears, he had good coverage as a pass defender. A week later vs. the Patriots, he was a disruptive run stopper.