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SPORTS
August 25, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Barkley will finally start for the Eagles. It will be the fourth preseason game, and he'll be surrounded by second-team players, but the former Southern California standout will start at quarterback for the first time since the Eagles made him an unexpected selection in the 2013 draft. Eagles coach Chip Kelly announced Saturday that he will keep No. 1 quarterback Nick Foles and backup Mark Sanchez sidelined in Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Jets, creating the opportunity for Barkley.
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 25, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles released 14 players on Saturday, including three who were on the 53-man roster at times last season and one 2013 draft pick. Linebacker Jake Knott, wide receiver B.J. Cunningham, and tight end Emil Igwenagu were all let go despite spending time with the team last year. Defensive lineman Joe Kruger, a 2013 seventh-round pick who spent last season on the practice squad, did not make the team. Former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva also was cut after trying to make the Eagles as a defensive lineman.
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 24, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The addition of Kenjon Barner only complicates the Eagles' running back situation, which will require difficult choices when the roster is cut to 53 on Aug. 30. Barner, a former Oregon standout acquired from the Panthers on Wednesday, is one of six running backs on the roster. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles are the only locks. Chris Polk was well positioned at the start of camp, but a torn hamstring has kept him out of the preseason and most of camp. Polk expects to return to practice this weekend, and he'll find a crowded backfield.
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.
SPORTS
August 23, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
By the time the second half of the Eagles' 31-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers started on Thursday night, Nick Foles was wearing a baseball cap and studying the game on a tablet. His evening was complete. It was the same for the rest of the starters. Coach Chip Kelly took his top players out after their two best quarters this month. Preseason games can be unconvincing and deceiving, but they provide glimpses on the way to the regular season. And the outlook of Eagles fans may have understandably improved from alarmed (after the preseason opener)
SPORTS
August 23, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
August 23, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
LeSean McCoy left the Eagles preseason game against the Steelers on Thursday night with a right-thumb injury after scoring a first-quarter touchdown. X-rays were negative. The Pro Bowl running back returned to the sideline with his hand wrapped but did not reenter the game. McCoy finished the game with four carries for 24 yards and two receptions for 26 yards, including a flare pass for the 22-yard touchdown. The Eagles avoided a major injury when wide receiver Jeremy Maclin slipped to the ground without being hit after making a cut and immediately grabbed his right knee.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles acquired kicker Cody Parkey from the Colts on Wednesday for running back David Fluellen. Parkey was waived Tuesday night and Fluellen was waived Wednesday morning, although they were exchanged instead before waivers processed at 4 p.m. Parkey, a 22-year-old rookie from Auburn, is 2 for 2 on field goals this preseason with a longest of 45 yards. His strength appears to be kickoffs, and he led college football with 69 touchbacks last season. Parkey was 15 of 21 on field goals as a senior, including 5 of 6 from 40 to 49 yards and 1 of 4 from beyond 50 yards.
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