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SPORTS
August 12, 2016 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
THE EAGLES were not a good football team last year. I'm leading with that in an attempt to pre-empt the sort of reaction that tends to follow the next sentence I'm about to write. See, while the Eagle weren't a good football team, they also weren't a horrible football team. At least not relative to the rest of the league. Oh, they were horrible in some respects. Many, even. But the reality is, they went 7-9 and easily could have gone 8-8 or even 9-7. A two-point loss to the Falcons, a three-point loss to the Redskins, a one-point loss to the Dolphins . . . the Eagles held fourth-quarter leads in all three.
SPORTS
August 12, 2016 | By Les Bowen, Staff Writer
CARSON WENTZ drifted in like an unexpected tease of a breeze on a muggy, sluggish night. The heat index at kickoff was a nice, round 100 degrees. The sun had fled, but South Philly hadn't cooled off all that much when the Eagles' rookie quarterback took the field with a minute and 18 seconds left in the first half of Thursday's preseason opener, ultimately a 17-9 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Bucs. When Wentz jogged into the huddle, wearing a white No. 11 jersey and a black pressure sleeve on his throwing arm, the Birds led, 14-6.
SPORTS
August 12, 2016
WHEN YOU enter the NFL, you leave your college stats and YouTube highlights at the door. What you did before carries no weight here. Maybe it got you drafted a little higher, maybe it didn't. Maybe it got you a bigger signing bonus, maybe it didn't. And maybe it'll get you a slightly longer look from the coaches, and maybe it won't. Ultimately, whether you're a first-round pick or an undrafted free agent, it comes down to taking advantage of your opportunities and proving you belong.
SPORTS
August 12, 2016 | By Marcus Hayes, Daily News Columnist
IT WASN'T a disaster. The bus didn't catch fire. Nobody missed the game. Plays were called, and run; there was not a single delay-of-game penalty. Maybe Doug Pederson really is more a Mike Holmgren disciple than an Andy Reid guy. Pederson, of course, played under Holmgren and Reid in Green Bay, followed Reid to Philadelphia in 1999 to hold a place for Donovan McNabb, eventually retired, became a high school coach, an Eagles low-level assistant under Reid before ascending to quarterbacks coach, then was part of the Reid exodus to Kansas City as offensive coordinator before the Eagles hired him in January to replace Chip Kelly.
SPORTS
August 12, 2016 | By Marcus Hayes, STAFF WRITER
IN A refreshingly unexpected exhibition of candor seldom seen in the NFL, coach Doug Pederson acknowledged the elephant in the room. The elephant was his elephantine right tackle, 6-6, 317-pound Lane Johnson, who, indirectly, Pederson confirmed is facing a 10-game suspension for violating the policy for performing-enhancing drugs for a second time in three years. Pederson said that the Eagles are making contingency plans to replace Johnson if his B sample comes back dirty and his appeal is denied.
SPORTS
August 12, 2016 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
A FOOTBALL TEAM is not a democracy, so the folks in the seats might not have a say. Still, by the end of Carson Wentz's Eagles debut on Thursday night, you had the sense that it was going to be awfully hard to get anybody in this town excited about a team quarterbacked by anybody else. Maybe that doesn't matter to the guy who actually makes those decisions. But coaches are made out of the same stuff as the rest of us, and you have to wonder how long Doug Pederson is going to be able to ignore the part of his mind that is joining in the chorus.
SPORTS
August 11, 2016 | By Zach Berman and Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writers
Eagles tackle Lane Johnson on Tuesday denied a report that he will be suspended for 10 games for a second violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing-drug policy. But several news outlets say he faces a suspension, and Johnson reportedly admitted that he tested positive for a substance he believed to be approved for use. Johnson's agent, Ken Sarnoff, said in a statement that they are aware of the report but that "Lane has not been suspended, and any report to the contrary is false.
SPORTS
August 11, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
The Eagles will open their preseason schedule Thursday without 10 players, including four projected starters. Coach Doug Pederson announced Tuesday that left tackle Jason Peters, safety Malcolm Jenkins, wide receiver Jordan Matthews, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, defensive linemen Mike Martin and Marcus Smith, running back Wendell Smallwood, and receivers Hunter Sharp and Marcus Johnson will all be sidelined with injuries suffered during training camp....
SPORTS
August 11, 2016 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
MYKE TAVARRES has a tattoo on his arm that reads: "If you do not try, then you do not do. And if you do not do, then why are you here?" His high school wrestling coach in Lake Oswego, Ore., used to recite the line before big matches. Tavarres was inspired enough by it to inscribe it on his body. I probably would've just written it on a Post-It note, but that's me. "This quote has gotten me through everything," he said. There's not much Tavarres has been reluctant to try, and very little he's failed at. He was a three-sport star in high school (football, wrestling, track)
SPORTS
August 11, 2016 | By Les Bowen, STAFF WRITER
EAGLES TRAINING camp was going along a bit too quietly. No long-term, major injuries to key personnel. No contract disputes. No visible friction between Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. Then came news Tuesday alleging another positive drug test for standout right tackle Lane Johnson, from local radio personality Darren DeGaetano. Johnson first denied to the Daily News that he was being suspended, but he later spoke with Fox's Jay Glazer, who tweeted that Johnson is awaiting B-sample results from a drug test indicating the presence of banned peptides - amino acid compounds that can help build muscle and burn fat. Since Johnson already has served a four-game suspension for PED use in 2014, if he is suspended again, he'll miss 10 games.
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