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SPORTS
October 11, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles' offensive and defensive coordinators both hold news conferences on Tuesdays. When defensive coordinator Bill Davis came to the lectern this week, he asked why Dave Fipp doesn't get his time in front of the cameras. Fipp oversees what is the Eagles' best unit right now: special teams. The Eagles have four special-teams touchdowns this season, including three in the last two games. Davis wanted Fipp to receive credit, and a collection of bottom-of-the-roster players who are used to remaining relatively anonymous have entered the spotlight this week.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marcus Smith stays off Twitter and Instagram to avoid the criticism he may receive from fans, but he can't always evade his family. "I got uncles that are really passionate about football," the Eagles linebacker said. "They see me do something wrong in the game, they'll send me a text and try to correct it. Sometimes I don't text back. " Smith is already under enough pressure. Drafted in the first round by the Eagles, the rookie has played sparingly in his first five games and only because of injuries.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chip Kelly has insisted since the Eagles acquired Darren Sproles that he views him first as a rusher, not just a running back who catches passes. That doesn't mean the Eagles need to forget about Sproles as a pass catcher, though. Sproles was not targeted with a pass in Sunday's win. He was targeted on at least 9 percent of the Eagles' passes in the first four games of the season. There has been a sharp decline from Week 2, when 19 percent of the passes went in his direction. The reason is that opponents do not necessarily view Sproles the same way Kelly does, and have played him more as a pass catcher than as a rusher.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles do not know who their starting inside linebackers will be for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. Ryans has a groin injury and Kendricks continues to miss time because of a calf injury. Ryans sounded optimistic that he would play when he spoke to reporters Tuesday. He has not missed a game since he arrived in Philadelphia in 2012. "I hope [he plays], but I don't know," coach Chip Kelly said. "If there is one guy that I wouldn't count out of anything, it would be DeMeco.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | By Les Bowen, Daily News Staff Writer
WHAT YOU SAW the Eagles' defense doing in the second half last Sunday against the Rams? That's pretty much the opposite of what you should see this week against the Giants. We're not really talking here about the nearly-blowing-a-27-point-lead part. A 27-point lead is unlikely against a Giants team that has won three in a row, all by double digits. And we can't really guarantee that the surrendering-a-bunch-of-yards-and-points part won't happen again, either. In the Eagles, we have the NFL's 28th-ranked defense, 24th against the rush, 29th against the pass, a group that has given up big plays with alarming frequency.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
WHEN LESEAN MCCOY ran away with the NFL rushing title last season, nearly three-quarters of his rushing yards came out of what generally is considered a passing formation. McCoy gained 1,155 of his 1,607 rushing yards in 11 personnel - three-wide receiver formations with one tight end and one running back. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry as the Eagles spread defenses out, forced them into nickel with their passing prowess and then let McCoy do his thing behind the league's most athletic offensive line.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
IT WAS in the spring of 2012 that Brandon Graham declared himself a bust. The Eagles' 2010 first-round pick was weary from sparring, on Twitter and elsewhere, with fans angry with him for not being Earl Thomas or Jason Pierre-Paul, two future Pro Bowl defensive players who were on the board when the Birds traded up to pick Graham 13th overall that year. So during OTAs that May, after 2 years in which a serious knee injury and its aftermath limited him to 16 games, Graham said he would wear the "bust" label, use it as motivation.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
DEMECO RYANS again didn't practice yesterday, with what he indicated was a groin strain, suffered after he took a helmet to the groin and initially kept playing Sunday against the Rams. The Eagles' middle linebacker - "the alpha male among us," according to potential replacement Emmanuel Acho - said he's still hopeful of playing Sunday night against the Giants. With the other inside linebacker, Mychal Kendricks, almost certainly out through next week's bye with a calf strain, the Eagles' defense might be in dire straits against a Giants offense that has averaged 35 points per game in winning three in a row, following an 0-2 start.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Staff Writer
CHIP KELLY was not taking a jab at Sixers president/general manager Sam Hinkie. Considering how involved Kelly is in preparing the Eagles for Sunday's huge NFC East matchup with the New York Giants, I'd be surprised if he even realized the Sixers had their second preseason game last night. Kelly was simply responding to a question about whether he emphasized playing higher draft picks when he said, "No, the emphasis is winning each week. "If I'm going to groom a guy because he's going to be a good player 2 or 3 years down the road, I ain't going to be here 2 or 3 years down the road.
NEWS
October 10, 2014
WORD HAS IT that the ever-so-talented Terrence Howard was being considered to star in the movie version of the life of the late Philadelphia civil-rights leader Cecil B. Moore . But that was before the powers that be in Hollywood backed away amid concerns about Howard's messy personal life. Two of his ex-wives have alleged that Howard, who co-starred in films such as "The Butler" and "Iron Man," physically abused them. In light of heightened sensitivities stemming from the headlines surrounding the NFL's Ray Rice domestic-abuse scandal, some involved with the project were nervous about moving forward with Howard.
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