November 10, 2014
THE PICK After watching some of yesterday's NFL action, I'm starting to think that maybe Cam Newton throws five touchdown passes to Jason Avant tonight, runs for another 200 yards and the Panthers roll to victory. But I guess ridiculous results elsewhere (Really, Steelers? You were my best bet this week. Thanks a bunch.) won't really have anything to do with what happens on the field tonight, and I just don't see the Panthers winning without a ton of Mark Sanchez turnovers. Carolina came into the weekend with the league's 26th-ranked run defense.
June 24, 2014 |
"Dominate the state" became Penn State football's new catchphrase in January almost immediately after coach James Franklin ended his first news conference. The three words were printed on T-shirts and hats. Franklin said his plan was to command Pennsylvania's recruiting scene. And it proved to be more than coach-speak - the Nittany Lions' 2015 recruiting class is ranked fourth in the nation by Rivals.com. Temple's second-year coach, Matt Rhule, said the phrase belittles Pennsylvania's other colleges.
May 2, 2014 |
WHEN THE safety position came up, reporters covering Howie Roseman's annual predraft media briefing yesterday heard a lot about Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff and even Chris Maragos, but not so much about available prospects. The upshot seemed to be, don't have your heart set on a first-round safety. Or maybe on any kind of safety, though the May 8-10 draft is supposed to be one of the deepest ever. "In terms of the safety class, I don't think it's a good group overall," the Eagles' general manager said.
February 25, 2014 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Figuring out whom the Eagles may target in free agency, especially at safety, requires ingenuity, projection, and mostly guesswork, since every team at the NFL combine has made a concerted effort to keep its plans under wraps. But with as many as four of their safeties unlikely to return for 2014, the Eagles are expected to address a position that has plagued them - and so many other teams around the NFL. And knowing where they went wrong over the last five years could help narrow the field.
August 31, 2013 |
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - In 11 days, the game will count. In the meantime, the Eagles needed to play the final preseason game - one reserved for the reserves, and one in which the only benefit is more tickets sold and more information about backup players. One backup is Nick Foles, the second-year player who entered the summer in a quarterback competition and could not beat out Michael Vick. Foles struggled in the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the New York Jets to drop the Eagles to 2-2 in the preseason, although his offensive linemen and pass catchers did little to help.
April 29, 2013 |
The Eagles added four defensive backs in free agency, but none that can be considered slam dunk starters. So there was a feeling entering the draft that Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman were going to address the secondary fairly early in the process. In the end, though, the Eagles waited until the third day before they added North Carolina State safety Earl Wolff in the fifth round and Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer in the seventh. While Kelly said they selected prospects with grades higher than where they were drafted, not many fifth- or seventh-round players project as starters.
April 15, 2013 |
In 2004, the Eagles started Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis at safety. Both reached the Pro Bowl. Both were also second-round picks - Dawkins in 1996, Lewis in 2002. Those picks were the highest the Eagles allocated on a safety since Jesse Campbell in 1991, and the Eagles' evaluations proved to be correct. Replacing them has been an ongoing issue. Other than Quintin Mikell, who was a four-year starter and one-time Pro Bowler, the position has been a revolving door in Philadelphia.
March 8, 2013 |
The stars have aligned. The Eagles need starting safeties - again. More than a handful of proven starters are waiting to be snatched up in free agency. And the Eagles have more than enough salary-cap space to sign one of the top talents. Does that mean the Eagles will chase Dashon Goldson, William Moore, or Glover Quin? Not necessarily. They do have a number of holes to fill. General manager Howie Roseman and coach Chip Kelly recently reiterated their belief that splurging in free agency is not the way to build a championship-caliber squad.
February 26, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS - No part of the Eagles roster is expected to undergo as much of an overhaul this offseason as the secondary, with uncertainty reigning at the cornerback and safety positions. There will be opportunity for the Eagles to address those needs in the draft, particularly in the middle rounds. This is an abnormally strong class of safeties - one that Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery said includes five or six potential starters, and one that has more quality than NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock can ever remember.
February 22, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Statistics don't always tell the whole story, but they tell more than enough of it as far as the play of the 2012 Eagles' secondary is concerned. The Birds gave up 33 touchdown passes, which not only was the most in the league, but also the most in franchise history. Their eight interceptions were the third fewest in the league. Their 99.6 opponent passer rating was the second-worst in the NFL and their 104.7 third-down opponent passer rating was the bottom of the barrel.