September 8, 2006 |
It was so simple to see, the only real questions were: Could the Eagles get the player they wanted to bolster a defensive line that was totally ineffective in 2005? Could they land that coveted combination of skill and experience to help the line, and make better the linebackers and defensive backs? The answers were equally simple for Darren Howard: Yes, yes, yes. As much as the Eagles needed to change their line, Howard needed to change his address. Six years in New Orleans, capped off by the peripatetic existence in the nightmarish aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last season, was enough.
September 1, 2006 |
Joselio Hanson, Pat McCoy and Torrance Daniels are in. Donovan McNabb and the rest of the first-team offense and defense are out. The long preseason that began when rookies and selected veterans reported to Lehigh on July 20 finally will conclude tonight when the Eagles travel to Giants Stadium to face the New York Jets. As is the case with most NFL teams, the final preseason game is treated like a dress rehearsal - for the understudies. Coach Andy Reid said after a brief walk-through yesterday at the NovaCare Complex that the usual starters would not play.
August 21, 2006 |
Juqua Thomas had to be pulled off the bus. Normally, the Eagles defensive end dresses quickly after games and heads to the team bus with little notice. But after Thursday's 20-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, Thomas was rushed off the bus to talk to reporters about his pass-rushing skills. Entering last weekend, Thomas was leading the NFL in sacks with 4 1/2 after getting 2 1/2, all in the third quarter, against the Ravens. While his position at the top of the preseason sack board has been aided by the fact that the Eagles have played an extra game - in the Hall of Fame game against the Oakland Raiders - Thomas has still drawn notice.
August 15, 2006 |
Two of the Eagles' most star-crossed players have been told that they won't be returning to the practice field for a while, and one of them could be about to undergo career-threatening surgery. Greg Richmond, a candidate for the strong-side linebacker job at the start of training camp, is headed for the same back surgery that forced him to sit out the entire 2005 season. Equally as cursed is defensive end Jerome McDougle, the Eagles' first-round draft choice in 2003 who was limited to 19 games in his first three seasons because of various injuries and a gunshot wound that cost him all of last season.
August 12, 2006 |
Darren Howard was nervous. Not about playing in his first game in an Eagles jersey at Lincoln Financial Field or about trying to hunt down quarterbacks with Jevon Kearse. The defensive end was nervous about snapping the football. The act may seem like a relatively simple one - the position in backyard games where the least athletic player is assigned - but Howard can attest to its complications. "I felt like I was a rookie again," Howard said. "It was my first time doing that in a live situation in the NFL. I had butterflies.
August 11, 2006 |
In a game that for the longest time was begging for any semblance of a highlight, two Eagles defensive linemen provided some. And both had waited quite a long time to make big plays. The Eagles led by only 3-0 at halftime last night before the subs catapulted them to a 20-7 exhibition win over the Cleveland Browns at Lincoln Financial Field. Near the end of a less-than-enthralling first half, Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle sacked Cleveland quarterback Ken Dorsey for a 10-yard loss.
July 26, 2006 |
It was 10:30 a.m. yesterday when Eagles coach Andy Reid gathered his full squad at Lehigh University and made the announcement the fans wanted to hear. "Live," Reid barked. "Live, live, live. " That was the coach's way of saying, "Let the contact begin. " Practice at that point was nearing its second hour, but hazy sunshine and a slight breeze kept it from being one of those brutally hot days in which tempers can flare and fists can fly. On this day, there was just a clean reacquaintance with the physical demands of football.
July 21, 2006 |
Welcome to the Eagles' 2006 season. Those of you still curious about how it all went wrong in 2005 should be warned that Andy Reid isn't the person to ask. "We have put behind us the 2005 season," the Eagles' head coach declared yesterday as rookies and assorted veterans checked into camp at Lehigh University. "We have moved forward. " Forward is a fine direction for the Eagles to move in after a year of going in reverse with the accelerator glued to the floor. Moving up in the standings is the obvious goal of any last-place team.
June 4, 2006 |
You'd think he'd be angry or vengeful. Instead, he's thankful and forgiving. "I just feel lucky that I've gone through what I went through and I'm back playing football and showing no ill effects," Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle said Friday after he worked out with rookies and a small cast of veterans at the NovaCare Complex. "To go through what I went through and have no pain, it's really a miracle. That in itself is a good story. " McDougle, of course, has quite a story and a sizable abdominal scar to prove it. It's been more than 10 months since that fateful night in South Florida when four teenage gunmen approached McDougle as he sat in his silver Mercedes coupe.
April 26, 2006 |
Andy Reid liked the question for a couple of reasons. As he devoured his scrambled eggs at the NFL owners' meetings during a media breakfast late last month, the Eagles' head coach quickly grew tired of the initial subject: a certain wide receiver who no longer works in Philadelphia. When someone changed the subject to the Eagles' offensive line, the coach perked up. "That's a good question, because that's where you win and lose your games," Reid said. Reid isn't just speaking in cliches when he talks about his offensive and defensive linemen.