June 10, 2015 |
BRANDON GRAHAM'S advice to Marcus Smith is simple. "I told him to stay off social media," Graham said yesterday after an Eagles OTA session. "That B-word hurts. " The "B-word" is "bust," as in first-round bust, the label Graham was careening toward his first three seasons after the Eagles moved up to draft him 13th overall in 2010. The heat was turned on when Graham had to miss most of 2011 with a knee injury, and also every time Seattle safety Earl Thomas made another huge play.
June 10, 2015 |
To begin his transformation into an every-down linebacker, Brandon Graham met with his new position coach before the 2013 season and found something that had eluded him through his first three years in the NFL: support. Bill McGovern, the Eagles' outside linebackers coach, had watched film of Graham and determined that there was something more to him than just another defensive end who liked to chase quarterbacks. In the 3-4 scheme that Chip Kelly preferred, Graham would be a better fit as a linebacker.
December 4, 2014 |
Two years ago, Brandon Graham dreaded the questions. Graham knew that when the Eagles played the Seattle Seahawks and safety Earl Thomas, he would hear questions about whether he was a draft bust. Graham, the Eagles' first-round pick in 2010, still hears from fans who wish the team selected Thomas when they traded up to the No. 13 overall pick. Considering that Thomas is a three-time all-pro and Graham has 17 career sacks, that is a reasonable opinion. But Graham has started to shed the bust label this season.
September 11, 2014 |
JUST WAIT until next time. Fletcher Cox promised that, when he next scores a touchdown off a turnover, fans will witness 300 pounds of acrobatic, gyrating, choreographed joy. "It's like, once in a lifetime for a d-lineman to get a fumble and have the open field and the end zone is right there," Cox said. Cox didn't dare celebrate too much after his 17-yard touchdown romp iced Sunday's season-opening win against Jacksonville. For one thing, he feared that a celebration would further tire him, and he expected to have to return to action immediately.
August 21, 2014 |
A FEW YEARS AGO, the Eagles employed a defensive-line coach who was concerned with sacking the opposing quarterback, and not much else. Jerry Azzinaro would be the polar opposite of that. It's very unlikely that the Birds' current d-line coach and Jim Washburn ever have a drink together when NFL folk gather, at the Scouting Combine or the Senior Bowl. "I expect to win the Super Bowl," Azzinaro, who also carries the title of assistant head coach, said yesterday, when asked if he expects certain sack numbers from Fletcher Cox, now that the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft is a two-gapping 3-4 end. "I think if the correlation of sack numbers equaled Super Bowl, I think everyone would take their guys and put 'em in the widest . " Actually, coach, we tried that here . . . "I have no comment on that," Azzinaro said, shaking his head.
September 11, 2013 |
Here are some observations and ruminations about Monday night's Eagles-Redskins game: LANDOVER, Md. - Robert Griffin III was obviously rusty in his first game since injuring his knee in January. The Redskins star quarterback never got into a rhythm early Monday night against the Eagles but seemed to find his game in the late going. Griffin was also not much of a threat to run and entered halftime with just two carries for 2 yards. Credit goes to the Eagles defense, which presented Griffin with different looks and put pressure on the quarterback.
August 12, 2013 |
SO, YOU THOUGHT the Eagles' defense had no place to go but up this year, huh? You thought they hit rock bottom during the 2012 Juan Castillo/Todd Bowles debacle when they finished tied for 29th in the league in points allowed, 23rd against the run, 32nd in takeaways, 26th in third-down efficiency and 32nd in opponent passer rating. Think again. After spending the previous 2 days getting worked over by Tom Brady and the Patriots offense over at the NovaCare Complex, Bill Davis' new-and-not-so-improved defense moved over to Lincoln Financial Field last night, hoping a change of scenery might help them.
July 26, 2013 |
The Eagles made the first of what will likely be a number of training camp roster moves on Wednesday by claiming running back William Powell off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. The team released wide receiver Nick Miller to make room. "Preseason last year, we saw him, he was quick, tough, had good hands, got a lot of work," general manager Howie Roseman said. "This was a guy we thought could bring competition. " Powell, 25, is 5-foot-9 and 207 pounds. In 13 games for the Cardinals last season, including one start, he totaled 217 yards on 60 carries.
May 29, 2013 |
Even above the din of a throbbing bass line, Jerry Azzinaro's Brooklyn bark carries its way across the practice fields at the NovaCare Complex. The yells aren't as unrelenting as Jim Washburn's profanity-laced tirades, but the new Eagles defensive line coach is the only one of Chip Kelly's assistants who brings an old-school punch to Eagles practices. However, Azzinaro, the lone assistant Kelly brought with him from Oregon, is not a relic. His voice extends beyond his group of defensive linemen.
May 23, 2013 |
Part Six of an online-only series. Here is a look at the defensive linemen on the Eagles roster: Projected starters DE: Fletcher Cox (6-4, 300), 22, 2nd season; Cedric Thornton (6-4, 309), 24, 2nd season The Eagles are counting on Cox, the 2012 first-round pick, to become a blue-chip player in the Eagles new defense. He showed flashes of stardom last year, including 4 1/2 of his 5 1/2 sacks after joining the starting lineup seven games into the season.