April 21, 2012 |
When the Eagles traded for DeMeco Ryans, the feeling of relief and excitement among fans was palpable. The team had picked up a name linebacker. Finally. But the big move doesn't necessarily mean the Eagles solved the linebacker problems that were so plain and painful to see last season. Ryans is a two-time Pro Bowler and renowned leader, but after an Achilles tear in 2010 he wasn't the same player in 2011. The Eagles are optimistic about his health and returning him to the 4-3 system in which he excelled, but even if he returns to form, the team might need insurance and definitely needs an upgrade at outside linebacker.
November 29, 2011
BREAKING DOWN Sunday's 38-20 loss to the Patriots while wondering what the odds would be on a Marty Mornhinweg-Jim Washburn fight: * The Patriots converted six of 11 third-down opportunities. And that doesn't include two more the Eagles converted for them with penalties. In the last four games, Eagles' opponents have converted 24 of 55 third-down opportunities (43.6 percent). The Eagles' third-down pass defense has been terrible. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 11 yards per attempt and have completed 63.4 percent of their pass attempts on third down in the last four games.
December 13, 2011
A QUICK review of the Eagles' 26-10 win over the Dolphins while wondering what to get Andy and Tammy for Christmas: The defense When Juan Castillo has deserved criticism, which has been often in his first season as the Eagles' defensive coordinator, I have criticized him. And when he's done a good job, I haven't hesitated to point that out either. On Sunday, Juan did a very good job. He had an aggressive and creative game plan against the Dolphins. Mixed up his coverages, attacked the Dolphins with a variety of blitzes, moved his front four around, occasionally lined up with just two players with their hands on the ground.
July 14, 2011 |
The Eagles have 15 rookies from 2010 who are returning for their second year without having the benefit of the usual offseason. Daily News Eagles beat writer Les Bowen breaks down what to expect from each player: Brandon Graham: The first-round defensive end might not have been ready for the Opening-Day starting job he was given. Graham managed two sacks in his first five games, then one in the next eight before tearing his right ACL Dec. 12 at Dallas. Started only two of the last eight games he played.
August 21, 2012
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Coaches always warn players not to look at the numbers in training camp. Focus on doing your job, they tell them, and don't worry about the numbers. But that's easier said than done, particularly for a bubble player like Keenan Clayton, who doesn't need a roster or a depth chart to tell him he could find himself out of a job when the Eagles cut down to 53 players on Aug. 31. Clayton, a 6-1, 230-pound linebacker out of Oklahoma who was the first of the Eagles' three fourth-round picks in the 2010 draft, is listed as the team's No. 3 weakside linebacker behind Brian Rolle and Jamar Chaney.
August 25, 2011 |
The Eagles linebackers know what you think - and they don't like it very much. They can look at the roster just like anyone else and count the star players, the high draft picks, the respected veterans on all the other units. And, well, that leaves them, doesn't it? "We know that people don't expect us to do what we need to do," said second-year player Keenan Clayton, listed as the backup to Moise Fokou at the weakside spot. "They always look down at us and always try to find an excuse not to like us. But we're not going to allow any excuses.
January 12, 2011
I GUESS it's a matter of perspective. Andy Reid said one of the positives of the Eagles' recently completed season was that, "We were able to play some young players that I think were able to get valuable experience that ought to help their careers down the road, and also help us as a football team. " My question is this: If young players are just marginal talents, does it really matter all that much that they got a bunch of experience? Now that Reid finally said one of the taboo words ?
May 7, 2012
With the draft and initial burst of free agency behind us, we have a pretty good idea of who the Eagles will be bringing into training camp to fight for spots on the regular-season roster. Here, then, is a look at the top position battles to look forward to as rookie minicamps and offseason practices arrive in May and June and lead up to training camp in July. Linebacker Another summer, another new spin on the position that the Eagles can never quite seem to settle.
August 3, 2011 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Here's the question: Now that the Eagles have added four impact players on defense, does the February decision to promote longtime offensive line coach Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator seem less or more crazy? You can make an argument either way. Less: The more good players you have, the less important your scheme becomes. With Andy Reid over his shoulder, Castillo can put together a solid defensive system and simply turn the athletes loose. If Jason Babin, Trent Cole, and Cullen Jenkins can pressure quarterbacks, then Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and (maybe)
January 7, 2011 |
That spotlight following Green Bay's Clay Matthews around the field Sunday should help illuminate something about the Eagles, as well. Matthews is living, hirsute proof that linebackers still can be disruptive forces in the NFL. That is something you wouldn't know if you only watched the Eagles the last few years. It is almost as if they apply their old (and discarded) philosophy about wide receivers to the position, choosing a group of interchangeable "C" students over flashy, standout playmakers.