May 31, 2012 |
Asante Samuel was impossible to ignore during the Atlanta Falcons' first full-squad off-season practice on Tuesday. Atlanta's new No. 22 showed he likes to talk, pose and make plays. "Can I get some action out here?" Samuel called out on the field during the practice as he became impatient for a pass to be thrown in his direction. "Am I out here for my health? I want to show the people what I can do!" Within minutes he had two interceptions, one against Matt Ryan. "That's what you've got to do," he said.
May 26, 2012 |
The Eagles hope to benefit from the more obvious aspect of spring practice and classroom time. Players get a head start on learning the offensive and defensive playbooks. The less-obvious aspect may be even more important. That became clear last year. The Eagles, like all other NFL teams, were denied the May and June camps, then were forced to open training camp with some veteran players standing around waiting for the new collective bargaining agreement to be finalized. Obviously, the players had less time to learn from the coaches.
May 25, 2012 |
Analysis doesn't roll as smoothly off the tongue of Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie as it does for his cornerback running mate, Nnamdi Asomugha. But Rodgers-Cromartie had no trouble Thursday pinning down what it feels like to be playing on the outside at the current OTA, after spending his first year with the Eagles trying to learn to play the slot. "It feels like I'm at home," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "From being inside a long time, I still got a little rust on me, so the main thing is, just go through these OTAs and knock that off, and go from there.
April 27, 2012
TEN YEARS ago, the Eagles hit pay dirt in the second and third rounds of the draft, selecting safety Michael Lewis, cornerback Sheldon Brown and a running back by the name of Brian Westbrook. Lewis, Brown and Westbrook made a collective 241 starts for the Eagles and helped them make it to the NFC Championship Game four times and to the Super Bowl once. Since then, with two notable exceptions, the draft's second and third rounds have been one dry hole after another for the Eagles.
April 26, 2012 |
With Michael Vick, coach Andy Reid is on franchise quarterback No. 3, following the Donovan McNabb era and the Kevin Kolb cameo. Will he take a shot on No. 4 this week? The NFL draft begins Thursday night with the Eagles holding the 15th overall pick, and most observers expect the team to use the first round to add an impact defensive player. There is a deep defensive tackle class, with Fletcher Cox at the top of the list, though the Eagles would probably have to trade up to get him. The team could also look for a big, top-tier cornerback such as Stephon Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick after trading Asante Samuel on Wednesday, while many fans have set their hopes on linebacker Luke Kuechly.
April 23, 2012 |
High & Inside will be devoted each day this week to observations and information related to the NFL draft: BROWNS general manager Tom Heckert enters this year's draft with plenty of ammunition — 13 overall picks, including three in the top 37 and six in the top 118. He also told reporters that he carries the lessons learned from mistakes he made with the Eagles, when he said he was influenced by pressure from within the organization and...
April 23, 2012 |
A DECADE AGO, Super Bowls were being won by guys like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer. Two of the dominant quarterbacks in the NFL were undrafted Kurt Warner and sixth-round find Tom Brady, who also won Lombardi trophies. So, the idea that you could win it all without a "franchise" quarterback - or at least without a guy who emerged from college carrying that label - got a lot of traction. But as Thursday's start of the 3-day NFL draft approaches, the diamond-in-the-rough rationale seems a bit dated.
April 17, 2012 |
In addition to the champs, chumps and rebuilding Redskins, the Eagles will play 10 games against non-divisional opponents. The home highlights include visits from local boys who've done good (Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco) and the first look at Cam Newton. Among the interesting road trips, the Birds play at Pittsburgh and Arizona. And because they're also visiting New Orleans, we have imposed a restriction on that town's signature drink. The Eagles have five prime-time games, with two Sundays, two Mondays and a Thursday night game.
March 30, 2012
RECENTLY, a contending East Coast football team acquired a backup quarterback with the express intent of using him as a "wildcat" weapon. The quarterback possessed rare athletic skills, but those skills often got him into as much trouble as they helped him elude. The quarterback's passing mechanics were flawed. His footwork was clumsy. His ability to decipher defenses was deficient. In addition, the quarterback brought with him baggage of his own creation; baggage that he never could shake.
March 17, 2012 |
Out of the race to nab Peyton Manning, the Arizona Cardinals are moving on with quarterback Kevin Kolb. The former future of the Eagles remained on the Arizona roster at a 4 p.m. deadline Friday, ensuring him a $7 million roster bonus that the team would not have paid if they had landed Manning. Coach Ken Whisenhunt issued a statement acknowledging that "acquiring Peyton Manning is no longer an option for us. " Also on Friday, the Cardinals agreed to terms on a five-year contract for offensive tackle Levi Brown, who had been released by Arizona on Tuesday in a salary cap move.