February 26, 2012
The staging of the NFL's annual scouting combine is like the Eagles sending DeSean Jackson deep as a decoy. While the league draws attention to an unending array of prearranged interviews with coaches, general managers, and prospects at Lucas Oil Stadium - and the generally useless three-cone drill - the real news is being made in the hotels, the eateries, and the back rooms of Indianapolis. The combine, despite its growing popularity, is merely an excuse for team officials and agents to gather and lay the groundwork for free agency, which just so happens to precede the draft by six weeks.
February 27, 2012 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Turns out, Vontaze Burfict's assessment of himself jibes perfectly with how a lot of Eagles fans see him. Birds fans - some of them, anyhow - are so tired of undersized, colorless linebacking, that they have latched onto the wild man from Arizona State as exactly what their team needs, a big-hitting, flamboyant, Jeremiah Trotteresque force in the middle. Never mind that draft analysts have pushed Burfict (6-1, 248) well out of the first round, based on a disappointing senior season that included a locker-room fight with a teammate, numerous personal fouls, accusations that he was out of shape, and less difference-making play than his blow-'em-up style might promise.
August 10, 2015 |
When Penn State landed Daiquan Kelly as part of its 2015 freshman class, the Nittany Lions thought the athletic-but-undersize linebacker might one day grow into a playmaker for them. Now they'll never know. On Saturday morning, Penn State issued a statement announcing that the 6-2, 194-pound Kelly had been dismissed from the team for violating unspecified team rules. Kelly is generally regarded as a three-star recruit, although some recruiting services have rated him as high as four stars.
April 21, 2012 |
Linebacker wasn't always an annual question mark. In 1982 the Eagles sent two homegrown 'backers to the Pro Bowl: Frank LeMaster, a 1974 fourth-rounder, and Jerry Robinson, a first-round pick in 1979, the last linebacker the team has taken in the NFL's opening round. It was the only Pro Bowl appearance for either, and the next year the team began a drought at linebacker that would seem familiar to fans today. After '82 the Eagles went nine years without a linebacker in the NFL's all-star game, but they eventually broke the streak with Seth Joyner, an eighth-round pick in 1986 who would grow into one of the central pieces of Buddy Ryan's defenses.
August 17, 2012 |
Haverford School's Matt Galambos, a rugged senior linebacker, committed to Pittsburgh on Thursday. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder, who doubles as a tight end, also had scholarship offers from Rutgers, Syracuse, and Temple. Harvard and Yale were in the mix, too. "I think he's been a bit underrated," Haverford School coach Mike Murphy said. "I really see him as a kid who's going to make a big impact at the college level. His best football is still ahead of him. " Last season, while helping the Fords to a 6-4 record, Galambos earned Inquirer third-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania honors as a tight end. In the Inter-Ac League, he was a first-team pick on both sides of the ball.
September 12, 2013 |
Isaiah Baylor was one of South Jersey's best defensive ends as a sophomore and junior. He won't be one of South Jersey's best defensive ends as a senior. The Triton standout has switched to inside linebacker. It's the position he's likely to play in college, and the spot from which he believes he can make the most impact in his final season with the Mustangs. "I'd rather be in the middle of the field," Baylor said. "As a defensive end, you can be a little limited in that you are only coming from one side.
April 21, 2012
DEMECO RYANS - A two-time Pro Bowler, Ryans was acquired to be the answer to the question that has long loomed over middle linebacker. He has the pedigree, but has to bounce back from a down season in 2011. JAMAR CHANEY - After a fast start as a rookie, Chaney had a rocky 2011, starting at the strong side and then moving to the middle early in the season. He struggled at times, and will have to move back outside with Ryans in town. BRIAN ROLLE - Rolle was probably the team's most effective linebacker last season, and showed impressive power for his size.
August 2, 2011 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - There is a trio of stars waiting to take the field at cornerback. There's a two-time Pro Bowler at one defensive end and prize free-agent signings at the other end and defensive tackle. At safety, the Eagles have two second-round picks. And then there is linebacker, where the top of the depth chart has a fourth-round rookie at middle linebacker and two seventh-round picks on the outside. The most experienced linebacker currently on the first team is Moise Fokou, who is entering just his third season.
June 29, 2012
Penn State picked up its fifth oral commitment of June, and 13th overall, on Wednesday when linebacker Zach Bradshaw of Damascus, Md., informed Nittany Lions coaches that he would be part of the freshman Class of 2013. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Bradshaw told the Washington Post he chose the Lions over Virginia, South Carolina, and Northwestern. He also was offered scholarships by Michigan, Illinois, Purdue, Boston College, Arizona, and West Virginia. Bradshaw, who is rated a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, made second-team all-Met last season in the Washington area as a wide receiver, catching 35 balls for 466 yards and seven touchdowns.
September 11, 2015 |
Vinny Curry has been getting a lot of questions about his move to outside linebacker. But he doesn't understand the ones that are based on the premise that he has to learn yet another new position. For Curry, the switch to outside linebacker has been, if anything, a stroll compared to his climb from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive end two years ago. "Everybody's so shocked, but you've got to understand, I've been playing on the edge my whole life," Curry said. "The adjustment was two-gapping, staying on the block instead of shedding him. That was the adjustment.