December 5, 2013 |
BEFORE THE BALL is snapped, Archbishop Wood junior Jake Cooper lurks at middle linebacker. His eyes dart side to side, reading offensive keys he picked up from film study. He gesticulates furiously, playing maestro while his teammates move to the rhythm of his hands. Opposing running backs must also see this from the backfield. The irony is thick, because both ballcarrier and defender must decipher where the line will fracture. What happens next comes down to something else. And, only one outcome is on Cooper's mind.
February 22, 2015 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Mychal Kendricks and Eric Kendricks played together at Hoover High School in Fresno, Calif., before Mychal starred at Cal and become a second-round pick and Day 1 starter with the Eagles. Eric did not follow his brother to Berkeley, instead going to UCLA, where he won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker last season. Now that Eric is one of the top linebackers in the NFL draft, there's a chance that the brothers could be teammates again. "That'd be crazy," Eric said Friday at the NFL scouting combine.
May 15, 2014 |
As far as alarms go, the Eagles' failure to address their depth at offensive line and inside linebacker in last week's NFL draft hardly rang a bell. They return all five players from one the league's best lines and both starting inside linebackers. And although they had opportunities to upgrade at each position this offseason, the Eagles were confident about their returners. They saw the need to inject some young talent into the pipeline, but they didn't. "Dagger," general manager Howie Roseman said about not drafting any offensive linemen. "Dagger in the heart.
March 4, 2012 |
Germantown Academy's Keith Corliss, who committed to Princeton's football team before an injury ended his senior season - and, he said, his chances of enrolling at the Ivy League school this fall - has committed to Johns Hopkins. Corliss, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker and running back for GA, said he chose Hopkins over fellow Division III schools Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall and Ursinus, as well as Penn, which recruited him for wrestling. He said he will play linebacker in college.
January 21, 2012 |
T.J. White, a rugged senior linebacker for West Chester Henderson, has committed to play football at Villanova. "I had a few other offers on the table," the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder said on Friday. "Villanova was a great fit for me, academically and football-wise. And I think I have an opportunity to play early on there. " White, a three-year starter who also played tight end, also had scholarship offers from Bucknell, Coastal Carolina, New Hampshire, Towson, and Western Michigan.
August 20, 2014 |
BRANDON BELL is still figuring out the category of linebacker into which he best fits. He could be suited for the strong side, but could also very well have a future on the weak side or even in the middle. As of the start of Penn State's fall practices 2 weeks ago, that was still to be determined. What's certain is that Bell, a true sophomore from Mays Landing, N.J., has a chance to start for the Nittany Lions this season on either side of middle linebacker and fifth-year senior Mike Hull.
November 3, 2012 |
There is something attractive about a college football team that is referred to as "Linebacker U. " Just ask Mike Hull, who went to Penn State because of its reputation for preparing linebackers for the NFL and stayed for the same reason after the NCAA imposed sanctions against the university. The 6-foot, 228-pound Hull, a redshirt sophomore, is considered the next star in the pipeline where he receives a share of playing time behind three starters - Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, and Glenn Carson - who probably will be taking the field on Sundays very soon.
September 12, 2013 |
WHEN THE Eagles hired Chip Kelly last January and it became clear he would deep-six their 4-3 defensive scheme and replace it with a 3-4, many of us wondered what that meant for Trent Cole. Cole had spent eight seasons with the Eagles. He was one of the NFL's premier pass-rushing defensive ends. His 71 sacks are the third most in franchise history, behind only Hall of Famer Reggie White (124) and Clyde Simmons (76). But he had a career-low three sacks last season, albeit playing with a broken hand, and will turn 31 early next month, which, for an NFL defensive lineman, is considered the early stages of rigor mortis.
September 25, 2014 |
Marcus Smith's work as an inside linebacker might be more than a temporary move while Mychal Kendricks is absent. Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said Tuesday that Smith is still an outside linebacker, but he did not rule out keeping the first-round pick on the inside. "This is a let's-see-if-he-can-do-it move," Davis said. "At the end of the day, if it doesn't work out and he goes back outside, he's going to have a broader understanding of the defense and all the calls because he would have seen it through two different positional eyes.
April 22, 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.