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.
June 28, 2012 |
THE COMMITMENTS for the class of 2013 continue to roll in at Penn State. The Nittany Lions received a verbal commitment from outside linebacker Zach Bradshaw, from Damascus (Md.) High, according to recruiting websites. Bradshaw, 6-3, 205, becomes the 13th junior to commit to Penn State. He cannot sign a letter of intent until February. He is considered a three-star prospect by Scout.com and Rivals.com. Scout has him as the 67th best linebacker in the country in his class.
December 10, 2011 |
Andy Reid is right; his linebackers are young. They range in age from 22 to 26, average out to 23.9 years of age, and are two years younger than the average age of the Eagles roster. "They're just a young group," Reid said Friday, echoing a refrain he's only recently made. "We're young at safety, we're young at linebacker. Zero excuse on that - that's not what that is - that's reality. " Apparently, it took four months for reality to hit Reid. When the Eagles were signing free agents left and right during training camp - sometimes overstocking at positions like cornerback and wide receiver - the general feeling was they also had to add a veteran linebacker at some point.
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.
February 19, 2012 |
Look over the Eagles roster and you don't find many glaring holes, particularly for an 8-8 team. They have a quarterback they are committed to, a star running back, and an offensive line that should remain intact if they can re-sign guard Evan Mathis. They have two talented wide receivers, at least at this moment, and a strong tight end. Their defensive ends create pressure, they have a glut of cornerbacks, and while there are concerns at safety, the team isn't ready to give up on the second-round picks it added there each of the last two years.
February 6, 2014 |
SHELICE HIGHSMITH always wanted something better for her son, Zaire Franklin. So, when another parent passed along an application to La Salle College High School when Zaire was a freshman at Franklin Learning Center, a seed was planted. "At first I thought she was crazy," Franklin joked in a phone interview. "I was like, 'I can't go to college - I'm only in ninth grade!' I didn't know La Salle was even a high school. "She made me apply, but I didn't want to go because it was an all-boys school and I wanted no parts of that.
April 28, 2012
Who says the Eagles don't care about linebacker? For the second time this offseason the Eagles made a major move to improve their linebacker corps, a perennial weak spot that has been as much a part of the Andy Reid experience as screen passes, fastball linemen, and "time's yours. " After landing DeMeco Ryans in a stunning trade, investing in a veteran middle linebacker with a significant contract to fill a significant need, the Eagles on Friday used their second pick in the draft, number 46 overall, to bring in Mychal Kendricks, a 5-foot-11 speedster from Cal. It's the earliest the team has drafted a linebacker since Reid's first draft, when he took Barry Gardner with his second-ever Eagles pick, 35th overall.
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.
October 17, 2012 |
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Even by his high standards, the performance of Rutgers senior linebacker Khaseem Greene in last week's 23-15 win over Syracuse was over the top. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Greene had 14 tackles, 11/2 sacks and an interception. He also forced three fumbles and earned both the Walter Camp and Chuck Bednarik national player of the week awards. Last season, Greene was the Big East co-defensive player of the year. So, when Temple (3-2, 2-0 Big East) hosts Rutgers (6-0, 3-0)