May 2, 2014 |
First of a series of looks at positions the Eagles might target in the May 8-10 NFL draft. Linebacker * What they have: Inside, Mychal Kendricks is a young building block. DeMeco Ryans, leading tackler the two seasons he has been an Eagle, emerged as the defensive leader and played really well against the run in 2013, but wasn't great against the pass. Ryans, who turns 30 in July, won't man the middle forever. Outside, Connor Barwin is a solid, smart player who still should have plenty of mileage left at 27. The other spot is a question.
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.
January 26, 2014 |
Shawnee senior Anthony DiOrio, The Inquirer's South Jersey Offensive Player of the Year, has committed to Dayton University on a football scholarship. DiOrio's father, former Cherokee star Rob DiOrio, played at Dayton in the early 1980s. "He didn't push me, but he's happy I picked his alma mater," Anthony DiOrio said Friday. DiOrio committed to Dayton on Thursday night, he said, adding that he was recruited as the team's "Flyer," a defensive position that is a kind of rover - part linebacker, part strong safety.
January 23, 2014 |
MOBILE, Ala. - A year after they passed on drafting a traditional 3-4 outside linebacker, the Eagles appear primed to fill a need after spending a season with converted defensive ends at those spots. Ideally, the Eagles want outside linebackers who can rush the passer, set the edge, and drop into coverage on both sides. That versatility poses challenges for opposing offenses. The Eagles had one good option in free agent Connor Barwin last season. Trent Cole, who started on the other side, had a good year, even though he was asked to move from end to linebacker.
January 12, 2014 |
Familiarity bred comfort for Ed Shockley. The Millville High School linebacker committed to Villanova on a football scholarship Thursday night for a variety of reasons: his relationship with the defensive coordinator, and his regard for the quality of the program and for the school's academic reputation. But Shockley cited another reason: Villanova's tradition of recruiting players from the Cape-Atlantic League. "I like the idea of going someplace where I'll know some people and where people from here have been successful," Shockley said.
January 3, 2014 |
METAIRIE, La. - New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette says his three seasons at Temple were highly beneficial, even if he wasn't able to finish what he started. Galette may not be a household name, but he could be soon. This season, his fourth with the Saints, he finished sixth in the NFL with 12 sacks. He will return to Lincoln Financial Field for Saturday's wild-card playoff game against the Eagles. "I have a lot of great memories" from Temple, Galette said after Wednesday's practice at the Saints facility.
December 21, 2013 |
Raise your hand if you were certain before or even during this season that Trent Cole wouldn't be back with the Eagles in 2014. Count Cole among the many. In fact, the defensive-end-turned-outside linebacker wasn't sure he would make it to 2013 after the Eagles hired Chip Kelly and he was told the defense was moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4. "There's a lot of things you think about when a new coaching staff comes in," Cole said Thursday. "They'll bring their own players in, and they do their own thing.
December 18, 2013 |
LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The Chicago Bears defense, traditionally the team's strength but this year a liability, could see the return of star outside linebacker Lance Briggs in Sunday night's game against the Eagles. Briggs has not played since Oct. 20 when he broke a bone in his left shoulder in a game at Washington, but he has been getting closer to returning every week. "Lance will practice this week," Chicago coach Marc Trestman said Monday. "It is going to be day-to-day. I'm reasonably optimistic, but it is going to be through the three days of practice before a decision is made.
December 12, 2013 |
Of all the players on defense, Mychal Kendricks had to be the most excited when the Eagles made the switch to a 3-4 scheme. Kendricks played behind an odd-man front in California and said he felt uncomfortable last season playing outside linebacker in a 4-3. At first the Eagles had him lining up on the strong side opposite the tight end, but that just gave the 6-foot, 240-pound rookie one more potential blocker to shed. Realizing the mistake, the Eagles moved Kendricks to the weak side late last season and he improved.
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.