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.
October 23, 2013 |
The Eagles signed linebacker Emmanuel Acho off the New York Giants practice squad on Monday and released cornerback Shaun Prater. Acho spent the offseason, training camp, and preseason with the Eagles. He was released at the end the preseason when the team claimed Prater off waivers. The linebacker then signed with the Giants practice squad. The Eagles host New York on Sunday. "We're looking for another linebacker-type body," general manager Howie Roseman said. "He was productive on special teams in the preseason.
October 20, 2013 |
See and hear from Holy Spirit linebacker Jeff Steeb, Millville's Antoine White, and Spirit coach John Iannucci after the game. www.inquirer.com/rallynj
October 3, 2013 |
It might not sound like a lot to you, but after four games this season, Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews has been on the field for 29 meaningful defensive snaps. It might not even sound like a lot to Matthews yet, but he'll take them. The 2011 fourth-round pick who was tried and discarded on both the inside and the outside as Juan Castillo's defense fell apart is getting a tentative rebirth now that the coaching staff that drafted him has left town. There isn't much good to say about the defense at the moment, particularly after the pasting it absorbed against Peyton Manning in Denver.
September 27, 2013 |
For Nate D. Smith, the journey back to the starting lineup on the Temple defense has been a circuitous one. After starting 10 of 11 games last season at middle linebacker, Smith, a 6-foot, 230-pound sophomore from Highland Park, N.J., figured that he was headed for a truly breakout season in 2013. After all, only fellow linebacker Tyler Matakevich, who earned Big East rookie of the year after his 101-tackle effort, had more tackles than Smith for Temple. But Smith, who fell into coach Matt Rhule's doghouse after showing up late for a spring practice, has bounced around this season.
September 26, 2013 |
HALL OF FAME linebacker Lawrence Taylor hasn't played since 1993. But he's still going after quarterbacks. Taylor is the subject of a Showtime documentary titled "LT: The Life & Times," which premiered Friday. In the film, former QB Boomer Esiason was critical of Taylor, saying the 10-time Pro Bowler, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Giants, was given preferential treatment by the team and then-coach Bill Parcells. It's nothing Esiason hasn't said before, but LT took exception to Boomer being included in the documentary.
September 25, 2013 |
IT HAS BEEN a long road for Owls linebacker Tyler Matakevich, who has emerged as one of the American Athletic Conference's top defensive forces as a sophomore. At St. Joseph's High School in Trumbull, Conn., Matakevich was a running back and linebacker, but he suffered a broken foot before his senior season and was left without a college offer. Matakevich decided to attend Milford Academy in New York, and after being ranked as the No. 10 recruit in the state and the No. 5 linebacker, coach Matt Rhule - then an assistant coach for the Owls - recruited Matakevich.