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SPORTS
October 3, 2013 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
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.
SPORTS
September 27, 2013 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
September 26, 2013 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
September 25, 2013 | BY JOHN MURROW, Daily News Staff Writer murrowj@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
September 12, 2013 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
September 12, 2013 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
September 1, 2013 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Inside Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho's notebook is a list of goals for the training camp and the season. Even though Acho's employment with the Eagles was not guaranteed beyond the preseason, the 22-year-old on the roster bubble planned for a regular season. On Saturday, Acho will find out if he survived the team's first cut to the 53-man roster for the NFL season. Labor Day weekend is an uneasy time around the NFL. The Eagles trimmed their roster from 75 to 62 on Friday, and need to cut nine more players by 6 p.m. on Saturday.
SPORTS
August 30, 2013
Eagles linebacker Phillip Hunt went unclaimed off waivers Wednesday and will go on season-ending injured reserve. The Eagles designated Hunt as waived/injured on Tuesday and other NFL teams had 24 hours to claim the third-year player. Hunt partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee two weeks ago. The Eagles roster stands at 75 players heading into Thursday night's preseason finale against the New York Jets. The roster must be trimmed to 53 by 6 p.m. Saturday.
SPORTS
August 30, 2013 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Rhule added an interesting twist to Temple's football practice Wednesday. The first-year Owls coach set Notre Dame's fight song on full blast over the sound system, repeating it over and over to give his players a taste of what they will encounter when they open the season Saturday in South Bend, Ind. "When that environment comes, I want them to almost feel like that song is their song," Rhule said. "I want them to be familiar with it and remind them that this moment is here and enjoy it. " Freshman linebacker Jarred Alwan had no trouble recognizing the tune.
SPORTS
August 23, 2013 | BY JOHN MURROW, Daily News Staff Writer murrowjb@phillynews.com
BEFORE JOINING Temple last season as a freshman, Owls linebacker Tyler Matakevich always wore his favorite number, 44. This season, he will wear a number that means something entirely different, one that represents toughness. Entering Temple last summer as a freshman, Matakevich was given No. 32. While he was unsure of the number at first, he got used to it. On Tuesday, Matakevich was assigned No. 8, as one of the nine toughest players on the team, who all wear single digits. "It's definitely an honor," Matakevich said.
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