June 30, 2016 |
This column was first published in August 2009. SHELBYVILLE. Ky. - Buddy Ryan's whistle pierced the Kentucky morning. "Yo," Ryan called across the back pasture, larger than a football field. "Come on. Come on. " Six horses looked across at the 75-year-old man standing at the fence, wearing a windbreaker and a New York Jets hat. Another whistle - this one loud enough to stop a train - got the thoroughbreds wandering over. "They think they're going to get fed," Ryan said.
May 4, 2016 |
Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich was on the phone with NFL teams that were looking to sign him as a potential free agent after the seventh round of the draft. Then Matakevich got a call he said he had to take. It was from Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. "It caught me off guard, and then I saw on the TV that Pittsburgh was picking next," Matakevich said on Monday in a phone interview. Indeed, he was picked next, the 246th overall selection in a 253-player draft.
December 18, 2015 |
WE'RE GOING to find out a few things about how much the Eagles have really improved over the past few weeks, when they host the 11-2 Arizona Cardinals Sunday night. One of the questions to be answered is how Sam Bradford and the offense will stack up against a dominant, fourth-ranked defense that blitzes more than any other group in the NFL. "I think they're right at about 50 percent," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said this week. Actually, the figure is 46.9 percent, according to STATS.
December 14, 2015 |
Chip Kelly and Rex Ryan were geniuses at different times for the same amount of time: two years. That's how long each of them had atop that pedestal before the rest of the NFL knocked them off. If you're a head coach and want to be a genius for more than two years, you'd better have Joe Montana or Tom Brady as your quarterback. Otherwise, there will be a reckoning, and it will be humbling. Kelly's reckoning, of course, began in the final four weeks of last season, his second with the Eagles, and has continued through the first 12 weeks of this one. His up-tempo, simplified-playbook approach to offense doesn't catch opponents off guard as often as it once did, and his reliance on a rigorous sports science program has at times inspired eye rolls from at least some of his players.
December 5, 2015 |
The New England Patriots have lost only six home games in the last six seasons, so there aren't many quarterbacks in the NFL who know what it's like to leave Gillette Stadium with a victory. Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez is one of them. Sanchez lost four regular-season games with the New York Jets in Foxborough, Mass., but he was the winning quarterback against the Patriots in the second round of the playoffs on Jan. 16, 2011. Sanchez is expected to be the Eagles' No. 2 quarterback Sunday when the Patriots host the Eagles.
October 26, 2015 |
After six games with the Eagles, Sam Bradford has nearly an identical passer rating (80.0) to the one he had after 49 games with the Rams (79.3). It would be simple to rationalize his struggles this season as just more of the same from the quarterback. But Bradford has actually been worse than he was during his first five years in the NFL. He is being intercepted at almost twice the rate (on 3.9 percent of his passes) as he was in St. Louis (2.2 percent). Theories for the disparity abound.
October 9, 2015 |
Sam Bradford's visits to the podium at the NovaCare Complex were cut in half after the first week of the season. Rather than answer questions on two days each week, the Eagles quarterback opted for just one day - as is his right - but for a longer period. Bradford may have regretted the decision after the first three weeks. As his struggles continued, the questions about the Eagles' inability to throw downfield began to mount over the 8-10-minute sessions. "Why aren't you taking more shots?"
October 3, 2015 |
DeMarco Murray watched from the sideline Sunday when the Eagles' running game had its most productive game of the season. Murray, who led the NFL in rushing yards in 2014 and was signed to be the Eagles' lead running back, might be able to keep another Sunday from going by without him. Murray was a full participant Thursday in practice. His injured hamstring is feeling better. He would not commit to playing Sunday against Washington, but his involvement in practice is a good indication.
October 2, 2015 |
DURING AN eight-minute chat with reporters after practice, Sam Bradford twice used this phrase: "The ball goes where it's supposed to go. " Bradford was being pressed yesterday on why the Eagles' passing game hasn't produced big plays or very much yardage, not to mention touchdowns, heading into the fourth game of the season, Sunday at Washington. People who rewatched last Sunday's 24-17 victory over the New York Jets, in which Bradford completed 14 for 28 for 118 yards, saw a quarterback standing in a clean pocket, usually, often facing receivers who seemed to be open deep - and then repeatedly throwing underneath.
September 30, 2015 |
Sam Bradford completed only 50 percent of his passes and passed for 118 yards in the Eagles' 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, but coach Chip Kelly continued to support his starting quarterback. "I think Sam's doing a good job," Kelly said. "There are some throws Sam probably wants back. There are a couple in there that he missed, but there are also some drops, too, that I think could have really extended some drives for us. But we are pleased with Sam right now. " There were two dropped passes that could have resulted in big plays.