November 5, 2015 |
Back in 2008 and 2009, when Ken Whisenhunt was a good football coach, Kurt Warner was his starting quarterback. Funny how that worked. Whisenhunt was with the Arizona Cardinals then. It was his first NFL head coaching job. After Matt Leinart, Arizona's ostensible quarterback of the future, broke his collarbone, Warner took over. The Cardinals - a franchise that had missed the playoffs 24 times over the previous 25 seasons - went to the Super Bowl one year and went 10-6 and won a playoff game the next.
November 2, 2015 |
The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams in late September asking their employees to refrain from making public comments about the officiating. The league admitted in the letter to being concerned that the criticism could "draw significant and unwanted public scrutiny. " Perhaps the logic was that the officiating crews do just fine all by themselves drawing significant and unwanted public scrutiny. The memo itself was infuriating, because it warned teams it should not share things they have been told by Dean Blandino, the third-year vice president of officiating.
October 26, 2015 |
Six weeks in, and there are still five unbeaten teams. That has never happened before in the NFL, and if you're looking for reasons why it has now, it should come as little surprise that superior quarterback play tops the list. There is, however, an element of surprise to some of the quarterbacks playing at an elite level and in the one team that has remained unbeaten in spite of its quarterback play. Tom Brady, who at 38 is saying he wants to play 10 more years, is the league's highest-rated passer.
October 19, 2015 |
Just another game, they're saying up in Foxborough, Mass. Sure, Tom Brady, we believe you. "I really don't see it any different than each of the other games we've played," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels parroted during the practice week leading up to New England's Sunday night showdown with the Colts in Indianapolis. This, of course, is not just another game. This is the most anticipated rematch of the 2015 NFL season. Complaints lodged by the Colts in the first half of New England's AFC championship rout in Gillette Stadium last season triggered a long-running soap opera about air pressure in footballs that started before the Super Bowl and lasted the entire offseason.
October 17, 2015 |
Sam Bradford's introduction to the NFL came under Steve Spagnuolo, his first head coach with the St. Louis Rams. Bradford and Spagnuolo met each week to discuss defenses, a crash course for Bradford on what to expect in the NFL. Spagnuolo, a former Eagles assistant, was fired by the Rams after the 2011 season. He is now the New York Giants' defensive coordinator. On Monday, Bradford will face a Spagnuolo-coached defense for the first time since his practices with the Rams. Some of it will look familiar to Bradford, although he pointed out that he has seen a lot of defenses since then – plus, the Eagles have different offensive packages than Bradford used with the Rams.
October 13, 2015 |
TIME OF BIRTH: 1:28 p.m. Marcus Smith's second NFL life began just before 1:30 yesterday, with 4 minutes, 52 seconds left in the first quarter. Starting outside linebacker Connor Barwin lost his helmet during a tackle. Smith, the Eagles' first-round pick from 2014, last seen a year ago blowing a coverage against the 49ers, replaced him. Perhaps his latest play can become his new signature moment. Near the end of the game, Smith got close enough to Saints quarterback Drew Brees to influence a poor pass that was intercepted.
October 12, 2015 |
When Delvin Breaux runs out of Lincoln Financial Field's visitors' locker room on Sunday afternoon to play against the Eagles, it will mark the continuation of an incredible comeback. The New Orleans Saints cornerback was told nine years ago this month that he should have died on the field when he broke his neck as a high school senior. The injury prevented him from being cleared to play at Louisiana State. His dream looked dim. But Breaux, who grew up in New Orleans, refused to give up. The rookie's journey to the NFL took him to a semipro league before stints in the Arena Football League and Canada.
October 6, 2015 |
LANDOVER, Md. - Let's not overcomplicate things. This offseason, Chip Kelly set out to build a team with a certain identity. He agreed to pay the NFL's rushing leader $8 million per year to join his backfield. He added a second power runner who was a feature back with his previous team. He traded for a quarterback who was not supposed to carry the fortunes of the team on his shoulders. Four weeks of an NFL season is more than enough time to suggest that the Eagles are not capable of being the team that Kelly envisioned.
October 2, 2015 |
The NFL is monitoring the weather in the Mid-Atlantic region and has been in contact with the Eagles and Washington Redskins about scheduling contingencies for their game Sunday in Landover, Md. Hurricane Joaquin has the potential to be a significant storm in the region. The Washington Post first reported that the league is looking into contingencies. "We have had discussions with the NFL as they are monitoring the weather for this week in Washington," an Eagles spokesman said.
October 1, 2015 |
Throughout those early days of 2013, when Chip Kelly was explaining himself in interview after interview as the NFL's hottest head coaching candidate, he revealed a dimension of his mind that remained rooted in conventional football thinking. At Oregon, Kelly had unleashed that revved-up offense of his, and he had everyone wondering whether he believed that the speed and simplicity of his system would allow any quarterback to orchestrate it, that his innovations were enough to overcome any quarterback's shortcomings.