December 22, 2014 |
Depending on which side of the Great Johnny Football Divide you come down on, Johnny Manziel's debut as Cleveland's quarterback was either disappointing or delightful. There's little doubt how the Cincinnati Bengals felt during their 30-0 drubbing of Manziel's Browns last Sunday. Several Bengals taunted the QB, some with mocking imitations of his money-rubbing gesture. But no matter how bad his performance (10 for 18 for 80 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, three sacks, and a passer rating of 27.3)
December 19, 2014 |
WHEN I READ the story, I was taken aback. Chris Conte, a fourth-year free safety with the Chicago Bears, told a radio station that if he knew today that playing in the NFL would take at least a decade off his normal life span, he'd still do it all over again. "As far as after football, who knows?" Conte, who had suffered two concussions this season, told WBBM Newsradio in Chicago. "My life will revolve around football to some point, but I'd rather have the experience of playing and, who knows, die 10, 15 years earlier than not be able to play in the NFL and live a long life.
December 15, 2014 |
Rematches are all that remain on the Eagles' schedule. It's Dallas Sunday in the regular-season home finale at Lincoln Financial Field, Washington six days later at FedEx Field, and the New York Giants in the final regular-season game Dec. 28 at MetLife Stadium. The Eagles beat all three opponents the first time they faced them this season and are 7-2 in NFC East games under coach Chip Kelly. The one thing we really do not know about Kelly, however, is how well he handles these rematch games.
December 9, 2014
The Eagles have been among the NFL's best teams the last two years in offensive plays of 20-plus yards. On Sunday, however, the Seahawks made nearly all of them. Here are the 20-plus-yard plays: Seahawks Marshawn Lynch 21-yard run (1st quarter) Doug Baldwin 25-yard reception (1st) Russell Wilson 26-yard run for TD (2d) Baldwin 20-yard reception (2d) Baldwin 20-yard reception (2d) Paul Richardson 20-yard reception (2d) Jermaine Kearse 20-yard reception (3d)
December 8, 2014 |
Know any good young quarterbacks who can't run? The NFL could use a few. Deep into this 2014 season, two facts about the league's quarterbacks can't be ignored. First, and most problematic for a league whose signal-callers are its most prominent stars: The best of them are graying faster than a mid-January afternoon. Peyton Manning is 38. Tom Brady is 37. Drew Brees is 35. That's a lot of passing yards, record-book entries, and merchandising dollars headed for the exit. Not too far behind in total birthdays are Phillip Rivers (32)
December 8, 2014 |
"This is one of the most-connected facilities in the NFL," if use of smartphones and iPads at Eagles games is any sign, says Charles W. Berger , pointing to wireless switches embedded under the stands at Lincoln Financial Field. Berger, a Willow Grove native, is chief executive officer of Extreme Networks , a San Jose, Calif., company with yearly sales of $600 million. It built the free WiFi system at the stadium last season, with project manager PCM Inc. "They put in 30 miles of cable in 90 days, building a bridge to our fans," said Anne Gordon , the Eagles vice president who oversees digital media.
December 4, 2014 |
IN JANUARY 2009, Mark Sanchez held a news conference to announce he was leaving USC a year early. He shared the dais with his then-coach, Pete Carroll. Carroll made it clear they did not share the same feelings. A blogger for the LA Times wrote: "Carroll was visibly unhappy, refusing to sit down for part of the press conference and saying that he disagreed with the decision based on a number of factors. 'We don't see this decision the same,' he said. 'Mark is going against the grain on this decision.
December 1, 2014 |
While the NFL might be America's game, it can occasionally be as incomprehensible as cricket. There's the coded lingo quarterbacks shout at the line of scrimmage. There's the league's complex salary cap. There's Dan Snyder. But for me the league's least understandable element is something that ought to be simple to explain but never really has been: Why does the richest sports entity in the universe have the lowest average salary of any of the four major professional sports leagues?
November 24, 2014 |
There's a story about Danny Watkins and the Eagles, and it bears mentioning because the team's current top draft pick is struggling as much as the fireman did in his first NFL season. The Eagles knew from almost the first practice that Watkins didn't have what it took to perform in the pros, and certainly not at a level expected for a first-round offensive lineman. Before the Eagles had even donned pads in the lockout-delayed 2011 training camp, Andy Reid believed he had seen enough and confided to some in the organization that Watkins was a mental novice when it came to football.
November 23, 2014 |
This is the year of the rookie wide receiver. It should not come as a surprise. The people who are paid to evaluate talent before the draft swore that this group of wide receivers was first-class, the equivalent of the 1983 quarterback selections that gave us Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino. It gave us Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason, and Ken O'Brien, too, but who remembers that? Heading into Sunday's games, a total of 11 rookie wide receivers already had at least 30 receptions, seven had at least 500 receiving yards, and six had at least five touchdowns.