September 7, 2012 |
IT TAKES A village to cover a tight end, or something like that. Jamar Chaney said Thursday his hamstring is 100 percent, as the Eagles continued to try to find the right mix of linebackers in base and nickel for their season opener Sunday at Cleveland. Rookie Mychal Kendricks, the strongside starter who also plays in nickel, said he expects all the linebackers who are active to play some sort of role against the Browns, not only the starting group of Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans and Akeem Jordan.
December 10, 2011 |
Andy Reid is right; his linebackers are young. They range in age from 22 to 26, average out to 23.9 years of age, and are two years younger than the average age of the Eagles roster. "They're just a young group," Reid said Friday, echoing a refrain he's only recently made. "We're young at safety, we're young at linebacker. Zero excuse on that - that's not what that is - that's reality. " Apparently, it took four months for reality to hit Reid. When the Eagles were signing free agents left and right during training camp - sometimes overstocking at positions like cornerback and wide receiver - the general feeling was they also had to add a veteran linebacker at some point.
December 9, 2011 |
He was booed. He was labeled a wasted draft pick. Even his family experienced the brunt of fan anger. Casey Matthews hopes that a second chance, and more time to learn, will improve his standing with the Eagles and in the city. Matthews has taken over as the middle linebacker in the Eagles' nickel package, gaining a more prominent role after spending most of the last nine weeks on the bench. "It's another opportunity to go out there and show what I can do and take advantage of it this time," said Matthews, a fourth-round pick.
November 11, 2010 |
How long does it take to go from blame magnet to star tactician? If you're Sean McDermott, maybe just two weeks. In the 13 days between the Eagles' defensive meltdown against the Titans and their impressive showing against the Colts, McDermott developed a game plan that outmaneuvered one of the most crafty quarterbacks who has ever played. The 36-year-old defensive coordinator who faced doubts about his ability and job security delivered a second big fix of the season. He already had patched a run defense that showed too many holes early in the year.
September 3, 2010 |
They call Penn State "Linebacker U" for a reason. The succession of great linebackers, from Jack Ham in 1970 all the way through to Sean Lee last year, has been a trademark of the lengthy coaching reign of Joe Paterno. Lee was the leader of one of the greatest linebacking units in Penn State history, with all three members - Lee (Dallas Cowboys), Navorro Bowman (San Francisco 49ers) and Josh Hull (St. Louis Rams) - being drafted into the NFL last April. One would think the trio's simultaneous departure would leave a gaping hole that would take up most of Beaver Stadium.
September 10, 2009 |
It was impossible not to notice Chris Gocong when he played college football at Cal-Poly. He was the guy constantly planting the opposing quarterback into the ground. In 41 games, he had 42 sacks, including a Division I-AA record total of 23? his senior season, when he won the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's best defensive player. All that dirty work was done from the defensive end position. And then, after being taken by the Eagles in the third round of the 2006 draft, Gocong arrived at the NovaCare Complex and was informed by defensive coordinator Jim Johnson that he was now a linebacker.
January 13, 2009 |
The Eagles gave cornerback Rod Hood his early NFL education. Now a starter in Arizona, Hood can't wait to show his former team how much he's progressed. "The last time we played them I wasn't able to play because I was hurt," Hood said of the Eagles' 48-20 win in Philadelphia on Thanksgiving night. "It's a blessing to get another chance, especially in the NFC Championship. " Hood originally signed with Philadelphia as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Auburn in 2003. Two seasons into a five-year contract with the Cardinals, he still speaks of his former team in reverential terms.
September 22, 2002 |
1 JANUARY 22, 1981 Eagles 20, Cowboys 7 The most memorable thing about Jan. 11, 1981, easily could have been the bitter cold, but it wasn't. It was cold all right, the windchill factor several degrees below zero, but the Eagles' performance at Veterans Stadium that day put Jack Frost to shame. It didn't do much for the highly touted Dallas Cowboys, either. I was in Philadelphia that day because I covered the Cowboys for the San Antonio Express-News, a coveted assignment because the Cowboys in those days were like royalty.
August 13, 2002 |
Darwin Walker can look at the play two ways. He got to Brett Favre in the first quarter of Saturday night's preseason opener. Walker broke the pocket just as defensive end Brandon Whiting chased Favre inside. That was good. Walker got both his arms around the Packers' star quarterback, but Favre slipped away. He raced to his left and fired a pass as Walker wondered how he missed the sack. That was not so good. "I've had nightmares about that play," the softspoken Walker said yesterday.
May 24, 2002 |
Carlos Emmons didn't like third downs. After playing his best on first and second downs, the Eagles strong-side linebacker would find himself standing on the sideline when defensive coordinator Jim Johnson called for his nickel package. "It was very frustrating at times," Emmons said. "As a player, you never want to be off the field. It was hard to watch on third downs. You want to be out there, helping your team. " Emmons will enjoy third downs much more this year. The departure of middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter is causing a ripple effect.