April 29, 2015 |
THE FLIGHT, in late March, was from State College to Washington, D.C. The prop plane was small, the weather bad. And Deion Barnes was hanging on for dear life. Barnes, a defensive end from Penn State and Northeast High, was on the first leg of a journey that took him to a pre-NFL draft workout with the Oakland Raiders, the only team he worked out for besides the Eagles. He tweeted at the time that it was the "scariest flight of my life" and added, "I almost threw up and cried at the same time.
January 29, 2015 |
The official Chip Kelly offseason scoreboard shows that his actions hold a significant lead over his words and, in all likelihood, the verbal game won't even attempt a comeback until late March. In typical fashion, the big play from the Eagles head coach came fast and furious. When Howie Roseman wielded his general manager power by firing vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble immediately after the season ended, Kelly's counterpunch resulted in a bloody TKO. Owner Jeffrey Lurie stripped Roseman of all his personnel duties, making it clear that the head coach ruled the decision-making kingdom at One NovaCare Way. That was by far the loudest and most meaningful action by Kelly since the Eagles played their last game of 2014 and he has not spoken a single public word about it. Given the way things work in the silent society shared by so many NFL teams and coaches, it's possible - even probable - that Kelly will not answer any questions about the Eagles' internal power struggle until the March owners meetings in Arizona.
January 21, 2015 |
Chip Kelly will be looking for his third quarterbacks coach in three years after Bill Musgrave left Monday to become the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders. Musgrave, 47, replaced Bill Lazor last offseason after Lazor became the Dolphins' offensive coordinator. Musgrave spent one year in Philadelphia, working with quarterbacks Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley. Kelly praised Musgrave's work with Foles' mechanics, and the quarterbacks spoke highly of the way Musgrave coached.
January 18, 2015 |
Like so many of the victories restored to his resume on Friday, the response from former Penn State players to Joe Paterno's posthumous redemption was easy to forecast. Via interviews and social media, Nittany Lions players reacted to the news about their ex-coach with relief and satisfaction. "It was only a matter of time," tweeted Mike McGloin, the Paterno-recruited quarterback now with the Oakland Raiders. "Now this [a photo of the Paterno statue school officials removed] needs to be put back.
September 29, 2014 |
To understand just how good the Eagles have it at quarterback with Nick Foles as their starter and veteran Mark Sanchez as his backup, all you have to do is look around the NFL. First, let's head down to South Florida, where it's Week 4 and Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin arrived for work Monday unwilling to say who would start Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders in London. That announcement came from Ryan Tannehill, who had started the first three games of the season and played unimpressively enough that his coach had every reason to wonder about his ability to do the job. "I'm taking the first snap of the game," Tannehill told Dolphins reporters Wednesday.
September 19, 2014 |
SO WHAT DO we know about this Alabama team, really? Well, it's taken three games, but, for starters, we can finally say that Blake Sims is the No. 1 quarterback for the third-ranked Crimson Tide. And you were thinking junior Jake Coker, who transferred in after graduating from Florida State in May, would be AJ McCarron's successor. The same guy who supposedly nearly beat out Jameis Winston for the FSU job in the spring of 2013. But Sims, a senior who was the backup the last two seasons after getting carries as a running back in 2011, apparently wasn't ready to accept that role forever.
September 9, 2014 |
HAVING HIS FIRST NFL field-goal attempt turn out to be a 51-yarder to tie the score in the fourth quarter was "pretty cool," Cody Parkey said afterward. So was the rookie kicker from Auburn, who later hit from 28 yards, and managed touchbacks on five of seven kickoffs in the Eagles' 34-17, season-opening victory over Jacksonville. Would he have rather tried the 28-yarder first? "It doesn't matter, as long as we get 'em both on the board," said Parkey, who came to the Eagles in an Aug. 21 trade with the Colts - against whom he will kick a week from tonight.
September 5, 2014 |
Can Seahawks buck trend? No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since New England beat the Eagles, 24-21, in February 2005. Since then, the defending Super Bowl champion has earned only one playoff win - New England the next year. Since 2005, the defending Super Bowl champion hasn't qualified for the playoffs four times, and the ones that did were a combined 1-5 in the postseason. Seattle, which retained most of its team, appears a solid choice to buck this trend. First-round QBs Blake Bortles (Jacksonville)
August 4, 2014 |
LITO SHEPPARD entered that nether region that all aging athletes reach after the 2011 season, during which he played nine games for the Oakland Raiders. Just 30 years old at the time, the 2002 first-round draft pick of the Eagles still believed he had the physical skills, athleticism and game experience to remain a productive cornerback. But as all athletes eventually learn, Sheppard realized it was not going to be he who ultimately would make that determination. None of the 32 teams gave Sheppard - who had played 126 games and had 19 interceptions - a chance in 2012.
July 18, 2014 |
I MIGHT HAVE been the luckiest player in pro football history. Unfortunately, there are two kinds of luck. My "Walter Mitty" career began as an undrafted free agent with the 1980 Eagles. Fresh out of Memphis State (now the University of Memphis), I was a converted power forward on the basketball team who chose football in his senior year as a last chance at realizing my childhood dream of being a professional athlete. You see, the NBA wasn't looking for any 6-6 white centers, but the NFL did have a need for 245-pound tight ends who could run a 4.6 40-yard dash.