June 10, 2016 |
The Eagles conclude the spring portion of their offseason practices and workouts Thursday when the mandatory minicamp ends, and everyone departs having agreed it went great. That is the recurring theme around the NovaCare Complex since Doug Pederson replaced Chip Kelly. Things are great and, with the regular season still three months away, there's no sense in dwelling on the fact that greatness is a relative term, particularly in the NFL. It is a time of quiet optimism instead, even if it would also be optimistic to predict the team will win more than half its games this season.
June 3, 2016 |
CHIP KELLY'S fast-paced practices - er, I mean training sessions - always reminded me of one of those old TV game shows where the contestants were thrown into a toy store or supermarket with a shopping cart and given a fixed period of time to fill up the cart with as much merchandise as it could hold. Chippah was all about speed and cramming as many repetitions as possible into a two-hour practice - er, training session - window. There was no stopping for corrections or instruction, except for those very brief "teaching" periods.
February 12, 2016 |
HE RAN a post pattern, Greg Lewis recalls, faking a safety to the outside, digging hard inside, coming free down the middle in the end zone for the 30-yard Donovan McNabb touchdown pass. For Eagles fans, the narrative about the last touchdown drive of Super Bowl XXXIX will always be about how long the sequence took (three minutes, 52 seconds to cover 79 yards in 13 plays, or, in talk-radio lore, forever and a day) and what McNabb was doing, as the minutes dwindled (trying to recover from a hit to the ribs, or, in talk-radio lore, puking, pouting over draft-day booing, pondering what would happen in the event of a tie)
February 5, 2016 |
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Corey Brown returned to being "Philly" Brown during a rough preseason stretch. The Panthers wide receiver, known to many over the last seven years as "Philly" - as if it were his given name - decided this past offseason that he wanted to be called by, well, his actual given name. His teammates and coaches tried, but habits are hard to break. And then the Germantown native dropped several passes during the preseason, and Panthers wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl decided that this Corey thing wasn't working out. "He had a tough little time for about two-three weeks in the preseason where he had several drops," Proehl said.
February 2, 2016 |
Doug Pederson had just started as head coach at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La., in 2005 when he received an offer to help the San Francisco 49ers' coaching staff. He turned it down only months after retiring from a 12-year playing career and settling in his offseason home in northwest Louisiana. Johnny Booty, Calvary's athletic director at the time, was concerned. He was convinced that Pederson was a promising coach poised for a bright future. But he didn't want a revolving door for a program in only its second year of existence.
December 20, 2015 |
After catching a touchdown in last week's win over Buffalo, Nelson Agholor flipped the football to the referee. It was his first NFL score. The Eagles rookie wide receiver could have had the ball stashed in his locker by an equipment manager. Perhaps, Agholor would then display it on his mantle. Instead, he said he had no interest in doing that. He has never been one to save footballs. After the game, when the ball happened to be returned to him, Agholor gave it to a young fan. "It's just how it is," Agholor said.
December 9, 2015 |
The Eagles released wide receiver Miles Austin a day after he was inactive for the first time this season. The team announced the move Monday, but didn't yet make a corresponding move to replace Austin's spot on the 53-man roster. Rookie Jonathan Krause, who was signed off the practice squad before the Lions game, got the nod ahead of Austin on Sunday against the Patriots. He had one catch for four yards. The Eagles had seven receivers - a large number - on the roster before Austin's release.
November 18, 2015 |
If you want to know what Chip Kelly really thinks of his wide receivers, particularly the collection of players who line up primarily on the outside, look at how the Eagles' passes have been distributed this season compared with the previous two. In 2013, outside receivers were targeted 45.4 percent of the time, while inside "receivers" - the slot, tight ends and running backs - saw 54.6 percent. In 2014, outside receivers were targeted 43.6 percent of the time, while inside receivers were targeted 56.4 percent.
October 17, 2015 |
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Penn State has seen Braxton Miller only twice, both times as Ohio State's quarterback. For its coaches, its players and Nittany Nation, that was two times too many. Miller's mind-boggling combination of speed, quickness, elusiveness and decision-making was a factor in a pair of wins for the Buckeyes - 35-23 at Beaver Stadium in 2012, and, 63-14, at Ohio Stadium in 2013. In those two contests, Miller rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns, and passed for 395 yards and four TDs. After a one-year absence when he sat out with a shoulder injury, Miller returns Saturday night for the top-ranked Buckeyes' game against Penn State as an H-back – a dual-threat runner and pass-catcher.
October 16, 2015 |
(What once was a nine-alarm fire is now a manageable little blaze. That's what happens in the NFL when a team wins a single game and has a record of 2-3 instead of 1-4, as the Eagles did Sunday against the Saints. There is still plenty to fix, still plenty to talk about as they confront their biggest rivals, the New York Giants. Yes, the Giants - not the Cowboys. But that is an argument for another time. This week, David Murphy and Rich Hofmann began the afternoon in agreement - the beer of choice for both was Sierra Nevada in a can.)