Sunday, December 30, 2007
And the No. 2 QB is ... KEVIN KOLB
Eagles rookie Kevin Kolb, not veteran A.J. Feeley, began the afternoon as the backup to starting quarterback Donovan McNabb in the season finale Sunday against the Bills at Lincoln Financial Field.
That would make the rookie passer much closer to getting into the game.
The Eagles scratched tight end L.J. Smith (knee), S Brian Dawkins (foot), cornerbacks Lito Sheppard (knee) and Tanard Davis, G Scott Young and defensive linemen LaJuan Ramsey and Montae Reagor.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
and a Merry Christmas to GARY PAPA
Having been around the block longer than most of the guys on the Eagles beat - I'm now the oldest active Eagles beat writer, bar none - the dots just seem to connect in a more meaningful way these days.
I've not above showing a little sensitivity like, thanks, Channel 6's Gary Papa, for being an inspiration.
It doesn't matter that Papa is on the TV side. He's a total pro, a man with integrity, an edge and a love for his craft . He's had some tough life battles tough people work through and it's not for me to go into detail. But I've just got to say I felt honored to be in the same work area as Gary after the Eagles' win over the Saints Sunday.
A few reporters were connecting with Eagles safety J.R. Reed, who was coming off yet another physical and emotional effort. Reed is a lot like Papa; a lot of people root for him. When Papa asked Reed, coming back from a career-threatening leg injury, about the long road back they connected on an almost indescribable, you-had-to-be-there level. And I was happy just to be there.
Thanks for the inspiration, G-Papa, and the priceless lesson about life.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
It's DONOVAN at QB, Jordan at WILL
The only change in the Eagles' starting lineup for this weekend's road game with the Saints is at weakside linebacker, according to Andy Reid, where athletic rookie Akeem Jordan likely will replaced surgery-bound veteran Takeo Spikes (torn rotator cuff).
If the Eagles open against the Saints in regular defense, Jordan gets the nod. If the Eagles start in their nickel package, the guy is rookie third-round pick Stewart Bradley.
Also, Mike Gasperson will be promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and play what Andy Reid described as a dual role at WR-TE.
Reid said tight ends L.J. Smith (knee) and Matt Schobel (concussion) would be held out of practice. Additionally, Brian Dawkins (flu), Brian Westbrook (knee), Reggie Brown (knee) and Shawn Andrews (knee) were to be held out of work. Andrews participated in the walkthrough.
Monday, December 17, 2007
THE STAR CELEBRATION that wasn't ...
At first, Donovan McNabb barely remembered the one-yard TD pass he threw to Reggie Brown Sunday, the only TD of the game in a 10-6 victory over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium.
But McNabb clearly remembered his post-score gesture, one in which he slowly stretched his arms outward and up while looking in the sky. And it wasn't, he said, his rendition of Terrell Owens' Texas Lone Star TD celebration.
"No, no it looked that way but it wasn't," McNabb said. "I was just giving thanks to The Man upstairs. I've been through a lot this year. I was just giving thanks."
Sunday, December 16, 2007
DONOVAN tells Pam Oliver he's unwanted
This is hugely interesting.
Here's the text of what Pam Oliver of Fox Sports said about Donovan McNabb Sunday:
"Donovan really seems to believe that his days in Philadelphia are numbered. When I spoke with him before the game, I got the impression that Donovan is a little hurt by what he sees as an organization distancing itself from him and an organization that's overly concerned about the negative fan reaction to him. But Donovan told me point blank: My knee is not an issue. The next place I go, I will win, and also that he will keep a smile on his face for as long he's in an Eagles uniform."
KEARSE, JAMES healthy scatches ...
As anticipated, one of the Eagles’ healthy scratches was defensive end Jevon Kearse, who surrendered his playing time to rookie Victor Abiamiri.
Kearse hasn’t had a sack since the one that gave him 3 1-2 sacks – eight weeks ago.
Another healthy and somewhat surprising Eagles deactivation was cornerback Will James, although he’s played sparingly of late.
James is tied for second on the Eagles with one interception.
The Eagles also scratched running back Correll Buckhalter (concussion) and tight end L.J. Smith (knee, ribs), along with guard Scott Young, defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey and safety Marcus Paschal.
EAGLES-COWBOYS? Make it ...
This game could be a lot like the close-but-no-cigar Patriots contest. Donovan McNabb really can throw the ball down the field, as he demonstrated last week in the hurry-up offense. Don’t be surprised if you see the latter early today so the Eagles can get into a rhythm.
Make it Cowboys 27, Eagles 23.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
ANDY REID CONFERENCE: 12/12
I'm sitting next to Tom Maloney, veteran KYW News Radio reporter. Andy Reid's news conference begins in a few minutes.
The only real question here is what do we ask?
Well, a ton of Eagles aren't going to practice including Correll Buckhalter so the obvious question is, do we see more of rookie third round pick Tony Hunt?
Q: Andy, do you see an expanded role for Tony Hunt?
A: Obviously if Buck can't get back Tony will step in there. He's done a great job in goal line and short yardage. He's picking up the offense. He's picking it up and will do a good job if Buck can't play.
Q: Why hasn't he played a lot?
A: It's the numbers. You have to figure out the game day (45-man roster) numbers.
Q: What adjustments has he had to make? Blocking?
A: It wasn't blocking per se. It was the blitz pickup. That's where most rookies struggle. He's been working hard at that.
Q: Do you still think he's more than just a short-yardage player?
A: An every-down guy. He's working toward that.
A lot of reporters jumped on the idea as there was almost no talk, believe it or not, about this being Dallas Cowboys week.
That's life for a 5-8 team.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Has DON packed it in???
The way Donovan McNabb played Sunday against the New York Giants was Mike Vick-esque.
In the last game of last year - and possibly the last contest of his career - Vick played the first half of the otherwise meaningless contest between the Falcons and the Eagles at the Linc but opted out of the second half presumably due to a sprained ankle.
Well, McNabb got after it in the first half Sunday but he really wasn't into it nearly as much the rest of the game, especially when the Eagles needed him most at the end.
On this end it didn't seem to be the play-calling as much as the guy in charge of carrying the plays out. There was no spark, and that was most disheartening as McNabb's game is all about energy and emotion.
All of which leads to this: McNabb performed very much like a guy who won't be around next season. He was distant at the news conference as well. He's got something heavy on his mind. Possbily his new employers.
6-10 IS JUST ABOUT RIGHT
Like you read here the other day, the Eagles are going to have a tough time winning just one game the rest of the way.
The worst thing about this horrific Eagles season is the coaches won’t pull
the plug on it for at least another week.
With a 5-8 record and three games left, the Eagles trail Minnesota (7-6),
Washington (6-7), Detroit (6-7) and Arizona (6-7) in the race for what almost
certainly will be the last remaining wild card berth.
The New York Giants (9-4) might not even have to win the rest of the way to
clinch the other spot.
Chicago (5-8) is a step ahead of the Eagles, having beaten them this season,
with Carolina (5-8) right there and New Orleans (5-7), playing tonight, just around the corner.
All the Eagles have to do to stay in the middle of the wild card madness is
beat the Cowboys (12-1) next weekend in Dallas. Right.
Instead of taking a look at more of the younger guys, rookies like defensive
end Victor Abiamiri, linebacker Stewart Bradley and dare we say quarterback
Kevin Kolb, the Eagles will waste their time and risk devaluing their drafting
position fighting to reach 8-8.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
ADJUSTED EAGLES RECORD: 6-10
I don't see the Eagles beating the Giants (8-4), the Cowboys (11-1) in Dallas and the Saints (5-7) in New Orleans. The Eagles just don't play with enough consistency and urgency although they probably will be more competitive on the road than Lincoln Financial Field. But they will end the season on a positive note with a win over the Buffalo Bills. That means a 6-10 season for the second time in three seasons, and regardless of what the early forecast appears to be, significant change.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
MCNABB looks sharp ... again
Donovan McNabb got back on the practice field Wednesday, and in the limited time the media was allowed in, looked fully rehabbed.
Sidelined the past two game, McNabb was able to plant on the right ankle, and the right thumb was not an issue as he threw the ball hard and accurately.
Safety Quintin Mikell (knee) also returned to practice after sitting out the last two games while cornerback Lito Sheppard (knee), who couldn't finish the last game, also was a full participant.
Running Brian Westbtrook was the only Eagle that didn't practice and he expects to play Sunday when the Birds oppose the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
FEELEY: INTERCEPTION MACHINE
With A.J. Feeley beginning the game Sunday by throwing his third straight interception, dating back to last week, and a couple of series' later another pick, he has six on the season, the same as McNabb.
It's hard to believe rookie Kevin Kolb could be worse. Feeley needed a tipped ball to complete his first pass. It's pretty obvious he can't see the whole field. He is what he is, and that's a good backup.
BREAKING NEWS: McNabb, Bunkley ...
... are scratched for the Seahawks today.
... Donovan McNabb (knee, ankle, thumb) was shelved for the second straight game, A.J. Feeley taking over the starting job. There are rumblings McNabb may have played his last game. We'll check those out.
... Kimo von Oelhoffen, who at age 36 is the oldest Eagles starting defensive tackle since the merger, started in place of Brodrick Bunkley (knee, hamstring), who had started all 11 games. Von Oelhoffen hasn't played since the third week of the season. He started all 16 games for the playoff Jets last year.
... Eagles veteran DT Montae Reagor has to be wondering what he did wrong. In addition to being passed over for a guy who appeared to be done, he was deactivated for the sixth time in the last seven games.
... J.R. Reed started at safety for the second straight game in place of Quintin Mikell (knee). The Eagles also deactivated rookie DE Victor Abiamiri.
... The Seahawks' most notable scratch was WR D.J. Hackett.