Monday, January 31, 2011

No ticket increase for Eagles; lockout refund policy

The good news is the Eagles won't raise ticket prices for 2011.

The not so good news is the looming lockout means there could be no 2011 season, period, end of gesture.

Amid such issues the Eagles announced they were holding the line on ticket increases and also had a refund policy in place just in case the owners lockout the players in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement.

"As ticket prices across sports and entertainment continue to rise," Eagles president Joe Banner said in a release, "we have done our best to be sensitive to the frequency and amount of increases for Philadelphia Eagles tickets."

The Eagles also announced a ticket refund policy for general admission seats. Ticket purchasers are eligible for full refunds for any game not played due to a work stoppage in 2011. For season ticket holders, refunds are credited toward future games or direct reimbursement in the form used to pay for tickets. Refunds will include interest from the due date of the final payment.

Pro Bowl checks won't last

Unless cooler heads prevail, it's going to be awhile before NFL players get paid again.

With a lockout looming, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, wide reveiver DeSean Hackson and kicker David Akers would be smart tucking away the $45,000 shares they pocketed when the NFC defeated the AFC 55-41 Sunday in Honolulu.

The same could be said of their AFC counterparts, who made  $22,500 each.

It's obvious a new collective bargaining agreement will have to include a bump up from 16 to 18 regular season games, a leap even established owners like Art Rooney are anything but thrilled about.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eagles fear of tampering makes them look silly

Leave it to Andy Reid and the Eagles to turn a routine search for a defensive coordinator into a melodrama.

Truth be told, Reid's next coordinator works for the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers, who in nine days play in Super Bowl XLV. But the Eagles are so afraid of a tampering conviction - technically they're not allowed to speak with any of those coaches until after the Super Bowl - they look like they don't know what they're doing. The reality is their smugness is steering them clear of penalties including fines and loss of draft picks.

Rather than throw darts the way several over-caffeinated webbers are doing these days, let's just assume the Eagles would be fortunate to have almost any of the defensive coaches on the staffs of those Super Bowl squads. They are two of the top four defenses in the NFL, the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens the others.

My personal favorites are Packers linebackers coach Kevin Greene, who knows a lot about rushing the passer, and secondary coach Darren Perry, also with the Pack. They've gotten a lot out of their players, including Clay Matthews, who Greene has turned into one of the top defenders in football.

The Steelers also have fine coaches. Though both teams play the 3-4 defense, the Eagles played almost as much 3-4 as 4-3.

The ESPN repor stating former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher would join the Eagles as defensive coordinator seems a bit over the top. Terms of the settlement between Fisher, who had a year left on his contract, and the Titans still aren't known.

But if I was Andy Reid, I'd keep the snowblower and be sure to remind my good buddy, Mike Holmgren, the weather in Cleveland really isn't much less livable as it's been lately in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shuey fourth victim of purge

From what I understand Bill Shuey didn't find out he was former Eagles linebackers coach Bill Shuey until a reporter asked if he would be back.

Shuey was spotted in Eagles gear on the first day of Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala. this week.

The next day he was clad in non-Eagles gear.

It's a shame because Shuey, who quietly was not retained, isn't the problem on this Eagles defense that has now shed four assistant coaches.

On the contrary Shuey threw himself into his coaching. Rookies Jamar Chaney and Keenan Clayton showed upside thanks to Shuey's teaching.

Coaching cannot do much for Ernie Sims, the blown-up defensive back playing linebacker who got blocked or overran plays each and every snap. Management should have done a better job of evaluation there.

And there's not much you can do about the health of Stewart Bradley, who, you're just going to have to accept as damaged goods.

As far as the coaching changes, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was axed but resurfaced in Carolina with the Panthers. Shuey and defensive line coach Rory Segrest weren't retained. And veteran assistant Dick Jauron realized he was on borrowed time when the Eagles gave him permission to take the defensive coordinator job with the Cleveland Browns.

The Eagles hired Jim Washburn as defensive line coach.

Vick gets stimulus from Obama

Eagles Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick signed an endorsement deal with Unequal Technologies according to the Associated Press, which called it his first paid endorsement deal since he left prison.

Vick wore a specially engineered chest pad manufactured by Unequal Technologies after being knocked out of three games last season on a big hit. With the NFL wanting to mandate the use of thigh and similar pads in its bid to negotiate an 18-game season, having Vick as the face of cutting edge technology would be a coup for UT.

Additionally one of UT's spokespersons cited President Obama's endorsement of Vick as a guy who made the most of a second chance as another huge plus.

The face of Nike before going to prison on dogfighting chargers, Vick signed a two-year deal with Unequal Technologies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Most depressed NFL city? Avvo says it's Philly, not Detroit, Cleveland, Dallas ...

Philadelphia is the most depressed NFL city according to Avvo, which offers free ratings and analysis of cities.

Now, I don't know about you but whenever I'm thinking about relocating the first thing I ask myself is how does the place I might move to feel about their NFL team. I mean, what else would I want to know?

Here's a link to the Avvo analysis (

And here's their top 14 most depressed NFL cities (how could Detroit and Cleveland be so far down the list?):

1. Philadelphia - Because no one wants to be defensive coordinator?
2. Atlanta - Only Arthur Blank and his wife attend the games.
3. Cincinnati - So desperate for attention they'll sign anyone.
4. Houston - Should move to San Antonio.
5. San Diego - Could make a case for No. 1.
6. Detroit - Should be No. 1.
7. Jacksonville - Great press parking.
8. Cleveland - Should be No. 2.
9. Charlotte - Town closes before 1 o'clock games end.
10. Seattle - Caffeine rush eliminates depression.
11. Phoenix - Impossible to get depressed in their weather.
12. Buffalo - Don't be suprised if they move to Canada.
13. Nashville - Football just a diversion from Grand Ole Oprey.
14. Minneapolis - After Brett Favre fiasco, they're No. 3.

Eagles coordinator is in SB XLV

The Eagles' search for a defensive coordinator took another strange turn when the guy they interviewed joined the Broncos.

Unable to contain their enthusiasm, the Broncos sent a tweet late Monday night saying they had agreed to terms with Dennis Allen to become new coach John Fox's defensive coordinator.

Allen met with the Eagles about their coordinator job over the weekend. He was secondary coach of the Saints the past five seasons.

The Broncos originally offered the job to former Seattle and Atlanta head coach Jim Mora, who also spoke to the Eagles about their post.

There are some attractive candidates in the Super Bowl.

The Packers employ linebackers coaches Winton Moss and Kevin Greene, as well as secondary coach Darren Perry.

The Steelers' staff includes linebackers coach Keith Butler.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Aldan is new home of Eagles Pro Bowl fullback Owen Schmitt

Eagles Pro Bowl fullback Owen Schmitt has decide to settle down in Aldan, Delaware County.

And who can blame him?

Aldan is a cool community about 15 minutes from work at One NovaCare Way - in traffic, and only a gulp of coffee from the Daily Times.

It's also real close to Springfield, where Phil Plank, one of Schmitt's best friends, University of West Virginia teammate Phil Plank, is a resident.

And of course, former Monsignor Bonner standout and fellow Mountaineers teammate Anthony Becht still has family in Drexel Hill.

Scmitt stepped in and performed at a star level with the Eagles despite his late arrival after getting released by the Seahawks.

Schmitt made the most of the door that opened when fullback Leonard Weaver, who was coming off a Pro Bowl season, tore ligaments in a knee. Weaver recently underwent another surgery on the knee and his status for next season is questionable.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coaching exodus continues

The Eagles parted ways with their third defensive coach in two weeks, veteran assistant Dick Jauron on Friday agreeing to terms to become defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.

The Eagles wanted to retain the 60-year-old Jauron, according to the NFL Network report breaking the news, although it was unclear if it was to fill their opening at defensive coordinator.

The Philly coaching turnover began when Sean McDermott, who coordinated the defense the past two years, was axed suddenly last week after head coach Andy Reid said he would be retained for 2011. Soon after defensive line coach Rory Segrest was sent packing, the Eagles replacing him with Jim Washburn, formerly of the Tennessee Titans.

The instability couldn’t have made Jim Mora Jr. feel comfortable throwing himself into the thick of the race for coordinator.

Jauron’s exit, added to the termination of McDermott, further exacerbates the perception of an intrusive front office.

With Jauron out of the picture the Eagles have targeted 38-year-old New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen for defensive coordinator. Allen will interview with head coach Andy Reid and Eagles brass this weekend.

However the Denver Broncos also are in the hunt for Allen, having met with him Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Allen, not Pees interviewing for defensive coordinator job

Andy Reid and the Eagles are scheduled to interview 38-year-old Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen this weekend for the vacant defensive coordinator job, according to a league source.

The Bronocs also want to interview Allen according to a report.

Eagles veteran assistant coach Dick Jauron, 60, remains the fallback plan. Keep in mind, though, that the Eagles gave him permission to speak with the Browns about their defensive coordinator job.

The Eagles privately refuted they sought permission to interview
Ravens linebackers coach Dean Pees for the coordinator post.

Speaking of the Browns, ESPN reported they are interviewing former Cardinals defensive coordinator Billy Davis and former University of
Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt today for their vacant defensive
coordinator position.

Davis also is a consideration for the Eagles' job. His father Bill worked for the Birds a portion of the Buddy Ryan era.

Allen has coached the Saints' secondary the last three seasons, including he past two under Gregg Williams, one of the top defensive coordinators in the league.

Allen was assistant defensive line coach for the Saints for two years through the 2007 season. He also was an assistant with the Falcons, serving under Wade Phillips, another successful defensive coordinator.

Allen played safety at Texas A&M and got a tryout with the Buffalo Bills but didn't play in the NFL.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Washburn is Eagles D-line coach

The Eagles hired Jim Washburn, allowed to search for another job by the Tennessee Titans, as defensive line coach Wednesday.

Washburn spent all 12 of his years in the NFL coaching up the Titans defensive linemen, including the likes of Jevon Kearse and – you ready or this? – Albert Haynesworth.

Washburn replaces Rory Segrest, the scapegoat for an Eagles line short on talent and pass rush. Segrest was told it would be a good idea to look for another job.

In the Washburn era the Titans are seventh in the NFL with 474 sacks. They also rank fifth against the run, limiting opponents to just 102.9 rushing yards per game.

The Eagles are excited that Washburn oversaw the development of Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tony Brown, Jason Babin, Kevin Carter, Antwan Odom, Robaire Smith, John Thornton and Gary Walker, among others.

Vanden Bosch, Babin, Carter, Haynesworth, Kearse and Walker earned a combined eleven Pro Bowl selections under Washburn’s tutelage.

No Eagles defensive linemen were voted into the upcoming Pro Bowl.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All-NFL honors for Vick, Samuel and Mornhinweg

The Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America voters have spoken.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the MVP, not Eagles counterpart Michael Vick, who has to settle for comeback player of the year.

Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who wasn't interviewed for a head coaching job, has to accept that he did the best coaching job of all assistants in 2010.

And cornerback Asante Samuel, who led the NFC with seven interceptions, is the only Eagle on the All-NFL team.

The PFW/PFWA top achiever awards:
Most Valuable Player - Patriots QB Tom Brady
Defensive MVP - Packers LB Clay Matthews
Coach of the Year - Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Rookie of the Year - Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
Offensive Rookie of the Year - Rams QB Sam Bradford
Most Improved Player of the Year - Texans RB Arian Foster
Comeback Player of the Year - Eagles QB Michael Vick
Executive of the Year - Chiefs GM Scott Pioli
Assistant Coach of the Year - Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Golden Toe (Best Placekicker or Punter) - Ravens PK Billy Cundiff

PFW-PFWA All-NFL defense, special teams

The Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association of America All-NFL defensive team has possibly the best line since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978.

Though it's hard to believe Jerod Mayo is on the squad at linebacker rather than LaMarr Woodley (middle linebacker argument notwithstanding), these are truly the elite.

DE Julius Peppers / Bears
DE Justin Tuck / Giants
DT Haloti Ngata / Ravens
DT Ndamukong Suh / Lions
OLB Clay Matthews / Packers
OLB James Harrison / Steelers
MLB Jerod Mayo / Patriots
CB Asante Samuel / Eagles
CB Darrelle Revis / Jets
S Troy Polamalu / Steelers
S Ed Reed / Ravens

PK Billy Cundiff / Ravens
P Shane Lechler / Raiders
PR Devin Hester / Bears
KR Leon Washington / Seahawks
ST Eric Weems / Falcons

PFW-PFWA All-NFL offense

There are issues with the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America 2010 All-NFL offensive team at center, tight end and guard.

Rookie Maurkice Pouncy has had an incredible year, although Nick Mangold also is deserving. Rookie Rob Gronkowski deserves to be the tight end over Jason Witten. And Todd Herremans deserves to be one of the guards on a unit with zero, zilch Eagles.

QB Tom Brady / Patriots
RB Arian Foster / Texans
RB Jamaal Charles / Chiefs
WR Roddy White / Falcons
WR Reggie Wayne / Colts
TE Jason Witten / Cowboys
C Nick Mangold / Jets
OG Jahri Evans / Saints
OG Chris Snee / Giants
OT Joe Thomas / Browns
OT Jake Long / Dolphins

Monday, January 17, 2011

Panthers hire McDermott

Former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was hired to be defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, who are coached by  former Eagles assistant Ron Rivera.
McDermott should get some decent talent to work with as the Panthers (3-13) have the first pick in the NFL draft. Right now Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley (6-5, 299) is looking a lot like the first pick.
McDermott and Rivera spent five years together on the Eagles' coaching staff when the late Jim Johnson was defensive coordinator.
McDermott was axed last week after his second year with the Eagles, his defense finishing 12th in yards allowed but last in red zone defense.
The news broke at

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eagles fire McDermott

Just two days after Andy Reid said Sean McDermott would return in 2011, the Eagles fired the embattled defensive coordinator.
Eagles assistant Dick Jauron, 60, is among the candidates to become the next defensive coordinator.
McDermott, 36, was let go Wednesday after the Eagles took another look at the 2010 season.
With LaSalle High product McDermott running the show, the Eagles finished 12th in the NFL in yards allowed and amohg the top three in takeaways.
But McDermott's red zone defense far and away was worst in the league, a far cry from the norm under the late Jim Johnson, who McDermott succeeded two years ago. The opposition scored on 42 of 43 trips inside the Eagles' 20-yard line (76.7 percent), including 33 touchdowns.
The Eagles also gave up a whopping 23.6 points per game.
McDermott has been interviewing for another job. He could resurface in Cleveland, where former Eagles quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur has taken over as the head coach.
Jauron could be offered the job this week, when Reid returns from a vacation. The Eagles intend to interview other candidates, however. Also it bears mentioning that Jauron was given permission to interview for the defensive coordiantor job with the Browns.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Browns target Shurmur

It looks like Eagles offfensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg won't interview for the Cleveland Browns job.
The Browns hope to hammer out a contract making Pat Shurmur their head coach within the next 48 hours and introduce Shurmur as coach at a news conference by Friday according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (
Rams offensive coordinator Shurmur was Eagles quarterbacks coach two years ago.
The Browns also met with Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, the latter of which puts them in compliance with the Rooney Rule.

Monday, January 10, 2011

16 Eagles contracts expire

The list of Eagles players whose contracts expire after this calendar season. Restricted-unrestricted status is not applicable in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement:
G Nick Cole
G Reggie Wells
G Max Jean-Gilles
QB Michael Vick
RB Jerome Harrison
S Antone Harris
DB Ellis Hobbs
K David Akers
P Sav Rocca
DE Bobby McCray
CB Dimitri Patterson
LB Ernie Sims
LB Omar Gaither
LB Stew Bradley
LB Akeem Jordan
S Quintin Mikell

Kolb QB of future elsewhere

Kevin Kolb is going to get another chance to start.
But it almost certainly won't be with the Eagles.
A reliable NFL source expects Kolb, who lost the starting job to Michael Vick, to be shopped over the offseason.
Andy Reid, asked Monday who his starting quarterback would be in 2011, gave the noncommittal response of "We'll see."
The Eagles' front office with general manager Howie Roseman, as it did last year with former Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb, will play a major role in helping Reid reach a decision.
Kolb has one year left on his contact while Vick is an unrestricted free agent.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

And the ref is ... Peter Morelli

Peter Morelli's crew officiates Eagles-Packers. And that's a good thing. The Birds are 2-0 in playoff games Morelli refs.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DJax and 'bring it on'

Here's the link to the sight Eagles fans really want to see Sunday.
When DeSean Jackson, arms outstretched, nods his head and gestures with his fingers as if simulating rain it means it's about to pour all over the opposition.
"Bring it on." Jackson said. "It means just bring it on."
The last time Jackson 'brung it on," if you will he was waiting to field a punt 65 yards away from the end zone with 12 seconds left in a tie game with the Giants at the New Meadowlands (OK, 14 seconds after John Parry adjusted the clock).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Surgery for Calvin, Owens

Defensive back-kick returner Jorrick Calvin underwent microdisectomy surgery on his lower back Jan. 3 by Dr. Alex Vaccaro of the Rothman Institute at Jefferson
University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Defensive tackle Jeff Owens underwent surgery to repair his left knee patella tendon as well as microfracture surgery on Jan. 5 by Dr. James Andrews. Owens will also have surgery to repair his ACL at a later date.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vick's leg feels "real, real good"

The Eagles are fairly healthy.
After practice Wednesday Vick said his bruised quadriceps felt “good.
“It felt real, real good,” Vick said. “I went out and practiced well, threw the ball effectively. It’s about 100 percent.”
Guard Todd Herremans sat out a portion of practice with a strained calf.
The only players to sit out work were middle linebacker Stewart Bradley (dislocated elbow) and right guard Max Jean-Gilles (high ankle sprain).

Birds have "more of an opportunity" without '5'

Andy Reid called his first foray into the playoffs without Donovan McNabb “new and I like it.
“I mean, it’s exciting,” Reid said.
Reid makes his 10th playoff appearance in a dozen years as head coach Sunday at 4:30 p.m. against the Packers.
The Eagles are favored by 2.5 points.
Reid isn’t the only one excited.
Veteran safety Quintin Mikell, previously an unabashed fan of McNabb, seems to feel much better about the chances this time with Michael Vick at quarterback.
“The whole year has been different without Donovan,” Mikell said. “But I think we definitely have more of an opportunity. I wouldn’t say we didn’t with (McNabb). But obviously the way Mike has been playing this year I feel like anything is possible.”

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goodell: "I know we can and will reach an agreement"

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell e-mailed  millions in the league's database that there will not be a lockout in 2011.
The document was long on rhetoric but short on answers. To wit:
"Yes, NFL players deserve to be paid well. Unfortunately, economic realities are forcing everyone to make tough choices and the NFL is no different. These are not easy negotiations, but the outcome can be positive. If both sides give a little, everyone, including fans, will get a lot and the game will improve through innovation."
The e-mail is at

Vick: MVP question a 'setup'

Michael Vick has an issue with a reporter who last week asked him who would get his MVP vote.
Vick didn't like the way his answer looked in print as well as on the Internet. "If you put me on the spot, I would pick myself," was Vick's response.
On Monday Vick zinged the questioner who shall remain anonymous.
"You set me up," he said. "You got me good."
At any rate, that should be the last concern of Vick or the Eagles as they prepare to open the wild card round of the playoffs Sunday at the Linc (4:30 p.m.) against the Green Bay Packers.
Vick also declined to answer a question about which team was better - the Falcons team he took to the 2004 NFC title game or this Eagles squad.
"That's a trick question," Vick said. "I won't answer that. I will say this is a good football team.
"Trick questions. I'm learning you guys."

Eagles, Packers roster makeup much different from opening day

The Eagles are favored from 1 to 3 points in their wild card game Sunday against the Packers.
That despite being dropped, 27-20, in the season opener.
Must be the home field advantage and the roster changes for both teams.
The Eagles have nine different starters from opening day, most notably Michael Vick at quarterback and Mike McGlynn at center, the latter in place of Jamaal Jackson.
The Packers have five different starters, the notable losses Pro Bowl caliber running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley and middle linebacker Nick Barnett to injuries.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Scratch Vick, Djax, McCoy, Samuel

Eagles scratched LeSean McCoy, Winston Justice, DeSean Jackson, Trent Cole, Trevor Laws, Stewart Bradley, Asante Samuel and Michael Vick.