Monday, October 31, 2011

Sharing their love for Jim Johnson

It was impossible to block the emotion of family and friends of Jim Johnson, the former Eagles' defensive coordinator inducted the organization's Honor Roll posthumously.

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said Johnson was more than a coach. Vicky Johnson, his widow, spoke of the family guy.

He was 68.
Brendan and Justin Rose, Johnson's twin 12-year-old grandchildren, shared memories about their Pop-Pop providing another insight to the man so revered, and missed by players, coaching colleagues and fans.

The twins are mature beyond their youth, having viewed game tapes and assisted the team voluntarily at the past two training camps.

Eagles off until Thursday

Matt Forte.
With their next game Monday night, the Eagles are off until Thursday.

It's their second extended vacation - albeit modest - in the past two weeks.

The Eagles (3-4) next take on the Chicago Bears (4-3) at Lincoln Financial Field.

In the game with the short work week the Birds entertain dreadful Arizona Cardinals (1-6)  with Kevin Kolb at quarterback.

After losing two of their first three games, the Bears have won three of their last four. Not that Carolina, Minnesota and Tampa Bay scare anyone. The loss was to Detroit.

Bears running back Matt Forte ranks sixth in the NFL in rushing, have romped for 205 yards to beat the Panthers.

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has 754 rushing yards, just one productive carry behind league-leader Adrian Peterson of Minnesota.

With 10 touchdowns apiece, McCoy and Peterson trail only league-leader Calvin Johnson (11) of the Lions.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dion Lewis hurt in auto accident

Injured in auto accident Sunday.
Eagles rookie running back Dion Lewis was “shook-up” in an automobile accident this afternoon and scratched for the Cowboys game.

The Eagles said Lewis was “OK” but declined further comment other than to say the event was in Pennsylvania.

Lewis leads the Eagles with a 21.1 average on kickoff returns. Veteran Ronnie Brown is slated to take over those duties. Fancast

Mike Mrzecko (left), Jack McCaffery and Vince  Carey talk Eagles on the Fancast in Lot H 3 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Natural Born Cowgirl Hater

Daniel (in mask) expresses his thoughts about the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry with his Pop, Mike.

Sean McDermott remembers Jim Johnson

Honored tonight at Linc.
The late Jim Johnson was a mentor to Sean McDermott, who took over as Eagles defensive coordinator when Johnson was ill with cancer.

Sean McDermott, Big Red, better times.
With Johnson to be inducted into the Eagles Honor Roll Sunday night, McDermott, now the coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, took time to remember Johnson, his stories, the way he carried himself and his sense of humor.

“One of the things he liked to do was kid around with the intern coaches each training camp,” McDermott wrote. “On the last day of their time with us he would individually tell each one of them, ‘Of all of the intern coaches we have had here’ — and each one would get all excited like they had done a great job and were about to be praised by the legendary coach — ‘you have been among them.’ And then Jim would burst out laughing. It became a ritual at camp. He loved doing that every year.”

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Samuel, Banner, Roseman and power

Cameras weren't allowed at Eagles practice Friday.

The pictures would have been worth a ton of words.

The interaction, or lack thereof among cornerback Asante Samuel and the guys he fingered for playing fantasy football with Jeffrey Lurie's money was most entertaining.

While Lurie watched the entire practice, so-called fantasy football guys Joe Banner and Howie Roseman barely made a cameo. Typically they're out there most of the session.

The president and the G.M. also were standing about as far away from Samuel as was possible. They weren't near Lurie, either. And they seemed to be looking around the sideline to see if anyone noticed they were around.

Samuel ignored them. His trash talk was muted. Some of his teammates were looking at the fantasy guys.

Oh and head coach Andy Reid, who doesn't have the authority he used to, was far, far away from all of those characters.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Players, front office on same page tonight

Not planning to attend ceremony.

The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation and the Eagles dedicate Children’s Crisis Treatment Center as the Philadelphia Eagles Courage House at at 4 p.m.

Eagles Ed Block Courage Award recipients Michael Vick, Jason Avant, and Jon Dorenbos, as well as members of the Eagles front office personnel and athletic training staff will attend the dedication ceremony.

And you thought there was a power struggle going on, didn't you?

Ed Block Courage Award Foundation staff, and clients and members of the staff at Children’s Crisis Treatment Center will also be in attendance.

On Sunday the Eagles formally announce CCTC as their Courage House, and the foundation will present a check for $10,000 to CCTC.

The $10,000 check represents The George Young National Grant that is given to each Courage House when they join the National Support Network for Kids. The Grant represents the partnership between the NFL, The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), and the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Samuel statement

Before Asante Samuel left for home Wednesday, he gave a statement to some of the same reporters who heard him accuse Eagles president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman  of playing fantasy football with owner Jeffrey Lurie's money.

The statement came after an emergency chat with head coach Andy Reid. Samuel said nothing about the power struggle he felt Eagles management was waging with Reid.

Interestingly Reid issued a statement following his meeting with Samuel.

"As far as my relationship with Howie and Joe, I have a great deal of respect for both of them and I know we are all on the same page,” it read.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Samuel: Reid in power struggle

Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel got himself into a throwdown Wednesday with head coach Andy Reid, team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman.

Upset the Eagles told him they would try to trade him this summer, Samuel said he felt loyalty and "cool" with Reid but a business type of cold with "upstairs" - i.e. management.

Samuel says Reid is in the midst of a power struggle.

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Peters, Herremans at OT for Cowboys

Teams called Eagles about CB.
Andy Reid says he has an understanding with cornerback Asante Samuel, who has felt unwanted since the Eagles entertained offers for him after signing free agent corner Nnamdi Asomugha and trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Reid conceded there was interest in Samuel before the trade deadline two weeks ago.

“You have to understand everybody calls everybody,” Reid said. “We’re sitting here with a few good corners. So people call. But (shopping Samuel) wasn't the case.

"Asante and I talk. So listen, I’m not worried about that at all. He loves to play the game. And we’re going to move forward. I don’t have any comments past this. And I know he doesn’t. So, we’re moving on here.”

In other news, Todd Herremans moves back to right offensive tackle after playing left offensive tackle in the win over the Redskins.
Pro Bowl left offensive tackle Jason Peters (hamstring) is back in the lineup according to Andy Reid, who, along with line coach Howard Mudd, likes Herremans on the right side and Evan Mathis at left guard, where Herremans has spent much of his career.

"I think they have a chance to be a good offensive line," Reid said. "I think it's just a matter of getting the work together and putting out the effort. I thought Winston did a nice job in the last game. But I made the decision to go with Todd at the right tackle spot."

Also healthy are offensive tackle King Dunlap(ankle) and defensive end Trent Cole (calf).

Reid hasn't ruled out defensive end Brandon Graham (knee) for the Eagles' Sunday night game against the Cowboys.

Graham also is slated to practice.

"We'll see how it goes," Reid. "I have kind of an open agenda. We'll see how he does."

Since breaking up with Jessica Simpson, Romo unbeaten versus Birds

Out with the old.

The Cowboys (3-3) are transitioning much like the Eagles (2-4).

But quarterback Tony Romo slowly has rounded back into form, having thrown 10 scoring passes against just four interceptions en route to a 93.4 passer rating.

Romo also has beaten the Eagles in three straight games with five TDs and two picks following that embarrassing season-ending 44-6 loss to the Eagles in 2009 at the Linc.

And that's not great news for the Eagles, who entertain Romo Sunday night.

After that season, Romo ended his stormy relationship with country singer Jessica Simpson.

Romo didn't play against the Eagles last year due to injury.

In with the new.
More recently Romo married Candice Crawford, a beauty queen/sports anchor.

Lifetime Romo is 5-3 versus the Eagles with 11 TDs and eight interceptions.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grading Eagles media

Really, really curious to hear what readers/social networkers think of coverage of the Eagles.

Who do you like to read?

Who do you hate?

Who do you hate but read anyway?

Is Howard Eskin part of the media?

What do you think the Eagles media composition? Too young, too old, too male, too female, too tough, too timid, etc...

I'll post the civil responses here.

(Too serious?)

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LeSean McCoy autographs

Andy Reid can catch up on sleep this weekend.
With the Eagles off this weekend, it's a good chance to catch up to franchise running back LeSean McCoy, who is slated for a couple of autograph shows.

The first is at CC Collectibles (610-937-1240), basically a shore trip away in Selinsgrove, Pa. at the Susquehanna Valley Mall. The event is scheduled to run, if you will, from 2:30-to-4 p.m.

If that's too much of a drive, McCoy is scheduled for a show Sunday (12-1:30 p.m.) at 263 Market Place, 700 York Road, Warminster.

Neil and Adam Poppel are in charge of the event also scheduled to host the Flyers' Claude Giroux from 3-to-4 p.m. and Mark Howe from 1-to-2 p.m.

Also Maxime Talbot of the Flyers is slated to be at Carl's Collectibles in Havertown Wednesday from 6-to-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trade deadline is Tuesday

Trade bait?
The Eagles have until the close of business Tuesday to make a trade this season.

With Brandon Graham eligible to come off the PUP list injury there is speculation the Eagles might be willing to deal defensive end Juqua Parker.

The reality is there is almost no value in Parker, a veteran coming off injury and due a sizable chunk of money as his base pay is guaranteed this season. Additionally the Eagles aren't sure how Graham has held up, their 2010 first round draft pick not having played since last December. 

And they have extra draft picks to add help on defense, if they choose.

The Eagles collected a second-round pick from the Cardinals in the Kevin Kolb trade  and a fourth-round pick in the draft day deal with the Buccaneers that also netted linebacker Casey Matthews, of all players.
Won't reveal hand.

The Eagles also have a poker chip in  cornerback Asante Samuel, who, considering the way he was shopped around the league during training camp, would be surprised to be part of the Eagles after this season.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman isn't sure if there will be a flood of trade activity around the league.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Jason Kelce spray

Jason 'Grizzly' Kelce
The next time you exercise your freedom of expression across the street from One Nova Care Way, home of the Eagles, you might want to bring some protection.

OK, Jason Kelce sounds like he's figured it out. 'Told me he was just trying to express his hurt for his coach before he, uh, recently offered to take down the 'Times to go' Andy Reid banner protesting the head coach and the direction of his 1-4 team.

On the other hand, couldn't help but wonder how tough this spray repellant is on real bears.

Check it out: 

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mangini's ESPN link

Better stay away from Big Red.
It was understandable Andy Reid was angry Wednesday when he called the ESPN report citing a source that Eric Mangini turned down the Eagles "all fabricated."
Mangini works for ESPN. He has an ax to grind with the Reid coaching tree. Reid mentor Mike Holmgren, president of the Cleveland Browns, dismissed Mangini as head coach in favor of Pat Shurmur.

While it’s conceivable Eagles upper management went through channels to reach Mangini, according to NFL sources, Mangini’s ESPN connection appears to be the obvious source of the defensive consultant report.

Reid clearly took the affront to his authority over his coaching staff personally. Mangini isn’t going to be on his Christmas card list. The way Reid snarled, a celebrity boxing match pitting the two could raise money for a lucky charity. Castillo might want some of that, as well.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No consultant for Eagles

Do I look like a consultant?
Eagles head coach Andy Reid said through a spokesman Tuesday he's not hiring a defensive consultant.

Not only that, but Reid indicated he hadn't even considered the consultant thing.

ESPN reported the Eagles considered hiring a consultant to assist rookie defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who at times has appeared overwhelmed.

All of this could change after another loss.


Consultant for defense?

Without Jim Johnson, Reid is 0-2 in p-offs.
The Eagles could bring in another coach during the bye week to fix their underachieving defense. cited an ESPN reported Monday night the Eagles will consider adding a defensive consultant during the bye week that begins after their Sunday road game with the Washington Redskins.

Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has had a tough time transitioning from offensive line coach.
Despite several high-priced additions, the  defense ranks 27th in points allowed and near the bottom in takeaways.

The Eagles have played well in spurts, but that's about it. They're seeking to become just the fifth team in the modern playoff format to reach the tournament after a 1-4 start.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maclin goes off on reporter

The Eagles' locker room is taking on the atmosphere of a saloon in the Wild West.

After the Birds' 31-24 loss Sunday to the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin went ballistic when a reporter suggested the team's ongoing turnover problems - they had five in the loss - were due to coaching.

Maclin erupted.

After that exchange let's just say Maclin was happy the reporter was gone, and more. But let's keep it there - for now.

Vince Young the No. 2 QB

The Eagles scratched quarterback Mike Kafka, leaving Vince Young backing up starter Michael Vick Sunday.

Vince Young the backup.
Also scratched were safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, cornerback Curtis Marsh, defensive end Trent Cole, guard Kyle DeVan, offensive tackle Jason Peters and guard Julian Vandervelde.

King Dunlap started at left tackle for Peters, rookie guard Danny Watkins for DeVan, and Darryl Tapp for Cole.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

McCoy, Rosenhaus together again

Drew with T.O. 'Next client ...'
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy confirmed Friday he was back with agent Drew Rosenhaus after an apparent split.

“Yeah, something like that,” McCoy said. “I don’t really want to talk about it. Maybe next week.”

Rosenhaus was in town early this week after being interviewed by Scott Pelley for a piece on “60 Minutes” airing Sunday at 7 p.m.

McCoy said his recent tweet of “Everything happens for a reason, Drew Rosenhus BEST AGENT OUT!!!!!” was about the 60 Minutes piece.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Team meeting was Wednesday

Been a while since that last NFL title.

Expected to see a lot more attitude in the Eagles' locker room Wednesday.

Especially after the players and coaches got together in the morning presumably to dedicate themselves to snapping a three-game losing b
bstreak and saving the season.

Saw a bunch of guys going off in a lot of directions desperately in need of leadership.

There were guys reluctant to lead. Guys who could lead but unable to do so as they're not playing. Some guys still don't like or understand their roles. Won't tell you which side of the ball that is.

As far as the players-only meeting a team source expected to happen Tuesday or Wednesday, just say some veteran players and even coaches were shaking their heads it didn't happen.

Others saw no need for it.

No need for a clear the air session?

That tells you how lost this team is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is Reid all-in switch to Watkins?

The time is his.
In a couple of hours we should begin to know who made the decision to start rookie first round pick Danny Watkins at right guard against the Buffalo Bills this weekend.

Eagles head coach Andy Reid said the move was about getting the best players on the field.

It's hard to believe the Eagles would be throwing the towel in on the season after a 1-3 start.

It's also hard to believe the offensive issues are due solely to the play of right guard Kyle DeVan.

After a good start DeVan has played like a guy picked up off the streets the week of the regular season opener. But he knows the blocking scheme, which is why the Eagles and line coach Howard Mudd felt it best DeVan start instead of Watkins, overwhelmed by frontline competition in the preseason. Mudd came here with significant autonomy in the offensive line decisions.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Players-only meeting Tuesday

The details are being worked out but the Eagles are going to have a players-only meeting.

The get-together almost certainly will be Tuesday. It would have been Monday but the players were sent home.
"If you're with me, raise your left index finger."

"We just need to get away, regroup and think about things," one Eagle said.
With a 1-3 record and a proclivity for blowing fourth-quarter leads, there will be a lot to talk about. Less than 9 percent of the teams making the playoffs since 1990 did so after losing three of their first four games.

Quarterback Michael Vick said he and his teammates needed  to take a gut check after the loss to Alex Smith and the 49ers.

At least some of his teammates agree.

"Honestly, we have a lot of talent on the field," a player said. "It’s just a matter of just getting it together. That’s one thing I notice. Playing together, that’s what it’s all about. That could be because of the lockout but I think we’ve been together long enough where we should know what’s going on."

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Eagles re-signing Derek Landri

Hargrove, Landri,  line coach Jim Washburn
With Antonio Dixon done for the season with a torn triceps, the Eagles will re-sign defensive tackle Derek Landri according to team sources.

Landri and defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove were cut after solid training camps and preseasons. It was partly because the Eagles were full of tackles, and partly because as vested veterans, the salaries of those players would have been guaranteed for the season if they were on the roster the opening weekend. Landri can be paid on a pro-rated, weekly basis.

The veteran Landri is a better fit for the Eagles at this point than rookie Cedric Thornton, who is on the practice squad.

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Eagles DT Dixon out for season

Andy Reid said defensive tackle Antonio Dixon is out for the season with a torn triceps suffered in the 24-23 loss to the Niners Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Additionally defensive end Trent Cole has a "fairly significant" strained calf, and is out indefinitely.

And left offensive tackle Jason Peters has a strained hamstring only slightly better than Cole's.