Monday, April 30, 2012

Statistically QB Nick Foles has 9 percent chance to succeed

Look at video of Nick Foles when the Arizona Wildcats had a senior offensive line (below) and you wonder why he dropped to the third round.

Foles doesn't play nearly as slow as the guy who ran the 5.1 40-yard dash at the scouting combine.

All of that said I'm reminded of telling research supplied NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

In the last eight drafts, 23 quarterbacks have been selected in the first round. Fifteen are starters.

In the last eight drafts, 82 quarterbacks were drafted in rounds 2 through 7. Only seven have become starters.

Statistically there's less than a 9 percent chance Foles is the Eagles' future starting quarterback.

A reader offered another way of looking at it (on

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strath Haven's Johnson signs with Broncos

Steve Johnson signs with Broncos.
Steven Johnson wasn't among the 253 players drafted the last three days.

But Johnson was encouraged enough by the interest shown by the Denver Broncos he signed a contract with them.

In a week Johnson reports to the team's rookie camp. Until then the Kansas University linebacker can catch up on old times with Chris Harris, his former Jayhawks teammate who made the Broncos as an undrafted nickel cornerback.

"It's a good situation," Johnson said. "At the same time I wanted to get drafted. It's nothing that I  haven't worked through before. Now I'll have to do it again."

Johnson (6-0, 239) walked on at Kansas,  eventually earning a scholarship. Last year he led the Big 12 Conference with 120 tackles. Six stops were for a loss. Johnson also picked off a pass.

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Eagles agree to terms with RB Polk

It's a mystery why running back Chris Polk of Washington wasn't selected at in the recently concluded draft.

What's clear, however, is Polk (5-11, 222) has a job with the Eagles, who agreed to terms with him.

The Eagles also drafted running back Bryce Brown in the seventh round. Brown (6-0, 223) has a resume full of issues the Eagles claim to  be aware of.

But back to Polk. Apparently an unsubstantiated story floated about a hip condition he had. Polk also had labrum surgery.

The Eagles are confident enough to give him a look as a priority free agent. And for good reason.

Folk is a rushing, receiving and scoring threat, having scored
15 touchdowns last year.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Why Andy Reid likes Nick Foles

Watch this video and tell me, please, what aging NFL quarterback with a spectacular past he reminds you of.

Hint: The veteran NFL guy has a big forehead.

Yes, these were 2010 highlights. Regardless, Foles stands tall in the pocket, gets the ball out fast, fires it to spots and knows when to deliver it almost like ... PEYTON MANNING.

Want to see this guy throw it around at rookie camp in two weeks.

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Eagles 2nd round pick Curry trained with former Eagles D-line line coach Pete Jenkins

Huge Eagles connection for Vinny Curry.
Lifelong Eagles fan Vinny Curry said the best thing that happened to him was being on hand for the retirement ceremony of Brian Dawkins Saturday morning.
Curry, the second-round draft pick out of Marshall, where as a Prop 48 student athlete he sat out the 2007 season to get his grades up, was overwhelmed to attend the retirement ceremony with Eagles past and present. Later current Eagles quarterback Michael Vick told him to lose the fan thing.

"He said 'You're not a fan anymore, you're my teammate," Curry said.

The 6-3, 266-pound Curry, a pure pass rusher graded highly by other NFC teams, believes it's anything but a coincidence he was selected by the Eagles. In addition to his rooting past, Curry worked out with former Eagles defensive line coach Pete Jenkins before the draft. Obviously the Birds got a scouting report.

"I went from meeting Coach Jenkins, training with him, to meeting Coach Andy Reid, to Jim Washburn," Curry said. "It's overwhelming. God has a plan for all of us. He put me here."

And not to be a fan, it appears.

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Dawkins is eighth Eagle to get number retired

Dawkins, Tammy Reid (r).
Brian Dawkins' No. 20 will formally be retired  by the Eagles during their Sept. 30th game against the Giants at the Linc.

The other numbers retired by the Eagles:
15 – Steve Van Buren
40 – Tom Brookshier
44 – Pete Retzlaff
60 – Chuck Bednarik
70 – Al Wistert
92 – Reggie White
99 – Jerome Brown

Seventeen players wore 20 in an Eagles uniform prior to Dawkins.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

McNabb attending Dawkins retirement

Will he retire as an Eagle?
Donovan McNabb is among a cast of former Eagles slated to attend the Saturday morning retirement ceremony of Brian Dawkins.

Barring any glitches, Dawkins, 38, will sign a contract with the Eagles and bid the game goodbye.

Also expected in attendance is Vicky Johnson, the widow of the late Jim Johnson, who built defenses around Dawkins.

David Akers, Brian Westbrook, Hugh Douglas, Jeremiah Trotter, Tra Thomas and Ike Reese, among other teammates, also are expected to attend the ceremony. Congressman Jon Runyan might make the event as well.

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Dawkins wanted to keep announcement a surprise

Brian Dawkins.
Brian Dawkins formally retires as an Eagle this morning, after which he will get together with former teammates and friends to talk about old times.

Dawkins was reluctant to confirm he would do just that earlier this week because he wanted to keep the ceremonies at the NovaCare Complex a surprise.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why Fletcher Cox slipped out of the top 10

Jim Washburn, the Eagles' defensive line coach, says first-round draft pick Fletcher Cox is exactly the type of guy he's been successful developing.

That and the defensive tackle's age - he's a 21-year-old junior - bounced him out of the top 10. But what's a couple of spots to Washburn, who sees a very high ceiling for this prospect?

"He's so athletic he can play as a defensive end," Washburn said. "He moves like a guy who is 260 pounds. The thing about him is he is so much stronger than he looks. He's a good one and I'm excited about him."

Hard to believe Cox fell out of the top 10, as he was earmarked to come off the board no later than the ninth pick. Either the Eagles got a bargain at No. 12, or their counterparts know something they don’t know.

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Eagles select Fletcher Cox

Fletcher Cox.
The Eagles got their tackle.

The Birds shipped fourth and sixth-round draft picks along with the 15th choice in the first round to the Seahawks to move into the 12th spot, where they took defensive tackle Fletcher Cox of Mississippi.

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Strath Haven's Steven Jones is on the clock

Johnson keeps this letter around for inspiration.
Shoot one up there for Steven Jones, the Kansas linebacker by way of Strath Haven High school.

If anyone deserved a reward for the work put in, it's Jones (6-0, 239). His story is chronicled here.

The letter Jones is reading is the one he crafted somewhere between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre just to get a chance to walk-on at  Kansas.

The rest - and hopefully a spot in the draft - is history for Jones.

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Chandler Jones bandwagon; Live chat

Mentioned Wednesday it wouldn't be a surprise if the Eagles took Chandler Jones off the board with the 15th overall pick Thursday night.

Billy Werndl will back me up because we debated on his Chester County SportsChatter (1520-AM)  show whether the Eagles would be better served going defensive tackle or defensive end.

Clearly Jones' best days are ahead. But the 6-5, 265-pound Jones does some stuff pretty good. Better than at least one of the guys he would be competing with.

If Jones is healthy - he hurt a knee last year - he'll be tough to pass. With a 36-inch sleeve and a 35-inch vertical jump, Chandler has rocketed up draft boards. Mel Kiper has him coming off at No. 12 to the Seahawks. Mike Mayock moved him to the top of his board of defensive ends.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, Jones no longer is a secret. Even Greg Cosell apparently is on the bandwagon. Can Adam Caplan be far behind? has a live online chat. You can follow it here.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eagles get a 7th round pick for Samuel

Give the Eagles credit for getting something for cornerback Asante Samuel, and getting him off their books.

One way or another Samuel was done this past season when he trashed team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman for "playing fantasy football" with owner Jeffrey Lurie's money and suggested they were in a power struggle with Andy Reid.

If Reid hadn't intervened Samuel might have gotten suspended.

The Eagles wound up getting a seventh-round pick for Samuel, who agreed to a new contract with the Falcons, who don't - repeat don't - have a first-round pick in the draft. Quite frankly I'm surprised it wasn't a conditional pick.

That's pretty good work considering Samuel would have been on the street.

"We wish Asante Samuel all the best as he heads into the next chapter of his career in Atlanta," Reid said in a statement furnished by the team. "He has been a very productive member of the Eagles for the past four years and we appreciate all that he has done for our organization. We obviously feel good about our cornerback situation moving forward with Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as our starters. Those two played very well together in the latter part of the season and we anticipate that will continue as we head into the 2012 season.”

The Eagles have 10 picks in the upcoming NFL draft.

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Samuel to Falcons deal almost done

Samuel (r) with McCoy before Patriots game.
The Eagles agreed to deal Pro Bowl safety Asante Samuel to the Falcons for an undisclosed draft pick.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coples could be on board for Eagles

Defensive lineman Quinton Coples should come off the board to the Eagles with the 15th overall pick in the draft Thursday according to a mock draft by Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

Not so sure that would work out.

Check out these highlights/lowlights:

Coples (6-6, 285) would be a better mix in a defense other than the Wide Nine.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

OT Riley Reiff fits Howard Mudd mold

Watch this video of Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff, the converted tight end at Iowa, and you have the prototype of what Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd looks for in a prospect.

There's a chance Reiff (6-6, 313) freefalls into the middle of the first round, which is right around where the Eagles sit (No. 15).

If Reiff is there and most of the highly rated defensive tackles are off the board, it would be shocking if the Eagles didn't take him. He's a top 10 talent much like Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who slid to 19 in the first round of the 2009 draft.

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Dont'a Hightower: A fine waiting to happen

On paper Dont'a Hightower (6-2, 265) would be a rock in the middle of the Eagles' defense.

Especially if Hightower slid out of the first round, as the Eagles have two second-round picks.

Then again, the Alabama product reminds me of Steelers linebacker James Harrison. After checking out this clip Hightower is in for a big surprise when he plays at the next level. The hits he puts on quarterbacks that have gotten rid of the ball are almost all fine able. At the least, we're talking about five or six late hits.

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Goodell on Dawk: Great player, great man

Weighs in on 'Dawk's' retirement.
What Eagles teammates and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Twitter about Brian Dawkins, who with a Monday morning tweet retired after 16 NFL seasons, including nine with the Birds:
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner: @nflcommish Congrats @BrianDawkins on a successful 16-year career. Great player, great family. More importantly, great man in community & locker room

Former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook: @36westbrook Brian Dawkins is simply One of The Best Eagles Player to ever put on the jersey and The Best Man I have had the pleasure of playing with! Congrats on a hall of fame career!!

Former Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas: @Bighugh53 @BrianDawkins man! It was a true honor playing with you.. I love you like a brother you taught me a lot ..

Soon to be former Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel: @pick_six22 @BrianDawkins You have done great on and of the feild. True definition of a warrior and passionate player. God Bless! #halloffamer

Eagles safety Kurt Coleman: @k4coleman Thank you @BrianDawkins

Former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson: @CenterStage67 @BrianDawkins Respects to one of the best to ever do it. On and off the field! I appreciate all the words of wisdom u gave me!

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Eagles honoring Dawkins before Giants game

Fittingly, the Eagles will honor the soon-to-be-retired Brian Dawkins when they take on the defending Super Bowl champion Giants in a Sept. 30th Sunday night game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Dawkins produced some of his biggest hits against the Giants.

That video also shows the entrance Dawkins perfected at the Linc.

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Dawkins to retire an Eagle

Dawkins ... when Eagles were winning playoff games.
Brian Dawkins announced his retirement Monday on Twitter (@BrianDawkins).

Makes sense. The man loathed formal press conferences.

But he will do one later this week.

And at that time, Dawkins will confirm what he and his agent have discussed with the Eagles in recent weeks ... he will retire an Eagle, not a Bronco, whose  uniform he finished his 16-year career in. Dawkins is leaning heavily in that direction according to a source.

All Dawkins must do is take care of the retirement paperwork, including any related medical issues, and sign a one-day contract with the Eagles.

The Eagles plan to honor Dawkins at a game this season.

Here's Dawkins' career-ending Tweet:

"The Lord has blessed me to play on three NFL 16 years. I would like 2 thank the Eagles and the Broncos 4 believing in me. I would like 2 thank all my teammates & Coaches I've been blessed 2 go 2 battle with.

"Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that i have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL. #BBT"

The 38-year-old Dawkins had 37 career interceptions.

Tweets from Dawkins' former teammates began filling the stratosphere.

Former Eagles defensive tackle Hugh Douglas:
@Bighugh53 @BrianDawkins man! It was a true honor playing with you.. I love you like a brother you taught me a lot ..

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Think one of these DT's for Eagles in draft

Devon Still has pedigree.
At the risk of offending Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, I've broken down some of the top defensive tackles eligible for the upcoming NFL draft.

Including, that is, one player no one has spoken about but who I feel will be a solid pro for years to come.

Here it is:

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Kiper: Tannehill a 'luxury pick' for Eagles

Compare Tannehill's release point ...
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper thinks it would be a big mistake for the Eagles to trade from the 15th overall pick into the top 10 of the NFL draft to secure quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Converted wide receiver Tannehill has less than two seasons starting at quarterback at Texas A & M. He's the anti-Matt Jones, the Lone Star state college quarterback who switched to wide receiver in the NFL.

"As far as Tannehill, I can’t see that," Kiper said on a conference call. "I think quarterback, maybe in the second round. You have two second round picks. If you like Kirk Cousins - and there’s a lot of talk they like Kirk Cousins from Michigan State - then you get him there. But I wouldn’t (move up) for Ryan Tannehill. That’s a luxury pick there. At that particular point to move up to get him you’ve got to give up something as well."
... To Vick's release point.

Kiper thinks the Eagles could vault back into playoff contention with a good draft providing they fill holes at safety, where he thinks they should consider Mark Barron (Alabama) and defensive tackle - either Dontari Poe (Memphis) or Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State).

Tannehill won't go any further than eighth, where the Dolphins will take him off the board.

The Eagles have two early second-round picks, one of which they could use on Cousins or quarterback Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

History against Eagles moving up in draft

Eagles are just about done working out draftable guys.
The Eagles would trade up from the 15th pick in the draft to select defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, not quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

So says noted draft analyst Tony Pauline, citing his sources. Pauline is very good at his craft. He predicted the Eagles' trade up to draft offensive lineman Shawn Andrews in 2004.

The real question is whether the Eagles would want to barge up high into the first round of the draft considering their history over the last nine drafts.

In 2010 the Birds moved from the 24th pick to No. 13 to choose Brandon Graham, an undersized defensive end they now would be trying to replace with Cox. Graham hasn't helped much since undergoing microfracture knee surgery. You probably won't find him and defensive line coach Jim Washburn hanging out shooting the breeze a whole lot.

The Eagles' 2009 trade up from 21 to No. 19 for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was a winner. Of course it was a modest, no-brainer type of jump up.

Rewind to 2003 and the Eagles vaulted from the 30th choice to No. 15 where they selected defensive end Jerome McDougle, the definition of bust, misfortune and bad drafting. In all fairness the Giants were just as desperate for McDougle. And they wound up choosing McDougle's teammate, William Joseph, a defensive tackle who arrived for his first minicamp so overweight he collapsed a training table. Something like that.

Should the Eagles trade up?

Their history says no.

Their mantra of being aggressive, on the other hand, screams yes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

NFL schedule coming out Tuesday

Awaiting first night game of 2012.
The NFL master schedule is coming out Tuesday.

No less an NFL authority than CBS's Jim "Scoop" Nantz announced it on air during a golf tournament.

Thankfully the website that concocted a phony master schedule just to get page views admitted it did just that. But not until several websites jumped all over the bogus schedule to drive up their traffic.

That's life in the digital age. You don't always get what you want, or what you need. You get what you get. Take the websites using the bogus schedule for what they're worth.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

REPORT: Eagles want to move up in draft

Trade bait?
The Eagles are exploring a trade up from No. 15 to 4 in the first round of the draft according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

A small handful of t

eams have probed the Browns about trading up including the Rams, who own the sixth overall pick.

Offensive tackle Matt Kalil, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, cornerback Morris Claiborne and wide receiver Justin Blackmon are targets according to the report.

The Eagles have two second-round draft picks. They also are likely to get rid of cornerback Asante Samuel, who has Pro Bowl pedigree,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DJax, Maclin join DRC for hoops, fundraiser

Don't be a hero in your pickup game, OK?
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hosts a Tennessee State Celebrity Basketball Slam Jam fundraiser benefiting that school's athletic program  this Friday.

Eagles teammates DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, among others, are scheduled to help along with Vince Young, Devon and Jason McCourty, Michael Griffin, Mike Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick, a projected first round draft pick.

Hopefully the  guys will stay out of harms way. That's something Jason Peters (ruptured Achilles' tendon) was unable to do while he was playing hoops ... uh, I mean doing football drills.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eagles intoxicated by guys like Tannehill

Why would the Eagles want him over Mike Vick?
ESPN's Jon Gruden is better coaching quarterbacks than choosing them.

In his last NFL job directing the Bucs, the constant turnover at  the position reflected the impulsiveness. Rarely was there a passer Gruden wouldn't tryout.

That makes Gruden's buyer beware comments Wednesday about Ryan Tannehill much more interesting. The quarterback prospect is squarely on the Eagles' radar. 

Tannehill (6-4, 221) is a Joe Flacco-type passer who led Texas A & M to seven wins last year throwing 15 interceptions. The converted wide receiver is 12-7.

There's talk of Tannehill being drafted No. 4, by the Browns. And 8th, by the Dolphins, where his college coach now is the offensive coordinator.

The Eagles' recent private workout of Tannehill by coaches and scouts suggests they're in it for more than the all-expenses paid getaway vacation to Texas. Should they be?

Without blaming Tannehill, Gruden wondered aloud on an ESPN conference call how much those leads the Aggies blew last season reflected the inexperience at quarterback.

"You'd like to see Tannehill in this A & M offense finish games in the second half when they have a lead," Gruden said. "Some of the losses they had, I’m not blaming Tannehill, I’m not blaming anybody. But they lost the lead a lot this year in games and it cost them because I thought Texas A & M was going to be a top 10 team this year."

Mike Sherman coached Tannehill at A & M. Sherman is a buddy of Gruden and Eagles head coach Andy Reid dating to their days as assistants with the Packers. Sherman left as head coach at A & M to become offensive coordinator of the Dolphins. Is Reid going to battle Sherman for Tannehill? The Eagles have the ammunition to move up in the draft.

"What’s not a concern is the kind of athlete he is," Gruden said of Tannehill. "Let’s not forget he didn’t just play wide receiver at A & M. He started at wide receiver. He had over 200 yards receiving in one game against Kansas State. He’s an outstanding athlete. He’s also been tutored by an NFL coach in Mike Sherman.

"So when you do watch Tannehill you’re seeing an outstanding player who’s been tutored by an excellent offensive coach in an outstanding system. That I like. So the arrow is going up on Tannehill."