Friday, August 31, 2012

Edwards survives cut; Kafka, McBriar axed

Chad Hall among the cuts.

Veteran quarterback Trent Edwards has survived the cut to 53.

Though Mike Kafka was limited by a hand injury in the preseason, releasing Edwards would have made it tough for the Eagles to say they kept the players that gave them the best chance of winning.

Kafka, the No. 2 quarterback coming into training camp, was released. Rookie Nick Foles is the backup to Michael Vick - at least for now.
Keenan Clayton released.

The Eagles released cornerback Joselio Hanson, safeties Oshiomogho Atogwe and Phillip Thomas, tight ends Brett Brackett and Chase Ford, linebackers Adrian Moten, Ryan Rau and Keenan Clayton, defensive tackles Frank Trotter, Landon Cohen  and Ollie Ogbu, wide receivers Mardy Gilyard, Chad Hall and Marvin McNutt, fullback Emil Igwenagu, offensive tackle D.J. Jones, defensive end Monte Taylor, center Steve Vallos  and guard Brandon Washington.

Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon and punter Mat McBriar were let go late  in the day.

Brackett, Ford, Hall, Igwenagu, Jones, McNutt, Ogbu, Rau, Taylor, Thomas, Trotter and Washington have practice squad eligibility. The practice squad begins forming at noon Saturday providing the players clear waivers.

The Eagles and guard Mike Gibson reached an injury settlement and he has been released from their injured reserve list. Gibson can rejoin the team.

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Veteran CB Joselio Hanson to be released

Cornerback Joselio Hanson will join punter Mat McBriar on the list of Eagles cuts.

Per Adam Caplan of, Hanson will be released.

McBriar's agent said his client will be cut.

The Eagles have to reduce their roster from 75 to 53 by 9 p.m. today.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Try out this Eagles 53-man roster

Trent Edwards (l) or Mike Kafka? Make it Edwards.
In a couple of areas the Eagles' 53-man roster due no later than 9 p.m. Friday remains a work in progress.

The safety and linebacker positions will be addressed after the final cut.

If the Eagles like newly signed Landon Cohen a little bit, it could spell the end of defensive tackle Antonio Dixon era.

Four running backs and one fullback are on this roster.

Two surprise receivers are projected to make it; neither are Eagles draft picks.

Also, Trent Edwards is the No. 3 quarterback.

Here are my suggestions based on information culled from the coaching staff and evaluations:
Quarterbacks: (3) Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards.

Bryce Brown makes the team.
Running backs: (5) LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk, Stanley Havili.

Wide receivers: (6) DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson, Mardy Gilyard.

Offensive linemen: (9) Todd Herremans, Danny Watkins, Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, King Dunlap, Demetress Bell, Dennis Kelly, Julian Vandervelde, Dallas Reynolds.

Tight ends: (2) Brent Celek, Clay Harbor.

Defensive linemen: (10): Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Fletcher Cox, Jason Babin, Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, Darryl Tapp.

Casey Matthews back for another year.
Linebackers (6): Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans, Akeem Jordan, Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, Brian Rolle.

Defensive backs (9): Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Boykin, Joselio Hanson, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Jai Jarrett. Philip Thomas.

Specialists (3): Kicker Alex Henery, punter Chas Henry, longsnapper Jon Dorenbos.

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Don't expect Eagles chairman to announce a contract extension tonight

Flight Night Flamethrower.
Less distant than in the past, proof positive his display of throwing a bucket of miniature footballs to the crowd at Eagles Flight Night, club chairman Jeffrey Lurie gives his traditional State of the Eagles address tonight.

While Lurie will touch on a wide range of Eagles topics before his team opposes the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field, quietly he's not expected to announce a contract extension for head coach Andy Reid, who has this year and next remaining on his contract.

That, of course, may happen at a later date.

After the preseason finale the Eagles have to make any last-minute decisions they have on personnel to get down to the 53-man roster limit by 9 p.m. Friday. The Eagles have 75 players on the roster; 74 if you've figuratively let go of veteran punter Mat McBriar, who will be released per his agent.

The decisions could be made before Lurie's annual barbeque Friday at his digs on the Main Line. (Is it still OK to refer to refer to his place as the old Annenberg Estate?)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eagles, Vick radio talk

Talking Eagles, Michael Vick at 7:35pm  with @SportsRadio KJR. Website stream is

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Emotional day for Brian Westbrook

Brian Westbrook, Andy Talley, Andy Reid.
Brian Westbrook formally moved on from pro football as he tendered his retirement papers Wednesday.

Westbrook went out as an Eagle.
“I’m blessed to be here and I’m thankful to be here,” Westbrook said at the NovaCare Complex. “I spent eight good years, eight of the best years of my life in Philadelphia playing for the Eagles. It was a great organization. Still is a great organization.”

More on this in the online edition.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vermeil says Reid will 'eventually get it done here ... win a world championship'

Dick Vermeil at the NovaCare Complex.
After Eagles practice Tuesday former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil noted the biggest change over the years in current Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

"He's gotten a little thinner," Vermeil said of Reid, who has lost several pounds. "He looks great."

Vermeil then offered the ultimate compliment.

"I think Andy knows what has to be done," Vermeil said. "And I really believe he's the guy that will eventually get it done here in Philadephia. I mean win a world championship. But it's tough. You've got to experience some good fortune. You've got to have good luck, You have to stay healthy. You can't turn the ball over. The ball can't get batted up in the air sometime in a critical, tight-tight game. Because there are so many other teams trying to do it as well as Andy is doing it. And it's tough."

More about this in the Wednesday Daily Times in print and online (

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Andy Reid: 'You weren't going to run out of gigabytes with Brian Westbrook'

Highway '36' retires.
In what's become a trend, Brian Westbrook has decided to retire as an Eagle.

The Westbrook ceremony will be Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex.

Westbrook also will be honored at  Lincoln Financial Field Dec. 23 at halftime against the Washington Redskins.

Ironically Westbrook, the 2002 third-round pick out of Villanova University never was the same after sustaining a concussion in a game against the Redskins at FedEx Field in October of 2009.

"You could move him all over the place," Andy Reid said. "He had the aptitude and capacity where you could take him and put him anywhere you needed to put him. You weren't going to run out of gigabytes with Brian Westbrook."

Westbrook completed his career with the Eagles in 2009 as their leader with 9,785 total yards from scrimmage. He's among six players in league history to post 30-plus rushing (41) and receiving touchdowns (30) in a career.

In 2007 Westbrook led the NFL with 2,104 scrimmage yards.

Former safety Brian Dawkins and left offensive tackle Tra Thomas retired as Eagles in recent times.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Patterson on non-football illness list

At least 6 weeks away (Eric Hartline pic).
Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson is out at least the first six weeks of the season after being placed on the reserve/non-football illness list Monday.

Patterson insists he's just one good set of X-rays from returning. The way Patterson understands it, in a couple of weeks X-rays of his head will be shipped to the surgeon who cut it open to remove an AVM. At that point a decision will be made about availability for this season. He’s eligible to be activated between the sixth and ninth weeks of the season.

"Aint no doubt about my ability coming back or anything like that," Patterson said. "I don’t have any worries about that. It’s just more being anxious and in a hurry to get back out there.

"They just want to be smart. Head trauma is a sensitive subject. You’ve just got to be smart with it."

To get down to the 75-man limit the Eagles placed offensive tackle Jason Peters (Achilles' tendon surgery) on the reserve/non-football injury list, guard Mike Gibson (hip flexor) on injured reserve and waived wide receiver Jamel Hamler. Peters also is eligible to return between the sixth and ninth weeks although that would seem unlikely, as he tore the same Achilles’ tendon twice.

The Eagles like the 11 defensive linemen on the roster, including tackles Derek Landri, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton and Antonio Gibson.

If Andy Reid decides to keep six defensive ends, a tackle will have to go when the Birds cut to 53 by 9 p.m. Friday.

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Vick, Lurie air it out at Eagles Flight Night

Smooth follow-through.
Michael Vick is healthy. The Eagles' quarterback proved it at practice Sunday night.

Vick threw the ball effortlessly. He says the thumb on his throwing hand and his ribs wouldn't keep him out of the season opener.

Needs help with his footwork.
Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie, on the other hand, seemed to lose velocity with each mini football he threw to fans at the Linc. Check out their mechanics in these pics.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Check out the DeSean Jackson bobblehead

DJaxlehead doll.
Eagles Flight Night starts at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field and features a DeSean Jackson mini bobblehead doll giveaway to the first 10,000 youths age 12 and under. In this humble opinion it's a pretty good likeness.

In addition  to an Eagles' practice, one Andy Reid promised will be full of razzle-dazzle plays, attendees have access to autographed memorabilia, interactive games and drawings for special prizes.

The gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for youths 12 and under. The night concludes with a laser show. For tickets and more information go to

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Foles, Vick and the red zone

Needs to stay healthy, do better in the red zone.
Three games isn't quite a representative sample.

Especially three preseason games.

But it's hard to ignore what Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles has done in the red zone. This piece goes into more depth.

The 6-6 Foles conceded Sunday his height is an advantage in the red zone. He also said shorter quarterbacks are successful in the red zone.

A teammate said Foles' height absolutely was a big help in the red zone, as it allows him to see over the bodies and find more tight openings in the defense. The teammate also said Foles' accuracy throwing into tight spaces was excellent.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Ventrone among 13 Browns unlikely to play

Strong safety Ray Ventrone (right hamstring), the product of Villanova University, is expected to be sidelined for the Browns' preseason game with the Eagles.

Former Eagles Dimitri Patterson (right ankle) and weakside linebacker Chris Gocong (Achilles’ tendon) are  among 13 Browns who aren't expected to see action tonight.

Others likely out are rookie running back Trent Richardson (knee), strongside linebacker Scott Fujita (knee), tight end Benjamin Watson, running back Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle), cornerback Antwuan Reed (left leg), strong safety Usama Young (hamstring), linebacker Emmanuel Acho (undisclosed), defensive tackle Scott Paxson (right knee), offensive lineman Oniel Cousins and defensive tackle Phil Taylor (torn pectoral).

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Eagles who won't play versus Browns

The list of Eagles who won't participate in the third preseason game is composed of quarterbacks Michael Vick (ribs) and Mike Kafka, wide receiver Riley Cooper (collarbone), safeties Colt Anderson (knee) and Tom Nelson (ankle), linebacker Casey Matthews (ankle), and offensive tackles Jason Peters (Achilles' tendon) and Todd Herremans (personal business).

Also defensive linemen Jason Babin (calf) and Mike Patterson (brain surgery).

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Delco's Mackrides mourns loss of Eagles teammate Van Buren

When they weren't playing football Bill Mackrides hung out in Delaware County with Eagles teammate Steve Van Buren.

Inevitably they would be interrupted by autograph seekers as Eagles fans sat atop the football world after their team won consecutive NFL championships in 1948-49.

When Mackrides, the backup quarterbvack who resided in Springfield, was asked how he remembered Van Buren, the running back trumped the football player. It’s a safe bet the people whose lives Van Buren touched feel the same way.

“Great guy, great friend, very approachable,” Mackrides said Friday after learning Van Buren had passed away at age 91. “You would never know he played pro football because he was just a regular guy. If you were in his company you never knew he was a star. He cared about people.”

Mackrides played for the Eagles from 1947-51. The Eagles selected the Nevada-Reno product in the third round of the 1947 draft.

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Key dates for Eagles

Bring your playbook, fellow.
With the meaningful part of the preseason over the Eagles are approaching personnel decision deadlines.
To wit:
August 27 (Monday) - Cutdown to 75 players by 4 p.m. This won't be real difficult. The Eagles likely will release players the Saturday after their preseason game versus the Browns.
August 31 (next Friday) - Cutdown to 53 players by 9 p.m. The more painful decisions must be made at this point, including what to do with defensive tackle Mike Patterson (brain surgery) and offensive tackle Jason Peters (Achilles' tendon surgery), who both are on the non-football injury list. This is the date vested veterans abhor as teams are obligated to guarantee their 2012 base salaries if they're still on the final roster. Releasing vested vets enables teams to bring them back on pro-rated contracts.
September 1 (next Saturday) - Practice squads begin forming at noon.

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Greatest Eagle ever, Steve Van Buren, is dead

Eagles Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Steve Van Buren passed away Thursday at age 91 in Lancaster.

Led Eagles to 2 championships.
Van Buren had been in a nursing home.

The last time I saw a reasonably healthy Van Buren was during the 1994 Eagles season.

Running back Charlie Garner had rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games. Van Buren did that regularly during a record-setting career from 1944-51 with the Eagles. And he played  defense as well.

So Van Buren visited the Eagles' locker room to say hello to Garner, whom he towered over. He shook the hands of reporters and graciously posed for photos and signed  autographs for players and guests.

Couldn't help but ask Van Buren about the coaching job he did years back with the JV football team at Cardinal O'Hara in Springfield. Lions head coach Bobby Ewing asked him to speak to the team, and from what I hear he was well received.

Van Buren still was feeling the effects from a stroke and unable to be real talkative in that Vet Stadium locker room. But he smiled, winked and nodded yes when asked how enjoyable the JV gig was. You could feel the power, the legend, the greatness right there.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Injured reserve for Mike Kafka?

The plan is for Eagles rookie Nick Foles to start at quarterback tonight against the Browns.
Look for veteran Trent Edwards to step in during the second quarter as Foles played a lot more than the Eagles anticipated just four days earlier, when Michael Vick injured his ribs against the Patriots.

With Kafka healing from a broken left hand, Edwards has an opportunity to stake a claim for the No. 3 job. The way Foles has progressed in work as the No. 2 quarterback, Kafka could be headed for injured reserve.

“We’ll just see how (Nick) goes and we’ll give Trent an opportunity to get some work in there, too,” Eagles head coach Andy Reid said. “That’s the way the rest of the fellows on offense and defense will do it. They’ll follow the same suit with the starters being in there a quarter and the rest of the guys finishing up the game.”

While Kafka was billed as the backup to Vick, he’s failed at his primary purpose with the Eagles – staying healthy

The Eagles must reduce their roster from 90 to 75 next Monday. Four days later the roster has to be pared to 53 to start the season.

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