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Eagles announce 2010 preseason schedule

Posted by Dany Sloan On May - 10 - 2010

We already know when and where the Eagles will be playing in the 2010 regular season, but courtesy of the team’s official site, the preseason is now laid out for us as well.

Things kick off with a “Fight Night” on August 5th at 5pm at the Linc. Check out highlights from last year’s event here. Dear Stew Bradley – please be careful. We’d like to see you in the Pro Bowl this year.

The team has four games – two at home and two on the road. Here are the dates and times.

Friday, August 13 (7.30pm): vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Friday, August 20 (8pm): at Cincinnati Bengals
Friday, August 27 (8pm): at Kansas City Chiefs
Thursday, September 2 (7.30pm): vs. New York Jets

The regular season begins at home on Sunday, September 12th at home against Green Bay. Kickoff is at 4.15pm.

Mini camp breaks with “sense of the unknown”

Posted by Dany Sloan On May - 3 - 2010

In an interview with ESPN yesterday, newly minted starting quarterback Kevin Kolb had an air of confidence about the weekend’s mini-camp, but he also countered it by saying that there is a “sense of the unknown” around this year’s team.

The man’s observations are correct. Despite the return of big names like DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek, Trent Cole, and Stewart Bradley, this new edition Eagles team is full of new faces. Their average age clocks in right around 25.

There is also a palpable sense of enthusiasm and “we can do anything” attitude around these guys. Look no further than the playful attitude of Celek, Bradley, and second-year running back LeSean McCoy on Twitter, or DeSean Jackson’s public comments about his confidence in Kolb. The NFC East may be a tough division, but this inexperienced bunch looks like they’re ready to battle.

Over the weekend, I kept a close eye on two journalists that were at the mini-camp: the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane and the NewsJournal’s Geoff Mosher, both of whom were able to see the initial interactions between all of the new players. Here are some of the more notable developments.

- Celek is a favorite target on Kolb (Mosher, April 30)
- Asante Samuel yells, “New management! New leadership! Let’s win it all!” (Mosher, April 30)
- Gotta say there’s an odd feeling out here with no No. 5 in red. (McLane, April 30)
- Vick has looked OK at backup. Both QBs are mostly throwing short to midrange passes. (Mosher, April 30)
- Someone driving by practice on Broad St. yelled, “McNabb.” (McLane, April 30)
- In regards to the team’s leaders, the names floating to the top include Celek, Mikell, Kolb, Cole, Weaver, and Herremans (Mosher, April 30)
- Nate Allen, in case it wasn’t clear, didn’t not fully participate in practice. The #Eagles are easing him in because of a quad strain. (McLane, April 30)
- DE Vic Abiamiri had microfracture left knee surgery Feb. 9. He can’t run until August and training camp in doubt. (Mosher, April 30)
- DeSean might be the team’s best tackling cornerback (Mosher, May 1)
- I’ll say this for (new QB Mike) Kafka: he makes quick decisions, doesn’t hold onto the ball (Mosher, May 1)
- WR Riley Cooper is slow. (McLane, May 1)
- Wow. Flashback of Mike Vick, circa 2004. Took off in the blink of an eye. (Mosher, May 1)
- Ernie Sims is fast. (Mosher, May 1)
- #Eagles DC Sean McDermott was all smiles after practice today. The D dominated the O during team drills. (McLane, May 1)
- You’re starting to see the old Vick again (Mosher, May 2)

While this mini-camp hasn’t revealed much, it’s great to see Kolb leading the charge, and the interactions between many of the new players. This team is good, but certain questions remain. How good are they stacked up against last year’s team and the rest of the NFC East?

This will be a real transition season, and as much as the front office doesn’t want to admit it, the Eagles are rebuilding. We’ll have to wait and see if team can avoid the typical losses of a team in transition.

The Philadelphia Eagles will finally be going back to Kelly green, albeit for one game.

Daily News reporter Les Bowen broke the news earlier today on Twitter:

Kelly green jerseys for the opener vs Green Bay! Finally – for the 50th anniversary of the Eagles’ 1960 championship.

As a fan of the Kelly green, I’m very excited to hear this. I was never a big fan of the Midnight green that the team currently wears and was hoping the Eagles would go back to their old colors eventually. With the Sixers and Flyers going back to “retro” uniforms, it’s about time the Eagles jumped on the bandwagon, even if it’s only for one game.

I love when teams go with throwback uniforms. I know I’m in the minority here, but those yellow and blue uniforms the Eagles wore a few years ago were gorgeous. I wish they’d bring them back again.

Hopefully this game will spur sales of the Kelly green Eagles merchandise and the team can see that there is strong support for the original colors. It’s all a cash grab for the team, but at least the team will go back to looking like it should.

EDIT: Everyone’s favorite Twittering and Facebooking Eagle Brent Celek has updated his Facebook with a picture of the new jersey.

Looks awesome. Can’t wait to see it on the field.

Eagles select 13 at this year’s draft

Posted by Dany Sloan On April - 25 - 2010

The 75th NFL Draft was completed yesterday and the Eagles were able to bring in a haul of 13 players, both from their original slots in the draft and through several trades, which saw them both move up and down the board.

Some excellent picks were made, including a trade up to 13th overall to nab Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. One absence that really sticks out among the players the drafted is the lack of any guys on offensive line, and through Andy Reid’s comments last evening, it seems that the team is happy with their current crop.

Fans should be happy with most of the picks, as the team did an excellent job picking up guys with talent and addressing many of the needs on defense. Here’s a quick snapshot of each of the draftees.

FIRST ROUND (13): BRANDON GRAHAM
Defensive end / MICHIGAN

When the Birds moved up from 27 to 13, everyone thought the team would nab Earl Thomas, a free safety that would have filled the shoes of Brian Dawkins nicely. While Graham is a surprise addition, he’ll fit in well as a slightly-undersized (6’1″) pass-rusher. As the defense continues to develop under second-year coach Sean McDermott, this pick will likely make more sense.

SECOND ROUND (37): NATE ALLEN
Free safety / SOUTH FLORIDA

This is the pick from Washington, otherwise known as “the guy we got for Donovan McNabb.” Only time will tell as to who got the better end of the deal, but on paper I am absolutely thrilled with Allen. While I would have liked to have Thomas, Allen is a very close second best. He’s quick, great in coverage, and has big play-making abilities. This is the guy that will allow the team to transition on from Dawkins.

Nate Allen (#5) on the field

THIRD ROUND (86): DANIEL TE’O-NESHEIM
Defensive end / WASHINGTON

This is another undersized guy who was projected to go a round later, and it’s a selection I am still on the fence about. The Husky is another quick guy, which the team seems to really love. One thing that really stands out about him is his work ethic, as has been noted by many scouts.

FOURTH ROUND (105); TREVARD LINDLEY
Cornerback / KENTUCKY

Lindley is a corner that looks up to Charles Woodson, but his style of play very much mirrors current Eagle Asante Samuel. Samuel is known for two things – cutting routes to pull down interceptions and being a weak tackler. While some say he is the steal of the draft, his injury history and marginal tackling ability have me worried.

FOURTH ROUND (121): KEENAN CLAYTON
Outside linebacker / OKLAHOMA

Yet another undersized back that is quick on his feet, but if the Birds reached on any pick, this is it. There were better players available at this point, like end Greg Hardy and safety Myron Rolle.

FOURTH ROUND (122): MIKE KAFKA
Quarterback / NORTHWESTERN

While his experience might be lacking – his only year as a starter was his senior campaign – this is the type of guy that Andy Reid loves to develop. Plus, I can’t wait until I can get my hands on his jersey. Kafka is a mobile and intelligent quarterback that loves to throw, and by the time Vick’s contract is up, he should be ready to step in as the number two guy.

Kafka looking for an open receiver

FOURTH ROUND (125): CLAYTON HARBOR
Tight end or fullback / MISSOURI STATE

With Brent Celek blossoming as one of the league’s top receiving tight ends, it’s only natural that the team goes after a versatile blocker like Harbor as a compliment. He came from a small school which may stunt his growth a bit, but he’ll be helped by his raw athleticism.

FIFTH ROUND (134): RICKY SAPP
Defensive end / CLEMSON

This big school end was an absolute steal at this spot, and despite his torn ACL his junior year, Sapp could likely make an immediate impact with the Eagles. An athletic guy that could prove much more valuable than one would expect from a fifth-rounder.

FIFTH ROUND (159): RILEY COOPER
Wide receiver / FLORIDA

This is another fifth round steal. He’s a guy with good hands that has the potential to be a Jason Avant-type player, making key third down and red zone grabs. But also don’t be surprised if he turns out to be Hank Baskett 2.0, but without the playmate wife.

SIXTH ROUND (200): CHARLES SCOTT
Running back / LOUISIANA STATE

While Scott is not quick, he’s a big back that could prove to be good for both short yardage plays and blocking. He’ll be a true grinder that plays with little fanfare.

SEVENTH ROUND (220): JAMAR CHANEY
Linebacker / MISSISSIPPI STATE

Chaney is quick and an effective tackler, looking like a steal in the 7th round. Outside of that, only time will tell how he pans out.

SEVENTH ROUND (243): JEFF OWENS
Defensive tackle / GEORGIA

Looking at his make-up, he could he a solid guy against the run, which is a definite weakness the team has.

SEVENTH ROUND (244): KURT COLEMAN
Safety / OHIO STATE

Plays both free and strong safety, will likely end up on the practice squad.

Despite having four months until the team matches up against Green Bay, the draft always unofficially marks the beginning of the season. The Eagles squad we see take the field in 2010 will have new starters up and down the board, and will be a very young team.

The word across the Delaware Valley and beyond seems to be general satisfaction with the draft.

This sentiment is echoed by Phinally Philly reader and Philly native AJ Keirans who was well aware of all of the holes that the team needed to fill, especially on defense.

“I was surprised that the team traded up and didn’t take Earl Thomas from Texas. Knowing the impact that a strong leader like Dawkins had on the defense from the safety position, I thought that it was no-brainer they would get him. I think that (Brandon) Graham, while a surprise pick, is a quality player who will bring some much needed speed to the Eagles pass rush.”

And since the great Jim Johnson has passed on, Sean McDermott needs to continue making the defense the great unit it once was. As Keirans says, McDermott needs to begin fortifying his legacy with his own players.

Don’t expect all of these guys to make the final roster, but with a few days for things to settle in, it seems as though the Birds have solved their defensive problems, but there remains question marks at O-line and corner.

Whatever happens, this is the most change we’ve seen in South Philly in over a decade.

Talking draft day needs with the Eagles Couch

Posted by Dany Sloan On April - 22 - 2010

If the season began today and the Eagles made no further moves, then this squad would be lucky to get nine wins. The tough schedule coupled with the inexperienced of many of the players will lead to a much weaker team than in years past. On top of that, Kevin Kolb may turn out to be Bobby Hoying 2.0, forcing the Birds to turn to Vick or someone else.

The last few years have been easy to put a finger on, so with an unpredictable draft coming up that will surely revolutionize the face of the team, we’ve decided to reach outside and talk to one of our favorite Eagles bloggers about what the team needs to do to succeed.

Eagles Couch, as described by it’s owner Bill Buckminster, is “one fan’s pathetic attempt to analyze the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL from the comfort of his own couch.” I have to disagree with him on the pathetic part, especially since I find myself agreeing with him quite a lot. But that could just make me pathetic as well.

This year’s three night prime time draft extravaganza begins tonight at 7.30pm. While the Eagles have 10 picks across all of the rounds, in classic team fashion they are expected to make some trades to move around the board and address their many needs. Bill, aka Mr. Couch, was kind enough to answer a few questions about what we can expect.

Phinally Philly: What are some of the holes that the team has to address in the draft?
Couch: Safety, corner, offensive line, and defensive end are the top priorities. They’ll probably grab a linebacker and a quarterback in the late rounds too. Andy also can’t resist just loading up on late round lineman on either side of the ball.

PP: Which players do you expect the team to go after?
C: Unfortunately, I don’t know much about college ball. I can’t get into anything that’s decided by polls. When they start a playoff system, I’m all about it. I’ve read that the safety Eric Berry is one of the top 4 can’t miss prospects of the draft. We’d have to trade up to top 5 or 6 to get him. Otherwise it feels like the Birds will trade up to the mid-teens and draft Earl Thomas out of Texas. One late round sleeper I would keep an eye on is Armanti Edwards out of Appalachian State University. He’s a great multi-dimensional quarterback out of Division 1-A who be a perfect fit for the wildcat offense when the Birds finally dump Vick in the pre-season. Full disclosure: I only know about him because I live about 45 minutes away from Appalachian State, and Division 1A does have a college playoff, which are fantastic.

PP: Who would love to see the Eagles pick up if they were going first? Why?
C: I would love to see the Birds go get Berry, but that would take a major power move. They would have to get up to the 6 spot at a minimum. They would have to give up a 2nd round pick, but not necessarily the pick they got for McNabb or possibly next years first rounder. It would be out of character for Reid to make such a bold move, but this off-season has been very out of character. It does feel like Andy is going to want to go all out this year and prove that he can still win without McNabb.

PP: Do you expect the team to trade up (or even trade down)? If so, what would their reasoning be?
C: I’m sure the Eagles will be trading all over the place during the draft. It’s been a hallmark of the Reid era. They seem to trade too much. Almost like they are trying to prove to everyone else how brilliant they are. They’ve stockpiled a lot of picks in the first three rounds this year, and it sounds like a lot of other teams are eager to move down in the draft. It looks like they’ll trade up in the first round. They coveted a top 7 pick in the 2nd round of the draft, so they are not moving the McNabb pick. With the new draft schedule, they’ll have almost a full day between the first and second round to reexamine their draft board and make that 37th pick.

Couch is right – expect the Birds to move all over the place during the draft. We’ll see the team nab some expected the players, and we’ll see some “oh shit” moments as well. I wouldn’t be shocked if a quarterback is picked either, but let’s hope that guy is not Tim Tebow.  If there are some good corners, safeties, and offensive linemen in the midnight green by Saturday night, then this will have been a good draft.

Join us starting tonight for more coverage – be sure to follow @Phinally and @soundofphilly for all of the team’s moves across Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Taking a closer look at the Eagles 2010 schedule

Posted by Dany Sloan On April - 21 - 2010

Last year the schedule gods dealt the Eagles an easy hand with a lot of weak teams to beat up on, but this year the difficulty level is kicked up a few notches. Tougher opponents, a new QB at the helm, and a much younger lineup should make this an extremely interesting season, and one of the most significantly different teams in nearly a decade.

On paper it looks like the Birds could easily take 8 or 9 of these games, but the results of the draft could change all of that. Let’s look at a few of the more significant match-ups to see what they mean for the team and what storylines they’ll reveal, especially the always interesting NFC East battles.

Week 1 / Sunday 09.12: Green Bay Packers @ Eagles (4.15pm)
This is no Carolina match-up. This will be a tough opponent to face to start things off, and it will be a great forum in which to compare the oft-associated Aaron Rodgers and Kevin Kolb.

Week 2 / Sunday 09.19: Eagles @ Detroit Lions (1.00pm)
Week 3 / Sunday 09.26: Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars (4.05pm)

Week 4 / Sunday 10.03: Washington Redskins @ Eagles (4.15pm)
This should be a prime time game – there will be no bigger storyline this week.  As soon as the Birds hit the locker rooms in Jacksonville the week before, the heads will begin to speculate on what it will be like for Donovan McNabb to return to Philly.  It’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster, especially if you wanted him to stay.  One thing’s for sure: expect fans to give him the Dawkins treatment – a rousing standing ovation.  He sure as hell deserves it.

Week 5 / Sunday 10.10: Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers (8.20pm)
Week 6 / Sunday 10.17: Atlanta Falcons @ Eagles (1.00pm)
Week 7 / Sunday 10.24: Eagles @ Tennessee Titans (1.00pm)
Week 8 / BYE

Week 9 / Sunday 11.07: Indianapolis Colts @ Eagles (4.15pm)
Peyton Manning is the greatest player currently in the NFL, and this game is worth it just to see him on the field at the Linc.  Expect this to be a very tough match-up for the Birds.

Week 10 / Monday 11.15: Eagles @ Washington Redskins (8.30pm)

Week 11 / Sunday 11.21: NY Giants @ Eagles (8.20pm)
After sweeping the Giants last season, the Birds will obviously want to keep that streak going.  The battles between the teams are always legendary, and expect an added wrinkle this year with our new, young quarterback.

Week 12 / Sunday 11.28: Eagles @ Chicago Bears (1.00pm)

Week 13 / Thursday 12.02: Houston Texans @ Eagles (8.20pm)
Texans QB Matt Schaub is a West Chester area native, and it’s always good to see a local boy come and play against the team he likely grew up rooting for.

Week 14 / Sunday 12.12: Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (8.20pm)

The Eagles head to Jerry’s World for a marquee match-up underneath the 60-square mile video screen.  Playing in Dallas is never easy – as was evidenced by the dual disappointments last season.  These losses didn’t sit well with the fanbase or the team, so expect the Birds to be looking for revenge.
Week 15 / Sunday 12.19: Eagles @ NY Giants (1.00pm)

Week 16 / Sunday 12.26: Minnesota Vikings @ Eagles (1.00pm)
Old man Favre, if he decides to play this season, will likely make his last professional appearance in Philadelphia.  Expect there to be a lot of media attention on this game.

Week 17 / Sunday 01.02: Dallas Cowboys @ Eagles (1.00pm)

This will be THE game, it always is.  Whenever the Cowboys come to Philly, it brings everyone out of the woodwork – the hardcores, the casuals, and the worst fans of all – the bandwagon Dallas fans from the Delaware Valley.  If the Eagles are competitive by this point, they will be likely duking it out with Dallas for playoff positions.  As always, this will be a gem not to be missed.

Draft day decisions

Posted by Dany Sloan On April - 19 - 2010

Philadelphia is a funny place. Despite the beginning of an inspired playoff run for the Flyers and an excellent start for the Phillies, the Eagles still remain the talk of the town in the middle of the off-season.

Granted the draft happens this week, but with the recent McNabb trade and the plethora of picks the team has, there is a lot to be said about a team that will look very different at the start of the upcoming season.

The Eagles have a ton of holes to fill, most notably on the defense and offensive line. Priorities include cornerback, safety, defensive end, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, and the O-line as a whole. We all know that the league’s best quarterbacks are that much more effective when they have time to think, assess, and react.

With a total of 11 picks in one of the deepest drafts of the past decade, the Birds are expected to make a big splash with a large haul of players. Leading up to Thursday, don’t be surprised if more players are moved (possibly Michael Vick or Asante Samuel) or picks are traded for the team to move up higher from their current #24 first round slot.

In years past Andy Reid and his scouts have typically shined on draft day, which this year is a three-day prime time event beginning on Thursday at 7.30pm. The past few years have brought in such notable names as DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, and Brent Celek.

Right now it’s anyone’s guess as to who the Eagles are going to choose, and the braintrust likely is going back and forth between several different scenarios even as I type this. Names like OLB Sean Weatherspoon from Mizzou, S Taylor Mays from USC, and even Tennessee SS Eric Berry have been thrown around, but like in years past, expect the unexpected. We all know the team does its research and will land some players who will make an impact for years to come.

According to ESPN, the Eagles have traded the greatest quarterback ever to suit up in Philadelphia to the Washington Redskins. Compensation will be Washington’s 2nd rounder (37th overall) this year and a 3rd or 4th rounder next year depending on performance, per NFL.com reporter Jason LaCanfora.  Final language is still being discussed.

No matter who comes back, it likely will not be enough to replace #5. For the past 11 seasons Donovan McNabb helped lead the team to its longest period of sustained success in its history.

Unfortunately a Super Bowl win was not part of that success and the front office decided it was best to move in a new direction. While I am disappointed to see him go, my feelings for the team will not change. McNabb should have stayed, but I plan to root for the Eagles just as hard this season.

The make-up of the team will definitely be different and it will be interesting to see how things play out, but first we should take a look back at some of the good, bad, and interesting moments we had with #5 throughout his time in Philly.

DRAFT DAY (1999): The fanbase and the city wanted running back Ricky Williams, so when he wasn’t chosen, fans booed the man that would become one of the greatest to ever wear midnight green.

GOV. RENDELL APOLOGIZES TO MCNABB (December 5, 2009): This one of the reasons why I love Rendell – he was a great mayor, is a great governor, and he’s just a great person. Check out this clip where he apologizes to McNabb about draft day.

MCNABB RUNS FOR OVER 100 YARDS VS. REDSKINS (November 26, 2000): Before he developed into the QB that he is today, McNabb relied on his speed. This was nowhere more evident than in this late season game against divisional rivals the Redskins. While he passed for just 137 yards with just a single TD and an interception, he ran for 125 yards, including a 21-yard TD score and a 54-yarder that set up David Akers’s game-winning field goal.

MCNABB THROWS FOUR TD PASSES ON A BROKEN ANKLE (November 17, 2002): The Eagles were dismantled the week before, and early in this mid-November game McNabb’s ankle took an absolute beating on the Vet’s turf. Rather than coming out, #5 played through the excruciating pain to pass for 4 TDs and would on an absolutely brilliant performance.

RUSH LIMBAUGH’S COMMENTS (September 28, 2003): Blowhard Rush Limbaugh made his infamous comments about McNabb that pissed almost everyone off. The most important thing to consider though is that whether or not you felt that McNabb had played well up until that point was moot – Limbaugh made it all about race, and that’s flat out wrong and exactly what the conversation should not be about.

4TH AND 26 (January 11, 2004): This is one of those plays everyone remembers where they were when this happened. After a bye week, the Eagles were facing the Packers in the divisional playoff games, and late in the 4th quarter they were down 17-14. After some penalties and a sack, the Eagles had a huge hill to climb with a 4th and 26 and no timeouts left. What happened next was something that every fan had playing in their heads, but no one expected it to happen. When McNabb threw the ball and Freddie Mitchell pulled it down, getting the first down, I couldn’t believe what I just saw. The Eagles fans crowding the NYC bar that was showing the game stared in disbelief at what had just happened, then started cheering. After several high fives and the tying field goal, we knew it would be ok. The Eagles pulled out the win in overtime, 20-17.

14 SECOND SCRAMBLE VS. THE COWBOYS (November 15, 2004): One oft-forgotten skill of McNabb is his ability to avoid defenders in the pocket, and it was nowhere more evident than on his play against Dallas in 2004. Unable to find an open receiver and doing everything he could to avoid a sack, #5 ran back and forth for over 14 seconds until he threw the ball downfield to an open Freddie Mitchell. FredEx, who was again in the right place at the right time, caught the ball for a 60-yard reception, sealing the win against the Cowboys.

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WIN (January 23, 2005): After three straight NFC Championship game losses, McNabb and the Birds were finally able to get over the hump in his hard fought battle. The team made it to the Super Bowl on the back of an amazing performance from McNabb – two TD passes (both to Chad Lewis), no interceptions, and several key rushes.

DONOVAN DOESN’T KNOW A GAME COULD END IN A TIE (November 16, 2008): Not to rag on the guy, but this is kind of funny.

BENCHING VS. THE RAVENS (November 23, 2008): Even a franchise player can get benched, and that’s just what happened when the Eagles played the Ravens last year. By halftime, he was 8 for 18 for 59 yards and had two interceptions and a fumble. That’s a quarterback rating of just 13.2, which is absolutely terrible. The week before wasn’t much better as he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in an overtime tie (loss) with Cincinnati.

While you can blame the running game and defense as well, the truth was that McNabb was dismal, so when halftime rolled around in Baltimore Andy Reid benched him. It was a decision that was both expected and unexpected, especially given the relationship between these two. Apparently this was what McNabb needed to light that fire under his ass. Both his, and the team’s, season turned around dramatically as they closed out the season winning all of their games but one and making the playoffs. They lost in the NFC Championship game to the Arizona Cardinals.

These past few years have forced us fans to say goodbye to many of our longtime favorites, Brian Dawkins signed with the Broncos, the brilliant Jim Johnson passed on, Brian Westbrook was released, and now Donovan McNabb has been traded.

Things don’t stay the same forever, but knowing that, it’s still hard to say goodbye no matter how that exit is made. With the Kevin Kolb era about to begin, the Eagles are now a mostly young, fresh-faced bunch, much like they were at the beginning of the ‘00s.

Let’s hope this new bunch can eclipse the success we’ve gotten used to, and bring the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia where it belongs.  It’s in the hands of Kevin Kolb now.

Eagles do some spring cleaning

Posted by Kieran Kelly On March - 19 - 2010

In their attempt to get back into the sports discussion in Philly, with the Phillies in spring training, the Flyers dealing with their annual goalie controversy and the Sixers well on their way to a lottery pick, the Eagles decided to attend to some things that were well overdue.

First, the cuts. Gone are Shawn Andrews, Kevin Curtis, and Darren Howard. While injuries have severely limited Andrews and Curtis the past 2 seasons, Howard just couldn’t deliver on the lofty expectations that come with a huge contract.

Shawn Andrews was a very good tackle during the time he was actually on the field. A 2 time Pro Bowler, he motivation was called into question recently. After missing all but 2 games the past 2 seasons with back problems, the Eagles just couldn’t afford to keep him around anymore.

Kevin Curtis was another flash in the pan who was bit by the injury bug. Coming over from St. Louis to fill the outside WR spot, after being a slot receiver, he showed he could handle the task. Unfortunately, injuries and overcrowding force Curtis out. With Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, and Jason Avant on the roster, there simply wasn’t any room for Curtis anymore. I will miss him though. He was the only Eagle who actually looked good in those blue and yellow throwbacks, which I absolutely love.

Darren Howard was brought in to be a pass rushing beast off the corner, but was signed coming off of an injury, which is never a good thing. After starting all 16 games his first season, he fell out of the starting role and into a situational end. While getting rid of the only pass rusher besides Trent Cole. Howard just wasn’t living up to his huge contract and had to go before he costs the Eagles any more money.

Spring cleaning also brought a few new faces to the Birds. Chris Clemons and a 4th round pick in this year’s draft for Darryl Tapp, a defensive end from Seattle. Both of these speed rushers were in need of a change in scenery after seeing their production slack off. Hopefully it works.

The Eagles made a couple moves to shore up their offensive and defensive backfields as well. They signed RB Mike Bell to an offer sheet and are just waiting to see if New Orleans matches it. As of now, it doesn’t appear that they will, after bringing in other RBs for visits. Bell is a hard runner who doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional West Cost running back, but could help out in short yardage situations.

Safety Marlin Jackson was signed to a 2 year deal in order to take over the free safety position in Philadelphia, still waiting to be filled after Brian Dawkins left prior to last season.  Jackson will be moving to a new position here, as well as try to come back from ACL surgeries on both knees in successive years.  The Eagles have had success with Correll Buckhalter after he had ACL injuries to both knees, so they know what they’re dealing with.

With this flurry of moves, the Eagles are positioning themselves well for the draft next month. The Eagles have the 24th pick in the first round. They could go in a few different directions, but there is a need on both sides of the line.

They do have some trade bait in those 3 quarterbacks….

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In other news, several new player numbers were recently revealed, most notable LeSean moving from 29 to 25.
16 – Chad Hall, WR
25 – LeSean McCoy, RB
28 – Marlin Jackson, FS
91 – Darryl Tapp, DE

Speaking of LeSean, it’s good to see Westbrook continuing to mentor him as he heads into his sophomore year.

Eagles Offseason Bingo: 2010 Edition!

Posted by David Foley On March - 1 - 2010

In case you missed it last year…Eagles Offseason Bingo is back with a new and improved version for 2010!

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