Passing the Torch At Birds 24/7

Eagles fans in stands

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

This profession can be a bit of a high wire act, and I was smack in the center of the arena with balance pole wobbling when the idea of Birds 24/7 was formed.

The start-up site I was writing for, Philly Sports Daily, went under following the 2011 season. Good timing because my wife was pregnant with our first child. I was fortunate to have 97.5 the Fanatic to lean on some, but needed a full-time gig to generate a decent income and keep the career dream alive. My level of vulnerability may have been slightly greater than I let on when I sent a feeler email to Sheil that winter.

You can imagine my reaction when hope came back in the reply.  And, hopefully, you can understand the level of gratitude I have to everyone who has helped breathe such remarkable life into this once far-fetched project in the four-plus years since.

The time has come to hand the project off. Read more »

Pederson Working On Plan B At Right Tackle

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles are beginning preparations for life without Lane Johnson, just in case.

Doug Pederson said he hasn’t personally been  notified of a suspension to this point, but he talked like one could very well be coming.

“You’ve always gotta be mindful of that obviously in the back of your mind,” said Pederson. “I’ll visit with Coach [Jeff] Stoutland this week and we’ll evaluate where we need to go from here and if that’s the case, if it’s upheld, then we’ve gotta be prepared to make some moves. Until it happens, we go full steam but at the same time we also know and we’ve gotta be smart about it to have people ready to go if it is upheld.”

If it’s upheld?

“I guess if the suspension is upheld and if it starts Week 1, if the 10 games starts Week 1,” he said. Read more »

Eagles-Bucs Instant Observations

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 17-9 win over the Bucs in the preseason opener:


*Carson Wentz became the focal point the moment he took the field with 1:19 remaining in the first half. He flashed the athleticism, arm and ability that enticed the Eagles to move up to No. 2 overall to draft him, and also had a few rocky moments that highlighted the fact that he is still early in his development. He ended 12-of-24 for 89 yards with an interception Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We’ll Be Watching

Jalen Mills. (Jeff Fusco)

Jalen Mills. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles open up the preseason tonight with a 7 o’clock home game against the Bucs. Here’s what we’ll be watching:

Right tackle, obviously.

Lane Johnson has not been suspended as of yet, and even if he were, he’d still be able to take part in preseason activities. With news swirling of a failed drug test, though, the Eagles have to weigh how to proceed here as they get ready for the start of the regular season. The team has been quiet on the Johnson front and hasn’t said if he will suit up tonight. While the Johnson camp hadn’t received definitive word as of Wednesday afternoon, its assumption was that the Eagles would play him.

Either way, the first team likely won’t be on the field long and Doug Pederson will want to get a look at some possible replacements should Johnson be unavailable to him. Dennis Kelly is listed as the backup at right tackle on the unofficial depth chart with Halapoulivaati Vaitai behind him. The Eagles could also try Andrew Gardner or Allen Barbre in that spot. The more reps the better for these candidates, just in case. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Understanding the Johnson Situation

Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

Today’s question comes from reader Ben.

I’ve been reading over the NFL’s 2015 Policy On Performance-Enhancing Substances to try and get a better understanding of the process in the event of a positive test. Here’s what I came away with: Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Mayock On Wentz

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

No analyst has been higher on Carson Wentz than Mike Mayock.

The respected NFL Network draft expert had Wentz as his top quarterback coming out. Called him “every bit as athletic as Andrew Luck or Cam Newton.” Said he has the upside to reach the highest of heights of his profession.

Months removed from the pre-draft hype, Mayock — who has spent time around the practice facility in recent days — is still firmly in the Wentz camp, even if it is a bit of a construction site at the moment.

“There’s nothing that I’ve seen that makes me think he’s not going to be the quarterback of the future and the guy I thought he’d be,” Mayock said in a conversation with Birds 24/7 following Monday’s practice. “All the intangibles, I think the Eagles love what he’s brought to the table. Now it’s just a matter of, he’s gotta work on some technique.” Read more »

Trey Burton Emerging As Offensive Option

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

It stung, he said, but it was exactly the kind of reality check that Trey Burton needed.

The moment came during training camp two years ago. A rookie at the time, the undrafted free agent out of Florida sought out special teams coach Dave Fipp after practice one day so he could watch film with him. Burton remembers Fipp responding to one of his questions with a lengthy pause before darting the laser pointer over to one of the walls where an official depth chart was hanging. Read more »

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