Barwin Named Defensive Player Of the Month

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans

Connor Barwin was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November.

Barwin racked up 6.5 sacks last month, including 3.5 against the Panthers on November 10. He also had three passes defensed and a forced fumble in that stretch. The five-year vet is second in the NFL with 12.5 sacks, which is a career high.

He is actually rushing the passer slightly less on average than last season (24 times per game compared to 27 per game in 2013), per Pro Football Focus, but is having a much bigger year statistically.

The biggest difference? Read more »

Maclin: ‘I Like My Chances Against Anybody’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Richard Sherman will follow a receiver around the field from time to time depending on the type of defense the Seahawks are in and the receiver in question. Jeremy Maclin noted that when he was watching Seattle-Dallas tape, he noticed Sherman shadowing Dez Bryant some.

Whether he’ll be free to roam this week against the Eagles might be largely irrelevant: Maclin typically lines up on the right side of the formation, and it doesn’t sound like the Eagles will go away from that despite the presence of No. 25.

“For the most part we kind of stay on one side as receivers,” said Maclin, “and he’s on my side, so.”

So they’ll be going head-to-head. Read more »

Chip: Florida Never Contacted Me

Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly spent the early portion of his Wednesday press conference answering (in very succinct fashion) questions about the University of Florida rumors.

Have you or your agent been contacted by Florida?

“Nope. No.”

Would you talk to them if they called?

“No.”

What do you think when things like that come up?

“I laugh.”

Is it flattering?

“No. I think it’s silly.”

Why?

“Because it’s a rumor, it’s not the truth. I think things that are false are silly.” Read more »

‘We’ve Gotta Really Turn It Up’

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

The Eagles have been averaging 30 points on offense over their last five games. The offensive line and (consequently) the running game is beginning to click, their quarterback is playing pretty well and the head coach knows how to scheme it up. There’s reason enough for this unit to be feeling good about itself as it hits the home stretch.

Sunday’s opponent is a different beast, though, and everybody inside the NovaCare seems to be bracing for some tough sledding ahead.

“I don’t think we go into it thinking [our defense] has to win the game but there is a difference between our offense going against anybody else’s defense and our offense going against Seattle,” Malcolm Jenkins acknowledged. “You do realize this is probably going to be a defensive struggle. We don’t expect our offense to go in and put up 35 points on this defense.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Wilson Vs. Kelly, Take 2

Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson - USA Today

Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson – USA Today

Russell Wilson and Chip Kelly were part of the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played.

Wisconsin and Oregon combined for over 1,100 yards of offense in the Ducks’ narrow 45-38 win back in January of 2012 that gave Kelly his first bowl victory. Wilson had 314 all-purpose yards and accounted for three of the Badgers’ touchdowns (two passing, one running). He had Wisconsin within striking distance late but time ran out on him.

Less than a month later, Wilson sat down with former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah at the Senior Bowl and promised big things for the franchise if they took a chance on him.

“At the end of the interview, you always ask for players’ numbers so you can get in touch with them — he asked for my number. And then I would get text messages from him periodically saying, ‘If the Eagles draft me, I will lead the Eagles to championships.’ You know he would send me these text messages,” Jeremiah said back in September.

“So leading up, even the day of the draft, the first day of the draft: ‘If the Eagles draft me I will lead them to championships.’ He was sending me these text messages. Well, we really liked him, and I thought there was a very real chance he was going to end up being a Philadelphia Eagle there. And then of course, Seattle ends up taking him.”

Wilson went 75th overall to the Seahawks, and has helped Seattle to a 32-12 record and a Super Bowl title since taking over. The Eagles drafted Nick Foles 13 picks later and set off on their own course, which included bringing Kelly on board as head coach the following year.

This coming Sunday, coach and quarterback will square off once again in a game that has significant playoff implications for their respective teams. Read more »

Chip Says Nothing To Cooper-Sanchez Flap

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Riley Cooper didn’t have a great week.

He made strange jokes about Jeremy Maclin and his contract status leading up to the Dallas game —  comments that Maclin didn’t find particularly amusing. Then in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys, he caught the ire of Mark Sanchez for apparently not following the quarterback’s instructions at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles had to burn a timeout and Sanchez was clearly frustrated with Cooper. He seemed to yelling, among other things, “Listen to me!”
Read more »

Corner Tandem Steps Up Against Dallas

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Romo didn’t look right, and that needs to be part of the conversation.

Since fracturing two transverse processes in his back last month, the Cowboys quarterback typically doesn’t begin practicing until Thursday in a normal week. This, of course, was no normal week, and it looked like the lack of recovery time affected his play.

“There are no excuses,” said Romo. “They made things a little bit tougher. I missed a couple throws that I normally won’t miss. I will be better at that the rest of the year, I know that for sure.”

That’s probably true assuming the wear and tear doesn’t get the better of him over the final quarter of the season.

While the Dallas passing game wasn’t at its optimum, credit needs to be given to starting cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. This was not an easy matchup and many thought it would go the way of Green Bay, only this time with Dez Bryant tearing it up on the outside rather than Jordy Nelson. Bryant did pull down a 38-yard reception over Fletcher late in the first quarter and finished with four catches for 73 yards. But that was just one of two Dallas pass plays that went for over 20 yards, and the second came in garbage time on the Cowboys’ final drive.

In a roller coaster season for the corner tandem, this performance was right around the top of the lift hill. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Big Moment For Sanchez

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Mark Sanchez was the last Eagles player to leave the field Thursday. His teammates came streaming through the tunnel and into the locker room in waves. Fresh off a man-handling of the Cowboys for all the world to see, there were plenty of smiles and handshakes and Ric Flair-like “Wooo!”s bouncing off the walls in the bowels of JerryWorld.

Sanchez eventually came jogging up, an Eagles ski cap on his head and the game ball tucked securely in his arm. As he turned into the locker room, the waiting players let out a celebratory “Heyyyyyyy!”to welcome in their quarterback.

He  had a good night in a big spot for the Eagles, going 20-of-29 for 217 yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and no turnovers. This is the second time in four starts that he has posted a clean stat sheet. Read more »

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