Meet the 16 Health Hero Semi-Finalists

Read interviews with each of the contestants.

>> Voting in the 2012 Health Hero Challenge kicks is now open! Each week in September, four contestants will be up for voting; the winner of each round will go on to the finals in October. Be sure to head over to our Facebook page to cast a vote, and use the schedule below to see when the polls will be open for your favorite Health Hero. You can vote once a day, every day, throughout the course of the contest.

Round 1: September 4-10

Cate Dorr and Ford, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Heather McDanel, Students Run Philly Style

Bob Carrozza, school nurse at Penrose Elementary

Michele Redrow, CGI Racing

Round 2: September 11-17

Kim Fortunato, Campbell Soup Company

Chris Marino, Marino’s Body Shop

Deborah Hirsch, Philly Dance Fitness

Alice Bast, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Round 3: September 18-24

Nicole Marquis, Hip City Veg

Jillian Bullock, Fighting Spirit Warriors

Beth DuPree, breast surgeon at Holy Redeemer

Bob Schwelm, Bryn Mawr Running Company

Round 4: September 25-October 2

Jeff Middleton, First Tee of Philadelphia

Carolyn Kaufmann, Stroller Strides

Stephen Brown, Team in Training

Sally Andersen, fitness instructor at Kendrick Recreation Center

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  • CJ

    Years ago when the Jets switched to a 3-4, they had to give up on a pretty solid DE that didn’t fit their scheme anymore and traded Hugh Douglas here. With 3 or more “fastballs” that don’t really fit this new scheme, except for the Predator position, I think the Eagles pretty much have to give up on one of them. I don’t think it’ll be Graham or Curry, they’re younger, cheaper, and they both have high picks invested in them. It wouldn’t shock me if they try to get something for Cole around the draft, unless he’s really able to bulk up and play on the line.

    • theycallmerob

      I like where your head’s at, though my concern with Cole is the 5yr contract extension he just signed last offseason. Might hinder some trade offers. Also, that would leave a HUGE void in veteran leadership along the DLine, so if nothing else I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept Cole as nothing more than a situational pass-rusher or backup DE/OLB for depth. He and DeMeco seem to be the last vestige of leaders on that D.

      • CJ

        I didn’t say I liked the idea :). If they can get rid of the headcases and the entitlement, the leadership will take care of itself. Ryans isn’t going anywhere and that might give younger guys that were considered leaders in college like Graham and Cox a chance to step up. Not sure that Cole wants a backup role, and the contract won’t be an issue, those get renegotiated all the time.

        We just saw yesterday at the DT position that this team is getting younger and will be built the right way, even if it hurts in the short term, and that leadership, while certainly a factor, isn’t necessarily enough to keep your job here. To me, that means Asomugha either takes a huge pay cut or he’s next, with possibly Cole and dare I say Vick, not far behind.

    • NJSandman25

      Cole most likely can play the 3-technique and the predator. The team’s cap situation is plenty flexible to keep him, at least for a 1-2 year trial period. Remember, Cole averaged double digit sacks from 2007-2011, as well as dozens of QB hurries. The past 3-4 years Cole was the most double-teamed Eagles D-Lineman, and still put up those great numbers (best DE in 2011 according to PFF). He can play the line in a 3-4 or 4-3 under. The scheme is different, but double-teams are double-teams and Cole doesn’t care.

  • jsb235

    So, summing up this article, the Eagles basically have one guy (Cox) who can fit this new defense the team is going to switch to. Great. What is odd is that Jenkins or Patterson seemed to be the guys who could play the other defensive end opposite Cox, but they are both gone. And now the team has three guys (Cole, Graham and Curry) who can all play one position.

    Does anyone else sense an impending disaster here?

    • Average_Joseph

      No. If they were lining up today then you would be right but there is a lot that will happen between now and September. And I am in no way a “Suzy Sunshine.”

    • Tom

      Patterson was too short and small to play the 5 technique d-end position. And while jenkins has the size to play it, why pay a guy 5.5 million for someone on the downside of their career and at a position they may not even start at. Cedric Thornton pencils in at the 5 technique but I suspect they will add someone either through the draft or free agency to push him. Cole and Graham will get on the field plenty especially when the eagles go nickel or dime which is often. They will fight for the predator/rush lb position. Curry could be the odd man out or depth at either lb position with the eagles likely to add a SAM lb in the draft. No disaster — relax. free agency, draft, and more cuts from other teams on the way. We dont play game 1 for 7 months.

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        I don’t doubt Curry could be an effective inside linebacker, he was projected as an Outside Linebacker. Put him on a conditioning program to tighten up and loose 15 to 20 lbs. Last year he ran a 4.8 in the 40 so he’s near where he needs to be to cover backs between the marks. Curry could present a problem blitzing from the interior linebacker position and is a obstacle for QBs throwing over the middle.

    • jabostick

      I don’t see why Graham can’t be really effective in this defense. Cole might become a little more situational (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). I’m pretty optimistic about Demeco and Kendricks as well. From that perspective, you’ve got Cox, Kendricks, Graham, Ryans and maybe a stud with the 4th pick (if it isn’t CB or OL) as pretty solid pieces for your front 7.

      It does seem like Curry might be highly drafted depth right now but it’s early. I’m sure there’ll be an adjustment but I don’t sense disaster.

      • JofreyRice

        I really hope they focus the draft on Defense. Kelly’s an “offensive genius”, with a run-heavy system. He’s got a very good backfield in McCoy, Brown, Jordan as a change-of-pace waterbug, and Polk, who can run the ball, as well. Kelly also has the flexibility of putting Desean in the backfield and giving him the ball on pitches ala De’Anthony Thomas. If the o-line returns healthy, and they don’t try and force Watkins into the lineup ahead of guys more talented, I think they can be solid. Avant & Cooper can be the blocking WR’s, hell maybe even Maclin can fall down in front of someone and “block” them slightly, as they hurdle his crumpled body.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          There’s nothing on the O Line in Philly, absolutely nothing if Peters doesn’t come back 100% healthy, there is Offensive Line talent in this draft and the Eagles need to bring in talent to compete with what’s presently in Philly. I just don’t sense that much can change with the Oline as presently constructed, there’s no depth and one of the Guards was sitting on his couch eating ring dings 8 games into the Season before being activated.

          That’s not how a contender comes to the dance. The Eagles are in no position to by pass obvious talent where they have shown a weakness. I’m starting to think Kelly after seeing tapes of the Eagles senses the very same things to built a contender.

          • JofreyRice

            It’s a whole different ballgame if Peters isn’t 100%, but I’ve read his recovery is going well. If he is healthy, you have the most athletic LT/LG tandem in the NFL, which fits into Kelly’s ZBS perfectly. Herremans is a better T than guard, but he’s OK out there on the right side, and is a better run blocker than pass protector; which once again, is going to play into what Kelly does. Kelce is serviceable at C–hopefully he’s added some strength from his rookie season. Scott was decent for a guy that was sitting around eating ring dings, and was starting a week after being signed. I think not signing him earlier had more to do with Watkins being a first round pick than not wanting Scott. He was an immediate upgrade to “mediocre”.

            I’m not saying these guys are some all-pro unit, but with the shambles that the defense is in, I think focusing the draft effort on that side of the ball would give you a better bang for your buck, in terms of building a winning squad. Herremans, Peters & Mathis will all need to be replaced within in the next 2-3 years, but if they’re healthy, they’re still pretty good. Nate Allen, Jamar Chaney, Kurt Coleman and Nnamdi Asomugha are all healthy as horses, but there’s no amount of health that can make them NFL starters on D.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Patterson was not an effective Tackle in the NFL, he should have never been drafted in the First Round in 2005, never. Jenkins played his best games in Green Bay, to be one of the best tackles playing in philly was not a significant achievement. It didn’t really take much to be better than the Philly best.

      Cox is an animal of a different type. However, I’ve seen some potential in Thornton. Given time, Thornton come become a key player at tackle playing opposite Cox putting Cox in a position to get one on one attention, Cox should become unblockable in another year. Thornton is disruptive and not bad at collapsing the pocket and good against the rush. The Eagles will need depth, The kid from Philly, Floyd can play every position on the defensive line and has demonstrated his ability in the SEC, a tough proven conference that routinely turns out good linemen on both sides of the ball. Beef up the middle with Floyd, bring in experience DBack help and pick a quality talent in the draft should put this defense on the correct track. But the Eagles are going to have to pay attention to their Offensive line, the game is still won in the trenches and in my opinion the Eagles are weak in the trenches.

  • borntosuffer

    I must be reading this incorrectly as it sounds to me like Cole, Graham and Curry really only have the skill set for one positions in the 3-4 and they might draft someone for that position as well? Or, will they be able to play either outside LB in the 3-4.

    • CJ

      you read that Cole, Curry and Graham would probably all play the same position in the 3-4, and that they may draft someone like Dion Jordan to play the opposite OLB position. Curry has the best shot at being able to back up both outside slots in a pinch.

  • whattheDEUCE22

    trade Cole for draft picks..

  • nicksaenz1

    I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll get some disagreement here, but I just don’t see the spot for Cole unless he shows he can cover. I’m not saying he can’t because I don’t know. There are too many guys who have similar skill sets, and with Cox and Curry having recent high draft picks invested in them, Cole’s age and contract seem to work against him in this situation (not that his contract is bad, but Cox n Curry are cheap still). To me, it seems as if he’s someone who they can try to dangle to some teams for a mid round pick in the draft.

    • borntosuffer

      I have to agree with you based on the Eagles going with a 3-4. I suppose it depends on how much time they think they will play the 4-3.

  • JofreyRice

    Yeah, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. You have 3 guys, Cole, Graham, and Curry, that are all good fits for the same position–the “Leo”, “Elephant” or “Predator”, whatever you want to call it. The DE/OLB that rushes the passer most of the time.

    Graham has the most demonstrable talent right now, but doesn’t fit the dimensional mold of what Kelly likes in defenders. Cole is declining, but Howie just signed him to a big extension, so he’s got to get on the field. Curry was a second rounder that made 0 impact in his rookie season, so it’s almost like he’s a draft pick from this year–although, I doubt this group would have drafted him to play OLB, based on his responsibilities at Marshall.

    I’m really hoping they pick up some extra draft picks from somewhere. Either a trade back, or unloading one of the three of these guys. They are all best as DEs in a 4-3, which is out of vogue at the moment. Graham would probably get the most on the open market, but I doubt it would be much more than a 4th or 5th rounder, which would be hard to swallow for a guy you passed Earl Thomas up for (wanted to remind everyone that that happened) and spent a 1st round pick on just 3 years ago.

    There is nobody, right now, that fits the Red Bryant runstuffing King sized DE role, or the do-it-all KJ Wright SAM role. Maybe a guy like Kwame Geathers from UGA fits that, and they can grab him somewhere in the mid-rounds–but I’d like to see them get some extra picks to take guys like that. I think Dion Jordan could do a lot of the stuff KJ Wright does, but you’d probably have to draft him with that #4 pick, based on the athletic ability he’s shown in testing.

    I think this is going to be a multi-year rebuild on D.

    • ICDogg

      depends on the scheme they choose. I could see Cox at NT, Graham at RDE, Curry at ROLB and Cole as a nickel pass rusher.

  • silvio

    Playing nickel 75% of the snaps, does it really count if our base defense is 3-4 or 4-3?

  • ICDogg

    Depending on the type of 3-4 Cox might be the nose.

  • Voorhees Rich

    Howie has a new favorite term. “Skill Set” has taken the early lead in the race to replace “High Motor” as the cringeworthy Eagles buzzword.

    • ICDogg

      Well at least I think we’ve retired “Time’s Yours” and “We’re Fine There.”

  • Wilbert M.

    Here’s the evaluation on Graham coming out of college:

    STRENGTHS Graham was an extremely productive defender in college who spent a lot of time in the backfield. He’s a tough, competitive guy who doesn’t stop until the whistle. He’s athletic enough to get to the quarterback and make plays away from him in the running game. Has good instincts. Displays excellent hand use when disengaging and rushing the passer.
    WEAKNESSES Graham lacks the height you like to see from defensive end prospects. At times, appears to be somewhat stiff hipped when diagnosing and playing in space. Scouts question his versatility and ability to stand up and play outside linebacker in a 3-4.

  • Yeah, dawg!

    The 2013 Philadelphia Eagles defense will be “personnel driven.” You can now go back to your regularly scheduled fretting.