Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com says everyone can learn from the Riley Cooper incident:
I don’t expect the media to respond as responsibly. Too many of us will think the solution is for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Riley Cooper. Too many of us will think Riley Cooper in no way reflects on all of us.
Well, I’ve been young, drunk, filled with athletic testosterone and partying in a sea of blackness. I’m glad there were no cellphone cameras then. I’ve been middle-aged, drunk, filled with non-athletic cholesterol and partying in a sea of blackness. I’m glad no one recorded the foolish thoughts I’ve uttered when I assumed no one around me would be offended.
Jerry Rice tells Clark Judge of CBSSports.com he would have a problem playing with Cooper:
“Yeah, I would have a problem playing with him,” Rice said Friday. “One thing everyone is saying is, ‘Look, we know this guy,’ but come to find out, I guess they didn’t. Whenever you use the N-word like that it’s something you can’t take back.”
Cooper can learn from this incident, writes Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com:
I watched video of Cooper meeting the media within hours of his video comments going viral, and I watched it with my finger hovering over the cursor, the cursor hovering over the “exit” link. Because this was hard to watch. Cooper’s agony, his misery, were palpable. He deserved every ounce of discomfort, don’t get me wrong. He’s not the victim here, not some poor dude who got ratted out by a stranger with a cell phone. Riley Cooper screwed up in a virulent way.
Ashley Fox of ESPN.com gets Michael Vick’s take:
Vick is concerned. He has as good a read on the locker room as anyone. He is one of the team’s leaders. He is the oldest player on the roster. He has been around.
“I’m not going to let this divide the locker room,” Vick said. “We have football games to win. We have to pull together.”
Zach Rodgers of ESPN.com looks at Matt Barkley as a potential fit in the Eagles’ offense:
As for Barkley, he notched a completion percentage of 75 percent on passes 10 yards or fewer, while completing 60 percent of third-down attempts during his career at USC.
But Barkley’s ability to protect the ball as a rookie will be a major concern. Barkley recorded an interception every 26 throws during his senior season, ranking 118th in FBS. That was a significant drop-off from his junior year campaign, when he ranked 18th in interception rate among qualified QBs.
Mike Pouncey tells NFL.com he feels bad for his former Florida teammate:
“I spent three years in college with him. I feel bad for him. That’s not Riley Cooper,” Pouncey told NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington on Friday. “I know him. I know his family. I wasn’t offended by it because I know him. It’s just an ugly situation, and I really feel bad for him. I’ll reach out to him eventually — but I want things to die down. I don’t want to be one of those guys trying to give him advice.”
Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports looks at how Vick has handled the Cooper situation:
Vick sought forgiveness in that same locker room four years ago. He needed people like Avant to embrace him even though what he did doesn’t deserve any understanding. Vick must have heard Cooper’s apology and seen a trace of himself. At some point, when you’ve done wrong, you have to admit it and hope to get better.
Albert Breer of NFL.com comments on how Chip Kelly is handling the Cooper situation:
To his credit, the Eagles’ new leader didn’t simply try to diffuse the situation and push it into the past. He had the good sense to know this isn’t the kind of incident you can compartmentalize. It’s impossible to handle it with any type of groupthink, because different players have different life experiences affecting their take. And the coach has to know that this will linger, and likely come back to life any time there’s any sort of altercation or turmoil, either internally or with another team.