Still Standing: Celek Sets Tone For Eagles

Brent Celek scores in the first quarter.

Brent Celek set up in-line next to right tackle Allen Barbre. When Nick Foles took the snap, he released and headed up field before turning diagonally to the sideline on a corner route.

Foles scanned the field, tried to move the safety with his eyes and then came back to Celek. The eighth-year tight end turned his body towards the line of scrimmage, reached his hands over his head and made the grab for a 22-yard gain. Just as he did, safety Patrick Chung lowered his shoulder into Celek’s chest, while cornerback Malcolm Butler sandwiched him and knocked his helmet off.

Celek rose to his feet, turned towards the end zone full of Patriots fans, balled his fists and let out a yell.

“When a guy like that makes a catch like that, takes a hit and helmet falls off and jumps right up, it’s a boost to everybody,” said Nick Foles. “…With the young guys seeing that, they see the fire you need. It just gives you something. I know when I saw that, it just pumped me even more than I was because one of my teammates sacrificed for us at that moment and just got up and was ready to go. He’s just got that toughness. He’s very unique.”

It’s a scene Eagles fans have seen play out for years. Celek has played in 117 games for the Eagles (regular season and postseason). This was the first quarter of a preseason game in August, but he was playing the way he always does. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Polk Feeling the Heat

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chris Polk told reporters Tuesday that his hamstring is not 100 percent healed and that he doesn’t feel very confident in the leg at the moment. In the next breath, he said he would be practicing next week.

Such is the life of a player on the fringe.

Polk suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain, or partial tear, on the second day of training camp. He heard a pop while making a hard cut and the hammy tightened up on him.

“I just felt like my world ended that day,” he said.

Polk has been unable to get back onto the practice field since.  Time is running out to convince the coaching staff that he deserves to be kept on the 53-man, as the final cuts are just 10 days away. Does he feel like his status is in jeopardy?

“Yeah,” he responded after a moment of thought. “There is nothing guaranteed. I wasn’t drafted. I’m not LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles. I’m not guaranteed anything.”

Those comments came hours before the Eagles acquired Kenjon Barner from the Panthers for a conditional seventh-round pick. Read more »

Eagles Release Jason Phillips

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles released linebacker Jason Phillips on Tuesday.

Phillips was a free-agent pick up last season and was expected to be a key contributor on special teams but tore his ACL in training camp and spent the year on injured reserve. He was a regular on the practice fields this summer but obviously  didn’t bounce back like the team had hoped.

The 28-year-old played a total of 71 snaps on defense in the Eagles’ two preseason games and had one tackle. He also played 35 snaps on special teams.

The remaining inside linebackers on the roster include DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Casey Matthews, Emmanuel Acho, Najee Goode and Jake Knott, who is suspended for the first four games after failing a drug test.

While the move offers the Eagles the opportunity to bring another player in, part of the motivation for cutting Phillips now, we’re told, was to give him a chance to sign with another team. Read more »

Physical, No More

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Reality has set in here at the NovaCare that the emphasis on illegal contact and similar infractions this year is going to significantly impact how the game is played.
Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What Life’s Like For Marcus Smith II

Marcus Smith

Tra Thomas wasn’t wearing pads or a uniform. Instead, he was dressed in a black Eagles t-shirt and black shorts.

With his hat cocked to the side and dark sunglasses covering his eyes, Thomas settled into his stance at left tackle just as he’d done thousands of times throughout the course of his 12-year career.

Lined up across from him, angled to the left, was rookie Marcus Smith II. Thomas, now an assistant on Chip Kelly’s staff, started 174 games in the NFL and made the Pro Bowl three times. He’s seen 4-3 fronts, 3-4 fronts and everything in between. On some weeks, he faced the game’s best pass-rushers. On other occasions, guys that had no chance of getting past him.

In 1998, the Eagles took Thomas in the first round. In 2014, they took Smith. And on Monday after practice, the two were working together. Read more »

Injury Update: McCoy Returns To Practice

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

LeSean McCoy returned to practice after sitting Sunday’s session out with a sore toe.

“My toe, man, my toe was really bothering me during the game. It kinda was real sore a couple days before that,” he said. “Yesterday was really hurting pretty bad. But I got an MRI, some x-rays, and it’s fine. I felt a little better today so I went for it and I actually finished practice.”

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why It’s Working For Sanchez (So Far)

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

When Mark Sanchez’s night was through Friday, tight end Zach Ertz approached the quarterback and congratulated  him on going 12-for-12.

“I said, ‘No, man, I went 11-for-12.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but that [interception] didn’t hit the ground,’ ” said Sanchez with a grin. “You have to have a sense of humor about it.”

No matter how you slice it, Sanchez has completed passes at a high rate in his limited time in an Eagles uniform. The six-year vet is 18-for-22  for 196 yards with two touchdowns and an interception over the first two preseason games. That’s a completion rate of 82 percent. Read more »

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