This week’s roundup of the best Eagles links around the web.
It seems like only yesterday. But it has been nearly 10 years since February 6th, 2005 — the last time the Philadelphia Eagles appeared in the Super Bowl.
That season was a magical one for Eagles fans, with the team winning its first seven games en route to a 13-1 start. Donovan McNabb instantly clicked with new wide receiver Terrell Owens. Safety Brian Dawkins and newly acquired defensive end Jevon Kearse terrorized opposing offenses. Jeremiah Trotter returned from two years in exile — Washington — to reclaim his starting middle-linebacker spot. It was a dream.
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 »
The last time we checked in on Nick Foles‘ jersey sales was shortly after his seven-touchdown performance against the Raiders in November.
The page where you can purchase a Foles jersey on the team site saw a 25 percent spike in hits following that showing in Oakland, yet sales hardly went up at all. Fans were looking at it, they were thinking about it, but weren’t quite ready to take the plunge.
Now they’re jumping in. Read more »
“This is not something that all of a sudden had the gang affiliation thing tied to it and that was the thing the Eagles looked at to say, ‘You know what? This is the thing we’re allowing him to walk for.’ No, it was all the other things that have happened over the time that he’s been here and the things he has not corrected in his character, some of the things that he does within the building with coaches and the like they were concerned about,” said Dawkins during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic.
“And when you have a new coach coming in, he doesn’t have to pull punches or be as patient as Andy Reid was as someone invested in him. When you have a guy come in who is trying to build a system the way that he wants it to be run, he’s going to bring in people that are going to follow it to the letter of everything he wants to have happen. He’s not going to be as patient. So this is not something that surprised me as far as them letting him go.” Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week. Read more »
They both joined the team in 2009. Orton threw for over 3,800 yards that year with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He posted similar numbers the following season. Dawkins didn’t make Orton out to be Peyton Manning (he went 12-21 as the starter with the Broncos) but cautioned those who are ready to dismiss the Cowboys altogether because he will be playing quarterback Sunday night instead of Tony Romo.
“I watched him play in Denver, so I know that he can complete some of the quick rhythm throws, some of the quick outs and curl routes. He’s not the best downfield thrower there is but he can complete passes, so you can’t get overconfident,” said Dawkins during his weekly appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. Read more »
Behold Eminem’s new song “Legacy,” off The Marshall Mathers L.P. 2. Behold it because he not only name-checks B-Dawk, but a whole lot of other random Eagles stuff too.
Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid are back in town, you may have heard. The Eagles are hosting Reid’s Chiefs on Thursday night, of course, and decided to hold a retirement ceremony for their former quarterback while their old head coach is in the building.
What should you expect?
Aside from perhaps a few highlights running on the big screens during the course of the game, McNabb’s moment will come at halftime. Brian Dawkins will serve as the emcee for the ceremony, and there will be a laser light and fireworks show as part of the festivities as the No.5 goes up into the rafters.
The following excerpt from a recent Ashley Fox article had some fans scratching their heads:
Reid said he asked McNabb, who will have his jersey number retired at halftime, to walk onto the field with him, as well as the other former Eagles who will be in attendance.
“Donovan and all those guys, they were giving me the business about it,” Reid said. “I told them they all have to walk out of the tunnel with me and see where the loyalty stands.”
Probably just a joke. Wouldn’t be the best PR move for McNabb to come out of the Chiefs’ tunnel. Crazier things have happened, but I don’t anticipate seeing McNabb walking out with Reid — or crawling out of the Eagles’ tunnel like B-Dawk.
From what I have gathered, if Reid is acknowledged it won’t be during the game itself. This is a pretty big spot for the Eagles, and it makes little sense to be paying tribute to the opposing coach once the ball is in the air. There will probably be a tip of the cap to Reid pregame, but that’s it.
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Practice had been over for a time and just a few stragglers remained around the NovaCare fields. Jason Avant was feeding balls into the jugs machine for a growing legion of eager young receivers. A group of reporters milled around mining for nuggets and subjects to interview.
A short distance away on their own little piece of land stood Brian Dawkins and Nate Allen, locked in conversation. Dawkins took in practice following Donovan McNabb’s retirement ceremony and had some pointers for the 25-year-old safety.
“He gives me tips all the time,” said Allen. “We were just going over some one-on-one stuff right there. I guess he was watching us do one-on-ones and he was giving me a few pointers and tips. Just technique stuff, telling me to be patient.”
Dawkins makes himself available to all the Eagles’ defensive backs should they want his advice. Allen is one of the players who has taken advantage of the opportunity. The fourth-year safety out of South Florida was drafted in the second round in 2010 to help fill the void left by Dawkins when he signed with the Broncos the season prior. His rookie campaign got off to a good start (he was named Defensive Rookie of the Month that September) but Allen ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee in December. He hasn’t been the same player since.
The physical part he has overcome. Dawkins believes it is the psychological element that needs to be mastered.
“It’s just confidence,” said Dawkins. “It’s believing in the talents that he does have. He possesses a lot of talent, but just believing in what he has and allowing that talent to flourish and show. If he can increase the confidence side of his game and just let his athleticism show, there’s no reason he can’t be a game-changing safety in my opinion.”
Both realize that if Allen is going to make an impact, it won’t be in the fashion that Dawkins did. Allen is not a ferocious player. He is not known for laying a big lick. And that’s OK, according to Dawkins.
“It’s not about that, it’s how do you affect the game? How does your game relate to helping your team win. Everybody don’t love contact the way I love contact, they just don’t. And there’s not something wrong with that person. Not everybody is the same. I was crazy in that way,” he said. “His ability to close on the football and make plays on the ball is to me a strength of his. And if he can harness that, if he can own that part of it, it doesn’t matter if you don’t blow people up. He’ll blow people up from time to time but I just want you to make the tackle. You make the tackle on 3rd-and-4, and you make it for a three-yard gain, we’re off the football field, that helps us win ballgames.
“You don’t have to be a killer. We have other guys that could possibly fill that role. [Patrick] Chung is a heavy-hitter. [Kennny] Phillips is a heavy-hitter. We have other guys who can fill that role. Just be a sure-tackler.”
Allen missed 13 tackles last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly brought some competition into the fold at safety this offseason, signing Chung and Phillips and drafting Earl Wolff. So far, it’s been Allen primarily running with the first team opposite Chung. He is confident he can have a big 2013, but knows he needs to do it in his own way.
“When I first got in here, everybody was like, ‘Be this. You’re filling big shoes.’ But I’m not trying to be B-Dawk. He’s a Hall-of-Fame guy. He’s B-Dawk. I’m going to be me and play my style and help the team however I can,” said Allen. “We understand that we have different styles but at the end of the day we’re both safeties and I’m trying to makes as many plays as I can.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Go inside Monday’s practice with Sheil’s running diary.
Russell Shepard is riding high after endorsement from his idol, Michael Vick.
The Eagles lose linebacker Jason Phillips to a torn ACL.
Kelly says there will be no tackling to the ground during camp.
Did the Eagles weigh Donovan McNabb‘s complicated relationship with the city before deciding to retire his number?
Jeffrey Lurie says the Eagles would have drafted Edgerrin James if McNabb was off the board.
With Jeremy Maclin out, Riley Cooper gets his shot.
Click here to get your 2013 Eagles Almanac.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal says that NFL referees will likely slow down Kelly’s offense.
As Kelly mans his first full week of NFL training camp, installing a high-revving Ferrari engine into the Eagles’ offense, league insiders say there are exactly zero indications NFL referees will be willing participants in the Kelly era. The NFL, they say, has a long-standing pace at which they do things between plays and the referees “aren’t going to change just to accommodate someone’s offense,” said Mike Pereira, a former NFL vice president of officiating who is now an analyst for Fox Sports.
“We have to make sure teams understand that they don’t control the tempo, our officials do,” said NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. “We’re going through our normal ball mechanics, we aren’t going to rush [unless] it’s in the two minute drill.”
Phil Sheridan looks back at McNabb’s career.
From 2000, McNabb’s first season as a full-time starter, through 2008 was the best sustained era of Eagles football. Andy Reid made that possible. Dawkins and the Jim Johnson-coached defense made that possible. But none of it would have happened without McNabb. Anyone who doesn’t grasp and accept that just doesn’t grasp or understand football.
A day off for the players but not for us.