Inside Voices: ‘We’re the Nobodies’

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

There’s “V-Doc” (Vinny Curry) and “Fletch” (Fletcher Cox) and “Swamp” (Cedric Thornton, given to him by Jim Washburn who thought he was built like the Swamp Thing). Then there’s “Wado” (Wade Keliikipi) and “B-Bair” (Brandon Bair) and “T-Hart” (Taylor Hart). Those are some of the nicknames you might hear bouncing off the walls inside the defensive line room.

There is also a nickname for the group that the players have embraced in recent weeks.

“We’re ‘The Nobodies,’” said Cox. “That’s us.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Will Eagles See a Different Romo?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo did not play a clean game on Thanksgiving as the Eagles handed the Cowboys a 33-10 loss.

He went 18-for-29 for 199 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. But most notably, he went down on a couple occasions when pressure was near, something that has been rare for him throughout his career.

“Oh, we’ll see a different offense,” said Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. “We’ll see a healthier Tony Romo. We’ll see a healthier team, a team that’s got plenty of time to prepare for us, including a game with us under our belt. But we also have that time. It will be a little different. Tony Romo will look completely different against us than he did against Chicago. He looked a lot healthier in Chicago, and now 10 more days of recovery, I think we are going to get more of the healthy Tony Romo.”

Maybe Davis just wanted to make it clear to his players that taking the Cowboys lightly would be a mistake. Maybe he wanted to drive home the message that the performance in the first game will have no impact on this one.

Or  perhaps he was saying how he really felt. Read more »

All-22: The Good And Bad Of the Eagles’ Defense

all22_ineligible_120914

Eagles defensive players – well, most of them anyway – know by now not to make excuses.

The offense wants to play fast every week, regardless of opponent, situation or anything else. The defense’s job is always to get off the field and give the offense another chance to score. Since Chip Kelly took over, that formula has worked pretty well. But there are games, like Sunday’s, when the offense is stagnant. And that puts the defensive players in a bind.

For example, to start the game, the defense gave up a 10-play, 43-yard drive that took 6:35 off the clock. The offense went three-and-out in 25 seconds. And Billy Davis’ guys were right back out there.

That is just how it is. It’s why the Eagles train the way they do. And it’s why in a perfect world, they’d like to rotate players on defense even more.

“I think they are fine,” Kelly said Monday. “I don’t think it had anything to do with the fourth quarter. I just think that they are built for it. They are in great condition. They train at a really high level. They practice against us. They understand what it takes. We didn’t come out of it with any injuries or anything like that. I would imagine they will all be ready to go.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Seahawks, the Day After

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY

There was a lot of talk about measuring sticks in the Eagles’ locker room Sunday evening. Questions regarding what the players learned about themselves during a windy afternoon at the Linc. Discussions on whether the team is capable of competing with the best of the best in the conference.

After a 24-14 loss to the Seahawks in which the offense looked completely outmatched, the Eagles are now 0-3 against NFC teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

The overall mood, though, was more upbeat than one might expect. As Russell Wilson knelt down to kill the clock in the fourth quarter, Connor Barwin walked around to his teammates and delivered fist-pounds and hugs. When Mark Sanchez returned to his locker after his press conference, Jordan Matthews greeted him a handshake.

Everyone seemed to share the same feeling.

“I don’t think that anybody in here feels that we can’t beat the Seattle Seahawks,” said center Jason Kelce. “I just think they were much better than we were today. And I think we feel the same way about Green Bay and about any team in the NFL. On any given day, you can win in this league. And it really comes down to us just continuing to improve each and every day.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Tempo No Help Against Seahawks

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

A few sharp-tongued members of the Seattle defense let it fly in the locker room following a dominant performance against the Eagles’ highly touted offensive attack.

Linebacker K.J. Wright called the Eagles “a pretty simple team.” Defensive end Michael Bennett said the Philadelphia police should be notified because Mark Sanchez is “trying to impersonate a good quarterback.” And Richard Sherman took a shot at the Eagles’ receiving corps while throwing some love in the direction of his childhood friend, DeSean Jackson.

“I think they miss him tremendously. He was an incredible threat — still a threat in this league,” said Sherman of Jackson. “A player like that a defense has to account for. You have to be worried about where he is at all times. Right now we can stand up across the board and play.”

The defending champs had room to criticize after holding the Eagles to just 139 yards of total offense en route to a 24-14 win Sunday. That’s the lowest offensive output in Chip Kelly‘s six years as a head coach.
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 »

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