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Philadelphia no shoo in

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  • Philadelphia no shoo in

    An ominous omen for a season with all the potential to fulfill promises, or an excuse for frantic Eagles fans to fret?

    Whether or not the sore right shoulder of Donovan McNabb proves to be a serious injury, the Eagles are hopeful McNabb can carry their offense in 2004. And after three consecutive failed attempts to journey beyond the NFC title game, the Eagles know any trip to Jacksonville is contingent on McNabb’s health.

    Andy Reid says he’s not worried. Even after a pair of organized team activities in which Jeff Blake was the team’s No. 1 quarterback (No. 2 QB Koy Detmer recently underwent knee surgery), Reid believes nothing that happens in June can hinder the team in January. Always spinning positives, Reid told the media the injuries to the top two quarterbacks allowed them to get Blake the prescribed number of reps.

    Sure, there is a lot of white space on the calendar between today and July 30, when veterans report to Eagles training camp, and we’re a full three months clear of the Eagles-Giants season opener. But the pressure of three failed bids to win the NFC title continues to build. If the Eagles’ window of opportunity is to remain open, Philadelphia has to show its fans the promised land.

    The Eagles have broken from their usual financial strategy of spending only on their own emerging, under-30 stars in the offseason. The additions of impact free-agent talent that includes DE Jevon Kearse and WR Terrell Owens cost the Eagles $26.3 million up front, two players who haven’t played a full season in either of their last two. But their impact could be profound, and it must be for the Eagles to realize their Super Bowl dreams in Jacksonville. Owens’ presence should benefit the offense twofold. Obviously, he gives the Eagles a much-needed No. 1 target. With Todd Pinkston and James Thrash serving as McNabb’s top options in years past, Owens is a major upgrade. With Champ Bailey out of the division, McNabb should never enter a Tuesday film session fretting over a divisional matchup with Bailey. The best corner in the division is probably second-year Cowboys LCB Terence Newman unless Will Peterson comes back at 100 percent for the Giants.

    Without the aid of an elite cornerback, every division foe should be expected to provide help in the form of a free safety or extra defensive back. Banking on steady double-teams on Owens is a major reason the Eagles are so amped about their running game. With a tremendous line of run blockers, expect breakout seasons from Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook. Buckhalter has the build of an every-down back without being considered an upper-echelon runner. Reid and offensive coordinator Brad Childress plan to continue a rotation at the position, using scatback Westbrook as a change-of-pace back and do-it-all type. Reno Mahe and rookies Thomas Tapeh (more of an I-back who could snag goal-line carries) and Bruce Perry are also in the mix.

    The personnel lends itself more to Childress' style. Childress scaled back the passing game last season after McNabb’s brutal start. Though the modified playbook was only partially to blame for McNabb catching fire, the Eagles plan to keep the run balance they lacked prior to last season.

    Now, if they can only stop the run. Renowned defensive coordinator Jim Johnson also tossed out his preferred pressure-based defense last season, with widespread injury robbing him of core starters. FS Brian Dawkins is back, and if healthy, he’ll have a huge season.

    As poorly as the LB corps played at times last season, the key is the defensive line. The Eagles were 22nd in rushing defense in 2003, and after the Giants rushed for 180 yards in Week Seven, the Eagles allowed an astounding 155 yards per game on the ground over their final 10 games.

    With Kearse — here’s that health caveat again — the Eagles may have the best defensive line in the NFC. DT Corey Simon and DT-DE Darwin Walker are one-gap defenders who create havoc for offensive linemen being asked to help contain Kearse on the edge. Even when Kearse isn’t making the play, he’s helping make plays. In other words, teams that double-team Kearse leave themselves open to pressure elsewhere. The LDE position is a bit of a question mark — Reid would never call it a concern. Last year’s first-round pick, Jerome McDougle, is injured again, and Derrick Burgess has proved unreliable because of durability issues. Rush specialist N.D. Kalu was inadequate as a starter and returns to his blitz-only role.

    If Reid narrated the Eagles’ offseason, it would have an optimistic tone. And why shouldn’t he? The additions of Kearse and Owens should make the Eagles a more well-rounded team, a criticism every observer referenced after Philly’s playoff loss to the Panthers in the NFC title game. But Eagles fans, the ultimate pessimists, are still waiting for something more.

  • #2
    Re: Philadelphia no shoo in

    Eagles schmegles, McNabb ain't gonna get it for em.


    • #3
      Re: Philadelphia no shoo in

      Every time I think of McNabb, I think of 2002 against Tampa Bay where he threw that interception at the end that Ronde Barber returned for a touchdown. While McNabb was playing on a sore ankle, I remember that he threw the ball to the left and probably could have flanked Barber and gotten in a tackle before Ronde went the distance. There was a little over three minutes left on the clock, and when I saw McNabb basically standing there, watching Barber take the ball to the house, it really made me question this guy's heart and desire. It looked like he might have taken 3-4 steps in a half-jog and then stop. If I'm in the NFC championship and I throw an INT, injured or not, I'm on the field and I'm doing everything in my power to stop him. McNabb looked like he just gave up, IMO.


      • #4
        Re: Philadelphia no shoo in

        McNabb could do it, but if I've said it once, I've said it a million times....Owens will NEVER make it to a Super Bowl, let alone win it.


        Related Topics


        • DJRamFan
          [Eagles] A DAY AFTER ... TIME TO REGROUP
          by DJRamFan
          December 21, 2004
          By DAVE SPADARO

          As Terrell Owens moves one day closer to surgery on his injured right ankle/leg, the Eagles have a game against St. Louis to prepare for and a playoff season to face without T.O.
          Reaction among the players to the news that Owens will be lost through the NFC playoffs was dramatic and the mood was upbeat: The Eagles will move on.

          "We know what T.O. means to the team. He's a great player and we hope he comes back and helps us," said wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, who is expected to start in Owens' absence. "At the same time, we're a team. We have other great players to step up in and fill the void. That's our approach. The games continue. We didn't get to 13-1 because of one player. We've had this situation before and we know how to overcome these kinds of injuries."

          Players like Greg Lewis have to step up
          Head coach Andy Reid has yet to announce his plans for the two remaining regular season games -- at St. Louis on Monday night and home with the Bengals on January 2. He'll want to look at his offense, one would presume, without Owens.

          That means the Eagles may continue to play quarterback Donovan McNabb a bit to develop timing and rhythm with other receivers, specifically second-year man Billy McMullen, who could hae a significant role in the final two games here.

          "That's the approach I would take," said ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski. "You want to have a little something going once you get to the playoffs. You don't want to be right there in a playoff situation not having any kind of game experience to fall back on. So I would imagine Andy will play Donovan a little bit on Monday night, just so he can get a few throws out to his new group of receivers.

          "I think it's a blow to lose T.O., but the Eagles are still the best team in the NFC. They still have weapons on offense. Brian Westbrook is still there. Andy and his staff are as good as anybody at scheming and coming up with favorable matchups. Not having T.O. makes it more difficult, but the coaching staff will find a way."

          Said wide receiver Greg Lewis: "Obviously T.O. is a big part of our team, but this just means we have other players who need to contribute. You have to be ready in the NFL. They always say you're one play away. The time is now to take the next step. We don't have T.O. around for a while to make plays. It's on us."

          These final regular season games are meaningless as far as the standings go, but they will provide a great testing group for the Eagles and the offense. Mitchell, Lewis, Todd Pinkston and McMullen now must be an even more integral part of the passing game.

          While it's unlikely the Eagles will unveil any new tricks in the next two weeks, they do want to have confidence in the attack...
          -12-21-2004, 10:38 AM
        • RamsFan4ever
          McNabb done for the year with ACL tear
          by RamsFan4ever
          PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb will miss the rest of the year because of a torn ligament in his right knee, ending his season early for the third time in five years.

          McNabb was carted off the field early in the second quarter of Philadelphia's 24-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

          The Eagles said McNabb tore his ACL.

          "That's normally an eight month to a year injury, so he's done for the year," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

          McNabb was rolling to his right near the Tennessee sideline and tumbled out of bounds after throwing an incomplete pass. He grabbed his leg and was immediately tended to by trainers. He was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Garcia.

          McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowler, came into the game tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead with 18 touchdown passes and was second in the league with 2,569 yards passing.

          McNabb had surgery for a sports hernia and missed the final seven games last season when the Eagles finished 6-10 a year after going to the Super Bowl. McNabb also sat out the final six regular-season games of the 2002 season with a broken ankle before returning for the playoffs.

          The Eagles were 2-5 with Mike McMahon filling in for McNabb last year and went 5-1 with Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley starting the last six games in '02.

          McNabb was 6-for-13 for 78 yards and threw an interception in the end zone before leaving the game.
          -11-19-2006, 02:52 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          What's Next For McNabb In Philly?
          by r8rh8rmike
          Originally Published: February 11, 2010
          What's next for McNabb in Philly?
          By Sal Paolantonio

          PHILADELPHIA -- Will the Eagles trade Donovan McNabb? With apologies to the Brett Favre retirement watch, this is the most compelling story of the 2010 NFL offseason.

          Eagles coach Andy Reid has said all the right things -- almost. So has McNabb. And that's the problem. This time of year, it's not what they say that counts but what's going on behind the scenes and how you read between the lines.

          Philadelphia is the only team in the NFL with all three quarterbacks on its roster going into the final year of their contracts. Teams are calling, wondering who's available, who's not and what the Eagles would want in any potential trade.

          The Eagles' front office is listening. But here's the kicker: The Eagles, according to multiple league sources, have so far told teams that both McNabb and his primary backup, Kevin Kolb, are not available.

          Now, does that mean the Eagles won't trade McNabb? Definitely not. Most league insiders believe the Eagles are just posturing right now, trying to determine the market and how to proceed. If the team says publicly or privately McNabb is on the trading block, its bargaining position would tank.

          Among the teams that have talked to the Eagles, according to multiple sources, are the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills. The latter two teams are believed to be interested in Michael Vick, who told Reid in his exit interview in January that he wants to be traded to a team that will give him an opportunity to start. Reid promised him nothing, team sources say.

          Teams have showed varying degrees of interest in all three quarterbacks, but McNabb is the key. He has said he will be back and wants to be back. But is that necessarily the case? He often makes snide remarks about being underappreciated by both the fans and the media in town. That's nothing new. Former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski faced the same thing. Many big-media-market quarterbacks who don't take the team to the promised land of Lombardi face that kind of relentless scrutiny and rancid doubt.

          Publicly, Reid left the door open on a McNabb trade -- if only ever so slightly. Reid at first said that McNabb, 33, would be back in an Eagles uniform in 2010 and reiterated that it's his call to make -- despite the recent shake-up of the team's front office. (General manager Tom Heckert was allowed to leave to take the same job in Cleveland, while Howie Roseman was promoted to take his place.)

          But on Jan. 11, when making his final comments about the 2009 season to the local media, here's what Reid said that could be interpreted as he left himself an out:

          "I was asked if Donovan would be my quarterback next year, and I said yes," Reid said. "That's what I'm...
          -02-11-2010, 09:18 PM
        • DJRamFan
          Eagles give coach Reid four-year extension; OT Sciullo signs
          by DJRamFan
          Sept. 8, 2004
 wire reports

          PHILADELPHIA -- Andy Reid received a four-year contract extension from the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday that will take him through the 2010 season. Also Wednesday, offensive lineman Steve Sciullo signed with the Eagles after being waived by Indianapolis.


          Reid, entering his sixth season in Philadelphia, has led the Eagles to three consecutive losses in the NFC championship game. He is in the third year of a $15 million, six-year contract signed in June 2001. His extension reportedly is worth more than $4.2 million per season.

          "Andy Reid is an excellent leader of our football team," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "I think he is outstanding in every capacity: as a coach, as a person, as a leader, as somebody who makes cool decisions and who is willing to make the unpopular decision, which to me is absolutely crucial if you want to win big."

          Reid's .638 winning percentage in the regular season (51-29) and his five playoff victories are the best in team history. He's just the third coach in franchise history to last more than five seasons, joining Greasy Neale (1941-50) and Dick Vermeil (1976-82).

          "I'm humbled," Reid said.

          Reid, 46, joined the Eagles in 1999 as a little-known assistant who worked under Mike Holmgren for seven seasons in Green Bay. He took over a team coming off a 3-13 season that was considered a laughingstock in the NFL.

          One of Reid's first and most important decisions was unpopular at the time, but turned out to be a brilliant move. He selected quarterback Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick of the '99 draft -- Eagles fans wanted recently retired running back Ricky Williams.

          McNabb quickly developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and has been to the Pro Bowl four consecutive years.

          "It's exciting to know he will be here," McNabb said. "Now we can put this behind us and move forward."

          The Eagles finished 5-11 in Reid's first season. They went 11-5 and won a playoff game in 2000, before winning three consecutive NFC East titles.

          "Nobody could be more deserving," Lurie said. "It was tough even getting him to attend this news conference. He doesn't like talking about himself. This man has led this franchise in a spectacular way over the last several years."

          Reid earned the NFL Coach of the Year award in 2002 after leading the Eagles to a 12-4 record, despite losing McNabb for the regular season after the 10th game and backup quarterback Koy Detmer the following week.

          But the Eagles lost the NFC title game 27-10 to Tampa Bay in the final football game at Veterans Stadium.


          -09-08-2004, 12:12 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Reid Is About The Only One Who Wants To Keep McNabb
          by r8rh8rmike
          Report: Reid is about the only one who wants to keep McNabb
          By MJD

          According to a report this morning at, there's a bit of friction within the Eagles organization about whether they should trade or keep Donovan McNabb.

          It seems they're getting a lot of offers for the veteran quarterback. Head coach Andy Reid wants to keep him. "The Eagles' brass" wants to move him. In their words:

          There are many interested teams out there, but right now the Eagles are not accepting any offers yet.

          Sources tell Fox 29's sports department that the Rams are not one of those teams, contrary to some reports.

          But we're also being told that trading McNabb is not going to be easy because internally the Eagles' brass wants to move him but Andy Reid does not.

          My first thought is to give some free advice to the brass, whoever that might be: Listen to Andy Reid. He's the one on the field, seeing what works and what doesn't. He's the one who sees the quarterbacks working every day. He knows what's going to win you games, if indeed that is your objective.

          If you're looking to save money, get younger and rebuild, fine. But if you want to win football games, listen to your football guy.

          If true, it makes for an interesting little situation, not only in terms of what happens this offseason, but all the way through 2010. If there is significant friction, and Reid stands firm with McNabb, you've got to think that the "brass" might tie Reid and McNabb's fortunes together, based on their performance next season.
          -03-05-2010, 03:33 PM