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January 6 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Somebody derived benefit from playing in that regular-season-ending loss to the Cowboys, after all.
Eagles coach Andy Reid affirmed yesterday what he first said on his radio show Monday night – that Dimitri Patterson remains the Eagles‘ right cornerback.
Patterson was benched in favor of Joselio Hanson in the third quarter of the Dec. 28 loss to Minnesota. But Patterson played a strong, assertive game against the Cowboys, particularly as a blitzer, as one of the few starters to see extensive action. He said yesterday that was the most he had ever blitzed; Patterson notched his first career sack, against Stephen McGee.
“My thing is just coming out and being confident, aggressive, just what I’ve been since I got here, to be honest, since I got an opportunity,” said Patterson, a 5-year NFL vet who played almost exclusively on special teams before this season. He took over for starter Ellis Hobbs following the Oct. 24 loss at Tennessee. “I wanted to be aggressive on the ball, whether it’s the run or the pass. That’s always been my goal.”
Patterson took a special-teams penalty against the Cowboys. Penalties have been a bugaboo, something that is often a byproduct of his aggressiveness. He was yanked from the Minnesota game after being called for pass interference while still managing to give up a 46-yard completion to Percy Harvin.”
January 6 Camden Courier-Post:
Samuel wasn’t the dynamic, playmaking weapon after his three-game absence as he was for the first 11 weeks of the season.
No wonder, then, that the Eagles have produced just four interceptions in their last six games — and went three games without one — with Samuel either sidelined or severely limited.
“It was a little frustrating because I was on a good run, doing my thing and then missed a couple games,” Samuel said after Wednesday’s practice. “So that set me back a little bit, but it was all for the better. We’re here now. It’s playoff time. We’ll see if I can step up.”
Samuel assured reporters that his knee is feeling good and that he’s blocking out anything that might hamper him before Sunday’s first-round playoff game against the Packers.
It’s safe to say the Eagles need their top defensive playmaker to disrupt Green Bay’s fifth-ranked pass offense and counteract the strong and accurate arm of Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
January 6 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Quintin Mikell isn’t a hat guy.
Yesterday, Mikell held court in front of his locker wearing the black and white cap that proclaimed the Eagles the 2010 NFC East champions.
It was a statement:
It seems every national talking head on the airwaves is picking the wild-card Packers to win in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Sports Illustrated sent out a press release yesterday touting NFL writer Peter King’s prediction.
A straw poll of venerable Daily News prognosticators revealed a decided Green Bay bias.
Mikell and his defensive cohorts don’t like it.
“It seems like everyone forgets. We’re division champions, and that’s not easy,” Mikell said. “Obviously, it means nothing now.”
It means home-field advantage.
It means the Eagles‘ starters are fresh, since they didn’t play in last week’s meaningless finale, while the Packers sweated out a struggle against the Bears’ starters.
“Well, it doesn’t mean much to a lot of people,” Mikell grumbled.
January 6 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann:
“THERE WERE a dozen disconnects in that Tuesday night game between the Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings, and the 7-10 split stood out in many ways. The inability of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson to read each other’s mind, the essence of success between a quarterback and a wide receiver in the modern NFL, was as bad as it had been all season.
The wideout needs to see the blitz pressure coming at his quarterback and adjust his route accordingly. The quarterback needs to read the nature and the positioning of the pass coverage and vary his throws as a result. The calculations each of them makes need to be precise and nearly instantaneous.
The problems in that Minnesota game were not only between No. 7 and No. 10, between Vick and Jackson, but because their connection has been so spectacular this season, their inability to connect on that night was also especially prominent. That there needs to be a repair if the Eagles are to have any shot in their wild-card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers is beyond obvious.
“We’re on the same page, man,” said Jackson, objecting to the entire notion. It was a super-short gang interview in front of his locker, and this was the last question before Jackson headed out to practice.
“Some games, things don’t happen the way you want them to happen,” he said. “We’re professionals. We try to do the best we can, to be on the same page every game. There’s going to be games like that but, hopefully, we can eliminate as many [bad] things as possible.”
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