Philadelphia Eagles news and stories from around the web…
January 11 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“David Akers was dealing with a lot more than just kicking field goals on Sunday.
The Eagles‘ kicker missed two crucial field goals in the Eagles‘ 21-16 playoff loss to the Packers. But Akers’ mind may have been elsewhere. Several of his teammates said after the game that the kicker was dealing with personal matters in the week leading up to the game.
His agent, Jerrold Colton, said Monday that the matter was a “family health concern.”
“David makes no excuses,” Colton said. “He is an intensely private person when it comes to his family. It was a family health concern with one of his family members. That’s all it is.”
Akers missed a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter that would have trimmed Green Bay’s lead to 21-13. He also hooked a 41-yarder in the first quarter.
Akers was not at the NovaCare Complex on Monday along with the rest of his teammates for season-ending evaluations. Coach Andy Reid said that Akers was excused for personal reasons. The coach said he did not consider bringing in another kicker for the Green Bay game in light of Akers’ family concerns.
A 12-year Eagles veteran, Akers made the Pro Bowl this season for the fifth time in his career. He is the longest-tenured player on the team. However, his contract expires in March.”
January 11 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Quintin Mikell’s voice caught in his throat, his eyes filled. A tear spilled out.
Mikell, an eight-year veteran who rose from undrafted free agent to special-teams contributor to starting safety, defensive leader and mentor in the secondary, may have just played his last game with the team that gave him his first shot, the only one he has ever played for. He fought to contain his emotions when talking to reporters Monday.
“It’s tough because it’s all I’ve known since I’ve been in the league. It’s been eight years, a lot of good memories,” Mikell said. “Hopefully, I’m back.”
One of the most accessible players in the Eagles‘ locker room, Mikell is giving with his time, thoughtful and insightful after wins and losses both. But Monday his words were choked off. Along with the disappointing loss Sunday, Mikell faces an uncertain future. So do kicker David Akers and center Jamaal Jackson, the only two other players remaining from the Eagles‘ 2005 Super Bowl team.
Mikell, at 30, with his contract expiring, may not be welcomed back to a team that has moved toward a younger roster and is unsentimental when it comes to business decisions. Talking about the abrupt end to the season, Mikell might have been summing up his feelings on both the year and his career in Philadelphia.
January 11 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez:
“Andy Reid is hungry. He said so himself.
On Monday, after a 12th season under the Eagles head coach concluded without a championship, reporters gathered at the NovaCare Complex to watch players clean out their lockers and listen to Reid talk about how he “didn’t expect” to be giving his end-of-season news conference so soon. Sound familiar? (Earlier, Jeremy Maclin said the day had a pronounced feeling of déjà vu to it, which is pretty astute for a guy who hasn’t been around all that long.)
Reid’s postmortem featured the same elements it has for more than a decade now – with one strange new twist. At the end of another in a long line of seminars dedicated to throat clearing and evasion, Reid was asked whether he’s frustrated that, after all these years, he still hasn’t won a Super Bowl. He took a moment to consider the question, which only made the answer more bizarre.
“To tell you I don’t want to win a Super Bowl – I like prime rib, and I’d love to win a Super Bowl,” Reid said. “So I’m hungry for both, if you understand where I’m coming from.”
It’s safe to say no one in the NovaCare auditorium knew where he was coming from. It was the last question Reid fielded, and then he walked off. Quite a few reporters remained behind and chuckled about the weird scene that had just unfolded. One snarky scribe suggested the day’s headline should be “Where’s the beef?”
January 11 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“For the second straight season, after yet another first-round postseason loss, the Eagles will head into the off-season with an unresolved quarterback situation.
Will they bring back starter Michael Vick? Will backup Kevin Kolb return for his fifth season with the Eagles? And if they simply bring both back, who is the starter?
Andy Reid had no answers and provided zero clues on Monday. Asked who his starting quarterback would be when the team reconvenes – provided there is no work stoppage – the Eagles coach said, “We’ll see.”
A year ago, Reid was asked a similar question in regard to Donovan McNabb’s future with the team. The coach said that his franchise quarterback was still his starter. “That’s what I’m saying now,” Reid said then.
Three months later, McNabb was traded to the Redskins, and Kolb was promoted as the starter. Reid avoided specifics this time around, although Vick is widely expected to return even though his contract expires in March.
“I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see,” Vick said a day after the Green Bay Packers knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs, 21-16. “But I really do hope I am [returning]. I enjoyed this season. I enjoyed the group of guys that I played with. I enjoyed the success and the progress that we all made as a young team. I think the sky’s the limit.”
January 11 Camden Courier-Post:
“Last year, when Andy Reid said after the Eagles‘ first-round playoff loss that quarterback Donovan McNabb would remain his starter, Reid didn’t seem to be completely forthcoming.
This year, following Sunday’s 21-16 wild-card playoff loss to Green Bay, Reid was vague as to whom the 2011 starter might be. He said he’d like Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb to be on the roster and that “we’ll see” which one is pulling the trigger when the season begins.
Despite the coach’s best cover-up attempt, the organization’s No. 1 offseason priority will be to retain Vick for at least one more season.
But the uncertainty of NFL football in 2011, because of the ongoing labor dispute, has complicated the Eagles‘ annual offseason to-do list. Usually, contract extensions are handed out to players Reid wants to retain and a wish list of free agents is created.
Vick’s two-year deal is up, and he’s expected to become an unrestricted free agent once a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place. He’d like to be paid like a starting quarterback — presumably a top 10-caliber quarterback.
Kolb has one year left on his deal, but he wants to be a starter as he enters his fifth season. Only after Vick’s deal is completed can the team decide whether it’s best to keep Kolb against his wishes or move him for the best offer.
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