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October 22 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ed Barkowitz:
“HE EAGLES have done a pretty good job against the run the last couple of weeks, but that is sure to be tested Sunday.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and his players get their first look at Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, the most dangerous running back in the NFL and a friend to fantasy owners worldwide.
“He’s unlike any back I’ve seen,” McDermott said. “He’s explosive. He’s quick . . . If he’s not the best, he’s close to the top in the league.”
Johnson is coming off a monster 2009, when he became the sixth player to rush for 2,000 yards and set the NFL record with 2,509 yards from scrimmage. After a choppy start to this season, when his rushing total in the Titans’ first four games ranged from 34 to 142 yards, Johnson has run for 131 and 111 yards, respectively, in his previous two games. He trails Houston’s Arian Foster by only 39, but says the rushing title is not his focus.
October 22 Philadelphia Daily News:
“IN THE DEBATE over whether it is really possible to legislate concussion-causing hits to the head out of football, it’s easy to lose track of how serious and scary suffering a concussion can be.
Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb said yesterday that it took about 5 days after his concussion, suffered in the season opener, before his vision and thinking cleared.
“It’s weird,” he said. “You don’t really understand it until you go through it.”
Kolb, who said he’d never had a concussion before, gained his understanding as he went along, he said.
“I went into our quarterback coach’s [James Urban] office, it was on Thursday,” after the hit, 3 days before the Detroit game, Kolb said. “He said, ‘Hey, in nickel, they do a two-for-two swap, they take out a ‘backer and a defensive lineman, they bring in a pass-rusher and they bring in a nickel back.’ I had no idea what nickel even was. That’s when I was like, ‘OK, they’re doing the right thing’ [keeping Kolb out of that game]. Before that, you want to get out there, of course,” especially after the terrible offensive performance early against Green Bay.
October 22 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“King Dunlap returns to his native Nashville a starter.
It’s a scenario the left tackle conceded he never saw coming when the NFL schedule was released in April.
But when the Eagles visit the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Dunlap will return home not only for his second career start but as a lineman who proved something last Sunday against Atlanta.
“I’m not trying to get caught up in all that,” Dunlap said Thursday about his promotion to starter. “It’s nice to be recognized, but my mentality is I’m going to go out every week and at least get better at something and not make the same mistakes.”
Dunlap, filling in for the injured Jason Peters, didn’t allow a sack against the Falcons and fared well whenever he was asked to block three-time Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham one-on-one.
“His challenge will be to do it again and again and again,” Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said.
October 21 Camden Courier-Post:
“From the time they first put on the helmet and shoulder pads, football players are coached to be bullies. They’re taught to play with aggression, with a mean streak, with an unapologetic edge.
But after a particularly frightening week of bone-jarring tackles and another round of concussions, the NFL has ramped up efforts to punish players for helmet-leading hits. Effectively immediately, players can be suspended for a helmet-to-helmet tackle.
“You’re going to have a lot of guys second-guessing how they’re going to attack the game, just because they don’t want to get into that situation,” Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp said. “At some point in time, your head will come into contact with the guy you’re tackling.”
The Eagles are directly involved with the NFL’s decision to adopt stiffer penalties for illegal hits. They lost their most explosive playmaker to a concussion early Sunday against Atlanta after Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson took a violent hit from cornerback Dunta Robinson, a thunderous impact that left both players with concussions.
October 21 Philadelphia Daily News:
“THE QUESTIONS remain, which was why they were asked again yesterday.
If Kevin Kolb adds to the luster of his last two starts with another impressive performance Sunday at Tennessee, could Kolb possibly get back the starting job? The one he lost when Michael Vick played well for a game and a half, after Kolb suffered a concussion in the season opener?
Andy Reid has been asked this several times now – after Sunday’s impressive, 31-17 Eagles victory over Atlanta, on Monday, and again yesterday. Reid, who confirmed Kolb definitely will start again, as Vick recovers from a rib-cartilage injury, still hasn’t given anything close to a “yes” or “no” answer.
“I haven’t even thought about that,” Reid said yesterday. “We’re worried about Tennessee right now and we’re not worried about starting jobs. You guys can worry about all that. We’re worried right now about trying to put together a game plan, learn the game plan and execute the game plan. That’s what I think Kevin is focused in on; that’s what we’re focused in on as coaches.”
Kolb has completed 44 of 60 passes (73.3 percent) for 579 yards, four touchdowns and one interception the last 2 weeks, compiling a 118.7 passer rating. Yesterday, he was named NFC offensive player of the week for his performance against Atlanta. Kolb now has won the award twice in five career starts, and he is the first quarterback to pass for 300 yards three times in his first five career starts since Kurt Warner in 1999.
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