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November 5 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Ernie Sims knew it was coming. He just couldn’t prepare for the impact.
Now, he knows how Lavelle Hawkins feels.
Sims blasted Hawkins, a Titans receiver, in the Eagles‘ last game, on Oct. 24. Hawkins was in the middle of the field, in the path of a pass that was caught further downfield.
Sims anticipated Hawkins catching the pass, so Sims hammered Hawkins.
Sims anticipated discipline from NFL cheap-hit czar Ray Anderson, but not $50,000. Three weeks, ago, the NFL made it clear that hits to defenseless players, as Hawkins clearly was, would result in harsh discipline – harsher still for the likes of Sims.
“I really, really hate the fact that I got fined $50,000. I don’t care how much money you make, that’s a ton of money,” said Sims, who will make $1.8 million this season. “Let’s just make that clear. I might be smiling, but in the back of my mind, I’m really hissed off about it.”
Sims said he and his agent will appeal the fine.
That’s what they did when Sims was fined each of the past two seasons with the Lions, as he burnished his reputation as a teeth-rattler. Those incidents also made him what the league deems a repeat offender.
When the league announced its crackdown last month, it even sent players with histories like Sims’ a letter warning them that they would be viewed differently than players with cleaner backgrounds.
November 5 Philadelphia Daily News:
“We still don’t have an official announcement, but it became clear yesterday that the Eagles are preparing for the Indianapolis Colts with the idea that wideout DeSean Jackson is playing.
Asked after practice to confirm indications that the plan is for him to play, assuming he experiences no further concussion symptoms, Jackson nodded.
“I want to play. I’m hoping to play,” he said. He said he couldn’t state anything more definite than that right now. “Can’t peak too early . . . Everything’s going great.”
Jackson was a full practice participant Wednesday and yesterday. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg carefully toed coach Andy Reid’s “day-to-day” line, but in special-teams coordinator Bobby April’s weekly news conference yesterday, April talked about the personnel available to him, and he noted that “Riley Cooper won’t have as big a role [in the offense] now with DeSean back.”
So it seems unofficially official that Jackson will return to the field Sunday, 3 weeks after his train-wreck collision with Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson.
“He’s practicing, and if he’s available, we’ll sure use him,” said Mornhinweg, ever helpful.
Jackson and quarterback Michael Vick (ribs) are returning from layoffs, but the Eagles‘ offense probably can’t afford a slow start against a team that likes to get a lead and then pressure the other team’s QB into mistakes.
November 5 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox:
“The raised scar that stretches atop Jeremy Maclin’s left hand is about the size of a small Band-Aid. It is a permanent reminder of his entrée to football, of where he grew up, and of how far he has come.
As a 9-year-old in the rough Meacham Park section of Kirkwood, Mo., Maclin was playing football with neighborhood kids on a sandlot that was pocked with glass. On one play, Maclin fell to the ground, and a piece of glass pierced his hand. Blood poured out, and the wound required 10 stitches.
“It scared me more so than anything,” Maclin said. “Lots of blood.”
It was there, amid the blood and the glass, that Maclin’s football career bloomed, and it is here, with the Eagles, that he has blossomed into a fine young receiver with tremendous upside. He is, the Eagles fully expect, only going to get better.
In 2008, the year before the Eagles used their first-round draft pick to select Maclin out of Missouri, the team pursued Randy Moss, then a free agent who ended up re-signing with New England. Now, with Maclin in his second season and DeSean Jackson in his third, the Eagles had zero interest in trying to claim Moss off waivers this week.
That is a testament to Jackson and Maclin. There was no need for a big-play receiver. The Eagles already have two.
“I like the receivers we have right now,” coach Andy Reid said Wednesday.
Jackson is the Eagles‘ No. 1 receiver, but Maclin, all of 22 years old, is 1A. After finishing last season among the NFL’s top rookie receivers in receptions (56), yards (773), and touchdowns (4), Maclin is on pace to top the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards this season. His six touchdown catches have him tied for sixth in the NFL and put him in the neighborhood with San Diego tight end Antonio Gates, who leads the league with nine touchdown catches, and Calvin Johnson, who has eight.
November 5 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Les Bowen:
“IT’S THE SAME principle as trying not to stare directly into the sun.
When Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning does his presnap-orchestra-conductor bit Sunday afternoon, waving his arms and walking around the formation to chat with his linemen, his backs and receivers, Dimitri Patterson plans to avert his eyes.
“I’m not looking at him,” Patterson declared yesterday, as he prepared for his first NFL start, after 41 games over five seasons as a special-teams player and reserve cornerback. “Nope. I’m not covering him. I’m covering the receiver. He’s trying to get the ball to the receiver . . . I’m doing my job . . . Discipline, that’s the word of the week.”
Of course, there is more to playing Manning than dealing with his histrionics at the line, but that’s where everything starts, with Manning either calling audibles or trying to make the defense think he’s doing that, leaving an impression that he has seen something telling on the other side of the line and is marshaling his troops to counter it.
“It’s freaking annoying,” said the other corner, Asante Samuel, who has a long history with Manning from his days as a New England Patriot. Samuel returned a Manning pick for a touchdown in the Pats’ January 2007 AFC Championship Game loss to the Colts. “I freaking hate it.”
November 5 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“As cornerback Dimitri Patterson prepared for the biggest moment of his professional career, his first-ever start at cornerback, he said he wasn’t worried about going up against the great Peyton Manning, wasn’t worried about whether he would win the starting job for good, wasn’t worried about Manning’s hand signals and audibles and fake- outs.
Patterson was just worried about Thursday afternoon’s practice.
“I’m a day-by-day guy, and that’s how you have to be in this league. Look too far ahead, and you get punched in the mouth. I’m not trying to look that far ahead, to be honest,” Patterson said. “Right now, I’m just trying to get through Thursday. I’m trying to have a sound practice today. Then I’ll worry about Friday, and Saturday comes, then, Sunday, I’m going to show what I’ve got.”
It will be Patterson’s first chance to do that after five years spent bouncing among practice squads, the waiver wire, and special-teams duty. His play will be crucial as the Eagles try to slow the Colts’ passing attack.
Teammates describe Patterson, “Meetch” to his fellow Eagles, as physical and athletic. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, he is taller and thicker than the man he is filling in for, Ellis Hobbs.
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