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November 9 Philadelphia Daily News:
“MOST OF THE questions Kurt Coleman fielded yesterday on a conference call with reporters had to do with his hit on Colts receiver Austin Collie, which was no longer such a big deal by the end of the day.
Collie seems on his way to recovery from a concussion, and late yesterday afternoon the NFL announced that Coleman will not be fined.
The news of more long-term import involving Coleman yesterday was coach Andy Reid’s assertion that rookie starting free safety Nate Allen “looks like he’s going to struggle to make it for this week,” when the Birds travel to Washington. That means rookie Coleman, who said he played “hands down by far the most time I’ve had” Sunday after Allen suffered a neck injury in the second quarter of the 26-24 victory over the Colts, is likely to make his first NFL start against the Redskins.
“It’s not the first time I’ve started in my life,” said Coleman, an Ohio State standout who was drafted in the seventh round. He said he would work with veteran free safety Quintin Mikell, the man whose legal hit drove Collie into Coleman, to prepare for the Redskins.
“You’re talking about a four-year starter at Ohio State,” Reid said yesterday, when asked about Coleman. “He’s played in big games, and you know he’s smart and physical. And he did a great job . . . without any practice, being able to step in there.
“The key now is, if you’re a young guy, you have to continue to learn. And if Nate’s not able to go this week, then you have to make sure that you know there’s a little film out there on you, and teams are going to have time to try to exploit weaknesses, and you have to make those adjustments and make sure that you strengthen your weakness.”
After Sunday’s game and again yesterday, Coleman said he prepared for the Colts as if he were starting, even if he didn’t get the practice reps with the first-team defense.
“I was ready for that opportunity,” said Coleman, who credited Mikell with getting him through his first few series.
November 9 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Safety Nate Allen, the rookie who has started every Eagles game this season, has a neck sprain and will likely miss the team’s game at Washington Monday.
“It looks like he’s going to struggle to make it for this week, but we’ll see how he progresses,” coach Andy Reid said.
If Allen is out he’ll likely be replaced by fellow rookie Kurt Coleman, a seventh-round draft pick who had his most extensive showing of the season Sunday after Allen got hurt.
The team has just three safeties on the roster – Allen, Coleman and Quintin Mikell – so if Allen can’t play, they would be thin in that area.
The only defensive back on the practice squad is rookie Jamar Wall. He is listed as a cornerback, but the Eagles at times interchange their corners and safeties.
When the Eagles first announced their roster, the team said cornerback Dimitri Patterson could fill in at safety if needed. But he is needed at cornerback with Ellis Hobbs on the shelf due to a hip flexor injury.
Reid said he and general manager Howie Roseman would talk about whether to bring in another veteran safety.
Another possible option could be rookie linebacker Keenan Clayton, who played safety for two years in college and played a hybrid safety-linebacker role Sunday. He played very few snaps though, and that was his first game action of the year, so he has little experience.
November 9 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:
“This one was for the old man.
This one was for Jim Johnson, who didn’t live long enough to see his defense do what it did Sunday. He didn’t live long enough to see it beat Peyton Manning.
“This is sweet,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said after the Eagles intercepted Manning twice and sacked him three times in a dramatic, 26-24 win over the Colts. “Sweet. Sweet. We battled [Manning] for a lot of years. I know Jim always wanted to get him. He’s a great player. But our players got him. They got him today.”
For many of the Eagles‘ young defensive players, Johnson, who died two summers ago after losing his battle to cancer, is a distant memory. But not to McDermott. And it was clear Johnson was on his mind after the win.
Johnson had a lot of success in his 10 years as the Eagles‘ defensive coordinator. But he never could tame Manning. Three battles, three decisive KOs. Manning’s Colts scored 124 points in those three games against the Birds, and the quarterback who recently was voted the eighth greatest player in NFL history pretty much did whatever he wanted to against the old man’s defense. Seven touchdowns, one interception, a .695 completion percentage. A double-digit yards-per-attempt average (10.7). A 132.3 passer rating.
November 9 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Les Bowen:
“The NFL is not going to hell in a handbasket, Andy Reid contended yesterday.
At his day-after news conference, the Eagles‘ coach interrupted a lengthy dissection of the unnecessary roughness penalty assessed when safeties Quintin Mikell and Kurt Coleman slammed into Colts receiver Austin Collie to deliver this bulletin:
“I think it will all get worked out. I don’t think it’s going to change the game a lick, as far as … the hard hitting,” Reid said. “I just think that once it’s all defined and we have enough data in the base here that we can go back and look at,” interpretations will settle down, become more consistent. “I think this is a learning period right now.”
That doesn’t mean Reid agrees with the call. If you saw the back page of yesterday’s Daily News, you know that ref Carl Cheffers and back judge Todd Prukop were 0-for-2 in their postgame explanations to a pool reporter of why Coleman got 15 yards. In the photo, Collie has the ball tucked into his belly and is running with it, both feet under him as he is about to be hit on each shoulder by Mikell and Coleman. So Collie is not a “defenseless receiver” but a ballcarrier, and if you’ve watched the replay, you know Prukop’s contention that Coleman “makes contact with the shoulder to the back of the helmet of the receiver” also is incorrect. Coleman does bang helmets with Collie, which is why Coleman said yesterday he supposes the call was correct, though he considers the hit “a freak accident.”
The NFL at least partly defused the situation yesterday afternoon by announcing that Coleman will not be fined.
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