Nov 292010
 
Eagles WR DeSean Jackson

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson

November 29:

Philadelphia Eagles news and stories from around the web…

Reid chews out Jackson after loss to Bears

November 29 Wilmington News Journal:

DeSean Jackson caught just two passes for 26 yards in the Eagles’ 31-26 loss to the Bears on Sunday, but that might have been the least of his problems.

After the game, Jackson sat in front of his locker with his face buried his hands for about 20 minutes and had to be consoled by several teammates, including LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek.

Jackson and Vick also had what looked like an emotional discusssion, with Vick seemingly imparting some advice on the third-year wideout, although Jackson seemed lukewarm to the entire conversation.

As he walked away, Vick told Jackson, “C’mon, D-Jax, you’re my boy. I would never tell you nothin’ wrong.” Jackson didn’t respond. They later had a friendlier exchange after Vick came back from his press conference.

Multiple team sources told The News Journal that Jackson was chewed out by coach Andy Reid in front of the entire team after the game. Jackson, one source said, had irritated Reid by having a loose demeanor before the game and not taking pre-game drills seriously.”

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Andy & Birds angry with selves after loss to Bears

November 29 Philadelphia Daily News:

“The philosophical way to look at what happened at Soldier Field yesterday is that the Eagles were playing the third installment of four games in 18 days, they were riding a three-game winning streak, all big, emotional clashes, and they were due for a stumble.

Philosophers were in short supply in the visitors’ locker room, though. The Eagles were an angry team, a tone set by their coach. A red-faced Andy Reid met reporters after his team’s 31-26 loss to the Chicago Bears, and he wasn’t ruddy just from the breeze wafting through the windy city. Players said Reid was unusually terse in his postgame remarks to them.

“He’s mad, we’re all mad. That was a game we didn’t play well at all,” said tight end Brent Celek, whose 30-yard touchdown catch in traffic set the final score, with a minute and 48 seconds left. “We feel like we really killed ourselves in this game.”

In Reid’s news conference, somebody asked him about momentum and responding to big plays from the other team.

“Listen, there’s a point where you have to put your foot down and stop it, as coaches and players, it has to be stopped,” Reid said. At another point he said, forcefully, “When you’re down, you’ve got to bounce back.”

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Lack of action frustrates Eagles’ DeSean Jackson

November 29 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann:

“DeSean Jackson sat there in his locker, with his head buried in his hands, for about 10 or 15 minutes after reporters were allowed into the Eagles‘ dressing room. Every once in a while, a teammate would walk over and lean down and say something, but the pose remained fixed. Nearby, a club official stood watch.

Around Jackson was the normal swirl: interviews conducted, showers taken, equipment packed, cliches ladled generously. It was only one game, after all, a 31-26 loss to the Chicago Bears. The Eagles did not play well but nothing about the day was any different from a half-dozen days in every NFL team’s season. They lost. They will play again Thursday. The page will turn quickly.

Jackson, though, seemed unusually shaken by the defeat, transfixed by his disappointment.

Eventually, he sat up and began fiddling with headphones and his various digital devices. More players came over and shared a word or two. The locker room would eventually be closed before Jackson could be interviewed. But while reporters were still in the room, he and Michael Vick had a discussion from about 20 feet apart. It was hard to hear the exact words that they shared but Jackson’s frustration was as unmistakable as Vick’s attempt to calm things down.

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Chicago Bears defense simply had answer to Eagles’ Michael Vick

November 29 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox:

“Right before Chris Harris changed the game for good, the little voice inside his head told him to be alert. A tip was coming, and the ball was heading straight for him.

So when Harris saw his teammate, Chicago Bears defensive end Tommie Harris, deflect a Michael Vick pass intended for Jeremy Maclin, he knew the ball would fall into his hands. Chris Harris bolted from the end zone, returning the interception 37 yards and setting up a Bears touchdown that caused a 14-point swing the Eagles couldn’t overcome.

“Hey, that was fun,” Harris said after Chicago beat the Eagles, 31-26. “We knew we definitely needed to get some turnovers and that he hadn’t thrown an interception all season, so we got lucky.”

The Bears were better than lucky. They were good, and they won because they were the first team all season to figure out the Michael Vick puzzle. Chicago’s defense relied on a game plan that called for it to be true to itself. Playing a dedicated cover 2, the Bears forced Vick to throw underneath and used an array of rushers to keep him in the pocket and limit the dynamic plays for which he and the Eagles have become known.

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Vick pick, lousy ‘D’ doom Eagles

November 29 Camden Courier-Post:

“The Eagles blew their chance to stake their claim as the NFC’s best team by falling 31-26 to the Bears on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in Chicago.

They fell behind by 10 early, climbed back within one point, and then had their momentum swiped away when Michael Vick threw his first interception of the season in Chicago’s end zone.

The Bears then scored 17 unanswered points against an Eagles defense that missed tackles and had coverage issues without Pro Bowl left cornerback Asante Samuel, and held off the Eagles‘ late rally.

The reason

Much like Kevin Kolb’s goal-line fumble against Tennessee on Oct. 24 that sapped away their momentum and propelled the Titans to a 37-19 win, Vick’s interception ruined the Eagles‘ chance to go back ahead and, even worse, turned into a 14-point swing as the Bears scored a touchdown just six plays later and took a 21-13 lead into the break.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a career day, taking advantage of Samuel’s absence to toss four touchdown passes, and running back Matt Forte became the first running back to have a 100-yard game this year against the Eagles.

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Reid explains Eagles’ second late field goal

November 29 Philadelphia Daily News:

“With 11:56 to go in the fourth quarter yesterday, trailing by 18 points, looking at fourth-and-goal from the Bears’ 4-yard line, Eagles coach Andy Reid called in the field-goal team. It made sense. The 22-yarder that David Akers kicked moved the Eagles to within 31-16, which made it a two-score game, which made the move both sensible and defensible.

Then, however, Reid did it again.

The second time, it made, uh, less sense.

Granted, the situation was not ideal. The Eagles were looking at fourth-and-goal from the 18-yard line with 4:52 left to play. There are not a lot of fourth-and-goal from the 18-yard line plays on that big laminated chart that Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg carry. Converting would have been a longshot of some magnitude.”

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Eagles special teams can’t get it done against Bears

November 29 Philadelphia Daily News:

“Yesterday was a big step backward for the Eagles in many respects, and Bobby April’s special teams units were part of the problem.

Kickoff returns of 46 and 44 yards helped the Bears’ offense achieve an average starting point of the 36-yard line, putting a defense that was missing Asante Samuel and Juqua Parker in a less-than-ideal spot.

Devin Hester’s 46-yard return of the second-half kickoff was a real nail in the coffin, after a momentum swing on a Michael Vick interception near the end of the first half. Hester jump-started a TD drive that meant the Eagles went from down 14-13, 4 yards from taking the lead at the 2-minute warning to down 28-13 1:31 into the third quarter.

“It was disappointing we couldn’t come off some blocks on some of the kick returns,” April said after the 31-26 loss. “We gave ’em pretty good field position on a couple of plays, that always hurts our defense. I thought the punt [coverage] team did an excellent job [limiting Hester to one return for 9 yards]. We could have done a lot better on the kickoff coverage.”

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Samuel hoping to return against Texans

November 29 Philadelphia Daily News:

“I should have some good news these next coming days. Time to get to work! – Tweet from Asante Samuel minutes after the Eagles lost to the Bears.

Good news for Asante Samuel means good news for the Eagles, for defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, and, especially, for the Eagles‘ defensive backs.

Samuel watched the Eagles‘ 31-26 loss from his home. A sprained left medial collateral ligament suffered a week earlier sidelined him. Samuel said he hurt his knee returning his second interception of that game, which gave him a league-high seven picks and almost assuredly set him toward a fourth straight Pro Bowl.

Samuel might have played last night, but it seemed wiser, surely, to let him miss the game against the Bears and rest his knee for a full 10 days. He then could play Thursday against the Texans and their superior passing attack. He then could get 9 more days of rest before heading to Dallas.

A sound plan, in theory.

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Eagles’ red-zone woes a disturbing trend

November 29 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:

“You can point to a lot of reasons why the Eagles lost an important game to the Bears yesterday.

You can point to an Asante Samuel-less secondary that gave up four touchdown passes. You can point to a defense that came into the game leading the league in takeaways, and for the first time this season, didn’t get a single one.

But as far as Andy Reid is concerned, his team’s 31-26 defeat came down to one thing: his offense stunk in the red zone.

Last week, the Eagles converted just 1 of 5 red-zone opportunities against the Giants. But thanks to five giveaways by the Giants, they still managed to cruise to a 27-17 win.

They weren’t so lucky against the Bears. This time, another dreadful 1-for-5 red-zone performance resulted in a five-point loss and leaves them in a precarious situation heading into a short-week Thursday night game against the born-again Houston Texans, who will be coming off an impressive, 20-0 win over Tennessee.

“We’ve got to make sure we score [touchdowns] when we’re given the opportunity,” an angry Reid said after the game. “That answers a lot of things there. There are going to be games when you’re not going to get a turnover. When you’re down in the red zone, you’ve got to score touchdowns against good teams.”

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