Philadelphia Eagles news and stories from around the web…
November 15 Philadelphia Daily News:
“The Eagles announced the death of two former assistant coaches.
Ken Iman, an offensive line coach from 1976 to ’86 under three head coaches, died Saturday at his home in Springfield. He was 71.
Lew Carpenter, the wide receivers coach from 1990 to ’94 under two head coaches, died yesterday in Texas. He was 78.
Both were members of the 1961 and 1962 NFL champion Packers as players.
Iman played 15 seasons as a center with Green Bay (1960-64) and the Los Angeles Rams (1965-1974). He played in three consecutive NFL championship games with the Packers, from 1960 to ’62.
Iman started 140 consecutive games from 1965 to ’74, and was voted team MVP by the Rams in 1972. He was traded from the Packers to the Rams in 1964 for quarterback Zeke Bratkowski, who later became offensive coordinator of the Eagles.”
November 15 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Mike and Kyle Shanahan haven’t been the only ones disrespecting Donovan McNabb lately.
Eagles defensive end Trent Cole said in a SIRIUS radio interview last week that McNabb was “not that difficult a quarterback to play against.”
Ever since, Cole has been trying to explain what he meant. But in sessions with reporters in the NovaCare locker room both Friday and Saturday, what Cole ended up explaining was that he thought . . . McNabb was not that difficult to play against.
In fairness, Cole was reacting to a question in the interview about what makes McNabb so difficult to play against, and his larger point was along the lines of, “Hey, it wasn’t him beating us in that Oct. 3 game, it was us beating ourselves.” McNabb completed just eight of 19 passes that day against his former team, for 125 yards, a touchdown and a pick. He was 2-for-11 for 10 yards in the second half, though he did scramble 18 yards on a crucial third-and-4 with less than 4 minutes left in the 17-12 Washington victory.
“We lost a game, we didn’t lose against Donovan McNabb,” Cole said during his attempts to explain. Then he talked about how when you play the Titans, for example, you have to scheme to contain running back Chris Johnson, but when you play the Redskins, you prepare for the whole offense, not for McNabb. Which would seem to be another way of saying McNabb is not that hard to prepare to play.
“He’s good. You gotta worry about him,” Cole said of Johnson. “That’s one guy you’ve got to key on.””
November 15 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Les Bowen:
“IN ASSESSING the profound difference in the way the Eagles have stopped the run lately and how they were stopping it earlier in the season, you have your tangibles and you have your intangibles.
The intangibles were what defensive coordinator Sean McDermott talked about the other day, as the Birds prepared for tonight’s visit with the Washington Redskins. McDermott was asked about the fact that his defense ranked 27th in the NFL against the run after the Redskins gashed them for 169 yards on the ground in a 17-12 Washington win Oct. 3. The Eagles entered this past weekend ranked 12th in that category, after faring well against San Francisco’s Frank Gore, Atlanta’s Michael Turner, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson and Indianapolis’ Donald Brown.
“Well, I think the physical play of our defensive line, No. 1, and then just our defense continuing to come together as an overall defense,” McDermott said. “When you talk about run defense, it’s not just the front four, it’s not just the front seven, but the secondary comes into play as well.”
Coming together is surely a wonderful thing, but more tangibly, McDermott installed Moise Fokou at strongside linebacker after that loss to the Redskins, and started playing Antonio Dixon more at defensive tackle. Dixon stepped in as the starter when Brodrick Bunkley suffered an elbow injury at San Francisco Oct. 10.
“That certainly helped,” McDermott acknowledged.
November 15 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan:
“Somewhere along the way, the NFL evolved from CIA secret to HBO original series. Like any long-running melodrama, it takes ever more outlandish plotlines to keep viewers coming back.
Brett Favre. Brad Childress. Randy Moss. Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones. The Ryan Brothers’ coaching and cussing contest. The weekly roundup of video-game hits, concussions and ever-increasing fines.
Who comes up with this stuff?
This episode of Monday Night Football is a textbook example. You have the Eagles playing at Washington. Donovan McNabb, fresh from being benched and then publicly dissed by his coach, will face the team he represented for 11 years. Michael Vick, McNabb’s friend and protégé, will start his first Monday night showcase since his fall from grace and long absence from the league.
Oh, and the winner will be in the best possible position to challenge the New York Giants for the NFC East title in the second half of the season.
Fifteen months ago, Vick’s assuming McNabb’s role as face of the Eagles would have been completely unimaginable. A year ago, the idea would have merely defied belief. As recently as training camp, it was unforeseeable.
But here we are. And make no mistake, Vick is the Eagles’ franchise quarterback. Unless he is injured or gets involved in some off-the-field mischief, there is virtually no way the Eagles can sell their fans, or his teammates, on anything other than a long-term contract for Vick. The timing will be affected by the NFL’s looming labor strife, but there is no longer anything to debate here.
November 15 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The Eagles and Redskins both began the season with new quarterbacks leading new eras. Both have seen their original plans take unexpected turns.
But while the Eagles, Andy Reid, and Michael Vick have thrived together through many twists and turns, the Redskins, Mike Shanahan, and Donovan McNabb find themselves embroiled in controversy, the relationship between quarterback and coach already frayed.
In Philadelphia, Vick has regained his quickness, developed into a better passer, and benefited from the Eagles’ offensive scheme, said ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski.
“I’m seeing a quarterback more inclined to stay in the pocket, go through the progression and find No. 2, find No. 3, and that’s . . . how you become a great quarterback,” Jaworski said.
Vick has delivered numerous big plays with zero interceptions. McNabb and Washington, meanwhile, have not meshed. He ranks 25th in passing and has thrown eight interceptions against seven touchdowns.
So while only one game separates the 5-3 Eagles and 4-4 Redskins, the teams that opened the season in similar situations begin the second half of their schedules in a Monday night showdown from vastly different places: the Eagles coming off of their biggest win of the season, the Redskins facing a barrage of questions centering on the coach and quarterback who were supposed to finally bring the team stability.
Vick has been helped by a blocking scheme that has employed more maximum protection than Jaworski said he can ever recall, giving the quarterback time to work through his progressions. The extra time gives receivers such as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin time to work deeper downfield, to take advantage of their speed and Vick’s powerful arm. The result: six Vick passes of 40 or more yards in roughly 15 quarters.
November 15 Camden Courier-Post:
“Big-game pressure under the bright lights before a nationally-televised audience?
Please, this won’t be the first rodeo for Eagles rookie safety Kurt Coleman. Not by a long shot.
Coleman, a three-year starter at college powerhouse Ohio State, routinely played in stadiums that seat 100,000-plus diehards in some of the country’s most notoriously hostile environments.
At “The Big House” in Michigan; at “Happy Valley” in State College, Pa.; even at his own raucous home stadium, “The Horseshoe,” in Columbus, Ohio.
In Coleman’s sophomore season, the Buckeyes drew Louisiana State in the BCS Championship played at the Louisiana Superdome, roughly 80 miles from LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge.
It was practically a home game for the Tigers, who won 38-24.
“Truthfully, as far as big crowds, big situations, I deal with pressure very well,” said Coleman, who makes his first NFL start tonight at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., against the division-rival Redskins.
Coleman is replacing another rookie who hasn’t let the perils of jumping straight from college into the Eagles’ starting lineup overwhelm him or cripple the defensive game plan.
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