Tag:Philadelphia Eagles
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:01 am

Tuck says Eagles have to build chemistry

McCoyPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck -- his team comfortably three games in front of Philadelphia for the NFC East lead (and two games in front of the Cowboys) -- has no problems talking about the Eagles problems.

But Tuck also realizes how dangerous that team can be, and in an interview with Jim Rome on Tuesday (via PFT), he actually was somewhat complimentary.* Somewhat, anyway.

“I think everybody expected a little bit more [of the Eagles],” Tuck said. “I think with the talent they have on their football team, they can be one of the most dangerous teams in the league. When they put it together, the thing I was quoted saying is, ‘You can’t buy championships.’ And what I meant by that is, you’ve got to build chemistry.

“You can have all the talent in the world. (But) if you’re not out there playing as one, if you’re just 11 individuals, you’re not gonna beat anybody in this league. And I think right now that’s some of the issues that they’re having. Nobody can question how talented they are, nobody can question how good of a coach Andy Reid is. Everybody knows that. You need more than talent in this league, because every team has talent.”

Clearly, even with that talent, the Eagles have struggled with chemistry. They looked off-kilter and, frankly, terrible at times during the first five games of the season when they went 1-4. But then, Philadelphia seemed to figure out how to win, beating the Redskins and dominating the Cowboys.

Against the Bears on Monday night, the Eagles went back to playing atrociously for much of the game. Obviously, Tuck is right. The Eagles DO have plenty of talent -- Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Peters, Jason Babin, and the vaunted cornerback trio. But for whatever reason, the team still isn’t on the same page, and with eight games left in the season, Philadelphia is running out of time to find it.

While Philadelphia still has to play the Patriots, the Giants and the Jets, that’s nothing like the brutal schedule the Giants face in the final half of the season. So, hypothetically, there’s still time to catch up. But considering the Giants are playing damn good football, beating New England last week in the process, a division title for the Eagles might be a lost cause anyway.

*He even refrained from calling LeSean McCoy “Lady Gaga," which was pretty nice of him.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 9:45 pm

DeSean Jackson is struggling in 2011

JacksonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

DeSean Jackson had a brutal game Monday night. He fumbled a punt that the Bears recovered deep in Eagles territory. He dropped passes, and he only made two receptions for 16 yards. It’s the epitome of a 2011 season in which Jackson has been largely absent for the Eagles.

For a guy who has been so public about wanting a new contract the past two years, he’s been mostly irrelevant for much of the season, recording 29 catches for 503 yards and two touchdowns in eight games. Which is unfortunate for him as he makes $600,000 in his contract year.

As CSN Philly points out, “For a guy who over the last few years was one of the NFL’s most feared deep threats, the numbers are shocking.”

Jackson hasn’t been making many big plays down the field -- which, obviously, is a big part of his game and a big reason he was (and probably is) going to get paid millions of dollars for his next contract.

“At times, we’re able to go out there and get big plays and big throws down the field, but obviously a lot of teams are on to that and trying to do everything in their power to not let us run down the field and make the big plays that we’ve been doing the past couple years,” Jackson said, via CSN Philly. “We’ve got to find a way to make it happen and get through that.”

In his last three games, Jackson has combined for eight catches for 93 yards and zero touchdowns, and though he averaged 22.5 yards per catch last season, he’s only managing 17.3 this year. So, what’s going on?

“The defenses are trying to take away what we do best,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to be able to figure it out. Myself, at times, it’s frustrating, because I am used to making the big plays, scoring long touchdowns, things like that, but right now, it’s not really working. Defenses are not letting it happen. We’ve just got to figure it out.”

You also have to wonder if karma is screwing with Jackson. After all, Jackson was the one who declared in September that his health was his No. 1 priority.

“That’s the No. 1 priority is to stay healthy,” Jackson said then. “I wouldn’t be able to play the game if I wasn’t healthy. In my book, that’s the No. 1 priority. Winning is next in that category. As long as I’m healthy and we’re winning, regardless of my numbers, I think I’ll be very happy.”

Well, Jackson is healthy, but the Eagles aren’t winning and he’s not producing. I can’t imagine Jackson is too happy with that.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 6:32 am

Patriots release Albert Haynesworth

It only took eight games for New England to give up on Haynesworth. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Patriots acquired Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth before the season, both for late-round draft picks. At the time it appeared to be another case of the rich getting richer; four years earlier, New England took Randy Moss off the Raiders' hands for a fourth-rounder and he went on to have one of the best pass-catching seasons in NFL history.

There will be no such story of redemption for Haynesworth, at least not in Foxboro: the Patriots released him Tuesday, his agent confirmed.

"He was told it just wasn't a good fit and they wanted to end it now," a source told NFL Network's Steve Wyche.

Haynesworth's career has been a roller coaster of dominating performances punctuated by questionable work habits, and marred by behavioral issues and off-field incidents.

In August, he stood trial on sex-abuse charges (he pleaded no contest), and is probably best known for stomping on then-Cowboys center Andre Gurode's head during a 2006 game

Days before the start of the regular season, Haynesworth called New England a "career-saving place for me to come … I had no idea it would be like this, but it's unbelievable, and I wish I took two years ago and came here."  This was after he had signed a $100 million deal with the Redskins prior the 2009 season (including $41 million in guarantees), and proceeded to do absolutely nothing for two years before ending up in Foxboro for his next last chance.

Now, eight games into the 2011 season, the Pats have seen enough of Haynesworth to know he's not worth the trouble. He played sparingly in Sunday's loss to the Giants, and didn't see the field for most of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter.

The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that Haynesorth's playing time had nothing to do with a heated sideline conversation with a Pats assistant. Instead, head coach Bill Belichick called it "rotation-related."
Yet, sources described an animated conversation between defensive line coach Pepper Johnson and Haynesworth following that play, with shouting back and forth. It’s not clear what was said, but Haynesworth was not on the field afterward.

On the play, Haynesworth stood up and attempted a swim move inside on Jacobs’ run, which took him out of the hole and allowed guard David Diehl to block him effectively. Haynesworth realized his error and owned up to it to Belichick.

Yet, when Johnson approached, it grew heated, sources said. Similar conversations happen on sidelines throughout the NFL. The fact that it was Haynesworth, who drew a holding penalty earlier in the game, created attention.
This is the latest personnel misstep to befall the Patriots and Belichick, and it comes on a unit in dire need of playmakers. The secondary is in shambles after Belichick released Deon Butler, Brandon Meriweather and Leigh Bodden and replaced them with waiver-wire signings -- players none of the 31 other teams wanted.

As for Haynesworth, he's still talented enough to find work elsewhere. Before he was traded to New England, there were reports that the Eagles were interested in his services. Philadelphia defensive line coach Jim Washburn was with Haynesworth in Tennessee. Before the season, sources told Yahoo.com that Washburn was "convinced he can get the most out of Haynesworth," and that "he wants him badly."

Now he may get that chance.

First, he'll have to clear waivers. Teams will have 24 hours to claim him, and Haynesworth would be owed roughly $750,000 of his $1.5 million base salary if claimed by Wednesday afternoon. 

Haynesworth restructured his contract to come to the Patriots but was due $7 million next season.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 11:50 am

Rodgers-Cromartie explains MNF sideline rant

CB Rodgers-Cromartie arrived in Philly with a reputation for shying away from tackles. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A week ago, the Eagles had finally shown their Dream Team form. They made quick work of the Cowboys and even though Philly's record stood at 3-4, the consensus was that they were again a legitimate threat to make the playoffs and they might even win the division.

That changed Monday, when Philadelphia's offense sputtered and their run defense returned to it's early season no-tackling form. The Bears came into the Linc and outplayed the Eagles in all three phases, winning 30-24.

That loss, coupled with the Giants' victory in Foxboro the day before, means that Philly is three back in the loss column to New York, and tied for the worst record in the division with the rudderless Redskins.

When teams with high expectations underachieve, it's not uncommon for players to take it out on one another, often during games. We saw that on the Eagles' sideline Monday night. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, acquired in the trade that sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona before the season, was seen ranting on Philly's bench, pointing at teammates and having an animated discussion with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

Details via the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari:
[Rodgers-Cromartie's] was the latest and most visible example of how the speedy cornerback has failed to find a good fit on his new team. He was victimized over and over again by the Bears, including on one early play when he appeared to give up as Earl Bennett caught a pass and continued running for a 14-yard gain, the Eagles safeties stopping him instead of Rodgers-Cromartie.

When he came to the sideline in the fourth quarter, Rodgers-Cromartie was confronted by Castillo, appeared to point to his secondary teammates on on the bench, then moved away from them. Nnamdi Asomugha and then Andy Reid came to calm him down.
"I got frustrated on a play that I should have known was coming and instead I did something else, so you know I kind of went off," Rodgers-Cromartie said after the game. "(Shoot), I was mad, it was in the heat of the moment, (stuff) is going to happen."

One of the reasons the Cards unloaded Rodgers-Cromartie (other than the biggest one: they were in desperate need of a quarterback) was because he had been inconsistent during this three years in Arizona.

"[He's] coming off a poor season and admits his attention span is not as long as it should be," Arizona Republic beat reporter Kent Somers wrote in July. [Cardinals] coaches have continually emphasized to him the need to concentrate every day and spend more time studying schemes and opponents."

So it's no surprise that Rodgers-Cromartie is prone to lapses. Tamari adds that he "was supposed to be a Pro Bowl-level cornerback, but he has not performed well and has yet to contribute a big play. At times he appears to run away from tackles."

Must run in the family. (Look for No. 31 and then it will all make sense.)

Matt Forte bounced back from two costly turnovers and Jay Cutler rallied the resilient Chicago Bears to a 30-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Lovie Smith was pleased with the play of his team.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:24 am

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

B. Urlacher tackles L. McCoy (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a second there, the Bears looked like they were in trouble. The Bears had dominated the early part of the game, taking a 10-point lead, and with Jay Cutler playing well and Matt Forte showing why he deserves to sign a large contract extension, Chicago was simply playing tougher than the Eagles.

But with Forte losing two fumbles -- he hadn’t put the ball on the ground in more than a calendar year -- the Eagles scored 14 points off those miscues, and though the Bears seemed tougher, Philadelphia took a touchdown lead after LeSean McCoy’s 33-yard rushing touchdown. Suddenly, Cutler was atrocious and the Bears couldn’t do anything right.

And yet …

And yet, the Bears 30-24 comeback victory showed us something important. That Chicago, in one of the toughest divisions in the league, is good enough to be a playoff team. That, when Cutler gets plenty of time to throw by his offensive line -- which allowed Cutler to get smashed repeatedly earlier this season but didn’t allow a sack tonight -- he perhaps can be one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. That, the Bears can compete with the Lions, Cowboys, Falcons and, yes, the Eagles to grab one of those NFC wild card spots.

In the NFC North this year, you tend to forget about the Bears, considering you’ve got the all-world Packers at 8-0 and the uprising Lions at 6-2. But after tonight’s win, the Bears are 5-3 and after pounding the Vikings and beating the Buccaneers in London, they're on a three-game winning streak. And showing plenty of toughness.

Chicago isn’t the most talented team in the division. Forte is one of the best backs around, but Cutler runs hot and cold and the receivers are less than stellar (except for Earl Bennett, who returned tonight after missing the past five games and caught five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown). The defense features Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije. But it’s also ranked 25th in the league, and the Bears have allowed at least 24 points on four occasions this season.

And yet …

And yet, tonight the Bears made Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson -- who also fumbled a punt return that led to Bears points -- irrelevant, contained Michael Vick and only allowed 330 yards, a season low for the Eagles.

Four weeks ago, the Bears were going nowhere at 2-3, and some of us wondered if coach Lovie Smith’s job was in danger. But now they’re one of the hotter teams in the NFC, though not as hot as Green Bay, and they’ll get one more shot at the Lions and the Packers. Both squads beat Chicago earlier this season.

And yet …

And yet, this might be a different Bears team. A Bears team that has the playoffs squarely in its line of sight.

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Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:23 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 9:45 pm

Samuel to the locker room; Nate Allen is out

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel has returned to the Philadelphia locker room as the first quarter of the Bears game expired after he got hit in the groin on a play that occurred late in the opening period.

Jay Cutler has not had many problems so far with Philadelphia’s secondary, completing 6 of 10 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown with a passer rating of 110.0, and Samuel’s absence, if it’s an extended one, won’t help matters. Bears running back Matt Forte also is off to a fast start with nine carries for 52 yards.

Samuel’s absence isn’t the only hole in Philadelphia’s defense. Nate Allen, the starting strong safety, is out for the game after suffering a first-quarter concussion.

The official injury is being called a groin laceration (!), and he should return to the game.

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Posted on: November 6, 2011 10:15 pm

McCoy has fired Drew Rosenhaus -- for 2nd time

Drew Rosenhaus has been fired by L. McCoy (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier this year, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy decided to fire his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, but after filing his separation papers with the NFL Players Association, Rosenhaus convinced McCoy to take him back.

The reconciliation did not last long, as NFL.com reports that McCoy once again has decided to terminate his working relationship with Rosenhaus.

Rosenhaus also works for Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson who has been involved in a public (and so far, unsuccessful) argument with the Eagles as to why he deserves a contract extension.

We don’t know if that has anything to do with McCoy’s decision, but either way, McCoy is now looking for a new agent. He said in October when he reconciled with Rosenhaus that he wanted to stay in Philadelphia. But maybe he foreshadowed his flip-flop-flip when he talked about Jackson’s desire for a new deal.

“Let me be honest with you, I never want to be in that situation,” McCoy said. “Everybody’s situation is different. [An extension] would be a blessing if that happened because I don’t want to go anywhere else or play anywhere else. I love it here. I’m a Pennsylvania guy -- from high school to college to here.

Apparenlty, Rosenhaus is still trying to get in McCoy’s good graces. According to Philadelphia radio host Howard Eskin, Rosenhaus brought McCoy doughnuts last week, and he also tried to convince the guards at the Eagles facility to let him in so he could talk to McCoy.

Still, this is a risky move for McCoy. After all, without Rosenhaus, the NFL would fall apart, and there’s no telling what will happen now to McCoy’s career.

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Posted on: November 6, 2011 10:27 am

Report: Eagles, McCoy negotiating new contract

Could McCoy get paid before Rice and Forte? (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Running backs Ray Rice and Matt Forte came into the season looking for new contracts. Both players are integral to the success of their respective offenses, and both are in the final year of their rookie contracts. It also appears like both could receive the franchise tag after the season (they can thank Chris Johnson's no-show effort in 2011 for that).

One running back who could be in the money in the near future: the Eagles' LeSean McCoy. A league source tells PFT.com's Mike Florio that Philly and McCoy have been quietly negotiating a contract that would replace his rookie deal, which expires after 2012.

McCoy, who has rushed for 754 yards and scored six touchdowns through eight weeks, is making $525,000 this season. He's also averaging 5.6 yards per carry and is coming off his best peformance of the year, a 185-yard, two-touchdown effort against the Cowboys.

The great irony: two teams that rely heavily on their running games -- the Ravens and Bears -- appear to be in no hurry to pay their workhorse backs while the pass-happy Eagles could be in the process of extending McCoy.

After a win over the Cowboys last week, the Philadelphia Eagles look to repeat this week as they host the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz break down this Monday night matchup. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com