Tag:Jason Avant
Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:58 pm

Vick: Blame players, not Andy Reid

M. Vick said Andy Reid should not be blamed for Philadelphia's poor start (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While we talk about the disappointing start by the Eagles this season, fans and observers have taken to trying to cast the blame about why this season has gone so spectacularly wrong.

Is it new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo -- the former offensive line coach whose defense, well, stinks? Is it Michael Vick’s fault? What about the big-name free agent acquisitions, like Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jason Babin? Is there any way to cast the blame on Donovan McNabb?

And what about, ahem, coach Andy Reid, who was one of the main architects of the roster that, so far, has been disastrous? In Michael Vick’s eyes, that would be a big no.

"We're going to fight for him every minute," Vick said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It’s not Coach Reid's fault. Coach can’t go out and hold onto the ball, coach can’t throw the ball down the field. Coach can’t go out there and do it, he can only give us what we need -- the recipe for victory, and that’s what we’re getting.

Philly cheese struggle
"It’s the little things that’s killing the game. It’s not on Coach. I know the game of football and I’ve been around the game for a long time and I know the intricacies and the ins and outs, and it’s not coach. Bottom line. Put the heat on the players, you can put it on us. Don’t put it on him."

Perhaps to make that point further, receiver Jason Avant -- whose sloppy play was one key component of Philadelphia’s loss to the Bills last Sunday -- called a players-only meeting Wednesday. Vick wouldn’t reveal what Avant had to say, but it’s clear that one of the memes to emerge was to support the ol’ ball coach.

"That hurts all of us," Vick said. "That's our coach and he's one of the best in the business, and that's the bottom line. You look at what we've been able to do from an offensive standpoint, you look at how guys respond, but Coach Reid can't go out there and hold onto the ball for us, Coach Reid can't go out there and make the throws I need to make."

That's true, but if Philadelphia keeps playing this way, who's the easier target to fire? Reid or the 53 players who are making him look bad?

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 10:50 pm

Vince Young strains hamstring; MRI on Friday

By Josh Katzowitz

Vince Young was looking good while taking the start for the Eagles in their preseason finale Thursday night, completing 15 of 23 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown to make his claim as Michael Vick’s backup while holding off Mike Kafka.

But while rolling out to take a pass on a fourth-and-one late in the second quarter, he injured his right hamstring and is out for the game.

It’s unclear how serious the injury is, but as the Philadelphia Daily News pointed out, Young didn’t appear to be limping on his way to the locker room at halftime.

Kafka replaced him, and he proceeded to get rocked by the Jets defense, leaving some to wonder if backup-backup quarterback Jason Avant, who is a receiver during the day, would have to take over. But for now, Kafka is still in the game.

UPDATED (10:45 p.m. ET): After the game, coach Andy Reid told the media that Young suffered a strained hamstring and will undergo an MRI on Friday.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 1:15 pm

Reid: Maclin is back, will return to practice

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin hasn’t practiced this season while he’s dealt with a mysterious illness that he hasn’t wanted to talk about publicly. He’s returned to St. Louis for tests, and it’s been proven that he doesn’t have cancer.

But good news today, as Andy Reid told the media, including the Philadelphia Daily News that Maclin has returned to the team. Now, he’ll spend the next week or so working to get back in shape before he returns to practice.

Assuming that Maclin is ready to go early in the regular season -- and Reid says there's no doubt Maclin will be prepared to play in the season opener -- the Eagles WR corps of DeSean Jackson, Maclin, Steve Smith and Jason Avant will be a tough one for opposing defenses to stop. But now it seems that Maclin is getting healthy, and really, that’s the most important news of all.

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 12:27 pm

Responses vary regarding Steve Smith signing


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The reaction to the Eagles signing of former Giants WR Steve Smith has stirred emotions across the NFC East. We thought it was a strong signing by Philadelphia’s front office, and it was interesting that Smith revealed that the Eagles showed “MUCH more” interest than the Giants did in signing him.

That led to Giants fans lambasting Smith -- coming off microfracture surgery on his knee that could keep him out the early part of the season. Smith wrote Thursday on his Facebook page: "Instead of cursing at me and wishing my family and my knee harm, i wish you could understand that i truly wanted to stay here but that the giants DIDN'T want me here unfortunately.. thank you to my true fans for standing by me and offering your support during this time.”

Steve Smith's Eagles signing
Even some of his old teammates got into the act.

Via the Philadelphia Daily News, Giants CB Terrell Thomas tweeted the following: "Hate to see a [Steve Smith] sign with any team. But glad we get to play against him two times a year and show him the grass ain't GREENER* on the other side.”

*As an aside, I think that tweet would have been more effective if Thomas had put “ain’t” in all caps instead of “greener.” Like this: “But glad we get to play against him two times a year and show him the grass AIN’T greener on the other side.” See what I mean?

Meanwhile, New York coach Tom Coughlin pointed out to reporters that Smith’s surgery was performed by a Giants team doctor, and the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch tweets that Coughlin sounded betrayed by that notion. Coughlin also said the Giants never had a chance to match the Eagles offer of one year, $4 million ($2 million of that guaranteed) and that Smith’s representation told the Giants they would have a chance to counter. He said it was akin to competing in a race that you didn’t know had started yet (to be fair, though, the Giants had plenty of time to sign him once free agency began).

We have yet to see how Eagles RB LeSean McCoy -- who engaged in a Twitter war with New York DE Osi Umenyiora, which then led to Smith getting involved and posting a pretty sweet picture of him celebrating the Giants Super Bowl victory while featuring an empty Eagles trophy case (as you can see in the above picture) -- reacts to his newest teammate. But Smith is pretty sure everything will be cool between the two.

"Yeah, it’s going to be funny," Smith said Wednesday night during a conference call with reporters. "I’m going to go up to LeSean the first day I see him and just shake his hand and give him a hug and tell him that was all just Twitter beef and it was just all in fun. And you know, it’s just a great rivalry and I’m thankful to be a part of it. And having switched sides it’s a little different but still it will be exciting to see what it’s like on this side.”

The Newark Star Ledger’s Mike Garafolo also had interesting analysis on why the Giants let Smith get away to an intra-divisional rival, writing, “I'm completely baffled on this one. What is going on in the Giants' front office? I mean, seriously, what is going on right now? I'll tell you what's going on: for the first time, Jerry Reese's seat must be getting warm. … How do you let Smith become so discouraged by your efforts to retain him that he goes to see your arch rivals?”

Garofolo then argues that Smith was a potentially valuable asset who the Giants should have squared away (even if Smith had to miss half the season while recovering from his surgery).

Instead, Smith goes to the Eagles, and once he gets his hug from McCoy, he can begin the process of finding a place in a WR corps that includes DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. The Eagles just got a little bit stronger, while the Giants, competing for the same NFC East title, potentially let a star get away.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 7:36 pm

A sick Jeremy Maclin still not practicing

J. Maclin hasn't practiced yet because of an unknown illness (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In April, we told you that Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin – a member of the so-called Dream Team in Philadelphia – had lost about 15 pounds after dealing with a “mono-like illness” but then had recovered to gain back about half of that weight.

Said Maclin at the time: “It was off and on. I went for a week where I felt good, and then all of a sudden the feeling would be back.”

Which leads us to Wednesday’s report in the Philadelphia Inquirer which states that Maclin hasn’t yet practiced this training camp* because he’s dealing with an unspecified illness.

*As is evident in the picture to the right as Maclin talks to Jason Avant; it’s evident because Maclin is not wearing shoulder pads.

"He's not done with his tests so the doctors are still looking at a few things," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He's up here, he's in good spirits, he looks good. He's able to do some conditioning things. ... From what he's gone through it looks like he's in good shape."

The paper also writes that Maclin is noticeably thinner than he was earlier this offseason when he participated in player-led workouts -- he’s listed, by the way, at 198 pounds. Maclin won’t speak to reporters until he begins practice.

That, according to the paper, might not be very soon.

If you’ll recall, Maclin missed some time last training camp due to a knee injury and then a shoulder problem, which prompted our own Andy Benoit to write, “One criticism of Maclin as a rookie was that he lacked toughness and was hesitant to take on contact.” Though we don’t know what the illness is and how much it’s impacting his ability to practice, Maclin’s inability to stay healthy won’t help that kind of reputation.

That’s probably an unfair indictment on Maclin, but that doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

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Posted on: April 2, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2011 8:46 pm

Jason Avant's father died in car crash

Posted by Will Brinson

Sad news out of Philadelphia on Saturday night, as Jason Avant's father died in a car crash on Thursday. The 51-year-old Jerry Avant lost control of his car on a wet road in Pemberton Township, New Jersey.

Urie Ridgeway, a 42-year-old passenger, was also taken to the Cooper Hospital in Camden with what are being called "non-life-threatening injuries." Avant was pronounced dead at a different, nearby hospital.

"The Philadelphia Eagles are deeply saddened to learn of Jerry Avant's passing today," the team said in a statement Saturday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason, Stacy (Jason's wife) and the entire Avant family."

This news is made even more tragic by the recent Ed Block Courage Award that Avant was the recipient of for his leadership on the Eagles and ability to overcome a rough childhood.

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Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:29 am

Eagles can adjust when Vick isn't at his best

A. Samuel notched two interceptions in Sunday's win against New York

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Although Michael Vick has been an MVP candidate all season long – No turnovers! Video game athleticism! Unbelievable arm strength! A complete quarterback now! – you knew, at some point, the Eagles were going to have to win in spite of his mistakes.

Tonight, Philadelphia showed it’s more than capable of doing that.

Vick wasn’t as electrifying as usual – though he was still very good in Philadelphia's 27-17 win – and he made a few mistakes en route to a 24-of-38, 258-yard performance. He lost a fumble because he lazily held the ball away from his body. He allowed the Giants to seal him into spots where he couldn’t escape (to be fair, New York was actually pretty effective in making him more one-dimensional than normal and only allowing him 34 rushing yards). He didn’t look like the absolute best player in the NFL.

But Philadelphia still managed to turn back a tough Giants squad which took a 17-16 lead with 13:35 to play.

They did it without much help from WR DeSean Jackson. Instead, WR Jeremy Maclin had big game, WR Jason Avant (his bumbling of what should have been a wide-open TD pass, notwithstanding) had a big catch as the Eagles drove the field on what was their game-winning drive, and RB LeSean McCoy took a fourth-and-one pitch 50 yards to a touchdown before putting the game out of reach with a 40-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

And they did it with their defense, intercepting Eli Manning three times (one by LB Stewart Bradley was in garbage time, and CB Asante Samuel had the other two picks (though he fumbled the ball right back to the Giants on one of them)) and forcing fumbles from Ahmad Bradshaw and Manning.

Obviously Philadelphia still has its faults, and there’s little question that if the teams played next week in the New Meadowlands, the game would be a pick ‘em. But the Eagles proved something tonight. Even when Vick isn’t at his best, they’re still an effective squad that could make a deep run into the playoffs.

With Vick at his best, they’re Super Bowl contenders.

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 5:46 pm

The extent of DeSean Jackson's injury unknown

D. Jackson catches a pass at Philadelphia's training camp the day before he injured his back (AP). By all accounts, Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson was having a great start to Philadelphia’s training camp, catching long passes from QB Kevin Kolb and showing the front office brass why he feels he deserves a new contract.

Then, he fell to the turf during practice and didn’t immediately rise. The reason: he injured his back and had to be carted off the field. Not a great moment for Philadelphia, though the consensus seems to be that this injury isn't that big a deal.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer , it seemed to be a non-contact injury.

From the Inquirer:

The play occurred during a no-pads 7-on-7 drill. Jackson pulled in a 12-yard pass in between cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Omar Gaither. There didn't appear to be any contact, but Jackson looked as if he had to twist awkwardly to catch the ball. He dropped to the turf, rolled over and stayed down for several seconds before the training staff ran to him.

"I told coach, 'I didn't touch him. I don't know what happened,'" Gaither said.

As the trainers looked him over, Eagles coach Andy Reid came over to examine the scene. Jackson eventually got up, but he was wobbly and looked as if he might fall over again. He was visibly distraught as he was carted away.

Later, Enquirer reporter Jeff McLane wrote on his Twitter page , “DeSean walked out of the locker room on his own, got into his car and sped away without comment.”

The extent of Jackson's injury is not known at this point, but if he's out for a significant amount of time, look for Jason Avant (who’s more of a possession receiver) and Jordan Norwood (who’s not quite as good as Avant) to get those reps. Both obviously are big steps down from Jackson, who’s quickly become one of the top play-making receivers in the league. 

--Josh Katzowitz

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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