Report: Eagles eye V-Jax, Safety Upgrade As Deadline Approaches

October 28th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, General, NFL

While Sunday’s game did not end the way that most Eagle fans had hoped, there is at least one positive thing to take out of this week. There could be reinforcements on the way. Eagle fans took to social media on Sunday Night, to express their displeasure with the performance of Strong Safety Nate Allen. For those that weren’t aware, Allen was the one that surrendered the game-winning 80-yd TD to John Brown on 3rd & 5. It’s pretty safe to say that the scapegoat of this game is Allen. Well, that could all just in a matter of 48 hours.

With the NFL’s trade deadline approaching at 4 PM on Tuesday, the speculation is running rampant, and rumors are flying out of every camp, including the Eagles. On Sunday Morning, a pair of interesting reports surfaced from NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport. The first report stated that the Eagles were one of three teams to contact the Buccaneers in regards to WR Vincent Jackson. Jackson, 31, is in the third year of a 5 year, $55 Million dollar deal that he signed with Tampa Bay back in 2011.

So far this season, V-Jax has recorded 344 yards and 2 TDs, and considering the QB situation in Tampa, that’s a pretty decent stat line. It’s worth noting that the Buccaneers are 1-6 following today’s OT loss to the Vikings, which put them in even more of a position to sell. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds over the next 48-60 hours.

The second report came from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The report suggested that the Eagles are looking for an upgrade at “Strong Safety”, likely to replace Nate Allen. While the report didn’t mention any names, Rappoport suggests that Philly could look towards Tampa Bay’s Dashon Goldson, or Tennessee’s Michael Griffin as potential targets. Both would provide significant upgrades over Nate Allen, as they bring a more physical, smash-mouth style of play to the field.

Another interesting name that surfaced was Chiefs S Eric Berry. Berry is currently sidelined from a high-ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 3. Kansas City had hoped to get the three-time Pro Bowler back into their lineup this week, but it didn’t work out that way. By targeting Berry, it’s clear that the Eagles are looking for that big-play, lockdown safety to electrify a stale secondary.

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Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (5-1): Staff Predictions, Actives/Inactives, Analysis

October 27th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in General

In a little under an hour, the Birds will go into battle against the Arizona Cardinals. This game is crucial, as both teams enter this game with a 5-1 record. The Cards are perched atop of the NFC West, while the Eagles sit 1 game behind the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys. This game will have big-time ramifications, as it has the potential to affect the playoff picture, in the coming weeks. The Birds come into this game with multiple key injuries. The Eagles had a mid-season bye week (Week 7), where they were able to rest up, while the Cards had their bye in Week 4. With all of that in mind, let’s take a peek at the Actives/Inactives for both teams.

Injury Report:

Eagles:

Jason Kelce- OUT (Hernia)
Brad Smith- OUT (Groin)
Darren Sproles- OUT (Knee)
Jaylen Watkins- OUT (Shoulder)
Taylor Hart- OUT (Healthy Scratch)
Dennis Kelly- OUT (Healthy Scratch)
Mychael Kendricks- IN (Calf)

Cardinals:

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Patching Up The D: Flyers Call Up Ghost

October 26th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey

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On Friday, the Flyers were given crushing news to an already depleted defensive corps. The team announced that defenders Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald would both miss the next month of play, with lower-body injuries. While it remains unclear the exact description of the injuries, one thing was pretty clear; the Flyers needed to make a move. Well, they did exactly that late Friday, by announcing the recall of rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Ghost will join the team immediately and will make his regular-season NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

Gostisbehere, 21, was the 78th overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft. He spent three seasons with Union College, before making the jump to the “big leagues.” In his three seasons at Union College, Ghost dazzled scouts with his ability to be an effective two-way defender. His standout moment came during the 2013 Frozen Four, in which he was honored as the MVP. Many had thought that Ghost would’ve been on the opening night roster, but he, like fellow defensive prospect Samuel Morin, was sent down just days before the opener.

This move should not only generate some buzz, but add a different element to a stale Flyers defense. Ghost’s speed and offensive abilities will take some of the offensive pressures off of the shoulders of Mark Streit. During this four-week audition, Ghost will have the chance to prove his abilities, as the Flyers deal with games against Detroit, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, and three showdowns with rival New York Rangers over that span.

Deconstructing The Phillies: Corner Infield

October 25th, 2014 by Mike H. | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Next up in the series is the corner infield positions. What should the Phillies do at the hot corner? Can the Phillies do anything with Ryan Howard? There’s definitely depth at the major league level, but who is the right man for the job? I’m still playing GM and keeping a running tally of the moves and roster spots being taken both in my vision and my counterpart’s. If you’re even remotely intrigued and/or agree with my overhaul, click past the jump to see where I’m going this week. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eagles Mid-Season Awards

October 24th, 2014 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, General, NFL, TalkSportsPhilly

Even though it really isn’t mid-season for the Eagles yet, at this point in the season after a bye week it can be considered one. In this piece I will take a look at the Eagles team as a whole, giving out my mid-season awards through the first six games.

The Eagles sit at 5-1, with their lone loss coming on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in a painful two point loss. The first six games have been anything but consistent play from this team, as we have seen them start the season down 17 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that just won their first game this past Sunday. We then saw the Eagles come from behind to beat the Indianapolis Colts on the road in thrilling fashion. An instant classic NFC East battle was won by the birds against the Redskins in week three, in the return of former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Week five was almost a devastating loss as the Eagles nearly surrendered a 28 point lead against the St. Louis Rams. While in their final game before the bye, the Eagles played their first complete game, shutting out the New York Giants 27-0.

With all the injuries that have taken place, to all the drama in games, to players questioning Chip Kelly’s practice style, the Eagles still sit at 5-1. This team has showed toughness and heart over the first six games, and that will need to continue if the Eagles plan on making the playoffs, let alone going far in them.

Instead of looking forward, lets take a look back at the first six games and give out the mid-season awards:

 

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Eagles Mid-Season Report Card: Special Teams

October 23rd, 2014 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, General, NFL, TalkSportsPhilly

In last years playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, the Eagles scored a touchdown on a Nick Foles throw to Zach Ertz with 4:54 left in the game to take the lead late. They needed just one stop and they would advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. On the ensuing kickoff Darren Sproles, then a member of the Saints, had a huge kick return back to the 39 yard line which was topped off by a 15-yard penalty to start a drive that would eventually end the Eagles season.

In the same game, that the Eagles lost by two points, Alex Henery missed a field goal. If that field goal was made the game would have been differently, or at least the final Saints drive as they would have needed a touchdown to win, not a field goal.

After the game was over it was obvious that the Eagles would need to upgrade their special teams, especially at kicker.

The Eagles signed a lot of players this off-season, and most of them were under the radar signings. At least they seemed to be. Two signings that were considered under the radar were special teams specialist from the reigning champion Seattle Seahawks, Chris Maragos and Houston Texan Bryan Braman. Everyone knew why the players were brought in, and I for one was ecstatic with the Eagles front office for those signings.

Another player that was an outstanding signing is undrafted free agent fullback Trey Burton. It was clear that the Eagles were making a distinct effort to upgrade and solidify their special teams unit, which is a reflection of Chip Kelly who is a huge believer in special teams. Kelly believes that special teams is one of the most important aspects of the game, which it is, and he makes the Eagles practice it more than basically every other team in the league.

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Eagles Mid-Season Report Card: Defense

October 22nd, 2014 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Eagles, General, NFL, TalkSportsPhilly

The Philadelphia Eagles defense has been a roller coaster over the last few years. In the last few years alone we have gone from the end of Brian Dawkins career in Philly, to the “Dream Team”, to a whole new regime that now has their own defense built through various free agent signings and draft picks.

For the last few years, the defense has always seemed to be the weakest spot of the Eagles, however, this year the defense is showing improvement.

Being a member of the Eagles defense is no easy task. With the offensive philosophy of Chip Kelly, the defense is forced to play a lot more than most teams. There are games where they are out on the field for 35 to 40 minutes, which is no easy task for any defense. The amount of time on the field allows for mistakes and a lot of exposure for opposing offenses to find holes to exploit. However, the defense has been a solid group, and has often been labeled a “bend but not break” defense as they give up a lot of yards, while the amount of points they give up doesn’t show that.

That phrase still stands true so far this year as the Eagles are 24th in yards per game (allow 380 yards per game), while they are just 13th in points per game (giving up 22 points per game).

A defensive line group that is led by young draft picks such as Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Cedric Thornton, Beau Allen, and Vinny Curry have played very well. Cox has arguably been the best player of that group, as he has really shown the ability to get after the quarterback, stop the run, and has shown consistency every single week. Logan and Allen have been a good duo at the nose tackle position, as they are doing a solid job of clogging the middle and making plays. Allen was a seventh round pick in this years draft, and his play shows that he was a steal and a great find by the Eagles in the last round of the draft.

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