Eagles Make NFL History in the Opener

Wow.

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Different Kind of Defense

Good piece here by Bob Grotz on how the current Eagles defense is different from those run by Buddy Ryan, Bud Carson and Jim Johnson. Snarky answers aside, things are different because of the style of offense and also the way the league enforces rules these days.

Malcolm Jenkins offered some thoughts on how the defense can still be an impact unit.

Jenkins has walked the talk. In his rookie season with New Orleans he contributed 4 tackles to help the Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in Super Bowl XLIV. The Colts outgained the Saints by 100 yards. The Saints returned Peyton Manning pass for a touchdown and recovered an onside kick to start the second half, leading to another touchdown.

“We were never going to be a top-5 defense in yards because our offense put up points,” Jenkins said. “They get a lot of yards so in turn offenses of the other teams are throwing the ball and trying to score more points. There’s a little give and take. But we were taking the ball away at a high level. We were physical and feared and that played into our hand.

The defense can’t worry about rankings and conventional stats. They just need to be the right defense for this team and style of play. And that is something they can do.

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Dan Snyder Isn’t Awesome

We love to pick on Jerry Jones for his bad decisions and goofy way of doing things, but he does have 3 Super Bowls and plenty of success on his resume. Dan Snyder is just a jerk who makes bad decisions.

Here is a list of many reasons to not like him. A few of my favorites:

Rodgers, Pepper: FedEx official whom Snyder almost made Redskins head coach. Snyder knew he wanted to fire Norv Turner in the middle of the 2000 season, but he didn’t have anybody to put in charge. So he contemplated Rodgers, 69, who had never coached in the NFL and whose last coaching stint was with the Memphis Mad Dogs of the CFL. Rodgers’ main qualification for the Redskins job was that, after FedEx became a Redskins sponsor, he watched games with Snyder in the owner’s box and told stories about coaching John Riggins at the University of Kansas.

Robiskie, Terry: Early Snyder Yes Man. After taking over for Norv Turner as head coach in the middle of the 2000 season, Robiskie confessed he would play Jeff George over Brad Johnson just because that’s what the owner wanted. “Mr. Snyder owns the football team,” Robiskie declared after his first practice as head coach. “If I wanted to change my desk, I’m going to call him and say I want to change my desk. If I want to change quarterbacks, I’m going to call him and say, ‘What do you think of me changing quarterbacks?’ It’s his football team.”

Sanders, Deion: Crown jewel of the fantasy football team Snyder put together during his first offseason as owner, which also included Bruce Smith, Mark Carrier, Jeff George and Adrian Murrell. Snyder signed Sanders to a seven-year, $56 million contract with an $8 million signing bonus. After a debacle of a 2000 season for the team and himself, Sanders refused to report to the Redskins in 2001—but declined to return any of his bonus money.

Glorious.

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Better Late Than Never

Cody Parkey is the Eagles PK heading into the 2014 season, despite being on the team for only a couple of weeks. STs coach Dave Fipp recently explained that the Eagles liked Parkey a lot as a UDFA, but went for Carey Spear instead.

“We looked at both of those guys. In their individual workouts, Carey had just a little bit better day on the one day I worked him out in person. They were really close. Carey’s numbers on field goals [39 of 50 at Vanderbilt, four from 50+] were a little bit better. Cody’s were a little bit better on touchbacks [he led the nation with 69 last season at Auburn].

“It was a tough decision; we went the other direction. I missed the ball.”

Interesting to find out why Fipp made the choice he did. I certainly didn’t realize that Fipp had that much interest in Parkey prior to the draft. Thank goodness that Fipp got a do-over and was able to give Parkey another shot. So far, that looks like a great move.

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To Practice Or Not To Practice

Banner is an interesting guy to follow on Twitter. He will praise some, but also isn’t shy about being critical.

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The Eagles and Track Guys

The Eagles added WR/CB Teddy Williams to the practice squad. He was a college track star with limited football experience. Williams isn’t the first Eagle to fit this description.

Iggles Blitz reader and resident historian AC Viking offered a good history lesson.

The Eagles have had two genuine track superstars, both of whom are also remembered for their respective roles in two different Olympic dramas.

The first is the great Villanova sprinter Frank Budd, whom the Eagles drafted in the 7th Rd of the ’62 draft (#96 overall — or a 3rd Rd pick today), despite zero college football experience. Budd did play in high school.

Budd ran the opening leg for the US team in the 1960 Olympics in the 4×100. The team set an world record . . . only to be disqualified because of a baton-exchange violation. The gold medal went instead to the West German team.

Budd played only a single season for the Eagles in 1962 — under HC/GM Joe “Must Go” Kuharich. At 5’10″ 175lbs, Budd was all speed.

He finished his one-and-done Birds’ career with 5 catches for 130 yards . . . a 26.1 YPC avg. Kuharich cut him anyway. Too many drops it was said.

The other great sprinter to play for the Eagles, though not in a regular season game, is the once-notorious John Carlos. He won the bronze in 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and, together with US gold-medal winner Tommie Smith, stood on the victory giving the iconic black-gloved black-power salute.

The Eagles drafted the 6’3″ 210 lb Carlos in Rd 15 of the 1970 draft out of San Jose State. No prior football experience. None in college. None in high school.

Carlos signed with the Eagles in time for training camp — actually landing a signing bonus of about $15,000 and rookie contract that, in total, almost doubled the minimum. Big money back then.

The Birds assigned receivers coach Charlie Gauer and DB coach Irv Cross to tutor Carlos in the art of playing WR. He tore up his knee in TC running a route, though, and spent the year on IR.

The Birds had kept Carlos around hoping he’d learn the ropes of playing WR.

At the end of TC in 1971 — with the roster capped at 40 players and 6 of them being RBs — the Eagles had choice: Keep Carlos and hope he develops, or go with a gangly 6’7″ rookie 7th Rd pick at TE from Southern named Harold Carmichael.

And you know the rest of that story.

Great stuff.

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Back in 2006, the Eagles looked into signing track star Justin Gatlin, but things didn’t work out.

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Cap Space Update

The Eagles do know how to manage the cap.

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2014 Eagles Preview

Andy Benoit writes for MMQB.com. I go back and forth on how much I like him. He’s smart, but about once an article (on the Eagles) he says something that is just flat out wrong.

Read his 2014 Eagles preview at your own discretion. There is nothing groundbreaking in there, but sometimes it is fun to get a national perspective on the Eagles.

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The Ohio State Eagles?

Cool story from college football writer Pete Thamel on Ohio State and how they view the Eagles. OSU is in a tough situation, having to replace their star QB Braxton Miller. He suffered a shoulder injury and is out for the year.

The answer to replacing Miller’s production – 24 touchdowns passing and 12 touchdowns rushing – could lie in a phrase heard often around Buckeye Camp this summer: “We want to be the Philadelphia Eagles of college football.” That’s meant everything from music blaring in practice, just like Kelly did in Eugene when he coached at Oregon, to players getting their urine tested every day to see if hydration levels are high enough. A brave Ohio State assistant strength coach, Anthony Schlegel, dressed up in a faux “nuclear suit” to collect urine on Wednesday morning.

All the trappings of Kelly’s system present a logical question: For Ohio State to catch up to the rest of college football with its best player out for the year, will it fully embrace the tempo that Kelly mastered?

“That’s a good question,”  Meyer said. “That’s also to be determined. We’re prepared more than in the last two years. It’s the third year in the system.”

Interesting.

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Collinsworth Likes the Eagles

Meaningless, but kinda cool.

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