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Tag:Philadelphia Eagles
Posted on: September 19, 2010 2:50 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2010 2:51 pm
 

Best has dominant 1st half; Vick not bad either

J. Best, scoring the first of his two TDs, has pushed Detroit into a halftime lead against Philadelphia (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

At first, it appeared that Eagles QB Michael Vick would be the star of the Philadelphia-Detroit game. Subbing in for injured starter Kevin Kolb (concussion), Vick threw a laser to WR DeSean Jackson that he turned into a 45-yard TD. 

But Lions RB Jahvid Best was just getting warmed up.

Best, who made his NFL debut last week with a very unimpressive 14-carry, 20-yard performance, has been dominant against the Eagles defense. He tied the game in the first quarter with a 14-yard TD, and in the second period, he took a pass from QB Shaun Hill and motored 75 yards in for the TD.

In the first half, Best has 11 carries for 76 yards and two catches for 94 yards. But Vick hasn't been too bad either. He threw a nine-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin with 13 seconds left in the half to give Philadelphia the 21-17 lead. He's 12 of 20 for 186 yards and two TDs.

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 11:15 am
 

Burress: 'Can't go any lower than being here'

Posted by Will Brinson

Plaxico Burress hasn't made news in a while -- his work release was denied by the state of New York and for now, he sits and waits in prison.

Recently, the New York Daily News decided to sit with him , and find out how life is going for Burress right now. Predictably, it's not going well.

"You can't go any lower than being here, other than being in the ground," Burress says. "It's about as tough as it gets, on a personal level. You learn a lot about yourself. You try to think about the bigger picture, about life outside these walls. You just try to find a way to get through."

Honestly, I shiver a little when I think of what's happening with Burress now; not because I stick guns into my sweatpants and walk into nightclubs, but because a dumb decision that was based around self-protection somehow backfired into a two-year prison sentence. 

"You can't change history, no matter what you try to do," Burress says. "I didn't do anything to anybody. I did it to myself. I committed a crime. I broke the law. That's why I'm here. I can't do anything about it, so you have to try to change your outlook, think about positive things. If I'm so intent on going back to that moment, then I'm not making any progress. I'm not moving forward."

That's the precise sort of behavioral change that both Roger Goodell and the state of New York look for when they discuss (respectively) reinstatement and parole.

And while it might seem he's a long way from playing in the NFL, at least this week there's the well-timed ascension of Michael Vick to starter of the Eagles to at least provide a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 1:15 pm
 

Who has the NFL's best fans?

Posted by Andy Benoit



This week, Tom Brady’s criticized Patriot fans for leaving the Week 1 game early. Brady went so far as to say he didn’t think Jets fans would leave early (ouch). This got us thinking…which NFL team has the best fans? And which has the worst?

We posed the question on Facebook and Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) . Here are the best responses we received:

Matt Kelly: "The answer is obviously Green Bay Packer fans. What other sports team has had its home games sold out consecutively since the 1950's??? And a season ticket waiting list that is decades long??? GO PACK GO!!"

Keith Merriweather: "Detroit has the best and most loyal fan base. Can you say 0-16 and 2-14 and still Ford Field is packed every home game. Man the Lions been losing for so long we cheer for them to keep from cryin. P.S. This is our year, Let's Go Lions!"

(Andy’s Note: You have to admire Keith’s optimism, but Ford Field is not “packed” for every home game; the Lions had blackouts last season and they just narrowly avoided a blackout for their home opener this week.)

Sean McCullen: "I do give props to Chiefs fans. Give that team, with its 5-36 run going into this year, to Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans ... -- Blackout City, baby!

Also, I find it funny many of you think ...we're the worst here in Philly. Not saying we're the most, but you'll find no fan base in the entire league more passionate than us. None. We're there through thick or thin. You call us the worst. Why? Be/c ESPN reports every little thing that happens here. (Stuff) happens everywhere. Get over it!"

Sean followed his response with a P.S.: “Eagles fans rule! Cowboys fans who've never flown over Texas let alone been there are the worst, by far.hing that happens here. Shit happens everywhere. Get over it!”

Cody Thomas Browns fans, of course! I give credit to any fan who adores their beloved, yet never improving, team. Gotta love 'em tho

Michael Williams: "I'm answering this a different way: best female fans! That title has to go to the Steelers, followed closely by the Browns. Female Steelers fans rock more black and gold, in jerseys, than any other female fanbase ever. It must be something about Midwest women, but all the Steelers and Browns female fans seem to really know their football." Kareem Cornelius: "If you think the Raiders have the worst fans you most be going be length of rap sheets, not anything having to do with fandom. Any fanbase that dresses like it's Halloween and fills the Black Hole for games when the team sucks and the stadium blows, with as much as there is to do in Oakland, is an excellent fan base? Raiders fans are knowledgeable too. At the Dolphins-Raiders game in Miami in 2007, Oakland had the game in hand and tried running up the score once running the clock out was a possibility. Dozens of Raiders fan stood and booed their head coach's shortsighted decision, knowing that it risked injury and a potential turnover. Raiders fans are smarter than Wade Phillips and damn fine fans!"

Christopher Haines: "Packers fans, on the other hand, are by far the best. Who else has sold out an int...er-squad scrimmage?"

Michael O'Connor: "Hey....You will never have an experience anywhere in the league like Game Day at Arrowhead stadium! From tailgating for 5 hours before the game w/BBQ to die for.... to the experience of our new revamped stadium ....To the 12th man factor of the best fans in the NFL.... The Kansas City Chiefs and Arrowhead have the loudest.... smartest....and most die hard fans in the NFL Hands Down.... Now You can all stop commenting.... THERE IS NO COMPARISON!"

William Pirozzi: "Steeler fans by far were all over the world just ask snoop he is a big steelers fan."

Matthew Vince: "What is the criteria? Are the best fans the ones with the greatest knowledge or the sheer number of fans is what makes them great? If it is number, then Washington will have to be mentioned, if it is knowledge, Philly fans are probably the way to go...and it kills me saying it 'cause I love the 9ers.
Posted on: September 17, 2010 8:27 am
 

Week 2 Key Matchup: defending Michael Vick

Posted by Andy Benoit

It usually takes a national holiday to inspire Americans to watch a Lions game. This week, however, a lot of eyes will be on Motown with football fans tuning in for Michael Vick’s expected starting debut as the Eagles quarterback. Vick looked like the Vick of old in Philadelphia’s second half loss to Green Bay. His electrifying athleticism is back. So how will Detroit defend him?M. Vick (US Presswire)

The short answer: with zone coverage. Zone defense, whether it’s traditional Cover 2 with cornerbacks guarding the flats and safeties covering the deep middle, or Quarters with each of the four defensive backs taking ¼ of the field, is the obvious tactic against a mobile quarterback because it allows defenders to see all of the action in front of them. In man coverage, defenders must follow the receiver and turn their back to the ball. When teams see man coverage, they often design their routes simply to clear out defenders against the run (FYI, Sean Payton happens to be a genius with this tactic). You obviously can’t leave that kind of open field for Vick.

Thus, look for Detroit to strictly play zone defense Sunday. (For what’s it worth, you can tell what type of coverage defenders, especially linebackers, are playing by how they take their first step. A first step towards the line of scrimmage usually indicates man coverage; a first step backing away from the line of scrimmage indicates zone.)

Chances are, even without Vick, the Lions would have played a lot of zone against the Eagles anyway. Reason being, the Lions cornerbacks simply don’t have the speed or agility to handle the quickness of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Because the way to beat Jackson is with physicality at the line of scrimmage, and because Lions corner Chris Houston is ineffective when he’s not physical, don’t be surprised if Houston and company try to get a jam on the Eagle receivers before dropping into their zone. This will not only disrupt the timing of the routes, but it will also disguise some of the defensive looks for Vick. You have to figure Vick will be a tad rusty in his reads, given that he hasn’t had a team game-plan specifically against him in roughly three years.

Last week, once Vick entered the game, the Packers secondary employed some of the purest zone coverages known to football.

However, the Packers remained aggressive with their front seven blitz tactics. This flustered Philly’s passing game at times, but whenever Vick was able to flee the pocket and get outside the widest defender, he found plenty of open space to eat up (hence his 103 yards rushing). The Lions can’t afford to yield those kind of running lanes.

Don’t be surprised if Detroit shadows Vick with a linebacker. Using a shadow linebacker can be expensive in coverage, but it’s not like Vick scans the field with the quickness of a Manning or a Brees. A shadowing linebacker doesn’t just provide a fulltime potential tackler against the quarterback, it also forces him to scramble outside, where the sideline can act as a 12th defender. When Vick was a Falcon, no team defended his running better than Bucs. The Bucs were a zone-based team (Tampa 2) that used their fast linebackers to shadow and force Vick outside.

The Lions used Landon Johnson and Julian Peterson as their nickel linebackers in Week 1; of the two, the versatile and athletic Peterson would make the best shadow option. In base packages, middle linebacker DeAndre Levy, who did not play in Week 1, is Detroit’s best athlete, though coaches may want Levy focused on attacking downhill.

Keeping Vick’s scrambling in check is a tall order. The Lions, with their iffy back seven personnel, will need a dominant performance from Ndamukong Suh and company just to have shot. At least the blueprint is clear.


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Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:09 pm
 

Players begin preparing to battle for lockout

DeMaurice Smith (right) said the move for some NFL teams to decertify themselves from the NFLPA is purely procedural (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

NFL players are taking steps toward protecting themselves as the Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire in March.

ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen reports, the Eagles, the Cowboys and the Saints have voted to allow the NFL Players Association to decertify itself.

Once all the NFL teams – and all teams likely will vote the same way at some point – vote to decertify the union, the union wouldn’t be able to represent the players when they begin negotiations for a new CBA.

The players did the same thing in 1993, and as Mortensen writes, it “enabled individual players to seek antitrust lawsuits against the NFL and eventually provided the leverage that led to a new era of free agency in 1993.”

But wouldn’t you think that after watching the players accomplish that result 17 years ago, the owners would have a gameplan to avoid having the same result occur? After all, most of these guys didn’t make all their money by being stupid about … well … making money in the business world.

According to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, the votes don’t mean much. It also should be noted that the union fully endorses this move.

"To be dead honest, it's purely procedural and I believe it's a non-story until March," Smith told ESPN.com last Saturday after the Saints voted. "It preserves the best options to protect players in the event there's no deal in place when the CBA expires next March. Instead of scrambling at the 11th hour to get all our players' signatures (for decertification), we'll have everything in order. Our hope is that it's not necessary."

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 6:05 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 6:06 pm
 

Report: Vick will start at QB Sunday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

As we had thought, the Eagles will start Michael Vick at quarterback this Sunday.

So writes the Philadelphia Inquirer, which cites a team source for the information.

Philadelphia QB Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion against the Packers last week, and he finally passed the subsequent concussion test he had to take today. But he can’t practice until Friday, and that will be too late for him to get heavily involved in the Eagles game plan for the Lions.

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 1:38 pm
 

Kolb, Bradley pass tests, to practice Friday

Posted by Will Brinson

Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley, two of the approximately 97* concussed Eagles players from Sunday failed the second phase of their concussion tests on Wednesday, but Thursday was a different story -- both players passed the full tests and are cleared for practice.

The only problem is that they cannot practice, due to rules, until Friday. That means that Michael Vick will continue practicing with the first team in Philadelphia and remains the favorite to start for the Eagles on Sunday due to a lack of time for Kolb to practice and the potential risk for re-injury.

However, if Kolb is cleared and ready to return to the field by Sunday, don't discount Andy Reid rolling the dice and giving his new franchise quarterback a shot at starting (or at the very least, playing) -- the Eagles get the Lions this week, and given the numbers Jay Cutler put up against them last week, we can assume that Reid would rather nip the quarterback controversy in the bud and let Kolb play -- provided he plays well -- than have Vick put up monster numbers against the Lions and give the Philly fan base something to really chunk batteries at.

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*May be a slight exaggeration.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:33 am
 

Hot Routes 9.16.10: Video killed the NFL star

Got a link for the Hot Routes ? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or drop it in the comments.
  • We've been discussing how "locker room spies" are beneficial to their new team (although Eric Winston told me he doesn't think Kyle Shanahan will make that big of a difference) and the Giants have the best one of all in Jim Sorgi, who was Peyton Manning's backup for quite a while. (Of course they also have, you know, his brother Eli Manning, but he doesn't know the Colts offense.) Sorgi, however, doesn't think it'll matter. Because it's Peyton.
  • One of Brian Bassett's readers noticed that Kris Jenkins had a tough time making it up the stairs at Cortland. Provided this account is true, well, it kind of makes it seem like he shouldn't have even been on the field for Week 1. Or we should have seen another injury coming.
 
 
 
 
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