The Philadelphia Eagles just wrapped OTAs and now the players are off until training camp, which begins next month. The Eagles training camp will take place at Lehigh University. The rookies and quarterbacks will report on July 22. The remaining veterans will arrive on July 25.
The Eagles would appear to be heading into the 2012 season in much better shape than a year ago. They have all the important pieces under contract in players like wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy. In addition, players such as cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha had all of mini-camp to work together. DeMeco Ryans, the Eagles newly acquired middle linebacker, had a chance to get acclimated to the team’s system as well.
Andy Reid, Eagles head coach, has been pleased with the way his team has worked during the offseason. Reid can see the team has been playing with plenty of energy.
“You saw that last year,” Reid said. “I think that’s something that they’ve carried over into this year. The d-line (defensive line) starts it off, and the o-line (offensive line), even though they can’t really compete right now, keeps it loud and exciting. It’s a good atmosphere. There’s no pads on here so they can’t really compete. With the back end guys, it’s just contagious and it carries on into the linebackers and the secondary. Those guys can compete. They can’t do bump-and-run, but they can compete. Likewise on the offensive side, the guys are challenging each other and trying to get better.”
The Eagles certainly want to play better than last year. The team posted an 8-8 record and didn’t go to the playoffs. They did finish the season on a high note winning their last four games against the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
Michael Vick, Eagles quarterback, struggled with injuries and some inconsistency. Vick threw for 3,303 yards with 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Eagles need a big year from their signal caller.
“Michael knows what he needs to do and he’s worked like crazy,” Reid said. “One of the reasons that we’ve had the attendance here that we’ve had and one of the reasons that we’ve had energy is Michael Vick. He was here and he hasn’t missed a workout. He’s the one who’s out here motivating that energy and making the players around him be here. He’s done a great job of that this offseason.”
The Eagles first preseason game will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 9 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles will open the regular season against the Cleveland Browns on the road on Sept. 9. The home opener will be on September 16 against the Baltimore Ravens.
NOTE: The Eagles announced that single-game tickets will go on sale for all 10 home games for the 2012 season on June 21 at 10 a.m. Fans can purchase tickets at that time by going to www.philadelphiaeagles.com. Prices range from $70 to $95 and there is a four-ticket limit per household.
It’s not every day an NFL team comes to your neighborhood school to put together a playground for the students. That’s why there was so much excitement when the Philadelphia Eagles came out to the Comegys Elementary School at 51st Street and Greenway Avenue.
The Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP) and the Philadelphia Eagles worked with the Southwest Philadelphia school for the 16th annual Eagles Playground Build. The students joined a number of players such as quarterback Michael Vick, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, running back LeSean McCoy, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and linebacker Demeco Ryans in painting the exterior and interior murals, laying mosaic tiles on benches and tables, constructing a large play structure and planting gardens. A turf field was also installed to give the students an area to play field sports.
Comegys School has more than 450 students from kindergarten through 6th grade. The school was chosen by EYP and the School District of Philadelphia for the playground build. The murals were created by a team of artists, led by David McShane, from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
Lisa Wilmer, principal at Comegys School, was very impressed with the efforts of the Eagles, volunteers, students and staff. Wilmer remembers the day when her school was selected for the playground build.
“It was a busy day that day,” Wilmer said. “So, to get the phone call at the end of the day that says ‘Congratulations! You won the Eagles Playground Build’ was just awesome. We had been trying for years to get the playground. We always came in second place, but this is our year.
“You can see the joy in the eyes of the kids. We have volunteers who are community members. They just wanted to come and help. It’s bringing the community together. The staff has been great. Everybody is proud. You’re proud to be a Comegys student and staff member. I’m just happy to be the principal.”
Christina Weiss Lurie, president of EYP, has been involved with this neighborhood effort for a long time.
“This is the 16th playground build or as I call it ‘school transformation,” said Weiss Lurie, wife of Jeffrey Lurie, chairman and CEO of the Eagles. “We’re just so excited to be here and to watch the kids with their big eyes watching their playground gradually take hold whether it’s field or the garden or the mosaic, murals or the playground structure. Now, they have a safe place to be kids and dream their dreams of what they want to do as they grow old.”
The players have been really busy with the OTAs. However, McCoy was happy to spend time with the kids.
“It’s great to come out and hang with the kids and the fans,” McCoy said. “It’s a good thing to give back. This is where it really counts off the field where we can go out and do some good deeds.”
Earlier this spring Vick was playing chess against some of the city’s best players. This week he was helping to paint one of the murals at the school playground.
“I’m really enjoying this,” Vick said. “It’s going to be nice to ride past the school and say hey, ‘I made a contribution to the school.’ This is a school in the community. I think to bring our team out here to paint the school and make a contribution is phenomenal.”
Demetress Bell will be a busy man in a few weeks. Bell, Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle, will be in training camp on July 25 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
But before training camp begins, the Eagles’ 6-foot-5, 311-pound offensive lineman, will host the Philadelphia Kids Fun Day on Tuesday, July 10 at Northeast High School, Cottman and Algon avenues and will have a variety of events for kids and adults, including autograph and photo opportunities with NFL players.
The event will begin at 2 p.m. with a free football and cheer camp for kids in grades 1–8. At 6 p.m. there will be the “Great Amazing Race with NFL players.” Kids will be paired with adults. The cost of the race is $40. Bell will have a chance to make a difference in the community prior to the start of the season.
“This is a great opportunity for the kids,” Bell said. “I always wanted to give back to the community. I wanted to do something in Philadelphia. This is where I play. It should be a fun day for everybody.”
Bell will be playing a big role in the community next week. He will be playing an important role for the Eagles this season, too. The Eagles signed Bell to a five-year deal in April. He is expected to replace left tackle Jason Peters, who suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in March.
Bell played left tackle for Buffalo Bills. He was started 30 games for the Bills over the last three seasons. A year ago, he played in seven games where he started six times and Buffalo had a 4-2 record in those matchups. He helped a Bills offense that tallied a season-high in points, rushed for 171 yards and gave up only one sack in a 41-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a part of the offensive line that didn’t give up a sack for two straight games that culminated in a 34-31 victory over the New England Patriots.
Bell will be blocking for one of the most talented offenses in the NFL, which features quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy, wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and tight Brent Celek. He’s looking forward to working with the Eagles offense.
“I know the players and coaches that I’m working with,” Bell said. “I don’t think I could be in a better situation. The offense is explosive at every position. We got Pro Bowl players at every position. We have a lot of great players across the board.”
The Eagles had a disappointing season a year ago. They expected to have a great year with a long run in the playoffs. But that didn’t happen. The Eagles finished the season with an 8-8 record, winning their last four games. However, there is a great deal of anticipation following a major let down from last year. The Eagles have all their key players under contract. The team is coming off a good mini-camp where all the players appear to be on the same page.
“I think everybody is excited,” Bell said. “Our practices have been really good. I think it’s going to be a good year for everybody. I know everybody wants to get back to playoffs. They want to have a big year. I understand that.”
Bell will be entering his fifth season in the NFL. He has proven to be a solid offensive lineman over the years. He feels each year he has made significant strides in terms of his skills.
“I think I’ve improved over the years,” he said. “Last year, I got injured (shoulder injury). But I’ve been working hard each year. I still feel I can do better. I feel I can do a lot more. I haven’t been playing football that long.”
Bell grew up in Summerfield, La., where he was an All-State and All-America honorable mention basketball player at Summerfield High School. He went to Northwestern State on a basketball scholarship. Before he joined the football team in 2005 as a defensive end, Bell had never played football at all. Despite the lack of experience, he was named to the Associated Press All-American and first team All-Southland Conference. He was also selected first-team All-Louisiana his senior year in 2007.
In 2008, he was a seventh round draft pick of the Bills. As far as playing football, Bell has come a long way in a very short period of time.
“I played power forward in basketball,” he said. I was a product of a basketball family. I was a basketball guy growing up. I’m working hard every day, but I still feel that I have only scratched the surface. I’m still learning more and more each day.”
It looks as if Bell’s best days are in front of him. His days as an Eagle will begin very soon in training camp.
NOTE: Bell’s event is produced in partnership with Flying Colors Sports, a marketing and community relations firm that works with professional athletes. For more information on the event, go to www.GreatAmazingRace.com.
It’s a big night for Philadelphia Eagles fans young and old. The Eagles will hold their third Eagles Flight Night! at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, August 26. There will be a host of different activities for the fans including a chance to watch the Eagles play in a live full-team practice.
“It’s going to be fantastic, and what’s different this time is a group of players got involved and formed a committee,” said Sarah Martinez-Helfman, executive director of Eagles Youth Partnership. “We got suggestions on how to make it more fun for the fans.
“We’re going to have some things that you haven’t seen before. We’re going to have a player singing the national anthem. We got a touchdown dance competition. We got a new laser and fireworks show at the end. It’s definitely going to be a lot of fun.”
The fans will have a chance to receive a jersey from an Eagles player. In addition, the first 10,000 kids (12 and under) will get a DeSean Jackson mini-bobblehead doll.
“The [bobblehead] was designed especially for the event,” Martinez-Helfman said. “It’s going to be a collector’s item. We’re pretty excited about that. DeSean is pretty excited about that. The players are into this event and we hope the fans come out, show the support for the team and the community.”
The gates at the Linc will open at 5:30 p.m. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12 for children (12 and under) and $20 for adults. The tickets can be purchased at www.philadelphiaeagles.com. The proceeds from this event benefit the Eagles Youth Partnership’s programs.
“Every dollar that we raised goes to the Eagles Youth Partnership,” Martinez-Helfman said. “So, when someone comes and spends $10, that’s four new books for a child. If you come out and buy a ticket and some food, that’s a pair of eyeglasses for a kid who desperately needs one. You come out and enjoy your team and know that you are really doing good — that you can change a child’s life by just showing up that day.”
Eagles Flight Night! started three years ago. They didn’t have the event last year due to the NFL lockout. Nevertheless, the event has really grown in leaps and bounds.
“This is a perfect event for grandparents, parents and for kids,” she said. “It’s really family-friendly. It’s a way to share your love and passion for the Eagles with young ones who will be royally entertained by the event. It has grown in numbers. It has grown in player involvement. It’s just a fun family night.”
Irv Sigler, former George Washington High football star, will be inducted into the Bloomsburg University Hall of Fame on November 2. Sigler was a four-year football player for the Huskies who was named the school’s first and only winner of the Harlon Hill Award as the top player in Division II. Despite being just 17 when beginning his career for the Huskies and only being a two-year starter, Sigler was named first-team All-PSAC three times, including being named the 1996 and 1997 PSAC Eastern Division Offensive Player of the Year.
In 1997, Sigler won the Harlon Hill Award as the top player in Division II after he finished second in rushing (203.8), fourth in scoring (12.0 ppg), and third in all-purpose yards (213.1). He also established the PSAC record for rushing yards in a season with 2,038. In 1997, he was one of only two running backs in Division II history to average more than 200 yards a game in a season and gained 100 yards or more in all 10 games for the Huskies, including a string of five straight games with 200 yards or more. He also scored five touchdowns in a 68-6 win over Cheyney, becoming the first PSAC player to accomplish that feat twice in a career. He was also named to three All-American teams that year, including first team AP Little All-America. In addition, Sigler started and scored the only rushing TD for the East All Stars in the North Dakota Snow Bowl National All Star Contest following the regular season.
During his career, Sigler set or tied 29 national and school records. He rushed for a combined 3,802 yards during junior and senior seasons, scoring 45 touchdowns in that span. Sigler graduated as the all-time leading rusher in PSAC history with 5,105 career rushing yards.
Since graduating from Bloomsburg in 1999 Sigler has worked primarily in behavioral health and educational fields since receiving his BS in business management in August 1999. Since then, he has worked as therapeutic support personnel from 2001 to 2004 in various schools and home based working environments. From 2004 to 2007, he was a health and physical education teacher for the School District of Philadelphia.
While working with grades 1–12 during that time, he was a middle school head basketball coach for Blaine Elementary and Fitzsimons Young Men’s Leadership Academy, as well as started, prepared and was the first junior varsity and varsity football coach at Fitzsimons School history during the time he was getting his master’s degree in education at Philadelphia Biblical University.
After working for the school district, Sigler worked as a financial consultant with a Wall Street investment firm (First Investor’s Corporation) prior to returning to behavioral health and education as his major fields of focus. He is now working back in behavioral health as he heads back to school in the fall to finish his master’s degree in education.
Sigler and his wife Sommer have three children, Irvin III (8 years old), daughter Taylor Delaine (5 years old) and Ronald III (2 years old) and reside in Philadelphia.
DeSean Jackson Youth Football Camp this weekend
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, will hold his second annual football camp at the Moorestown Upper Elementary School, 325 Borton Landing Road, Moorestown, N.J., from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 29–30. For more information on the camp, go to www.twenty10sports.com/deseanjackson.
Brown, McManus named to Preseason Watch Lists
The College Football Performance Awards have named two Temple football players to its 2012 preseason watch lists. Senior running back Matt Brown has been named to the All-Purpose Trophy Watch List. In addition to the backfield, the 5-foot-5 Owl handles kickoff and punt returns.
Senior placekicker and punter Brandon McManus is listed on two watch lists, for placekicker and specialist.
CFPA honors players at each position weekly throughout the season. The official 2012 annual awards announcement is slated for January 9, 2013.
Brown played in all 13 games last season with three starts at running back. He finished second in team rushing with 916 yards and six touchdowns on 155 carries. The team’s top kickoff returner, he had 703 yards and a TD on 28 returns. At punt returner, he led Temple with 182 yards on 18 returns on the season.
Temple’s placekicker for three seasons, McManus took over punting duties in 2011. In 13 games, McManus was second in team scoring with 98 points. He led the MAC with a perfect 50-of-50 in PATs. McManus punted 46 times for 2,105 yards. Fifteen of those 46 landed inside the 20, while 16 were longer than 50 yards. McManus earned national specialist honors seven times during the season.
Under the guidance of second year head coach Steve Addazio, this season’s team returns 35 lettermen, including nine starters. Temple opens the season with Villanova in the fourth annual Mayor’s Cup on August 31 at Lincoln Financial Field.
Failing to live up to enormous expectations was a humbling experience for the Philadelphia Eagles last year.
That's why no one's talking Super Bowl — not publicly, at least.
These Eagles are just as confident as the group that went 8-8 last season after all that "Dream Team" hype. But they're not going around telling people how good they are. They'd rather show it on the field this time.
"With the expectations and us not only not meeting our goals, but not making the playoffs, we learned a lot," star running back LeSean McCoy said. "I think it humbled us. With all the big-time players that we have, we really have to check ourselves and go into the season to prove ourselves. I really think all of the hype is out the window and it's a new year. I think there's a lot of pressure for us as players because we fought hard for our coach and he's back here again. We have to make sure we do the right things."
Andy Reid returns for his 14th season as coach, though owner Jeffery Lurie admitted he thought long and hard about making a change. Reid could be facing a make-or-break year, especially after all the major turnover in the front office.
Longtime president Joe Banner stepped down, saying he wanted to seek other opportunities, though many insiders feel he lost a power struggle with Reid and general manager Howie Roseman. That means Reid could be running out of time to end the franchise's 52-year championship drought.
"Every year, the goal is to win the Super Bowl," Lurie said. "There's no ultimatums, that's our goal and every year that's the plan."
Keeping Michael Vick healthy will be the top priority if the Eagles are going to make a serious run. Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, missed three games last season and has started 16 games just once in his nine-year career.
With him, the Eagles have a dynamic offense capable of lighting up the scoreboard against any opponent. Vick has plenty of talent surrounding him, including McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek.
Without him, the Eagles may not have much of a chance. Unproven Mike Kafka and journeyman Trent Edwards will battle for the backup spot in training camp.
"We just feel like we should have accomplished a lot last year," Vick said. "We just want to have fun and be the best that we can be. We want to work hard to get there. We know it's not going to be easy, but we're going to work at it.
"We have an opportunity to do some special things. That's what we're hoping for and that's what we're working towards. We have to keep grinding and understanding that nothing is going to come easy."
Despite their troubles last year, the Eagles weren't eliminated from playoff contention until right before their next-to-last game kicked off and they ended up second behind the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants (9-7).
A four-game winning streak ended a disappointing season on a slightly positive note. It also made it that much tougher to accept falling short because one game was the difference between missing the playoffs and winning the division.
"The momentum we had to end the season is a good start," Jackson said. "I think we can kind of go back to just refreshing that in our memory with the last four games, as far as the people who were here. For the people who weren't here, it'll be hard to gain that momentum. The guys that were here have that hunger and the feeling of having our backs against the wall, especially since we had a terrible start to the season. This year the biggest thing is to start fast and finish strong."
Defense was a major issue for Philadelphia last season. Offensive-line-coach-turned-defensive-coordinator Juan Castillo appeared overmatched early in the season and some of the high-priced newcomers had trouble adjusting to his scheme.
The Eagles addressed their defense throughout the offseason. They acquired two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans to fill a major need. They also drafted three defensive players in the first two rounds, taking defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in the first round and linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defensive end Vinny Curry in the second.
Veteran safety O.J. Atogwe was signed to add depth in the secondary, and cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should benefit from playing their natural positions now that Asante Samuel is gone.
"Once I had the opportunity to maybe join them, I was excited because I just knew what they had on the offensive side of the ball as well as what they had on the defensive side of the ball," said Atogwe, who played for Washington last year. "They played us tough both times we played them, and we weren't very effective against their defense. They had a very good defense as well as offense.
"Everything just didn't come together until the end of the season, which is why they didn't have as successful of a season as they wanted to. It seems we have the potential to do everything we have the desire to do this year. We just have to work on everything coming together at the same time." — (AP)
When Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles chairman and CEO, held a press conference earlier this week to announce that Andy Reid will be back as the Eagles head coach, you could feel the pressure already building for the 2012 season. Reid, coming back for what will be a 14th season, has a lot of work to do. Although the team is talented and finished with on a four-game winning streak, the “Dream Team” had an 8-8 record that it can’t hide from.
Reid has won six division titles, made nine playoff appearances, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. After Lurie’s press conference, where he was visibly upset with the season, you got the impression none of the previously stated accolades mattered now.
What’s the most important thing right now? Is it staff changes? Juan Castillo, Eagles defensive coordinator, has been under fire for most of the season until things started to turn around the last four games. But for nearly three quarters of the season, the Eagles defense was horrible. Players were constantly out of position. There was lousy tackling.
Does Castillo get replaced? If Reid decides to do that, the name Steve Spagnuolo has come up on several occasions. Spagnuolo was let go this week as the St. Louis Rams head coach. He was a linebackers and defensive backs coach with the Eagles from 1999 to 2006 under Jim Johnson. Reid could bring him in to run the defense.
But here’s a better name: Todd Bowles. Bowles, former Temple football star, replaced Tony Sparano as the Miami Dolphins head coach on an interim basis this season. He’s absolutely qualified for the job. He played eight years in the NFL. He played defensive back on the Washington Redskins 1988 Super Bowl championship team and has loads of experience as an assistant. The only problem: he’s a great candidate for a head coaching job in the NFL.
Reid has other decisions to make as well. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s contract situation should be resolved as soon as possible. The Eagles can’t fool around with him any longer. Jackson is one of the most talented receivers in the league. When he didn’t play against the Arizona Cardinals this year, you could see the difference in the passing game right away.
At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, Jackson is not very big. But he has tremendous speed. He can take a safety and a defensive back deep down the field on just about any pass route. He had 58 receptions for 961 yards and four touchdowns this season. He has 229 receptions for 4,085 yards and 21 TDs for his career. He’s made the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver and punt returner. And who will forget the great punt return he had against the New York Giants last year. Reid should sit down with Lurie and president Joe Banner to make a decision.
Reid can’t afford any mistakes. This season was a huge disappointment to say the least.
The Philadelphia Eagles season is unraveling in the worst way. The Eagles hit an all-time low after being thoroughly thrashed 31-14 by the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday night. The Dream Team that everybody has talked about has turned into a horror film.
The Eagles have four games (Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Washintgon Redskins). You have to wonder which team or players will show up for these games. And that’s not a good thing. It really looks like Andy Reid, Eagles head coach, is in trouble. The Eagles are 4-8. They brought in a lot of high-priced free agents such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Vince Young and have nothing to show for it.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles wide receiver, has been unhappy a good part of the season. Jackson is in his last year of his rookie contract. He missed several days of training camp and three weeks ago was punished for missing a team meeting. Jackson deserves a new contract, but doesn’t seem to be helping himself with his play on the field.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Juan Castillo was hired as the Eagles defensive coordinator. Castillo was previously the team’s offensive line coach. The defense has been terrible. Players have been out of position. They’ve been confused. They’ve also done a poor job of tackling.
Reid has to take responsibility for these shortcomings. He’s been here 13 years. He has taken the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. But his ability to make adjustments during the game, his draft picks and coaching philosophy seems to be wearing thin. It’s time for a change.
Assuming Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles owner and Joe Banner, president, decide to have a parting of the ways with Reid, they should call Tony Dungy immediately. Dungy is well respected by his peers. He’s a proven winner. Dungy was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach from 1996to 2001. He was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. He is the first Black head coach to win a Super Bowl when Indianapolis defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007.
Dungy retired from coaching in 2009. Since then, he has worked as an NFL analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. Of course, the big thing is Dungy’s relationship with Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. He talked extensively to Vick during the time he was in prison. Dungy believed Vick deserved a second chance.
Dungy convinced the Eagles to give Vick an opportunity to play in the NFL. That situation has worked out extremely well. Vick was named to the Pro Bowl last year. He also guided the Eagles to the NFL playoffs losing to the Green Bay Packers in the first round. He’s been a solid citizen off the field as well.
Although Vick has been injured and has struggled at times this year, Dungy would be capable of getting him back to where he was most of last season. After all, he worked with another Pro Bowl quarterback in Indianapolis. His name is Peyton Manning.
Dungy is also a coach who knows how to handle players. He would bring a fresh approach, which is really needed now.
Dungy seems to be pretty comfortable in role as a commentator. He may not want to get back into coaching. It is a lot of long hours and stress. But if Reid doesn’t come back, the Eagles first phone call should be to Tony Dungy.
The Philadelphia Eagles will open training camp on July 22 at Lehigh University. The rookies and selected veterans will report the first day. The rest of the players will report on July 25. The first full practice will take place on July 27.
The Eagles first preseason game will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles will open the regular season on Sept. 9 against the Cleveland Browns on the road.
With all that in place, this should be a big year for the Eagles. All their key players are healthy and signed. Now, it’s time to get down to business. There are some players who need to have good seasons if the team is going to get to the Super Bowl or at least make a strong run in the NFC playoffs.
Vick is capable of having a much better season. The Eagles signal caller was injured during portions of last season. That had a big impact on his game. Although he threw 14 interceptions, he still managed to pass for 3,303 yards with 18 touchdowns. Vick played much better the last four games of the season. The Eagles won all of those games and finished 8-8.
Vick has himself under the microscope this season. He recently brought himself, as well as the team, a lot of attention with his comments on Comcast SportsNet. He said, “I think we have a chance to develop a dynasty.”
The 6-foot, 215-pounder, is surrounded by a number of very talented players at the skilled positions. This may be one of the best Eagle teams in regards to personnel in a long time.
LeSean McCoy/running back
McCoy was arguably the best running back in football last year. He had 273 carries for 1,309 yards while scoring 17 TDs. McCoy has good speed and great moves in the open field. Eagles head coach Andy Reid needs to establish the running game with McCoy. If he can run the football the way he did last season, that will be a big help to Michael Vick.
DeSean Jackson/wide receiver
A year ago, Jackson was playing without a contract. Well, now that’s been settled. He’s signed his deal. Jackson is one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Two years ago, he made the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver and punt returner. Last year, he had 58 receptions for 961 yards and four TD receptions. He should be able to surpass those numbers this year. He’s a big-play receiver with tremendous speed.
Demetress Bell/offensive tackle
The Eagles are hoping Bell will step in and help the offensive line. He will replace Jason Peters who is out for the season with a ruptured right Achilles tendon. The 6-foot-5, 311-pounder played for the Buffalo Bills last season.
DeMeco Ryans/middle linebacker
The Eagles need Ryans mostly to play against the run. Last year, it seems like every running back that played against the Eagles had a big day rushing. Ryans, a 6-foot-1, 247-pounder, had 64 tackles with the Houston Texans last season. He should be a big help to the Eagles defense.
Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t get a chance to exhibit his skills with Asante Samuel here. But Samuel has been traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Rodgers-Cromartie played some good football for the Arizona Cardinals before the Eagles acquired him. He had 16 interceptions in his first three seasons. Four of those interceptions were returned for TDs. The 6-foot-2, 182-pounder is a terrific cover guy. The Eagles need him to play well against the pass and the run. He had just 28 tackles last season.
Asomugha is regarded as one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. The Eagles are going to need his aggressive play on the corners. Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie should form a good combination in the secondary. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder had 40 tackles and three interceptions last season.
Josh Ockimey recently showcased his ability to hit the long ball in the Carpenter Cup. Ockimey, a sophomore first baseman from Neumann-Goretti, smacked a home run for the Catholic League all-star team in a losing effort to the Chester County all-stars, 13-7, on June 10 at Ashburn Field in South Philadelphia.
Ockimey had a nice game, driving in two runs and scoring two runs. It’s been a big year for him. He also received All-Catholic League honors this season. Ockimey also helped the Saints advanced to the PIAA Class AAA semifinals.
Widener football No. 6 in Lindy’s Sports Magazine Preseason Top 25 Poll
Widener has been voted sixth in the country in Lindy’s Sports Magazine Football Preseason Poll. Widener (9-2 overall, 6-2 MAC) is coming off a standout year in which it closed tied for second in the Middle Atlantic Conference and played for a berth into the NCAA tournament on the final day of the regular season.
The Pride went to the postseason for the 17th season in school history, defeating Waynesburg 48-27 in the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl to move to 3-2 in ECAC Bowls. The team on October 29 became the fourth present Division III school to notch 650 victories with its 60-20 win at Albright.
Junior defensive back Laquan Robinson from Chester High is one of the team’s top players. Widener will open its season at home Sept. 1 against Western Connecticut as a part of the MAC-NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) challenge.
Samuel Ellison garners All-American recognition
Samuel Ellison received All-American honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for his exploits in running the 800 meters. He recently finished in the top eight in the 800 meters, earning All-American recognition at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Ellison clocked a time of 1:47.62 in the 800 meters, which happened to be a personal best. This effort helped him to land a spot among the top eight finishers.
Cyrus Jones track and conditioning camp
Cyrus Jones will hold a track and conditioning camp at Cheyney University. The camp will take place from June 24 to 27. The cost is $199 per camper. For more information, go to www.cyrusjonestrackcamp.com.
Eagles to host Eagles Flight Night at Lincoln Financial Field
The Philadelphia Eagles will be hosting the third Eagles Flight Night! at Lincoln Financial Field on August 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12 for children (12 and under) and $20 for adults and can be purchased at www.philadelphiaeagles.com.
The event will entertain fans of all ages during a full-team practice. Autographed memorabilia, interactive games and thousands of random prizes will be available during the festivities, including the chance to win a jersey right off a player’s back. The evening will also include Eagles cheerleader and mascot SWOOP performances. The celebration will conclude with an all-new laser show.
The first 10,000 kids (12 and under) through the gates will receive a DeSean Jackson mini-bobblehead.