Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Phillies acquire John Bowker, possible bench bat

After the Jack Cust experiment fell through (he was released), the Phillies continued their search for a lefty bat for their postseason bench. The next candidate: John Bowker, who, according to CSNPhilly, was acquired by the Phillies from the Pirates late Tuesday night. There is no word at this time what the Phillies have dealt to the Pirates but don't count on anything more than a low prospect or cash.

Bowker has spent most of the season in the minors but has played 19 games for the Pirates this season, hitting .235 with zero homers. In his career, Bowker has had some decent seasons with the Giants but hasn't been anything more than a part-time player. He can play first base and outfield but the Phillies are hoping he can be a pinch hitter for them in September and October. Count on him getting a long look in the coming month as Bowker tries to prove he is worth a postseason roster spot. With Ross Gload looking like a shell of his former self, the door is certainly open for Bowker to have a postseason role.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eagles sign Michael Vick to 6 year, 100 million dollar contract

After resurrecting his career with an amazing 2010 season, Michael Vick has gotten paid, signing a 6 year, 100 million dollar contract to stay in Philadelphia. Exact details of the deal aren't known at the moment but Adam Schefter of ESPN believes Vick will get about 40 million dollars in guaranteed money. With money like that, the Eagles are banking on Vick to continue performing at a high level for several years.

With Vick locked up, the focus turns to DeSean Jackson. Depending on how Vick's deal is structured, it should free up some money for the Eagles to use on Jackson.

Eagles cut 4 more, trim roster down to 81

By tomorrow, the Eagles have to trim their roster down to 80 players. For today, they have cut down to 81 by dropping the following four players:

OT Spencer Johnson
WR Gerald Jones
DB Jamar Wall
TE Martell Webb

There are no surprises in this group, all were simply training camp bodies. After tomorrow, the next round of cuts has to happen by Sunday and that will be to get the Eagles to 53 players.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Projecting the 2011 Eagles 53 man roster, Ver. 2.0

With three preseason games in the books, it's time to take another look at who is going to make the Eagles 53 man roster. With more cuts coming in the next few days, many players have already done all they can to make a case for being on the team. This is my second attempt at predicting the Eagles Week One roster. Below my roster projection I have also listed several players who are on the bubble and I gave reasons why they might not make the final roster. Changes from my previous projection are listed in bold.


QB(3): Michael Vick, Vince Young, Mike Kafka

RB(3): LeSean McCoy, Ronnie Brown, Dion Lewis

FB (1): Owen Schmitt

WR(6): DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Chad Hall

TE(3): Brent Celek, Clay Harbor, Donald Lee

LT(1): Jason Peters

LG(1): Evan Mathis

C(2): Jason Kelce, Jamaal Jackson

RG(2): Danny Watkins, Mike McGlynn

RT(3): Todd Herremans, Winston Justice, King Dunlap

DE(5): Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Juqua Parker, Darryl Tapp, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim

DT(5): Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Antonio Dixon, Trevor Laws, Anthony Hargrove

LB(5): Moise Fokou, Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Brian Rolle

CB(6): Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Joselio Hanson, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes

FS(2): Kurt Coleman, Jaiquawn Jarrett

SS(2): Nate Allen, Jarrad Page

Special Teams:
K(1): Alex Henery

P(1): Chas Henry

LS(1): Jon Dorenbos

Could start season on injured reserve/PUP: Brandon Graham, Winston Justice, Victor Abiamiri, Marlin Jackson
We have seen very little of all of the above players so the chances are slim that they will be healthy at the start of the season. Abiamiri and Graham are a lock to be out.

Will start season on injured reserve: Ryan Harris
Back surgery for Harris.

Could be traded: Joselio Hanson, Juqua Parker
With all of the talent ahead of him, Hanson seems like obvious trade bait. It's probably time for Parker to get shipped out for a draft pick.

Players on the bubble:
RB: Eldra Buckley, Graig Cooper
Buckley is great on special teams but with kickoff coverage not as important, he loses his value. Cooper had a shot until Dion Lewis did some damage in the preseason games.

WR: Johnnie Lee Higgins, Sinorice Moss
With kickoffs being moved up, Higgins has lost almost all of his value. He isn't much of a receiver and the Eagles are already plenty deep at the position. Moss isn't valuable enough of a punt returner to keep around.

OL: Austin Howard, Reggie Wells, Fenuki Tupou, Julian Vandervelde, Dallas Reynolds, A.Q. Shipley
Time is up for Austin Howard and, with Todd Herremans moving to starting right tackle, Reggie Wells will need a miracle to make the team. The rest of the guys listed here are practice squad bait.

DE: Philip Hunt
The final defensive end spot comes down to Te'o-Nesheim vs. Hunt. Te'o-Nesheim has looked pretty good in the preseason and the Eagles have a lot invested in him. Should the Birds trade Parker, Hunt will stick around.

DT: Derek Landri, Cedric Thornton
Landri will be a tough player to cut given how strong he has looked. Barring an injury, I just don't see room on the roster for him.

LB: Akeem Jordan, Greg Lloyd
With Rolle seemingly finding a role in the nickel, Jordan appears to be lost in the shuffle. Lloyd's only shot of sticking around is on the injured list or the practice squad.

CB: Trevard Lindley
I still like the Eagles to keep 6 CB's but Hughes has out-shined Lindley and leapfrogged him for the final spot. The Eagles will try to find a place to stash him because they used a 4th round pick on him but I can't justify keeping Lindley on the main roster when Hughes has been so much better.

S: Colt Anderson
He is incredibly valuable on special teams so the Eagles might find a way to keep him around. If Bobby April has any pull in the roster decisions, Anderson is a lock.

That's the team as I see it. Did I leave anyone off? Who needs to be cut? Discuss in the comments section.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Eagles cut 4, trim roster to 86

Needing to get their roster down to 80 by Tuesday, the Eagles have made their first set of roster cuts, dropping the following four players:

DT Marlon Favorite
RB Derrick Locke
LB Brandon Peguese
WR Terrance Turner

These four all had zero chance of making the team. Look for my next 53 man roster prediction in the coming days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The positives and negatives from the Eagles third preseason game

Now that's more like it. A week after looking lackluster, the Eagles bounced back in their third preseason game, beating the Browns 24-14. I don't have time to get too in depth on the game but here are some of the positives and negatives I noticed:


Secondary: Yeah, these guys are pretty good. From Asante Samuel's pick to DRC's blocked field goal to Nnamdi covering like glue and drawing a penalty, is there nothing they can't do?

Special Teams: Two fumble recoveries on punts and a blocked field goal, their second of the preseason, means Bobby April has plenty to smile about tonight.

Running backs: This group is stacked. With LeSean McCoy catching everything in sight, Ronnie Brown looking like the best backup in the league and Dion Lewis looking like a dynamic threat, the Eagles have a ton of weapons in the backfield. Heck, even the quarterbacks are good running backs on this team.

Kurt Coleman: A great game and a big hit mean he could be targeted to start at safety in Week 1.


The offensive line: Rookies Danny Watkins and Jason Kelce were a nightmare from the start, letting the Browns D-line have free shots at Michael Vick. They shaped up as the game went on but the Eagles, and Vick specifically, will be in serious trouble if they don't improve quickly. I think its time to give Jamaal Jackson his job back.

Wide Receivers: The running game was working and so were the dump-offs to McCoy so the receivers were a complete non-entity tonight, with none picking up more than 2 catches. This group really just needs to get healthy and the line needs to give Vick more time to look downfield.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Contreras officially done for the season

Scratch Jose Contreras off the list of possible bullpen options for the Phillies. Contreras, who hasn't pitched since June 19th, had a setback as he was attempting a comeback and will need surgery on his elbow and will miss the rest of the season. It will be exploratory surgery to determine what is actually wrong with the elbow so the extent of the injury isn't known at this time.

Contreras is under contract for next season so getting the 39 year old healthy for spring training next season is the top priority. With Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo stepping up this season, losing the Big Truck isn't a huge blow though it would have been nice to have him as a late game option. Considering Brad Lidge has looked cooked recently, the Phillies might be a little thin in the bullpen going into the postseason. Good thing the entire starting rotation can go the distance any time they take the hill.

Cole Hamels to the DL but will start Monday

In your daily Phillies injury news, Cole Hamels has been placed on the disabled list due to his shoulder issues. While that would normally be reason to panic, the move is retroactive to August 13th and the Phils have already announced that Hamels will start next Monday against the Reds. It sounds like this is just a precautionary move that will allow Hamels even more rest and give the Phillies a roster spot.

Pete Orr was called up to replace Hamels on the roster. With Raul Ibanez dealing with groin issues, Orr will be a useful bench piece but shouldn't get any starts.

So far, despite there being a number of injured Phillies, there is no reason to worry. None of the injuries sound serious and only Placido Polanco seems to be having lingering issues. Keep your fingers crossed but the Phillies seem to be in good health coming down the stretch.

Monday, August 22, 2011

As Polanco returns, Rollins exits to the DL

It looks like we will have to wait a little longer to see the Phillies lineup back at full strength. As expected, the Phillies have activated Placido Polanco from the disabled list and put him back into the lineup tonight. He will take the place of Jimmy Rollins, who is now on the DL with a mild groin strain.

The injury to Rollins doesn't sound serious so there really is no reason to panic. While it would be nice for the team to be back at full strength right now, there is still plenty of time until the playoffs. Giving Rollins a few weeks off will in no way hinder the Phillies playoff chances and it will help him be rested and ready come October. The same goes for Polanco who needs to do his best to keep his balky back from acting up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The positives and negatives from the Eagles preseason game against the Steelers

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the Eagles first teamers seemed to do everything right as they worked over the Ravens in limited work. This week, the Steelers dominated on both sides of the ball from the start, stomping the Eagles, 24-14. Here are some of the positives and negatives that I noticed from the Eagles second preseason game:


LeSean McCoy: The lone bright spot of the first team offense, McCoy picked up 37 total yards on 5 touches. Shady looked to be in regular season form as gashed the Steelers defense. Maybe the Eagles will run the ball more this year? Yeah, maybe not.

Dion Lewis: He had the one big play for the Eagles offense, picking up 40 yards on a catch and run. He almost made up for his earlier fumble with how good he looked on the play.

Mike Kafka: Andy Reid really has a magic touch when it comes to developing quarterbacks. Kafka was easily the best quarterback for the Eagles tonight, slicing up the Steelers 4th defense by completing 14 of 19 passes for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will make some great trade bait down the road.

Vick's tackle of Polamalu: After Troy Polamalu picked him off, Michael Vick made a solid tackle to stop him from returning it for a pick six. If that sounds like a reach for a positive because very little went right for the Eagles, that's because it is.


First team defense: They were overaggressive from the start and Ben Roethlisberger took advantage, slicing them up for 125 yards and two touchdowns on a pair of drives. It's really hard to put much blame on the Eagles d-line as they got to Big Ben a handful of times but he was able to move around and buy himself enough time to find the weak spots in the Eagles secondary. No matter how many Pro Bowlers you have, no secondary in the league can cover everyone forever. There is still plenty of time for things to come together but there is too much talent in this group to accept a performance like that. Juan Castillo has work to do.

Linebackers: Surprise, the one part of the team they didn't bother to upgrade this offseason is the weak link of the defense! With all the great players around them, it might help if this group was occasionally in the right position to make a tackle. Casey Matthews doesn't look like a starting middle linebacker yet and I'm not sure two more weeks of preseason football will be enough to turn him into an effective player. Maybe the shoddy performance by this group will force the Eagles to address a position they don't seem to care about.

First team offense: Things didn't go much better for the offensive starters, who failed to come close to registering a point and looked completely out of sync. The Steelers defense is no joke but there is no bright side to an offense that punts and has three turnovers in their four possessions. Its hard to get too upset about the offense when there clearly is no game plan or strategy to be seen so all we can do is hope that once everyone is healthy and all of the weapons are accounted for, damage will be done.

Michael Vick: Rough, rough night for Vick, who continually threw into coverage and seemed to make bad decisions on every play. His goal early on was simply to get the ball to DeSean Jackson as much as possible but he had trouble finding anyone else open. It's only preseason but three picks is still unacceptable for a supposedly elite quarterback. At least he made that nice tackle on Troy Polamalu!

Asante Samuel: He got burned by a Roethlisberger fake that led to a Steelers touchdown. That won't help his trade value!

Eagles backup offense: While the defense seemed to stiffen at times in the second half, the second team offense was pretty abysmal. Sure, there were decent plays here and there, but an interception by Vince Young pretty much negated any positives. I think it all starts with the offensive line, which is completely in flux due to injuries and new signings.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jeremy Maclin cleared to return to football after Lymphoma scare

The mysterious absence of wideout Jeremy Maclin from Eagles camp has finally been explained. According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Maclin has finally been cleared to play football after months of tests for Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

Apparently Maclin had some weight and anemia issues a few months back and went in for a series of tests and has been waiting on the results, which came back negative. According to Glazer, Maclin had his lymph nodes removed a week ago and that has removed whatever virus he had from his body.

With all the mystery surrounding Maclin for the last few weeks, the fact that he is healthy and ready to return to the Eagles is great news. A cancer scare is obviously a big deal but it sounds like he is out of the woods and ready to return to his normal life. The virus he had may have sapped him of his strength so don't count him being ready to play immediately upon his return to practice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Phillies place Polanco on DL, call up Schwimer

With his sports hernia still bothering him, the Phillies had no choice but to place Placido Polanco on the disabled list today. While losing a starting player is never good news, Polanco has decided not to have season-ending surgery on the hernia and will instead play through the pain and have the surgery in the offseason. Since he hasn't played since August 6th, Polanco will be eligible to get off the DL in just a few days if he feels healthy enough.

Taking Polanco's place on the roster is pitcher Michael Schwimer, who will be getting his first taste of the big leagues. Schwimer is a 25 year old righty reliever who has put up some great numbers at Lehigh this season, posting a 1.88 ERA, 1.075 WHIP while going 9-1. I wouldn't expect him to earn his way onto the postseason roster or anything but it will be interesting to see what this big kid (6 foot 8, 240 pounds) can do in the Show.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Phillies to sign Jack Cust, potential bench bat

According to Todd Zolecki, the Phillies are going to sign DH/OF Jack Cust to a minor league deal. Cust, a 10 year journeyman who has played for 6 different teams, is a big lefty bat that can hit homers and draw walks. While he has never hit for average in his career, strikes out too much and doesn't have a position on the field, he is the perfect pinch hitter in a close game against a right handed pitcher.

Consider Cust the 2011 version of Matt Stairs. The Phillies will certainly continue to scour the league for other options to use off the bench in the postseason but Cust might be the perfect fit. If he even hits one home run in a pinch hit situation in October, Cust will be worth every penny.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The positives and negatives from the Eagles first preseason game

Eagles football is back! With one preseason game in the books, the Eagles are undefeated, squeaking by the Ravens 13-6. Wins and losses are meaningless in preseason but the Eagles certainly looked like the better team when the starters were on the field. Here are some of the positives and negatives that I noticed from the Eagles first preseason game:


First team offense: Nothing to complain about for the first team as they drove right down the field for a touchdown on their only drive. Michael Vick was solid, completing 4 of 6 passes to the backup receiving group of Jason Avant, Chad Hall and Riley Cooper. I would have liked to see them run the ball more with LeSean McCoy but we all know that isn't how the Eagles offense works.

First team defense: The Ravens did move the ball on the Eagles first team defense but they still looked great. We got our first look at the defensive line rotation, which is crazy deep, and the secondary had the Ravens receivers covered for the most part. The linebackers are fairly weak but the combination of a strong pass rush and a lockdown secondary should make the Eagles an elite defense.

Chad Hall: He took advantage of the extra playing time with the starting wideouts sitting, catching 5 balls for 82 yards. With the signing of Steve Smith, Hall will have a tough time making the team but more nights like this one will force the Birds to keep him.

Riley Cooper: Catch of the game for Cooper, who made a nice grab on the opening drive. He might get lost in the shuffle at wideout this year but Cooper can play and will make the occasional big catch this season.

Darryl Tapp: Two sacks on the night for Tapp, who should be a great contributor in the defensive line rotation. He will have one job this season: get the quarterback. He should do just fine.

Alex Henery: With the David Akers era over, its important that Henery is successful early on. He was perfect tonight, hitting a pair of field goals, and also showed off a strong leg on kickoffs. Can't ask for anything more than that.


Playing time for the first team: Its still early but I'd like to have seen more out of the first team offense and defense than just one drive. All of the free agents and rookies need more than a handful of plays to gel together, especially the offensive line. I know, its only the first preseason game, there is still plenty of time.

Brent Celek: Even though he had a touchdown, Celek still had a drop on a play that was negated due to a Ravens penalty. If Celek is going to have more drop problems this season the Eagles better start thinking about alternative plans at tight end. I'm not sure Clay Harbor or Donald Lee is the answer, though Lee had a couple of nice catches.

Austin Howard: The Ravens had only one sack in the game and Howard was burned on the play as well as on a few others. Howard probably isn't in jeopardy of losing his backup LT spot but he will need to step it up in the next game.

Kurt Coleman: Not a great day for a guy that is fighting for a starting spot. While rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett had a nice interception, Coleman got burned on two big plays early on. It will only be a matter of time before Jarrett leaps over him on the depth chart.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eagles sign former Giants WR Steve Smith

What, you thought the Eagles were done signing free agents? The Eagles have signed yet another veteran to a one year contract, scooping up former Giants wideout Steve Smith. Smith is recovering from microfracture surgery and likely won't be ready to play at the start of the season.

Smith had an exceptional 2009 season with the Giants, making 107 catches for 1220 yards and 7 touchdowns. His 2010 season was cut short due injuries but he still managed 48 catches in the 9 games he played. When healthy, he is a possession receiver known for making tough catches over the middle.

If Smith isn't ready to go at the start of the season, look for the Eagles to stash him on the PUP list until midway through the season. While I'm not confident he will ever be fully healthy this season, this is still a solid, no-risk signing by the Eagles. If Smith gets healthy, he will be yet another target for Michael Vick; if he doesn't work out, he can easily be cut.

Projecting the 2011 Eagles 53 man roster, Ver. 1.0

With the Eagles first preseason game coming tomorrow, its time to take a closer look at how their roster will shape up. From the incredible number of free agent signings and all of the rookies brought into camp, there is quite a bit of turnover for a team that won their division last year.

This is my first attempt at predicting what the Eagles 53 man roster will look like for the first regular season game of the 2011 season. I'll update it every week or so as the Eagles give us a clearer picture of what they plan to do with the depth chart. Below the roster list I have also listed several players who are on the bubble and I give reasons why they might not make the team. Feel free to help me out, and as this is my first pass at predicting the roster this season, let me know if I'm leaving anyone off or if you agree or disagree with my choices.


QB(3): Michael Vick, Vince Young, Mike Kafka

RB(3): LeSean McCoy, Ronnie Brown, Dion Lewis

FB (1): Owen Schmitt

WR(5): DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Johnnie Lee Higgins

TE(3): Brent Celek, Clay Harbor, Donald Lee

LT(2): Jason Peters, Austin Howard

LG(2): Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis

C(2): Jamaal Jackson, Jason Kelce

RG(2): Danny Watkins, Mike McGlynn

RT(2): Ryan Harris, Winston Justice

DE(5): Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Juqua Parker, Darryl Tapp, Phillip Hunt

DT(5): Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Antonio Dixon, Trevor Laws, Anthony Hargrove

LB(5): Moise Fokou, Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Akeem Jordan

CB(6): Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Joselio Hanson, Trevard Lindley, Curtis Marsh

FS(2): Kurt Coleman, Jaiquawn Jarrett

SS(2): Nate Allen, Jarrad Page

Special Teams:
K(1): Alex Henery

P(1): Chas Henry

LS(1): Jon Dorenbos

Could start season on injured reserve/PUP: Mike Patterson, Brandon Graham, Winston Justice, Victor Abiamiri, Marlin Jackson, Steve Smith
Both Jackson and Abiamiri had surgery today so their seasons are certainly in jeopardy. It might be time for the Eagles to finally just dump Abiamiri and move on. Graham and Justice are both currently on the PUP list though Justice should be healthy in another week or two. Graham will almost certainly miss the first several weeks of the season so I didn't bother to include him with the rest of the DE's. Newly signed WR Steve Smith will need time to get healthy before the Eagles activate him.

Could be traded: Winston Justice, Juqua Parker
Ryan Harris looks ready to take the right tackle spot which makes Justice expendable. The Eagles won't simply cut him so look for a trade. With the Babin signing, Parker also seems pretty expendable though the Graham injury could allow him to stick around.

Players on the bubble:
RB: Graig Cooper, Eldra Buckley
The signing of Ronnie Brown tightens things up at running back and almost certainly squeezes Buckley out. The Eagles could still decide to keep Buckley because he is strong on special teams. The third running back spot will come down to Dion Lewis vs. Cooper with the loser going to the practice squad. Lewis has to be given the edge simply because he was drafted while Cooper is a rookie free agent.

WR: Chad Hall, Sinorice Moss
With the signing of Steve Smith and with Higgins penciled in to return kicks, Moss and Hall can only hope the Eagles decide to keep 6 receivers. Moss is a training camp wonder but it will take something special for him to be kept.

OL: King Dunlap, Fenuki Tupou, Julian Vandervelde, Dallas Reynolds, A.Q. Shipley
The biggest question for the offensive line is whether the Eagles keep Winston Justice, who appears to have lost his starting job to Ryan Harris. I would bet the Eagles trade Justice and then keep either Dunlap or Tupou.

DE: Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
The final defensive end spot comes down to Te'o-Nesheim vs. Hunt. I'll give Hunt the edge for now but I can see the Eagles keeping either one or perhaps figuring out a way to keep both.

DT: Cedric Thornton, Derek Landri
The Patterson situation could open things up for another DT though the Eagles already have plenty of depth without Landri or Thornton.

LB: Brian Rolle, Greg Lloyd
Expect these two draft picks to end up on the practice squad. I still think the Eagles grab a linebacker once other teams start cutting players, making it almost impossible for these two to make the team.

DB: Colt Anderson, Brandon Hughes, Jorrick Calvin
Barring an Asante Samuel trade, I like the Eagles to keep 6 CB's, meaning they have no need to keep Hughes or Calvin. The drafting of Jarrett and the return of Nate Allen make Anderson expendable, though he is valuable on special teams.

That's the team as I see it. Did I leave anyone off? Who needs to be cut? Discuss in the comments section.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shane Victorino suspended 3 games but no Giants suspended for brawl

As expected, MLB has announced that Shane Victorino has been suspended for three games for his role in the altercation with the Giants on Friday night. What wasn't expected, however, was that no Giants were suspended after Ramon Ramirez nailed Victorino in the back to start the bench-clearing incident. Victorino has appealed the suspension and will continue to play until it is resolved.

I understand why Victorino was suspended, though I could argue that he doesn't deserve three games. Victorino did play his part in the incident, taking a step towards the pitcher and then repeatedly trying to jump into the fray. What boggles the mind, however, is how the Giants get off without any suspensions. Not only should Ramirez get a few games for starting everything by throwing at Victorino but Eli Whiteside deserves a few games for hopping around like an idiot and tackling Placido Polanco to start the brawling. Instead, both Ramirez and Whiteside were simply fined.

In the end, it isn't worth getting too upset about. Yes, the Giants got off easier than they should have but Victorino got pretty much what he deserved. I'm sure the Phillies won't be happy with this news so hopefully they will look to take their revenge against the Giants by beating them on the scoreboard in the playoffs.

Click here to watch the brawl.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

DeSean Jackson to report to Eagles Monday

With the threat of losing a year of free agency if he doesn't show up at training camp by Tuesday, is reporting that DeSean Jackson will be re-joining the Eagles this Monday. Jackson still wants a new contract but the Eagles have refused to discuss it with him until he shows up at Lehigh.

It's only a matter of time before Jackson gets the contract he is after and the Eagles know it. With the Eagles taking the stance that they won't discuss money with Jackson until he comes to camp, I'm surprised it took him this long to show up. You would think that the sooner he gets to Lehigh, the sooner he gets paid. I guess DeSean was trying to prove a point though I'm not sure it really gained him any leverage in negotiations.

FIGHT! Phillies and Giants throw down (video)

UPDATE: Link below is down. Click here to see the brawl.

It's safe to say these two teams don't like each other. On Friday night, Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez beaned Shane Victorino in the back and all hell broke loose as both teams cleared the benches. Giants catcher Eli Whitside should get plenty of the blame for turning a staring contest into a brawl after he tackled Placido Polanco. How much fun would another playoff showdown between these two teams be?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eagles Patterson diagnosed with brain AVM

The diagnosis is in on Eagles DT Mike Patterson, who collapsed before practice yesterday: he has a serious condition known as brain AVM that may require surgery or radiation to treat.

Brain AVM is a tangle of arteries and veins in the brain and can cause seizures, headaches and bleeding on the brain. Patterson does not have any bleeding on the brain at this time so the hope is that the doctors caught it early.

While the condition sounds scary, the fact that he had the seizure is actually a good thing. Without the seizure, the AVM would never have been diagnosed. Now Patterson can get all the treatment he needs and hopefully live a long, healthy life.

Obviously, at this time, there is no word on whether he can play football again, not that that even matters right now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eagles add 2 more free agent defensive linemen

What, you thought the Eagles were going to go a whole day without signing a free agent? After Mike Patterson left practice with a seizure, the Eagles found themselves short on defensive linemen so they went ahead and signed two veterans, DT Derek Landri and DT/E Anthony Hargrove, to one year contracts.

The more veteran of the two is Hargrove, who played for the Saints last season and has spent time with the Rams and Bills in his 6 year NFL career. He has 16.5 sacks and can play anywhere along the line but hasn't been a starter for several years. Hargrove has had some issues with the substance abuse policy and has been suspended twice but he could be a solid backup.

Landri is younger and could make a bigger impact with the Birds. He started all 16 games last season with the Panthers and picked up 3 sacks. The 4 year veteran also previously played for the Jaguars and could work his way into the defensive line rotation.

The Eagles continue to take the free agent market by storm, snapping up depth at all positions. While they could have very easily signed a couple of free agent rookies to come in and compete, the Eagles are turning to veterans who are looking for a competitive team in need. There is no guarantee that Hargrove or Landri will make the team but they will be given every opportunity to earn a spot.

See you tomorrow with the next round of Eagles signings!

Eagles DT Mike Patterson is stable after morning collapse

Scary moment out of Lehigh this morning as Eagles DT Mike Patterson had convulsions, collapsed and was sent to the hospital on a stretcher. The early word from the Eagles is that Patterson is alert and in stable condition at the hospital. It sounds like he was dehydrated though he is still going through tests.

Training camp collapses are always a scary thing as big bodies don't mix well with heat. Patterson collapsed before the drills even started so his body clearly wasn't ready for the warm weather. I'll update as more news comes out but, thank goodness, it sounds like Patterson is going to be ok.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Eagles signings: S Jarrad Page joins the Birds

At this rate, the Eagles are going to sign every free agent in the NFL. On Tuesday evening, the Eagles announced the signing of safety Jarrad Page to a one year deal. Page is a former Chief and Patriot and has started 40 games in his NFL career.

Signing Page isn't an earth-shattering move but it could be a very good one. With the Eagles trusting their safety positions to youngsters like Nate Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Kurt Coleman, Page will provide great depth and will get a chance to earn a starting spot. Page has size, is a big hitter and has good hands as evidenced by his 12 career interceptions. He has had some injury issues but Page has a ton of experience and could play a big role in an inexperienced safety group. With this signing, look for Marlin Jackson to be shown the door soon.

The Eagles have to be just about done with their offseason moves. Barring a trade or a linebacker signing, there isn't much else the front office can do to improve the team. Not only have solid starters been added at every position but the front office also made sure there was plenty of depth to go around. Now we just have to see how this team comes together.

Eagles stay busy, sign T Ryan Harris

There is no rest for the Eagles front office this offseason. After nabbing backup running back Ronnie Brown earlier today, the Eagles have snapped up some offensive line help, signing former Broncos tackle Ryan Harris to a one year contract.

Harris is a 4 year NFL veteran who has started 34 games in his career. At just 26, he is considered one of the best young right tackles in the game and could easily beat out Winston Justice for the starting spot this year. He is known as an athletic lineman though he isn't the biggest guy. At the very least, Harris provides flexibility and adds depth to a group that badly needs it.

Another great signing by the Eagles. This entire offseason, the Birds have quickly identified their needs and gotten the best available talent to fill in the gaps. If the Super Bowl was given out in August, the Eagles would be raising the trophy right now.

Eagles sign RB Ronnie Brown

The Eagles are killing this free agency thing. Needing a backup running back, the Eagles have signed former Dolphin Ronnie Brown to a one year deal. Though Brown is a step or two slower than he was in his prime, he does have a thousand yard season under his belt and is a solid pass-catching back.

Brown should be an excellent backup for LeSean McCoy. The 6 year veteran fits the Eagles mode of a dual threat out of the backfield and he will be a contributor on third down. While his yards per carry dipped below 4 last season, Brown will thrive in a limited role. Should McCoy go down with an injury, Brown is capable of carrying the load for a few weeks. Brown also has some experience in the Wildcat so don't be surprised if the Eagles pull out that trick sometime this season.

The Eagles have addressed just about every hole in their roster with a quality player. All that is left is some insurance at linebacker but the Eagles might not view that as a priority. I personally wouldn't call them a "dream team" but, on paper, this is the best Eagles team ever assembled.

Nnamdi Asomugha on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated has made it a regular habit to feature Philly sports athletes. The latest is the Eagles big free agent acquisition, Nnamdi Asomugha. Looks like this issue will have plenty on the Eagles free agency bonanza.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Eagles sign first round pick Danny Watkins

After missing the first five days of training camp, first round pick Danny Watkins finally signed a contract with the Eagles, agreeing to a 4 year deal worth close to 8 million dollars. The missed time by Watkins could be critical as he has to quickly learn the offense if he wants to be the starting right guard in Week One. Given his limited playing experience, asking him to be a starter in the NFL right away might have been a stretch even with a full offseason.

The Eagles have now agreed to terms with all of their first round picks. Here is a complete list of Eagles draft picks and their contract status:

Danny Watkins, G: 4 years, 7.9 million, unknown signing bonus
Jaiquawn Jarrett, S: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus
Curtis Marsh, CB: 4 years, 2.68 million, $543,000 signing bonus
Casey Matthews, LB: 4 years, 2.47 million, $434,000 signing bonus
Alex Henery, K: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus
Dion Lewis, RB: 4 years, 2.14 million, $188,000 signing bonus
Julian Vandervelde, OL: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus
Jason Kelce, OL: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus
Brian Rolle, LB: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus
Greg Lloyd, LB: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus
Stanley Havill, RB: 4 years, unknown salary, unknown signing bonus

I'll update this list as more information about their salaries are released.