I had a feeling the Eagles would “platoon” punters when they brought in Mat McBriar this past summer for a tryout. It seems to be working out that way. And I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Chas Henry, either.
McBriar (age 33) is healthy again. So he would appear to be a stronger bet for the demands of the job along the lines of better hang-time and directional punting. Henry did okay, and he clearly was important as the holder in the FG unit. I’m sure the Eagles asked Henry to hang loose…he may be needed soon enough.
McBriar is an Australian and of course used to do damage to us as a Pro-Bowl punter for the Dallas Cowboys from 2004 to 2011. McBriar was known for booming the long ones, but more importantly he put the hang time hammer on ’em, and also was fond of controlling spin on the punts. He also knows the Aussie trick of getting that thing to turn end-over-end…
McBriar seems to be completely rehabbed from a nagging plant leg injury… Despite his big career average of 45.3 yards per punt, McBriar is adept at pinning opponents down deep in their own territory with non-returnable angle kicks…a skill the Eagles want to use to help showcase their improving defense.
Here’s Mat with his lovely wife Erin… How do them Aussies get all the pretty girls?
The Eagles also signed long snapper Kyle Nelson to the practice squad in the wake of the high-ankle sprain suffered by Jon Dorenbos. The roster casualty there was WR Jeremy Ebert.
I’ll have the BRI SUKS EGG FANCY FOOTBALL results for Week 3 for you after this short break…
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The FANCY FOOTBALL race tightened up a bit in Week 3… The Great JB-Sage-Lion has coached his team The Bri Slaps to a 3-0 start— JB’s best start ever in this league. Right behind him is Leo Pizzini’s Splunker Valley Skunk Apes at 2-0-1… Then there’s PPW’s guys, Spiffo’s Hoofers and Benny’s Beanstalks each at 2-1… Brozer’s Bri Boys hanging in at 1-1-1… and then a logjam of teams sharing 5th place at 1-2. Only Hairy Pianos’ HAHA is still winless at 0-3.
|Team BIG BONE(BONE)(1-2)T BONE||65|
|HUDROCKS HOE STABLES(hudE)(1-2)J Huston||156|
|Palm Feathers(Palm)(1-2)Palm Feathers||104|
|The Great PPW(PPW)(2-1)Reed Skinner||135|
|The Bri Slapper(Nads)(3-0)Jared Nixon||125|
|Jetpack Ninja Dinosaurs(JERK)(1-2)THE JERK||75|
|Bri’sFantasy Boys(BFBs)(1-1-1)Brozer Eight||92|
|Harold Harmonica(HAHA)(0-3)Rodney Vander Veer||82|
|Hoof Hearted Ice Melted(FFSX)(2-1)Spiffo Quantus||73|
|Splunker Valley Skunk Apes(SKAP)(2-0-1)leo pizzini||90|
|Evans Head Beanstalk (Bean)(2-1)Ben Williamson||100|
|Dirty n Stinkin Bums (ATV)(1-2)Chris R||155|
More Eagles updates to follow after a break….
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David Weinberg of The Atlantic City Press deserves a shout-out here… He just went totally off on the Current State of the Eagles…and it was a well-measured and coherent rant:
“At least once a season, the Philadelphia Eagles give a puzzling performance in which they fall well short of pregame expectations. Last year, they delivered a lackluster effort during an embarrassing 31-14 loss at Seattle. A 27-6 defeat to Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday wasn’t quite that bad but still produced a lot of frustration among the coaches and players.”
‘”Today was just one of those days for us,” Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson said Sunday. “We didn’t play Philadelphia Eagles football. Being on the road, playing a team with this (loud and rowdy) environment, and being behind early was just one of those tough things to overcome. Today was just one of those days where things weren’t working our way.”‘
“The lousy showing was surprising, considering the Eagles (2-1) had a shot to start a season 3-0 for the first time since 2004. Instead, the Cardinals accomplished the feat for the first time since 1974. As always, coach Andy Reid assumed responsibility for the team’s troubles. While he didn’t deserve all of the blame – Reid didn’t commit three turnovers and allow the Cardinals’ defense to punish quarterback Michael Vick – the team’s glaring lack of fire and inability to establish any offensive or defensive rhythm fell squarely on his shoulders.”
‘”All in all, we obviously need to do a better job,” Reid said Monday in quotes provided by the team. “I need to do a better job as the head football coach. It’s my responsibility if there are failures on both sides of the football. Getting a team prepared is very, very important, and I take full responsibility for that. We need to coach better, we need to prepare better, and we need to play better.” ‘
“Offensively, the Eagles’ talent-laden lineup failed to score a touchdown for the first time since the 2009 regular-season finale at Dallas (24-0), a span of 35 regular-season games. They only came close to reaching the end zone once, when Jackson was tackled at the 1-yard line late in the first half, but that possession ended in disaster when Vick fumbled on a hit by blitzing safety Kerry Rhodes and safety James Sanders returned it 93 yards for a Cards touchdown that gave them a 24-0 lead.”
“The Eagles were no better in the second half, twice settling for Alex Henery field goals. ‘”I wish I had the answers,” Vick said Sunday. “The only thing I know is we didn’t play our best and were nowhere near our potential.”
“Scoring touchdowns is tough when most offensive plays end with your quarterback on the ground.”
Pretty cool writing there, David Weinberg… nice. I wish I could have come up with that last line!
But despite the punishment Vick is taking and the mistakes he’s making, Reid said he has no plans to use rookie quarterback Nick Foles next Sunday night against the New York Giants. Foles will not get any reps with the first-team offense in practice this week, Reid said Monday. “Right now we’re with Michael and that’s what we’re doing,” Reid said. “We’ll evaluate as we go.”
Unless they find a way to better protect Vick, however, he may not be physically capable of staying on the field. A revamped offensive line had trouble handling the Cardinals’ pass rush, especially linebacker Daryl Washington. Washington collected two sacks, two tackles for loss and three hits on Vick. Part of the troubles could be attributed to center Dallas Reynolds and left tackle Demetress Bell, who were both starting for the first time this season in place of the injured Jason Kelce and King Dunlap, respectively.
“We’ve got to eliminate some of those hits on him,” Reid said. “That’s for sure. I’ll tell you he’s getting hit way too much. That part’s got to end. We’ve got to limit that.”
Defensively, the Eagles don’t have to make too many adjustments. Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, a former Eagle, played well, as did wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. But the Eagles’ defense still allowed 20 points. Their problem was a lack of momentum-changing big plays. The Eagles’ defense forced no turnovers and really didn’t rattle Kolb much.
They figure to be more motivated against the Giants, who are one of the Eagles’ biggest rivals. Former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins will be honored at halftime, which should generate the emotion that was lacking in the desert Sunday.
“I’d hate to say we came out flat in Arizona, but we definitely need to play better,” safety Nate Allen said Sunday. “You want to win every game, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.”
Extra points: Eagles long-snapper Jon Dorenbos suffered a high ankle sprain against the Cardinals. The Eagles may work out a long-snapper to sign in the event Dorenbos cannot play against the Giants. Otherwise, tight end Brent Celek would be the long-snapper. … Reid indicated Monday that he expects wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (hip contusion) to be back this week … Dunlap (strained hamstring) may not be ready. If not, Bell will start against the Giants.