Tag Archive for 'Carolina Panthers'

All eyes on Mark Sanchez as Philadelphia Eagles face Carolina Panthers

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As with any game, there are many important aspects of the Philadelphia Eagles on which to focus this Monday night. But who are we kidding: Tonight’s game against the Carolina Panthers is all about Mark Sanchez.

Every step he takes, every move he makes, we’ll be watching him. Every throw. Every decision. Can Sanchez ably lead the Birds for the six to eight weeks that Nick Foles is expected to be out with a broken collarbone? If so, is he the quarterback on which we should hitch our trailers for an even longer stretch of time? If Sanchez can avoid the turnovers that became an all-too prevalent part of Foles’ performance this season and turn in a series of consistent performances, the answer could be yes. But those are big “ifs”. Sanchez has his own history of turning the ball over to overcome. Since entering the league in 2009, the former USC quarterback has thrown for more interceptions (71) than touchdowns (70) in his career. Continue reading ‘All eyes on Mark Sanchez as Philadelphia Eagles face Carolina Panthers’

3 bright spots from Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers

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His name is Brown. That’s what they call him. Image via the Philadelphia Eagles.

The words are more difficult to come by with each loss. What more is there to say? The nightmare that is the 2012 season for the Philadelphia Eagles continues.

In a season with not much positivity, I can’t bear to write another somber account of yet another Eagles loss. At least not at the moment. There were a few bright spots from the Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers to highlight so let’s have a look.

1. They made it a game. This could be both a positive and a negative. We expected a Continue reading ‘3 bright spots from Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers’

Nnamdi Asomugha believes things will turn around for himself and the Philadelphia Eagles

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Fairly or unfairly, if there is one player who represents the underperformance of the 2011 and 2012 Philadelphia Eagles, it is Nnamdi Asomugha.

When the Birds landed the three-time Pro Bowl corner in the free agent spending spree that followed the NFL lockout in the summer of 2011, it seemed that the sky was the limit for the team. In hindsight, it’s hard to fault Vince Young for his “Dream Team” comment, particularly after they landed the most prized free agent of the year in corner Nnamdi Asomugha. In those early moments of a shortened training camp, it seemed that with the talent the Birds had locked up, the sky was the limit for the squad.

Or not. Asomugha, along with his team, struggled in 2011. Maybe he needed time to acclimate to a new system. Perhaps he wasn’t being utilized properly. Maybe things would get better when Philadelphia offloaded Asante Samuel.

After embracing Jeffrey Lurie’s notion that 8-8 wasn’t good enough, this offseason again generated new hope. Players like Asomugha were confident. They had a season of  Juan Castillo’s system under their belts. Unlike the previous offseason, there was time to work with their teammates in OTAs and minicamps and truly gel as a team. For real this time—THIS was going to be the year.

Until, once again, it wasn’t. In the middle of a season that is unbearably miserably, Asomugha still has failed to deliver. He has just one interception and has fallen so far in the eyes of his opponents that he’s not even seen as a threat. Teams now throw towards him and why not? They are having a great success doing so.  Opposing quarterbacks have a 110.4 QB rating when throwing in Asomugha’s direction so far this season, according to ProFootballFocus. He has just one interception.  This is not working out as anyone planned, including Asomugha.

Asomugha knows that he is being heavily criticized and deserves it.   He opened up to reporters on Friday to discuss that reality.

“Obviously, it hasn’t been as good as I wanted it to be. As far as team and individually, my expectations were so high, and then things just kind of just hit really quickly and it was like team-wise and player-wise, it was kind of like playing catch-up, trying to get it back on the right foot.

“So that part of it has been difficult. But I still keep that faith and believe that at some point the thing will turn, because the mindset is keep working hard, keep pushing and at some point, it’s going to turn. And that’s just what I believe.”

For Eagles players and coaches to continue to get on the field each and every week they have to believe that things will change. That they will improve. Otherwise, who would suit up to be humiliated by bad teams every week? Asomugha believes that things will turn around, but when will that be, exactly? And why has he struggled so much in in his career as a Philadelphia Eagle?

At least Asomugha knows how poorly an attempt at an explanation will be perceived these days. We are far beyond the point of needing words. All we will believe is improved play on the field.

“I think there’s a lot of things that go into it, but I think to say anything about that now would kind of be like making an excuse.”

“So my mind is focused on turning it around instead of why hasn’t it or what has been the issue. I don’t want to get into that and make it seem like there’s an excuse. You know?”

What Asomugha knows is the frustration of being a fan and seeing a player you expect to come up big fail to do so week after week. So, unlike some of his teammates, he’s not going to lash out at the Eagles fanbase. He understands where they’re coming from.

“As a fan I can look back to teams that I like and a player that I’ve liked  comes in and expecting it to just change, and it not working out and being upset about that,” he said. “I can’t now be that guy and look at them and say, ‘You can’t be upset that we haven’t won and I haven’t been Superman on the field’ even though that’s what has been expected of me.”

The Eagles will face many big questions at the end of the season, one of which will be whether or not to hang on to Nnamdi. He is set to earn $15 million in 2013 if he stays in Philly, $4 million of that guaranteed. And this is where he wants to be.

“I absolutely believe in the decision I have made and believe in this team.”

There are six more games in the season for us to see Asomugha make that turn he referred to. He is certainly not the only player on the team, or even the defense, who needs to improve dramatically so that this team has a of chance to win games. Will he be back next year? We’ll see. For now, let’s see whether Asomugha can help to neutralize the potent combination of Cam Newton throwing to Steve Smith against the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

The Philadelphia Eagles are awesome at firing the wrong people

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You’re Fired! Even though I am unclear as to the reason why…

A strange story out of the Novacare seems to point to a Philadelphia Eagles organization that, both on and off the field, simply doesn’t have a clue.

News of a firing by the Eagles broke overnight. If you’re wondering why there’s no hubbub over it, it’s because it was of someone who has nothing to do with the mess has unfolded on the field in the 2012 season. Or anyone you’ve even heard of. The team fired VP of Communications Rob Zeiger. Continue reading ‘The Philadelphia Eagles are awesome at firing the wrong people’

Andy Reid won’t quit on coaching the Philadelphia Eagles

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Image via USA Today

Andy Reid’s job as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles is safe at least through Monday night, per a report in the Daily News. And if you’re hoping that Reid will show mercy and throw himself on the sword of unemployment, you’re out of luck. It ain’t happening.

Reid was asked whether his own leadership has been rendered ineffective in trying to motivate his men. As we know with our Andy, he likes to evaluate everything. Including himself. Continue reading ‘Andy Reid won’t quit on coaching the Philadelphia Eagles’