These rivalry games with the Giants are usually monumental struggles...drag 'em out affairs which, through the various metric designs of skill and fate, the Eagles have won on the last six occasions...
So game-week Friday is a good day to reflect on the good fortune of having relatively healthy personnel... and to guess what the ultimate game plan will be for two teams who know each other oh so well.
Vick takes his reps at Thursday's practice...
Michael Vick, who suffered a mini-concussion in last Sunday's 35-31 loss at Atlanta, practiced with the first-team offense Thursday after being examined and cleared by an independent neurologist. Barring any setbacks in his recovery, he will be in the lineup against the Giants in the home opener at Lincoln Financial Field.
"He looked great out there today," Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said after practice Thursday. "Having him (on the field Sunday) gives us the best chance to win."
New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle, defensive end Justin Tuck and other Giants have claimed throughout the week that they want to play against Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on Sunday. "I want him to play," Rolle told the New York Daily News on Wednesday. "I don't want any excuses at the end of the day. I want Michael Vick. He's the best guy to give them a chance to win and I want to go against the best."
They likely will get their wish.
Vick's status for Sunday is still uncertain, however. Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder and coach Andy Reid both explained Wednesday that Vick's availability depends on how he feels as the week progresses. He will be examined again today to see how he reacted to practicing Thursday and will be checked out again on Friday, Saturday and even Sunday morning.
"Mike's going through the process and we'll just leave it at that," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said before practice Thursday. "He told me he wants to play. He has a great mentality and he looks great, so we'll see. It's not quite all in his hands."
If he plays against the Giants, he will be wearing a helmet with Kevlar padding, which is made by Unequaled Technologies, the company CEO told ESPN on Wednesday. Vick became a spokesman for the company last year when it designed a Kevlar vest for him after he suffered cracked rib cartilage. If he doesn't play or gets reinjured, the Eagles would turn to Mike Kafka or possibly Vince Young.
"(Vick's) our leader, so to have him back is definitely something big for us," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said Thursday after practice. "Not saying we're not confident in the other guys. We're always very confident. But Mike Vick is Mike Vick."
"I would love for him to play (on Sunday)," DE Justin Tuck told the New York Post earlier this week. "You always want to beat teams at their best. I think he brings out the best in us, too. Maybe we go down there and he's not in there and we think we got this thing won. If he's playing, we know we have to be on our toes."
Hmmmm. Maybe it's just my paranoia, but all these Giants "wanting" Vick to play sends up a little red flag to me that they know more about Vick's actual condition than we do... Maybe Vick's really not ready to play, and the Giants know it... On second thought, that's just stupid--- time to exhale--- I'm just acting out the kind of "conspiracy theory" that Philly fans are often famous for...
Meanwhile, it's no secret that the Giants intend to pound the rock against the center of the Eagles defense on Sunday. Amazingly, the "scout-talk" in New York this weekend is that the Eagles are "undersized" in the front seven on defense... and that the best way to beat the Eagles is to wear them down with the run...
Undersized? I just don't think that's an accurate scouting metric here... Besides, "quick" and "smart read" and "technique" beats big and slow anytime in any sport... but especially in the Eagles-Giants matchups...
Sure, Eagles DC Juan Castillo has reacted to some lapses in the run-defense plan by making changes to his linebacker corps, shuffling Jamar Chaney, Moise Fokou and Casey Matthews to new positions for Sunday's home opener against the New York Giants. Matthews, who struggled as the starting middle linebacker in the first two games, will play the weak side against the Giants. Fokou has been moved from the weak side to the strong side. Chaney will replace Matthews in the middle after starting two games at strongside.
"The positions are all interchangeable," Castillo said. "All three guys are young, fast and athletic linebackers. Where they play in a game depends on the situation. We just feel like they fit better in these positions against the Giants."
All of that movement at linebacker assignments for the Eagles seems dramatic--- but it possibly is an "exhale" moment for the team, too, as adjustments are being made not just for the Giants but for the long haul in 2011-12. The issues are not just about stopping the run, but about better pass coverage by the LB's assigned to tight end routes and other underneath patterns run by the opposition.
This week, the LB's and defensive line face a powerful pair of running backs in Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. "I'm down for whatever Juan and coach (Andy) Reid want to do," Chaney said Thursday. "No matter where I'm playing, my job is to make plays."
By moving Chaney back to the middle - he started three games there in place of injured Stewart Bradley last season as a rookie -Castillo also eases some of the pressure on Casey Matthews.
"I was basically a stand-up defensive end in college, so playing outside isn't that big of a change for me," Matthews said Thursday. "The biggest difference for me on the outside is pass coverage. I have a lot more space to work with now so hopefully the quarterback throws it to me."
Fokou, a three-year veteran, is moving back to an old position. He started 11 games last year at strong-side linebacker before Castillo moved him to the weak side this season. Now he's back at strong side, at least for one game. Depending on how the unit performs against the Giants, there could be more position switches or personnel changes ahead. "I could be at one position for the rest of the year or I could get moved again," Fokou said. "I think we're in an experimental phase."
A heck of a time for an experiment, but a good time to be grateful for the tremendous opportunity to unveil its success at home against the Giants... These games are "blood battles", as Andy Reid says... but also uniquely challenging for the players involved, who seem to relish playing each other and claiming Big Apple/Liberty Bell bragging rights after the last pad has popped and the final score is in.
We'll look at more of the individual matchups on Saturday... but for today, the first Friday in the Fall of 2011, let's take a deep breath and exhale in the relief that we have a real good football team that's getting ready to take the next step against the Giants at home... and enjoy the fact that NFL football came back to its senses and has this season rolling along... and that the Eagles (including Vick) are still in pretty good health going forward...
And by now you can tell, I have been enrolled in the Shackleford School of positive mental imagery...
OK, fine....I figure That Jughead 2 is gonna get his f'n face smashed in, and prolly through a couple o' picks...due to his high level of sukitude...so for my NEW SiTD, I'll go wiff Aso for a pick 6...same score...
i have rec'd approx 12 entries for the SiTD contest,...knuckleheads,..after seeing 666 posts today alone,..i consider that ....pathetic,..youse SUK!!!!,.you know who you are! things better perk up by high noon,..or I might put someone into next week!
Huddys SiTD: Eagles over Geenuts, 27-9. Eagles D comes out with a vengeance totalling 5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
Hairy palm...ATV is right,..remarkably similar to 2 other entries,..I will give you another shot,..which is virtually unprecedented. You have ATV,..who suks,..to thank.
Here is the two best reasons to be a Niners fan...http://bleacherreport.com/articles/855115-nfl-power-rankings-week-2-sexy-jersey-edition#/articles/855115-nfl-power-rankings-week-2-sexy-jersey-edition/page/9
@atvcar i count at least 4.
Been reading a couple of NYG blogs, and all them suckers are calling Steve Smith a traitor and a coward and such....so, for my SiTD I shall go wiff: Steve Smith, 6 catches, 125 yards, and the game winning TD....Eagles rout....31-10....
Bri... sometimes I cannot help trying to converse, not cater, with Sunny (although, it's ever hardly a convo as he turns tail most times)... which, for that I think I should be thanked... another words... YOU WELCOME... courtesy of a dolt : )
ATV,.....I love you and you are my brother. But,..only a dolt like you would cater to a dolt like Butts. Perk up,...you know better,.......brizini.
Sunny pot... I'd love to hear which teams fans "knew" beforehand that they're team was 100% going to win a SB??? Otherwise, EVERY teams fans have that "hope" to start off a season... some might be more realistic than others, but it's no more a "hope" for pats fans as it is of eagles fans.... no one has a crystal ball my friend. But keep "hoping" that you'll convince someone here of your merit...
why is it that I'm not even a lil bit surprised that this post generated zero response from sunny??? hmmmm wait, I know... it's my own fault.... cause Sunny already knows (not hopes, cause he's alread esplained it's pointless) that I'd call out one of his nonsense answers that doesn't actually answer the question...THEN afterwards, he'd just call me a pirahna for not letting him get away with said ridiculous explanation??? Welp... that was rather thoughtful and nice of Sunny to spare the bored that... YOU WELCOME right?
Spiff - you're close to 2000 pts, as you predicted!! When I come on here after the weekend, you'll have made it....
@sunnyo You torture everyone around you with your presence. I wish your stiff upper lip was buttoned to your bottom lip...
Your so called objectivity is more like hate and dislike for OUR Eagles. Nobody buys that you are a fan. You never have anything good to say or words of encouragement or excitement. If you are truly an Eags fan which I don't buy for a second, you have got to be the most scared, no faith having, puss of a fan I personally have ever known.
Spiffo - Calgary girls rock! I know a girl out that way....and a few years ago, when she was a little drunk, I convinced her to send me some risque pics of herself and a cucumber via her Blackberry. Wowsa! Who knew she'd come (cum?) through with flying colours!!
@HoserChris Wow! That's exactly how I met my wife!!
@Spiffo Uh oh....her first name doesn't start with the letter 'S' , does it....??
Already rationalizing and making excuses. Haha. How pitiful. You're lame. And do not excuse all the front office and coaching errors and oversights the giants made this year. Injuries suck, but they are a part of football but the giants have made way more mistakes than just that this year...
The weekend is upon us and I must take off (like Hosers do!). Enjoy the game on Sunday, Gents (and sunny....).
I have a feeling one of our newly alligned LBs will be getting his first INT of the season. GO EAGLES!!!!!
Sunny, good choice. Wave the white flag like the yellow belly you are. So you think the vaginas are already calling it a season? So the losses they suffer throughout the season don't really add up like the losses the Eagles might take? Mmmmhmm. I guess we'll see how the vaunted vaginas DLine and pass rush fare this year...
Consider this you herd of ignoramuses ; Giant fans know this season is more or less gone considering all the front line injuries.
Eagle fans had SB fantasy expectations for their "dream team". As Edger Allen Poe portrayed in a story. The torture of hope can be the cruelest torture of all. Well you guys can take a few prozac on top of all your other stimulants, and persevere.
@sunnyo Oh dear Sunny ....... the veneer is slipping!!!! Remind me which team you support again!!! Ahahahahaha
@donpardo .... you tart!!! LOL