NFC East: Tom Heckert

Is Andy Reid's job on the line in 2011?

January, 30, 2011
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The Philadelphia Eagles have given an enormous amount of power to coach Andy Reid over the years. But there are signs that his job security is starting to fade.

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin has a Lombardi trophy, but he always seems a couple of losses from being on the chopping block. Meanwhile, Reid has overseen one of the winningest organizations in the league -- that hasn't won the Super Bowl. Jeff McLane of the Inquirer has taken account of everything that's happened since defensive coordinator Jim Johnson died in July '09, and there are definite signs that Reid's no longer a sure thing to remain head coach following the 2011 season.

McLane points to the end of Jeff Fisher's reign with the Titans and the fact that several of Reid's closest allies have been ushered (or allowed) out of the building:

"General manager Tom Heckert left to take the same position at Cleveland, conveniently under Reid friend and mentor Mike Holmgren," writes McLane. "Quarterback Donovan McNabb was traded to Washington -- then considered a much friendlier landing spot than other possible destinations. And [defensive coordinator Sean] McDermott was given a two-day head start and conveniently was hired for the same job by friend and former colleague, and new Panthers head coach, Ron Rivera.

"These were Reid's guys and while a case could be made that each deserved to go, the coach obviously had to be coaxed into cutting the cords."

Reid didn't sound like a man who was preparing to fire McDermott immediately after the season. He was defiant in his defense of McDermott, indicating the organization would stay the course. When the Eagles fired McDermott 72 hours later, it created the appearance that Reid might have been overruled by one of his colleagues. McLane cites a source saying that Reid had already made up his mind about firing McDermott when he delivered those strong words the day after the season. But I don't believe Reid is that good of an actor.

With Michael Vick likely under contract for one more season via the franchise tag, I think it's fair to say that more is at stake than ever for Reid. When he pushed in his chips and replaced Kevin Kolb with Vick early last season, he lost the benefit of a "transition" season.

Now it looks like his future is officially on the clock.

What's in Mosley's (holiday) Mailbag?

November, 27, 2010
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Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm preparing to board a flight bound for Chicago's O'Hare Airport because I hear it's a neat place to visit during the holidays. The Beast blog will be attending Sunday's Bears-Eagles game, but I'll also be observing the Redskins and Giants. Now, let's see if we have any leftovers in this week's special holiday Mailbag:

Drew in Chicago, what's on your mind? Love the blog and honestly, you are the reason I come to ESPN.com. We have seen Peyton Manning time and time again make average receivers into major contributors in the Colts' offense. If Eli is able to do the same with Manningham, Calhoun, Hagan and Clayton in the coming weeks, do you think he silences the naysayers that still consider him to be a slightly above average QB? Or will he never be able to shed this stereotype simply because of the greatness of his brother?

Mosley: Drew, thanks for the kind words. I think Eli will always carry the "overrated" tag, in part, because of his older brother's greatness. But I do think that putting this team on his back for a couple weeks with Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks out with injuries could earn him a little more respect. It's not like Peyton had to go through long stretches without Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne over the years, so I'm not sure it's fair to say he's done it with "average" receivers. The Colts do a nice job identifying young receivers who fit their system. Austin Collie might not be a star for the New York Giants, but I'm not sure that makes him "average." Peyton's already done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion. I don't think Eli's anywhere close to that right now, but I do know they have the same amount of Super Bowl rings.


Jason from Bryn Mawr, Pa., has a question about how we perceive this 3-8 Cowboys team: Ok, I know that this loss looked and felt different than losses earlier in season, but if we examine more closely, how much different is it really from the early season losses to Washington, Chicago, etc.? It obviously showed great character for the team to fight back after going down 17-0 early, but ill-timed penalties and another fluke turnover cost this team another game (just like Chicago and Washington).

Mosley: The Cowboys lost those games you referenced when we still thought they were playoff contenders. That obviously changed when the players quit on Wade Phillips and themselves en route to a 1-7 record. Even though Jason Garrett led the Cowboys to consecutive wins, I don't think a lot of folks felt great about their chances of beating one of the NFC's best teams Thursday. I think being able to fight back from a 17-0 deficit and eventually take the lead will serve this team well in the future. Garrett's raised everyone's expectations again in only three weeks as the interim head coach, and that's why he has to be considered the leading candidate for the job right now. I realize there were some mistakes in this game by the Cowboys, but none of them had to do with poor effort. That was the biggest indictment of these players before the man from Princeton took over.


Tom in Seattle has a question about Kevin Kolb's trade value: Just finished reading your thoughts on Kevin Kolb's off-season trade value and was a bit surprised by the relatively low value (2nd rounder) you think he has around the league. We're talking about a high second-round draft choice with four seasons of pro training in a complicated offense, along with a proven ability to excel (two NFC player of the week awards in six NFL starts). If you're a team in need of a starting quarterback, why use a first-rounder on an unproven commodity who will be paid franchise quarterback money?

Mosley: Tom, it's a fair question. I just know that the Eagles were reportedly seeking two first-rounders for Kolb at one point last season, and that seems a bit steep. There are a few general managers out there who love Kolb (Tom Heckert in Cleveland, for example), but that team already appears to have a fine young quarterback in Colt McCoy. I think Kolb's a sure-fire starter in the league, but the Eagles need to have someone reliable behind Vick because he takes more punishment than a lot of quarterbacks. As ESPN's Adam Schefter suggested recently, it's likely the Eagles will be content to retain both quarterbacks in 2011. They'll slap the franchise tag on Vick (roughly $15 million) and then keep Kolb as his backup. That is, unless a team such as the Bills or Vikings decide they can't live without him.


Andrew from New York has an issue with Chris Canty: Just to make sure, Chris Canty plays for the Giants defense, which has bragged about how many quarterbacks it has managed to injure this year, correct? The same one that had a stated goal of trying to knock Michael Vick out of the game? The first [Todd] Herremans play was certainly worthy of a call, but let's not blow this out of proportion -- or pretend that the Giants have clean hands.

Mosley: Canty doesn't say a lot to reporters, but he chose to call out Herremans last week for what he perceived to be "dirty" play. Herremans was able to respond and everyone moved on with their lives. I think every team wants to get some shots on the quarterback, and most of them don't feel bad when the quarterback is forced out of a game. I've never thought the Giants were a particularly dirty team, but I understand where you're coming from. I haven't really noticed New York's defenders doing anything out of the ordinary when they've knocked quarterbacks out of the game. In the game against the Bears, they simply pounded Jay Cutler into submission with repeated sacks and hits. Linebacker Michael Boley broke Tony Romo's collarbone, but it didn't happen on a particularly violent play. He drove Romo to the turf on a legal hit.


Stephen in Philadelphia has a question about Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree: Last year near the end of the season, Kevin Ogletree was starting to steal snaps from Roy Williams and actually made a few plays in those back to back games with Philly. I thought we had a future No. 2 WR on our hands. What happened with this guy?

Mosley: I think Ogletree simply fell out of favor with Jason Garrett. The Cowboys needed him to be a contributor on special teams, but he wasn't getting it done. And he didn't have the type of training camp that everyone was expecting. Ogletree appears to have a lot of talent, but he loses focus at times and will drop easy balls. If you're doing that during preseason games, you're probably not going to see the field in the regular-season. If he doesn't make a major move this offseason, he won't be on the roster in 2011.


John from Niwot, Colo., has a Washington question: The Redskins are an incredible 4-2 against teams with the same or better records than them this year, including a very close loss to the Colts. But they are 1-3 against teams with a worse record. In fact, the team the Redskins lost to have a combined 23-27 record while the teams they have beaten have a combined 29-21 record. What's up with that?

Mosley: John, you've done entirely too much research on this issue. The Redskins are trying to make the transition to a 3-4 defense on the fly and adjust to a new quarterback. They dominated the Eagles at the line of scrimmage in their first matchup and then were overwhelmed in Game 2 at FedEx. (And Vick was knocked out before halftime.) I think some of this is to be expected. This is a hard team to get a read on because they just don't have any consistency. They went to Tennessee and won an important game. But I could totally see them getting embarrassed at home against the Vikings on Sunday. This is about a .500 team -- and that's quite an improvement over last season.

The Big Question: Is Kolb ready?

March, 30, 2010
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NFC Big Question: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

If the Eagles are able to trade Donovan McNabb, what does the Kevin Kolb era look like?


Howard Smith/US PresswireEagles quarterback Kevin Kolb might be better suited for the West Coast offense than Donovan McNabb.
Everyone I talk to in the Eagles' organization suggests that former University of Houston star Kevin Kolb is ready for prime time. The Eagles former general manager Tom Heckert, who had a big say in drafting Kolb in the second round of the '07 draft, told me last week he thinks Kolb is absolutely ready to succeed at this level. That's why he thinks it would be nearly impossible for a team to land Kolb in a trade.

Kolb is already popular with his teammates. You may have noticed there hasn't been a huge outcry from the locker room to keep McNabb. I know that fullback Leonard Weaver recently voiced his support during a radio interview, but that's about it. There's a sense in the organization it's time for young stars such as DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek to start playing with the quarterback who's expected to hang around for the next six or seven seasons.

From the scouts I talk to across the league, Kolb's actually better suited for the West Coast offense than McNabb. He's been very accurate in the preseason and in his two regular-season starts. One NFC East scout told me Monday he thought a second-round pick was a little "rich" for Kolb in '07. The thought at that time was that Kolb may have been a "system" quarterback under coach Art Briles at Houston and his huge passing numbers wouldn't translate to the NFL game. But after a year of work in Reid's system, he convinced the coach he was indeed the real deal.

Kolb doesn't have McNabb's strength or mobility, but he does appear to have a more accurate arm. In an offense that's built on timing and intermediate routes, that's no small thing. Kolb's also been praised for an internal clock that allows him to get the ball away quickly. There are actually people in the organization who think Kolb gives the Eagles a better chance to win immediately.

I have too much respect for McNabb to agree with that statement, but I do think Kolb will help the Eagles win a lot of games in the coming years. His coaches and teammates love how calm he is in the huddle. The Stephenville, Texas, native rarely gets rattled and that's a good trait to have if you're going to play in Philly.

I think Kolb's ready to take over this team.

Why aren't teams coming after McNabb?

March, 15, 2010
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When the Cowboys recorded back-to-back wins over the Eagles last season (three in all), there was a school of thought (led by the Philadelphia Daily News' Rich Hofmann) that Donovan McNabb had taken his last snap in Philly. Eagles coach Andy Reid insisted that McNabb would be his quarterback in 2010, but then, what else did you expect him to say?

[+] EnlargeDonovan McNabb
Christopher Hanewinckel/US PresswireAt 33, Donovan McNabb appears to still have a number of productive seasons ahead of him.
But as the draft approaches, it's becoming more and more likely the Eagles will put off the Kevin Kolb era for at least one more season. Today in his award-winning (I assume) Monday Morning Quarterback column, Peter King wondered aloud why more quarterback-needy teams aren't lining up to trade for McNabb. And I couldn't agree more with Peter on the theory that trading a first-round pick for McNabb is actually safer than spending $35 million or so on a rookie quarterback such as Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen. Here's a portion of Peter's column:

"A playoff quarterback near his prime can be had for a premium price," writes King. "The fact that there's a real chance the Eagles could deal McNabb, and that McNabb is a half-year younger than Peyton Manning and apparently intends to play four or five more seasons, and also apparently has kicked the injury bug, leads me to this question: What in the world are all these quarterback-needy teams doing? Why aren't teams running to deal for McNabb?

"The prime object of this game in the personnel area is to get a quarterback who can win games and lead your team, and a good, proven one is out there. The Eagles aren't shopping him, but they surely are listening. I asked a coach with a quarterback need about McNabb, and the coach said because McNabb is on the last year of his contract and would probably need to be re-signed, and the fact that Philadelphia would want a high draft choice for him in a very good draft, and the fact that he doesn't have a lot of years left, all combine to make it a tough trade. Understood. Good factors all. But McNabb is 33.

"I have my own problems with McNabb. I don't consider him on the Manning-Brady-Brees plane. I think the Eagles should go with Kolb and make the best deal they can for McNabb this offseason, because, basically, it's Groundhog Day in Philadelphia. Every year's the same, and I don't see McNabb getting Philly over the hump and into another Super Bowl. So why would I want to pawn him off on another quarterback-needy team when I don't think he's a top-five quarterback? Simple. Because he's a top-10 or top-12 quarterback, and they're too hard to find to let one pass when he's just sitting there for the taking.

"McNabb would shore up any team's most important position for the next half-decade. Some team's going to take Jimmy Clausen between, say, the fourth and 20th pick in the first round, and whoever takes him is going to have no idea if he's the long-term solution at quarterback."

In the case of the Vikings, they can't make a play for McNabb until they hear from Brett Favre. But even if they're willing to offer a first-rounder for McNabb, the Eagles might not want to help out a team that competes in the same conference. But if teams such as the Bills or Rams (same conference but not a true threat) put a nice package together, surely the Eagles would be interested.

A scenario in which McNabb, Kolb and Michael Vick all return to the Eagles still seems unlikely despite what you're hearing on at least one network. Courage awards aside, Vick had no choice but to say all the right things in '09. But I could see him becoming extremely frustrated during another season of limited Wildcat reps. I don't think it makes any sense for the Eagles to bring him back. Do we think that Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will spend much of this offseason trying to develop an expanded Wildcat package?

Former Eagles general manager Tom Heckert is now with Cleveland, so I thought he might make a play for McNabb. But now the Browns have signed former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, a man coming off by far the worst season of his career. Perhaps a team will finally panic when we get closer to the draft and make a strong offer for McNabb.

But if not, it looks like the Eagles are prepared to go with a lame-duck quarterback in 2010. I think you're asking for problems with that approach, but maybe the Eagles are willing to take the risk. Meanwhile, Kolb continues to say all the right things publicly. Something tells me, though, that he won't be thrilled with yet another season on the sideline. Call it intuition after watching how much he enjoyed those two starts in '09.

One last note from King: Eagles quarterbacks coach James Urban and Mornhinweg were in the Bronx on Friday to watch Fordham quarterback John Skelton's pro day. Doesn't that seem like a little overkill for a late-round prospect from a school not known for being an NFL farm system? (apologies to Fordham grads Alex Wojciechowicz and Vince Lombardi of Seven Blocks of Granite fame).

Holmgren sounds off on McNabb

February, 25, 2010
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Most NFL general managers and head coaches try to be in and out of the Lucas Oil Field media room as quickly as possible, but Browns president Mike Holmgren is the exception. The former Packers and Seahawks coach appeared out of nowhere earlier this afternoon, wearing the largest Browns parka I've seen since Sam Rutigliano prowled the sidelines at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

Holmgren isn't scheduled to address reporters until Friday, so no one really knows why he was working the room. But knowing that he's one of the most interesting -- and patient -- guys in the NFL, I decided to pepper him with a few Donovan McNabb questions. Holmgren recently hired former Eagles general manager Tom Heckert to take over the same role in Cleveland. There's been speculation that the Browns might try to make a play for McNabb or even his backup, Kevin Kolb.

Of course, Holmgren can't field that type of question because it could be viewed as tampering. But I did ask him what he thought about the fact that a lot of Eagles fans are ready to see McNabb go.

"I'm astounded by that," Holmgren told me. "I'm like most of the folks around the league. With all that he's done for that team over the long haul...I guess part of it's that he hasn't been able to get over the hump [and win a Super Bowl]."

I asked Holmgren whether he thinks McNabb could play as long as Brett Favre or Kurt Warner, and he sort of hesitated.

"It's looking like, physically, he could play a long time," said Holmgren. "But he's a guy that when he loses the ability to move around, it'll probably be near the end."

I asked Holmgren whether Heckert was trying to convince him to start signing Eagles players.

"Heckert's driving me crazy," joked Holmgren.

It was obvious that Holmgren has a huge appreciation for McNabb's body of work. Does that mean he's willing to trade the No. 7 pick overall for McNabb? That seems pretty far-fetched to me. Heckert is a big fan of Kolb's but it's unlikely the Eagles would trade him at this point. Even if the Browns were willing to give up a second-round pick for Kolb, I still don't think the Eagles do it.

Bye bye Warner, hello McNabb?

January, 29, 2010
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One of the greatest quarterbacks of the past 20 years has left the building in Glendale, Ariz., and that could open the door for another veteran. With Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner announcing his retirement Friday, Matt Leinart could inherit the starting job. But that sounds like a faulty plan to me. The Cardinals have already gone down that road -- and it wasn't a pleasant trip.

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has a home in nearby Chandler, Ariz., and he has plenty of friends on the Cardinals roster. I know that head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff have immense respect for McNabb. It's hard to imagine the Eagles giving up McNabb for anything less than a first-round pick, but let's keep our eye on this situation.

If we're saying that Minnesota and Arizona are both in play for McNabb, I think he would prefer playing for the Cardinals. I realize the Vikings have more weapons, but playing in Glendale would much better for McNabb and his family -- especially if he received a new three-year contract.

I've been mentioning the Browns as a potential suitor because their new general manager Tom Heckert knows McNabb so well from his time with the Eagles. We'll keep you posted throughout the offseason.

Roseman's new gig with Eagles official

January, 29, 2010
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When former general manager Tom Heckert left the Eagles two weeks ago to take the same job with the Cleveland Browns, it was assumed that 34-year-old Howie Roseman would replace him. And this morning, the Eagles finally made it official. Roseman, who has been with the organization for 11 years, will meet with reporters at the club's practice facility today at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesHowie Roseman was officially announced as the new Eagles general manager Friday.



The former lawyer will be an interesting contrast to Heckert, who grew up around the game. Roseman signed on with the organization in 2000 as salary cap/staff counsel, according to a press release from the Eagles. He became director of football administration in 2003 and was promoted to vice president of football administration in 2006. In that role, Roseman evaluated players for the draft and also represented the team to the league on contract, salary cap and player personnel issues.

I've had a couple of agents tell me that Roseman is a shrewd and creative negotiator who will be a huge success in the league. But I've also talked to a couple of longtime NFC scouts who sort of chuckled when they heard the news of Roseman's promotion. They love it when a guy with a non-football background takes over a scouting department.

Of course, Andy Reid will continue to have final say on player personnel decisions. He's part of a dying breed of head coaches in the league who possess that much power, although Mike Shanahan appears to have a similar arrangement with the Redskins. The Eagles said that Roseman and Reid will work hand in hand while evaluating players.

Brian Seltzer, who does an excellent job covering the team for ESPN 950 in Philly, provided some good background information on the Heckert-Roseman relationship in a recent blog post: "Over the past three years, the landscape of the Eagles' personnel department has changed," wrote Seltzer. "In the 2008 off-season, the Birds fired then-vice president of player personnel Jason Licht, a close colleague of Heckert. Heckert gave Licht his first personnel gig back in 1995, when Heckert, serving as a Miami Dolphins scout, hired Licht to his staff. In 2003, Heckert managed to lure Licht away from the New England Patriots to the Eagles.

"Licht's termination was linked, in part, to a falling out with Howie Roseman, the Birds' vice president of football administration at the time. With Licht gone, Roseman would wind up replacing him, and has acted as Heckert's right hand man the last two years. While Heckert and Roseman's relationship is functional and productive (consider the talent procured in the past two drafts), the present dynamic is one that was forced upon Heckert. He wasn't the one who made the call to sever ties with Licht, his friend, or promote Roseman."

I don't think we'll see any huge changes in the Eagles' personnel department, but the dynamic between Reid and Roseman certainly bears watching.

Friday Beastlines

January, 22, 2010
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It's a good bet that your morning newspaper did not touch on issues involving all four teams from the NFC East. That's why I've checked every Web site in the known world to bring you the latest nuggets from the league's most popular division:

Cowboys
  • Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram thinks Jones sent Phillips a mixed message.
Eagles
Giants
  • Slim pickins' on the Giants today. I'll try to come up with something by the end of the day.
Redskins

Report: Eagles to name Roseman GM

January, 11, 2010
1/11/10
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The Eagles will promote Howie Roseman to general manager to replace the departing Tom Heckert, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Heckert is expected to be named the general manager for the Browns this week.

Heckert has been the Eagles' general manager since 2006, and he's well-liked within the scouting profession. In recent years, Eagles president Joe Banner has become a huge supporter of Roseman's, so this move doesn't come as a surprise. Roseman had been serving as vice president of player personnel. Heckert and Roseman were able to function together, but they have different approaches.

Heckert was outgoing and he loved getting to know the players and spending time with coaches. Roseman's a little more like Banner in that he will take more of a clinical approach to acquiring players. I know players such as tight end Brent Celek really appreciated the fact that Heckert fought for them when it came to contract extensions. This isn't a huge change because Andy Reid and Banner always had more power than Heckert, but it's something to monitor as the Eagles head into the offseason.

Celek vows not to complain about contract

December, 2, 2009
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For a third-year player out of Cincinnati who was drafted in the fifth round, $11 million in guaranteed money is pretty heady stuff. But if Eagles tight end Brent Celek continues on his current pace, this six-year, $33 million contract extension might look like the ultimate bargain in a few seasons.

The Eagles have had players with long-term deals complain in the past (see Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard), but Celek said Tuesday that he would never be one of those players.

"I'll tell you right now that I'm set and I'm happy with my deal," Celek said. "I can promise you that I won't be up here complaining about my deal [in a few years], because they put trust in me by signing me early and giving me financial security for the rest of my life. I owe it to them to play out my deal."

Now there's something you don't hear every day. I think it also helps that general manager Tom Heckert and Celek have a great relationship.

Report: Celek, Eagles agree to extension

December, 1, 2009
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Celek

Celek

The Eagles and tight end Brent Celek have agreed in principal to a six-year contract extension, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. Celek, in his third season out of Cincinnati, has 54 catches for 601 yards and five touchdowns this season. As L.J. Smith's career faded off the map in '08, Celek became a reliable target for quarterback Donovan McNabb during the Eagles' trip to the NFC title game.

Celek plays in the same conference as annual Pro Bowlers Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez, but he's making his own bid for a trip to Hawaii in '09. Ever since he arrived in Philly, he started watching film of Witten to see how he set up his routes. Celek has a knack for getting open against linebackers and safeties and he's done a nice job of running after the catch this season.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson gets a lot of attention because of his big-play ability, but Celek has become one of the most consistent players for the Eagles. I know he has a tremendous relationship with general manager Tom Heckert, so it's not a shock that the Eagles would try to get something done now.

I'll work on tracking down those contract numbers because that's what everyone's waiting to see. The Eagles will hold a 2 p.m. ET news conference to announce the extension.

Update: I was able to track down those contract numbers for you guys. It's a six-year, $33 million deal, with $11 million of it guaranteed.

Runyan spotted on Eagles' property

September, 10, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Runyan
Jon Runyan, one of the best offensive tackles in Eagles history, was back on campus Thursday to work out for coach Andy Reid, according to the Inquirer. Runyan worked out in front of Reid, offensive line coach Juan Castillo and general manager Tom Heckert, according to the report.

The Beast has a call in to Runyan to see how the workout went. It's unlikely the Eagles would sign Runyan before the season opener because his vested veteran status would require the club to guarantee his 2009 salary. I'm sure Reid wanted to see for himself whether Runyan is close to full strength after offseason microfracture surgery. Runyan is intent on playing this season -- no matter where he ends up.

Runyan worked out for the Chiefs earlier this week, but obviously he would prefer to return to his longtime team.

"I wouldn't have done the surgery and all this rehab if I wasn't going to play," Runyan told me via phone early last week. "I'm going to play somewhere."

Reid and Runyan have a great relationship, but the coach has been tight-lipped regarding his plans for Runyan.

Eagles: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Biggest surprise: I guess putting quarterback Michael Vick on the commissioner's special exemption list might qualify, but it might only be for a day or two. The Eagles kept A.J. Feeley on the 53-man roster, probably so they can keep trying to trade him. As long as Vick's on that exemption list, he can't practice with the Eagles. But they can take him off the list at any time. The Eagles are known for cutting ties with former draft picks rather quickly if they don't see steady progress. They've done that with cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu and defensive end Bryan Smith. Tom Heckert hinted that the Eagles might try to bring at least one of those players back on the practice squad.


I noticed that some folks had fullback Kyle Eckel and defensive tackle Dan Klecko projected to make the team. Eckel didn't help himself by whiffing on a blitz pickup in the final preseason game and Klecko was one of the reasons a Jets rookie running back ran wild. Biggest surprise may have been the fact that Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett both made the 53-man roster. The Eagles have seven wide receivers right now. But something could certainly change on that front. They're in the same boat as the Giants at wide receiver. I think the Eagles might downsize at receiver if they can find a third tight end they like.

No-brainers: There was no way to keep rookie Brandon Gibson and veteran defensive end Jason Babin off this team. Babin, a former first-round draft pick, performed so well that he received a restructured contract and Gibson simply made plays throughout camp. He outperformed first-round pick Jeremy Maclin. I think Danny Amendola is a fun player to watch, but he's NOT Wes Welker. He's not anywhere close to Welker, but he may be good enough to make the Eagles' practice squad. I think he could be a decent punt returner. Can't hold up as a receiver. The drop in the end zone against the Jets didn't help.

What's next? Well, we have to see how this quarterback situation plays out. I don't think a team's going to give up anything significant for Feeley at this point in his career. It wouldn't surprise me if Vick's back with the team by Wednesday. He's making too much progress right now to suddenly take him out of the locker room.

Thursday Beastlines

April, 16, 2009
4/16/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Cowboys

  • Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Cowboys fans have Tex Schramm to thank for all those national TV games.

Eagles

Giants

Redskins

  • David Elfin of the Washington Times has an interesting story about Randy Thomas' neck injury last season. I'd like some of our doctors to weigh in on this one.

Wednesday Beastlines

February, 18, 2009
2/18/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Cowboys

Eagles

Giants

Redskins

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