NFC East: Wilbert Montgomery

Reid says Eagles starters will play

December, 26, 2011
If you're in a fantasy football league and still playing next week, it sounds as though you're okay to start LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick. Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid said he will play his starters -- and play them the whole game -- in Sunday's season finale against the Washington Redskins, according to the Philadelphia Daily News:
"If you're preparing to play, you got to prepare to play four quarters," Reid said.

McCoy suffered a sprained ankle in Saturday's loss to the Cowboys, and Vick is always an injury risk. With the Eagles having been eliminated from playoff contention, there had been some thought that the Eagles' star offensive players might get Week 17 off. But Reid, who likes the momentum his team has right now and likely sees some value in trying to make the 2011 line on his resume read 8-8 instead of 7-9, says otherwise.

McCoy has been one of the best running backs in the league this season. He has 1,309 rushing yards, which is 128 behind league leader Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars. He's also 203 yards shy of Wilbert Montgomery's team record for rushing yards in a single season, set in 1979. After Sunday's game, McCoy joked that Montgomery was "probably smiling," since McCoy's 35-yard performance likely left that record unattainable this season.

Incidentally, while I understand the long-term risks of playing McCoy and Vick in this game and I understand that the Vikings' Adrian Peterson tore his ACL in a "meaningless" game Saturday, I think Reid's making the right call here. But I'm old-fashioned, and I still think that as long as people are paying for the tickets, both teams should be trying as hard as they can to win the game.

Best Eagles Team Ever: 1960

June, 22, 2010
Notable players: LB Chuck Bednarik, WR Tommy McDonald, SE Pete Retzlaff, LB Maxie Baughan, QB Norm Van Brocklin, FB Ted Dean, DE Marion Campbell, CB Tom Brookshier

[+] EnlargeNorm Van Brocklin
David Boss/US PresswireNorm Van Brocklin quarterbacked the Eagles to the 1960 championship.
Analysis: Because we reward championships -- even when there weren’t a lot of other teams. The Eagles beat Vince Lombardi’s Packers in the championship game at Franklin Field, and that’s saying something. Bednarik remains an iconic part of the franchise’s history. In a win over the Giants in 1960, he famously knocked out Frank Gifford with a punishing blow. Gifford didn’t get up that day, and he also missed the following season.

Van Brocklin was at the end of the career, but he made his final season count by delivering bombs to McDonald and Retzlaff. McDonald, a Hall of Famer, averaged more than 20 yards per catch in 1960. He scored a 35-yard touchdown in the Eagles’ classic 17-13 win over the Packers. The Eagles won their other two titles in the late 1940s under coach Greasy Neale, but the ’60 team made more of an impact in the community. It’s only appropriate that the Eagles will break out the kelly green jerseys for the season opener against the Packers. Too bad they can’t play at Franklin Field (they supposedly looked into it).

Most impressive win: Definitely the title game against the Packers. In his second season as head coach of the Packers, Vince Lombardi had Jim Taylor, Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Max McGee, Jerry Kramer and Forrest Gregg on offense. This was a dynasty in the making, but the Eagles forced the Packers to wait a year before Green Bay won the NFL title in ’61.

Best player: McDonald was a burner, but I’ll go with Bednarik because he gave the team its identity. He played center and linebacker.

Honorable mention

2004: Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens formed one of the top combinations in the league, and Brian Westbrook was dangerous as a dual threat. This was a superb team -- as evidenced by its playoff run without the injured T.O.

1980: Eagles fans have fond memories of Wilbert Montgomery carving up the Cowboys in the NFC title game for 194 yards and a touchdown. Nose tackle Charlie Johnson helped anchor a dominating defense.

2002: Duce Staley ran for 1,000 yards and had 500 yards receiving. The Eagles were deep enough that they made it to the NFC title game during a season in which A.J. Feeley had to start five games because McNabb was injured. I don’t have to remind you what happened against Tampa Bay in the playoffs. By the way, the Eagles dominated the Bucs in a 20-10 win earlier that season.

Mort: Westbrook to visit Redskins

May, 11, 2010
Just when you thought Mike Shanahan had cornered the market on the best running backs from the 2006 season, ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that former Eagles great Brian Westbrook will visit Redskins Park on Wednesday. Apparently the Skins' new quarterback/scout, Donovan McNabb, has been campaigning on behalf of his old buddy.

As some of you have probably heard, the Redskins already have running backs Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker on the roster. It's difficult to imagine a four-man rotation, although it certainly would be something to behold. Perhaps this is simply a courtesy call to appease McNabb, who reportedly lobbied for the Skins to sign Terrell Owens earlier this offseason.

If that's the case, it's a pretty revealing statement about how much power McNabb is wielding at Redskins Park. There's also the chance that Shanahan didn't like what he saw from one of his former Pro Bowlers during two recent minicamps and decided he needed backup.

I recall AFC West blogger Bill Williamson telling me how much Shanahan loved veteran players. And now we're seeing that come to fruition in Washington. The Redskins and Eagles have already spiced up their rivalry with the McNabb trade. Signing Westbrook would be icing on the cake.

We'll keep you updated throughout the afternoon. I'm told that Wilbert Montgomery has been spotted in the Ashburn, Va., area this afternoon, but those reports are unconfirmed at this time.

Wednesday Beastlines: Peppers to Giants?

February, 10, 2010
Let's take a quick look at the headlines from around the division. Things are fairly quiet this week, but that could change in a hurry.





Tuesday Beastlines

November, 17, 2009
Let's take a quick look at the main story lines from around the division: