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The Long Knives

The Long Knives

The Long Knives
It wasn’t quite as much fun perusing the Philly area papers to hear their post-mortems on the Eagles game and on their 6-10 season as it was reading the locals moan the fates of the Giants and Cowboys. The Philadelphia writers just didn’t seem to have the edge to their commentary that those in New York and Texas did. Still, they did seem to enjoy kicking them while they were down.

Columnist Mike Sielski had this to say in PhillyBurbs.com:
A few minutes after Andy Reid assured everyone that yes, the Eagles were in fact attempting to win football games over these last five weeks, the man who coined the most infamous phrase of 21st century Philadelphia sports bent down to talk to one of the architects of this 6-10 disaster.

"Good effort, Mike," Jeffrey Lurie said to Mike McMahon in the Lincoln Financial Field locker room. "Good stuff out there."

So this is what the "gold standard" has been reduced to: the Eagles' owner praising the effort of a backup quarterback of questionable competence. Lurie will have to live with those two words haunting him until the Eagles win the Super Bowl. That is his penance, and it might be a long one. After the Eagles' 31-20 loss to Washington on Sunday, now that this nightmare is over, never in Reid's seven seasons as head coach has a championship felt so far away for this franchise. Never has major change been so necessary
. . . . .

The Eagles - their players, their coaches, their front-office folks - have been quick to pin their problems this season on circumstance, on sports hernias and ankle sprains and blood clots and gunshots and Owens' cancerous effect on his teammates. But the Eagles were a mediocre team - 4-3, coming off a humiliating defeat in Denver - before the injuries started to accumulate, before the Owens situation exploded for the last time. They weren't going back to the Super Bowl, or the postseason, because, put simply, they didn't have the talent to get there. All the excuses were ex post facto.
And there’s this from Phil Sheridan on Philly.com:

As awful as he was, Owens is just one guy. Why were so many of his teammates influenced so much?

The unfortunate answer is that there are a bunch of players on this team who were all too eager to heap as much blame as possible for the Super Bowl loss on Donovan McNabb. A lot of them bought into Owens' slander campaign against the quarterback because it helped cover for their own disappointing performances in that game.

That's the ugly truth a lot of these players need to face during this off-season. And it's an ugly truth Reid is going to have to consider in deciding which players can be part of a winning culture in 2006 and which can't.

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

lucky-whitehead.jpg

Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

 

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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

RICHMOND— The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to. The key points on offense were published earlier; here’s a look at the defense.

Rebuilding the line

In a way, the situation on the D-line is similar to the one at wide receiver in that free agency and a release has created some holes. Chris Baker, the team’s best defensive lineman last year, left for Tampa Bay as a free agent and Ricky Jean Francois, arguably the second-best DL last year, was cut.

This is not all bad news. The wide receivers were one of the strengths of the team. The D-line was one of the weak spots so perhaps doing some major renovating there is just what the unit needs.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

The big move was one they really hadn’t planned on. Defensive end Jonathan Allen was projected by many to be a top-10 draft pick. But he slipped right into the Redskins’ lap with the 17th pick. He gets to work on Thursday and the sooner he can get up to NFL speed the better. They also signed two free agents in Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and they re-signed Ziggy Hood. As with Allen, their roles will be determined over the course of the next few weeks of practice and during the preseason games.

Nobody knows who is going to end up playing nose tackle. It could be McGee, Hood, former first-round pick Phil Taylor or one of the 2016 practice squad members, Joey Mbu or A. J. Francis. The fact that there is no obvious candidate is troubling and perhaps a sign that the line will show only marginal improvement this year.

Starters at ILB

The Redskins got an upgrade here late in free agency with the signing of Zach Brown, who was last seen playing in the Pro Bowl for the Bills. How he fits in with incumbent starters Will Compton and Mason Foster remains to be seen. All three are likely to earn substantial playing time and who plays in what situation will be sorted out here in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

Adjustments at safety

The Redskins could be set at safety for the next several seasons. Or they could be scrambling to make adjustments by midseason. Su’a Cravens moves to strong safety from outside linebacker. He may be a step slower than the ideal for his position and he needs to make up for it by being, as he likes to say, assignment perfect. The Redskins signed D. J. Swearinger, who has been a strong safety for most of his career, to play free safety.

When the dust settles, they could be the best safety tandem the Redskins have had in years. Or they could be showing the effects of trying to put square pegs into round holes.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.