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The Final 53: Breaking Down the Eagles' 2012 Roster Updated

The Final 53: Breaking Down the Eagles' 2012 Roster Updated

* Obviously the roster will be tinkered with many times throughout the year, this is merely the final 53 that will enter the regular season following cutdown day.

Quarterbacks: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards

Fate was cruel to Mike Kafka, who entered training camp as Vick's backup, only to find himself left off the roster entirely. Kafka's fractured left hand opened the door wide for Foles and Edwards, both of whom made the most of their opportunities.

Foles of course became the story of the summer, showing uncanny poise for a rookie while posting a stat line almost identical to that which won fellow first-year quarterback Russell Wilson the starting job in Seattle. Edwards demonstrated great command of the offense as well, but more than anything else, his experience may have been the biggest factor that trumped Kafka. With 33 NFL starts under his belt, Edwards apparently is the safer option if Foles isn't ready for number two duties after all.

Running Backs: LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk
Fullback: Stanley Havili

McCoy and Lewis were locks, and Havili's spot never seemed to be in jeopardy. In the end, both Brown and Polk had too much upside to cast either one out, so the Eagles go unconventional and keep five backs. Brown looks like such a fluid runner, big and powerful with excellent burst. Polk runs as hard as anybody we've seen come through here. Tons of potential in this backfield.

Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson

Jackson and Maclin reprise their roles in one of the league's most dangerous receiving duos, along with steady co-star Avant in the slot. There is some question as to whether Cooper will be back from a broken collarbone in time for Week 1, but he should be ready soon. For those wondering, while he is merely an okay receiver, Coop makes the squad more for his solid special teams play.

Johnson over sixth rounder Marvin McNutt may be something of a surprise, but only if you haven't been paying attention. McNutt showed absolutely nothing in preseason, catching one pass for 13 yards in four games. The undrafted Johnson made one big play after another, hauling in 12 receptions for 195 yards and a score. Believe it or not, he could have an immediate impact -- if not in the passing game, then as the club's punt returner. McNutt is a candidate for the practice squad.

Tight Ends: Brent Celek, Clay Harbor

Little of note here. Celek has Pro-Bowl potential, and after the Eagles flirted with the idea of bringing in a veteran to compete, Harbor wound up having a strong summer.

Offensive Line: King Dunlap, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Danny Watkins, Todd Herremans
Depth: Demetress Bell, Dennis Kelly, Dallas Reynolds, Julian Vandervelde, Nathan Menkin

We've known Dunlap would start ahead of Bell at left tackle for some time now. Bell looked shaky in action, and there was some thinking he could even miss the cut. With a guaranteed salary this season, and no better option in play, the Eagles will be forced to turn to him in an emergency.

The rest of the line is the same as last year, and figures to be improved with continuity and experience. Depth-wise, fifth-round pick Dennis Kelly appears to be the primary backup to Herremans, and Dallas Reynolds -- who has been trying to catch on in the NFL since he first came to the Eagles undrafted in 2009 -- finally lands as a number-two at guard and center. Julian Vandervelde was also on the roster initially, but a short time later released to make room for another safety. He may land on the PS. Update: the team claimed rookie Nathan Menkin off of waivers on Saturday.

Defensive End: Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Brandon Graham, Philip Hunt, Darryl Tapp, Vinny Curry
Defensive Tackle: Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton

Your eyes are not fooling you. The front office convinced Tapp to take a pay cut, and the Eagles will keep all six of their defensive ends. Not sure how you get six of them on to the field, although Curry won't necessarily command a ton of snaps in his first year. As expected, Cole and Babin will carry the load, with Hunt and Graham serving as their primary relief.

Antonio Dixon was not so lucky, though he'll undoubtedly catch on with another team, likely someplace that is a better scheme fit anyway. Jenkins and Landri will rotate with impressive rookie Cox and and Thornton, who originally made the squad out of camp last season, but wound up on the practice squad for most of it. The defensive tackles are thin in the event of another injury, but there is a window where Mike Patterson is eligible to return after Week 6, and either Tapp or Graham may be able to help out inside until then.

Linebackers: Mychael Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans, Akeem Jordan
Depth: Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Brian Rolle

Sorry, Brian Rolle, no change in the starting lineup yet, and opening day is only a week away. Kendricks, Ryans, and Jordan remain the starters, and no huge surprise behind them with Rolle, Chaney, and Matthews. However, there are health concerns with Chaney and Matthews, each battling nagging injuries during the preseason. The team could've taken Keenan Clayton instead, as he seemed to carve out a niche in coverage and on special teams, but the upside of the others was higher.

Cornerbacks: Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Boykin, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley

The Eagles made some waves with one of their first announced cuts, releasing Joselio Hanson after he began the summer as the starter at nickel corner. It seemed as though even if he lost the job to Boykin as he did, Hanson could stick in case the rookie faltered, but obviously the Eagles are comfortable with Hughes behind him.

Asomugha, DRC, and Marsh are your top guys on the outside, followed by Hughes. Trevard Lindley's presence on the roster was a bit of a mystery after his release a season ago, but the team parted with him on Saturday in exchange for Menkin.

Safeties: Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Colt Anderson, David Sims

O.J. Atogwe got hurt again in the preseason finale, and because injuries have plagued him so much in recent years, the team had to cut bait. That left the defense with a huge hole in terms of safety depth, which for the time being they filled with diminutive David Sims, traded from Cleveland for a late draft choice. Allen and Coleman may be capable starters, but Jarrett and Sims don't inspire a great deal of confidence, while Anderson is there purely for special teams.

Specialists: Alex Henery, Chas Henry, Jon Dorenbos

Henry ended up winning the punting competition over Mat McBriar, though it seemingly had little to d
o with punting. McBriar's work as the holder on Henery field goal tries reportedly was the issue here, so even though he doesn't boom it like an Aussie, the Birds stick with the incumbent. And naturally Dorenbos will continue to work his magic as the long snapper.

Non-football Injury/Illness: Jason Peters, Mike Patterson

Both of these guys are eligible to return between Weeks 6 and 9, though neither seems very likely. Patterson probably has a better shot if his skull heals from brain surgery by then. The Eagles might feel compelled to rush Peters back from his Achilles injuries if Dunlap struggles at left tackle, but it's hard to believe he'll be ready to play at any point this season, much less at a high level. At this point, I can't get comfortable with the idea he'll return in 2012.

CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

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CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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NFC East Report, Week 2: Like Ivan Drago, the Dallas Cowboys are not a machine

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NFC East Report, Week 2: Like Ivan Drago, the Dallas Cowboys are not a machine

Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Eagles division rivals fared the previous weekend (spoiler alert: I feel the same way about them as Martha Stewart feels about Pumpkin Spice) and what they have upcoming. This week, the Giants did absolutely nothing different, Washington barely beat a team that lost twelve games a year ago, and the Cowboys, like the old Siberian Express, looked vastly overhyped on their way to an ugly beatdown.

Here’s what happened, and what’s happening, in the NFC East after Week Two.

Dallas Cowboys (1-1):

What Happened: Oh man, this was fun. Imagine the Chiefs/Birds game, but without all the good things that happened; that was essentially this game for Cowboys fans. Jason Garrett’s squad went on the road against an AFC opponent and got brutally demolished, losing 42-17. Unlike being barely-beaten by long-term NFL Quarterback Alex Smith (like the Eagles were), the Cowboys were thoroughly slaughtered by Trevor Siemien, who tore into the depleted Dallas secondary like they were every single kid from middle school that use to make fun of his last name. 

I, personally, couldn’t be happier. It had been eight months since we’d gotten to experience a Cowboys loss, which is far too long (speaking purely from a medical perspective, of course), and this one was especially epic. I’ve seen a solar eclipse more recently than I’ve seen Jerry Jones look this deflated. The Cowboys losing is like a new season of Wet Hot American Summer. There’s something familiar about it. Something safe. And always, a part that will make you laugh hysterically.

The part that made me laugh hysterically this week was watching the worst game of Ezekiel Elliott’s career. The Cowboys star running back had just eight more yards on the day than LeGarrette Blount (who, in case you forgot, had zero), and was then called out after the game by Canton-bound Ladainian Tomlinson for being a quitter. Yup, Ezekiel Elliott is the new Jay Cutler, a comparison that doesn’t seem fair to J-Cut, since he’s actually won a playoff game.

Positive Spin: Like the Birds, dem Boys can take solace in knowing they lost on the road to an AFC opponent they’ll never have to face again, which is like not being embarrassed you farted audibly on public transit ‘cause you’re getting off the next stop anyway. One game doesn’t make a season, nor does it suddenly prove that Zeke or Dak Prescott don’t belong in this league. This was one unfortunate result at a point in the season where teams can afford to have unfortunate results… like how it’s okay to lose one of your fingers, because you still have nine others. At least that’s what they taught me in the Yakuza (though its made glove shopping impossible. Luckily, JPP introduced me to his guy). 


Negative Spin: I mean, it was 42-17, and while Zeke and Dak are still legit, some flaws were definitely exposed. Siemien, who was fighting for the starting spot less than a month ago, made the Dallas secondary look like, well… the kind of secondary that employs Nolan Carroll. Imagine what Alshon Jeffrey should be able to do. Or Odell Beckham. Or Jordy Nelson, or Julio Jones, or any of the other top-flight wideouts in the NFC that Dallas will be expected to beat if they want this season to surpass the results of the past two decades. 

Dallas looked really bad on Sunday. Some of it should be easily fixed. But that secondary may need a little bit more than duct tape and Orlando Scandrick to get things rolling. But don’t worry, Dallas fans; I’m sure Jason Garrett, who’s had two winning campaigns in his six full seasons as head coach, will be able to push this team forward, no doubt. It’s like having the former UBER CEO take over your kids lemonade stand.

What’s Next: A road-game against the Arizona Cardinals, who barely snuck out a victory against Indianapolis last week. With David Johnson’s broken wrist ruining your fantasy team, and Carson Palmer continuing to age at the normal going rate, Arizona just isn’t very good. Road game or not, Dallas should be able to turn things around in the desert next weekend.

 

Washington (1-1):

What Happened: Out in Los Angeles, the Washington Football Team defeated the previously undefeated Rams 27-20. A week after letting a close one literally slip through his fingers, Kirk Cousins threw a game winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play, and the D.C. D snatched an interception off of Jared “Not Carson” Goff moments later to seal it.

It was a crucial win for Jay Gruden, who like Andy Reid, was able to knock off his former offensive coordinator, in this instance 31-year-old Sean McVay. FUN FACT: When Doug Pederson was McVay’s age, he was the starting quarterback of your Philadelphia Eagles. Isn’t math fun? 

Positive Spin: Washington avoids the dreaded 0-2 start, and any win on the road should be considered applause-worthy… even if the stadium looked less crowded than Anthony Scaramucci’s Going Away Party. Seriously, just by mentioning someone from the Trump White House, I’ve guaranteed more angry tweeters @ me than attendees at L.A. Coliseum last Sunday (though in their defense, Sean Spicer said it was the largest crowd ever). Remind me again why Los Angeles has two football teams?

Meanwhile, Chris Thompson is making moves like a young Brian Westbrook. The guy who made Iggles defenders looks like they were playing ‘tag’ in Week One had a pair of touchdowns against a respectable Los Angeles defense, including a 61-yarder (which I believe is more rushing yards than Birds runnings backs have all season combined).

Cousins wasn’t phenomenal, but he showed improvement from last week (which is comparable to saying the urinal looked better after the auto-flush). With a victory, Washington avoids the “Dan Snyder’s Team Is Always Doomed To A Pit Of Despair” storyline for at least another week.

Negative Spin: Washington almost lost to the Rams. The RAMS. This is a team that went 4-12 last year playing in the NFC West. Sure, they may be improved (how could they not be?), but you won’t find many barstool bloggers inside the beltway this week saying “WE SURE LOOKED GOOD NEARLY BLOWING A 13 POINT LEAD TO JARED GOFF.”

And meanwhile, what is this team planning to do next year if they don’t re-sign Cousins? Hand the reigns over to Colt McCoy, the 31-year-old journeyman who’s essentially just Doug Pederson 20 years later with a better name? What does this team do if they go 8-8 and Cousins essentially looks the same he’s looked these past eight quarters? I’m not saying Gruden’s squad should go full Sam Hinkie Trust The Process after a 1-1 start, but it’s really hard to get excited about the long-term future of this football team. Even victories make the fanbase groan.

What’s Next: SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! The soon-to-be-Las-Vegas Raiders come to D.C., and they haven’t really been tested yet (beating the Titans and Jets handedly the first two weeks). A win against the trendy AFC-Champ-Pick on Sunday would significantly alter the opinion of this team heading into October.

 

New York Giants (0-2):

What Happened: The Giants lost at home to the Detroit Lions 24-10, and things are starting to get ugly. How ugly are they? With just 13-points on the year, the highly-celebrated Giants offense has just one more point on the season than Nelson Agholor. They’re being outscored by the Jets! That’s like finding out your loser roommate who never leaves the apartment is actually a gun-smuggling millionaire (coming this Thursday on FOX!). 

Brandon Marshall, who was suppose to take this offense to the next level, dropped a big third down pass in the fourth quarter, and the very next play was an 88-yard punt return for a TD by someone named Jamal Agnew that broke Big Blue’s back. Meanwhile, coach Ben McAdoo spent his postgame presser taking shots at two-time Super Bowl Champion and six-time Mouth Breather of the Year Eli Manning, so rest assured Giants fans, leadership has a plan for turning this sinking ship around! McAdoo may even hand over play-calling duties! What a great hire.

Meanwhile, Eli was sacked five times (or what they call in New York “one short of a Winston Justice”). While we can only grimace at decade-old memories of Winston-the-Pooh at right guard being eaten up by Osi Umenyiora like Chris Christie at CiCi’s, this Sunday at the Linc may top that. The Iggles D-line is very, very good, while the Giants O-line has the toughness of overcooked spaghetti. This is the kind of day Jim Schwartz should be bragging about when he’s interviewing for the Cincinnati Bengals head coaching gig four months from now.

Positive Spin: IT CAN’T GET WORSE. 

Negative Spin: Since 1990, only 12% of teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs. And while I haven’t taken a deep-dive into it, I’d be willing to bet that the O-line of this Giants team is way worse than any of that 12%. Meanwhile, waiting for Marshall and Manning to get on the same page is like waiting for a new season of Arrested Development. It may never come, and even if it does, will it be worth it? And at this point, who really remembers when it was that good to begin with?

For all the mystique around Eli-led Giants teams being great down the stretch, it’s important we remember he has a career winning percentage of just .545. That’s .004 points higher than Nick Foles! Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, & Teddy Bridgewater all have a higher winning percentage than the 36-year-old Giants quarterback. To expect he, (and, presumably, Odell) to turn this thing around may be a little out of touch. Like how DirecTV thinks it’s okay to put Charlie Kelly in any football jersey other than midnight green.

What’s Next: Week 3 is a Must-Win game for New York, and the circumstances are not fun. Well, they’re actually super fun for us; after losing Monday night, the Giants come to Philly for the Eagles home opener at The Linc, where they haven’t won since 2013. A divisional game on the road off a short w