Akers Heads to San Fran, Leonard Weaver Released, Vince Young Eyeing Birds?

Akers Heads to San Fran, Leonard Weaver Released, Vince Young Eyeing Birds?

The movement on the NFL scene continues into the night on Thursday, with now-former Eagles kicker David Akers leaving Philadelphia after more than a decade of service. Fortunately, he's not fulfilling my nightmare scenario and moving within the division, but we will see him once this season, when the San Francisco 49ers come to the Linc on October 2.

Another fan favorite is also leaving the team tonight. The Birds have released fullback Leonard Weaver, who is still far from returning to football shape, if he does at all. If you haven't already, watch this video. Weave wasn't an Eagle long, but he gained a lot of fans in this town during his stay here, and he'll probably continue to do so. Despite sports fans' occasional tendency for going toward the negative, a guy who radiates this kind of genuine positivity is rare, and everyone seems to love him. And uh, not for nuthin, but Weaver played his ass off as an Eagle. That rare combination of skill and the ability to flatten a defender is hard to come by. Unfortunately, his departure from the Birds appears to have been made more difficult by the possibility that he found out about his release from a reporter, without so much as a call from the team, per Weaver's Twitter account. The team is disputing that claim, telling Reuben Frank that Weaver found out from a team official. 

Finally, a bit of speculation on someone interested in finding his way into Midnight Green—Vince Young.

After Kevin Kolb was dealt on Thursday, the Eagles are left with Mike Kafka as their backup, which is a concern given his lack of experience and the possibility that Michael Vick—like any NFL starter—could miss some games in the coming season. We've been spoiled in the backup quarterback department in recent years, but at present, most fans are waiting to see if the Eagles can land a backup with some experience and the ability to step in and keep a contender on track if need be.

And, earlier on Thursday, the Tennessee Titans released Vince Young, as expected. Also as expected, VY has already been linked to the Eagles. The third overall pick in 2006 had a rocky exit in Tennessee, and despite his winning record (30-17) in the league, even some QB-hungry teams will shy away from him. He's only .500 when it comes to TDs and INTs (42 each), and coaches may not want to deal with the baggage of getting him back on track as a backup. But will the Eagles?

The Birds could use a backup, and if they weren't gun-shy on Michael Vick coming out of Leavenworth, they can probably handle VY's issues. ESPN's Adam Schefter has a source saying Young is "eyeing the Philadelphia Eagles as a potential destination" and that others around the league see the Birds as the favorite to land him. Makes sense. If I'm Young's agent, I'm putting that word out there, just like Drew Rosenhaus did with Plaxico Burress.

And, if I'm the Birds, I'm taking a long look at Young.

CBSSports' Clark Judge tweeted this tonight:

Vince Young going to Eagles as backup to Vick. Now two first-rounders (top 3) at same spot.

While he backed off a bit in his next tweet, clarifying that nothing was official, Judge still things Young's on his way to Philly.

An interesting end to an interesting day for the Eagles.

Photo: Steve Mitchell-US Presswire

Joe Biden tweeted at Carson Wentz: 'It's our year'

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Joe Biden tweeted at Carson Wentz: 'It's our year'

It may be thanks to Vice President Joe Biden that we're all aboard the Wentz Wagon.

Biden may have coined the term and Barack Obama made it big.

Now, Biden has tweeted at Wentz after the Eagles' rookie led the Birds to a 3-0 start. Philadelphia is a tad giddy.


Heart, guts, and poise from my guy, @CJ_Wentz. Huge game, strong start for the @Eagles. @DrBiden is pumped. It's our year.

You may have missed it, but when Biden was at the Eagles' week 1 game against the Browns, the Veep told head coach Doug Pederson he'd like to suit up and play.

"I wish I was good enough to be out there in a different role," Biden said.

"You want to put some pads on?" Pederson asks. "I can go get some."

"I did that through college," Biden responds. "I dreamed about it."

Biden comes in about 50 secones into the below video.

 

 

Other RBs thriving, but Ryan Mathews (ankle) still 'the guy' when healthy

Other RBs thriving, but Ryan Mathews (ankle) still 'the guy' when healthy

Kenjon Barner has the third-most runs in the NFL of 14-plus yards despite having just 14 carries all year.
 
Wendell Smallwood ran for 79 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the first extended playing time of his career.
 
Despite their gaudy stats, Ryan Mathews will be the Eagles’ featured running back when he’s healthy, head coach Doug Pederson said Monday.
 
“I think we just continue the same way, really,” Pederson said. “When Ryan is healthy, he’s the guy, and then we’ll mix Darren (Sproles) in there and you saw what Wendell can do and we know what Kenjon’s all about.”
 
Mathews, who has been injury prone throughout his career, did not play after two early carries Sunday in the Eagles’ 34-3 win over the Steelers at the Linc.
 
Pederson said Mathews’ left ankle — originally injured in July, before training camp even began and then aggravated in the season opener against the Browns — is still bothering him.
 
“With that thing, that ankle, it’s something that for him it never loosened up (Sunday) and was stiff and so again (we) just opted on the side of caution more than anything else,” Pederson said.
 
Mathews gained minus-five yards on two carries in the first quarter and didn’t play again.
 
He's rushed for three touchdowns this year but is averaging only 3.2 yards per carry — 36th out of 40 backs with 20 or more carries this year.
 
Meanwhile, Smallwood is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, eighth-highest in the NFL, and Barner, with just 14 carries, has four runs of 14 yards. He’s averaging 6.1 yards per carry but doesn’t have enough to qualify for the league leaders.

Although Barner has the 58th-most carries in the NFL, only LeSean McCoy and Isaiah Crowell have more runs of 14 or more yards.
 
Sproles has been his usual electriyfing self in the receiving game and returning punts, but he’s averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.
 
Since opening day last year, Sproles is at 3.6 per carry — 50th of 52 backs with at least 100 carries over the last two seasons.
 
Pederson said despite Mathews’ injury history — he started more than nine games twice in his first six seasons — he has no problem with the workload he gave him in Cleveland. Mathews had 22 carries against the Browns, his second-most since 2013.
 
“I think that’s a good number for him, honestly, and then for everyone else to get a few touches after that we’re on track,” Pederson said.
 
“It’s kind of with Carson (Wentz), I don’t think you ever want to go into a game thinking you want to throw it 50 times. If you manage it and keep it around 30 and have a successful running game, I think that’s a good balance.”
 
How much Barner and Smallwood will work in once Mathews returns remains to be seen.
 
But it’s hard to argue with their production.
 
“Everybody’s a little different runner,” Pederson said Monday, a day after the Eagles improved to 3-0.
 
“Wendell did an excellent job between the tackles last night, sort of downhill, Kenjon sort of off-tackle, and of course Darren can do everything.
 
“So we’ll still keep the rotation the same, we’re not going to change much that way, and just want to get everybody in the football game.”
 
It’s tough to put together a running back depth chart for this team. Mathews had the most carries against the Browns, Sproles had the most against the Bears and Smallwood the most against the Steelers.
 
Last time the Eagles opened a season with three different backs leading the team in attempts was 1989, when Mark Higgs had 13 carries in the opener vs. Seattle, Anthony Toney led the way a week later with nine carries against the Redskins (that was the huge comeback win from a 20-0 deficit) and then Heath Sherman had a team-high 16 carries a week later against the 49ers (when Joe Montana threw four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter).
 
How similar this year turns out to 2003 and the original Three-Head Monster of Duce Staley — now the Eagles’ running backs coach — Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter will sort itself out after the bye.
 
“It’s good to have that kind of depth at that position with as many touches collectively as a group that we’re going to get each game and the wear and tear on that position,” Pederson said. “It’s great to get that many guys in the game.”
 
The Eagles certainly do seem high on Smallwood, the only back in the group that Pederson didn’t inherit from Chip Kelly.
 
Smallwood missed most of training camp with a quad injury and concussion but has been very good since he’s been healthy.
 
“He’s much like Carson in how he prepares during the week,” Pederson said.
 
“We’ve been fortunate with our young players ... and how they work and how they handle themselves on and off the football field, and he’s done a great job in practice, he’s put himself in a position to help us, and it’s great to see him.
 
“We saw it early in the spring, we saw it in training camp before the injury.”