Birds Bring Back Landri

Birds Bring Back Landri

It looked like he was going to slip away via free agency, but Derek Landri will be back in midnight green in 2012. The journeyman defensive tackle signed a one-year deal with the Eagles on Monday morning. Adam Caplan reports the contract could be worth a up to $1.875 million, with $500k guaranteed.

Landri was brought in for depth during training camp, and initially released afterwards. When Antonio Dixon suffered a season-ending injury in Week 4, Landri got the call, and showed everyone he probably should've made the team to begin with. In limited playing time, Landri scored two sacks and a pass deflect in 2011, and made a much bigger impact than those numbers suggest.

According to ProFootballFocus, Landri was the ninth-best interior defensive lineman available in free agency, as he finished in the top 10 in both their run stop and pass rush measures. Very impressive for a castoff.

Landri seemed to thrive in the wide nine alignment of the defensive line, and wasn't pressed to be an every-down player like he was in his previous stop at Carolina. As a result, he was in the middle of practically everything whenever he was on the field, becoming something of a fan favorite along the way. We're certainly glad to see one of the defense's most productive players return.

It remains to be seen whether Landri will alter the Eagles' draft plans at all, but probably not. Both he and Antonio Dixon are only signed through this year, along with second-year player Cedric Thornton, who did not appear in a game last season. Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson are the only tackles under contract for multiple seasons, and neither are getting any younger.

According to Reuben Frank, the Eagles were forced to scrap a long-term deal with Landri  after the Jason Peters injury/Demetress Bell
signing. Still, that tidbit indicates the team is very high on the 28-year-old defensive tackle. Who knows whether or not Landri can match or exceed his level of production from last season in 2012, but it was wise to bring back a player who excelled in Jim Washburn's front.

The Eagles have now re-upped all four of their own "high priority" free agents.

Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

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Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

TORONTO -- Justin Morrow scored in the 70th minute and Toronto FC salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw with the Union on Saturday night.

Morrow made a run from his left back position, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio laid the ball off to Morrow for a tight-angle shot. Toronto (13-8-9) had its second straight home tie,

Alejandro Bedoya scored for Philadelphia (11-11-9) in the 25th minute. Bedoya took a pass from Fabian Herbers with his back to the Toronto goal, quickly spun past the Toronto back line and chipped a shot that looped over goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

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Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

BOX SCORE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- De'Veon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two scores and No. 4 Michigan routed Penn State 49-10 on Saturday in both teams' Big Ten opener.

The Wolverines scored six touchdowns on the ground as they finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass.

Michigan (4-0) dominated both sides of the ball. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines.

Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn State's first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on 4th-and-goal from the 1.

The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdon's 2-yard run.

The Nittany Lions got on the board with a field goal early in the third, but Chris Evans made it 35-3 with a 3-yard run and the Wolverines cruised to the win.

The takeaway
Penn State: The Nittany Lions came into the Big House without any of their starting linebackers then lost Brandon Smith to a second-quarter targeting penalty. That left the Penn State defense helpless against Michigan's running game and short passes. The offense was even worse, putting up 50 yards in the first half. Saquon Barkley had 19 yards rushing and caught two passes for 47 yards, but the rest of the team combined for minus-16.

Michigan: The Wolverines dominated in the trenches, with their defensive line continuously overrunning Penn State's offensive line. They registered five sacks while building their first-half lead and Speight had all the time he needed.

Poll implications
Michigan: The Wolverines came in at No. 4 and there seems little chance that will change much with No. 1 Alabama winning earlier in the day in a blowout and No. 2 Ohio State on a bye.

Up next
Penn State: Returns to Happy Valley for the first of three straight home games. The Nittany Lions face Minnesota next Saturday in the Golden Gophers' first trip to Penn State since 2009.

Michigan: Plays its fifth-straight game at the Big House to open the season, but will have a tougher test against Wisconsin. The 11th-ranked Badgers routed No. 8 Michigan State 30-6 in East Lansing.