Eagles Could Have Shortest Starting Linebackers in the NFL

Eagles Could Have Shortest Starting Linebackers in the NFL

It began with a simple observation: the Eagles' projected starting linebackers are short. Turns out, they may be the shortest in the NFL when the regular season kicks off in September.

Jimmy Kempski of Blogging the bEast rounded up preliminary depth charts for every 4-3 defense around the league, and compiled the total height of each club's starting linebackers. Not so surprisingly, the trio of DeMeco Ryans (6-1), second-round draft pick Mychal Kendricks (5-11), and Brian Rolle (5-10) took the dubious honor of being the shortest combination by a healthy margin.

Together the Birds added up to 214 inches, three less than the next-closest group, the Detroit Lions. The tallest were the New York Giants at 226, a difference of one whole foot. 18 teams currently utilize the 4-3 as their base defense, half of them measuring heights between 220 and 223.

Jimmy K's concern is the Eagles might be giving up too much size to tight ends, the majority of whom are 6-4 or taller. It's a fair point, although only four starting linebackers are at least as tall, which seems to put almost every linebacker at a handicap to some degree.

The most common sizes are between 6-1 and 6-2, the range Ryans falls into. However, Philadelphia is the only organization with two penciled starters under six feet.

How much it really matters is debatable. Opposing offenses undoubtedly gain some advantage in the passing game when their tight end has the size and athleticism to go above the defense, but stingy coverage can cancel that to some extent. Plus, who's to say a bigger linebacker can even run with a receiver? A player with that kind of ability is probably already lining up at tight end.

Additionally, there is a decent chance Kendricks and/or Rolle are not the starters this season. Kendricks is a rookie, and while he'll have every opportunity to earn a starting gig, nothing is definite. Entering his second season, Rolle also faces competition from the likes of Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews, Keenan Clayton, and Moise Fokou, all of whom are 6-0 or taller. At the very least, there will most likely be varying situational packages.

Replacing either Kendricks or Rolle adds another two-to-three inches, which still puts the Eagles at the bottom, but more in line with the rest of the spectrum.

Is this something we should worry about? Looking at Jimmy's list, I'm not seeing a direct correlation between good linebacking units and bad based on height. Match-up problems certainly exist, but which teams did fare well against the likes of a Jimmy Graham last season? Very few. Great players come up with great plays, and sometimes there's nothing a defense can do to stop them.

The real question is whether or not the Eagles have improved the position, and for now the answer appears to be yes. Whether or not height will become an issue remains to be seen.

>> Height of LB's [bEast]

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports 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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Ed Snider statue a special reminder for Flyers and so many more

Ed Snider statue a special reminder for Flyers and so many more

Boldly, Ed Snider will forever stand stoic and distinguished overlooking the empire he created — an iconic portrayal of a pioneer entrepreneur who exuded authority and resolve.

A statue commemorating the late Flyers founder and Comcast Spectacor chairman was unveiled Thursday, facing the southwest corner of Broad Street between the Wells Fargo Center and the previous location of The Spectrum, his two homes away from home.

“Not just the likeness but the character of Dad is so incredibly real in this sculpture that it’s almost scary,” Snider's oldest daughter Lindy Snider said. “You can see his focused and determined look and that drive in him, and we kids always called it ‘The Eye.’ And believe me, it was very scary.”  

The ceremony was attended by an impressive list of dignitaries, including a long list of "Broad Street Bullies," Hockey Hall of Famers and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“He was a consummate ball of energy,” Bettman said. “Ironically, his memory will stand here idly for us all to see and to remember because he was a man who was constantly, constantly in motion, and that’s how I will always think of him and remember him.”

Philadelphia will now remember him always in the perfect spot.

“Ed Snider was a visionary,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. “What a fitting place for the Mr. Snider statue to be on this piece of property where he can overlook his building here, The Spectrum was behind him, and this area he envisioned — that he built for all of us.” 

For the city of Philadelphia, it has an equivalency to the Blarney Stone. Snider's family requested the inclusion of a Stanley Cup ring on Snider’s finger so fans could pay tribute to the legendary owner by rubbing the ring as a good luck charm.  

Unintentionally, but certainly symbolic, Snider has his back turned to the direction of New York, home to the Rangers team he and so many of the players despised for decades.

“We all hated the Rangers in those days, probably still do,” Bob Clarke said with a laugh. “It’s a beautiful statue. It represents him so well, everything that he stood for and accomplished."

From Clarke to Bernie Parent hoisting the Stanley Cup, to Gary Dornhoefer’s legendary goal in the 1973 Stanley Cup Playoffs to Kate Smith singing “God Bless America,” all of those statues located throughout the sports complex wouldn’t exist today if it wasn’t for Snider’s dogged determination to bring the game of hockey to the Delaware Valley in the 1960s. 

Dillsburg, Pennsylvania’s Chad Fisher commissioned the 1,300-pound bronze statue that stands on a three-foot granite base, and over the last seven weeks it became a labor of love, working endlessly seven days a week, 12 hours a day to ensure the project’s completion.

“You’re closing in and everything needs to be solidified and you've got to look over everything,” Fisher said. “It gets very intense in the end.” 

Three and a half years ago, the 34-year-old Fisher unveiled his meticulous representation of former Flyers head coach Fred “The Fog” Shero located just outside XFINITY Live! right off Ed Snider Way. One man called upon to create a likeness of the two most influential figures in the 51-year history of the Flyers franchise. 

“We had a chance to meet with Mr. Snider during the Fred Shero unveiling, and he was so gracious to my family and I, especially my kids,” Fisher said. “This was more than just a statue. It was really a chance to do this for someone who meant something, not only to this city, but to me and my family. He really gave us our start.”

For then general managers Clarke and Holmgren, who strived to bring “one more cup” to Snider, they know the chairman would be proud of the team current GM Ron Hextall has assembled behind an organizational approach that has been radically amended over the past few years. 

“It’s not only a terrific honor, but it’s fitting and somehow it’s comforting,” Lindy Snider said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s been watching over us all along anyway, and Paul, especially you. He wants a Stanley Cup, and the pressure’s on and you’re not off the hook.”

And now there’s a likeness of Mr. Snider that will forever serve as that constant reminder.