Eagles

Eagles made right move by not trading Mychal Kendricks

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USA Today Images

Eagles made right move by not trading Mychal Kendricks

Last season was a miserable one for Mychal Kendricks.

He played only 27 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps, by far a career-low. Every time you spoke to him you could tell he was frustrated, that he felt left out. For the most part, he kept his feelings to himself. But at the beginning of training camp this past summer, he opened up and revealed he had asked the team to trade him. 

The Eagles denied it.

And now they have to be glad they did.

The Eagles need Kendricks to replace Jordan Hicks, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

Because he came off the field in nickel situations, Kendricks entered Sunday's win over San Francisco having played only 44 percent of the team's defensive snaps.  

That's half as many as he played as a rookie way back in 2012. Now, he's turned back the clock. 

After missing last week's win over Washington with a hamstring injury, Kendricks was all over the place against the 49ers. He led the team with seven tackles (six solo) and had a quarterback sack, two QB hits and a key pass breakup. It occurred at the goal line and helped force the 49ers to settle for a field goal attempt, which was blocked. 

"I feel like if you're not in there and you're not playing, when you get your chance, you ain't got s--- to lose, so you play free," Kendricks said. "It's a good feeling."

One aspect of his overall game that has been quite obvious this season is his control. His speed is now an asset, not a liability. He's not over-pursuing plays. 

"We don't want any MAs (missed assignments)," Kendricks said. "I don't get too many plays, so when I'm in there I try to make the most of it. If that means sacrificing the wow plays to be in the right spot — sometimes players get ahead of themselves to try to make things happen. I'm just letting them come to me."

And he's making them. 

"I don't have missed tackles anymore," Kendricks said before correcting himself. "I do. I missed two. They didn't go any further from where I missed. I slowed the guy down, but I definitely could have had two tackles."

It's a sign of his maturity as a person and a player. The Eagles made a sound business decision by not letting him go, and Kendricks has grown into the player the organization always felt he could be.

If he continues to do that, then this defense will be able to withstand the loss of Hicks. Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, making only his second career start, never had a chance. He completed just 17 of 36 passes, served up two interceptions and was sacked four times. If you exclude Beathard's 40 yards rushing, the Eagles' top-ranked rushing defense held San Francisco RBss to just 54 yards on the ground and just 3.7 yards per play.

Asked to describe the mentality of the Birds' D, Kendricks replied, "Kick ass, take names."

Then he looked over at fellow linebacker Nigel Bradham two lockers away and asked him the same question. 

"Inflicting pain," Bradham said, prompting Kendricks to reply, "Hell yeah, that's the mentality."

That's the mentality Kendricks has had all season. 

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Andy Schwartz contributed to this story.

Former Eagles Dawkins, Owens named Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Former Eagles Dawkins, Owens named Hall of Fame semifinalists

Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens are again one step closer to making it to the Hall of Fame.

Both former Eagles were named as two of 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2018 class.

Their inclusion on the list Tuesday is not a surprise at all. Both were on the list of finalists last year, but did not make the 2017 class to the dismay of Eagles fans.

The 15 finalists will be announced during January and Hall of Fame voters will cast their votes for the inductees on Super Bowl Saturday.

This is Dawkins' second year of eligibility and Owens' third. Traditionally it has been difficult for safeties to make it into the Hall of Fame, which might have hurt Dawkins. Owens has likely been hurt by his abrasive personality. Both are very worthy candidates and have a shot to be inducted this year.

Joining them on the list of semifinalists are six who made it on their first years of eligibility: DB Ronde Barber, OG Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss and DL Richard Seymour.

The original list of 108 nominees was cut down to 27 semifinalists instead of 25 because of ties.

Here is the full list of semifinalists:

S Steve Atwater
CB/S Ronde Barber
OT Tony Boselli
WR Isaac Bruce
S LeRoy Butler
Coach Don Coryell
RB Roger Craig
S Brian Dawkins
G Alan Faneca
WR Torry Holt
OG Steve Hutchinson
OT Joe Jacoby
RB Edgerrin James
Coach Jimmy Johnson
CB Ty Law
LB Ray Lewis
FS John Lynch
C/G Kevin Mawae
LB Karl Mecklenburg
WR Randy Moss
DE Leslie O'Neal
WR Terrell Owens
DE Simeon Rice
DE/DT Richard Seymour
LB Brian Urlacher
CB Everson Walls
WR Hines Ward

Former Eagles CB Dexter McDougle signs with Saints

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Former Eagles CB Dexter McDougle signs with Saints

Former Eagles cornerback Dexter McDougle has found a home with another one of the top teams in the NFC. 

McDougle on Tuesday signed with the New Orleans Saints, who, like the Eagles, are also on an eight-game winning streak. 

McDougle, 26, came to the Eagles in a trade with the Jets for safety Terrence Brooks in late August and even signed him to a one-year extension in early September. 

The former third-round pick in 2014 played more than the Eagles likely anticipated during his eight games active in Philly. 

In total, McDougle played 55 defensive snaps, and just three weeks ago played 32 of them in a pinch against the 49ers. He also played 135 special teams snaps (50 percent through the Denver game). 

McDougle was waived last week when the Eagles brought in linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. McDougle was expendable as Ronald Darby returned from his dislocated ankle. The only game McDougle was inactive was the opener, before Darby's injury. 

Without McDougle, the Eagles still have plenty of corners. They have five on the roster, including Jaylen Watkins, who is listed as a safety but has played corner this season.