Ravens

Are these Eagles attractive to coach candidates?

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Are these Eagles attractive to coach candidates?

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Playing for the Philadelphia Eagles was more appealing over the past decade than coaching them might be now.

With seven teams looking for a new coach, the Eagles might end up having to compete for a guy who will get multiple offers. Owner Jeffrey Lurie made quite a sales pitch after firing Andy Reid. He highlighted everything from the fans down to his hands-off approach.

``I'm very confident that this is the most attractive place for a head coach to work in the National Football League,'' Lurie said. ``We have an incredible fan base. This one's amazing. They want what we want and that's an obsession not just to be good, but to be great and that's big.''

There's no denying the Eagles have passionate fans who aren't afraid to express their opinion. They'll boo vociferously whenever they feel a player isn't giving his best effort and when the team plays poorly. They'll also demand the coach gets fired if he's not getting the job done. In Reid's case, they wanted him gone because he couldn't win a Super Bowl.

But Eagles fans also have a way of loving a guy unconditionally if he completely wins them over. Dick Vermeil led the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 1980 and also lost. Buddy Ryan never even won a playoff game in his five seasons as coach. Both men are still revered in this city, maybe more for their personalities than their accomplishments.

After lauding the fans, Lurie pointed to the fact Philadelphia is a ``huge'' media market.

``If you want to be at the forefront of NFL in America, this is a top-four, top-five media market. That's great,'' Lurie said.

Of course, he didn't mention the intense scrutiny that comes with coaching here.

Lurie called the team's practice site the ``best facilities'' in the league. The NovaCare complex certainly is top-notch, but Vermeil and Ryan worked successfully at the downtrodden offices at Veterans Stadium, and Reid started out there.

Perhaps Lurie's best selling point is that he stays out of the way and allows the coach and personnel department to make all the football decisions. He also is willing to spend the money it takes to get big-name players, though a few recently have underachieved.

``History of an owner-coach relationship, I think virtually unmatched,'' Lurie said. ``I think that the resources, any coach coming here knows there's no limitation on the resources in any direction, financial or otherwise, that's put towards the football program. Everyone knows that in the league.''

Lastly, Lurie talked about the winning culture Reid created. A new coach wouldn't have to infuse that into the franchise because it still exists, according to Lurie. Considering the last two seasons, that point can be argued.

``To come into an organization that is used to winning, used to winning big and it's part of the mantra and the culture in an organization, that's huge,'' Lurie said. ``When Andy came, we had to change the culture, turn it around and that's a much harder job. This job is taking a culture that exists. There's been some negative turns in the performance of the team, especially this season and last, and I think that it's ripe for a real smart, forward-thinking coach who wants to get his hand on a great situation.

``To me, this is the best situation for a coach to look at.''

Lurie builds a strong case to promote his team to candidates, but the one area where the Eagles lack most is talent. Everyone overevaluated the ``Dream Team'' that went 8-8 in 2011. The group that finished 4-12 this season was even worse.

On offense, there's no clear franchise quarterback. Veteran Michael Vick's days in Philadelphia are numbered. Rookie Nick Foles may be the answer, but he's still an unknown with potential.

The Eagles are set at running back with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. That's about it. They must get a bigger, stronger wide receiver because DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin can't handle the load. Their offensive line was a mess. Only Evan Mathis started every game and three starters are returning from season-ending injuries.

The defense has decent depth on the line, though it lacks a consistent pass-rusher. The secondary was awful and their linebackers were so-so. The Eagles forced just 13 turnovers, a sign they don't have playmakers on defense.

``I think we have a lot of good young players on the team,'' Lurie said. ``That doesn't mean we don't have significant holes as well.''

It's not just a matter of finding good players, either. The Eagles don't seem to have enough character guys. That was evidenced by the way Vick and McCoy criticized their teammates after the season.

``It's all about focus, dedication and commitment,'' Vick said. ``Until you get guys who are willing to better themselves week in and week out and want to win, you're not going to win. And I haven't played with guys like that. It's unfortunate for Coach things turned out the way they are. It could have been a lot better. This locker room could have dictated that.''

McCoy was equally critical.

``I think guys made a lot of excuses,'' he said. ``Guys maybe weren't playing up to par. Guys weren't focusing enough. Guys making money and not putting out. Guys were looking for excuses.''

Excuses won't cut it. The new coach has to make sure of that.

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter:https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

The Cardinals made a splash on Friday by waiving outside linebacker Terrell Suggs after just 13 games played in his Arizona career. 

The 37-year-old is now on waivers until Monday, where he’ll wait to see if he was claimed by one of the 31 other teams. Should he go unclaimed, he’ll be a free agent. 

Naturally, the immediate inclination was to assume a reunion was destined to happen between Suggs and the Ravens. Suggs is the all-time franchise leader in sacks (132.5) and games played (229), too.

But a reunion is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. 

This year, Suggs has 5.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 23 tackles. On the Ravens, those numbers would rank second, tied for third and 15th. But Suggs hasn’t registered a full sack since Oct. 20 and didn’t register a statistic in the team’s last game against the Steelers. 

Even still, with the need for proven pass-rushers across the league, Suggs is a desirable addition to any team looking to make a run.

Baltimore ranks 15th in sacks with 34, even with having played one more game than 30 other teams. The need is there for Suggs, who has already returned to the Ravens as a member of a different organization.

“It wasn’t circled, but when the schedule came out, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to downplay it as just another game,’” Suggs said in September. “But we all know that’d be (expletive). It’s kind of a unique situation, isn’t it?”

Suggs has shown the ability this season to be, at the very least, a situational pass-rusher and one that can contribute through the end of the season. Which, as the season winds down, makes his services valuable to teams looking to make a playoff push. 

He’ll be cheap too, as he wouldn’t cost a ton of money against the cap — and would fit into the Ravens plans moving forward. 

The problem, however, is where the Ravens are in the waiver wire order — dead last.

Teams like the Seahawks and Texans, whose pass rush ranks worse than the Ravens at the moment, and the 49ers, who just lost Dee Ford for a month, all could use pass-rushers to bolster their front seven.

That doesn’t include the possibility of a team in the AFC adding Suggs for two reasons: To add to their pass rush, while keeping Suggs away from Baltimore. 

Preventing the AFC’s top team from acquiring a late-season pass-rusher, one that would provide a significant boost to the organization, might be tempting as well. 

But for storylines, need on the field and fit with the organization, Suggs is a match to return to Baltimore.

It seems clear that Suggs and the Ravens would’ve preferred to be married to one another for the duration of Suggs’ career, and now there’s a chance to bring him back on board for another run at a title. 

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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

Trent Williams is defending his dogs after neighbors of a home registered to him in Missouri City, Texas say the Redskins' lineman's dogs brutally killed their dog.

The neighbor's dog, Sandy, according to reports, died after being mauled and dragged under an iron fence on their own property. 

According to Williams, the attack began after Sandy instigated conflict with one of Williams' smaller pets. Williams felt his dogs did nothing wrong and said the animals were defending the smaller dog, who is fighting for its life after $5,000 in medical bills. 

Williams told FOX 26 Houston that the situation was "dogs doing what dogs do."

In comments to local television stations, Sandy's owner's described how they found their dog.

"I found my dog halfway ripped apart, head and one leg on the other side of the fence, two of those stakes ripped through the body and one leg just dangling," said Jerry Flowers.

"They drug her head through the fence," Linda Flowers said. "Half of her body was through the wrought iron fence."

Animal control and local police are no longer investigating the incident according to ABC 13. Williams was not cited for the incident.

Williams is on the non-football injury list for the Washington Redskins after ending his holdout halfway through the season.