Thursday, December 18, 2014

Birds' D to 'Break out the Mats'?

Nobody puts on pads and tackles in practice in December in the NFL, and the Eagles aren't going to, even after their tackling-challenged 45-38 victory over the New York Giants Sunday night. Largely because of short plays that became long plays through the magic of "oops!" arm-waves at ballcarriers, the Birds allowed 512 yards in total offense, the most any Eagles team has ever allowed and won a game. And there have been 72 years worth of Eagles teams.

Birds' D to 'Break out the Mats'?

Nobody puts on pads and tackles in practice in December in the NFL, and the Eagles aren't going to, even after their tackling-challenged 45-38 victory over the New York Giants Sunday night. Largely because of short plays that became long plays through the magic of "oops!" arm-waves at ballcarriers, the Birds allowed 512 yards in total offense, the most any Eagles team has ever allowed and won a game. And there have been 72 years worth of Eagles teams.

Even though the Eagles are 9-4, lead the NFC East, control their playoff destiny, and have won 4 in a row, tackling dominated head coach Andy Reid's day-after news conference. Reid said that even though tackling in practice is impractical, 13 games into the season, it might be time to "break out the mats" and teach slow-speed fundamentals Wednesday when the team begins preparing for the 49ers.

 "As you teach it, you've got to be very specific," Reid said. "Whatever the coaching point is -- eyes down, wrapping up, running through the tackle, whatever that weakness is, identify it, teach and move on. Maybe it's leverage, maybe with a corner, you're driving the inside shoulder instead of the outside shoulder. All the little fundamental things that need to take place there."

Reid said rookie wideout Jeremy Maclin tore a plantar fascia and strained another, on the same foot. He said Maclin will miss this week's game, but might be available a week or 2 after that.

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Reid acknowledged a roster move is possible, but said he wants to see how wideout Kevin Curtis looks Wednesday.Curtis is trying to return from October knee surgery, and last week seemed reasonably close to playing. Reid said last week Curtis' legs were tired and his wind wasn't great.

Reid said he also wants to see how running back Brian Westbrook (concussion) feels on Wednesday, before classifying his status for the 49ers game. 

BTW, the Dec. 27 home game against Brian Dawkins and the Broncos has been moved from 1 to 4:15 p.m.

    

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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