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.