What they're saying about the Eagles

Left tackle Demetress Bell signed a five-year contract with the Eagles. (Alejandro A. Alvarez/Staff Photographer)

Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week:

ESPN.com's Dan Graziano thinks the Eagles made the right call by signing Demetress Bell:

It would have made little sense for the Eagles to alter their first-round draft pick plans and take a tackle, since few of the available tackles in that round appear to be ready to start right away and the Eagles need someone who can. And while they might have been able to turn up a starter in a later round, that's a lot of pressure to put on a mid-round rookie. Bell was the best solution to a bad situation, and while he won't give them what Peters gave them last season, he brings a veteran's competence and experience to a crucial position.

SI.com's Peter King would be surprised if any team suffers a bigger loss than Jason Peters before training camp:

I think the biggest injury of the offseason -- and I'll be surprised if there's a bigger one before August -- is the Eagles losing Jason Peters to an Achilles tear last week while he was working out in Texas. Peters will have surgery to repair the Achilles on Tuesday, and though there's a long shot he could return late this season, I think a left tackle who needs quickness and must put so much pressure on his foot, ankle and Achilles would be very hard-pressed to be playing quality football before 2013 dawns.

Tom Gower of Football Outsiders takes a look back at the 2006 draft. Among wide receivers, he says the Eagles got great value with Jason Avant (the 109th overall pick). He also lists Ernie Sims (a player the Lions drafted and the Eagles later traded for) as the biggest bust among drafted linebackers:

While not quite as succinct as the fabled "Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" scouting report, an evaluation of Sims' career is about as straightforward: "Should be able to play in space, but can't."

Albert Breer of NFL Network caught up with Michael Vick this week and asked him about Peyton Manning. Vick repeated what he told local reporters last week and added that he and Andy Reid had spoken about Manning:

"We talked about it," Vick said. "He just asked me if I'd heard about it, and I told him no, because I hadn't at the time. I told him, 'Coach, it don't matter. I don't care. I'm one of the best in the league.' That's where I stand. I know that. We all know that, and that's just what it is."

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says Vick needs to follow Steve Young's lead:

The problem is that Vick is a competitive, instinctive performer who can and will score from anywhere on the field. He is fast. He is quick. He has a strong arm. And he has an uncanny ability to elude most tacklers. Notice, I said most. Steve Young was the same way until he wasn't, and that's when Mariucci stepped in to extend his career.

Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post lists Andy Reid among five coaches who need to win now:

Reid has won a lot of games during his tenure in South Philly, but he’s come up short where it matters most by failing to deliver a Vince Lombardi trophy. Last year’s 4-8 start was nothing short of a disaster after the front office’s August spending spree elevated expectations to an all-time high, so the pressure entering the 2012 season will be greater than anything he’s ever faced. A trip back to the postseason will likely keep Reid safe, but the Philly fans are tired of rooting for a good football team. It’s time to be great.

Larry Fitzgerald beat LeSean McCoy out in the Madden voting, so the Eagles running back will not be gracing the cover of the popular video game.

Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc./ESPN.com gives the Eagles a B+ in free agency:

Extensions such as the one Cole received often aren't factored in with handing out offseason grades, but keeping him around for the long term is instrumental to Philadelphia's success. Dixon also is a much better interior defensive player than many realize. Another long-term deal that should pay off for the Eagles is keeping DeSean Jackson, a true game changer.

Free agent defensive tackle Trevor Laws visited with the Rams yesterday, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Jemele Hill of ESPN.com writes about Karl Malone being an absentee father to Bell:

Yes, Bell's father is Karl Malone. And if you're wondering why you've never heard of Bell or seen these two engaged in any father-son moments, it's because Malone apparently wants nothing to do with him.

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