The Eagles reunited on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex after a week away from work. During the bye week, they scattered from one end of the country to the other. They went back home to visit family and friends. They went hunting and fishing. They returned to their high schools or colleges to see how things were going. They sat their aching bodies down and put their feet up. They did a lot, and they did nothing.
Just as Monday morning took the ball from Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field, Tom Coughlin stood in a basement meeting room and said he didn't have much to say. That wasn't really a departure for Coughlin, but it represented a change of course for the New York Giants organization, whose players had chattered away the previous week about the coming divisional showdown with the Eagles.
On his first carry of the night against the New York Giants, LeSean McCoy took the football from Nick Foles, looked for a gap in the line, and saw only a clot of humanity and nowhere much to go. McCoy shouldered his way into the mob to gain a couple of yards, and you would have forgiven him for wondering if the sixth game of the season was going to be as frustrating personally as the first five had been.
When the St. Louis Rams put together three straight touchdown drives in the second half against the Eagles last Sunday before finally flaming out on a fourth drive that could have won the game, the rapid transformation of an offense that had snoozed to that point had everything to do with the sudden pliability of the defense on the other side of the ball.
The recent steps and missteps of the National Football League as it handled and mishandled the situation involving running back Ray Rice have, in some ways, improved the national dialogue concerning domestic abuse and, in others, merely filled the air with noise and static.
If the front office and baseball administration hierarchy of the Phillies organization has any fear of a major upheaval following the team's second straight 73-win season, that fear certainly won't be realized at the hands of acting president Pat Gillick, a baseball lifer so comfortable riding the ebb and flood of the game's tides that he earned the nickname Stand Pat.
David Molk, who will get his first NFL start on Sunday for the Eagles, was an all-state center for his suburban Chicago high school and then a four-year starter at Michigan, where he was a first-team all-American and won the Rimington Award as the nation's best center.
There are a couple of ways to view what has taken place with the Eagles in the first three weeks of the NFL's regular season. It is either a team with serious issues that somehow was able to overcome them in the three straight comeback wins but can't be that fortunate forever, or it is a team that simply hasn't hit its stride yet and won't require such dramatics when it finally does.
If the NFL selected a Fan of the Week, serious consideration would have to go to the young woman who was photographed Sunday near TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis while wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey and holding a stripped down tree branch in her right hand.
Bob Ford is an award-winning sports columnist for the Inquirer. He is a four-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year, as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His work has been cited numerous times by Associated Press Sports Editors judges, and he won an Eclipse Award for outstanding coverage of horse racing. Prior to becoming a columnist at the Inquirer, Ford was the 76ers beat writer for six seasons and then a general assignment feature writer with a specialty in Olympic sports. In 1995, he was designated a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Ford has written sports in the Philadelphia area since 1981, when he served as the Phillies beat writer and later as a general sports columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times.