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Eagles QB Mark Sanchez comments on the trade rumors surrounding him, and John Clayton breaks down the chances of Sanchez ending up with the Rams.
Most significant move: It wasn’t surprising, but the release of rookie kicker Carey Spear stands out because it wasn’t the result of Alex Henery locking up the kicker position. The Eagles are still looking to upgrade. They traded for Colts rookie kicker Cody Parkey, and will be watching the waiver wire for more candidates in the next few days. The kicking situation is still very much unsettled, which is not a good feeling with the season bearing down. On the other hand, good candidates keep becoming available: veteran Jay Feely and former Temple kicker Brandon McManus, among others.

Shift at center: The Eagles released Julian Vandervelde late Tuesday afternoon with an injury settlement, getting their roster to 75. Vandervelde, the backup to center Jason Kelce last season, had surgery on his back earlier this month. But even before he was injured, Vandervelde’s job was in peril. David Molk, whom the Eagles signed back in January, had impressed Chip Kelly and the coaches with his smarts and his agility. The Eagles have been very pleased with the play of their second-team offensive line, and Molk has been a big part of that.

What’s next: The Eagles held on to all of their running backs and cornerbacks and most of their wide receivers and linebackers. Those cuts will be tougher because of special-teams considerations. The Eagles wanted to give the players one more opportunity to show their worth in the preseason. And with the starters already working on the season opener against Jacksonville, there is plenty of playing time against the Jets available.

Eagles’ cuts: TE Blake Annen, OL Michael Bamiro, OL Karim Barton, WR Kadron Boone, WR B.J. Cunningham, OL Donald Hawkins, TE Emil Igwenagu, LB Jake Knott, DE Joe Kruger, S Daytawion Lowe, DE Frances Mays, S Davon Morgan, K Carey Spear, OL Julian Vandervelde, DE Alejandro Villanueva.
PHILADELPHIA -- Lane Johnson is heading to Dallas.

Johnson
The Philadelphia Eagles' second-year right tackle will not be hanging out with the Dallas Cowboys at Valley Ranch. Johnson decided to spend his four-week suspension working out at API, a training facility near Dallas. Previously, Johnson talked about staying nearby and working out in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

"They have a nutrition plan," Johnson said Tuesday. "That's one of the main reasons I went, as far as diet. They're pretty well-known for that. Just that and the knowledge they have. One of their strength coaches used to work with our strength coach. He recommended it, said it's one of the best places there is."

Johnson's suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs prohibits him from being in the Eagles' facilities for four weeks. He is allowed to talk to teammates and said he has arranged to talk with right guard Todd Herremans during his exile.

On Thursday, Johnson and the rest of the Eagles' second-team offensive line will start the preseason finale against the New York Jets. Johnson said he was eager to play as much as possible, but coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday no decision had been made on how long the starters will play.

"The twos have been playing pretty well this preseason," Johnson said. "So we're trying to finish out strong. I'll go out there and do my best and then be back here in a month, ready to rock."

If it's possible, Johnson will get some football work in against other players who are in Dallas.

"I'm not sure who all they're going to have down there," Johnson said. "I'll definitely be working on pass sets. If there's any guys there, I'll be doing one-on-one stuff. I thought about going back to Oklahoma to practice there, but I don't know if that's legal."

Johnson is eligible to return to the Eagles before their Oct. 5 game against the St. Louis Rams.

"It's going to suck, but thank God it's only a month," Johnson said. "I'm just trying to make the best out of it."

Henery not concerned with missed kicks

August, 26, 2014
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Alex Henery has been quite consistent throughout training camp.

Actually, he’s been terrific.

But through the first three preseason games, Henery has missed two field goals.

Henery
 That’s not overly alarming, but kickers are remembered for the ones they missed.

Henery outdueled rookie free agent Carey Spear, and now he’s competing against Cody Parkey.

For Henery, it’s about competing against himself. The job is clearly his to secure.

“That's probably the most frustrating part, is that I'm hitting good balls in practice,” Henery told the Philadelphia Daily News. “It's just those two that popped up in the games. Those aren't the ones I'm happy about.”

Henery, a fourth-round pick in 2011, doesn’t seem overly concerned.

“My first training camp here, my camp was terrible,” Henery told the Daily News. “But I kicked good [once the season started]. I guess it's just whatever you read into that. When training camp's over, you make sure you're ready for the season.”

Henery is also remembered for missing a crucial 48-yard field goal in last season’s playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Eagles wound up losing 26-24.

Do the math.

If Henery had converted that field goal, the Eagles might have advanced.

Punter Donnie Jones understands what it’s like to go through struggles. He stepped in to vouch for Henery.

“Let me help Al out here,” Jones told the Daily News. “I've played a long time. This is year 11 for me. Obviously, I'm a punter and Al's a kicker, but throughout the course of 11 years, I don't know how many bad games I've had, bad weeks of practice … you don't know why. This guy's a good kicker. He knows he's good. He'll bounce back from it. I know it's frustrating, because I've been through the same thing -- that's what I try to tell him. We all go through it. It's a matter of dealing with it and keeping your confidence. That's the first thing that goes. Today I had a [expletive] day at practice. It [stunk]. Why? I don't know.

“I remember one year, back in 2007, [the Rams] had just signed me to a multiyear deal,” Jones added. “I had, like, two or three games, I couldn't hit a ball. Don't know why. But I [stunk] in a game, I went back the next week at practice and worked and worked, came back next week in the game, [stunk] again. Coach said, 'What the hell's wrong with Donnie?' 'Don't know, coach. Wish I could answer it.' It took me three weeks, but I finally got that groove back."
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Matthew Berry joins the guys from "Mike & Mike" to discuss which quarterback you should draft this season.

Trent Cole isn't worried about competition

August, 26, 2014
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Trent Cole led the Philadelphia Eagles with eight sacks last season.

Despite preparing for his 10th season in the NFL, Cole believes he can still produce at an extremely high level.

Cole
The Eagles selected Louisville linebacker and edge rusher Marcus Smith in the first round of the NFL draft, No. 26 overall. Other players such as Brandon Graham are pushing Cole in training camp and the preseason.

Cole isn't worried about anyone else.

He's focused solely on himself and that has worked in nine highly successful seasons.

"Some people feel pushed, but me, I'm a guy ... I don't feel pushed," Cole told CSNPhilly.com. "The best guy's gonna be out there. Whoever they're gonna put out there is gonna play. That's how it goes. If Brandon's out there, he's gotta go play. If I'm out there, I gotta go play. If I'm out there, I'm determined. I know what I'm gonna do and I'm gonna give you everything I got."

Cole had zero sacks in the first eight games last season and rebounded to record all eight in the season's second half.

No matter the circumstances, players are always going to be challenged.

That's life in the NFL.

"When I came in (in 2005) there was guys in front of me and look at me now," Cole told CSNPhilly.com. "It's a process. That's the way it goes. I have a calm about it. I'm not like everybody. I don't get upset. I'm going to keep playing until the wheels fall off and somebody else is going to take my place. I've had a good career. I'm just gonna keep rolling and go as hard as I can until the wheels fall off."

Jeremy Maclin ready to rebound

August, 26, 2014
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Jeremy Maclin has had a couple of scares during training camp and the preseason.

But he continues to get up.

Maclin
And he refuses to believe that he's always injured.

The veteran wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles missed all of last season with a torn ACL.

Maclin fully expects to be back competing for the Eagles in 2014.

"I missed last season off of a fluke injury," Maclin told CSNPhilly.com. "Prior to that, I think I missed four games, five games my whole career. So you tell me."

How about the perception that he's consistently banged up?

"It doesn't really matter to me," Maclin told CSNPhilly.com. "For four years straight I played the most snaps at receiver on our team."

Maclin suffered a hamstring injury during the joint practices with the New England Patriots and then got hurt during last Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But Maclin has been adamant that he'll be ready for the regular season.

"Obviously, I had the little thing that happened in the game," Maclin told CSNPhilly.com. "Obviously when something like that happens I get flashbacks. But I try not to think about it. I've come a long way. It's been over a year now and I'm ready to go."

Since the Eagles decided not to re-sign DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant, Maclin is in an ideal situation.

Maclin inked a one-year deal and he's clearly looking beyond that. How he performs this season will play a large role in his future.

"Yeah, but at the same time, if I think I'm gonna be a big part of the offense like I think I can, those things will come," Maclin told CSNPhilly.com.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Michael Vick remembers his first trip to Philadelphia, August, 2009. It was about a month after he was released from prison on federal dogfighting charges. He signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he wasn't thrilled with the opportunity. He knew he'd have to sit behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

"I just remember being angry the whole trip and kind of upset, almost a disgruntled employee before I could even get there," Vick recalled Monday.

He figured he'd be one-and-done in Philly. He ended up falling in love with the place and sticking around for five years.

On Thursday, Vick returns to the place that changed his life. He will start for the New York Jets in the final preseason game, but it's more of a ceremonial start than anything else. His outing will be brief, maybe a series or two, a chance for him to take a bow before an adoring stadium.

Philly is a notoriously tough place to play and perform -- ask Santa Claus -- but the city likes Mike.

On Monday, Vick sat at his locker, waxing nostalgic about his previous home. He complimented the fans, the front office, the coaches and his former teammates. Vick is appreciated, in part, because of the way he handled himself last season. After getting hurt and losing his job to Nick Foles, he didn't make a stink. He supported Foles, keeping the locker room united.

"I never want to play second fiddle to anybody, but I just felt like that team was in such a groove that I didn't want to try to become a distraction even though I could've fought for my position and fought for the job," he said.

The same scenario has unfolded this year. Instead of rattling the cage, Vick has accepted his role as Geno Smith's backup. His attitude has raised questions about whether he's too content, and whether he should've competed harder for the starting job. Of course, if he did that, he would've been criticized for being divisive. It's a no-win situation.

"You always envision yourself being a starter -- you always want to be the guy behind center -- but times change and things change and we changed as individuals, our feelings and our emotions," he said. "I think I've changed over the years. I still have the same attitude, a winning attitude, but now I kind of see things from a different perspective. It's very humbling to be in the position I'm in, because now I get to see things from a different angle. That's just as important as being a starter, if you ask me."

Vick said he doesn't second-guess his decision to sign with the Jets. He also said he'd never admit that, even if it were the case.

"I can honestly and candidly say right now that I'm very thankful and grateful to be here as a Jet, and I'm excited about what we can accomplish this year," he said.

But first, a trip to Philadelphia, where he started for three-plus years and led the Eagles to the playoffs in 2010.

"The chemistry I had with that organization," he said, "was uncanny."
PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Barkley is getting a one-week reminder of what it’s like to be the No. 1 quarterback.

Barkley
For all of his high school and college years, Barkley was the starting QB. Last year, his rookie season with the Eagles, was the first time he was exposed to the diminished practice reps and weekend solitude of a No. 3 quarterback.

For Thursday night’s preseason finale, Barkley is preparing as the starter while Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez have already begun preparing for the regular-season opener against Jacksonville.

“It’s a little different because our ones are getting their looks at the Jaguars,” Barkley said. “It’s kind of a split practice. But the fact that you know you’re going into the game, starting, and getting reps with the guys you’re playing with -- it does kind of feel like it was in the past. Different in ways, the same in some ways.”

The Eagles drafted Barkley out of USC in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He spent the early part of his tenure here rehabbing from a shoulder injury suffered during the season. He also had a front-row seat for the competition between Foles and Michael Vick for the starting quarterback job.

Twice last season, injuries forced Barkley to finish games started by Vick and Foles. Barkley completed 61.2 percent of his passes (30 for 49), but threw four interceptions and no touchdowns.

When the offseason rolled around, Vick left for the New York Jets, and the Eagles signed Sanchez, the former Jets starter. He was supposed to come in and compete with Barkley for the No. 2 spot behind Foles, but there wasn’t much of a competition. Sanchez has had a very good preseason and locked down the No. 2 spot early on.

For Barkley, then, this game is his last chance to make an impression for a while.

“This is a really good opportunity for Matt,” Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “He’s able to know days in advance that he’s starting, so he’s out here preparing to play the Jets just like it’s a regular-season game. That’s good for him, and we’ll be able to evaluate him in a really good way for a preseason game.”

Sanchez is under contract for only this season, so Barkley is still playing for his NFL future.

“He needs to play a good, efficient game at quarterback,” Shurmur said.

Barkley understands the stakes.

“I don’t have an agenda,” he said. “I want to be consistent, like I try to do every week. I’m going into this game just because I’m starting and getting more reps. I just want to be consistent. I think I’ve made big strides [since last season]. My knowledge of the offense has grown.”
IRVING, Texas – DeVonte Holloman's decision to walk away from a football career was an easy one even if it brings an end to the childhood dreams of playing for the Dallas Cowboys.

“Considering my health and my family, yes, it’s an easy decision but it’ll be tough to not be out there,” Holloman said. “That hardest part about it is being functional as in everyday life but not being able to play.”

Holloman
Holloman is suffering from stenosis, a narrowing of his spinal canal, at the C-3, C-4 level. He missed seven games last year with the injury but was able to return and started the final two games, making 11 tackles and two sacks in the final game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Holloman aggravated the injury in the Aug. 16 preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens and knew it was bad. His arm locked up briefly after making contact.

“I was told last year if it happened again that it might be the end, so in the back of my mind I kind of knew what was getting ready to happen,” Holloman said. “So I had plenty of time to prepare myself.”

A sixth-round pick in 2013, Holloman was viewed as a possible replacement for Sean Lee, who was lost for the season in May with a knee injury, at middle linebacker, as well as a core special team player.

“Of course it’s a dream fulfilled,” he said of his brief tenure. “I got to be out here for a year and play against guys that I watched on TV and played with guys that I watched, and I learned a lot over this year.”

Holloman said the Cowboys have offered to help with whatever he needs as he transitions out of playing the game. He said he could coach in the future. That hardest part will be watching

“Just watching the past preseason game and I was jittery,” Holloman said. “My daughter and my girlfriend were trying to be around me and I was just into the game. It’ll be hard but I’m still rooting for all the guys and I’m a Cowboys fan for life.”
PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Sanchez has definitely become an asset in the months since he signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. The question has suddenly become: Is Sanchez more valuable as the backup to Nick Foles or as a possible trade piece for a team like St. Louis?

"Mark was in the meeting today," Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur joked Monday, pointing out the divide between the focus inside the team complex and the noise swirling around outside it. "Those are just issues of the day, fun things for you guys to think about."

[+] EnlargeMark Sanchez
Bill Streicher/USA TODAY SportsEagles quarterback Mark Sanchez could be a trade target before the season starts.
The loss of quarterback Sam Bradford to an ACL tear leaves the Rams with a tough decision. Do they roll with backup Shaun Hill, or do they try to acquire another quarterback who gives them a better chance to win in a tough division? If they go the latter route, Sanchez is among the most accomplished backup quarterbacks in the NFL.

"Everybody should be interested in Mark," Shurmur said. "He’s done a good job. He’s played well for us. And he’s won a lot of football games in the league. He was sitting in the locker room at halftime of two AFC Championship Games -- ahead. So we’re very glad we have him. He’s added a lot to this team. A lot of people should want him, but we have him. That’s the reality."

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has said many times that it’s important to have two quarterbacks capable of winning games. He knows that all too well. Last season, his first in the NFL, Kelly lost Michael Vick to a groin pull in Week 5. Two weeks later, Foles was knocked out of a game against the Dallas Cowboys with a concussion. Rookie Matt Barkley had to finish that game plus another one after Vick was reinjured.

So Kelly would not easily part with Sanchez. On the other hand, Barkley is scheduled to start the final preseason game Thursday night against the Jets. He will play into the second half. If he shows signs of progress, and if the Rams happened to offer the Eagles more than they expect, then Sanchez could be expendable. The Eagles will have to replace Sanchez after the 2014 season, anyway.

But Kelly isn’t apt to do anything that would jeopardize 2014. As he said the other day, the Eagles aren’t building for the future. They are trying to win now.

"I think we as coaches see it differently than some of the people that write and worry about it outside this building," Shurmur said. "We knew what (Sanchez) brought to the table. We knew his strengths and weaknesses, and we felt like he would fit in well here. His style of play translates to what we want to do. He’s a good player."
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Ron Jaworski says the St. Louis Rams should look for another quarterback as a short-term solution this season and also down the road due to Sam Bradford's injury history.
PHILADELPHiA – LeSean McCoy's left thumb was wrapped tightly in a bandage. His sore toe was hidden away in cleats.

“You know I’m durable,” McCoy said after practicing Sunday.

McCoy
Come Sept. 7, McCoy said, both extremities will be fine. He will be at full go for the Eagles’ regular-season opener against Jacksonville.

“Right now,” McCoy said, “I can’t do too much with (the thumb), as far as catching with it. I’ve got another two weeks for it to get better, and it will. The toe’s feeling good.”

McCoy said he won’t need the thumb wrapped by the time the games count.

“Catch with two hands, with one hand, spike the ball, do everything you can do,” McCoy said. “Blocking? Everything.”

The Eagles are counting on McCoy, the NFL’s leading rusher last season, to have another big season. If anything, McCoy should be even more comfortable in his second season in Chip Kelly’s offense. And Kelly has had a full year to think of new ways to unleash his running back.

“One of my favorite coaches was Andy Reid,” McCoy said. “When he left, it was hard to get over that. I was like, `Man, Coach Reid is gone.’ But that’s part of the business. I loved him so much. He pushed me a lot.”

But Kelly has different ways of getting the best from McCoy.

“He never yells,” McCoy said. “Never. He’s always talking, teaching. That’s like a challenge. I want to do it, perfect it so well, I want to get that acknowledgment. You did a good job. He’s very intelligent. He finds a lot of ways to challenge me. That’s why I like him as a coach.”

Ever since his rookie year, when he was just glad to be in the NFL, McCoy said he has sought new things to challenge himself.

“I’m always trying to find a challenge, something to compete against,” McCoy said. “I play against different running backs that people talk about all the time. I want to be one of the backs that people talk about. `How good is he?’ There’s always a challenge as players. You find ways to push yourself.”

McCoy caused a bit of a stir by declaring himself a better back than Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Spend enough time around McCoy, though, and you realize that’s ultimately a compliment to Peterson. He’s comparing himself to the back he considers the best of the bunch. Otherwise, there would be no point.

McCoy proved himself among the best backs in the NFL last season. His new challenge is to repeat the accomplishment despite the nagging injuries that are part of the game.
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Field Yates discusses the options at quarterback for the Rams and whether St. Louis may trade for a QB.
With training camp now under way, here's a look at how the Philadelphia Eagles' final 53-man roster could pan out:

QUARTERBACKS (3)

A couple writers were talking at practice the other day about the possibility of the Eagles keeping just two QBs on the active roster. With Matt Barkley starting the final preseason game, that certainly raises some intriguing possibilities: trading Sanchez or Barkley and keeping G.J. Kinne on the practice squad. Conclusion: After a month of camp, we'll talk about anything.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

Injuries have given young backs Henry Josey and David Fluellen some opportunities, and they have played pretty well. But Polk appears ready to come back from his hamstring injury and remind people why he was ahead of them on the depth chart.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)

Injuries have had an impact here, too. But it would be surprising if these five players aren't on the team, especially after Chip Kelly indicated Huff's shoulder injury isn't likely to force him to start the season on IR. Ifeanyi Momah and Arrelious Benn could force Kelly to go with six wideouts and just three backs.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

Ertz should continue his ascent to the No. 1 slot here, but Celek’s completeness as a blocker and receiver make him tough to write off. It wouldn’t be shocking if somebody (Emil Igwenagu?) persuaded Kelly to move on from Casey, who probably wonders why he signed with Philadelphia last year.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10)

It could be that we're going too heavy here with 10. Cutting to nine offensive linemen would free the Eagles to go a little heavier elsewhere. If so, Bamiro is probably the odd man out of this group.

DEFENSIVE LINE (7)

A change here: Bair has just played too well in the last two preseason games to discount. With Allen looking like a solid backup at nose tackle, that makes Damion Square a bit less valuable than Bair has looked.

LINEBACKERS (8)

A couple of players -- Travis Long and Emmanuel Acho -- are still in the mix here. With four starters and a need for linebackers on special teams, it is possible the Eagles keep nine of them. For now, I'm sticking with group we've had here.

SAFETIES (5)

That seems like a lot of safeties, but Maragos was signed for special teams, and the coaches like Reynolds enough to carry the fifth-round pick as he develops. Keelan Johnson has looked sharp and could force himself into the mix.

CORNERBACKS (5)

Carroll's hamstring injury has hampered his ability to challenge Williams and Fletcher for a starting job. He is still in the picture, though, as a veteran and quality special teamer. Watkins gets the draft-pick bump, but Roc Carmichael and Curtis Marsh are still in the mix, as well. If either really came on strong, things could get interesting.

SPECIALISTS (3)

It's too early to project Cody Parkey ahead of Alex Henery, but the Eagles are concerned about their kicking situation. It is very possible the Eagles' 2014 kicker isn't on the roster yet. David Akers, anyone?

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