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The Linc - Eagles Looking at Outside Linebackers

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/29/2014.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

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Let's get to the links...

How Many Dallas Cowboys Does It Take to Screw Up a Play-Call? - BLG, BGN
The Dallas Cowboys have a head coach who used to call plays, an offense coordinator who called them last year and now a new, separate play-caller, hiring former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as passing game coordinator.

3-4 LB and DE Refresher - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
I’ve gotten a few questions about LBs and DL in regard to the 3-4 in recent days. What are the Eagles looking for in terms of skills and what are the responsibilities? The key to remember is that the 3-4 is built upon LBs that make plays. The defensive linemen must control the LOS and let the LBs attack and make things happen.

A review of the OLBs the Eagles spoke with at the Senior Bowl - JimmyK,
Outside linebacker might be the Eagles' biggest need. In the first 8 games of the season, Trent Cole had 0 sacks. In the last 9 games he had 8 sacks. In the past, Cole was a guy who would start fast, and finish slow. This year he was the opposite. However, even with Cole's late rejuvenation, he's 31 years old, and the Eagles lack a true 3-4 OLB who can get after the passer with any level of consistency. They also lack depth. While an edge rusher isn't as glaring a need as other positions such as safety, it is important to factor in the importance of the position. Premium edge rushers are extremely valuable and highly sought after players. Think of them in terms of importance to a defense similarly to the way you think of the importance of the QB to an offense. Any team that doesn't have a stud edge rusher should always continue to look for one until they do. And the Eagles most certainly do not have a stud edge rusher. Here are the OLBs the Eagles spoke with after Senior Bowl practices.

Dawkins' imprint remains strong with Broncos - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
Dawkins' home NFL team is the Eagles. There is no confusion over that. But for three seasons the future Hall of Fame safety called Denver home. He still resides there. And his presence is still felt in the locker room, especially among the defensive backs, as the Broncos strive to finish out the season with a Super Bowl victory.

Three Eagles Numbers That Matter - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
4 – The number of "close" interceptions by Nick Foles in 2013, as charted by Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders (via ESPN Insider). We know that Foles only threw two interceptions in 317 pass attempts during the regular season for a ridiculously low rate of 0.6 percent. But a fair question is: How much of that was luck, and how much of that was good decision-making?

Didinger: Gamble Made The Eagles Better - Ray Didinger,
Harry Gamble joined the Eagles in 1981 after 14 seasons of coaching college football. He was head coach at Lafayette for four years then head coach at Penn from 1971 through 1980. Before that he coached high school football in South Jersey. Dick Vermeil had a full coaching staff, but he made room for Gamble. Gamble came in as an unpaid assistant and spent a year breaking down film for the other coaches. Asked why he added Gamble to his staff, Vermeil said, "When you bring in good people, you make your organization better. And Harry Gamble is a good person."

Cat people finally get their Puppy Bowl - SBN Nation NFL
Every year Animal Planet tries to up the cuteness on Super Bowl Sunday with their Puppy Bowl, an incomprehensible mix of cuteness and assumed football. Now Hallmark is upping the stakes with the Kitten Bowl in an attempt to drink Animal Planet's milkshake and eat their cheezburger.

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