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News » Eagles - Eagles' mood buoyant after win over Cardinals


Eagles - Eagles' mood buoyant after win over Cardinals


Eagles - Eagles' mood buoyant after win over Cardinals
ON BLACK FRIDAY, the Eagles' coach was as bubbly as a shopper waving coupons. It was the morning after a 48-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in which Andy Reid said he believed his team "played well, probably for the first time this year, with all three phases playing at a high level."


In case you dozed off early after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, Donovan McNabb shook off his recent funk, completing 27 of 39 passes for 260 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also took off and ran four times, gaining 24 of the Eagles' 185 rushing yards. Brian Westbrook, somehow revived only 4 days after limping off the unforgiving Baltimore turf in a blowout loss, gained 110 yards on 22 carries and became the first Eagle to score four touchdowns in a game since Irving Fryar in 1996.

The Eagles' secondary, missing $57 million cornerback Asante Samuel, handled the league's best wideout corps and intercepted Kurt Warner on his first two drives. Anquan Boldin had several drops and a crucial fumble.

McNabb, as always, was the focal point. Reid referenced "the things that he went through," including Reid's decision to bench his 10th-year franchise quarterback at halftime in Baltimore.

"He just showed again what makes him a great quarterback," Reid said.

Reid said right guard Max Jean-Gilles will have season-ending right ankle surgery Monday or Tuesday. Shawn Andrews is back in town after what the coach described as a painful flight from California; Reid was scheduled to sit down with Andrews to assess his condition following his October back surgery, but don't hold your breath there. Nick Cole will start at right guard, and the Eagles will make a roster move, quite possibly promoting practice-squad offensive lineman Chris Patrick. Fourth-round rookie Mike McGlynn becomes the top reserve guard.

UndilutedYou might have noticed you didn't see former starting wideout Reggie Brown catching any passes Thursday. Greg Lewis also was absent from the pass-pattern rotation. Andy Reid said yesterday that in trying to find ways to build some rhythm for the Birds' struggling offense, one thing he hit upon was cutting down on the personnel packages. He wanted to let Donovan McNabb work with a smaller group of receivers, to develop more of a rapport.

"I know that people say that we don't have very many good receivers, and I think a little bit differently than that," Reid said. "I think we have a lot of good receivers. The problem is that we had to back off of some guys, so that we could get our timing back in the pass game.

"This is a timing passing game, precision pass game. We were rotating so many guys in there that it didn't give the quarterback and the wide receivers an opportunity to get on the same page and get enough reps in practice. As good a player as Reggie is, we cut back his reps a little bit. That doesn't mean that he can't play or won't be a factor in these games, but just so we could tighten things up a little bit in the pass game. I thought things were getting a little too diluted there."

The concept sure worked. Doesn't say much for Brown's place in the current pecking order, though, does it?

BirdseedDonovan McNabb told the panel on the NFL Network postgame show he feels he still wants to have "a conversation" with Andy Reid, presumably about McNabb's role going forward . . . The Eagles will take the weekend off before convening for a brief Monday workout, and starting preparations for their Dec. 7 visit to the Giants . . . Andy Reid said "there's a chance" both cornerback Asante Samuel (neck) and running back Correll Buckhalter (knee) will return for that game. "Buck might be a little bit more of a stretch than Asante," Reid said. *

For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 29, 2008

Sean Considine Name: Sean Considine
#37
Position: S
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
College: Iowa
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