Monday, December 27, 2004

In memory of Reggie

from the official site of the Philidelpha Eagles
Former Eagles great Reggie White has died after suffering a massive heart attack Sunday morning at his home near Huntersville, N.C. He was 43.

"Today our beloved husband, father and friend passed away," White's wife, Sara, said through a family pastor. "His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Reggie White. We want to thank you in advance for honoring our privacy."

White registered 124 sacks during his eight years (1985-92) in Philadelphia, but departed for Green Bay via free agency. In Green Bay, he helped lead the Packers to two consecutive Super Bowl appearances, including a championship in 1996.

Said the Eagles in a statment: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest men ever to play the game of football. On behalf of the entire Eagles family, our condolences go out to his wife, Sara, to his children, and to all those who have been touched by Reggie throughout his life. His legacy on and off the football field will never be forgotten."

Reaction as the Eagles boarded the airplane to travel to St. Louis was swift, and emotional.

"First of all, it was very shocking to hear news like this about a person of Reggie's caliber," said Harold Carmichael, the Eagles' director of player development and alumni. "A lot of people think about Reggie on the football field. I think about him off the field. I think about the things he used to do, the people he used to help. He was a fun guy to be around.

"We never played against each other, but I was around him a lot and saw him a lot. It's tough to talk about it now."

The Eagles reached out to White and brought him back into the organization as the team moved into the NovaCare Complex in 2001. They honored White with a larger-than life cloth mural in the auditorium of the Complex. He, Steve Van Buren, Tommy McDonald and Chuck Bednarik are honored with murals.

"I know it meant a lot to him," said Carmichael. "He wanted to be around, and be part of the Eagles. He was always such a positive person. Even after he left the Eagles, I know he always loved Philadelphia and the Eagles and the fans very much."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Eagles Take To Road, Meet Redskins Sunday

The march continues. The Eagles again meet Washington, just three weeks after dispatching the Redskins 28-6 on November 21 at Lincoln Financial Field.

This time, the Eagles play in the nationally-televised game (ESPN) at FedEx Field. Washington is 4-8 and coming off an impressive 31-7 win over the New York Giants last Sunday.

It was the most impressive offensive display of the season for the Redskins.

Running back Clinton Portis rushed for 148 yards and scored two touchdowns in the first half, while quarterback Patrick Ramsey had his best game this season, completing 19 of 22 passes and throwing for three touchdowns.

And it was business as usual for the Redskins' defense, which limited New York's offense to just 145 total yards and 38 rushing yards. Rookie quarterback Eli Manning struggled, completing just 12 of 25 passes for 113 yards. The defense pitched a shutout, with the Giants' only points coming in the third quarter on Derrick Ward's 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

"I'm extremely proud of our guys for everything that has happened to us all year," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "There are so many guys hurt and so many guys injured. I'm very proud of them."

Regarding the offense, Gibbs said: "We had playmakers making plays. We've been missing plays all year. Clinton had a big day. I could tell he would because all week he was asking for the ball. After a couple of weeks of us not doing well in the running game, he felt the need to produce. Our receivers made some great catches. A lot of things that haven't gone well for us this season went well for us."

It was the first time this season that the Redskins had score more than 20 points in a game.

Said Portis: "This offense can produce week-in and week-out. This week we were able to stick to our game plan, pound away with a play-action pass here and there. Guys made plays. We knew this offense can produce."

It couldn't have been a better start for the Redskins. Washington scored on its opening possession, with Portis's 1-yard run capping a 13-play, 93-yard drive. Gibbs elected to have Ramsey hand off to Portis on the offense's first five plays. Portis would go on to carry seven times -- one more than his total rushing attempts in last week's game against Pittsburgh -- for 49 yards on the drive.

Ramsey was perfect on the drive, connecting with Laveranues Coles twice and going 4-4 overall for 32 yards. After a Ramsey pass to Brian Kozlowski gave the offense a first and goal at the 1-yard line, Portis followed a block from fullback Mike Sellers and dove across the left side of the goal line for the early 7-0 lead.

The Redskins took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, with Portis scoring his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard shovel pass from Ramsey.