Philadelphia Eagles News

Headlines: Tackling Dummies & Takeaways?

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The Eagles are three days away from their game against the Dallas, which will present a big opportunity for the team. Fresh off the bye, the Eagles are well rested, both mentally and physically. Until the team takes the field in Texas, get caught up on these other views for November 5 ...

Eagles Place Tackling Dummies Around NovaCare Complex

During his press conference on Wednesday, defensive coordinator Bill Davis explained why the team has numerous tackling dummies throughout the NovaCare Complex – to ensure takeaways are always on its mind.

Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice explained that he notices the dummies around the building, but never questioned their purpose. Clearly, the strategy has worked. The Eagles lead the NFL in takeaways with 19.

"That was a collective idea," said Davis. "We just said, 'How can we really put takeaways on the front of their minds?' So we got the dummies, the one throwing and the one holding the ball so it can be a passer or a runner, and we just said, 'Hey guys, in and out of every meeting just put it on your mind.'

"We all talk about habits, and habits reflect the mission. It's just a habit that we're trying to get to. Does it happen on the practice field? And most importantly, how many times are we actually attempting to punch the ball out in the game? Because the more shots on goal you get, the more success you have."

Johnson Preparing At Right And Left Tackle

Unfortunately, the status of Jason Peters this weekend remains unknown after the left tackle did not practice on Wednesday. He is recovering from a back injury that forced him to leave the game against Carolina.

If Peters is unable to play, Lane Johnson may shift and take his place at the position. Matt Lombardo of NJ.com wrote of Johnson's history at left tackle, as he played it in college. However, if a position change is necessary it will still be an adjustment for the Eagle.

"It all comes down to footwork," Johnson said. "And getting your balance. Playing three years at right tackle really got my left leg real dominant when my right leg used to be the dominant one. It's weird.

"So many people don't think that it would be that big of a change, but there are a lot of tackles in this league that can't play left and right. Just the stance and footwork is probably the biggest difference."

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What Can We Expect From Alonso?**

Linebacker Kiko Alonso is preparing to return to action this Sunday against the Cowboys. As written by Josh Paunil of Birds 24/7, Alonso's coaches and teammates have all expressed their thoughts on the linebacker's unique style of play. Clearly he will be a force for the Eagles.

"Kiko is a very instinctive football player," Davis said. "You don't have to say much. He can go out there, and probably not even give him a call, and he could probably float to the ball and be at the ball, be in coverage, be in a good spot.

"He really gets the game of football; he sees it well; he has got great eyes. So no matter what you put him in, like yesterday was his first day in a while and it was like he didn't miss a beat. So I think he has got great football instincts and an IQ that helps him make all those plays you saw him make in Buffalo."

Eagles Opportunity Is Right There

The Eagles have a big opportunity to turn their season around this weekend, as Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com explained. They need to beat Dallas to get back on track.

"This team is pretty healthy right now," Lawlor wrote. "They have the best roster in the division (I know that's not the greatest measuring stick these days). The team is coming off a bye, which allowed the players to get rest (physically, mentally and emotionally) and the coaches were able to study tape and identify some areas that needed fixing.

"I also think a lot of the Eagles problems are, to steal Chip's phrase of the year, self-inflicted wounds. The bad news is that the team is sloppy enough to make those mistakes. The good news is that the mistakes can be fixed."

Hicks Recalls First Game Against Dallas

Jordan Hicks has stepped up in big ways for the Eagles this season. He took his first defensive snaps in the team's Week 2 game after both Alonso and Mychal Kendricks went down with injuries.

That game, the rookie stood out. He recorded his first career sack and forced fumble of Cowboy Tony Romo. The quarterback was injured on the play and has not appeared on the field since, which has made a big impact on Dallas' season. According to *Daily News *staff writer Les Bowen, to Hicks it was merely another tackle.

"It was, obviously, unfortunate he got hurt," Hicks said of the play. "But not really (something Hicks thinks about). It's just another play. I've been focused on what I had to do going forward, growing and learning. There's a lot of learning that took place after that."

This weekend, the team will be much healthier at inside linebacker. While Hicks doesn't know what his role will be, it's clear he will continue to have a big role.

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