Good afternoon and happy Friday! The Eagles have their final day of practice prior to this Sunday's game against the Bills. To get caught up on all the latest Eagles content, take a look at the December 11th edition of the Read-Option ...
The Last Word: Cox's Humble Beginnings - Dave Spadaro
"Dave Spadaro: What do awards like the Ed Block Courage Award mean to you?
Fletcher Cox: They mean a lot. I want to thank all of my teammates for voting for me. They didn't have to do that. They know the stuff I've been through and they've been very supportive and I appreciate that. I voted for somebody else. I didn't think I would get this award. These guys are the guys I got to battle with, so to know they voted for me, it means so much. I found out on my way to practice and, I'm telling you Dave, I think it kind of messed up my day a little bit. Everybody kept asking me why I was so quiet during the day and I just couldn't talk about it. It's special. I'm emotional about it.
DS: You came in as a 4-3 defensive lineman and now you're a 3-4 lineman. A lot of times that means you have to give up personal glory – sacks, tackles, all of that – for the defense. How was that for you?
FC: I've never thought about that part of it. To me it was just about going through the process of learning something new. I want to show the entire league that I can play in any system. It's me, not the system. Nobody can label me as 4-3 defensive lineman. I played 3-technique my whole career and then I switched and I'm still out there making plays and helping my team. It's a fun challenge. I'm willing to accept that challenge.
DS: Do you want to make the Pro Bowl? Does it matter to you?
FC: Yeah, it does.
DS: Why does it matter?
FC: It's another kind of bit of recognition that my hard work pays off. That's all. To me, what would be really special is being named All-Pro. That's what I want from an individual standpoint.
DS: Weren't you All-Pro last year?
FC: Second team. First team is what I want. That would be real nice.
DS: Is there a Fletcher Cox Boulevard going up in Yazoo City any time soon?
FC: Working on it. Actually working on it.
DS: When it's done can you invite me down?
FC: To get a picture in front of the sign? Of course. You're always welcome in Yazoo City."
Tweet Of The Day
Use #BarwinWPMOYChallenge on social media ...
Green Exposure: Week 17
A Midnight Green look at the Eagles' 35-28 win over the Patriots in New England. View the full gallery here...
Murray Committed For The Long Run - Max Rappaport
"This week, reports circulated that Murray had sought out the team's Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie to discuss his displeasure with his role within the Eagles' offense. On Thursday, the veteran running back addressed the claims, noting that while he and Lurie did speak, the conversation occurred while the two were sitting in their assigned seats next to one another on the team plane after Sunday's win over the Patriots and that the tone of their conversation wasn't negative. Understandably, Murray wants to contribute more to the Eagles' offense, but he said that his frustrations come from a place of wishing he could help rather than a desire for more personal accolades.
'I think that every player wants the opportunity to contribute to the team, especially me as a competitor,' he said. 'Obviously, it's hard. I've never been in this situation before, and you've got to kind of deal with it the best you can. But like I've said, every guy in this locker room wants the ball, it's not just me. Everyone loves the football, everyone loves to make plays, and the biggest thing for me is I want to contribute to this team. I feel like I can be a big piece of that, and obviously we won the games, so I was extremely happy about that. But you always want to contribute in any way.'
During a seven-and-a-half-minute conversation with reporters at his locker, Murray fielded questions about his relationship with Lurie and with head coach Chip Kelly. He was asked about airplane seat assignments, and he was asked about how a recounting of the conversation may have leaked to ESPN's Ed Werder earlier in the week.
The fifth-year pro answered each question that was thrown his way, answering earnestly at times and at others admitting when he didn't quite have an answer. But one thing that Murray was absolutely adamant about was his commitment to the Eagles, to his teammates, to the team's coaches and to the City of Philadelphia.
'I made a commitment to (Jeffrey Lurie), and (Chip Kelly), and these guys in the locker room,' Murray said. 'I love this team, I love playing for this team, and I love the fans. By signing on that dotted line, I knew I was going to be here for a long time, and I'm committed to winning a lot of games. Obviously it's been a tough year for myself and the team so far, but we're still tied for first place in the division, and we've still got a chance to do some special things. I'm committed here for the long run.'"
Chip Kelly 1 On 1: Patriots Recap
Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham Won't Give It A Rest - Paul Domowitch, Daily News
"Both Barwin and Graham are having solid, if not spectacular seasons. They've combined for 12 sacks and 19 tackles for losses. Each of them had two sacks of Tom Brady in last week's 35-28 win over the Patriots.
Graham, the Eagles' 2010 first-round draft pick, also has forced three fumbles.
Barwin is used to iron-man duty. He hasn't missed a game in five years. Played 1,046 snaps last year and 1,158 the year before.
'They gave me a couple of plays off at practice today,' Barwin said jokingly.
Barwin played through a quad injury earlier this season, but otherwise has managed to stay off the injury report.
'I feel good,' he said. 'It says something about our coach, Bill McGovern, and the way we work with him to get ready to play on Sunday. And it says something about our strength staff and what we do training-wise and how we take care of our bodies outside of football.'
McGovern said he had a 'frank conversation' with Graham in the spring and talked to him about the importance of getting his body prepared for the rigors of being a 16-game starter. Prior to this year, Graham had never played more than 525 snaps in a season. He had to go from being a quarter-miler to a marathoner.
'He's really taken to it,' McGovern said. 'His actions speak for him. Brandon's usually one of the first guys here in the morning. And he's backed it up on the field.'"
Kelce On McCoy's Return - Matt Lombardo, NJ Advance Media
"Q: You obviously know LeSean McCoy really well from all the years he spent here. How much more meaningful do you expect Sunday to be for him? How charged up to you think he'll be?
Jason Kelce: I think anytime you're playing former friends and a former team you were with, there's extra emotion that goes into it. I would assume that this game's probably going to mean more to him than most do. I don't know that he'll admit that, but I think it will.
Q: Do you have any plans to seek him out either before the game, just to catch up?
Kelce: I'll talk to him after the game. Probably not before. I don't usually go out on the field before games until the whole team's out there. I'll probably see him after the game.
Q: LeSean's certainly a different type of running back than most, and a very explosive runner. You've had a lot of different style backs come through here ... Darren Sproles is kind of a slasher. How did you have to go about blocking for someone like McCoy because you never really knew what he was going to do back there?
Kelce: He was different in the fact that he freelanced a lot more. Obviously he was the type of guy that could take a play that was designed to run to the left side and cut it all the way back to the right. He was always trying to find something or create something out of nothing. That was always kind of his MO. You never really knew where he was going to hit a lot of the times. I don't think it changes that much for the offensive line. We just went about blocking the same then that we do now."