Philadelphia Eagles News

The Read-Option: Maxwell Still Confident

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Good afternoon, Eagles fans! It's Day 2 of practice for the team today as it prepares for Sunday's game against the Patriots. While you wait for the action to begin, check out the latest content for the December 2nd edition of the Read-Option ...

Rowe's Opportunity To Shine - Alex Smith

"Back in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Eagles traded up five spots to make sure they could get their man. That man was Eric Rowe, and now that Nolan Carroll has been placed on Injured Reserve with a broken ankle, the rookie will finally get his chance to start at outside corner, opposite of Byron Maxwell.

'I think it's time for him to go out there and see what we have,' defensive coordinator Bill Davis said on Tuesday of the 47th overall pick. 'I do believe in Eric and I do think we'll grow him. As a young guy, he'll get more and more confidence and we'll get more confidence in him.'

As he looks to build his confidence, Rowe's first NFL start will come against arguably the greatest quarterback the league has ever seen in New England's Tom Brady. But facing an ultra-talented opponent is nothing new to Rowe, who was forced into action last week against Calvin Johnson, one of the best receivers to ever lace them up.

'I learned a lot,' Rowe said of the Thanksgiving game against Detroit. 'I learned how the best receiver in the game works. That's a great learning experience for me, and with the (long) weekend, that really helped me clear my mind, it helped me recover for next week and now I just have to get back to what we're doing.'"

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Team Leaders: We Need To Win - Dave Spadaro

"These are tough times for the Eagles -- players, coaches, fans, everyone. Three straight losses heading into December to take a 4-4 team into the teetering region of a season is not ideal. The media smells blood. The losing must stop, and stop now.

The team leaders in this Philadelphia Eagles locker room have seen it all before, including losing streaks and crises in confidence and bouts of insecurity. The solution? Go out and win, baby.

'Without a doubt there's a cure,' linebacker Connor Barwin said. 'You've got to get back to playing smart, good football and you've got to do it from the beginning and you've got to do it for four quarters. It's the same thing you say when you're winning games and you want to keep winning games. When you're losing games, you've got to find that edge, play with confidence like you've been winning games, you've got to play clean. You need to eliminate the mistakes and stay in games and give yourself a chance to win at the end. Obviously the last two weeks we haven't given ourselves a chance to win games.'

At this point in time, on an evening five days before the Eagles are to play at the mighty New England Patriots, players are being swarmed by the media and everything is in question. Do coaches call out players for making mistakes? What could the coaches do differently with the pace of the day and of training to correct mistakes? Is the scheme the problem? Is it the players?

Are you concerned with the level of confidence the defense has on the field?

'No. I just think we need to go out and start fast and make some plays,' Barwin said. 'We can't afford to get behind like we've gotten the last couple of weeks. It's just human nature when you're down early and by that much to lose some confidence. It's important that we come out swinging, come out executing, playing physical, playing fast, playing hard from the first snap.'"

Around The NFC East

Other Views

Bradford Back? - Les Bowen, Daily News

"Eagles players said Sam Bradford did everything in Tuesday's practice, another sign pointing toward his return to starting quarterback duties Sunday at New England.

'He was really good,' wideout Jordan Matthews said. 'Seven-on-seven, team period, two-minute, did really well. Drove down the field in two-minute, hit (tight end Zach Ertz) for a touchdown late . . . He was talkative in the huddle, getting everybody going. It was a good feeling, having him back in there.'

Bradford suffered a concussion and a left shoulder AC sprain in the Eagles' Nov. 15 loss to Miami, which began their current three-game slide.

'It's just a matter of him going out and training, and then recovering from the training and then going out and doing it again,' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. 'So we're just looking for him to go out and be able to execute, and feel good doing it.'

Shurmur also noted that 'throwing is a motion that involves all parts of your body.'

'There's a lot of things to consider with a quarterback,' Shurmur said. 'His ability to throw the ball, his ability to move, and then also his ability to protect himself in the pocket if something breaks down.'"

Maxwell Knows Scrutiny Comes With Territory - Tim McManus, Birds 24/7

"Byron Maxwell got a text from his mom following Thursday's 45-14 loss to the Lions, concerned over an article she read suggesting her son had lost his confidence.

'I was like, 'Man, y'all gotta stop reading the papers. I didn't even see that one,'' the corner joked.

'I'm like, 'You know me better than that.' That's one thing I probably won't ever lose.'

It would be understandable if Maxwell were a little shaken by how things have gone down since leaving Seattle for Philly. Ever since a rocky opener against the Falcons, he has faced a steady stream of criticism that has only intensified since the season hit the skids.

Maxwell was brought in to stop the bleeding. Was given a six-year deal in the hopes he would help do just that. Big expectations come with such an exorbitant salary, and the season has definitely not gone according to script. The 27-year-old South Carolina native, though, does not appear rattled. In fact, he says his play is actually a notch above what it was with the Seahawks, and that the higher degree of scrutiny just comes with the territory.

'The price tag, it brings that. Your game might not have changed, it's just the price tag on you went up and that's what it looks like, they expect more. That's how the game works,' he said.

So you feel your game is at the same level as when you were in Seattle?

'Yeah. My game has definitely...I elevated, my game has definitely gone up. The scoreboard don't say that, but I feel like I've been playing pretty good.'"

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