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The Read-Option: Perception Vs. Reality


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With only a few day before the New England game, the Eagles are hard at work preparing as they look to end their three-game losing streak. Until Sunday afternoon's game, take a look at today's content in the December 3rd edition of the Read-Option ...

Sam Bradford Expects To Play Vs. Patriots - Max Rappaport

"'Anytime you lose it's tough. But when you're hurt, and you're not able to be out there fighting with your guys, helping the team and doing whatever you can do, I think it makes it even worse,' Bradford said. 'I feel good. I feel much better than I did at this point last week. I think I've made a lot of progress. I feel more comfortable out there with what I've been able to do on the field.'

Bradford was hoping to play against the Lions on Thanksgiving, but after being evaluated by Eagles trainers on the day of the game, they and head coach Chip Kelly made the joint decision to hold him back. He was a full participant in practice Wednesday and noted that if he had to play a game today he would likely suit up.

Despite the Eagles' struggles in his absence and the team's 4-7 record, Bradford understands the importance of Sunday's game, and really the remainder of Philadelphia's regular season schedule. Washington and New York lead the way in the NFC East with matching 5-6 records, while the Cowboys sit at 3-8 and Tony Romo is likely out for the year with a broken collarbone. With five games left to play and meetings with both the Redskins and Giants remaining on their schedule, the Eagles are still within striking distance of a division crown and a trip to the playoffs.

'The good news is we're still only a game back in our division,' said Bradford, who nearly got the St. Louis Rams into the playoffs with a 7-9 record as a rookie in 2010. 'Obviously the season hasn't gone the way we had hoped for, but that being said we're still in a position to get on a roll here and make the playoffs. ... Every game from here on out is critical, and I think we're all aware of that.'"

Tweet Of The Day

Prove your #FanEnergy before #PHIvsNE ...

With just four days left until the Patriots game, the Eagles had a strong practice in full pads. View the full gallery here...

Barwin Up For NFL Man Of The Year - Alex Smith

"On Wednesday morning, the NFL announced the 32 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominees, and for the second straight season, Connor Barwin has been named the Eagles' Man of the Year.

'Serving their communities and philanthropic causes is a strong and long-standing tradition of NFL players,' said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 'These outstanding young men embrace and represent that important commitment of giving back to our communities. We salute and thank our players for their leadership.'

Barwin's Make The World Better Foundation has recently completed the revitalization of Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker in South Philadelphia and is now working on bringing the same type of rejuvenation to Smith Playground on 24th Street. Using money from his two Make The World Better concerts held at Union Station, Barwin has helped provide Philadelphia children with a safe and clean place to play.

Each of the 32 team nominees receives a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice. The two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 donation to their charity of choice. The winner will receive an additional $50,000 donation to his charity of choice. Three finalists will be announced in January 2016, and the winner will be announced during the NFL Honors Ceremony held on the night before Super Bowl 50 on February 6, 2016.

Fans can help Barwin achieve even more good in the City of Philadelphia by using the hashtag #BARWINWPMOYCHALLENGE across social media. The Man of the Year candidate whose hashtag is used to most through December 31, 2015 will receive a $20,000 donation to support their cause."

Press Pass: Sam Bradford

Other Views

Eric Rowe Knows Tom Brady Will Test Him - Paul Domowitch, Daily News

"'We have to try to outsmart Brady,' Rowe said. 'He's the best quarterback I've seen in my era. All we can do is study film, study him up and try to out-scheme him.

'If we can just hold up the receivers, the rush will get there. We just have to do our job. We just have to play better.'

That would help. In the last four games, Eagles defensive backs have been ducks in a shooting gallery for opposing quarterbacks. Their last four opponents have a collective 121.4 passer rating against them, including 15 touchdown passes and only one interception.

In the Eagles' first seven games, they held opponents to a 79.1 passer rating, including 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. They allowed only 6.7 yards per attempt.

Now, they must take on Brady with a rookie at one of the cornerback spots.

'When I first lined up against Calvin, I was kind of in awe,' Rowe acknowledged. 'I was like, 'This is Calvin Johnson.' But after a while, it goes away.

'I don't know how I'm going to feel out there this week. I know he's going to come at me. I'm a rookie cornerback. I know he's going to look my way first and I've got to be ready for it.'"

Chip Kelly: What's Preception, What's Reality - Mark Eckel, NJ Advance Media

"Eagles head coach Chip Kelly explained that the 'speech' he gave his team about him not leaving for a college coaching job, was in fact a talk about perception and reality.

Kelly said he just wanted to make clear the difference to his players. So, if the perception was that he was leaving; he wanted them to know the reality is he's staying.

Another example he brought up was linebacker Mychal Kendricks and the perception that he didn't fit the Eagles' defense. When the reality was the team signed him to a long-term contract extension.

Here are some others that Kelly didn't mention.

Perception: Kelly is stubborn and doesn't listen to anyone. It's his way or the highway

Reality: According to those who have worked for him both with the Eagles and at Oregon that's far from the truth. One person said that if Kelly has a flaw in that, it's that he listens to too many people.

Perception: Kelly's offense needs a quarterback who can run.

Reality: The more a quarterback can do the better (in any offense), but what Kelly's offense thrives on is a quarterback who makes good, and quick, decisions.'"

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