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Eagles left red-faced in the red zone

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:40 AM


Eagles left red-faced in the red zone

LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012, 12:43 AM

THE EAGLES' red-zone results in New Orleans were stunning - 0-for-5 on 17 snaps, minus penalties, one play that gained yardage, two turnovers, two field goals, the only TD the pick-six Michael Vick threw.

"Geez. I believe we were 4-for-6 in the two ballgames preceding this last one [actually it was 3-for-6], so I thought we were going, on that," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday. "I think we ran the ball three times for minus-1 . . . and then the passing game was worse. We gave points away, we gave them points. Very, very difficult to win ballgames when you get down in the red zone that many times and you come away with the points we came away with."

Mornhinweg said the Birds are "going to have to fight and scratch and claw for everything we get - we're going to have to earn it" Sunday against the stout Cowboys defense, ranked fifth in the NFL (14th in scoring).

Mornhinweg said the Eagles had some problems before they got to the red zone Monday night, but were able to overcome them. The tighter space inside the 20 is less forgiving.

"If you're not playing with great precision down in the red zone, then you get into those types of situations," he said. "All 11 players have to play fast and precise down in the red zone. Things are happening quickly; they've got the 12th man [the end line] . . . I will tell you players are working very, very hard to get that thing straightened out."

Left guard Evan Mathis said: "I don't know what the difference is in the red zone; it's going to be an individual play, something different on each play, but to sum it all up, the red-zone breakdowns are one of the things that have killed us."

Not-so-special feeling

Special-teams coordinator Bobby April talked about the kickoff- return touchdown that wasn't, when Brandon Boykin's lateral to Riley Cooper accidentally arrived as an illegal forward pass. April called the result "exasperating." He explained that unlike an offensive trick play, where you know where the ball is going to be and where all the players are, a special-teams trick play has more moving parts. He compared it to a pool table break.

But April said he didn't regret trying it.

"You gotta be bold," he said. He complimented Eagles coach Andy Reid for choosing that moment, with the Birds down, 28-13, to give it a try.

Patterson's play

Defensive tackle Mike Patterson was upbeat about his 15-snap performance Monday, playing for the first time in 2012 after offseason surgery to untangle blood vessels in his brain.

"I don't think I played the way I wanted to play, of course, but I'll get more [practice] reps this week," Patterson said. "Still knocking off some rust."

No Herremans surgery

Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said that after consultation with specialists, right tackle Todd Herremans, who was hurt in Monday's loss in New Orleans, will not have surgery on his right foot, which suffered a rare and complicated bone dislocation that led to other problems. Herremans is expected to recover fully, but not before next spring.


LeSean McCoy (illness) missed practice again, as did Danny Watkins (foot). Running back Chris Polk, who forced a Saints fumble on a kickoff return Monday night, suffered a turf-toe injury to his left foot that has him on crutches and in a boot. Polk will not play this week . . . Phillip Thomas, a rookie safety who was cut during training camp, worked overnight at a UPS facility in Miami and worked out during the day as he awaited a call from somewhere, Thomas said. He had no tryouts, until the Eagles called him to fill a practice squad spot this week. He said his supervisor was happy for him when he called to say he wouldn't be working this week . . . "DeMarcus Ware can absolutely wreck a game if you allow him to," Marty Mornhinweg said of the Cowboys linebacker. "He's one of those special players - one of the best that has ever played."

Contact Les Bowen at bowenl@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LesBowen. For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' blog at eagletarian.com.

LES BOWEN Daily News Staff Writer