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unCovering the Birds with Jeff McLane

by Audacy

Hosted by Jeff McLane, unCovering the Birds brings you stories you might not have heard about the football team that makes you bleed green. McLane has spent the last decade and a half breaking news, digging up scoops, and delivering readers of The Philadelphia Inquirer award-winning Philadelphia Eagles coverage. On unCovering the Birds, he’ll take you behind the scenes and into the world of the Birds beat with exclusive access and insider perspective.

unCovering the Birds is presented by Wawa. The podcast is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts.

You can listen to unCovering the Birds on the Audacy app, Inquirer.com/podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow Jeff McLane on Twitter, and read more of his work at inquirer.com/author/mclane_jeff/.

Copyright: 2024 © 2023 Audacy, Inc.

Episodes

Head games

52m · Published 10 May 01:41

Stewart Bradley tried to get up. He made it to his feet, took about six steps, wobbled, then crumbled to the turf. The reaction from the sold-out crowd at Lincoln Financial Field was one of collective shock. The broadcasters announcing the game were shaken by what they saw. Did Bradley really get his bell rung that badly? How could such a freakish athlete just collapse like that? The situation looked serious, which is what made it all the more stunning to see Bradley back on the field a mere three plays later…

In the first installment of a two-part look at how concussions have affected Philadelphia Eagles players past and present, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane catches up with Bradley and his former teammates to revisit one of the scariest moments in recent Eagles’ history. Jeff pulls back the curtain on how Bradley was allowed to return to play, and talks to Bradley about the impact head trauma has had on his life since his playing career ended.

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts. Look for new episodes in Season 3 dropping throughout the spring.

Needle in the haystack

37m · Published 26 Apr 03:06

Reed Blankenship could feel it - the tingling, the puncture. He couldn’t bring himself to look, but he knew it wasn’t good. Immediately, he called out for help. He was hurt - badly. In a snap second, Blankenship's trajectory changed. All of a sudden, the persistent, hard-working kid from northern Alabama farm country wasn’t so sure what the future held. Would he be able to attain his NFL dreams? Fast forward a few years later, and Blankenship, who went undrafted in 2022, has staked his claim on a pivotal role on the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense. What helped Blankenship overcome adversity? Which factors in his life shaped his character? How did the 25-year old go from undrafted rookie free agent to starting safety? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Eagles beat reporter Jeff McLane profiles one of the team's emerging contributors.

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts. Look for new episodes in Season 3 dropping throughout the spring.

Kelce's last stand: Part 2

31m · Published 19 Apr 01:42

It didn’t seem right. It didn’t feel fair. Jason Kelce’s iconic career as a Philadelphia Eagle came to an end in crash and burn fashion. After a promising start to the year that had experts pegging them as Super Bowl favorites, the team fell apart. There would be no repeat trip to the Super Bowl, or second championship ring. A storybook finish wasn’t in the cards. But as the pain of the Eagles’ demise receded, Kelce was able to look back on his 13-year run with pride. He brought the franchise a title, and gained thousands of adoring fans along the way. Now that football’s done, what’s next? In the second installment of “Kelce’s Last Stand,” The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane continues his journey through the Pro Bowler’s final go-round, detailing how he handled the Eagles’ collapse and what the future could hold for him.

Click here to listen to Part 1.

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts. Season 3 begins Friday, April 19th, with new episodes dropping throughout the spring.

Kelce's last stand: Part 1

26m · Published 19 Apr 01:35

Jeff McLane had a hunch. He covered every moment of Jason Kelce’s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, from the day the team drafted him to Kelce's iconic Super Bowl victory speech on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. The two had gotten to know each other well. Kelce wasn’t tipping his hand much heading into the 2023 season, but as far back as last summer, there were signs: the veteran offensive lineman was getting ready for an exit. A few months later, Kelce officially retired. In this two-part story, McLane, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s award-winning Eagles beat reporter for over 15 years, takes you on a “fly-on-the-wall” journey through Kelce’s last hurrah, as told from the perspective of Kelce himself and people close to him. What was really going on behind the scenes during the Eagles’ roller coaster season? How much did their eventual collapse factor into his decision? What opportunities does Kelce have lined up next? Listen to both parts of “Kelce’s Last Stand” now to hear the final chapter of a Philadelphia sports star’s iconic playing career.

Click here to listen to Part 2.

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts. Season 3 begins Friday, April 19th, with new episodes dropping throughout the spring.

An impression, a response, and a Season 3 preview

4m · Published 11 Apr 23:31

When did a legend realize it was time? What convinced a star’s teammate to join him in taking a bold, yet controversial, stance? Why did a mainstay turn to cannabis to cope? How did one player escape from the cumulative effects of head trauma, while another suffered from them? These are just some of the questions nationally-recognized reporter Jeff McLane sets out to tackle on Season 3 of unCovering the Birds. A veteran of the Philadelphia Eagles beat for The Philadelphia Inquirer for over 15 years, McLane has access to sources and scoops you won’t find anywhere else. Join him as he peels back fresh layers to stories you might have only heard parts of before, or never knew about at all.

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Audacy. You can listen to unCovering the Birds on the Audacy app, Inquirer.com/podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

New episodes start April 19th, 2024.

Follow Jeff McLane on X. You can read his qork at inquirer.com/mclane_jeff.

Beat reporter round table with McLane, Berman, & Kempski

1h 17m · Published 23 Feb 04:01

Rare is it that a reporter on the Philadelphia Eagles beat gets an off night, but such was the case February 21st, 2024. So how did unCovering the Birds host Jeff McLane spend it? Dishing about the Eagles, of course, with fellow veteran reporters Zach Berman, from All City PHLY, and Jimmy Kempski, from PhillyVoice.com. In a round table Q&A recorded live at Fitler Club in Philadelphia, the trio zeroed in on the biggest storylines surrounding the Eagles as the offseason gets ready to kick into high gear, from Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts to Howie Roseman and the roster. The group also took questions from fans in the audience. Get the inside scoop as the Eagles set sights on building towards what they hope will be a bounce-back season.

unCovering the Birdsis a production ofThe Philadelphia InquirerandKYW NewsradioOriginal Podcasts.

Host: Jeff McLane
Executive Producer, Philadelphia Inquirer: Renee Ifill
Director of Podcasting, KYW Newsradio: Tom Rickert
Producer: Brian Seltzer

Nick Sirianni stays. What’s next?

13m · Published 27 Jan 17:04

It took more than a week after a disastrous end to the season for the Eagles to finally signal their plan, but Nick Sirianni is coming back for a fourth year as the team’s head coach. Whether he can clean up the mess from the Eagles’ 1-6 finish will likely determine his staying power beyond 2024, if he even lasts that long. Why would the Eagles spare Sirianni his job? What direction will he head in now that all of his top assistants have been let go? Philadelphia Inquirer beat reporter Jeff McLane checks in with an update about what he’s been hearing as the Eagles’ enter a critical early stage of the offseason.

Also, a humble grovel:

unCovering the Birds was recently selected as a finalist for the 2024 Sports Podcast Group Awards. Winners are determined by fan voting. If this series is part of your regular podcast listening routine, we’d love for you to click the followinglink, cast a vote, and help us try to take home ‘Best Team Podcast’ honors. Thanks so much! (voting closes January 28th, 2024)

unCovering the Birdsis a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts.

Nick

34m · Published 12 Jan 03:37

Welp. This certainly isn’t how the Eagles drew it up. When was the last time you can remember a team that clinched a postseason berth so early heading into the playoffs engulfed in so much turmoil? Such is the Eagles’ lot after losing five of their last six games in the regular season, including back-to-back clunkers to the lowly Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. You can blame the coordinators, you can point fingers at the franchise quarterback, but in many ways, this collapse lies at the feet of the head coach. All of a sudden, has the Eagles’ Wild Card round match-up with the Tampa Buccaneers become a referendum for Nick Sirianni’s job? As the Eagles get set to defend their NFC title and scrutiny surrounding Sirianni soars, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jeff McLane shares what he’s hearing about where Sirianni went wrong this season, and what’s been on the mind of team owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Also, a humble grovel:

unCovering the Birds was recently selected as a finalist for the 2024 Sports Podcast Group Awards. Winners are determined by fan voting. If this series is part of your regular podcast listening routine, we’d love for you to click the following link, cast a vote, and help us try to take home ‘Best Team Podcast’ honors. Thanks so much! (voting closes January 28th, 2024)

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts.

To read the article about the Eagles' defensive coordinator switch referenced in this episode, click here.

Misery

34m · Published 21 Dec 20:48

It’s 12 hours after the Philadelphia Eagles’ latest loss, their third in a row. A promising start to the season is now a distant honeymoon, a repeat run to the Super Bowl couldn’t feel further away. It’s time to turn on the mic, and get to the bottom of what’s wrong with the Eagles. Before leaving Seattle, the scene of the latest defeat, Philadelphia Inquirer Eagles beat reporter Jeff McLane combines insider sources and analysis to examine four big picture problems with the team. Do the Eagles have what it takes to turn things around in the final three games of the regular season, and halt their current spiral towards unfulfilled expectations? Or, was this team destined to disappoint from the start?

Also, a humble grovel!

unCovering the Birds was recently selected as a finalist for the 2024 Sports Podcast Group Awards. Winners are determined by fan voting. If this series is part of your regular podcast listening routine, we’d love for you to click this link, cast a vote, and help us try to take home ‘Best Team Podcast’ honors. Thanks so much!

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts. New episodes drop every three weeks during the 2023 season.

"Adapt or die"

30m · Published 30 Nov 23:27

Throughout Brian Johnson’s formative football life, he’s always been a step ahead of the curve - both as a player and a coach. Now, in his first season as offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, things don’t seem to be coming to him quite as quickly. But has all the criticism directed at him this year been fair, or is he just an easy scapegoat? With the 2023 season entering the home stretch, and the Eagles looming as a Super Bowl favorite, Philadelphia Inquirer Eagles beat reporter Jeff McLane evaluates Brian Johnson’s debut season as an NFL offensive coordinator, and examines the high stakes surrounding his influence on the team’s success.

unCovering the Birds is a production of The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio Original Podcasts. New episodes drop every three weeks during the 2023 season.

unCovering the Birds with Jeff McLane has 27 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 13:44:21. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on March 26th 2023. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on May 14th, 2024 21:10.

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