PS Game Review – PHI 24, JAX 10

Posted: August 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Eagles weren’t very impressive in the preseason opener. Some individual players looked good, but there was too much sloppiness. Penalties. Turnovers. Missed tackles. Bad throws. And on and on. Week 2 was a different story.

While this wasn’t a performance for the record books, it was great to see the team play better. Plenty of individuals stepped their game up and the players functioned better on a team level. They learned from the mediocre performance in Week 1.

The preseason is more about individuals than team play so let’s jump into that side of things.

Kessler – Got hurt on the opening drive after starting 1-4-11. Did have a 14-yd run. Lack of arm strength was brutally obvious on throw to the sideline. CB was able to knock the ball away. Pass needed zip and/or to be thrown away from the DB. Tried to hit JJAW to the left side. That pass had more zip but was over his head. Ran for 14 yds on 3rd/10. Highlight of his summer. Didn’t adjust to blitz correctly and took a big hit, knocking him out of the game.

Thorson – Guess who actually has some talent? Forced into action on the opening series. Being thrown into the fire may have brought out the best in him. Handled chaos well at times. Bad snap was at his feet. Thorson picked it up and was able to throw it away legally. This was down by the end zone and easily could have been a disaster. Made good throw on next drive. Dropped back and hit 84 over the middle. Nothing special, just pitch and catch with an open WR. Quick read. Accurate throw. Good zip. The kind of basic NFL play Thorson had struggled with. Decision-making is still a major issue. Forced a pass to the right side. WR was covered and Thorson couldn’t step into the throw. Lucky that wasn’t picked off. Rolled to his right and hit CJ for short gain. Looked natural throwing on the move. I liked his aggression on 4th/4 play. Blitz was coming, but Thorson saw his WR get open. Didn’t make great throw, but gave Ward a chance and that turned into 38-yd TD. Tried to go deep to JJAW. Poor footwork led to underthrown ball. Footwork is a major issue. Accurate on short throws. Good throw to JJAW in late 2nd. Mixed in short, quick throws in second half. Had TE wide open down the middle and hit him with a good throw for 25 yds. Made impressive touch throw to Agudosi for what should have been TD. There was PI by the CB. Made terrible decision in late 3rd. Tried to hit Agudosi over the middle, but there were multiple DBs in the area. Has to see the field better than that. Picked off in the 4th when WR bobbled short pass. Not sure that was a smart throw to make, but the WR did have a chance to catch the ball and didn’t. 16-26-175. Showed potential.

***

Sanders – Good game. Got some room to run and showed his ability. Had 12-yd run to start the game. Huge hole, but had vision to find it and able to cut back and hit it. Put move on DB to get an extra couple of yards. Eagles were backed up near GL. Took a handoff and was supposed to go right. Cut back left and went for 16 yards. Vision. Cutback ability. Burst. Didn’t go down on first contact. Added 5 more yards to the end of the run. Eagles haven’t had this kind of RB in years. Next play was run up middle for 2 yds. Important that he doesn’t try for home run on every play. Good blitz pickup on 4th/4 that turned into long TD pass.

Howard – Ran for 10 yards on 3rd/long. Good run for 4 yds in late 1st. No initial hole, bounced it a gap to the left and found space. I like his running style. Patient, but not slow. Went for 3 yards on 3rd/1. Saw daylight and went to the right.

Adams – Caught quick pass in the 3rd and added almost 20 RAC yards. Smooth catch, good run. Good to see a play like that. Short TD run in 3rd. Blocking gave him path to end zone.

Pumphrey – Used wicked cut on DB and left him looking dumb. Pump ran for 11 yards on that play. Ran hard. Kind of ran over a tackler on final drive. Wasn’t expecting that. 5-29. The Eagles finally have some depth at RB and Pump decides to play his best football. Bad timing.

B Scott – Played late and looked good. Used spin move to get out of TFL. No way defender should have missed, but he totally whiffed due to the move. Scott ran hard. Short, but has some thickness and power. Good feet. Good burst. Surprisingly tough to tackle on late drive. Had more power than defenders expected. Ran behind his pads. Showed ability to run between the tackles as well as out in space. Good vision, effort on late TD run. 7-43-1

***

JJAW – Caught 8-yd pass over the middle on 3rd/7. Moved the chains. Caught a short pass and used stiff arm to get another 5 yds. This was late in the half and he was smart enough to also get out of bounds. Good awareness for rookie.

Hollins – Caught pass over middle. Took hit and held on. Wiped out by penalty. Caught short, quick pass on next play. No RAC. Thorson tried to hit him deep, but incomplete. Looked a little rusty, but it was good to see him out there.

M Michel – Caught quick screen and went through traffic for gain of 12. Good RAC ability.

C Johnson – Caught a quick pass on opening drive and used RAC ability to get 11 yds. Good move and hard to tackle. Caught pass over middle and got 9 yds on the play. Moved the chains. Not able to haul in downfield throw. Ball was underthrown and CJ adjusted. Problem is that he didn’t extend for ball. Let it come to him and DB got hand on it. If he extends, has a better chance.

Ward – Made a huge play in the early 2nd Qtr. Ran by CB and was wide open. Thorson was under pressure and couldn’t step into the throw. Got it close enough. Ward adjusted to the ball and made a good hands catch away from his body. Then dodge a couple of DBs and raced in for 38-yd TD. Caught quick screen, but only minimal gain. Didn’t have much space. Eagles ran a trick play with Ward getting the ball on a reverse so he could throw it. Had underneath receiver wide open. Threw it deep and got lucky it was incomplete. I’m no QB guru, but throw to the open dude.

Thompkins – Bobbled short throw and it was picked off. Not good.

Agudosi – Called for OPI. Blocked DB from the snap. Looked to be an RPO so not sure about him blocking. Drew a PI call on 3rd/long. Made impressive catch along sideline in the 3rd. Had to go up on his toes, but managed to keep them down. Not sure ball was intended for him, but he saw it and made the grab. Great concentration. Caught short pass in the 3rd. Did a good job of using his body to shield the ball from the DB.

***

Perkins – Used on multiple wind-back blocks. Mixed results. Good downfield block helped Ward get in for TD. Love the hustle on that play. Lined up in backfield and had good block of blitzer coming up the middle. Caught pass on crossing route. Called for holding in pass pro. Almost a safety.

Tye – Good effort as a blocker. Had 25-yd catch and run in the 3rd. DBs ran into each other and left him wide open. Good job as in-line blocker.

A Ellis – Sealed the edge with block on TD run. Great effort as run blocker on late drive. Really got after it.

***

Dillard – Started at LT. Much like Jason Peters, really times his get-off closely. Anticipates the snap count. Looks like false start at times. Another strong performance. Read blitz and picked up late edge rusher to keep QB clean. Comes off the ball well on run plays. His DE got a sack in the late 2nd. DE knocked Dillard back and Thorson decided to move up in the pocket. Dillard didn’t know and the DE peeled off to get the sack. Called for false start in late 2nd. Too quick of a start.

Pryor – Started at LG. Jumped offside on early play. Too many penalties for him. Played better than last week, but still sloppy. Helped double DT on run. Got movement. Peeled off and went for LB, but whiffed. That guy tackled Howard. Better in pass pro than the opener. Won when he got his hands cleanly on rushers. Will lunge at times when in pass pro at OT. Doesn’t always keep his feet moving in pass pro. DE can battle him and shed late, get hit on QB. Good down block on short TD run. Collapsed the DL.

Wiz – Multiple bad snaps in the game. Not good.

Big V – Played RG. He and Mailata had a great double-team on the first run play. Opened huge hole for Sanders. Beaten by DT on 3rd/10. DT went hard to outside shoulder and V couldn’t get control of him. QB got flushed, but was able to run for the 1st. V never gave up and kept DT from hitting the QB. Got away with hold on draw play on 3rd/long. Able to block LB on Sanders long run. Good upfield block on screen to Michel. Called for holding on a screen pass.

Mailata – RT. Helped Big V to cave in the DT on first run of the game. Mailata then peeled off and got LB. Got upfield early on pass play, but luckily no call. Rookie DE Josh Allen tossed Mailata to the ground. Got him off-balance in pass pro and just tossed the big guy aside. Very impressive move by the 1st rounder. Good pass pro on 3rd/10 after that. Smooth kick slide and bent his knees. Had good pad level and was able to stay in front of Allen. Kept his feet moving. DE tried inside move on pass play. Mailata washed him down the LOS, all the way over by the LT. Looked like he failed to pick up a rusher late in the half. Was focused on someone to the inside. False start in 3rd Qtr.

Herbig – Took over at C in the late 2nd Qtr. Called for illegal snap in late 2nd. Flashes at times. Big and strong. Can be tough when he bends his knees and plays with good pad level. Able to get movement in the run game. Snaps generally had good accuracy and velocity. Crisp. Needs to be quicker from snap to block, but much better than last week. Interesting player. The coaches like him.

Fabiano – Played RG in 2nd half.

Opeta – Played LG in 2nd half. Pass pro needs a lot of work. Gets moved back more than you would like. Gets off-balance at times.

K Render – Played OG late in the game. 

*************************************************************

V Curry – Almost had a sack on first drive. Stumbled and stayed under block of LT. Got the QB’s legs, but couldn’t bring him down before ball was out. Great effort. Got TFL on early run by hustling after RB after run up middle was bounced more outside. More great effort. Beat the LT on another play by going low to get under his block. Drew a holding call on that. Beat the LT with get-off and pad level on 3rd/10, but QB got ball off. Avoided cut block and stuffed RB for no gain. Offside on 3rd/long. Got held by LT on next play, but no call.

B Graham – Welcome to the preseason. Dominated the Jags RT. Drove him backward on opening play. Should have had a sack, but I think Graham was caught off-guard by how quickly he got back there. On 3rd/long, blocked by TE and RB. Didn’t work. Graham pressured the QB again. Tried to block him with just TE on a pass play and that almost resulted in a sack. Beat the RT a couple of more times and I quit paying attention.  Read the rest of this entry »


Ravens vs Eagles, Day 2

Posted: August 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Ravens are in town for a two days of joint practices with the Eagles. Let’s talk about what happened on Day 2.

Here are your practice links.

Jimmy Bama

Brandon Lee Gowton

Jeff McLane

Mike Kaye

PE.com

***

The biggest news on Tuesday was OG Brandon Brooks taking part in 1-on-1 drills. Brooks doesn’t get the attention of Jason Peters or Lane Johnson. He doesn’t get the notoriety of Jason Kelce. He doesn’t get the scrutiny of Isaac Seumalo. Brooks quietly does his job at a high level and he’s a key piece up front. Getting him on the field for these drills is a big step in the right direction.

Oh yeah, and he looked good in the drills.

The key to the 2019 season is Carson Wentz. The key to Wentz is him staying healthy and the key to that is the guys up front playing at a high level. If Brooks can get ready for the opener, that would be great news.

***

OT Andre Dillard had another good day. I’m curious to see if the Eagles give him any reps at RT in Thursday’s game. Dillard has played at a high level this summer.

Might be time to experiment with him at RT in case he needs to play there during the season.

***

Josh McCown had some good moments in his second Eagles practice. You know how we have human years and dog years? We might need something like that when talking about McCown. His second practice is like 14 for a young QB.

McCown is making good pre-snap reads and adjustments. He’s throwing the ball well. He looks like a QB who has been practicing since the Nixon administration. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch, but think of it like this. McCown is attending his 18th Training Camp. Clayton Thorson is attending his 23rd summer on earth.

***

Carson Wentz did make some impressive throws today. His highlight throw was a lowlight for Mack Hollins, though. Hollins got open deep and Wentz put the ball right on him only to see it hit the ground. Hollins has been up and down in his return from injury. I’m sure part of this is him knocking the rust off. That said, he’s got to get better. The final two preseason games will be big for him to play better and build up some confidence.

Wentz did play better than he did on Monday.

***

Tim Jernigan had some really good moments. That is one motivated man. I can’t wait to see him in action this season. I hope we see him a little on Thursday.

***

Vinny Curry dropped on a zone blitz and picked off a pass. I’m sure Lamar Jackson got a lot of grief for that. Never good to have a DE picking you off while he’s in coverage. Tipped balls are one thing, but legit INTs? Ugh.

The Eagles have used zone blitzes in both preseason games so far. This isn’t something they do a lot of, but it is a useful weapon when mixed in. Jim Johnson certainly loved those “fire zones”.

***

Jordan Howard had some good runs. He hasn’t gotten a ton of attention this summer because we’ve all been focused on Barry Miles Sanders. Howard will be an important part of the Eagles running game this year, whether he’s the primary back or not.

Corey Clement had another strong day. Sounds like he is all the way back from his injury and is ready to go. Love the fact the Eagles have more weapons than last year.

***

Former Penn State QB Trace McSorley had a rough return to PA. He was picked off multiple times by the Eagles backup defense. It will be interesting to see McSorley in action on Thursday. He’s made some impressive throws this summer, but still is very much a project.

***

Alshon Jeffery is still kinda decent at football stuff. So good to have him healthy this summer.

***

Glad to have these injured guys working their way back. The regular season is getting closer.

_


Ravens vs Eagles, Day 1

Posted: August 19th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Ravens are in town for a two days of joint practices with the Eagles. Let’s talk about what happened on Day 1.

Here are your practice links.

Jimmy Bama

Brandon Lee Gowton

Jeff McLane

Mike Kaye

PE.com

x

Carson Wentz was up and down. Part of that is on him and part of it is due to the Ravens stingy secondary. Baltimore has a good trio of corners and a pair of veteran safeties. Going against a tough defense should help Wentz in the long run. Going against your teammates over and over only tells you so much. You need outside competition. And the fact they’re tough makes it even better.

If Carson beats Deiondre’ Hall for a big play, nobody cares. Beat Earl Thomas and it means something.

***

Corey Clement drew rave reviews from everyone. He got reps with the starters and looked good. Clement is important to the Eagles offense. He’s very good in the Red Zone. He also provides the coaches with a player who can run, catch and block. You can trust him.

The Eagles backfield could be substantially better than last year. Either Jordan Howard or Miles Sanders will be the workhorse. The other guy will provide a starter-level backup. Clement is an excellent role player. Then you have Darren Sproles on top of that. You can also consider keeping Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood or Boston Scott. For perspective, the top two rushers from last year could struggle to make the team.

***

Cody Kessler returned to practice. I sure didn’t anticipate this. He has zero chance to make the team, but could help the team get through the final two preseason games.

Clayton Thorson had one of his better practices. Everyone is surprised at how he’s come alive since last week’s game. People are finally seeing the talent that the Eagles saw when they scouted him prior to the draft. Should we actually get excited about seeing Thorson on Thursday night?

Josh McCown practiced. This was more of a chance for him to get a feel for the offense than anything else.

***

Ronald Darby played and looked good. The Eagles need his coverage skills, but also his ability to make plays.

***

DE Derek Barnett flashed. He mixed in a spin move that got everyone’s attention. I really look forward to seeing what he can do this year, especially if he’s worked on more moves and counter-moves.

***

Mack Hollins had an active day. It was good to see him play against the Jaguars and then to read about him having good moments against the Ravens tough secondary. Hollins is a talented receiver, but I feel like people have almost given up on him because of last year. The injury situation was weird, but Hollins seems to be healthy now and heading in the right direction. He’s important because he can do the dirty work. He’ll block and play on STs.

***

With Paul Worrilow out…

Worley is here to eat up reps in practice and snaps in games. And to compete.

***

TE Richard Rodgers got hurt. Ugh. He got hurt last summer as well.

***

New OL Brett Toth lined up as the third string RT.

***

https://twitter.com/Tim_McManus/status/1163564399854084097

Good summary.

*****

Make sure to read the links if you want details on what the writers saw.

_


Updates and Changes

Posted: August 18th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

So let’s talk about what’s going on with the roster and where some players stand in their return from injuries.

I hate this. Worrilow was a hometown player and never got the chance to suit up in a game for his Eagles. He tore his ACL last year and then struggled with injuries again this spring and summer. The Eagles had to make a move. They can bring in another LB to help eat up reps in the final two preseason games. Or they could add depth to another spot. Worrilow just wasn’t going to work out.

The good news is that L.J. Fort and T.J. Edwards have been solid in the games so far. The Eagles aren’t anywhere close to loaded at LB, but no one is pulling a Corey Nelson this year. I mention LJ and TJ because Worrilow was going to be depth and a STer. Those guys can fill that role. The top three LBs are still Nigel Bradham, KGH and Zach Brown. Nate Gerry is after them for now.

Not a big deal. How disappointing was Miller as an Eagle? He made Kamar Aiken look like Jerry Rice.

Doug Pederson made it sound like Toth would focus on OT for now. It makes sense to have him focus on one position at the moment. He’s got to learn the playbook, the scheme and adjust to pro football. You can mix in other positions in the future (if there is a future here for him).

Toth has the right attitude about how to attack this situation and also wanting to know multiple positions.

Yikes. Doesn’t sound too serious, but Sweat’s knees are less than ideal. You don’t want anything happening to them. Hopefully this is just the wear and tear of August. I sure hope Sweat’s favorite Eagle wasn’t Victor Abiamiri.

Interesting. Wiz has struggled with snaps in TC and in games. You wonder if the Eagles would consider cutting him to go younger up front. Herbig has snapped the ball well so far. He’s bigger, stronger, younger and cheaper. Something to watch.

Great news. The Eagles need Bradham back. He is the key to the LB corps. They can move KGH, Brown and Fort around. They need Bradham.

Good to have Darby back in practice. He is the Eagles most talented CB. You can figure out how best to use Jones, Douglas and Maddox, but having Darby back is a big boost. He’s started 45 games in his career and generally played well. You want him on the field, if he’s healthy and all the way back. The Eagles have enough depth at corner that they haven’t had to rush Darby back. Still, this is a contract year for Darby so you know he’s itching to get out there and show what he can do.

Brooks has made amazing progress since his injury. He’s hoping to play in the opener, but the Eagles won’t play him until they think he’s ready. They have Big V ready to step in if needed. Brooks will be back soon. Big V has had a solid summer, but Brooks is a Pro Bowl OG and the guy you want out there.

Can’t wait to see this dude. Eagles are loaded at DT this year. If teams continue to double up on Fletch, other guys will make them pay.

_


Eagles Add a McQB

Posted: August 17th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Eagles finally decided enough was enough. When was Nate Sudfeld going to be healthy? How bad was Cody Kessler’s concussion? Were either of them truly ready to be the primary backup for a Super Bowl contender.

This isn’t a casual relationship. The Eagles are paying McCown $2M, fully guaranteed. He could earn up to $5.4M with incentives. Josh McCown is now the backup QB. Sudfeld drops back to the #3 spot. You have to think Kessler will get released.

What about Clayton Thorson? He’s coming off a promising performance. He was probably feeling good about himself and now he’s looking at the practice squad. I can’t imagine the Eagles would consider keeping four QBs on the roster.

McCown is 40 years old and he’s played for seven teams. This nugget puts McCown into good perspective.

Wow.

The Eagles are getting a smart, veteran player. He started at least three games every year between 2013-2018. He started 13 games for the Jets in 2017 and finished with a passer rating of 94.5. If something were to happen to Carson Wentz, McCown is a guy who can step in and get the job done. He has the ability and the experience.

Frankly, I’m surprised the Eagles didn’t make a move prior to this. Kessler hasn’t done much to impress anyone in Training Camp. He certainly hasn’t impressed me with his preseason play. At a certain point, you have to admit your mistake and move on. The Eagles have finally done that.

McCown has been a starter and backup. He can step in to finish a game or take over as QB for a month. He’s faced just about everything in his 237-year NFL career.

There is added value with McCown. He can help young QBs like Wentz and Sudfeld. McCown has seen just about every defense possible. He has played in just about every scheme possible. McCown has been coached by Mike Martz in multiple stops. He’s worked with veteran offensive coordinators like Rich Olson and Aaron Kromer. He played for former college coaches Jeff Tedford and Lane Kiffin when they were in the NFL. He also played for some guy named John DeFilippo a couple of years ago.

There is real value in having a veteran in the QB room. The coaches have plenty of knowledge and experience, but a veteran player brings something they can’t. He can be a bridge between the young players and the coaches. He speaks both languages. Chase Daniel was good for Wentz in 2016. Nick Foles was good the past two years. McCown takes that role for 2019.

I can’t promise you that McCown will play like Foles if he gets on the field, but you at least feel like he gives you a chance to win. This will easily be the best team McCown has ever played on. Previously that would be the 2008 Panthers who went 12-4. If McCown does have to play, he can do his job and there should be enough talent to win games. McCown won’t have to be something he’s not.

I’ve always thought of McCown as a pocket passer with good size (6-4, 220), but it appears he’s more athletic than I remember.

That’s more than a decade ago, but still…wow. How did I not know about that?

*****

I want to update one bit from my previous post. I talked about Jordan Mailata starting at OT in 2020.

Mailata had some great moments and a few bad ones. He’s got to be starting at OT in 2020, right? At some point, you have to put this guy on the field and let him show what he can do.

You notice the question mark there. This wasn’t me trying to push the greatness of Mailata. That’s Brian Baldinger’s job. I didn’t say he should be the Eagles LT. This comment was more about enthusiasm for a young player who has enormous potential. With another year of practice and another offseason, I think he’ll be ready to be on the field.

That’s my perspective. I have no idea if the Eagles agree.

The Eagles could consider replacing Lane Johnson with Mailata after this year. They could trade Mailata for a pick or a player. We know other teams are desperate for OT help. The Eagles could also be greedy and just keep him as a backup for another season.

From my perspective, I just want to see him on the field. I want to find out what he can do. Mailata could turn out to be a major disappointment or he could be really good. There is risk, but that’s true with all young players.

Mailata isn’t ready right now, but he’s headed in the right direction.

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