Eagles Doing The Safety Dance?

Posted: April 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: , | 12 Comments »

For my SB Nation Philly column I wrote about the Eagles and their increased focus on Safety prospects for the upcoming draft.

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Someone yesterday asked about which players might struggle with the new line coaches.  Fair question.  Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn drive their players hard.  Not all guys handle this well.  Washburn has a really strong reputation with his players, though.  Albert Haynesworth took years to buy into Washburn’s style of coaching, but once he did, Big Al became the best defensive player in the league.  And very rich.  I think Eagles players will see that and what he did with Babin and Antwan Odom and be motivated.  Washburn made those guys good players and lots of money.  That will play a big part in the way the guys respond to Washburn.  Bunk would be the guy I’m most curious about.  I think he can take someone riding him.  Mickey Andrews ran the FSU defense and was hard on his guys.  I just wonder what will happen if Bunk is a backup and gets limited playing time.  Will he respond to that situation well?  If he’s struggling for reps and Washburn is riding him hard, that could be a situation to watch.

Offense is different.  Winston Justice has his contract.  He’s not exactly known as a guy with a driven personality.  Things were very competitive at USC, but it was also a fun atmosphere.  Mudd is a no-nonsense guy.  We really do need Winston to buy in and respond well to the pushing and prodding.  King Dunlap is another player that wasn’t exactly known as a grinder, in college or the pros.  He lost his starting job as a Senior at Auburn to a Freshman because he wasn’t playing up to his potential.  Dunlap has made a lot of progress since then, but Mudd will be a tough adjustment for him.

Jason Peters had a reputation in Buffalo as a talented, but fickle player.  He was great on Sundays, but didn’t have an ideal work ethic the rest of the time.  I think coming to a better environment has had a positive effect on him, but Mudd will be an adjustment.  Again, Peters has his money.  His only motivation for working hard with Mudd is to hone his craft.  When I say the phrase “hone his craft” Jason is about the 11 millionth person I think of.  This is a situation that bears watching.  The good news is that Jason played lights out down the stretch last year so maybe Mudd won’t be riding him that hard.

As I talked about yesterday, the key is for the coaches to make the players realize they are being hard on them for a reason.  Mudd and Washburn did a good job of this in their previous stops so I expect that to mostly be the case here.

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I was looking over the roster the other day while confirming some info.  Two names that jumped out at me as guys I’d forgotten about – Reggie Wells and Jorrick Calvin.  I don’t know what to make of their futures.

Calvin showed some potential as a RS, but he didn’t make the kind of impact that makes him a lock for that role in 2011.  I was disappointed that he didn’t get better as the season went along.  As a CB, we still don’t know much about him.

Wells was a solid veteran for the Cardinals, but struggled as an Eagle.  Reggie needs a strong training camp to have a shot at a roster spot.  Maybe he meshes well with Mudd and plays much better.  I don’t see that as likely.  I think his best days are behind him, but the Eagles will give him a chance to show what he can do.

12 Comments on “Eagles Doing The Safety Dance?”

  1. 1 JVB said at 1:16 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    Since when has Reggie Wells ever been a “solid veteran”?

  2. 2 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:25 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    Dude, we know you hate Wells. That’s fine. The man started 91 games in the NFL. You aren’t a total bum if you start for 5 1/2 years. He had teams bidding for his services at one point. Generally teams don’t aggressively pursue awful players.

  3. 3 ATG said at 1:45 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    Wait, did I go 4 for 4 picking the guys that might have problems with the new coaching? Wow, I would gloat and bask in the glory, but I’ll get to that when I get back from picking up some lottery tickets.

  4. 4 mcud said at 1:59 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    How would you feel about Aaron Williams as a safety/cornerback for us? If the Eagles passed on Earl Thomas and Aaron Ross, both of whom were better prospects in my mind, then Williams probably wouldn’t be a 1st round target, but the 2nd round? I’d be fine with moving back into the 40s for him. He could be a fine player if he can get over the OU game.

  5. 5 ATG said at 2:14 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    Okay, I’m back. I will try to remember all you little people after I get finished with the giant novelty check photo sessions.

    I was surprised to read that you think Allen could transition to strong safety. I thought I remembered physicality being the question mark with him.

    There is certainly one free agent they could target who not have trouble learning the system in a short off season and could step in and be solid. The longer this CBA drags out, the more disappointed I’ll be if they don’t bring Q back, and I would have been disappointed without a lock out. Mikell is a solid safety, and I think he helped Asante be as good as he was. Not that I have a problem with bringing in some guys from the mid rounds (I’m sure April wouldn’t mind either) but I guess I base my decision to start looking for a new car based on how well mine is running, not based on the odometer.

  6. 6 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:38 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    RE: Aaron Williams

    I like him quite a bit. Real good football player. He’d probably be a S target for us, but as you say that would involved trading back.

    Eagles liked Ross quite a bit. NYG took him 20th. We picked after that. I heard from someone that they thought Ross would have been a serious consideration if Eagles didn’t move back.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:45 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    @ ATG …

    Congrats on the giant novelty check. U= major celeb.

    RE: Nate to SS

    Nate’s got good size. He goes about 215 pounds. He is willing to play in the box. He’s no LB-type, but isn’t a finesse Safety like Earl Thomas.

    RE: keeping Q

    My thought is that some other team will overpay for him. The Eagles like him, but aren’t going to break the bank for him. If the market is reasonable, we might just re-sign him. I think DET or JAX or HOU or someone will give him a big deal. There are some teams really desperate for a S.

  8. 8 mcud said at 3:23 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    Yeah, I was wrong about Aaron Ross. For whatever reason, I thought we traded out with him still on the board.

    Unrelated topic – R.I.P. to Sidney Lumet. Most directors spend their entire career trying to make a perfect movie. Lumet made at least 4. I miss him already…

  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:47 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    Lumet made some great films.

    I love some of his others: Prince of the City, Q&A, and Night Falls on Manhattan. I also watched the first season of 100 Centre Street and enjoyed that very much.

    Lumet was utterly fascinated with and concerned by police corruption, a major theme of many of his best films.

  10. 10 James T said at 7:43 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    On a semi-unrelated note, any thoughts on LB Danny Trevathan from Kentucky? Do you think he could be a possible target for the eagles?

  11. 11 Tommy Lawlor said at 9:52 PM on April 9th, 2011:

    I have him as a prospect for the 2012 draft. Haven’t watched any tape or done serious research on those guys.

    Ask me again in late May.

  12. 12 JVB said at 1:09 PM on April 10th, 2011:

    Tommy you said the same thing about Ernie Sims … The Cardinals have had a BAD line for a long time and Reggie Wells was one of the main reasons.