Listen Up You Hosers

Posted: April 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: , , | 12 Comments »

Apparently the Eagles will be playing up in Canada against the Bills this year.  The schedule will be officially released tonight so we’ll have confirmation soon enough.  Buffalo has lost the games played in Toronto each of the last 2 years (MIA, CHI).  Of course, those weren’t exactly juggernaut Bills teams.

I expect a large contingent of Eagles fans to take over the stadium and introduce our Canadian brothers to the way a football game is supposed to be.  The last 2 years the stadium has lacked atmosphere.  That better change in 2011.

Just a heads up for those that go, if you find a mouse in a bottle of beer from the Elsinore Brewery, that is against the Canadian Criminal Code and you’re entitled to a free case.  Just go to the brewery and tell ’em that Bob and Doug sent ya.

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I was listening to the Dan Patrick show this morning.  They had a discussion about the battle for the cover of the upcoming Madden game.  It is down to Peyton Hillis and Michael Vick.  One point someone brought up was whether fans should want their favorite player to win.  There is a “Madden cover curse” that has plagued some guys in the past, mainly in the form of injuries.  One of Dan’s assistants made the joke that he’d just gotten an email from Kevin Kolb saying that Vick should absolutely win and get the cover.

* * * * *

I want to pause some of the O-line discussion and save that for after the draft.  There were some good questions and comments on Monday.  That will make for a good discussion in early May.  We won’t be talking about mini-camp or UDFAs.

I will talk about the draft angle.  Mudd doesn’t require guys that are massive, but that doesn’t mean he can’t use them effectively.  Mudd needs players that can move, whether they are big or small.  Jason Peters is thick/heavy, but is agile enough to be fine in Mudd’s system.  Winston Justice is 6’5, 320.  That’s hardly a huge OT.  He’s also agile enough for Mudd’s system.  A guy like Jon Runyan might have been awkward.

On the inside, Mudd does prefer guys that are lighter.  Guards/Centers that go 330 pounds tend not to have the footwork and athleticism he likes.  I popped in some Eagles tape last night just to watch a couple of series.  Nick Cole would be a complete debacle in this system.  He has the lateral agility of a mountain.  Max Jean-Gilles is hardly nimble, but he’s at least guy a fighting chance with his new build.  He looked like a whole new guy last year, after shedding about 60 pounds.

Todd Herremans gets listed at 320, but that’s a joke.  I heard from one person a couple of years ago that Todd got down to 280 in that offseason.  He doesn’t look that light, but he’s not 320.  He’ll be fine.  McGlynn has a good build.  He’s strong enough to anchor, but isn’t so big that he can’t move and cover a small space.

The Eagles can look for interior blockers anywhere in the draft, but they don’t have to come from the first couple of rounds.  I still think Clint Boling in the 2nd round would make a lot of sense.  The Eagles can see if Will Rackley or Rodney Hudson is around in the 3rd.  A guy like Marcus Cannon would have been ideal for Juan Castillo’s system, but isn’t a good use of resources for Mudd’s system.

The Eagles can go look for a guy even later.  One consideration is that the lower the pick, the less likely that the player will challenge for playing time in 2011.  If Howard wants a starter, he probably ought to find that guy in the 2nd or 3rd.  If he wants a player to develop, he can go 4th, 5th, or even lower, depending on how he likes the G/C class.

I’ve touched on this before, but it’s worth bringing up again.  With Castillo, we focused on OTs.  We spent little time on pure C’s and G’s.  We wanted OTs, especially LTs.  They had the size, arm length, and footwork needed for Juan’s system.  The hiring of Mudd gives us the freedom to look at a pure G like Hudson (291 pounds).  We can still look at someone like Rackley who played LT, but projects to the inside in the NFL.  Rackley isn’t so big that he can’t play G or C in Mudd’s system.  He uses his hands well and has good lateral agility.  He could be a good RG in the new system.

We discussed this in the column I wrote after reading the interview with Howard, but one of the key factors is finding guys that are mentally tough and coachable.  Small school players tend to have a chip on their shoulder since they didn’t go to a football school like Penn State, Ohio State, or Michigan Iowa.  Those guys are more likely to listen to a coach and focus on fundamentals than a kid from a big school who is used to being praised.  Mudd had good success with players from mid-major and small schools.  That should make Rackley and Slippery Rock C Brandon Fusco all the more interesting to him.

Who are some mid-to-late round players that could be of interest?

Will Rackley ——- Lehigh ———– 6’3, 309 — 3rd round
Rodney Hudson — Fla St. ———— 6’2, 291 — 3rd round
Brandon Fusco —- Slippery Rock — 6’4, 302 — 4th round
David Arkin ——– Missouri State – 6’5, 300 — 5th round
Stephen Schilling — Michigan ——- 6’4, 305 — 5th round
Andrew Jackson — Fresno State — 6’4, 299 — 5th round
Caleb Schlauderaff – Utah ———— 6’4, 302 — late rounder

Those are my guesses at the kind of projections we would have on those players.  I’m sure some sites might have them rated higher or lower.  I’m trying to guess what the Eagles/Howard Mudd will think/see/want.  Fusco is the only outright Center in the group.  This is a terrible class of Centers.  I think highly of him, but otherwise I think you’re better off taking another player and moving them to the middle.  Some people feel Hudson could be a good C.

I have to admit that the more I think about Rackley as a potential RG, the more intrigued I get.  Is he worth our 2nd rounder?  Will he last to the 3rd?  Ask about other players if you like.  It is possible I’ve overlooked someone.  Do remember, that the list was guys who should be in rounds 3-7.  That’s why I didn’t bother with Pouncey, Watkins, and guys like that.  I’m also doubtful that Stefen Wisniewski makes it far into the 3rd round, if at all.

I’ve got a post half-done with some draft Q&A from the last couple of days.  I’ll finish that and post late tonight or early tomorrow.

12 Comments on “Listen Up You Hosers”

  1. 1 Thunderlips said at 1:06 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    Last time Vick was on the cover, he broke his fibula in the pre-season. Luckily, there probably won’t be a pre-season this year, so we shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

  2. 2 Thunderlips said at 1:14 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    RE: Bills game – I think the larger Canadian field will make it harder to cover our receivers, and the 3-down system really favors our quick-strike offense.

  3. 3 Kevin said at 1:28 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    As a Montrealer, if it’s true, I’m definitely making the trip. Have to make this “road” game a home game.

    Also if true, it means the Eagles get to play in a dome with our offense!

  4. 4 Norman said at 2:22 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    You know, the NFL wants to open up the passing offense, and they attacked what DB’s can and can’t do to them … why don’t they just stretch the field further horizontally?

    It’d open up the running game for the speedster backs (which, in turn, will increase scoring), forcing DB’s to be better and more aggressive against the run. Also, more room to run shorter routes opens up the game.

    DB’s turn more aggressive, you can tone down the crapizoid interference rules and let people just get out there and play football.

  5. 5 Eric said at 2:35 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    Whenever I looked at Shipley I thought, why is he here? He’s too small and nimble to be a Juan guy. He reminded me so much of Jeff Saturday.

    I love the fact that he’ll have a good chance with Mudd here. Obviously I’m a PSU homer, but I do remember Mayock saying when Pittsburgh drafted him that in a few years he’d be a 10 year mainstay.

    Hopefully it works out for the Eagles. I just know his small arms concern a lot of NFL guys.

  6. 6 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:57 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    @ Thunderlips…

    Well played on the Canadian stuff. Hadn’t even thought of that angle.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:17 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    RE: Shipley

    I’m curious to see if he’s a guy that Mudd can bring the best out of or if AQ just doesn’t have NFL ability. You are right about Mayock. He loved Shipley coming out of Penn St.

    RE: horizontal attack

    That’s the basis of the WCO. Make teams cover the whole field, not just worry about the run game and deep balls.

    Sid Gillman was also a big proponent of his passing attack making defenses cover the whole field.

  8. 8 Matt said at 3:53 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    Hey Tommy was wondering if you could share some of your thoughts on Armon Binns WR from Cincinnati? I know it is not likely that the Eagles draft a WR due to the depth we already have at the position but I watched a good bit of him in college and thought he looked nice. Big WR at 6-2 and 210 lbs and was very productive in his Jr & Sr seasons (1989 yds 21 tds). What round do you think he projects? Any other info is appreciated.

  9. 9 bsencore said at 5:45 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    Tommy, why isn’t Ras-I Dowling getting more consideration for going to the Eagles in round 2, ala Nate Allen? He seems like a great athlete who would work well opposite Asante, not to mention he has the senior year injury history the front office loves.

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:35 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    RE: Dowling

    He is now in consideration for the late 1st round. He had a great Pro Day and showed the kind of size/speed combo that teams hoped to see. If Eagles could move back to 28-35 range, Dowling would be terrific addition. PIT might take him at 31, though.

    RE: Binns

    Binns is 6’3, 209. Ran 4.53 at the Combine. Very productive, as you said. Watch the tape and you see a good WR. Has above average hands. Has some RAC ability.

    Problem with Binns is that there’s nothing compelling about him. Titus Young is a vertical receiver. Austin Pettis is great possession receiver. Jon Baldwin is big. Randall Cobb is versatile. Tolliver from LSU is pro ready and a good route runner.

    Binns? Runs okay for a big guy, but not great. Okay athlete, but subpar on his jumps at the Combine. Coming from the spread. Not a RS. Doesn’t look like someone you use on reverses. There are 30 or 40 “good” receivers every year trying to get in the NFL. It helps if you stand out in some way – speed, quickness, athleticism, hands, being polished, playmaker, versatile, RS, etc.

    Binns could easily turn out to be a good NFL player. The problem he has is selling himself to the NFL. There are guys with his resume available every year. The key for him is making the most of whatever opportunity he gets. He could be of interest in Philly because Andy likes using late picks on bigger guys. It would really help if he had PR/KOR experience.

  11. 11 TheWolf said at 9:39 PM on April 19th, 2011:

    Hey Tommy,

    Any thoughts on the schedule this year? There’s a lot that’s not ideal (2 road games to start, Pats at home at 4:15 followed by at Seattle on Thursday, 2 teams coming off a bye). Overall, though, it just doesn’t seem that bad to me. At least not as bad as last year.

  12. 12 SomethingWitty said at 12:24 AM on April 20th, 2011:

    Thoughts on the Eagles taking Orlando Franklin in the second or John Moffitt in the third? Especially if they go CB in the first? Both are considered to be two of the meaner “phone booth” type linemen. Both could challenge for the starting job immediately and could remind Winston that he can block or go take some Midol and hang out with Rocca.