Eagles Q&A

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 23 Comments »

Your questions/topics and my answers.  Sorry for the delay.

Can Stanley Havili also be a RB? Maybe. Havili is a good runner and receiver. He was 81-509-3 as a runner at USC. That’s 6.3 yards per carry. He was 116-1290-12 as a receiver. Think about that. He averaged more than 11 yards per catch. And that wasn’t just a bunch of dump-offs. Havili was a featured receiver. The coaches designed plays to get him the ball because they knew what a mismatch he could be for defenders. Now, let’s also keep things in perspective. Havili isn’t the only college FB who posted good numbers and made some plays. Not a high percentage of those guys pan out in the NFL, as FBs let alone RBs. Havili could be a nice piece if able to play both FB and RB, but don’t count on that happening. Havili has a similar build to Hawaii RB Alex Green, but watch the two guys run and you can see who the RB is and who the FB is. Stanley will need to be a good FB and STer first and foremost. Then we can talk about him in a dual role. I don’t see him as a pure RB, even as just a backup.

Could Brian Rolle play Safety? We need to see him try LB first. Rolle is fast enough to play SS, but he looks like a LB to me. He’s tough and physical. You don’t judge a player strictly by size and speed. Thomas Davis was a tweener that looked like a LB to me. Taylor Mays was a tweener that looked like a S. Rolle is fast enough to play in space, but he’s not some little finesse/cover guy. Watch an OSU game and see the way he jams TEs when they try to release on pass routes. Watch the way he battles OL when they come to block him. Rolle is 5’9, 229, but plays like he’s 6’3, 250. If he struggles at LB, have him drop down to 218 or something like that and give him a shot at SS. I really believe he’s going to surprise people. I told you guys last year that Keenan Clayton was good in coverage and space, but I wasn’t sure if he was physical enough to be a starting LB. I have no doubt whatsoever that Rolle can be physical enough. That doesn’t mean he will succeed as a starting LB, but it won’t be due to a lack of physicality.

Character in sports. This topic got some interesting responses. It might be a good discussion to have in a real quiet period. Bottom line, I want the Eagles to win. The best way to do that is by having a team largely comprised of good guys. I’m all for mixing in a scumbag or two as long as he functions well in the locker room and out on the field. I would prefer that he not murder, rape, or stamped cattle through the Vatican.

Drafting players to fit Mudd’s system. Is that wise with his age? Good question. My belief is that Mudd is here for 2 years, 3 at the max. The fact we are now going after his type of players tells you that the team thinks the change is worth it. If you are going to hire a great coach, give him the right talent for his scheme. Just look at the idiocy of Shanny, Haslett, and the 3-4 last year in DC. So what about the future? Eugene Chung is an assistant with the Eagles. They think he can be a good OL coach and he’s the planned successor to Mudd. I have no idea what kind of players he’ll want. Heck, he may not know. He’s seen the way things worked with big guys. Now he gets a couple of years to watch smaller, more athletic linemen block.

UDFA targets? I’m working on the list. I’ll post some thoughts in a day or two.

Status of Akeem Jordan? This is somewhat of a mystery. The Eagles did not offer him a contract tender prior to the lockout, which they did to players who might be RFAs and they want to keep. Akeem doesn’t seem to be a player the team wants to keep around. He proved to be a poor starter last year, but was good on STs. He’s not a good SAM or MLB. He is a pure WLB, but isn’t an ideal fit for the new system. There just isn’t a ton of reason to keep him around. I have no problem with bringing him back for STs and depth, but Casey Matthews is more likely to get the spot as backup WLB and key STer.

Will Eagles pursue any veteran LBs in free agency? I don’t think so. I really get the feeling that Juan Castillo wants to see what Fokou-Stew-Chaney can do as a trio. I think we’d all agree that Moise Fokou is an ascending player. Does that mean he’s on his way to being a real good SAM or just an adequate starter? We need to find out. Stewart Bradley looked very good down the stretch in 2008. He struggled in 2010, but that was while coming off a torn ACL. Stew has a high ceiling. I think you have to find out if he can get back to his old form. Chaney showed a lot of potential late last year. I think he can make the transition to WLB and still be a good player, but there are no guarantees. We need depth and competition and that’s where Keenan Clayton, Rashad Jeanty, Matthews, Rolle, and Greg Lloyd come into play. Maybe the real key to all of this is that there aren’t likely to be good choices. Based on the 2010 rules, there are real slim pickings. If that changes and we have new rules/more choices, maybe the Eagles do go for a quality starting LB.

What happens at RCB? I understand that many of you have doubts, but the Eagles have a plan. Be patient. They aren’t targeting 2nd and 3rd tier guys either. Trevard Lindley is still looked at as a project. He’s not in the mix for the job. Could Nnamdi Asomugha be the target? Sure. I just don’t know that the Eagles will hand him a blank check. Some people have asked about rookie Patrick Peterson. Forget about that. There likely will be other players that become available once the offseason starts.

What happens with Quintin Mikell and SS? Gone, baby gone. Q might get a short offer from the Eagles. He might not get an offer at all. Taking Jaiquawn Jarrett at 54 is a sign that the Eagles think he is the SS of the future (and possibly present). We might go for a bandaid type player to challenge for the job, but I think Q is outta here. I’m interested to see if the Eagles roll the dice and let Jarrett battle Kurt Coleman for the job. I know that would give us a young set of Safeties, but that is a position where some young guys fit in right away and click.

Was 2011 the first time the Eagles met with all the players who were picked before the draft? Apparently Howie Roseman made the comment that the team spent time with each player in the draft class. That would make it the only time I know for a fact of such an occurrence. The Eagles do tend to take a lot of guys they bring in to Philly or scout heavily.

23 Comments on “Eagles Q&A”

  1. 1 EpyonXero said at 12:10 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    You mention the new system a few times, what exactly is the new defensive system?

  2. 2 makarov said at 12:10 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    Hi Tommy,

    What do you think of Colt Anderson (I think that’s his name) who came in later in 2010 as safety depth and STer.

    Do you see him being able to battle for SS or FS? I know he had some good moments in ST last year, but did also have some bad ones that might make us hesitant to retain him?

    What about the former Indy Colt that re-injured his knee before the season?

    I’m more concerned about Safety depth than Corner or LB depth at the moment because the only three I’m sure will be here in 2011 are Allen, Coleman, and Jarrett – and they have a combined NFL experience of 2 years.

    I know having 2 shutdown corners will go a lot in helping us defend the pass, as will improvements in the DL if we can pick up someone in trade or FA there. That said, it won’t help us a whole lot in 3 or 4 WR sets. At some point, the Safeties are going to help on pass coverage in more than an “over the top” role unless we go back to Buddy Ryan’s Forty Six defense and pray the opposing QB can’t hit a timing route.

  3. 3 JVB said at 12:20 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    Tommy what do you mean by “short offer” in reference to Q? Does that mean below market value?

  4. 4 Davesbeard said at 12:35 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    @ JVB

    Thinking seems to be that he’ll get a Dawk like offer, a reasonable offer but probably less than someone on the open market is likely to splash out to grab a quality veteran.

  5. 5 ATG said at 12:42 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    I was assuming Tommy meant a short time span. A two-year deal when Q would rather sign something that he is confident will take him to retirement, for example.

  6. 6 Adam S. said at 12:51 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    I believe both of you may be correct on the ‘short offer’. that is the way I read it at least.

    @Tommy….So if Greg Rolle is viewed as a LB/S tweener but more of a LB, and Clayton is veiwed as a LB/S tweener but possibly more of a S (did he not play a couple snaps in some looks at safety?). Is it fair to say that these two guys are almost directly battling eachother for a roster spot? or does Clayton replace Colt Anderson as ST’s ace? Both guys seem to have the skill set to thrive on ST’s but I just find it hard to fathom them keeping two tweeners in the LB core.

  7. 7 ATG said at 1:26 PM on May 7th, 2011:


    According to Football Outsiders, Hanson was one of the top slot corners in the league last year –


    – so I think we can handle multiple WR sets if we can get RCB locked down. I will be sad if Mikell goes, but I think the young guys will be in a position to succeed if the guys in front of them are all competent, allowing the safeties to focus on their assignment instead of covering up others’ mistakes.

    My thoughts – and I know I am not Tommy – on the other guys are: Anderson is a wonderful special team player, but if he had the potential to be a starting caliber safety, he would not have been available to steal from Minnesota’s practice squad. Marlin Jackson (the ex-Colt) I just don’t have high hopes he makes it back after all his injuries.

  8. 8 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:42 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    RE: new defensive system

    I wrote about that previously. Check out this link and hopefully it will answer some questions.


  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:47 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    RE: Colt Anderson / Safety

    Backup and STer. I didn’t see him as a guy with starting potential. I’m fine with him taking over for a game should the starter go out. I just don’t want to go into a season with Colt projected as a starter.

    That opinion is based on 2010. Should he light it up in Training Camp, I reserve the right to change that opinion. I don’t see that as likely. Colt just has the feel of an effort guy…which means STer and backup.

    Marlin Jackson? You simply can’t count on the guy.

    The Eagles are high on Jaiquawn Jarrett and Kurt Coleman. They think JJ can be an outstanding SS. They would love to have Kurt as the #3 Safety. He showed last year that he can be an adequate starter.

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:50 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    RE: Quintin Mikell

    The Eagles might offer him a deal for a year. I’m not even sure they’d go for 2. He also wouldn’t get much money.

    No guarantees the Eagles bring him back at all. The game tape may be really unflattering to him. Maybe Q struggled with making calls and adjustments. I don’t know what’s going on, but the Eagles are showing little to no interest in him and they aggressively went after Jarrett. I’m just putting the clues together.

  11. 11 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:58 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    RE: Brian Rolle vs Keenan Clayton

    They could be in competition for a spot. The team thinks Clayton can be an outstanding Nickel LB. They still seem to think he can start in the NFL. I have my doubts.

    Rolle could be a force on STs and secure a spot that way. I am excited to see what he does on defense. I really do think he’s going to open some eyes. He might be small, but this dude is a badass.

    During the Vietnam War there were some soldiers who would write on their gear, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil…for I am the baddest MF’er in the valley.” Brian Rolle plays like that. Tough son of a gun. He won’t back down from anyone. Can’t wait to see him put on an Eagles uniform and light some suckas up. I guarantee you some UDFA O-lineman is gonna go try to bully Rolle, seeing him as a small guy. That OL is in for a big surprise.

  12. 12 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:00 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    In the above comments I should have clarified that I have doubts about Keenan Clayton as a starter. I agree with the Eagles that he can be an impact role player. Great athlete and a guy with playmaking skills.

  13. 13 MidniteMud said at 4:07 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    I think that the RB and FB picture could feature Owen Schmidt and Havili. Some people think only one can make the team (I still think Weaver is a long way from returning to the field). I think you have Harrison backing up Mccoy with D. Lewis as the special purpose back, taking Chad Hall’s roster spot as that type of back and receiver. Then you have Owen Schmidt at FB and Havili taking Buckly’s spot as the 3rd RB/ST/and backup FB. No lost roster spots in this scenario, and this will allow Havili and D. Lewis to learn their roles as rookies to get better. Then we see what happens with Weaver next season (assuming their is even one this year. Stampeding cattle through the Vatican! …… Kinky

  14. 14 T_S_O_P said at 4:20 PM on May 7th, 2011:


    Could Nate Allen not also see looks at SS? What are the boundaries between the 2? Less than they used to be?

  15. 15 mwood said at 5:48 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    Instead of Patrick Peterson, what about trading Kolb to the Cardinals for Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick?

  16. 16 makarov said at 9:04 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    @mwood – how high a pick would we have to give, you think? 😛

    DRC is a top corner in this league, and up there with (or better than) Samuel – certainly more valuable since he’s 5 years younger. If we could trade Kolb for DRC straight up we’d be crazy not to jump on that.


    I’m curious about your opinion of Chad Hall. Me, I would have rather retained Danny Amendola back in ’09. Hall looked like a slower, smaller version.

    I wouldn’t cry if the untested role player FB we drafted took his spot on the roster. Not one bit. I cringed every time I saw Hall line up in the backfield last season. Every time.

  17. 17 Cliff said at 9:22 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    What’s up with us taking high-effort Buckeyes late in the draft?

    Kurt Coleman was a fan favorite at OSU for his effort on the field, but was drafted late because of his lack of athleticism. Seems like Rolle is similar.

  18. 18 Jim Washburn said at 10:43 PM on May 7th, 2011:

    I am not satisfied with what he have at DE right now. Trent Cole is decent, but Brandon Graham was mediocre his rookie year and is coming off an ACL tear. Parker always wears down at the end of the year and is 33 years old. Tapp is a decent rotational DE- and that’s all he is. Teo will be cut in a few years and will not see the field at all next season.

    If it were up to me, I would sign Kiwanuka or Edwards. Im not so high on Babin, I wouldn’t mind signing him as a stopgap until Brandon Graham returns to form. It would be nice what Vernon Gholston could do in the 4-3

  19. 19 Dewey said at 11:00 AM on May 8th, 2011:


    Do you have any insight (true insight, not just film analysis) about RCB? I don’t think Asomougha has played the right side before with any great frequency, won’t that be prohibitive to signing when all offers are in the same ballpark?

    I know Joseph is a RCB, but under 2010 rules he’ll cost a 1st and 3rd.

  20. 20 Thorin said at 11:46 AM on May 8th, 2011:

    I just heard about Leonard Weaver being doubtful for the 2011 season. Man, who took a dump on the field of 4-leaf clovers? So many injuries from last year are still going to be a problem this year … I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless. Add Stew Bradley and Shawn Andrews, and the number top prospects who wound up derailed by serius injuries is just infuriating. This team can’t catch a break.

  21. 21 Juan Castillo said at 1:00 PM on May 8th, 2011:

    Man, I’d really hoped that when we hired that Washburn fellow he’d prove a tad more optimistic about the guys he had to work with. I mean, Brandon Graham quietly had a very solid rookie season (check out the ProFootballFocus ratings), and Ricky Sapp seems like just the kind of kid to succeed in his system.

  22. 22 ATG said at 8:17 PM on May 8th, 2011:


    I think it is more accurate to question if Weaver will ever come back. Reports on his injury questioned whether he would ever be able to walk normally again. And sorry about the clovers.

  23. 23 Matt said at 6:28 AM on May 9th, 2011:

    Tommy, appreciate the read. Would leave to see a detailedpost on free agent de targets