More Sunday Stuff

Posted: July 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 39 Comments »

The Seahawks cut MLB Lofa Tatupu when he refused to take a pay cut.  I watched a couple of game tapes to check him out as a potential Eagles target.  I was not impressed.  I went back and looked at his numbers out of curiosity.  You can see a huge drop off after his first 3 years to the next 3.

2005-2007:   336 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 5 FFs, 17 TFLs, and 8 INTs

2008-2010:   214 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 FFs, 6 TFLs, and 2 INTs

Tatupu did miss 10 games in 2009, but his numbers are still way down.  The game tape wasn’t impressive.  He really struggles to shed blocks.  When he does get free, he lacks the burst to get to the ball as much as you want from a MLB.  He didn’t tackle as well in space as I expected.  Tatupu is only 28 (29 in November), but he’s showing lots of wear and tear.

I wouldn’t be against the Eagles bringing him in to compete with Casey Matthews, but I don’t know that the team will have much interest.  I’d prefer the Eagles get someone who is a clear upgrade over Casey if they’re going to add a veteran.  I do think Tatupu would be able to help groom Casey for the role of MLB.

The market for MLBs is clearing out.  I’m not sure who is left that the team would be likely to have interest in.  I’m not hearing any good rumors at this point.

Casey Matthews was on Eagles Live earlier today.  He said he’s up to 245 pounds.  He was down in the 230 range for the Combine, but then went about bulking up to get ready to be able to handle MLB.   I can’t wait to see him in a preseason game to get a feel for where he is.

* * * * *

I watched some more tape of Cullen Jenkins.  He will be a big help to our pass rush.  Jenkins is quick off the ball.  He can get upfield or take a hard inside move.  One thing I liked is that he runs well for a big guy.  We see mobile QBs sliding around in the pocket.  Jenkins can adjust and run after the QB if he moves to the opposite side.  My guess right now is that Jenkins replaced Mike Patterson in the starting lineup.

* * * * *

Follow-up notes on OG Evan Mathis, signed by the Eagles on Sunday.  He had a great workout at the Combine back in 2005.  That athleticism didn’t show up on game tape.  Good college player, but never played as athletic as he tested.  Mathis said in an interview that most of his experience is at LG.  He played well for the Bengals, but they prefer bigger guys for their physical running game.  Mathis should fit what we do well.  Dave Spadaro wondered on Eagles Live if the move was possibly done so that we could move Todd Herremans from LG to RT.  Mathis could immediately step in at LG.  It would be helpful to have a good update on Winston Justice’s knee and how its coming along.

* * * * *

Some practice / roster thoughts.  I’m not at Lehigh so this is based on clips I’ve seen and what I’ve read from reliable sources.

* Victor Abiamiri is seeing time at DT, something I suggested a few times.   He looks like a good inside rusher.

* DE Phillip Hunt has one heck of a burst.  If he continues to fly off the ball it will be hard for the Eagles to let him go.

* I’m not impressed with LB Rashad Jeanty.  He looks slow in the limited clips I’ve seen.

* Jamar Chaney is impressive.  Love his speed.

* DRC is the real deal.  His potential is through the roof.

* Part of me isn’ t bothered by Plax going to the Jets.  Riley Cooper looks good.  He could be breakout player.

* Sinorice Moss looks re-born.  PS games will be critical for him.  He caught one pass last summer.  Needs to show he can play in games.

* Spadaro said the Eagles like LB Brandon Peguese.  He’s probably a Practice Squad target at best, but interesting to know the team is high on him.

* MLB Greg Lloyd looked slow in coverage.

* I’m impressed with RB Dion Lewis so far.  He showed good effort as a blocker, but I still need to see how he does at that in game action.

* WR DeAndre Brown has very good potential.  I sure hope he works hard on and off the field.  He could be a player to watch.

* * * * *

The Eagles did have interest in Plaxico coming here, but I’m not sure they are dead set on adding a veteran wideout.  They wanted Plax because he’s a unique guy.  He’s not just a big WR.  He’s one of the best big WRs in NFL history.  It will be interesting to see if the team pursues any other receivers.  Someone asked me about Malcolm Floyd.  If the team does want a big guy, Floyd could be of interest.

The Eagles may want to see what Moss and Johnnie Lee Higgins do at Lehigh for a few more days.  They’re small, but have the kind of speed the Eagles have preferred in recent years.

* * * * *

Brian Baldinger was a guest on Eagles Live.  One topic he touched on was where the 3 CBs would line up if they stay together.  He thought Asante would be in the slot.  I think DRC would go in there.  The slot is where quick passes go.  You don’t want Asante in there.  He plays off and tries to bait QBs.  That works outside where he’s got enough time to break on the ball.  Baldinger did raise on relevant point.  There are more tipped balls in the middle and that is where Asante and his hands could make a difference.  He has elite ball skills.

* * * * *

There is a lot of action in the RB market, but the Eagles aren’t getting mentioned with anyone.  Adam Caplan is adamant that the team wants speed.  That would make sense based on the UDFAs we brought in.  I want size, but the Eagles and I don’t always agree when it comes to RBs.

Noel Devine was cut.  No word on what happened.  Super talent, but he’s always been a strange person.  I’m still shocked he showed up at the Senior Bowl at 160 pounds.  That sent off alarm bells to NFL teams.  I have no idea what he weighed when he reported to Lehigh.


  • http://Website TyPhilly21

    I disagree on the bigger back idea. There is no point wasting money on one. We don’t use them effectively. I think Andy has figured that out.

  • http://Website CVD

    We brought you the news yesterday that Noel Devine was released by the Eagles, but Aaron Wilson of Scout.com is reporting that Devine actually walked out on the Eagles of his own accord. Speculation is that he was frustrated with the lack of practice snaps he was getting, but any way you cut it, that’s a pretty major red flag to other teams who expect players to do everything they can to please the organization, not take their ball and go home when things aren’t going well

  • http://Website CVD

    if tulloch was signed for 1 year 3 mill i would think that means we are set with mathews, just as tommy has been saying for a while now. im cool with it, especially with what we did over the last few days

  • http://Website TyPhilly21

    I’m also intrigued by Asante in the slot. I expect DRC in the slot. I’m sure they will experiment. I think he could cause some QB hesitation simply by lining up over the slot guy with press coverage on the outside. Mb I’m dreaming lol

  • http://Website Sebastian

    Tommy,
    Why wouldn’t you put Nnamdi at the nickel position? I feel we should use him like GB uses Woodson. Also of the 3 CB he’s the best tackler.

  • http://Website Surge

    Hey Tommy, I’ve been waiting for a long time now for us to get an effective big RB but it just hasn’t worked out. Its been driving me crazy that we haven’t tried more guys but maybe Andy figured out that we just don’t use big backs like we used to. Maybe Duce Staley worked out well for us because we were simply built to run the ball better or he was truly a unique guy. I’ve been waiting to get back to the “3-Headed Monster” at RB like when we had Duce, Buck, and Westy together. The NFL has changed a lot though, and so has our team. Its all about the pass game now.

    That being said. I still want a strong back like Clinton Portis or Ronnie Brown. Just hope they’re willing to take the smaller portion of the running load cus Shady is a beast.

  • http://Website Jeremy

    Tommy
    What about Ryan Harris, formerly of the Broncos? Looked like he was on the way to being a really good RT until he fell out of favor with Josh McDaniels. Would he want too much money, or is he not a possibility? Thanks

  • http://Website Jeremy

    Sounds like it was reported locally that Jackson is planning on ending the holdout and report to camp next week. Hopefully that will end that mess.

  • http://Website Name

    Nnambi mentioned that he played Safety until he joined the NFL. Maybe he could play a little there since the positions not completely settled right now?

  • http://Website Dan

    Yea I’m surprised that Ryan Harris hasn’t been signed yet. He was pretty effective before McDaniels took over. I’m not sure if he fits Mudd’s scheme.

  • http://Website CVD

    NA looks so much better running with recievers than asante does. BGN had a little clip of him and fitz.

    i love asante but i think NA’s long arms and height makes him a huge upgrade. too bad asante isnt a good tackler, he could be a good ball hawk saftey. has anyone heard what we could get?

  • http://Website Kevin (RealCrippler)

    It’s not that you can’t play Nnamdi at S…it’s just, you’re wasting his ability.

  • http://Website Cafone

    Play Nnamdi and Assante together, watch Assante break the INT record, trade him next year for more.

  • http://Website Name

    Great news about Jackson coming to camp. Hopefully they work out his contract with the next few weeks.

    Only concern left is Maclin…..

  • http://Website Andrew

    Tommy,

    We haven’t heard much about Manny Lawson yet, i’ve heard in the past that he was miscast in the 49ers’ 3-4, do you think we’ll take a look at him. I think he’d be an interesting SAM and allows Chaney to be a lethal WILL.

  • http://Website William

    Manny Lawson would be as inexperienced as Matthews, Clayton, and Fokou as OLBs. We need a veteran for depth in case the young players we have don’t pan out. I wonder if Rocky Macintosh would be willing to play here for a one year deal. I haven’t heard much about him.

  • http://Website Eagleizeit

    The past couple summers they played Fokou at WILL but he’s started at SAM when the seasons started and did pretty well.

    Besides Maclins issues there’s also the issue of DJax getting injured sometimes. It would be nice if they at least had a reliable starter if one of them got hurt and have a rookie or unproven player as there 5th and/or 6th WR(ex. Cooper and DeAndre Brown). If they ran the ball mostly or had WR’s that were strong/didn’t get injured then what we have would be fine.

  • http://Website Steag209

    Tommy,

    Do you think that, assuming we keep all 3 CBs, when we are in the RZ that DRC and Nnamdi will be the outside corners due to Asante’s below-average RZ track record? I agree with you that I think DRC would be the better slot CB in between the 20′s but I think that size would help down there.

  • http://Website Bernard Arnault

    Where can I view some clips of the Eagles Practice?

  • http://Website Frank

    Is anyone else out there getting news withdrawal? I mean…we haven’t signed anyone in hours!

    After months of lockout-induced non-news, we had 3 days of complete craziness, and now it’s going to be hard to go back to normal again.

  • http://Website ian no 2

    Devine may have come in and realized that he’s behind McCoy, Lewis, and probably Cooper and Locke on the depth chart, not to mention Buckley and Havili, and took off perhaps after a frank evaluation of his blocking. If teams overlook his way of going about this he may indeed have a better chance of sticking somewhere else.

    Kafka was floating the deep ball last year in preseason but has improved considerably in this area. Moss is battling Higgins for a spot and could have a good year at WR and KR. Marsh is immediately practicing well. Abiamiri has actually been solid when he’s been playing over the years, but can’t play often enough. I like that Schmitt got to run the ball… he has more rushing experience and potential than Havili and has a better future as a blocker but Havili runs better after the catch.

    I like being decisive about the MIKE, rather than having a second rate vet in front of the rookie. If not Chaney then Matthews, but let someone whose going to put in the work take the job, make the odd mistake, but provide consistent leadership. Matthews seems like the kind of rookie that pulls it off. They haven’t had stability at LB for a while, but Chaney and Fokou showed something last year.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    I’ll write about the second wave of free agency tomorrow. Guys like Ryan Harris will be in that. Manny Lawson too.

    Mostly big names have gotten signed to this point.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    RE: Eagles practice clips

    You have to watch Eagles Live. I don’t think they archive it anymore. Don’t want other teams studying the clips to gain any kind of advantage.

    RE: Bloghead

    I don’t know what happened to it. That was a great way to follow practice last year.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    Good questions on the DBs. I’ll write about them tomorrow as well.

  • http://Website EaglesFlame

    OK…..I know this is going to seem a little crazy at first but don’t throw it out off hand. Does anyone think there is any chance one of our 3 star DBs is moved to safety? Areas of possible weakness has to include safety. We are looking at starting a rookie and a 2nd year guy coming off injury. The backups being Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson. I’m well aware Asante’s strong suit is not tackling. However, he may be one of the best in the league at reading offenses and QBs. Look back at the game winning INT against the colts and you will see that he and Mikel switched positions for that play so he clearly feels some comfort there.

  • http://Website McG

    Unless some team is willing to do something genuinely special, I’m not seeing Asante being dealt this year… Why trade him now (other than locker room) when we are probably looking at draft picks? He fits in our cap and gives us an enviable advantage at CB. If he gets traded it should be during the draft of 2012. I’m sure the coaches can come up with ways to use 3 elite corners…

  • http://Website ATG

    @cvs

    Hard to believe an UDFA could be that dumb. I didn’t user about him taking a ball when he went home. Hopefully we charge him for it to clear up some cap space.

    I agree with giving the other receivers some time while the FO finds out about Maclin. Most of the big names out there are headaches.

    I hope Warkins gets in soon. No way the FO caves on three years for a first rounder.

    Glad to hear in the comments I am not the only one who thinks a big back doesn’t fit here.

  • http://Website ATG

    And on the CBs, giving Asante room to work between the LBs and the safeties while keeping the tall guys on the outside is interesting. I had assumed DRC for the slot, but picture Asante jumping a TE or Avante-like guy’s route. That wouldn’t even be fair.

  • http://Website Mike

    @ EaglesFlame… Good thought about moving CB to safety but it won’t happen. Nnamdi would be the most likely candidate since he played safety in college but he wont move there for one gigantic reason, safeties don’t make $12 million / year. You also wouldn’t want to take away what Nnamdi does best, and that is blanket receivers.

    DRC and Asante don’t play the run well enough to be a safety and you gotta play the run to be a safety. Plus, like Nnamdi, you want those guys shutting down receivers.

    Who knows, maybe they go with some 1 saftety / 3 CB looks matched-up against 3WR sets and stil keep 3 LBs in the game on first and second down? Doubt it but might get the DRC a few more snaps

    I do worry about DRC being upset if he becomes the slot / nickle corner. This is the last year before his contract year and he is playing for his ever important 2nd contract and I’m sure he wants to establish himself as a premier corner. He will probably be looking for that contract next offseason which makes this season huge for him. This is pure speculation on my part, DRC has publicly said that he will play the slot and be a team guy, just looking ahead.

    I hope Asante does not get traded (His is one of the 8 jerseys I own) but it won’t surprise me in the least if it happens. I’m curious to learn why he is absent from camp.

  • http://Website ATG

    Wow, I misread that situation. Watkins is okay with 4 years, but wants them gaurenteed while the FO want to promise only 3 years, according to Franks.

  • http://Website wellhelloitsdan

    I wonder if Clinton Portis would be willing to play the fullback role on a 1 year contract.

    Portis would do a great job in pass blocking, lead blocking for Shady, or running over people on short yardage/red zone situations. BIG help in the red zone situations, I would think.

    He might even look forward to not being the featured back. In Washington, he didn’t participate in practice much of the time to avoid the grind on his body. A player who’s that aware of the toll his body has taken might welcome a reduced, but still important, role.

  • http://Website TyPhilly21

    Asante is at camp as of this morning.

    Don’t worry about DRC, on some level he has to know that the Eagles want to keep him and w asante’s salary going up next year he’s not long for the Eagles after this season.

  • http://Website Kevin (RealCrippler)

    1) I’d love Portis as a #2RB. He can spot-start. Solid receiver. Best blocker in the NFL. Decent to Good red-zone runner. No longer explosive. Fullback though? He’s already injury prone, that would kill him.

    2) DRC has no leverage. He has 2 years left AND 2 Pro Bowl CBs ahead of him. What is he going to do, hold out? Besides, he’s better off learning from Asante/Nnandi to cash in down the road.

  • http://Website GermanEagle

    Tommy

    According to NFL Network Maclin has lost 15-20 pounds.

    If that’s true I don’t see how we can count on him this season at all. In fact I am even worried that his career may be in jeopardy.

    Given this uncertainty do you think the Eagles will try to upgrade the WR position (ala “we’re fine at WR) or are they going to stand pat?

    Or in other words: do you think Howie will contact Randy Moss’ agent soon?

  • http://Website Davesbeard

    @GermanEagle

    It was reported he’d last that much around March time with some Mono like illness, he practised quite a bit when the Eagles had lockout-workouts. Is NFL Network saying it’s reoccured?

  • http://Website John

    What about James Lee from TB, to be our temporary starter at RT until Justice is ready? He’s only 26 and last year he did a decent job at RT when Trueblood was injured.

    If I could complete FA for my team, my signings would be:

    RT James Lee
    LB Rocky McIntosh
    RB Clinton Portis

    OT:
    Isn’t Trueblood the sickest last name you’ve ever heard?

  • http://Website Alex K

    Who else has a man-crush on Nnamdi? After watching his press conference I felt like George Costanza around Cool Tony.

    In all seriousness, I think he needs to be the public face of the franchise.

  • http://Website Fran35

    Can anyone point me in the direction where the practice summaries and write ups are on the web?

    With Maclin reportedly sick and down major weight, is Cooper ready to step up as the number 2? (I don’t think that they would move Avant from the slot)

  • http://Website GermanEagle

    @Davesbeard

    Not sure man. Apparently Maclin was not even recognized by some analysts because he lost so much weight.

    Speaking of losing power: apparently the Eagles are rumored in a 3 team trade which would send Asante to Denver, Orton to Washington and some picks in return. I really hope that is NOT true!! We much more need Asante this year than future picks next year.