Responding To Some Questions/Comments

Posted: July 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 18 Comments »

I’m touching on things that go back to last week.  Sorry for the delay.  You guys ask some tough questions or bring up interesting points.  Rather than give a simplistic answer, I turn those ideas into columns or so some research before responding.

We recently had a discussion in the comments section about DeSean Jackson and where he fit into the ranking of the top receivers.  That became the subject of my newest SB Nation Philly column.  Feel free to discuss here or at SB Nation Philly.  I’ll respond accordingly.

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Someone on Twitter yesterday asked me to explain Cover 2 and Cover 3.  Those are basic coverage concepts.  Here goes:

Cover 0 — This is when no one is deep.  Everyone is around the line of scrimmage.

Cover 1 — This is when one player is deep.  That is generally the FS.

Cover 2 — This is when two players are deep.  It is usually the FS and SS, but doesn’t have to be them.  You could have a coverage where the Safeties come up and the CBs drop deep, splitting the deep zone in half.  This is a zone concept.

Cover 3 — This is when 3 players are deep.  This could be both CBs and a Safety or it could be one CB and both Safeties.  This is a zone concept.

Cover 4 — This is when 4 players are deep.  This is more of a Nickel/Dime look.  May have 4 CBs deep.  Could have any mixture of CBs and Safeties, but 4 guys will split the deep zone into 4 areas.  Again, this is a zone concept.

Hope that helps.

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Someone actually sent me an apologetic email for disagreeing with me in the comments section.  Completely unneccessary.

No person is right all the time.  I’m sure I’ll make a mistake here or there (and Sam will gladly point them out).  The whole point in having a good discussion is to have an exchange of ideas and thoughts.  As long as it doesn’t get personal or anything like that, I have no issues with disagreeing.  I started my writing on the Eagles Message Board.  That place is to writers/posters what Ranger school is to the US Army.  OTSS.  Only the strong survive.  If your column or idea can’t stand up to some scrutiny, just how good was it in the first place?

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Speaking of which…a reader named “brza” took issue with something I said about the LBs and them staying put at the snap.  Here was his response:

Sorry, Tommy I’m a long time reader and you always have some great insights but I just couldn’t let this statement go uncommented: “They (LBs) will stay put at the snap and read the play.”

This could lead to some misconceptions about the new defense. Yes, the LBs won’t be blitzing as much or running full speed ahead at the snap but even in a read and react defense the LBs will be moving forward at the snap, just in a much more controlled manner until their read progression is done.

No, defense calls for a LB to stay put. As soon as the ball is snapped they will react forward to the first step of their primary read (usually the linemen in front of them) then based on their primary key’s second step they will either react to that or look to their secondary read but again the LB will take another step. A LB that isn’t moving his feet is a LB that is about to get pancaked, burnt and/or put on the bench.

I do not fully agree with brza.  LBs are taught a variety of ways to play at the snap.  In the old Eagles scheme they attacked.  The new scheme is read and react.  We don’t know exactly what they will do, but coming downhill toward the line of scrimmage isn’t a given.  That’s how you get out of position on play-action passes.

Some coaches teach players to stay put at the snap.  The saying is “Don’t go until you know”.  In other words, don’t take off until you see the ball.

Other coaches agree with brza and have players take a short jab step forward at the snap.  This allows them to move, but doesn’t have them go far so they aren’t going to build much momentum or get out of position by much.

I re-watched LB play from a handful of teams.  There were plenty of plays where the LBs did not move forward at the snap.  We’ll find out soon enough exactly what Mike Caldwell and Juan Castillo will be teaching their players.  Because of the schematic changes, we’re all going to be learning this summer/fall.

brza, thanks for speaking up and keeping a good discussion going.

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Could the Eagles go after Nate Clements?  Any chance Dawk returns?

I would have definite interest in Clements.  He’s no longer a stud CB, but he can still cover and be a playmaker.  He picked off 3 passes last year and had 3 FFs.  He would be a short term answer (turns 32 in December), but could be the right guy for what we need if we can’t land a young stud CB.  That’s obviously the preference, but there are no guarantees.

I just can’t see Dawk coming back.  The Eagles have a good set of young Safeties.  If he came here on a one-year deal and wasn’t guaranteed a starting job, I’d be okay with the idea, but I’m not sure how that would work out.  It would be nice to have a veteran Safety to help out the young guys, but we might be better served with someone who could be effective off the bench and could play STs if asked.  I’m just not sure Dawk is the right guy.  Now, if the coaches think Jaiquawn Jarrett and Kurt Coleman aren’t ready to be full time starters, then Dawk might make some sense.  Seems like a long shot to me.

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Any interest in Vernon Gholston?

No.  He was a flop in multiple schemes and at multiple positions for multiple coaches.  Not a partial flop, but a total flop.  I’ll pass.

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Trading for Jason Jones?

I’d love to do that, but doubt that Tennessee would be open to it.  They’ll probably try to bulk up at the other DT spot and at DE, but leave Jason alone.  Or maybe they shift him to LDE.  If he is on the market, we better make a call.  No doubt about that.

18 Comments on “Responding To Some Questions/Comments”

  1. 1 D3Keith said at 3:10 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    have noticed and appreciated that you use the comments section to generate ideas for columns, and give thoughtful responses to points raised here.

    In my experience, when running a niche website, it’s a wise idea to keep your readers engaged and make us feel a part of your community. You’ve done a good job of that so far. Thanks.

  2. 2 Stephen said at 3:13 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    I agree with Jackson in the 6 to 10 range. For my money I think Andre Johnson is the best reciever in the NFL. He’s just been too good and too consistent over too long a time not to be, and if you think about it he hasn’t always had the best QB and OL protection situations, in fact not even close. It wasn’t always Matt Schaub tossing him the ball after all.

    I think Calvin Johnson probably has the raw skills to be the best but the situation in Detroit isn’t the most ideal yet for any elite player, but that might change.

    Wes Welker is in a league of his own in the slot. Absolutely criminal how the Pats stole him from Miami for what was it, a 3rd rounder or something?

    Fitz might not be as consistent as Johnson but I think his ’09 playoff run was absolutely legendary. In ’09 there was no better reciever and it wasn’t even close.

    A quick perusal of last years stats is kind of depressing… Jabar Gafney went for almost 900 yards and Brandon Lloyd somehow went for over 1400. Someone who busted out with us and a perrennial turd somehow make waves.

  3. 3 D3Keith said at 3:17 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    And you’re right about the scrutiny.

    Sorry to take up your first two comments with non-football talk. I feel like I need to contribute something.

    Hmm … Okay, two years ago nobody saw much potential in King Dunlap, now some people like him to replace Justice. Last year some people thought Laws was a bust now we like him right alongside our other DTs.

    Do you see anyone this year that could similarly turn the corner developmentally?

  4. 4 Iskar36 said at 3:42 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    Great article on DeSean Jackson and where he ranks among the leagues best WRs. One comment that made me think for a little bit was, “Jackson has the potential to go from elite playmaker to great receiver.” While I understand the comment, I can just as easily see someone expressing the desire for a receiver to go from “great receiver” to “elite playmaker.” At the end of the day, it’s nice to have a receiver who is so talented, not to mention another WR in Jeremy Maclin who has the potential to be included in the same conversation.

  5. 5 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:16 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    @ D3Keith…

    I love having a good discussion with the readers. Eagles fans are some of the smartest people out there. Out of a group of friends from the EMB you’ve got me writing for about 37 sites. Sam does his writing and is respected by media members for his Cap knowledge. My buddy Matt is now a guru in the college football recruiting world. A couple of other guys have started blogs. It really is impressive. And that doesn’t even take into account the guys with great jobs who just commented from time to time.

    I’m constantly blown away by readers who come up with an idea or thought or who write out a lengthy post that is worthy of big time attention. The first time I remember anyone talking about trading Kolb for DRC was a suggestion by a reader here. I’m sure the notion was being mentioned somewhere else on the web, but it certainly hadn’t entered my mind.

    I love talking football. You ought to see the look on the faces of people I meet who think they are striking up a casual conversation. I will sit there and talk to them forever. Those poor souls just saw I had an Eagles shirt on and wondered if we might win the game. They didn’t bargain for a lengthy discussion.

    People really freak out when I talk to them about their school which they think no one else knows about (Tulane for example). I had one guy tell me he had a cousin named Steve Israel who played. I talked about him for 5 minutes, much to the surprise of the cousin.

    I will talk football all day long with anyone. That passion for the game is what makes me enjoy interacting with the readers here. Sometimes I will lay low if there is a good discussion going on. Why get in the way of a good thing? Plus, you can learn a lot by just listening / reading.

  6. 6 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:22 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    @ Stephen…

    There were a couple of guys with crazy numbers last year. Brandon Lloyd was the wildest: 77-1448-11-18.8. He led the NFL in receiving yards. Who’d have guessed that?

    Mike Wallace was right there with DJax as a big play guy:
    60-1257-10-21.0. Wallace led the NFL in catches of 40 or more yards with 10.

    Steve Johnson came out of nowhere to go: 82-1073-10-13.1.

    Anthony Armstrong was: 44-871-3-19.8. Impressive.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:24 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    @ iskar36…

    We are lucky to have DJax, JMac, and Jason Avant. We can move the chains, work the slot, or get the big play. We just need Riley Cooper to emerge and give us a big guy. Or Plax.

    @ D3Keith…

    I’m not sure if I’ve covered that topic yet or not. I’ll look back on some previous columns.

  8. 8 ATG said at 4:43 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    “In my experience, when running a niche website,…”

    Niche website? This is the Eagles! This site must be in the top 10, behind Amazon, Google, and probably a few porn sites.

    “Do you see anyone this year that could similarly turn the corner developmentally?”

    Turn the corner…hmm… Dmitri Patterson? Actually, I would love to see Lindley take that step and make us all feel a little silly for worrying about RCB.

  9. 9 eeems said at 5:06 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    Tommy I was wondering what your thoughts are on charles johnson the DE on carolina? Not sure if you got a chance to watch any film on him and whether he would be a good fit for washburns wide 9 technique?

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:09 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    @ ATG…

    So wise.

    @ eeems…

    I’m working on a post to discuss the DE situation and some possible targets.

  11. 11 CVD said at 7:02 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    DRC is getting jacked up

    “While Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has added about 10 pounds that he hopes will enable him to mix it up a bit more in a defense expected to be a lot more aggressive under new coordinator Ray Horton”

    i really think we get just picks but i will be happy if we do get drc

  12. 12 Thunderlips said at 7:45 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    I hope that’s not the same 10 lbs of muscle Considine added….

  13. 13 Ryan said at 8:17 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    Tommy…I am also interested in your thoughts on Charles Johnson. Great season last year, pedestrian prior 3 years. Is he a one hit wonder? Stuck behind Peppers? 10 sacks in 3 years would have Eagles fans in a fit of rage…

  14. 14 Bernard Arnault said at 8:53 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    good read on Charles Johnson.

  15. 15 Arby said at 9:00 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Cornelius Ingram will be the turnaround story this year. Of course, I have no idea of his well being but I’d like to see him make the most of what has to be his final shot with the team.

  16. 16 D3Keith said at 9:03 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    The Israel family, aka the pride of Haddon Heights!

    Is your buddy Matt Elder? I think I’ve made friends with him recently over some of his small-college analysis.

    I never got into the EMB and probably never will now, because I’ve earned my stripes at too many other places and it’s hard going back to square one. I think on web communities we tend to acknowledge the screen names we know best, and you earn that rep over time, with posts that are either insightful, funny, took a lot of work or some combo of the three.

    I get blank stares sometimes with less-die-hard Eagles fans, because clearly I have an opinion on every guy on the roster, and not everybody does. I sometimes run into the situation of commenting just out of habit when I really have no new insight (Trying to make sure this isn’t one of ’em)

    Having dealt with different fanbases, I would definitely say Eagles fans are the most opinionated furthest down the roster. And to that end, there is just never enough analysis to satisfy us. I’ve read three or four Eagles sites consistently all summer when literally nothing has happened.

    I know you were just playing, but I don’t think “niche” necessarily means small. To me it means “doing something really specific really well.” People follow Tommy from blog to blog because he’s developed that kind of respect, and part of using the web well is having that conversation with readers, and not pretending that you’re smarter than all of them. Personally, I appreciate that.

    I help run a website myself (give you one guess what it’s about), if “niche” was a dis, I’d be insulting myself. What I do is way less popular than the Birds.

  17. 17 D3Keith said at 9:13 PM on July 18th, 2011:

    Ingram is definitely a guy people have high hopes for. And with Buckhalter setting the precedent that three disastrous knee injuries can’t stop you from having a career and/or regaining your speed, maybe Ingram can recover from two.

    I think Justice was the unexpected improvement guy in ’09 (on BGN I jokingly call this the Winston Justice Award) and last year I’d say it was Laws. Or Dixon. Dmitri Patterson probably could’ve been on the list too if we all hadn’t decided he is the root of all evil.

    Some candidates for 2011: Victor Abiamiri (would be great if he did anything, but he seems headed for McDougleland), Austin Howard, Eldra Buckley (might not even make final cut), A.Q. Shipley and/or Dallas Reynolds.

    I disqualify Chad Hall from this because he already gets an inordinate amount of love. He’s not “unsung” enough. But other people can go by whatever rules they want.

    My guy is Clay Harbor. And my reasoning is not all that sound. Everything about that guy, in the limited time I’ve seen him play, seems like beast pass-catching tight end. I know we already have one of those, and it would be best if our TE’s could block … but that’s just my breakout guy.

  18. 18 brza said at 8:53 AM on July 19th, 2011:

    Thanks for the response on my LB comment. I guess you’re right though. There are tons of different ways to go about attacking a defense.
    I was just going off of what I’ve been taught and the 10 or so books I’ve read on linebacking and defense. I’ve always seen/heard “Slow until you know” when Read and React defenses are discussed but I haven’t put in the film study like you to verify whether “Don’t go until you know” is used by any NFL teams.
    Whether its a “Don’t go” or a “Slow” Read and React scheme, I’m looking forward to see who’s gonna step up at MLB. Usually those types of defenses have a real stud in the middle.