Are The Kids Alright?

Posted: August 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 17 Comments »

The Eagles will have multiple rookie starters this year.  Right now two of them will be PK Alex Henery and P Chas Henry.  Some people are concerned about making a Super Bowl run with both kicking specialists being rookies.  Are the Eagles taking a crazy risk?

On the surface, it does sound crazy to go with a pair of rookies.  The Eagles expect to be a Super Bowl contender this year and wouldn’t make this move unless they really liked both players.  PK Alex Henery is the best college kicker I’ve ever seen.  He’s got a huge leg.  He hit clutch kicks.  And he played at Nebraska.  He dealt with some bad weather.  He also played in big games.  He understands how to deal with pressure and how to handle rough conditions.  That’s critical for any NFC East kicker.

So far Henery has kicked as well as expected.  He’s shown a strong leg and good accuracy.  Here’s what Reuben Frank wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning:

Alex Henery: good from 41, good from 45, good from 49, good from 50, tough to tell from 51, wide left from 51, good from 52

That’s pretty good, huh?  David Akers was a great kicker for a long time so filling his shoes won’t be easy, but I think Henery is the guy to do it.  I would not support this move if I hadn’t seen Henery do some amazing things in college.  There’s no guarantee that will carry over to the NFL, but so far, so good.

I can’t say as much about Chas Henry.  He was a very good Punter at Florida, but didn’t stick out to me like Henery.  Let’s face it, you rarely remember great punts.  Field goals are a whole other story.  I’m not sure what the Eagles thinking was in regard to Punter.  They spent a 4th round pick on Henery so clearly the plan was to replace Akers with a top shelf PK if they could get one.  I’m not sure if the plan was to replace Sav Rocca or if that just happened.  The Eagles didn’t draft Chas Henry.  They had to wait to sign him as a UDFA in late July.  At that time we all expected Sav to return.  Obviously the Eagles felt getting Henry changed everything.  They let Sav go elsewhere.  I don’t know what kind of a draft grade the Eagles had on Henry, but I would bet it was a mid-round grade.  Punter is just not as significant a position as PK so you can roll the dice on getting your guy as a UDFA.

Reports from Lehigh say that Chas Henry has absolutely been bombing the ball.  Even Eagles players have been shocked to see some of his kicks.  Henry has a big time leg.  Playing at Florida, he didn’t have to deal with elements very much.  That’s going to be tricky for him.  He seems to be a bright guy and Bobby April is a great coach.  We have to hope they can work through that.

Both Henery and Henry have the potential to be Pro Bowl specialists because of their strong legs.  The key to being a good kicker in the NFL is consistency.  Henery must be accurate.  Henry needs to show good ball control.  Both players had these skills in college.  Starting on Thursday we’ll see how they do in an NFL game.

I don’t think the Eagles would go with Henery I and Henry II if they didn’t trust these guys.  It would be a whole other story if we were a rebuilding team and the Eagles could afford to develop young guys without worrying about the consequences.  We’re hoping to win the big game this year.  We need the young guys to be not only capable, but outright good players.  Should the players struggled in the first 3 preseason games, the Eagles will hit the market and look for other options.  Until that point we’re going to let the young guys kick away and show what they can do.

* * * * *


* Will Brandon Graham play this year?  Impossible to know.  We don’t know what shape his knee will be in come mid-November.  That is 100 or so days away.  If Cole, Babin, Parker, Tapp,Teo,  and Hunt are getting the job done, there’s no reason to try to bring him back.  My hunch is that the Eagles will not play him this year, but all it takes is someone else getting hurt and we may need Brandon to try and get back on the field.

* How many DL will the Eagles keep?  Most likely 10.  11 is possible, but that means you go light elsewhere.  Roster building is a trade-off.  Who is the RS?  If the #5 WR can handle that, then you are good to go.  If you have to keep a guy that is primarily the RS, that kills a roster spot.  You also look at which young players you want to keep.  Do we want to try and put Julian Vandervelde or Cedric Thornton on the Practice Squad?  Which player are you higher on vs which player is less likely to get claimed by another team?  All kinds of crazy decisions.  We have to see the players in action before we can make really good guesses.

* Where can you watch practice?  Go to every day at Noon for Eagles Live.  They randomly show practice clips.  It isn’t user friendly, but they have to do it this way.  The Eagles don’t want other teams coming in and studying the clips.  That’s why it is random and also not archived.  Dave used to have everything archived for convenience, but you know how secretive Big Red is.

* * * * *

Eagles Annual

The greatest writing of the 21st century, aside Lindsay Lohan's autobiography.


I was one of several writers who contributed to the Maple Street Press 2011 Eagles Annual.  I wrote 3 articles.

  • Draft Review
  • Story on Mudd, Washburn, and the coaching changes
  • 20th anniversary of Gang Green – our 1991 Defense

The whole magazine is awesome.  It is packed with good stories and lots of information.  You can buy it at stores or through the Maple Street site.  Go here:





17 Comments on “Are The Kids Alright?”

  1. 1 DB said at 11:50 AM on August 6th, 2011:

    “We’re hoping to win the big game this year”

    Are you fearful of getting roughed-up by Roger and his merry men for using the term Super Bowl?

  2. 2 bubqr said at 12:19 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    Congrats on the magazine.

    The only thing that worries me regarding both Hen(e)rys is the Bloom précédent – giving the job to a rookie without any competition because it’s just Special Teams…

  3. 3 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:24 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    @ DB…

    Already used Super Bowl earlier in the piece so I just mixed it up. Always trying to provide maximum entertainment for my readers.

  4. 4 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:42 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    RE: Bloom vs The Henrys

    Fair question, but a big difference. Alex is coming off a great career. He was considered the top PK in the draft.

    Chas won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top college punter in 2010.

    Bloom was totally considered a project. It was hoped that he could be the RS since he was so naturally talented, but there were some x-factors. Bloom was good at Colorado in 2002, 2003. He then took time off to go ski in the Olympics. We drafted him in 2006. Long time between his college glory and rookie year.

    The guys now are coming in fresh off great careers. There are no distractions or complications for the Henrys to deal with.

  5. 5 Matt D said at 1:16 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    Thanks, Tommy. For whatever reason, this is my biggest source of concern for this team. Of course, by the time the year starts, I’ll be worried about something else. The 2008 Phils have only begun to heal my Philadelpha instincts that something, somewhere will make it all fall apart.

    It’s good to hear that Henry was a great college P. I would have assumed so, but I ultimately know nothing about that guy. Even with great college careers and faith (or neglect?) from the coaches, I still worry about such inexperience at such key positions, where there’s no competition or backup plan. While these guys are different then Bloom, we have seen a pattern of The Eagles starting the year with gaping ST’s holes. What if one of them lets the pressure of the NFL get to him? Suddenly, a superbowl team has a glaring weakness to overcome.

    Do you, or anyone else, know (a) how rookie P’s and K’s have fared in the NFL, and (b) what The Ealges options are if one of these two doesn’t work out?

  6. 6 izzylangfan said at 1:28 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    I just got back from Eagles Training Camp and my observations were a bit different than yours. Alex Henery is the real deal. He kicks straight and long. No problem there if he does the same thing in games. But Chas Henry did not punt well in my view. A bunch of his punts were thirty yarders and a bunch were sick ducks that went out of bounds to soon. He does not have the pop that Rocca had where his punts would seem to accelerate skyward. Even when he gets the distance I’m not sure he gets the hangtime. He does seem to be a good holder for placekicks however. But based on what I saw I’m not comfortable with his high error rate. Henery, the backup punter seemed to do a better job.

    Other wise I thought Clay Harbor looked good as well as Celek. We may be able to do more with our TE’s this year. He may have attitude problems but Cromartie will stick to his man. Watkins looked good. Ronnie Brown is hard to bring down and will make those third and twos when everybody knows its a run play. Hunt looked good. Ingram made some nice catches but still looked slow.

  7. 7 ian no. 2 said at 1:36 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    The way I see not bringing in competition at K/P: they want to devote all their time on the two rookies. If one of them has to be replaced, they can grab a veteran journeyman and/or someone off the waiver wire.

    I think those two will be fine.

  8. 8 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:09 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    @ Matt D…

    Plenty of rookie PKs and Punters have succeeded in the NFL. Plenty have failed as well. There are no good ways to measure this and know specifically how our guys will do.

    Watch them in the first couple of PS games. That will give you a major clue if the guys are ready or if we must add veterans.

  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:17 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    @ izzy…

    Thanks for the info.

    Chas does have a very strong leg. He’s boomed plenty of punts. Sounds like you may have caught him on an off day. He has had his share of shanks. That’s the area he’s got to work on the most. Better to consistently kick 45’s than to have some 60’s and some 30’s.

    Agreed on Harbor. Love what I’m seeing from him.

  10. 10 CVD said at 2:39 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    this and RT is what worries me for this year but when u said

    “Alex Henery is the best college kicker I’ve ever seen”

    that made me feel a hell of alot better. i got a feeling the kicker will be good but the punter worries me, could be just that i have that image of coughlin scolding his punter in front of millions of people.

    i cant wait to for thursday. im really excited to see Laws, Hunt and Jenkins. I feel a breakout year for Laws coming

  11. 11 CVD said at 2:42 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    Vick was on 97.5 yesterday and he sounded like a different person. He sounded like he did b4 he went away. I think last year he had to watch everything he said and just be very very humble. This year he can be himself, still humble but not this guy that has to worry about what everybody thinks of him. He just sounded like he owns this team and he wont let anybody F with them, I like it

  12. 12 T_S_O_P said at 3:01 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    I loved both Akers and Rocca and for the Eagles to move away from such accomplished players would suggest that April at least was comfortable with the move. Henry II or VIII (if we look at his jersey no) may have been given the job too easily, but if he is not up to it, I am sure the Eagles will find a punter from the cuts soon enough.

    Back to Akers, after his great tribute to the fans of Philly and also because I am cheap, I am presently in the process of buying a Akers black jersey.

  13. 13 ppk said at 3:50 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    The billboard posting that Akers had put up is one of the classiest acts I’ve ever seen performed by a professional athlete.

  14. 14 Arby said at 3:55 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    I thought Henery should be the VIII, but that’s probably because I’m old enough to have seen Herman’s Hermits in concert!….(you know, the way they stuck that extra syllable in the middle of Henry..)

  15. 15 ppk said at 4:01 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    Congrats, Tommy, on your pieces in the Maple Street Annual. We Blitzheads already know you’re insightful and a talented writer. Glad to share you with the rest o’ the world.

  16. 16 Doublgee said at 4:18 PM on August 6th, 2011:

    Several risky moves this year, but most were needed I think. Can’t wait for some preseason action, so we can evaluate all of our talent.

    It would be awesome if Maple Street Press were available to download…like through kindle!

  17. 17 Eagles Fan in San Fran said at 1:10 AM on August 7th, 2011:

    I’m OK with Henery the PK; not so much with Henry the P.
    Here’s a list of past Ray Guy Award winners:
    Year Winner School
    2000 Kevin Stemke Wisconsin
    2001 Travis Dorsch Purdue
    2002 Mark Mariscal Colorado
    2003 B.J. Sander Ohio State
    2004 Daniel Sepulveda Baylor
    2005 Ryan Plackemeier Wake Forest
    2006 Daniel Sepulveda Baylor
    2007 Durant Brooks Georgia Tech
    2008 Matt Fodge Oklahoma State
    2009 Drew Butler Georgia
    2010 Chas Henry Florida

    Not a single name there that is recognizable.
    Rocca was 16th in gross average, 8th in net average last year. Not great, but not bad.
    This smells like this year’s annual ST f-up move.