Good showing by the Eagles in the 2011 PS opener. The starting offense played well. They had 1 drive and it resulted in a TD. A Red Zone TD, no less. We quickly got Vick and Shady out of the game. Things were up and down after that, which was expected. We’ve got a new blocking scheme and a bunch of new players. You cannot think the team will be crisp and efficient under those circumstances. The idiot announcers kept going on and on about all the running plays with Vince Young and Ronnie Brown in the game. Is Andy Reid changing his offense? Uh, no. We had a makeshift O-line, new RB, and QB who’s had less than a week of practice. Of course you’re going to run the ball. I have no idea how that notion escaped the broadcasters.
The defense was very impressive. The new scheme was well executed. Jim Washburn and Juan Castillo obviously know how to teach. Just as important, the scheme fits the players well. Guys were doing things that looked natural to them. The D-line got a lot of penetration vs the run and kept regular pressure on the Ravens QBs.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind. The Ravens O-line is no juggernaut, starters or backups. They also don’t have a good set of WRs or a polished passing game. A rookie QB played about 3 quarters of the game. All of these things helped our pass rush. I was still highly impressed, but we do need to keep circumstances in perspective when judging what goes on in the preseason.
The same is true for our backup O-lines. They struggled at times. It wasn’t simply a lack of talent. The Ravens blitzing really got to us. We had quite a few negative plays where a CB or S was coming free on the QB. Some of those were draws and screens. You’re really vulnerable to DB blitzes. The results weren’t good, but it wasn’t lack of talent or bad execution so much as the right play call. I like our backups on the interior of the line. The OTs are definitely a work in progress.
Speaking of play calling, I thought Juan Castillo had a good night. The defense didn’t look confused or lost with any regularity. There were some screw-ups, but those are expected in the PS opener. Overall I thought the defense looked pretty polished considering the circumstances…semi-new scheme, new coaches, new players, no real offseason.
You’ll see in my player notes that I didn’t have much to say about the CBs. Baltimore has a mediocre passing game and our guys just weren’t challenged, starters or backups. There wasn’t a whole lot to take away. Let’s hope Pittsburgh is a better test. I need to find out about Marsh, Hughes, Lindley, etc.
The new KO rule is boring, but does protect players. I can understand that. I think touchbacks will go down once late fall/winter gets here and the ball isn’t traveling as well.
VICK — Good start. 4-6-74. TD. Looked good. Mike wasn’t impressive last summer, but had a great year. He’s off to a good start this summer. Let’s hope that bodes well for another great season.
KAFKA — Up and down. Threw bad INT. Forced the ball into coverage and doesn’t have the arm to do that. Struggled initially, but did get better in the 2nd half. Hit WR on crossing route for 1st down. Good on short throws to TE. Used a hard count effectively. Ravens jumped a few times. Made a very good hot read vs corner blitz. Hit Hall with quick, accurate throw for nice gain. Made a gutsy throw to Gerald Jones on 3rd/long from our endzone. Kafka knew he was going to get hit, but focused on the throw. That moved the chains and helped with field position. Kafka needs work as a passer, but he’s got guts and seems like a natural leader. We can work on the passing skills. The intangibles are something you either have or don’t. He does.
YOUNG — Limited showing. He was given simple pass plays. When his read wasn’t there, got ready to run. Did show off his elusiveness. Highlight may have been 3rd/14. Escaped sack, ran upfield, and then saw Hall. Got him a pass just before the line and Chad turned that into a nice gain. Threw high pass to Higgins, but he caught it. Called for grounding on blown up screen pass, but had no choice. Lewis was lost in a scrum and a blitzer was all over him. Vince is able to make things happen because of his natural talent. We saw that in the game. He is not a consistent, polished QB in any way, shape, or form. I hope we see progress as he practices and gets more comfortable in the offense.
32 SCHMITT — Somewhat quiet game. Ran for 1st on 3rd/1. Got 1.1 yds on the dive play.
39 HAVILI — Played, but didn’t stand out.
25 MCCOY — Limited snaps. Gets an A+ because he came out healthy.
36 BROWN — Pretty good showing. Got a lot of work, running and receiving. Had 10 touches. Okay speed, good power. Liked what I saw. Better blocking would have really helped him.
27 D. LEWIS — #3 RB. Good showing from a player I’ve had my doubts about. Good gain on screen pass – 16 yds. Showed vision, burst, and toughness. Ran well on his carries. Didn’t go down on first contact. Able to make himself small and find small running creases. That may sound silly because of his size, but some small guys don’t use their size to their advantage. Lewis did. Had an okay block of blitzing LB. Went low on the guy and got him, but the guy was able to get off the block and pressure Kafka. That was on the INT play. Dion did his job. Ideally, you’d like him to put the guy down or sustain the block. Pick wasn’t his fault. Sloppy pass block in the late 3rd. Made a good read and saw the guy coming. Block was too casual and the blitzer got free and hit Kafka.
43 COOPER — First pass block wasn’t real impressive. Didn’t make clean contact. Looked unsure. Ran for nice gain on draw play. Showed some burst. Ran hard. No hesitation. Made a tough catch on a dump pass that Kafka should have thrown into the stands. Lost yds. Good concentration, hands by Cooper. Showed promise as a receiver.
34 BUCKLEY — Stuffed ILB on blitz up middle. Good block No touches.
33 LOCKE — Played late. Had a 12-yard run.
14 R. COOPER — Made a sensational catch to set up our TD. Saw Vick moving and went downfield. Went up in the air for the ball. Got it. Ed Reed pulled down one arm, but Riley had the ball secure in the other. Landed awkwardly and I feared he might have hurt his knee, but only left the game for a play or two. Catch showed his skill and athleticism.
81 AVANT — Good start. Made one tough catch. Almost made a sensational TD catch, but didn’t have enough room to get control of the ball and both feet in.
16 C HALL — Solid game. Caught 5 passes for 82 yards. Knows how to get open. Benefited from Vince’s scrambling. Caught a pass from him and turned that into a long gain. Caught a quick pass over the middle to move the chains in the early 3rd. The problem with Chad is speed. I like his quickness and elusiveness, but I just don’t see a guy who can take advantage of situations. Chad will get into space and you’ll expect to see a big play, but he’s quickly tackled. He runs hard, but just doesn’t show the speed I think a guy his size needs. I was hoping he would look faster this year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
17 JL HIGGINS — Made one good catch. Vince put the ball up high, but Johnnie Lee was able to go up and get it. Dropped a pass from Young. Didn’t show a whole lot as a WR. Wasn’t able to return a punt or kickoff.
83 R HARPER — Smooth hands, good RAC on catch over middle in early 3rd. Caught a short pass in the late 3rd and was hit by about 30 Ravens. Tough guy. Real impressive play in early 4th. Used good move to beat press, get open on slant. Snagged the ball with his hands. Had LB coming to hit him, but stayed focused. Caught WR screen and got blasted by 20 Ravens. Harper looks like a WCO receiver. He’s willing to work the middle and take a hit. Hands catcher. Not sure how athletic he is, but I was impressed with his performance.
87 CELEK — Vick tried to hit him on opening drive on intermediate route. Brent couldn’t make the catch. Couldn’t tell if the defender hit the ball at all. Would have been a tough catch. TD was simple play. Run 3 yards and then turn around. Essentially box out the LB and let Vick throw it to you. Easy, but well executed. Good start to the preseason.
82 B HARBOR — Had a couple of good blocks on run plays to his side. Tried to kill someone downfield on a play, but the LB moved and Clay missed him. Would have been a fun block if the guy hadn’t been looking. Didn’t have any passes come his way.
88 D LEE — Good block of LB on 3rd/1 run to his side. Caught a short dump-off pass and ran for 1st down. Caught a short pass over the middle. Caught a short pass down the seam in the early 3rd. Had a poor run block in the 3rd Qtr. Lee might be the best #3 TE we’ve had here in Philly. I still don’t know if he’ll make the team, but he’s a quality player.
48 M WEBB — Caught a short pass on 3rd/1. Moved the chains.
85 C INGRAM — Played, but failed to stand out. No passes came his way.
67 J JACKSON — Played early on. Looked good. Nice to have him healthy for a change.
63 D WATKINS — We ran right behind him on 3rd/1. Danny sealed DT to the inside, gave Schmitt a small area to hit. Failed to get clean block on Pryce on Vick’s long pass. Danny looked confused for some reason. Sloppy block. Got pushed back by Cody on GL run, but was able to stop the penetration and gain control mid-play. Pulled left on run play and had nice block of DE. Looked good on the move. Played less than I thought he would. You can see his physical gifts. Talented player. Just needs reps. Real curious to see him in a couple of weeks. Danny is a quick learner and he should improve as he gets more work.
64 R HARRIS — Got beat on consecutive plays by inside move. One resulted in a batted pass. Can’t have DEs getting free inside. Make them beat you outside. Really good with his hands. Gets some pop when he’s engaging defenders. Impressive. Whiffed on DE on run play to his side. I think Harris may be getting a bit over-hyped by some reporters. Can be a solid RT, but he’s not a special player or anything close to that.
62 KELCE — Got pushed back a step on short ydg run. Got his feet under him and then was able to put the DT on the ground. Good block of LB on draw. Stuck with it for almost 5 yds. Had good block of Cody on run play that went outside. Jason got into him quickly and pushed him back a step, then sustained the block. Blitzing LB went by him on run play. Jason wasn’t expecting the ILB to blitz and looked shocked when he saw the guy run by him. Welcome to life vs BAL. And PIT, NYJ, etc. Quick burst, swim move by #90 gave him trouble in pass pro. Did short pull to outside on pass play to get blitzer. Well executed. NT got by him on RZ pass play and pressured Kafka into hurried throw. Consistently got to LBs on run plays. Able to get to the 2nd level, engage, and sustain. Good start for him. Wasn’t physically overwhelmed at all. I’m not sure how I feel about him starting this year, but you can see he’s the C of the future for sure.
68 A HOWARD — #2 LT. Let DE get free to the inside late in the 1st Qtr. Easy sack. Can’t have that. Good block on draw. Pushed DE upfield and created running lane. Made good initial block on 3rd/long, but then let the DE get free to the inside. Ugh. Should have sacked VY, but Vince went all Vince on the Ravens and made something out of it. Good block of LB on run to his side. Gave Brown room to run. Good pass block of DE on 2nd/long. Austin does have naturally good feet. Gave up inside to DE on pass play late in half. Played some RT in the 4th Qtr. Austin really needs to get into shape.
69 E MATHIS — #2 LG. Good block on 3rd/1 run that came to his side. Cleared small space for Brown. Had good upfield block of LB on run play. good block of DT on run to his side. Stuck with it. Good leverage. Played some RT late in the game when a couple of OTs had gotten hurt.
77 M MCGLYNN — Took over RG late in the 1st Qtr. Up and down in pass pro. Good effort. Pulled left on run. Dove at LB, but basically whiffed. Had a good drive block of DT on run play. Poor block out in space on screen. Looked like he was trying to cut a LB, but really just fell down. Now he’s trying to kill the worms. Leave those poor creatures alone. Beaten cleanly by #90 with rip move on RZ pass. That led to FF and long TD return. Fumble was overturned by replay, but still a bad block by Mike. Moved to C in the late 3rd. I don’t think McGlynn is going to make the team. He just doesn’t look natural in the new system. We’ll see if he gets better in the next few weeks. Can be a good player, but needs the right system. Meant to be RG in a run heavy offense.
77 J VANDERVELDE — #3 LG. Got driven back in pass pro and that flushed Kafka. Got pushed back again in pass pro. #96. Good feet. Moves well laterally. Seemed better in the 2nd half. Good reach block on run that went away from him. Kept DT from getting to Lewis for TFL. Pulls well. Made a sloppy block of LB in pass pro and the guy was able to pressure Kafka. Shifted to RG late in the game. Beaten by #90 in pass pro. Guy hit Kafka, forced bad throw.
78 F TUPOU — Didn’t see him play much.
65 K DUNLAP — #2 RT. Up and down game. Continues to give too much ground in pass pro. That’s last year’s system. Did have a very good down block on 3rd/1. Caved in a defender and gave Lewis space to run for 1st. Had a false start penalty. Good block on draw. Shoved DE upfield, then got partial shot on LB.
66 D REYNOLDS — #4 LG. Didn’t stand out.
* Great team D on early screen. Babin used spin move and ran into Rice. Casey was waiting to the outside. Dixon was on the inside. Both guys read the play and weren’t about to let Rice free. Flacco had to throw the ball away.
* Pressure from the front line resulted in multiple false start penalties.
58 COLE — Blew up run by knocking LT back, shedding block, and then getting RB for no gain. Got an early sack by driving LT back. Babin got pressure as did Jenkins. Trent finished off the play. Great start to the year.
75 PARKER — Didn’t really catch my eye. I don’t think he played much.
68 HARGROVE — Played LDT/NT. Got RB for minimal gain. Bounced off a block and found himself at the right spot at the right time. Active player. Flows to the football. Not always smooth, but stays on the move.
97 JENKINS — RDT, UT. Got a big hit on Flacco on first play of game. Had to work to get free, but finally did an planted Joe in the ground. Showed good quickness off the ball. I’m going to enjoy watching him this year.
93 BABIN — Played with the starters on 2nd series. Flew off the edge and really chased inside runs. BAL saw that and burned him with bootleg. Luckily we covered well behind Babin. Knocked the RT down with a spin move. Impressive. Almost got a sack, but Cole selfishly beat him to the QB. Must talk to Trent about sharing.
55 D TAPP — Got TFL on early run play. LT blew his assignment and didn’t make the block. Opened the 2nd Qtr with a sack. Got under Oher and shoved his arms away. Then took inside route to get sack. Used good burst and his hands to cleanly get by LT for sack late in the half. Tapp played in this type of system in college and he looks like a natural in it. Real impressive showing.
52 TEO — Played RDE. Got off block of TE and came close to TFL of RB. Drove the LT back on a pass play and helped to flush out the QB. Played at least one snap at DT. Pass play. Was blocked pretty well. Fought off cut block and got RB on inside run. Excellent bull rush in 3rd Qtr. Drove LT straight to QB, flushed Taylor, created sack for Landri. Got a sack late in the game. Good burst off the ball. Blitzers came up the middle and Taylor had nowhere to run. Needs to be more regular with pressure off the edge, but had some good moments.
90 DIXON — Quiet game. Played with backup DTs. Had effective bull rushes on a couple of plays, but didn’t really stand out. Not sure if he’s slow in learning the system, still bothered by injury, or playing his way into shape.
73 LANDRI — Helped Tapp on early TFL. Relentless player. Isn’t going to slow down until the whistle blows. Got sack in 3rd Qtr. Teo flushed QB and Derek was there to finish the play. Used spin move on that play to stay unblocked. If he continues to play like that, will make serious push for roster spot. Excellent fit for W-9.
64 M FAVORITE — Wow. Opened some eyes with his game. Good push on 2nd Qtr pass. Drove LG back to QB. Tapp got sack on the play. Real good power by MF. Got push vs RG on another pass play. Shed RG and tackled RB on play that came his way. Drove C backward on pass late in the half and actually knocked the guy on his butt. Shed block of OL and got RB down for no gain. Really hustled when the ball went out wide or the play got behind him. Got pressure up middle late in game and helped Hunt get sack. Celebrated by rubbing his (big) belly. My new hero.
76 P HUNT — Mostly LDE. Really good with his hands. Quick off the ball. Used good spin move to shoot to the inside and pressure QB. Used bull rush to knock RT back, then dove for the QB. Couldn’t quite get him. Used good burst, swim move to get pressure in 3rd Qtr. Unblocked on late pass play in 3rd Qtr. Flushed Taylor and forced him into bad throw, INT. RZ play. Used bull rush to drive RT backward and pressure QB. Jumped offside on pass play late in the game. Blew by the LT late in the game. Sacked Taylor. Hit him hard enough to knock his helmet off. I hope the coaches give him some reps vs starting OTs in the coming weeks. I want to see if Hunt can beat them. Might be a good pass rushing specialist.
72 C THORNTON — Has exceptional quickness off the ball. Still learning. Drew penalty for knocking helmet off OL. Gets off balance after firing off the ball. Must play under better control. Got knocked on his butt by double team on pass play. Disrupted a 4th Qtr run play with penetration.
The biggest issue right now is that Cedric gets going so quickly, he is out in front of his feet. That makes it easy for OL to knock him down or push him away. Love the burst, but you must keep your feet under you so that you’ve got balance and power.
65 C WILSON — Played LDE. Has some quickness off the ball. Good tackle on run play that came his way in the late 3rd. Got away with late hit on QB in the 4th Qtr.
94 NOONAN — Played some. Longshot, but he plays hard. Excellent effort.
51 CHANEY — Ray Rice burned us for a good gain on a quick pass play on the opening drive. I think Chaney was at fault. He blitzed, then pivoted when he saw Rice going out. Chaney went into chase mode. Had to deal with several cut blocks. Fought off one and tackled RB. Did a good job of getting on RBs who went out to the flats on pass plays.
50 MATTHEWS — Read run play and flowed to the ball, but RB cut back to other side. DT got him. Read screen play correctly and got into good position. Covered TE well on 3rd down pass where Cole got sack. Didn’t stand out vs run. He had to deal with blocks a couple of times. Got off one pretty well. Another one the OL got the better of the situation. Casey needs technique work. He’s got to aggressively get into the blocker and try to win the battle. The most impressive thing for me was that Casey played smart. He read plays well. He knew his assignments. Casey showed excellent field vision in college and again at the Senior Bowl. That’s with him in the NFL as well. Very underrated part of being a MLB.
53 FOKOU — Just slammed FB to the ground on run play that was designed to come at him. Used his hands well to fend off blockers. Moise is like a bull in a china shop. He just throws things around. Real tough, physical player.
57 K CLAYTON — Flew out to tackle TE after short catch. Real good speed by KC. Stuck tight to RBs on short pass plays. Really popped RB who tried to release on pass route. Knocked the guy off balance. Knocked receiver down in the flat after pass fell incomplete. Good to see him being more physical. I hadn’t been impressed by practice clips, but looked good in the game.
96 G. LLOYD — Made a good tackle vs run in early 2nd. Flowed to his right and made the stop. RB got a couple of yards. Fought off a block before getting out wide. Looked stiff, slow on one play. Taylor scrambled. Lloyd couldn’t change direction fluidly to pursue him. Had to literally stop, turn, and then run. Not good. Made real good play on short yardage run. Shed block and got to RB quickly on inside run. Did give up the yard though. Looked slow as he worked toward a run play to his right late in the 3rd. Real good vs inside runs. Speed is a major question.
59 B ROLLE — Played in the #2 D and #2 Nickel. Good hit on TE after short catch in 2nd Qtr. Got outside quickly and put the guy down firmly. Got cut on run play up the middle in late 3rd. Wasn’t able to make the stop. Was a bit awkward out in space vs TEs. Effective blitzer. Hustled to tackle WR who got away from Calvin on final drive. Blitzed up middle and hit Taylor on final play. Helped to force incompletion. Led the team with 4 tackles. Solid beginning for him. I know he’s short and not all that big, but I would love to see him get a shot at MLB in a preseason game.
48 JEANTY — Tackled RB in flat after short pass.
42 COLEMAN — Got beat early in the game. Had tight coverage on Pitta, but his back was to QB and he never made a good play on the ball. Should have been PBU. Might have been INT. Got in on a couple of tackles. Has a thicker build this year.
29 ALLEN — Showed a good burst when chasing down Rice after long gain on pass play. That’s all I wanted to see.
26 J JARRETT — Picked off pass in early 2nd Qtr. Overthrow that came right to him. Showed good awareness, hands on the play. Made a nice return as well. Had pretty good coverage late in the half on pass to WR along sideline. JJ got over quickly and pass was off target. Got in on tackle on one KO return.
25 J PAGE — Came up quickly to hit receiver after catch over the middle. Came up and really popped TE after catch over middle. Picked off Taylor in RZ. QB was flushed, Page stepped in front of pass. Real good showing. Played himself into serious roster consideration.
30 C ANDERSON — Made shoestring tackle of RB after catch and run in 4th. Made a good pick on overthrow in the 4th, but only got one foot in.
Did okay, but needs to pick up the pace with Jarrad Page playing the way he did. I don’t think we’ll keep 5 Safeties.
45 J ADAMS — Got physical hit on WR running down sideline after catch. Got big hit on RB who was trying to catch pass in endzone. He was bobbling ball, but Adams sealed the deal by hitting him hard in the back.
21 HANSON — Had tight coverage on Boldin on early 3rd down play. Had him in the slot. Flacco threw to Boldin, but wasn’t able to complete the pass.
31 C MARSH — Tight coverage led to overthrow by Taylor and INT for Jarrett. Sloppy angle, missed tackle on WR screen in 3rd Qr. Same result on another quick pass to WR on same drive. Liked what I saw in cover skills. Must work on tackling.
38 J CALVIN — Missed tackle of WR after quick screen pass to him. Ditto that late in the game. Broke up a quick pass on Ravens final drive. Sloppy tackle attempt in RZ on final drive. He’s a longshot anyway, sloppy tackling isn’t going to impress the other 31 teams watching the game tape.
27 HUGHES — Didn’t have any passes come his way. I was really hoping to get a better feel for him.