Early Postgame Thoughts

Posted: August 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 26 Comments »

Sloppy night, but definitely more good than bad.  No major injuries.  That itself is a big win (just ask a Giants fan).  The offense had major issues in the 1st half.  The defense played well.  The best unit was the STs.  Bobby April has finally found the right guys to execute his scheme.  It also helps that all the young guys from last season are now in Year 2.

The O-line was a major question going into the game and very much lived up to its problematic reputation.  Jason Kelce got the start at Center.  I think he was using last week’s clock because it didn’t seem like he was fully in the game til halfway through the 1st quarter.  He did finally start to settle down and had some good moments.  RG Danny Watkins really struggled.  There is no lack of talent or skill.  He made bad reads and bad decisions for much of the 1st half.  When Watkins did choose the right guy, he did a pretty good job of blocking.

RT King Dunlap had another solid game.  He got beaten a couple of times, but generally gave Vick good pass protection.  Dunlap may not be the answer at RT, but he’s proving to be a pretty good band-aid.  Reggie Wells was his backup.  I have not had a chance to get to his part of the tape.  Wells looked better than expected to the naked eye, but I don’t think he’s truly in the mix at RT.

All of our RBs played well.  Shady McCoy, Ronnie Brown, and Dion Lewis were terrific.  They combined to have 21 carries for 94 yards.  Shady caught 7 passes for 69 yards and provided a great dump-off outlet for Vick, who was under heavy pressure too much.

Vick didn’t have a good game per se, but played much better than last week.  He’s still rusty as a passer.  Vick had a couple of good throws (Avant, Celek, Shady), but wasn’t throwing darts all over.  The pressure was definitely to blame for part of that, but Vick just didn’t look decisive or quick with his reads.  Not having Maclin hurts.  Vick also just looks a bit rusty.  I think he’ll come alive when the season starts and things are back to normal (practice instead of a training camp atmosphere, gameplans instead of basic stuff, etc. ).

While the offense did struggle a bit, we scored 24 points and the offense was 3 for 4 in the Red Zone.  Both Vick and Vince Young ran for short TDs.  We did run the ball well.

The defense was outstanding.  The line got pretty good pressure.  Mike Patterson returned to action for the first time since his seizure and recorded a sack.  The rest of the line generated pressure and had a solid night.  DE Phillip Hunt seemed to play well in the 2nd half.

Casey Matthews had a good night.  He was credited with being in on 5 tackles.  He broke up a short pass to a WR over the middle.  Casey was the starting MLB, but left the field on passing downs.  He had been the Nickel MLB, but the coaches gave that job to rookie LB Brian Rolle.  They wanted to ease up on Casey and get Brian some playing time.  Casey was with the #2 Nickel defense as a MLB.  Brian had a good showing.  He had 2 tackles and a sack.  I thought he looked fine playing against starters in passing situations.

Jamar Chaney was the star LB tonight.  He was only credited with 1 tackle, but played well.  He broke up a pass early in the game.  He covered well and kept a couple of others from getting completed.  You could start to see that maybe Juan Castillo’s moving Chaney to SAM might just work out pretty well.  Chaney looked athletic.  He was good in coverage.

Jarrad Page got the start at SS and played pretty well.  FS Kurt Coleman led the team with 5 tackles and played a lot better than last week.  The CBs had a good game.  Asante picked off a pass.

The starters pitched a shutout.  The backups allowed 14 points, but Cleveland finished the game with only 242 total yards.  We sacked CLE quarterbacks 5 times.

We only got to see Alex Henery kick one FG.  It was just 37 yards so that hardly told us much.  No RS stood out.  We blocked a FG for the 2nd week in a row.  DRC flew off the edge for this one.

I was hoping for more of a crisp effort by the offense, but didn’t happen.  I liked what I saw from the defense.  That was very encouraging, especially since Colt McCoy and the Browns had been playing so well this summer.  Next week the backups will compete for roster spots.  The starters won’t hit the field until the season opener in St. Louis.

GAMEBOOK


  • http://Website Stephen

    I’ll put in my 2 cents…

    Danny Watkins really really needs to get his ahem, stuff together because he’s going to get Vick killed if he keeps playing that way into the regular season.

    For my money I thought Dunlap was serviceable. Even when he was initially beaten he seemed to ride his guy out of the play. Not the best of plans for a starter but I feel a lot more comfortable that he could fill in adequately if needed.

    Kelce seemed to do a lot better when he was asked to be attacking downfield than in pass pro. He really cleaned up on Ronnie Browns TD run and looked pretty quick out in front of that one screen pass. Kids got talent no doubt, hopefully Mudd can keep coaching him up.

    Desean Jackson needs to get sharper on his routes imo, lots of times he just looks kind of lazy going into and out of breaks. I kinda get the feeling he doesn’t work as hard at his craft as he could, and relies too much on his natural gifts… Lots of times I feel like the offense stalls when we try to get him the ball too much.

    Can we all thank the football gods that Casey Mathews played better this week? If we had to endure another avalanche of we’re in trouble at MLB articles in the media this week…

    Nice to see Asante reminding everyone why he’s still considered a premiere playmaker in this league.

    Lol at Sheldon Brown tripping the Browns PR, think he winked at AR on the way back to the sideline?

    And finally, Peyton Hillis is the beastliest of beasty beasts at RB. I even love the facemask he uses, makes him look that much more intimidating. Saw him destroy Moise Fokou on his first run, yikes I’d hate to be the guy trying to stop him. Tommy I remember you werent to high on Hillis when he was coming out of college, what happened between when the guy went in the 7th round in the draft to today, where clearly he’s a premiere big back?

  • http://Website Davesbeard

    I was actually really quite impressed with Dunlap yesterday, I don’t recall seeing him getting flat out beat, not enough that as you said Stephen he couldn’t recover and the ride the guy out of harms way. The attacking style really helps with him getting bullrushed as he doesn’t have to absorb and stop but can go toe to toe immediately. Definitely need to sort out the communication issues on the right side, seemed to be mostly Watkins/Kelce though. Some gameplanning and more practise time should help that significantly.

  • http://Website GermanEagle

    Tommy

    I do agree with all of your points. Kurt Coleman is becoming more and more my favourite player to watch on our D. He just flies around and hits people.

    Regarding the O line I really hope that we didn’t see the starting line for the Rams game on 9/11. In my honest and humble opinion there is no way of not putting the following guys on the field when the season kicks off:

    Peters – Herremans – JJ – Watkins – Justice

    The most interesting roster decision will be CB in my eyes: will Hughes make the team, is Hanson going to get traded, what about Lindley? Do the Eagles keep only 5 or even 7 CBs on the roster?! It’s gonna be exciting!!!

  • http://Website cvd

    I agree about Desean. I been saying for awhile that it seems like he doesn’t spend time practicing short routes or catching them, he drops a lot of short balls especially going out of bounds or if someone is covering. He only gets a few his way so that could b.why.

  • http://twitter.com/cliphord Cliff

    RE: Hillis

    I don’t know if the guy is “clearly” a “premier big back.” You’ve got to do it more than 1 season for me. He is a beastly beast of beasts though. There’s no doubt about that.

    Maybe I’m just turned off because of all the hype. Jamaal Charles, for example, had maybe a better season than Hillis last year (less TD, but also way less fumbles) and Charles has done it 2 seasons in a row now. But he doesn’t get nearly the hype Hillis does.

    With that said, I root for the guy because who doesn’t like seeing a RB roll over defenders? Plus, it’s great seeing the 227th pick get his due. I’m just not as certain as you he’s repeat the success for years to come, especially stuck in Cleveland.

  • http://twitter.com/cliphord Cliff

    RE: Watkins and Kelce

    I thought our biggest problem last season was that Vick had approximately 1 second on every play to read what was going on and make a play. Vick was forced to be Superman because the OL couldn’t “stop a nosebleed” (I know that’s supposed to refer to defense, but I’ve got Bart Scott on my mind – CAN’T WAIT!).

    We still have that problem. Kelce did look better when run blocking, but we DON’T RUN THE BALL enough for Kelce to get by on only marginal pass blocking. I thought Mudd was supposed to be a guru? Looks to me like he’s forcing a square peg in a round hole. Get JamJax back out there and stop messing around with our QB’s life.

  • http://Website ian no. 2

    I also like the idea of Evan Mathis at RG to start the season. A rookie with abbreviated camp that held out needs to show more in order to start from day one.

  • http://Website penn7980

    I am for the idea of putting Mathis at RG to start the season. Let Watkins observe and learn as back-up and ease him in the line-up as the season goes on.

    Concerned that Laws was dressed, but DNP. Will they keep him in the DT rotation, or he has to earn the spot by performance on the field? Clearly the snaps went to the other DTs help them with their chances. Laws, if healthy, would play a lot in the final preseason game.

    JJ or Kelce at C? IMO, they could go with JJ at the beginning and work Kelce in, much like the RG situation. It also honors the old rule that none loses the starter position due to injury.

  • http://Website John C

    Obviously, the story here is how bad the offensive line looked, especially the right side. I hope that is the reason Vick looked as bad as he did at times, way too much pressure, but he also did not get the ball out well in 3 step drops and had way too few attempts to the outside.

    The positive here is I am very surprised and impressed with Kelce. I think he has big time potential, he is very quick and seems technically sound, absolutely great at getting downfield. Jackson may be a better player now, but not for long.

    Watkins was really stuggling. I am disappointed, I wanted to see more from this guy. I am not sure I see the feet and the attitude you want to see from a young lineman. This is a guy we picked over Gabe Carimi. Where is the fire? Where are the flashes of big time talent mixed in with the mistakes? He looks like such an average player so far. I hope he shows up soon.

    I agree with Tommy’s assessment, but I have no idea what he is watching with King Dunlap. I can’t count how many plays we observed Dunlap block absolutely no one. I doubt he will get credited for a single block in the running game, he is just that bad. Good luck running a stretch play to the strong side. In pass pro he was awful more often than not. Celek actually did a better job blocking that side, if he added 20 lbs he would be a better tackle than Dunlap right now.

    Let us pray… literally pray Ryan Harris’ back improves… even highway 74 is a huge upgrade over Dunlap, as bad as he is.

  • http://Website ppk

    Thoughts: No one got hurt! Shady is looking great. Coleman is developing into a fine baller. Not only can’t the right side of the line protect Vick, they can’t run block that well, either. Plus, Celek is staying in to help with the blocking which is too bad because Vick likes him as a target. LBs looked much better. Jackson is just punching in, don’t know if it’s pre-season or contract blues. When he leaves the huddle you can practically tell by his body language if he’s in the play or not. No one got hurt!

    Also, Tommy, put my vote in for you as Best Blogger. Good luck.

  • http://Website Dominic

    Re: JamJax vs. Kelce

    I understand that a 325 lb road-grading center like JamJax isn’t exactly the prototype for Howard Mudd’s system and that JamJax has lost the last two seasons to injury, but I think that it is imperative for JamJax to start. Last night we struggled in blitz protection. Blitz recognition and protection is primarily the responsibility of the quarterback and the center. We know that blitz recognition isn’t Vick’s forte and having a rookie center is not going to make it easier for him. Throw in the fact that the right side of our line is maligned by either inexperience or injury, I don’t see why JamJax shouldn’t start. He would help Vick with the line calls and stabilize the right side of the line. Am I missing anything here Tommy?

  • http://Website ppk

    One more: Henery is the first NFL player I’ve ever seen that is so skinny I think I could tackle him. Remember how Akers would mix it up and tackle on a return? Ain’t happening with Alex.

  • http://Website fran35

    A few thoughts I had:

    Dion Lewis is fun to watch. He is one of those guys that you can always count on to shake at least one guy in the open field. He will be a monster for us in the screen game-write it down.

    Jarrad Page needs to start. I noticed him out there giving direction and leadership to the whole D. He makes plays and brings a decent run stopping presence. He has to stay, which means we will keep 4 safeties for sure—Page, Coleman, Jarrett and Alle. Anderson is the odd man out, unfortunately. However, he won’t be without a team for long.

    Finally, I really think that we need to find a way to keep Phillip Hunt on the 53 man roster. He causes alot of disruption and he will never clear waivers to make it to the practice squad for us.

  • http://Website Stan

    I felt like we got away with two penalties. Vick made a bad throw on that interception. It was a bad call against the Browns. Also, Nmandi got beat.

  • Pingback: The Linc – All Players Love Michael Vick | Sports Feedr

  • http://Website BC

    Not worried about Vick because no one was talking about how good he was last year in the preseason, and that’s when he was playing on the 2nd team. He turned it on and looked great when he got his chance when Kolb got hurt.

    Maybe the only worry was that he wasn’t the same towards the end, people were saying that teams were figuring out how to attack him. It’s easy to attack a guy with a weak o-line, ask Tom Brady in the Super Bowl against the Giants. Reid has to figure that one out and put his guys in the best position to succeed. That’s what Andy says anyway. lol

  • http://Website BC

    Tommy, glistening would’ve been the perfect word for my post, can’t believe I missed it. Now I know why Penthouse Magazine never publishes any of my erotic letters.

  • http://Website CTC

    The way to beat the Eagles is to blitz on nearly every play. The way to counter the blitz is to keep two running backs in the backfield who know how to block. Vick has the arm to make other teams pay if there are two running backs in the backfield to give him time and keep him healthy.

  • http://Website umby23294

    Tommy, Ronnie Brown has been very productive with his touches this PS. Do you see him as the 4th quarter guy that grinds it out? This is certainly not something that Reid has done before nor had the luxury to do. It would be nice to see the high powered offense that gets the lead followed by late game grinding it out. Yeah I know…..dream on…..would be nice to see us do that sort of thing consistently and convert a higher percntage of short yardage situations.

  • http://Website Naik

    My theory for why Reid started the clearly unready (though promising) Kelce next to the equally unready Watkins:

    I think Reid knows what he was with JJax. He wanted to see if he could start Kelce next to Watkins, because if it worked then he could focus on his real concern at RT by moving Herremans there and sliding JJax in at RG. If he tried all the changes at once, it would destroy whatever limited continuity the Birds have had on the left side — not to mention affecting Dunlap’s confidence in case the Kelce experiment didn’t work and JJax has to stay at C and Herremans has to stay at RG (which now looks likely).

    Now that the experiment has failed, I think our starting OL will be Peters, Herremans, JJax, Watkins and Dunlap/Justice, with Kelce groomed to take over at C next year.

  • http://Website Dan in Philly

    Considering how poorly we played on offense, our defense shut down Cleveland, which had been able to move the ball at will the first 2 preseason games. We seem to be very close to realizing the scary good potential. Solidify the right side of the OL and get our 2 WRs up to full speed, and I think we’re there.

  • http://Website Austinfan

    The question I have is who was making the line calls. Supposedly the QB was supposed the make the calls this year, not the center, but I didn’t see Vick do much pre-snap communicating, in fact, he didn’t seem to recognize many of the blitzes and wasn’t getting rid of the ball.

    Watkins looked lost on a number of plays, but you have to wonder who was responsible? Now you can’t expect Vick to be as saavy as Peyton, the master of the pre-snap adjustment, but he’s got to be in control, both in terms of protections, audibles and instructing his receivers on hot routes – does DeSean even know how to break off a route?

  • http://Website theguyotc

    Per Jeff McLane:
    “Eagles release 4 players today: DT Marlon Favorite, RB Derrick Locke, LB Brandon Peguese, WR Terrance Turner. Roster at 86.”

    Poor Marlon. You will be missed.
    http://imgur.com/nNblV

  • http://Website NoDecaf

    So what now Tommy? No pick ups? No veteran for LB, OL DL or S? We can’t stay young everywhere, can we?

  • http://Website LT

    Watkins scares me more than Kelce or Dunlap. He looked lost out there. I’m officially concerned about him.

    The King is fine. Would prefer a healthy Justice, but the King can do the job. Kelce showed flashes of being a really good center again. But Watkins, my God, he was brutal.

    Big Red is in midseason form with the number of times he is emptying the backfield. I hate, hate, hate when they empty the backfield. God, do I hate it. It’s an open invitation for defenders to hit Mike Vick, and they always do.

    Phillip Hunt needs to make this team, he was a real force last night. Landri is also making this team.

    Nice job by Chaney and Matthews last night.

  • http://Website ppk

    @Naik
    I was thinking something similar, and I agree with your conclusion about who will start on O line. I wonder if Kelce will see some snaps, maybe on screens, as he moves so well downfield

    @LT
    If Watkins is Shaun Andrews part II I will need therapy or a talented bartender. I agree about the LBs. I now get it why they want Chaney at SAM.