I had a couple of columns post today.
I wrote about the Rams game for PE.com. Should be a couple of nuggets in there that I haven’t touched on here so far.
For SB Nation Philly I took a look at angle I definitely haven’t touched on here. The Eagles were clutch on Sunday.
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Brian Rolle got some snaps as the starting WLB in today’s practice. What do we make of this? First, since he’s my long lost son I’m pretty proud. Please call home, Junior.
I wrote a few places about the problems Moise Fokou had vs the run. I know some fans hear the phrase “gap responsibility” and think that is some code word to protect the players you want and criticize others. Not the case.
Go re-watch Steven Jackson’s TD run. Pause it at the :07 mark. You’ll see the LDE and both DTs in okay position. You’ll see Casey and Chaney coming upfield under control. The play is headed to that side of the field (Jackson’s right). He sees there is no room and cuts back to the left. This is where Fokou should be. Unfortuantely Moise was so fired up to get to the ball that he got out of his gap responsibility. That made it easy for the OL to come up and block him. Once that was done, there was an interstate to the endzone. Kurt Coleman should have gotten off his block. That would have helped.
There is no guarantee that Fokou staying in that gap would have stopped the play. Jackson is a talented RB. He could have broken a tackle and still gotten to the endzone. The difference is that then you know he’s physically beating you. He had to earn it. Missed assignments make it easy on him.
Fokou had multiple plays where he was out of position. That opened the door for Rolle. Recently I heard Andy Reid or some other Eagles guy state that Rolle had the best training camp of anyone on the team. I don’t know if that was a legit comment or just some PR talk. Regardless, Rolle impressed people in practice. He then played well in the preseason games. He was good on Sunday. He’s passed every test so far with flying colors. Rolle has earned the right to get a shot at WLB if Fokou is going to miss assignments and be sloppy.
I would imagine Fokou keeps his job this week. This could be a warning to him to clean up the mistakes. He’s now officially on a short leash.
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Who’s ready for a bit of Falcons talk?
Here is the team’s official depth chart.
Most of the players are guys we’ve faced over the last couple of year. They are hurting at DT right now. Jonathan Babineaux is out. That means we’ll face at least one backup DT. Corey Peters is the other starter. He’s been hurt, but is trying to get ready for the game. We’ll see how that goes. The Falcons might also be without C Todd McClure and slot receiver Harry Douglas. I think Douglas is key for them. Take him out and you’re down a quick, athletic guy who can make things happen in the middle of the field.
I have real mixed feelings on this game. Atlanta is going to be desperate after getting their butt kicked on Sunday. I never want to play a desperate team. That said, the matchups favor us. We’ve had Atlanta’s number throughout the Matt Ryan era. We normally win pretty comfortably. They struggle to stop our offense.
I’ve only watched a bit of the ATL/CHI game, but on the opening series the Bears had 2 receivers wide open. Each play gained 23 yards and both were easy. All teams are going to have breakdowns in the opener as players shake off the rust and get back to regular season mode. I don’t want to make too much of that. Still, we’ve been able to move the ball on them in the last few years. Green Bay lit them up in the playoffs with their passing game.
I’ll re-watch the rest of the game and see what’s what. Atlanta played poorly, but that sure doesn’t make them a bad team. They are loaded with talent and should be very good.
One thing they must do is stop being so conservative on offense. OC Mike Mularkey said that the Bears Cover 2 scheme forced the Falcons into throwing short, but even he noted that he was surprised by the number of checkdowns. RBs caught 11 of Ryan’s 31 completions.
Our defensive scheme worked well vs Ryan in past years. The new scheme might be something he’s more comfortable facing, crazy as that sounds.