Selling Spags

Posted: January 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 73 Comments »

Les Bowen has a good article today on the Spags situation.  He says that the NovaCare offices are closed for Martin Luther King Day so it will be a quiet Monday.  Les also says that after talking to a source close to Spags, don’t expect a quick decision.

That would seem to be bad news for the Eagles.  If Andy Reid and Spags were all excited about putting the band back together, you would think that would happen ASAP.  Does this mean Reid has other ideas?  Does this mean that Spags wants to shop around?

All we can do is guess.

It sounds like Gregggg Williams will leave the Saints and follow Jeff Fisher to St. Louis Miami St. Louis.  They have been close friends for quite a while and want to work together again, reportedly.  If this happens, the Saints need a big time DC to replace Williams.  NFC South rival Atlanta “lost” their DC when he took a college job.  They will want a good DC.

So right now it seems like Spags has 3 primary choices:  NO, ATL, and PHI.  New Orleans offers the most stability.  Coach Sean Payton isn’t going anywhere in the next few years.  Knowing that and benefiting from the presence of Drew Brees would seem to make the Saints an ideal target.  The downside is that Spags is used to working with top notch D-linemen.  The Saints are lacking more than a bit in that area.

The team had just 33 sacks.  The leader was SS Roman Harper with 7.5.  The entire DL had just 16.5 sacks.  Not good.  Spags saw good talent in his time with the Eagles.  He had great talent up in NY.  He had good pass rushers in STL.  The Saints would be a major challenge.  Do you build the DL around Will Smith and his 6.5 sacks?  He will be 31 next summer.  This isn’t a case where one key addition could turn things around.  The Saints lack pass rushers.

New Orleans can’t be overly aggressive in FA.  They have to re-sign Brees (or Tag him).  They have LG Carl Nicks and WR Marques Colston about to hit the market.  Can they afford to do much on defense?  Wouldn’t seem so.

Atlanta is an odd team.  Mike Smith has done nothing but win since he arrived, but going 0-3 in the playoff means that he could be on a short leash.  What happens if Matt Ryan goes down and a backup QB leads them to a 6-10 season?  Is Smith then out the door?  I think very highly of GM Thomas Dimitroff, but this is the NFL and he can’t keep Smith forever if they don’t win in the postseason.  Could Spags go there and then succeed Smith?  Possible.

Atlanta has a better DL, but not by much.  And top pass rusher John Abraham is a FA.  If he leaves, you have Ray Edwards and Kory Biermann with their 6 combined sacks.  Keeping Abraham is critical, but MLB Curtis Lofton is a FA as well as CB Brent Grimes.  I don’t know that all 3 can stay.  If so, Dimitroff will have done a fantastic job.  The Falcons DL had 25 sacks last year.  They have some good pieces, but need Abraham to stay and another guy added to the mix.  FA Ray Edwards was a major disappointment this year.

(Jesse in the Comments section made a great point that I completely overlooked.  Neither the Falcons nor Saints will have a 1st round pick.  The Eagles will have a 1st round pick and a pair of 2nd round picks in the top half of that round.  The Eagles will make 3 picks before either the Falcons or Saints have a chance to take anyone, barring a trade of course.)

Selling Spags on the Eagles in some ways is easier than the other 2 teams.  He gets a team that led the NFL with 50 sacks.  Jason Babin, Trent Cole, and Cullen Jenkins are all special pass rushers.  Phillip Hunt is an emerging player.  Brandon Graham is on the mend and could get back to being a good edge rusher.  The DL had 46 sacks this year.

The Eagles have the big CBs that Spags likes.  Nnamdi, DRC, and Curtis Marsh are all above 6 feet tall and 190 pounds.  Those guys can all press and be physical with receivers.

The Eagles don’t have the same stability as the Saints, but the familiarity with Reid and the organization could be factors that make Spags want to come here.  I won’t go into the whole Washburn/Wide-9 thing again.  We’ve discussed that.  I think smart coaches could find some middle ground and make that work.

As far as money goes, Sam made a great point on Twitter.  Saints coach Sean Payton actually gave back some of his salary when the team was originally negotiating with Williams in the 2009 offseason.  That’s the only way they could afford him.  The Eagles can out-bid the Saints for any candidate.  I would think the same is true with the Falcons, but don’t know that for sure.  Atlanta hasn’t hired any big time coaches so that would indicate they are on more of a budget.

It is smart for Spags to sit back and weigh his options.  There isn’t one job that is a slam dunk so why rush into a decision.  That said, the Senior Bowl is next week.  Teams prefer to have a coaching staff in place so that the guys can go to Mobile and study players together.  It would be good for the Eagles and Spags to have something decided by then.  That doesn’t mean it will  happen, but it would be preferable.

* * * * *

Should the Eagles not get Spags (for whatever reason), there are some other guys of interest.  Mike Nolan was the DC of the Dolphins and is a good coach.  He’s been a 3-4 guy in recent years, but coached 4-3 in the past and watched his father Dick Nolan coach 4-3 defenses for years.

Jack Del Rio is still on the market.  He’s interesting, but not an ideal choice.

Ken Flajole ran the Rams defense the last 3 years and is an old Andy Reid buddy.  He could be an interesting target.

Todd Bowles, the Miami secondary coach, is still out there.  If you go with a younger guy, he would make a lot of sense.

This isn’t Spags or bust.  He’s my favorite choice, but there are other options.  There is always the oddball chance that the Eagles go throw a boatload of cash at Gregg Williams and try to steal him.  He could have gone back to Jeff Fisher in the past, but didn’t.  Williams can be swayed by money.

* * * * *

It has been far too long since we basked in the greatness of Derek Landri.

Courtesy of PE.com, enjoy.

* * * * *

New post up at ScoutsNotebook on some underclassmen.

DT Dontari Poe is intriguing as heck.  The Eagles have a good DL, but adding a young stud to the mix is never a bad idea.  Poe is approximately 6’5, 350.  He’s not just a big guy though.  Could fit in a 1-gap attacking scheme.  I’m sure Jim Washburn will be highly interested in him.  Poe could be a 1st round pick.

WR Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers could also be an Eagles target.  Whether we keep DeSean or not, we need someone else in the mix.  Sanu is a big, physical WR with enough athletic ability to fit in this offense.  I love the thought of adding a guy like him.  Could be late 1st or early 2nd.  Real intrigued by him.


  • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

    Two points:

    1) I think the Falcons can hang with anyone in terms of paying a coach. But if you pay Spags big money to be DC, what the hell is the head coach, who has a defensive background, bringing to the table?

    2) Ron Meeks is also available. I don’t think he’s interesting as a DC candidate, necessarily, but he’d be a very interesting position coach here.

    • Anonymous

      Good point about Spags/Smith.

      Meeks could be a good DB coach here.

    • Anonymous

      Sam:

      On that premise, why is Marty M getting premium money to be the Eagles’ OC? Given Reid’s offensive background and past control of the the Birds’ offense?

      • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

        You just have to pay a guy that finds so many ways to get Chad Hall the football.

      • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

        Marty wasn’t brought in to fix the unit. He spent two years on the staff before being OC, and didn’t call plays or fully take over the unit until after that.

        Why is he getting a premium? He’s earned it over the time that he has been here. Very different than buying high to fix a problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Re-post

    Tommy,

    Can you compare Brandon Boykin with Casey Hayward out of Vanderbilt? Who is the better slot prospect? And what abilities make them a fit to the Eagles?

    Do you think we have to use a 2nd round pick on him? I hope he falls to the 3rd round! Obviously the slot plays more than in the past, but last year we wouldn’t use a 2nd round pick on Brandon Harris because we saw him as a pure slot guy. When I say “we” I mean us in the blogging-world…

    Also, do you think that teams will put a higher value on TEs and slot CBs because of the way the game is evolving? And does Celek and Harbour have enough quality if we decide to employ more two-TE sets?

    • Anonymous

      I’ll answer a bit later on.

    • Anonymous

      Boykin is better slot guy. Covers more aggressively. Slightly better tackler. He also is a good RS and would offer value in that regard. Boykin is faster.

      I think he’s a 2nd Rd guy, but could be that he ends up going in the 3rd. Still early for figuring out where guys will go. Hayward isn’t bad player at all. Better playing off. Not sure how much slot experience he has. Boykin was in the slot a lot this year.

      Teams will put more value on TEs and slot CBs.

      Will address the TE stuff in an upcoming post.

  • Anonymous

    How about just keeping Castillo? I really think he has earned another year at DC, and firing him means brining in a 4th DC in 5 years, not ideal. I say keep the continuity, give Juan the full offseason and if he fails next year move on.

    • Anonymous

      Keeping Castillo is possible. Part of the process is judging him vs available candidates. Is the the best guy? Is someone else? Reid is working through that.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

        Could it be that part of the reason why Spags is taking his time is because the Eagles are also taking their time?

        I wouldn’t totally discount the fact that Dick Lebeau considers retirement every off season in Pittsburg either.

  • Anonymous

    Tommy,

    Any feel for what the Eagles are thinking at DC? Are they leaning toward bringing someone in? Your recent posts make it seem like they’re pretty set on demoting/firing Juan.

    • Anonymous

      Just a guess here, but I think if they were going to fire him it would have happened by now. A demotion would seem more likely.

    • Anonymous

      I do get the feeling that the Eagles would like to improve the defensive staff. That could mean a new DC. It could mean someone in an advisory role. It could mean a strong CBs coach/Asst HC (like Bowles). Not sure what Reid’s preference is. No clues on that.

  • Anonymous

    One option you didn’t mention is that the Eagles do not do anything and stick with Castillo. I would definitely prefer to upgrade at DC, but the longer we don’t make a move, the more I think AR will stick with Castillo.

    One question I have is, have the Eagles hurt themselves by not being more aggressive immediately following the season? I guess we don’t know for sure what they have done in the past few weeks, but considering that it was reported that AR was on vacation, I don’t think it is a stretch to think they haven’t been aggressive so far. The reason I ask is because now two playoff teams are in the mix for DCs. We had a week advantage in looking for a DC compared to Atlanta and two weeks compared to the Saints, but now that both have been knocked out of the playoffs, we lost that advantage and run the risk of getting out bid by one of those teams..

    • Anonymous

      Spags either was on vacation last week or simply said he wanted to take the week and get away from football. Had he been in play, the Eagles might have talked to him about the job.

      Andy/the Eagles are usually pretty well informed about what is going on around the league. If they didn’t act, I take that to mean that they felt nothing significant would happen in that time frame. We’ve seen how quickly the Eagles act when going after players. No reason to think they wouldn’t do that with coaches as well, if it was needed.

      • Anonymous

        For some reason, I think AR is looking for a spot for Castillo before making a change. The delay may be AR trying to get Juan into a DC spot with a young team out of the spotlight.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

          That’s a very interesting thought.

  • Anonymous

    I feel We go hard after spags. The organization hears all he geniuses that are calling to fire Reid and while they won’t do that, I feel bringing in spags will make a ton of fans happy. Plus he is a good coach.

    The saint seem like a team that defense takes a back seat to the offense. I know it’s sort of lime that here too, but I feel it much more like that w the saints. So that could b a plus for us.

    Plus I’m sure spags sees this as temporary and he will get a HC gig again. We set up pretty nice for him. A talented D that underperformed big time. He can come and look really good. And NFL people love the way Andy runs his team and people are always plucking people from his staff (except MM)

  • Anonymous

    T-Law wrote:

    “Mike Nolan [has coached defense and] . . . watched his father Dick Nolan coach 4-3 defenses for years.”

    If watching your dad is the standard . . . let’s hire Vince Lombardi, Jr. as head coach — he saw more championships in less time than anyone in history. And he’s run a couple profootball franchises, too.

    JUST TEASING, TOMMY!!!

    After JC’s whole “Casey at the dinner table” tale, I couldn’t resist. Hope that’s okay.

    You’re great and keep it up.

    “But, hey . . . let’s be careful out there.”

    • Anonymous

      A good joke is a good joke. I’m just jealous I didn’t tie in Nolan to the Matthews family dinners. Well done.

      And that last line…are you a Hill Street Blues fan? Great, great show.

      • Anonymous

        Yes — a huge Hill Street Blues fan. Great writing. Great acting.

  • Anonymous

    Building onto your argument, the Saints and Falcons both do not have a 1st round pick. Just another reason the Saints will have trouble adding defensive talent. Eagles can draft 2 or even 3 defensive players in the top 51 picks. ATL and NO have 0 picks in the top 51.

    • Anonymous

      Great point and one I should have researched. Lazy on my part. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll add that in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      Its a huge point consider that the Eagles really dont need a major upgrade on offense, WR could be a target in round 2 if Jackson leaves.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent point.

      If you include the draft pick we’ll get back for Asante (prob 3rd), Spags could really add some talent this off-season.

    • Gregory Post

      Wow, great point. Andy looks after his position coaches too. He gift wrapped Watkins, Kelce and Mathis to Mudd. The Eagles made it a priority to get good pass rushers for Washburn. I think the input that Spags would be able to have with this organization could be a very big selling point, especially with that shiny #15 pick.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_33FTQ3QUA6JVWLP7RC6WSPQTSY Furt

    Del Rio? No splitting mauls in the locker room thank you.

    Is Spags a better DC than Nolan?

    Off topic-Alex Smith’s clutch performance, Is Mike Nolan the only one who saw that coming (6 years later)?

    Donald Driver was the only Packer that wanted to hold on to the football.
    Charles Woodson looked ancient on that Jacobs TD.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      Its really amazing how crap Woodson have been this year compare to the last few years.

    • Anonymous

      Spags vs Nolan. Different guys. Both have had better success as DC than HC. Nolan has more experience. Spags won the SB while running a defense. I like Mike Nolan quite a bit, but Spags is better fit for us.

      I was a huge Alex Smith fan when he was coming out. Instability/change in SF really hurt him.

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    Is Mike Trgovac in play this year for a DC job? If I recall correctly, he didn’t want to leave Green Bay due to a child being close to graduation and not wanting to move his family again. Is his name on anyone’s list? Is he even interested at this point?

    • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Sjampen

      I think he is, just now with us. Should we throw Castillo out for another project like Trgovac, Winston Moss or the likes? I think Andy will go for one of the big guns.

      • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

        Trgovac wouldn’t be a project. He has 15 or so years of defensive coaching experience at College and Pro levels and was the defensive coordinator for the Panthers from 03-08.

        And as a side note, he was the defensive line coach in Philly from 95 to 98.

        • Anonymous

          Trgovac was a name being thrown around a lot last year when the Packers defense was playing well. I haven’t really heard his name at all so far this year. The Green Bay defense was awful this season, so I’m sure that has affected his value and how much teams might be interested in him. I guess the logical next question becomes how much credit should Trgovac get for last year’s defense compared to this year’s defense in Green Bay.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure if Trgovac wants to be a DC again. I didn’t feel he was worth listing until we knew for a fact he did want to take on that level of a job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Mario Williams is an UFA now. Assuming Texans renew his contract (with the mindset to trade him) how much would you give up? And is it even a possibility? I don’t think they will just let him go as an UFA, but their LB corps is SO deep!

    I personally would give up this years 1st, 3rd and one of the 6th round picks (same compensation as Jason Peters).

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      How would he fit on the Eagles D?

      6’6″ 283 lb… DE?
      I would imagine a 3-4 team would be in hot pursuit of a good rush LB like him.

      How safe of a bet would he be after the torn Pec?

      Sorry, but I’m not seeing the need. Maybe you can sell me on it…

      • Kammich

        I think he’d fit the DT mold for Washburn’s scheme, but I agree that its not really a need.

        And I think it would be prudent for Houston to do what it takes to bring him back, injury risk be damned. For the first time in the franchise’s history they had a dominating defense this season–without Williams, yes–because they had an embarrassment of riches. J.J. Watt is going to be a star up front, Barwin has developed into a great player, and Brooks Reed could be on his way. Ryans and Cushing in the middle, etc. Does that make Mario Williams expendable? Theoretically, yes. But why NOT keep a guy who still has half of his career(or more) ahead of him and has been grinding it out as an impact player for your franchise since the day you drafted him?

        • Anonymous

          If M.Williams still has half of his career left why not bring him in. Especially wit T.Cole being 30+ let him recover here n flourish with our DL. He can rotate with the rest of our guys. And in the future havin Graham N Willaiams lined up across each other wit dixan and…??(maybe Thorton) in the middle..

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        I think he could be a very good pass rushing DT in our scheme, but didn’t he also play RDE for them in the first 4 years of his career? He is an athletic freak (like Peters) and is only 26 years old.

        If you package a deal worth a 1st, 3rd and 6th round draft picks, it sounds like more than it is. Wouldn’t you want Williams instead of Graham, DTN and Scott (from the 2010 draft)? I think teams generally value picks over players too much! Mario Williams is a proven pro-bowl player – you never know what you get in the draft.

    • Anonymous

      Super Mario is an elite DE. I don’t see how we can go for him with Cole, Babin, and Graham here (resources + money).

      Seems like some team in desperate need of a pass rusher could go for him. How about NE?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        I don’t know how much he would want ($) but what if we just gave him what Asante has earned (8-9 million/year) – is that enough?

        I know it’s highly unlikely that we get him, I just thought it would make our line the best in the league.

        Babin – Patterson – Jenkins – Cole
        Graham – Dixon – Landri – Williams

        That’s one heckuva rotation right here!!!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

          So you’re upgrading from Tapp to Williams basically?

          I just don’t see the FO pulling the trigger unless there are real concerns about Graham’s health. I think I agree with Tommy that we’re just not going to tie up that much money at DE… It’s such a valuable position, and there are plenty of teams that need help NE, Atlanta, GB, heck I would think the Jets would take a flyer on an impact defense player like that and obviously Houston isn’t likely to just let him walk.

  • Anonymous

    Tommy,
    Bon Scott or Brian Johnson? Why ask? Too many rums! :)

    • Anonymous

      Bon Scott.

      Whole Lotta Rosie rules. Huge fan of live album If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It. Great stuff.

      Brian is good, but not Bon.

      • Anonymous

        I think if there was a right answer to a subjective question, that was it.

  • Joe Hinchliffe

    You’re right about Landri.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

    I’m not sure Reid knows what his preference is yet. So much of this is about probabilities, trajectories and learning curves that I feel like it’s just on big shot in the dark no matter what they do. The Eagle’s late improvement and the strong DL coach make this the most complicated DC hire I’ve ever seen.

    If Andy’s job wasn’t on the line, I bet he’d keep Juan and Wash, revamp the other D coaches, and let it ride. And if that’s true (it may not be) then the question is, is Andy the kind of guy who lets his job being on the line change his decision making? … Strong leaders usually do not.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think that your point that strong leaders don’t usually let there job being on the line affect their decision making is just a one-way thing though. Going into this season, AR had just about as much job security as a coach could ask for. Tommy doesn’t speak for the FO, but early on in the season, he refused to talk coaching change unless we only won 5 games or so. In today’s NFL, especially without superbowl win and coming off a playoff loss, that is pretty solid job security. So my question would be, if AR didn’t have that much security, would he have made the Castillo hire in the first place?

    • Anonymous

      I can tell you that Reid’s situation has affected his thinking in the last year or so. It hasn’t done that greatly. A desperate coach would never have benched DJax this year. Andy isn’t desperate, but he’s aware that his time here is counting down.

      • Anonymous

        “his time here is counting down.”

        As in, he’s been here a while and the gig will soon be up no matter which way things go?

        Or as in, unless he wins a Super Bowl, in which case he’s Eagles coach for life.

        • Anonymous

          Both. AR’s been here since 1999. No matter what, the end is closer than the beginning.

          As for pressure, there was pressure to win in 2011. Reid didn’t deliver but had enough goodwill in the bank to cover himself for that. Now he’s emptied out his bank account. Andy wins in 2012 or else. Doesn’t have to be the SB, but we need to get back to being one of the top teams in the NFL.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

            Yeah, no matter how you slice it, Andy has to be looking for that one win for his legacy at this point.

          • Anonymous

            With you on the end being closer than the beginning, was just wondering if you thought success in 2012 refilled the account. I guess it depends how much success.

  • Anonymous

    Bowles makes no sense at this point, why take a novice out of a 3-4 system when Juan has gone through his growing pains and is an “expert” on working with the wide 9.

    Nolan wouldn’t excite me. This defense is as far from the 3-4 as you get, especially the Miami two gap version (the SF or Houston one gap 3-4, hmmm).

    Del Rio???

    The DC of the Rams? Have to decide if 2011 (22nd in DVOA) was a fluke, but what did they do in 2010? Statistically they weren’t so bad, but 20th in DVOA (from 31st the year before), so they benefited from a weak schedule. Juan has already shown he can feast on weak opponents. Eagles were 12th, but 7th in weighted DVOA, reflecting solid improvement.

    I figure if you’re gonna upgrade from Juan, it should be a clear upgrade, for one thing, the players seem to like and play hard for Juan, so replacing him just to make a change could prove to be counterproductive.

    Sanu might fall to the middle of the 2nd rd if he runs 4.55, too many teams are fixated on speed at WR. He’d be a perfect compliment to Maclin, the big sure handed WR who makes the tough catches in traffic.

    Poe is going to have to blow people away in workouts for the Eagles to take him, Albert was a great athlete even if a head case, if the Eagles just want big, they already have Dixon. Don’t like Still b/c of doubts about his motor, suspect DT will not be a priority in this draft (it’s easier to play rookies in a one gap 4 man rotation, start ‘em off the bench and work them in over a couple years).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      I think if we keep Washburn, after LB and maybe a top slot corner (like Boykin in 2nd), I wouldnt mind using a 3rd or 4th on a guy like Poe. Its not about size, but if Washburn think he can develop such a massive guy with such good agility, he could become a force in the middle.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        I don’t think Poe will last until the 3rd round. Athletic NTs are hard to find – didn’t Cardinals use a late 1st on a NT in 2010, who nobody projected to go that high?
        Anyway, I don’t think we should use a high pick on a DT. Pick up Jason Jones instead and let him be a great rotational DT on Washburns line

  • Anonymous

    Might not the lack of stability work in the Eagles’ favor (assuming they want Spags)? If the defense improves under his watch, but the team doesn’t hit whatever mark it needs for Reid to get another contract, Spags may get a long look as the next head coach.

    • Anonymous

      Or, along the same lines, the Eagles do win, and Spags looks like the savior/genius?

      I don’t think Reid is all that close to getting fired anyway. Would they fire him after a playoff season? Even if it’s one-and-done?

      Saints and Falcons in the mix make it a tough choice though. I think Saints would have to be a favorite, even over us … although the opportunity to add talent, and the familiarity here really do make this an intriguing landing spot if in fact Philly wants him.

  • Anonymous

    Wow I just clicked on the link at the top of the page and read some comments that were posted, real winners on that site

    • Anonymous

      They are terrible. So many times I’ve wanted to sign up just to point out how asinine some of the comments are, but nobody has that kind of time to waste. I’d rather be here reading wisdom.

      • Anonymous

        And we’re happy to have you.

      • Anonymous

        Hear, hear!

  • Anonymous

    Tommy, question about Hightower.

    Not sure he’s instinctual or quick twitch enough for 4-3 MLB, but how about SLB?
    Problem is that’s high (mid 2nd rd?) to draft someone who’ll be on the field 50% of the time, but he’d sure make it hard to run at Babin and DRC. And his height would make him hard to throw over if he dropped back into zone.

    Maybe if he drops.

    • Anonymous

      Depends on the system. Juan said SAM to him was a combination of SS/LB. In that system, no. If we change or adjust, maybe.

      Hightower is quick twitch. Long speed is the question. Can he get to the edge on a toss play to DeMarco Murray? Not sure.

  • Christopher Eckman
    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      If we can get him with a low 2nd round or early 3rd round pick, I would mind taking a look at him.

  • Anonymous

    Tommy – Thoughts on Ronnel Lewis or Bobby Wagner as a SAM canidate in the 2nd? I don’t think Bobby will be a MLB in the NFL.

    And with Thornton not possibly being ready, T Laws leaving in FA and Patterson maybe needing surgery on his head, Jason Jones from the Titans in FA as insurance?

  • Anonymous

    Also curious, if you were the GM of this team and had your choice of Curtis Lofton or Luke…who would you take?

    • Anonymous

      I am not Tommy but I’d prefer Luke to Curtis. Signing Lofton as an UFA would cost a whole lot of money, while drafting Kuechly in the first round could lead to a re-signing of Desean, Mathis and Landri.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rmccutcheon21 Rick McCutcheon

    RU alum, watched Sanu play in a lot of college games. Big, physical, strong, excellent hands. Made a lot of circus catches that were highlight reel worthy. Did this with mediocre to below average college Quarterback’s. They had him return punts at some point as well so he’s got experience there. The major question mark with him will be his speed, as he can translate to more of a possession receiver in the NFL than an explosive play maker. He just started playing WR in college, as he played QB and S in High School, so there is definitely room to grow.

    • Anonymous

      I always thought — based on guys drafted as high as Jerry Rice and as low as Marques Colston — that straight-line speed is not what counts. It’s speed out of cuts that matters most.

      Nobody ran the post pattern like Rice, creating great separation on that hard cut toward the goal post. (He and Montana ate up the Birds in 1989 running that play to turn a 21-10 4th Q deficit into a 38-28 victory. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198909240phi.htm)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing. Always good to get info from people who have followed a guy extensively. Good stuff.