SAM, Plax, and Kobe Going Glengarry

Posted: February 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

I wrote a post at ScoutsNotebook on SAM LBs in the upcoming draft.  It is written for 4-3 teams in general, not just the Eagles.  Fire away with specific Eagles questions.

* * * * *

Forgot to cover this the other day.  So Plax says he wants to be an Eagle.  I’m interested, kind of.  I happen to think the Eagles will add a bigger WR in free agency to replace DeSean.  If so, that negates the need for Plax.  If we somehow work things out with DeSean, then I’m in favor of adding Plax.  We do need to mix in some receivers with size.  I still have hope for Riley Cooper, but he has yet to show that we can count on him as a definite answer.

* * * * *

Kobe Bryant exchanged some shouts with Rob Gronkowski at a Lakers-Celtics game.  Kobe told Gronk “the Eagles need a TE”.  Kobe said he’s a freak athlete and that he’s “recruiting” (Gronk for the Eagles).  I knew Kobe grew up in Philly (part time), but I didn’t know he was an Eagles fan.  Interesting.  Yo Kobe…when you guys play the Hawks, how about selling Curtis Lofton on coming up north?

* * * * *

Interesting post from Brian Solomon on Mike Vick and playing under pressure.  The OL should be very good this year.  If Mike can get rid of the ball quicker, he’ll cut down on his hits and start all 16 games and we’ll win the Super Bowl.  So simple.  Why don’t the Eagles listen to me?

* * * * *

A few of you think I’m down on Luke Kuechly since I don’t talk as much about him.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Still love him to death.  Favorite draft prospect this year.  I’d kill to see him as an Eagle.

As I’ve said before, I just happen to think we’ll go with a veteran MLB in free agency and then address SAM in the draft.  Can only draft Luke at 15 if he’s going to play in 2012.  If we don’t go for a MLB in FA, then I’m driving the Kuechly bandwagon at mach 3 or warp speed or whatever the fastest thing is.

Speaking of Luke, Sheil Kapadia has another update for us.  I’m waiting for the day when Luke says he sees himself as a combination of Derek Landri and Brian Rolle.

52 Comments on “SAM, Plax, and Kobe Going Glengarry”

  1. 1 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:17 PM on February 10th, 2012:


    Keenan Robinson is my favorite SAM prospect in the draft. He has a lot experience at SAM and has perfect size at 6-3, 240. Plus, he is from the south-west – he has to turn out a pro-bowler, right?

    Here is my take on some of the players you mention:

    I know Zach Brown is a better prospect than Rolle and Chaney, but when you write that “speed is not something that can be coached – tackling is” I just think we have enough of fastballs, that is in a process of learning to tackle. I would pass on him unless he fell to one of our 2nd round picks.

    I am interested to see how Travis Lewis looks at the Combine. If he’s under 230 lbs I wouldn’t want him. We already have Clayton as a tweener, who can only play in nickel and dime.

    Bobby Wagner is a prospect I absolutely can see the Eagles liking. He offers versatility, has played a ton and he stood out at the Senior Bowl (same with Hunt, Graham and Watkins etc.) If only he was a bit taller. I think he is best suited to play MLB, but I don’t think he can play right away. Can he come here and start at SAM, when he’s played all over the field in college? I doubt it, which is why I don’t want to spend a high pick on him. I would pick him in the 3rd.

    McClellin has gotten a lot of praise lately. But he too will be a major prospect at SAM. How do you judge him? Where would you pick him Tommy?

    Kaddu has played at SAM his entire career at Oregon. He has the frame to add on about 10 lbs of muscle. He knows the position and should be able to crack the line-up earlier than anyone on this list, not named Brown.

    David is a pure WILL for me. He is good at that position and I don’t think you should try and force him into a position where his skills is not used to their strengths.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 2:01 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I cannot stress enough that Travis Lewis and Keenan Clayton are nothing alike. Similar size numbers, but different builds and vastly different players. Clayton was finesse player in college. Lewis is rugged, physical.

    Kaddu is only legit SAM target for Eagles as late rounder to develop. Needs work. McClellin is less of a project in my mind. Tons of experience. Versatile. Good athlete. Looked natural at LB at Senior Bowl.

    Zach has great cover skills. Don’t understate how important that is. Jamar is fast and has good hands. Not gifted with cover skills, though.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 2:04 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    +1 on K. Robinson. He is one of my top SAM prospects (maybe the top) in the draft, but the more I see/read about Shea McClellin the more I like. I live in the DC area and I saw the BSU and VT game in 2010, and McClellin was a monster rushing the passer. He has a high motor.

    I think Zach Brown is a WIL in NFL. And no more Oregon LBs for the Eagles.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 1:23 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    LOL, great, fair enough. I guess I don’t need a day by day update on your thoughts on Luke, thanks for addressing it, though!

    I read through the SAM prospects you listed over at Scout’s Notebook.

    If the Eagles go for Kuechly at #15 and a FA addition at SAM, is there anyone that jumps out at you? Like I said in a previous comment, I like Erin Henderson a lot. IMHO, The Vikings would be nuts to let him leave in FA, so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s even available. I’m not up on their cap situation, but I know they just paid Chad Greenway a huge chunk and it doesn’t seem like most teams have multiple big-money 4-3 LB’s.

    Manny Lawson is also supposed to be available, as well as the Ravens’ Jarrett Johnson.

    Other than that, it seems like James Anderson could be a cap casualty in Carolina if he doesn’t renegotiate. Wouldn’t exactly be an “electrifying” signing along the lines of Asomuga & Jenkins in the same day, but he has played well in the league, when healthy.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 1:56 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    No to Manny, Jarrett. Those are guys that would have been great 5 yrs ago. Not now.

    Erin played WLB in Minnesota. They do weird stuff with LBs.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 3:52 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    What’s wrong with Lawson?

    The guy still has great speed, got a year’s worth of training in Cincy, did he look that bad at SLB for them?

    Agree, Johnson would be a bad fit, he’s not a real SLB. Sorta like Gocong redux, big guy who’s gonna be lost in space.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 11:30 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Watched Lawson a bit. Wasn’t impressed at all. No interest.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 3:40 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    Can’t say I know enough about the intricacies of defense to say whether Erin could play SLB for us, but Akeem Jordan did it, after being a WLB, and has a much slighter build.

    I meant Thomas Davis as a “cap casualty” in the comment above–got my Panthers “generic name” LBs confused. He’s due 10.5 mil by 3/15. He’d probably be a WLB for us, though. Probably not an immediate upgrade over Rolle, since he’ll be a ? after the injury.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 2:22 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    There’s probably more talent at MLB in the FA LB pool this year, so I think it makes more sense for the Eagles to get a vet MIKE and draft a SAM (plus I think OLB is easier for rookies). But I’m trying to figure out your like for Erin Henderson, he was not even the fulltime starter in Minny (at WLB).

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 3:22 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    Yeah, I guess I’m projecting a bit, based on my impression of him. Henderson is 6’3 and a solid looking 245. From the games I watched, he was very stout in run defense, and wasn’t lost at all in coverage. I think he could probably play any of the 3 LB positions, but would be best suited to SLB or MLB in ours.

  11. 11 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:24 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Because of the lack of talent in FA at the SAM position, I think it is very important that we draft the right guy to come here and play SAM with us. That guy is Keenan Robinson. If we somehow discover that someone likes him in the late 2nd, I wouldn’t mind using our late 2nd to go and get him.

    However, if we do want to draft a SAM that we want on the field right away, I hope we go get a vet at MLB. I love Kuechly (how can I not when I’m constantly influenced by you), but do you start two rookies on a LB corps that HAS to play better? I guess it’s possible…

    What would you do?

    My SAM list in the draft would be:
    1. Keenan Robinson
    2. Josh Kaddu
    3. Zach Brown

  12. 12 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:25 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    How about Danny Trevathan out of Kentucky. Can he play the SAM? Or is he a pure WILL?

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 1:55 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Gotta see how big Danny is at Combine. Love him, but don’t want to overrate him because I’m a fan. Really sucks that he wasn’t at Senior Bowl.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 1:31 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    random note:
    how much does it suck to see ads on the side of your page that say “congrats NY Giants! buy superbowl champ junk!”


  15. 15 Anonymous said at 3:39 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    How much does that suck? To infinity and beyond. Or more.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 1:32 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Tommy, have you done a post yet about the veteran MLB options available? Is Curtis Lofton the best of the lot?

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 1:53 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I’ve been watching tape. I’m back and forth between college and NFL.

    Lofton far and away #1 option. No question. David Hawthorne might be next. More study needed, but I’m working on it.

    And for the Stephen Tulloch guys…what game of his is supposed to be the one where he looks so great? I want to see him at his best.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 5:34 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    Tulloch had two really good games against A. Peterson and the Vikings and then the next week against the Cowboys. Weeks 3 & 4 or weeks 4 &5, can’t remember. Fun to re-watch Megatron in those, as well.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 1:34 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I wouldnt mind Desean/Machlin/Plax/Joe Adams/??? combo. As far as SAM, If the Eagles sign a MLB in FA, I wouldn’t mind them trading back and taking Zack Brown as a WLB and Comp for Rolle. They signing either Wagner or Robinson in the 2nd or 3rd. That would be quite the LB corp…..Brown/Tulluch-Hawthorne/Robinson-Wagner. Rolle, Chaney, Matthews as the BU’s.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 1:54 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Interesting LB ideas. Add multiple high picks. Definitely some logic to that.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 2:32 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I just see Zack as a WLB, kind Ernie Simms type player but better instincts. I love Rolle, but just don’t want to hand him the keys to the WLB, make him earn it. Plus, I would love either Tulluch, Hawthorn or Lofton at MLB. We need a vet to hold the LB’s together seeing our OLB’s will be comprised of mostly first and second year guys. Get Keenan or Wagner for SAM. Let’s not forget, the Eagles are probably going to move Asante, and I am sure Howie is going to try for a second, but may ultimately settle for a third (Rams 3rd would be a basically a late 2nd?!?!?). Or send him to the Lions for Tulluch and a late round pick. NFL Radio network did a piece stating the Eagles #1 priority should be a MLB in FA. They all agreed Tulluch is the natural fit. He has played his whole career behind the wide-9. They said he did have some weak games down the stretch, (they think he wore down with Suh out, teams ran right at him) but he is a HUGE upgrade over Chaney and Matthews.
    As I said earlier, Cooper has shown me nothing more than being a good backup, Chad Hall just needs to leave and Avant, I love to death, but the guy is slow and creates no matchup problems at all. Joe Adams, would be a great investment with one of our seconds. He is very much like Cruz, in that he is quick in small spaces and can seperate from Slot corners, turn 10 yard passes into 80 yard TDs. I am all for Plax if he understands he is the #3 recevier. He would be a bargin for about 3-4mil. Give him Steve Smiths $$$. Bring Desean back, and you now have Desean, Machlin, Plax, Joe Adams, Cooper, Celek, Harbor. Pretty good set of receivers. Plus Joe would take care of Kick offs and Desean punts. ( Gillyard is out there too, but I don’t see him making the team) If the Eagles resign Desean and sign a MLB in FA, i definately see them trading back into the 20’s and getting another pick or two. Zack Brown, a DE or DT now becomes your option. There isn’t really anything impressive at 15 other than MLB or WR.
    If they let Desean walk, then I am all about Kendall Wright at 15. Still bring in Plax.

    Subject: [igglesblitz] Re: SAM, Plax, and Kobe Going Glengarry

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 3:50 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Just say no to Tulloch, at least for the money he’s been asking.

    The Lions had a worse run defense than the Eagles, with Durant at SLB and Levy at WLB, Suh, Corey Williams and KVB on the DL. So it’s hard to absolve Tulloch of some responsibility.

    He’s efficient, but limited. Kind of guy you sign to a two year contract for reasonable money while you groom his replacement. Not the kind of guy you invest serious money to obtain.

  23. 23 Kammich said at 5:08 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I usually don’t subscribe to the off-season idea of focusing squarely on one real position of need, but this year, I’d have absolutely NO problem spending money on at least one quality FA LB, and drafting at LEAST two more, and preferably before the 4th round. What else do we truly need? QB depth? WR depth? OL depth? Maybe another pass rusher?

    We need LBs. Of the quality variety. Every once and awhile, a proud franchise has to bite the bullet and expel the majority of capital on one area of need. We are in that position with our LBs. We are good enough everywhere else to be able to afford such a specific expenditure, in my opinion.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 5:24 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Let’s dip that bullet in honey mustard first. Big Red’s favorite.

  25. 25 Zachary said at 2:02 PM on February 10th, 2012:


    You keep mentioning the “big” WR – as a target for us – but do they not scare you at all?

    Under Reid – his most successful WR’s are

    Terrell Owens
    DeSean Jackson
    Jeremy Maclin
    Kevin Curtis
    Donte Stallworth
    James Thrash
    Todd Pinkston

    I’d only classify one of those players as “big” – and he happens to be probably among the 10 greatest WR’s ever (if not higher)….

    For me – I’d like the Eagles to add more speed.

    If DeSean goes – I hope they go after Stevie Johnson (who is bigger – but can beat a defense deep). And then add a kid in the draft (Wright or Adams)…

    I love the plays that Avant has made for us over the years – but I want him to be replaced this off season. In my mind – in todays NFL – you need a guy who can create match-up issues with a defense. Avant doesn’t fit that mold. He’s not huge (can’t out jump you), he’s not quick (not going to be Wes Welker on the inside) and he can’t out run you (he’s not Victor Cruz). He’s a weak link on our offense – maybe the weakest link who gets significant time…I’m ready to move on…

    Eagles offense in 2012 should be:

    QB – Vick
    RB – McCoy
    FB – NONE
    WR – DeSean Jackson
    WR – Jeremy Maclin
    WR – Joe Adams / Kendall Wright
    TE – Brent Celek

    End of story….

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 2:25 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Don’t confuse speed and quickness, and don’t confuse quickness and agility.

    DeSean is actually a mediocre open field runner, go look at those end arounds, Thrash ran them just as well b/c Thrash was actually very fast 4.4 in a straight line, and DeSean doesn’t cut those back. Or his punt returns, with an open lane, he explodes through the gap, but he doesn’t make a lot of guys miss. He’s ultra quick, but not that elusive.

    McCoy on the other hand is quick, but is also a pure “ankle breaker.” And has become strong enough when he freezes a tackler and forces him into an arm tackle, he can run right through it.

    Wes Welker ran a 4.6 coming out of college, but for the first ten yards he’s very quick, but just as important, elusive with a compact body that’s hard to tackle. So is Steve Smith, DeSean can smoke them in a footrace but can’t approach their receiving ability in the underneath zone.

    Joe Adams is more of a slot receiver than DeSean, Wright is more similar to DeSean but tougher. Neither would give you the big target with good hands that a QB needs.

    Go look at Gruden’s offense, in 2002 he had a solid offense built around 3 WRs who’d struggle to break 4.7 (McCardell, Keyshaun and Jurivicius) and an aging TE in Dilger, yet they were able to consistently move the ball against good defense with a QB who’d struggle to break a pane of glass. Did the same thing in Oakland with Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, both collecting social security, and Rich Gannon, killing time before he became eligible for AARP. Or Detmer throwing to Fryar and Chris T Jones.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 2:02 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    McClellin is my guy, one thing I look at is how quickly a player picks it up, the fact he went to the Senior Bowl and was credible at OLB was a very good sign. He has the body I’d like, just want to see a solid performance at the Combine to confirm he has sufficient athleticism in the 4-3. Should be there in the mid-3rd rd. Robinson looks the part, but I just don’t know if he has the toughness, Acho was more dependable on the Texas defense (my Longhorns had their third straight recruiting bonanza, look out Bama, we’re coming on) even though he is less physically talented.

    The Vick numbers confirms what I’ve been saying, dump DeSean, get a big possession WR who can snatch the ball. And make McCoy catch 100 balls a day from the Jugs machine and practice running slot receiver routes. And line Harbor up at H-back as well as TE and have Vick throw to him from every spot he lines in preseason.

    The key for Vick is to stop looking long and develop a more nuanced clock – if they’re sending pressure Mudd will buy you 3 seconds, so don’t look 30 yards downfield, you know where your guys are running those intermediate routes, if they don’t have separation, look for your outlet pass, if that’s not there, scramble outside the hasbmarks and throw it away if there’s no running lane.

    It’s a matter of becoming more disciplined, Brees leads the league in throws to his RBs (of course having Bush and Sproles encourages that, but McCoy ain’t no slouch in the open field, and I’d love to see Harbor catch some balls with room to get up to speed and watch DBs try to tackle him). Celek is a big target who loves to rumble and stumble down the field. Let the big plays come to you instead of trying to force them – heck Garcia had some big plays in 2006 and Tommy can probably throw a ball harder than Jeff.

  28. 28 James Coe said at 7:42 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Sounds good to me. Who d’you fancy as the big possession receiver? First name that springs to mind is VJax, but I guess that depends on just how crazy he actually is.

    I have to say that I like the idea of lining up with VJax, Maclin and Joe Adams (slot) at WR and Harbor and Shady in the backfield – motion Shady out to WR too and get him matched up against a LB or a S and still have the option of Harbor coming out of the backfield – could be beastly.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 2:40 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Kobe just had to go mess up my Axis of Evil and be an Eagles fan! Do Bellichek and Jerry Jones have any redeeming qualities I should know about?

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 3:41 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Hell no!!!

  31. 31 Jason Gross said at 2:42 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Does Kuechly have to speed to play OLB for a couple of years if we were to sign London Fletcher for 2 years — then Kuechly takes over for MLB after Fletcher leaves?

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 3:42 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Possible, but not likely. You never know what the Eagles have up their sleeve, but I think Kuechly is best suited for MLB as tackle machine. He’d do his best at SAM, but I doubt he’d shine.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 3:47 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Looking at Tennessee and Detroit, seems coaches like ILB/MLB types, David Thornton and Justin Durant at SLB. Which makes sense if the SLB in the wide 9 is playing more like an ILB in a 3-4.

    In that case, Luke might be just fine in that role until he moves to MLB. He’s got the size to match up with TEs in coverage, and wouldn’t be playing over a TE at the LOS, but in space where he could use his instincts.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 3:51 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I’m a big fan of Fletcher. Would he be able to play alongside Kuechly, either at SAM or WILL?

    Or perhaps mix in some 4 LB sets?

    I guess my question is whether signing Fletcher takes us out of the Luke sweepstakes?

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 11:34 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I’ve been thinking about this exact scenario too. But I hear the skins want Fletcher back.

  36. 36 Kammich said at 4:59 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    I’m quickly becoming a Kobe fan, between his Eagles allegiance and his awesome new “Kobe System” commercials.


  37. 37 Anonymous said at 1:24 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    The Kanye West one is amazing:

  38. 38 Steven Dileo said at 5:57 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    OT: I still can’t get over the NYG win 🙁

    1. Kyle Williams muffed punt
    2. Kyle Williams fumble
    3. Ahmad Bradshaw “forward progress”
    4. Hail Mary pass
    5. 2 dropped interceptions vs. SF
    6. Wes Welker dropped pass
    7. Aaron Rodgers miss-throw to wide open Greg Jennings
    8. Gronkowski injury
    9. Ryan Grant fumble
    10. Manningham catch

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 1:04 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    Bitterness can sometimes be a good companion.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 10:15 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    The Sunday NY Times the day of the Superbowl listed the five plays that helped the Giants “luck” into the game. When your hometown paper admits you’re lucky to be there, well . . .

  41. 41 Steven Dileo said at 5:58 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Just what we need- another Patriots player who came up short against the Giants in the Superbowl.

  42. 42 Mac said at 6:24 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Well # 22 might be available this offseason if Gronk wants to change teams and numbers…

  43. 43 Corry Henry said at 6:21 PM on February 10th, 2012:

    Didn’t we go through the same rumors about Plax last year?

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 1:03 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    Went to Jets so he could start. Think he found out that he’s not meant to start anymore.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 10:17 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    If he doesn’t start, what value does he have?
    I mean the role of big stationary red zone target is kinda limited, usually teams like TEs who can block for that role, not a slo mo WR.
    Keyshaun was slow, but he had velcro hands, Plaxico, ehh.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 10:49 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    Use him in place of Jason Avant.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 11:36 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    Not outside the red zone.
    Plaxico caught 45% of throws, Avant > 60%.
    Who do you want to throw to on third down?

    So Plaxico would be on the field for 10 plays a game, since he doesn’t play STs.

    We already have a big slow red zone target, we just don’t use him anymore.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 3:24 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    Reading the Solomon article might restore a little faith in Vick from those fans who have jumped off the bandwagon.

  49. 49 Anders Jensen said at 7:26 AM on February 11th, 2012:

    Tommy, what is your thoughts on Stevie Johnson to replace Jackson? Somebody at BGN said that Johnson has asked for around 7.5 mill per year and looking at his production, that seems very fair to me.

  50. 50 Nick said at 2:03 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    Tommy, you may have answered this question before but … If we sign a MLB in FA and re-sign DJax or sign a free agent WR, what do you think the chances are we move up in the draft to grab RGIII? Vick’s probably got three years left, and we know how Reid and the front office like to plan years into the future … It wouldn’t mesh with the “all in” philosophy, but Eagles management may think this is the highest they’re going to be picking for a while so best to grab a top QB prospect while you can and develop him.

  51. 51 Liam Garrett said at 2:34 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    Am I the only one who loved Stevie Johnson’s “Plaxico Dance”? I mean, T.O.’s celebrations were way overly indulgent in the day, and Desean’s have always been childish and reckless. Johnson’s, on the other hand, was hilarious and made fun of someone who deserved to be made fun of. I wonder why Bob Costas and the pro-sports talking heads were so upset about it.

  52. 52 Travis Sims said at 5:20 PM on February 11th, 2012:

    There is a report that Mike Nolan is changing Curtis Lofton to a two-down linebacker if he is resigned, could make the Falcons unlikely to give him the money he wants therefore he hits the open market?