Some More 8-8 Talk

Posted: March 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 80 Comments »

In the earlier post a lot of people got into the subject of the 8–8 record put up by the Eagles last year.  One of the popular themes was that the final record was deceiving.  After all, the team was 4-8 after 12 games and that was clearly a bad team.  We then beat some crappy QBs to get to 8-8, but that doesn’t count and the Eagles are still in serious trouble.

I thought we had covered this ground back in January, but here goes.

Yes, the Eagles were 4-8.  That is a fact that no one is trying to deny or hide from.  However, if we can look into the 4 game winning streak at the end, shouldn’t we look at the 12 games?  That record was greatly affected by a disastrous 1-4 start.  The slow start is the key to the whole season.  The team was highly erratic in that stretch.

First 5 games:

Turnovers – 15
Takeaways – 5
Rushing Yds Allowed – 140 per game
Pts Allowed – 26.4 per game

* 2 missed FGs
* Mike Vick didn’t finish 2 games
* 3 starters at WLB.
* 2 starters at MLB.
* 2 starters at SAM.
* Jarrad Page missed tackles as if he was a one-man biblical plague
* 3 blown 4th Qtr leads
* Ronnie Brown’s nightmare play

And of course you had a lot of change going on with the coaching staff, schemes, and players.  The 1-4 start wasn’t due to a lack of talent so much as a mixture of mistakes, dumb plays, change, and learning on the fly.

The coaches and players came together over time.  The team quit making dumb mistakes.  The young guys learned how to play.  The new guys figured out what the coaches wanted.  The defensive coaches figured out how to use personnel to maximize results.  There were some offensive tweaks that worked, such as using the TE more.

And Mike Vick was healthy for the last 4 weeks.  Don’t overlook the importance of that.  The Eagles were 7-4 in games which Vick started and finished.  The Eagles were 6-2 in Vick’s last 8 starts.

The Eagles falling to 4-8 is at least as much fool’s gold as the 4-0 finish.  Jarrad Page…gone.  Vince Young…gone.  Asante Samuel…gonna be gone.  DeSean’s contract worries…gone.  The LBs corps…will be upgraded. And so on.

If you’re looking to project the 2012 Eagles, focus on the guys who are back:  Vick, Shady, the OL, WRs, DL, Kurt/Nate, Nnamdi, DRC, etc.  What did they do in 2011 and how does it carry over to 2012?

I’m not trying to erase the nightmarish 2011 season.  I watched every game multiple times so I could know what happened.  I won’t soon forget the misery of  those games.  Even some of the wins were torturous.  The horror of Jarrad Page’s tacking in the BUF game might scar me forever.

The 2012 Eagles will have the talent to contend for a Super Bowl.  The question is whether they can play up to their potential, which they didn’t with any regularity last year.  The coaching staff must do a better job.  The turnovers need to stop.  And Vick needs to get his butt down or out of bounds.  He must stay healthy.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this.  That’s fine.  What we’re talking about is subjective.  However, rolling out the simple fact that we were 4-8 over and over is pointless.  If you can talk about how that carries over to 2012, I’m all ears.  Do focus on players that are coming back.  The failures of Page, VY, Steve Smith, and others are sealed in the 2011 time capsule.  I can only hope we bury that in the Marianas Trench…in the basement.

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy has his new MAQB column posted.

Matt Alkire shared some thoughts on Peyton to Denver.   Boy, was I wrong about that or what?  I still don’t think it makes great sense, but that could be due to the lack of Funyuns in my diet last week when Evan Mathis had me on my hunger strike.

* * * * *

LaRon Landry is La-lost to the Jets.  I was fascinated by him, but also had serious concerns.  The Eagles did have interest, but weren’t going to be too aggressive with him.  His medical issues can’t be ignored.  2 straight years with achilles issues isn’t good.  I do admit that I’m glad he’s out of the division.  Dude hits like a ton of bricks.

* * * * *

There was some arguing in the previous comments section about Howie Roseman and the draft.  Let’s be civil when we argue.  This is another subject that gets people fired up.

We don’t need to agree on this.  The world is awfully boring if we all see things the same way.  The problem with this subject is the injuries to Nate/Brandon Graham and the lockout.  Nate and BG could turn out to be busts or good starters.  Danny Watkins could turn out to be a Pro Bowl RG.  Keenan Clayton could be the next Ike Reese.  Clay Harbor and Riley Cooper could make huge steps forward.  It’s possible that Jamar Chaney and/or Casey Matthews will turn out to be good players.  Or these guys could fail miserably.

Right now we don’t know.  We’re arguing about whether the glass is half full or half empty.  This subject really needs another season before we can start to truly evaluate things.  None of Howie’s picks has yet to emerge as an impact starter.  We’ll see if that changes this year or not.

* * * * *

I know Tebow is of interest.  I’ll cover him tomorrow morning.  Will also try to cover SS Yeremiah Bell, cut by Miami today.

I get a ton of questions about RBs.  Guys, I’d love to have any number of them.  The problem is that we don’t use backup RBs very much.  The player has to be willing to come here and sit.  Most talented veterans aren’t too keen on that.  And you can bet Ronnie Brown won’t give Andy Reid favorable ratings when asked by others.  “Philly?  Yeah, great place to get some rest.”

I did mention Justin Forsett as a target I like.  He has KOR experience.  He is used to being mixed in and out awkwardly.  I think he would be a good fit.  Don’t expect a backup RB move in the next couple of days.  That’s more on the back burner.

Should be some LB news heating up soon.  Still no clues.

80 Comments on “Some More 8-8 Talk”

  1. 1 FalKirk said at 11:14 PM on March 19th, 2012:

    “Peyton to Denver. Boy, was I wrong about that or what?”

    Sometimes I’m wrong because my analysis was flawed. Sometimes I’m wrong even though my analysis is good but something unknowable occurs. That’s the case here.

    I didn’t foresee Peyton going to Denver. Now that it’s happened…I still don’t see it. Based on the information that I had and have, its the wrong move. Obviously Peyton knows something (or thinks he knows something) more than I do. But until I learn that something more, my previous analysis still appears sound.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:38 PM on March 19th, 2012:

    It will be interesting to see if he can get the job done out there. I have my doubts, but Peyton isn’t a dumb guy. He’s got some kind of logic behind the move.

  3. 3 Mac said at 11:08 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Don’t discount the probability that Elway’s ability to rise to team president may have been what lured Peyton to Denver… Go learn from the master, return to Indy and do likewise.

    I thought Peyton would move based on SB rings (i.e. San Fran) but it appears that the real reason for his selection is more shrouded in mystery. Or it could be as simple as not wanting to be in Eli’s conference or throwing Alex Smith a bone (same agent)… who knows?

    It’s fun to speculate though!

  4. 4 Arby1 said at 3:34 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I assumed there was some kind of post-football agreement at play also. That’s hard to write into a contract especially because nobody knows if Elway will be in place in 5 years. But if he is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Manning slide into the FO.

  5. 5 Thorin McGee said at 3:34 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I think this is a bad move for Denver The only two times I can remember a veteran star QB going to a new team late in his career like this and making the big game were Kurt Warner to the Cardinals (made the SB, crushed our souls), and Norm Van Brocklin to the Eagles (God bless him and his whole team!). I can’t think of any other time this happened and the team won the conference or SB.

    And $20 mill a year!!!!!????!!!???!!!!! That is a lot of cap space. … He better play great and not get hurt.

  6. 6 Eric Weaver said at 8:23 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Obviously I lack any credibility, but my buddy who is a diehard Pats fan; I told him after Manning went for the first visit that I thought it was Miami and then Arizona as his choices, but that Denver was a darkhorse candidate.

    There’s a lot to be sad about playing for a guy that understands you and is probably willing to do whatever to satisfy you. And the fact that he saw how the coaches changed rapidly from a pro style offense to a college read option shows Manning that they are willing to adapt mightily to him.

    Some might say Harbaugh would adapt to Manning, but those are two big QB egos going on there.

    I just hope Peyton realized that he’s older now and now he’ll be playing the majority of his games not in a dome.

  7. 7 Jack Waggoner said at 11:30 PM on March 19th, 2012:

    Yeremiah was a bullfrog. Was a good friend of mine.

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 11:37 PM on March 19th, 2012:

    Well played, sir.

  9. 9 Jack Waggoner said at 11:32 PM on March 19th, 2012:

    Did you happen to see the stuff about Kelce in the book “War Room”?

    “Search inside the book”” for Kelce

  10. 10 Baloophi said at 12:34 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Good find and link, Jack Waggoner.

    Note to the masses: Be sure to type in “War Room” and not “The War Room” or you’ll be sent to the 1998 documentary about Clinton’s ’92 presidential campaign. Which is also interesting but features James Carville WITH hair which somehow makes him more creepy looking.

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 1:20 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    This reminds me of The Office episode where Pam tells Jim she rented 28 Days Later instead of 28 Days and watched the whole thing, waiting for Sandra Bullock to finally appear.

  12. 12 hallcr3 said at 9:18 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    “On Kelce, Emery calls himself out on his initial analysis of him. But he followed the advise Hatley gave him when he first got in to scouting: go back to the tape.

    ‘I did four more games. Then watched some tape of the Bears,’ Emery says. ‘The guy reminds me of Olin Kreutz. I mean, it’s not pretty. You know, his body type and all that stuff. He’s kind of a throwback guy. He’s mean. Nasty. Aggressive. Strong smaller guy with good hips.'”

    Kelce- our “passable” 2nd year center, who can’t be considered a good player because he wasn’t drafted in the 1st round or signed as a big-name free

  13. 13 Mac said at 11:11 AM on March 20th, 2012:


  14. 14 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:08 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Kelce has got to add some strength. We definitely saw him flash some ability, but we also saw him get manhandled at times, because he wasn’t strong enough at the POA against some of the bulls of the league. That’s got to change.

    I don’t think anyone who is saying Rosenman’s & Co’s draft record has been poor these last few years is citing Kelce as proof of that. Kelce is one of the few cases that calls for cautious optimism.

  15. 15 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:08 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Kelce has got to add some strength. We definitely saw him flash some ability, but we also saw him get manhandled at times, because he wasn’t strong enough at the POA against some of the bulls of the league. That’s got to change.

    I don’t think anyone who is saying Rosenman’s & Co’s draft record has been poor these last few years is citing Kelce as proof of that. Kelce is one of the few cases that calls for cautious optimism.

  16. 16 NoDecaf said at 12:07 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I wish I could tell you the off-season would get easier Tommy!

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 12:24 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Last summer was fun and easy. How’d that work out?

    I don’t mind some good debates on our beloved Eagles. I think we’re all a bit on edge as we wait for the LB move. Seeing the team add a quality starter would help a lot. I’m looking for a tackle machine. That’s what this team needs.

  18. 18 D3Keith said at 5:48 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Last summer / waterboarding = same.

    Well maybe not exaaactly the same. But if we have an LB in March and a draft in April, we’re already kicking last year’s kiester.

  19. 19 NoDecaf said at 3:24 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I’m setting up my psychic hotline pronto.

  20. 20 Baloophi said at 12:49 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Flipped on some NFL XM during the long slog home from work just as an excitable Bills’ fan called-in. He was convinced they would take Kuechly at #10 and stick him at SAM. Gil Brandt graciously suggested he would work best at MIKE and that 10 might be too high for him. He added that the Bills might be better served picking Dre Kirkpatrick or Riley Reiff / Jonathan Martin and the caller scoffed.

    Point of the story? Everyone’s got a linebacker boner.

  21. 21 TommyLawlor said at 1:18 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    A LB boner? Hadn’t thought of it in those terms, but probably accurate.

  22. 22 Thunder_lips said at 9:41 AM on March 20th, 2012:


  23. 23 mhrinda said at 1:06 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    It looks to me that the Eagles are not interested in any of the FA LB and Safeties out there. Like the DC situation this year, they have scheduled no visits. They are quiet. They are signed a few fringe guys like the backup Qb and linemen.

    Why havent they at least scheduled some visits if they are interested in signing someone?

    I think they are going to address MLB from the draft and then sign some veteran help on the cheap. I dont like it.

    We chose the wide 9 and Tulloch plays it. Why not sign him at somepoint or at least have him visit? So what he wants alot of money meet with him and tell him heres what we are offering.

    We dont need growing pains from watching another rookie anchor our LB corps and hearing coach Reid say well hes young and hes learning… blah blah blah…we need to win football games.

    We are not a rebuilding franchise. Why do we seem to act like it.

    The perfect player doesnt exist in every season. You have to bring in what is available on the market and basically upgrade your team. Sometimes like in the Eagles case, you might have to overpay when you have 3 open spots on the LB corp and your LB unit is the worst in the NFL.

    UPGRADE is the key word not saving money.

    No matter what anyone thinks, theres logical reasons why this franchise has not won a Superbowl. Yes the Giants won with drafted talent last season but a few years ago when their safety situation was in need they didnt trust the draft primarily, they went out and sign some FAs.

    I see upgrades on the FA LB market. I think the Eagles see $$$ they dont want to spend and thats a shame for us.

    Do you think anyone in fantasy football ever wishes he could have one of our LBs for his team ?
    I sure dont.

    I hope your confidence in the Eagles pay off.

    I think its more of the same of last year. They are going to use the draft to fill the LB spots on the cheap and then when the market settles bring in some bargains.

    I hate losing. And for your optimists out there — I hate never having just enough to get through the championship game and winning a Superbowl.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 1:21 AM on March 20th, 2012:


  25. 25 Anders Jensen said at 7:08 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I think mhrinda have taken Morton’s identity.

  26. 26 D3Keith said at 5:50 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Big Mort Ski has been conspicuously absent. But at least I never put him on “nah, I’m skimming that” status.

  27. 27 Dan Jones said at 5:07 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    you have lots of suggestions for LB upgrades.

    Who do you think the Eagles should be targetting to upgrade Safety?

  28. 28 mhrinda said at 10:03 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I liked Landry because I heard he has an additude when he plays and hits hard. He has had a history of getting hurt but I thought Coleman could step in for him if the worse would happen.

    But considering the Eagles have not scheduled one visit yet gives me the impression I shouldnt get my hopes up for anyone good.

    I know a few safeties have signed and I have to see whose left.

    I do think it would be wise to add one experienced safety to our mix and let one position be his to lose to the kids.

  29. 29 deshawnbentley said at 6:20 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    The same post over and over. Stop it already. Be rational and stop acting like you can sign anybody you want just because it qualifies as an upgrade. Seriously you trash our team then act like tulloch is Willis asking for only $6m. If he was worth his asking price he’d be signed by now.

  30. 30 hallcr3 said at 10:08 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    If Tulloch was so good in the wide 9, don’t you think guru Washburn would have been pushing for him last year and this year?

  31. 31 mhrinda said at 10:15 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Maybe hes a bad apple. Does anyone know if hes a problem player?

  32. 32 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:12 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I find this argument to be a bit troubling, because it’s assuming an awful lot.

    What was the extent of Jim Washburn’s relationship with the linebackers in Tennessee? What kind of influence can Washburn exert amongst the rest of the coaching staff let alone the General Manager when it comes to signing free agents? Do positional coaches on one side of the ball often arrange for their respective front offices to sign guys that played in adjacent positional groups?

  33. 33 Mac said at 1:47 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I disagree, I think it’s an excellent point. If the Eagles were considering going after Tulloch it would have been pretty short sighted to not get the opinion of someone who observed Tulloch’s play and attitude first hand. I would be shocked if they gave Washburn the “final say” on the matter, and I don’t think they did, but they certainly asked his opinion on an Overpriced player.

  34. 34 Skeptic_Eagle said at 4:19 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I doubt they are going to give much gravity to Jim Washburn’s input on a player that practiced near his group in Tennessee. Call me crazy, but I just don’t see it. What’s important is Tulloch’s on-field tape, and what he’s asking for in a contract. Any one who is interested in signing him has access to that information.

    I’d consider this to be a stronger argument if Tulloch were a DE–as in the case of Jason Babin. We just don’t know how much insight Washburn would have had into Tulloch, and how important or useful that information would have been to the Eagles; to conjecture otherwise may be fun, but is mostly baloney, in my humble opinion.

  35. 35 Mac said at 8:05 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    You’re right, and the tape isn’t that good…

    And now we have DeMeco Ryans.

    Pffft…. Howie Hater’s gonna hate.

  36. 36 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:12 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I find this argument to be a bit troubling, because it’s assuming an awful lot.

    What was the extent of Jim Washburn’s relationship with the linebackers in Tennessee? What kind of influence can Washburn exert amongst the rest of the coaching staff let alone the General Manager when it comes to signing free agents? Do positional coaches on one side of the ball often arrange for their respective front offices to sign guys that played in adjacent positional groups?

  37. 37 T_S_O_P said at 3:14 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    My predominant memory from last year, was us beating ourselves over and over again. The Patriots… they beat us, maybe the Seahawks a weak later too, I didn’t get to see that nor was I inclined to watch it on the highly overpriced and overrated NFL GamePass. We were the polar opposite to Harbaugh’s 49ers who never beat themselves (except when it counted grrrrrr) and found ways to win when it looked most unlikely. Thankyou very much Tedd Ginn Jr with a KOR and PR for TDs in one game.

  38. 38 Matthew Butch said at 10:38 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    That’s what I remember too- constant mistakes that cost us games.

    Yeah, the Patriots probably beat us, but that Seahawks game was setup for disaster. A 4pm game on Sunday, then just 4 days til the next one on the other side of the country. It was such a shame that the NFL made a rule that it could never happen again.

  39. 39 MichaelFloyd84 said at 7:43 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    For as much hate as jarred page gets, shouldn’t the decision makers who even Put him on the field get a good chunk of that blame?

  40. 40 TommyLawlor said at 9:37 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Jarrad deserved to play initially. He had a very good preseason. Very good. That’s why it was so shocking that he struggled so much.

    Nate Allen was resting his knee the first 3 games. He played, but barely. They put him in as a starter and benched Kurt after his awful missed tackle vs NYG & Cruz. Page continued to stink and they benched him for Kurt 2 weeks later.

    Not an ideal set of circumstances. If they had just made the Kurt/Page swap prior to the BUF game, we might have won. That was Page’s low point.

  41. 41 D3Keith said at 6:00 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I will never forget the goal-line play (run blitz?) where Page burst through the gap and ran right past Fred Jackson, who scored untouched. Juan Castillo pretty much got off the hook in my mind in that moment and when Asante freelanced against the Cardinals.

    But I typed somewhere how pleasantly surprised I was by Page in the preseason. I think he had an early pass break-up vs. the Rams too, and I was thinking “hey, this might not be a bad signing.”

    By Buffalo, I could not have been more against the guy playing for us.

  42. 42 Cvd52 said at 12:09 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    i agree. i think whoever was making decisions on who plays on D was doing a terrible job in the begining of the year, that may have costs the eagles a playoff birth.

  43. 43 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:23 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Right. Tommy’s post above lays out the facts of the season as if they had been arranged by some other group than the one arranging the circumstances of this one.I might be able to share such an optimistic view if some major event had happened to change that.

    Which front office group put themselves in a situation where they had to start 7 different linebackers? Which group thought Jarrad Page was the best answer as a veteran safety presence if Nate Allen (predictably) had a slow recovery, or Jaiquawn Jarrett (predictably) had a steep learning curve? Which group signed off on moving a positional coach from the OL to the Defensive coordinator, during a shortened offseason?

    Lurie himself called the final 4 games “fool’s gold”. His words don’t necessarily marry up to any actions he or the team has taken since then, but they are significant.

    The season actually could have gone a lot worse. The current front office and coaching staff really made no other plans at right tackle, other than to have Winston Justice return fully healthy. When that failed, they made the emergency signing of Ryan Harris–who’s back gave out–and then auditioned everyone on the team except Chad Hall as the right tackle. Luckily, Todd Herremans had the versatility to move out and play the position well, and Evan Mathis was able to step in and actually improve LG. I will give the Eagles credit for that signing. Hopefully they are reading pro focus football this offseason, as well.

  44. 44 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 7:52 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Lions feel good about being able to re-sign Tulloch. Sounds like a few of you can take him off your wish list.

    Hawethorn was scheduled to visit Detroit this week and it’s thought that visit was to lower Tulloch’s demands. Sounds like we may finally get some movement in the LB market this week.

  45. 45 D3Keith said at 6:01 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I don’t think we need Tulloch necessarily, we need him or Lofton to make a move so the dominoes can start falling.

  46. 46 GermanEagle said at 8:03 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I am pretty sure the Eagles will take a hard look at Yeremiah Bell, especially since his former DB Coach (Bowles) is now on the Eagles coaching staff.

    Bell may be 34 years old, but he still has racked up 110 Tackles per season over the last 4 years, has not missed ONE game due to injury and is a sure tackler with experience the Eagles lack.

    Also he might not be able to ask for big dollars any more..!

  47. 47 Eric Weaver said at 8:24 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Can he get Smith and Davis from them as well? 🙂

  48. 48 Eric Weaver said at 8:20 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I think the team’s health going forward will be an interesting thing as well. Can they avoid these weird illnesses like what happened to Maclin? Can Vick not get hurt while actually in the pocket? Can the 1st and 2nd round draft picks avoid potential career ending injuries?

  49. 49 TommyLawlor said at 9:38 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Hire Dr. House.

  50. 50 Arby1 said at 3:47 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    That guy has an uncanny knack of solving mysterious illnesses in the last 5 minutes of every episode. I’m not as impressed with his prodigious medical knowledge as I am with his incredible timing.

  51. 51 Kevin_aka_RC said at 9:41 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Vick will never play 16 games: are Kafka/Edwards legit #2s?

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 11:25 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Edwards was a solid starter prior to his 2009 concussion. Hard to say where he’s at now.

    Kafka needs to prove himself this spring/summer. If he struggles or doesn’t show the necessary progress, you can be the Eagles will look around as veteran QBs become available.

  53. 53 Cvd52 said at 12:05 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    NO. Sorry im a glass half full dude but Kafka does not seem like the answer if Vick goes down, not even for one game IMHO

  54. 54 hallcr3 said at 10:10 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Hey hey hey, what about L.T. as the backup RB? Rumor has it he’s looking for a backup role, so maybe he’s open to the Eagles RB Method.

  55. 55 TommyLawlor said at 11:26 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I actually think he would be open to us. Not sure if the Eagles want him. We do need a backup who could run 15 to 20 times in a game if Shady went down. Can LT still do that if needed?

  56. 56 Kevin_aka_RC said at 11:40 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I’d love to see what we could do with Michael Bush. It won’t happen, but fills a HUGE hole (Big Back + RB who can be a spot-starter when necessary)

  57. 57 GermanEagle said at 11:53 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I always liked Michael Bush. I doubt he’d come to Philly for only a handful of carries though.

  58. 58 Brett Smith said at 3:18 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    One thing that I don’t understand is why we always talk about having a big back.

    I can’t recall ever having a big back or MM (heck even Andy) ever calling a play for a big back. It really doesn’t seem our MO.

    Tommy when was the last time we had/used a big back? (Staley?)

  59. 59 D3Keith said at 6:22 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Yeah I thought the big back thing died a quiet, respectful death.

  60. 60 Anders Jensen said at 12:23 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Westbrook proved he could be a solid backup, because he wouldnt be playing that much so his knees would be more healthy. I think the same could apply to a guy like LT

  61. 61 Cvd52 said at 12:05 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    i like that idea alot. he can only be good for a few carries a game and a catch or two. thats all we really need

  62. 62 eagleizeit said at 10:35 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    Tommy – Do you think 4 of our better LB’s haveing there 1st offseason with the team will help? I don’t think most people realize we probably had the least experienced LB group in NFL history. Going into the 1st game last yr, besides Jordan who didn’t play much, we had 2 with 0 yrs exp, 2 that had 1 yr and Fokou with 2 yrs. That’s 5 LB’s that averaged just over a half a yrs exp. This year, if those 5 stay, they’ll have more than 1 and half yrs exp. Wasn’t sure if you ever looked at it from that angle, but I would think they’d improve with some exp. I’m not saying it was necessarily right or smart for the coaches to think that would be a brilliant plan last year though. If anything it would be awkward for the young players probably. How many teams would think of not bringing in competition, haveing there LB’s starting in various packages while only avg a half yr of exp and think that that’s a recipe for success. It’s good the growing pains are now gone.

  63. 63 TommyLawlor said at 11:27 AM on March 20th, 2012:

    I think the offseason will be huge for the young LBs, but we can’t count on them to be starters just because of that. We need to upgrade talent and at the same time hope that the current LBs all take a step forward in terms of development. That would be ideal.

  64. 64 Cvd52 said at 12:03 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Maclin fumbling at the end of the niners game while we are in FG range and dropping an easy catch for a first down at the 20 yard line at the end of the falcons game, JP jumping offsides against buffalo at the end. Not blaming the losses on Maclin or JP, just saying that was the type of thing that was happening to the eagles in the beginning of the season.

  65. 65 TommyLawlor said at 12:42 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Absolutely. We lost because of mistakes, not talent.

    Any Eagles fan who watched the team in the mid-90s knows about teams that simply lacked the talent to compete with GB, DAL, SF for titles. Fun teams to watch because they had a lot of character, but they lacked talent.

  66. 66 D3Keith said at 6:54 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Those were the least of the mistakes. Each instance you cited came when the Eagles had already blown several plays to fall behind.

    Just off top, against the Falcons we couldn’t protect a 34-21 lead, or a 17-7 lead when we were going in to make it 24-7 and Vick handed off to Peria Jerry going the other way.

    Against the 49ers, there was Henery 33, Henery 39, Ronnie Brown, and failing to protect 23-3 or 20-3.

    Against the Bills there was Vick holding the ball at the end of the half, Kelce missing the blitz pickup that led to Vick throwing a Pick 6, and the fact that Buffalo kicked the Eagles ass in the first half of that game.

    To lay it at the feet of the last-ditch mistakes of comeback attempts that might have ultimately failed anyway is to acknowledge the straws that landed on the camel’s back after it was broken.

  67. 67 Cvd52 said at 5:17 PM on March 21st, 2012:

    so you named more stupid mistakes than i named, whats ur point? i could name a ton of things like that for the year, thats the point buddy.

  68. 68 austinfan said at 12:15 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Some points, winning and losing tends to vary from year to year, Eagles had one of those years.
    But good teams outgain and outscore the opposition, and the Eagles did that by a wide margin in 2011. There’s a reason the oddsmakers have the Eagles in the top 5 for 2012. They know that teams that outgain the opposition by a huge margin tend to bounce back.

    Despite Vick being injured, they averaged 396 yards per game in offense, that’s a lot of freakin yards, normally that would be associated with scoring closer to 30 ppg. EVERYONE who matters off that offense returns in 2012.

    Another note on Vick, throw out the Arizona game (which he had no business playing, watch it and you can see he can’t hit the side of a barn due to his broken ribs) and he actually played almost as well as 2010, 18-12 TD-Int ratio, 60% complete, etc. This despite struggling with pressure all year behind a new OL and a new OL scheme (people don’t realize what a huge change that was for Vick, 2010 he’s behind Castillo’s guys, 2011 behind the madness that is the Mudd pass protection schemes). Now he’ll have a year to get used to Mudd’s pocket, to review the 2011 film and see how teams are attacking him, and to make adjustments.

    Eagles have averaged 27+ppg with Vick starting, in both 2010 AND 2011, he just has to learn to be a little more cautious out there and not take unnecessary hits. Go look at the last four games, we played decent defenses, yet Vick was on a pace to throw for over 4000 yards, 28-12 ratio. Note he only had 11 rushes in those 4 games, only completed 59% of his passes but had a 9 YPA. What happened? He played more conservatively, threw the ball away, didn’t take off on a regular basis, and started using his check downs, dumping the ball to Celek on a regular basis and letting his skill people make plays instead of trying to do everything himself. Remember, Vick was the show in Atlanta, getting used to the idea of being a cog instead of the engine is a new experience for him.

    Is he going to morph into Drew Brees with legs? Doubtful.
    Can he become a more refined version of Michael Vick, good possibility.

    Peyton made a very dumb decision. Denver has a decent defense, but nothing special.
    Peyton will not have precise route runners, or Mudd coaching his OL.

    He will have bad weather – this is not minor – go look at his performance in bad weather the last few years, he’s been in a dome, playing in the AFC South, almost never plays outdoors in bad weather. Now he’s got 8 games in Denver, with some of the worst weather imaginable, he’ll have SD, good, Oak, decent, KC, almost as bad as Denver on the road.

    I also doubt his arm will be 100% of his peak years, age alone would rob him of some velocity, then the injuries to boot, and if he has 85-90% of his peak velocity he’s doing good – and he never had the most powerful arm.

    The track record of immobile 36 year old QBs is not good, the only one I can find who had a few good seasons was Kurt Warner, and he had a stronger arm than Peyton (and was probably as good as any QB in NFL history when he was healthy, what he did in Arizona was miraculous). Most of the QBs who age well tend to be very athletic, strong armed QBs, Favre, Moon, etc. Which bodes well for Vick but not for Peyton.

  69. 69 Alex Karklins said at 12:37 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Weather in Denver is not as big a deal as everyone assumes. Yes, it can snow a lot, but we also get 300 days of sunshine every year. Average high temp in December: 46 degrees. January: 47 degrees. There’s also very little humidity in the Summer, which is a killer for most teams’ training camps. The winter weather in Philadelphia is much harsher, IMO, due to the higher humidity and overcast skies. I think Elway may have used the weather as a selling point more than anything.

    I agree with most of your other points, though 😉

  70. 70 Eric Weaver said at 12:46 PM on March 20th, 2012:


  71. 71 D3Keith said at 7:07 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    The Peyton analysis at the end was mildly inspiring, but the Vick/Eagles stuff was very good.

    Suffice it to say, it’s not a stretch to think that if the Eagles’ offense keeps doing most of what it’s been doing and corrects SOME of its mistakes, it can be really good.*

    *Provided Shady plays every game.

  72. 72 izzylangfan said at 12:59 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Tulloch seems to want $6 million per year. Washington paid Trotter $7 million then we paid Trotter $5 million, Spikes $5 million and Witherspoon at a $5 million rate. So Tulloch’s desires seem to be reasonable even if they are a little high. So who is out there that is worth $5 million to the Eagles and what do we need to pay to get what we need? And what is the premium we get if we hire a top tier MLB as opposed to getting just what we need?

  73. 73 Jeremy S said at 1:11 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I agree 110% on what you said about last year vs. this year. So many people are stuck on last year, when it wasn’t even close to a normal year. We had so much change in a shortened season it wasn’t funny. I just don’t know why anyone can’t understand that. It’s going to take time for all the changes to gel and get things ironed out.

    Oh and Tebow……NO THANK YOU!

  74. 74 D3Keith said at 8:51 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Jell. Like Jell-O.

    Sorry. That one kills me. Good points. The things that happened last year are unlikely to repeat themselves with such frequency, so as to submarine another good season. If the Eagles were in 14 of 16 games until the end, and can be reasonably assumed to … I’m sorry I lost my train of thought when we signed DeMeco Murfurkin Ryans (does the Cabbage Patch)

  75. 75 ACViking said at 2:04 PM on March 20th, 2012:


    It seems, in today’s NFL, that — whoever the LBs are — there’s really only one question: WILL VICK PLAY LIKE A TOP-5 QB, especially come playoff time?

    If the answer’s no, then the Eagles aren’t winning the SB.

    And that’s assuming the Eagles’ defense improves it’s tackling and the DLine puts *constant* pressure on QBs, not just 3-4 sacks per game off the edge with a couple of pressures.

    I’ve watched the NFL since 1970. The scale is now so heavily tipped in favor of the passing game. It’s getting ridiculous . . . like college football.

    The best Eagles regular-season game I remember was their 1980 win over the Raiders at the Vet 10-7. Every play mattered.

    Now it’s all “fast-break” football.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the bump-and-run reintroduced into the NFL, coupled with the current rules on hitting defenseless receivers. Maybe it would even help the problem.

    Anyway, the Eagles will go as far as VICK takes them next year. Not Luke Kuechley or Fletcher Cox. Or D-Jax or Maclin. Or McCoy. Or T-Cole and Babin.

  76. 76 nopain23 said at 2:19 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Hey T
    Maybe you can answer this.The Gmen run a 4-3 defense..and have average LB’s at best.They have won 2 Superbowls with really NO NAME LB’s.They seem to have a pretty soild defense.Is it the scheme?…I just don’t see why fans want us to overpay for average LB’s.I mean unless u’re Urlacher or Lewis….4mil/yr is the most you shlould expect.I have no problem with the FO waiting out the market.if not we target LK40 in the draft even if we have to trade up..cause dude’s got more talent than anyone available in FA right now.

  77. 77 Anders Jensen said at 3:15 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    Giants won with a combination of luck, getting hot at the right time, GREAT dline and clutch QB play.

  78. 78 Brett Smith said at 3:20 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    I thought Boley played pretty well for them. I also think they struggled while he was out. If I am not mistaken we abused the backup MLB last year.

  79. 79 Cvd52 said at 3:39 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    i been saying this for awhile. everyone thinks the eagles devalue 43 LBs. the whole league does, unless you can find an urlacher type, but there arent many of them.

    they say eagles dont draft LBs in the first round. who the hell does draft 43lbs in the first round? then someone will list all the lbs taken in the first round over the last 5 years but they name 34 outside rushers, that is totally differnt.

    im all for luke this year but i dont have an issue with us not drafting an LB early the last few years. now that we run a wide 9 we really need a good MLB. as long as our MLB is not on the team right now i will be happy

  80. 80 Tom McAllister said at 3:49 PM on March 20th, 2012:

    “I just don’t see why fans want us to overpay for average LB’s”

    I’d suggest that it’s because even one average LB would be a massive upgrade over what they have now.

    There’s a difference between saying you can win with okay linebackers vs. trying to win with the worst linebackers in the league.