Speed vs SPEED

Posted: March 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 47 Comments »

UPDATE:  Eagles placed the Franchise Tag on DeSean this afternoon.  That’s the first domino.  Now we have to see if the intent is to get a long term deal, have him play for 2012, or trade him.

* * * * *

There has been a lot of talk recently about Steelers WR Mike Wallace.  The team isn’t going to use the Franchise Tag on him.  Wallace is a RFA and they will place the highest tender on him, meaning any team that tries to sign him away would offer him a deal knowing they would have to give up a 1st round pick.

Some Eagles fans are interested in Wallace.  The guy has developed into a terrific WR so that is very understandable.  How does Mike Wallace compare to DeSean and Mac?

Numbers wise, Wallace is similar to DeSean:

Mike Wallace
2009: 39-756-19.4 – 6 TDs
2010: 60-1257-21 – 10 TDs
2011: 72-1193-16.6 – 8 TDs

DeSean Jackson
2008: 62-912-14.7 – 2 TDs
2009: 62-1156-18.6 – 9 TDs
2010: 47-1056-22.5 – 6 TDs
2011: 58-961-16.6 – 4 TDs

There are a couple of differences. Wallace has 24 TDs in 3 years. DJax has 21 in 4 seasons. Wallace’s reception total goes higher every year. He is an improving, ascending player. DJax looks like he peaked in 2009. I don’t think that is true, but the numbers have come down the last 2 years.

Wallace is 199 pounds. DeSean is about 170. Who do you think is going to hold up better over time? Which player will be able to deal with hits and tackles as his body slows down?

Wallace hasn’t missed a game in 3 years. DeSean has only missed 4, but he has missed parts of other games. The wear and tear of the NFL has affected him. He’s already had a pair of concussions.

Some people wonder why we’re making such a fuss over these two players. Why not just focus on Jeremy Maclin? He’s got a good combination of size and speed. Normal speed, that is.

This is where you have to understand the difference in speed and SPEED. Maclin is fast enough to get behind CBs and make big plays. Wallace and DeSean are fast enough to consistently sprint by CBs who are playing off them and deep Safeties whose job is to stay deeper than the deepest. This is like a cop with a radar gun looking for people doing 50 in a 35 mph zone when Dale Earnhardt Jr. roars by doing 205 mph. This is like the difference in a jalapeno pepper and a Guatemalan insanity pepper.

Defenses can do everything right and Wallace/DeSean can run right by them and create big plays. They have the kind of speed that simply can’t be accounted for. Gameplans are built around how to deal with these guys. Maclin, on the other hand, doesn’t come close to this category.

Look at the big play numbers:

Catches of 20 or more yards – Maclin 39, Wallace 58, DeSean 71
Catches of 40 or more yards – Maclin 9, Wallace 24, DeSean 25

Remember that DeSean has played 4 years. The other two have played 3 years.

I don’t think we must have an explosive WR on the roster. Neither of the Super Bowl teams had one and each team had a great passing attack. Victor Cruz proved to be a big play machine, but he’s not an explosively fast player (runs in 4.45-4.50 range). He was able to break tackles (just ask Kurt & Nnamdi) as well as catch balls downfield (just ask Kurt & Nnamdi).  Cruz had 9 catches of 40 or more yards just in 2011.  That is amazing.  Whether he can keep that up is a whole other story.

I still don’t know what the Eagles will do at WR.  I sincerely doubt the team will go after Wallace.  That would be an odd move.  Keeping DeSean is still possible.  All depends on the asking price.  Do keep in mind that if DeSean goes, the team can add a vertical player in his place, but they won’t replace his speed.  DeSean and Wallace are rare players.  That’s why it is so frustrating that DeSean hasn’t taken the next step to becoming a consistently great player.  He is the kind of receiver you’d love to play big money.  He can be a special difference maker.  Unfortunately DeSean has floated between tease and playmaker the last 2 years.  That’s what makes paying him huge money so difficult.  Which guy are you getting?

* * * * *

Interesting note from Jeff McLane today.  He mentioned in his column that the Eagles gave DT Cedric Thornton a raise to stay on the Practice Squad instead of signing with another team.  Thornton was eventually added to the roster.  The Eagles are very interested in him.  Thornton is 6’4, 309 and has a very quick first step.  He was really raw last summer.  It will be interesting to see what kind of progress he’s made by the time the players head back to Lehigh.

* * * * *

Matt Alkire posted a new mock draft over at ScoutsNotebook.  Less than 60 days to the real thing.  Is everyone starting to get excited?

You can follow Matt on Twitter – @MattAlkire.

47 Comments on “Speed vs SPEED”

  1. 1 Donald Kalinowski said at 3:51 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    So would you give up a 1st for Wallace?

  2. 2 Donald Kalinowski said at 3:57 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I wouldn’t do it. I like Wallace but he’s not Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. You’d also have to pay him significantly more than DeSean. I’d rather keep DeSean at a cheaper price and use the 1st round pick to address some holes on this team. If Pittsburgh was willing to take DeSean and 2nd instead for Walllace, I would consider it.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 3:58 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I would not give up a 1st for Wallace.

  4. 4 Ben Aven said at 3:59 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    If we do let DJax walk and replace him with a bigger receiver like VJax or Colston, would we need to make any adjustments with the types of routes we call more often or anything like that? I was just curious if the types of patterns we ask Desean and Maclin to run most often are routes that utilize speed to get open more so than size or physical play that larger receivers rely on.

  5. 5 Mac said at 4:20 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I for one am sick of the cripple corps… no interest from me in VJax.

    Bring me my man Garcon, or some healthy stud rookie from the 2nd round who is tall enough to go get jump balls. Or get me Plax and some little speedy dude from the draft.

  6. 6 T_S_O_P said at 4:50 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I’d like Eddie Royal, though I’m not sure of his status

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 5:50 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Eddie could be good RS/backup WR. I actually wanted him over DJax back in the 2008 draft.

  8. 8 hallcr3 said at 7:25 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    BAM! There’s my Hokie!

  9. 9 Mac said at 8:47 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Up here in PA we already had a guy we called fast Eddie… but that was Ed Rendell our FORMER governor.

  10. 10 T_S_O_P said at 8:21 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    I remember it well.

  11. 11 rage114 said at 4:27 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    So, assuming they do franchise Jackson, does this move open up the possibility of a trade between the Eagles and Steelers? Say Jackson + 4t (maybe even a 3rd) h for Wallace?

    Obviously, both would need to work out long term deals first….

  12. 12 Kristopher Cebula said at 10:15 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    why would the steelers do that? they want to keep wallace but are barely under the cap. if they can’t afford wallace than they probably can’t afford desean either

  13. 13 rage114 said at 5:56 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    I freely admit I don’t know much about the Steelers. If they are trying to keep him and are having problems staying under the cap, then this doesn’t make sense for them at all.

    Just throwing it out there as a possibility…..

  14. 14 Donald Kalinowski said at 4:30 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    If Brady or Eli were our QBs I wouldn’t mind replacing DJack with a more physical receiver. But one of Vick’s major strengths is his ability to throw 70 yards down the field with the flick of his wrist. If you take away DeSean you take away one of Vick’s specialties.

  15. 15 JRO91 said at 4:36 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    If Wallace goes anywhere it will be to the Pats or 49ers. Both have late 1sts (pats have two 1st) and both need a verticle threat. Wallace could put the niners over the top. Can’t double Davis and Wallace.

  16. 16 rage114 said at 4:52 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Yes, but I don’t think one of Alex Smith’s strengths in throwing that far down the field either. When I think of the 49ers, I don’t think they are one WR away…I think they are one QB away.

    Pats make a lot of sense though. But would the Steelers allow it?

  17. 17 Donald Kalinowski said at 5:08 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I really don’t think SanFran has Smith in their long term plans. It would be interesting to see if they go after Matt Flynn or trade up to get one of the top 3 QBs in the draft.

  18. 18 T_S_O_P said at 4:50 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Franchised SPEED

  19. 19 pkeagle said at 5:00 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    The guatemalan insanity pepper reference made me think of this clip – anyone else think of Spuds while watching this?!!


  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 5:17 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    That’s both cool and creepy.

  21. 21 Donald Kalinowski said at 5:22 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Creepy? How dare you? That man is my father!

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 5:49 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I meant…awesome and totally more awesome.

  23. 23 ChaosOnion said at 5:52 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    How long with the Eagles work to get a deal done with DeSean Jackson? If they do not have a deal completed by the draft, will a deal get done or will they try to draft a replacement?

  24. 24 ACViking said at 5:53 PM on March 1st, 2012:


    Two Questions:

    1.) Has any player the Eagles ever *franchised* been with the team the following season? I can only think of Corey Simon and J-Trot as franchised players, both of whom were cut loose after the tag was withdrawn. But I don’t think they signed the franchise tenders (or the CBA was different).

    2.) Mechanically, how would the Eagles pull off a “tender” and trade of D-Jax? And what if he signs the tender, thereby guaranteeing him $9.5MM . . . how would a trade work then? Also, what impact — if any — does D-Jax signing the tender then getting traded have on the Cap? [SAM?]

    My guess is D-Jax — unless he cuts his demand — is here for 1 more season.

    If Stephen Hill falls to the Eagles in Rd 2, and they take him, I think it’s adios to D-Jax after 2012.

  25. 25 Mac said at 6:54 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    And only about a year too late… I think that DeSean is a nice guy, but I also think that DeSean’s greatest flaw is himself. I don’t know that we will ever see his full potential on the football field with the Eagles or with another team. I hope that he has enough wisdom to realize this is probably his one shot at a big deal, and to make the money last.

    The Eagles calling card is cutting players before they fall off the cliff. (unless they draft a crip. then they let em linger for years teasing us with the idea that one day the player will be healthy and contribute)… I think the F.O. is going to swing and miss on this deal.

  26. 26 mcud said at 8:03 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    LJ was franchised, I believe. But yes, he was gone the next year.

  27. 27 juggadore said at 12:21 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    vick was franchised too

  28. 28 Brandon Gleklen said at 1:19 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    And Westbrook

  29. 29 sonofdman said at 9:48 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    The tender is an offer for a one year contract. The Eagles can withdrawal the offer at anytime if D-Jax has not yet signed the offer and D-Jax would then be a free agent.

    In order to trade Jackson he would have to sign the tender in before the trade could go through since he could not be traded if he was not under contract. The $ is guaranteed, but he doesn’t get any until the season starts. I’m pretty sure the entire cap it would go on the team who traded for him not the Eagles (Sam would know better than me), but his new team would probably give him a new contract anyway.

  30. 30 hallcr3 said at 7:32 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Thanks for making a post about this. I honestly just didn’t watch many Steelers games this season and wasn’t sure what type of player Wallace was. As a general rule, when Eagles fans start to get hot and bothered by a player from another team, I take it with a grain of salt. I do the same for our late round draft picks…

    Unless of course it’s a player from another team I like or a late round draft pick I like, then I don’t care what ANY OF YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. 31 Gregory Post said at 1:03 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Tommy, your thoughts on Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame? Can he be a guy in the safety mix?

  32. 32 GermanEagle said at 5:48 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    I’ve said this all along and will say this again: I think the Eagles will keep Desean and if they really do you better bow down to the German, Tommy! 😉

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 11:22 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Yes, O Great One!!! All hail GermanEagle, lord of DeSean Jackson predictions.

  34. 34 GermanEagle said at 11:25 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Let me paraphrase you, my friend: me likey. :))

  35. 35 Kevin_aka_RC said at 9:10 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    We could trade Bowe for DSJ straight up. We get our big red-zone WR to pair with our “all-around” WR in Maclin. KC gets its speedster to prevent opposing teams from playing 8 in the box to stop the run and they can pair him with a big WR like Baldwin.

    Or too much sense?

  36. 36 GermanEagle said at 10:05 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Too little too much…

  37. 37 GermanEagle said at 10:05 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Too little too much…

  38. 38 JRO91 said at 10:24 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Falcons tag Grimes!!! Please come to Philly Mr Lofton!!!

  39. 39 Mac said at 10:40 AM on March 2nd, 2012:


  40. 40 GermanEagle said at 10:48 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    According to PFT the Falcons are still trying to re-sign Lofton to a long-term deal. Nevertheless I hope the Eagles will make a play for him. Just imagine an offseason like the following:
    Re-sign Desean
    Re-sign Mathis
    Re-sign Landri
    Sign Lofton
    Sign Plax
    Draft Cox
    Draft Brown

  41. 41 Mac said at 11:40 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    You forgot to draft Boykin or some other slot CB… haha

    But yeah, that would be an acceptable offseason.

  42. 42 GermanEagle said at 11:44 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Sorry mate, I have included only our first 2 picks. But if Boykin follows with our 2nd 2nd round pick, I will be happy as well. 🙂

  43. 43 4Who said at 10:47 AM on March 2nd, 2012:


    Sorry if this already came up somewhere else, but, are you planning on doing any specific posts on Cedric Thorton? The reason I ask is that I am caught between thinking that he is a late bloomer who can be a starter in this league (similar to Cullen Jenkins) and just a role player type who concievably would not be a big loss if he got caught in the numbers game. Seeing the payroll kind of reduces depth, unless its cheap depth, wouldnt it stand to reason that Thorton and Fletcher Cox would be redundant peices, with one being more expensive? The starters are Patterson and Dixon, with Dixon, Landri, and Thorton as backups. I presume if Cox gets drafted, either he or Jenkins would be the starter at the 3 Technique, but then it comes down to Landri or Thorton, or neither being retained. If Thorton’s cieling is as high as Cox’s, do you think the Ealges could somewhat do the reverse of the Giants, and have DTs move out to DE, therefore keeping 10 DL, with 6 being more DTish? I would guess the D-line would be: DE: Cole, Babin, Grahm, Hunt; DT: Patterson, Dixon, Landri, Jenkins; DE/DT: Cox, Thorton. Just a line of thinking, anything can happen, including cutting Thorton, trading Patterson, (gasp) cutting Landri.

    Also, just to throw it out there, I think the Eagles sure up LB in free agency and move up to get Maurice Clayborn in the draft. I dont know if a trade that is possible becuase no one wants to move out of position for the Eagles to get him. But it allows the Eagles have DRC on the outside, Nnamdi split time with Clayborn on the outside and have Nnamdi take on the Chuck Woodson role the rest of the snaps. Clayborn is a special talent, in a spot the Ealges value, and if they are sured up through free agency, may be too good to pass up if they can move down to six lets say to get him.



  44. 44 GermanEagle said at 10:57 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    I am not Tommy but I can guarantee you that the Eagles will NOT move up to 6 OVR in order to grab another corner back…

  45. 45 4Who said at 2:34 PM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Thanks. Do you think that becuase you feel Claiborne isnt worth moving up that high, the price is too high, its something the Eagles wouldnt do?


  46. 46 Jim Reynolds said at 11:56 AM on March 2nd, 2012:

    Using the tag works out well for the Eagles if they either sign Djax to a long term deal, or trade him (with likely a 3rd round pick in compensation).

    The only result they don’t want is to pay him the $9M+ guaranteed for one year. The thing is, DeSean doesn’t want that either. Today, he can easily get $20M guaranteed from the Eagles or someone else. If he has a similar or poorer performance as he did in 2011, that value drops. It may not even be his fault. He could miss a couple games from a third concussion. He could have a serious injury that raises questions about his top end speed and general durability. Vick could get hurt early on, and his backup just doesn’t connect with Djax.

    If for some bizarre reason DeSean decides not to sign his tender, it gives the Eagles the opportunity to sign another free agent and rescind the tag. I don’t see that happening. So, there’s plenty of time to get a deal done before mid-July. The big questions are how much are the Eagles willing to pay, and how much will DeSean accept.

    My guess is the Eagles are willing to put up $20M – $25M guaranteed, and DeSean probably wants closer to $30M – $35M. They could also be far apart on total compensation, but I consider that significantly less important than what’s being guaranteed. Throw in an accelerator that hits in year 3 or 4 for making the Pro Bowl, and that should satisfy Djax and Drew.

    Here’s hoping it all works out, sooner rather than later. The downside as a fan is once Djax signs the tender, we can all forget about landing Colston, Vincent Jackson, or another free agent of their caliber. Plaxico Burress is still a possibility of course.

  47. 47 austinfan said at 9:50 AM on March 4th, 2012:

    Speed v SPEED.

    SPEED can be exaggerated, and is also easier to find these days (look at Ford on Oakland).
    However, deep threats don’t need to be fast, Plax was a top deep threat in his younger days running a 4.6, if a WR can win ties, he doesn’t have to outrun CBs.

    Maclin pretty much had a lost 2011 season, but the receiver he reminds me of is Torry Holt.
    Holt was 6’0 190, 4.44 speed when he came into the league, but smoooth route runner who had deceptive speed, to me Maclin is a larger version.

    This needs to be Maclin’s break out season, but with his height and body control, he can be a legitimate deep threat at 6’1 205 now that he’s finally in football shape.