Eagles Notebook

Posted: April 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 38 Comments »

The preseason schedule is out!!!!

Thursday, August 9  … vs. Pittsburgh … . 7:30 pm (6ABC)
Monday, August 20 … at New England … 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Friday, August 24  ….. at Cleveland ……. 7:30 pm (6ABC)
Thursday, Aug 30 ….. vs. New York Jets …  TBD

I can’t wait to see Mike Kafka going against Jason Worilds and the #2 Steelers defense on Aug 9th.  That’ll be awesome.  Who else is stoked?

Okay, the fake enthusiasm is over.  The only real note of interest to me is the short turnaround from Week 2 to Week 3.  That’s just 4 days.  Normally starters play the 1st half of the second preseason game.  Big Red might pull them a bit early.  Week 3 is the key game.  That’s when starters play 3 full quarters.

* * * * *

The big story of the day is the Gregg Williams audio that was released.  Here is the PFT page with all the key links and background info.

I have mixed feelings on the audio.  The stuff about the ACL and the concussion is over the line.  You cannot have that in football.

Most of what is said I have no problem with.  Williams said “Kill the head and the body will die” quite a bit.  This is Football 101.  The phrasing isn’t nice, but the point is that if you knock out the QB, the offense will struggle.  Every single football team in America is hoping to knock out the QB.  You do it with clean, legal, tough, physical hits.  Pound the guy.

Williams talked about hitting Frank Gore.  The way he phrased it wasn’t ideal, but his point was Football 101.  Pound on the RB and try to wear him down.  Discourage him from fighting for yards.

Good defenses do want to punish offensive players.  Hit them over and over and over.  Football is a brutal, physical game.  Trying to injure players is flat out wrong.  What makes all of this so bad is that the NFL told the Saints to knock it off a couple of years back.  The Saints ignored that and it was business as usual.  Because of that, those coaches and players deserve whatever punishment they get (after the appeals are over).  If a cop gives you a warning…heed it.  The NFL did warn them and the Saints were so arrogant they didn’t listen at all.

* * * * *

We know Demetress Bell is the LT for 2012.  What is his future here?

Right now I think Bell is a 1-year player for us.  The team would cut him and let him hit the market in hopes of landing a true long term deal for good money.

There are x-factors.  If Jason Peters has some problems with his rehab, Bell could stay here as the LT.  Depending on what the contract numbers truly are, it is possible that Bell could stay here as the swing tackle.  King Dunlap just signed a 1-year deal.  This is an unlikely scenario, but it is possible.

If Bell somehow plays absolutely lights out, it is possible the team could try to squeeze him into the 2013 lineup.  Put him at RG or RT maybe.  This is another unlikely scenario.  It is fun to speculate on what might happen, but really the most likely outcome is Bell being here for a season and then hitting the market again.

* * * * *

Someone raised the question of whether Evan Mathis performance would go down without Jason Peters beside him.  First, this is a major insult to Mathis.  Ask him and he’ll tell you that he’s our best player.  And sexiest.  The only reason he hasn’t cured cancer is that Katy Perry hasn’t told him to yet.  His life is devoted to doing whatever Katy Perry and Howard Mudd tell him.  I can’t comment on what the 3 of them did in the hot tub at the Palomino Motel.

Mathis did benefit from playing beside Peters last year, but let’s not sell Mathis short.  He was a star O-lineman at Alabama, starting 38 games.  He was great at the 2005 Combine.  He was picked in the middle of the 3rd round in 2005.  Mathis wasn’t a bad player before Philly.  He simply hadn’t found a home (right place, right time).  Mathis should play at a high level this year and Demetress Bell should benefit from playing beside him.

* * * * *

Someone asked about the Eagles having interest in Glenn Dorsey next year.  All depends on the draft.  If we take a pass rushing DT, then Dorsey probably won’t be high on our radar.  If we aren’t able to land a pass rusher, Dorsey could be an ideal fit.

We also need to see how Cullen Jenkins plays.  He was terrific in 2011.  I’m assuming we’ll see another good year from him.

* * * * *

Now that we’ve signed Demetress Bell, when do we sign Yeremiah Bell?

Good question.  The free agent market has gotten very quiet.  The Dolphins did sign FA Tyrell Johnson, so that means Bell won’t be going back there.  The Eagles may have made an offer to Bell and he’s just looking around to see what else is out there.  Maybe the Eagles have only lukewarm interest and are waiting until after the draft.  Hard to say what’s going on at this point.

Right now teams have the upper hand.  Veteran players have minimal offers in place, but are hoping something better comes along.  Trevor Laws and Derek Landri are still sitting on the street.  Both players have interested teams, but this is a buyer’s market and the players don’t like the deals on the table.  Sit. Wait. Hope.

The one good side to this…when Landri does get on the field, he’s going to be in a bad mood.  Somebody is going to pay the price.

* * * * *

It was sad to find out that former Dallas STs coach Joe Avezzano died.  We all hated the Cowboys, but he always seemed like a good guy.  He was very animated and a fun guy to watch.  Good football coach who worked all over the place.  RIP.


  • austinfan

    One thing to consider is Peters may not make it back 100%, given his age.

    But at 80-90% he’d still be a pro bowl caliber OG or RT, but might struggle at LT where his lack of height and average arm length would make him vulnerable to any loss of lateral mobility.
    So Bell is also an insurance policy, Watkins is cheap enough to sit on the bench for a year or two and Peters to start at RG.

    Meanwhile, look for some athletes to get drafted late in the draft and stashed for a year of camp Mudd, where they learn that “Got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues, and you know it don’t come easy”

  • jayanglada

    Tommy —
    I’m puzzled by the Eagles’ lack of interest in Hawthorne and Dunbar as our SAM LB. I haven’t seen the summaries of either deal, but I have to believe they would have been affordable.

    Since it doesn’t appear that the Eagles showed any pursuit of either player, it would seem that 1. they thought both players were lacking as pass defenders, or 2. they consider that there will be sufficient quality opportunities in the first three rounds of the draft, or 3.–heaven forbid–they’ve talked themselves into satisfaction with Chaney/Fokou/Jordan.

    Since they took a pass on Hawthorne and Dunbar, and assuming they’re looking to fill SAM from the draft, they may be suggesting an emphasis on SAM pass defense. If that’s likely, would that imply a particular interest in Zach Brown and Lavonte David vs. a more run-oriented LB such as Wagner or Kendricks?

    • TommyLawlor

      It may be as simple as the Eagles having fallen in love with a couple of draft prospects. The addition of DeMeco Ryans in the middle gives the team freedom to add another young LB to the mix. The key is that the LB would need to be picked in the first 3 rounds. That way you’re likely adding a guy with enough talent to be an upgrade.

      I still think Luke Kuechly is in play at 15.

      Bobby Wagner had a great Pro Day and could be a 2nd round target. Shea McClellin is still a possibility. Maybe Lavonte David is the guy. I also wonder if the team sees Demario Davis as a SAM.

      And Zach Brown remains the real mystery guy. I have no clue if the Eagles like him or not. He would be a great cover guy. Can they teach him to tackle?

      Wagner is a solid cover guy. Just didn’t get to do a ton of it at Utah State. Mychal Kendricks isn’t a SAM target. He’s a MLB or WLB. Wagner is short at 6-0, but has 32 1/2 arms. Kendricks is just 5-11. Arms are 31 5/8, but that’s just too small for SAM.

      • Arby1

        Isn’t Shea, at 260 lbs., more of a 3 – 4 guy?

        • TommyLawlor

          He was 248 at Senior Bowl and played WLB.

          257 at the Combine. Bulked up to impress 3-4 teams. Can adjust his body to scheme. Makes me jealous. I just go up.

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

            Hah! I could “adjust my body to scheme” when I was 22/23 too.

      • nopain23

        I’m glad we passed on Dunbar and Hawthorne.those guys were more run stoppers than cover guys.most draft profiles mention Luke as the best cover LB to come out of college in years and dude can tackled.Juan..a former LB should be chewing Andy’s ear off lobbying for Luke.Luke in the 1st and Boykins in the 2nd…man iggles could have the best LB core and DB core in the league.Rolle-Ryans-Kuechly…Nmamdi-Boykins(slot)-DRC….

  • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

    I was going to give Gregg Williams a pass. All that talk about affecting the head and turning the head is classic strategy stuff and I’m a big fan of war strategists like Sun Tzu and Liddell Hart. But then he went way over the line. The ACL talk was obviously wrong. And when he talked about “touching” the head and “hitting” the head, all that strategy-like “affecting the head” stuff started to sound an awful lot like he was just saying “whack him in the head”.

    I’m all for big hits. But you can’t instruct people to hurt another player. It’s a game. Sometimes people forget that.

    Also, that stuff about doing “whatever it takes”. Sports people, politicians, corporations – they all use that kind of talk and I’ve never liked it. I’m going to give Williams a pass on that, but it’s just plain wrong. You don’t do “whatever it takes” in sports or politics or business or even war. There are rules. You stay within the rules. For example, cheating is not and never should be part of the game. Neither should injuring another player. I don’t want to go too far down this path so let me just leave it at that.

    • Arby1

      Well said and Amen!

  • Thunder_lips

    To me, the Saints outrage seems a little over the top. If this audio leaked three years ago, half the teams in the league would wish Williams was their DC (including the Eagles).

    I know times are changing, but we can’t pretend we all are innocent in this (from Goodell to the fans).

    • TommyLawlor

      Agreed, but again…this speech was given at a time when we know about concussions and the need for player safety. And the Saints had been told by the NFL to stop this stuff.

      If we were listening to the talk prior to the 2009 NFC title game, it would be a completely different story. Timing is everything in this case.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47904149 Liam Garrett

        From what I’ve read, the NFL, on top of previous warnings, even sent the Saints a “final warning” just the week before Williams’s speech.

      • Thunder_lips

        The best part of all the audio was the repeated “we never apologize for the way we compete,” “never apologize,” “we don’t apologize for how we play.”

        Smash cut to Williams and the entire Saints organization repeatedly apologizing for the bounties and begging for forgiveness.

    • Cvd52

      I agree. I think eagles d could use some of that. Just take out the acl part. That clip got me amped. I loved that, make him make a decision stuff.

      U don’t think desean comes up in every pre game speech, talkin about make desean make a decision, hit him every chance u get. And I’m sure that effects desean. That’s why I don’t care when he dances his azz off when he beats someone.

      • iskar36

        I hear a lot of people saying, “I don’t mind what Williams said, just take out the ACL part or the concussion part,” but I think that’s the point. The ACL and the concussion part WAS part of the speech. I think that’s the point he crossed the line. I want my defense to hit hard and make offensive players think twice before crossing the middle, or make the QB nervous while in the pocket, or make the running back run to the sidelines rather than fight for the extra yard. All of that is good football. But all of that should be accomplished in the weight room and sound football, not by aiming to hurt a players career. The stuff about touching the head any chance you get, that is appalling. That is going beyond sound football and is simply dirty football.

        • Cvd52

          i guess ur right. u cant ake that part out of it. i just want some toughness to come out of that eagle d. i just never imagin the eagles d getting a speech like that (minus the acl concuss stuff). i think s macdermont gave speeches like that.

  • Cliff

    Jason Worilds… HOKIE!

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Previously known as Jason Adjepong or chokie

  • Håkan Sandström

    “I can’t wait to see Mike Kafka going against Jason Worilds and the #2 Steelers defense on Aug 9th. That’ll be awesome. Who else is stoked?”

    Im always stoked on Kafka. Eagerly awaiting the transformation… :P

    • P_P_K

      In all seriousness, I AM looking forward to seeing Kafka on the field. We’ll hopefully get a clue to the kid’s potential and his possible furute with the Birds.

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

        Totally agree. I’m looking forward to seeing him play. Liked his work in college and think we’ve seen enough to have reason to believe he may be able to play in the NFL. Obviously he’s thrown some picks, but he looks strong and confident in the pocket (from my observation).

  • JC2K

    I’d guess that any deal with Landri or Laws will wait until after the draft… dependent on if they draft a DT. I do hope they bring back Landri. They probably offered him a 1 year low value deal. He fits into Philly really good! In the interview he did on PE.com with Spadaro he basically said he was straight-up pissed that he was cut… interesting mock draft with the trade to NE at 31. Mock drafts are fun but that’s one thing you can’t account for – trades. The 1st 5 or 6 picks are probably accurate but after that who knows… this site is so much better than PE.com… bunch of mouth-breathers & knuckle-draggers over there ;-) Go Tommy!

  • nopain23

    Tommy

    How about a post on SAM position? I personally think LK40 is the best option right now..but I also really like Lavonte….he’s definitely a playmaker.can tackle..with a great POP when he hits someone.has cover ability too….he would definitely be a huge upgrade over chaney

  • T_S_O_P

    How do they come up with the off-season schedule? Does it always finish with the Jets?

  • DCEagelsfan

    Wouldn’t Bell now be considered an ‘asset” and if he plays well and Peters returns ready the Eagles could trade him?

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Depends on his play. If he plays well at LT, he may be worth bringing back because you don’t know how well Peters will play. I think he could have good trade value depending on his play. His contract is reasonable, non guaranteed after this year and he’s still young (28)

  • Eagles1991

    Tommy:

    Sorry it’s taken a moment to reply. I’ve been it a bit of a chocolate pudding stupor and I’m sure Megan has you doing plenty of chores around the house. When you have a free moment, could you please tell us where you think the Kuechly one ranks amongst MLB’s drafted over the past ten years. I know that is a large sample size but I would certainly appreciate it if you could address that.

    Long live T-Law! Just took the Thursday, Friday of draft weekend off work and I have a case of PBR…in the BOTTLES…..going first class that weekend!

  • mlopy

    Great stuff as always Tommy, much appreciated in this time with no football.

    If, for some reason, we don’t get Boykin what other potential slot corners would be a good fit for the Eagles? Are late round/FA Robert Golden(Arizona) or mid rounder Mike Harris(Florida State) possible eagle picks?

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

    “Williams said “Kill the head and the body will die” quite a bit. This is Football 101. The phrasing isn’t nice, but the point is that if you knock out the QB, the offense will struggle.”

    No. Nonononono. He did not just say “kill the head the body will die.” He said “We have a lot of heads out here,” and then specifically told his guys to go hit them in their chins and temples. I played football myself up into college. You preach hard hits. You don’t point at the screen, at the guy’s chin, and say hit him here. You don’t say we want Frank Gore’s head turned sideways so we can hit him in the side of the head. You don’t say to keep hitting him in the head when he’s in the pile, which IS what he meant by all that “effect the head stuff”–he’s telling his guys to keep smacking and punching and hitting the player in the head under the pile to make him disoriented and woozy and worsen any concussive symptoms. I’ve never heard anything remotely approaching that in football, not even in Buddy Ryan’s Oilers playbook where he has that screed about punishing QBs.

    That was like the Col. Kurtz monologue of football speeches. If I ever write a story or play with a sadisitic, sociopath football coach, I’m lifting his words verbatim.

    • TommyLawlor

      “That was like the Col. Kurtz monologue of football speeches. If I ever write a story or play with a sadisitic, sociopath football coach, I’m lifting his words verbatim.”

      Funny, but a good point as well.

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

        Thanks!

        I wonder if we’re all seeing the same tape of the comments. The one I saw (heard. really) on YouTube was edited to about 5 minutes, but came from the source of the recording. It was pretty damning.

        Apparently this was caught by a journalist the Saints were allowing to cover the team for the year for a longform documentary.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I wonder how guys like Jon Vilma felt, hearing the kind of “hit him in the head” talk about his former ‘Cane teammate Frank Gore? A lot of these guys display some fraternity based on their college affiliations, does Vilma’s acceptance of Williams’ rhetoric indicate that, indeed, it is just bravado, designed to fire up the defense before the game? What happens if they actually do blow out Crabtree’s ACL? I can’t imagine in any context that the post locker room speech would be celebrating such an injury–these guys know that they’re all basically one nasty ACL tear away from the end of their career

    Never having been in a professional football locker room getting ready to defend for an NFC Championship, I have no idea how out of the ordinary or over the top Williams’ speech was. I can’t believe that the NFL would accept him offering money and talking about injuring players, though. I’ve got to believe that they’ll make an example of him, however common this kind of language is behind the scenes.

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

      Hearing him talk about “little number 10″ and testing his concussions sent chills down my spine.

  • IowaEagle
    • Donald Kalinowski

      Iowa the new BYU

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      wonderful, a pro day prodigy. Can’t say I know too much about him,. but I hope they don’t do something like reach for this guy in the second round (Jaiquan Jarrek).

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

    As a shepherd separates the sheep and the goats, so we must trust that Mr Goodell and his staff are capable of separating those who seek to keep the game of football within the limits of it’s original intent apart from those who seek to break the rules to their own advantage to the detriment of others.

  • nopain23

    Tommy
    Any news on Asante?…I’m seeing all these lower tier guys get signed in the past few days.what’s the hold up?…dude’s one of the top CB’s in the league.are teams scared off by his contract or what? Iggles need that salary cap rm to lock up shady and maclin .no?