The Eagles officially signed LT Demetress Bell today. He held his PC and met the media. I didn’t have a chance to see every bit of it, but seemed fairly typical. Bell said that Jason Peters did a big time sales job on him. JP wanted Bell here so the team can make the Super Bowl push. I love the fact that Jason is that fired up about a season in which he’s unlikely to play. Bell and Peters played together for a year in Buffalo so they do have history.
Peters also stressed to Bell that Howard Mudd is a guy he should want to play for. Bell didn’t come out and say it, but I hope Jason made it clear that Mudd will be tough on him. Bell thinks his best football is ahead of him. He mentioned his need for coaching so I like where his head is at. Mudd won’t do you any good if you aren’t willing to listen and work.
Bell talked about the fact that in Buffalo he was taking vertical pass sets. Here in Philly that will change. Mudd will have him going out wide and also firing off the ball. This is really important.
Watch this: Bell vs Patriots
The biggest issue with Bell is his ability to drop back and anchor. He is too high and gets pushed back more than he should. This won’t happen as much in the Mudd system. The player goes forward or moves laterally. The other system has the OT retreating and letting the pass rusher initiate contact. The rusher has momentum and is able to move the blocker back.
Bell has good feet. That’s critical. Coaches can’t teach that. You have good feet or you don’t. Coaches can work on technique, but raw skills are something you just have. Bell needs to play with better pad level. Part of the problem is that as he does the kick slide to move back, he lets his body get too high. In the Mudd system he won’t be doing the kick slide so much and that should help him to stay lower.
Bell has good natural strength. When he bends his knees and keeps his butt down, he can be a good pass blocker. He anchors pretty well in those instances. This is a case where Bell can do something. He needs to do it consistently. Good coaching and hard work can make a tremendous difference in this situation.
Bell is good when coming off the ball on run plays. I’m sure Mudd likes what he sees there. Mudd will let him do some of that on pass plays and that is where a player can start to thrive. He gets to be aggressive. It builds his confidence. I think it also helps with technique. Since the player is being proactive, he controls what happens. When a blocker reacts to the rusher, he can be sloppy and develop bad habits. This was an issue for Bell. In the few videos I’ve posted, you can see Bell jump at times. Not good. There is literally no reason an OT should ever jump in pass pro. Once a 311-pound guy gets off his feet, he has no strength. He becomes a giant blocking dummy that defenders can toss aside with ease.
I like what I’m seeing and hearing from Bell. The hard part will be him learning the new system and then putting it into place on the field. Some guys get it instantly. Others take time. My fingers are crossed that he’ll be a quick learner.
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The Bell signing is a home run if for no other reason than to hear him say “Coach Mudd”.
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The Eagles hosted DT Dontari Poe at NovaCare today. Apparently Jim Washburn was walking down a hall with him and saw the media. Jim started to turn, but realized that everyone had seen them.
Jim jokingly said that it was Fletcher Cox.
Color me confused on that. Did Wash just make an odd joke? Was he making fun of all the reports about how much we want to draft Cox? Was he trying to keep the Eagles interest in Dontari Poe a secret? Who knows…
As to Poe, he is a super talented prospect. The Eagles are checking him out as thoroughly as possible to figure out just how much they do OR don’t like him. Poe’s game tape isn’t what it should have been. Still…you don’t pass on a guy with his potential lightly. You make dead sure that you’re comfortable with letting him go elsewhere. It would be lazy scouting to say “He wasn’t great in college so we’ll pass”.
DeMarcus Ware was a very good college player. He’s a great NFL player. JPP was a good college player. It looks like he’s going to be a great NFL player (gotta see multiple years of that to be sure). Poe was a wildly inconsistent college player, but he’s got the potential to be a really good NFL player. Is he coachable? How would he handle playing with NFL guys around him? Would facing NFL competition bring out the best in him? And so on.
I do not think the Eagles will go for Poe. I do think they are being smart by checking him out. It also provides good smokescreen material. If Cox and Kuechly are gone at 15 and Poe is on the board, there may be someone below us that wants to trade up. They need to believe we have interest in him for that to work.
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Matt Alkire posted a 2-round mock draft over at ScoutsNotebook.
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For those of you not on Twitter…what the heck is wrong with you? More to the point, there was some joking going on last night between me, Reuben Frank, and some fans. At one point, a fan claimed to have gotten an autographed picture of Max Jean-Gilles for Christmas. The fan then posted a link. This is so special that I had to share it.
As Roobs pointed out, his name is mis-spelled on the b&w photo. Classic. Greatest gift of the 21st century. We should all bask in its glory.
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I know I missed some questions from the previous post. I’ll address them later tonight. Last night I was busy studying draft prospects and didn’t want to get into any in-depth Eagles discussions. Draft is getting closer.