Eagles Notebook

Posted: May 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

Lots of links today.  Some hack wrote about the WR corps for PE.com.  It really is going to be interesting to see which of the guys at the bottom of the WR group step up and push for roster spots and/or playing time.

It is possible that none of them will step up and the Eagles will have to look around the league.  During the preseason the Eagles have scouts watching every game and grading players.  Depending on how things go from May through early August, WR could be a position that is focused on.

The top 3 spots are set.  If Cooper and McNutt are at least solid, that gives us 5.  The 6th spot is the one that is wide freaking open.

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Speaking of hacks, Jimmy Bama has a good post on LeSean McCoy’s snaps.  That number is too high.  The Eagles need to mix in more of the backup RBs.  One thing did occur to me…rather than focusing on “a backup” it could be that Andy Reid is wanting to do more of a RB by committee approach.  Shady still will get 85 to 90 of the touches, but Dion Lewis/Bryce Brown/Chris Polk would get mixed in situationally.  Last year it was Shady, Ronnie, and Dion for a play or two.  Since we don’t have a clear #2 runner, spread the snaps more evenly among the backups.

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Want to feel good about the Eagles?

Dave Spadaro caught up with Jaws for a quick interview on what he thinks about the team.  Good stuff, as you would expect.

Greg Cosell is writing some draft reviews.  He covered the Eagles and Bengals in his latest installment.  Remember that Greg isn’t a normal draftnik/scout/analyst.  He studies tape and writes reviews purely based on that.  He’s not into 40 times or character issues or stuff like that.

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A couple of former Eagles got elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.  LB Mark Simoneau was never a fan favorite in Philly, but he was a great college player.  He was a ton of fun to watch at Kansas State.  He had 52 career TFLs and made a lot of plays.

Ty Detmer is also in.  I’m not sure many of you can understand how important he was as a college player.  Detmer set all kinds of records at BYU, but he wasn’t playing in the spread offense that we see today.  He was throwing the ball all over the field.  He led the Cougars to a huge upset over Miami.  Little BYU beating the mighty Canes?  That was a shocker.  We see kids today throwing for 450 yards and 5 TDs almost every week.  It used to mean something back in Detmer’s day.  There were other BYU QBs who put up big numbers, but Detmer’s were the biggest.

I also don’t think you can fully appreciate him as an Eagle unless you lived through the early 90s.  The Eagles QB play ranged from erratic to awful after the 1990 season.  Cunningham had some great moments in 1992, 93, and 94, but at other times was putrid.  The backups of 1991 and then 1993 were painful to watch.  Bubby Brister scarred my soul.  And he wasn’t close to being the worst.

Rodney Peete took over in 1995 and led the Eagles to the playoffs.  He did that with toughness and leadership.  He wasn’t a pretty passer.

Rodney started off in 1996 and did look much better.  Jon Gruden had made good progress with him.  I can still remember a simple pass play from the 1996 season opener vs WAS.  Rodney faked a handoff and then wheeled around and hit Chris T. Jones on a slant.  I’d never seen the play before, but it was executed so well that I was blown away.  The 1995 Eagles moved the ball on screen passes, runs, and luck.  Suddenly the 1996 bunch looked like a real NFL offense.  Then Peete tore up his knee in a MNF game vs Dallas.  Enter Ty Detmer.

Ty led the Eagles on a comeback and got the team near the Red Zone, only trailing by 4.  Unfortunately he had taken a brutal hit on the final drive and suffered a concussion.  Detmer would not leave the field.  The problem is that he was in the huddle calling out BYU plays to his Eagles teammates.  As you would imagine, the drive did not end well.

Detmer played well in subsequent starts.  He threw for 329 yards vs the Panthers and broke a string of 37 straight games without a 300-yard passing performance.  Can you imagine that?  Detmer was 7-4 as a starter.  The Eagles were 4th in the NFL in passing yards, thanks in part to Detmer and Jones and Irving Fryar.  The highlight was a 31-21 win in Dallas when Fryar got the best of Deion Sanders (9-120-1).

Detmer started half of 1997, but things weren’t the same.  Jones got hurt early and Detmer couldn’t find the magic of the previous year.  He did play some in CLE, but was never again a good starter.  It seems silly in retrospect, but there was a period during the good run of 1996 that I thought maybe we’d found our QB.  Detmer wasn’t going to be a franchise savior type, but he was a good passer and that is something the Eagles had lacked for a while.  Ty, thanks for the 11 game stretch.  That was a lot of fun.

Art Monk is going into the HOF as well.  He played with the Eagles in 1995, but he’s not an Eagle.  He’s a Redskin.

John Wooten is going in as well.  He was a OG in college/NFL, but served as a personnel executive in Philly.  He didn’t make a ton of great decisions, but he was part of the family for a few years so we congratulate him on getting in.

52 Comments on “Eagles Notebook”

  1. 1 NoDecaf said at 12:29 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Tommy, I don’t wish to be a Negadelphian or contrarian but I think the Eagles not pushing Avant with direct competition will come back to bite them. Not devastatingly so, but maybe insofar as to tip them over the edge offensively. I do realize this is the best WR corp we have had in a generation or so though. I just want the Birds to be as close to perfect as possible.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:37 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I think the Eagles wanted competition for him. Problem was that they spent picks elsewhere. Vinny Curry was too good to pass up. The Eagles really liked Nick Foles. Brandon Boykin can be a key player this year. Now you’re down in the 5th round.

    I would expect WR to be high on the draft list in 2013, unless Coop, McNutt, and/or someone else emerges.

  3. 3 ian_no_2 said at 1:23 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    They have guys in camp who can play the slot, but I don’t see the reason to use a draft pick just for ‘competition.’ Isn’t Avant a highly motivated player? You use a pick for a slot receiver when you want to replace him on the roster. I don’t think Avant is anywhere near done yet.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 2:22 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Has nothing to do with him being “done”. We’re talking about upgrade. Avant is a pure slot receiver. Too slow to start. No RS skills. Pure slot guy. You’d love to replace him with someone who was fast enough to start or could also be a RS. Jason remains a very good slot receiver.

  5. 5 ian_no_2 said at 5:01 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    No, I don’t think Avant should be a wideout. The #4 or #5 guy should be the backup wideout and the RS. You can carry four receivers on a 46 man active roster if Boykin or Cliff Harris is not returning punts.

  6. 6 ian_no_2 said at 5:08 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I like that the Eagles signed vets long term this year. Safety is a concern for them. Slot receiver is not, because they have one heckuva slot guy who works his tail off and can come through in a big playoff game given another chance.

  7. 7 Mac said at 4:30 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    If the Eagles wanted a stone cold lock upgrade they could have found a way to get Wes Welker or one of the innumerable WR signed by NE… then again I think Plax is still out there and Ochostinko is a lock to be available before the season starts.

    Personally I would have liked the team to get Plax before the draft, but I assume their talent evaluators have a better idea of what’s going on than I do.

  8. 8 D3FB said at 12:41 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Are any of the OTAs at least full uppers? Or are they just helmets and shorts?

  9. 9 Sam Lynch said at 1:02 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    The new CBA does not allow more than what we saw in rookie camp. Nor, in fact, did prior CBAs. Full pads have generally been forbidden prior to training camp.

  10. 10 D3FB said at 2:17 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Thanks I was just curious as even with just the addition of shoulder pads but no pants you can start too get a much better sense for some of the interior guys.

  11. 11 Sam Lynch said at 3:33 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Here are the official rules governing minicamps, with text directly from the CBA:

    • No live contact is permitted.
    • No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted).
    • No pads except protective knee or elbow pads. Helmets are permitted.
    • 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills will be permitted, providing no live contact takes place.

  12. 12 TheRogerPodacter said at 1:22 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    nice read, tommy. i only barely remember the days of ty detmer (thats about when i started watching the birds). i think an occasional history lesson similar to this would be great stuff to read!

  13. 13 ian_no_2 said at 1:27 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    My WR depth chart (not the team’s) would be DJax, Maclin, Avant, Damaris Johnson, with Cooper and McNutt fighting for a spot, and others (Hall, R. Johnson) challenging Damaris for the WR/RS spot, with a possible 6th based on the whole roster. I am concerned about Gilyear and Boykin muffing kicks.

  14. 14 miked718 said at 1:45 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Bubby Brister, that’s about the time I realized not all professional athletes are Marinos and Elways and Whites. Thanks for the reality check Bubby!

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 2:23 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    That’s funny. Glad Bubby could be a good lesson for you.

  16. 16 Brett Smith said at 4:45 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I thought Bubby was brilliant at stealing paychecks and the dream of a SB.

  17. 17 Yuri said at 2:28 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I think if we are doing Bubby Brister references here… I got to take a trip down memory lane–this was a crazy meaningless game I sadly watched on TV at the time.

    My first live NFL game was PHI vs CLE earlier that year. Before the game I scalped some tickets (for I think $40) for the Vet with a college buddy who was a rabid Browns fan (I supported the home team but did not really root for the Eagles then, though they, along with SF and BUF, were really good in Tecmo Superbowl that I played quite a bit in those days).

    Both Eagles and Browns were 7-2 at the time, and the Eagles decisively lost the first of what turned out to be a 7-game losing streak to end the season. The Browns were for real and have not had a season that good since! I really rooted for Cleveland to beat Dallas later that year (which was one of the more exciting games I ever saw)

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 4:09 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Horrible day. Byron Evans broke his leg/tore up his knee and never played again.

  19. 19 Brett Smith said at 4:45 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Stop. I had forgotten that season all together.

  20. 20 Dominic Machado said at 2:36 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Tommy, you should thank Ty for coming back to earth in 1997, we finally got to see our future franchise qb, Bobby Hoying. He showed us something in ’97 and then really built on that with a stellar ’98 season! That’s the real reason why we booed McNabb, we wanted more Bobby Hoying.

  21. 21 Håkan Sandström said at 4:03 PM on May 16th, 2012:


  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 4:10 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Bobby Hoying looked great for 3 weeks. Losing Gruden killed his career.

  23. 23 Matt Hoover said at 12:40 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    But why didn’t Hoying rekindle his good playing when he landed with Gruden in Oakland after we cut him?

  24. 24 GermanEagle said at 2:50 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Speaking of Ty: I’ve still got his jersey. May one it’s because I was in Philly with my parents back then when I was on holiday. Same with Bobby Tailors No. 21. Good old times…

  25. 25 Brian Winings said at 3:36 PM on May 16th, 2012:


    Do you think the Eagles would have been able to resist drafting Mohamed Sanu instead of Nick Foles if he had fallen a few more picks and both of them had been available at their 3rd round pick? Or do you think they were dead-set on taking either Russell Wilson/Foles with that pick and once the Seahawks took Wilson they had to take Foles?

    I was a bit frustrated that the Eagles didn’t make an effort to snatch up Sanu as he continued to drop deeper into the 3rd and seemed like more and more of a value pick which lined up with what I thought was a position of need.

    That being said, I was screaming for Boykin at that point as well and could not have been happier that he was still somehow available for their 4th rounder.

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 4:11 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I haven’t heard anything on whether the Eagles liked Sanu or not. I sure did, but they don’t always agree with me. I get the feeling the Andy really wanted Foles and they’d have gone with him even with Sanu on the board.

  27. 27 austinfan said at 4:00 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I think people grossly underestimate Cooper’s upside. He’s a guy who missed spring practice every year for baseball until his senior season, the only year he started in college (he was a 3rd rd pick as a OF by the Phillies coming out of HS). No offseason, then he’s the forgotten man the first half, 9 games, 3 throws in games 8 and 9, no catches. Maclin goes down, Cooper starts, puts up 13 27 240 1 TD in 3 games with VY as the QB. Rest of the season he catches 3 of 5 throws for 75 yards.

    Now he needs work, better routes, better use of his body, more consistency catching the ball, but he made two “flash” plays that stand out, the beautiful over the shoulder catch in full stride and the jump ball where he took it away from three defenders – showing the ability to high point. That’s why this is a key offseason for him, time to step up. The talent is there, just have to show it on a regular basis, and that’s where mastering the little things count.

    He’s 6’3 222 lbs, had a 6.73 cone (which is outstanding for a guy his size), long arms.
    And great hair.

  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 4:12 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I agree that Riley has good potential. I was hoping he’d make a big jump last year. This year is huge.

    And his hair is fantastic.

  29. 29 ian_no_2 said at 5:05 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    There’s a lot of WRs with flashes of talent and physical ability. The hair was home watching Green Bay in the Super Bowl, because the hair lacked the ‘sophomore in college instincts’ to play the ball against them. The hair watched the playoffs at home last year.

  30. 30 ian_no_2 said at 5:13 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I’d hope that watching Casey Matthews start as a rookie at MIKE would automatically activate a one year moratorium on invoking hair.

  31. 31 Arby1 said at 4:36 PM on May 17th, 2012:

    Riley Cooper’s hair is great but I’m looking for it to make big progress this year. Personally, I’m pulling for a MadMen’s January Jones-like flip…. but not sure how he feels about curlers.

  32. 32 Eric Weaver said at 4:02 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I still have my Ty Detmer jersey in my basement.

    Fun fact: A buddy and I had a Mormon English teacher in high school. We used to wear our Detmers much to her delight. Of course she always rambled on about how her daughter dated the BYU kicker. Like, who cares? Totally!

  33. 33 Mac said at 4:03 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Holy Moses… LeSean had 50 more snaps than Ray Rice and 100 more than MJD. A lot of the other guys on this list had nasty injuries that limited availability like Gore and Foster.

    I don’t want to see LeSean’s career end prematurely, but is this slightly blown out of proportion given the fact that the Eagles are such a pass happy team? One of these rookies had best step up and learn how to block to take away some of those low quality “snaps” from LeSean.

  34. 34 GeorgeFleep said at 5:56 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    But Shady does not get thrashed around as much as Ray Rice. I like the idea of a backup running back committee. Especially until someone shines far past the others. I think Brown could be a PS guy because he hasnt played football in about 2 years.

    I still think people that say Havili has FB pos to lose is ridiculous. He has competition just not the same type of players as he is. I am really interested by TE out of UMASS. What do the eagles think of him. Would he also be a practice squad guy as a FB. Never new a time eagles had so much competition for RB and FB.

  35. 35 D3Keith said at 12:04 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    I don’t think you can stash Brown on the PS — remember anytime can sign those guys away at any time.

    Polk or Havili could survive on the PS. Brown would get snatched, and Lewis I believe was active for too many games.

  36. 36 Mac said at 10:10 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    I agree, there are too many teams who prize RB more than we do, and will want to roll the dice on Brown at no cost.

  37. 37 Mac said at 10:06 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    Yeah I am glad we have competition at those spots. Owen Schmidt didn’t really do anything to impress me. I am pulling for Igwenagu to win the FB job.

    I am projecting the depth chart to be McCoy, Lewis, Brown and try to sneak Polk on to the PS (and maybe Havili onto PS again)

  38. 38 Brian Pillion said at 4:17 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Another reason to watch out for Mardy Gilyard: low expectation Bearcats have a propensity to sneak up on sleeping Eagles.

  39. 39 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:09 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I know I am crazy when I am already looking at possible draft targets at slot WR… But I can’t help myself.

    I want Sammy Watkins in 2014 🙂

  40. 40 Jack Bauer said at 5:57 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Can we pass the hat around to get Tommy and Sam tickets?


    You will be required to wear a jersey to ensure this awkward awesomeness


  41. 41 Jack Bauer said at 6:05 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    HAHA $90 a pop, that’s it? I will buy you both tickets if you’ll go

  42. 42 Cliff said at 9:07 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    F Tommy! I’m buying this for myself. LOL

  43. 43 D3Keith said at 12:09 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    A guy from BGN went one year and wrote a pretty good report on it:


    I swear JimmyK and GreenInBaltimore from BGN went to it a few years ago too, but I might be confusing that with the Philadelphia Soul open tryouts.

  44. 44 GeorgeFleep said at 6:03 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    With Casey Mathews up to 250. I get that he needed the weight to shed blocks. But does that mean that the Eagles would like him to play a certain position over the other. Like would the eagles have plans with him to be WLB because that position requires more weight for example?

  45. 45 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 6:30 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    Where have you heard about his added weight? I heard Maclin saying in an interview that he was up to 205.And that Havili is up to 248, and Hunt to 260. I would love it, if PE.com updated players weight, but I think it’s just their rookie weight that stays on the page.

    Players that need added weight include Jarret and Kelce. I think I may have heard that Kelce is up to 305, but I’m not sure.

    Does anyone know if players weight is written down somewhere?

  46. 46 Jack Bauer said at 7:41 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    To answer your question: Matthews up to 250 per PE.com


  47. 47 GeorgeFleep said at 7:49 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    I think Jarret was in the same category as Marsh and Vick for going to Novacare a lot during the offseason.

  48. 48 Allen3000 said at 7:18 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    The fact that Tommy Frazier still has not been inducted into the college HOF makes it pretty meaningless to me. He was quite possibly the best QB/leader in college football over the past 25 years. Detmer’s stats were lengendary, but Frazier was the much better college QB. He was the best player on quite possibly the best college football team of the past 50 years. And I hate Nebraska, but his omission from the HOF makes it meaningless to me.

    And Mark Simoneau over Derrick Thomas or Rocket Ismail or Orlando Pace or Derrick Thomas? LMAO.

  49. 49 TommyLawlor said at 9:00 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    One thing to keep in mind…the CF-HOF only puts in one guy from a given school in a given year. That way they don’t load up on USC or LSU or Bama guys. I’m sure that’s why some great players aren’t in yet.

  50. 50 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:26 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    On an unrelated note:
    There are stories on PFT and ESPN.com saying that the Eagles have “amicably” discussed reducing Jason Peters’ salary this year the amount that they are paying Bell to replace him. I’m glad to hear it is “amicable” but doesn’t this risk alienating him as a player and also sending a message to everyone else on the team that it’s not worth the risk of working out at home during the offseason because if you do you could be docked salary for the year?

    And, if they do dock him that pay, do they get the money back under the cap? If not, it doesn’t really seem worth it to me (easy to say since it’s not my $3M). Why risk alienating one of your best players and setting a precedent that might negatively impact other players’ work ethic?

  51. 51 D3Keith said at 12:11 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    Apparently they’re entitled to not pay him his salary at all, so the fact that they just want to throw 3.5 D-Bell’s way, and give the other 4.4 mil to JP still is probably a decent compromise.

    They must get the cap benefit.

  52. 52 Gregory Post said at 8:32 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    In regards to your WR column : “Maclyn sux”