Kurt & Nate

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 40 Comments »

Nate Allen was a role player at the beginning of the 2011 season as the team tried to take it easy on his knee.  He didn’t actually start until the 10/2 game vs SF.

Kurt Coleman did start the 2011 season, but was benched for a few games due to … how can I put this… less than Hall of Fame level play.  Kurt regained his starting job on the 10/16 game vs WAS.

Kurt and Nate were the starting Safety tandem for 9 games.  The team went 6-3.

at WAS … 20-13, W
DAL …… 34-7, W
CHI …… 30-24, L
@ NYG …. 17-10, W
NE ……. 38-20, L
@ SEA …. 31-14, L
@ MIA …. 26-10, W
NYJ …… 45-19, W
@ DAL …. 20-7, W

A quick note about the CHI game…Nate suffered a concussion and missed a good portion of the game.

In games where Nate or Kurt wasn’t starting…the team went just 2-5.  Does that mean these guys are great?  Of course not.  We all know each player has some issues.  That said, Safety is an odd position.  You need the 2 guys to have chemistry.  They need to see the same things and make the right reads.

I’m excited to see if the two guys can stay on the field together and form a good Safety tandem.  Stability at Safety is a highly underrated aspect of good defenses.

* * * * *

Keenan Clayton did have a pretty good excuse for missing the start of OTAs.  He was having surgery.  Clayton had surgery to repair a sports hernia.  Clayton was at practice on Wednesday as an observer.  He stood and watched, even wearing his jersey.

This injury is a serious blow to Clayton’s chances of making the team.  The LB field was crowded already.  Clayton has shown flashes, but certainly not enough to come close to guaranteeing anything.  Now he’s got to get healthy so that when he does come back he’s ready to impress.

What’s the likelihood of that?  I’m not sure.  Celek played with a hernia last year and was good. McNabb dealt with one back in 2005 and it affected him.  Clayton’s will be healed, but will that slow him down?  Hard to say.  And this is critical for Clayton since his game is predicated on speed.  He can’t grind his way through an injury.  He must be able to run and make plays on the move or he becomes somewhat useless.

I wish Keenan the best, but this is bad timing and a tough situation for him.

* * * * *

Geoff Mosher posted some practice notes earlier today.  Make sure to check them out.

* * * * *

Cullen Jenkins is absent because his wife recently had surgery.

Jason Babin is absent because of a hunting trip to Alaska.

Neither of these things concerns me at all.  It gives reps to the younger players who are trying to learn and fight for jobs.

* * * * *

Everyone continues to be impressed by Brandon Boykin.  He is talented and athletic.  He can do it all (cover, tackle, hit, and make plays).  We need to see how he does at Lehigh and in the preseason games, but Boykin could turn out to be our most important 4th round pick in a while…maybe since Jason Avant in 2006 or Todd Herremans in 2005.


  • ultramattman

    If ‘hunting trip to Alaska’ is a good enough excuse to miss OTA’s, I’d say the Eagles probably didn’t push the issue all that hard.

    • TommyLawlor

      We don’t know the particulars on that one. May be a complicated trip with other people and stuff like that. I’m sure Jason didn’t just casually blow off the OTAs.

      If he was squirrel hunting in Delaware, we’d have an issue. And a tasty dinner.

      • ian_no_2

        I’m just thinking if you INJURE yourself hunting in Alaska DURING OTAs you not only get the Jason Peters docked pay situation but it’s hard to live it down..

      • iskar36

        I’ll be honest, the Babin trip is a bit disappointing to hear. Babin is not a guy that has a long track record of success and he should be a guy that is hungry to continue his success. OTAs are not something that just pop up randomly. He should have known with plenty of time how to plan his Alaska trip accordingly. His job still should come first before his hobby.

        At the end of the day, it probably is not a huge deal and it may give some of the younger guys some extra reps, but I prefer it when guys are focused on football and pushing to be as successful on the field as possible.

        • aub32

          That’s easy for you to say but put yourself
          In his shoes. If he were a computer tech skipping a voluntary training session to go on a vacation it took him months to pull together I’m sure you would have no problem. It hard as fans for us to see this as a 9-5 but you can’t blame the guy for going on a trip when he’s technically not obligated to be at work.

          • iskar36

            I disagree. He has plenty of offseason time to take a vacation without skipping OTAs. Like you said, he doesn’t have a 9-5 job, but he also has a built in vacation time into his schedule. I’m sure Tommy is right and it’s not as simple as Babin blowing off OTAs, but my point is the priority should be football, not Alaska.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            Going to Alaska to go hunting is probably a limited window for the offseason. It is quite possible that this vacation is only possible during this time. Also the professional athlete does not have built in vacation time. Outside of necessary time to heal they should be working out in some for at least 5 days of the week.

          • D3Keith

            I’m with Iskar on this one.

            OTAs aren’t surprise engagements. You schedule around them. Techinically you don’t have to be there, but this team, after the year it had, should have 100% attendance.

            And great point about Babin’s career. While he had a nice year last year, it’s not like his game has no holes or the team has no competition. Dude could get his job taken.

            On the flip, I guess I do wonder how much there is to be gained for a sack specialist DE who isn’t allowed to sack anyone.

          • Matthew Butch

            Except the Eagles only announced the schedule for OTAs in early May. Sure, they may have told the players sooner, but even a month or two earlier probably didn’t matter. He may have had this planned 6 months ago.

        • Cafone

          I’m not worried about it. Let’s face it: Babin is a pretty one dimensional player at one of the least complex positions on the field playing in a system he is very familiar and comfortable with. It’s not like he’s going to be learning anything. As long as he’s in shape by the start of the season he’ll be ready to go.

          • iskar36

            At the end of the day, I agree that physically, this will not have a huge effect on how Babin plays. The part I am disappointed about (and again, I wouldn’t say I am worried about it, just disappointed) is the attitude. Like you pointed out, Babin is a one dimensional player. It certainly wouldn’t hurt him to work on being a better run defender. It also wouldn’t hurt to continue improving as a pass rusher with the coaching of Washburn.

            Is this going to make or break the Eagles season. Absolutely not. Heck, it most likely will not make a difference in Babin’s season. I just prefer players the be 100% focused on football and helping this team win. I recognize the OTAs are not mandatory, but with the already reduced amount of practice time that is allowed with the new CBA, the importance of being with your teammates and coaches is just that much more important and should be taken advantage of.

        • Eric Weaver

          Well, one of the more recent ESPN The Mags he was helping rescue alligators from reservoirs and stuff. Maybe he’s doing something up in Alaska too? I guess if it’s a “hunting” trip then that’s not the case, but who knows.

      • Andrew Bruno

        We don’t *usually* hunt squirrel in (Northern) Delaware…we just shoot them out the window with a BB gun.

    • Toby_yboT

      FWIW we have a short hunting season, and record snow fall this last winter. There is still snow on the ground in the hills and mountains. I’m assuming that Babin is bear hunting because I can’t think of anything else that is hunted in the spring. So he’d be up in the hills.

      Besides, I’m sure he cleared it with the coaches and that’s all that matters to me.

  • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

    “Juan Castillo threw the kitchen sink of blitzes at the offense, at some points using just two down linemen and several standup rushers.”

    What do you guys think about this?

    I’d prefer to just stick to the front 4 doing what they do and allowing everyone else to do what they do best. We have great players all over the place on defense. No need to move them around and add complexity.

    • D3FB

      I’m not too worried about it. I’m sure that this is just a bunch of stuff the coaching staff has been tinkering with all offseason when they were bored at the office. Gotta see what may work and what needs to be left on the whiteboard. Until Juan starts consistently dropping Trent Cole like Sean McD did I see not issue.

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

        Variety is the spice of life.

        McDope went to the “cutesy” well too often.

      • pjxii

        Tommy, question for you. Besides the obvious NO EXPERIENCE as a DC, what do you think Juan’s biggest flaws were last year, and how do you think he’ll improve this season?

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m not a big fan of blitzing a lot this early in OTAs. The OL aren’t settled in all that much.

      Maybe Andy wanted to see it so that the QBs, WRs, and blockers would have to get used to it. Or maybe Juan is just trying to keep practices interesting since there is no hitting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

        Isnt OTAs also where you experiment?

    • GeorgeFleep

      Nate Allen eluded to in a quote that they were young last year they could not do the type of blitzes that they liked… and maybe even with his injury, lack of experience overall on D, Juan not really knowing what he had to work with as well as wanting, and players constantly playing different positions. Blitzing was not utilized as desired last year. Obviously with washburn the main objective is that the DL gets to the QB so you dont have to blitz but it is always good to keep the offense guessing. I think Juan is experimenting during OTAs and catching on lack of talent, knowledge, and time from last year.

      Speaking of keeping an offense off balance during the DL video on pe.com Tapp was in the joker shooting up the A-gap. First off strange to see Tapp do this but i like that kind of stuff. I call the stand up DE joker the Juan Nine i guess it makes sense.

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

    I like Nate and Kurt and I believe that having them play together will increase their chemistry and that they will prove to be an important part of the success of the 2012 Eagles Defense. They are both playmakers and will have a full offseason, good health, and better coaching.

    Why have the Bears had our number? I just don’t get it… the ’10 cow pasture game made sense to an extent because that turf really seemed to have a negative effect on our team, but how did we let Jay Freakin’ Cutler beat us at the link last season? ugh…

    I’m “o.k.” with NE hangin’ 38 points on our defense. That game as I recall was sloppy and makes a case for replacing Hanson more clearly than anything.

    The Seattle loss was a defensive debacle. That was like watching a handful of skyscrapers attempt to tackle Godzilla.

    In our 3 losses we allowed an average of 33 points per game.

    In our 6 wins we allowed an average of 11 points per game.

    I think I’ve said this before, but the wins column sure seems to point toward reason to hope that this defense has the potential to be a top 10 defense in 2012. The F.O. has improved our DL, CB, and LB positions this year, and I expect to see results on the field. In fact, I expect the defense to carry the team for 3 of our wins this year. (3 offensive blowouts 3 low scoring games where the defense holds 4 balanced wins 1 special teams win 11-5 record).

  • teltschikfakeout88

    Not hearing much about Brandon Graham. Is that good or bad Tommy?

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

      Ooo… good question!

    • TommyLawlor

      No biggie. Not hearing much about Trent Cole either. Vinny Curry gets lots of attention because people are so into him.

      • Cliff

        Vinny! Vinny! Vinny!

    • Davesbeard

      He looks pretty stacked in the videos, as does Hunt.

      Anyone see Trent Cole school Hunt on the sled drill they were doing?

  • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

    OT question that just popped into my head:

    Hypothetically, who would you think has a better chance of taking this team to the Superbowl:

    Mike Vick or Tony Romo?

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Vick has the better personality.

      Romo’s happy go lucky approach would be weird with this team and a bad fit for Philly. Romo is a very talented player and could thrive in our offense.

      • D3Keith

        Yeah I actually like Romo a lot more than most Eagles fans, he could be QBOTF here :)

        I wouldn’t pick anybody in the NFC East over Vick going forward. Eli would certainly be tempting, but I think back to 2010, that Vick is a special player. It’s what RGIII hopes to be. It’s what Romo is a slower white version of when he’s on.

        The story would be perfect if we get the polished Vick that we all hope for, a guy who can avoid hits and throw the ball away in the second quarter, but stir the magic when we need it down 7 in the fourth.

        I want to ride it out with Vick. He has the highest ceiling, and it’s not completely unrealistic that he’ll get there. Plus this roster is built to do so much damage and it’s only right that speedy Vick lead the charge. No turnovers in 2012!

  • mheil

    Boykin could turn out to be our most important 4th round pick in a while…maybe since Jason Avant in 2006 or Todd Herremans in 2005. [or Alex Henery last year]

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Alex henry??? Remind me if he has made you forget Akers or even made a clutch kick yet. The job is his this year but I think the leash is off and we will find out if he can be an NFL kicker soon.

      • mheil

        He hasn’t make me forget Akers, but Cole hasn’t made me forget Reggie and McCoy hasn’t made me forget Westbrook . it doesn’t mean they aren’t great players in their own right. henery was 24/27, 88.9%, which I believe is a rookie record..I don’t recall him missing a kick since the SF game. I would say he had a pretty good year, far more valuble to the team than most of Andy’s 4th round choices.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          He choked in the sf game and was on a leash for the whole year. Andy did a good job of putting him in position to be successful last year. We were very selective as to when we let him try long fg last year. Yeah I know his stats show 4 attempts at 40 plus all makes and 1 attempt beyond 50 again a make. The 50 yarder was in a meaningless game against Dallas but still it was a good confidence builder. However I saw multiple possessions were we either punted or went for it on 4th down instead of a long field goal that you would try with a more accomplished kicker. The guy has not shown anything yet to say that this pick is good or a clutch kicker. However he still has time. My 2 cents. The guy could stink it up early this season and we are all yelling that we need to cut him and work the waiver wire. Then again he could be solid gold. Last seasons performance tells me nothing as to which of these scenarios will be representative of his play in 2012,

          • D3Keith

            Trying too hard to be contrarian.

            I realize Henery didn’t have to make a game winning 57-yard yard kick into the swirling snow at the Meadowlands while being inadvertently punched in the junk by Osi, but he looked pretty good or was not a problem in 15 of the 16 games. That tells you nothing?

            And when a kicker, much like a referee, is doing his job, they don’t stand out.

            I’d bet both my [redacted] that the Eagles won’t be replacing Henery with a waiver-wire kicker anytime soon.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            Can I get the winning lottery numbers while we are at it. I hope he is a stud kicker. He ain’t there yet. Also if he was doing his job then why was the guy on a leash for most of the season? This is not being contrarian. I am just a believe it when I see it kind of person. Again I hope the guy kills it for us this year. I hope that when we we are the 35 or 30 on a stalled drive that we trot him out there to get us points rather then going for it on 4th down. I hope we don’t scream and yell for a waiver wire kicker by week 4. Most importantly Go Eagles.

      • D3Keith

        Aside from the two in the San Francisco game, the only other field goal attempt he missed was a meaningless end-of-half long-distance jobby.

        I put the SF game on him as much as anyone since those were makeable kicks, but 24 of 27, no misses on the road, no missed PATs, etc. is pretty good for a rook.

  • aub32

    So in the Nnamdi interview on PE.com he said that DRC will be sticking strictly to the outside where he will still come inside at times to cover WRs or TEs. I thought that’s what we grabbed Kendricks for. I know he’s short compared to some TEs but beside Jimmy Graham what team do we play that their TE or #3 receiver is better than the two outside options. For that matter if Nnamdi comes inside who’s going to cover the other outside receiver? We don’t play the Pats, GB, or SF where the TE is the #1 option. I just don’t see the benefit of moving Nnamdi from where he plays his best football.

    • D3Keith

      The article I read didn’t mention DRC, but it did acknowledge that NA might cover TEs when that is the most dangerous receiver. I don’t think that’s a terrible idea, but even if you do, it’s not much to worry about because it’s a special case, not the base defense.

  • Cafone

    I like Nate and Kurt too, but shouldn’t we all be hoping that Jaiquawn is able to beat out Kurt for the starting job? Isn’t the fantasy scenario that Allen and Jarrett live up to their draft positions and become very good starters while Coleman hangs around as a solid backup for both safety positions and a special teams player? I’m not expecting it happen overnight, or even before the first game, but I’d like to see Jarrett earn some snaps sometime during the season.