Standing Pat At Safety

Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 72 Comments »

Andy Reid said on Monday that the starting Safeties for now are Nate Allen (FS) and Kurt Coleman (SS).  The team has no plans to bring in a veteran.

Good, I say.

Kurt Coleman was a mess early on last year.  He was tentative and sloppy.  He struggled vs the run and pass.  He took over when Jarrad Page was benched and we saw a different Kurt Coleman.  He wasn’t a great player by any stretch, but did some good things and was solid overall.

In the 10 starts after the benching, Kurt had 4 INTs and a FF.  He showed the ability to play back in coverage or up in the box.  The Eagles held the Giants to 29 yards rushing in the November game and Coleman played in the box a lot that night.  Kurt put a big hit on Rob Gronkowski in the NE game and that took Gronk out of the game for a while.  Kurt almost picked off a pass to Plaxico Burress in the endzone in the Jets game, but Plax was able to knock it away.  Kurt was an effective blitzer when given the chance.  He didn’t have any sacks, but he got pressure and hurried several throws.

So what are/were the issues?  Kurt lacks ideal size and speed.  That’s not a good combination.  If he was bigger, maybe he makes the INT on the pass to Plax.  As a 5-10 SS with so-so leaping ability, Kurt has to wait for the ball to come to him.

There was a pass play to the TE in the SEA game where you could see the speed issue.  The TE ran a crossing route.  He got a step on Kurt early on and was able to stay open.  Kurt couldn’t make up the ground.  That led to an easy pitch and catch.

The biggest mistakes Kurt made during the year involved mental mistakes.  He bought on a pump fake in the blowout win over Dallas and let a WR run right by him and get wide open for a long TD.  Didn’t affect the game, but you can’t make those mistakes.

Kurt missed a tackle in the first Giants game and that began the Victor Cruz year of glory.  I say it was a mental mistake because Kurt looked completely indecisive on what to do.  Go for the big hit?  Make the wrap up tackle?  Go high or low?  Kurt didn’t commit to any choice and looked like a fool as he was brushed aside by Cruz on the way to the endzone.

Kurt missed a tackle in the Arizona game that gave them the go-ahead TD.  Once again he had a simple play in front of him and he just whiffed.  This time Kurt was decisive, but he was sloppy and lunged rather than staying under control and making the safe, sure play.

I think Kurt can overcome these mistakes with coaching and practice.  He doesn’t lack the ability to tackle.  He had some games where he tackled very well.  This isn’t like Jarrad Page.  You put on the BUF game and he was machine-like with his missed tackles.  Kurt had a handful of costly mistakes, but they were spread over months rather than in one game.

The way Kurt can overcome his limitations is to be prepared to the point that he’s always a step ahead mentally.  He can’t react.  He can’t guess.  He needs to know.  Kurt played like this at Ohio State.  He’s done it for parts of his short career.

I think Kurt gained a lot of invaluable experience last year.  Some was good, some bad.  If he’s able to learn from it and build off of it, I think he can be a solid starting SS.

Part of the key for Kurt is getting lots of reps this spring/summer and having a chance to show the coaches what he can do and that he has made progress.  Adding a veteran to the mix would have made this a really complicated situation.

While the Eagles want Kurt to get his chance, they also want Jaiquawn Jarrett to have a chance to show what he can do.  Jarrett was a 2nd round pick because the team likes him a lot.  They think he can be a good starter.  Jarrett was very up and down as a rookie.  He didn’t earn the right to be at the top of the depth chart.

If the Eagles tried to have Yeremiah Bell (or any vet) battle with Kurt and JaiJar for the job, I don’t know how effective that would have been.  There aren’t equal reps in a camp situation.  Someone in the situation would have lost practice reps.  With less reps, young players will sometimes try to make big plays more than they should and that’s not good.  Going for home runs will lead to more strikeouts, to steal a baseball analogy.

I think the smart play here is to give May and June to Kurt and JaiJar.  Let them have all the reps in the mini-camps and passing camps.  Neither guy got the benefit of offseason work last year and it showed.  Let’s see how they do and what the coaches think.  If the players are struggling in any way, you can then add a veteran Safety prior to Lehigh.  There won’t be great choices, but the guys on the market now aren’t exactly in the Reed-Polamalu-Dawkins class.

If you believe in your young players, give them a chance to show what they can do.  I believe in Kurt Coleman.  I’m not so sure what to make of Jaiquawn Jarrett.  The Eagles liked him more than I did when they picked him in the 2nd round.

One thing I have to make clear.  Sticking with the same guys isn’t an endorsement that the Safety play of 2011 is acceptable.  The expectation is that the players will get better.  The Safety play last year was far too erratic.  Kurt had his mistakes.  Nate was very good at times, but also had some struggles.  He was dreadful vs NE.  Jarrad Page was…well let’s just say that he never met a missed tackle he didn’t like.  Jarrett was a rookie that showed promise at times and struggled at others.

Allen should be better now that he is 100 percent healthy.  Coleman should be better with another year of experience under his belt.  Jarrett should get better now that he has an idea of what the hell is going on.

Colt Anderson is on the mend, but I think of him as strictly a STer for now.

Tom Nelson took his spot after the injury.  He showed some S postential in Cincy.

Rookie Phillip Thomas was a very good FS at Syracuse and could make for a good backup to Nate.  Thomas certainly has the physical skills to be an NFL player.  He can cover, catch, hit, and tackle.

Look at the young guys for now.  Add the veteran later, if needed.

* * * * *

Pauly D wrote a column on the Safety position.  He seems to be more of the “let’s go add a veteran” mindset.  I get where he’s coming from.   I respect that opinion.  I just prefer to stick with the young guys.

Domo has a few stats in his column about catches/yards/TDs given up by Eagles Safeties.  I’d like to look into that stuff this summer if I get a chance.  It can be tricky as to who is really at fault on some plays.  We’ll see how time goes.

* * * * *

The new MAQB column by NFL Gimpy got posted yesterday.  He has some interesting thoughts about TEs and how they are crucial to the top QBs.  Good stuff.

72 Comments on “Standing Pat At Safety”

  1. 1 bridgecoach said at 1:29 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    What concerns me most is where is the Jaiquan Jarrett buzz? Was he at the OTAs last weekend? Seems like he is fading out of the conversation.

  2. 2 HazletonEagle said at 1:39 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    he wasnt there because it was only a camp for rookies and UDFA signings.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 2:08 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    HazletonEagle is exactly right. Jarrett wasn’t allowed to be there. New CBA rules.

  4. 4 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:46 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    i still think these new rules really screw over last years rookies. oh well…

  5. 5 bridgecoach said at 9:34 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Nods. I thought last years rookies could attend since they missed out on their OTAs due to the leagues lockout.

  6. 6 HazletonEagle said at 1:38 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    What do you thnink about Wade Bonner?

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 2:13 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I watched 2010 tape of him last summer and wasn’t impressed. This year I always found myself fixated on the other CB, a junior named Banks. Bonner failed to stand out. Wasn’t overly productive. No INTs and only 5 PBUs in 2 years. Goes 5-9, 190 so that seems like the build of a slot corner.

  8. 8 HazletonEagle said at 2:38 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Though he is short, I was thinking he was a safety. I dont know anything about him except that he looks like a form tackler with nice pop.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 3:18 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I thought I saw list him as a CB, but it was actually just “DB”. Maybe Bonnerwill be a S prospect. The blurb on his signing doesn’t make it clear.

  10. 10 HazletonEagle said at 4:19 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Yeah. I dont know. None of the reporters on twitter ever mentioned him, so I was surprised to even hear that the guy participated in our rookie camp, and on top of that, showed enough to receive a contract.
    When I saw the news, I went to youtube, and watched what looked like a hit tape and he seemed to be playing FS. Here is the link.

  11. 11 D3FB said at 9:51 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    saw the same cut-ups and he seems to be playing a combination of SS and slot corner/LB. Kinda like Antonio Allens SPUR position at S. Carolina. There are some things to like on this film but you can tell he’s pretty raw.

  12. 12 Tyler Phillips said at 1:56 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Any word on if JaiJar has out on some muscle or not? He looked so small out there last year

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 2:14 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I haven’t heard anything about him, good or bad. It will be interesting to see how he looks at the first team OTA.

    I do agree. Needs to be bigger.

  14. 14 Tyler Phillips said at 2:32 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    He was from Temple after all, not exactly SEC Money to bring in an elite S&C guy. Being in a NFL level S&C program has to help at least somewhat.

  15. 15 iskar36 said at 2:48 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    You didn’t talk about Allen as much in this post but Sheil Kapadia put up some alarming numbers about Allen (Rolle is also mentioned by the way).

    “8.1 – The percentage of plays in which the Eagles’ defense missed a tackle, according to Football Outsiders. That ranked second-to-last, behind only the Bucs (9.0 percent). No other team had a mark higher than 6.5 percent. For all the time Juan Castillo spent talking about fundamentals at practice, the results did not show during the games. Brian Rolle and Nate Allen were tagged with 10 missed tackles apiece. Among linebackers with a minimum of 50 tackles, Tampa’s Quincy Black was the worst with a missed tackle rate of 17.2 percent. However, Rolle didn’t qualify because he was only credited with 44 tackles. If he had been eligible, he would have been worse than Black with an 18.5 percent missed tackle rate. I like Rolle and think he was actually one of the team’s better linebackers last year, but that number is alarming.

    Allen, meanwhile, had a missed tackle rate of 17.9 percent, fifth-worst among defensive backs. Not good for a free safety who is often the last line of defense on big plays.

    As a point of reference, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis missed a tackle just 2.4 percent of the time, and Chicago’s Brian Urlacher was at 3.2 percent. It’s worth nothing that a couple former Eagles linebackers – Joe Mays (12.0 percent) and Chris Gocong (11.9 percent) – were among the worst tacklers in the league.”

    You regularly mention Page when talking about poor tackling, but tackling for both Allen and Coleman needs to get a whole lot better if our safeties are going to succeed. I understand your point about getting these guys practice time, but honestly, I think the Eagles are sticking with Coleman and Allen (with Jarrett as a backup) more out of a lack of alternative options than out of it being a good choice.

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 3:16 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    The Eagles could have gone after someone in FA if they wanted. There were some worthwhile veterans available. No stars, mind you, but at least solid vets. The Eagles believe in Nate Allen. They think he can be a star.

    The Eagles want to see what Kurt/JaiJar do. They hope one of them will emerge as a solid starter.

    As to Nate’s missed tackles…that was an issue for him as well. I didn’t go back and study old notes to see my take on things. It is one thing to miss a tackle and then have someone make it for you. Kurt’s were obvious and costly. I don’t remember Nate’s as well.

  17. 17 iskar36 said at 3:27 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I wasn’t sure what you were saying here:

    “It is one thing to miss a tackle and then have someone make it for you. Kurt’s were obvious and costly. I don’t remember Nate’s as well. ”

    If you’re saying because they didn’t lead to as costly of a play you don’t remember them that well, I understand that comment. On the other hand, if you are saying BECAUSE they didn’t lead to a costly play, they don’t matter as much, I completely disagree. A missed tackle is still a missed tackle. The difference between the two outcomes is luck and talent elsewhere on the field. If last year he was a less effective tackler but got bailed out a bunch by teammates, what prevents him from not being as lucky and him missing tackles that lead to TDs? Again, you might be making the other point that they were simply less memorable, in that case, disregard my comment.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 4:01 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Nate’s simply didn’t stand out in my memory.

  19. 19 Brian Pillion said at 4:58 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I think there is something to be said for where/how the missed tackles occur, though. If you miss a tackle by going for a strip or a big hit in traffic, having confidence that someone else is right there to clean up a possible miss, that’s a very different thing than a miss in the open field. I have no problem with a safety missing some tackles in trying to go for big plays. It’s more a matter of situational awareness, as to knowing when you can gamble, and knowing when you aught to just make the sure-form take down.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 5:07 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    You never want missed tackles, but the ones that happen out in space are the ones that kill you.

    As you say, the Safety needs to show good situational awareness and know if he can go for the big play or should just go for the safe tackle.

    On Kurt’s misses, there was an issue with him not being sure what to do. Let’s hope Mike Zordich and Todd Bowles can coach that out of him. When in doubt, make the wrap-up tackle and play it safe.

  21. 21 iskar36 said at 5:10 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    That’s definitely a valid point, but I would buy it a lot more if Allen had shown any ability to force fumbles. He didn’t force any fumbles last year, and the year before that, he had only one, so I’m not sure I am willing to buy the argument he missed tackles because he was going for the heads-up play of forcing a fumble. On top of that, with a defense that had struggled with missed tackles all season, at some point, the heads up play regardless of help around you is to simply make the safe tackle instead of risking the missed tackle and your teammates not cleaning up the mess.

  22. 22 bridgecoach said at 6:10 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I don’t find Football Outsiders Tackle rate stat particularly useful or telling. Allen missed 10 tackles. Troy Polamalu missed 11. The Steelers LBs were infinitely better than ours were last season. Ours were confused and out of position on most plays. Our safeties had to make plays despite that mess. Allen’s 17.9% vs Troys 13.8% doesn’t tell that story.
    Troy got more than twice as many assisted tackles as Allen. Compare their solo tackles to their misses if you want something a bit more useful. Both Nate Allen and Troy Polamalu had the same solo miss rate for 2011 (30%). Personally I’m happy with Nate Allen successfully stopping the play 70% of the time with the horrid midfield defense we had last season. 33 solo tackles is really solid. Pro Bowler Ed Reed only had 3 more.

  23. 23 Davesbeard said at 6:34 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Nice stats Bridge, to match Polamalu in solo miss rate while coming off a significant knee injury and with no offseason? Not bad, definitely not the end of the world.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 6:19 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    @ Iskar…No one said Nate was going for big plays. We were discussing the context of missed tackles from a general perspective.

  25. 25 Kirk Belmont said at 10:08 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    I don’t understand what the deal is. According to profootballfocus Joe Mays was an amazing tackler who made a ton of plays in the run game. Now football outsiders is saying he missed so many tackles. Which site is right and why are they on two opposite sides of what kind of tackler Joe Mays is?

  26. 26 izzylangfan said at 3:15 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I confess to being a little scared. Andy Reid always has a blind spot going in the season. That is, there is always at least one position where we are glaringly weak and Andy does’t see it. Two of those blind spots have frequently been linebacker and safety. But I also remember the year year we had Greg Lewis returning kicks with disastrous results. I remember Reid saying “We’ll be alright there.” – referring first to Barry Gardner and then Levon Kirkland at middle linebacker not to mention last year with Matthews. Then there was Quentin Demps and Macho Harris and others at safety. Chris Gocong was awarded starting SAM going into OTAs one year I seem to remember. Considine I think was awarded a starting job before the pre-season began. Reid seems to bestow marginal guys with his blessing before the pre-season or training camp begins season begins. Yet JaiJar does not even qualify for that particularly Eagles style kiss of death. Jarrett’s hard driving style would seem perfect to generate turnovers and to fit the downhill type defense Castillo wants to play. So why has he not been dubbed the starter? Has Reid changed his ways or is Jarrett so bad he doesn’t even engender false hope? Like I said: I’m scared.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 4:25 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    You’re being a little too hard on Reid with those comments. First, every NFL coach projects some unknown player or inexperienced guy to handle a job at some point. Hell, the Skins thought John Beck was their QB. How insane was that?

    Casey Matthews is the first guy I can remember the Eagles pushing aggressively from a mid-round pick to a starting role. I think that decision was greatly affected by the lockout and the perceived lack of time for him to have a proper battle for the job.

    Chris Gocong was the starting SAM in year 2. The Eagles were going to let Stewart Bradley battle him for the job, but liked Gocong enough in the offseason that they moved Stew to MLB in the summer.

    Sean Considine took over as SS halfway through 2006, when Mike Lewis had just lost “it”. Remember the awful PI call late vs Dallas that almost cost us the game? Then Sean lost his job in 2007 to Q Mikell.

    No one ever gets a job and is told that it is flat out yours. The player is kept on a short leash and must play to a certain level or he is replaced. Can that cost us games? Yes, the Greg Lewis PR experiment did cost us big time in the 2007 opener. We lost the game for a variety of reasons (bad in the RZ and Jevon failing to scoop up a key fumble), but the muffed punt killed us at the end.

    I don’t blame you for being nervous about the Safety position. I totally understand where the doubters are coming from. I might feel the same way if I wasn’t so high on Kurt and Nate coming out of college. I liked both guys a lot. That hasn’t worn off yet.

    As to JaiJar…the Eagles will push him hard to take the SS job from Kurt, but JaiJar will have to win it. Kurt can be an effective starter. JaiJar has to show that he can match or exceed that level. He hasn’t done that yet.

    You can bet the Eagles will keep a close eye on this. If neither of the players is showing the right things, the team will get a veteran in here. We need to see what the guys do in the next 6 to 8 weeks to have a better feel for where the Safety position is at.

  28. 28 Cafone said at 5:35 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I don’t think safety qualifies as a traditional Andy Reid positional blind spot. The position has been addressed with 2nd round picks in 2010 and 2011. The problem is that because of injury and a shortened offseason, people are ready to call these picks busts before we get to see them play enough to make an informed judgement.

    It’s kind of funny that so many fans are perfectly fine with naming this year’s second rounder a starter at SAM, and this year’s fourth rounder a starter at nickel, when they’ve never seen these guys play in the NFL. But they worry about a giant hole at at position manned by recent draft picks who should be starting to catch on after spending some time in the NFL.

  29. 29 Jason said at 11:48 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Well said. I thought it was laughable when it was suggested that the Eagles should draft ANOTHER safety high this year. How about giving the new coach a chance with the talent that is already there? How about giving them a proper offseason?

    And I think Tommy is dead on. This is a good way to give Coleman and Jarrett as many reps as possible. If in July you still think safety is gonna suck THEN you can start ringing around for a veteran guy to plug in.

  30. 30 Mac said at 4:12 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Instant Debate:
    (on an absurd proposition)

    Eli’s season ends prematurely with a torn ACL… Giant’s call up Donovan McNabb who leads them to a Superbowl victory this season.


    1. Instantly makes Donovan a plausible HOF candidate.


    2. Cheapens the SB wins recorded by Eli making him a less likely HOF candidate.

  31. 31 the guy said at 4:23 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I vote for: 3. Makes every Eagles fan’s head spontaneously explode like that guy in “Scanners.”

  32. 32 Mac said at 4:43 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I hadn’t considered that possibility, but in the end it’s probably the most likely outcome.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 4:32 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    What an evil, evil question.

    I’m voting with “the guy” and going for the head explosion.

  34. 34 Cafone said at 5:43 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Easy: 1. McNabb is a Hall of Famer with a Super Bowl win.

    No on 2. There’s no way Eli doesn’t get in to the HoF with 2 Super Bowl wins.

  35. 35 ultramattman said at 11:12 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Correct answer right here. Doesn’t devalue Eli’s rings in the slightest. For pete’s sake, he beat the 18-0 Patriots.

  36. 36 Alex Karklins said at 5:47 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Nice try, Donovan.

  37. 37 Thunder_lips said at 6:41 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Blocking for Donovan in the Super Bowl on the winning QB sneak TD: Jamal Jackson and the Andrews sisters.

    Also, Dawk comes out of retirement to join the Cowboys and takes out Vick’s ACL with a steel chair, but somehow the refs don’t see it!

  38. 38 TommyLawlor said at 6:44 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    How could such evil, evil thoughts make me laugh so hard?

  39. 39 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:56 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Let’s see:
    Two New York teams in Stanley Cup semi’s with winner to face either Richards and Carter or the team we traded a draft pick to secure the right to sign Bryzgalov away from with the richest goalie contract in history.

    Giants win SB after 9-7 record and looking putrid most of the year, while we miss the playoffs with what should be superior talent.

    Mets are supposed to come in last but are 5 games above .500, while our team of Cy Young candidates is in last.

    Yep, sounds plausible to me.

    But, even if that happens, Donovan has talked his way out of the HOF regardless.

  40. 40 laeagle said at 12:02 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    That hurt more than words can say.

    Equally implausible, however, is the Sixers tied with the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs, so there.

  41. 41 D3Keith said at 10:19 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    There are no words for how wrong this is. I would probably quit watching football … and living in the United States.

  42. 42 TommyLawlor said at 11:30 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Great answer.

    Iggles Blitz would have to become a blog about surf spots in Costa Rica. Or the best international arms dealers in Sierra Leone.

  43. 43 the guy said at 12:33 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Oh come on, we all know you’d just go back to selling sunglasses.

  44. 44 Mac said at 9:31 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Somehow I think either one of those other topics would lend themselves nicely to selling more sunglasses.

  45. 45 TommyLawlor said at 11:09 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Guilty as charged.

  46. 46 Steve H said at 12:02 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    3. Will likely lead to more Campbell’s Chunky Soup endorsements for Mcnabb.

  47. 47 the guy said at 4:19 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    OT question:

    Reading a BGN post about Stanley Havili being the fullback, I realized that Havili is about the same height and just 7-8 pounds heavier than Bryce Brown and Chris Polk (according to the official site roster).

    This is probably a stupid question, but if either one shows any promise at blocking, you think they could call him the “fullback” and try to use him like Leonard Weaver? If he can learn to block competently, I love the idea of him as the power/fullback and McCoy/Lewis/other guy as the RBs. If they need a big, pure blocking type guy for certain situations they just could use a TE or extra OL.

    There’s pretty much no chance this would happen, is there…

  48. 48 TommyLawlor said at 4:35 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I don’t see Brown playing FB at all.

    Polk has the toughness to do it and would only need to add 10 lbs or so. Problem would be that he’s had shoulder surgery. FB can’t have iffy shoulders. Must be able to use that area to engage LBs.


    Emil Igwenagu has a similar background to Leonard Weaver (both were TEs in college) and could be a guy to watch. He must show that he can be a functional blocker. Igwenagu is a good receiver.

  49. 49 ultramattman said at 11:16 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Tommy – any idea what it was that made Leonard Weaver so special as a fullback? It seems like there isn’t a FB in the league that had Leonard’s big-play ability (in the run AND pass game) combined with solid, effective fullbacking. What was it that made him so special in that area? Why aren’t there any other players who can do that?

  50. 50 D3Keith said at 10:17 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I think it’s more likely — although not very likely — that they go without a fullback at all. Havili’s path is paved, but he still has to earn the job. And given that he’s not a killer blocker and has RB skills, I think he should consider himself very much in competition for a job, period.

    Emil Igwenagu could be interesting. Would not be unprecedented for a UDFA to work out at FB. But sounds like he has a lot to learn.

  51. 51 HazletonEagle said at 8:48 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    I agree with this. We have kept 4 RBs going into a season before. If we have 4 talented guys we may take a few weeks into the season to decide which to let go. Might not want to limit ourselves to preseason and end up cutting the wrong guy. I would in no way suggest actually converting Polk or Brown full time to FB. But for as much as we use a FB, what like 3 plays a game? See which of them is most willing to go hit a LB and just use them when you want a FB. Havili isnt a special blocker, so all either of them need to be is adequate in the rare occasion we ask them to lead block. It should come down to which of the 3 (Polk, Brown, Havili) have better running and receiving skills. And I expect Havili to lose that battle. The other 2 are just more talented. Id hate to keep a FB for a few plays a game over a very talented RB.

  52. 52 Cafone said at 5:18 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I think there should be an unwritten rule that you can’t say “add a veteran” and expect it to be taken as a reasonable course of action without naming a few veterans that might be available. Jarrad Page is available (currently playing baseball according to Wikipedia). Should we add him?

    I’m all for “adding a veteran” if it makes the Eagles a better team, but there’s no guarantee that a veteran is any better than the guys we currently have. And there’s really no way to discuss it unless we know the names of the veterans that could potentially be brought in.

    I agree with the point Tommy has made about giving the reps to the younger players, especially when the alternative is to waste them on some washed-up veteran safety that not one other team in the league thinks is good enough to add to their 90 player roster.

  53. 53 Cafone said at 5:21 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Also, if the Eagles FO thinks they need to add a safety, they will probably do it via trade which means we won’t hear about it until after it happens and they will continue to say they are fine with the guys they’ve got until the trade is announced.

  54. 54 pkeagle said at 5:43 PM on May 15th, 2012:


    Just to follow up on yesterday’s post – we’ve had bad luck with OL injuries but I’d also like to point out that we were on the verge of signing LeCharles Bentley in 2006. He was the best FA center in many years and Cleveland signed him.
    The rest is history of course – we went with JamJax and Bentley tore up his knee, got a staph infection, and never played another game in the NFL.

    I think we Eagles fans tend to only remember our disasters and never the ‘lucky’ escapes!!

  55. 55 TommyLawlor said at 6:16 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Good point.

    To be fair, if Bentley had signed here there is no guarantee that he would have gotten hurt. We might have gone undefeated for several years and won 3 or 4 SBs with his leadership. See, you have to consider things from the delusional angle as well.

  56. 56 D3Keith said at 7:38 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Will you stop it already with the Jarrad Page? I just finished another round of therapy and here you go, twice in two days!

  57. 57 TommyLawlor said at 9:34 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    I promise a 1-week moratorium on him. Longer hopefully.

  58. 58 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:43 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I still thinks JaiJar has the potential to be a solid safety for us. First of all, there’s the whole “no offseason” point that has been rehashed multiple times. In many ways, he is still somewhere in his rookie year based on the amount of time he has spent relative to players drafted in other years. Second, I don’t recall Dawkins being a standout in his rookie year, either. It took some experience and being put into the right scheme before his potential was even partially uncovered.

    Last, despite the “reach” that he is commonly referred to being, no one is complaining that he was drafted; just that he was drafted in the 2nd as opposed to the 3rd or 4th rounds. But, starting safeties can absolutely come from the 3rd or 4th rounds, especially given how safeties are somewhat devalued relative to other positions. It’s really not that important at this point where he was drafted. It just matters whether he truly had potential to be a starting safety, and I have yet to hear a rational explanation as to why he can’t be one.

  59. 59 Mac said at 9:35 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    With as many problems as the Eagles secondary had last year, I think it’s safe to say that JaiJar didn’t get enough attention during practices to develop. Hopefully, he had his nose in the playbook and comes back this year ready to absorb every bit of info he can get from Bowles.

  60. 60 austinfan said at 9:22 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    The one thing to remember is after you get past the top 20-30 safeties around the league, you’re looking at guys like Coleman and Jarrett. Safety may have more marginal players than any other position, which is why I’m perplexed the Eagles didn’t draft/sign some guys just to play the UDFA lottery. One SFA I’d look at is Corey Lynch.

    Coleman, once he got his head out of his butt, was a legitimate starting SS, not great, not terrible, about what you see on about 15 teams around the league.

    ATL – William Moore
    CAR – Charles Godfrey
    Chi – Major Wright
    Cin- Taylor Mays
    Dal – Brodney Pool
    and so on

    Jarrett might be a little better, but he has speed limitations.
    But after Barron, who was better in this year’s draft?

  61. 61 D3Keith said at 10:04 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    “why I’m perplexed the Eagles didn’t draft/sign some guys just to play the UDFA lottery.”

    They LIKE Allen/Coleman/Jarrett more than we do.

    Why is this so hard to grasp? It was the topic of Domo’s column, with the inside/outside the walls way of phrasing it.

    They think they’re good there. Two 2nd rounders and a 7th, all three young … and we’re ready to throw them out for some more young guys, who we’ll apparently get pissed at when they aren’t given time to develop and they are meh.

    I realize nobody wants to put this season at risk, but those guys have to grow, and they are going to get a little more help from the LBs this year, so that’s their logic. Signing more guys takes away their reps and their confidence. Put the pressure on them and demand they respond. That’s the idea, regardless of whether it seems sound or risky or not.

  62. 62 TommyLawlor said at 11:29 PM on May 15th, 2012:

    Phillip Thomas is a mid-round talent if he’s got a clean character side of things. He was a key UDFA signing.

  63. 63 austinfan said at 1:08 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Problem I have with Thomas is he timed poorly (4.7 at 198 lbs, that’s terrible for a DB), now was that just a bad day or does he lack speed?

    This depends on what defense they run, with the SS in the box, you need a FS with speed, and if Allen goes down, Coleman has only average speed, and Jarrett and Thomas are slower. If they go with a cover 2 shell and man press underneath, then speed isn’t quite as important.

    Had they drafted another CB, I would have thought about Marsh as a potential FS, he has the size and speed and seems to have the smarts (30 on the Wonderlic). But right now he’s the 3rd outside CB unless they think Hughes can make a big jump (which I question at this point).

    That’s why I’m surprised they went so light at S, you’d think they’d want a PS candidate or two as insurance. Nelson has done nothing in his NFL career to think he could step in at mid-season and play.

  64. 64 Raul Estrada said at 12:02 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    You did add a vet. He happens to be the new DB coach.

  65. 65 Matt Hoover said at 2:14 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    The problem with signing a Y. Bell is that he can no longer cover, he would bring leadership skills and experience, but he wouldn’t be a starter type anymore

  66. 66 Cliff said at 8:51 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    In other words, a lesser version of Brian Dawkins.

    If all we wanted at S was leadership skills, we could have kept B-Dawk a few years ago. For that reason, I don’t see us moving for a vet S unless we’re positive Allen and Coleman can’t get it done.

  67. 67 Matt Hoover said at 12:43 AM on May 17th, 2012:

    Hell we could still sign Dawk for that, just to take up spot 53 on the roster and be a player coach

  68. 68 M0rton said at 11:28 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Why be complacent at a position that was pretty bad last year?

    Rather than wasting their 5th,6th, and 7th round picks on luxury picks, why didn’t they take a late round flyer on either Antonio Allen or George Iloka? Either one of these players would provide good competition for the SS spot and probably even earn a starting position in the regular season.

    This team will regret passing on Allen / Iloka, I think, when Coleman/Jarrett fail to produce at a competent level.

  69. 69 Skeptic_Eagle said at 11:30 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    I don’t believe in Kurt Coleman. We’ve got 2 years of material to show he’s probably not ever going to be able to overcome the obstacles you pointed out. If he can’t run with Zach Miller, who can he run with? He’s an undersized, slow, 7th round pick, with slightly above average instincts. I don’t see a lot of cause for optimism about his chances for major progression from where he was last year. At least not enough to stand pat with him in a starter’s role. Compare that to Nate Allen, who has looked alternately brilliant and miserable, and I think the difference is clear between a guy that you should hold out hope for (Allen), and one you should move on from (Coleman, as a starter, anyway).

    Saying there are no Dawkins-Polamalu-Reed’s out there is comparing the guys on the market to the almighty, not the alternative, which is probably going to be more of what we’ve seen. Although it would be great to have, I don’t think we need another Brian Dawkins, we just need a guy that can take an effective enough angle to hold Marshawn Lynch to a 12 yard gain instead of a 40 yard TD. Or prevent Demarco Murray from rolling up a 12 YPC average when running at the Babin/SAM/SS side of the D. I believe Coleman can’t fulfill that role, but I’m willing to see if Jaiquawn can, with the benefit of an offseason.

    Failing to bring in a competent veteran S is negligent, and it will come back to haunt the Eagles. Wait and you risk having to scrape the bottom of a shallow barrel.

  70. 70 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:12 PM on May 16th, 2012:

    As for “whom” I’d add, available now:

    OJ Atogwe
    Hussain Abudullah
    Gibril Wilson
    Chris Crocker

    I’d even kick the tires on Jim Leonhard (if kicking his tires doesn’t re-tear his patellar). Maybe he sits on PUP til week 6 and you let the Coleman/Jarrett thing develop, with Leonhard there as a backup. As unpalatable as that is, what happens if they both stink? What options will we have at that point? Tom Nelson?

    I think the Eagles should have been a little more aggressive in FA and could have gotten a guy like Atari Bigby, Mike Adams or Craig Steltz, for a relatively modest short term deal of ~2 million. It doesn’t break the bank in any way, and just provides a solid starting stopgap option while the team makes plans for the future (either Jaiqwaun or someone else).

    I thought Alambama’s Dequan Menzie would have been a nice later round pick up to play S for the birds. The Chiefs got him instead, but that may make Kendrick Lewis expendable for them, if the Eagles wanted to deal. Also, with Mike Adams arrival in DEN, there are rumors that Rahim Moore could be making an early exit.

  71. 71 Sam Lynch said at 11:42 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Tommy, you have blown your chance to lobby for a guy who naturally would be both of our favorite player: former Appalachian State star Corey Lynch.


  72. 72 bdbd20 said at 11:44 AM on May 16th, 2012:

    Apparently pudding and PBR can work for some people: