Detailed Game Review – PS#3 PHI 27, CLE 10

Posted: August 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 50 Comments »

Sorry for the delay.  Crazy past 5 days, for a variety of reasons.  Anyway…here goes.    

There aren’t a lot of comments to make about the game. The starters didn’t play very much. And you can’t make too much of the game since the Browns played so poorly. I think the Eagles talent had a lot to do with that, but the Browns look like they’ve got a ways to go. At halftime, coach Pat Shurmur looked like he was about ready to kill all 90 of his players. You rarely see a coach so frustrated in the preseason.



FOLES – Another good game. 12-19-146. 2 TDs, 1 INT. Let’s start with the pick. Foles moved to his right to buy time. He then went deep to Mac, who was initially open. Nick wasn’t able to step into the throw and the ball didn’t have the kind of zip needed to get to Mac before the DBs closed in. It did travel 58 yards in the air so this wasn’t some lollipop throw. The problem is that Foles must know what he can and can’t do in the NFL. The pass was picked off. Poor decision compounded by physical mistake. If you’re going to force a ball into coverage, do that when you’ve got the arm to make it work. Foles has a good, but not explosive arm. Can’t do things like this. Overall he had a good showing. Both TD passes came in the Red Zone. Foles had some pressure on him, but didn’t panic. He was able to move and extend plays when needed. He still hasn’t been sacked in the preseason. I think he generally made good decisions with the ball. He faced a starting defense and more than held up. The first couple of drives were slow: INT, punt. The next 5 drives resulted in 2 TDs, a field goal, a punt, and a missed FG. Once he got going, Foles was very good. There was no running game to speak of. The team had 7 carried for 1 yard in the 1st half. It was Foles or bust. He used 8 different receivers and spread the ball around nicely. The offense was only 1 of 5 on 3rd downs, but 2 of the plays were downfield throws. One was the play where Damaris couldn’t get a second foot down for the TD. The other was a pass to Chad Hall that was underthrown and broken up. Foles was 2 of 2 in the Red Zone.

EDWARDS – After his first play, Edwards played pretty well. The first play of the game was a pick-6 that got nullified by a highly questionable penalty. Trent was under pressure and panicked, throwing a short pass right to a DB. Dumb, dumb, and dumb. This is a huge no-no for a veteran QB. He absolutely has to know better. The penalty gave the ball right back to Trent and he led the offense down for a TD. After that drive (and even during it), the offense became old school WCO and focused on ball control. Edwards finished 14-17-127. He had a 20-yd connection with Brackett. The rest of the passes were short throws based on moving the chains and keeping the clock running. That was a nice, efficient showing by Trent, but the first play was a critical mistake that must be focused on. The whole point in having a veteran QB is so that he won’t panic under pressure. Some may compare this to Kafka’s mistake in the PIT game, but that was slightly different. It was the PS opener. You can forgive a player for being rusty in the opener. Trent was playing in Game 3. Had a chance for a TD, but put the ball behind his receiver on slant and DB broke it up. Short pass that should have been a score.


LEWIS – “Busy game”. Had 5 carries. Only got 4 yards, but the Browns played the run well (with some help by D Bell). Highlight was catching a short TD. Lined up like a wing back and ran a short arrow route. Easy play. On one of the runs Lewis ran through a tackle attempt low and then used a stiff arm to fight off a different defender. He’s not tall, but this isn’t a weak, finesse runner. Good balance, strength. Had a run up the middle late in the half when he dodged someone in the backfield and then kept going right up the middle. Only got 4 yards, but made something out of nothing and also didn’t try to go wide. Trusted the design of the play, an inside run. That shows discipline. Long play of the night was a 22-yd screen. Got the ball on the right side and made a couple of defenders miss, then burst upfield. Had a poor chip block on Juqua Parker that led to Foles getting hit.

B BROWN – Another good game as a runner. 7-18. Stats aren’t great, but he passed the eyeball test. Blocking is a whole other story. He is behind in this area. Bryce must get better if he wants to get on the field. Made mistakes on a few plays. I don’t think this is a question of size, strength, or effort. Simply needs more practice.

POLK – Another good game, going 6-39. Had an impressive 20-yd run. Just before that had an 8-yd run that he almost turned into a big play. Lost his balance as he went through traffic. The 20-yd’er was nice. Got good blocking on the left side and was able to get out wide. The run came late in the game and Polk showed his FBI (football IQ) by slowing down as he got near the sideline and then cutting back to the field. Only added a yard or two, but kept the clock running. Jon Runyan would be proud. You have to be impressed that such a tough, physical runner can still be so focused and smart. Knows how to move the chains and do the little things. If only he was a bit faster. Did get beat on a pass play and his rusher was able to pressure Trent into an incompletion. Showed good awareness on bad snap by Vandy and was there to recover it.

HAVILI – Good on STs. Quiet on offense.

IGWENAGU – Played a lot. Lead blocking is okay. Good effort. Needs technique help. Caught a short pass and then put a good move on a tackler. Turned that into a gain of 10. Also had a 7-yd catch. May have shown enough to help earn a PS spot, where he could help out as a TE, H-back, or FB.


BRACKETT – Good game. Led the Eagles with 3 catches. Had a 20-yd’er, a short TD, and another short catch. The long one came on a corner route. Brett found a hole in the defense and made a good catch. The TD was a backside TE dump screen. Surprised we ran that play vs CLE, who we face in the opener. Didn’t see that coming. Brett had to fight to get the score, diving for the goal line. Stretched just far enough to break the plane. This game showed off his athleticism and potential as a receiver. Blocking is still a major issue. He’s made good progress, but must continue to get stronger, more physical.

FORD – 2-16 as a receiver. Solid job as a blocker.


MCNUTT – Another quiet game. Not good. 1-13 as a receiver. Showed that he could take a big hit on that play. Had another pass come his way, but the ball went through his hands. The pass was high, but catchable. For a guy fighting for a roster spot, you need to make that catch or a spectacular effort. McNutt did block well. He’s definitely physical enough for the NFL right now.

D JOHNSON – Terrific game. 2-58 as a receiver. Just missed a really impressive TD. Got behind Sheldon Brown and Foles hit him with a pass in the endzone. DJ got one foot down cleanly, but the other was out. Play was ruled a TD initially, then correctly reversed. Forget the result. The play showed good hands, awareness, and body control. Those are key traits for NFL WR. Caught a short pass and put a wicked move on a defender. It was so good that a second defender missed as well. Turned that into a gain of 13. Got behind Sheldon on another pass and was able to make a legal grab. The pass was underthrown, but DJ turned around and got his hands on the ball as he fell backward to the ground. Odd looking. Again, good hands, awareness, and body control. Did all of this at full speed. That was good for 45 yards. I was surprised he got behind Sheldon so easily on both plays.

Also good as PR. Had a long of 30. 3-28 after that. Bobbled the first punt for half a second, but was smooth after that. Quick and elusive. Good burst. I love the fact he doesn’t hesitate. Plays fast.

HALL – 1-10. Had another play where he was open down the middle, but Foles didn’t get the ball up enough and a defender knocked it away.

HAMLER – 2-18. Nothing special.

T JONES – One pass came his way. No catches.

AKPLA – 2-18. At times, looks like an NFL receiver. Not consistent, though. Also lacks NFL athleticism. Best catch was a diving grab near the sideline. Had to really extend for the ball. You see plays like that and get excited, but then he’ll look pedestrian at other times.


D BELL – Bad vs PIT. Better last week. Big step back this week. Ugh. Played some with the starters. I think the coaches were hoping that would help bring out the best in him. It didn’t. This isn’t about talent. He’s just a head case right now. No confidence. Thinking too much, which causes him to play slow. Had to execute a reach block to the inside on a run play going away from him. Got beat and the DT made a TFL. Dennis Kelly was able to make this block in the NE game and it sprung the RB for a big gain. Bell is a mess in pass pro. The discouraging part is that he’ll have a bad block, then follow with a good one, and then go right back to a bad one. There is no consistency. There is no rhyme or reason to his play. I’m not so sure he’s safe to make the team right now.

DUNLAP – Good game. Good in pass pro. Less effective on plays where he has to get to the 2nd level or block in space.

VANDERVELDE – Not a good showing. Played both LG and C. Struggled at both. Went on Twitter and apologized for his performance. CLE had some quick DTs that got the best of Vandy. On plays when Vandy was able to lock on, he anchored well. Too often he was reaching as they went in or out, using quickness to beat him. Lowlight was a bad snap in the 4th. We recovered, but the 5-yd loss threw off a GL series. Also hurt that he snapped the ball early on 3rd down. Trent wasn’t expecting it. He did get the ball, but then ran out of bounds.

REYNOLDS – Played RG. Best game of the preseason. Got beat early on by quick DT with good pass rush move. That got me worried, but Dallas settled down and played well. He’s still not ideal on the 2nd level, but had a couple of good blocks on the move. Overall did a good job in pass pro. Used his hands well. Locked on and anchored well. Very much helped his cause.

GIBSON – Disappointing preseason. Just hasn’t looked anything like I expected. Veteran player with athleticism, but hasn’t played to his potential. Simple example. Run play at beginning of 4th Q. Play goes to his side. DT is right there. Gibson allows the guy to cross his face and the DT gets an easy TFL. Mike knows he can’t let that happen and should have the talent to stop it. Didn’t.

KELLY – Started at RT and played much of the game. His best game so far, which is encouraging. Showed good feet. Had some really good moments in pass pro. Got pushed around a couple of times. Must set stronger (and not be so upright). Was able to re-set after being pushed back on one play. That’s important. You can give ground, but never want to be on “roller skates” the whole way back to the QB. Got beaten off the edge a couple of times, but was able to use his hands to ride the DE wide or at least slow him down so he didn’t go free to the QB. Again, important. Not all blocks will be clean. You must learn the tricks of the trade to keep your QB from taking big hits (as much as is possible). Does a good job of blocking on the move. I’m sure Howard Mudd loves him for that reason. Can get to the 2nd level and block a moving target. Kelly needs work, but is showing progress. Good sign.

DJ JONES – Good game. #3 LT. Looks comfortable in pass pro. Has pretty good feet. Isn’t smooth, but does a good job of mirroring the rusher. Plays with good balance and stays under control. Can get beat by a good burst, but will use his hands to stick with the rusher. DE tried an inside move in the 4th and Jones just drove him into the scrum. Did get beat by the RE on a pass play. DJ blocked him cleanly at first, then the DE used a power move and pushed him aside after getting him off balance. Can be a good run blocker. Gets to the 2nd level and uses his hands well to mash on LBs.

VALLOS – Backup C. Pretty good game. Really looks the part of a Mudd linemen. There are times when he blocks well and you think that he could be a good backup C/G. Good in pass pro. Keeps his feet active and helps the DTs. Not a watcher. Finds someone to block. My biggest beef is that that Steve’s athleticism isn’t as functional as it needs to be. Jason Kelce is a terrific athlete. You watch the game and see him make athletic blocks. Vallos is much more inconsistent in that regard. Doesn’t stand out as a blocker on the 2nd level. He gets up there just fine, but the athleticism goes away as he goes to make blocks. Reaches too much.

MCCULLOUGH – #3 LG. Lacks NFL athleticism. Good effort. Simply struggles at times in pass pro.

WELCH – #3 RT. Lacks the footwork for OT in the NFL. I do wonder if some team that likes to run the ball would consider him at OG. Has a good frame. Tough. Uses his hands well. Limited athlete with poor feet. Works his butt off, even when he’s beat.



* Offside penalties were an issue. I didn’t chart all of them, but they happened to multiple guys. Dumb. At least it is a fixable mistake.


LANDRI – Great game. Absolutely a disruptive force. Affected multiple run plays with penetration, drawing a holding call on one. Chased down outside run play away from him and made the tackle. Highlight was his sack. CLE had the ball in the RZ. Tried to run a screen. Derek fired off the ball and blew through the too casual effort of his blocker. Hit Weeden as he turned around the ball came loose. Eagles got it. Great play. I’m sure the Browns OL is like “how the hell did this guy get no FA looks from 31 teams?”.

JENKINS – DE and DT. Good push on some pass plays. Bounced a run out wide that allowed pursuit to make the stop.

TAPP – Involved in a couple of big plays. Beat Joe Thomas for a strip sack in the 1st Qtr. Used a good burst and then fought off the block with his hands. Hit Weeden and knocked the ball loose. CLE recovered. Seeing Tapp beat Joe Thomas, a very good LT, was impressive. Earlier Tapp did recover a fumble after Rau knocked the ball loose from a RB.

GRAHAM – Best game in a while. Had 1.5 sacks. Got full sack on 3rd/short. Lined up tighter than usual and fired to the inside. Cleanly beat the OL and was on Weeden almost instantly. He and Hunt shared a QB sandwich on another pass play for the half sack. Hit the QB on other plays. Was disruptive multiple times. Looked fast off the ball. Still played with good power.

DIXON – Just looks lost. I don’t think Dixon fits the system. I know the argument is that he’s our biggest DT and a good run stuffer. The problem is that he’s not been a good run stuffer this summer. There are moments when the light is flickering, but then it quickly goes off. There was one play in the game that I hated. Dixon came off the ball. He was doubled. He let up and the C then blocked him alone, with marginal effort. I actually said aloud “that’s disgusting”. I’ll be highly disappointed if they keep Dixon.

COX – Starting UT. Didn’t play all that much in this game, though. Gets a little better each week, but still has a long way to go. Does one thing well on a play. Might fire off the ball quickly. Might use his hands well. Might stay low and get good push. The trick is getting him to do them all so he can start winning 1-on-1 matchups consistently. You see flashes of his talent, but someone new to football would think Derek Landri was the coveted player and Fletch was the guy rejected by 31 teams.

HUNT – Another strong showing. Had 1/2 sack that he had to share with Graham. Continues to be a disruptive force off the edge. Almost as impressive, he’s getting better and better on STs. Standout guy on KO coverage. Love seeing that. He’s not just a pretty boy pass rusher. Tough guy willing to do the dirty work.

THORNTON – Terrific game. Stat sheet says 1 tackle, but that doesn’t come close to telling the story. The poor RG who had to block him was overwhelmed on many plays. Ced drew at least one holding call. Could have had a few. Played with excellent power. Had one play where his helmet was ripped off. Ced didn’t respond well and drew an unnecessary roughness call. On the next snap he got the better of the RG and drew a holding call. That’s good revenge. Consistently pushed the pocket and was a pain in the butt for the Browns offense. Had one run play where he went low and got the RB by the feet. Just missed a TFL. Runner got back to the LOS. Really good showing.

OGBU – Big step forward. Used a spin move to get free and hit the QB. I thought Ogbu used his hands well to fight off blockers. Battled double teams. Held his ground. Doesn’t look like roster material yet, but looked more comfortable in the Wide-9. Showed progress. Tough guy with good motor. Highlight moment came when he got in the backfield. Wasn’t able to sack Weeden. Didn’t give up and he got a second shot…but missed. I’m sure Ollie’s teammates gave him heck about that. 1 play, 2 misses.

TROTTER – Got a hustle sack on the play where Ogbu missed Weeden twice. Trotter chased him out of bounds for a short loss. Trotter was in on 4 tackles. Terrific effort player. I don’t know that he’s got the upside to even make the P-squad, but I love 3rd stringers who come in and play as if their life depends on it. That’s the only chance they have. Even if Trotter is done with the NFL shortly, he can be proud of the way he played.

X BROWN – Got snaps at DT and DE. Lacks burst.

CURRY – Another good game. He’s had a hard time living up to the PIT showing, but Vinny has been impressive in the other games. Credited with 4 tackles. Didn’t get a sack, but showed good speed off the edge on pass plays. Has clearly shown that he’s a good run defender. Can beat blocks on plays that come at him. Fast enough to make pursuit plays when the ball goes away from him. Browns tried to block him with a TE on 3rd Qtr run play. Vinny tossed the guy aside and stopped the RB for no gain. A couple of plays later he blew up a trap play by knocking back the pulling OG and then getting the RB. Just like Hunt, this isn’t a pretty boy pass rusher. Tough guy. Good football player.


KENDRICKS – Impressive. Had just 2 tackles because of limited snaps, but once again was fast and active. He was in the right spot to make plays.

RYANS – Quiet game.

ROLLE – My son had a down game. No Funyuns or pudding for a week. Also not allowed to watch Lifetime movies with Claire Forlani in them. The funny thing about Rolle’s performance is that he actually looked good at times. He must made some costly mistakes that way overshadowed the good stuff. Got called for an offside penalty. Can’t have that from a LB. Got lost/picked on a pass play and left a crossing receiver wide open for a big gain. Mis-played a couple of runs that came at him. Gap integrity is crucial for good LB play. You can’t guess/take chances. Did have 3 solo tackles. Showed good speed and range in the open field. Played in the #2 Nickel as well as the base.

CHANEY – Didn’t play a lot. Was the #2 WLB and played in the Nickel. Had 1 tackle. Looked okay. Just wasn’t out there enough to stand out and show that he’s ready to push for a starting job.

JORDAN – Good game. #2 SAM. Not credited with any tackles, but did play well. Highlight moment came on a busted play. QB rolled to Jordan’s side. There was a RB/FB out there. Akeem had to decide to go get the QB or stay in coverage. He chose the third option and stayed between them. Didn’t want to let the QB lob the ball over him for a big play, but also wasn’t going to let Weeden run for 10 yds. Very smart by Jordan. Did stick with the RB as he saw a pursuing DE get close to Weeden. Jordan has had that kind of summer – smart, technically sound. He hasn’t made a ton of huge plays, but he’s reliable. He gets in the right gap on runs. He covers the right guy on pass plays. He makes smart decisions on broken plays. He’s playing like a veteran.

CLAYTON – Typical. Up and down. Had 3 tackles, TFL, and broke up a pass. Covered well. Still isn’t a good run player. Drives me nuts to see how lost he is in the box on run plays. Looks like me at a salad bar.

RAU – Good game. Really impressive showing. Had 3 solo stops. Had a TFL and a FF. That’s good stuff. Just as impressive, he was instinctive. Read his keys and flowed to the ball under control. Takes good angles when he does pursue. Easily his best game of the summer. Casey Matthews injury meant extra playing time and Rau took advantage of it in a big way. Tackled well. Ran the defense. There was a play when the coaches were slow to make the call. Rau was frustrated with them and you could see him yelling, waving his arms. He didn’t look flustered (panicky). Rau just wanted the call so he could run his D. He finally got the call, made it, and got his guys in position. That was subtle, but impressive. I don’t want to over-hype him after one game. I loved what we saw, but the Browns offense is a mess. I do think Rau opened some eyes (certainly mine). Let’s see what he does vs the Jets before we figure out what to do with him.

SIMMONS – Quiet game.

MOTEN – Quiet game.


JARRETT – Another solid showing. Let’s put things in perspective. JaiJar isn’t doing anything special. He’s not flying around at 100mph blowing up runners and receivers. He’s in the right spot on plays. He is assignment sound. He is playing with confidence. He no longer looks lost on plays. JaiJar had 2 tackles. Did a solid job in coverage. Highlight moment for him came on a PR. Unleashed a big hit on Josh Cribbs that caused Cribbs to take out another Brown. That was a flat out impressive play.

THOMAS – Good game. Had 3 tackles, broke up a pass. Gave up a TD when he tripped in the endzone and the ball came to his guy. Thomas is flying around and stands out when watching tape. He’s aggressive in run support. He covers pretty well. Plays fast. The PBU came on a pass into the endzone. Thomas read it well, got a good break and went up high to get a hand on the ball. That’s good stuff. Wasn’t some lucky play where the ball came right to him. Saw crossing receiver catch short pass and Thomas closed quickly, then wrapped up, and slung him to the ground forcefully. I love the way he plays. No hesitation. Aggressive, confident.


BOYKIN – Good game. Had some passes come his way. Credited with 2 tackles, 1 PD. Showed very good recovery speed on crossing routes. That’s how he got his PBU. Covered well on most plays. Gets more confident each week. He’s starting to figure out the pro passing game. Played mostly in the slot. He is really pushing Joselio.

MARSH – Good game. Has really come on this summer. Eagles are mixing him in and Marsh is showing good progress. I love the fact he can be physical or turn and run. He can play left or right. Has some time in the slot. Comfortable with it all. Had 1 tackle. I don’t know that I’d want him to start anytime soon, but I’m not scared of the idea like I was back in the spring.

HUGHES – Solid game. Gave up one completion at least on a slant to his side. Had good coverage and quickly made the tackle.

C HARRIS – Made his one Eagles play, picking off a tipped pass. Didn’t play until late in the game.

LINDLEY – Shocking to say, but he is playing well and could push for a roster spot. Had a deep ball come his way, but had pretty tight coverage and the pass was incomplete. Tackled TE after short pass in his area. Looked like the knocked the ball loose, but the play was ruled over. Broke up a pass and had a pair of stops.

K THOMAS – Had 2 tackles.

BONNER – Played late. Had 1 tackle.



HENRY – Punted from CLE 43 and 46. One was downed deep, the other a touchback.

MCBRIAR – Pinned CLE deep with good punt from their 43.

HENERY – 2 of 3 on FGs. Short miss. McBriar was the holder, which is noteworthy because he had holding issues late in his career with Dallas. Had 2 touchbacks on KOs. Other 4 were returned.


* Damaris was 4-58 as PR with a long of 30.

* Keenan Clayton blocked a punt that set up a score. He was unblocked on the play.

* Boykin had KORs of 24 and 25 yds, nothing special. Bryce Brown had a chance in the 2nd half. Poor blocking limited him to just 20 yards.

* Mardy Gilyard had a good tackle in kick coverage. He returned a punt, but for no gain.


50 Comments on “Detailed Game Review – PS#3 PHI 27, CLE 10”

  1. 1 Arby1 said at 1:40 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Really appreciate the detailed accounts of OL play – that’s so hard to focus on during the game unless they make a mistake. Could DJ Jones be pushing for a roster spot or is he strictly PS? How would you rank Vandy, Reynolds and Vallos and who makes the team if you’re wearing Howie’s hat?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 2:34 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Jones should be at least PS. I think you can argue for him to make the roster. Thursday will be huge for him.

    Vandy feels like PS right now. Still has potential, but didn’t take a step forward this summer.

    Need to see Reynolds, Vallos vs Jets. Could be my 2 inside guys.

  3. 3 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:47 PM on August 29th, 2012:


    Thanks for making this DGR even though you are so busy!

    Reading it made me think if we COULD cut Bell and keep DJ Jones? Is Bells salary guaranteed? If so, I think he stays. If not, I guess it’s possible that they realize that he is too much of a project/slow learner for this system.

    I’m disappointed that Vandervelde is struggling this much. I don’t think you’ve been positive about him in these PS DGR. Our interior line depth suddenly seems like a weakness, and is a place where I’d sure keep a look out for possible mid round draftees next April. Any early favorites already?

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 2:36 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I’ll be focusing on interior OL starting on Friday night and all through the college season. Key is that we need good depth, but have solid starters in place. That’s a good problem instead of the other way around.

    I do not think Bell is a lock. We gave him a bonus, but the deal was structured for 1 yr. Can cut him and not suffer too much. Not sure what Mudd thinks of him right now.

  5. 5 austinfan said at 2:02 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Pretty much what I saw.

    Bell could be trade bait, there are some teams desperate for OTs right now (Arizona, NY Jets) who might decide Bell just can’t handle Mudd’s system. I think at this point Kelly might be a safer alternative, and DJ Jones needs some time against real players on Thursday. After 3 games, a whole offseason and TC, Bell just shouldn’t look this bad.

    Vandervelde is a disappointment, problem is Reynolds is 28, Vallos is 29, do you want to keep two backups with no upside? Vallos to me is a lock as the only trustworthy backup center. If you’re not going to dress Reynolds, and Kelly has shown enough to play G, you might give Vandervelde another year to develop, though I think I’d be scouring the waiver wire.

    DIxon needs to be traded to a two gap team, he should have value off his youth and his 2010 film. Tapp is probably going to be traded simply because you’re not going to bench him, and who’s the 5th DE? You’re going to bench Graham or Hunt? And Tapp is in his contract year, so he needs to play to get one more deal.

    Jordan makes sense as the starting WLB, it sends a message to Rolle, and he earned the job. Played very well in 2009 until he got hurt, then that doofus Sean lobbies for the “land shark.” Jordan is limited athletically, but still far superior to guys like Keith Adams and more physical than Witherspoon or Sims. He’ll be a two down LB so his coverage limitations won’t be exposed. Rolle and Chaney have to lift their game, they’re better athletes than Jordan, but not better players right now.

    The only way Lindley makes this team is if they cut Hanson, which will require Hughes or Lindley to show they can backup Boykin in the slot. The improvement by Lindley, Hughes and Marsh this offseaosn does suggest that Lynn was dead weight last year. Hughes is looking very good, he’s bounced around but has great speed and quicknes (4.40 and 1.48 10 yard split), long arms (almost 33″), seems Bowles is tapping into that talent.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 2:38 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Hughes can play the slot. Having a backup there is crucial, as you point out. Hanson is no lock to make the roster. Coaches like him quite a bit, but could they fall for Lindley’s size/potential as well as Hughes youth? Maybe.

    Agreed on Dixon. Hope we deal him.

  7. 7 Ellis Bergman said at 2:38 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    So is Bell this year’s Ryan Harris?

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 3:30 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Ryan got hurt, but seems like a similar situation, in that a player who was supposed to solve an injury problem (Justice 2011, Peters 2012)…didn’t.

  9. 9 iLLWiLLTHEMiCK said at 2:56 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    gla curtis marsh is showing something. he could be n importantcog in this secondary if he keeps on deveoping.

  10. 10 ACViking said at 3:21 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Re: Trevard Lindley


    After his 2008 junior season, when he was 1st-team All SEC for U-Kentucky — beating out U-Florida’s Joe Haden — my recollection is that Lindley was pegged as a potential 1st-round choice if he’d declared for the NFL draft.

    But Lindley stayed at Kentucky for his senior year, hurt his ankle — and his draft stock. The Eagles took him in Rd 4 of the 2010 draft. While Joe Haden went No. 7 overall to the Browns.

    This preseason, Lindley looks much more stout — not the skinny kid he was in 2010. And maybe some CBs take some time to develop (Raiders’ HOF CB Willie Brown, who invented the “bump and run,” was cut by the Oilers in his rookie training camp after graduating from Grambling.)

    So . . . is Lindley in fact bigger? Is he playing more physically?

    Does he have any serious shot at sticking with the Birds — who’re now favoring press/physical corners?

    Is Lindley more a zone guy?

    Or did Lindley just top-out in 2008?

    By the way, on his lone kick return against the Browns, Bryce Brown looked like a freight train.

    Give that guy a crease and he looks like he could be an explosive returner.

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 5:16 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Lindley was a Dick Jauron pick, if I remember right. He never looked bad for us, but also failed to show anything special. He was cut last year and no one picked him up. The Eagles gave him a second chance and he’s playing more aggressively now. Maybe time out of football made him hungry and focused. That can make guy play with a sense of desperation.

    Young players must show progress to keep their jobs. When they flat line, teams get worried. Do they lack drive? Are they dumb? Have they simply maxed out their talent?

    I’m glad Lindley took advantage of his second chance. Maybe he’s helped by having no pressure on him now.

  12. 12 nicolajNN said at 3:36 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    People are down on Bell and so am I, but rather than using the Harris comparison, I, as the positive person I am, wonder if it could be more like Watkins last year (I know there’s a difference as Watkins was a rookie) But maybe Bell will get his head right trough the first few games.

    I hope this is the case because while I like Dunlap and know he can do a good job, I’d rather have him a back-up and not starting for a full season.

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 5:13 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Great point and one I was going to make in an OL post. Harris was hurt. He couldn’t be fixed. Bell is healthy. His head is the issue, just like with Watkins last year. Can Bell be turned around if he works with the coaches in a more stable setting (away from Lehigh)?

    We’ll know when the Eagles keep or cut him.

  14. 14 Arby1 said at 5:55 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I was thinking of Watkins too. A few differences: Watkins was a rookie, playing a new position with no summer to prepare. With Bell, it’s just a new system. He has fewer excuses.

  15. 15 ACViking said at 3:47 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    RE: Alternate Eagles Universe


    Here’s a series of “alternate universe” questions for you.

    Let’s say Vick calls it quits tomorrow because he has a previously undiagnosed nerve injury in his neck. Or he get’s injured stepping off the curb.

    1. Does AR commit to Foles for the entire season, not just making him the Eagles’ opening-day QB, but keeping him in there no matter what?
    (As I wrote yesterday, I think Foles is the best pocket-passing rookie Eagles’ QB since eventual HOFer Sonny Jurgensen in 1957. McNabb had his legs to rely on. Foles, not so much.)

    2. Would AR and MM revamp the Eagles’ offense into the 2002-AJ Feeley style that puts a bigger load on McCoy and maybe gets Bryce Brown involved more quickly than anticipated? Or do they run the “Eagles’ offense”?

    3. What kind of statistics do you expect Foles to post in these circumstances? 20+ TDs and less than 15 INTs?

    4. Do the Eagles make the playoffs with Nick Foles?

  16. 16 austinfan said at 4:06 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I’d hate to see Foles get in there before at least the bye week. He needs to see what a real football game looks like in the film room, because it’s going to be faster, and the defenses more complex, than anything he’s seen in preseason.

    The key to winning with Foles or Kafka will be to run a ball control offense and not ask them to do too much – doesn’t necessarily mean pound the ball, AR ran this early in his tenure, and against at the end of 2008, lot’s of screens, short passes, draws, etc., to keep defenses off balance but not ask the QB to make too many reads or hold the ball too long.

    In that case, making the playoffs comes down to defense, in 2002 they could win with Feeley because they played very good defense, in 2006 they needed Garcia to score some points.

  17. 17 ian_no_2 said at 4:14 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Foles is a baller. A lot to be said for putting him out there before teams make adjustments to him.

  18. 18 A_T_G said at 5:12 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I can understand the urge to not get swept up in the hype, but I think you are selling the kid short. Foles is the first backup QB, other than Vick, that I remember who looked like they were leading and instead of learning. I am much less nervous about Vick’s health than I was just a few weeks ago.

  19. 19 austinfan said at 5:15 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Preseason is not the regular season.

    The game gets faster, but more importantly, DCs pull out all their tricks. Remember how JJ would torment rookie QBs with his blitzes and fake blitzes and weird zone blitzes?

    It’s not fair to Foles to raise expectations that high. He didn’t play in a pro system in college, he’s got a steep learning curve, the fact that he’s progressed quickly is a good sign, but frankly I’d be more comfortable with Kafka this year. Now 2013 . . .

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 5:22 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    As of now, I think Reid would go with Foles. He’d sign/acquire some veteran to be ready in case Foles fell flat on his face.

    The offense would adjust, but would still focus on throwing the ball. I think the shift would take away Vick’s deep balls and would focus on intermediate routes. Defenses would load the box to deal with Shady. Big Red would expect Foles to counter that with an efficient passing attack.

    Stats? No idea. 25 TDs, 20 INTs. Foles would have some success, but he would make plenty of mistakes.

    No idea on the playoffs. My gut says we’d be in the hunt, but a 9-7 type of team that would make/not make it based on how things played out for other teams. Some years 10 win teams miss. Others, 8-8 is good enough.

  21. 21 Anders said at 3:33 AM on August 30th, 2012:

    In this alternative universe, if Vick gets a long term injury and Foles struggle, do the Eagles bring back McNabb?

  22. 22 iskar36 said at 4:43 AM on August 30th, 2012:

    Is this an honest answer or a joke? 25 TDs? I’m definitely on board with the Foles bandwagon, but that would be 1 shy of a record set in 1998 by Manning and also more TDs than Cam Newton threw last year or Vick for that matter.

    On top of that, you think that if we lose Vick, we are still a 9-7 team, especially after saying Foles would throw 20 INTs (that’s SIX more than Vick threw last year)? There is a chance we are a 9-7 team with Vick healthy for the entire season. With him out, there is no way this team has a record above 0.500.

    Maybe you are kidding about the Greatness that is Foles, but if you are being serious, I think you may have gotten to the point that your optimism is blinding you.

  23. 23 ian_no_2 said at 3:52 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    As always great DGR by the hardest working man in showbiz.

    Reynolds’ strong game would give him the leg up over Vallos and Vandervelde since he can play both guard and center and knows the system the best. So with one preseason game to go, I would keep a total of nine: the five starters, Reynolds, Kelly, DJ Jones and Brandon Washington and try to make at least one waiver claim/ trade, maybe two, with Washington the first to be PSed after the claim and maybe Jones, too, if you get a second guy. I realize that Washington’s been hurt and shown nothing this preseason but that’s good enough to finish ninth this year. Don’t think Bell’s worth the money.

    Word from McBriar’s agent that he’s been released. That probably has to do with holding for Henery, and confidence in Henry’s punting obviously. If the decision’s been made, it’s classy to give McBriar a few extra days to find a team, because last time they had a competition Dirk Johnson (not as good as McBriar) had problems finding an open spot later. I would have tried out different holders like Avant and leaned towards keeping McBriar but I can see the logic.

    I like what Rau’s doing. Maybe Matthews could be IRed this year, since the high ankle sprain may linger for weeks, or maybe just cut and possibly resigned as I said earlier.

  24. 24 ian_no_2 said at 3:57 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    also you could dump Reynolds and keep Jones or Washington if you pick up a solid G-C

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 5:23 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Washington is a mystery. Need to see him vs Jets to know if he’s PS material. I can’t imagine he makes the roster without a really good game. I’d love some minor injury so we could IR him.

  26. 26 ian_no_2 said at 4:28 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I think NFL coaches are nervous about putting Big Sky defenders out there like Rau and Colt Anderson. Colt was a good safety in college. All I can say is it’s worth a shot based on the alternatives.

  27. 27 dislikedisqus said at 4:04 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Kosar said a couple of times that Foles threw a trifle late. One was on the TD pass to Dion Lewis so there it did not make a difference.. I could see what he was saying. What do you think? I assume it’s just getting used to the speed of the pro game, as they say the game slows down for the QB in his second year.

  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 5:26 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Foles has had some passes where he was late. I’m going off memory and getting my games mixed up a bit so I won’t talk specifics. The thing is that he’s not so late that it has led to major problems. He needs to work on this, but has shown the ability to anticipate players coming open and get the ball to them quickly.

  29. 29 Arby1 said at 6:08 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Was watching a bit of the Jets-Panthers game the other night and Cris Collingsworth was making a huge deal out of release time, that .4 of a second was huge in terms of cueing DB’s about pass direction. Interesting stuff.

  30. 30 Anders said at 4:16 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I hope Philip Thomas gets a roster spot. He have been the 3rd best safety on this team (Jarret have improved and OJ have been injured)

  31. 31 TommyLawlor said at 5:26 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    He’s growing on me. Hope he’s good vs Jets.

  32. 32 ACViking said at 8:05 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Asolutely. While T-Law’s DGR notes that J-Jarr was where he was supposed to be, I didn’t see the aggressiveness he showed even last preseason.

    But PT . . . he seemed to flying around the field, showing the controlled abandon you want from a safety.

    (I could be totally wrong. But that’s how it seemed on the tube.)

  33. 33 Anders said at 3:35 AM on August 30th, 2012:

    I have seen the same. Jarrett is still thinking but atleast he aint terrible anymore (huge improvement and what you want to see from a player there have hit rock bottom). Thomas seems to know where to be and what to do once he is there, if he keeps it up (good game vs Jets) and Coleman struggles again during the season, he might start a game or two.

  34. 34 P_P_K said at 4:37 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Hope this isn’t a dumb question(s), but If the Eagles keep McBriar, do they have someone else hold for fgs? For that matter, why is a punter holding anyway? Don’t most teams use a qb?

  35. 35 TommyLawlor said at 5:26 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Sorry for late answer, but we just found out McBriar will be cut. I’m pretty sure holding is what go him cut.

  36. 36 iskar36 said at 6:11 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I don’t think McBriar separated himself all that much from Henry as a punter either, at least in the PS games. After 3 games, they seemed fairly evenly matched (although from what I remember, Henry had fewer opportunities to punt deep and was mostly making punts trying to pin the other team inside the 20). My question is, especially in the case where you are dealing with a battle between punters, is there any particular reason not to have a backup QB take on holding duties? It’s an important part of kicking FGs, so I don’t want to diminish it, but it would be a shame to miss out on a good punter because he is a lousy holder. On top of that, not that it should be used often, but I would think it gives STs more options when it comes to fake FGs.

  37. 37 aceandson said at 6:56 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    The punter already deals with the long snapper, so that’s one thing that makes it easier than the QB.

    This year, the two back up QBs are still learning their primary jobs. It’s likely AR doesn’t want to add another responsibility into the mix.

  38. 38 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:30 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    It’s a practice issue, you have the long snapper, punter and Field goal kicker together and you don’t have to take time away from the second team offense

  39. 39 A_T_G said at 9:59 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Yeah, this. I should have kept scrolling before I responded.

  40. 40 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:10 PM on August 31st, 2012:

    Just caught up with this, This happens every year when someone wants to cut the Long-snapper or make the 2nd string QB the holder, they forget the realities of

  41. 41 A_T_G said at 9:58 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I think it is also a matter of there being a limit to practice time. Is that where you want your backup QB spending his time? The punter, kicker, and magician can go off on their own and practice.

  42. 42 Neil said at 5:35 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I reviewed Henery’s miss versus Cle, and McBriar literally held the ball at an angle to the ground, whereas a proper hold has the ball perfectly vertical. As for QBs holding, I think that was standard in the past, but it’s a fact that your 2nd-string QB is more likely to suffer an injury than your punter as a general rule.

  43. 43 iskar36 said at 5:10 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    I’ve liked what I have seen from D. Johnson on punt returns once he has the ball in his hands, but should we be concerned that he has had a couple of less than clean catches on punts? I can remember at least two bobbles, including the one he fumbled and picked back up and the one in this game. That’s 2 in three games at least. Could that become a problem down the line if he doesn’t start to make cleaner catches off of punts?

  44. 44 TommyLawlor said at 5:28 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    We need to watch this closely. The CLE one was a very minor bobble. Let’s see what he does on Thursday. The issue may go away. Might get worse. We can more accurately judge then.

  45. 45 chris cornett said at 8:53 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Tommy, Off Topic
    Last night I was at the movies and saw the trailer for Red Dawn that’s coming out in November. This time it’s the North Koreans invading the Pacific North West. It looks pretty good. The good thing is that Wolverines are still kicking Commie butt.
    It originally was going to be the Chinese, but they decided that might offend them so they spent a million dollars to switch it to the North Koreans.

  46. 46 Cliff said at 5:15 AM on August 30th, 2012:

    I can NOT believe they’re remaking that movie.

  47. 47 James Casagrande said at 10:00 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    As in earlier posts: if Rau shows something again in the Jets game, do you seriously consider cutting Matthews, or finding a way to stash somebody on IR? Any other way he gets on? Do not want to / Would not cut Rolle for him… yet!

  48. 48 Neil said at 10:01 PM on August 29th, 2012:

    Something I noticed when watching a cap of this game from the internet: on Foles touchdown to Celek, I watched his eyes. It looked like he progressed from the slot receiver, to the outside receiver, to the running back and back through the receivers before looking at Celek. Who was his sixth read.

  49. 49 Mark Frey said at 12:14 AM on August 30th, 2012:

    Thanks, Tommy!

  50. 50 Corry Henry said at 8:32 AM on August 30th, 2012:

    I don’t view this as a likely scenario, but do you see Reid keeping all four running backs? I realize this is stupid considering how pass heavy Mornhinweg/Reid have been, but, you know this better than me, at the bottom of the roster, Polk is competing with Brown AND the 3rd TE AND 6th WR and so forth. In my opinion, Polk has shown more than Bracket, McNutt, and Hall.