Prior to the Tra Thomas retirement, Andy Reid gave an injury update and then answered some general questions. Someone asked if FB was a certain spot for the Eagles. Reid responded that FB is a required position for the WCO. Interesting answer.
Reid didn’t expand on this answer very much. Of course the playbook calls for a FB on some plays. Does that mean you dedicate a roster spot to FB, despite the fact he’ll only be in on 10-15 percent of the snaps? Some of them are critical plays so there is logic to having a FB.
What I find interesting about this is that the Eagles are so passive about the position. Stanley Havili wasn’t a good blocker at USC. He did have shoulder problems and might be better. We don’t know because the Eagles did little running out of the I-formation up at Lehigh and almost none in the preseason opener. How the heck are we supposed to train Havili to do the job or find out if he can do it without running Iso plays?
To challenge him, we brought in a UDFA named Emil Igwenagu, a FB/TE tweener. He has some potential, but would be a more appropriate fit for a team with a proven vet at FB. If Iggy then is great, you give him the job. If Iggy isn’t, no big deal.
I don’t want to make it sound like the Eagles have made some glaring mistake. I think that would be over-stating the case. I do question their methodology, assuming that they plan on keeping a FB. I’ve seen nothing from Havili or Iggy that makes me think they deserve a roster spot. If you truly want the best 53 players, neither should make it. If you must keep a FB, then Havili would be the choice. If you feel a FB is needed, why not have a better set of players fighting for the job. Havili would be a good challenger to a vet. Instead we’ve got a project challenging a project.
I was encouraged by Havili’s showing on STs. That is a critical part of making this roster as a FB. I know he can run and catch. Now let him show that he can be a lead blocker. If he does that, I’m fine with him getting the job. Owen Schmitt wasn’t great. He was effective. We need a replacement who can also be effective at a minimum.
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Bad news. Iggles Blitz hero Marlon Favorite was signed by the Redskins. They lost NT Chris Neild to an ACL injury. I’m glad Marlon got a job, but his addition has to make the Skins the Super Bowl favorites now. How in the heck do you block a DT that can fly? This is like going back to the Revolutionary War and handing the British a bunch of M-60 machine guns (for fighting rebels), cases of Fruit Roll-Ups (for fighting scurvy), and copies of P90X (for fighting fat). We couldn’t have beaten them in that situation. Simply impossible.
Now we have the football version of that scenario. Howard Mudd has to teach the interior guys how to fly (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style) so that they have any hope of slowing down Marlon. The horror. The horror.
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Colt Anderson isn’t off the PUP list yet. He says he’s ready, but is being told to take it slowly. I think Colt is simply dying to get on the field. He wants to play now. Thankfully the trainers, doctors, and coaches are taking their time. You don’t rush an ACL recovery. We’ve done that in the past and the results weren’t good.
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Asante Samuel was burned for a long TD by Bengals WR AJ Green in the Thursday night preseason game. Samuel squatted on the route since it was 3rd down and played the chains. Green got behind him with ease and was wide open for the score. This is the part of Asante I won’t miss. The first time I see him grab a ball and head up the field for 40 yards…that will be the guy I do miss. High risk, high reward player. I am curious to see how he fares for the Falcons.
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Reuben Frank got some good quotes from Jason Kelce on the LT situation. Jason thinks King Dunlap deserves the job now. As Kelce points out, there is still time left for this thing to change. The next 2 preseason games will be critical for Dunlap and Bell. I just want one of them to show he can be a solid starting LT.
Roobs also wrote an interesting piece on the DL and how they are mostly castoffs. This point hadn’t really occurred to me.
Cole – late rounder
Jenkins – UDFA
Landri – late rounder
Babin – was 1st rounder, but became journeyman and was cut by teams
Dixon – UDFA
Thornton – UDFA
Hunt – UDFA who had to go to the CFL
Pretty crazy, huh?
Dave Spadaro interviewed Phillip Hunt today. Hunt said he was 255 pounds leaving Lehigh. Last year he was 245. Hunt can add on a couple of pounds. Training Camp is hard on the players and guys will burn through pounds. For some that is good, for others…not so much. Hunt is fine at 255, but 260 would probably be ideal for him. He can keep his burst, but will anchor better on run plays that happen to come right at him.
I was disappointed that Hunt never talked about the Elsinore Brewery. What a hoser, eh?