More on the Safety Situation

Posted: August 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 17 Comments »

I went back and re-re-watched the 2nd half of the PIT game.  OJ Atogwe had a solid showing.  Can’t say anything better than that because selfish jerks like Cedric Thornton and Vinny Curry kept making every play.  How the heck is Atogwe supposed to make a tackle when the RB can’t even get out of the stinking backfield.  Jerks.

I focused in on Jai-Jar and Atogwe each play.  You could see a noticeable difference.  Jai-Jar is seeing things and thinking.  Atogwe would already be 3 steps up the field, having diagnosed the play and decisively moved up.  He wasn’t being reckless.  He read his keys and knew what he was seeing.  This is what you’d expect from a veteran Safety.  I thought Atogwe looked quick in coming up.  Aggressively took on blockers a couple of times.  There was no hesitation with him, which is what you want to see.

Atogwe was mostly playing deep Safety.  Still, play after play he was closer to the action than Jai-Jar.  I can’t say much about Atogwe in coverage.  There was a pass thrown to a receiver in front of him.  Atogwe closed to the ball very quickly, but the ball hit the ground and was incomplete.

I am comfortable with Atogwe as the #3 Safety.  I didn’t see anything from him that makes me think he should start over Kurt Coleman.  I’m happy with Kurt this summer and he only loses his job if someone clearly outplays him.  Hasn’t happened yet.

Also checked out Phillip Thomas and Tom Nelson.  Thomas had a good showing in his limited snaps.  Cover his plays in the DGR.  Nelson was the deep Safety and just didn’t have chances.  I like Thomas better of the two, but the one X-factor that I don’t know about is assignments/playbook.  Nelson is a vet.  Thomas is a UDFA.  I don’t know if he’s doing the right things on the field.  I can judge his physical skills, but with so few plays, it is hard to judge if he’s in the right spot.  Safety is a position where the coaches must totally trust the player. I wonder if Thomas has that trust.  I bring this up because Nelson is the one getting Jai-Jar’s snaps with the 2’s despite the fact that Thomas has looked better to me.  Maybe they’re just going slow with him.

One team that has good depth at Safety is the Houston Texans.  Their 3rd stringers are Eddie Pleasant, a UDFA from Oregon, and Shiloh Keo, a 2nd year player from Idaho.  Pleasant has impressed many Texans people.  Not sure about Keo.  One guy above them is Quintin Demps.  Wonder if they could cut him and keep the young guys.

Eagles have 3 Safeties in Nate Allen, Coleman, and Atogwe.  Colt Anderson will be 4th, when he comes off the PUP list. We heard he was close to coming off a few weeks back.  Not sure what to make of that.  If he stays on PUP…we need to find a 4th S either from our bunch or somewhere else.  Keep your eyes open as you watch preseason games.

* * * * *

How fun was it Monday night to watch the Cowboys in that stinkfest?  They beat Oakland 3-0, but boy that was an ugly game.  Sure put our game vs PIT into perspective.  I’m feeling good right now about the matchup of their OL and our DL.

Speaking of Dallas, they gave a tryout to Jamaal Jackson last week.  Unfortunately he didn’t get the spot.  They said he was out of shape and had a poor showing.  Jamaal has struggled to be in good shape since something like 2007.  He would talk about his offseason workout, but the results were rarely obvious.  I want him to get a gig, but I now wonder how committed to the cause he truly is.

* * * * *

Anyone watching Hard Knocks?  Last night the Dolphins vets hazed the rookies by giving them haircuts.  Awful haircuts.  They shaved the eyebrows off one player.  The rookies went along with it and everyone was laughing.  Made for good TV.

It doesn’t make for a good football team.  There were constantly jokes about the appearances.  You can’t take a guy seriously that has no eyebrows.  During meetings and practice the haircuts were a distraction.  Dumb.

This made me think about the fact that Andy Reid does not allow hazing.  Good.  Accomplishes nothing.  It is juvenile.  One of the adjustment problems that rookies have is learning that college football is a game and pro football is a business.  Knucklehead behavior like that sure doesn’t help the situation.

* * * * *

Some of you saw Matt Miller’s ridiculously awful Bleacher Report video about the Eagles rookies in the previous comments section.  Our buddy Jimmy Bama loves to be the attack dog and he ripped Miller apart.  Check it out.

* * * * *

Some practice observations from the final few days at Lehigh:

* Demetress Bell really struggled the other day.  His confidence was shot.  I thought he started to pick things up on Monday.  One theory someone brought up is that Bell isn’t used to camps like this.  BUF runs a soft camp.  He could simply be worn down from long, physical practices that he’s just not used to.  I’d love that to be the problem, but I’m not holding my breath.

* Michael Vick and the offense had a good showing on Monday.  He complete a couple of deep balls and the offense clicked pretty well.  That was encouraging after the Steelers debacle.

* Damaris Johnson continues to impress.  He truly does look like the real deal.  I’m now starting to wonder what his role becomes on the 2012 Eagles.

* Ollie Ogbu won some matchups in the 1-on-1’s.  He has only been so-so this summer.  He was new to Wash’s system.  I’m hoping the light is now coming on for him.  Little to no shot at the roster, but could be a PS candidate.

* Matt McBriar took off his brace and reportedly was booming the ball.  Very encouraging.

_


  • james

    Could Damaris beat Djax in a race?

    • Anders

      No way. Damaris might be quick, but he is not Djax fast.

      • T_S_O_P

        Cliff Harris is faster than the both! ;-)

    • TommyLawlor

      Damaris couldn’t come close to DJax or Mac. Riley Cooper would be a good race for him.

  • T_S_O_P

    Thank you for this.

  • phillychuck

    Would Houston be interested in a DE like Tapp for one of their second string safeties? Or can’t Tapp play in a 3-4? How good is Troy Nolan? Is Demps improved?

    Or Antonio Dixon for one of those guys?

    Just spitballing here, of course.

    • Anders

      They might be interested in Dixon as a NT

    • TommyLawlor

      Houston is deep on D. Don’t see any smart trades right now. We’d be waiting to see who they cut most likely.

      Can’t offer a smart opinion on Nolan. No idea how he did last year. Honest and dumb is better than lying.

      Tapp could play in the 3-4, but I think Houston is deep there.

  • T_S_O_P

    Another camp battle that I am/was interested in is the back up outside corner. This is quite important as when the Eagles go to the Nnamdi Nickel (104 snaps last year), the 3 CB takes over at RCB. Presently, that is listed as Curtis Marsh, last year of course it was DRC.

    Does the Nnamdi Nickel make us more inclined to keep 6 CBs? How comfortable should we be with Marsh? Who is closest to pushing him in that spot? Hughes? Is he more of a slot guy? Harris? Lindley?

    • TommyLawlor

      No idea what’s going on at CB. Marsh, Boykin, Lindley all played solid in the PIT game, but there was so little passing that it was hard to judge them.

      Kevin Thomas needs to get going in the NE game if he’s going to challenge for a roster spot.

      Could see us going 6 CBs, 4 Safeties, but one of the corners would have to be able to fill in at S if ever needed.

      • austinfan

        Aso could play safety in an emergency, he was a starter at FS and SS for three years in college. And he looks a lot more physical this year, I think he just got sloppy out on an island in Oakland. But he’d just fill in to finish a game, he’s not a long-term solution in the event of injury.

        • TommyLawlor

          Very true.

      • T_S_O_P

        Is Boykin taking any snaps on the outside?

  • austinfan

    Nelson is an interesting guy, small college safety, wasn’t much of a ball hawk in college but good enough to make the Bengals in 2009 as a UDFA, and even started 3 games, though that may reflect other problems. Cut in 2011, brought in when Colt went down. Primarily a ST guy, had coverage problems in Cincy, but also probably was raw and Bowles may be able to work with him. 5’11 200, can’t find a workout but reportedly has 4.47 speed.

    Thomas had a great junior season at Syracuse, but ran awful both at the combine and his pro day, 4.7+, which is simply too slow for a NFL safety. Maybe he was injured, but I haven’t seen any reports.

    Some teams that may have surplus safeties:
    Denver – David Bruton
    NE – Josh Barrett
    NYG – Chris Horton
    SD – Sean Catthouse, Darren Stuckey
    SF – Darcel McBath
    SEA – Jeron Johnson, DeShawn Shead
    TB – Larry Asante
    Tenn – Al Afalava, Markelle Martin
    Wash – DeJon Gomes

    • TommyLawlor

      McBath was already cut by DEN for not playing well last year. Not sure he’d be of any help.

      I thought Gomes did okay for WAS last year. Just going off casual memory, though.

      NYG did already cut Janzen Jackson, a player the Eagles checked out prior to the draft. My guess is that he wouldn’t be of interest if the Gmen cut him this quickly.

  • SebastianAubrey

    I know its only preseason but if Dallas’ OLine doesn’t improve its going to be a sack fest..Get your popcorn ready boys!! I liked how D. Johnson was scared to go across the middle and how the big hit he took had no impact. Finally not sure if its been mentioned yet but how happy were you with the return game? It was the one of the things I liked most about preseason game #1..that and the dline getting after it!!

    • SebastianAubrey

      wasn’t scared excuse me…