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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.