Browns, ‘Boys, and Beginnings

Posted: September 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 34 Comments »

Does it seem hard to believe that Sunday is really the season opener?  I’m excited as heck, but it seems like just yesterday I was at the Senior Bowl listening to Jimmy Bama talk about Vinny Curry’s green pants.  Now, it’s go time.

I wrote a game preview for  Writing about the opener is always the hardest.  You can’t reference the last game.  You have the whole offseason as the back drop to the game.  There are no streaks or trends to break down.  Hopefully the preview will manage to keep you informed and entertained.

Next week we’ll have more of a normal flow and talk about the game during the week, a bit at a time.

* * * * *

QB Trent Edwards was cut.  And then immediately re-signed to a 2-year deal.  I haven’t read enough on the situation to know if it involved a raise, cut, or small bonus.

* * * * *

DE Darryl Tapp took a serious pay cut to stay here.  Geoff Mosher has a good story with all the details.  Geoff has done a good job since coming over to CSN.  It sounds like the Eagles will play all 5 DEs.  This isn’t ideal for Brandon Graham.  He’s going to have to fight for reps.  I wonder if they’ll mix him in at DT in the Nickel on some plays.

Juan Castillo did mention today that there are run and pass rotations that Jim Washburn uses.

* * * * *

Dallas 24, Giants 17

What did we learn from that game?  Not much.

I wasn’t overly impressed with either team.  The Giants CBs really struggled.  The Dallas OL struggled early on, but got better as the game wore on.  RB DeMarco Murray was 20-131.  The Giants had him trapped in the backfield a few times and he managed to turn nothing into something.  Kudos to Murray for that, but it was also very sloppy defense by the G-men.

Rookie RB David Wilson had a fumble and got benched.  He had fumbling issues at Va Tech.  They didn’t always trust him near the goal line.  He had 18 career TDs.  Montee Ball had double that last year alone.  Giovani Bernard of UNC ran for 13 TDs in his Redshirt Freshman season.  Those numbers should tell you how little Wilson got the ball near the GL.

The Dallas defense did some good things.  Sean Lee was terrific.  DeMarcus Ware doesn’t totally suck.  The new CBs played well.

Jimmy Bama covered Victor Cruz’s bad night.  Gotta say it was nice to see Cruz not coming up big.

* * * * *

Dallas is 1-0.  The Giants 0-1.  We don’t know what will happen to the Eagles or Skins.  The first game is huge because we’ve waited all offseason to see the team play, but don’t make too much of it, good or bad.

The Giants are 3-2 in the last 5 season openers.  The losses came in 2007 and 2011…the years that they won the Super Bowl.

Mike Shanahan is great on opening days, but hasn’t gotten a team into the playoffs since 2005.

Andy is only 6-7 in openers, but has had tremendous success overall.

The first game is fun, but it doesn’t count any more than any other game.  It just feels that way since 8 months of frustration and waiting are pumped into it.

* * * * *

BGN caught a note from Adam Caplan that I missed.

#Eagles are working out UDFA WR/TE/H-Back Derek Carrier (Beloit College-DIII) today, per source. Was one of the final cuts for the Raiders.”

Here is what I wrote about him prior to the draft.  I think Carrier could take the place of Emil Igwenagu on the P-squad, if signed.  Carrier is a much better athlete.  You would lose a lead blocker from practice.  Eagles might be okay with that if they feel Carrier is a player worth developing.  Nothing came of the workout so maybe Carrier didn’t impress.  Maybe a move will happen next week.  Stay tuned.

* * * * *

I posted some draft notes from Week 1 of the college season.  I’ll be watching OTs pretty close this fall.

* * * * *

I’ll be writing about the run defense for my SB Nation Philly column.  Someone asked about it.


34 Comments on “Browns, ‘Boys, and Beginnings”

  1. 1 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 9:47 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    Great post Tommy,

    Good to know you’ll keep extra attention to OTs this college season. If Andy stays with the team (if not we’ll probably go the QB route) I think we will draft a OT or DT (NT) with the first pick and then CB is a close 3rd (if DRC is let go).

    Maybe we’ll draft a stud WILL next April, and suddenly have a great LB corps… One can only dream. I dream of Jonathan Brown out of Illinois!

  2. 2 the guy said at 9:51 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    I’d think Curry is the odd man out, not Graham.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 10:11 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    We’ve got 6 DEs. Curry inactive. Graham seems to be 5th among the active DEs.

  4. 4 the guy said at 10:14 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    I like Babin and Hunt, but I think I’d prefer to have Tapp and Graham on the field for rushing downs.

    Do you have an opinion about the rotation?

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 10:51 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    Starters will be Cole and Babin. I’m guessing Hunt is backup LDE and Tapp at RDE. Then Graham gets mixed in.

    We really don’t know what to expect. All 5 guys deserve to play. Will be interesting to see how Wash uses his guys. Good problem to have.

  6. 6 Anders said at 1:37 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    I think Hunt should be RDE and Graham LDE

  7. 7 Todd B. said at 9:45 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    People forget that Tapp was the Eagles 2nd best run defender amongst DE’s. Tapp should be the backup on the right side.

  8. 8 bebin abraham said at 10:18 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    “Gotta say it was nice to see Cruz not coming up big.” How could you be so cruel Tommy..j/p..I concur with your statement it was also great to see David Wilson cry..I guess they do really leave their blood, sweat and TEARS out on that field

  9. 9 Brian Winings said at 10:58 PM on September 6th, 2012:


    Did you get to read this DN piece with some very strong negative opinions about certain members of the Eagles’ roster (opinions of an anonymous NFL scout):

    Any thoughts?

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 11:35 PM on September 6th, 2012:

    I’ll respond to that tomorrow.

  11. 11 Anders said at 1:44 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    I really hope that person is not a scout for an NFL team because that was some of the worst shit ever writing (after that article about Dixon and Hanson).

  12. 12 FrenchEagles said at 4:11 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Seriously… Writing something in that way, I can tell you that the Packers and the Pats have serious holes and won’t win any game during the season. I can’t believe he seriously saw the games. Is he the FakeWIPCaller scout?

  13. 13 Mac said at 3:46 PM on September 7th, 2012:

    I was gonna make a similar comment. Great minds… haha

  14. 14 GermanEagle said at 5:40 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Lol @ this article which I stopped reading after I saw that bloke mention “Jason Peters made everyone else look better” for the 6th time..!

  15. 15 Anders said at 5:45 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    I kept reading, but knew right from the beginning when he said Vick is no more than a 9-7 QB. How come the Eagles was 7-3 when he was healthy last year?

  16. 16 austinfan said at 12:59 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Actually, if they signed Carrier, I think McNutt would be the first off the island, I think they would have preferred Cunningham.

    Carrier looks more like a big WR to me than a TE:
    6-3 238 [4.51 15 4.08 6.65 36 10’2]
    played basketball and ran track at Beloit as well as played football.

    Reason I think they’d look at him as a WR is he’s more athletic than McNutt, and it would be easier to teach him to run routes than to learn how to block like a TE. Really raw but if he has hands could be a heck of a WR in a couple years.

  17. 17 Anders said at 1:48 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Agree on McNutt. I got really existed about him based on his performance at TC, but he did nothing against 2nd and 3rd string CBs. Carrier+Cunningham on the PS would give us some size for when training and both got good potential for next year.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 9:47 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Possible. Trying to get in Reid’s mind is never easy.

  19. 19 austinfan said at 1:07 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Giants have real problems – they lost Canty, Rogers, Ross, Thomas, Manningham, Prince was hurt (again). When you’re starting Bernard at DT and Coe at CB, no one knows the trouble you’re gonna see. And whether it’s Locklear or Beatty at LT, Cole has the Giants games circled on his calender. I don’t buy Hixon as the 3rd WR, and Randle is behind Barden on the depth chart. Wilson looks like a RB as long as he holds on to the ball, which may only last two series. What would really worry me if I were Coughlin is the disappearing act of Osi and Tuck, Cruz had a bad day but that probably won’t happen again for a couple years (darn).

    Cowboys CBs are improved, but they’ve got two SSs out there and it shows in coverage, which may explain why Ryan was throwing so many safety blitzes at the Giants, best way to hide those guys. I don’t buy Ogletree, MIA for four years yet suddenly a star? or maybe being covered (or not covered) by Tryon helps. Ware is their pass rush, and I don’t think Ratliff returning will make much of a difference unless his head suddenly gets two sizes bigger. His best days are behind him. The OL is pretty hapless, the over/under on Austin’s hammies is 6 games, on Dez’s brain exploding, 9 games. And Witten may be feeling the impact of a decade of big hits and big blocks.

  20. 20 Anders said at 1:46 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    I think Ogletree will have around 700 yards at years end (I dont think he is the new Austin/Cruz)

  21. 21 Mac said at 12:37 PM on September 7th, 2012:

    With Witten, Bryant, and Austin all being players that I don’t think you can count on for 16 games this year… Romo needs to develop chemistry with this Ogletree kid.

  22. 22 Eric Weaver said at 1:45 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    How is Taylor Lewan as an eagles pick? I’ve seen some people mention him.

  23. 23 TommyLawlor said at 1:56 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Definite target. Covered him at ScoutsNotebook about a week ago. Use search over there and should pop up.

  24. 24 Cliff said at 2:48 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    To be fair to David Wilson, he also always had a bigger, more powerful running back to share red zone touches with. Virginia Tech was never too creative offensively, so smash it up the middle was a favorite play of ours.

    2009 – Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, David Wilson
    2010 – Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, David Wilson
    2011 – Logan Thomas (QB – 11 rushing TD’s), David Wilson

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 9:46 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Fair enough, but if a guy is a stud RB…pulling him from the game at a critical time just seems odd. He wasn’t on the field inside the 10 a whole lot from what I saw.

  26. 26 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:59 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Tommy I get where you are coming from and I am no Hokie lover but Wilson was not the feature back until last year. Also, VT’s OC….Stinespring is not a guy who moves away from something that his team has success with and last year running Logan Thomas in those short yardage situations was obviously very successful. VT loves a down and distance situation that features logan as a run or throwing option.

  27. 27 Mac said at 12:35 PM on September 7th, 2012:

    Yeah but when I saw how many fumbles that kid had in his college career, all I could do was smile on draft day thinking about how red Coughlin’s face would be this year.

  28. 28 Cliff said at 2:57 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    And while I’m at it defending my Hokie brethren… the vaunted “lunch pail” goes back to Tapp for making a tough decision to stay here another season.

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 9:45 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Tapp had that thing for most/all of his Senior year. Good player, great guy.

  30. 30 iskar36 said at 8:46 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    What’s your take Ryan’s being pulled as starting nickel lb? I would have thought he would certainly have been the better option compared to Chaney.

  31. 31 fran35 said at 11:45 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Not sure if this has been written anywhere, but where did Mardy Gilyard end up? I can’t find him signing with anyone and am kind of surprsied that he didn’t make our pactice squad. He seemed to show some really talent this preseason?

  32. 32 Steven Steiner said at 11:51 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Thanks for putting a link to that article. Missed that one. I have to say, I agreed with almost everything he said about the roster good and bad. He said we have only one receiver over 6 feet – I know that was wrong – but other than that he seemed to know the roster well. I think we all agree that Vick throwing to the small receivers can be a concern since he’s smallish. He’s right about Namdi’s ball skills (this spelling is easier) being bad. He’s been like that all year last year and in preseason – thought I think his coverage on the whole has been better. The LB’s do seem lost at times in this defense – other than Kendricks – which he noted. He’s right about Dunlap – I think he is a much better player now – but he doesn’t finish blocks and he seems like he has no inner fire to be mean and tenacious when he blocks. I don’t like that. I don’t agree with Coleman not being able to last a season – he’s never really shown that to me. I think he’s correct that Brown is the future and RB for us not Dion Lewis. I really think this was a good assessment. Can’t wait to hear what Tommy thinks about it.

  33. 33 ACViking said at 11:58 AM on September 7th, 2012:

    Re: Reid’s openers

    T-Law noted that AR’s only 6-7 in openers. A couple of those could easily have been turned around.

    In 1999, Reid’s first game, he called a marvelously executed QB Roll Right / Throw-back Left to TE Luther Broughton for a TD and 21-0 lead over the Arizona Cardinals. LOVED THAT PLAY. (Has that play ever been called again?)

    But late in the 4th Q, the Birds protecting a 2-point lead and the ball on their side of the field — needing one more 1st down to seal the game — disaster struck.

    Villanova’s own Brian Finneran — who could have been an Eagles hero and, maybe, a longterm fixture in green — juggled a perfect long pass from Doug Pedersen down the left sideline. Worse, Finneran tipped the ball over to the Cards’ Kwamie Lassiter, who then makes a long return to set up a Chris Jacke game-winning FG.

    Finneran was cut a couple weeks later. I HATED THAT MOVE THEN. Still do. Finneran became a really good No. 3 receiver, and occasional starter, for the Falcons for the better part of the ’00s.

    In the meantime, for next few years, Reid paired McNabb with WRs Charles Johnson, Torrence Small, Dietrich Jells, Na Brown, Todd Pinkston, James Thrash, and Fred Mitchell.

    Finneran was 6’5 215 lb. What a weapon he could have been for McNabb.

    Anyway, Reid could be 7-6. Hell, he could be 13-0.

    But it wouldn’t matter. All that matters is Sunday.

  34. 34 Steven Steiner said at 1:24 PM on September 7th, 2012:

    Vick actually ran that play to throw the TD to Celek when he went back to face Atlanta and Andy put him in the 3rd or 4th so he could score against his old team. Donovan was still the Qb then. I’ve seen them run it 3 or 4 times since then. I think actually, teams started covering Celek when he tried to get lost in the trash just for that reason… Luther Broughton 🙂 Almost forgot him entirely! Nice one.