Eagles Notebook

Posted: September 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 45 Comments »

I’m still working on the DGR, but there are a few nuggets I’ll pass along now.

Demetress Bell did look pretty good.  I’ve had a few people ask me about his style of blocking.  I need to go back and re-watch some PS clips to study his footwork now vs then.  The kick slide is completely gone.  He is showing quick feet and moving pretty well laterally.  Those are Mudd traits.  Bell must get a lot better as a run blocker.

I felt like Bell outplayed King Dunlap in the game.  That said…the Ravens don’t have top speed rushers.  They have bigger, stronger type rushers.  Bell has gotten worlds better since the preseason opener, but I still want to see him vs a top edge rusher to know where he’s really at.

Dallas Reynolds was solid.  He’s not going to make highlight blocks on the move like Kelce, but is bigger and stronger.  He should anchor better.  I’m comfortable with him as the starting C moving forward.

One guy I’m disappointed in is Todd Herremans.  He’s been way too sloppy.  He said that noise/communication was a factor in Cleveland.  Maybe it was on Sunday too.  Made some odd decisions and some sloppy blocks.

* * * * *

Chad Johnson said on Twitter that he’s headed to Philly.  A lot of people assumed this has something to do with the Eagles.  I’ve heard nothing from my people.  Reuben Frank says emphatically it isn’t a workout with the team.

Honestly, I’d have no desire for CJ.  Jason Avant is the slot guy.  Damaris Johnson looked good on Sunday.  Riley Cooper is close to coming back.  Mardy Gilyard was good on STs.  What role would even make sense for Chad?  None.

* * * * *

Mike Tanier has an interesting piece on the Eagles Safeties defending Ravens TEs on Sunday.

* * * * *

As I re-watched the game, I liked a lot of what I saw from the offense.  We were in attack mode.  In previous years I was nervous at times when the Eagles faced a talented defense.  On Sunday the Eagles had a good plan.

They moved the pocket around at times.  They kept different guys in for protection.  They attacked the edges and middle of the field.  There was good balance in a number of ways:  run/pass, left/right, short/intermediate, WRs/TEs, etc.  The offense kept the defense off balance.  Also, the offense was at the LOS with 20 seconds on the play clock consistently.  Sometimes Vick got the snap with 18 seconds left.  Other times he surveyed the defense a few extra seconds.  Still, the Ravens were on their heels because of the pace.

* * * * *

LeSean McCoy might be a superstar, but he is also coachable.  He is a different player than we saw last year, but in a good way.  Remember the Giants loss in September?  There was a 4th/1 play in that game.  McCoy had room to get a yard or very close to it.  Instead he decided to bounce the play wide and go for the big yards.  He’d burned the Giants all day on that.  This time they got him for the loss.  The Giants quickly took the lead and dominated the rest of the game.

This year Shady is not dancing like that.  He knew that against the Ravens he needed to concentrate on getting 3 yards as often as possible.  He did that time after time after time.  He still used great moves to make one guy miss, but then he would get upfield instead of going for really big gains.  We all love the big runs, but when they don’t work you are stuck in 2nd/13 instead of 2nd/7.  The short runs keep the team “on schedule” and doesn’t put undue pressure on Vick or the OL to convert a bunch of 3rd/long plays.

* * * * *

Mike Vick had a good game.  His improvement from CLE to BAL was huge.  His rust is completely gone.  His confidence is back.  If he can eliminate the INTs, this offense can become a machine.  Sunday will be a good challenge.  The Cardinals have a good defense.

* * * * *

Two games in a row, Clay Harbor delivered clutch catches on the game-winning drive.  Remember back in April when Brett Brackett was going to take his job?  You don’t ask young players to be perfect, but they need to step up when challenged.  Harbor has done just that.

* * * * *

Did you watch Asante Samuel last night?  Jerk.  He decides to show effort as a tackler.  Why the heck didn’t he do that when he was here?  We might have kept him.

* * * * *

Alex Henery broke his streak of games with a missed FG on Sunday.  He wasn’t tested all that much, but still…that is progress.

I’m giving the credit to Nick Foles.  His presence is just magical.

* * * * *

The Skins lost DE Adam Carriker and LB Brian Orakpo for the year.  I hate this part of the game.  Injuries in football are just brutal.  The Skins D hasn’t exactly been dominant so far.  It will be interesting to see how the loss of Orakpo affects them.

For some good NFC East tidbits go check out Jimmy Bama’s site.  I get the strangest feeling that he enjoys writing about the Cowboys when they lose.

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy has up his new MAQB column.  He’s got some good info on rookie QBs.  Brandon Weeden may have sucked vs the Eagles, but he bounced back in a big way.  And did you see the Trent Richardson play where he caught the short pass and then ran over the Cincy defense for a TD?  Beast mode.  Makes me feel even better about the D from the opener.

For more evidence on the defense, check out this Tweet from Reuben Frank:


“Eagles defense has been on the field for 14 second half drives. Allowed 0 touchdowns and 14.5 yards per drive.”

Wow, huh?


45 Comments on “Eagles Notebook”

  1. 1 dislikedisqus said at 12:58 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Yeah that second half D stat is definitely a Wow. Huge change from last year. Now if they could only pitch the 8th inning for the Phillies…

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 1:31 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Juan Castillo now in charge of the bullpen? Has he been hanging out with the pitching coach, too?

  3. 3 Mac said at 1:50 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Juan Castillo is a man of many hats. Just yesterday I spotted him wearing this…

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 1:52 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Such fashion sense. How does he do it?

  5. 5 War eagle said at 4:27 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    We went no huddle ourselves, which makes so much sense with Vick’s make-up. But I don’t remember us doing it before, was this a first?

  6. 6 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:12 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I am one of those who enjoy defense better than offense, and I absolutely love the fact, that I once again can relax and almost anticipate great plays from our defense. It has been a few years since I last had this feeling, maybe since 2008.

    I hate to loose good young players like Kelce, let’s hope he’s the last to go on IR, but realistically we’ll see other starters get hurt. That’s the brutal part of this game.

    By the way, I love our LB duo of Ryans and Kendricks! It’s so awesome to finally have faith in that position.

    Come next April I anticipate a lot of ressources being used on the O-line. I hope for a OT in the first and another OT/G in the middle rounds.

  7. 7 Yuri said at 9:14 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Re: Kelce. I cannot agree more than losing a promising young player hurts really bad. At least based on the conversations we were having yesterday, it was a good move by the Eagles to IR Kelce. Obviously, I have not peeked inside the knee, but I am happy to hear he won’t be rushed back. Heck, I’d be happy to hear that he goes on PUP list but comes back strong in 2013.

  8. 8 SteveH said at 1:55 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy, something that I had almost forgotten about but was very impressed with during the game was how prepared we were for the Ravens no huddle. Last year I remember we got eviscerated by the Patriots hurry up offense, and I was really disappointed in the coaching staff because before the game I felt like it was obvious that the biggest thing you had to look out for against the Pats was when they got a drive going and went to the hurry up and we really weren’t prepared at all for it when it happened.
    Against the Ravens though we were fantastic. I noticed a couple times where we sprinted players off the field right after a play to keep our rotation going, and we seemed so prepared for the hurry up that the Ravens seemed to abandon it altogether after a while. Just a tremendous coaching job imo, because you see teams burned all the time by no huddle or hurry up attacks, but we weren’t fazed by it at all.

  9. 9 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:40 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    i just read something today (dont rmember where). AR told JC during the offseason that he should be prepared to face a lot of no huddle offense. Apparently, they have been practicing against it as far back as OTAs?

  10. 10 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:43 PM on September 18th, 2012:


    Castillo said Eagles coach Andy Reid mentioned to him early in the offseason that “offenses are going to start going to no-huddle,” so “we’ve been working on no-huddle since OTAs.”

  11. 11 SteveH said at 7:20 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Awesome stuff, good job to the coaching staff preparing for that kind of thing. I love seeing a team thats prepared for what they’re going to face (which is what made the NE game last year all the more frustrating, they had to know it was coming!)

  12. 12 A_T_G said at 5:19 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    That sprint off after the play was very effective, and probably fairly simple to install. When the defense is called, Ryan tells certain guys it is their last play? Probably motivational too, knowing you are going for a breather after the play.

  13. 13 Anders said at 2:00 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Tommy I dont know if you saw Eagles nightly last night? They had a segment called unscribed uncut with Kendricks and they way he spoke and the thing he said, reminded me so much about Dawkins that I was getting goosebumps.

    edit: http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia/videos/Mychal-Kendricks-Uncut/cbde8080-e879-40e8-a05f-dbad2f0656e1

    here it is.

  14. 14 RC5000 said at 5:16 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Yeah i heard Kendricks interviewed 1st day he came to philly. Very impressed with him and I already liked his play at Cal and his obvious speed. I know what you’re saying but he’s his own guy and I think we should let him be himself but he spoke about being an old school style player and working hard, etc.
    I know this comparison you are making to Dawk though. Kendricks is one of those guys you just feel comfortable is going to do everything he can to get better and has rock solid character.
    I still feel we stole him and lucky for us the first teams in the 2nd round weren’t choosing linebacker because that is where Laurinaitis and Maualuga went in the draft and maybe Poz also. He had the measurements, game tape, obvious work ethic and would have interviewed well.

  15. 15 Mac said at 2:07 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    It was fantastic watching the Eagles offense get lined up and ready to run plays with more than 2 seconds left on the play clock. I wonder how many national writers are willing to give Vick credit for improving that part of his game?

  16. 16 P_P_K said at 4:22 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I was impressed with the playcalling. I don’t have the stats but it certainly seemed like a balanced attack. Andy & Marty really did put the guys in situations to succeed. Same with Juan, he’s got his guys playing to their stregnths. I’ve been hard on the coaches before and it will take more than one game to convince me they’ve broken some bad habits, but this Ravens game was well coached on both sides of the ball.

  17. 17 89tremaine said at 5:00 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy – one question when you do the game review – can you check to see if Jacoby Jones got both feet down inbounds on the TD that was called back due to offensive PI? I swear that the second foot came down OB so the reversal of the TD was moot.

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

    I thought the same thing.

  19. 19 phillychuck said at 10:59 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I DVRed the game and looked at the overhead angle a few times. I’m pretty sure the second foot was out, but not by much. The scab guys might have missed it on replay.

  20. 20 RC5000 said at 5:35 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I don’t think there’s been a time in NFL history with this much talent at QB. Defense is down some overall and the rules favor offenses but I think there’s going to be some parity with the influx of Qbs

  21. 21 A_T_G said at 7:23 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Wait, what? If defenses are down, rules favor offense and the QB position is improving, how is that going to create parity?

  22. 22 RC5000 said at 8:11 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    That wasn’t the best choice of words. I think you will see a little less power with teams like Pats with Brady, Saints with Brees, Colts with P Manning, Steelers with Big Ben being powers for years so there will be a change in balance of power and maybe more competitiveness.
    You gotta have a good defense and health but for a long time there were a handful of teams who had top qbs. I think there will probably be more top qbs in the next 5 years at least so more teams will go on runs depending on the year.
    For a while now there’s been about 5 or 6 teams with top QBs, then 5 or 10 with good , not great QBs and 10-15 wth mediocre QBs.
    Now you have more good not great QBs and some potential for more top qbs. You have the older vets like Brady, Brees (he’s not as old yet), P Manning ….then you have guys like Rodgers, E Mannng, Rivers, Stafford, A Smith, Ryan, Schaub maybe Flacco.
    The young guns like Newton, Dalton, Luck, RG3, Russell Wilson, Foles, Locker, maybe even Pryor.

  23. 23 Eric Weaver said at 6:35 PM on September 18th, 2012:


    I think I tweeted you a question. Can you see in the DGR, when Vick scored, if the reason he called that play or just took off was because Ngata was lined up at RDE? Made that play easier for him without Ngata manning the middle, I would think.

  24. 24 Anders said at 2:50 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    RDE is Ngata starting positionfor that team now

  25. 25 Steven DiLeo said at 6:38 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I keep hearing a lot of talk about how the offense has improved and how their playing with more heart and focus. I think that’s nonsense. This year’s offense is fundamentally the same as last year’s and they didn’t lack focus or heart last year. They seem to have much more luck. Fundamentally their offense is the same- they move the ball well down the field, Mike Vick gets hit a lot, and the team doesn’t score as much as it should because of costly mistakes and turnovers. The difference this year is that Mike Vick hasn’t been injured to the point that he needed to be taken out of the game, and the offense hasn’t had any turnovers on their game winning/tying drives.

    Think about last year:
    – against ATL: Vick gets injured and Maclin drops 4th down catch
    – against NYG: Vick gets injured
    – against BUF: Avant fumbles football on last possession
    – against CHI: Vick overthrows Maclin on 4th down
    – against SF: Maclin fumbles on last drive
    – against ARI: Vick gets injured
    – against SEA: Vince Young

    The main difference is the defense. They no longer try to run this fraud system of playing to protect leads. They got players to fit their system and they no longer overlook important positions or their player’s capabilities. Ryans and Kendricks are major improvements over Chaney and Matthews. Boykins is an upgrade at the slot over Cromartie, Cromartie is an upgrade over Samuel, and Nate Allen is healthy.

  26. 26 John Ormond said at 6:53 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I see your point, but it seems like a chicken and egg s between confidence (or preparation) and luck. Anyway, we’re only 2 games in, so anything can still happen. Hopefully over a larger sample size, luck balances out, but the ituation confidence remains.

  27. 27 Steven DiLeo said at 7:03 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I guess, but if LJ Fort catches that INT and if Jacoby’s TD would have counted, the attitude on this blog would be much different.

  28. 28 Cal Setar said at 8:22 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I think you’re missing the point. There are an endless number of situations like this in every game, on every weekend, in every NFL season. This is like saying…Yeah but if Mario Manningham hadn’t made that crazy third down catch in the Super Bowl, the attitude in New York would be very different this year.

  29. 29 TheRogerPodacter said at 11:12 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    or the other miracle catch for the other SB…

  30. 30 Mac said at 9:49 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    The attitude in SF would have been quite different without those 2 muffed punts in the conference championship game as well…

  31. 31 Steven DiLeo said at 7:01 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    How do feel about Andy’s decision to accept the holding penalty after they stopped Baltimore on 3rd down?

    It’s a tricky situation, because Baltimore would have been in good FG range and could have possible attempted a 4th down had the Eagles declined the penalty. Also an incompletion or a sack could have made the job much more difficult for the place kicker, and the defense was really playing well.

    However there is a good possibility that the Ravens could have picked up a 1st down or even scored on that play. The Eagles were fortunate TWICE that Baltimore didn’t get a TD. I honestly think the Jacoby Jones TD should have counted and that Nnamdi should have been called for PI on the 3rd and long play.

    I know hindsight is 20/20 but I wouldn’t have taken the risk. I think the Eagles were a little greedy in that situation.

  32. 32 iskar36 said at 10:06 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    I was not a fan of accepting that holding penalty. At the time, I was thinking all this does is takes more time off the clock and risks them getting a first down. Of course, they got the penalty and wasted even more time only to end up with the same resulting 3 points.

    The other call I thought was questionable was going for it on 4th and short inside the redzone early in the game. The result was good, but just like it is unfair to us hindsight on a bad result, it’s equally unfair to us it on a good one. At that moment of the game, was the decision to go for it unnecessarily risky?

  33. 33 A_T_G said at 6:21 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    I wanted to kick the FG. We were already on our second try in the red zone. Coming away with nothing, again, worried me.

  34. 34 T_S_O_P said at 2:44 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    When watching live my NFL feed froze just as McCoy was going for it on 4th down and where it froze it didn’t look like he had the momentum to get it it. I was calling AR at that point. Next thing I know we are 1st and goal.

  35. 35 A_T_G said at 6:25 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    I was surprised he accepted it, but the opportunity to keep the lead 3 points instead of 6 was tempting. With the way the defense was playing, I was okay with the call.

  36. 36 Steven DiLeo said at 7:21 PM on September 18th, 2012:

    Eli Manning is a beast. Right now, I’d say he’s the 3rd best QB in the league behind Brady and Rodgers. Funny, two years ago you could have made the argument that he was the 3rd best QB in the division.

  37. 37 Anders said at 2:48 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    Why is Eli the 3rd best QB? Its not like he got scrubs at WR and for some reason the Bucs decided that a 37 year old Barber would be a good 1vs1 match against Cruz

  38. 38 Todd B. said at 10:16 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    Did anyone catch the game on NFL Replay last night?

    I thought it was ironic that Lewis, during his pregame speech, basically called the Eagles soft and called on his team to physically dominate the Eagles, pound them every time.

    Yet, after the game, it was the Ravens complaining about how physcial the Eagles were.

    Loved it.

  39. 39 Mac said at 11:30 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    Sounds like Lewis may be writing some checks he can’t cash this year.

  40. 40 Mac said at 11:32 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    I am wondering, are we seeing a “lack of sack” this year because our opponents aren’t willing to dial up slow developing routes or deep passes?

    Is there a place to see comparatively how often the Eagles have had to defend the deep pass vs how often other teams are seeing it?

  41. 41 Anders said at 11:34 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    I know that both the Browns and Ravens have targeted there TEs/RBs ALOT against us and in the 2nd half Flacco was in throw away mode against us.

  42. 42 Mac said at 11:54 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    Thinking more about defense and stats a little bit. Too lazy to look up whether other teams have had pick 6s or other defensive/special teams scoring… BUT if you take away the 7 points that were the result of the Vick pick 6 during the Browns game, the Eagles D would be ranked 4th in points allowed @ 32.

  43. 43 Mac said at 11:58 AM on September 19th, 2012:

    Also ranking 2nd in 3rd down percentage is amazing. Last year 3rd down was the bane of my existence as a football fan. Thank you DeMeco Ryans and the rest of the guys for making me more optimistic about the likelihood of us getting the ball back.

    Related note: thank goodness we don’t play the Texans this year, their 3rd down percentage is 10%… ridiculous.

  44. 44 Anders said at 12:22 PM on September 19th, 2012:

    Also the only better pass defense (I dont care about the run) has played the Dolphins and the Jags

  45. 45 Mac said at 12:51 PM on September 19th, 2012:

    Good point.