So Long, Jai Jar

Posted: September 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 49 Comments »

Jaiquawn Jarrett is no longer an Eagle.  And based on Andy Reid’s PC this morning it doesn’t sound like he’ll be returning.  When asked why they cut him Big Red answered “Did you see the Steelers game?  It was the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed.  I’d rather watch Tommy Lawlor dance.”

Okay, that quote is a tad enhanced.  Reid did say that you have to be honest with yourself about draft picks.  Interesting choice of words.  I always got the feeling that Jarrett was a Reid guy.  Andy watches the local teams play.  He loved Brian Westbrook in 2002.  Jarrett was a terrific college player and sounds like a high character guy.  I’m sure if Reid met him he was impressed.

Reid said that he thinks someone will pick Jarrett up, that maybe playing in a new system will help.  Jarrett seems most at home in the box, but lacks the size to be a normal box Safety.  Most of those guys are 6-1, 215 or so.  Jarrett is 6-0, 196.  He’s tried to bulk up, but doesn’t seem to have the body that can get bigger.

I also wonder if Jarrett would be more at home in the Cover 2.  That lessens the reads for a DB.  Stay back.  Read the play.  Attack the ball.  Jarrett never showed a good feel for the mental side of things.

Jarrett earned a roster spot by playing 3 good preseason games.  He was awful vs PIT, but bounced back and got better each week.  The problem is that the preseason is an entrance exam, not a final exam.  Jarrett was on the team for the opener, but needed to show the coaches he could step his game up in the regular season.  Didn’t happen.

Jai-Jar played a lot on STs on Sunday, but was completely unproductive.  Fringe players can’t have bad games.  He did and that made him expendable when the Eagles decided they needed to add a WR.

I somewhat liken Jarrett’s issues to a minor league star or great college baseball player that gets to the majors and can’t hit the breaking ball.  Anyone can hit a fastball.  If you can’t hit breaking balls, you won’t play.  Jarrett was very good in college.  He impressed plenty of college coaches, NFL scouts, and NFL coaches.  That was legit praise that he got.  Unfortunately, we never saw that guy in the NFL.  His best ever hit was on teammate Vinny Curry.  I don’t think that’s the kind of physical presence Andy Reid had in mind when the Eagles took him.

Jai Jar was a huge bust.  No two ways about it.  The Eagles are lucky that 7th rounder Kurt Coleman has emerged as a starter.  That somewhat makes the situation more bearable.

A few people would love to discuss recent drafts and good/bad picks.  Don’t have time for that today, but the subject does need to be discussed.

One key point here is that finding good Safeties is becoming harder and harder.  The spread offense has changed things in college football and that has affected Safety play.  The college game is now more horizontal than vertical.  Most passes are short and quick.  That means less reads for DBs and more reaction.  You sit back, read, and then go get the ball.  The run game is done from the spread a lot.  That means no FB and more deceptive, quick hitter type of runs.  Safeties aren’t reading as much in that situation either.

A Safety should be a combination LB and CB.  He must be able to cover in space.  He must be a good hitter and tackler.  He should be tough enough to deal with blockers if that is needed.  He must be able to play in traffic and get to the ball.  He needs instincts more than explosive speed.  He must diagnose plays well (and quickly).

Think back to the 1990’s.  Eagles had Wes, Andre.  Later it was Mike Zordich and Greg Jackson.  Then Brian Dawkins came along.  That is 5 good starting Safeties from 1991-1996.  We’ll see if Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman can prove to be good Safeties, but the failures around here recently are numerous:  Quintin Demps, Macho Harris, Jai-Jar, CJ Gaddis, Sean Considine.

This isn’t just an Eagles problem.  This is a football problem.  Go look at WAS, DAL, and the NYG.  There is a reason that Nate Allen was picked as 1 of the 2 best Safeties in the NFC East by a writer a few weeks back.

* * * * *

Someone asked about Shady’s style of carrying the football and fumbling.  I’ve covered this before, but it is topical since Shady lost a key fumble on Sunday.  He does swing the ball wildly away from his body.  That is very dangerous.  However, the reason he rarely fumbles is that Shady does tuck the ball in tight to his body just before contact.  He’s pretty instinctive about when he’s going to get hit so he gets the ball in and it’s secure.  On Sunday he didn’t see the guy coming from the backside and that’s why the ball was vulnerable and able to be knocked out.

* * * * *

Speaking of Sunday…I have re-watched the opening drive with’s All-22 footage.  Great stuff.  This will answer a lot of questions.

The drive actually was going quite well until the fumble.  Michael Vick was throwing the ball well.  He wasn’t getting pounded.  We had 2 problems.  Mac had the dumb penalty on the pick play when he didn’t sell his route at all and instead just ran into the LB.  Even replacement refs know that’s a pick.

Mac missed a block on the end around.  That was a really nice play design.  Clay Harbor pulled to the right and acted as a lead blocker for DJax.  Clay had a LB sealed and there was a running lane.  Mac didn’t block Sheldon and he was able to make the stop.  With a good block there, that play had real potential.

As for Shady…he had running room to the left on the fumble play.  He got greedy, though.  It wasn’t much of a hole and he was going to have to settle for just a few yards.  Shady decided to cut back and go for the home run.  That’s when he got hit and the ball popped out.  If he just stays to his left, we’re likely to get down in FG range and who knows how that game goes.

I think the early struggles plus the preseason struggles may have caused Vick to force the ball and get reckless.  I’m sure hoping that is the case.

* * * * *

Riley Cooper was back at practice today.  Jeremy Maclin was at the walkthrough, but not practice.  He might play this week.  Reid is being as secretive as possible.

It does sound like Colt Anderson will play.

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy posted his thoughts on the opening weekend in the new MAQB (forgot to link to that yesterday).  Definitely some good nuggets in there.

David Syvertsen has some notes on prospects from Missouri and Texas A&M.


49 Comments on “So Long, Jai Jar”

  1. 1 Anders said at 3:26 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I really think the development of Coleman made the cut even easier.

    Also Tommy, do you have any notes on Terrell McClain and how he might fit with us?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 4:01 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I’m a big Terrell McClain fan. Think he would be very good in the system. Meant to put him in the post since the Eagles worked him out.

    “Notes on Terrell McClainHigh motor guy. Limited playmaker with only 17 career TFLs, but don’t make too much of that. McClain was disruptive on a regular basis throughout his career. Very quick off the ball. Has good COD. Pursues very well (effort + speed). USF moved him around. They had him play NT, under tackle and even DE in their 3-man lines. McClain gets stuck on blocks at times, but it isn’t for lack of effort. He might be the hardest working DT in all of college football. McClain had a very good postseason. He was great at the Shrine Game and that earned him a spot in the Senior Bowl. He played well in Mobile. McClain might have worked his way into the bottom of the 2nd round. Real good 1-gap DT prospect.

    Ironically, someone I respect said that he’d heard McClain had some effort issues. Don’t know if that’s true, but it sure doesn’t mesh with what I saw on tape.

  3. 3 Anders said at 4:05 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Thx for the answer. Wonder how he fits in.

    Another question, how many more stupid penalties by Tapp before the coaches wont play him?

  4. 4 89tremaine said at 4:19 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Agreed – I thought Graham had a better preseason and looked really good in limited snaps on Sunday. Only reason I can think that they play Tapp is Washburn loves him and they want to relegate Graham (and possibly Hunt) to one side.

  5. 5 Kevin_aka_RC said at 5:01 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Can McClain go on our PS?

  6. 6 Anders said at 5:14 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    no, he played to many games last season

  7. 7 Anders said at 3:30 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Also, great article by Gimpy and Syvertsen (He must have Danish roots with that last name)

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 3:57 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I’ll ask.

  9. 9 Mac said at 3:46 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Is Colt Anderson the Adrian Peterson of Safeties?

  10. 10 ACViking said at 3:47 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    No. He’s the Sean Morey of STs

  11. 11 Jack Bauer said at 3:50 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    No. He’s the Jack Palance of villain actors

  12. 12 ACViking said at 3:47 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    C’mon . . . Phillip Freakin’ Thomas.

    Bring him back. He looked better than J-Jar during preseason . . . on TV. (But the coaches must think he’s lousy if he couldn’t beat out J-Jarr.)

    I know that Howie Roseman’s on record saying C-Anderson will be part of the safety rotation (what choice do the Eagles have right?).

    But, as I wrote yesterday, I think Colt Anderson — when 100% healthy — is to special-teams coverage what Derembos is to ST snapping, and Henry and Henery are to kicking the ball. Anderson is this decade’s Sean Morey.

    But, as T-Law wrote, pickin’s are slim out there.

  13. 13 T_S_O_P said at 3:56 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I think the early struggles plus the preseason struggles may have caused Vick to force the ball and get reckless.
    I’m sure hoping that is the case.
    I’m holding onto how bad he looked in the 2010 pre season before coming in against Green Bay. Maybe he needs to be in a zone to catch his hot hand. He is certainly Ice Cold at this moment.

    On JaiJa, I will alway give the Eagles a break here, because I am sure they wanted Paea with that pick until Chicago traded in and stole him.

  14. 14 Anders said at 4:00 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Look at this: not like he was a bad draft pick

  15. 15 teltschikfakeout88 said at 7:39 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Ummm the guy was a 2nd round pick last year and is now cut. No matter how you spin it this was a bad pick. There were plenty of guys available at that slot that would still be on this team. I don’t fault the team for reaching as there was a need to pick a safety. However you always use hindsight to judge if the pick was good or not. This was a bad one regardless of what draftniks thought of him prior to the draft.

  16. 16 Anders said at 6:49 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    Yes he was a bust, but AT THE TIME he was not a bad draft pick

  17. 17 teltschikfakeout88 said at 10:20 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    maybe… maybe not. Most of the cut-ups provided by Sheil focused on him as a player not whether he was a good pick in the 2nd round. A lot of people on this board did not like the pick in round 2….or was that just Morton…..Hmmm…

  18. 18 Anders said at 10:55 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    I think most liked him, but in 3rd instead of the 2nd, but imo I dont see it as that big of differense when the safety class was weak

  19. 19 D3Keith said at 5:51 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    One thing about Vick … He seems to press and try to make things happen, when just doing his job well would be fine. Examples include the end of the Packers playoff game, the Steelers preseason game last year, this Browns game. The Arizona game, if he’d taken himself out with the broken rib instead of trying to be a hero and playing poorly with the injury, could have gone the other way.

    But we could also say he was pressing against the Giants when he led the comeback, I guess.

    I’m very close to accepting that Vick just is who he is, and instead of trying to tailor him to the offense, it’s time to tailor the offense to him. He has a few more chances, but if this is still an issue in October, it’s time to salvage what we have and play to his talents.

    It’s mostly mental though, him pressing. Not saying he has to be a game manager, but he has to get that Kobe mentality … yeah you can score every time down the floor, but you have great teammates, and the more you use them, the less pressure it puts on you to do everything yourself, and the more dangerous you become when you lull the D to sleep then flash your extraordinary talents.

  20. 20 mcud said at 3:58 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I generally hate the woulda, coulda, shoulda arguments, but it bears repeating
    that many people, myself included, wanted to go up and get Eric Berry.
    The argument against by many is that safeties are not a valuable enough
    commodity to justify the price of moving way, way up in the draft.

    I would have given up two 1st rounders for him then. Would now. With the knee injury, he’d fit right in.

  21. 21 Anders said at 4:02 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    You rather have Eric Berry than Graham and Allen?

  22. 22 mcud said at 4:11 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Absolutely. Or Graham and Watkins. When you have the resources, you move for the blue chipper. Berry was the perfect storm of us having excess resources, a blue chip player within reach, a team that (potentially) wanted to move the pick, and a position of dire need.

  23. 23 Anders said at 4:14 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I much rather have a potential great DE and good safety over an elite safety and no DE (remember back then Babin wasnt a sack master yet, we didnt have HJunt and Parker was our starting RDE). There is a reason a good DE is paid better than a star safety

  24. 24 mcud said at 4:25 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    At the time, we had no idea that Graham would be the pick. Even less that Nate Allen would be there in round 2. And you don’t think Howie would gladly trade Allen and Graham right now for Berry? The Eagles loved him. Had him in for a visit if I remember correctly, even though he was nowhere near where we would pick. If the Eagles truly liked Graham better, then so be it. I just wonder what the cost would have been, and how much was too high for Howie.

  25. 25 Anders said at 5:04 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I really dont think the Eagles would trade Graham+Allen straight up for Berry. Also the Eagles traded up from 24 to 12 for 2 additional 3rd rounders, to have traded all the way up to 5, it would most likely have taken there 2nd round pick.
    Just because the Eagles have them in for a visit does not mean they will draft them.

  26. 26 slackerjoe said at 12:18 PM on September 13th, 2012:

    On the draft value chart, #5 is worth 1700pts. #24 is only 740 pts so the Eagles would have needed to pitch in a lot more to move up to #5. Something like a future 1st and their 2nd rd pick.

  27. 27 teltschikfakeout88 said at 5:09 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    mcud, I hope you are talking hypotheticals on the resources point. I love berry but he got injured last year and I think giving up two first rounders for him is a big big cost. I don’t care how good of a prospect he is at S, I am more on the side of keeping my picks then moving up for a safety even of his caliber. I try to keep in mind that in our division (or NFL for that matter) we are not the only team that has talent issues at the position. Heck, the Giants got a SB with a suspect back 7…..the only elite player that can get you a SB based upon them playing at an elite level is the QB and even then…..just saying man….

  28. 28 D3Keith said at 5:46 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    @mcud:disqus Do we know for a fact the Eagles did not try to go get Berry, and the price became too exorbitant? Or that a few days before the draft, the Chiefs fell in love with Berry and made up their minds and were no longer willing to deal the pick?

  29. 29 mcud said at 5:56 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I don’t want to say anything is fact. There is strong evidence the Eagles liked him. As for Pioli willing to give up the pick, we can only speculate, but here is a quote from Thomas Dimitrioff: “I was talking to Scott Pioli about Berry, and I said, ‘Scott, this
    guy’s your pick.’ And he said, ‘You know how I feel about safeties that
    early.’ And I understand.” Pioli clearly loved Berry though. But if I had a nickel for every GM/Coach that waxed poetic after he takes a player…

  30. 30 Anders said at 6:51 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    Still giving up a good DE and a good safety for a great safety is not a deal I would do.

  31. 31 austinfan said at 4:01 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    You have to judge drafts as a whole, focus on one missed pick and anyone looks bad. In three years, Howie has missed on a late 2nd, late 3rd and early 4th rd pick, the other misses were #120 or higher, which is where you expect the majority of players to get cut after a few years.

    Safeties are tough to find, I think the key is to focus on big CBs who lack the hips and speed to run with top WRs (so they fall into the second day of the draft) but are physical enough (and willing) to tackle, and smart enough to handle S responsibilities (a lot of CBs are great athletes who need to be spotted the “C” to spell CAT). With multiple WR formations, you want a S who can cover big WRs and TEs man to man at times, and with those spread formations, a safety has to tackle in the open field on a regular basis.

    What’s obsolete are most 220 lb S/LBs who can’t cover, it’s too easy to isolate them and get a mismatch. The problem with 190 lb guys like Coleman is whether they can handle the physical punishment for 16 games. Allen is pretty close to the physical prototype of the modern safety, 6’01 210 lbs, 4.5 speed, good hips.

  32. 32 holeplug said at 5:03 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    “What’s obsolete are most 220 lb S/LBs who can’t cover, it’s too easy to isolate them and get a mismatch.”

    This is true. Guys like Roy Williams (who is still only 32) really don’t exist anymore. Rule changes made them extinct.

  33. 33 89tremaine said at 4:01 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy – a few of questions for you. First – how much different/easier is it to review the game with the All-22 tape as opposed to the TV feed? Do you think if this takes off that the networks would ever show similar angles during regular gameplay?
    On a separate topic – do you see the Birds using the nickle Nnam package when they think the Ravens go no huddle? I figure they’d want DRC on Smith and Nnamdi on either Pitta or Boldin, but not sure if that would leave us exposed against the run.

  34. 34 Anders said at 5:06 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    If the Ravens have Vonta Leach on the field, no way the Eagles should go nickle.

  35. 35 D3Keith said at 5:44 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I’m very curious about the All-22 as well. I couldn’t get work to spring for it, and then when I was about to buy it on my own, DirecTV threw in the short cuts (30-min. action-only replays) for free, and it was enough to satisfy me and cost one purchase.

    But I’m very curious about how valuable it is.

  36. 36 D3Keith said at 5:53 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I agree with Tommy about safeties. If hybrid LB/S guys who could cover and tackle were more plentiful, I think the 4-2-5 (my favorite defense) would become prevalent in the NFL. It gives you the ability to play the run and the nickel with the same personnel, and you can disguise everything.

    Somebody some day is going to draft two or three very good safeties and run it.

  37. 37 Anders said at 7:20 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    I think the Eagles had hoped Clayton could be come that guy

  38. 38 Anders said at 7:25 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    btw any good college teams there play there 4-2-5 defense there is worth watching?

  39. 39 D3FB said at 8:41 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    TCU runs a 4-2 as the base defense and they are traditionally very good on that side of the ball.

  40. 40 iskar36 said at 8:47 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    The depth at safety has me very concerned. I have had concerns about Allen and Coleman to begin with, although they played well against the Browns and have looked decent in the preseason. Still, Allen has had issues with staying healthy and behind the starters, all we have is a complete unknown who has been learning the play book for only a little over 2 weeks and another backup who never looked like a good safety even before his acl injury less than 10 months ago.

  41. 41 SebastianAubrey said at 11:10 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    If JaiJar would have shown up on ST he’d still be on the team a la Quintin Mikell. Q made his name on ST for many years and was even multiple ST’s MVP before he became a starter. I’m glad the Eagles didn’t allow their pride to keep him around.

  42. 42 AGH said at 11:30 PM on September 12th, 2012:

    The Jarrett reach was a direct result of the Brandon Graham reach the season before. In 2010, the Birds had a glaring need at safety. They traded up and instead of drafting Earl Thomas (2nd Team All-Pro last year), they inexplicably took Graham (who wasn’t that high on ANY team’s board and might well have been available at 37, where they took Nate Allen).

    These decisions smack of hubris–the Birds FO is constantly laboring under the misapprehension that they are that much smarter than everyone else. To be sure, the Eagles have had some nice drafts under Reid. But the last few seasons have been abysmal.

  43. 43 insler said at 4:29 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    “they inexplicably took Graham (who wasn’t that high on ANY team’s board and might well have been available at 37, where they took Nate Allen).who wasn’t that high on ANY team’s board and might well have been available at 37, where they took Nate Allen”?

    And how may I ask do you know that? where you there? inside the draft room of all the 32 teams in the NFL? Brandon Graham was ranked number one DE in the country according to multiple scouts including Tommy’s on scoutsnotebook. Nate Allen was ranked the 3rd best Saftey in that years draft. The Eagles may have questionable picks but Graham and Allen aren’t those ones even if you don’t like where they picked them. We needed a new DE to complement Trent cole on the left side of the line Graham was the best so they poled the trigger Graham got hurt and that’s unlucky but he was the best thats for shore.

  44. 44 nicolajNN said at 4:36 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    No way Graham was a reach, you can argue it was wrong to trade up but he was not a reach. And drafting Thomas wouldn’t necessarily have changed the JaiJar pick, we took him to have someone play opposite Allen. If we had Thomas we could still take Jarrett to play opposite of him

  45. 45 nicolajNN said at 4:32 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    Forgot to ask this in the DGR but which DTs lined up where? It sounded like Thornton lined up at NT with mixed results. Would you worry about him Vs. the run at NT going forward or does he do a good enough job eating up blocks?

  46. 46 Scott Buchanan said at 9:22 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    Hopefully after this weekend the headline will read So Long Vick…

  47. 47 P_P_K said at 11:19 AM on September 13th, 2012:

    I’m not sure Reid can survive another qb controversy.

  48. 48 Steag209 said at 2:38 PM on September 13th, 2012:

    Holy crap, I just realized. Where is Morton after that performance?

  49. 49 nicolajNN said at 2:56 PM on September 13th, 2012:

    See, that’s the number one reason not to be too worried