The only move on the OL was King Dunlap getting his job back at LT. Glad to see this happen. Demetress Bell had made progress at LT, but was still missing assignments and making mental mistakes. That stuff drives you nuts. I can live with DeMarcus Ware beating you off the edge, but I don’t like you not knowing who to block.
Les Bowen and Reuben Frank summed up the King Dunlap situation pretty well on Twitter yesterday. Roob was telling an Eagles fan that Dunlap is a better player than most people realize. Les chimed in to agree, but also noted that Dunlap has trouble staying on the field. And that’s it. Dunlap is a solid player. He’s just not durable. Should be interesting to see how he holds up now.
Dunlap is a poor run blocker. Bell wasn’t exactly a road grader so the drop-off isn’t significant, but there is a difference.
This move isn’t going to magically make the OL better, but it can help. Stability at LT is a good thing. Dunlap knows the offense inside-out. He’s started at LT and LG in the last year and a half. He should be good with assignments.
Why no change at C? My guess, and it is just a guess, is that there isn’t an upgrade available. Steve Vallos is more athletic, but hasn’t started in our system. He’d be learning on the fly. Dallas Reynolds knows the offense and has 4 games of starting experience. You only bench Reynolds if you have a clearly better option. We don’t need Reynolds to be Dwight Stephenson or Dermontti Dawson. He just needs to be good enough. I think he can do that if he’s able to learn quickly. Reynolds must make up for his physical limitations by playing smart. He needs every little edge possible.
Danny Watkins ruffled a few feathers yesterday by refusing to talk to the media. He’s not happy with some critical comments and stories that have been out there recently. I could care less if he talks. Block and I’ll be happy. It certainly doesn’t look good to treat the media like that. Watkins is a difficult subject. As I wrote in my last DGR, he looked really good at times vs the Lions. He made some terrific blocks. He also got beaten on several plays. There is hope, but he’s still too erratic. I don’t expect him to win every battle, but he is losing too many.
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Another media sniper came after Howie Roseman. Check out this blurb from Pro Football Weekly.
“The front-office situation in Philadelphia is not a good one. Scouts are not allowed to talk to coaches during training camp. You’re talking about some scouts who have known the coaches for years. Coaches coach, scouts scout and that’s the way it is. It’s not a happy environment. It’s a divisive, paranoid place, and it’s hard to grow and jell as a team in that type of setting. That’s the result of hiring a very insecure GM who does not know football.”
I’ve done some checking around. Can’t confirm the thing on scouts in TC. I’m sure there are some limits on them interacting, but not allowed at all? Sounds over the top. The reason you don’t want scouts and coaches spending too much time together is you don’t want scouts selling coaches on players. You want coaches to keep the 53 best players in camp. The scout has studied the prospect for a year and knows him inside out. The coach needs to make an evaluation based purely on what he sees in practice.
As to the “it’s not a happy environment”…I don’t buy that at all. Ryan Grigson remains close to Howie Roseman. If Grigson was miserable and couldn’t wait to get away, would he stay close to Howie? Scouts gossip more than just about any group on Earth. If it was a miserable situation, would veteran personnel guys like Tom Donahoe and Rick Mueller have signed on to work here? Trust me, word gets out quickly in the scouting community about who you want to work for and who you don’t. I could see one of those guys biting the bullet to take a job, but not both of them if Howie was such a problem.
As for Howie, I’ll never forget seeing him on the day he made the announcement about Garrett Reid’s death. Howie fell apart as he stepped away from the microphone. That showed a very human, vulnerable side of him.
There have been some differences since Howie took over. He truly is a grinder. He watches tape, more tape, and then some more tape. He’s not as social as Tom Heckert was. I hardly think that makes him Attila the Hun.
Howie was the subject of a nasty attack a couple of years ago in an article by Michael Silver. The comments came from former Eagles personnel guy Jason Licht, who lost some kind of power struggle either to Howie or someone on Howie’s side. Silver’s article put Howie in a very bad light, but Howie didn’t go on the offensive. He stayed cool about the situation and now has Silver on his side.
Could Licht have been the source of these comments? Yes. The other possibility is Joe Banner. Right now he’s not happy with the Eagles. He takes shots through the media when he can. I’m not sure he would come after Howie directly so I don’t know that this is him, but that is a possibility. Howie was a Banner guy for a long time. Howie is now either a Reid guy or is just on his own. I’m not sure.
Roseman is always going to be open to charges like this because he has a non-traditional background. Until he gets to a Super Bowl or puts together a great team, people are always going to point fingers.
Study actions. Are other teams willing to deal with Howie? Yes. He is as active a GM as there is in the league. Are scouts fleeing the Eagles? No. Grigson left for a GM job. Daniel Jeremiah left, but I think he was tired of the scouting lifestyle. He’s now writing for NFL.com and very active on Twitter. He talks about his kids a lot on Twitter. When scouting, he spent a lot of time away from them. Now he’s able to drive them to school if he wants. Phil Savage did leave, but he took over somewhat of a dream job. He’s now running the Senior Bowl. Savage is from Mobile, AL, which his the site of the Senior Bowl. Savage doesn’t have to answer to a coach or GM, but stays part of the scouting community and works out of his hometown. Life is good for him.
If Howie is this know-nothing tyrant that people hate, you can’t see it from the way people deal with him. Maybe we’ll find out something in the future that will change that, but for now this seems like another hatchet job from someone.
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The new MAQB column is up. I added some stuff to Gimpy’s normal brilliance.
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I’ll write about Todd Bowles and the defense tonight.