Brian Rolle, my cyber son, is gone. It hurts to write that, but this is his own doing. Rolle was a major disappointment on STs. All you have to do is look at the Eagles STs Production Points list to see how far down he is. Frankly, that is embarrassing.
Here’s what happened. Brian was an undersized guy at Ohio State. He played with a real chip on his shoulder. The results spoke for themselves as he had a terrific career. He was a late pick by the Eagles and came here with low expectations. Rolle quietly had a good TC and showing in the preseason. That led to him starting in Week 4 of the regular season and holding the job the rest of the year. He was solid. Not great, but solid.
Rolle was here for the offseason stuff and the OTAs, but you can’t tell anything about a LB in that non-contact setting. The summer rolled around (ya like that?) and Rolle was expected to build on his rookie year. Let’s say he played at a 6 out of 10 last year. This year he needed to be at a 7. Instead, he was more like a 5. He actually regressed. In the preseason we saw him blow coverages a few times. Not good.
Rolle lost his starting job. The team hoped he would respond in the right way. The coaches liked Brian and wanted him to turn things around. The hope was that getting benched would be a serious wake-up call to him. He would then shine on STs and play with a new sense of urgency, wanting to get his job back.
Instead, Rolle acted as though STs was beneath him. We saw this with Omar Gaither a few years back. Gaither actually had the audacity to say aloud that he was too good for STs after losing his starting job in 2008. I don’t know that Rolle ever did this, but his actions speak volumes.
Rolle had 1 tackle in 4 games. We had plenty of KOs and punts. One stinking tackle? Mardy Gilyard had 5 and wasn’t here the whole time. You do have to understand that not every player on STs is designed to make tackles. Some eat up blocks so the gunners can make tackles.
If you watched on Sunday night, you know that David Wilson had interstates to run through. Our guys were not holding their lanes. They were getting blocked, not defeating them. Rolle had a chance to make the tackle on the opening KO, but failed. There was a KO in the 2nd half when he was blocked way too easily. There was a lack of production, and frankly, a lack of effort. That is simply inexcusable.
I love my cyber son, but he played his way into getting cut. He is saying the team will regret cutting him. When you screw up in life, don’t play the blame game. Take that as a wake-up call and respond the right way. He also told Tim McManus “I didn’t get a chance this year”. I guess he’s got a point if you don’t count the OTAs, Lehigh, the PS games and playing on STs in the regular season. He really hasn’t been given a chance. Ugh. So disappointing to hear. Wow, that is just delusional.
I wish the best for Rolle. He can play in the NFL, but only if he’s locked in with laser-like focus and doesn’t lose his edge. Rolle is a fringe guy. Those players walk the roster tightrope all year long, all career long. Life is hard for them. There is no let up. There is no “I’ve made it”. We’ve seen this with other players. Tank Daniels looked so good as a rookie, then struggled after that. OT Calvin Armstrong played his way onto the team as a rookie. He got married and admitted that he got soft. Was cut the next summer.
The problem is that these guys have money for the first time. More money than they’ve ever seen. They have a role, whether starter, backup, or developmental prospect. They bust their butt to get the job, then let up once they’ve got it. That was okay in high school and college. In the NFL, there is a never-ending supply of players who want your job. You must keep an edge. Some guys simply can’t do that. Apparently Brian Rolle was one of those guys.
Good luck, son.
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To replace Rolle, the Eagles added LB Adrian Moten. He played here for a couple of games in the preseason.
In my 2011 draft rankings, I had Brian Rolle as the #11 OLB prospect. I had Moten as #12. Moten was a good player at Maryland. Playmaker. Finished his career with 6 INTs, 15.5 sacks, 13 pass breakups, 5 FFs, and a blocked kick. Solid athlete.
Moten has bounced around the NFL. He’s good enough for teams to be interested, but not good enough to really stick anywhere. He’s coming here to be a backup LB and STer. Having been on the street, you can bet he’ll be fired up and going all out on STs. There will be no sense of entitlement with Moten.
Moten was here in the preseason. He was added to eat up some reps. There was one game where he stood out to me. It was late in the game and most players had that look like “let’s get this over”. Moten was going full tilt. He was playing for a job. He was playing with purpose. Moten was going to impress anyone who watched that tape. He didn’t care about the fact he was going against scrubs late in a preseason game. He was all business.
And that is the attitude you want in a fringe player. Remember this great quote from Gordon Gekko in Wall Street “Give me guys that are poor, smart, and hungry”? That is what you need on STs. You need guys that will embrace doing the dirty work and also get it done.
Don’t look for Moten to come in and be some star. Just expect him to do his job. That’s more than we got from Rolle.
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Someone on Twitter asked about why we didn’t just promote Ryan Rau. He is a pure MLB. We’ve already got Casey Matthews as the backup to DeMeco Ryans. Rau is a guy the coaches like, but we needed to add an OLB.
One benefit to cutting Rolle is that this should get the attention of Matthews and Jamar Chaney. They have been okay on STs, but not good enough. Last year Matthews was very good on STs and that earned him playing time on defense. Casey hasn’t stood out this year. He needs to. Casey isn’t 100 percent safe. He needs to pick up the pace.
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The other roster move was cutting LS Kyle Nelson from the practice squad and re-signing OG Julian Vandervelde. Julian can concentrate on playing OG now. Maybe Howard Mudd will still tinker with him as a C. We’ll see how that goes.
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NFL Gimpy wrote a good MAQB column. Some really good notes on parity in there. He also has rookie QB notes and his usual Underpaid/Overpaid players of the week.
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Tony Romo threw 5 picks last night and Dallas lost. That was fun to watch. Dez Bryant may have played the best and worst game of his career in the same night. Playmaker who drops passes and makes way too many mental mistakes. How do you trust that guy?
Brian Urlacher…is now officially old. He’s not 100 percent healthy, but wow…he is not the same guy we’ve watched in the past. Lance Briggs is still lights out. And Tim Jennings might be having the best year of any CB in the NFL.