4 Out of 5

Posted: November 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 54 Comments »

4 out of 5 dentists recommend that you don’t lose 4 out of 5 O-line starters.  I didn’t think things could get worse, but boy was I wrong.  Todd Herremans is headed to IR.  I haven’t been too happy with his play, but this wasn’t what I wanted to happen.  I wanted Todd to raise his game, not get hurt.

With Todd going to IR, the Eagles have reportedly added OG Julian Vandervelde to the active roster (from the practice squad).  At practice today Demetress Bell is at LT with King Dunlap sliding over to RT.  Danny Watkins is not practicing so Dennis Kelly is at RG for now.

Bell – Mathis – Reynolds – Kelly – Dunlap … what could go wrong?  I wonder if Michael Vick took out an extra insurance policy on himself?

The only possible good thing about this…the OL is so messed up that Andy/Marty may actually be forced to run the ball.  Feed it to Shady and Bryce.  30 combined carries.  I think we’d all love to see that.  Hell, if we’re not going to score big points with the passing game, let’s run it.

Dunlap has experience at RT so putting him there is probably the smart move.  Bell has sucked at both LT and RT, but he was a total mess on MNF.  His best moments came at LT.  Cross your fingers and hope he limits his mistakes.

Kelly was good at RG vs the Falcons, but really struggled on Monday night.  He wasn’t getting physically manhandled so much as he was missing assignments and just not making blocks.  On the shovel pass, Kelly pulled and was right there to block a Saint.  Maybe Shady scores.  Maybe he just gets down by the 1.  Instead, Dennis doesn’t touch a soul and Shady is swallowed up at the LOS.  Can’t have brain farts like that?

I don’t know if the noise got to him.  Maybe playing on Monday night got him.  Maybe he was worried about economic policies in Europe or what might happen on the new episode of The Walking Dead.  Don’t know what happened.  Don’t really care.  Cannot happen again.  Simple as that.  Find someone and block ‘em.  If you get beat by a more athletic guy, we can forgive that.  Get beat by a stronger guy, can forgive that.  Don’t block anyone?  Unacceptable.  You’re paid to get out there and put a hat on a hat.  Any jerk go be a tourist and take in the sights.  Go hit someone.  Hit the wrong guy even, but hit him so hard that he remembers it.

I’ve invited my good friend Josey Wales to offer his advice to Andy, Marty, and the O-line.

I’d love to see Reid take this approach in the Dallas game.  Let’s embrace the run game and try to control the LOS that way.  Run early.  If they stop it, who cares?  Keep running.  Wear them down and the OL be on the attack.  Mix in passes to keep the defense honest, but focus on the run game.

I have significant doubts that Big Red will take my advice, but we are allowed to dream, right?

* * * * *

The Eagles added Safety Phillip Thomas to the practice squad.  Good move.  He showed serious potential this summer, but teams had some doubts or concerns that kept him on the street.  Thomas has the talent to play in the NFL.  Now he must show he’s got the discipline to put the professional in professional football player.

Good move.  I hope Thomas stays focused.  Would love to see him pan out, even if just as a role player.

* * * * *

Did  you hear about Marcus Vick?  He said on Twitter that he wanted Vick to get out of Philly (due to the OL).

Les Bowen got Vick’s response to Marcus:  ”shut off Twitter”.

Marcus is an idiot.  He had the talent to be a big star in college and possible starter in the NFL, but couldn’t stay focused on football.  Then Marcus threw the party back in 2010 where there was the shooting that almost got Vick cut by the Eagles.

Marcus should shut up and be thankful he’s got a brother that makes millions of dollars.  Vick will be headed out of Philly soon enough and I don’t know that it will be a good thing for either one of them.

_


  • Anders

    Why not Kelly at RT and Vandevelde or Menkins at RG? I rather that then Bell at LT

    • Ark87

      I’m of the same opinion. They must REALLY not have faith in Vandervelde…or really not like Kelly at RT….I just don’t know how you don’t take out a restraining order on Bell from getting within 200 feet of that football field.

    • TommyLawlor

      I would prefer Kelly at RT, someone else at RG, and Dunlap at LT. Reid and Mudd have their reasons, even if we don’t agree.

  • Mark823

    The good news, 5 out of the 8 remaining games are division games. The Eagles went 5-1 there last year, and with the way the rest of the teams are playing they could do that again. So we can say Reid does have good game plans against the NFC East, and that should help the injury situation. I won’t be in panic mode until the Eagles start dropping division games, then it is over.

    • GermanEagle

      Bless if you’re still not in panic mode, despite a 3-5 record with a 1-4 record in the NFC East. I guess the players are not in a panic mode either, the way they have been playing…

      • Ark87

        1-0 in the NFC East. 1-4 in the NFC. We won’t be winning any wildcards but surprisingly the NFC East is up for grabs. We have an easy schedule ahead of us and the Giants’ schedule is pretty loaded. Incredibly the season isn’t over IF the Eagles improve their game. I kind of doubt we will be getting much better this season though.

        Tie breaker order: Head to Head record if teams play eachother (we have an opportunity to sweep the giants in the season finale)—-> If in the same division and split the head to head you go to divisional record (1-0)—->conference record (1-4)

        Giants are the front runner in our division but are showing signs of their November slump, with a tough schedule. Mike Shanahan is a moron for going into “evaluation mode” this thing is still up for grabs.

        • GermanEagle

          I am very well aware of how the tiebreakers work in the NFL.

          However I think that the opponents also think that their schedule will get easier when they see the Eagles on it…

          • Ark87

            Absolutely, we’re a cupcake on everybody’s schedule. But if the Eagles can get into their typical november/december form we’re right back in it.

            This isn’t a typical season nor a typical Eagles team. It’s very unlikely we get back into this. Team needs to be in panic mode because they aren’t a good team, not because of their record. Solid talent playing bottom-5 type football.

            Semantics really. Just pointing out the record isn’t as impossible as many people may think…but improving this O-line is haha.

    • TommyLawlor

      Sunday is a huge test. Dallas isn’t hot. They aren’t coming off the bye. They have lost some key starters. Very winnable game.

      • MichaelFloyd84

        A huge test of what exactly? Our patience? Clearly the players could give less than a shit. The season is done. And this offseason is a total gut job

        • Skeptic_Eagle

          ha ha!

  • Ark87

    Pick some run blocking specialists off the street. Get a three headed monster going back there if we’re done being pissed at Dion Lewis. We need to switch our outlook from passing to set up the run, to running to set up the pass…immediately. Yes passing is the way of the league right now. And we can build our team for getting back to that next season. But these are pretty extreme times. We might even be able to get Mike Vick back to form if he isn’t getting obliteration multiple times a series.

    • BlindChow

      And imagine how successful play action passes would be if we ran the ball constantly!

      • Ark87

        Defensive Coordinators should have nightmares about shady…but they don’t because it’s ok, we’ll use him to go 60 yards and into the redzone then put him in storage and kick a field goal.

        Some say why not just kick the FG on first down? How many more points would have on the season/ less points opponents would have. The answer is simple: Alex Henery needs those 3 pass plays to warm up his leg. Come on people!

        • P_P_K

          Maybe Andy is limiting Shady’s touches, especially in the redzone, because… damn, I can’t think of a single witty thing to say. It’s so damn frustrating.

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    Well, at least we can trust Vick to get rid of the ball quickly.

    Paul Domowitch ‏@pdomo
    According to Pro Football Focus, Mike Vick has averaged 3.12 seconds to get ball out this year. Only QB who’s taken longer is Russell Wilson
    2:52 PM – 7 Nov 12

    • ATLeagle

      I am starting to get very suspicious of this stat. How is he supposed to get the ball out when a DE gets a free run all the time. Step up into the pocket you say ? well, there is a guy coming free right through an A gap, and a guard and a center have both been pushed 4 to 6 yards back . So, then, the QB ducks, spins, runs to the side and the ball stays in the hand for an extra second. This happens about 30 or more times a game, which is going to bring that average up. The other option is to just give up on the play and fling it out of bounds instantly… well, this being a running QB, he is going to take a big hit, and giving the receivers no chance to get into their routes 30_ times a game is going to produce a lot less than we want.

      • A_T_G

        Come on, watch the games. There is no way we have a guard or center who sustain contact long enough to get pushed backwards 4 yards.

        • ATLeagle

          true… you call it not sustaining contact, they call it getting to the second level. potato, potahto. it says something that I am entertained and keep laughing at these kinds of jokes, instead of being angry. Not even competitive.

          • A_T_G

            Getting to the second level, I like that. Maybe Reynolds heard about how good Kelce was at getting to the second level and thinks “I can do that.” not realizing he should only try to do that on running plays.

            See, it’s fixable.

  • JJ_Cake

    Tommy, please give us a glimps of who we might be able to pick up in FA next year. Would Dwayne Bowe from KC be a good upgrade over Maclin? I wish we had signed CB Joseph over asomuga and let Dallas have had Namdi, he’s the one I’m most dissaponted with, even moreso than Vick. What OL are available? Are there any noteworthy OLman or other positions available in the draft? If Reid is gone, is there anyone who could do a good job for us? My only thought is Bill Cowher, but maybe he got lucky having Lebeau as the Dc. Maybe the Chicago DC? Chi is doing great with a team of “old” vets on D.

    • TommyLawlor

      I have not looked at any FA list yet. No idea. I’ll get into that stuff in December.

      The coaches discussion needs to come a bit later as well. I’ve got research to do and we need to see how the teams of the potential candidates do.

      • ACViking

        Re: Dwayne Bowe

        I argued for an Eagles trade to acquire Bowe before this season.

        His a big, fast WR who plays big.

        But after seeing how FAs have performed here, I’d rather look for a big WR in the draft and have the coach — new or old — develop him.

        • Anders

          Samuel worked great for us for 4 years, Babin, Jenkins and Landri was great last year. Mathis keeps been great. Ryans and Peters have really worked well (tho it was by trade).

          Just because some players does not perform well, does not mean you should not pursue FA targets (by the same token we shouldnt have drafted Jackson because we sucked at drafting them before that)

          • pkeagle

            After looking at the FA list for next year, we should play Dorenbos at center right now (as he’s listed as one and prob would do a better job thn Reynolds)

            Personally, if we picked up Long and Byrd in the off-season, I’d be fairly happy

          • Anders

            Long and Byrd are at the top of my FA list. Tho a guy like Vollmer might be better for us because he is a pure RT and therefor wont be as expensive and does not have to learn a new side

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            It seems that free agency additions work best as a complement to strong drafts. I think the Eagles have reversed that order in the past few years, and the result on the field reflects that.

    • Anders

      Here is a good list of FAs for 2013:
      http://nfltraderumors.co/2013-nfl-free-agents/

  • ACViking

    Re: S Phillip Thomas

    I’d really like to know the story behind the Eagles’ decision-making about Thomas — why he was cut (and Sims added instead of PT), why he wasn’t a PS guy sooner, and why the Birds finally thought he’d become PS material.

    Also, should the Eagles continue to play the real-life role of Wile E. Coyote, I wouldn’t mind seeing Thomas moved to the 53-man roster and get some game experience.

    __________________

    Re: O-line

    The injuries up front have obviously decimated the offensive line . . . which is why I argued yesterday that Jason Peters may be among the 2-3 most valuable players in the NFL.

    As bad as it is right now, it may not be the worst O-line the Eagles have ever fielded (starters or no starters). I can think of two that may have been even worse.

    In Buddy Ryan’s first year — 1986 — the O-line gave up 104 sacks in 16 games . . . an NFL record. (Along with DiMaggio’s 56 game streak, this record may be unbreakable.) The line was manned by the likes of OTs Tom Jelesky, Joe Conwell, and Leonard Mitchell. The OGs were Ron Baker and Ken Reeves. And at center was Matt Darwin. By 1988 — just two years later — 5 of the 6 were gone and Matt Darwin have been moved to OT.

    The 1972 team — worse than the 1998 Eagles to give everyone some context — gave up 53 sacks in 14 games. The O-line had OTs Wade Key and Steve Smith, OGs Tom Luken and Mark Nordquist, and C Mike Evans. (In the 1973, three of those guys were still starting — with rookies OT Jerry Sisemore and C Guy Morris replacing Smith and Evans, and becoming anchors of the 1980 SB team.)

    OT Tom Jelesky is best remembered (at least by me) for nearly getting Ron Jaworski killed in a 1985 Eagles-Giants game, when Lawrence Taylor kept blowing past him and hitting Jaws from his blind side.

    Returning to the 1986 O-line debacle, some attributed the problem to the inexperience of 2nd-year QB Randall Cunningham, whom Ryan proudly used as his 3rd-and-long QB specialist.

    Back then, Randall had a habit of not reading the defenses particularly well, holding the ball, and trying to scramble his way out of trouble.

    • TommyLawlor

      Those were some dark days for the OL.

      • Wilbert M.

        Tommy – what is the story on Phillip Thomas? ACViking also wants to know. He was easily the third best safety on the team in preseason. We know about the Syracuse issues, but what did he do wrong in training camp?

    • ConcussedFB

      In fairness to Joe Conwell, at least his brother was a pretty decent musician. Not only did Sisemore anchor the line but his wife/gf answered the door one year on Halloween wearing a skimpy french maid outfit that had to be intended for someone other than our young eyes. You keep Jelesky, Im sticking with her.

      • A_T_G

        So Jelesky left both his QB’s and his wife’s backsides unprotected?

        • A_T_G

          Now that I reread your comment, that doesn’t fit at all. Oh well.

  • GermanEagle

    It is really amazing how people see Vick as one of the biggest disappointments. Sure he has disappointed but I would love to see how all the Brees’es, Rodgers’ and brady’s in this world would do behind THIS O Line. Unfortunately we will never find out…

    • TommyLawlor

      We’ll see Vick next year behind a new OL and on a new team. I’m betting the results are better, but not what they should be.

      Also…Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers have both been sacked more than Vick. He’s not the only QB in the league with a limited run game and mediocre OL.

      • GermanEagle

        Fair enough, though I would bet my house (which I don’t have) that Vick has been hit more than Cutler and Rodgers combined.

        I really appreciate Vick’s effort and heart every single game day, unlike most of the Eagles Vick does care! I wish him all the best with his new team. His insurance premium might go down then..

        • TommyLawlor

          Vick is unbelievably tough. No one questions that.

          Vick has been hit more than them. Don’t know the numbers. Problem is that Vick brings some of that on himself by not getting rid of the ball quickly or moving well in the pocket. He’s great out of the pocket, but not in it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

            Tommy… Tommy… TOMMY.

            Last 3 breakdowns I have seen Vick has had less than 2.5 seconds before he is hit on most plays. I am not sure Vick’s peanut is wired to fire in under 2.3 seconds. Kurt Warner retired so how many QBs are left in the league that can operate in 1 – 2 seconds?

            I agree sometimes Vick holds the ball. I think more often than not he is gun shy from the turnovers and is afraid to hit his initial read. He needs a clean pocket and 3 seconds. (I need a million dollars)

            I seem to remember DMac holding the rock for 5 and 6 seconds every play… I used to scream at the TV because the old WormBurner would miss his first read and wait till the guy was REALLY open. Then he would hit him in the shoe strings at that… I digress.

          • shah8

            Come now, it ain’t about logic. A RG in 2010, and I think we’re contesting a Super Bowl. Interior guys (Kelce and Watkins having their growing issues) in 2011, and a good LB as well…

            And today? Well, it’s everyone, isn’t it? McCoy has had some pretty bad moments, like the bad read at Arizona, and he has had some pretty low production games, too. Everyone knows it’s the OL. Everyone knows it’s about the OL wrt Vick (aside from the Browns game) as well. It’s just the Permanent Campaign that only shuts up for a little while when great play happens. Not gonna stop until a QB that people want to idolize arrives, wherepon plenty of grace and understanding (see: Eli Manning) will be forthcoming.

            /me shrugs

            The game’s changing, and the athletic requirements at the QB position is going up. That means the space for pretty boys is going down. Colt McCoy, for example, did not last as long as Rick Mirer. In today’s game, Drew Bledsoe wouldn’t be better thought of than Brandon Weeden as a prospect. Mark Sanchez is lasting longer than Joey Harrington–he’s quite a bit better, athletically. In turn, Joey Harrington would have lasted as long as Christian Ponder will last in today’s game. More mobility, more arm strength, more, more, more. Stafford, all the times I have seen him, is a considerably worse QB than Vick at the mental aspects of the game. You still see him out there, just like Joe Flacco, because he can throw into tiny windows downfield.

            Brute force works. If you’ve got an OL, just run ‘em over. If you’ve got a QB with real power in that arm, speed in the mind, and not totally braindead, you can pass into excellent coverage.

            On the other hand, defenses have been bulking up, as pass rushes have become every more critical to surviving in today’s NFL. There are QBs out there that can pass into coverage! Better make sure he ain’t mechanically set to do so–get him off that spot! Don’t give that QB time to beat single high! Bait a bad decision with fancy zone blitzes that only allow an instance of recognition!

            Why is Aaron Rogers the best QB and not Michael Vick? Ain’t got much to do with the head game. It’s because Aaron Rogers can throw on the run, like nobody’s business, and Michael Vick *has* to set his feet and be pretty mechanically sound to make accurate throws. If Vick was able to to throw on the run, at all, he would have been essentially unstoppable. That pass to Maclin@ Baltimore was really special, for Vick.

            As much as people want to think some runt out of Boise St can make it in the Big City, under the brightest of lights, QBs are all about their tools, and I think it will become increasingly impossible for franchises to oblige fans and marketers with the Fluties or Gabberts of the world. It’s not just McNabb and Vick. It’s also Cutler’s story, too. Some people will be happier with the friendly face or name, but the loudest people are going to be the ones booing the bad plays live on TV, a lá the replacement refs in Baltimore, and giving bad vibes all around.

  • ACViking

    T-LAW:

    Earlier this season, I think an opponent’s safety (don’t remember who) said the team didn’t even prepare for the Eagles’ running game because the Eagles offensive coaches don’t take it particularly seriously themselves. By “seriously,” I understood the point to be that AR/MM will not construct their game plan — except for the G-men — around the running game. (Not that the Eagles won’t run the ball several times on a particular drive. But philosophically, at some point in the game, the Eagles will essentially stop running the ball.)

    Do you have any view, after 8 games, whether that observation is an accurate assessment.

  • ACViking

    Re: Vick as the Problem

    You can’t throw the ball lying on your back. At least not downfield.

    (Hat Tip: German Eagle)

    • GermanEagle

      Chapeau. ;)

      • ACViking

        Oui, monsieur.

  • pkeagle

    Hey Tommy,

    Thank you and Jimmy for brightening my day this morning – the turd pie part cracked me up so much – awesome!!

    Re: Maclin – do you think he could be next year’s slot receiver if we went out and got another WR to play opposite D-Jax or are his hands not reliable enough in your opinion?

  • The_Reddgie

    HA HA HA HA, this is the funniest thing I have read all day, maybe all season.

    “The only possible good thing about this…the OL is so messed up that Andy/Marty may actually be forced to run the ball.”
    You crack me up Tommy.

  • SteveH

    Oh good, another week of Demetress Bell. *chugs draino, dies*

  • Bill73

    2013 draft
    1.trade back in first get a 2nd draft a CB
    2a. Insert tall WR pick
    2b. SAM LB move kendricks to will
    3. Insert SS
    4.backup OT or OG or C
    5.backup OT or OG or C
    6.backup OT or OG or C
    7.backup saftey cut dead weight
    free agent pick up starting OT
    ez done fire howie i picked the draft…

  • MichaelFloyd84

    Tommy, please be the voice of reason and don’t give life to this false idea that the season was tanked by O lineman getting hurt after the season was already over. This BS better not give Reid or Vick another shot. This year was supposed to be their last shot and they shat all over it.

    • Ark87

      Nobody is excusing Mike Vick (to shah8′s great distress) or Andy Reid. Everyone looks at Andy and knows he’s the HC and the personnel guy. HE chose the depth, HE chose his assistant coaches. The ONLY replacement that was prepared to step up and play was King Dunlap. Can Howard Mudd even be here every day and night grinding it out to pay proper attention to his back-ups at his age and health? Even legends need to to do the hours with these guys getting them ready.

      The majority of the starting line went down and that’s unfortunate. But it’s up to coaches to get back-ups ready to play. It’s up to coaches and the remaining starters to figure out ways to succeed with back-ups on the field and it’s up the the back-ups to step up. Whole-sale failure.

  • tdilla

    any possibilities of guys coming off the street? I know that option would have theoretically been exhausted when Peters went down, but at this point any Wal-mart shopper on a rascal scooter would probably be better than Bell…

  • DanJ3645

    Tommy,
    I’ve seen comments that Howie should go along with Andy Reid.
    Given that Reid has final say on personnel matters, how much blame should be given to Howie? He has shown he can make trades for players and draft picks. The cap position appears healthy now and in the near future.

    How do you see Howie influencing the search for a new HC?
    Do you think that Laurie would be happy to give a new Head Coach full control again?
    Do you think Howie will be capable of performing the player evaluation side of things if the new head coach doesn’t want / isn’t given the control of personnel?

    • Ark87

      That’s where there is a disconnect between we the fans and the people who make the decisions. For fans firing someone is an emotional decision. We want people to be fired for punitive reasons. We want people to be benched punitively. The guys up top have to disconnect from all that. It’s not: “Is this all Andy Reid/Howie/Vick’s fault, whose fault is this and whose going to pay for it?” It’s not about who needs to be fired so much as who needs to be hired.

      It’s not a question of “does Howie deserve to get canned” but, “Is Howie the best man for the job to get this team rebuilt”. There is no obvious answer to the question if you’re the man in charge. Simply if you like someone out there more than Howie for the job, you go and get him, if not you stick with Howie.

  • eagles2zc

    A man’s true color comes out during adversity. I just want to see some fighting spirits for the reminder of the season. McCoy and DeJax brought it the last few games. I want to see players playing for their pride once playoff is out of reach