Danny Watkins is scheduled to play on Sunday. I know he’s got his share of detractors (and certainly deserves a lot of that), but he was a functional RG. He made some good blocks, especially in the run game. His pass protection continues to be an adventure. When he gets his hands cleanly on a rusher, he wins. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often enough. Quick, athletic rushers give him fits. Stunts give him issues. In a fantasy world, the time off would help Danny to see things better and improve his ability to handle stunts and blitzes…but don’t hold your breath.
The new OL is going to be: Dunlap – Mathis – Reynolds – Watkins – Kelly
Why go with this group?
First, it gets Demetress Bell off the field. He has been a total disaster this year. Part of it is learning Howard Mudd’s system. That’s no excuse for all the missed blocks due to sheer confusion. Bell is playing with no confidence.
Dunlap moves back to LT. Some people are confused on why this is good since he was so awful last week on the right side. Dunlap is at home at LT. Played there for 4 years at Auburn. Most of his NFL playing time is at LT. I would bet that the majority of his practice time is at LT. All of this experience means King is likely to be more comfortable on that side. He’s more relaxed. He’s more confident. He had 2 hands to the face penalties vs DAL. I don’t recall him having any of those penalties while playing LT this year. Could be that at LT he is much better with his hands because of experience.
Dennis Kelly at RT is the mystery part of all this. He played there in the summer and showed promise. He struggled at RG the last 2 weeks. The problems weren’t physical. Kelly was lost at times. He made a nice pull on the shovel pass a couple of weeks back, but then failed to block anyone. Looked like he was just confused on who to block. Playing OG does require more movement. Also, you have the C to one side and an OT to the other. You must communicate with both to know what to do. At OT you only have to talk to the G beside you. The TE will stay in to block at times, but that’s not quite the same thing.
Dennis is athletic enough to be a good pass blocker. He must work on technique and learning how to do the little things, but the only way to do that is play, practice, and play some more. Going up against Ryan Kerrigan will be a major challenge, but the two of them faced off at Purdue for a couple of years so that will give Dennis an idea of how good his primary foe is.
Dennis may help in the run game. The stretch play requires the OT to get off the ball quickly and control the defender across from him. Dunlap did a terrible job at this. Dennis should be quicker off the ball. He’ll play with better leverage, which is critical when trying to run block.
Reynolds has made progress, but is just a limited player. Evan Mathis is our lone good OL right now. Unfortunately, he’s not a dominant type. He does his job well, but isn’t the kind of guy you run behind because he’ll collapse whatever defender is in front of him.
I can’t tell you that the OL is going to suddenly be good. I’d settle for adequate. I do like this group better. We’ll see on Sunday if this is the right combination of backups and they can do a better job of controlling the LOS.
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There is almost no reason for optimism left for this team, other than the notion that the rest of the NFC East isn’t good (or in the Giants’ case, not good lately). I had the Eagles’ obituary written (in my head, anyway), but I just can’t pull the plug yet. Maybe I’m just curious to see Nick Foles start and finish a game. I realize that’s that equivalent of saying “Mom’s meatloaf is terrible, but this time she’s making it with a different kind of ketchup.” Still, I’m interested to see what the kid has in him.
Somebody tell Mother Bama that Jimmy doesn’t like her meatloaf. I bet she kicks his butt.
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RG3and6 told the media that the Eagles showed a lot of interest in him. They did like him quite a bit. This is interesting, kind of. Andy Reid likes QBs even more than he likes cheeseburgers. The Eagles liked Andrew Luck. And Ryan Tannehill. And Russell Wilson. Last year they liked Christian Ponder. I’m sure they loved Cam Newton. They were high on Sam Bradford back in 2010. And so on.
Reid had a franchise QB in Donovan McNabb. You can bet he wanted to get another young franchise QB to develop. Kolb wasn’t on that level. Vick had the talent, but was older and has some habits that will drive any coach crazy.
It would really only be news if Reid didn’t like RG3and6.