Watching the Dallas game live gave me the impression that the O-line did a solid job. DeMarcus Ware didn’t have 50 sacks. The QBs didn’t take nearly the pounding that Vick did in the Saints game. I figured the OL must have worked some things out.
Demetress Bell and King Dunlap were awful. They consistently struggled as run blockers and in pass protection. The QBs got the ball out quickly. There were double-teams that proved effective. It also helped that Dallas didn’t blitz nearly as much as I anticipated.
Then the Eagles signed OG Jake Scott on Monday night. Interesting move. At first I wondered if they did this as a depth move because Evan Mathis hobbled around for part of the Dallas game. Had he gone out, the OL would have been up the creek…without paddles, a boat, and any hope of ever getting back to civilization.
The more I thought about how awful (and I don’t use that word lightly) the OTs were, I started to wonder if we could see some moves.
Put King Dunlap back at LT where he is more used to playing. That’s far from ideal, but he’s been okay there.
Let Jake Scott and Danny Watkins compete at RG. Watkins gets a lot of flak, but the offense did look better with him at that spot.
Put Dennis Kelly at RT. He was up and down at RG in 2 of 3 games. He was just down for the Saints game. Not good. Kelly is more natural on the outside. His struggles at OG were due to not reading blitzes well and trying to block on the move. He’s more natural at OT and could be more effective. Could is the key word.
Sit Demetress Bell. I’d say cut him, but I’m not sure there is a better player on the street.
Dunlap – Mathis – Reynolds – Watkins/Scott – Kelly
That group won’t be mistaken for the Hogs or ’95 Cowboys any time soon, but it could be better than what we’ve seen the last 2 weeks. Right now we’re hoping to find a group that is functional.
Scott is an interesting player. He has been a good RG for years. He started 9 games as a rookie in 2004. He then started all 16 games from 2005-2011. He played for the Colts (and Howard Mudd) before moving to the Titans as a free agent.
Scott hasn’t played a down this year. He says he was getting offers that were beneath him and he was determined to get fair value. Some people question this. Did he turn down offers or did no one really want him? I have no idea. I tend to trust OL. Those guys aren’t the BS artists that skill players are.
Regardless of why and how, Scott is an Eagle now. He knows the system from his days with Mudd in Indy. He won’t know our playbook, though. He can learn the basics pretty quick, but I think asking him to play Sunday would be a bit quick. The next week, I could see him in action or at least battling with Watkins for the job.
There is nothing official with the OL. This is just my speculation, fueled by my re-watching of the Dallas game. If the OTs were functional, I’d stay the course. Both OTs struggled mightily so sticking with them doesn’t make sense if it can be helped.
The key to all of this is Watkins being able to play. His ankle has been an issue for a couple of weeks. Reid said it is getting better. We need it to be good enough. Or Scott needs to set a record for getting ready to play RG in the shortest amount of time known to man.
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The subject of judging players was brought up in the previous comments section. Someone asked if Trent Cole was fair game. Jason Babin gets picked on relentlessly, but Cole is having a worse season statistically.
I have been a big fan of Trent’s since his days playing alongside MLB Jamar Enzor at the Univ of Cincinnati. Old school fans may remember that I was obsessed with Enzor. I thought he had some Seth Joyner potential. Alas, he did not. I liked Cole a lot as well and was ecstatic when the Eagles picked him. Things have been good ever since.
That said, Trent does not get a free pass. If he’s part of the problem, that has to be addressed. No player is beyond reproach. The good news is that Trent played well vs Dallas. Maybe the light is going on for him.
When a team goes 3-6…no one gets a free pass. The goal is to go win a Super Bowl, not develop a great group of friends. I think it was Jimmy Johnson who used to say “I need wins, not friends’. I love Trent, but he needs to pick up the pace. He’s not playing well this year.
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If there is a coaching change, what will the new guy do with the OL? Good question, but impossible to answer. I get the feeling Howard Mudd will retire, but you never know. If the coach has a system that fits what Mudd does, it is possible Howard could stay. Eugene Chung could get the job. He’d certainly be a candidate. Questions like this are just impossible to answer since there are so many variables.
Depending on what kind of changes are made, it could affect us keeping a player like Jason Kelce. He is light. I think the other guys would be fine. Evan Mathis isn’t all that big, but the Ravens courted him heavily and they’ve liked big, physical OGs in the past. They clearly saw him as a good player, regardless of system.
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I wrote about the Dallas game and Nick Foles for PE.com. You know it has been a long year when I’m making references to Greg Brady and Captain Howdy in a game review.
I’m working on the DGR. Should be finished tonight or tomorrow AM. Busy with the thesaurus. You can only say “awful” so many times.