OL Talk

Posted: November 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

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.

Wrong.

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.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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.

_


  • http://twitter.com/Randyljobst Randy Jobst

    I thought of your OL lineup as soon as we signed Scott. It’s not rocket science, it’s pretty much the only option we have left. I expect King and Demetress to be gone after the season. I don’t think it will cost them anything to release either player and I believe King was just a one year deal anyway. I expect tackle to be a huge need in the offeseason, especially if Peters can’t play this season.

    • Eric Weaver

      It will not cost them anything for both players to be gone.

  • Ark87

    Wait…. game planning can help disguise a bad O-line???? Revolutionary! We should do that next week Andy!!! Thesaurus? Just look at our roster, some names have become synonymous with “awful”.

    “Yeah, I crashed my car, got arrested, and got herpes off a soda can (not the fun way). I’d say it was a pretty Bell sort of weekend.”

    Edit: I’m not feeling near as down or cynical as my post may suggest, just poking fun.

    • TommyLawlor

      The coaches actually did some good things with the gameplan on Sunday. That did help slow down Ware to 100mph.

    • Mac

      I believe it was some time in the 1930′s that the Swamp Fox designed the first play that Reid deployed on Sunday.

    • A_T_G

      Wow, rough weekend, sounds like mine. I Reynoldsed right past a cop like I was in the a-gap with a car loaded like it was packed by 90′s Dallas players during the bye week. Then, just as I was about to be released, I Dunlaped one of the officers, took his cap clear off.

      • A_T_G

        Now this ankle monitor has me Watkinsed.

  • Jonzee72

    When I’m struggling for something worse than awful, I use “toilet”

  • Mac

    I like how King Dunlap slaps himself in the head after a huddle, after a play in which he is penalized. That inspires confidence.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.w.cho Michael Winter Cho

      I thought that was a practice swing.

  • Septhinox

    What about Watkins playing RT?

    • TommyLawlor

      I don’t think that would be such a good idea. Struggles with athletic DTs. Him vs Ware? Scary thought.

  • SteveH

    I think Demetress Bell should become its own word.

    adj, Demetress Bell ; Something worse than awful.

    • Sb2bowl

      Superstorm Sandy was Demetress Bell on the eastern seaboard……… right?

  • A_T_G

    ” OL would have been up the creek…without paddles, a boat, and any hope of ever getting back to civilization.”

    Wait, we had a chance to deport Bell and Dunlap and we missed it?!

  • http://twitter.com/Randyljobst Randy Jobst

    Gotta think a OT gets drafted early by the Eagles. If Peters is healthy and the new coach likes Todd at RT, they still should take one by round 3 or 4.

    • D3FB

      I see us either going for one of the top 4 tackles (Joeckel, Matthews, Lewan, or Fisher) or after the CB from Mississippi State Jonathan Banks

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        Or the DT Hankins from Ohio if we suck badly enough to get a top 8 pick

        • D3FB

          I haven’t seen him play yet, but having just drafted Cox, and with other holes to fill, Howie is just begging to get the hot seat turned up on him if he goes with Hankins or Star.

  • ACViking

    Re: Synonyms for “Awful”

    Cecil Gray; Kevin Allen; 1972 Eagles

  • MJG123

    There’s only 1 way to right this ship

    This team lost its identity when it let guys like Dawk go. Dawk had a presence in the locker room and huge influence on everyone. Even though he no longer plays, he would have been a huge contributor mentally to this locker room and these young guys. That being said, the Eagles switched its identity from hard nose blue-collar players to finesse players who lack heart. There’s only one way to “fix” this.

    QUIT overpaying vets to come over to Philly for a payday before they head off to retirement. The more management takes the Dan Snyder approach, the longer we’ll be in this mess.

    DRAFT hard nose in your face football players with leadership skills as well as players with a high upside regardless of Senior Bowl performance or garbage stats. Balance is key and hope you hit on at least two of these per year…..difference makers is what this team needs – both in terms of leadership and talent.

    DRAFT WRs on offense with some f’ing size for once in accordance with the above.

    HOLD players accountable when they miss a tackle…show the players that the “shutdown” corner NA will be benched and replaced by the guy who wants it more if he misses another GD tackle. I’m sorry…but I would rather watch someone off the bench get burned on a TD than watch players whiff on arm tackles like they don’t have a set. Nothing is more demoralizing for the team than watching your defense get physically abused by the other teams offense. Getting “caught” and burned on a TD is one thing….being demoralized is detrimental to a teams identity.

    EVALUATE who is no longer fitting into the system that you subscribe to and CUT BAIT regardless of how “high profile” the player is.

    FIND a coach who can coach and not be everyone’s moral support or shoulder to cry on. Dawk did all of Andy’s dirty work when he was here….Andy is a great players coach that has turned into everyone’s mommy. Get these players off the tit NOW.

    Knock this shit off now, or we’re in for 10 years of hell…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.parker.1044 Jamie Parker

    I think these guys are showing exactly what they are: backups. Backups are good when they play next to starting caliber players, but when you have backups playing next to backups, you’re pretty much up the creek. And it’s playing out before our eyes.

  • goeagles55

    Reid should consider a back-up punter on the roster over Demetress Bell.

  • kaninfaan

    We need an article on top-ten potential head coaches for next year.
    Ive never given up on an Eagles team that wasnt mathematically eliminated from the playoffs before.
    This O-line is the difference.

    Btw, couldnt we fire Marty immediately and try out some young playcallers that are on staff? If there are any?

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i would want to take that statistic one step further – how many points per game has the *defense* been giving up? there has been at least a few offensive turnovers returned for scores and special teams tds (as of last week)

      • Ark87

        That would be interesting. Last game you almost have to throw out as far as defense stats though. Dallas only really had 2 drives in the second half where their primary concern wasn’t killing clock.

        No question the D was better under Juan but they are starting to show signs of life again. They might come back into form, if they do that who knows what happens. Imagine if the D could get back to winning games for us?

      • kaninfaan

        It would be interesting to know what this season couldve been with some good special-teams and sound offensive playcalling.
        Instead blame is dumped on Castillo right before the season takes a dump on our heads.
        The rampant mis-use of “stats” around and in the NFL is ridiculous.

  • http://twitter.com/Gabesz888 Dude

    Tommy,

    It’s a different topic but Its painful to see 3 ex-Eagles (who we got rid of before we actually should) appear at this weeks PFF Team of the week.Combine that with Chris Clemons’s season and it feels like sometimes the coaches shouldn’t give up on players too early. At least Jarret is not there YET!

    • Anders

      Danny Amendola got picked up from our PS, DTN have done NOTHING untill this year and Mikell took the money and left and havnt really played that well.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I’m surprised you thought Kelly was “up and down” in this game. I thought he was terrible. The entire line has looked miserable any time they’ve been asked to deal with a stunt or twist–neither of which are advanced concepts. I’d rather put Scott in there than Watkins, though. I’m not sure Watkins would have gotten this much leeway if there were viable depth behind him (which Scott is, now), or if he had been picked somewhere in the neighborhood of Vandervelde.

    I agree that you might as well try Kelly on the outside. I don’t know how it could get any worse. Demetress Bell has been an unmitigated disaster, and one of the worst personnel calls I can think of. This, along with the lack of talent in the reserves make me really hope they are going to critique & improve their evaluation process for offensive linemen.

    ****

    Very interesting perspective on Kelce, and I believe there’s some truth in it. He’s not going to fit every system, and there’s a solid chance whomever takes over for Mudd runs a different one. It seems the popular narrative for Kelce is that he is Jeff Saturday 2.0. I’ve always had some concern with that, as Kelce has never proven that kind of prowess on the field. A new system might make it a little harder for Watkins to develop into an average NFL guard, as well, if he can hold onto his job through a regime change.

    • Ferris Wren

      If Mudd knows Scott, have to wonder why it took so long for the coaches to bring him in. Vandevelde and Menkin before Scott makes me think we shouldn’t expect very much.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Fair point, though I think it’s fair to question Mudd’s authority, given the acquisitions they’ve made under his watch; presumably, he’s had *some* say in them

  • ChaosOnion

    Pretty sure Mudd is retiring, so I would really like to see Chung as the next O-line coach. It is predicated against whoever is the HC next year, but he has studied under Castillo and Mudd and I would like to see what he could bring to the table. Bring on the Dancing Bears!

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    Wrong spot!

  • Brian Wilson

    So i have to ask…. where do you get your shrooms? they must be amazing

    • Brian Wilson

      o wait i posted that after reading the first two lines… oops