A few of you have wondered just how talented the Eagles roster is. Some have asked about the future. I decided to combine those thoughts and do an analysis of the roster for my SB Nation Philly column.
There really are 2 key problems. One of them I touched on in the column…no players (aside from first year guys) are having breakout years. Nate Allen has been solid, but hasn’t taken the next step. Danny Watkins has only made slight progress. Brian Rolle has already been cut. Jamar Chaney hasn’t progressed. Demetress Bell isn’t playing as well as Demetrious Bell. Derek Landri has been slowed by nagging injuries. Darryl Tapp is just Darryl Tapp. Phillip Hunt is barely playing. And so on.
The other key problem, as pointed out by AC Viking, is the failure of the Eagles to turn 1st round picks into star players. Fletcher Cox looks like he could be the exception, but the group prior to him is lacking. Watkins might not get his job back (I’ll do a post on that after the Saints game). Brandon Graham was derailed by an ACL, but is on the way back. Just don’t know that he’ll ever become the star pass rusher we hoped for. Jeremy Maclin is an above average player, but hasn’t become the star WR we hoped for. We traded picks in 2007 and 2008. Go back to 2006 and Brodrick Bunkley was a good starting DT, but not a difference maker.
These players aren’t busts. A bust is a player that can’t get on the field. These guys are solid starters or even good. The problem is that they aren’t great. And you do need some 1st rounders to be great. Look at the impact of DeMarcus Ware, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Ryan Kerrigan for our division rivals.
I don’t know why players aren’t becoming stars. There is no specific pattern. They aren’t all small. They aren’t all workout warriors. They aren’t all from a particular region or type of school. I wish there was an obvious pattern. You would then know what to do/not do.
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I’m not going to write a lot about this. Jimmy Bama and I did a podcast and covered the subject at length.
I don’t doubt that Vick was worried about his job. He denied the report, but his body language in the ATL game looked like a QB who was playing with less than full confidence. Let’s hope whatever came of the talk between Reid and Vick worked. He needs to come up big in New Orleans.
The report said that Vick thought some assistant coaches might be pushing for him to get benched. In the podcast, Jimmy and I speculated. The obvious name is Marty Mornhinweg. I also wondered about Howard Mudd. He’s catching a lot of flak right now for the O-line not playing well, but that isn’t helped by the fact that Vick holds the ball longer than any QB in the NFL. There are also reportedly some questions about Vick not checking into different run plays when the defense is lined up to the area where the original play is set to go.
The report also brought up the point that Reid feared losing the locker room if he did make a change to rookie Nick Foles. I’m sure Reid has considered this angle and it will factor into his thinking. When you bench a well-liked veteran QB for a rookie, not all veteran players are going to be thrilled. You need to be able to sell them that this truly is the best move for the team.
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A couple of links for the draftniks…