There were some interesting questions that I wasn’t able to get to yesterday so let’s fire off some answers. Maybe one or two will even make sense.
What is Nate Allen’s future? This is a major mystery. The guy showed he could play in the NFL as a rookie. He looked good. He’s had good games in the last 2 years, but they’ve been in the minority. There is no guarantee that he’ll ever get back to what he was. Safety is a very mental position. You must see things clearly. You must think clearly. You must play with confidence and make good decisions.
Nate still has the physical skills. His issues are all between the ears. A new coaching staff could have a major impact on him. Or not. Michael Lewis played well as a rookie in 2002. He was a good starter in 2003 and made the Pro Bowl in 2004. He lost focus after that and was bad in 2005. He got benched in 2006 and never again got back to his previous level. Once his confidence was shot, that was it.
Should the Eagles have picked Nate in the first place? Absolutely. I thought that was a terrific pick. Nate was a complete Safety at USF. He was productive. He had good size. He could cover, man or zone. He was a solid hitter/tackler. There were no major holes in his game. My worry was whether he would last to our 2nd round pick. I still think the pick was right. His development in the NFL was greatly hurt by a knee injury and then some highly questionable coaching.
What do we make of the revelation that Nate does a poor job with making calls and communicating? I can see where some would be suspicious of this comment and think it to be an excuse. It might be. However, there is plenty of evidence in the form of broken coverages, missed assignments, and wide open receivers to make you think it could be part of the problem. We’ve had more guys running wide open in the secondary in the last 2 years than in the last decade. That isn’t all coaching. It can’t all be poor pre-snap reads by DBs. Communication has to be part of it.
The passing game now is so complex that DBs and LBs must talk before and during plays. In the old days you didn’t have bunch sets and tons of rub routes. You didn’t see plays where a zone was flooded the way that happens now. You could have one field general barking out calls and running the show. Now, everybody must talk. The more complex offenses get, the more good on-field communication is a priority.
Could Jason Kelce play OG? That is definitely possible, but I don’t think it is likely. The OG will single block more than the C. That would mean Kelce’s inablity to anchor well would be more noticeable. You are better off leaving him at C. Think of it this way…how many 340-pound OGs are in the league? How many Cs that big? You want the beef at G, not in the middle.
Would Rex Ryan be a long term option at DC? No, clearly not. If he came here and built a good defense, he’d become a hot HC candidate pretty quick. You’d have to groom someone on his staff to take over or keep your eyes out for possible replacements. I don’t think Rex would be one and done unless he built a great defense and if he did…I’d live with that. To me, the risk of him leaving is worth having him here to put a good system in place and get this unit to playing at a high level.
What do you make of the rumors of Chip Kelly being the top target? He’s the prettiest girl at the dance. That’s all. No one is going to go ga-ga over Mike McCoy or Greg Roman or Mike Zimmer or Jay Gruden. Chip is edgy. He’s got a national reputation. That makes him the sexiest candidate. The Eagles will have interest in him, but I don’t know if that will go beyond a casual “what if” kind of moment to actually really getting involved with him. You have to consider any coach who has the success he has had and is highly thought of by Bill Belichick. All of the unknowns are what make him scary. Eagles may not be ready for that kind of risky move. We’ll see.
What happened to Cliff Harris? I assume you mean the Eagles CB and not the Cowboys SS from the 1970s. Cliff showed he can play, but he obviously didn’t send the right vibe to the organization. There is a reason he went undrafted. No one trusted the young man. Even Bryce Brown went in the 7th Rd. I don’t know what Cliff’s specific issues are, but it is a shame he’s wasting NFL talent. Remember, the NFL is a business. Players are employees. They must do more than just play on the field. Lots of preparation and work goes into playing. If a guy doesn’t do the behind the scenes stuff well, he’s not going to make it.
What is Fletcher Cox’s future? He is already a good DT. I think he can become a very good DT. The question really is how good. Can he become an impact player? He certainly has the physical ability. He seems like a focused, driven young man. He needs to stay healthy and play in the right system. He’s at his best as a 1-gap DT.
I hope he becomes an elite player that offenses have to fear. Can’t say for sure that’s what will happen, but it is encouraging to think that it’s possible. Patt didn’t have that level of talent. Bunk showed that in college, but not in the NFL.
Could the Eagles go for DE Bjorn Werner? Werner is a stud DE from Florida State. He has yet to declare, but I think he will. I think he’s worth a Top 10 pick. I’m a big fan of his. Goes 6-4, 255 and that’s a good frame. Can bulk up to 275 or stay thin. Plays the run well. Can get after the QB. Really good player. I think the Eagles would definitely be interested in a player like that. You do have to see what the new coaches think of Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry.
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A fan asked where to find a good Sixers Allen Iverson jersey online. Wanna help him out fellas?
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The defensive stars were out in force in last night’s BYU win over SDSU. LB Kyle Van Noy had a great game. DE Ansah and CB McFadden also played well. How weird is it to see BYU playing great defense and ugly offense? Can Andy Reid stand to watch?
There are 2 games on Saturday. Here are David Syvertsen’s players to watch.