Uncovering The Coverage Issues

Posted: December 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 40 Comments »

The Eagles pass defense has been a joke over the last 5 games.  4 QBs completed 70 percent of their passes.  All 5 of them finished with a passer rating of 120 or more.  What in the name of Dimitri Patterson is going on?

For SB Nation Philly, I wrote about the issues that the secondary is having.

I really look forward to seeing who runs the defense next year.  I do feel sorry for Bowles.  He’s trying to run a system that Juan Castillo put together.  Bowles would love the chance to use his own system, but he doesn’t have the time to make that change at midseason.  The stink of this losing streak will likely keep Bowles from getting a DC job in the next few years, but I really don’t think this is his fault.

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The Eagles have let us down all year long.  They also let down the guys in Vegas, not covering one spread all year long.  Jimmy Bama has the details.

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The Eagles did something nice for a fan.  And no, this isn’t about Jason Babin getting cut.

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West Virginia QB Geno Smith was 23-24 today vs Kansas.  That will help his bid to become the #1 overall pick.  I”m too lazy to come up with an Eagles secondary joke there.  Feel free to fire away with your ideas.

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  • Anders

    Tommy, if the Eagles keep the 5th overall pick and Foles is not the future, would you trade up for Smith or settle for Barkley?

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

      I think Barkley could slide like Jimmy Clausen did. I wouldn’t touch him in the 1st unless he was BPA in the bottom of the 1st and you have a proven veteran, he can sit behind.
      If the new coach thinks Geno Smith is a franchise QB I would trade our 2014 1st to go and get him.

      • Anders

        Problem is, the Chiefs (who will most likely have the 1st pick), would demand more than just a 2014 1st because they need a franchise QB more than we do

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

          I know, but I don’t think I would give up as much as RG3 cost. Then I’d rather take the best OT/DT and wait for a QB in 2014. I want Manziel :-)

          • Baloophi

            It’s tough… so much depends on who the new coach is and what his philosophy is. Also, given the number of holes we do have, I’d be hesitant to move up at all… especially if it means giving up the 2014 first. To your point, I’d let the Chiefs take their guy and see how the board unfolds…

          • http://twitter.com/ProtoTyler Ty-Philly

            Its all moot til we know who the HC is. I’m just going to have fun reading about prospects until my educated guessing has a HC foundation to stem from.

            I wouldn’t mind Alex Smith and 49ers OC Greg Roman

          • doublgee

            That’s what I’ve had in mind as well. Have Alex Smith as our starter next year, along with their OC as our new HC. Draft a new franchise QB in 2014…and hope for the best…??

    • TommyLawlor

      Would be willing to move up for Smith if the new coach truly loved him. Not sure that will be the case.

      Not sure Barkley is a franchise QB. Need to really study his games from this year and figure out why he’s so up and down.

      • Anders

        Do you think a new coach could get the same treatment as Shanahan in DC? been able to suck for 1-2 years untill he can draft a franchise QB?

        • http://www.facebook.com/normanahaupt Norman Haupt

          I would hope so. Lurie should understand better than anyone patience.

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

    Do you think that Bowles would/could be kept as the secondary coach next year?

    • TommyLawlor

      If a veteran DC wants to keep him as DBs coach, I’m fine with that.

      • Anders

        I know Rex Ryan coaches a 3-4 D, but how would you think of him as our next DC? I would think that he should know a thing or two about a 4-3 or we could run more of a hybrid.

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

    Tommy,
    Which player(s) in the draft fits your description of a SS, that is physical and good in the box? I would also be happy to get a SS that has better instincts than Coleman.

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    Doesn’t seem very fair to compare the Eagles secondary to Kansas University.

    You should go to Lawrence and apologize.

    • TommyLawlor

      Done.

  • Baloophi

    WARNING: College talk (Potential spoilers for DVR’d games)

    Georgia refusing to spike the ball with 13 seconds left then completing a pass (albeit tipped) short of the end zone felt like Vick eschewing the spike and lobbing it up for Tramon Williams two years ago. Barf-o-matic.

    • TommyLawlor

      Terrible, terrible end to the game. Terrible.

      • Baloophi

        Had to be a coaching fail, right? Murray was looking to the sideline and then ran a play…

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

          I read that Murray wanted to spike it, but the coaches wouldn’t let him. Apparently they wanted to take advantage of the Alabama personnel on the field.
          Coaches decision, that turned out to be bad bc of the tipped ball. But Geogia went down the field with ease, so maybe it was the right call, but just bad luck…

          • TommyLawlor

            Have to spike it there so you have 2 plays. Understand coach’s logic, but it is faulty.

    • eagles2zc

      Cooper’s stock among fans sunk after that play

  • Andre

    I just laughed really hard with what in the name of Dimitri Patterson is going on.
    About Bowles, I would love to have him as our DBs coach next year.
    And tommy, can you tell us your impressions on Notre Dame CB Bennet Jackson? Watched some tape on him and really liked what I saw.

  • Baloophi

    I found the following passage from Tommy’s SB Nation article painfully poetic:

    “There is no more horrific feeling for Eagles fans in the last five
    weeks than seeing the opposing quarterback take a deep drop and then
    start to throw the ball. There are only three outcomes possible:
    touchdown, long gain, or pass interference (which sometimes doesn’t
    prevent the catch and/or touchdown). The days of a pass break-up or
    interception are distant memories. You can always hope the wind will
    cause an incompletion, but you sure know it won’t be the defensive
    backs.”

    • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

      That’s what I expect from the defense, post-Castillo. Doesn’t really bother me. Foles is a different story.

      I’m worried about Nick’s repertoire. He only seems capable of: missed long balls, hospital balls, fumbles, and passes that should be intercepted. All I have left from this depressing season is the hope that Foles shows some sort of growth (and that Bryce Brown enjoys the company of a football enough to try to keep it).

      • eagles2zc

        I don’t expect Foles to make any drastic improvement in the remaining games. The deep ball is something he’ll have to work on in the offseason. I do want to see some better decision making from him though

  • jshort

    Wow, talk about being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Bowles sure knows that feeling. I wouldn’t want to be on an unsinkable passanger ship with him on board. Miami to Philadelphia anyone? All Aboard!!

  • austinfan

    Geno’s MO is to rack up the stats against weaker teams, and struggle against top 50 pass defenses. That’s why I don’t think he’s a top 10 player. The windows get a lot smaller in the pros, if he struggles against good college defenses, well . . . doesn’t mean he won’t be a starting NFL QB, but the odds are against him being an elite QB – RGIII actually played better against the best defenses on the schedule last year.

    I want DRC and Aso gone, Aso has nothing left, he’s got the size to play like Al Harris (though he won’t be grandfathered by the refs) but not the heart. And DRC simply isn’t consistent or tough enough to pay top dollar, sure, as a #2 CB for $6M a year, but not as a #1 for the franchise or a Brandon Carr deal. Better to cut your losses, taken the money and sign a couple FAs and draft a guy or two.

    • shah8

      No, the whole reason there was ever any attention to Geno was the LSU game last year. Broadly speaking, his team, outside of the receivers, weren’t athletic enough to compete with the top programs.

      RG3 beat one quality college defense, that of Oklahoma, in his final year. Difference isn’t that outsized. The difference between RG3 and Geno Smith is that RG3 is faster and has a stronger arm. Geno Smith is a bit bigger? and is slightly more refined as a passer. Moreover, nobody ever thought he would be elite. Last year, I, and others, thought of him as a late first round, early second round pick. The combination of the initial success this year and the fact that the QB class this year is utterly lacking (with many teams needing something better at QB) is what has him at as a high draft pick.

    • TommyLawlor

      Geno does well throwing into tight windows. He is a great passer. What I’m not sure about is the other stuff. Leader? Does handle pressure well – by the D as well as the media? Clutch? I need to really study him thoroughly, but he’s looks like the closest thing to a franchise QB.

  • GermanEagle

    The eagles will have to have a new HC in place until two days after the Super Bowl at the latest since then MV7 huge roster bonus will kick in. Which should make the search for the right HC even more complicated…

    • Mac

      Words of wisdom

    • P_P_K

      I didn’t know about that deadline. If Foles doesn’t show he can deliver, perhaps the Eagles will choose to stay with Vick. It might be easier to show him the money than draft a qb and try to develop him into the franchise guy.

  • Iskar36

    I definitely agree that Bowles was put into a very difficult situation, but I don’t think he is free of blame. A lot of the mistakes are certainly about execution and a lot of that goes directly to the players, but Bowles also has not seemed to manage to get players on the same page, understanding what he wants them to do. Yes, it’s a tough situation, but it is not an entirely impossible one. Bowles is not the first coach to step in and take over a group midseason and tried to make it work somehow. Other coaches have done it and have had success. I think the players carry a lot of the blame for our struggles, particularly our secondary, but I don’t that and the situation on coming in to coach Castillo’s defense is enough to entirely excuse Bowles.

  • A_T_G

    I have a question regarding Bowles. I understand he was dealt a tough hand, coming in mid season, but isn’t it fair to expect him to do as we’ll as the guy he is replacing?

    Perhaps given equal time to install his choice of defense with equal players he could have achieved better results than Castillo, but perhaps not. Is it fair to believe a good coach would implement the classic serenity prayer, changing what he can, accepting what he can’t, and knowing the difference?

    My point being, dealt the same cards as the guy many fans held is disdain, Bowles has done less with them, yet the prevailing opinion seems to be regret that he will be gone. Shouldn’t we be regretting that he replaced Castillo?

    • TommyLawlor

      Castillo had Bowles to run the secondary.

      Bowles has Bowles to help run the secondary when he’s done with DC duties.

      Big difference.

      • A_T_G

        Good point.

        Is there a reason he didn’t bring someone in, or promote someone? One would think there would be a retired player Bowles is familiar with looking to develop some coaching experience.

  • ACViking

    Re: Bob Ford’s Column Today in the Inquirer
    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20121202_Bob_Ford__Jeffrey_Lurie_needs_to_end_his_silence_on_Andy_Reid.html

    T-Law:

    In his column, Ford raises the possibility — to explain Jeff Lurie’s silence — that Andy will not be leaving after this season. All the injuries.

    He also says that Lurie’s comment that he expected improvement was in the context of a question about giving Reid another extension (asked right after the LaMonte kerfuffle) . . . not in the context of what would justify a firing.

    Lurie — Ford argues — has never gone on record, ever, to say that AR would be cut loose if the Eagles did not improve.

    There exists, in other words, some wiggle room for Lurie.
    _____________

    So I put to you, T-Law, “isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society?”

    Oops.

    Seriously, what is the probability that Lurie keeps Andy? And if he keeps him, doesn’t he almost have to give him at least a 1-year extension?

    Or is Andy D-O-N-E?

    • Septhinox

      Andy has to be done. Fan apathy is something Lurie can not and will not deal with. Keeping Andy another year will only increase fan apathy and cause Lurie more embarrassment and lost revenue.

  • P_P_K

    Like Vegas, I was very, very wrong. At the beginning of the year, I put money down at 12-1 that the Egales would win the Super Bowl. Don’t laugh too hard, the only NFC team that got better odds were the Packers.