Another Day, Another DC Update

Posted: January 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 75 Comments »

I watched Eagles Live today to get the latest from Adam Caplan on the search for a DC.  Adam has a ton of league connections and usually has a good feel for what is happening.  He did give an update, but the bad news is that the Eagles secrecy is working and no one seems to know exactly what will happen.

Adam seems to think Ed Donatell is no longer a serious candidate.  He didn’t get into why that was, but obviously that’s what he’s hearing behind the scene.  Jeff McLane offered a similar opinion yesterday.

We did find out the Eagles interviewed Billy Davis, the LBs coach for the Browns.  That happened on Sunday.  I don’t have a strong opinion of Davis.  He was the DC for the Niners in 2005 & 2006. He was the DC for the Cardinals in 2009 & 2010.  Those defenses posted bad numbers, but Davis wasn’t exactly working with great talent.

The best argument for Davis is his background.  He worked for Dom Capers in Pittsburgh and Carolina.  He worked for Wade Phillips in Atlanta.  He worked for Mike Nolan in SF.  Those are 3 of the best defensive gurus in the NFL.

Caplan offered the thought that the Eagles might have a top candidate in place and are interviewing some of these other guys as a fall-back plan.  That actually would make some sense.

Who would the top candidate be?

Since there is a delay, the candidate has to be 1 of 2 things.  He is either coaching on one of the Super Bowl teams or he is a college coach that is trying to do as much recruiting as possible before jumping to the NFL.

The college idea is interesting, but would be awkward.  Would you want a coach out there selling kids on where to go, knowing he’s about to leave the program?  Kelly was recruiting a couple of days before coming to Philly, but that was still far from a sure thing at that point.

So who would the SB coach be?  Caplan said he doesn’t think it is Jim Tomsula, the Niners DL coach.  We did hear Ted Monachino mentioned by McLane and some others.  Monachino is a young coach on the rise, if that’s what Kelly is looking for.  None of the Ravens other coaches are hot names.  That doesn’t mean Kelly won’t choose one, but for now Monachino seems like the name to watch.

Aside from Donatell and Tomsula, there is still one name of interest on the SF side.  Jim Leavitt is the LBs coach.  He previously was the head coach at USF from 1997-2009.  Before that he was the man who succeeded Bob Stoops as DC at Kansas State.

Leavitt is a fiery guy, to put it mildly.  I’m not really sure who to compare him to.  I’m a big fan of his as a coach in general, but I can’t speak strongly about him as a defensive mind.  He’s only been a DC for a couple of years, but I’m sure as HC down at USF his hands were all over the defense.  He built that program from the ground up and had them on the verge of becoming a national power.

I can’t find much in the way of direct connections from Chip Kelly to these guys.  I’m sure Chip has friends who have worked with them and maybe these guys are friends from coaches conventions and things like that.  I just can’t point to any kind of a strong relationship that is well known.

Right now, there’s just a lot we don’t know.

We do know that Chip has looked closely at or met with:

* Ed Donatell

* Jim Herrmann

* Billy Davis

* Ted Monachino

It is interesting that 3 of the 4 guys are LBs coaches.  You wonder if Chip feels that is the place to find the best DC.  3 of the 4 guys are also 3-4 guys (try saying that fast).  Donatell is the outside on both counts (4-3, DBs coach).  Maybe this is why the buzz on him as a candidate has died down.

We know nothing officially about the defense, but it feels like a virtual certainty that the Eagles will switch to a 3-4.  I’m taking medication to help me through this process.  I might also seek counseling.  I’m a 4-3 guy, but at this point I’m so desperate for a good defense that I’m open to anything.

We have heard nothing on Todd Grantham or Steve Spagnuolo recently.  I’m not sure what that means.  Grantham remains focused on recruiting and hasn’t told Georgia anything about meeting with NFL teams.  He’s got to inform them before talking to clubs about moving back to the NFL.  Spags seems like a longshot.  He is a 4-3 guy.  On the positive side, he was a LBs coach.

I really don’t have a candidate I’m dying for the Eagles to hire.  Jim Leavitt interests me quite a bit, but I think most of his background is with the 4-3.  Choosing between Monachino and Davis is tough.  Monachino is unproven, but Davis doesn’t have great results.

I’ll trust Chip on this.  He knows choosing a DC is critical to his success.  He also knows he can’t just snap his fingers and make JJ, Bud Carson, or Buddy Ryan appear.  The key for now is finding the right guy.  Building a cohesive staff that can implement a system and teach it to the players is what will help us win games.

* * * * *

The Niners assistants should all be under contract so that means we need permission from them to interview the candidates.  Jim Harbaugh doesn’t have to give it.

Back in 2006 Andy Reid denied permission for Spags to interview for a DC job.  That led to icy relations between them for a couple of years.  Andy feared losing Jim Johnson to a HC job and wanted Spags here as his replacement if that happened.  When Spags contract ran out, he was free to shop himself and went to the Giants.

I think Harbaugh would let his guys interview.  He’s had them for 2 years.  Systems are in place.  There is a sense of stability.  Also, Jim knows that if he denies them, it will lead to some friction.  He kept Donatell from talking to the Bucs last year.  I don’t blame Jim under the circumstances, but think he would be making an error to block him again.

* * * * *

The Senior Bowl game was played on Saturday.  I have begun re-watching it, but have a long way to go.  That’s what happens when all 22 guys on the field are prospects.

I know QB E.J. Manuel is a hot name with many fans right now.  I’m going to work on a post on him.  There is plenty to like about him.  He’s got excellent size (6-4, 237).  He has a good arm.  Athletic.

Be careful about getting to excited.  I think people are going to be looking for the next Russell Wilson.  By that I mean a QB taken outside the Top 50 picks who turns out to be a potential stud.

Russell is an anomaly.  He led the nation in passing efficiency as a Senior.  He threw for almost 12,000 career yards.  He threw for 109 TDs and ran for 23.  He was a top shelf prospect for the Colorado Rockies.  If Russell was 6-2, he’d have been a 1st round pick.  He might have been Top 10.  He was durable.  Productive.  Very smart.  High character.  Athletic.

Manuel never became a great player at FSU.  He threw 62 fewer TDs than Wilson, but almost the same number of INTs.  Manuel didn’t have a strong week of practice in Mobile.  He had good moments, but not an overall showing.  He did play well in the game, but practices are more important than the game when it comes to the Senior Bowl.

I have no idea if Chip Kelly or the Eagles like Manuel.  He is talented and has good NFL potential, but he’s also still a major project.  I don’t expect him to do anything as a rookie.  I have my doubts on him panning out at all, but I think he needs work and has to be looked at as someone to develop over time.



75 Comments on “Another Day, Another DC Update”

  1. 1 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 3:58 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I don’t have the resources and skills to find out, but what was the redaction when Reid choose JJ? Had to be a shot from the dark there…

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 5:35 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Reid did a great job of selling JJ. We all bought in quickly. Helped that JJ looked and sounded like a DC.

  3. 3 Iskar36 said at 4:00 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I have been disappointed with the names that have circulated, but the one thing I do think should be pointed out is that I think it is 100% clear the Kelly and the FO are going about finding a DC carefully. They are looking at lots of different names and reportedly interviewing a few people. Whoever they pick will be a guy that interviewed well and is a carefully picked DC. It will remain to be seen whether or not he will be successful, but it is clear he will be a guy Kelly and the FO believes in.

  4. 4 D3Keith said at 8:07 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I’m disappointed also, and I see no reason to rush this stuff when you have all of February to evaluate free agents and all of March and April to do draft prospects.

    I’d rather see a 4-3 (or better yet, a 4-2-5 with elite hybrid safeties, but I dream …) But I think the main thing is that Kelly pick someone who can grow alongside him, to whom he can entrust the defense and who can teach.

    So whether it’s a “name” guy with experience or whatever is irrelevant. It might not be an exciting hire, but this is also a team where the excitement should be coming from the offense. In a year or two, we should be seeing both units begin to peak and really resemble CK’s vision.

  5. 5 D3FB said at 9:00 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Mr. Gary Patterson,

    Jeffery Lurie is on line one with an offer to make you the highest paid coach ever.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 9:27 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    That would be so awesome.

  7. 7 D3FB said at 11:53 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I would literally break down in tears and refuse to go to class until I had fully celebrated myself out. It would probably excite me more than Chip.

  8. 8 D3Keith said at 10:12 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Multiplicity but Simplicity:


  9. 9 D3FB said at 12:08 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Amazing reads! Thanks! It’s becoming more and more common to see these days even if teams don’t realize they are doing it. The 4-3 with a bumped out OLB (with all the spread sets) who is really just a yolked up safety, is everywhere. Even the interior backers it seems are shrinking from year to year.

  10. 10 47_Ronin said at 12:53 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Here’s TTU SBNation 4-2-5 breakdown of Patterson’s paper–2–5-defense

  11. 11 Anders said at 9:29 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I like your 4-2-5 defense, Im just curios, is the 5th DB a safety/lb tweener?

  12. 12 D3Keith said at 10:11 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    The 4-2-5 has three safeties … Basically a free and two SSs or rovers or whatever they’re called in whatever 4-3 you’re familiar with.

    IMO, it’s not all that different from a 4-3 in that the Sam backer sometimes has to cover TEs and support the run, and the rover/SS sometimes has to play a deep half, but comes up into the box in run support.

    The advantage of the 4-2-5 IMO is that you never have to change your personnel, because both the Weak Safety and Strong Safety can play deep zone coverage, cover tight ends, or come down into the box for run support, so by those two players having interchangeable and variable abilities, you never give away to the defense what you’re doing. You can go nickel or 4-4 from the same personnel package, plus play almost any 4-3 alignment.

    The key of course is being able to have multiple players who can cover like free safeties and hit like middle linebackers. Probably tough to find at any level.

    There’s probably a lot more to it than that, and I tried to find one site that would make sense of all of it … instead I found out why D3FB and Tommy below were referencing Gary Patterson. He wrote the seminal paper, “multiplicity but simplicity” on the 4-2-5 and runs it at TCU.

  13. 13 47_Ronin said at 12:46 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    I believe Fritz Shurmur (uncle to Pat) employed a 4-2-5 scheme (big nickel, or wolverine) at a few of his stops in the NFL. I recall it had varied results.

  14. 14 deg0ey said at 2:30 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    “The key of course is being able to have multiple players who can cover like free safeties and hit like middle linebackers. Probably tough to find at any level.”

    I knew there had to be a catch! Given that we have, at best, one good safety, you’ve gotta think this plan is a little ways off?

  15. 15 Anders said at 9:55 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    So your perfect SAM would have been a player like Clayton who could actually tackle? Seems McDermott was actually unto that idea, because he actually used Clayton as a hybrid safety to cover TE’s, his problem was he was a terrible tackler.

  16. 16 austinfan said at 10:24 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    The perfect safety for the 4-2-5 was Brian Urlacher, who was a college FS and ran 4.59 at 258 lbs. Derrick Brooks, Shawn Barber, a few other pro LBs would fit, Chancellor on Seattle would be a good fit.

    But these guys are really rare at the NFL level.

  17. 17 austinfan said at 10:13 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    I don’t think the 4-2-5 will translate to the pro game.
    The closest was Jimmy Johnson’s defense with two OLBs who were almost safety size.

    Problem is the NFL game is already about speed, so that reduces the edge that TCU has in college, in the same way Chip will have to adjust to losing that speed edge on offense.

    Patterson goes with a quick but undersized 4 man front, but at the NFL level, similar to what cover 2 teams deploy, TB had Sapp and Rice, but too many quick NFL DTs end up being more like Okoye. The two LBs aren’t hard, but good luck finding two big athletic safeties who are NFL caliber, how many NFL teams have one? The tweener S/LB types that work in college don’t have the cover skills for the NFL game, where they’re gonna get matched up with real WRs and fast TEs on a regular basis.

    One reason the cover two worked is that it made less demands on the LBs in coverage, they just have to be fast in their drops and able to close quickly. And Lynch and Sanders were almost like extra LBs at SS.

  18. 18 austinfan said at 4:09 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I still feel Donatell is the best of the bunch.

    Davis failed twice as a DC, he may not have had great talent, but 3 of his 4 defenses were around #30 of #32, which tells me he didn’t know how to coach up mediocre talent into respectability.

    The others? Who knows?

  19. 19 TommyLawlor said at 5:37 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I prefer Donatell to Davis as well.

  20. 20 mark_in_jax said at 6:04 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Of the names you mentioned my preferences are:
    3-the others

  21. 21 GermanEagle said at 2:20 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Count me in on this one!!!!

  22. 22 bridgecoach said at 4:31 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    It keeps being reported how Chip Kelly heavily recruited EJ Manuel who decided to stay local in Florida. Not saying he is the guy, but clearly someone with the qualities he looks for. Pencil me in as someone who likes the idea of getting a smart athletic kid with all the tools, but with awful habits that need to be erased and rebuilt in a better mold. I trust in Kelly (and Shurmur) to be able to do that successfully over time – especially with Nick Foles as a guy to learn from and compete against.

    Definitely a lot of buzz about CK looking for monstrous size – which makes me take a look at safety candidates with new eyes. TJ McDonnald, Cooper Taylor, and Ray Ray Armstrong (Bryce Brown anyone?) – keep finding there way back onto my draft radar.

  23. 23 Skeptic_Eagle said at 9:15 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    From what little we know of Kelly, Manuel fits just about all the things he looks for, except for holding onto the ball too long. He can run a little, he can throw, and he has huge hands. Manuel’s ball placement is concerning for me, but if Kelly is really trying to install a zone-read thing, maybe zipcode accuracy is enough to take advantage of the favorable matchups you get downfield.

    Maybe more simplified reads are just what the doctor ordered for Manuel–Jimbo Fisher did not do him any favors in that offense. I still worry about Manuel’s ability even to be accurate on things like bubble screens, though. It seems like a simple throw, but it’s got to be precise, since the play is really more a “running play” than anything else.

  24. 24 austinfan said at 10:02 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    He recruited him to play COLLEGE football.
    Different skill set than the NFL, easier reads, the throws are easier as well.

    They might draft Emanuel to develop him, but I don’t think you can assume what Chip liked in a college QB projects to what he might like in the NFL.

  25. 25 Ark87 said at 4:52 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Nah Tommy, you got it wrong, they’re waiting for Ray Lewis to retire!

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 5:34 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Ah. Mind if I report this? You’re officially now a “league source”.

  27. 27 Ark87 said at 6:41 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Scoop it!

  28. 28 Mac said at 10:10 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    I could be wrong, but I believe I’ve scooped some thing like this out “close” to my house.

  29. 29 Ark87 said at 11:14 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    You must be talking about the gold mine you live on Mac.

  30. 30 A_T_G said at 7:42 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Does Ark live anywhere near the Philly or Baltimore areas? He could be “a source close to the situation.”

  31. 31 TommyLawlor said at 8:42 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I thought “the situation” was in Jersey.

  32. 32 bdbd20 said at 4:55 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I hear the niners have a really talented O-line coach.

  33. 33 A_T_G said at 5:06 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Call it the Castillo test, but the names floating around don’t excite me much more than hearing they were considering giving him another shot.

  34. 34 Iskar36 said at 5:45 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I mean, the sad part is, statistically speaking in terms of yards and points, Juan has produced at least one, possibly two (I’m not sure what the statistics would be for just the Castillo-coached portion of the season, but if I remember correctly, they were somewhere in the teens) better defenses than most of these other candidates. I’m not proposing Castillo is the answer by any means, but I wish at least one of these guys at least made a strong case that they were far-and-away better DC candidates than our previous OLine coach.

  35. 35 A_T_G said at 5:02 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Well, I think it is pretty clear. If the media is reporting that Donatell hype has faded, he must be the front runner. As soon as we hear that he is out of the running, we can rest assured he is boarding a plane to Philly.

    It worries me a bit that they are interviewing coaches from teams that didn’t make the playoffs, like the Browns. These guys were accessible from the start. Is that a clue that things didn’t work out with their top candidates and they had to reconsider guys they previously eliminated from contention?

  36. 36 TommyLawlor said at 5:36 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I think that is why Caplan talked about them as fall back options. Also, do remember that Chip has only been on the job for 10 days. He didn’t have much time to talk to these guys.

  37. 37 A_T_G said at 7:39 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Good point. Is that all it’s been? It feels like that chapter closed weeks ago.

  38. 38 Iskar36 said at 5:38 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I think they are likely not enamored with any particular coach and are looking for the right guy to come in and have a great interview that impresses them enough to hire that person.

    I do have questions about the Donatell hype and then subsequent fade. Is it likely that the Eagles interviewed him at any point? Are they even allowed to interview him while he is in the middle of a superbowl run? I know teams and coaches will talk despite rules like that, but I am curious how much the faded hype is simply the Eagles can’t really do anything until after the superbowl, and it isn’t like they are going to leak to the media daily that Donatell is their leading candidate to make sure the hype machine keeps running.

  39. 39 D3Keith said at 8:09 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Maybe just killing time until after the Super Bowl.

  40. 40 T_S_O_P said at 5:06 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I echo your 4-3 to 3-4 comments so completely.

  41. 41 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 6:10 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    I have a working theory on Kelly’s seeming propensity toward 3-4 defense. I think he see teams having such success with the read option that he is knows his defense must ne equipped to stop it at least for portions that it is used. I think a 3-4 is a better front because the DE’s are stronger at the point of attack and 4 LBs is more athletic than 3. I like to think that the man who perfected the scheme has the best insight on how to stop it as well! Just a theory…

  42. 42 TommyLawlor said at 7:15 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    There is some logic to this thinking.

  43. 43 D3Keith said at 8:09 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Best argument I’ve heard to date for the 3-4.

  44. 44 Dustin Hutcheson said at 8:59 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Yes, I’m assuming Kelly thinks 3-4 will be best for future offenses. Lurie mentioned that Kelly talked during interview about future trends and counter-trends he foresees. He must believe 3-4 best way to deal with what’s coming.

  45. 45 47_Ronin said at 12:26 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Hmmm, I think more evidence is needed to bear this out. My question is haven’t Kelly’s worse loses come against 4-3 teams (LSU, Boise St, USC)?

  46. 46 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 7:41 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    That’s why it’s a working theory. Boise plays both the 3-4 and 3-3-5 as much as they do the 4-3. They have enough flexibility to do so. Oregon scored 35, 62, and 51 points in their last 3 meetings against USC. LSU is a good example. I think that comes down to the fact that the athletes in the SEC on defense rival those on offense in any other part of the country. Oregon didn’t struggle just against LSU from the SEC. They also got shut down against Auburn.

  47. 47 scratcherk said at 6:22 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Can a coach block an assistant from interviewing for a coordinator job? I thought they could only block lateral moves.

  48. 48 Anders said at 6:46 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    They can block everything except HC moves, but I doubt Harbaugh will block Donatell 2 years in a row.

  49. 49 D3Keith said at 8:08 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Especially now that they’re in a Super Bowl, i.e. he’s kept that staff together to get to where they wanted to be.

  50. 50 TommyLawlor said at 7:15 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Rules have changed a lot over the years. As Anders said, anything but HC moves can be blocked.

    There are no unwritten rules per se, but blocking a guy 2 years in a row would lead to some serious bad feelings. Only get so many chances to get a promotion.

  51. 51 nopain23 said at 7:50 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Why haven’t the iggles contacted guys like Keith Butler and Eric Mangini?

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 8:43 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Seems like Butler is waiting to replace Lebeau. Hasn’t left yet.

    Mangini isn’t the guru some think. His numbers are below average.

  53. 53 Phils Goodman said at 8:28 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Since when was EJ Manuel being compared to Russell Wilson? Wilson was an extremely polished QB who fell in a deep draft because of scouts’ height fetish. I think the people who like Manuel acknowledge that he’s a project. He’s a physical specimen whose mechanics need an overhaul. The guy to compare him to would be Colin Kaepernick coming out of Nevada.

  54. 54 D3FB said at 8:52 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Then it’s fair to attach Nick Foles name to Tom Brady.

  55. 55 Phils Goodman said at 9:03 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Sure, that does’t mean the odds are very good that Foles will have a decade of success like Brady, though. Brady’s resume is much harder to approach than Kaepernick’s.

  56. 56 deg0ey said at 2:48 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    I still find myself wondering how much of Brady’s success is scheme. Belichick is one of the best minds in the game; does Tom still become a HOF QB in any other system?…I tend to say probably, but it’s interesting to think about. Not just with him, but other guys too.

    Incidentally, PFW had the following to say about Brady before the draft:

    “Positives: Good height to see the field. Very poised and composed. Smart and alert. Can read coverages. Good accuracy and touch. Produces in big spots and in big games. Has some Brian Griese in him and is a gamer. Generally plays within himself. Team leader.

    Negatives: Poor build. Very skinny and narrow. Ended the ‘99 season weighing 195 pounds and still looks like a rail at 211. Looks a little frail and lacks great physical stature and strength. Can get pushed down more easily than you’d like. Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush. Lacks a really strong arm. Can’t drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. System-type player who can get exposed if he must ad-lib and do things on his own.

    Summary: Is not what you’re looking for in terms of physical stature, strength, arm strength and mobility, but he has the intangibles and production and showed great Griese-like improvement as a senior. Could make it in the right system but will not be for everyone.”

    So Foles has basically the same positives and fewer of the weaknesses. I’m buying into the Foles>Brady argument right here!

  57. 57 Anders said at 9:16 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    Manuel only compares to Kaepernick in terms of needing polish. The rest of their game is not even close

  58. 58 Phils Goodman said at 10:31 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    “Although accuracy is a bit of a question mark for Kaepernick, it’s better than he gets credit for. His completion percentage went up every year during his four years as the starter the Nevada, so it’s clear that he is capable of improvement, especially with a good NFL coach guiding him along. He has a tendency to throw high on targets that are wide open, even when he has time to throw. The most accurate of his passes come when he is outside of the pocket. Although lots of his passes across the middle and deep are sometimes off the mark, he is a lot more accurate when he throws bullets”

    “He has sort of a weird, wind-up delivery which appears to stem from his baseball background. When standing in the pocket he holds the ball low and away from his body, which isn’t helped by his long arms. The ball doesn’t come out of his hand from as high of a point as it should, which gets more of his passes batted down than you would expect for a quarterback of his height. His mechanics will need some work at the next level”

    “Kaepernick has outstanding mobility from the quarterback position.”

    “His release is a little slower than most NFL scouts would like to see. The fact that he holds the ball low instead of up high only lengthens the process of getting the ball out of his hands.”

    “There is plenty of potential still waiting to be unlocked in Kaepernick. He has been electrifying throughout his college career and has done a great job of improving every year. If he can stay on track and continue to improve, he could easily be one of the better quarterbacks to come out of this 2011 class in the long-run.”

  59. 59 shah8 said at 1:00 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    It really should be emphasized that Kaepernick was coached up–he was drafted on pure tools and moxie. He was not a reliable passer his first year in SF.

    I guess I also need to say that EJ Manuel is not going to be a mid-round pick. He’s going in the first round or top of the second round. Virtually *all* QBs with acknowledged starter grade tools go in the first 45 or so picks. Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson are outliers–both for obvious reasons. Yes, there are surprises later on, but for virtually all of them, either a lack of spotlight or something unusual was going on…

    Or in other words, if Brock Osweiler can be picked where he was, you know Manuel will be picked around there or higher.

  60. 60 D3FB said at 9:07 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    He was also extremely extremely productive with subpar talent surrounding him.

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  62. 62 DF587 said at 9:30 PM on January 28th, 2013:

    A new (yet old) name enters the ring. Dick Jauron? Andy didn’t offer him the job a couple years back. His defenses have typically been middle of the pack.
    Is he a 3-4 or 4-3 guy? Is he worth kicking the tires?

  63. 63 47_Ronin said at 12:29 AM on January 29th, 2013:


    Can’t wait to read Tommy’s Sr Bowl recap but Zeke Ansah has impressed some (apparently enough to project to a top 10 pick).

  64. 64 TheRogerPodacter said at 10:32 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    hmmm. haven’t heard him as Zeke yet. i hope we get him so i can start with all of the Zeke the Plumber can smell your fear jokes.

  65. 65 Mike Flick said at 8:05 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    I got a question:

    Lets go off the following assumptions: Peters, Kelce and Herremans come back healthy AND the Eagles draft Joeckel or Fisher with their first pick:

    So your line would like like Peters – Mathis – Kelce – RG – (Joeckel/Fisher)

    Who is your RG? Do you think Herremans or Watkins wins that job?

  66. 66 D3FB said at 9:14 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Smart money would be on Herremans. Assuming he comes back from injury completely and we do get one of the top two Tackle prospects I’d say probably 80-20 in the Toddfather’s favor.

  67. 67 Skeptic_Eagle said at 9:27 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Herremans is a far superior player to Watkins. I’d have to imagine he’d win that job easily. The only thing Watkins might have on Herremans is brute strength, but as we know, there’s a lot more to it than just that.

    Your scenario would sort of mirror what Dallas did with Tyron Smith & Doug Free. Draft Joeckel to start on the right side now, with the plan of moving him to the left side in the future. They’ve had mixed results, and I think in the short term, it sort of weakened their line as a whole.

    My only problem with drafting a tackle high is that I’m not sure it gives you much bang for your buck, in terms of win percentage. There are a lot of really good LT’s on bad teams: Joe Thomas, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Eugene Monroe, just to name the highly drafted guys. Also, there are really good players like Jared Veldheer, Gosder Cherilous, William Beatty that played their position very well, but still had very erratic QB play behind them. However, a lot of pretty good teams can get away with a subpar LT, if the QB is good enough: Baltimore & GB spring to mind. A really good LT never hurts you, but I’m just not sure if taking one in the top 5 has the same kind of impact on the team as it used to.

  68. 68 Mike Flick said at 12:31 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    It sure had an impact on the Vikings last year.

  69. 69 Mike Flick said at 12:34 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    In fact if you tell me we can get a guy who is a clone of Kalil with our 4th pick, I would do it. Peterson got 2k yards for a reason, and Kalil was a beast.

    Pear him with Peters with the Read option and Shady and Brown? That is something to build an offense around.

  70. 70 Skeptic_Eagle said at 4:36 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    Peterson got 2K yards because he is a freak of nature, and the best back in the NFL; easily one of the best of the past 20 years. Percy Harvin also helped that team a lot, early on. Matt Kalil is a good player, don’t get me wrong, but there is no earthly way he should be credited for +7 wins. None. If Ponder doesn’t become an NFL-Caliber QB throwing to better receivers, Kalil can block a RDE into the molten iron core of the earth on every snap, and all that team will be is the Adrian Peterson show.

  71. 71 Skeptic_Eagle said at 4:42 PM on January 29th, 2013: first response didn’t show up. OK, well, I’d say that to credit Kalil for Adrian Peterson’s 2K yard season, or a +7 W differential is something I can’t get on board with. He’s a fine player, and makes their line better. That said, I think you’ll find yourself on an island by claiming that the Vikings turned their franchise around by picking Kalil. Adrian Peterson is a bonafide freak of nature, and probably the best RB we’ve seen in the last 10-20 years, and had established the latter before the Vikings ever selected the Tackle out of USC.

  72. 72 deg0ey said at 12:12 PM on January 29th, 2013:

    I think Herremans probably wins the job, but he might angle for a trade if they don’t let him stay at tackle?

  73. 73 phillyfan1987 said at 8:27 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    coaching update

    HC- Chip Kelly

    OC- Pat Shurmur

    QBC-Bill Lazor

    OLC- Bill Bicknell, Greg Austin Assistant

    RB-Duce Staley

    TE-Ted Williams, Justin Peelle(assistant)



    DC- Most likely Donatell,Levitt ,or Monachino

    DL- Jerry Azzinaro

    LB-Rick Minter, Bill McGovern

    Secondary Coach-Todd Lyght

    DQC-Mike Dawson

    ST-Dave Fipp Assistant,
    Matt Harper

    Josh Gibson-personnel

    James harris- personnel

  74. 74 Christian Therealw said at 8:55 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Oh and we make use of the newest technologies: Virgina offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor will join the Eagles

  75. 75 Skeptic_Eagle said at 9:03 AM on January 29th, 2013:

    Tommy, what do you think of Paul Pasqualoni? I’m very impressed with the defensive talent that UConn is producing these days, considering their recruiting power.

    Pasqualoni fits the mold of: experience in a 3-4, experience as a NFL DC, experience as a LBs coach and most importantly: old guy swagger. He coordinated a pretty good Miami defense back in 2008. Not sure I understand the entire backstory on why he left for Dallas. He took over for Wade Phillips as the interim DC after Wade had been fired, and the results were less than spectacular; I think as we see with Bowles, a lot of leeway is allowed for a situation like that, in terms of judging a coach’s abilities.

    Obviously, problems with this would be that A) He doesn’t want to leave UConn B) He might not be that good and C) The Eagles have shown no interest.

    Just a musing for a slow news day, but was wondering if you had any background on him…I’d still prefer a guy who’s had some success in the NFL to a guy with middling results as a pro coordinator, or a guy with 0 NFL experience.