Eagles Notebook

Posted: January 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 65 Comments »

Jeff McLane gets points for having the rumor of the day.  He reported on Twitter:

Hearing less about Ed Donatell and more of the #Eagles‘ interest in Ravens LBs coach Ted Monachino for their DC job. Will Balt let him go?

This would be interesting.  Anyone who is a defensive coach for the Ravens has to be considered a good candidate.  Think about the guys who have moved on from there in the last decade or so:

Marvin Lewis

Mike Nolan

Rex Ryan

Jack Del Rio

Mike Smith

Mike Singletary

Chuck Pagano

Greg Mattison

I don’t know a whole lot about Ted Monachino.  I’ll need to do some research.  Here is his Ravens bio.   The one major red flag for me is that he’s never been a defensive coordinator in college or the NFL.  He’s worked for some really good coaches and has a good background, but I would much prefer a DC that has a proven system and knows how to teach it.

Chip Kelly has my trust right now.  If this turns out to be who he wants, so be it.  Just color me a bit concerned.  Sean McDermott was learning on the job.  And Juan Castillo.  And Todd Bowles.  Smart guys, but all new to being a DC.  I would much prefer someone who’s been there, done that.  Let’s benefit from the mistakes that coach made in the past.  Those lessons have already been learned.

Aaron Wilson is the Ravens expert of experts.  He said he’s heard nothing concrete on this potential move.

Meaningless note of interest…Monachino played LB at Missouri.  Jim Johnson also went to Missouri, but he was a QB in college.  Kinda hard to picture that, huh?

* * * * *

Dan Pompeii had a good nugget in a column over at National Football Post.

If new Eagles coach Chip Kelly adopts some of the strategies he was using at Oregon, the Eagles will begin coveting “longer” players. Kelly’s NCAA teams were known for their speed and stamina but Oregon was also recruiting taller players across the board, particularly on defense where he made length a priority with a recent change in philosophy. Some people around the league believe the Eagles will begin seeking taller players on that side of the ball.

This would not bode well for Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, and Phillip Hunt.  I think Mychal Kendricks would be okay since he’s a LB.

We don’t yet know this will be a sure thing, but it is definitely something to keep track of as we figure out who the Eagles are looking at in FA and the draft.

Some taller front seven guys of note:

LB/DE Dion Jordan – Oregon – 6-7

DE Margus Hunt – SMU – 6-8

DE Ziggy Ansah – BYU – 6-5

DE/LB Michael Buchanan – Illinois – 6-5

DE Alex Okafor – Texas – 6-5

DE/LB Barkevious Mingo – LSU – 6-5

DE/LB Sam Montgomery – LSU – 6-5

There are more tall guys out there, but these are some of the more prominent names.

(h/t to Jason at BGN)

* * * * *

A few of you have asked me about getting into scouting.  I put some thoughts together for you.

One of the most influential books for me is Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh.  Espn had a great story up on the book, its background, and the effect it has had on coaches.  Great piece.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama has a post up where he projects Comp picks for the NFL teams.  I’d love to tell you the Eagles will get an extra couple of 1st and 2nd rounders, but that would be a slight exaggeration.

* * * * *

In case you missed it, I found Mel Kiper’s final mock draft from 1996.  The Eagles picks were not Melvin’s best work.

_


  • wee2424

    Tommy-
    With Kelly as HC chances are we are going to see a different type of blocking scheme up front. We drafted Kelce specifically for the scheme we had in place. Is it possible with a change in o-line scheme we might be looking for another center also?

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Kelly will want a zone blocking scheme, which is similar to what Mudd did. Kelce could be perfect fit for Kelly.

      • D3Keith

        That was one of my big worries, that our young talents would become obsolete via the coaching change, and potentially still is if a 3-4 switch happens, so I was pleased to read here that Kelly likes athletic O-linemen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gaparsons Greg Parsons

    Hi Tommy. First time poster. Absolutely love reading your posts, more so than any other site. Excellent work. I am a coach in other sport and would be interested in reading something by Bill Walsh but would like the information to transfer across to other sports. Leadership, people management, organisation etc…not all about football strategies and techniques. Could you recommend a good book please. Thanks

  • austinfan

    I think “tall” has to be put into context, I suspect he wants long, i.e., arm length, as much as height. Cox is a good example, 6’3 but with 35 inch arms. At the LOS, this takes away throwing lanes, for ILBs, it makes the throw down the seam harder (remember Bradley dropping v Trotter, Bradley’s reach made that throw difficult).

    I don’t think height is as important on the edges, though it might still factor in at OLB. Eagles have been looking at shorter CBs and taller safeties, which also plays into this concept, if you’re playing zone, you want quick CBs who close on underneath throws more than tall guys who match up man to man, but you also want tall safeties who can come over the top and contest throws to big WRs.

    So look at both:

    Short 6’3 33″
    S Williams 6’3 32 1/2″
    Jenkins 6’4 33″
    B Williams 6’2 32 3/4″

    D Jones 6’4 32″
    Okafor 6’5 33″
    Ansah 6’5 34 1/2″
    Goodman 6’4 35 3/4″
    Simon 6’2 33 3/4″

    C Washington 6’4 33 3/4″
    J Collins 6’3 33 1/4″
    Buchanan 6’5 33″

    But Chase Thomas 6’3 31 1/4″

    This would hurt Patterson, Hunt.
    Graham is too talented for it to matter, Curry, Jenkins, Cox, Thornton pass the eyeball test.
    Kendricks is a question at ILB.
    Coleman, Anderson, Sims are all short safeties, uh oh.

    • Anders

      A guy I personally really like is Dion Jordan. He is 6’6″, but I cant find his arm length, but watching him, he should have atleast 33″ long arms.

      Also I have really become fascinated with Ansah as a potential for us.

      • austinfan

        I’m a bit wary of guys who are “too tall” for their positions, a tall LB is going to struggle breaking down in the open field and with leverage unless he is an exceptionally coordinated athlete.

        You want someone who’s built proportionate, 6’7 325 lb DT is probably going to work out better than a 6’7 290 lb DT. Dunlap is a good example, had he filled into his body he’d be an elite OT, but he’s too easily bull rushed and can’t run block with power, long but not powerful frame.

        • ACViking

          No Shawn Bradley-types.

        • TommyLawlor

          Agree on height not always being a positive. Many guys struggle with pad level as well as awkward body types.

        • Anders

          Dion Jordan is an extremely good athlete. Oregon would use him to cover slot receivers and TE’s because he was the best they had.

    • TommyLawlor

      Length does involve more than just height as you point out, but usually height and long arms go together.

      • deg0ey

        Shame Rajon Rondo has a torn ACL…6’1 with a 6’9 wingspan; gotta think Chip would find a job for him if he wanted to convert from basketball :p

  • Cafone

    Tommy, The eagles don’t seem to be in as good of a position as previous offseasons in terms of the number of draft picks they have and their position under the salary cap. Should we start to worry that Roseman may not be as good as Banner was when it comes to managing the cap and accruing picks?

    • wee2424

      The last couple of years, besides this offseason Howie has managed to get us alot of draft picks. Not to mention the plan this year might be to trade back in the draft thus getting us more picks. Two years ago as we all remember Howie managed to get us multiple top end players in free agency while managing the cap beautifully and leaving us still with a decent amount in cap space.
      It is not the number of draft picks, the financial side and wheeling and dealing that i question with Howie. He excels at that, and i really due respect him in that manner. It is his evaluation of talent which I sometimes question. He is a young GM and is still learning, and i beleive he has made some mistakes but he is smart enough to learn from them.

      • ACViking

        I’m sorry, but according to Eagles’ ownership, Howie Roseman didn’t do anything until 2012.

        That means he’s not responsible for Graham or Allen in 2010, or Watkins, Nnamdi, or DRC in 2011.

        (While Nnamdi had a “big name” in 2011, recent reports — FWTW — have GMs saying Nnamdi was finished 3-4 years ago. Plus he’s not a guy who loves the game . . . or ever did.)

        Those players were either Reid or Banner’s fault. No matter how much credit Roseman took (or suggested he deserved).

        • wee2424

          I wasn’t talking about player effectiveness. I was talking about Roseman’s ability to make moves regarding draft picks, wheeling and dealing, and cap space management. I have never heard anyone say that Roseman is not responsible for any moves the team has made until this past year.He has been the GM for a few years now and you do not get that title by sitting back and doing nothing.

          If what you say is true then why have the Eagles once Roseman became GM leaned a lot more to Free Agency then other years? It cannot just be coincidence that when he became GM things changed.

          If this is true what you say about Roseman doing nothing until this past year then please provide the link. Im pretty sure that i am not the only one here that has heard that for the first time.

          There have been plenty an article on this site alone saying how the Eagles have changed regarding their approach to player acquisition from years past.

          Your point about Nnamdi also adds to the point i made about Roseman. I am not 100% confident in his player evaluations. It almost seems that he took the Dan Snyder approach, saw a big name and automatically thought the player would improve the team without doing a lot of investigation. Players like Nnamdi and Cromartie are not Andy Reid type players.

          Not to mention the fact the many reports that said Andy was fighting to keep Mcnabb. That means someone or a group wanted Mcnabb out. If Andy was fighting to keep him then it was definitely not an Andy move to ship him away.

          • D3FB

            The statement regarding Howie not having control of the reins in the front office until last offseason was made by Lurie during his pressconfrence following the season.

          • wee2424

            Im aware of those statements, but the keyword is reigns. What he is saying is that Roseman was not in complete and utter control which makes sense. He never said Roseman has no control over anything which i beleive ACViking was trying to say. I agree that Roseman didnt, and i believe still wont run the whole show, but i disagree on the notion that he made no decisions. had no input, and made no moves up until this past year.

        • D3Keith

          Didn’t have final say and didn’t do anything are two different things.

          I don’t think it would be accurate to say he rose to GM and usurped Banner by doing nothing. I know that Lurie’s sales pitch was to absolve Roseman of responsibility because he still answered to Banner and Reid during those drafts and 2012 was the only one he ran by himself. But I still think it’s fair to suggest he did much of the work in the 2011 FA haul, for instance. Joe stepped down in June of 2012, so it’s got to be at least partially true that his influence was waning before then.

          Maybe it’s nitpicking.

          • deg0ey

            I’m kinda hopeful that the role he had in the 2010/2011 stuff was that Reid told him who to get and Roseman went and got them. Let’s be honest, regardless of how Nnamdi turned out, it was pretty impressive that we actually managed to bring him here in such an under-the-radar manner.

            If Roseman’s input wasn’t to do with choosing him as a target, but only the making him be here then I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement of the things he’s been involved in up until now.

            Obviously it’s just speculation as to whether or not that is true, but I can live in hope ;)

          • Iskar36

            I think this is a good guess of what happened. I think taking Lurie’s word at face value is giving Howie waaay to much credit. He certainly may get some passes, but I don’t see how he would not have been involved in a significant role during those first 2 drafts. I firmly believe that while Lurie believes in Howie and thinks he has done way more positive than negative, I think that statement about him not being part of the first two drafts was largely a PR statement.

          • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

            I guess the bright side to that argument is that he learned from those mistakes early on, and used the lessons he learned there to help him put together a much better draft in 2012 (so far).

            And if we are going to put blame on him for DRC/NA, I think he deserves some major credit for heisting Demeco Ryans for a 4th rounder from way out in left-field.

    • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

      I don’t know why you think we’re not in good cap position. We have a 23 million dollar carry over from last season, giving us a few million in cap space even if we don’t cut anyone. After we get rid of Bell and Vick we’ll have a good bit money. Even more if Nnamdi and other veterans are let go of.

    • Anders

      Once NA, Vick and Bell has been cut we have 38 mill under the cap. We can cut Patterson and Jenkins save another 10 mill.
      Also I think we got all our draft picks through the first 5 rounds.

      • wee2424

        I agree with all of those cuts besides the Jenkins cut. If you cut Jenkins along with fat Patt that leaves you very thin on the Dline. Add to the fact that Dixon is injury prone.
        Also, if you move to the 3-4 Cox and Jenkins make the most sense as your DE’s depending on how Thorton develops, with Dixon in the middle. Not sure if Dixon could handle NT, but he is the best natural fit currently on the roster. May be wrong but i think Curry might be to small for a 3-4 DE.

        • deg0ey

          If we play a 1-gap 3-4, Patt and Thornton could well be the best NTs on the roster at the moment. Hopefully they’ll wait until they get a DC before making a final decision on any of these guys.

        • Anders

          I know we wont cut both Patt and Jenkins. It was more a way to disprove that we are in bad cap shape. We can also save another 6.5 mill if we cut Ryans. Not that I would do it, but if Kelly really wants to purge the roster from older expensive guys, he can do it without cap problems.

          • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

            Completely theoretical, but would Ryans fetch decent trade value? I know we got him for a fourth, but that was when a lot of people outside the Texans and Eagles organization were down on him, due to injury and the scheme switch. Now that he’s proved that he’s back to form, and still can play at a high level, Could we theoretically get a third, maybe even a conditional second for him?

  • nopain23

    hey t

    Was out to dinner with a couple of eagles fans last night and a point of contention came up. So I said i would ask it on your blog. Could Damontre Moore be a better rush OLB prospect than Jarvis Jones? I know Moore was a DE in colloge but many project him as OLB in a 3-4.

    • TommyLawlor

      I do think Moore could be better. Great motor. Jones is a good player, but is not in the Von Miller category. Neither is Moore, but the point is that Moore and Jones are closer than most realize. Or Moore might be better.

      • ACViking

        T-Law:

        During the draft process, I suspect you’ll pop in the tape of the UGA v. UAL game for the SEC title.

        Go the latter part of the 3rd Q and into the 4th Q. Jones was almost walking through his assignments. He seemed gassed. Jenkins — at 80 lbs more than Jones — was still humpin’ though.

  • ACViking

    Re: Wheeling / Dealing on Draft Day

    Noted below (by wee2424) is the Eagles have 8 picks and Roseman’s a wheeler-dealer on draft day.

    If memory serves, since 2002 the Eagles — after Reid became king of football (i.e., no Modrak) — have always played the wheeler-dealer game. Whether it was Heckert or Roseman wearing the GM hat.

    Maybe the trading on draft day was Reid’s mandate to his GM, whoever it was.

    Maybe, with Reid gone, we’ll see a different approach.

    For example, the Steelers hardly ever trade up or down in Rd 1 or many other rounds. That’s worked for them.

    I do recall Roseman saying that the Eagles approach — during the Reid era, a necessary qualifier at this point — was to accumulate as many picks as possible because, based on who the Eagles under Reid set the draft board, there were essentially groups of players with comparable values at various points in the the draft. So the more players you pick, the better chance you have of hitting on them. (In theory, that’s a great idea . . . except that, in theory, as you move further down the draft board — from, say, Rd 2 to Rd 3 — the quality drops too. LESSON: If you’re going to move down for picks, you better be damned good at (i) valuing players, and (ii) finding impact value players further down.)

    So, for example, if the Eagles have the No. 18 pick in Rd 1, but don’t see any players with ranking that translates into “worthy at No. 18″, then the Eagles would try to unload the pick.

    But that was during the Reid era.

    Things may be different in the CK era. (“CK” is a lot like “T-Law.” JS.)

    Of course, that raises the question of who’s calling the shots in the draft room.

    I’m guessing it’ll take 2-3 drafts with CK (if he sticks) to figure it all out.

    (T-Law . . . I defer to you on all of this.)

  • ACViking

    Re: “Lenghty DEs/OLBs”

    Sounds like a description of the Cowboys’ OLBs (now DEs): Ware and Spencer.

    Back in the day — the 1980 SB — the Eagles played the Raiders.

    The Raiders, under Al Davis, loved “long” DE/OLBs. (In 1980, the Raiders had shifted to the 3-4 defense.)

    So to his right, Jaworski was trying to throw the ball over/around 6’8″ DE John Matuszak and 6’7″ HOF-OLB Ted Hendricks.

    Over to the left, Jaworski was throwing against 6’5″ DE Dave Browning . . . and his favorite target that day (w/ 3 INTs) 6’2″ OLB Rod Martin. (And backing up DE Browning was a former All Pro from across the bay, former 49er 6’3″ DE Cedrick Hardman.)

    Needless to say, he also loved physical DBs The CBs generally ran about 5’11 – 6’1. The safeties about the same, maybe a bit taller. (Nnamdi was an exception, i.e., a really tall corner.)

    Al Davis may not have kept up (and didn’t after 2002). But the guy was a visionary. During the Raiders’ Dynasty years, from ’66-’02 — with a few bad seasons in there after ’87 — Davis couldn’t resist “long” defensive players.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jaws to Rod Martin…the worst passing combo in Eagles history.

  • deg0ey

    So if this Ravens guy gets hired, we’re all gonna be calling him Mochachino, right?

    • TommyLawlor

      No doubt.

    • A_T_G

      I just hope it is not because of his Drive-Thru defense.

  • RC5000

    What’s the story with coaches and their contracts. You make statements that these teams have to let coaches go or give permission but what happens if their contracts expire.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ll write about that.

  • mark_in_jax

    Re: Monachino’s Ravens Bio
    If it were me, I’d have the Ravens remove any mention of Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves from my biography. Harvey was the 8th overall pick in 2008 draft and had 8 sacks in 3 years. He was waived with 2 years remaining on his contract. Groves had 2.5 sacks in 2 years after being a 2nd round pick in the same draft. He was traded after 2 years for a 5th round pick.

    • DaO_Z

      i think it’s outweighed by Suggs in the beginning….

  • http://twitter.com/patrickhenry2nd Patrick Henry,The2nd

    At this point, I don’t care who he sticks with the 4-3.

    • TommyLawlor

      Only appropriate that a Founding Father would prefer tradition.

      • A_T_G

        But, the Founding Fathers were revolutionary, literally.

        • austinfan

          But they were upholding the traditional rights of Englishmen, going back to the Magna Carta. Of course, in the process of doing so, they incorporated the thinking of the Scottish Enlightenment, which was revolutionary.

          • A_T_G

            Best. Football. Blog. Ever.

  • GermanEagle

    Unless Todd brings the 25 year old Ray Lewis to Philly I pass…

  • brza

    Schefter just tweeted that the Eagles interviewed Cleveland LBs Coach Billy Davis for the DC job. He has four years of DC experience. Hopefully the interview didn’t go too well though. Here is how his teams finished up in points and total yards:

    Billy Davis
    Team Year Points Total Yards
    Arizona Cardinals DC 2010 – 29th, 29th
    Arizona Cardinals DC 2009 – 14th, 20th
    San Francisco 49ers DC 2006 – 32nd, 26th
    San Francisco 49ers DC 2005 – 30th, 32nd

    • Mac

      So many guys named Bill win SBs though. Leave no stone unturned!

      • Baloophi

        Excellent analysis…

  • ACViking

    Re: Howie Roseman’s role in 2010-11

    D3Keith . . . this is to you.

    Earlier in the string I remarked that Roseman “did nothing” until 2012.

    That was intended to be tongue in cheek.

    I agree with your take . . . and those of others who’ve weighed in.

    I was just having some fun with Lurie’s post-season presser from last month.

    • D3Keith

      Okay.

      That was one of those replies where I typed up the response, and then it sounded worse than it was, so I added the “maybe it’s nitpicking.” For whatever it’s worth, I had a pretty good feeling you weren’t saying Roseman actually did nothing, but I did miss the tongue-in-cheekness. My B.

  • ArnoMaris

    Monachino, Davis and Hermann are all current linebacker coaches

  • Iskar36

    I know most people want to hire a DC who has had prior DC experience, but with all the names that have been put out there so far, the success these guys have had has been mediocre to flat out bad. How much should previous DC experience outweigh the very real possibility that these guys simply will not become good on their next stop? I know we would all like to find the next Vic Fangio (a guy who has had mediocre success at DC at multiple stops but has been very successful in San Fran), but I wonder how likely it is. At some point, is it better to hire a guy with no DC experience but a better track record of success? I should point out that I am not really all that high on Monachino necessarily, I’m just not sure I am impressed enough with any of the DC candidates so far that “previously was a DC” is enough of a resume.

    • wee2424

      Yeah, I am not exactly thrilled about the names being thrown around. Worried is actually the word i should use. My dream scenario would have been Lovie Smith even if only it were for one year. Sorta knew that was a very low percentage chance considering he wants to be a HC again, and the fact he decided to take the year off.
      From the candidates that are still available i guess i would prefer Monachino because he has a cool name. lol no im joking. I would prefer him because i feel anyone on the Ravens D staff knows about good hard football. Here is to hoping he would make a good DC.

  • Baloophi

    By now, I’m sure everyone here is familiar with Chip Kelly’s quarterback philosophy:

    “In our attitude, every sack is the quarterback’s fault. It is not a sack if the quarterback throws the ball away. Nobody ever lost a game on an incomplete pass.”

    Guess he didn’t spend much time watching McNabb…

    • Anders

      McNabb’s problem was not throw aways on sacks, it was his worm burners when he had a perfect pocket.

      • Baloophi

        Exactly… and we lost many a game on those incomplete passes.

  • T_S_O_P

    Two history questions: Are the the Eagles the longest serving 4-3 team unbroken going back to 1985 (MC’s last HC season)? Number 91 Reggie White was in place when Buddy arrived, but did he ever play a down for Cambell?