I’m going to make a bold statement, but I feel strongly this needs to be said…the Eagles secondary needs just a wee bit of help. Just a tad. Please don’t label me as crazy for this opinion. After much deep deliberation, it’s just how I feel. I’m baring my soul.
The good news is that this draft has more than a few good CBs and Safeties. The Eagles will find help.
I wish I could tell you what direction the team is heading in. I don’t know if we’ll replace all 4 starters. Maybe we keep DRC and Nate, hoping to surround them with better players. Maybe we just keep one of them. Kurt Coleman has to be done as a starter. Nnamdi would need a huge pay cut and attitude adjustment to be embraced by Chip Kelly. Chip won’t be as much of a benevolent dictator as Andy Reid was. Nnamdi would get away with the blame game once before Kelly would tell him to look in the mirror.
While it is frustrating that this draft isn’t loaded with elite stars at the top, the class has good depth. There will be quality players in rounds 3 and 4, maybe even lower. Someone reminded me the other day that being 4-12 means you have a high pick not just in the 1st round, but all the way through the draft. That sounds obvious, but sometimes I think we overlook that fact.
The Eagles will have basically their choice of players in each round. We’re used to the Eagles picking in the 20 range. Normally an extra 15 or so guys are off the board by the time we pick. This year the Eagles will have the chance to add key guys in the first 4 to 5 rounds. When you get to the 6th and 7th, there is more luck involved…usually.
There is no S worth pick #4. I’m not sure there is a CB worth that spot. Dee Milliner is good, but I’m still trying to figure out if he’s worth that investment. There will be good Safeties available early in the 2nd round. There will be good CBs. At that point it is a matter of choosing the players you most want. This is not a one player fix. The Eagles need a wave of bodies. Every player in the secondary should have to earn his job. I hope the team drafts a pair of Safeties to compete with Allen, Coleman, Colt Anderson, and David Sims.
CB is still a mystery due to Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes. Those guys have flashed at times, but Andy Reid and Todd Bowles didn’t offer much praise when they explained to the media that the starters wouldn’t be benched because the guys behind them weren’t anything special.
It is possible for the team to sign a free agent or make a deal to upgrade CB or S. I don’t even want to get into that stuff until we really know who will be on the market. The key for me in all of this is that the Eagles will have the chance to fix a major problem. Adding the right DC will be a huge part of the solution. Adding the right DB coach will help. Bowles did a good job with the DBs until he had to move up to DC. There is no question that the talent needs to be upgraded as well. At this point, we simply can’t trust DRC, Allen, Coleman, and company to be the answers. We don’t have to get rid of them, but they must earn their jobs on the field.
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Speaking of the Eagles and DBs, the team met with a couple today.
CB Jamar Taylor – Boise State
CB Desmond Trufant – Washington
S TJ McDonald – USC
WR Chris Harper
The Eagles are meeting with tons of players behind the scenes so we don’t want to make too much of this, but it is fun to track.
Taylor is a tough, smart CB. I like him a lot. Trufant is a player I must study more. McDonald is a guy that didn’t become the elite player that was expected, but he did grow on me this year. Harper is a guy that I must study more.
Trufant has the best cover skills.
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Quick note on Howie. A lot of you got mad at him. I’ve got no hard feelings. The Senior Bowl is an odd place. Some guys get talked to by everyone. They’re hounded for various reasons (jobs often). I don’t know if Howie had just been talking to someone annoying or what so I can’t put the moment in context. I still like the guy. I do wish he’d been more friendly/talkative, but I’m not anti-Howie and didn’t mean the story to come off that way. More weird than anything else.
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I did make an ass of myself at lunch. I was in line with a group of scouts/coaches. One of them was Turk Schonert, a former NFL QB and the guy who John Elway replaced at Stanford. Schonert was telling a story about someone to a group of us. When done, I asked if he heard the story that Mike Mayock told about him the previous week at the Shrine Game. Turk said no. I started to tell the story, which involved Turk getting benched for Elway.
Turk didn’t like that. I figured the guy would be comfortable with something that happened 30 years ago, but nope. He immediately became defensive and I had to kiss his ass for 5 minutes to make sure he wasn’t pissed at me.
Nice guy and I enjoyed talking to him, but that was an awkward moment.
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I stood next to new DL coach Jerry Azzinaro yesterday. What a voice. I think he gargles acid and gravel just to get the right combination. Listening to him up at Lehigh will be fun. He has a real presence about him.
The Eagles have a full contingent of people here. I have yet to see Tom Donahoe, but everyone else is here. Took me 2 days to figure out who Greg Gabriel is. I do like the fact the Eagles have added some veteran guys to the personnel department.