Fixing the Secondary

Posted: February 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 88 Comments »

I’ve focused mainly on the front seven as we’ve discussed Bill Davis and the defense in the last week.  A few of you have pointed out that the secondary was the bigger problem in 2013.  Why not focus on that?

I’d love to talk about the secondary more, but that is really complicated, for a few reasons.  First, I don’t know what’s going on with the Eagles personnel wise.  DRC is a free agent.  We might keep him on a short deal, we might let him go.  Nnamdi Asomugha is likely to be cut, due to a high cap figure and simply not playing well.

Safety is just as confusing.  Nate Allen has the most talent, but was benched last year.  Being benched for Colt Anderson isn’t good.  We all love Colt as a STer, but he’s got limited cover skills and isn’t a great tackler in space.  He’s effective when flying downhill and attacking a runner or receiver.  Kurt Coleman has all the intangibles you want, but is undersized and lacks top athleticism.  I still have some hope for Allen, but I don’t say that with a great deal of confidence.  The others are clearly backups at this point.

As to the Davis side of things.  There is no All-22 tape of the Cards from 2009 and 2010.  You can re-watch the games at NFL.com, but you’re going off TV feeds.  That means doing a lot of guessing in regard to coverage schemes.

I can’t say much about the Eagles personnel with any certainty.  I can’t say much about Davis coverages with any certainty.

In the games I watched, the Cards did seem to like man coverage with a single high Safety.  I watched parts of 3 games so this is very much a casual observation and not something to take to the bank.

I do think Davis likes big DBs.  Some guys were already in place in ARZ, but the smallest regular starter he had was CB Bryant McFadden at 5-11, 190.

* * * * *

Let’s set Davis aside for a minute and talk about what needs to be done in a general sense.

The Eagles are set at Nickel Corner and that’s it.  Brandon Boykin will handle that role.  As far as I’m concerned, everything else is up in the air.

I think we need a mixture of youth and experience added to the secondary.  It would be great to copy the 2002 draft and come away with 2 CBs and a S early on, but that group had time to adjust to the NFL.  That isn’t a luxury we currently have.  We can’t load up on youth.  We need at least a couple of immediate starters.

It is possible to keep DRC.  I know he was terrible for about 6 weeks.  I sat through the same games as you.  His lack of effort was troubling.  I’d love to say “to hell with him”, but I just don’t know how wise that is.

DRC has one Pro Bowl season.  That was 2009 and he played for Bill Davis.  There is some logic to using the franchise tag on DRC.  Keep him for 2013.  See how he does.  If the inconsistency remains, cut him loose.  If he plays well, sign him to a carefully structured deal.  I don’t trust DRC right now, but I also recognize that he just spent 2 years in less than ideal circumstances.

You could cut Nnamdi and let DRC walk and then go throw big money at a FA.  Miami’s Sean Smith is a big CB that has good cover skills.  The Dolphins won’t tag him, though, which does raise a couple of flags.  He’s inconsistent.  They obviously have some other concerns.

It is possible that the Eagles could find a CB from the group already on the roster:  Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley, Chris Hawkins, and Eddie Whitley.  Marsh has been up and down in his limited playing time.  You can’t build around him or anyone else on this group, but you can give them a chance to compete in the spring.

Maybe the most thorough approach would be to tag DRC, sign a mid-level FA to start opposite him, and draft a starting caliber CB in one of the first 3 rounds.  You could spend pick #4 on a CB, but counting on a rookie CB to start is tricky.  There are no guarantees that even an early pick will be ready to start right away.

As for Safety, I would sign a veteran and draft a player in the first 4 or 5 rounds.  Nate Allen can compete for the FS job.  We need a SS with some size.  Get someone who can play in the box.  Go find a big guy.  Howard Eskin said on PFT Live that LaRon Landry could be an Eagles target.  I know Howard is occasionally wrong (69 percent of the time is occasional, right?), but this move would make sense.  Landry is a big, physical Safety.  I have no idea if this rumor is legit, but the Eagles do need a big guy like Landry.

There are plenty of guys to like in the draft class.  We can get whatever kind of Safety Bill Davis wants.

I do like having Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson, and David Sims battling for backup spots.  Colt is a great STer.  Kurt is pretty good.  Sims was okay in 2012.

We’ll talk about specific draft and FA targets in the coming weeks.

* * * * *

I know some of you are sick about me talking about Davis and the defense, but I’m utterly curious and fascinated by what is going to happen on that side of the ball.

I found a Q&A Davis did with the Cardinals official site while he was there.  He gave some interesting answers.

Cards Fan Matt asked: Do you look for different skills in outside linebackers and inside linebackers?

“There is a big difference, especially in a 3-4 defense. The outside linebackers are pass rushers first and they have to be bigger and taller to play the tight ends and tackles. On the inside, it’s a whole different animal. Those guys have to have more coverage and pass drop skills and still be big enough in a 3-4 to take on the guards. It’s a hybrid athlete inside that plays more pass coverage.”

Notice he talks about taller OLBs.  You have to wonder what he thinks of Brandon Graham, who is 6-1 and 3/8.  Graham is plenty thick and strong, but he’s not tall.  Trent is 6-2, which isn’t tall, but is generally considered the cut-off point by some.  Phillip Hunt thinks Graham is Wilt Chamberlain.  Wonder what Davis thinks of Hunt.

Mike from Chandler asked: Why do you think Chike Okeafor had such a smooth transition to play linebacker when he has played defensive end his entire career?

“Chike, to me, and I’ve told him this before, should’ve been playing his whole career as a 3-4 outside backer because of his body type, his skills and the things he does the best — like rush the passer on the edge. He’s athletic enough to cover. When you’re his size and you go down to play end, you take a beating from those big offensive tackles. That is 16 games of fighting someone who is 50 pounds heavier than you are and it’s hard on the body. It’s a great testament to Chike that he has done so well, but now you move him out one more man and he’s matched up against more tight ends and backs and at his size, now he has the advantage. He’s the bigger of the two. I was real disappointed when he got hurt last year and I think if he stays healthy this year we’ll have a big year out of Chike.”

Interesting comments (underlined passage) about smaller DEs playing in the 4-3 vs the 3-4.

_


  • A_T_G

    “I know some of you are sick about me talking about Davis and the defense…”

    Just let me know who these people are and I will take care of them. Nice and quiet like.

    • P_P_K

      Yea, I know a guy who knows a guy…

  • damccomas

    I admittedly don’t know much about this guy besides the fact that he had a career day-type game the last time he lined up against the Eagles, but is George Wilson worth a look at SS?

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m told his play declined this year and he’s got some neck issues.

  • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham bebin abraham

    Question does the transitional tag still exist…if so can that be used on DRC. I’d be more comfortable with paying him a average of the top 10 players at CB salary rather than a top 5 salary.

    • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham bebin abraham

      doesn’t look like the eagles have used it that often…the first time since ’98 they used it was in ’11 on akers…but its a new day and howie is in charge am I hoping for too much?

  • ACViking

    Re: Free Agent Band-Aids

    T-Law:

    I guess I’m of the old-school mentality, circa 1969-89 (no surprise to anyone, right?), that given the Eagles’ poor performances of the past two seasons — both in terms of execution and projecting the talent — the team’s new coach should want to get rid of every bit of dead- and rotting-wood possible, and rebuild with with young players and a handful of young free-agents from other teams who’re hungry because they couldn’t cut it there. (The Mike Vrabel paradigm — failed as a 3rd pick in Pittsburgh but then excelled in New England).

    So when I read about filling holes on this team with veteran free agents (e.g., Sean Smith / Laron Landry) — especially since I’m still in the *recovery room* from the 2011 debacle — I think that if Kelly goes in that direction, he could be doing two things less than optimally.

    One is wasting his only season to rip apart this team and re-invent it in his own image with lots of young players whom the Eagles will control for at least 3 years and maybe up to 5 years.

    The other is establishing a reputation as “just another new coach” from Woolworth’s who’s not willing to take that step off the proverbial ledge without a parachute to build his team.

    Yes, he can draw up plays as well as Andy Reid can. And he brought in some great teachers as coach. And they’re the best things to have. But reconstructing this team for the long run is the thing of the future. If Kelly doesn’t get a piece of that action, he risks everything. I don’t mean now. But 2-3 years from now.

    I’d hoped Kelly would have told us that the team has some talent. No question. But it may take 2-3 years to develop the Eagles on both sides of the ball into the team he envisions . . . aggressive, physical, unrelenting, and — most important — ruthless.

    I think if Kelly tells us that, he earns two mulligans. Whether he meant it or not.

    Under-promise. Over-deliver.

    Just some wistful, hopeful thinking — grounded in “stay away from any free agents who have more than 3 years’ experience.”

    • Baloophi

      What’s Woolworth’s?

      Just kidding, AC!

      • TommyLawlor

        That reference does show the age of some of us.

      • ACViking

        You had me for a moment . . nicely done.

      • ICDogg

        Woolworth’s in Australia fared a lot better than elsewhere in the world… it is a dominant chain there to this day. Kind of like Walmart, with built-in supermarkets and they also sell liquor.

    • A_T_G

      I would love to see this. The problem I see in this, though, is that Kelly is still answering to the same owner who refused to use the word rebuilding because it would dampen fan enthusiasm. If he said in the interview that he wants to tear things down and take three years, and he wants to be honest about it, would he have gotten the job?

      • ACViking

        A_T_G:

        I think you’ve hammered that nail to China.

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

      Just curious, but would you count Desmond Bryant as an old FA addition? I think he would make perfect sense here. He is only 27, so he could at least be here five years, and he should be hungry playing from the bench the last couple of years

      • TommyLawlor

        He’s in his prime.

    • TommyLawlor

      ACV,

      Good points as always.

      Your mentality makes a lot of sense, but I’m not sure it fits this situation. The Eagles played bad football in 2012, but were far from a talentless team. I don’t see this as a time to rebuild.

      Look at SF. They didn’t have a winning record from 2003-2010. They were 6-10 in 2010. Jim Harbaugh took over in 2011, He didn’t go on a rebuilding spree. He kept QB Alex Smith. The key players on offense remained Gore, Vern Davis, and Crabtree. Gore looked like a descending player and was coming off his worst season. Davis was ascending, but still questionable due to his past. Crabtree was nothing special at that point.

      The defense had been solid in 2010. Harbaugh fixed the secondary and tweaked the front seven. He added 2 FA DBs and promoted a CB from within.

      Harbaugh didn’t even force rookies into playing. The FB was the only rookie starter. Aldon Smith contributed a lot as a rusher.

      If Chip Kelly sees a similar level of talent, he can also use that type of approach to fixing the roster.

      As for gutting a team…that would be Pete Carroll. Go check out SEA’s roster in 2009. Old and not very good. Pete had to rebuild. He’s done an amazing job of that. We could try Pete’s way, but I don’t think we’re in nearly as bad a situation.

      • holeplug

        Indy really gutted their roster. Replaced almost two-thirds of their players in 1 offseason.

        • TommyLawlor

          Andrew Luck + soft schedule got them to the playoffs. NFC schedule is much tougher. And we’ve got no luck/Luck.

          • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

            But we do have Cox!

      • ACViking

        T-law:

        I long for the days of Jerry Williams . . . what can I say?

        Seriously, great job.

        SF did, though, have more talent on defense and a great O-line waiting to happen.

        • TommyLawlor

          If our OL gets healthy, we could have one of the better units in the league. Don’t discount how much changing to a balanced offense will help.

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

        The GM in Seattle, Schneider, should be the GM of the decade. He found Sherman in the 5th, Browner in the CFL, Chancellor in the 5th and of course Thomas in the 1st. Wow, is that a great complete overhaul of the secondary in only three years.

        KJ Wright in the 4th doesn’t prove me any more wrong. The perfect SLB in the 4-3 under (from what I’ve read)

        • Anders

          I put that more on Caroll than the GM.

          I think the SLB in a 4-3 under or 3-4 1 gap really depends on the coach. Ravens scheme looks very much like a 4-3 under but really is a 3-4 and they got Kruger and Upshaw as the SLB and both could be DEs in a 4-3

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            Really? Why? All reports are that Carroll & Schneider have a fantastic working relationship, and are in a virtual mind meld, in terms of their vision. Schneider worked his way up from an intern in personnel-evaluation jobs only, so he’s got the authentic background. Great young exec.

            Check it out:

            http://seattletimes.com/html/jerrybrewer/2018054619_brewer24.html

          • Anders

            If it wasnt for Carroll’s coaching these players would be ST players instead of stars.

      • austinfan

        Think you have green tinted glasses on Tommy.

        Eagles put together a group of old veterans for a last “hurrah” run for a lame duck coach in 2011, and didn’t have good drafts in 2010 and 2011. While the young players underperformed, there just aren’t enough of them to make a serious run in 2013, especially when you install new schemes on both sides of the ball.

        SF was loaded with talent, somehow they managed to make good draft picks year after year while fielding bad teams, something that’s hard to do for an extended period.

        Right now, what blue chips do the Eagles have?

        Shady at RB

        Peters, if he’s close to 100% at LT

        Mathis at LG

        Cox at DT

        That’s it.

        They have some young players with potential:

        Brown at RB if he is coached up and stops fumbling

        DeSean at WR if he learns to run the full route tree and make plays underneath, not just outrun the defense

        Kelce at C, if he’s 100%

        Graham at the Predator

        Kendricks at WLB

        Other than that you have a team full of aging veterans and question marks:

        Is Foles a starting NFL QB, we know Vick is a mediocre one.

        Can Maclin develop cojones?

        Can Cooper develop big WR hands?

        How much does Celek have left in the tank?

        Can Watkins, Kelly or Menkin step up on the OL?

        Can Thorton or Cameron fill the “5” spot?

        Can Curry play SLB?

        Is there a real NFL safety in the house?

        Is Marsh a starting caliber NFL CB?

        Do you want to pay DRC $10M for his ‘tude?

        How much can you really expect from the geriatrics if they’re not cut? Vick, Herremans, Jenkins, Patterson, Ryans, Aso. Only Ryans is reliable, and he’s not an elite MLB.

        So I don’t see how this team can be compared to SF, where they had players like Gore, Crabtree, V Davis, Staley, Iupati, A Davis, Sopoaga, Justin Smith, Willis, Goldson on that 2010 team. They added Aldon Smith, Whitner and Rogers in 2011, but also subtracted Bass (starter for NYG), Rachal (starter for Chi), Franklin, Lawson (starter for Cin), Spikes (starter for SD), Clements (starter for Cin). They were able to let these older players go to make room for guys like Bowman, Tarrell Brown, A Brooks, and Ray McDonald who were on the bench.

        • TommyLawlor

          Those SF players were not all the stars you make them out to be. They are now, but back then that team was a mixture of solid players and underachievers. The right coach changed a lot of that.

          • Anders

            Agree with this. I really think people forget how much the right coach matters and the right system. I for one still think Allen can be a solid starting safety in the right system (one that allowes him to roam the deep middle and not have to read run first before dropping deep).

          • austinfan

            Most of them were high draft picks that had been badly coached.
            And the young players who took over had been on the bench for 3 or 4 years, so they knew exactly what they could do.

            They also ran a 3-4 before Fangio arrived, so there wasn’t a lot of change on the defensive side of the ball, and Harbaugh didn’t make drastic changes either (he had a pro style offense at Stanford).

          • Anders

            So what about our young players like Allen or Watkins there have been used wrong?

        • Skeptic_Eagle

          Have to agree, but don’t get your fascination with Menkin. I have to see him actually make the final roster before I start pinning hopes on him.

          Patrick Willis was probably the top MLB in the league at that point, and Justin Smith was probably the top 3-4 DE. There alone, the 49ers had two dynamic difference makers playing better than any other player at their respective position in the league. The Eagles have a few “top 5″ guys, but nobody playing at that “apex” level. They had two.

          Vernon Davis was a top 5/pos TE then (not sure he’s one now, in the way he’s used). Gore was a top 5/pos guy. Iupati made an immediate impact, and looked to be improving exponentially–I’d liken his rookie impact and future outlook to maybe Fletcher Cox. I don’t think the Niners knew just what they had in Bowman yet, because Takeo Spikes was taking his snaps; they let Spikes go, though–even though he was still playing relatively good football, with reduced mobility, and found out pretty quickly what Bowman was.

          There’s *some* similarity with the way the secondary had to be rebuilt, but at least they had Goldson, who was solid, if unspectacular. Tarrell Brown had shown *something* in meaningful snaps. Neither of our safeties are solid. Boykin is solid, but none of the young perimeter corners have shown anything in meaningful snaps.

          In short, I’d love to have a roster that compared to 2010 SF’s, but I don’t believe it’s nearly comparable.

        • Anders

          “DeSean at WR if he learns to run the full route tree and make plays underneath, not just outrun the defense”

          Im sorry this is one the biggest misconceptions about Jackson. He can run the full WR tree, it was just MM/AR loved the deep ball game so they only used him on these.

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            I love Jackson’s ability, and think he was much more fiery than he’d been in the past, but I don’t think you can make the case that the guy is a top 10 receiver, however it’s sliced. Maybe not even top 15.

            1. Calvin
            2. Andre
            3. AJ
            4. Brandon M
            5. Julio
            6. Demaryius Thomas
            7. Vincent Jackson
            8. Crabtree
            9. Stevie Johnson
            10. Roddy White

            I think you have to add guys like Reggie Wayne & Steve L. Smith ahead of Jackson until they show they’re really slowing down. Hakeem Nicks, too, who when healthy, makes some of the best contested catches in the league.

            If they use him as a “Waterbug” type, in a variety of pass/run plays? Is he a top 5 Waterbug type? He might be, but he’s going to have to become a little bit of a “harder” runner.

            1. Percy Harvin
            2. Randall Cobb
            3. Sproles
            4. Andrew Hawkins
            5. Woodhead?

          • Anders

            I think that just shows the depth of WR position in the NFL right now (wonder if its the rule changes?)

          • aub32

            I would definitely put Jackson ahead of Stevie Johnson and Crabtree. Crabtree just emerged after years of underachieving. I think fans will see Jackson’s true worth in a system that will not limit him to running decoy fly patterns 20 times a game.

    • D3Keith

      Sean Smith was drafted in 2009. He’d fit the mold of young talent, thought not quite in the Vrabel way you described.

      I agree to say no to Landry, and I’m indifferent to DRC and NA. But do remember what can be accomplished by being competitive right away under Kelly — you get the talent that’s already here to push themselves, to compete in a certain way. We might bring in veterans that ultimately are meh, but if they set a tone for guys like Bryce Brown and Mychael Kendricks to get the best out themsevles, then there’s a hard-to-quantify but very real benefit.

      I agree you don’t want too many of those vets, that this is a one-time shot at tearing things up and fans not being all that concerned with the win-loss record so long as we see progress.

      But I don’t think that means swearing off free agents entirely. It means being choosy — either bringing them in for great character as well as talent, or finding those guys that can be here for several years and be part of something when it gets good.

      If it means jettisoning some of our own guys, I can live with that.

  • nopain23

    Trufant and Cyprien should be targets for the Birds in the 2nd to 3rd round. That would definitely , instantly upgrade our secondary situation. Cut DRC and Nnamdi. No need in throwing good money after bad. We need to get rid of guys who simply gave up on the team last year. This is a rebuilding period..so..let’s rebuild!!!
    Still think we should have moved on from Vick. I hate to admit it but he’s a coach killer.

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

      Trufant is rumored to be a late first rounder, and Cyprien should be an early second. However, if we trade back to the teens, and get another 2nd in the process, we could for example go #1 BPA, #2 (early) Trufant and #2 Cyprien. Maybe we’re lucky and Trufant drops to our early 2nd, and maybe we’re lucky that Cyprien is available, when be get the second 2nd pick. I know, predicting the draft now is crazy – you might as well be more right than me…
      Giving DRC another year would only cost us money (which only Lurie can feel). The worst thing that could happen is that he sucks, then we simply let him go next year. However, he could also regain his PB shape, and play great.

      • nopain23

        Love the idea of trading into the teens proving Joeckle isn’t sitting there at 4.. If we could trade into the teens and get Jarvis, Mingo or Jordan( that dude covered WR’s in college) to play rush OLB and then pick up an extra second and get cyprien and trufant in RD2 then Howie and company would have pulled off the coup of the draft. Throw in J. Williams in the 3rd an that’s an A+++++ draft.

        • Mitchell

          How do we feel about trading back and nabbing Fisher?

          • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

            The only way you can get angry drafting an OT is if you have 2 young OTs without injury issues on your team already. It might not be sexy, but i think by now everyone knows that you need 3 things to succeed in the NFL. A Passer, A Pass blocker and a pass rusher, and if you dont have that, you’re not winning.

        • Skeptic_Eagle

          The problem with trading back is that everyone at the top probably has some interest in doing it. From what most draftniks or internet scouts are saying–which can be completely inaccurate–there’s not a lot of elite talent in this draft; the strength is the depth.

    • TommyLawlor

      Trufant has good chance to go in the 1st round.

      • Mitchell

        Hey Tommy what are you thoughts on TJ McDonald. Looks like he has good coverage and ball skills (8ints in 3 years at USC). Haven’t really seen the huge hits he is said to make on some of the scouting sites but then again I haven’t watched all his games. And how many field goals has this kid blocked I know of at least two between UCLA in ’11 and Standford in ’12.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=696449117 Michael Jorden

    Maybe FA’s William Moore at SS and Sheldon Brown at CB, draft a FS and CB. Pray for gold in the pan with good scouting and good coaching..

    • TommyLawlor

      Moore could be SS target.

      Not sure about Sheldon as a CB. Really getting up there. This will be 12th season.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548999324 Matt Hoover

        Brown as a FS?

    • ACViking

      Here in Atlanta, local sports-talk hosts frequently bring up Moore.

      The conversation generally goes (i) he’s the guy who makes the Falcon’s secondary, (ii) he’ll cost more than he’s worth, but he’s worth it to the Falcons, but (iii) he’s injury prone.

      Bottom line . . . the locals do NOT want the Falcons to lose Moore. Period.

      _____________

      Speaking of Moore . . . whenever I hear his name, I’m brought back to the unfortunate former Eagles safety Damon Moore — just coming into his own and forming a formidable tandam, maybe the Eagles’ best ever (no, it was), until he blew out his knee in the 2001 NFC Title game against the Rams.

      D-Moore’s injury led to the Eagles signing of former Oiler SS Blaine Bishop — a 32 year-old 10 year vet — in 2002, while rookie 2nd Rd pick Michael Lewis learned the ropes. (Complementing Bishop with 300 lb MLB Levon Kirkland in his 11th year at age 33. But the Birds did stay below the cap!)

      Bishop suffered a groin injury about 2/3 of the way through 2002 — giving Lewis a shot as a starter. And Lewis played very well.

      But come the NFC title game, Jim Johnson wanted the “experience” of Bishop — though still less than 100% because of the groin — in the line-up, fearing the mistakes that a rookie like Lewis might make against a John Gruden offense.

      To create a construct from Howard Cosells’ MNF’s Halftime Highlights: “And there goes the angular Joe Jurevicious, beating the overmatched Eagles MLB Barry Gardner to the corner, where he navigate the edge and then beats this man, the valient former Oilers All Pro safety Blaine Bishop, playing in spite of a debilitating groin injury, and Jurevicious proceeds 70 yards down the sideline leading to a Buccaneers touch down — and Tampa Bay goes on to defeat the Eagles for a birth in the Super Bowl . . . where they’ll play this team, the Oakland Raider.

      Anyway, Jurevicious is still running . . . because Damon Moore blew out his knee on the crappy astro-turf in St. Louis exactly 1 year earlier.

      • laeagle

        Not sure Lewis would have provided much more in coverage over Bishop.

        The all-time most cringe-worthy moment of player introductions was during that game. They show the bobbing heads at the bottom of the screen, with each player saying where they went to school. You get your usual collection of assholish school names (“THE Ohio State University”, “The U”, like those are such precious institutions that warrant their own special way of saying the school name). But Bishop’s took the freaking cake.

        “Blaine Bishop: Old School.”

        My skin turned inside out from cringing.

        What’s next? I shudder to think.

        “Michael Vick. School of Hard Knocks.”

        • Mac

          “Donovan McNabb, School of Rock.”

      • xeynon

        I remember that play well, but don’t think you can blame the personnel for it. Jurevicius was a WR with pretty good straight-line speed. Outside of maybe Ray Lewis, no MLB in the league would have been able to stay with him. I’m not sure Lewis would have been any less of a liability in coverage than Bishop was either.

  • Baloophi

    RE: Draft

    It will be interesting to watch the new dynamic in the front office undergo a stress test in their first draft. If our biggest needs are indeed on D (and in particular, the secondary), will we address those first, or go shopping for offensive toys for Chip?

    I know every team claims they don’t draft for need, but that seems to go out the window when push comes to shove. That said, if ever there was a year to truly go BPA this would be it for the Eagles.

    Given all of that, it will be interesting if we go OT, QB, WR, or (conversely), CB, SS, OLB with our 1, 2, 3. Big year for Roseman…

  • Iskar36

    I know Graham started to show up well in the last few games of the season? But could he just end up being a casualty of the transition to the 3-4? Seems that he would be limited to the predator position, but considering Davis likes for his guys to stay on a side, defenses will likely be able to attack him at times. On top of that, he doesn’t seem to fit Davis’ description of an outside LB.

    As much as you would hate to see it, at some point, does he have better value in a trade than he does to our defense moving forward, or do you have to see what he can do first?

    • TommyLawlor

      Trading Graham is possible if Davis and Kelly don’t feel he’s part of the long term plans.

      • ACViking

        T-Law:

        You know, if Kelly trades Graham . . . then I’ll be 100% convinced he really is tearing down the team he inherited and is fully prepared to suffer a year or two of adversity while he builds this team.

        That would be a huge statement. Talk about cutting ties to the past.

        • Iskar36

          I see what you’re saying, but I don’t know that I view it the same way. For me, moving to the 3-4 requires a transition. Generally speaking, unfortunately, certain guys do not project well with a transition to a 3-4 defense. IF Graham doesn’t fit, and the key word there is “if”, I think you are better off getting value for him than wasting time worrying about us having used a 1st round pick on him. That’s not really tearing down the team so much as it is maximizing the value you have currently on the team in my opinion.

          • ACViking

            Rational v. Emotional

        • ClydeSide

          In an under 4-3, there might still be a spot for Graham. Predator on one side, Graham on the other (or Cole/Graham).

      • Iskar36

        I like Graham, so I do hope we can find a spot for him that he can have long-term success at, and I certainly don’t mind experimenting and risking being wrong to find that out. But IF Kelly and Davis decide that he doesn’t have long-term potential of success at any specific spot on the defense, I hope they do try to trade Graham. If he is not suitable for a 3-4, the extra year here would only hurt his trade-value.

        My question would be, what kind of compensation could you reasonably expect to get from this offseason if that is the route they go? He had a solid end to the season last year, but you would be trading for relatively unknown potential rather than a proven starter.

        • ACViking

          A late 2nd-rounder would be grand theft.

          A 3rd seems likely to me. His resume is pretty thin, except for a bad knee injury and mircofracture surgery.

          • T_S_O_P

            It would also likely be a future rather than a present pick.

          • Anders

            NFL teams lack good 4-3 DE’s and Graham showed that if he is played, he will produce in a 4.3 defense.

        • Skeptic_Eagle

          Maybe a team desperate for a 4-3 DE turns on the tape of him abusing Andre Smith in the Bengals game and ponies up a 3rd rounder, but I’d guess more like 4th or 5th rounder, at this point. Was never great with COD, but has become more of a bullrush-only player since the microfracture surgery.

          I think with the proliferation of pressure packages that utilize roleplayers in passrush situations and the amount of teams switching to a 3-4, a 3 down 4-3 DE’s got less value than it used to have.

          I think the maximum value he’d have for the Eagles is on the field.

      • T_S_O_P

        Long term plans? More like long and lean plans.

  • aub32

    Sorry Tommy but I think you’re very wrong on this one. I think Nnamdi will stay or at least get a chance to stay. Unlike Vick, Nnamdi’s contract has no offset language, and I can’t see the Eagles giving him a 4 million dollar parting gift. He’s on record saying he’s willing to restructure, and I think he does just that. Then it will depend what he shows the coaches in practice. I’ve said it before, he still has use and is a starting caliber corner in this league, not a number 1 guy but a starter. Also with Boykin primarily a slot guy he’s the only starting caliber outside corner currently on this team.

    • Cvd52

      nnamdi is terrible. drc i would gamble on. nnamdi would rather be an actor than a football player. thats why he is willing to take a paycut, he doesnt have the drive or fight to go out there and prove to another team that he is a starting corner. if he did have that fight in him he would tell the eagles to release him. a guy agreeing to paycut is usually a bad sign, not always but usually

      • aub32

        Thta’s one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard. Players take paycuts all the time. Cullen Jenkins took a pay cut coming off of a good 2011 season. Anquan Boldin will likely take a pay cut to stay with the Ravens after a fantastic showing in the playoffs. Players take paycuts for all sorts of reasons. Nnamdi isn’t worth 15 million. He knows that and won’t make that kind of money anywhere else. So why not be willing to take a paycut so he doesn’t have to worry about moving. Football players are people too. They have other interests outside of football and money.

        • Cvd52

          a corner is a lot differnt than some older dtackle or the almight anquan boldin. you didnt mention we gave stacy andrews a pay cut. were you talking about how awseome boldin was 4 weeks ago?
          a good corner can go get a job anywhere and will get a ton of money. go look at the last 3 years of free agent corners, they always get paid alot even if they arent that great. now if he is like”i will take 11 mill”, thats a differnt story, but if he accepts like 6 mill, he knows he is done. nnamdi sux. i said it two years ago after i saw him getting torched by victor cruz and i say it now, HE BLOWS

  • T_S_O_P

    Leodis McKelvin is a free agent I think. could he help? At the very least a good kick returner.

  • Ark87

    Tommy, I like a lot of what I hear out of Bill Davis, but haven’t seen a lot of his tape. We had to basically throw out the SF tape because it was more or less the Mike Nolan show, but when you look at the Cardinal’s tape, what do you see? What prevented them from being a top 10 defense? Were there flaws in Bill’s philosophies (personnel/scheme), game plans, play calling, players (talent/ execution) or what? Can you see him excelling in Philly? What would need to be different here vs Arizona?

    • holeplug

      “What would need to be different here vs Arizona?”

      Better players

      • Ark87

        Well….we’re screwed

  • P_P_K

    I’m going out on a limb and saying that Kurt Coleman could end up being part of the solution in our secondary. He’s still young and his game could improve under the new staff.

    I’ll save this post and, if I’m right, I’ll re-post it during the playoffs next year and brag about how smart I am. If I’m wrong, what the hell, none of you guys will remember this anyway.

    • xeynon

      I don’t see it, because Coleman’s limitations are purely physical. Talented guys who are ineffective because they’re used incorrectly or play dumb can sometimes turn it around and start playing up to their ability, but guys like Coleman can’t get bigger or faster.

      • http://twitter.com/Angry_Amishman Angry Amishman

        Coleman never meet a play action fake he didn’t like.

  • William Flick

    maybe Graham could play ILB? he’s perfectly built for it and he can move

    • Iskar36

      He would have way to many coverage responsibilities that he simply would not be able to handle. That would not be a good position for him at all in my opinion.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Re: DRC. One year franchise tag would cost 10M. Do you really want to play 10M dollars to a guy who’s had 2 seasons to prove he’s worth it, and has had to had to be prodded numerous times for effort-related issues? I don’t. “Circumstances” are no excuse for lack of effort. If they’re going to try and deal with a partial rebuild of the secondary through a FA move, I’d much prefer they went after a youngish mid-career vet that has shown he consistently wants to play the game; even if that means that his physical talents are less than DRC’s. Is S. Smith worth that money? I don’t know, but I think he’s a lot more worthy of it than DRC.

    Marsh is intriguing, frankly much more so than Nate Allen. Marsh has played less than 100 snaps as a pro, so at this point, he’s another early-ish round draft pick we know very little about. Is he another 3rd round whiff, or can he adapt and produce? I think you have to find out.

    I believe they should capitalize on such a deep safety draft, and grab two early-ish; maybe in the 2nd and 3rd, or 2nd and 4th. Nate Allen has now been benched, what, 2 times, in his 3 year career, by different coordinators? It’s fine to hold out hope, but honestly, I’m not very intrigued by him at this point. I think he should be on equal footing with Coleman to compete for a safety spot, but at this point, you have to assume he’s not good enough, and add talent in the draft.

    • Ark87

      The Eagles and DRC are in a unique situation this year. Normally I’d completely agree with you but there are some odd factors this year that contribute to a case for keeping DRC.
      1. DRC has tremendous potential and Bill Davis got a pro bowl season out of him before.
      2. Under normal(or fair) conditions neither Aso or DRC would be on this team next season, however finding 2 starting CB’s in an offseason is incredibly difficult.
      3. Too many holes to fix with draft picks. Not to mention draft picks don’t typically fill CB holes in year 1. Tremendous talents like Patrick Pederson and Morris Claiborne even had pretty flat rookie seasons. You presented the over payment of S. Smith/DRC as an either or, when we may need to go ahead and Over-pay both, depending on how the draft goes.

      But there are a ton of variables. As you said, if either Curtis Marsh or Brandon Hughes are ready to start, this is a no-brainer. I acknowledge that the case for sending DRC packing is probably stronger than the case for keeping him, though.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        1. I understand the “potential” argument, but the strength of that argument is attenuating as he becomes further removed from his one Probowl season. He moves insanely well for such a lengthy athlete, for sure. I agree that Davis’ relation to DRC is intriguing in that respect. If Davis came all-out in favor of DRC, I’d accept the endorsement; I haven’t seen much besides vague generalizations about evaluating everyone.

        2. Valid point. I don’t necessarily see this as a “win now” situation, so maybe this affects my POV. From reading some of the other posters here, I have a slightly more pessimistic view of the next few years. I’d be willing to draft a mid round corner (maybe 2nd or 3rd), see what Marsh has, and go after someone other than DRC in FA.

        3. Once again, my POV sort of dictates my response here. I acknowledge that we’ve got a lot of holes to fill, but I’m not sure DRC is a good sealant for the price. I think there are better options, for right now, and for the future.

        • Ark87

          True enough, there is virtually 0 chance of winning the big one next season, even in my most optimistic outlook has us squeaking by a lousy NFC East and maybe getting 1 upset victory in the play offs, and that’s if just about everything goes right. So it is perfectly logical to embrace the rebuild.

        • aub32

          I think the key here is Davis. I kind of liken DRC to Randy Moss, in terms of talent and motivation. Moss was amazing in Minnesota but fell off the map in Oakland. However, when placed with a good coach and situation he thrived for the Pats. DRC may be the same way. In the past two years the defense and team as a whole have been anything but stable. Although, with an entire new coaching staff and his old coach, maybe DRC completely ingratiates himself into the game.

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            eh…I kind of see what you’re saying in terms of Randy Moss, but let’s face it, DRC has never shown the kind of consistent high-level production of Randy Moss. We all know Moss’ record in Minnesota, I’m not going to repeat it. The guy was an unreal multiple time all-pro. I don’t think DRC has ever even gotten to that kind of mastery of his craft at his best, in 2009.

            What’s frustrating is that he probably is just as freakish an athlete.

          • aub32

            That’s why I said it only in regard to talent not production. You don’t want to let talent like that simply walk away, see DeSean Jackson. If Davis believes he knows what can motivate DRC, I am completely on board with them bringing him back.

  • Eric Weaver

    I loved Sean Smith coming out in the draft and I know I’ve asked you a few times about him. The only issue is he’s going to want big money so unless the market is down on him, the Eagles would have to overpay.

  • Cvd52

    does anyone know the exacts of the 2nd and 3rd year for vicks contract? all i heard was the 2nd and 3rd year are bogus. does anyone know exactly why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.stover.3 Jeffrey Stover

    What about George Wilson? Do you think he could find a way onto our roster? He was a beast in fantasy football (i prefer real football, but that is where he caught my eye, as I am no Bills fan) in 2011 and was decent in 2012. That guy is always around the ball. Look no further than our game against the Bills in 2011. Just look at his individual stat line. He is older, so i would rather he start ahead of Allen and hope that Allen learns a thing or two…or three! I would be ok with a tandem of Wilson and Landry. Hey, a guy can dream, cant he?!?

  • Anders

    Just listen to David’s interview of Davis on PE.com. Dave asked him about Gocong. Sounded like Davis was really high on him as a player and he is only 6.2 so the height might be overblown.