How Good Are The Eagles Right Now?

Posted: February 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 120 Comments »

The Eagles went 4-12 last year.  I think that was due to injuries and a team that greatly underachieved, for a variety of reasons.  I do not think the Eagles had 4-12 talent.  I’m sure there are more than a few people who see that differently.  They think the team is lacking in talent and needs major changes.

I truly believe that talent on the 32 rosters is much closer than people realize.  Coaching and QB play are the 2 biggest critical factors.  The Packers went 10-6 in 2010 and won the Super Bowl.  The defense was Top 5 in yards and point.  The team went 15-1 in 2011.  The defense finished 32nd in yards allowed.  Dead last.  How can you be that awful on defense and go 15-1?  Aaron Rodgers.

The Patriots are all over the map with defensive schemes and players.  They can look good one week and awful the next.  They are highly erratic.  But with Bill and Brady as coach and QB, the Pats win every single year.

The 2012 Eagles weren’t saved by coaching and QB play.  If anything, those areas made things worse.  Andy Reid kept pushing more and more chips to the middle of the table.  He was all-in on Michael Vick.  The problem is that Vick wasn’t right all year.  We could see from the preseason opener that something was wrong.  Vick never looked comfortable.  Donovan McNabb played his way out of some slumps, often by Reid running a more balanced offense.

For some reason, Reid wouldn’t do this in 2012.  He and Marty Mornhinweg looked at a banged up OL and shaky QB and decided that throwing the ball was the way to go.  Over and over.  Shady had 20 or more carries in 3 of the first 4 games.  The Eagles went 3-1.  The Steelers and Lions played the run well the next 2 weeks and Reid got away from the run game. That put more pressure on the OL and the QBs.  The Eagles went 1-11 after the 3-1 start.  This truly was Andy Reid at his worst.

I think bringing in a new head coach, especially someone who prefers a balanced offense, will make a tremendous difference.  Andy always talked about putting players in position to succeed, but too often he wouldn’t take his own advice.  Reid was as stubborn as he was smart.  And that proved to be a major part of his undoing.  Kelly is the exact opposite.  Kelly would prefer a dynamic ground game, but will do whatever is working.  He wants points and yards.  He isn’t obsessed with how.  He just wants the results.

I’m not delusional.  Adding Chip Kelly doesn’t magically make the Eagles a 12-4 team that is going to play lights out.  This roster needs work no matter who is in charge.  I just think that a coaching change can have a dramatic effect on some players and sometimes we overlook that.  1998 Brian Dawkins and 1999 Brian Dawkins were very different players.  Who knows what kind of career Jeremiah Trotter has if Jim Johnson doesn’t get hold of him.  Look at Donovan McNabb from 2009 to 2010-11.

It is easy to look at the roster now and poke holes.  You’re judging based on how those players performed in a less than optimal environment.  Think of Nate Allen vs Jaiquawn Jarrett.  Allen looked good as a rookie.  Jarrett struggled to shine in the preseason.  Jarrett is someone you give up on.  Allen is a player that might be saved.  He must have good coaching and play in a stable secondary.  Putting him alongside a veteran SS might help quite a bit as well.  Or the coaches may look at Allen and simply think he’s too far gone and lacks the confidence to be good in the future.

Chip Kelly, his coordinators, and the positional assistants must decide who is worth keeping and who must go.  Beyond talent, they must also think about fit.  Kelly and Bill Davis seem to prefer taller DL and LBs.  What do you do with Brandon Graham?  He played well in 2012.  Do you try to make it work even though he’s not your optimal guy or do you say forget that.  I want my guys.

We’ve seen coaches do it both ways.  Dallas ran a 4-3 with undersized players in 2003.  Bill Parcells hated it, but left it alone.  The D struggled in 2004 so he rebuilt it with bigger guys in a 3-4 starting in 2005.  Mike Zimmer ran that Dallas defense in 2003.  He now runs the Bengals defense and it features bigger players.  He loves speed, but has been successful working with whoever he’s given.  Zimmer just coaches.

Kelly and his staff have talked about building around the current players and making the schemes fit them.  I’m sure that’s true to a certain extent, but the players must also fit the vision that Kelly and the coaches have.

Let’s take a quick look at the positions.

QB – There is no franchise QB in place.  Vick and Foles can be effective QBs.  The hope is that Vick will play much better in Kelly’s system (emphasis on run game and not 40 called pass plays) or that Foles will emerge into quality starter.  Both are possible.  Neither is guaranteed.  QB is a mystery spot for the Eagles.

RB – The strength of the team.  Shady McCoy is an elite RB.  Bryce Brown is a rare size/speed guy.  He must quit fumbling, but that’s something that can be fixed.  There is no debating his talent.  Dion Lewis is talented.  Kelly watched Chris Polk run for 280 yards in the 4 games that Polk went up againt UO.  I’m sure Chip knows Polk’s potential.  Stanley Havili had a good year in 2012 and is another Pac-12 player that Kelly knows.  Oregon didn’t use a FB much so Havili might not be in the plans.  Might be looking for more of an H-back.

TE – Brent Celek remains a good player.  He should be a perfect fit for Kelly’s system.  Clay Harbor is the mystery guy.  Was he underused by Andy/Marty or did he fail to shine in practice and deserve more use?  Derek Carrier could be a player to watch.  He might be the H-back Kelly wants.  Evan Moore showed potential late in the season.  Eagles need another TE added to the mix.

WR – Another strong area.  DeSean Jackson had a good year.  His numbers weren’t ideal, but Vick and the OL are more to blame for that than DJax.  He didn’t have any drops.  He was regularly open on plays where Vick was throwing the ball away or checking down.  DJax worked the middle of the field more than in recent years.  I was impressed.  Jeremy Maclin is talented.  Toughness is another story.  He is a poor blocker and goes down too easily in the open field.  A 200-pound WR can’t be doing those things.  I’m sure Chip and Bob Bicknell will let Jeremy know what is and isn’t acceptable.  Jason Avant looked good with Foles.  That was fun to see.  Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson had some very good moments.  Better QB play would have helped them.

OL – Big time mystery group.  If Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Todd Herremans are healthy, this group could be a strength.  Evan Mathis is now a sure thing at LG.  Dallas Reynolds is a viable backup C.  Dennis Kelly showed potential as a RT. Nate Menkin has the athleticism to shine in Kelly’s offense.  He’s also a very good run blocker.  Danny Watkins is the X-factor.  If he works better under Jeff Stoutland, that would make all the difference in the world.  I do think Watkins playing in a more balanced offense would help a lot.  Watkins is a good run blocker.  His pass protection is the primary concern.  A young OT must be added to the mix.  Question is how the right side plays out.  Herremans to RG with Kelly or a rookie at RT?  Or Herremans at RT with Watkins or a rookie at RG?

DL – Fletcher Cox is the best player on defense and coming off his rookie season.  Cedric Thornton looks like he can be a good player.  Brandon Graham played his best football in 2012.  Trent Cole played his worst.  Is he getting old or was his play greatly affected by the dysfunctional environment?  Cullen Jenkins might get cut.  He definitely has the talent to be a good role player, especially in a hybrid scheme.  Vinny Curry didn’t play much, but the Eagles are still very excited about his future.  Jim Washburn just didn’t want to play some of the young guys.  Phillip Hunt got caught in that.  Mike Patterson and Antonio Dixon are the run stuffers.  Each has some questions and neither can be thought of as a sure thing.  There is some help needed, but this group is still too talented to be called a weakness in my mind.

LB – Solid group, but help is definitely needed.  Mychal Kendricks will either be an ILB or WLB this year.  I think he’s better suited to those roles than playing SAM.  Kendricks flashed as a rookie.  I think he could have a breakout year.  DeMeco Ryans probably sticks around.  He is a good leader and smart veteran player.  He can play ILB or MLB.  SAM is wide open right now.  Jamar Chaney played the role some in 2012, but calling him inconsistent would be generous.  Also, he’s not a fit if we do go 3-4/hybrid.  He becomes an ILB in that system.  Casey Matthews hasn’t done squat.  I’m not counting on him for anything, despite the fact he played for Chip at Oregon.  Casey must show up on tape.  Ryan Rau flashed in the preseason.  He might be a good fit at ILB.  The Eagles should add a SAM and a solid ILB to push the backups, as well as Ryans.

S – Weak.  SS with size is needed.  Could take a chance on Allen at FS, but a reasonably high pick is needed to challenge him.  Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson, and David Sims are acceptable backups and role players.  The problem is that they’re small and it looks like Bill Davis and DBs coach John Lovett prefer bigger DBs.  Anderson stays because of his STs acumen.  Coleman and Sims better get ready to have the best summer in their lives.

CB – Weak.  We still don’t know who’s in and who’s out.  Nnamdi better be cut.  Overpaid underachiever in 2 years.  DRC is a free agent.  Curtis Marsh has yet to prove anything.  Brandon Hughes has looked good in limited action, but lacks ideal size/speed.  There are a slew of CBs on the roster that have some potential, but none of them can be counted on.  The Eagles might need 2 starting corners.  Nickelback Brandon Boykin is the lone bright spot.

STs – Alex Henery is a good young PK.  I’m not sure Matt McBriar will be the P.  We’ll see what happens there.  Jon Dorenbos is a free agent.  I’d like to see him re-signed.

* * * * *

That’s my take.  The OL needs help, but aside from that the offense could be good as is.  You always look to add talent where you can.  Would be good to add a TE to the mix.

The front seven is mostly okay.  You do need a SAM.  I think you need a NT.  I’m hesitant to buy into Patterson/Dixon as the answer.  You do need some depth.  The secondary is the gaping hole on the team and should be the offseason priority.

Finding an answer at QB is still on the list, but I don’t think that gets solved this year.  We’ll see how that goes.

To me, the real key to this team in 2013 and beyond is Chip Kelly and the coaching staff’s ability to get the most out of the talent that is already here.  It is criminal that an offense with Vick, Shady, DJax, Mac, and Celek on the field together had a high of 24 points.  OL injuries or not, that is completely unacceptable.

Having a “legitimate” defensive staff and system in place should make a world of difference.  Getting rid of the “me” guys is also critical.  Babin is out.  Washburn is out.  Nnamdi needs to go.  A defense must play as one.  That didn’t happen very often in the past couple of years.  Too many separate agendas.  That will change under Chip Kelly.

As I’ve said before, I think enough talent is in place for the Eagles to be a winning team in 2013.  I don’t anticipate them being legitimate SB contenders.  I think that will take a couple of offseasons, as well as Kelly adjusting to life in the NFL.

_


  • Mac

    0-0

    • TommyLawlor

      And tied for 1st place in the NFC East!!!

      • Mac

        So far it’s a tight race ;)

        • Ark87

          1 week into the season and Vick hasn’t turned the ball over yet! Don’t know what everyone is fretting about.

          • TommyLawlor

            Nice.

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

            East is wide open next season.

  • Lukekelly65

    Hey Tommy quick question i know Boykin was a solid slot CB last year and i know how valuable that position is but is there any chance he could kick outside this year? I understand that would create a hole at nickel CB… do you think it would be easier to leave boykin where he’s at and try to draft/sign a outside CB or move Boykin and try to find a new slot CB?

    • TommyLawlor

      I think he’s better suited to the slot. Lacks the size to be a natural outside. I think he’s athletic enough, but I don’t think he would be such a good fit there that the move would make sense.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brian.humensky Brian Humensky

        Could he be good enough on the outside to handle it when you only need 2 CBs, then slide inside as the nickel CB when you go to 3?

  • Ark87

    If the O-line comes out healthy this year and we do in fact commit to the run game, maybe pick up some impact players in draft and F/A, there is no reason that we can’t get to the playoffs and win a game. I say this mostly because the NFC East isn’t what it was. I’d pick Washington to win the NFC East again, luckily RG3 is banged up and shouldn’t be able to carry that team again. Unfortunately I don’t see any way this D finishes in the top 20 in year 1. Learning a new scheme, round pegs, square holes…no secondary, yeah won’t be good enough to win the big one.

    • D3Keith

      Yeah they can definitely compete in this division immediately, and it’s unlikely the defense will be good from jump. But a few things to keep in mind:
      1) With much of the offensive talent in place, they might go defense-heavy in free agency and the draft. Once we know who the bodies actually taking the field are, we can guess that they won’t be any good. A bunch of the guys here now might be gone by Week 1.

      2) Kelly wants to run an offense-focused team, which means the D doesn’t need to be outstanding, he just wants turnovers and some stops.
      3) Nobody has the book on Kelly or the D yet, which could be an advantage early in the season.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I get that Allen has (or had) the physical tools and had a few good games as a rookie, but I can’t go so far as to say the guy was “good” in 2010. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed 6 TDs to 3 picks–all of which came in the first four weeks of the season–while only posting 2 passes defensed for the entire year. QBs had a rating of 109 when throwing at him. Over the course of the 2010 season, was he better than he was in 2011 & 2012? Yeah, but that’s really not saying much, and you have to wonder whether the injury will prevent him from ever reaching that slightly-below-mediocre 2010 level again.

    This year, he had 13 missed tackles. That has to do with trying to key on run vs. pass & the Wide 9? Very hard to accept that familiar argument. He seems to consistently be confused when the offense runs a combo route with a crosser/fly, biting on the underneath route a great deal of the time. I haven’t seen any discernible ball skills in a long time. He just doesn’t seem to have a feel for what he should be doing when. I don’t think it’s an accident Ed Reed is in the right place at the right time more often than anyone else.

    Did Allen show some promise early on? No doubt. But, since that time: benched in 2011, returning from an injury. He was benched this year for Colt. Different coordinators, different systems. One 4 game stretch out of the gate where he really played well; he might be “saved” but I’d much rather draft or sign a guy to force that, rather than just counting on it to happen.

    • D3Keith

      As much as I rooted for Nate Allen, I think you’re spot-on. You can’t count on him, and safety is a very instinctive position. If you don’t have instincts, or aren’t following them, being a half-second late to a spot is basically akin to failing. You miss all the plays you see and should make because you’re late getting yourself there.

      • Anders

        Agree, he needs competition, but I dont understand people who wants to cut his ass when he is still on a team friendly rookie deal.

        • D3Keith

          Some people want to cut and fire everybody. And they’re the same people who are mad when players go elsewhere and develop, or when our roster is devoid of homegrown talent.

          Running a team requires a different kind of patience than being a fan does. Even fans who have waited since 1960 for another title. :)

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    My take on the bottom line for talent is that there are perhaps 2 players that are among the top 5 at their position: Shady, and Mathis. Cox has a very bright future, but is still probably behind guys like Geno Atkins, Suh, Kyle Williams, Gerald McCoy, Kevin Williams and Nick Fairley.

    Until we see Peters back on the field and moving around again, I find it tough to project him, but he is a Top 5 NFL LT when healthy.

    I agree that the talent level of all 32 teams is not all that disparate. That being said, I think the particular talent level of this group is among the 5 worst squads in the NFL. In short, I think Andy walked into a better situation than he left–provided they can re-sign Albert and Bowe, the Chiefs have a more talented roster than the Birds. I think Detroit has a better squad than our Eagles, as well–and is a great example for an underachieving unit in need of better direction (and a CB). I don’t think the Birds fit that, and see them more in terms of Cleveland Browns/Jaguars/Cardinals territory.

    • aub32

      I have to disagree. Just because we don’t have a lot of top 5 guys doesn’t mean there isn’t talent. Look at the Ravens. On offense Rice may be a top 5 guy, but who else? You could say Leach, but he’s a FB. On defense they didn’t have a lot of top 5 guys. They have Ngata and Reed, but Suggs wasn’t top 5 this year with his injury, and Ray Lewis hasn’t been a top 5 ILB for quite some time. I think measuring the talent on the team has to be judged based on how many of our guys would start for over half the other teams in the league. In that respect we have quite a few.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Well, Joe Flacco outplayed every QB he faced in the Playoffs. He might not have been “elite” during the regular season, but looking at his playoff record, and what they asked him to do, he knows how to turn it on at playoff time. The term “elite” is very subjective, but I think a solid argument can be made that among playoff QB’s, he played the most consistent ball in the biggest situations, and that the Ravens entire offense ran through him. That’s invaluable for a team.

        Marshal Yanda is, for my money, the best guard in the league. Ray Rice is still a top 5 back. Their roster is very deep, as well–there is less disparity between their very best players and very worst. Newsome has filled the roster with solid guys, and has a few very bright stars. Agreed that Lewis and Reed are not what they were, but Ngata is still a monster. Pernell McPhee gave Brady fits in the AFCCG. Arthur Jones was a big reason why Gore couldn’t get much going on inside runs.

        Of course there is talent on the Eagles roster–there is talent on every NFL roster. The Jaguars have talented players; Eugene Monroe, CJ Mosely, Pot Roast Knighton, Dwight Lowery, Derek Cox, Marcedes Lewis. All those guys would start on a lot of teams. But teams like the Eagles and Jaguars don’t have enough of those apex guys.

        • Anders

          I really think the biggest difference is coaching. We have to remember that Ravens also had some bad years because of bad coaching even with a star studed defense.

        • aub32

          The only player you mentioned that I didn’t was Yanda. That makes 3 top 5 guys in Ngata, Yanda, and Rice. Well here we have McCoy > Rice, Mathis < Yanda, and potentially Cox and Peters. We also have dynamic talents like Desean. The most talented teams aren't necessarily the ones that perform the best. Coaching plays a big part. Look at SF in 2010. They looked awful. In 2012 they were in the SB following a loss in the NFC title game the year prior. They did not pick up a plethora of talent between 2010 and 2011. It was coaching.

          NE beat the crap out of Houston twice last season. Houston has a top 5 CB, DE, RB, and WR. The Pats had only a top 5 QB and NT (Gronk was out for both matchups). Houston had no answer for the hurry up offense. They weren't prepared at all. That's coaching. Better coaches and schemes bring the most out of talented players.

          • Anders

            Actually I put Mathis above Yanda, ofcourse good coaching can only take it so far, but imo a good coach can do wonders even if he got no talent. Even the most talented player can do nothing with bad coaching

      • D3Keith

        I think even more than looking at how many standout talents you have, it’s about how much talent do you have down the entire roster, and how much are you getting out of it.

        When’s the last time the “most talented’ team won the Super Bowl? Plenty of teams, in this day and age, are “good enough” to win it all, but only one does. Very few teams get the cohesiveness and timely play necessary.

        It’s about getting the most out of the guys you have, and getting them to play their best late in the season. Of course more talent is better, but plenty of teams with some talent win when they play well.

    • Neil

      Five worst squads in the nfl? Are you on crack?

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Yes. No. Please make the case that the Eagles team, starter for starter is better than the Chiefs, or Lions.

        • Anders

          The Chiefs actually got great talent, just need better coaching.

          The Lions, on offense they only got 2 player I would take, Johnson and Stafford.

          On defense I take Suh, Delmas and Houston.

          This ofcourse if we only talk starters

        • aub32

          Teams with less talent collectively:
          Jags, Titans, Browns, Jets, Bills, Miami, Oakland, Lions, Vikings, Panthers, Redskins, Colts. There are other teams I can argue, but these seem to be the easiest to point out. Keep in mind this is collectively, not just QB. Redskins, Colts, and Panthers are clearly better in the QB department.

        • Guest

          Huh? Here are five of the teams that are worse than the Eagles: Oakland, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Arizona, NYJ. I would include the Chiefs and several other teams in this category as well.

          • Neil

            Man, delete just deletes my name? Serves me right for not noticing aub32 already said what I could say. What I will add is that teams like the Lions and Redskins only have a shot to be considered better rosters on account of the outsized importance of QB.

  • bdbd20

    Is it too early to get a custom Teddy Bridgewater jersey?

    • D3FB

      Tread water for Bridgewater!

      Be bad at football for Johnny Football!

      Nothing rhymes with Mariotta for Mariotta!

      • pjxii

        Lose a lotta for Mariotta?

        • TommyLawlor

          Pronounced different. Think of Mario-tuh.

          • Arby1

            Play like you don’t care one iota
            Then draft a guy named Mariotta.

          • bridgecoach

            its not levio-sah, its Le-viosah…

      • D3Keith

        Play like a bum-ass for Logan Thomas?

        I know, he’s not top material anymore, but you can make anything rhyme if you try hard enough.

  • aub32

    Any thoughts toward acquiring Delanie Walker? I doubt the 49ers franchise him, mostly because they need that option for other players. He may be looking to go somewhere where he has a chance to start. He would also fit the H back role, getting rid of the need to carry a FB. I think he and Celeck would make a nice tandem, and we know he can block for Shady.

    • TommyLawlor

      Walker is a good role player, but let’s not overdo it. He’s good on STs. Can be a solid blocker. Athletic guy who can catch the ball, but he does have a problem with drops. I don’t know that he’s what Kelly would ideally want in an H-back.

      • aub32

        What does Kelly typically go for in an H back?

        • Anders

          Vision and speed. They need to identify the right hole and then hit it fast and hard

          • Arby1

            Sounds like a definition of speed dating…

      • austinfan

        Harbor can block and drop balls too.

  • T_S_O_P

    After McCoy, Celek was the most used starter according to the stats from your almanac as year back. I would suggest that Marty sees the TE position in a similar way to the RB position. However, whereas I looked into how Marty used RBs all the way back to SF I haven’t done the same for TE. It will be interesting o see the snap count of the KC RBs as well as the Jets RBs (and TEs).

    • TommyLawlor

      It really will.

  • T_S_O_P

    Talking of safeties, Texas Tech has two senior leaving this year. I doubt they will be drafted but they have the Lovett connection.

    • TommyLawlor

      That’s something to watch.

  • dislikedisqus

    4-12 again strikes me as plausible. I hope for more but you have to get worse to get great. Mediocrity just repeats in a parity league.
    The defense needs a major rebuild even if it stays as a 4-3. If they go 3-4 it needs a rebuild squared.
    Celek is done. Don’t know why but he’s peaked and going downhill. DJax I am sad to say is 50-50 to have peaked. Not for age, but something else, maybe too much rapping and not enough passion. Maclin is not a #1 guy. A great QB could make them look better But they won’t make a lower quality QB better.
    The OL could be great or not, Idk, it’s more a medical question than anything.
    I don’t disagree about the QB’s. I think each is a competent NFL starting QB but neither is a superstar, top quartile guy for a full season.
    The RBs are great but, as your post shows, teams can take your run game away.
    The coaches are new and will be feeling their way. We’ll see a lot of experimentation and many of those will fail.
    I see 13 as a lost season. If they got to 8-8, I’d be surprised. Anything more and CK is the genius you say he is, or Roseman hits the jackpot in the draft.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think you’re significantly underrating DJax. Kelly will see him as an offensive weapon. Chip will get him the ball creatively. Andy/Marty threw deep balls at him, but didn’t use him enough as a runner or RAC guy.

    • aub32

      What does everyone have against DeSean’s rapping. It’s his money. Let him do what he wants with it. Tons of other players have their own side businesses. Cole has a hunting show. Mathis has a gym. Why is it fans only see a problem with DeSean’s rapping?

      • D3Keith

        It’s hip-hop. Most stodgy old guys hate it, and don’t understand that it’s more than just remarks about money and women.

        You’re absolutely right, plenty of guys have side businesses and off-field interests, and not all of them are advisable.

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      > Mediocrity just repeats in a parity league

      That’s actually not the case. Parity allows for a way out. This isn’t the NBA.

      Pete Carrol, Bill Belichick and Sean Payton combined for 23-25 record in their 1st season(s) at their current gigs. They combined for a 36-12 record in their most recent and have won 4 Super Bowls along the way.

    • xeynon

      I tend to agree with this assessment. We may be a young team, but a lot of that youth, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, isn’t very good and will need to be replaced. Furthermore many of our best players (Peters, Celek, Ryans, Cole, Herremans, etc.) are aging and/or facing serious health questions. We also lack a franchise QB, which is the single most important piece to have to be a contender in the NFL. This isn’t a 5 year rebuilding project – in today’s NFL nothing is. But I doubt very much it will be a quick turnaround job either. I think 2014 is the year we should start expecting contention.

  • ICDogg

    What, no mention of Landri?

    • TommyLawlor

      Sadly, I don’t know that he’s got a spot in the new hybrid defense.

  • Ark87

    Looks like we grabbed up a personnel guy off the 49ers, Tom Gamble. Juicy speculation, go!

    • Cvd52

      “A hot name in GM searches this offseason, Gamble will instead make a lateral
      move to Philadelphia. Considered a big factor in the 49ers’ recent success in
      the draft and free agency, Gamble will work very closely with GM Howie Roseman
      and coach Chip Kelly. It’s a big get for Roseman, whose evaluation skills have
      been questioned. It’s an equally big loss for the 49ers”
      how did we get this guy if its a lateral move for him? rotoworld made it seem like its a big loss for the niners, but wouldnt they just not allow him to go if they didnt want to lose him?

      • laeagle

        He’s from Philly, worked for the Eagles years ago (his dad used to be GM), and he’s good friends with Howie. No word on whether it’s a raise or not, but it seems like an ideal situation for him.

        • ICDogg

          Actually his dad was President of the Eagles

      • Ark87

        Better not blink Howie…because this dude sounds awesome

        • Iskar36

          Gotta give a ton of credit to Howie for a move like this. It clearly shows he is capable of putting aside any ego in order to get the best talent evaluators possible. In reality, a move like this only makes Howie 1, look great and 2, have better success.

      • ChaosOnion

        Harbaugh cannot block him because he is not an assistant coach?

        • Anders

          First of all I dont think he is hired by Harbaugh, but he is hired by the GM. Second, in a position he was in, if he wants out, you let him out, because you cant have a person like him been unhappy.

          • Arby1

            “First of all I dont think he is hired by Harbaugh”
            Right, he’d been there for 8 years.

    • holeplug

      Revenge of Howie…

      “You gonna block Donatell fine, I’ll just take your best talent evaluator”

  • Cvd52

    no julio jones or aj green in this draft?

    • Anders

      No

      • Cvd52

        the one time we get a top pick and there is no stud, that sucks. please tell me there is a von miller or someone like that.

        • Anders

          Neither. The closest I can I can tell you there is a Joe Thomas type or Fletcher Cox

        • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

          Cord Patterson is a special athlete but he’s a raw JuCo guy and would be considered a reach at #4:

          youtube.com/watch?v=iZ_qeWcDVvM

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      Maybe.

  • Anders

    Agree with you on everything Tommy. I really think AR’s coaching undid him here.

    If the offense gets back there what we know it can do (the 2008 to 2011 years), we should be minimum an 8 win team.

    • D3Keith

      Yeah Tommy, I’m with you on most of this as well.

      You’re right the Eagles did not have 4-12 talent. They checked out the second half of the year, and did not respond at all to the firing of Castillo — they regressed. They were just confused and non-competitive for much of the second half, and they didn’t face any great, unbeatable teams during that stretch.

      Still, they were a 4-12 team. They earned that record. In an NFL when the Colts can gut their roster and make the playoffs the following year, when Jim Harbaugh can come from college, go 13-3 and take his team to the brink of the Super Bowl in the first season, I don’t think we should sell short the *possibilities* for this team.

      I’m not saying we should expect a winning mark or a playoff team, but why rule it out? It’s likely that not all the roster holes will be fixed this offseason, that some guys won’t “fit” under Kelly but we won’t know until the season starts … but it’s also possible that this team can win enough to give Kelly some credibility in the locker room and build up the excitement for 2014.

      • PK_NZ

        I think the last two years there’s been an underlying message of ‘just a few tweaks and we’ll play up to our talent’ and most fans are just sick of thinking that way. We all hope for the best, but I know I can’t endure another season like the last two…

        But as Tommy keeps saying, maybe it wasn’t the players as much it was the coaches and the athmosphere they created. I mean, on that side we’ve definitely started fresh, so maybe the players will respond totally different this year.

        • D3Keith

          I definitely thought they were close. 2011 was the turnovers, and 2012 was the turmoil — they were basically 3-5 and then they checked out. The Falcons and Saints losses were so awful it just seemed like they had nothing to give after that. It was like a bunch of preseason games. They had a chance to beat Carolina and Cincy and Washington but they had tuned the coaches out or whatever.

          I think getting off to another good start and keeping it going — and really in the 3-1 start they didn’t play all that well — they could build some confidence and do a lot better this year, although the record isn’t as important as them playing well.

          The whole idea this year for me is to get Kelly’s system(s) implemented and get players to buy into it. If they’re playing for him, it bodes well. I would not want to go 4-12 again just to net the high draft pick. The net effect of getting everyone to buy into what Kelly is selling — some wins, and maybe a handful of well-played losses, are necessary — is going to have a lot to do with how successful they are in the future. If we could go 4-12 and guarantee the great quarterback then I’d do it, but tanking a season and getting used to losing is going to have such a negative effect that I’d hate to do it for just the crapshoot of maybe drafting a great QB.

  • poetx99

    from a coaching perspective, this was the ideal spot, BECAUSE they underachieved so spectacularly last year. everyone is down on vick, but the offense he’s played in for the last two years has been asinine. it has been the worst of all of andy and marty’s playcalling tendencies.

    there is no nfl qb who could have put up decent results with what he had to work with. oh, we’re playing a team that was worst in the league in rushing defense last year and top 5 in passing? let’s throw the ball 40 or 50 times and run maybe 4 or 5 times in the 1st half, tops. that was the gameplan the eagles trotted out during those first 4 games of the season and set the stage for the rest of the year. stubborn and stupid.

    looking at vick’s skillset, kelly’s offensive philosophy, the skill players on the eagles and assuming we have a passable offensive line (as opposed to the utter disaster fielded last year), you can bet that the offensive production will be much closer to 2010 than 2012.

    if peters comes back as just a good LT. we draft or FA one decent starter for watkins and/or herremans. and kelce is at least good. AND the playcalling is sane and takes advantage of defenses’ weak points instead of insistence upon doing what the coach wants, this will be at least a top 10 offense, and probably top 5.

    desean automatically takes a safety out of the run game (and away from an inside receiver).

    the zone read scheme automatically takes a defender out of the run game (and passing game) by making him account for the QB. (vick USED to take 2 players out of a defense in the form of backside contain and a spy in the middle — we’ll ignore that for now).

    at the least, that is 2 players who are frozen and or nullified by personnel and scheme. that gives you one or two extra blockers, playside (1 from kelly, 1 from desean). that lets you have one double team at the point of attack and shady OR bryce brown having to make one man miss.

    i’ll take that all day.

    and THEN when you add the bubble screens and play action off of that, with a WR that can stretch the field and a QB who can throw the 9 to the backside of play action?

    this team should have been unstoppable last year. if they are not, sure, draft a QB high in 2014.

    • D3Keith

      I agree a lot, and when the job opened up, I made quite a few posts to this end. This job has the potential to make Kelly look like a genius. Not only is there some offensive talent in place, which was not as much the case in, say, Jacksonville …

      Even if the D is shaky, if the OL comes back healthy and we get a stud at No. 4, the Eagles are going to score a ton of points and be fun to watch.

      I hope to God Kelly builds around McCoy and Brown, and lets the other skill guys flourish in supporting roles. I don’t see why they can’t have a lot of success that way, provided they get the OL right.

      • poetx99

        exactly. i’ve seen a few of your posts from the last couple of days and been in silent agreement.

        as a coach, i’d rather follow a coach who screwed up x’s and o’s and misused talent. because that means your draft picks are artificially inflated. if you play it right, that’s a great opportunity to make a quantum leap in the following year.

        i haven’t been doing the draftnik thing yet this year. i’ll leave that to tommy an’ nem. on offense, biggest need is OL. i think tommy does a great job of casting it as an either/or. get a blue chip tackle to supplant herremans and kick him inside, or get a stud/startable RG to solidify the interior. if the draft is as deep on the OL as folks say, this is doable in either the 1st or 2nd, and we can get a depth guy in FA, or later.

        the secondary is in tatters. i concur w/ tommy that boykin is the only no-brainer starter. nnamdi is gone. i’ll leave it to the new DC to see whether DRC is salvageable or not. all the talent in the world, but he can’t be here if he won’t tackle. i trust the off season meetings to get that straight.

        if we just get SOLID play from the corners and safeties, we should be able to depend upon the line. and yeah, we need a SAM. the worrisome thing is whether or not the shift in defensive scheme makes what used to look like an embarrassment of riches along the D line obsolete. it is profoundly weird to be coming off a season where, based upon what happened on the field, graham looks like a keeper and cole looks like someone to jettison.

        i’m hoping that a lot of the defensive underachievement was, as with the offense, attributable to undercoaching, and the general turmoil on that side of the ball. i’m thinking we need around 5 starters on DEF between draft and FA. (CB, SS, OLB, at least)

    • laeagle

      Someone’s been watching their Fishduck….:)

      • poetx99

        i just discovered that. THEY do a helluva job. that’s some good reading over there. great analysis. what really jumped out at me was how they said that kelly would use the zone concepts to read (and therefore isolate and nullify) the opposition’s BEST player.

        now, this is similar to how the eagles have had success against demarcus ware. that, however, while involving some scheming (the nasty sprint draw off tackle with shady), was largely due to the athleticism of peters and his ability to pass set, draw ware upfield, and then chip and get to the second level.

        this is also what vick USED to do to backside DEs and OLBs off the playside stretch fake. now what happened there is that teams started sending secondary pressure to the backside of runs to the otherside, so if vick kept on a boot he had a safety with a full head of steam in his face. his OC in ATL (the execrable greg knapp) or andy/marty never added the adjustment to control for the CB/NB/S blitz, and actually made it worse by inviting that blitz with short bunch formations that put them closer to the line. and there are no hot reads and sight adjusts on play action. so you have your back turned to the defense, turn around and a guy who is as fast as you has 10 yds of momentum, and your routes are slow developing, AND you are probably getting pressure up the middle for good measure.

        the zone plays (izr or ozr) allow you to read and influence the defenders WITHOUT turning your back to them. and for a back as gifted as shady in being able to cut back, even on an inside zone he’s a threat to take it outside the end on either side. that is going to put TREMENDOUS pressure on defenses for gap control. as mentioned, the offense has at least one extra blocker.

        and PLEASE bring a safety down into the box. with an ACTUAL and intentional run game to hold safeties and LBs how are you going to control djax downfield? if they are off, you bubble. let him dance for 5 yds and get oob. if they play close, freeze the safety and throw over top.

        or motion him and use the reverse fake (shady up the middle, desean to the right, or vick around the left end WITH a pass option). what in the hell could a defense do with that?

        • ClydeSide

          I would like to see someone do the same kind of analysis as Fishduck.com for the Eagles. Kelly’s adjustments and game planning are fascinating. He is NOT married to any particular scheme. He beats you with fundamental football concepts: GAPS, SPLITS, BLOCKING, LEVERAGE, and ARITHMETIC. The formations are just tools. He blew up Monte Kiffin’s USC defense and beat Jiom Harbaugh into submission a couple of years ago–WITH INFERIOR TALENT. Philly does not yet understand this guy. I can’t wait. Will he win a Super Bowl? I don’t know–but it will be a blast watching him try.

    • ClydeSide

      Good analysis.

    • xeynon

      The offense was just as pass happy when McNabb was playing quarterback, and he had a lot more success than Vick. Even Kolb and Garcia played well despite Reid’s play calling weaknesses. I understand the temptation to pin all this team’s offensive struggles over the past two years on Reid and Mornhinwheg now that both are gone, but think it’s dead wrong to do so. Injuries on the offensive line and flat out bd quarterback play from Vick, Young, and to some extent Foles had as much or more to do with them.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    Re: Geno Smith

    As I expressed on Twitter, I am not sure why Geno Smith should not be more prominent on the radar at #4. And I certainly cannot see ruling him out just yet because it’s a “weak class,” as ESPN and others have suggested.

    If Geno is available at #4, that’s presumably because Luke Joeckel is off the board to the Chiefs (unless Andy really surprises us and reaches for Tyler Wilson or the like at #1).

    Tommy said Geno isn’t worthy of a top pick because he’s not a QB you can build around and there are holes to fill and no QB in this draft should go that high.

    I guess I am skeptical. Is it more likely that there are no such worthy QBs in this draft, or that you will let a worthy QB slip right under your nose because you ruled him out prematurely?

    In recent years, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco were deemed unworthy of top 10 picks. Matt Ryan was deemed unworthy of the #1 pick by the Dolphins and the Falcons smartly scooped him up at #3. That turned out to be a huge mistake for the Dolphins. And of course this is without mentioning even more recent QBs like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. Or the most famous example of all, Tom Brady.

    Suddenly you are looking at a large contingent of the successful QBs in the league. That’s why I would hesitate to say there isn’t a QB to draft this year. Some of these guys have a way of slipping through the cracks. If you rule out the entire class, that seems like it increases the chances of letting it happen. I know there is a risk of talking yourself into a QB reach, but you also have to consider the costs of letting a QB slip away. That can be hugely damaging too. And the rookie wage scale lets you take a bit more risk.

    Of all the holes to be filled on this roster, it seems obvious t

    • holeplug

      Depends on how they rate him. Gamble being on board will definitely help. Traded up to draft Kap in S.F. last year. Chip also has a very good track record at Oregon at QB evaluation, recruited Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, and Tajh Boyd. One knock on Smith is he isn’t very mobile so no read option. Ran a 4.78 40.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        He actually ran some read option under Rich Rodriguez. I was going to mention his diverse background with the Air Raid, spread option and “pro style” under center stuff (see link below for Geno interview), but I forgot to.

        Anyway, 4.8 is Darron Thomas speed. The Steelers even showed some zone read wrinkles with Big Ben against us this year. 4.8 might not be zone read “weapon” speed, but Geno could certainly have the functional mobility to run effectively when he has to. 4.8 is track-star speed compared to Nick Foles’ 5.1+. That’s why this stuff looks like a non-starter with Foles.

        http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2013/2/13/3985184/geno-smith-2013-nfl-draft-kansas-city-chiefs

    • austinfan

      I watch Big 12 football.
      RGIII played better against the best competition, Smith played worse.
      RGIII was also far more talented, but the mental aspect is just as important, Smith simply hasn’t shown the mental toughness to be a top NFL QB.
      He puts up great statistics, but when you take out the games against bad defenses over his career (ranked lower than 50 in pass defense) his numbers suddenly look mediocre.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        There are a lot of reasons why I think this isn’t a very good argument (the main one being that ALL college numbers should be taken with an even larger grain of salt than usual), but I will oblige.

        Mainly, I simply don’t think it’s true. Geno played against 7 “top 50″ pass defenses in the last two years (LSU, Rutgers, Clemson, Texas, Texas Tech, Maryland, Oklahoma). Here are his lines from those games:

        Geno Smith 2011

        LSU 38-65-463-2-2
        Rutgers 20-31-218-2-0
        Clemson 32-43-407-6-0

        Geno Smith 2012

        Maryland 30-43-338-3-0
        Texas 25-35-268-4-0
        Texas Tech 30-56-278-1-0
        Oklahoma 20-35-320-4-2

        Those 7 games come out to a sparkling NCAA QB rating of 147.8 and an NFL rating of 105.3. The total line is 195-308 for 2,292 yards, 23 TD and 4 INT. That’s 327 yards per game on 7.4 yards per attempt, 63% completion. TD% is 7.5%, 1.3% INT.

        Very impressive numbers in my opinion, considering the quality of competition.

        Anecdotally, Geno Smith completely held his own against one of the most talented defenses in HISTORY (2011 LSU Tigers), throwing for 465 yards. It wasn’t a pretty game and Geno’s stat-line wasn’t clean, but I think he showed a lot of “mental toughness” throwing into the teeth of that defense 65 times and not looking one bit intimidated.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvrXu9Fsvpk

        I would be willing to bet a lot of good NFL starters don’t pass the “top 50 test” with such flying statistical colors, but my excitement about Smith as a prospect goes beyond the numbers. I wouldn’t stump for Case Keenum or Brandon Weeden this way no matter how good their numbers were.

      • holeplug

        Did the math on this b/c I was curious how much better RG3 would look. Sorted by y/a against and just included top 50 defenses. Basic bulk stats look similar
        Geno 13 td / 5 int 64% 1425 yards
        RG3 10 td / 3 int 65% 1630 yards

        until to get to…

        Geno 6.5 yards/att
        RG3 11.1 yards/att

        and RG3 just blows him away

        • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

          Of course he’s not RGIII, but Geno Smith’s actual numbers against “top 50″ passing defenses in 2012 are 105-169 for 1,204 yards with 12 TD, 2 INT, 62%, 7.2 YPA.

          • holeplug

            It depends on what metric you sort by. I just used y/a against b/c I just wanted to look at pass defense.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        youtube.com/watch?v=8XnqD0HN-08

    • D3Keith

      I agree in theory that they shouldn’t ignore QB just because folks say this isn’t a good year to take a QB. But the fact they have Vick and Foles means they don’t have to force the QB pick … take one this year if the value is there and if it’s a guy you love. If not, do it next year.

  • SuPaFrO

    hey guys

    just looking at some URFA n RFA

    any interest?

    QB(3rdstring) josh johnson

    WR(slot wr) mahammed massaquoi. josh cribs , Ogletree. donnie avery

    T Ryan Clady , brandon albert

    t/rG Eben Britton

    DE/lb(predator) Micheal johnson, cliff avril, paul kruger

    DE/DT dwan edwards, shaun cody

    NT terrance knighton

    ILB MAUALUGA, justin durant,deandre levy, daryle smith

    FS, jarius byrd, jonathan amaya

    SS laron landry

    • ACViking

      No. More. Free. Agents.

      Except guys with a chip on their should like a Dennis Dixon (where is he?) or a Josh Johnson . . . who was a helluva college QB at U-San Diego under one Jim Harbugh.

      • SuPaFrO

        I was hoping to get Dixon or Johnson back in thier drafts but of course that didn’t happen.

        now im not saying EVERY ONE on my list mabe just one or two maybe??

        my 2 prefered would be Eben britton (would be Clady but i’m sure peyton wants him to stay) and Sean smith? orrrr knighton

        johnson and amaya can compete still

        • D3Keith

          the NT would be wise. Sean Smith is a big DB and he’s young. We wanted him coming out.

          • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

            Terrance Knighton is NOT a NT. Knighton is a pass rusher primarily and i read that he lost is sport on the Jags except for obvious passing downs.

      • D3Keith

        You would really rule out all free agents? That’s silly.

        No need for guys over 30 who won’t be here when Kelly gets good, except for maybe 1 or 2 for leadership, but don’t rule out all free agents except barely accomplished ones (P.S. I thought Johnson played well against us that one Bucs game a few years ago, they just kicked FGs when we scored TDs)

        I would take a 27-year-old at a premium position with four good years left. Definitely focus on guys who can be here a while and on reasonable deals, but don’t ignore free agents. Not sure if you were really advocating that, or just saying only get hungry young guys, in which case, I back you.

      • ICDogg

        Nothing wrong with signing a journeyman or two to plug some holes, or guys who might benefit from a new start, but I would rule out all big name free agents for now.

        • D3Keith

          Simple translation. We probably all agree.

    • phillychuck

      Jarius Byrd, please.

      • D3Keith

        A million times please.

  • ICDogg

    seen in a comment on PFT: “Mingo only pawn… in game of football.”

  • ACViking

    Re: Tom Gamble’s contract w/ the 49ers / Gamble’s blood lines

    Only one of two ways Gamble could leave SF: (i) his contract expired, or (ii) the 49ers allowed him to leave. Even if the Eagles offered Gamble the GM job, SF could block the move if he were under contract.
    _________________

    By the way, not only was Tom Gamble’s father former Eagles’ President Harry Gamble — who carried the water for the most notorious Eagles owner in our lifetimes, Norm Braman — Gamble The Elder was the Head Coach for 10 years at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Notorious because Braman — besides routinely low-balling the Eagles’ first round picks and having training-camp hold outs — is the guy who let the great Buddy Ryan defensive players leave via free agency.

    Why? He gambled that after Reggie White, lead plaintiff in the players’ anti-trust case against the NFL (following union de-certification), won free agency via a settlement with the NFL, the other owners would keep their word and award the Eagles supplemental 1st-round picks for all the great players they were about to lose: White after ’92, and Simmons, Joyner and Waters after ’93.

    And in fact, the NFL did award the Eagles supplemental No. 1 picks for Reggie White: No. 13 overall in ’93 and the No. 29 in ’94. The Eagles traded their 1993 extra pick to Houston for the Oilers’ 1st-round pick at No. 19 plus a 3rd rounder. The Eagles used that 19th pick to selected Jackson State OT Lester Holmes at No. 19. (The Eagles had targeted massive Auburn OT Earnest Dye, but the Cardinals took him one pick before at No. 18.) In 1994, the Eagle traded their supplement 1st rounder to the Browns for a 2nd-round pick in ’94 and ’95.

    But after the other NFL owners saw Braman allow his “1993 class” to leave without trying to resign them during the ’94 free-agency period, the other owners decided that maybe supplemental 1st-round picks was not such a good idea. So instead, the Eagles ended up with nothing.

    Okay . . . so back to Harry Gamble. He ran the Houston Veer . . . anyone remember the great Penn HB Adolph “Beep Beep” Bellizeare?

    Gamble’s record at Penn was 34-55-2 . . . finishing 1-18 in his last two years.

    The team was so bad those last two years that, during home games, I used to sit in what was then the press box of an empty Franklin Field. No one else was around but the UofPenn student announcer. The cheering anyone heard was me and couple buddies.

    Great times indeed.
    __________________

    Tom Gamble looks like a steal . . . who’ll be GM for another team in a year or two.

    • ICDogg

      Remember when they first sold the team to Braman, though… I was relieved because there was a lot of uncertainty about whether the team would remain in Philadelphia.

      • ACViking

        Yes . . . Phoenix-bound before Braman-the-Hero stepped in.

        Then he screwed the fans . . . before making a very tidy profit on team’s sale to Lurie (who now could make an even bigger profit if he sold . . . but I’m not sure how many billionaires are out there in America who don’t already own one of these toys).

  • ACViking

    Re: Gamble and the 2013 Draft

    T-Law:

    I’m a bit perplexed that the 49ers didn’t keep Gamble until the *after* the 2013 draft — either by the term of this contract or by blocking him.

    Even the Eagles, who were going to cut Tom Modrak loose in 2001, made sure he stayed through the ’01 draft.

    I thought that was customary . . . and smart business. Why share he product of a year’s worth of scouting and evaluations with another team.

    What do you think?

    • Anders

      Its sort like when we lost the current Indy GM last year.

      • ACViking

        I’d forgotten about the timing on Grigson.

        What’s the deal, you think?

        • D3Keith

          Maybe they aren’t parting on good terms, or that waiting wasn’t a condition of the job offer from Philly.

          Ideally most front-office movement takes place after drafts, but sometimes when teams are unsettled from January firings, they have to make moves sooner. Makes sense to me.

          • ACViking

            D3K . . .

            Sorry, I’m a bit confused.

            Grigson left the Eagles prior to the draft for Indy.

            So I’m not sure I understand your point about an unsettled front office from the Eagles’ standpoint. The Eagles’ FO was not unsettled last January.

            So why would the Eagles cut Grigson loose with all that high-value draft info?

          • D3Keith

            My point was maybe it isn’t solely up to the Eagles? I don’t know the details of front-office contracts, but if a guy wants to leave for a promotion, can they force him to stay?

            I understand why a team wouldn’t want to let a guy go before the draft. But I also understand why if they’re resigned to losing a guy, for a promotion, they would just let him go instead of blocking the move.

            I guess if someone leaves on good terms, they’re less likely to screw you. Seems like the Colts and Eagles had a good relationship, based on the deals they made after Grigson left, and if one other team knows what you know, that’s a lot better than someone leaving on bad terms and blabbing to the 30 others.

            That’s my thought on it anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    QB Draft Class Hindsight Exercise

    Here are the best, notable multi-year starters from each QB class from 1997-2012:

    1997: Jake Plummer, Jake Delhomme*
    1998: Peyton Manning,* Matt Hasselbeck,* Brian Griese
    1999: Donovan McNabb,* Daunte Culpepper, Jeff Garcia
    2000: Tom Brady,* Chad Pennington, Marc Bulger
    2001: Drew Brees,* Mike Vick
    2002: David Garrard
    2003: Tony Romo, Carson Palmer
    2004: Ben Roethlisberger,* Eli Manning,* Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub
    2005: Aaron Rodgers,* Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Cassel
    2006: Jay Cutler
    2007: Kevin Kolb
    2008: Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco*
    2009: Matt Stafford, Josh Freeman
    2010: Sam Bradford
    2011: Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick,* Christian Ponder, Jake Locker
    2012: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson

    Each year except for 2002 and 2007, there was at least one draft eligible QB worthy of a high pick. The jury is still out on 2010.

    Of course hindsight selection removes the risk of getting a bust, but the point is that there is a worthy QB in the mix nearly every year (provided you can locate him) and the Eagles could have their pick of the litter this year.

    • Neil

      If anything this just makes me queezy. It shows completely empty years happen once or twice a decade.

  • ACViking

    Re: Free Agents

    D3Keith wrote: “You would really rule out all free agents? That’s silly.”

    No, I’m not saying that at all.

    I’m ruling out all high-priced free agents.

    I thought I was clear that I’d take any player whose rookie contract has expired and is hungry for a starting job.

    But that’s it. I don’t want guys who’ve spent 5-6 years in some other team’s culture.

    • Iskar36

      I agree with this philosophy to a large extent, but overall, I think you need to look at each FA individually and make an assessment. I would focus on getting young guys coming off rookie contracts, but if there are certain players that don’t necessarily fit that group, but are ascending players that can be a part of your team long term, I still would consider them. In other words, the players that I would be hesitant about are the guys who have had two or so great seasons and are now looking for a pay day. Guys like Nnamdi for example.

    • ICDogg

      I would be OK with some journeymen, even guys who are a little older, for depth and hole-plugging, as long as they are hard working guys who fit into our scheme. We’ve always signed guys like that from time to time, like when we got Landri a couple of years back.

      • Baloophi

        The only journeyman I’d be okay with is Steve Perry.

  • austinfan

    QB – Vick is a one year fix. Foles is still unknown and a question whether Chip wants to work with him. Both should play better with MM exiled

    RB – The strength of the team. Havili could be a a big back with receiving skills. Emil is a true H-back.

    TE – Brent Celek remains a good player who is breaking down physically. Clay Harbor has the speed and blocking sklls, but routes and hands? Derek Carrier could be a player to watch. Evan Moore sucks.

    WR – DeSean Jackson could blossom under Chip. Maclin ineeds to be traded, he’s not explosive enough as a playmaker nor tough enough underneath or as a run blocker. Riley Cooper can block, can he catch and get open? Damaris
    Johnson may not be as fast but might be as explosive as the Black Mamba. McNutt, Cunningham, Salas, big bodies who might push Avant.

    OL – Peters, Mathis and Kelce should be the core. Herremans is too broken down to play RT, is he still a good RG? Reynolds is not a viable
    backup C in a zone scheme, feet are too slow. Dennis Kelly showed potential as a RT. Menkin has the athleticism to shine in Kelly’s offense. Danny Watkins is the X-factor. Need more quality depth

    DL – Fletcher Cox is the best player on defense and perfect for the “3′. Cedric Thornton might be a good “5”. Brandon Graham may be short but that doesn’t matter as much as the predator (see Clemons on Seattle). Trent Cole played his worst. Is he getting old? Yes. Cullen Jenkins has the talent to be a good role player, but costs a lot. Mike Patterson and Antonio Dixon are the run stuffers. Neither is a good fit at NT.

    LB – Mychal Kendricks will be a WLB this year. DeMeco Ryans will be the MLB. SAM is wide open right now. Jamar Chaney is not a fit if we do go 3-4/hybrid. Casey Matthews hasn’t done squat. Ryan Rau is St and backup at WLB. The Eagles should add a SAM and a solid MLB.

    S – Weak. SS with size is needed. Allen at FS? Anderson stays because of his STs acumen. Coleman and Sims better get ready to have the best summer in their lives. Need a lot of help here, good draft to find it

    CB – Nnamdi better be cut. DRC is a free agent and not worth the $10M franchise tag. Curtis Marsh has yet to prove anything. Nickelback Brandon Boykin is the lone bright spot.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    The TE I would love to see added to the mix is Travis Kelce. He blocks like an extra O-lineman and used his gigantic catching radius to lead his team in receiving. He is versatile enough to be set in-line, as an H-back, or lead block out of the backfield.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxxDN81kT8A