No More Soft Serve

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 68 Comments »

One of the things that drove me crazy in recent years was how soft the Eagles played.  Is Jeremy Maclin allergic to contact?  Jimmy Bama’s nickname for him is “Self-tacklin Jeremy Maclin”.  Brilliant.  And so true.  He goes down before getting hit.  And he’s 195 pounds.

DeSean Jackson isn’t a physical player, but he’s 175 pounds and one of the smaller guys in the league.  We drafted him to be fast, not physical.  Part of the attraction to Maclin was his size and strength.

I’m not sure there is a softer pair of corners in the history of football than DRC and Nnamdi.  Oh wait…we did use to have Asante.  Call those guys the Charmin Brigade.

Half a yard, half a yard,
 Half a yard onward,
All in the valley of Receivers
 Ran the three corners.
“Forward, the Charmin Brigade!
“Dive for the feet!” he said:
Into the valley of Receivers
 Ran the three corners.

Kurt Coleman is tough.  He is physical.  He’s just undersized to it doesn’t have any impact.  Nate Allen does have the size, but the Eagles finesse play has infected him.

Jamar Chaney is a 240-pound LB that has good strength and power, but he prefers to run around blocks.  No surprise.  That was my primary concern with him coming out of college.

King Dunlap is the gentlest giant in Earth’s history.  He showed more physicality in holding a pass rusher than he ever did in a run block.  He showed more rage in disputing that holding call than he ever did while taking on a defender.

And on and on and on.

Last night I was watching the Senior Bowl.  I saw Oregon’s Kyle Long at LT.  He knocked a defensive lineman to the ground and then stayed on him.  It was tough, mean, physical football.  It was beautiful.

Oregon had an ILB this year named Kiko Alonso.  If he was a character from Stripes, it would be Psycho.  You can go watch his Fiesta Bowl performance.  He’s tough, physical and at times he’s flat out dirty.

Patrick Chung was a tough DB.  T.J. Ward was one of the meanest, nastiest DBs in recent history.  Dion Jordan is a big, tall LB/DE.  I can’t tell you how often guys like that are finesse speed rushers.  Not Jordan.  He’s physical.

LaMichael James was a great college player for Kelly at Oregon.  He was a small back, but go watch the tape.  He was a good inside runner and physical player.  Listen to coaches and scouts who talk about Oregon’s WRs.  The first thing they notice is how well those guys block.

Kelly ran a tougher, more physical program at Oregon than people realize.  The high point totals and highlight plays got the focus, but Kelly’s teams could be more than a little nasty.  And boy is that something the Eagles could use.

A decade ago, the Eagles were a tough physical team.  Later on in Reid’s tenure, that started to go away.  I don’t want to explore why.  That’s somewhat of a guessing game and basically pointless accept to try and play the blame game.  I’m more interested in fixing the issue.

Kelly has the right attitude and the right coaching staff.  That leaves 2 tests.  First up, is bringing in the right kind of players.  Second, and tougher, is getting the current roster to change their ways.  Can that even happen?  Yes.

Not all players will adjust.  That will lead to some getting benched and some getting cut.  Others that are highly skilled will skate through okay, but won’t endear themselves to Kelly.  This spring and summer will be very, very interesting.  We’re going to see some lineup surprises, good and bad.  Not all players embrace change.  Some will, and if they were previously struggling, it could be the spark to help save them.

I think the biggest part of this is competition.  In order for Kelly to get rid of the sense of entitlement, he needs to let guys know they can lose their jobs.  It is mind-blowing that Reid never sat Nnamdi last year.  Would Brandon Hughes have been that bad of a drop off?  And if so, why was he on the team?  Reid let some veterans get away with doing things their way and not the Eagle way.  That must change.

If players know they can lose their jobs, it should bring out the best in them.  Not all will respond favorably, but those who don’t are probably guys you want to get rid of.  Obviously this way of doing things only works if you are willing to sit talented, proven players who under perform.  If the threat is proven to be hollow, it will cease to be effective.

Chip dealt with new and young players all the time at Oregon.  It wasn’t as if he had one amazing recruiting class with 10 4-year starters or something like that.  He had multiple QBs and RBs.  He never had an elite WR.  His OL changed plenty.  The best player on defense changed about every year.  Kelly wasn’t afraid to sit anyone or play unproven guys.  The program came before the player.

The Eagles need to get back to that mentality.  Kelly’s just the man for that job.

* * * * *

AC Viking asked yesterday about best player available vs need in regard to the draft.  Here’s how that works.

Draft grades are given to players.  Let’s give a C an 8.7, a SS an 8.5, and a NT an 8.4  Those grades are pretty simple to put in order.  The C is the highest rated player.

But that’s when teams do something called stacking the board.  They factor in the needs on their team and also depth in the draft.

The Eagles need a SS pretty bad.  He’s just a notch below the C so stacking the board with the SS up top isn’t a huge deal.  But wait.  This draft is deep with Safeties.  There are only a couple of NTs the team likes at all.  You could then re-stack the board with the NT up top, then the SS, and then the C.  That’s opposite of the grades, but might be the best way to go.

This is all fine.  This is mixing roster reality in to the draft process.

The problem comes when you have a player rated significantly lower and he’s mixed in there. That’s when you’re taking the draft out of the hands of the scouts and going with a coach’s gut instinct (or delusional dreams).

Sometimes that stuff works.  Bill Belichick took OT Sebastian Vollmer in the 2nd round despite the fact he had more of a 4th round grade.  Bill wanted him and didn’t see any way that Vollmer lasted that long.  He rolled the dice and Vollmer has been a solid player.  Other times you roll the dice on Jaiquawn Jarrett and end up with egg on your face.

AC Viking also asked about trading down and the mindset there.  My rule of thumb for pick #4 is to get a difference maker.  Not a good starter, but a star.  I don’t see anyone this year that I feel is a lock for that.

My attitude is that one player won’t fix the Eagles, unless he’s truly special.  Since I don’t see that guy on the board, I’m open to moving back.  I might add a 2nd rounder.  I might just get a 3rd.  Still, those picks have the potential to become starters.  We need plenty of help.

I understand that some will point to the Browns trading back and giving up Julio Jones as a mistake.  I don’t see Julio Jones on the board this year.  And that’s the key.  We won’t get a huge offer for pick #4.  There just aren’t great targets.  If we can slide back to 8, 10, or 12 and add another pick or 2, do it.  There are plenty of targets at those spots that I like.

I feel like our 1st round pick should be an impact player.  Because of the poor quality at the top of this class, there isn’t a huge difference from 4 to 10 to 12.  Heck, Mike Mayock said yesterday that he doesn’t see a big difference in 5 to 25.

If you aren’t in love with a prospect at 4 and you can move back, do it.  If you do love the prospect, take him.  Simple as that.

_

 


  • Anders

    I really wonder why AR turned so soft. He was very tough back when he started.

    • TommyLawlor

      Lots of guesses, but don’t have the time to devote to writing/researching them.

      • Anders

        Its okay. I think not even AR know it him self.

    • PK_NZ

      Boiled frog syndrome…

  • ohitsdom

    Off topic, but can someone explain to me the Maclinho nickname? Am I thick for not instantly getting the joke?

    • Anders

      It comes from Washburn calling Juan for Juanita. You know him been a girl all that lame humor

      • ohitsdom

        You sure? Seemed like Maclinho started way before the Juanita story broke. I thought it was a pun involving one of his various injuries but could never put it together.

        • Anders

          Im pretty sure it was actually Tommy and Jimmy there started it on h2hshow after the news of the Juanita story

          • ohitsdom

            It popped up on twitter around November, thought the Juanita story didn’t come out until December. But sounds like you might be right… that’s disappointing, I thought there was a funnier joke hidden in that. Thanks.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think that is from Bounty Bowl (former Iggles Blog guy) and that it is a soccer joke (stars like Ronaldo or Ronaldinho). Not sure if it has to do with Maclin diving like a soccer star or just is goof on his name for no specific reason.

      • http://twitter.com/ViniEagles Vinícius Gonçalves

        Ronaldinho is like “Little Ronaldo” in portuguese. Dog is “Cachorro” in portuguese, a little dog is called “cachorrinho” #brazilianculture

  • ACViking

    T-Law . . .

    That’s great great stuff. Not exactly simple either.

    Seems like there’s a lot of “feel” and some luck that goes into the process.

    Jerry Reese seemed to have both for awhile but not so much the last year or two. Bill Polian built three franchises into playoff teams . . . but seemed to lose the “touch” his last couple of years.

    Anyway, thank you.

    • TommyLawlor

      Anyone who says luck plays no part is naive. Still, time shows us which teams/GMs know how to draft and which don’t. There is absolutely skill involved.

  • ACViking

    Re: Scouting Tips [reposted from prior Post]

    T-Law —

    When we watch Shariff Floyd’s video . . . what exactly are the, say, 4-5 things that we should be looking for.

    More to the point, what do you look for in D-linemen?

    I ask because with D-lineman especially, you only notice them if they
    get a TFL, a Sack, or an O-lineman just blows them off the ball.

    • TommyLawlor

      This might have to be a separate post, possibly with pictures.

      • Ark87

        pictures or visual aids….

      • ICDogg

        Just don’t let Kempski draw the pictures… he draws like a 5-year-old

        • TommyLawlor

          Kempski also thinks and acts like a 5-yr old. I guess that makes him consistent.

      • A_T_G

        Hopefully the NSFW variety.

        • P_P_K

          This is going to be a long off-season.

  • ACViking

    RE: Anecdote about “Belichick the Scout” and the Falcons’ trade for Julio Jones

    In discussing a “trade down,” T-law mentioned Falcons’ WR Julio Jones — who’s fast on his way to being one of the three best WRs in the NFL.

    Anyway, there’s a story out there that before the 2011 draft, Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff — a former personnel guy for Belichick — called his mentor to discuss trading up with the Browns to get Jones.

    Belichick reportedly told Demitroff not to make the deal. BB thought the deal too expensive and that down around pick 26 the Falcons could select U-Pittsburgh WR Jonathan Baldwin — similar measurables Belichick said.

    Dimitroff said “thanks” . . . and pulled the trigger on the deal with the Browns to get Jones.

    The Chiefs — under the leadership of another Belichick acolyte, Scott Pioli — ended up choosing that very same Jonathan Baldwin using the Falcon’s 26th pick (after acquiring it from Cleveland).

    Belichick’s advice reminds of what commentators say about every trade involving great players: You never get back enough to make up for parting ways. [The 76ers still haven’t recovered from trading Wilt to the Lakers in ’69 for C Darrell Imhoff, F Jerry Chambers, and G Archie Clark . . . ugh.]

    Anyway, that’s how I remember the story.

    • TommyLawlor

      Yikes. Milwaukee did better for that when they shipped Kareem out west, but both times the Lakers got the better end of the deal and it wasn’t even close.

      Being able to identify which players are truly special is the key. Julio Jones was a special WR. He deserved to go high. One of the things Dimitroff is so good at is character. He doesn’t take players with legal issues or troubled backgrounds. In Jones he had a stud WR from an elite program that was cleaner than a fresh bar of Irish Spring soap. That’s about as safe a gamble as you can have.

      Seems like Bill Belichick might struggle with WRs. More misses than hits at that position.

    • Mac

      Are the Browns suddenly a playoff contender with Julio Jones?

      Is Julio Jones and elite player, solid starter, or a “bust” if he’s drafted to play in Cleveland?

      Color me skeptical, but I don’t think it’s that simple.

      • TommyLawlor

        No…and no one is saying that CLE is some force with him. Point is that you have to be careful when passing on a special player. There are only so many of them in the league. Getting your hands on one can make a huge difference to a team, but that alone won’t make or break the team .

      • ACViking

        Seattle did the same thing as the Browns in 1977 — trading the No. 2 overall choice to Dallas for a handful of picks.

        With the No. 2 choice, Dallas picked up Tony Dorsett . . . and won the SB that year and lost the next season to Pittsburgh. The ‘boys went to the playoffs the first 9 of Dorsett’s 11 years in Dallas. (Tampa Bay had the No. 1 pick and chose USC RB Ricky Bell, who played
        for Bucs’ head coach John McKay in college. Bell led the Bucs to the
        1979 NFC title game, pounding the Eagles in the process. But he died
        just 5 years later at age 28 from a rare connective-tissue disorder that caused his heart to fail..)

        The Seahawks received the No. 14 pick in Rd 1 plus 3 second Rd picks and a couple of players. (Dallas acquired the Charger’s pick in Rd 1, No. 14, for a QB named Clint Longley — whose entire career, and trade value, was captured in a single pass on Thanksgiving Day 1974 to Drew Pearson against the Redskins).

        Seattle used its 4 choices to land an OG named Steve August with pick No. 14, and 2nd Rders OT Tom Lynch, and LBs Terry Beeson and Pete Cronon. Dallas tossed in a 2nd-year WR named Duke Ferguson, and Seattle moved around a bit to get a C from the Rams named Geoff Reese.

        It was a 6-for-1 deal . . . and Seattle’s 6 players played a total of just 24 NFL seasons (and, counting by the number of games, just over 19 seasons). None of them made a Pro Bowl or All Pro team.

        Drafting is hard enough. But passing on as much of a sure-thing as you can ever get in the NFL draft like Dorsett — especially back in ’77 when the NFL was still a running league — was just a bad decision. He was just so much better than anyone else Seattle was going to get.

        So, sure, Julio Jones wouldn’t have taken Cleveland to the SB the last two years. But he could have been the centerpiece of that offense, along with RB Trent Richardson. Would Cleveland ever land a QB to throw him the ball? Who knows. But they’re already looking to replace the QB they over-drafted (?) with ATL’s 2012 No. 1 pick.

        That doesn’t mean the Eagles shouldn’t move at No. 4 this season.

        There’s no Dorsett-level player in this draft. Just lots of Evan Turners.

        • Mac

          So is the better question… Do the Browns just have a nasty habit of drafting the wrong players? Or maybe, you just can’t win without a QB… The Browns could have (read: should have) rolled those Atl picks plus some of their own (perhaps) to get RGIII?

          • ACViking

            Agreed.

            Holmgren, so the story goes, really though the Rams didn’t mean “make your best offer” when the Rams told him to “make your best offer.”

            Joe Banner would have never screwed up that trade.

          • holeplug

            Its gonna be fun to see who ends on the better end of the Rams/Redskins trade after the Rams use up all the picks they got from Skins. No doubt RG3 was a special prospect and Sam Bradford hasn’t looked like anything special so far.

    • holeplug

      Those trades can go the other way too. Jags traded a 1st, two 3rds, and a 4th in 2008 to Balt to trade all the way up to 8 to select Derrick Harvey b/c they thought he would be the difference maker their defense needed. He had 8 sacks total for them and was waived just 3 years after they drafted him. Balt used those Jags picks to trade up for Joe Flacco.

      • TommyLawlor

        There wasn’t anything special about him. Here is my summary of him: “Derrick is a gifted pass rusher that will go in the top 15 for sure. Most likely to be a top ten pick and might just end up at 3-4 OLB. ”

        Compare that to this note I had on Jones: “Talented prospect, but beyond that…this is the kind of guy I want on my team.”

  • myartz04

    It really is amazing how over the years, little by little, the Eagles defense became more and more soft and you dont really realize it while its happening. Miss those tough defenses!

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

    The Greatest Show on Turf receivers were famous for going down before contact too. It’s smart. Why take unnecessary punishment when the play has run it’s course?

    • TommyLawlor

      You have to know how to maximize yards. They did that. Maclin doesn’t. Mac gets in traffic and gets nervous. He doesn’t work the middle of the field nearly as well as those guys did.

      I’m not asking every player to be Dick Butkus. However, if you watch Maclin and come away satisfied that he’s doing everything he can to win, something is wrong with one of us.

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

        I think there’s a reason they haven’t extended Maclin and that’s probably a lot of it. You’re right, Self Tacklin Maclin….

        • TommyLawlor

          I still have hope for Mac. Seems like a high character guy off the field. Very talented. Just needs to play with more urgency. Hasn’t come close to his full potential.

          • aub32

            Watching Crabtree this season gave me real hope for Maclin. If Bicknell can instill a tougher mentality into him and Kelly and Shurmur can design some creative ways to get him the ball, I she Mac potentially having a big year

          • TommyLawlor

            Crabtree is an interesting example. Underachiever who finally has figured things out.

            Mac is already a solid player. Just needs to push harder to make the breakthrough to becoming the best player possible.

          • ACViking

            What struck me about Crabtree’s play this season is how much more physical he was . . . and which he had to be in Harbaugh’s system.

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

            Well, if he really shines but in a contract year do you believe it, or chalk it up to the situation. I’m really undecided about him.
            It must be a tough job deciding which players to trust to be reliable or improve and which you can’t.

          • holeplug

            Kapernick becoming the starter is the biggest reason why Crabtree finally looks good. His numbers saw a significant bump after Smith went out. His TD% more than doubled when Kap became starter.

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

        >However, if you watch Maclin and come away satisfied that he’s doing everything he can to win, something is wrong with one of us.

        That’s a bit of a straw man because I never suggested anything like that or suggested he was immune to criticism.

        I do prefer that a 6′ 190 lb receiver reduces his exposure to unnecessary hits, however. It’s ultimately in the best interests of the team and the player.

        • TommyLawlor

          Being judicious is smart. Maclin takes that too far. You don’t want to avoid contact. You want to be picky about when to fight for those extra yards. Mac almost never does that. At some point, WRs do have to put themselves in harms way.

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

            Maclin has the concussions to prove that he has done that. It’s unavoidable.

            I have no problem with him diving or sliding forward to avoid a takedown when the play is obviously coming to an end. That’s the same tactic I was referring to with the Greatest Show on Turf.

  • austinfan

    Trading up and down depends on where a team is at that point in time, and also the draft. 2011 was an awful draft, 2012 was a solid draft with quality at the top (Cox is probably a better bet than Floyd or Richardson), 2013 is shaping up like a meh draft at the top but a very deep draft at just the positions the Eagles need, DL, DBs and depth at OL.

    So they’re not going to get a lot to move down a few slots, I expect a discount this year, the draft pick chart says a move from #4 to #10 is 500 points, or #40, I think this year you’d probably get a late 2nd pick for that move. #10-#16 would be 300 points or #60, this year you might get a 3rd rd pick. But you could take a safety or DT or OT at #16, then get a CB and a safety with those other two picks. So if you don’t think the guys at the top of the draft are that much better than the guys available at #16, you still might want a shot at two additional starters.

  • Kirk Belmont

    So basically what I am reading is that of all the years the Eagles could have picked to go 4-12, this is the worst one. 2011 had Cam Newton, Von Miller, Dareus, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones Aldon Smith, Tyron Smith, J.J. Watt, and many more, all at the top of the board. 2012 had Andrew Luck, RGIII, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil, and a few more potential stars. This year there is nobody, and next year a whole bunch more good players come out. That sounds like just our luck, I hope Howie can figure out some way to get productive players!

    Also, It seems like in the past few years a bunch of safeties from Oregon have come out and gone in the second round. From Jarius Byrd, Patrick Chung in 09 to T.J. Ward in 2010. Because of this, it seams like Chip Kelly likes a good safety for his defense. All of those guys are around the same size at 5’10” and a little over 200 pounds. If this is the case the Eagles don’t seem to have that kind of guy on the roster, do you think they would target Jairius Byrd in free agency or just draft a similar type guy? Maybe he would add on of his old players from Oregon, John Boyett?

    • Anders

      Seems Philly teams does not know when to suck. When the Sixers sucked they lost the lottery and there wasnt really any franchise player, the same with the Flyers (tho JVR has turned out to be a very good player)

      • P_P_K

        But, of course, this is our fate. It’s a special layer of hell. We’ll get close, closer, closer… then crash.

        signed, your fellow Philly Sports fan, Sysyphus

      • holeplug

        I’m still bitter that Tim Duncan shocked everyone and decided to return to Wake Forest for his senior season when the Sixers had the #1 pick in 1996.

    • TommyLawlor

      The Eagles did pick a bad year to suck. So frustrating.

      Byrd could be a target, but many feel BUF will tag him if they can’t work out a deal.

      Boyett I haven’t watched at all since he was injured this year.

  • hotcakes33
    • TommyLawlor

      He was mean and nasty.

  • ACViking

    It’s a disappointing draft year for sure to be in the Top 5.

    But at least we’re not on a 5-year streak of drafting no lower than No. 14, with 3 straight seasons in the Top 6.

    That was because of the “Curse of the ’67 Draft,” when the Eagles selected Arkansas RB Harry Jones in Rd 1 with the No. 19 pick.

    Who the hell draft’s a RB named Harry Jones?! C’mon . . . names matter.

  • ACViking

    Re: Thin Drafts at the Top

    T-Law:

    This draft is shaping like the ’91 draft — when the Cowboys selected Russell Maryland with the 1st pick. Maryland was a great college player. But he was no Warren Sapp or Cortez Kennedy.

    S Eric Turner went second (highest drafted safety) to Cleveland. Then ATL took Nebraska CB Bruce Pickens. Denver chose LB Mike Croel, also from NEB.

    The Rams, choosing 5th, selected current Eagles asst DB coach Todd Lyght. The Cards chose DT Eric Swann from None University (same school as former Raiders DT Otis Sistrunk).

    Then came the back to back selections of the U-TN offensive tackles Charles McRae (Bucs) and Antone Davis (Eagles). Oh, the humanity.

    The best players of Rd 1 were WR Herman Moore at No. 10 to Detroit and D/NT Ted Washington at No.25 by SF — but it took Washington’s move to Buffalo as a FA before he became a great player.

    Overall, a thin group going in. And it played out that way over the next few years.

    The value was after 10.

    Oh yeah . . . and Brett Favre went to Atlanta in Rd 2 (6th pick).

    And the Packers, using the Eagles’ 1992 1st round pick acquired in the Antone Davis deal, acquired Favre after the ’91 season.

    That means the Eagles could have had Favre!

    • ICDogg

      If that’s true, the best move would be to try and trade out to next year.

      • ACViking

        Don’t disagree. At all.

        Unless, as T-Law said, the Birds fall in love with someone in this draft.

        • A_T_G

          As anyone who went to a small HS can attest, if you look at the same options long enough, you can fall in love with someone whom you realize is less than ideal once you get to college and see a larger pool. Hopefully the FO doesn’t fall into this trap.

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

            Ugh Moore would have been HUGE for Randall…

        • A_T_G

          On the other hand, sometimes at a small school you luck into your perfect match, regardless of what other options you are presented.

    • austinfan

      This draft isn’t thin like that, more like no sure shot guys at the top, but thick going into the 4th round. I think there will be a lot of starters and some PBs out of the first round, but no “in your face” HOF types.

      Now 2011, that was a thin draft.

  • Mac
    • ICDogg

      Pardon me… but do you have any gray poop on?

      • TommyLawlor

        Dumb, but awesome.

  • Midnight_Greenville

    So, with regard to QB’s, it would seem that they always would grade out higher since their value is unparalleled to a team. With that in mind, I was hoping someone could explain to me in a little more detail why everyone is so down on this year’s QB crop.

    I understand there is no Luck or RGIII this year, as even my untrained eye can recognize that. But, where I am confused is how down people are on the prospects compared to, say, Tannehill. Is Geno Smith really that much worse a prospect? He seems much more accomplished over the course of his career, and seems to have a lot of positives–accurate, athletic (but not necessarily a great runner), productive. I don’t know much about his intangibles, but haven’t heard anything bad.

    Further, what about someone like EJ Manuel? I understand he is flawed. But, how does he stack up against a former prospect like Jamarcus Russell? No one argued he was the top prospect of his draft year. And regardless of how he panned out (or didn’t), I would be very interested to hear someone more knowledgable than me explain the differences between him and Manuel as a prospect. Or Matt Barkley and Alex Smith (a consensus 1st rounder). Or Ryan Nassib and Matt Leinart (another consensus 1st rounder). I recognize in retrospect some of these were not good 1st round picks, but what I don’t understand is why they were clear-cut 1st rounders in their year and some of these guys are not supposed to sniff the 1st round this year.

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

    Either I am really stupid but Dee Milliner seems like a legit top 5 player and would give us a big upgrade at CB, a true difference maker that your saying we need to take at pick 4. Not sure why the buzz on him has died.

    • nopain23

      Word is he is NOT a shutdown corner and has ok ball skills. Some scouts like Desmond Trufant over Milliner. Things may change at the combine but right now he might not be the clear number one DB.

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

        And if you listen Howie today, the combine wont affect there big board..

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      You know, I would be very careful in selecting a CB from Alabama. Milliner is a little better in coverage, but all his strengths–great feel for zone coverage, great tackler, instincts–are pretty much the same strengths that Dre Kirkpatrick had a year ago.

      Kirkpatrick made very little impact for the Bengals, and went on record saying he did not know how to properly back-pedal–that Saban had them do a “shuffle”, instead. Considering the zone heavy coverage they run, and the similarity of the prospects they produce, I think it’s valid to question whether or not there is some “system-effect” at work.

      I also found it curious that ND attacked Milliner in the Championship game. If you have a true shutdown corner in college–like Mo Claiborne was last year–opposing teams usually stay away from throwing at him. Now, Milliner held up very well in coverage against Eifert–won the battle, really–but the fact that Kelly had them going after him says to me that they thought they had some advantage there.

      I’d definitely bring Milliner in for a workout, put him through the paces, etc. I’m not saying put a “DND” grade on him b/c of a possible system effect, but I think you have to look at what he does well versus what you’re going to ask him to do post-draft–especially if you’re taking him at #4.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Well, I certainly hope Nnamdi Asomugha is the biggest disappointment in FA we have to endure for a good long while. It will be hard to top his miserable tenure vs. expectations, thankfully.

    I’d be very into Kiko Alonso, were the Eagles not already set at ILB. I’ve seen some projecting him into the second round. That would be too high to take a long term replacement for Ryans, considering all the other needs.

    I’m really hoping we come out of this thing with at least 1 of the top safeties (Vaccaro, Cyprien, Swearinger), and add another later (Rambo is my favorite, but Tony Jefferson, S. Williams, D. Williams, or Earl Wolff). I really think the lack of competent, violent safety play is the major contributing factor to the softness of the team. Bernard Pollard, although sometimes “dirty” made a huge difference in the playoffs for Baltimore. He might be on the verge of a fine on any given snap, but the ability to bring the hammer like he does is critical for a defense. If I’m Stevan Ridley, I don’t even want to see that knockout hit Pollard delivered.