Eagles Notebook

Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 47 Comments »

Lots of little topics to get to today.  The Eagles are going to sign QB G.J. Kinne today or in the near future. He’s got to get his release from an Arena League team before the Eagles can officially make the move.  Several of the beat writers reported that Kinne is just here as a camp arm.

I liked Kinne coming out of Tulsa last year.  I mentioned him last spring in a PE.com piece on draft prospects that were creating a buzz.

It is also worth noting that Kinne’s QB coach at Tulsa in 2011 was Press Taylor.  He’s now the Offensive Quality Control coach for the Eagles.  Kinne was signed because the Personnel Dept had a good grade on him and not because of anything Taylor said, but it sure can’t hurt Kinne that his old position coach is on the staff.

Kinne had a highly productive career at Tulsa.  His highlight was a 28-27 upset of Notre Dame in South Bend back in 2010.  Tulsa ran a spread attack and finished in the Top 6 in points and yards that season.

Chip Kelly runs up-tempo practices that have lots of reps.  He might want 5 QBs to keep everyone’s arm fresh.  He could add a 6th QB in the draft or as a UDFA.  We could turn around and cut Trent Edwards (or Kinne), but it is possible Kelly will want to start with 6 QBs and see how things go from there.

* * * * *

Our old friend Stewart Bradley was cut today.  The Cards signed him to a 5-year, $25M deal a couple of years back.  Oops.  Disco Stu hasn’t been the same since his ACL injury in the summer of 2009.  Such a promising career…gone.

Could the Eagles look at him as a backup ILB?  DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks are good as the starters.  Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews are the backups.  I’m fine with both of them for the WILB spot (Kendricks).  There, they’ll be protected and just have to run to the ball.

We need someone to be the backup at SILB.  Some call this the thumper role.  You must be able to engage OL and shed blocks.  Chaney can do that occasionally, but not consistently.  Matthews has struggled in this area going back to Oregon.  Bradley was very good at it prior to his ACL injury.  He struggled in Arizona at just about everything.

The argument against Bradley is that he’s going to turn 30, was relegated to STs this past season, and hasn’t played well since 2008.  The argument for him is that he does have good size and would be cheap.  If he comes to camp and looks good, you keep him.  If he struggles, you send him packing.  Bradley always seemed like a leader and good locker room presence to me.  I’d be willing to sign him for the veteran minimum and see if he could be good depth.

* * * * *

The Falcons cut RB Michael Turner, DE John Abraham, and CB Dunta Robinson.  Turner is of no interest to us.  Abraham had 10 sacks and 6 FFs in 2012, but he turns 35 in May.  I think he signs a short deal with a SB contender.  The Falcons may have tried to re-negotiate his deal.  There is also talk of them making the full conversion to a 3-4.

Robinson is a starting CB, but not a very good one anymore.  He’s going to turn 31 in April and is undersized at 5-10, 185.  I don’t think the Eagles will have interest in him.

* * * * *

A lot of you want to know about Safeties in the draft.  I’m watching lots of tape and doing my evaluations.  I’m also looking at the free agents.

Here’s the thing…I think the only guy on the roster that can now be looked at as starting material is Nate Allen.  And he’s coming off a bad season.  I’m not comfortable with him right now.

I think the Eagles need to add a starting Safety in free agency.  I then think the Eagles need to add a Safety in the first 4 rounds of the draft.  That way you’ll have 3 starting caliber talents competing for 2 jobs.  If Nate gets his act together, great.  If he is erratic, he can sit.  Kurt Coleman and David Sims will battle a UDFA or possible late rounder for the #4 spot.  I’d love Kurt to win that because I still like him a lot.  He’s just not the guy that Bill Davis is going to want on the field.  Colt Anderson stays because he is an impact STer.

If you read Bill Davis and John Lovett’s comments, they seem to want big guys.  What I don’t know is how badly they want a ballhawk.  All 32 teams would love guys that are big, fast, physical, and can make plays in the passing game, but those guys are hard to find.

I think the Eagles focus should be on adding at least one big Safety.  I’m even open to the idea of going after LaRon Landry.  We need Safeties that aren’t just big blow up hitters, but are big and strong enough to be physical run defenders.  We need guys that are strong open field tacklers.

Assuming we add a SS type in FA, we’d need more of a FS to come in and challenge Nate.  I’d love to add Jonathan Cyprien in the 2nd round, but don’t think he’ll be there.  He probably goes late in the 1st.  Two guys that have grown on me considerably are Eric Reid and Baccari Rambo.  I watched them intently early on and they didn’t live up to the hype, but I found as I watched tape of their teammates, those guys started to show up on a regular basis.  They weren’t as good as the SEC hype machine made them out to be, but both guys can be good NFL starters.  Reid is bigger and more physical.  Rambo has better hands and is more of a ballhawk.

DJ Swearinger is a big time hitter, but he’s a walking fine from Commissioner Goodell.  He’d have been ideal a decade ago.  He’s still a good player, but is a better hitter than tackler.  JJ Wilcox is a bit raw, but has excellent potential.  Phillip Thomas led the nation in INTs this year.  He has great hands.  He’s big.  Thomas lacks ideal speed and is an inconsistent tackler.

I won’t cover every Safety here, but those are some of the big names that get the most questions.  I don’t know what the Eagles will think of Matt Elam or Shamarko Thomas.  Elam is 5-10, 208.  Thomas is 5-9, 213.  Those aren’t the frames the coaches prefer, but both players have  thick, strong builds.  Both can be explosive hitters.  Could we live with the lack of height due to the strength?  I don’t know.  This is where we have to learn the new staff and how they think.

I haven’t settled on which FA Safety I want the most.  Jairus Byrd just got the franchise tag so he’s off the market.  If I can get a veteran S with some size and then add a guy like Reid, I’d be very happy.  If we pass on a S in the 2nd or 3rd, but took TJ McDonald in the 4th…that would also interest me.  He’s big.  He has good hands.  He can hit.  McDonald was inconsistent at USC, but has serious potential.  He’s no Taylor Mays either.  Mays was a wuss.  McDonald can be tough.  He just has yet to put it all together.

What about Kenny Vaccaro?  Love him.  Not worth pick #4.  Won’t last past 25.  Could go Top 15.  If the Eagles move back, he’s definitely a target.  I think.  As Sam has pointed out many times, the Eagles didn’t take a Texas player during the Reid era.  I’m not sure about UDFAs either.  I know we had a QB at mini-camp once.  We did sign Vince Young.

The Eagles had serious interest in Aaron Ross a few years back.  I don’t know how much interest they had in Earl Thomas.  Would the Eagles have broken the streak to draft those guys or was Reid so anti-Texas that he wasn’t going to take anyone from there?  It will be interesting to see when we do finally draft a Texas player.  We did take one in 1998, the year before Reid arrived.

* * * * *

Tim McManus spoke with Brandon Graham and got some good info on his potential move to OLB.  I do call a little B.S. on Graham saying he played at 275 last year.  Washburn wanted his guys light and sleek.  Graham was super-proud of losing a bunch of weight.  I’m guessing he was probably under 275.  His goal is to be in the 260’s this year.  Smart.

* * * * *

David Syvertsen put together some post-Combine thoughts.  I don’t always agree with Dave’s opinions, but he does the film study and I respect what he has to say.

Part of the fun in being a draftnik is seeing how your opinion varies from someone who just watched the very same player/game as you.  Sometimes, obviously, that is due to the other person not knowing what they’re talking about.  There are plenty of times when scouts, coaches, and GMs disagree.  Player evaluation is tricky.  You can see different things.  You can like/dislike different things.  This is like the art at the mall where you stared at the piece.  Someone saw Jesus on a skateboard while the next guy just saw trees and rocks.

Dave covered the Safety position with a quick blurb in his piece.  Good stuff.

* * * * *

Cullen Jenkins is reportedly visiting the Giants today.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1514128048 Kristopher Cebula

    if we did sign dunta robinson, at least desean jackson would be safe. i guess unless dunta levels him in camp

    • Mac

      It’d be worth signing him just to have him ride the pine.

    • TommyLawlor

      That was a huge hit in 2010. Dunta will knock your block off, but he won’t tackle. Drives me nuts.

    • ICDogg

      He’s a guy they complain about almost as much as we complain about Nnamdi

      • JJ_Cake

        i have a feeling Chip will keep Nnamdii, and strangely enough I’d be ok with this. Obviously they don’t think much of DRC, and there aren’t many cb in the draft or FA. Plus we have plenty of cap space so we can afford him.

        I didn’t like his attitude, but he can give the team more than the other guys when he plays to his talent level. Maybe that’s what Kelly sees. I’m thinking Nnamdi played for subpar defensive coaches, and db’s and maybe he could’ve complained more about the situation but he didn’t, and that’s why chip says he is a classy guy.

  • GermanEagle

    There goes my beloved Byrd… :(

    Tommy, what other Free Agents at S do you have interest in? What about Quin or Goldson? Louis Delmas does also come to my mind…

    • TommyLawlor

      Delmas can’t stay healthy. Goldson is terrific, but might cost big bucks. Not sure the Eagles want a top FA this year. If he’s an option, I’d love to get him.

      I’ve yet to watch tape on Quin. I’m watching tape on these guys so that I’m not just guessing or throwing stats at you. FA starts a week from this Tuesday so I’ll have a post up this week with my preferred targets.

      There are several good options. I’m thankful for that.

      • ceteris_paribus1776

        Been hearing a lot of rumblings that San Francisco is not actually terribly happy with Goldson. Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan also seem to agree that the perception of Goldson outside of San Francisco is much higher than what the game tape reveals. He certainly be an upgrade for what we have and I wouldn’t mind him on the team, but I’m not sure he’s a superstar. I’ve heard a lot of speculation that San Fran is likely to let him walk and draft a safety instead. That may tell you all you need to know about Goldson…we’ll see If any of those rumors are true in the next couple of weeks.

        • Mac

          They have plenty of picks. They can easily draft 2 Safeties and let them battle for playing time in the mid rounds.

      • austinfan

        Goldson is a buy high pick. Makes sense for a team one or two players away, but not one rebuilding. He has coverage limitations and is 29. Pass.

        Want guys who are ascending, not descending in a year or two.

        Unless you can sign them to reasonable two year contracts to buy time while you rebuild depth.

      • Anders

        With safety play around the NFL been so bad. Im surprised so many teams are happy to let even a good safety walk.

  • http://twitter.com/trackcoachryan Ryan Highlands

    Oddly enough I signed GJ Kinne as the 3rd stringer on Madden…

    • TommyLawlor

      Any other moves you’d care to let us know about? Who will be the CBs!!!???

  • T_S_O_P

    How is Shamarko Thomas in coverage? With his speed he could play slot corner.

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      There’s a shamarko in the water!

      • Baloophi

        “You’re gonna need a bigger boatarko.”

        • TommyLawlor

          Bad…so very bad.

      • TommyLawlor

        Bad…so bad.

  • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

    But Tommy, you told me earlier that there was no way that the Eagles would have 5-6 QBs in camp when I brought up the possibility. Now I’m confused and just a little bit frightened.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

      Still not enough for world domination

      • A_T_G

        Since four quarterbacks would put us one whole back, aren’t we going the wrong direction here?

        We want to go forward, not back.

        • Ark87

          we need to draft a half dozen wholeforwards ASAP!

          • A_T_G

            But in order to do that, we would need to trade back…

        • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

          There is over 110 percent logic in that, just my 2 cents *wait, I’m Canadian, forget the pennies.

          • A Roy

            Would that explain why your logic is Looney?

          • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

            Hoser.

    • TommyLawlor

      I didn’t expect 5 to 6 QBs. This is a very high total. We’re all getting used to Chip Kelly.

      Also, guys like Dixon, Edwards, and Kinne have an uphill battle to make the roster. It isn’t like they loaded up on guys that realistically will push each other.

  • Steag209

    Oh Mallrats, “Oh hey, it’s a sailboat!”

  • nickross23

    For all the talent on both sides of the ball in the SEC its hard to flash on tape when there’s 22 players on the field ballin. I really liked Rambo and E.Reid alot going into the season and they both had there moments of greatness as well as frustration for me. I loved the depth this draft class has for our greatest team weakness with are secondary. Trading back and getting a Vaccaro in the teens while picking up a extra round pick would be ideal but finding a trading partner is a hard.

    • laeagle

      Assuming it’s a typo, but just in case,

      “our” secondary, not “are” secondary.

      • nickross23

        Auto spelling.. Glad out of all of that..u got my grammatical error lol thanks

        • laeagle

          Oh, I just didn’t want to be nitpicky. We have to take baby steps with these things. As Shakespeare said, and it’s only tangentially applicable, “no wound did ever heal but by degree.”

          I’m just happy that people here appreciate it when you point these things out.

      • A_T_G

        Personally, I think our secondary are secondary, or even tertiary.

        But you let “alot” slide?

  • nickross23

    I really hope FA will give us a little easier picture of where we’re going personnel wise. There is alot of talk and rightfully so about are seecondar, but are inside backers also interest me. I do believe kendricks can play in this new 3-4 but Ryans is another story also with the depth behind them. Navarro Bowman left PSU as an OLB but has transformed himself into one of the better inside linebackers today. Another PSU backer in Hodges has been under the radar so far but my question to all of you guys and Tommy i would love ur insight too. Do you think Hodges can duplicate Bowman’s success and play inside in the 3-4. I also really liked both of those backers from the university of Florida. Watching those guys play defense in the sec is a real treat in the day and age all this offense.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Hodges is a WLB in a 4-3. Former Safety. Not great at shedding blocks and playing in traffic.

      The UF kids are pretty good. Jonathan Stewart from Tx A&M is very interesting.

    • ceteris_paribus1776

      Yeah, I like Bostic as an early-mid rounder. I really like Riddick from UNC. I think he’ll end up being better than Zach Brown. Obviously Miner is an option if you want tot take one in the early second.

      • nickross23

        You can see that forty time on full display on the field with Bostic. That entire Florida defense played fast and aggressive. He was definantl one of the players that flashed while watching the tape.

  • Tumtum

    Anyone catch the super sick neck pads B.Graham was wearing from the vid in the peice by Tim? I hope you are wrong about his ability in this scheme Tommy! I have always liked his personality, and it would be really nice to have a first round DE work out for once.

    • TommyLawlor

      I hope BG lights it up and they end up keeping him around. Would be great.

  • A_T_G

    The argument against Bradley… is pretty damning. The argument for him is the style with which he arrives in Lehigh.

    The irony of Kelly drafting a guy named Reid to play in the area of our greatest recent failing would be almost overwhelming. The hopes of getting to see good safety play again have me excited. Safeties and linebackers have always been my favorite players to watch; it has been a down couple of years for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

      Irony, worth it?

  • bdbd20

    Tommy,

    What’s your opinion on Lorenzo Alexander? Word is that he turned down the first offer from WAS. He always seemed like a good all around LB.

    • TommyLawlor

      Love him. Would be great role player/STer. He might want to start.

  • Arby1

    Please give me one of these: Reid, Elam, Thomas or Cyprien.

  • livingonapear

    We could use Dunta. For what, you ask. Use your imagination.

  • T_S_O_P

    Tommy, can we have a topic to address the DE position? Jimmy put a graphic up last week showing our present hand, i.e. Cedric Thornton a Jack S Hite behind him. It could be extended to cover the NT too, be ause there we have Dixon a scrub and Jack S Hite’s brother. Are there 2 thinner positions on our squad?