Someone in the comments section asked yesterday about Tom Gamble and his role. Long term, Gamble is here to be a key part of the scouting process. He’ll help scout college and pro players and build player rankings. Gamble has worked on both the college and pro personnel side of things over the years. He knows what to look for.
For right now, Gamble is an extra set of eyes. I would think his biggest contribution would be in helping the team find players that fit the 3-4. The Eagles decision makers and scouts have been finding 4-3 talent for years. Tom Donahoe knows the 3-4, but he’s a part-time adviser. That’s different than having someone in the building that can talk to scouts on a daily basis.
Gamble can also act as a cross-check scout. Teams never give one person too much power in regard to a player’s grade. The player is checked out by multiple scouts. One of them is the primary scout for that region. The other guy is a cross-check scout. If they come to the same basic conclusion, that’s where things end. If they disagree, another scout or FO member will watch tape and write a report. You always want some kind of consensus on a player.
Gamble offers a set of eyes from totally outside the organization. He’s not going to have any biases when he watches a player or reads a scout’s reports. Gamble is going to let you know what he sees and thinks. You would want him to focus on players where the team may have strong feelings for/against players that have a different reputation around the league.
What you’d look for are players that you might like too much or might have dismissed too easily. Let’s say the Eagles have Oregon LB Dion Jordan ranked as the #3 player in the entire draft. Gamble can mention that SF had him 13th, 23rd, or 33rd. If there is a serious discrepancy, let’s review things and figure out where he should be. Maybe he stays at #3. It is worth talking about.
Maybe the Eagles have Oregon ILB Kiko Alonso rated as a 4th rounder. Gamble could mention that SF had him as a 2nd rounder. Let’s go back and review things and make sure that we are really comfortable with the grade we have on him.
Not all scouts see the same things. Not all scouts think alike. Not all organizations agree on players. The more smart guys you have on your staff helping you to evaluate, the better off you should be. You do need a strong leader who can sort through different opinions and come up with a consensus evaluation of a player.
Tom Gamble is smart and experienced. He is a guy you want helping you to evaluate players and set up the draft board. I’m sure he also had a hand in the free agency moves.
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Sheil came to 3 primary conclusions and I agree with them.
1 – Versatility is important to Kelly
2 – He values size on defense
3 – Kelly doesn’t like labels
The one key thing not addressed is Chip’s thoughts on competition. However, we really can’t talk too much about that now because we have yet to see what he does in the NFL. Having players battle for jobs in college is fine. They aren’t being paid. There is no salary cap. And there is no GM or owner to answer to.
It is going to be interesting to see what happens the first time a scrub outplays a big name guy. Will Chip truly bench the star/veteran? That sounds good in theory, but it can be trickier in practical application.
I’m very much looking forward to see how Chip does handle situations. It will tell us a lot about him and the future of the team.
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Victor Butler left Philly without a deal. He and the Eagles kept the lines of communication open, but nothing is happening as of now.
Butler has now visited 4 teams. That means he’s gotten 4 physicals. This led Jimmy Bama to question whether Butler just likes having doctors touch and probe him. That would be the NFL free agent version of Muchausen’s syndrome.
Seems to me that Butler is really hoping to go somewhere he’ll have a legit shot to start and make good money. For whatever reason, that’s just not happening right now.
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* Have the Eagles shown interest in TE Nick Kasa? Yes. They are looking at basically every athletic pass catcher in this TE class. Kasa is a project, but has good size and athletic ability. He would be more of a mid-to-late round type.
* What about Safety Rontez Miles? The Eagles were at his Pro Day. I don’t know that they’ve shown special interest in Miles, but he is on their radar. He would be a late round target.
* Could this be more of an offensive draft than we thought? Possible. The Eagles need an OT. They’ve shown a lot of interest in TEs. They’ve shown a lot of interest in QBs. They’ve checked out WRs and RBs. Part of this is simply due diligence, but I think the FA moves have given them the freedom to take the best player available. And that could mean adding offensive players.
* What about trading back and adding picks for next year? If we could move back in the Top 10 or even Top 15 and add ammo for the 2014 draft, that would be tough to pass up. As we know, the top of this class isn’t great. The overall class is deep and talented, but picking at 4 vs 14 just isn’t that different.
While adding picks this year is very enticing, there is logic to adding them next year, when there should be several good QBs to choose from. I don’t think any team will give you a 1st rounder, but if you could add a 2nd and 3rd or something like that, it would give you ammo to potentially move up in 2014. That would be appealing.
The key is that we need to stay in the 1st round this year. We need to add a talented player to the mix. We’re not so set we could trade out altogether.
* How does Ziggy compare to JPP in terms of raw ability, potential, and polish entering the draft? JPP was a football player. That’s what he did in high school, junior college, and then at USF. He had 24.5 sacks in 2 years at JC. He had 6.5 sacks in his lone season for USF. This was a guy who had size, athletic ability, and a football background. He was raw in the sense that he only played one season of big time football, but there was no denying his ability. One of the reasons he slid as far as he did is that a few teams had character concerns with him. Nothing criminal, but commitment to the game vs partying too much and not working hard enough. Obviously he’s responded brilliantly to Tom Coughlin and the Giants style of doing things.
Ziggy Ansah is from Ghana. He grew up playing soccer and running track. He went to BYU to be on the track team. He joined the football program in 2010 and just became a starter this year. He is very raw. Ansah is thicker than JPP. Ansah is more physical. He’s not as natural of a pass rusher. Ansah is a better run defender. There are no character concerns with Ziggy. In a normal year, he’s a 10 to 20 guy. This year, he could go anywhere. Ansah has a lot of football left to learn. He’s not a blank slate, but he’s pretty close. That’s not the worst thing in the world for a DL. This isn’t like QB or CB or S where you need a ton of experience to know how to read formations and plays. With DL…”see ball, get ball” is the key in most situations.