Day 1 of rookie camp is in the books and my sources tell me all the rookies looked great and should be first ballot Hall of Famers. That’s great news, of course. I worried that David King might not make it until his third or fourth try.
So what do we really know? Not much. PE.com has up a slew of videos. 2 of them show the players in action, although that is probably a generous description. Clearly Chip Kelly only let limited footage out. You can’t really see much, beyond Bennie Logan dominating a trash can.
As I mentioned earlier, the first 3 days aren’t a period for evaluation. This is an introduction. Rookies get there first taste of NFL practice. The one thing almost all of them said was that things moved even faster than they expected. Part of that is life in the NFL, part is life with Chip Kelly. NFL practices are up tempo. Kelly’s are really up tempo.
The real test for the rookies is going to be Monday, when they get to practice with the whole team.
No word on any of the tryout guys. Chris Gocong was on the field for the first time since last summer. We didn’t get to see him in action and I’ve not heard anything. Gocong is worth discussing again. The Eagles drafted him in 2006. Gocong played DE at Cal-Poly and the Eagles were going to make him a SAM. Gocong had the frame to set the edge. He had a great motor and would chase plays all over the field. He was a good pass rusher in college, but that was based on speed/effort more than skill. The one thing he needed to do was develop cover skills.
Gocong started for 2 years and was an ascending player heading into 2009. That’s when things got weird. He started the season pretty well. He then got hurt and missed a game. Moise Fokou took his spot. The next week Gocong came back and Sean McDermott tried him at MLB. That was just an odd move and major failure. Gocong went back to SAM and then got benched late in the year when McDermott decided he wanted a 230-pound player that could move and cover better. Oops. The defense shut down SF with Fokou, but the last 3 games of the year weren’t so good. Teams averaged 28 points per game in those contests. The D had played better with Gocong.
Gocong played ILB, WLB, and SAM in his 2 years with the Browns. He was more of a playmaker for them. He would be most natural at SAM with the Eagles. Gocong has never had the chance to play OLB in the 3-4, which would seem to be his best fit. I hope he’s able to impress the coaches and get a full roster spot. That wouldn’t mean he was on the final team, but would give him a chance to prove himself this summer and in the preseason.
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Jordan Poyer didn’t run well at the Combine. Due to that, some think he might be more of a nickel back than an outside corner. I think the Eagles drafted him with the intention of playing him outside. If he is overwhelmed there, they can move him to the slot and let him compete with Brandon Boykin. Or Poyer could move to FS.
I’ve written a couple of times about how Bill Davis used big DBs in Arizona. He turned Matt Ware into a good role player. Davis was creative with Antrel Rolle and found a good role for him. Poyer isn’t as big as him, but Davis will find a way to use a player he likes. This very much fits into Chip Kelly’s disdain for generic labels. If Poyer can play, the Eagles will find a way to get him on the field.
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Off topic, but a bit interesting. Darnell Dockett recently said that if Ray Horton had stayed in Arizona, Dockett would have requested a trade. He felt that Horton asked him to play too conservative a role and that took away his ability to make plays. Ray Horton is a good coach, but I have felt the hype with him is a bit much. In 2011, Arizona was 18th in Yds, 17th in Pts. In 2012, they were 12th in Yds, 17th in Pts. Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, but Horton is a guy that has been labeled as a defensive guru when that is very much up for debate.
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Someone asked if there would be any problem with Vinny Curry playing LB while wearing #75. Not that I know of. The NFL is picky with numbers, but the Eagles could get around that if they simply listed Curry on the roster as a DE/LB.
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Baloophi asked this in the previous comments section:
“If Kenny Tate performs well and earns a spot, will his supporters refer to themselves as taters?”
The answer is YES!!!
For those who don’t know, the primary section on the Eagles Message Board is called TATE (Talk about the Eagles). The people who post there a lot are called TATErs, and it has a negative connotation. I always considered myself a TATEr and I’ll stick up for my many brothers and sisters.
The real controversy is Tate. He is known as Kenny, but prefers to be called Kenneth. Why on earth would anyone choose Kenneth over Kenny? All I can say is this…what’s the frequency?
(how’s that for an obscure reference?)