Need to be Special

Posted: June 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 46 Comments »

How many of you remember the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live? Her catch phrase was simple…”Well isn’t that special?”.

Church Lady would not have said that about the Eagles Special Teams last year. They were closer to awful than special. I wrote about new STs coach Dave Fipp and what he needs to do this year to get the unit back on track.  Maybe the most fundamental thing is just getting guys to play hard on a consistent basis.

Too often, I would see Eagles blockers being shoved backward on returns when I would go back and study the tape. I would then watch a punt or kickoff and see players getting blocked. This is simply unacceptable. You can’t demand that your kickers be perfect or returners be fast, but you can sure as heck expect the blocking/coverage units to be tough and physical. That is the foundation of all special teams.

The Eagles were soft on offense, defense and STs last year. I don’t think Chip Kelly will allow that to happen this year.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama wrote a terrific post the other day and I forgot to link to it.  He covered the Dan Graziano / Chip Kelly / first NFC East coach to go story better than I did. Jimmy also cracked me up with his comments on the release of Brandon Banks. Classic Kempski.

* * * * *

Speaking of Jimmy, he shared this nugget on Twitter:

Hopefully Jimmy will put together a story and talk about the background of this. Who were those players? How good were their teams? How did those players do in the future?

RG3 and Russell Wilson were major anomalies. I think we’ll see that when the rookie QBs of 2014 hit the field and no one lights it up.

* * * * *

Speaking of rookie QBs, Matt Barkley did sign his contract today. He then had a good back and forth with Adam Schefter on Twitter.

Apparently Matt isn’t so keen on hearing about what he lost by staying for his Senior year.  If you want to see those numbers, I covered that here.


  • Alex Karklins

    The Church Lady’s catch phrase was always used judgmentally and with extreme sarcasm. So I can definitely see her using it with regard to the Eagles special teams. May have said it myself a few times . . .

    • TommyLawlor

      Well played.

    • P_P_K

      Why were the Eagles st so bad last year?
      Could it be… Satan?

  • GEagle

    Vick rookie year:
    8 games
    113 attempts-50 completed (Sacked 21 times)
    44.2Completion %
    785 yards (289 rushing yards)
    6.9 yards per completion
    98.1 yards per game
    2 TD passes, 1 TD run
    3 INT, 1 Fum
    62.7 average QB rating
    Foles rookie year:
    7 games
    265 attempts-161 Completed (sacked 20 times)
    60.8 Completion %
    1,699 yards (42 yards rushing)
    6.4 yards per completion
    242.7 yards per game
    6 TD passes, 1 TD run
    5 INT, 3 Fum
    79.1 average QBR….

    • illadelphia21

      I can’t tell whether this is an indictment on Vick or Foles???

      • MediaMike

        Considering 79.1 is a 26% improvement over 62.7, it further underlines Vick’s inability to do anything besides scramble, throw pretty spirals on long bombs, and get hurt.

        • sonofdman

          I do not love Vick, but using stats from Vick’s rookie year in 2001 to support a conclusion regarding “Vick’s inability to do anything besides scramble, throw pretty spirals on long bombs, and get hurt” is ridiculous.

          • MediaMike

            Well, given the non-stop turnovers, injuries, and losing out of Vick in 2011 and 2012; it can be as ridiculous as you’d like. Outside of a stretch of games that the Vikings slammed shut in 2010, Vick’s been a middling sort of QB.

            Career QB rating of 80, 56% completion, 123 TDs, combined 169 INTs and Fumbles.
            Vick is not a good QB and represents a dead end. The stats over his whole career indicate as much.

        • illadelphia21

          You Foles lovers/Vick haters are hilarious. Rookie yr stats…smh. I don’t even want to get into the ridiculousness of this, which was my point when replying to GEagle, especially w/ you after your McDougal comments. Would just be a waste of time. Perhaps you should read some of Tommy’s previous post about the Vick v Foles topic. You might actually learn some things.

          • MediaMike

            Well, without your need to get personal, care to refute Vick’s career numbers being an indicator of his mediocrity? Again:
            80 career rating
            56% completion percentage
            123 TDs vs. 169 INTs/fumbles

          • illadelphia21

            No not really. Look man I don’t care if you support Foles over Vick, that’s your choice. However the way you Foles lovers/Vick haters go about it is ridiculous. ‘If you wanna show support for Foles you have to bash Vick 1st’.
            Wait a min…I have to apologize to you. I called you a Foles lover, and for that I’m sorry. I truly can’t tell if you are of aren’t cause you just started bashing on Vick w/o even mentioning Foles once. That’s the part that I have grown tired of.
            Personally I actually agree that Vick is not the future of this Franchise. I also don’t think Foles is either and in my opinion they are both mediocre w/ flashes of brilliance here and there.

          • MediaMike

            I think Foles and Barkley need to get the full year to determine if they’re worth having as a starter for 2014 and beyond or if we have to go back into the draft for a better player. I can’t honestly tell you if Foles or Barkley will ever be that good, but I know Vick will never be. Part of a new coach is finding out if new guys can get it done. Vick doesn’t represent that to me. Vick doesn’t represent another 11 year playoff fest like we had from 2000-10. Part of what I loved about Reid was the fact that we got McNabb in here, worked him in slowly, and won a ton of games in his decade as our starter.

            And I’ll fully admit to not being a fan of Vick, or anybody else who is a run first QB, for a long time.

          • Dan

            illadelphia21 I don’t understand what you are crying about, all ggeagle did was list stats of Vick’s rookie year vs Foles, which applies to what was written in the original blog post because Tommy talked about JimmyK’s post on how Foles QBR was higher than all but 1 of the last 10 #1 drafted QBs their rookie year. Even more so its relevant because you, as a Vick lover clearly, would admit that Vick obviously improved from his rookie year as you would guess most rookies would which then is also relevant to Foles. And to say that “Foles lovers” are ridiculous by using statistics to try and prove points is what is truly ridiculous, what do you want them to judge him by his hair cut, his dress style, what he drives or what? Can’t believe you are arguing about statistics. Instead of getting all worked up, state your point but to go on the defensive and try to call people out directly like you did is doing exactly what you write in your comment, that Foles lovers have to bash Vick, well you are bashing people on their opinions, instead of just saying your point.

          • GEagle

            I literally didn’t write a word implying anything…just another nvmd. Leave it alone

          • illadelphia21

            Vick lover…2nd reply to MediaMike, “Personally I actually agree that Vick is not the future of this Franchise. I also don’t think Foles is either and in my opinion they are both mediocre w/ flashes of brilliance here and there.”

            Foles lovers are ridiculous…never said that. 1st reply to MediaMike, “You Foles lovers/Vick haters are hilarious.” Later clarified in the 2nd reply to MediaMike, “Look man I don’t care if you support Foles over Vick, that’s your choice. However the way you Foles lovers/Vick haters go about it is ridiculous. ‘If you wanna show support for Foles you have to bash Vick 1st’.” Key phrase that you conveniently left out…Vick Haters.

            Just saying my point…thought I was doing that w/ GEagle and did not in anyway mean to be rude to him. Was simply trying say that both of their rookie year stats have good and bad numbers, and in this case does not tell the whole story on either vick or foles and doesnt make sense to me. if he would have replied and explained so i could be clear then i would habe happily read and learned something. So in around about way I was trying to see what his point of posting their rookie yr stats were. Never did I once argue about stats as you say I did, didn’t get a chance to and don’t know if I would have if I had a better understanding of where he was coming from. Yet in my comments w/ MM. I did make the mistake of including G’s name in under the ridiculousness category. Wasn’t trying to attack him. I’ve supported him in past post when everyone just down votes in on many a message boards. So it was nothing personal.

            Bashing people for their opinion…already highlighted earlier but to clarify it was more so aimed at MM’s comment on vick’s abilities/inabilities.

            The ridiculous comment is not aimed at the stats for which ‘Foles supporters talk about but directly aimed at the Vick bashing in which Foles lovers/Vick haters do whenever they want to show their support for Nick.

            If there’s anything else you want to know or that I haven’t clarified, feel free to respond.

          • GEagle

            Funny, that without even typing any oppinion on the matter, Vicks stats are taken as an automatic indictement..You say Rookie stats dont matter? Ok, lets take a look at the rest…
            10 games
            58.1 completion percentage
            12 TD passing, 1 TD rushing(Tied with “cinderblock” feet foles lol)
            10 Ints, 7 fumbles.
            sacked 28 times
            QBR 78.1

            13 games
            59.8 completion percentage
            18 TD Passing, 1 rushing TD hahahah
            14 INTs, 7 Fumbles
            Sacked 23 times
            QBR 84.9
            So basically in the past 23 games that Vick has played:
            1)He has 2 rushing TD’s lol, 1 more then Nick Foles had in 7 games.
            2)He accumilated a combined 912 yards rushing(39 yards per game), while fumbling 14 times(yes some happen in the pocket)
            3) threw for 30 TDs and 24 Ints
            4) 38 turnovers in 23 games
            5)Average QBR of 80
            6)Average completion percentage of 58.95
            So for the Vick fans who think Foles is hopeless trash, what does it say about Vick who had a decade of experience on his side, and played with a team who wasnt as bad in ruins as it was when Foles took over? Just curious lol

            If you take 2010 out of the equation, and 2009 when he only attempted 13 passes. you are left with
            2012: 58.1 Completion%… 78.1 QBR
            2011: 59.8 Comp %.. 84.9 QBR
            2006: 52.6 comp%…75.7 QBR
            2005: 55.3 comp%…73.1 QBR
            2004: 56.4 comp %…78.1 QBR
            2003: 50 comp %…69.0 QBR
            2002: 54.9 comp%…81.6 QBR
            2001: 44.2 comp%…62.7
            Average excluding 2010/09:
            Completion% 53.9
            QBR 75.4

            Vicks Fairy tale 2010 season “The Anomoly”:
            62.6 Completion %
            Foles rookie season:
            60.8 Completion %
            For Vicks entire career(minus 2009 when he was a wildcat QB): Average number of games played per season is 12.
            Averaged 11.5 games played the past 2 years..
            Hasnt played 16 games since 2006
            This is not an oppinion. These are facts. I did not make this up lol. Take it how you want it..dont shoot the messenger

          • GEagle

            Oh and btw, Vick had been seeing this offense since 2009. Foles had seen this offense for 6 months before he had to perform in it. And as a backup under Andy Ried, he probably hadnt gotten many reps since training camp..So If last summer Vick used the “This is my first full offseason as the starter in this offense” excuse, then it should be factored into his discussion since he opened himself up to this line of questioning(Law n Order baby)

          • GEagle

            Before you rudely attacked me for no damn reason…I didn’t imply a damn thing…I posted Stats!!! if Tom can post that Foles had a better rookie season then 9 of the past 1st round picks, I simply wanted to see how it compared to Vicks rookie year who was also a first round pick…I didn’t make any statement, I posted FACTS and let you guys interpret on your own…have a great day insignificant rude troll…flame on!!!

          • illadelphia21

            How did I rudely attack you w/ a simple statement? Now me and MediaMike’s convo, I could see how I could have been viewed as rude.

          • GEagle

            Poof be gone!

          • illadelphia21


  • yeah we def need better STs

    • GEagle

      Keep drafting athletes like Boykin and Wolff and our special teams will be back where we need it to be in No time…I want to see Momah trying to block kicks, coming off the edge. I cant recall ever seeing a guy so tall trying to come off the edge to block kicks(usually dude his height come up the middle to block kicks)..The only thing, is I dont know how fast momah’s initial Burst is. He might need a couple steps to get going which would make him probably not effective

      • MediaMike

        I’m looing forward to seeing Wolff leave a pile of twisted bodies all over the field on special teams and D. I’ll start a fundraising drive for him if he stretcher shots Cruz and then salsa dances over him!

  • jshort

    I Have not been thinking about contracts. How are these guys practicing if they haven’t signed? What if they got injured? Did I miss something?

    • goeagles55

      They don’t need to be under contract for OTAs or minicamps.

      The NFLPA and the NFL usually negotiate a standardized injury protection agreement for unsigned rookies. Individual players(their agents) can negotiate for additional protections. Even though there are unsigned rookies, they all should have signed some kind of contract for OTAs and minicamp.

      • jshort

        Thank you

  • Mitchell

    Lol @ Barkley. Way to stick it back to Adam. I feel like Barkley is gonna have a real Chip on his shoulder. Pun intended

  • TommyLawlor
    • xlGmanlx

      Great piece, pulling for him. That is the kind of work ethic the igg’s need to reward.

    • MediaMike

      Nice! We could use another hungry football player. Hopefully he’s able to be stashed on the practice squad or we keep him as the 4th tackle / 10th o-lineman.

  • xlGmanlx

    Love the fire in Barkley. Kid apparently has his head on right and tight.

    • MediaMike

      Seeing how much he learns from mini-camp / OTAs until his first live action in pre-season is going to be fun.

  • A_T_G

    Is there any concern we are getting Flipp just as he is starting to slip? He had three times as many teams ahead of his unit last year as he did the year before.


  • MediaMike

    For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why the special teams wound up being so bad here over the last two years? We had Bobby April, the best special teams coach in football, but the guys simply wouldn’t make plays. I’d understand if we had a horrible coach like Danny Smith, who did a horrible job coaching special teams when he was here. I’ve never really seen a good explanation of where to assign the blame for our special teams units being that bad over the past few years.

    • atb124

      *Lack of talent on the back end of the roster to man the special teams.
      *Lack of freedom for April to use the players he wanted.
      *Lack of accountability in the locker room leading to undisciplined play in all facets of the game.

      • MediaMike

        I’m more inclined to view it as #1 mostly, #2 when it came to final cuts, and #3 being a problem for the entire team special teams included.
        I like the list!

      • A_T_G

        Seem like pretty solid theories. There were a lot of guys at the back of the roster who were Reid guys with potential instead of production. Too many Mathews and not enough Andersons.

  • MediaMike

    So if I get my ideal 53 man roster, what guys on here would be the core special teamers?

    QB(3): Foles, Barkley, Dixon
    RB (4): McCoy, Brown, Polk, Jones
    WR (6): JACKSON, Maclin, Benn, Johnson, Cooper, Momeh
    TE(4): Celek, Ertz, Casey, Harbor
    OL (9): Peters, Johnson, Kelly, Purcell, Mathis, Herremans, Watkins, Menkin, Kelce, Reynolds
    K/P/LS (3): Henery, Jones, Dorenbros
    DL(7): Cox, Dixon, Logan, Sopoaga, Thorton, Curry, Geathers
    LB (7): Cole, Graham, Barwin, Kendricks, Ryans, Kruger, Phillips
    CB (5): Fletcher, Williams, Boykin, Poyer, Marsh
    S (5): Chung, Allen, Wolff, Phillips, Anderson

    I might be one heavy at WR and DL and two light at LB, but I’m curious to see how the final 53 becomes a full roster and who the special teamers will be.

    • GvilleEagleFan

      Well, first of all you have ten OL listed. Second, I think that although he’s small right now for the position, people are projecting Kruger as a 5 tech DE in our defense, which would put us incredibly thin at ILB IMO. I’d put a priority on getting Knott a roster spot instead of Kruger if you think Joe will hit the PS. With the size we have at WR (!) I’d almost like to see Harbor miss the roster and give both Knott and Kruger roster spots.

      I notice you’ve cut Chaney and Matthews. I don’t know if I disagree, but just noteworthy in our overturn of the defense that so many of Andy’s roleplayers are having a hard time sticking.

      • GEagle

        I think Chaney and maybe Mathews have a chance at sticking around one more season..but I don’t see why they would re-sign Chaney next year, and if Chip wasn’t here, Mathews would have probably already been sent packing.. I really wonder what Chip would have done if Kiko Alonso was on the board in round 3..I think that kid can be a monster NFL player, but I also happen to think Kendrick’s and Demeco can be one of the best interior duo’s in the nfl. How Graham and Cole perform is a huge question mark. however, If Graham plays better then he did last year with double the snaps..this LB corp can be viscious. I literally have no concerns over Kendrick’s, Meco, or Barwin..The OLb opposite of Barwin is the X factor. if Graham improves off of a strong showing last season we can put some serious heat on opposing Qbs on 3rd down..Big Cox up front. getting 5.5 sacks from a rookie DT in a dysfunctional environment is very exciting….and fans haven’t even seen what good blitzes M and M(Mykal and Meco) can be, and you can bet Billy Davis is going to unleash them this season!

        It also works really well with our Big Physical corners. they aren’t probowlers, but they are good at jamming recievers at the line, slowing them down from getting into their routes. combine that with a strong pass rush, and you can be a strong defense on 3rd down that will cover up some of our holes

    • wcrill

      Kruger is a 5-tech DE, no? That would make you even lighter at LB. I’m a fan of this 53-man though.

    • James

      I like this roster mostly because it highlights potentially more so than anything else.

      • GEagle

        which IMO, is how it should be year 1 of a new era, coming off a 4-12 season.

    • GEagle

      I’m not ready to give up on Damaris just yet. I certainly wouldn’t cut him. that could should ATleast fetch you a 7th round pick..I would switch Damaris with Cooper. cooper was able to last this long due to “potential” and being the only Gargamel in a receiving corp full of smurfs. hat is no longer the case if we keep Benn and Momah, and even if we don’t, our TE’s will line up as WR anyway, which means we no longer have to wait around for Riley’s “potential” because we have plenty of players that provide what he does

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