Saturday Wrap

Posted: July 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 56 Comments »

The big news of the day is Jeremy Maclin’s torn ACL. I already covered that here. I do have a couple of follow-up thoughts.

I agree with this point.

Losing Maclin definitely hurts, but Chip Kelly’s offense wasn’t going to be built around the WRs. I think the Eagles are smart to look in-house to and hope that a young player steps up.  This isn’t like randomly hoping either. There are good candidates.

Riley Cooper – Outstanding blocker. Inconsistent pass catcher over the last couple of years, but I’ve always thought that was affected by how he was used. Cooper would have 3 passes come his way in a game and then go a couple of games with no looks. Receivers need to be used consistently so that they develop. Cooper can make highlight catches. He has solid speed. Limited RAC ability, but runs hard and won’t go down on initial contact.

Arrelious Benn – Can he stay healthy? Not so far. Benn already has a minor knee injury. Big time skills, but for whatever reason has not panned out as expected. Has the size and physical style of game that Kelly loves. Also does have good RAC skills.

Damaris Johnson – I really do think he’s a key player this year. Johnson is ideal for Kelly. He can catch bubble screens and then make something happen. Excellent RAC ability. Has limited speed, but is very quick. Showed good potential last year. Needed to refine his game since he was going from the spread to the WCO. Now he’s in a combination spread/WCO. That should bring out the best in him.

Ifenanyi Momah / Russell Shepard – Do not put big expectations on these guys. If one of them turns out to be a great find, so be it. Just isn’t likely. Both guys are talented projects. Maclin’s injury does improve their chances of making the roster.

BJ Cunningham – I was a huge fan of his at Michigan State. Spent last year on the practice squad. Has the size, physicality and RAC skills to play for Kelly. He’s banged up right now, but has some potential.

If none of these players stands out, the team can make a move in late August. There will be some veterans available. For now, let’s see what these guys can do. Huge chance for them.

* * * * *

The Eagles did sign WR David Ball. He is 29-years old and played for Kelly at New Hampshire. This move was done before Mac got hurt so don’t think of them as connected.

Ball has bounced around the NFL and other leagues. Why sign a guy like that? He knows Chip Kelly. Ball can step in right away and fit in. He won’t know the playbook exactly, but will have an idea of what Kelly wants to do. Ball also will come in with a sense of desperation and will go all-out on every rep. There is value in that.

For now, think of Ball as a good practice player.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama posted his practice notes.  Here’s some info on WRs and QBs.

• One of Maclin’s potential replacements, Riley Cooper, had a good day today. He went up high for two long passes down the sideline. One of them was from Dennis Dixon. After the play, Dixon put both of his hands in the air, pointing at Cooper, and left them there for about 20 seconds until Cooper saw him acknowledging the nice catch.

• Highly thrown passes down the sideline seem to be a theme so far through two days here. Many of them have looked like designed back shoulder throws. Back shoulder throws are very difficult to master, but when teams get good at executing them, they are extremely difficult for a CB to stop. Plus, high passes down the sideline are relatively risk/reward friendly, particularly with bigger targets such as the 6’3 Cooper, and 6’7 Ifeanyi Momah.

• Nick Foles threw two gorgeous deep balls today to DeSean Jackson and Greg Salas. Perfect placement, roughly 50 yards down the field on both. Strong day for Foles.

Good stuff, as always.

* * * * *

Geoff Mosher posted some practice notes of his own. Mosher focused on the secondary and the fact that the coaches mixed things up.

One player who seemed to benefit the most was safety David Sims, who lined up alongside safety Kenny Phillips against the first offense. Phillips and Kurt Coleman had been second-team safeties on Friday. This time, Coleman instead ran with the third team alongside Colt Anderson.

“It’s cool,” Sims said. “They’ve got to evaluate all of us. I felt comfortable. I felt real good with the ones, I’m not gonna lie.

“I’m just trying to make my impact, be a leader, be vocal and make sure everyone is on the same page. I think a lot of guys with the front seven [had] seen that I was talking and communicating. That really does lift your confidence.”

It is interesting that Sims is ahead of Kurt Coleman. Sims has just one NFL start. Coleman has started for parts of his 3 years in the league. Before you rip me for praising Coleman…the point is that Sims hasn’t even been good enough to crack the starting lineup.

Sims did spend some time in Cleveland with Bill Davis. They didn’t work together. Davis only coached the LBs. But Davis may have been impressed by what he saw of Sims in practice and the preseason games.

The Eagles are mixing in different groups of DBs. It seems like they are both evaluating players and encouraging competition. That’s fine with me. There are no players so good that you have complete faith in them. I have high hopes for Patrick Chung, but I’m also willing to acknowledge that he’s got some warts.

I hope Sims and the other players embrace the situation and try to steal a job.

As for Kenny Phillips, so far, so good. Someone brought up a great point. Shaun Huls, the sports science coordinator, might be able to help Phillips stay healthy with some new idea or cutting edge technology. Phillips can be a good starter. Just needs to stay healthy.

* * * * *

For anyone who is new to Iggles Blitz…feel free to ask questions if I say something that seems strange to you. Could be an odd joke that you’re not aware of. Or I might just have an oddball opinion. I’ll be glad to explain my rationale. At that point you can decide if I’m an idiot or there actually is some hint of logic to what I’m saying.

Sometimes both.

_


  • Duracell

    Tommy,

    After last thread, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate all you do. I don’t post that often, but is the first site I go to for my Eagles fix every day. You are the media voice I trust most about the Eagles, and have been since the EMB.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thank you, sir.

      • GvilleEagleFan

        Good Guy Tommy: Guy comes in and misinterprets a single comment then gets a little nasty; Tommy apologizes then addresses him anonymously at the end of a post. Your consideration has always been one of many factors setting you apart from the general media

        • GEagle

          Sooo true. Trust me, I bumped heads with practically everyone. I can tell you first hand, that there seriously has to be something wrong with you to get into it with Tom. fair man, No Ego, great dude!!!!

          • GvilleEagleFan

            Not to call you out, but I do remember seeing you posting on a few other Birds blogs and thinking that it was odd to see you over here. I was really pleased to see you change the tone of your posts and join the discussion. Tommy’s really made a special place here for us Iggles fans, especially those of us without locals to chat up about the team.

  • SteveH

    Funny quote from Mosher’s article:

    “I’m going to try to slide … someday I’ll get it.”
    –Mike Vick

    • BlindChow

      I can’t believe Kelly hasn’t developed a sliding drill. He’s thought of everything else…

      • GEagle

        yes, I addressed this on PhillyMag..
        ..
        let’s be honest, these past two years Bidks legs have been more of a curse then a gift. he provided as much run game, and rushing touchdown as Foles lol, yet really hurt this team too many times with his legs….Vick is the only mobile guy in this competition…But if Chip allows Vick to hide behind his practice Jersey, he will be doing a big disservice to both Vick and the Eagles. if Vick’s speed is going to be talked about as a weapon, then Vick needs to train for it to be a weapon and not the detriment that it has been…

        What needs to happen to get thru to Vick, is change the parameters for how Vick is judged in practice, What I mean by this, is Chip can’t just allow Vick to take off without a care in the world because he is wearing a red Jersey. obviously he can’t let our defenders hit Vick, but what needs to happen is Chip needs to tell Vick. That if he is going to use his legs when he is wearing a red Jersey, then he will be judged on how the play ends. If a Defender tags Vick before Vick gets down, or out of bounds, the play should be ruled a failure, no matter how many yards he picked up. I’m watching Chip simulate a real game all over the place, fly swatters, drills simulating WRs catching balls in traffic, well Vick needs to train like its a game..

        Chip is in a very rare position where he has Vicks future by the balls. no coach has ever been in a better position to get thru to Vick and get him to change. So Coach needs to take advantage, make Vick understand that…”I can’t protect myself and the ball because I’m just such a competitor that I can’t stop myself from fighting for that extra yard” will NO longer be tolerated…and that Vick needs to prove that it will be different by showing it during the QB battle…If he is going to use those legs and god given ability in this QB battle, take off and pick up 30yards, then he needs to train his mind to break the bad habits, and learn to live to play another down, and that training needs to start Now…After all the fumbles and injuries that his refusal to slide put us through, this has to change if he is ging to be allowed to take the field…Is it really too much to ask your leader to be smart and give up on a play one moment earlier? I’m not asking him to consistently hit a WR in stride, 30yards down field splitting defenders by threading a seem route, I’m asking him to fall on his butt, instead of Diving head first..

        Sliding or ATleast falling on your butt is something that every single one of us, typing behind a computer screen are capable of doing. heck, the great Ty Law, comatosed from a PBR,Funyun and pudding binge could fall on his butt. This should not be too much to ask of the starting QB of the Philadelphia Eagles…and since Vick has talked a good game before, yet continued the same costly mistakes over and over, his word is no longer good enough when it comes to protecting himself…
        ..
        taking off, wearing a red jersey without a care in the world is Not Football, so if he is going to use his legs as an advantage in the QB battle, then he should have to train the right way, and get down before one of our defenders can tag him..I prefer cutting the cord and starting Foles..but If Vick is going to start then the same ol ridiculous crap can not be tolerated. if Vick doesn’t show that he is in control of his body, and is capable of getting down before one of OUR defenders gets to him, then he can Not be allowed to take the field over kids that actually have a chance at correcting their mistakes…If Chip allows the same crap tat Andy allowed, then he might not be who I thought. Every coach has gushed over his ability, I expect Chip to be smarter. If he is going to start Vick over Foles, I will trust his decision and root my ass off for Mike Vick and the Eagles. However, I’m going to expect a much smarter and more under control Mike Vick, if we don’t see that, then IMO it should seriously reflect poorly on Chip Kelly

  • awful waffle

    I think someone will step up, but in the scenario they don’t, it’s a really weak WR FA class. Anyone stand out? Lloyd scares me because the one guy he’s been successful under (Josh McDaniels) said “no thanks” despite NE’s lack of WR depth.

    • TommyLawlor

      Lloyd would not make sense at all. Over on Twitter, Eagles Nut pointed out that Donald Jones could make some sense. Good size. Played for Bob Bicknell last year with the Bills.

      • Media Mike

        I’m not trying to be argumentative, but how is Lloyd not a fit? He’d cost minimal money at this point and was good for 77, 70, and 74 catches over the past 3 seasons. He’s played 47 of 48 games. He is 6′ and 192. Maclin is 70, 63, and 69 catches over the past 3 seasons. He’s played in 44 of 48 games. He is 6′ and 200 lbs.
        I don’t see a downside on signing Lloyd.

        • Neil

          Wow, I had no idea he had that many catches for NE. All I’ve heard about him there is that he flopped in an offense that’s going to be very similar to ours.

          • Media Mike

            Yeah, I had to go directly to pro football reference to double check that I wasn’t totally talking out of my rear end about Lloyd. I wouldn’t give him $8 mil / year or anything like that, but I think he can be gotten for a decent deal at this point. I understand if they choose to go with youth for building a team for the future, but I have a hard time believing anybody on the roster currently would step into the number 2 role this year as a 70+ catch player.

          • GvilleEagleFan

            Not saying this is gospel, but I do remember some rumblings about Lloyd being let go by the Pats because he never truly grasped the option route concepts (meaning he didn’t see the same as Brady) and they had to limit that element of his part of the offense. They were looking to develop someone that could play the whole playbook, and his age combined with the money he was looking for led to them cutting him.

            Seems like he’d have a hard time being a fit. Sometimes measurables and stats don’t tell the whole story.

  • awful waffle

    Also, seems like two strong days for Foles. Really hope he wins the job. I’m watching the 2012 season on game pass and it’s tough to get excited about another year of Vick. I’m ready to cut the cord.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m just happy we’re hearing about good QB play for Vick and Foles.

      Sounds like Barkley is behind them, but that’s okay.

      • xlGmanlx

        personally, i’m tired of hearing about great QB play in camp and the preseason, I want to see it in the regular season consistently. I hoping Kelly and co can get those kinds of results.

        • TommyLawlor

          One step at a time. We can’t worry about September right now. We’re not even in August yet.

          Win the day!!!

          Don’t make me tell Chip on you or your smoothie will have rocks in it. Would that make it a “lumpy”?

          • xlGmanlx

            I know, and yet the QB “battle” is probably the most hyped/covered topic. I have always been a run/stop the run kind of guy, so Kelly is my kind of guy. I’m more concerned with the OL and the run game as an important key for the season. Kelly seems to belong to the run to setup the pass crowd. Here is to hoping that play action for the igg’s isn’t the absurd joke that it was more recently under reid. Did ANYONE bite against the igg’s?

          • GEagle

            Win The Day!! Gotta love the approach.

            Tom, do you or anyone know if any of our Philly reporters are keeping track of the QB battle in terms of a Win The Day Chart?

  • xlGmanlx

    I hope someone makes Coop expendable this season finally. I think he is close to his ceiling if not already there and Cooper’s past blocking contributions don’t really mean anything. If we are to take Kelly at his word, he will be no different for any other WR that expects to make this team. I don’t expect PNUT to take on Patrick Willis or anything, but there are other ways of blocking angles for defenders. I feel like DJAX and Maclin both play taller than Coop does, never been a fan.
    I also think Avant might benefit from this. With Mac here, I could have seen Kelly going 3 WR sets moving DJAX inside in the slot to free him up and put him in motion and going with length/speed on the outside.

    • Anders

      I suppose this is playing “small”

      http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000093161/Cooper-2-yard-TD-snag

      Also shows me Maclin or Jackson make a similar catch

      • xlGmanlx

        A one handed grab against a rookie who didn’t even jump? What was the final score?

        • Anders

          Does the final score matter?

          Cooper have shown he can make good tough catches, something you will never see Maclin do and no way Jackson would have been near that ball.

          • xlGmanlx

            Ha! Proven and coop don’t belong in the same sentence. Mac has better stats as a rook then coop does for his “career”. I guess you didn’t watch DJAX before he got shut down last year.
            Shall we trout out the same old tired excuse about his lack of any effort in the playoff’s to break up a int from 7? “he was a rookie, he didn’t know blah blah blah” the guy plays soft, and DJAX plays way bigger on game day. Stats say who you are and coop is a nobody.

    • deg0ey

      Oooookay, so within the space of about half an inch of my screen, you’ve said that you’re a ‘run/stop the run kind of guy’ and observed that ‘Kelly seems to belong to the run to setup the pass crowd’ and then gone on to dismiss Riley’s blocking ability as it ‘don’t really mean anything’.

      If the Eagles are going to be a run-first team this year (and all the evidence suggests that they will) then having receivers that can block and WILL block is going to be really important. I’ll be honest and say that I’ll be much more comfortable with Kelly running a bubble screen to D-Jax/Johnson knowing that they’ve got Cooper out there in front of them than Maclin. And if rolling with the 1s in camp can help him develop some more consistency in his pass-catching, then he could end up being the big red-zone target people are always yearning for.

      Losing Maclin is definitely not ideal, but like I said in the previous thread, he was always gonna be gone at the end of this year anyway. At least now we get a chance to look at what Coop, Benn and Johnson can offer and if they don’t work out we can go back to the well next summer. I for one am pretty excited to see what those three can do when given the chance.

      • xlGmanlx

        I believe you missed the point, being a “blocking WR” isn’t going to get coop a free ride anymore, everyone is expected to block. Once that levels the playing field, he is invisible. But I forgot the love affair with the 5 TD’s and 46 REC in 3 years. Coop ran with the 1’s during the regular season last year as well, didn’t produce. He plays small and soft

        • deg0ey

          No, I think you missed the point – just because everyone is expected to block doesn’t mean that they’re actually good at it. We know that Coop can block and we know that he is willing to do it if that’s what’s required.

          I agree that nobody’s going to get a free ride, but if Chip has to choose between a guy that will do the dirty work but has inconsistent hands and a guy that makes the catches but won’t/can’t block then I think the first guy might have the edge.

          • xlGmanlx

            How about the other things, you know that are expected of WR’s like catching the ball? Coop isn’t so good at that, but hey, he is what like 6’3, wears half eye black and blocks and plays ST, no way they could replace that.

          • deg0ey

            He’s never gonna be a weapon, but to suggest he can’t catch is just silly. Not really sure how much one can expect to see from a guy that has been #4 receiver with limited chances to show what he can do.

            We’ll see what happens, but with the Maclin injury he’s pretty much a lock to make the team (if he wasn’t already) and I think he’ll surprise you.

          • Anders

            Actually at least at Oregon, WRs wouldnt be on the field and have a chance to catch if they wouldnt block.

  • Neil

    Tommy Lawlor, notorious negadelphian.

    • Patrick

      That guy pissed me off to no end. I know I shouldn’t get mad at internet trolls, but I’m glad I decided not to comment, Tommy might have had to give me a timeout.
      Tommy: Negadelphian, unknowledgeable and not serious? … Im just gonna stop commenting, before Tommy has to release the dogs, but that was just plain stupid. I put this site up alongside with Greg Cosell when it comes to football end specifically Eagles knowledge.

      • Mitchell

        Did I miss something? What happened?

        • Neil

          Go to the post before this one, Maclin Hurt, I think. Pretty crazy comments on that one.

  • I Got Jokes, Calm Down

    Plus damaris was didnt play his last year in college, so he had some extra rust but still played well last season. momah is in the same position. Except momah wasnt anywhere near as good in college as damaris was, the kid set NCAA records!

    • GEagle

      This needs to be key in mind! Don’t let Bryce fool you…not every kid who sits out a year of football will come in and be Bryce brown right away…It could take those guys a Little longer to shake off the rust…I’m expecting big things from damaris

  • eagleyankfan

    No love for Greg Salas at wr? Re Coleman n Sims….considering how brutal the safety position was last year…stating that Coleman started doesnt mean he is a good player.

    • TommyLawlor

      Already acknowledged that Coleman starting doesn’t mean he’s good. Point is…Sims wasn’t even good enough to start.

      Salas…slot guy. Has potential, but isn’t likely to be much of a factor in terms of replacing Mac. I am curious to see him play. Very good at Hawaii in college.

      • eagleyankfan

        I didn’t mean it that way, I meant I don’t trust any Eagle coach from the last two years on how they evaluate players. I don’t know how bad(or good) Sims is. How much can we trust from the coaching staff from the last two years?
        About WR — from my 10,000 view, I though all WR’s had to know all the positions. That’s why I was wondering about Greg. Does Chips offense have a “slot” position? (I really don’t know, that’s why I’m asking)

  • eagleyankfan

    Maybe people should go read other pe.com writer where every artical is about how Every eagle player is a hall of fame player and how every coach is the greatest coach in the history of football…..

  • GEagle

    What do people make of Cutlers comments in that not everyone has bought into Trestman yet? Seems like we don’t have those sort of problems, which is a testament to both Chip, and the players on our team…..I’m really enjoying the attitude that our Eagles have taken since winning 4 games last year

    • Media Mike

      What I make of that comment, is that Jay Cutler is a clown. As much as I hate Michael Vick’s lack of top level QB skill, I’d take his attitude over Jay Cutler’s any day of the week. The Bears should smarten up, realize they’re buried behind Green Bay, and trade Cutler now. There will be a few teams stupid enough to pay Cutler the $17 or $18 million a year he’ll want, so why not get rid of him?

      • GEagle

        Yeah, but I can’t figure out if Cutler was talking about himself or was he referring to some of his teammates?..and it’s a testament to the Charecter in our locker room, the way they have handled our coaching change, and Cutlers comments make me not want to take that for granted.

  • Brandon Ramsay

    Not gonna lie…. Had dreams of watching highlights of two deep bombs to Momah from Foles last night… Coincidence? I think not ! I know Momah has a long shot to make this team. But as bad as it sounds i just realized the excitement i have for the oppirtunity for these fringe players to make the team. Dont get me wrong , i love Maclin got his authentic jersey hanging in the mancave.

  • planetx1971

    I cannot BELIVE David Ball is still “bouncing” around & is practicing with our birds :) makes me smile. I know this kid. He was one of my cousins best friends, played with him at Spaulding H.S. & graduated with him. Related nice kid. I know this is no big deal but for a little town like Barre VT., it’s a BIG deal! I also made 4 pilgrimages down to U.N.H. to watch he & Ricky Santos shatter all kinds of records. Pretty cool. Atleast to me….lol

    • Dominik

      I feel you. Doesn’t like the signing at all, but if he would be a player from my school and if I would have graduated with him, I would cheer very intensely for him, too. :)

      • GEagle

        I’m pissed that we didn’t bring OLB Obrien Scofield into camp for a look, especially since I assume we had dibs on him over the Seahawks

  • barneygoogle

    Do the Eagles now resign Maclin (maybe to a one year incentive deal), or do they let him go out and test the market? Maybe he’s played his last game as an Eagle. Sad.

    • Media Mike

      I think he was out of here as a free agent anyway. Maclin “being aware” of deals that better players received was going to set the Eagles up for an untenable contract negotiation. I couldn’t see paying Maclin on the level of deal received by other #2 talents like Mike Williams, Victor Cruz, and/or Pierre Garcon. They actually could throw him a one-year extension right now for say $4 million and give it all to him as a signing bonus now. That way they buy themselves a cheap year with him and can give his knee a tryout.

      • Dominik

        And they could even sell that as being a feel-good franchise willing to help a player after a devastating injury.

        Sometimes I have such a cynical mind, I think I could have a great career in politics. :D

        • GEagle

          I would be very surprised if Maclin isn’t back next year on a one year deal. Maclin might have to sign another 1 year deal after that since usually a player isn’t himself his first year back from an injury like that. can Maclim really produce enough his first year back from this injury to get him the type of extension he wants? might take him two seasons to prove his worth for the type of extension he is looking for, but then he would be gambling on his body to stay healthy for two more seasons….Just a horrible situation for a guy that has been a class act since the day he arrived. it’s a shame, and Fans need to remember Maclin next time their favorite play Holds out in a contract year…Maclin handled this contract flawlessly, he did NOT deserve this

  • GEagle

    I do Not want us to sign a WR…I hated that we were going to have to cut someone Iiked. this injury allows us to keep one more of our guys..Prmote from with in…Next Man Up..

    Tom is there anything you can do about getting Sal Pal banned from PE? Lol, watching this silly man, with all this clown makeup on his face talking senseless dribble is getting on my nerves and it’s only day 3 lol

    • Dominik

      Maybe Chip will take care of that. :D

  • Brendan Ekstrom

    I’ve been thinking more about how you seem to think avant doesnt fit this system that well and I understand that from the physical skill set perspective. On the other hand though you’ve mentioned that this passing offense will be much more timing based and from all accounts I’ve read and heard Avant is the most precise route runner on the team. He certainly always seemed to find a way to get open on third downs over his career. Do you simply think that having speed and size guys is more important than having a guy that can get open for those short gains? Or is there something more to it?

  • Brendan Ekstrom

    I’ve been thinking more about how you seem to think avant doesnt fit this system that well and I understand that from the physical skill set perspective. On the other hand though you’ve mentioned that this passing offense will be much more timing based and from all accounts I’ve read and heard Avant is the most precise route runner on the team. He certainly always seemed to find a way to get open on third downs over his career. Do you simply think that having speed and size guys is more important than having a guy that can get open for those short gains? Or is there something more to it?