Thursday Wrap

Posted: July 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 15 Comments »

Nothing crazy happened at Camp today.

I’ll look at this as good news.  The Eagles have all 90 players on-hand. Everyone is under contract. Every player is 100 percent happy and ready to have the greatest year of his career. Or maybe better.

Let’s talk about the defense first.  Zach Berman wrote an interesting piece on Trent Cole. If you listen to some of Trent’s comments, there is a bit of desperation to them.

“They’ll have to drag me out of this facility, but I’m not going to fail,” Cole said. “I’m going to give them no reason to have to get rid of me or anything like that. I’m going to do everything I have to do to make things work.”

DeSean Jackson was slow to adapt to Chip Kelly’s ideas on offense and that led to them having a meeting. Cole embraced everything Kelly and Bill Davis asked of him without hesitation. Part of this is character, but part is just reality. Trent isn’t in the prime of his career. He wants to stay, he wants to play. Trent must be in top shape and do whatever he’s told to do.

If he had a different cap figure, Trent might be gone. As it is, the Eagles are better off keeping him than cutting him.

It is up to Cole to make them feel good about that situation with his level of play. While Davis is going to be playing some LB, some 4-3 DE and probably even some 3-4 DE, his primary focus will still be going after the QB.

Watch this PE.com video of Bill Davis and you’ll hear him say that. He also lauds Cole for his hard work and great attitude. Trent checked in this morning at 264 pounds and he is ready to go. Davis points out another reason Cole might be so open-minded. Last year Cole struggled to get to the QB. Why wouldn’t he be open to doing something different? Players want to be successful and they want to win. The 4-12 record and poor individual stats put up by players should have them embracing change as aggressively as I would the last doughnut in the box.

In that video, Sheil Kapadia asked Davis a great question. Is there a way that Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham could be on the field at the same time? Those are three of the Eagles best players. Why not find a way to use them together. Davis said that was possible. Then he threw some double-talk at us. He started talking about putting the best 11 players on the field…for a given situation.

This kinda bugs me. It gets back to the whole hybrid thing. Davis wants to be situational and match up with his opponents. That’s great, but at some point I still feel strongly that you need a base to work from. Is that the 3-4? Is that the 4-3 Under? I don’t think Cole, Barwin and Graham should be expected to be on the field in the base defense. You’d be running more of a traditional 4-3 with Cole and Graham as the DEs and Barwin as the SAM. I’d be fine with that, but it sure doesn’t seem to be something Davis wants to do. That goes against having bigger players and against being multiple.

* * * * *

One interesting note about Davis. I don’t know if I’ve ever made this point, but this is the first chance he’s had to really put in his defense. In SF he was running Mike Nolan’s scheme. In Arizona he took over for Clancy Pendergast, but didn’t significantly change the scheme.

Davis really is in charge here and can do whatever he wants.

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The Eagles have quite a few college coaches making the transition to the NFL. They all seem blown away by what a good deal this is. They don’t have to recruit. The focus is just on football. No boosters. No academics. Just football. The coaches also get to work with dynamically talented players.

It was interesting to hear one of them comment today that he was impressed by the work ethic and attitude of the players. I think some college coaches think of the NFL as being full of the stereotypical selfish, lazy players. Instead, most pro football players are hard working. They are true professionals. They might party too much on occasion. They might have contract disputes. But all you need to know is that Mychal Kendricks was dreaming about play calls back in the spring. He would study, study and study some more. It would be so in his head that he would dream about what calls to make based on different situations.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama wrote about Jeff Stoutland and his thoughts on some players. This is different than what I linked to this morning.

Here’s what Stout had to say about a couple of guys:

On Todd Herremans: “Herremans is tremendous. He’s a very, very confident guy. He loves to communicate. He might be the best communicator I’ve ever been around. That guy is incredible. He reminds me of (former Alabama center) Barrett Jones. Those two guys know everything.”

On Danny Watkins: “I’ll say this. Danny Watkins has worked his butt off. Worked his butt off this spring. He’s put a lot of time into it on his own, other than being out here and what they’re required to do. He’s done a lot of stuff on his own to help him understand this new offense, to understand what I’m teaching, so I give him a lot of credit for that. That’s all good. Now you gotta produce. You gotta go play.”

I’m glad to hear that Danny is doing the right things. It is easy to pick on him or hate him, but if he can become a good backup this year, that does serve a purpose. Cutting him might make for good joke material, but I’d rather Danny play well and earn a spot.

If we lose an OT due to injury, we could slide Todd to that spot. We then need someone to fill in for Todd at RG. Danny could be perfect for that.

* * * * *

You must watch this Bennie Logan interview.

Les Bowen throws a simple, safe question at Bennie. Then Bennie has some fun with Les.

And at the end, Dan Klausner, who is interning with PE.com, asks Bennie about an NFL player. You’ll love Bennie’s response.

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Be sure to check out EaglesBlog.net. I’m putting lots of stuff up there as well.

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  • ICDogg

    The base is a one-gap 3-4 or 4-3 Under, whatever you want to call it, but the nickel could be a 4-2-5 like we’re accustomed to.

    • Ark87

      I’d love to see cole-cox-curry-graham in that front, assuming curry can still generate pressure with the extra pounds. If not Ced thornton would be pretty good too.

    • TommyLawlor

      But we’re also going to do some 3-4 2-gap as part of the base.

      And you’re right…the Nickel and Dime stuff will be some 4-2-5, 4-1-6, and other familiar fronts. Also some 3-3-5.

      • ICDogg

        We might have a guy or two playing two gap once in a while, but my impression was that if we were really moving towards being more a two gap team, we probably would have drafted a big two gapper, like Jenkins out of Georgia.

  • Anders

    Tommy, could it be that Davis is not even sure him self and need the TC to fully determine what he wants to do on defense?

    • TommyLawlor

      That’s part of it.

      But that’s also part of my point. The best coaches have definitive ideas. There is room for adjustment, but they have a strong belief in a basic system. Davis seems to want to be a bit of everything. Guys like that do scare me a bit. Must have a base to work from.

      • Anders

        From his interviews it seems that everything he is doing is rooted in the 3-4 scheme he learned from Dom Capers and Dick Lebaue

      • BlindChow

        He’s also hamstrung by the previous regime’s players. He’d probably prefer to install a base 3-4 but if he also wants to scheme around his player’s strengths, he’s going to have to throw in some 4-3.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    My problem with versitility is I don’t like read and react defenses. I like defenses which dictate the style of play to the offense.

  • eagleyankfan

    “DeSean Jackson was slow to adapt to Chip Kelly’s ideas ” — T-Law – you being kind here? You in a good mood or something? :) . MeSean gave the ol’ “I’m a vet, why do I have to do those things” attitude. I believe it when I see it when I comes to Mesean. 1st – finish off a season and 2 – give 100 percent. What are the odds that Vick(if the starter) AND Mesean both finish the season having played all games? My guess — 0%.

  • eagleyankfan

    I’ve never believed in all the hybrid garbage. I think he was just trying to get the media off his back. Chip we know is a trailblazer with his offense. Davis we know nothing yet. It’ll be exciting to see his defense scheme and his thought process. I’m on your side when you say you think it’s a base 3-4. EVERYTHING needs a base(starting point).

  • John Gurney

    It really sounds like Davis wants the base to be a 3-4 but doesn’t think he can get it done this year with the guys we have

  • SoCalEaglesFan

    The other day, Evan Mathis was singing the praises of Allen Barbre as a guy on the roster who has O Line starting ability. Can play guard or tackle but when the dust settles, Barbre might be the first guy off the bench if needed. This guy might be Danny Watkins’ main competition for a roster spot. Will be interesting to watch this position battle throughout the summer.

    Maybe Mathis sees in Barbre a parallel to his own rise as a player in the NFL. I’m neutral on who wins the battle but I just don’t want to see the dramatic fall off in talent if the O Line suffers injuries like last season. Hard to imagine they’ll lose four O Linemen again, but they could lose one or two.

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  • ceteris_paribus1776

    “Is there a way that Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham could be on the field at the same time? Those are three of the Eagles best players.”

    Does anyone have “highish” expectations if the above is true? That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the talent on the defensive side of the ball…

    I don’t think most teams in the league would be knocking down the door to acquire any of those three players.