Brandon Graham and Understanding the Preseason

Posted: August 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 85 Comments »

Remember back in the summer of 2008 when Joe Mays was a rookie MLB and flew all over the field making plays? He looked great…to outsiders. The coaching staff and his teammates knew that Mays wasn’t doing his job. He was running to the ball, but not playing his gaps. He got away with that while facing 3rd string competition. When he got on the field in the 2009 regular season, Mays looked completely lost. He had no discipline and wasn’t able to play well from a technical standpoint.

Preseason football offers a lot of fool’s gold.

Fans and some in the media will focus on results. That can be highly misleading. If Matt Barkley throws a bad pass, but the receiver makes an impressive grab…if a RB runs through tackles by 3rd stringers and delivers a long play…if a rusher blows by a bad blocker for a sack…these plays mean little to nothing. The preseason isn’t about results. The preseason is about evaluation. A player needs to show specific abilities and skills that the coaches can count on in the regular season, when results are the key.

A guy looking great in the preseason is like a baseball player being a star in AAA ball. It doesn’t guarantee he’ll be able to have that same success when facing the best of the best in a real game.

Right now Brandon Graham is the backup SAM. Some people watching the preseason games want to know why he’s just a backup. Graham has spent a lot of time in the backfield. He’s been disruptive. He’s been impressive.

The coaches are more mixed on Graham. He’s a LB now and not a DE. There are times when he still plays like a DE. Old instincts die hard. He played with more discipline against the Panthers, but he’s still a work in progress. Jim Washburn had Graham flying off the edge and focused only on the QB. “Play the run on the way to the QB” was the saying. Now Graham has to read run/pass and has a variety of responsibilities depending on the play.

If you watch Graham and Connor Barwin, you can see that Barwin is much more comfortable in the role. He has experience in the 3-4 and knows what he’s doing. Graham is still trying to adjust. I do give him credit that he’s doing things at full speed. Some players slow down and start thinking. Graham’s attitude is that if I’m going to make a  mistake, I’ll do it at full speed and knock the crap out of somebody while doing it.

From a scouting standpoint, the tape is mixed. Graham is the team’s best pass rusher, but he is facing 2nd and 3rd string blockers right now. That does give him an advantage. He’s just better than they are. Graham is very quick off the ball. He plays with good leverage and is a powerful, physical player. He looks very awkward when dropping back. He had to drop into a zone vs the Panthers and it was ugly. He made Trent Cole look like  Mikhail Baryshnikov. Graham doesn’t have good feet. He’s a bit stiff in the hips and is more of a straight-line player. This is fine at DE. OLBs need to turn and bend more as they play in space or on the move. There was a play in the Panthers game when Graham drove his blocker back to the QB. Derek Anderson then went to scramble to the outside of Graham. Graham was unable to turn and grab him. You could see the stiff hips on that play.

There is no disputing that Graham has a role on this team and can be somewhat of an impact player. The Eagles will be in the Nickel defense 40 to 50 percent of the time. Maybe more in select games. Graham should be the LDE in that unit the majority of the time. Graham needs to work on his OLB skills before he can challenge Barwin or Cole for a starting position.

One of the big disconnects right now is with how everyone rates Graham. PFF had Graham as the NFL’s most productive pass rusher in 2012. Some people read that and think Graham is an elite player or something special. No, he isn’t. I’ve watched those games over and over. Graham was productive, but he was facing RTs and not getting double-teamed or chip-blocked with regularity. Teams were not gameplanning on how to deal with Graham.

You want players who can win when they are given a fair situation like that. That’s a credit to the player and it means he’s doing his job. When we talk about someone being elite or a difference-maker, he must be a player that can really impact the game. Teams have to plan for him. The player must be able to beat top competition. He must be able to draw special attention and still be productive.

If the Eagles ran a 4-3 right now, Graham would be the starting LDE. I’d project him to have a good season, but not to be a special player. He’s just not such a force that I think he’s going to dominate no matter what. I do think Graham needs the right circumstances to be at his best.

I don’t know what Graham’s long term future in Philly is like, but I do think he can be a valuable player as a backup OLB and a key Nickel rusher this year. If he can make progress at OLB, then maybe he starts on the right side in 2014. He may not have the skills to make the transition at the level the Eagles want. This is more than just attitude and desire. Some players just don’t fit certain systems. We’ll see how things work out with Graham.

I have been a big fan of Graham’s since his amazing Senior year at Michigan. I loved it when the Eagles picked him and it would be great if he could stay here and develop into a key player in the new scheme. What I want and what I see aren’t always the same thing. Graham has a long way to go. One thing we do know, he’ll go at full speed.

* * * * *

Last night I went back and re-watched the 3rd quarter of the Panthers game. I wanted to be very sure of my thoughts on Graham before writing this. A few other things stood out.

Antonio Dixon is a mess. I don’t know if he was just rusty or what, but he was very disappointing. He got little to no push. He wasn’t an anchor vs the run. There was one play that went to his right. He moved that way and eventually the blockers got him on the ground. That’s not good for a guy with his size and strength.

By comparison, Vinny Curry looked even better this time around. He used his hands very well. His rip move is a thing of beauty. He brings his outside arm and gets it into the block, then rips with the inside. And that rip is 100 mph. That’s an uppercut. It gets him by the blocker. Curry is violent and aggressive with his hands. He attacks blockers. He gets push on plays when he is blocked.

Chris McCoy jumps off the screen. He’s long, fast, quick, strong and agile. His burst really was impressive. These are physical traits, not just him getting the best of lesser competition. I don’t see how the Eagles don’t keep McCoy. I’d be shocked if he got cut and went unclaimed.

Kurt Coleman and Earl Wolff both played pretty well. They were in the right spots. Both made hustle tackles. Both had chances to cover slot receivers and did a solid job against them. Coleman played with more confidence since he’s a veteran, but Wolff is bigger and more athletic. Wolff’s tackling is a welcome sight after the last couple of years of erratic DB play. He’s strong and wraps up his targets.

I’ll save my thoughts on the offensive players for another post.

* * * * *

Regarding my post on the 2010, 2011 drafts. I labeled those guys as underachievers. That isn’t true for all the players, just the classes in a general sense. Coleman is a guy who has overachieved.

And I totally acknowledge that injuries and coaching changes definitely hurt some of the players. The point wasn’t to rip the guys, but rather to show that if they can find a way to help the team this year, it will help the Eagles become a better team. If those players can’t become good backups or role players, the Eagles will be looking for outside help and there aren’t likely to be strong options. The best scenario is for the current guys to find their niche and help the team.


85 Comments on “Brandon Graham and Understanding the Preseason”

  1. 1 eagleyankfan said at 11:20 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Going “off topic” here real quick. Sheil broke a play, with 3 possible options. Hand off/run/bubble screen. What was interesting in his write up was the DE response when Fole was at QB vs. Vick. The DE crashed each play. Basically wanting Foles to run or Pass. They(the D) may have wanted the ball in Foles hands. With Vick, the DE didn’t crash, the wanted the ball out of Vicks hands.
    Now that’s just a small sample, I don’t know the numbers for each time they ran it, it was just something interesting to me.

  2. 2 Chippah said at 11:39 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Basic defense. Force the player to make a play out of his comfort zone. The best part is they both did well when challenged.

  3. 3 tdilla said at 6:55 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Also off-topic: Tra Thomas looks like he could still be a legit starter in the league.

  4. 4 Chippah said at 11:40 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Tommy, where do you think Vinny fits in the depth chart? Would he be a back up LDE or could he be pushing for the starting job?

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 12:10 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I think Curry ideally is the backup RDE. Thornton is ideal for LDE. Curry is more of a rusher than run defender. I like him on the right side. We’ll see.

  6. 6 theycallmerob said at 3:37 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I agree with that view. Curry’s been great, but Thornton has played that LDE spot well. IMO, his greatest threat is Logan, if he doesn’t end up at NT. Logan has been playing the run well, and I love his athleticism and length in blocking passes (love seeing guys coached to raise ’em).
    I’m also of the belief that Davis needs to have Curry and Cox on the field in any 2 DL cover looks, like the 3-3-5 and other nickel and dimes. That is also a scenario where Graham could see increased snaps.

  7. 7 Media Mike said at 3:38 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    And don’t rule out Kruger starting at one of the two DE spots next year if we can get 20 – 30 lbs of muscle on him. A 6’6″ 290-300lb guy is textbook for 3-4 DE.

  8. 8 theycallmerob said at 3:39 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    No doubt; at worst, good backup LDE. Davis may yet take this year to mold him as an OLB. But even next year, he’ll be a ripe 22. I’d love to see him benched only because Thornton has cemented that spot, and Logan becomes NT of the future.

  9. 9 Media Mike said at 3:54 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I think they’ve drafted well for the future with guys on D, but we’ll see how it shakes out. I’d still prefer a giant fat pig (Casey Hampton) of a NT for the long run, but we’ll see what they do.

  10. 10 GEagle said at 3:57 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I look at Krugs as more of a rotation guy in 2014, starter in 2015 in terms of best case scenario..A Vinny Curry type career trajectory if you will.

  11. 11 GEagle said at 3:54 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I think it’s a nice little battle they have brewing for snaps.
    Curry and Thorton both turned 25yrs old like 2 months ago.
    Benny doesn’t turn 24 til the end of the season, and Fletcher Cox(what a freak) doesn’t turn 23 til like week 15 of the season. Those two might not even have their grown man strength yet…
    That’s a nice little young core to build around. 4 out of 6 guys of a future top defensive line are already in place. How good the other two Dlineman need to be will depend on how good those 4 become…For Example, if none of those 4 become a Star, we will need to add one or two…If two of those 4 develope into Stars, then we only add complimentary rotation guys with the other two spots…But in some capacity, we already have 2/3rds of an eventually good line in place….Wishing those boys a speedy development and good health!!

  12. 12 Media Mike said at 11:43 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I’d like to add a few bits of data to Tommy’s writing on Brandon Graham.

    1) He lost a ton of reps at DE in 2010 because idiot Sean McDermott was lining him up at DT on far too many snaps. How is a rookie supposed to learn his was as an NFL DE if he’s stuck playing DT?

    2) Graham’s knee problems, that ultimately cost him the season, when he was chopped blocked behind by that dirty piece of scum Tyson Clabo. Clabo directly chopped Graham’s knee from behind on a play that should have not only been flagged, but also led to Clabo being; fined, beaten in public, intentionally infected with HIV, and ultimately executed by being left tied down on a fire ant hill. Tyson Clabo is a trash human being. That chop block is what weakened Graham’s knee to the point where he blew it out and wasn’t back to until the start of last season. Here is the link to the Eagles attempt to get the league to do something about Clabo.

    We all saw what Graham can do in a pass rush last season, even in limited reps. He’ll be flat out killing QBs this year when given the chance. As the season goes on, I fully expect Graham and Cole to be splitting reps in the predator role.

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 11:44 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I put this up a 2nd time because I truly want Tyson Clabo to meet a bad end in life.

  14. 14 GEagle said at 12:31 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    To add to your CLABO Hate list…Jason Babin!!! I hope Lane Johnson pounds him into the ground on Saturday! I also wouldn’t mind seeing Graham bullrush Joekel into the dirt!

  15. 15 GEagle said at 11:56 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Same…I have a hard time posting in this thread because it judges/projects graham doing something I doubt him or Cole will be asked to do past game 4….I also don’t think to highly of Coles ability today, and I damn sure don’t think too highly of his future as an Eagle…So I have a difficult time reading that Graham isn’t good enough to play ahead of Cole. I just don’t buy it. Sorry

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 12:11 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Graham was very effective at DT. Sean was not an idiot for using him there any more than the current staff is idiots for using Curry at DT. Both guys are exceptionally quick as interior rushers.

  17. 17 Media Mike said at 1:43 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I’ll take your word for it that Graham was effective at DT, but it runs counter to analysis of McDermott’s notoriously poor decision making as DC. Worst red zone D in history type stats tend to override me having any faith in decisions made by that guy.

  18. 18 TheRogerPodacter said at 1:40 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    that link seems to be broken? or is it just my comp?

  19. 19 Media Mike said at 1:45 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Busted link. Here it goes again, sorry.

  20. 20 TheRogerPodacter said at 2:02 PM on August 23rd, 2013:

    cool! thanks!

  21. 21 A Roy said at 3:40 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Is there an echo in here? Wasn’t that in the last thread, too?

  22. 22 Weapon Y said at 11:44 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Great insight, Tommy. The only thing I’ll add is that it might be unfair to deem Graham incapable of being great simply because he’s mainly been in cupcake matchups. If he went up against a stud LT and got destroyed and I saw it with my own eyes, I would accept that he isn’t as good as Jason Pierre-Paul. The thing is he’s never been given that opportunity. We can’t really make a judgment either way until that happens. Your point about the tight hips is brilliant and I can see why Graham needs to improve to justify being a starter. I still him as a guy whose potential is through the roof, but I’m aware he may never reach his full potential.

  23. 23 TommyLawlor said at 12:15 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    We can see greatness, whether a guy starts or not. Brandon isn’t great. He has 8.5 sacks in 32 career games. Great players jump off the tape. They make you get them on the field more.

    Graham is a good player. He is the Eagles best pass rusher. I don’t know what his ceiling is, but he’s just not a JPP type of player. We’d be talking about more than pressures per snap if Graham was truly great.

  24. 24 Media Mike said at 1:57 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Considering the toll that chronic back conditions take on careers, JPP isn’t going to be “that” type of player either. I’m still more inclined to see him as a one hit wonder guy than a legit long term star as is.

  25. 25 GEagle said at 3:01 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Yeah I haven’t bought into the JPP superstardom yet either..This is an important year for him

  26. 26 Weapon Y said at 3:22 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I can see that, but one game for JPP was not the same thing as one game for Graham. Graham simply wasn’t getting the reps JPP did. Ordinarily, I’d just say if Graham was good, he’d have gotten on the field anyway. Clearly, Graham was a more complete defensive end than Babin, but Washburn let nepotism get in the way. JPP didnt become a stud overnight. He had a comparable first season to Graham. Coaching is such a big x-factor in player development. I think of Graham switched places with JPP in the 2010 draft, Graham would be the Pro Bowler instead.

  27. 27 GEagle said at 3:37 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Washburn didn’t dress Vinny Curry. His Unit was getting No pressure whatsoever all year, yet he thought so little of Vinny Curry that he didn’t even insert him to try something different hoping to light a spark….How can I trust anything that has happened with Graham when all he has known since he has come into the NFL is McDermotts rookie season(not exactly the coach he is today), Juan Castillio and Todd Bowles…That’s almost tragic when you think about it…what I do know us I watched him very closely last year, I remember constantly arguing with people trying to tell them how he was playing well, way before PFF came out with his pressure percentage stats…So many people were saying “He sucks, he can’t even get snaps over Babin”, and It would drive me crazy….Then the stats come out and everyone sings a different tune lol….

    Was the kid a superstar last year? far from it!! but considering everything he had been through with the knee, I thought last year was a first step worth getting excited about….Hopefully he suffers no injury setbacks so we get a year of really finding out who Brandon Graham is

  28. 28 GEagle said at 11:52 AM on August 22nd, 2013:

    There is no way we would cut McCoy…If Vegas offered odds on it, I’d bet the house!

  29. 29 ICDogg said at 1:41 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Chris McCoy?

  30. 30 GEagle said at 2:07 PM on August 22nd, 2013:


  31. 31 A Roy said at 3:39 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I don’t think they’re cutting the other one, either…

  32. 32 TommyLawlor said at 7:23 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    We don’t trust you. Give us a source.

  33. 33 mleibert said at 12:06 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I was wondering why B. Graham did not get any looks at DE in the 3-4. He played DT a bit in his rookie year. I guess he has some experience playing where it is clogged up rather than flying off the edge.

    He also seems to be more of a power guy rather than a speed guy. I imagine the sleek, quick guys as 3-4 OLB, and stouter, physical players as the 3-4 ends. Graham seems to fit the stouter, physical mold.

    I only say this because you want to get your best players on the field. I have to believe he is more talented than C. Thornton (no knock on him). But it seems like Brandon isn’t a great fit in this D due to his size.

  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 12:12 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Thornton is ideal for 3-4 LDE.

    Graham needs to be an OLB in this system.

  35. 35 GEagle said at 12:11 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Question: Why has graham been backing up Barwin instead of Cole during the offseason, when McCoy is light years ahead of both in terms of traditional OLB duties? I would have expected him to backup Cole, while McCoy backs up Barwin at SAM…But instead they thought Graham was worth taking a look at as a SAM which I expect to be much more difficult for a DE like Graham…

    I can’t imagine at some point this season not moving to the under defense, and when that happens we can finally stop jerking Cole and graham around with this silly nonsense. If they are going to really not play a 4-3U, then I almost would prefer benching both Graham and Cole and just starting McCoy! I would rather start a 2nd string “round peg”, then a First string “Square Peg” for the round hole.

    reporters asked Chip: wouldn’t Cox be better suited for a 4-3U? chip responded we aren’t going to cater an entire defense for 1 guy…

    Well, for the 15th time, who exactly are these Eagles defenders who’s skillset is better suited for a 2gap 3-4 than a 4-3U? Who are these imaginary eagles, cause I sure can’t point out many. if you were building a 2gap defense from scratch, which Eagles would you actually keep? Soap, who else?….yet if I was building a 4-3U from scratch, there are some guys on this roster that would definitely excite me..

    I have been trying to figure this put for months, and I still have nothing, and no one else seems to be able to shed any light on who these Eagles are that are better suited to a 2gap 3-4…I just don’t understand?..nothing would make me happier and more excited for this season than the Eagles announcing they are scrapping the 3-4 talk for the year and moving to the Under defense…I would get so pumped for the season…But that would never happen. there is no reason to announce to the world what you will be doing on defense, but man would that raise my excitement level for the season

  36. 36 jshort said at 1:08 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I’d like to hear that post read with the voice of Joe Pesci

  37. 37 ICDogg said at 1:40 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Now that’s funny.

  38. 38 TheRogerPodacter said at 1:41 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    funny how?

  39. 39 ICDogg said at 1:45 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I’m funny how? I mean funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to f’n’ amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?

  40. 40 GEagle said at 2:08 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    You Fers made me spit my coffee out reading this lol

  41. 41 P_P_K said at 2:20 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Hall of Fame post!

  42. 42 ACViking said at 2:49 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Get the f**k outta here!!!

  43. 43 GEagle said at 2:10 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Deniro portrayed my tone well in Silver linings playbook lol

  44. 44 jshort said at 3:22 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    “What are utes?”

  45. 45 GEagle said at 3:59 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Now that’s a classic!!! The suite he showed up wearing for the Judge was just hysterical

  46. 46 jshort said at 4:56 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    It was your 4th paragraph, for some reason that popped in my head, and could picture him doing the lines. Should think about becoming a playwright.

  47. 47 GEagle said at 5:25 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I just type how anyone raised in South Philly would talk. I spend all day in the corporate world watching my diction and vocabulary that I like to let my hair down and speak normal on here lol

  48. 48 GvilleEagleFan said at 3:16 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I have to think that it’s just smokescreen. I remember reading some Davis quote about how they’ve been having Cole and Graham dropping a ton this preseason to get as many reps on film to evaluate how they do that as they can before the season starts. Given the turnover and scheme change on defense, I think it’s taken them this long just to figure out what they have in every player on the defense. I think this is why you see guys doing things in preseason that they’re not “supposedly” best at; to see exactly how limited each player is. I think there’s going to be a lot of malleability in play-calling based on each individual opponent, and to do that you have to know the limitations of your personnel. Right now you have to figure that both Cole and Graham are trained well in rushing the QB as a 4-3 DE, so if they choose to go 4-3U and put Cole/Graham at Predator that would be a role that wouldn’t need much practice.

    Unfortunately, I think our mental well-being is fairly far down on the list of priorities of Davis & Co. I’ve been thinking all offseason that Kelly reminds me more of Belicheck than any other NFL HC, so I think the vague answers and secrecy are things we’re going to have to get used to. As long as I don’t have to hear, “I need to put them in a better position to win” anymore, I’m ok with that.

  49. 49 GEagle said at 3:28 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Well said….It’s just frustrating for a guy like me who enjoys defensive Philly style football drastically more than offense to spend an entire offseason talking about how bad our players will be in a scheme that I can’t even fathom us playing this year..
    You see how I get a ton of crap for my defensive optimism for this group of players? Well that’s only because I still believe that in 2013 we will predominantly be a 4-3U team, and I like some of our young guys potential In those roles…Like you, I have to believe this is all a smoke screen…but (Hypathetically) if I had the privilege of sitting down behind the scenes with Billy Davis, and he told me look don’t say anything but we are 100% going to spend the year as 3-4 2gap base defense, then watch how quickly my Rosey Defensie Optiism would turn to Doom and Gloom…In my eyes, that would be such an Andy Ried move, that I can’t even believe its a real possibility…I just don’t see it, and I think it would be a real shame….Like Vick, I’m going to store this in the “God I hope I’m wrong about this” column…

  50. 50 GEagle said at 12:27 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I do want to say Congrats to Tra Thomas for officially joining our coaching staff. Gotta love when a guy who put in so many great years of warrior type service for the midnight green stays in the Eagles family when we are done playing. he should be a very valuable asset to young lineman that we try and draft/develope…

    Btw, gotta chek out the new Lane interview..our Genius media finally asks him to compare and contrast his game with JP..I been waiting months for questions comparing the two…I would have prefered asking anyone but Lane, but it’s a start lol

  51. 51 GEagle said at 12:29 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Hahahahah autocorrect is tripping. had to edit my feel good Tra Thomas post because autocorrect made it read:
    “I want to say Ingrate to Tra Thomas” lol instea of Congrats

  52. 52 Media Mike said at 3:17 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    The first false start penalty on an O-lineman will be due to Tra’s poor coaching.

  53. 53 GEagle said at 4:01 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Not a fan?

  54. 54 Media Mike said at 4:11 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I have a passionate dislike for Tra Thomas being held up as a pro bowl “snub” constantly by Eagles fans with a limited understand of what makes one player better than another. The non-stop false start penalties were also a bother.

  55. 55 CrackSammich said at 12:43 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    As a full fledged member of the Kurt Coleman fan club, I’m glad to see both some love for him and some more realistic expectations for the guy. Dude is an undersized 7th round pick and played in a scheme that highlighted his weaknesses. And was still light years better than Jarrad Page and Jarret.

    Personally, I hope he sticks around, certainly more than I do Anderson.

  56. 56 TommyLawlor said at 1:06 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Both Coleman and Anderson can stick. Team has to decide whether to keep 5 Safeties or 5 CBs.

  57. 57 ICDogg said at 1:37 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I think they both will stick.

  58. 58 P_P_K said at 2:20 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Count me in as a member of the club. I’ve had to adjust my expectations, though, and recognize the guy does have some limitations. He’s not going to be a stud starting safety, but I hope he makes the team because I believe he can contribute in the d backfield and on st.

  59. 59 GEagle said at 4:10 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I would much rather keep Coleman than Allen…but I probably keep Colt over both.
    I don’t think any of the 3 is suited to start at Safety on the type of Philadelphia defense that I hope to see in the next few years, so with that said, to me their value is in ST..and in terms of ST impact and versatility I would rank them:
    1) Colt
    2) Coleman
    3) Nate

    Now, Yes I know Nate is twice the safety Colt will ever be, but if I don’t believe any to be good enough for the new era Eagles defense that we are trying to build(past this season), I don’t want to lose a better ST player, to keep a placeholder starter that we know will need to be replaced….Yes I know that keeping Nate doesn’t automatically mean we lose Colt and Kurt, just speaking in terms of their overall vaue to our future.
    Take Chung for Example, I have no idea yet if Chung is an adequate long term safety for the quality defense that I hope to see in the next few years. He has a chance to be, but it’s far from a given..Yet I can still be excited about the addition of Chunger because I know that even if he wont be good enough to start, he is a team guy who would be an amazing back up, and contribute like a madman on ST’s…so no matter how much Chunger develops, I know that in some capacity he will have a role on the type of Eagles team I hope to see….For me, I don’t see that with Nate Allen, but I do think both Colt and Coleman can be contributing members of a top ST unit for years to come

  60. 60 P_P_K said at 5:51 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    You make a number of good points. I like Kurt because I think he has game and tries to live up to his potential. Kind of an anti-Nate.

    It would be great if Chung can deliver.

  61. 61 xlGmanlx said at 1:22 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Amazing what Roseman and co have done with the roster starting in 2012. There might be 20 players drafted from the past two offseasons, free agents and UDFA’s on the roster come regular season. Teams get better through the draft baby, so glad to see the igg’s turn this around. Couple that with Kelly creating competition across the board and as an organizational hallmark has gotten more production out of the current roster as well.
    I think we need to tip our hat for the McCoy’s, Squares, Logans (a 3rd round pick that might actually contribute?), Soaps, Barwins, Ryans, Knotts, Barbre, Bamiro’s of the world. If the team can keep drafting better and keeping players they draft for longer, could be an a very exciting time for the iggs.
    Building a team is one of the many traits that lurie specifically called out about Kelly and I think we are seeing some of that first hand.

  62. 62 GEagle said at 2:12 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Kelce Doggy Dogg, or would that now make him Kelce Lion?…anyway, Kelce has a nice new interview video up on…He talks about why he believes this offense will be difficult to blitz/disguise and defend. Practically he answers a lot of our recent debates since Vick was named starter

  63. 63 P_P_K said at 2:23 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Completely off topic. More McNabb, and I agree.

  64. 64 ICDogg said at 2:59 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    8/26 open practice time has been moved up to 11:40 am.

  65. 65 Joe Minx said at 3:05 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Tommy, I know you said there’s a huge disconnect between the way some people see Graham & what he actually is, & you mentioned PFF’s rating of him. They certainly talk about him as if he were one of the absolute best pass rushers in the league. When you read something like that, what are you supposed to think? Are they just flat out wrong or is it more of a case of numbers not telling the whole story?

  66. 66 ICDogg said at 3:12 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    They don’t see the forest for the trees.

  67. 67 Stormbringer said at 3:56 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Actually, they also list him as being a strong run defender too. Sort of like Cole was when he was younger.

  68. 68 TommyLawlor said at 7:26 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Are you a Deep Purple fan?

    If so…very cool. Such a good band. Doesn’t get the respect they deserve from too many people.

  69. 69 Stormbringer said at 9:24 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Very much so. I liked them better in the Ritchie Blackmore days than now. Ian Gillian had a great voice too, that is why he sang lead in for a very famous Broadway hit on the original album. 😉

  70. 70 Anders said at 4:07 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    PFF only look at the result and not the process.

    They also do not know the scheme and play calling. This means a player might have done his job, like staying in his gap and somebody else makes the play. This means for PFF the guy who made the tackle (and might have played out of context of the scheme) gets a higher grade, but a coach might give him a negative grade for not playing in the context of the defense.

  71. 71 JoeD said at 4:54 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    werent you claiming how good Graham was ? lo

  72. 72 Anders said at 5:25 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    I can still claim that I think Graham is a very very good pass rusher, but still not like PFF right?

    As Tommy explained, the difference between a 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB is greater than just 2 point or 3 point stance.

    As a pure pass rusher, I think Graham is better than JPP, but as an overall DE JPP is better.

  73. 73 JoeD said at 8:50 PM on August 22nd, 2013:


    Graham isn’t anywhere NEAR JPP in ANY regard. Nowhere near

  74. 74 Flyin said at 4:12 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    This may be the best closing of a Chip press conference ever! Must watch material on TOP (time of possession).

  75. 75 ACViking said at 5:00 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    47 Super Bowls:

    Winning team WON time-of-possession 35 times.

    In the last 14 SBs (2000-2013), the loser won the TOP battle 4 times.

    In the 14 SBs before that (1985-1999), loser won TOP only 2 times.

    In the next previous 15 SBs (1970-1984), the loser won TOP 6 times . . . including the 1980 Eagles by 11 seconds over the Raiders. Dallas won TOP in three Super Bowl losses: to the Steelers twice (’76, ’79) and also in the Cowboys’ loss to the Colts in SB-V (1971).

    In the first 4 SBs, the winners easily won TOP.

  76. 76 HipDaDip said at 6:43 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Is it fair to say that the two teams in most of those super bowls carried out plays at a comparable rate? Maybe, as Chip says, the important stat is the number of plays, and in most super bowls the winner happens to have more TOP due to more plays called and similar rates of play execution. I don’t think TOP is relevant when talking about discrepancies in the rates of play, like in our hurry-up offense. What is the logical connection between higher TOP and a successful offense? More plays means more sustained drives, but more TOP doesn’t necessarily imply the same.

  77. 77 Flyin said at 9:12 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    AC, your fact filled posts are always amazing. Chip’s last comment… “we need to teach our defense to stand around better”, made me bust out laughing. I also see the logic in what Chip was saying regarding TOP. It was an angle I had not heard before.

  78. 78 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 4:33 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    My real question is why the fuck is Graham playing SAM when he both doesn’t have the toolset to play coverage and is a better pass rusher than Trent Cole right now?

    Shit doesn’t make sense.

  79. 79 Anders said at 4:38 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    We are moving towards a true 3-4, that means no SAM or WILL, but instead just R and LOLB and Graham and Graham have been a right defender both in college and as a pro

  80. 80 JoeD said at 4:53 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    great write-up on Graham. I never got the Graham hype and then every time I mentioned it someone would come back and give me “PFF SAID HE”S THE MOST PRODUCTIVE PLAYER !!!” I never saw anything special from him. Not saying he couldn’t be, but he had some over rated 6 sacks.

  81. 81 Anders said at 7:59 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Dam Lions DL is scary, but it also better be with 3 high first round picks. Also it seems the wide 9 can stop the run if you got the right players

  82. 82 Phils Goodman said at 10:09 PM on August 22nd, 2013:

    Look out for Jim Washburn’s D-line in Detroit this year. Ansah, Suh, Fairley and Jason Jones (a guy he drafted for the Titans in the 2nd round back in 2008). That’s exactly the kind of unit he wants. They were chasing Brady all over the place in this dress rehearsal game.

  83. 83 Solomon said at 8:57 AM on August 23rd, 2013:

    Was the Eagles DL not being heralded as potentially the best in the NFL this time last year?

  84. 84 Bud said at 11:00 AM on August 23rd, 2013:

    In retrospect, Joe Mays turned out to be a decent linebacker, so maybe there was a reason he looked good.

  85. 85 Scott J610 said at 12:27 PM on August 23rd, 2013:

    They should trade Graham while his value is high.