Eagles Notebook

Posted: August 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 94 Comments »

The Eagles-Pats practices came to a conclusion today. Sounds like a very uneventful day.

Check out Jimmy Bama’s notes. Or should I say Jimmy Favre’s notes. Read and you will understand.

* * * * *

I’ll write a game preview tomorrow so I’m not gonna comment on playing time and depth chart stuff here.

* * * * *

Why shouldn’t the Eagles go with DeSean Jackson and Damaris Johnson as the starting WRs? Think of Chip Kelly’s words…big people beat up little people. The Run ‘n Shoot featured lots of small WRs. When it worked well, it was great. But it also struggled, especially in certain situations. Small WRs had problems in the Red Zone. They also weren’t ideal blockers.

You could substitute in the RZ and get a bigger player in the lineup. When trying to protect a lead and running the ball a lot, you could also use bigger players. That sounds great, but you do tip your hat when switching personnel. Ideally, you’d love to use base personnel on offense as much as possible so the defense could not get an idea of what was coming.

The other X-factor here is that there are those key plays in a game where size is crucial. Think about Anquan Boldin’s huge 3rd down catch in the Super Bowl. No way DeSean or Damaris makes that grab.

Having a small WR on the field is fine. Having a couple of small guys on from time to time is fine, but I don’t think you’d want to go small for the majority of plays in a game.

* * * * *

Preseason games are underway. I’ll be checking out WRs, DBs and LBs.

* * * * *

Thanks for the feedback on the site. You guys made some excellent suggestions. I’ll be looking into them.

* * * * *

I was reading Twitter today and saw “Kelly had back surgery”. I immediately thought “Wow, Chip Kelly is tough. The dude had back surgery and never missed a day of practice.” I was truly in awe of him. Until I found out it was actually Dennis Kelly. Oops.

Hate to see Dennis out for the rest of the preseason. He had a chance to show what he could do at RT and might have even gotten some looks at LT. I think Kelly is best suited for the right side, though. I don’t anticipate him getting cut because of this, but the injury does hurt his situation. Would have been good if he could have had the surgery last week so he might have gotten back for the preseason finale.

Kelly showed last year that he could be a functional RT, but that was in Andy Reid’s system. The new staff needed to see him in their system to really feel comfortable with him.

* * * * *

How realistic is it for Chris Polk to steal the #2 RB job from Bryce Brown? Very realistic.

Brown is more talented. There is no disputing that. But football isn’t about talent. Football is about performance. Brown hasn’t been bad this summer, but he’s also not taken a step forward from last year. He’s dropping passes. He’s bouncing too many runs outside. There has been the occasional fumble.

Polk, on the other hand, has looked very good almost every day. He finds a way to impress. Polk is playing with purpose. He didn’t get any touches last year and he’s desperate not to just make the team, but to be part of the offense. Brown isn’t as hungry. He did get touches last year and had some big time success.

Since his 2 “Bo Jackson” games, Brown has 40 carries for 76 yards. I don’t know if Brown got complacent or it was just circumstances, but that’s a huge drop-off. Brown did face really good defenses in 2 of those games. He also went from unknown rookie to a guy with a bullseye on him.

No one is giving Bryce Brown anything. He can win the #2 RB job (he should), but Polk is pushing him in a big way. This is exactly why Chip Kelly pushes competition so much. It tells you a lot about how people respond to pressure and which guys have not just talent, but the competitive streak that it takes to succeed in the NFL.

* * * * *

Another word on the QB competition. One reader complained that I am totally biased for Foles.

Not so.

I have said over and over that I want good QB play. I don’t care who it is.

I do think that it would be much more convenient for Foles to win the job. He’s younger and could be part of the future. Vick will be 34 next summer. If he’s great this year, do you re-sign him? What do you do?

The one thing that I think leads some people to think I’m anti-Vick is that I’m critical of some of his national supporters. This is where you have to read carefully. I think too many people are getting caught up in his past and his big name. I go after them for what I consider to be lazy reporting. That’s not anti-Vick.

What happened when we signed RB Felix Jones? We all figured he would beat out Chris Polk for the #3 RB spot. Polk was a guy who did little as a rookie. Felix was an explosive runner just a few years back. Could Polk really beat out Felix? The guy we remember from his early years in Dallas is gone. Felix is now struggling to beat out Matt Tucker for the #4 RB spot.

Same principle as Vick/Foles. People remember Vick the star and compare that to Foles highlights. There is no comparison. Vick dominates that discussion. The thing Chip Kelly has done is pretend that Vick and Foles didn’t exist before March. He’s not judging them on the past, but rather what he sees every single day. He sees Vick hit the fly-swatters. He sees Vick hold the ball too long. He sees Foles underthrow receivers down the field. He sees Foles struggle when running the ball.

Kelly sees plenty of good from both players as well. He is open to starting either one. The key is for one of them to separate in the next couple of weeks.

I don’t know why so many national writers struggle to accept this concept. If the competition was strictly about physical talent, it would have been over on Day 1 or Day 2. Even Nick Foles and his parents would agree with that.

The competition is about much more than just physical talent. There is a reason the offense functioned better with Foles last year. How many of the national writers even know that?

I cheered for Michael Vick when he almost led Va Tech to an upset over Florida State in the national title game. I cheered for him when the Falcons beat the Packers in the 2002 playoffs. I gushed over many of the things he did in 2010. I cheered for him the last 2 years, even though his performances became very erratic.

I think Michael Vick is the most physically gifted QB in the history of football. I think he is one of the toughest players I have ever seen.

But all that goes out the window when we talk about 2013. Starting Friday night he can prove that he deserves the job or he can lose it to Nick Foles. I do not care who wins. I just want a team that scores points and doesn’t turn the ball over. Heck, if they both suck, we’ll all jump on the Matt Barkley bandwagon. There is no loyalty to anyone here. None of these guys have done anything to deserve it yet.

Let’s hope that changes on Friday night.

* * * * *

I have no problems with you guys speaking up if you think I’m biased about some issue or that I’m wrong. Feel free to speak your mind and I’ll let you know where I’m coming from and what I’m thinking. I will even admit to being wrong once every 37 days. My most recent error was clearly thinking that Felix Jones had a good chance to be the #3 RB.

* * * * *

Enough of my yapping. Here is Les Bowen with his update on the QB situation.


94 Comments on “Eagles Notebook”

  1. 1 austinfan said at 10:29 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    NE won SBs in 2001 and 2003 with Troy Brown and David Patten at WR. Then they added Cliff Branch. Seems you can make it work with small WRs.

  2. 2 Sean Scheinfeld said at 10:44 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    New England also had Tom Brady and a great defense featuring several all-pros. As much faith as I have in Chip Kelly and everything he’s doing, I don’t think he can turn our team into one of such quality in his first year.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 10:58 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    That team was very odd. Not one you’d use as a template.

  4. 4 SteveH said at 11:16 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    Who is Cliff Branch?

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 11:25 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    Ha. I believe he mean Deion Branch. Also known as Matt Ware’s kryptonite.

  6. 6 SteveH said at 12:13 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Yeah, I didn’t remember ole Cliffy in the NE offense at any point.

  7. 7 Wilbert M. said at 1:15 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Cliff Branch was awesome!! 4.2 speed and could actually catch the football. He was typical of Al Davis’ love of speed.

  8. 8 Rich said at 10:25 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    They also had a good running game and a ball control offense. Always a good combo with a dominate D

  9. 9 Mark Sitko said at 10:46 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    New Podcast after the game I assume? Can’t wait to finally see some game action tomorrow…watching games tonight I find it very hard to believe that both Vick and Foles will get enough reps in one quarter tomorrow…

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 10:59 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    Gotta see what Jimmy’s schedule is. Hopefully will do a show this weekend. Unless Jimmy is out coaching Foles and Barkley on how to improve their arm strength.

  11. 11 Mark Sitko said at 7:55 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Thanks Tommy – watched a bunch of opening series last night..learned very little about the Niners, Broncos and Skins – but hoping I will learn a whole lot more about our birds tonight…

  12. 12 Mark Sitko said at 7:56 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    PS – are the podcasts getting a wider audience now that they are posted on BGN?

  13. 13 Weapon Y said at 10:51 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    I’ve based my opinion solely on 2012 game film so far. Foles outplayed Vick last year. He had better pocket presence while playing in even worse circumstances. Tomorrow night, that opinion goes out the window. If Vick outplays Foles, I will become a staunch pro-Vick advocate. If Foles outplays Vick, I will remain a Foles supporter. If Barkley or Dixon or G.J. Kinne come out of nowhere, I want them to be the starting QB. I’m pumped for the game to start so I can finally see new footage with my own eyes and restart my evaluation from scratch.

  14. 14 holeplug said at 11:50 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Your gonna run into sample size issues if you just judge Vick/Foles off of 1 quarter of football against a vanilla defense friday night

  15. 15 Weapon Y said at 1:38 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    It will still be inconclusive after one game. I’ll just have a much better idea based on new game action. The third game is when I’m willing to be more definitive.

  16. 16 A_T_G said at 11:46 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    My question with the small WRs is about using them together. The team has Jackson and Johnson, and presumably has plans to use both of them on offense. Yet there seems to be a negative reaction to the idea of the two of them being on the outsides at the same time.

    Assuming a team has on corner that is faster and quicker than the other, which seems a fair assumption, wouldn’t it put more pressure on the DC to put two guys out there that give a bigger, slower corner trouble? To me it seems comparable to using three TEs so that somewhere one of them is covered by a guy that is smaller than the DC would like.

    To be clear, this question is more about hypotheticals than specific players. I am not arguing that Johnson needs to be the #2 WR (I think Riley is going to win that job).

  17. 17 Wilbert M. said at 11:57 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    Benn screwed up the plan. He had great size AND speed. Shepard is the wild card. He is 6’01” 195 lbs and has the physical ability to be a game breaker. Let’s hope he gets it all together.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 12:10 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    There is absolutely an argument to doing it. Speed does pressure the defense. But as we’ve seen with DeSean in recent years, speed alone doesn’t mean anything. Players must be able to get open in a short area and play in traffic.

    We’ll see DJax and Damaris play together. Just don’t think you want them as your base receivers.

  19. 19 A_T_G said at 2:25 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Thanks, Tommy.

  20. 20 Rich said at 10:27 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    havning Ertz become a factor makes a big difference. The question is, how will he do as a rook learning all new stuff

  21. 21 GEagle said at 1:47 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    I’m just hoping the kid can develope into the best TE from Thais draft class. that would mean we have a better player then some very talented guys like Eifert, Escobar and Kelce…..Get another Monster TE next offseason, and we will be on our way…

    hypothetical: would you put it past howie “splash” Roseman to come out of nowhere and announce that the Eagles have aquired Jimmy Graham? Lmao

  22. 22 Wilbert M. said at 11:47 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    There’s not much difference between Damaris and Maclin from a perceived size perspective. Maclin might have decent actual size, but he plays small. He doesn’t use his body to create separation and avoids contact after the catch. He plays like a smurf, so we really don’t lose much of anything if Damaris becomes the starter.

  23. 23 the midatlantic said at 11:56 PM on August 8th, 2013:

    Height (and thereby, reach) is a definite difference.

  24. 24 Wilbert M. said at 12:10 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Only if you use it to your advantage.

  25. 25 Ben Hert said at 9:58 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    unless you’re a T-rex.

  26. 26 Ben Hert said at 9:59 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Which raises a better question…if you had an all dinosaur team, which position would you put the T-Rex in?

  27. 27 Mac said at 10:25 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Depends, are the dinosaurs allowed to eat other players?

  28. 28 Ben Hert said at 10:27 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Yes, but at the cost of a very personal foul.

  29. 29 Mac said at 11:09 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Then I’d probably have him line up at CB opposite the other teams best receiver and just eat him on the first play.

  30. 30 Ben Hert said at 11:11 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    It’s like NFL Blitz played with Primal Rage characters. I’d watch that.

  31. 31 Mac said at 11:23 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Haha, true.

  32. 32 Andy124 said at 10:28 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    T-Rex is a natural for the Predator position in the 4-3 Under.

  33. 33 fran35 said at 12:14 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    While Maclin did play small and was afraid of contact, the size speed/ratio of Maclin is alot higher than that of Johnson. Johnson is small and has elite quickness, but only average long speed for an NFL WR. When throwing the ball on deep routes, that long speed couple with those few extra inches can make a huge difference.
    All of this to say that I hate Maclin’s game. He could be an elite WR but drifts in an out of games and is scared of any contact.

  34. 34 Wilbert M. said at 1:11 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I completely agree that there is a misconception that Damaris Johnson is fast. He is not. He has great moves that gain him extra yards, but he gets caught from behind. Watch his college highlights and you will see this. Physically, Shepard is a better candidate than Johnson, but who knows how his intangibles will play out.

  35. 35 D3FB said at 1:33 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I believe he ran somewhere in the 4.5’s at his pro day.

  36. 36 Wilbert M. said at 1:39 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    4.5 is not very good for a scatback type. Lane Johnson ran a 4.5 coming out of juco.

  37. 37 D3FB said at 2:12 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Oh no I was agreeing with you that for his size Damaris does not posses top end speed that many assume he has.

  38. 38 eagleyankfan said at 7:48 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    You’re saying — he’s quick but not fast 🙂

  39. 39 SteveH said at 12:21 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Yeah I see where you’re coming from with this Wilbert, and I agree it probably isn’t as big of a deal in a lot of ways but one I think that it might be is getting off the line. As contact phobic as Maclin was he had decent size which probably helped him get off the line. It could be a lot more challenging for Johnson, I think I read that during the Pats scrimmages a Pats LB (Spikes maybe?) absolutely manhandled Johnson coming off the line. Could be an issue, IDK.

  40. 40 SteveH said at 12:18 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    So I’m gonna toss this up one more time, having solicited opinions earlier in the week. I’m going to be working tomorrow night and won’t be able to see the game live, and I’m not even sure I have a functioning VHS recorder anywhere (though it might be buried in the basement somewhere, who knows). So my question is, how can I watch a recorded version of the game outside of NFL network?

    Tommy suggested NFL.com’s preseason package, and someone else said Torrents. Any other suggestions out there?

  41. 41 TommyLawlor said at 12:36 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    No DVR?

  42. 42 SteveH said at 1:36 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    No DVR.

  43. 43 the midatlantic said at 1:50 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    A miles-long system of alternately angled mirrors, leading from your living room to your place of work?

  44. 44 Dominik said at 5:05 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I’d go with Torrents. I could give you tips, but I don’t know how I can reach you on a more personal level (but what is personal these days, anyway?) and I guess Tommy doesn’t want this stuff on his site (and I understand that).

  45. 45 GEagle said at 8:15 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    man, I live off of Torrents…I can also give you a great free, live streaming website but I’m not sure Tom is ok with me posting that sort of thing….If you want to post your email, I can hook you up with some options, but that’s up to you

  46. 46 Mac said at 9:59 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Do you have 2 cans and some string?

  47. 47 Dominik said at 10:02 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I don’t get it. Even after asking google (at least in this context).

  48. 48 Mac said at 10:22 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Just a reference to the old school kids in the backyard telephone system as a way of communicating.

  49. 49 BlindChow said at 11:01 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Call in sick.

  50. 50 BlindChow said at 11:03 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    There’s also radio. I’ve been on vacation where I’ve used the Tune-In Radio app on my iPad to record a game and listen to it later on the plane home. But really, any recording software and an internet connection should work.

  51. 51 eagleyankfan said at 7:59 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I don’t see how either quarterback can make a difference in the QB race tonight. Unless they are completely awful. How many snaps we talking about? Out of those snaps, how many hand offs(very little to use as a gauge)? I expect both to handle the game well – given they’re each only going to play a handful of snaps. IF after all this time, they’re still playing equally “ok”, how can one possibly, all of sudden come out lights out tonight? That’s why Chip said Foles starts next week. By Chip naming Foles the QB next week, isn’t he saying that Vick can not take a large leap and pull ahead? (I think Chip only announced that to handle the media). It’s not heart warming that neither is grabbing the reigns…

  52. 52 Andy124 said at 8:12 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Yeah, the sample size the fans and coaching staff have to evaluate from tonight is going to be very small. I fully expect our starters play time to bleed in to the second quarter fwiw.

    And yes, the fact that Chip already announced Foles starting next week means neither quarterback can win the job outright tonight. That doesn’t mean that one can’t look much better than the other and start to create some separation. And Chip could certainly change his mind about next week’s starter if he wants to, though I don’t think it’s likely.

    I would love, love, love to know what Chip thinks and feels about the fact that there’s virtually no separation in the quarterbacks (that we can see) to this point. I don’t want to know what he says, I want the truth. I can handle it. Dope him up on truth serum and funyuns and get to the bottom of this.

  53. 53 eagleyankfan said at 8:19 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I hear ya. He even said early in camp that one QB will always separate himself. So far, from what we’re hearing, no one has. I think there’s a different mentality when you start a game. I’m guessing that’s why Foles starts next week, to give him that “start a game mentality”.

  54. 54 GEagle said at 8:16 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Kelly wants them to play 12-20 snaps

  55. 55 eagleyankfan said at 8:24 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Those are sizeable snaps. Will the start o-line be out there for that many reps? (possibly 40) Or is Chip saying that Foles gets his reps with the 2’s? So many questions :).

  56. 56 GEagle said at 8:28 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    he said that he would like to have the same guys out there for Foles, but kind of hinted that it might not work out…Foles should get ATleast 1 series with the starters because they are alternating series…My guess is Vick gets the starters for two series, Foles gets 1 with the starters, and 1 with some 2nd stringers…

  57. 57 tball_man said at 8:02 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Good synopsis of your qb viewpoint…. There’s no I in team.

    Finally some substance to talk about after tonight!!! My major hope for tonight is that the slow starter mentality of the last decade plus goes by the wayside and we see some urgency in the teams approach… Show me a glimpse of winning the day….
    How about some sharp relatively mistake free play. No false starts… No jumping offsides.
    Gang tackling and strip fumbles(plural)…Throw in KOR of more than 22.4 yards and going for a punt block or two.

    Football is back.

  58. 58 A_T_G said at 8:09 AM on August 9th, 2013:


  59. 59 tball_man said at 8:29 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    So ATG is this an elaborate thumb down to my comment?

  60. 60 A_T_G said at 9:00 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Not at all. I don’t think I disagree with a single thing you said.

    The “no I in team” comment made me think of this. Most teams have a few I’s. those guys are usually the a-holes as well, or as we call them around here, T.O.

  61. 61 tball_man said at 2:47 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    I see. Enjoy tonight!

  62. 62 TommyLawlor said at 10:53 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    ATG just thinks he’s funny. And he is…once a month.

  63. 63 Mac said at 11:07 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    You know, there are other things that exist on a monthly basis which aren’t funny…

  64. 64 A_T_G said at 11:18 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Yeah, the new moon nights freak me out as well. If it is new, why isn’t it lit up? And what if it is just gone, wiped out by a giant asteroid headed our way? Nothing funny about a giant, moon-smashing asteroid. Nothing at all.

  65. 65 Mac said at 11:22 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Actually I was referring to Federal 941 deposits. But that moon business sounds terrifying!

  66. 66 eagleyankfan said at 8:09 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    T-Law — great stuff on the WR’s. It’s also great to hear that MeSean is doing well in camp. He has the skills to be elite. Would be a good year for him to show off that talent. LJ will get some valuable play time. I’ll be looking for Kendricks and Ertz/Casey and finally Kelce. It’s been awhile for him for game action. Exciting day indeed.

  67. 67 GEagle said at 8:23 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I want to see Brandon Graham, Thorton, Gaethers and Vinny Curry…Those are Xfactors who if continue to improve, can really make a difference in our front 7….

  68. 68 eagleyankfan said at 8:28 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    A new defensive look that’s for sure. Gaethers has been given some good ink. I don’t remember reading much on Curry.

  69. 69 GEagle said at 8:31 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    man, Gaethers is so Damn big that we don’t really need him to do much. get low enough to play with the right pad level, and be mean and aggressive, and he will make his presence felt….Come on Clifton!!! we need the light Bulb to go on for this Giant

  70. 70 GEagle said at 8:13 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Tom said he is looking out for WR,DBs and LBs tonight….What are the main things people are looking for tonight?

    As pumped as we all are we have to keep in mind that it’s preseason and we have an extremely secretive coaching staff…It’s going to be Vanilla Basic to the fullest tonight..With that said, there are always things we can look for that translate to the regular season games…What I’m on the look out for tonight:

    The Battles at the Line of Scrimmage(both sides of the ball)…Winning the trench battles is the catalyst for good and bad. Last year we were constantly dominated…That should change this year. we all know how good our Oline can be, and the Dline no longer is filled with undersized “high motor”(remember that term.), fastballs…Now, most of the Dlineman we put out there are 300 plus Lbs.
    The LBs…This is the best group of LBs we have ever had since Buddy was here. Unfortnately That statement would mean more if we were a team like the Steelers with a rich LB culture, as opposd to our welfare LB culture…

    Saw my first Barbre interview yesterday, seems like the tough badass grunt type that I adore. I think this man is a lock to make the roster. he has been backing up both the Guard and OT since he first came into the League…A poor mans TODDfather if you will…Is it just me, or is Danny Watkins actually starting to play some football?….As awesome as our starters are, after the traumatizing experience that was the 2012 season, having experienced depth like Watkins,Barbre and Dennis is very exciting.
    The Mykal Kendricks, Fletcher Cox, coming of age campaign starts tonight. Also curious to see what Boykin can do on the outside in the first series against Brady

  71. 71 eagleyankfan said at 8:23 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Good stuff. There is 1 thing I DON’T want to see/hear. When Allen or Coleman get burnt, I DON’T want to hear Chip say “we need to put him in a better position to make a play”. PUKE. Good by to those interviews.

  72. 72 GEagle said at 8:24 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    lol, it’s too early in the year to start getting depressed by our secondary…I’m going to try avoid watching anyone but Boykin til the 2nd preseason game lol

  73. 73 Andy124 said at 8:28 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Want to see what our D looks like and how to use Graham in a game situation. We also have a lot of new 3-4 style linemen that I want to get a look at.

  74. 74 GEagle said at 10:30 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Yeah man…I’m also anxious to see how my Soap has left. I can’t believe his interviews. I knew he was a high Charecter pro but I had no clue he was That Good of a guy. So Humble, so professional. This is a guy that takes nothing for granted and counts all his blessings on a daily basis…You can count on this guy truly appreciating our Rabbid fanbase. He talks about how he went to a cheesteak place and was just blown away at how crazy we were getting, and how fans were offering to pay for his food….This man is like a yearly candidate for NFL man of the year, and when you deal with Hernandez types, Cooper type and guys getting arrested left and right…makes you really appreciate having guys like him in our locker room…
    Anyone who has never heard Soap speak, I strongly suggest doing so. Just a great dude that any locker room would be blessed to have…wE sell him short because he is old and because he only played like 35% of snaps…but this man was the anchor of a top NFL defense almost 40% of the time…I’ll take that all day! if you are only going to look at Stat sheets, this man won’t impress you, but he is still strong as an OX, his study habits are through the charts and he will teach our young plays how to prepare throughout the week to give themselves every single possible advantage on game day. He is invaluable to a young team trying to establish the right culture..

    I went back and watched his playoff run, and like I said the stats weren’t there, but once or twice a game, he would get into the backfield and blow up the running back making some plays that I really didn’t think he still had in him when he was originally signed. He won’t live in opposing backfields, but he is a powerful Kat who is going to keep Kendricks free to fly around and make plays…

    Everyone is down on our defense, but most of those people are projecting our players in the wrong scheme(I feel very strongly about this)…

    Brandon Graham(Who I expect will have more snaps then Cole at the end of the season) and Trent can still make noise rushing against OTs. I expect them to be Predators who only need to drop a small percentage of the time. When they typically would be required to Drop and cover a TE, I expect Davis to find a way to get Kendricks on the TE instead…I expect Graham/Cole to spend the season trying to blow up OTs on the weak side one on one(unless offenses go 2TE), and they should be adequate at that.

    next to Graham, I expect Cox to line up and get 1-1’s all day long against the weak side guard. That should be a load to handle for most guards, and I doubt we will be seeing Cox’s man do such a great job on cox that he can actually get to Kendricks.

    next to Cox will be Soap on 1st downs, and some 2nd downs. Like I said, he won’t live in backfields, but he won’t be getting Pancaked by Centers either. You don’t just shed soap, chuck him out of the way and then go pound a runningback..

    Next to Soap, I expect it to be Demeco’s job to blow up the strong side guard. ideally he would be 10lbs heavier, but He is a physical veteran LB so I really am not concerned about his ability to Thump. Sure a gaurd can shed Meco, but unless you pancake Meco, he is going to go make a play on the ball carrier.
    I expect this scheme to give our weak side 1-1 matchups for the predator, Cox, Soap and then Meco….Those 4 men aren’t some scrubs that an Oline can easily pancake or Chuck out of the way and then go get their hands on Mykal. the 4-3U is designed to provide a wall for Kendricks to fly around, untouched and become the playmaker of this defense, and I can’t express how excited I am about Mykal in that Role. I honestly don’t think there is a role in football better suited for the kid, and I’m expecting a huge leap out of the Kid this year.

    I don’t think our strong side is chopped liver. I think Thorton has a decent ceiling, how much of the ceiling he reaches is anyone’s guess and Barwin is a guy I trust with Sam responsibilities. Our strong side has the potential to be solid, but I think we have a chance at developing a special weak side the next couple of years. You can’t tell me 2 first round picks(Graham and Cox, and a 2nd round pick Kendricks Lack Talent…I don’t buy that for a minute). There is a certain level of excitement about the ability of Azz,Minter and Davis to develope them.

    Hoping someone besides Mykal and Connar can force their way into the rotation and be able to handle TE’s occasionally so that Connar can use that motor to get after QBs from time to time. This player, probably isn’t on the roster yet, but will most likely be a high priority next offseason. the more players we have that can handle TEs in coverage, the more it frees up Kendricks and Connar to Hunt QBs..The more players we can unleash on QBs, the more confusion our defense creates for opposing QBs and Olineman….Love me some Lane, but it’s still tough to get over the Type of LB speed and Flexibilty we would have had by pairing Mykal with Dion Jordan….What’s my motto?…. “Miami can’t franchise him forever”…lol

  75. 75 GEagle said at 2:03 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    What bothers me is when I talk to people who are paid to have an oppinion on the Eagles and they say that our defense will be horrible. I ask them ok, what are you worried about Graham,Cole,Cox,Kendrick’s,Meco and so on, not being able to do, that makes you think we will suck so bad…..and the most I can get from paid professionals is them flipping out because they don’t think Graham and Cole can drop back in coverage..90% of people that think our defenders suck, have no idea what our players responsibility will be….
    I dunno, it’s a new era, new coaches, new scheme, new teammates, new energy…I would much prefer the wait and see approach, instead of just automatically crap all over this group and talk about how pathetic they are…and If I am going to bad mouth someone, I will ATleast take a half hour worth of time, to try and understand what a players responsibility will be so I can even try to judge whether he will be capable of it or not…

    maybe I’m wrong and we really won’t be a 4-3U team. but if we are, I think this front 7 has a chance to be better then some people think. I think the secondary is a drastically bigger question/problem than our front 7. hopefully we can get pressure on 3rd down, mask some our our deficiencies back there, and get off the field

    I would expect a high priority talented addition next offseason, in all 3 defensive groups(line,LB, and secondary)..At the very least 1 free agent, and two high draft picks designated to the defense…

  76. 76 miked718 said at 8:19 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    It does seem like Chip really wants Foles to win this. Vick is such a known quantity that beyond the “lighting a fire under his ass” with a training camp competition, there’s not really much to be gleaned from a few preseason snaps (to echo Derek’s latest post). Kelly is giving Foles more chances to show and prove because I bet has a hunch that Foles will run his offense better. But if the Foles doesn’t have a spectacular preseason/Eagles lose a few early in the season/Vick doesn’t make any glaring errors in the preseason, etc. there’s basically no way Kelly can start Foles against the ghost of Michael Vick without being grilled by the national media and the fans and to a lesser extent the Philly media. If he truly wants Foles at this point, he’s going to regret not cutting Vick when everyone would have been behind it. Or maybe Vick is going to be our starting LCB…

  77. 77 GEagle said at 8:32 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Praying no one significant gets injured!!!!

  78. 78 Skeptic_Eagle said at 8:35 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Beyond the blocking and RZ issues, I don’t think you can make Damaris Johnson a “starting” outside receiver unless he can consistently get off press. If he can’t effectively get off press, it becomes very difficult to play him at X. If you can’t play him at X, then you have to play him at Z, where you can manipulate the defense’s ability to press by motion and prohibiting the DB from getting an arm’s length from him pre-snap, meaning you’d have to put Jackson at the X, forcing him to beat press more often.

  79. 79 kaninfaan said at 8:55 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    “Heck, if they both suck, we’ll all jump on the Matt Barkley bandwagon”

    Barkley does not have the arm-strength to play in the NFL. He cant throw the “out”. If you cant, you cant play in the NFL. Simple.

  80. 80 Ben Hert said at 9:24 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    People are seriously still saying this? Find a new record, this one has been broken for a while.

  81. 81 eagleyankfan said at 10:23 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    I hear what you’re saying .. but … can Dilfer throw the “out”? No matter how you slice it, no matter which QB is chosen, we’re looking to capture lightening in the bottle with any hopes of a SB this year. History is littered with improbable QB’s winning. Last year, all we read about the Ravens was Flacco didn’t have the tool set to win. If Barkley is made the starter, I’m on his train. (I think that makes me anti-Vick and anti-Foles? 🙂 )

  82. 82 kaninfaan said at 11:11 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Dilfer didnt have a weak arm, he was criticized for being inaccurate. Until he started handing it off aka making good decisions. 😉

    Any QB can win if he does’nt ruin things for a strong team but weak-armed qb’s, like Barkley, takes away so much from your teams offensive options that he’s nothing to build a franchise around. Speed kills, but the ball has got to get there in a hurry as well aka the difference between the deep ball hitting desean in the open or making him slow down and get sandwiched between two defenders or the out being a great way to get five yards and stop the clock or six points the other way.

  83. 83 Skeptic_Eagle said at 9:03 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Just a question here, but what exactly makes Bryce Brown more “talented”? To put a fine point on it, what does the term “talented” really mean?

    If the answer is better straigh-line speed and lateral agility in relation to his height/weight, wouldn’t that just make him a better athlete, not necessarily a more talented football player? I think one could make the argument that Polk has better hands, is more comfortable running inside, and is much better in pass protection, which are all “talents” that directly affect the game. Brown has good vision, but Polk’s got pretty decent vision as well.

    I love the fact that Kelly is challenging all the preconceptions and letting things play out on the field. DRC was “talented” (i.e. super athletic length athlete), but just wasn’t a very good defender, which in my view comes from consistently applying the techniques and principles relevant to the position, in a violent manner.

  84. 84 Warhound said at 9:11 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Perhaps we should use the terms “athleticism” and “skill”. Those two combined would equate “talent”. Maybe?

  85. 85 Jack Waggoner said at 11:31 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    It seems that (and there is not a way to prove it) Polk is solid and consistent while Brown is more dynamic but more inconsistent.

  86. 86 GEagle said at 9:49 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    uhhhhh SMH in disgust! I didn’t know there was a game last night.

    Bernard Pollard gets a personal foul in the first 5 minutes of the preseason? I’m soooo jealous. God I love that dude. I don’t even care if their play is declining or not, I would let this city raise my taxes to help pay for Bernard Pollard and James Harrison!! love those two mean, ornery, nasty mofos!! I get jealous every time I see them

  87. 87 eagleyankfan said at 10:08 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    there was more than 1 game last night 🙂

  88. 88 GEagle said at 10:40 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    UGHHHHHHH!!!!….and I spent the night watching old Fedor Emelienenko footage. Not Cool! Lol

  89. 89 Andy124 said at 1:43 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    So overrated, spent is whole career fighting bums and gimmick fights in Japan, dodging the real champs over in the UFC.

  90. 90 GEagle said at 1:49 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    Hahaha yeah man. He spent years running from Tim Sylvia, Arlovski, Randy Couture hahaha, Frank Mir hahahah while he was busy going to War with Big Nog and Cro Cop in his prime…what an over rated bum

  91. 91 Andy124 said at 1:55 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    I love the facial expressions on the Russian fighters. My favorite was Fedor’s brother looking like he was standing in line at the DMV while James Thompson is freaking out in the far corner, looking like a mad man on steroids ready to kill.

    Bell rings, Thompson sprints across the ring right in to Alex’s fist and in to a nice little nap. Flash to Alex’s face… he’s still in line at the DMV.

  92. 92 GEagle said at 2:06 PM on August 9th, 2013:

    Lol…Just Ice cold, not a hint of emotion on the face…I never seen anything like the fight demeanor of those two brothers. The ability to stay so calm as to be a tremendous advantage when fighting guys who are so jacked up ff of adrenaline and nerves…

    one of my very biggest regrets in life is never traveling to the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, and watching Fedor n his prime, in a crowd of 70,000 people. that had to be sooo cool. just the pageantry and atmosphere of pride. I love the UFC, but there will never be anything like Pride. It was just a glorious time

  93. 93 JoeD said at 10:15 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    Nicely said Tommy. One of the reasons I started following you was bc you were one of the first writers that saw the decline in McNabb when very few of the fan base was even ready to admit it. You hit the nail on the head on Vick as well.

  94. 94 barneygoogle said at 11:16 AM on August 9th, 2013:

    According to Kelly, it is Barkley who will get the vast majority of snaps–playing qtrs. 2 and 3–should be interesting.