Friday Practice Wrap & More on Rileygate

Posted: August 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 71 Comments »

Let’s start by talking about Friday’s practice.

We’ll lead off with Jimmy Bama’s notes. Let’s talk about RBs.

• Chris Polk is having a great camp. I’ve yet to see him a drop a pass, and he looks faster than I’ve ever seen him. There’s a reason for that. Polk said that his weight is down to 216, after being around 230 a year ago. He did extra cardio all season, and ate more salads, fruit, and oatmeal. He also noted that in high school he played wide receiver for two seasons before converting to running back, so catching passes comes naturally to him. “I feel a lot quicker,” said Polk. “My lateral movement is better, pickup speed is way better. I just feel better, and healthier.”

• Felix Jones muffed a kickoff today, and the ball rolled out of bounds. Ugly. Over the last 3 years, Jones has had 10 fumbles on just 529 touches. That is far too many. Bryce Brown is known as a fumbler, but Jones isn’t without issues of his own.

Unless Felix Jones picks it up in the games, it feels like he might not make the team, let alone be the #3 RB. I think Matthew Tucker could steal the spot away. Do you really want a veteran like Jones as your #4 RB?

Make sure to read Bama’s notes. He’s got lots of artwork for you to enjoy tonight.

* * * * *

The great Sheil Kapadia posted his notes. How about some WR talk?

1:26 – 7-on-7s. Matt Barkley throws one of his best balls of the week, hitting Ifeanyi Momah on an intermediate out between two defenders. Excellent anticipation, and good job by Barkley to get the ball up high where only Momah could reach it.

If you’re wondering about the wide receiver position without Riley Cooper here, Damaris Johnson is getting most of the first-team reps alongside Jackson.

2:00 – 7-on-7s. Foles goes with the first team (yes, he and Vick rotated once again). Celek with a drop on the first rep. He’s had quite a few of those this summer.

On the next play though, Celek beats Kendricks, and Foles shows great touch on a ball near the sideline.

Barkley with a beautiful throw on a deep ball down the left sideline. Didn’t write down who the receiver was, but he beat Curtis Marsh. One of Barkley’s best downfield throws all camp.

Vick, meanwhile, throws a dart to Momah on the post between Jordan Poyer and Kenny Phillips. Pretty good day all around for the quarterbacks.

Also worth noting: This was easily Momah’s best day of practice.

2:28 – Another Momah highlight: He makes an adjustment against Trevard Lindley on a deep pass from Foles for a 50-yard touchdown. The fans love it. And so do Momah’s teammates. James Casey runs over to congratulate him, as do his fellow wide receivers.

Glad to hear that Ifeanyi Momah stepped up. Is this an anomaly or can he build off it? Having a good day is nice, but players must be able to perform like that every day. Consistency is the hallmark of good players.

Momah has unique size and some good potential, but he won’t be a serious threat to make the final roster unless he can play well on a regular basis. Momah still has good long term potential. The question is whether he can make the team and contribute this year or if he needs time on the practice squad so that he can develop.

Sheil also made note that he and Tim McManus were talking about the lack of scuffles. Sheil says if things don’t pick up, he’s willing to deliver a cheap shot. This is what makes him a great writer. And I’ve got a great idea for what he should do.

Writers…watch out if you see Sheil carrying a cane at practice.

* * * * *

Here are some good notes from PE.com.

During a one-on-one blocking drill with tight ends working against linebackers, the rushers, as expected, won nearly every battle. Newcomer Travis Long was particularly eye-opening in shoving aside Emil Igwenagu on multiple occasions. Brent Celek remains the best blocking tight end on the roster.

Inside linebacker Casey Matthews was able to get his hands up and rip the ball away from fullback/tight endEmil Igwenagu just as he was making a catch in the middle of the field.

Cornerback Cary Williams made a nice interception on a slant route in which he reached behind his body and snagged the ball.

Cornerback Curtis Marsh dove in front of wide receiver Russell Shepard on a slant to knock away a Vick pass.

The defense as a whole looked really good in coverage today, sticking with receivers and forcing the quarterbacks to go through every read before pulling the ball down and roaming outside the pocket.

The secondary is a huge mystery. We don’t know who the starters will be. We don’t know how they’ll play. They will be better than what we saw the final 10 games of last year. Remember the 6-game stretch where QBs had a rating of 125 or more? It is virtually impossible to be worse. That stretch of games was some of the worst DB play you’ll ever see. It drove down the overall numbers for the season. Domo has the stats:

The Birds gave up 33 touchdown passes, which not only was the most in the league, but also the most in franchise history.

Their eight interceptions were the third fewest in the league.

Their 99.6 opponent passer rating was the second-worst in the NFL and their 104.7 third-down opponent passer rating was the bottom of the barrel.

The secondary will be awkward as we have to get used to these new players and they have to get used to each other. Still, this group is going to be in a much better scheme and they are overachiever types. They will play hard. They will give a damn. That sure didn’t seem to be the case all the time last year.

* * * * *

Misc practice info

* Jason Kelce sat for part of the day. Julian Vandervelde got some reps with the 1’s. Kelce is dealing with muscle fatigue, which is a common issue for players coming off ACL tears (and bloggers who are doing anything that requires effort). Vandervelde still seems like a longshot to make the team, but they are giving him a chance to show what he can do.

* Jason Peters didn’t practice again. The Eagles seem to be taking it easy with him, which is the smart way to go. Peters can play with Evan Mathis so they don’t need to build chemistry. Jason can watch practice and take mental reps to help him with the scheme. Be smart with those legs to keep him healthy.

* DE Clifton Geathers got some reps with the 1’s. I really can’t wait to see him play.

* WR Dave Ball got hurt late in practice.

* * * * *

Now for Rileygate. I know some of you are tired of hearing about this. It is wearing on me as well, but we can’t just ignore it.

Tim McManus wrote about what’s going on after today’s practice. Chip Kelly had some things to say.

“There’s never been any question of cutting Riley,” said Kelly. “It was really important I thought for Riley to be with us yesterday. I didn’t just want him sitting at home. So he was with the team, and then finally when we got the plans in place [for the counseling]. I met with him again this morning. He’ll be gone — I don’t have an exact timetable, that will get figured out — but his status with us is not in question.

“No one has expressed to us that they can’t play with him.”

Kelly isn’t backing down. I can see where some question this, but there is some logic to it. Kelly is showing his players that he will support them through thick and thin. He is only doing this because he feels Cooper is worth supporting. This tells me that Cooper had a good reputation within the organization and the locker room. If Cooper was a turd, he’d have gotten flushed after the video came out.

A couple of other things you may want to read.

Dr. Harry Edwards, a sport sociologist who worked a lot with Bill Walsh and the Niners, offered his thoughts on the subject.

Jason Whitlock, a controversial columnist, offered his take.

What is notable here is that both men are African-Americans and think Cooper should be forgiven and stay with the team.

Feel free to continue the discussion on the subject if you like. I don’t have any thoughts to add at this point. Yesterday you guys did a terrific job of mostly keeping the discussion reasonable and interesting. We all don’t have to agree. Just choose your words carefully and avoid inflammatory comments.

_


  • BC1968

    Tommy, what is this fruit and salads you speak of? Does it go well with bacon?

    • TommyLawlor

      Most people will tell you that everything goes well with bacon.

      • GEagle

        having Bacon Scented Candles in your home is the measure of a true man!!

        • CampDracula

          Not needling bacon scented candles because you cook so much that your house and everything in it already smells like bacon- THAT is the true measure of a man.

          • ICDogg

            I cooked bacon in the oven for the first time yesterday. (As opposed to frying or nuking it). Came out pretty good, I made the whole pound at once.

          • Tumtum

            Baked bacon is amazing. But so is fried and nuked so…
            Check this out: my fiance’s brother freezes cooked bacon and then eats it frozen.

          • Alex Karklins
          • BC1968

            dayum

          • GEagle

            Touché…..I also like BBQ’ed Bacon!!!!

            Throw some pineapple, Bacon, peppers and Onions on a grill, Hmmmmmmmmm

  • morenthemiddle

    Hey tommy, i was wondering if celek’s drops could be a lingering issue from that thumb injury he had not too long gone ago, what do think?

    • TommyLawlor

      Good question. I don’t remember drops being an issue prior to last year. They were a problem in 2012 and continue this summer.

      • Anders

        It was a problem in 09 as well

        • GEagle

          he always been dropping the easy ones and making the tough catches…..Colt Lyeria is coming!!!

          • Anders

            I would love him, but depending on where we end, we might draft to high for him or too low

          • GEagle

            I worry about the same exact thing…then again, I could see him falling to round 2, and uspouncing like we did with Ertz

          • Anders

            I think Lyeria is more talented than Ertz. Lyeria is imo a top 20 pick.

          • GEagle

            he brings an element of Caveman blocking that Ertz doesn’t posses yet…I don’t disagree with your ranking of him, but I’m holding out hope that Austin Sefrian Jenkins, takes the top spot and pushes Lyeria further back then he deserves…There could be many QBs drafted, we got Clowney, Olinemen, The LB from UCLA, CB from Ohio State, 3 WRs…..Hopefully Lyeria gets pushed back! I actually am hoping he has a bad year, or gets injured…He doesn’t need to have a good year for Chip to know how damn good he will be

  • SteveH

    So Polk looks to be in the lead for the #3 RB spot, but I am very curious, doesn’t he have a degenerative shoulder issue and that’s the reason he fell out of the draft last year? I remember Jimmy doing a picture series where it showed how limited Polks’ range of motion is, and I was under the impression it wasn’t going to improve… am I misremembering or something?

    • TommyLawlor

      There are some shoulder issues with him, but that may not affect him as a backup RB. I don’t know if he could be a workhorse RB in the NFL.

      The other thing is that getting limited work last year may have allowed his body to rest and heal up so that he’s as good as he’ll ever be.

    • Neil

      My impression is that he just has pain in a small part of his range of motion. He wouldn’t need that part to play football. It’s not so much degenerative as just unable to heal, probably a labrum issue. He’s probably a little more likely to reinjure that shoulder playing, but that’s the extent of it.

      • SteveH

        Ah, thanks for the info. For some reason in my mind Polk had some degenerative condition that was going to make him a huge long shot to ever make it in the league.

    • D3FB

      Polk only has pain when extending his left arm to the side and back. It should also be noted that he hurt it as a sophomore in college and played through it. Here is the link to Jimmys picture gallery of journalizin

      http://web.archive.org/web/20121015035301/http://bloggingthebeast.com/2012/07/27/eagles-rb-chris-polk-demonstrates-his-shoulder-injury-plays-does-this-hurt-with-me/

  • Neil

    I really hope our coaches have the resolution and presence of mind to present the situation like Harry Edwards to our players, and I hope our players have the maturity to enact that vision. If Cooper is genuine and successful in seeing and correcting the flaws in his character that brought about this event and uses the experience to become a better man, I’m not sure I can support this team if they don’t take him back.

    • TommyLawlor

      Can’t make people feel the way we do. Not fair to hold them to that standard.

      • Neil

        Yeah, no disagreement. Every person has to decide every day what they are themselves. But tell me who lacks character, the man who has repented or the people who refuse to accept him. You can believe what you want, but I personally can’t stomach supporting the latter over the former.

        • TommyLawlor

          Neil,

          You can feel how you like. That’s all well and good. I just can’t stress enough that perspective in this is really crucial.

          There is a joke in “Hudson Hawk” that always cracks me up. The CIA has 3 agents watching Bruce Willis and Andie MacDowell. The big oaf of the group says to the 2 others “Do you want me to go up there and rape ‘em?”

          This makes me laugh because it is so dumb and awkward and makes no sense. A woman who has been raped isn’t going to find the humor in that scene, even though it is completely over the top and silly. There is no real threat. There is no real danger. That doesn’t matter, though.

          I’ve gotten this lecture from a woman and I didn’t understand it at first, but over time I came to realize where the woman was coming from and that I had to adjust my thinking.

          There is no word that you can say to me that has this power over me. None. Doesn’t exist.

          A black person who sees a white person screaming the N-word in an angry, violent rant can be affected on a deep level. Not everyone can just let go of that, even if they want to on a logical level. Deep, internal feelings can’t just be erased because the brain says to. That’s why break-ups are so hard. The brain and heart don’t always work well together.

          I hope the players can forgive Riley and figure out a way to make this work, but I think holding them to a standard of “they should do this or else” is a bit much.

          • Neil

            I hear you. What I’d like to point out is that it’s easy to hold a grudge, and it’s hard to forgive someone who has hurt you. First and foremost, the offender has to merit forgiveness by understanding and correcting whatever caused them to be hurtful so it won’t happen again. I understand your example and can see the woman’s perspective. A film can’t change, so she has no reason to feel any differently. But if it did, does holding onto your pain do anything but make the world a sadder place? Regardless, people do hold onto their pain all the time. I’m going to be really disappointed if it happens that Riley has learned and grown from this experience yet the axe still drops. Looking at it from the aggrieved’s perspective, I would demand the offender must change in order to make right at the very least. But looking at it from the offender’s perspective, I would want some opportunity for redemption. That doesn’t mean friendship or respect regained, but I think if Riley Cooper does what he needs to do, people must respect that he did what he could and learn to work with him. Otherwise, you have a life in ruins of a man on your hands who is no longer the man who merited that punishment.

            I did come off strongly before. I don’t want to make anyone do anything. I just want to offer a hand out of pain and suffering. Whatever happens, I’ll have to learn how to accept it.

          • GEagle

            I think Shadys handling of Coop was a friggin Disgrace!!!!

          • BC1968

            Are you f*cking kidding me G?

          • GEagle

            Nope!!!

          • Tumtum

            Shady’s perplextion is interesting to me considering his Osi beef and the things he has uttered himself.

            That being said I’m of the beleif you can’t fix stupid. What I mean is you can’t force Riley to become enlightened if he is truly a racist. You can’t force Shady to forgive him if he is truly changed (assuming he was truly a racist). You can hope for it. At the end of the day though if you really want to stomp your feet about it, how would you be any better than either of them?

            Small tangent here on Riley. I don’t like him…havnt for a while. I still don’t think he is a racist. Could be wrong. There are people out there who want to cut really deep when they feel wronged. I’m going to put Riley in that category. Shady too…

          • GEagle

            Agreed!…Like I said, Shady is entitled to be as Hurt as he wants, he is entitled to never forgive Coop…..but when you sit in front of a microphone with the world watching, be a bigger man, preach to kids a message of forgiveness, and try to break the cycle of hate…..then when the cameras to away and you get back into the locker room, Hate Riley Ooper all you want. what do I care?

  • Canadian_Eagle

    Tommy.

    In no way am I excusing Riley for what
    he said, but one thing that has caught my eye in this situation is that
    Vick was quick to forgive and Shady, to this point, has not.

    Vick
    has gone through a lot of garbage in the past few years. Time in
    prison….a great year in Philly….a few not so good years in Philly.
    He saw (and faced) the worst in himself and came out on top. Whether or
    not he ever is a star football player, he is a better person for what
    he has gone through.

    Shady is not ready to forgive
    at this point. As a middle class white person (and Canadian to make it
    worse), I can’t honestly say I know the extent of damage that Riley’s
    words have created. What I do know is that it was only a short while
    ago that Shady was busy trying to get all of his twitter followers to
    bash the mother of his baby. Where do we draw the line? Is it wrong to
    bash a race, but OK to bash a gender? People who live in glass houses
    should be the last person to throw stones.

    Riley said something horrible. But others who say they can’t forgive seem to think they have gone through life innocently.

    • Neil

      The less forgiving, the more bad in yourself you refuse to own, accept and correct in my experience. This is a test for everyone in the organisation, even the fans and media. Your result is in your feelings, words and actions. It will be plain to any who care to look.

    • TommyLawlor

      Actually, Shady did say he forgave him. Shady simply made the point that a person he thought he knew and considered a friend, he might not actually know all that well.

      Shady did say this to Albert Breer: LeSean McCoy told me what hurts about Cooper’s remarks is “losing a friend.” I asked him what that meant, “I can’t respect a guy like that.”

      As best I can tell, Shady is saying that his perception of Cooper has changed. And I don’t blame him for feeling that way at all. As they talk and spend time together, maybe that will change. Or maybe it won’t. We need time in order to find out.

      Shady has not said he won’t play with him or hates Cooper or anything like that.

      • Canadian_Eagle

        Good point Tommy.

        My hope is that they won’t judge him based on his worst experience. If 99% is good and 1% is bad….what do you focus on?

        It sounds like Riley and I are tight…..maybe it was all those years he played Canadian Football here in Winnipeg.

      • GEagle

        Don’t get me started on Shady…It’s a disgrace how he handled this!!!

    • GEagle

      isn’t it crazy how we can’t even post our thoughts n this topic, without including..”this doesn’t excuse Cooper” like 5 times in every post made about the subject….It gets annoying for a person without a racist bone in his body to constantly have to tippy toe around an adult situation, without freely being able to discuss important issues…

      I’m also annoyed with the fact that 90% of the “offended” have never a single day in there life experienced True Racism…The Desire to Lynch Cooper for his mistake, is just as bad as the racist comment. Why? Because it continues this ugly cycle of Hate!!….and since there are very few people who have actually suffered real racism, it’s an absolute Joke how anyone wouldn’t forgive a man that’s obviously remorseful and repenting…..Holding that grudge against Riley, is no better than Riey screaming that he wants to beat every black person in the parking lot….Racism is HATE!! Instad of people Chastizing Cooper,use this chance to set a better example than Cooper has set…..

      • sonofdman

        Nobody is trying to “lynch” Cooper. A teammate being affected by Coper’s racist comments on a personal level and having his perception of Cooper changed is not racist, and it is not just as bad a the racist comment. Also, how do you know who has “actually suffered real racism”? Who are you to decide whether racism that they suffered or perceived in their lives is “real”?

        • GEagle

          First of all, I could care less whether shady is offended or not…It’s his Every right to be upset, However….KEEP IT IN LOCKER ROOM!…Be as mad as Riley as you want, never forgive, never get over it for all I care, but set a better friggin example when the cameras are on you…There are impressionable young men watching these Eagles players, and I expect our veteran leaders to set a better example at a time of racial tension. ..

          shady can hate Riley all he wants when the cameras aren’t rolling…but when they are, be a bigger man then Riley Scumbag Cooper, and set a better example for the people in this city. hating Riley is soooooo easy! be better then him, preach a message of forgiveness, racial unity, help try and break this ugly hateful cycle…

          this has pretty much ruined all hope for the season for me personally. if this 53 man Roster is too mentally weak to let a word destroy the team, then they will never be a tough enough bunch…

          Silly people throwing stones from their glass house. Human Beings make mistakes. Cooper a mistake, and is paying more then a fair price. his entire world is rocked, real personal relationships of his have been destroyed, and he will carry one of the ugliest scarlet letters possible around with him for his life..ENOUGH!!!!!! ….The man stood up and gave the most sincere apology I have probably ever seen…a betting man would think coop learned his lesson, so ENOUGH! We know what the punishment is, we know people are hurt, we know Riley acted like a straight up ScumbG….ENOUGH!!!!! The 4 day medi inquisition should be over…wanna talk about the situation, talk about how we can use this to become better people…

          EVERY single contrite and sincerely apologetic person deserves a second chance…Mike Vick, a black man who committed an actual disgusting CRIME, was given a second chance and forgiveness, and he is walking proof that some people can change, and do learn their lesson…Let me let ou in on a little secret, Riley’s world was ROCKED much more then the black security guards that Riley disgustingly attacked..This dude is legitimately in PAIN. he is getting what his disgusting actions Deserved…Now ENOUGH!!!!! the Philadelphia Eagles play in 6 days, and Riley won’t be there…

          As for the dopes that want him cut?…For what? he will just get signed by another team, and half to go through this again in another predominately black lock room…Riley is paying the price, why the hell should our football team have to pay for it? July 2009 Desean Jakson got recorded calling fans homophobic slurs…

          • GEagle

            And the worst part is that the real issues get swept under the rug, and everyone just runs with the racial issue…Instead of wasting time, giving sensitivity training to a guy with a Ton of black friends who already knows exactly what he did wrong and will most likely never again repeat this mistake…just to give the people at the Colloseum the blood they are so thirsty for…how about we adress the ral issues and try to get this young man some REAL HELP…of course that would involve everyone dropping their pitchforks, torches, and rope, and actually adress the al issue which is, Riley’s Jock, drunken, aggressive, abrahsive, “I’m Riley Cooper, hear me Roar” Public Demeanor. Instead of wasting everyone’s time with the Dog and Pony show of giving him racial sensitivity classes, adress the al damn issue and get the guy some anger, and alcohol management classes!!

  • Warhound

    Can’t say it’s or good or bad – but w/o new technology in everyones hands we never would’ve known about this. Turns out the govt doesn’t have to watch all of us: we’re Big Brother!

    • TommyLawlor

      Yep. There are no more secrets.

      Please forgive Jimmy Bama and I when the video comes out of us making fun of people from the northern part of South Dakota.

      • D3FB

        They had it coming, however the people of southern North Dakota are quite charming folk.

  • I Got Jokes, Calm Down

    woh, casey matthews used his hands?? Thats new lol

  • Anders

    Btw Tommy, the links to GCobb’s articles over at eaglesblog.net, was really great read.
    I did find it nice to hear him talk so positive about Geathers (tho I hope he can have a little more mean streak than what he described or maybe it is just because it is TC)

  • deg0ey

    I actually think the big question with Riley is trying to figure out whether he is actually racist (somebody that holds ‘the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others’) or whether the guy he was talking to had upset him in some way and he just used the one word he knew would offend that guy more than any other without stopping to consider the consequences.

    If it’s the former, then he’s probably a guy you don’t want on the team, because this is unlikely to be an isolated incident. If it’s the latter, and he genuinely accepts it was a mistake, then helping him work on his anger is probably sufficient.

    Obviously it’s a really difficult question to answer and I can’t help but think that’s the purpose of the counselling they’ve sent him on – if psychologists that know about this sort of thing talk to him they’ve probably got the best chance of figuring out where he’s coming from.

  • DamonL86

    Do you think Momah would survive on the practice team without someone else signing him?

    • GEagle

      Doubt it.. too Unique of a talent….Heck teams are still trying to Harness Vicks talent after 10years…someone will snatch up Momah quickly and want to see him for themselves

    • TommyLawlor

      I think he can make it to the PS.

      If he plays well enough in the preseason, he’ll push for a roster spot. If he struggles, he’ll clearly be a PS candidate. Since he struggled, it would be doubtful the other 31 teams would want to put him on their roster. At that point, he chooses the PS he goes on. The way his contract is configured, I think he would stay here.

      • Tumtum

        Not to mention I never heard we were in a bidding war for his services in the first place. He could of signed anywhere.

  • BobSmith77

    Is Felix Jones actually in good shape this camp? Always been prone to be a guy who wasn’t in the absolute best shape and didn’t see any reports on it.

    For an offense that is going to be the run-focused, I really hope McCoy doesn’t have an injury that forces him to miss any kind of appreciable time. Jones is filler at this point. I have serious doubts Polk could hold up for 20-25 touches a game and Brown might be the biggest enigma on the team. Is he the guy who came on like gangbusters for two games vs. Panthers/Cowboys or the guy who really put up pedestrian numbers outside of those 2 games while being a fumbling machine?

    Curious to see any notes on Brown early in camp especially how he looks at picking up the blitz/pass protection and catching balls especially any screens/flares.

  • GEagle

    Momah for president!!!

  • P_P_K

    I wonder where the inspiration for the Eagles to excuse Cooper came from. The team had already imposed their punishment in fines and the requirement for counseling. Cooper did his part by addressing the media and his teammates. Regardless of how I feel about how the team responded, I can’t help womdering if the NFL didn’t pressure Howie, either overtly or covertly, to apply additional consequences.

    The league couldn’t do anything after Goodell made the statement about the collective bargaining agreement mandating that once the Eagles punished Cooper they could not. But then he got slammed by people like Mike Wilbon on PTI for not responding hard enough. It seems like there was a public perception that the NFL didn’t take this seriously enough.

    Excusing Cooper from camp for counseling doesn’t make sense. How many hours a day is the guy going to a therapist? Just tell us the truth, someone decided a more significant degree of punishment was needed, and this is how it’s playing out.

    • TommyLawlor

      The team said this was the plan, but that they needed time to make arrangements for him. Could be true or a cover story.

    • Christopher Miller

      Could be exactly as you say but maybe as they continued diving into this issue they found he has alcohol/depression/other issues. Excusing him to address a serious issue seems like the right thing to do and what I would hope my employer would do if they found out I had serious mental issues.

    • BlindChow

      I think they wanted to get him out of the building because his presence right now was too much of a distraction, for the media and players. I doubt it had anything to do with punishment.

      • JoeD

        agreed…and to let the other guys cool off

  • JoeD

    From all outside views it seems like Cooper is actually a decent guy. If he had a history of being brazen and a few arrest than maybe it does make sense to not even think about cutting him…And as I said before there have been way worse personal conduct violations (beating a wife, DUIs, etc) that didn’t get a player cut… I think some time off from the team is a good idea and will give most players a chance to heal….

    on a worse note…holy crap we were such a bad team last year!! 2nd to last in PPG and those defensive stats…wow. It’s crazy that we even won 4 games…

  • P_P_K

    Tommy, you write, “The secondary is a huge mystery. We don’t know who the starters will be. We don’t know how they’ll play. They will be better than what we saw the final 10 games of last year.”

    Yup, they are a mystery, we don’t know who will start, and we don’t know how they’ll play. What makes you think this combination will work out any better than what we saw last year? Please ease my troubled mind!

    • A_T_G

      Well, the second half of last year was historically bad. Putting all the same players out there with the same scheme, it would be hard to be that bad again.

      You know you are coming out of a bad place when eagerly anticipate regressing to the norm.

      • P_P_K

        Ah, man, you’re not helping me come out of a bad place.

    • TommyLawlor

      It’s like I said above. The scheme change is huge. There is no longer pressure on the Safeties to play the run in the A or B gaps. Safeties were primary run defenders last year. They are now told to play the pass first, then support the run. Can’t stress how critical that is.

      The players this year aren’t prima donna types. They will hit and tackle. Think how many times last year that guys caught passes and then ran through the secondary without being hit or by having a DB try to grab them instead of truly tackling them. Big difference.

      Also, Reid goofed by not benching someone. Kelly is a new coach and won’t be afraid to piss off an underperforming player by benching him.

  • barneygoogle

    It’s amazing that Travis Long is competing 8 months after acl. Defensive players take a long time coming back.
    I think Chip Kelly has come up big in all this controversy, despite the hysterical media. He doesn’t duck anything. PS- Is Jeff Lurie in hiding? No gold-standard for him.

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  • Weapon Y

    Glad to hear Clifton Geathers looks solid. As much as I’d love to see Curry come out on top, I’d be stoked to see a humongous defensive line (Geathers, Sopoaga, Cox). That’s about 980 lbs. between those 3 guys!

    • Anders

      I know the 2014 draft is a long way to go, but a guy that im really in love with is McCullers. He is a monster NT at 6’8″ 360, but moves like he is 60 pounds lighter.

      • Weapon Y

        I’d love to stock up on defensive talent in 2014 as long as one of the QBs is competent and Maclin signs a new deal. My first round targets are NT Louis Nix, OLB Anthony Barr, CB Bradley Roby, and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. McCullers intrigues me. For now, I’d rate him as second round worthy but he could change my mind if I see him dominate this year. I’m just worried he could be like Dontari Poe: a freakishly athletic big man but not a great football player.

  • OregonDucker

    Tommy, is the QB play improving? After reading the practice tweets, my sense is that Vick has improved, Foles is struggling slightly with pads, and Barkley is inconsistent but improving.

    I can’t wait for PS where we may see the true colors of these QBs. I hope the Patriots blitz and stunt the heck out of them. Then we may see who shines under pressure.

    • Anders

      “I can’t wait for PS where we may see the true colors of these QBs.”

      Im pretty sure Vick is black and Foles is white. (yes very bad attempt at a joke)

      • D3FB

        GJ Kinnie is blue. Secretly an alien spying on Chip.