NE 31, PHI 22

Posted: August 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 107 Comments »

First thing for me to say…it was really weird to watch the Eagles play the 3-4. Normally I can lock on to what to watch very quickly. I found myself feeling lost for the first few series. My beloved 4-3 was long gone. Clearly the players felt lost also. That was some ugly defense.

The popular theme will now be that the Eagles are going to be unbelievably awful on defense. The players are learning a completely new scheme. There are going to be some serious issues along the way. We saw many of those issues tonight. Some are simple and will be solved this week in practice. Others are more complicated and will take weeks or months to fix. We also have to be honest and say that side of the ball needs better talent and that won’t be fixed until the next offseason.

I’ll keep it simple on the QB battle. Both guys were very impressive. Vick’s first drive was great. Foles second drive was great. Both resulted in TDs and they showed the ability to move the team in different ways.

I need to study the tape before commenting on Chris Polk. I’m not sure how much room he had to work with. Bryce Brown played with the backups and looked terrific. Brown has been up and down in camp and that’s why Polk got the start. It looked like Brown got the message and played well tonight. Now he needs to practice that way.

The OL was more up and down than I expected. Todd Herremans made some mistakes. On the opening drive, the line gave Vick good protection and a clean pocket.

DeSean just might have a huge year. So great to see him get that long TD. He got open, made a clean catch and got into the endzone. Russell Shepard had some chances, but I need to study them to see how he did. Only had 1 grab for 4 yards. Greg Salas had a TD and a highlight catch. They came against lesser competition so that has to be factored in.

I really can’t say too much about the TEs until I watch the tape. Clay Harbor was 3-47 as a receiver and helped himself.

Quick thoughts on defenders.

Fletcher Cox looked like a major disappointment. He was getting blocked way too much in the run game. My man Clifton Geathers failed to eat any Patriots, so that disappointed me. He was okay, but didn’t jump out at me. Vinny Curry played a lot of DT in Nickel looks and was outstanding. He was quick and disruptive. Bennie Logan caught my eye a few times. Damion Square showed better than I expected.

The ILBs I need to study. Jamar Chaney struggled with the 2’s. Not so sure about Casey Matthews. I liked what I saw from both Emmanuel Acho and Jake Knott.

The OLBs are another group I need to study. I’m just not used to the 3-4. Chris McCoy got my attention a few times. Phillip Hunt showed some quickness off the edge. Chip Kelly mentioned Brandon Graham in the press conference. Brandon didn’t catch my eye much. And he made a bad play on Blount’s long TD run.

Brandon Hughes got the start at CB and did some good things. Bradley Fletcher had good coverage on a couple of plays, but Tom Brady still beat him due to great throws. Curtis Marsh isn’t good. He needs to make a huge leap in the next couple of weeks to have a shot at making the team. The CBs were better run defender tonight than last year.

Nate Allen missed an early tackle. Ugh. That simply has to stop. He seemed to get better, but I need to study the game to know for sure. No Safety just jumped out as having a strong game.

STs was good. Damaris Johnson had a long PR. A punt got downed at the 1-yard line. The tackling was pretty good. Brandon Graham made the tackle on the opening KO. Jon Dorenbos suffered a concussion and Brent Celek took over as LS. He was okay on punts, but had a bad snap that ruined a FG attempt. Celek did hustle down to cover punts and got in on a tackle.

I liked the effort and intensity the Eagles showed, on offense, defense and STs. This was only a PS game, but the players played hard. There are lots of mistakes to fix. The coaches will study the tape tonight and tomorrow and get busy solving problems when the players return on Sunday.

_


  • GvilleEagleFan

    I was incredibly impressed with special teams. Hard to evaluate guys from first-watch TV tape, but everyone on ST’s had great hussle and really seemed to play together as a unit. Didn’t realize that was Celek on the bad snap to Jones. Hopefully Dorenbos will have an easier time coming back from a concussion since he presumably doesn’t do many contact drills in practice. So excited to have a ST unit that doesn’t make me cringe every time they take the field.

    I watched the game on NFL.com’s Preseason Live package, which lets you stream any and all games from the preseason both live and on demand. It also lets you rewind during the broadcast in case you miss a play or want a replay the broadcast neglects to do. Most importantly, and I found this out waaaaaaay too late in the game, it lets you sub the broadcast audio for the radio coverage of either team’s hometown and syncs that broadcast with whatever point in the game you are watching (even in real-time rewind). I say this is “most importantly” because the Patriots TV guys that had the broadcast from the 2nd quarter onward were TERRIBLE. Like Buck and Aikman terrible. As in, holy crap I wish I had the pleasure of listening to the learned analysis and renowned play-by-play skills of the esteemed Chris Collinsworth terrible. I actually switched to watch the Chiefs game for a quarter.

    Overall a great product though, and I’d highly recommend it for re-watches Tommy. Only $15 with promo code directv (you don’t have to be a paying DirecTV customer to use the code).

    • Lateraleye

      I have to add that I was watching via Preseason Live as well (out of area). Holy crap was that Pats coverage bad. I don’t even understand why the NFL decided to use them instead – at the beginning of the game through the first series or so, it was the Eagles side then they switched inexplicably. They would randomly pick a Pats player and then harp on him for ten solid minutes (LeGarrette Blount for a solid hour it seemed) while the game was going on. I understand it’s preseason and they are being homers but at least a LITTLE play by play would have been nice. I’m not that familiar with the Eagles jersey numbers yet and I couldn’t tell who was or wasn’t making plays because they chose to talk about how great Brady was instead of taking a second to mention it. I sure hope the next 3 games are a lot better in that regard. Thanks for the tip about the audio, I’m definitely going that route if the same shenanigans happen again.

      • A_T_G

        Well, for future reference, the commentary on Iggles Blitz is excellent. Fun, Eagles-centric, and interactive.

        • Ark87

          Dare I say, Eagles-*eccentric?

      • Lewwyn

        The pats announcers in the 4th quarter spent the entire time slobbering over Brady’s balls. Then they started talking about how hard it was for Mallet and Tebow to play in Brady’s presence, nay in the whole NFL!, after having practiced and watched him.

  • Wilbert M.

    Fletcher will be attacked all season because he shows no inclination to jump a route. I wish Graham fit better into this defense. Everette Brown looked good dropping into coverage. Please cut Marsh – isn’t 4 years enough??
    Square and Curry were all-stars tonight. Do they fit into the new D?

    • D3FB

      It’s year 3 for Marsh but agreed he needs to step up in a major way to stay.

    • JoeD

      Graham should be traded. He’s a young guy with serious potential in the 43, I figured he was going to stink in this 34… He’s got to be worth at least a 4th?

      • Wilbert M.

        The other way to look at it is that a skilled coordinator should find a way to use the talent at hand. I will be disappointed if we give away the #12 pick in the draft and a high #2 for low value just because we’re too dumb to make them fit.

        • fran35

          I agree. These are recent draft picks that we spent high picks on. They have talent. Our defense is not rich enough with talent to abandon two young prospects like this. We need to find a way to use these kids, not ship them out for 5th rounders.

          • JoeD

            Do they though? Even when healthy has Graham even showed us he can play at a pro bowl level? How about Kendricks? I keep hearing about all this potential these kids have, and how they’re going to develop — but I just don’t see it. It may be hard to admit but Andy and Co’s poor drafts the past few years have left this team with a little talent on the D -side of the ball…

      • GEagle

        expect Eagles to play a decent amount of 4 man lines on 3rd down…There is also a good chance Graham can grow and play better then the first time he has ever played in this scheme?

        I gotta start avoiding the Internet the day after a game

        • JoeD

          Dude he’s on special teams. He was awful yesterday. Just completely out of place. Maybe stop looking at things with green colored glasses and you won’t get so upset when people look at this team and it’s players objectively…..

          • GEagle

            Lol I would bet Chp felt a lot different about Brandon’s game last night then you do…

            Go back to our DVR, watch Brandon’s snaps, and then come back and tell me what you think

            I bet you thought Demeco was a bum this time last year lol….silly

          • JoeD

            Stats are very misleading. He’s not even close to being the most productive pass rusher per snap. If he were so good teams would be trying so hard to get him full on knowing he’s not even a STARTER on his current team. Just like the Texans unloaded “the best lb we’ve seen in 15 years.” for a 4th, don’t you think another team would try and get a top rusher who’s a backup on our team?

    • James Adair

      Brandon Hughes needs to go first. He is pretty bad.

  • JoeD

    It wasn’t popular just now, I had a feeling all along that this defense was going to be horrid… Seriously, who on this team can play in the 3-4? There is hardly any talent and everytime I would argue that someone would bring up either potential like Kendricks or a has been like Cole. When it’s all said and done only Conor Barwin and Spooky have had success in the 3-4.

    Other than that, at least the offense was very encouraging… Kinnie to the practice squad????????

  • D3FB

    The problem that I noticed with the first team DL was they were so focused on penetrating that they were just being washed further away from the ball when backside. They need to focus on being able to feel that they are being sealed off and fight through to get back to the hole.

    • Ark87

      Either they’re really bad at playing 2-gap or they are mixing in 1 gap. Front 7 also bites hard on those screens

  • the midatlantic

    We’re gonna miss Dion Jordan a lot this season.

    • Wilbert M.

      I think you’re absolutely right. I think the Dolphins totally screwed up Chipper’s plan. It seems to be the missing link, because Graham/Cole can’t play that position.

    • JoeD

      Hah I said that to my buddy who I watched the game with!!!!

    • Anders

      After watching our OTs last year, we are gonna love Johnson. Its very impressive when a rookie OT is not noticed at all.

      We seemed to have enough pass rush as we almost had a sack or two (cant remember) on Brady which is impressive consider we ran a vanilla D scheme.

      What we need is better safeties. Wolff look like he can tackle (thank god), but I dont want to bet on him this year.

      • GEagle

        I was actually impressed with our Corners. They had tight coverage, and Brady was just incredible. not Many QBs are capable of shredding such tight coverage. I was encouraged

  • Brendan Ekstrom

    This may be an insane question at this point but I’m just curious. Is there any chance that the coaches decide that the personnel just isn’t adequate to play a 3/4 and decide to go with more of a 43 base this year or is it just too late for that at this point? I’m not jumping to conclusions off of one preseason game. Just wondering if you think that’s even a possibility this close to the start of the season.

    • Wilbert M.

      I think its insane if the coaches don’t ask these questions. Chipper has repeatedly said he’s not married to any system or format. I hope they marry the talent to a system rather than vice versa..

    • TommyLawlor

      No.

      They need to play some version of the 3-4. Might move to the 4-3 Under. They had considered that already.

      • Brendan Ekstrom

        i honestly don’t understand the scheme enough at this point to spot it in a game without someone showing me a replay and explaining. Did they run it at all tonight form what you you saw?

        • GvilleEagleFan

          Not from what I saw. The 4-3U can look a lot like a 5-2 scheme, depending on the rush/drop responsibilities of the OLBs. Typically you’ll have the weakside guy with his hand in the dirt or standing up very close to the LOS as the replacement for the traditional 4-3 pass rushing RE. Think Trent Cole’s main job in this personnel group. Then you have the SAM ‘backer also very close to the line, but definitely standing up and possibly a step off if his primary job on the play is contain or coverage (which is the case most of the time). Even when he pass rushes, the SAM backer will usually ‘bump’ the TE at the beginning of his route, which should sound familiar as that’s what Barwin did a ton of last year for Houston in their 4-3U.

          The ILBs have vastly different responsibilities. The SILB (Ryans) is basically matched up on the RG, which is typically the guy you would see a 4-3 “under tackle” or “3-tech” go one on one with in the past (think Cullen Jenkins). The WILB (Kendricks) is left free to flow to the ball and sniff out the RB on run plays, potentially cover the TE man to man if the SAM blitzes, drop into a zone, or blitz himself (typically through the ‘A’ gap on the weakside of the center.

          But who takes on the center, you ask? The NT. This is where different variations in technique are noticeable and can say a great deal about your philosophy as a front seven. The NT can play ‘0-tech’ and try to manhandle the center, preventing him from releasing to the second level to block the WILB or pull on a run play. This type of NT tends to be heavier and will focus on controlling the gap on either side of the C, called 2-gapping. On the other hand, the NT can be a ‘shade nose’ that attacks a designated gap on one side of the center, but if he goes for the strongside gap this can free the center to block the WILB and places pressure on the NT to actually make the TFL or see the RB get loose for a big gain up the middle. For example, I think one of the big run plays to start the game came from Soap picking or being told to shoot the wrong gap and allowing the Pats RB to barrel up the middle of the defense. Sorry if this is confusing and that I don’t have replays, but if you want to see a good 4-3U in action try to check out the Houston Texans’ D from last year, they do a very good job with a 4-3U type of scheme.

        • GvilleEagleFan

          This diagram might also help you recognize it, although it’s understandably going to be tougher to see it with players instead of x’s and o’s: http://www.elevenwarriors.com/sites/default/files/images/11w/play-diagrams/cover-4.png

          • Brendan Ekstrom

            Thank you for the info. I will read that six or seven times. Ha

          • GvilleEagleFan

            No sweat, I love writing about this stuff and actually ran a whole season on the most recent Madden mainly running the 4-3U just to see how the scheme looks (not that this should be taken as anything close to worthy analysis). If you have the game, picking it up and just running a few plays in an exhibition mode while letting the computer control the players can be helpful in seeing how the play develops from a schematic standpoint.

  • SteveH

    Just finished my 3 a.m. post work viewing session, and came away with the following impressions:

    Vick throws a gorgeous ball, if he can keep some of those other habits from cropping up (you know, the bad ones) that would be great.

    Foles has great pocket presence. On the one where he escaped the blitzer and scampered for 10, he moved in the pocket to avoid the rusher while keeping his eyes downfield. Good stuff.

    Felix Jones is not going to make this team. Tucker looked much better than him tonight.

    I still hate our safeties.

    Our defense needs to learn to finish plays. They were so close to breaking up like 4 passes but just couldn’t get it done.

    Our defense is probably going to be a train wreck this year.

    Our defense can’t stop the pass or the run.

    I said it back when we did it and I’ll say it again now, shoehorning all our 4-3 personnel into a 3-4 is a shitty idea.

    Matt Barkley looks like a rookie. He made a few great throws and a whole bunch of terrible ones. Stick him on the back burner. This year.

    GJ Kinne looked better than Dixon to me in the battle of quarterbacks who are going to be cut anyway.

    Tim Tebow is awful. I shudder to imagine how abysmal his passing numbers would be if screen passes didn’t exist. He’s just a train wreck on conventional passing plays. I don’t even think Bill Bellicheck’s wizardry is going to be able to salvage Tebow at QB.

    • GvilleEagleFan

      I actually think that what we saw from the defense tonight wasn’t even close to what we’ll end up seeing from them in week 1, at least I hope not. I tend to think this was kind of like the first day of OTAs, but preseason version, in that they ran more of the true 3-4 looks to see how the guys handled it, what still needs work, etc. I kind of wish we were practicing our opening week playbook starting now, but I think we saw a ton more true 3-4 looks than I hope Davis uses in the regular season. The personnel we have would be a great fit for a 4-3 Under scheme, as it would give our guys like Cox, Curry, and to a lesser extent the rotation of Cole/Graham the chance to shoot gaps and dominate less athletic guards 1 on 1

      • shah8

        In the regular season, nobody is going to allow Vick to be unmolested, same with Brady. They both will carve your defense up. Brady and his offense have coped better with what DCs have cooked up for pressure (until the playoffs, most playoffs).

  • ICDogg

    We wouldn’t be a good 4-3 team either. Let’s just get that out of the way and stop kidding ourselves.

    Changing schemes will mean more growing pains right away, but ultimately I believe they have a vision that they are working towards, a defense that works in concert.

    • A Roy

      So true. We’re at least one, and probably two, drafts from having the necessary talent to run a decent 3-4.

      • GEagle

        Besides graham and Cole….who in the front 7 are you so anxious to replace.

        • A Roy

          Unfortunately, you’re probably right about Graham and Cole. Not a fit for this scheme, so we need another pass rushing LB. Besides that, in addition to the 1-2 shutdown corners we need, I would want a more dominant NT and an ILB that replaces one who has already been deemed “not a fit for 3-4″ once and isn’t getting younger. So, let’s see, that’s 4-5 first team defenders. Two drafts. A la 2012 and not 2010, that is.

  • ICDogg

    Let’s get this out of the way, too.

    Let’s say it was Vick who made that fumble that Foles did… I guarantee you that no one would be saying that the QB competition for the day was a “draw”.

    • Iskar36

      Definitely agree with this. As much as I hate to admit it, I am definitely heavily on the pro-Foles side on who I want to win this QB competition, but to me, Vick had clearly the better game. Foles wasn’t bad by any means, and we are talking about a very small sample, so I’m not saying Vick took any kind of major step towards being named the starter, but Vick made two fantastic throws. He made the great throw to Jackson and also hit Avant right before that with a great throw. Meanwhile, you could see some of the limitations of Foles’ arm when he threw an out (I think it was the one that Celek fumbled). Again, the sample was very small, but to me, Vick played great, Foles played good within that sample size.

      • Greg M

        Foles had to get the ball around a defender — it wasn’t exactly an easy throw. No question that Vick has the stronger arm but that play is not good evidence to support the notion that Foles has limited arm strength.

        • Iskar36

          I’d have to go back and watch it again, but the throw I am thinking of, Foles had plenty if space to throw and the ball just got there slow (it may not have been the Celek fumble, but it was definitely an out to the right). I should point out that Foles did complete the pass, so I’m not talking about an issue that is so bad that he can’t be a capable starting QB, but my point is that relative to Vick, Foles was not as impressive, which as I said earlier, is disappointing since I really don’t want to see Vick starting this season.

          • Jernst

            Agreed completely. And, I remember the exact same play in the right flat to Celek that you’re talking about. I had the exact same cringing reaction that you had watching the ball take so long to get there. I was happy when it was completed, but I couldn’t help but think that someone’s gonna take one of those to the house.

      • Jernst

        Watching Foles live either at a game or in practice is enough to see that he has a limited arm. There’s no question. There were a few out patterns, the Celek play only being one, that took a while to get to their targets and allowed CBs to recover and get to the WR/TE/RB at the same time as the ball.

        Foles’ arm is on the borderline of acceptable NFL arm strength…a notch or two above a Pennington, but still below even Brees and Montana. The question is, does Foles have the other skills, anticipation, accuracy, decision making to overcome his physical limitations.

        So far I think he has enough to be an adequate starter for a couple games a good number 2, but not someone who you’d want to make your franchise QB. He’s more of a slightly more talented Koy Detmer than a Brad Johnson/Trent Dilfer (which I think is his absolute ceiling).

    • Greg M

      The fact that there is a QB competition should baffle those who believe Vick deserves the starting job. Vick is stronger, faster and has years of experience; if all things were equal between the two running the offense, Vick should have already been named as the starter. Why would Kelly waste time splitting reps evenly?

      That’s the question everyone should be asking themselves.

  • Corry

    That defense was pretty abysmal last night and I think that’s being generous. Hopefully they can improve as the preseason moves on, but I have my doubts with the hodgepodge of players we have on that side of the ball.

    On the bright side, the special teams looked terrific, and the QBs looked comfortable in Chip’s offense. Also, when was the last time we saw a play action pass actually fool the defense??

    Looking forward to your more detailed look at the game, Tommy.

  • Jernst

    Thoughts on the game:
    – Both QBs looked really good. Vick looked very sharp. Foles showed really great command of the no huddle. It was also interesting to see how Chip would plan to incorporate the read option with Foles. Pull the ball back if the DE crashes and roll out towards the sideline with the first option being a pass, if the CB or LB comes up dump it over their head, if every one bails to defend the pass run for as many yards as you can and get down or out of bounds. Brilliant! The offense will definitely be different depending on Vick or Foles as the QB. Foles is definitely a dink and dunk attack, 6-7 yards at a time. I love his poise and presence out there, but he really doesn’t have the arm strength to threaten the whole field. I hold my breath every time he throws towards the sideline – that ball feels like it takes an eternity to get there and I’m just waiting for the INT.

    – Bryce Brown > Chris Polk. I said this after watching a training camp practice live. Every one was getting all jazzed up by these long runs by Polk where he’d take a hand off and run straight up the middle throw a gaping hole and there was no hitting. I’m in no way saying he looked bad, but I think the expectations should be tempered a bit. He’s not nearly as gifted a runner as Brown.

    – I watched Geathers quite a bit. He sucks.

    – Disappointed to watch Cox get demolished on the first run play. Let’s hope he was just caught off guard on that one, because that was ugly.

    – Nate Allen still plays far too passively. While Chung’s physicality was a pleasure to watch.

    – I’m starting to think that Todd Herremans is not as good as he used to be. Low probability prediction for this year is that Watkins sees some starting time at guard.

    – Special teams look like a legit strength

    – Sopoaga was much more impressive than I had anticipated. He held the point of attack very well. Curry was a beast. Graham is still your best pass rusher, but he really looks lost when he’s doing anything but bull rushing. His tackle attempt on Blount’s long run was pathetic and he looks lost in coverage.

    – Please, please, dear baby Jesus do not let anything happen to kendricks or ryans. Our backup MLBs are garbage. Chaney, my god…how did you look so good in those first few starts. He looked terrible out there.

    – I have a feeling Celek will see his playing time decrease dramatically this year.

    – Boykin is your best DB, period. 5’10” is plenty tall to play the position. People forget that for most of the NFLs history, most CBs have needed a step stool to reach the top shelf and there’s a good reason for it. The WR knows where he’s going the DB doesn’t so he needs to be extremely loose and be able to swivel his hips extremely fast to be able to react and keep up with the WR. It’s just pure physics but the taller/longer the player the slower he’ll be able to swivel and change directions. These 6’2” guys that can do it are true physical freaks, but the notion that you really need big CBs is something that I feel is fairly new and in vogue now, but not a steadfast rule.

    – Marsh is another wasted Andy Reid project from the 3rd round. Why did Andy hate the 3rd round of the draft so much? I never understood why he always, every draft, picked some ridiculous project and they never once panned out…except for maybe Westbrook if you consider him a project.

    – Fletcher looks good in coverage.

    – This is going to be a fun interesting team to watch. The defense might be painful though.

    • Ark87

      This is pretty spot on with what I saw. My guess is cheney gets cut, Jake Knott takes his place.

      I’d add that Kendricks was a little timid inside the box. I want to see him attack blockers and ball carriers a like, MORE VIOLENCE! Very nice in coverage though. He was in such perfect position on that TD throw, even got a finger on it, if that ball was anywhere else, that was an incomplete or int.

    • GEagle

      I think it’s going to take more than a preseason game and a few TC practices to be able to say Who is going to be the better back between Polk and Bryce….

      everyone was all Polked up yesterday, and I warned that Bryce is Not Chopped Liver, so I should be gloating and strutting my stuff right now, but why would I? Polk nor Bryce, right now, are the RBs that they will be in November…Bryce had a better game, Polk in his limited experience, showed some positive signs of improvement last night, picking up blocks, and had some decent runs…

      Both Can, and Will become weapons for us, who will be the better weapon? I think we need a lil more intel before we can even think bout judging

      • Jernst

        I mean…I guess I just disagree with your premise, just as much as the argument you make. I don’t think you necessarily have to watch someone’s career unfold before you can surmise which player is most likely to be the better player. If that was the case…why even talk about these games if every opinion is met with, “you can’t make that statement until you see how it actually plays out.” I’m in no way saying that I’m infallible at scouting player talent and predicting who’s better. But, I feel fairly confident in watching two guys play over the course of a year, a handful of games and a few hours of practice and saying one of them showed me something that is truly special talent-wise that can be potentially game changing, and one didn’t. Polk is solid, technically sound and a decent enough back. But, I think a few games and practices is just the right amount of time to realize that he doesn’t have any elite, special trait like Brown does.

        • GEagle

          I watch these games for 1 thing Only…to get a reference point..I look at what they did well, I look at what they didn’t do well, and that’s my reference point. Now with every game that passes I try to look at what they improved, what they continue to do well, and if some of the things they did well before took a step backwards.

    • BlindChow

      Every one was getting all jazzed up by these long runs by Polk where he’d take a hand off and run straight up the middle throw a gaping hole and there was no hitting.

      Now we know that’s just because he was playing the Eagles’ defense.

  • BC1968

    Some things get really overlooked in a meaningless game where you’re not worried about game results, more about seeing players perform and who’s going to make what spot, etc. But in a real game situation the play where Brady was getting sacked and threw it into the ground, one of his offensive lineman barely jumping out of the way to miss it with a running back around 5 yards up the field past that without being called intentional grounding. These are the calls the Eagles need because it seems we are always a vagina hair away from getting a sack at least a few times a game. The red one, those are the thinnest you know.

    • BC1968

      If that made sense, basically a good play by the lineman was negated by what should’ve been intentional grounding. No one really cared at that point, but Brady did end up leading them to a touchdown on that drive. That’s if anyone else saw and believed that was a penalty.

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  • Ark87

    Re-watched the starts and some of the second team.

    -Openning disaster: Fletcher Cox gets pancaked by a double team almost immediately, if he holds his ground, DeMeco stops that run for a short gain. This becomes a theme of the openning drive, along with NO ONE getting off blocks. This must get worked on. Side note, Sopoago is a beast.

    -Polk didn’t have a lot to work with, Eagles were having trouble holding their blocks (pats DID get off their blocks). However Polk did make the bomb to Djax possible, took on a free blitzer and stood him up, and eventually took on a second block, that was pretty impressive.

    -both Qb’s were really impressive.

    -Brown didn’t have much more to work with but he was hitting holes decisively.

    -Secondary: no comment, without knowing their assignments or being able to see the whole field, all I can say is that they weren’t making many positive plays (they did make Brady hold onto the ball till a 3 man rush got to him, forcing him to ground the ball imo), but I can’t say they were awful (not after last year, at least they’re tackling). I will say they had a better night than the patriot’s secondary (they let D Jax get over top and watch the safety play on the Brown touchdown, embarrassing).

    -I think Curry has a chance to contribute to this team for a long time, looked good, lets see if he can keep it up and continue to develop in his new Role

    -Graham looked good to me as a pass rusher, much faster, still has a nice Bull rush. Better than Cole in that regard imo. He did have a pretty unforgivable error during Blount’s circus run. He basically saw Blount reverse field, and lost him behind a “blocker” (Mallet), picked an angle thinking it was going to be a race to the sideline, Blount sort of just ran around Mallet like a drill cone and brushed by Graham, embarrassing moment in football right there.

    Overall I was encouraged by the offense and not quite ready to jump off the ledge over the defense either.

    • Jernst

      Thank you for rewatching and seeing what a beast Sopoaga was. Saw so many comments online about how he sucked last night. He didn’t make any flash stand out plays, but when you rewatch those first two drives you see him consistently holding the point against double teams and often even driving them back a step or two.

      That Fletcher Cox pancake on the first play was horrifying. Pathetic effort from him and thornton.

      Polk made a perfect blitz pick up block. Very impressive. The thing with Polk is this…he’s not talented enough, speed and moves -wise or power -wise to make things happen on his own. He needs great blocking to be effective. Shady and Brown can both make things happen on their own to an extent. I do like his downhill, one cut style though. Highly under rated. I’m excited to have him as a 3rd back. And, even more excited that our 3rd RB will actually get weekly carries.

      All the talk about how Chip had to choose a QB or lose the locker room, ect was such a bunch of BS. The competition has worked perfectly. Both players are dialed in and playing at their peaks. Vick peak is > than Foles though.

      • GEagle

        Soap had me absolutely drooling last night. nothing he did was so spectacular, but some fans know how important what he brings to the table is to this defense…Extremely excited about having Soap out there on rushing downs

  • GEagle

    So the starters played 1 maybe 2 series, the first time in a new scheme, havent tackled in over a year, playing against an awesome offense, and we just automatically need more talent? Lol…
    ..Waive the white Flag, last night is as good as it gets lol

    • Ark87

      I think people think patriots and images of 2007 come into their heads. They are very discourage that the Pat obliterated our D by running, not by Brady’s God-like play. People don’t seem to realize that the patriots have a physical team that can dominate you on the ground.

      I think the run D can be drastically improved. Fletch needs to recognize when he is being double teamed in a run block and just drop anchor. If he can do that, it will give his linebackers a chance to at least gum things up long enough for help to arrive.

      • Tom33

        Yeah – I don’t think the Pats will ever be a “run-first” team with Brady at QB, but Ridley and Blount might be the best tandem of RB’s in the league. Especially when teams can’t really load up against the run because of #12.

        On the Eagles side, the safety play is still really bad. Nate Allen seems to get worse each year and Coleman is terrible. I hope Phillips is healthy and Wolff is good, because I’d be OK if both of the starters from last year are not on the final 53.

        • Ark87

          Their O-line is one of the better units in the league too. They kind of remind me of the Eagles during the Reid glory days….except with Tom Brady.

        • GEagle

          Yeah Allen certainly didn’t do anything to lesson our worries last night…I thought Chung was ok

          • OregonDucker

            Chung and Byrd; make it happen Chip!

        • OregonDucker

          Byrd is the WORD. Feed the Byrd and get him now!

          • GEagle

            I have lost track of him recently…anyone have an update? Has he joined camp? Is he playing today for the bills? Did he even learn their new defense? Lol

        • Anders

          I think McCoy/Brown, Gore/Hunter, Foster/Tate, Williams/Stewart, Rice/Pierce etc are at least just as good

          • D3FB

            San Fran doesn’t have a back in camp who shouldn’t be on a team week 1. It’s terrifying.

      • GEagle

        Finally, a rational oppinion!! Thank you!! And yes, especially this season, I think the Patriots are really gong to run the ball..

        There was PLENTY of Bad last night, things that need to be corrected and improved upon. pointing those things out, and talking about ways we could possibly correct them, is appropriate. Nothing wrong with that…But to hear stuff like not enough talent, this will be horrible, it can’t get better then this, we are doomed is an absolute Joke!!! It would be a Joke after we play the Redskins, and it’s even more of a Joke after the first preseason game…

        fact of the matter is, we are littered with young players, and NONE OF US have any Friggin clue who they will become. What the Hell does anyone Know about Cedrick Thorton right now? Who would bet money right now, that they think they know how good or how bad a guy like Thorton will be? Not a single friggin person!!! that’s who!…and we have about 10 other players on defense just like him…

        We also have NO CLUE how much of the schemes we saw last night will even be ran during the season…We have a bunch of young players who no one has a frigging clue about who they will grow in to be, and these players, we have No al idea how they will even be used, yet THEY SUCK!!! We Will Be Horrible, The sky is falling, Waive the white flag….what a Friggin Irrational, over reacting JOKE!
        ..
        Guess what? We won’t always have enough info at a given time to be able to make judgments. some times the only thing you can do is wait and see….Was it Rosey optimism because I was one of the people who wasn’t automatically going to say that a talent like Vinny Curry would never be able to play in this scheme and that he was a waste of talent? what was sooo wrong about Not demanding the he’d of a young player before you can ATleast have enough of a damn sample size to even try to make a judgment?
        ….
        What a joke

    • JoeD

      Best year as a LB in 15 years?? That’s pushing it. he played well, but that’s about it..

      It’s not really an over reaction. The defense doesn’t have a lot of talent on it. It has guys that most likely won’t transistion to 34 very well (Cole Graham).. It’s not going to be good and it needs another off season of re-tooling like Tommy mentioned.

      • GEagle

        if that wasn’t the Best Eagles LB you saw in 15 years, then we really are wasting our time chatting, Agree to disagree. Enjoy your day kind sir

        • JoeD

          If you can find at least 3 people to agree with you that he’s the best we’ve seen in 15 years I’ll concede. Other than that I think you’re crazy!!!

          • Jernst

            I’d say he was the best MLB easily. Trotter is the only one who comes close. Otherwise, who was better? Fatty Kirkland, Simoneau, Chaney, Jordan, Matthews, Gardner, Bradley? I mean Ryans didn’t set the world on fire, but his play was darn good, especially considering playing behind that wide-9. Also our LBs have sucked the past 15 years so the bar has not been set high.

          • JoeD

            Honestly I thought Trotter made a bigger difference– especially in the running game. DeMeco was probably better in coverage. 2008 Bradley had a really under rated stellar year..

            I watched the packers 2003 playoff game (4th n 26) last night. It was hilarious who our LBs were…and sad at the same time!!!!

          • Anders

            00-01 Trotter was a man

          • JoeD

            He made a HUGE impact in 04 as well. Remember when we had Simenau in the middle? Even as we cruised to a 7-1 record were giving up like 150+ yards per game… Insert Trotter and it went down to like 80 or 90… He shot the wrong gaps a lot and wasn’t great in space..But for the most part he made sure nobody was going to gash us up the middle.

  • Weapon Y

    It looked like the Eagles defense was using mostly 2-gap schemes. It’s possible (or wishful thinking, take your pick) that Davis is going to say, “Well, that didn’t look good. Let’s try using more 1-gap looks in a 4-3 Under.” Cox got run over and Thornton struggled to generate any pressure. Surprisingly, the defensive end who did the best was Curry, the guy who we thought might get cut because he didn’t fit the scheme. Tommy, I’d say Curry earned the right to compete for the starting job due to his performance last night. He looked way more polished than Thornton, Geathers, and even Cox.

    • GEagle

      I didn’t notice or get a chance to watch Gaethers and Thorton yet…anyone know how they did?

      • Weapon Y

        I saw Thornton run around blockers instead of fighting them to the direction of the ball carrier. I didn’t really see Geathers much. Granted, one part of being a 2-gap defensive lineman is that you have to absorb blocks to free up the linebackers, but the ability to generate pressure while doing that makes a defense scary. Curry looked really friggin good. I also thought Logan had a good game. Everyone else merely met expectations or fell below par (more often the latter).

        • GEagle

          Whoa…slow down their my friend. Bennie Logan was also Ballin last night!!!…Thanks for the intel

          • Weapon Y

            Ha. I remembered at the last second that I also liked Logan, and edited my post just before you replied. I agree that Logan did well. I’d like to see him push Sopoaga hard for the starting nose tackle job. No one, especially not the Eagles defensive players, should feel safe.

          • GEagle

            lol no worries

      • Jernst

        I haven’t rewatched the game yet, but I spent a lot of time last night paying attention to Geathers. I was not impressed. He got pushed around a lot. Gentle Giant with poor technique. His height was a consistent detriment as he did not appear to bend well and get good leverage or position. Didn’t appear to use his hands all that well or disengage from blocks. There’s a reason he’s bounced around the league to this point. I don’t anticipate him sticking around here either.

        • GEagle

          Thanks for the info

    • BlindChow

      If they’re working towards a 2-gap, then starting there would make sense. Davis would need to get an idea of how close they were, and now that he does know (not very close) he can adjust accordingly.

      I hope.

    • ICDogg

      They were using 1-gap in the first series. They got trucked. They then decided that they better play straight-up on the tackles.

      • BlindChow

        An adjustment! I see that as a positive sign!

  • Ark87

    Watched a bunch of other games this morning, just the starters. The thing that stood out to me, offenses were all sloppy. *******Penalties***** Holy crap, penalties. And it’s like, oh yeah this is what the first pre-season game looks like. It’s amazing how sharp both offenses looked in our game. And hardly any penalties in the first half.

    Remember people, this is the first pre season game, the first live football anybody is playing.

    • A_T_G

      Good point.

    • GEagle

      I was really impressed with how Discaplined we were so early in the process in terms of lack of penalties…That’s probably the most encouraging thing I took away from last night…I also was pleasantly surprised with the tight coverage by our corners early on, even tho a surgeon shredded them…And I was extremely surprised that our pathetic special teams is already showing this type of improvement..
      I was impressed with young guys like Curry, Logan,McCoy,Knott, even Squares was making his presence felt….I also remember watching and thinking that Hunt looked surprisingly comfortable playing in space and flying around as an OLB..
      ..
      a lot to be encouraged about last night, but there is also plenty to work on and improve…im pleased with how his competition thing is effecting many of our players

      • OregonDucker

        The Foles hurry-up string of plays for a TD was impressive Oregon football. As you say, the O was disciplined and penalty free. Impressive and a sign of what’s to come.

        • GEagle

          ODucker..watching the game they did a close up for aFan at the game wearing a Ducks hat…immediatelyI thought, was that the Ducker? Lol Jk I know you didn’t come all the way to Philly for a preseason game

          • OregonDucker

            Yeah GEagle, I saw him and was very envious. What a fun game. I taped it and will watch it tonight.

  • EaglesHero87

    I’m so bummed I wasn’t able to watch the preseason game last night. I finally got home just about an hour ago and was able to watch the highlight reels and short clips on NFL.com. Now, this is based on the video I watched, but does it seem like Vick still continues to hold the ball slightly longer than Foles? I’m also watching a lot Salas in the videos. Looks like this guy’s got a legitimate shot to make the roster and possibly compete for the #3 WR spot. If any of you have anything to share from last night’s game, please indulge me!

    • Ark87

      Jernst and myself put up some observations on the game below. Neither of us put too much up about the second half. I’m sure Tommy will be hitting us with a rockin DGR pretty soon too (today or tomorrow most likely).

      Salas got mixed in with the 3’s and 4’s and clearly did not belong, in a good way.

    • JoeD

      what a lot of people didin’t pick up on was Vick had PERFECT protection on his drive. Didn’t see any blitzes or free rushers…thats not to take away on his good game, but Foles saw two free rushes and allen babre got DESTROYED on the fumble.

    • jtre

      Vick was almost perfect last night. Had 1 incompletion that was low in tight coverage and was the only place it could be thrown where it was either going to be a catch or an incompletion. Foles did a really nice job also when they ran the hurry up. I expect to see Vick run the up tempo offense some in the next game

  • phillychuck

    Watching the game last night I was just stunned by how many missed tackles there were. More than last year, even at its worst. On pretty much every play a defender grabbed or grabbed-at a running back or receiver with the ball, and somehow the guy kept running. It’s like our defenders have completely bendable limbs, and even the weakest backs run right through them. And if the defender grabs the RB while being blocked there’s really no chance. Kelly needs to spend extensive practice time on shedding blocks and tackling. Scheme will make no difference otherwise.

    BTW, it’s really stupid to just discard Cole and Graham by shifting to a 3-4. Good coaches adjust their schemes to their players, not vice-versa. I know you know this, Tommy, and I know Kelly has said he would do that, but that was very close to a 2-gap 3-4 most of the night.

    • JoeD

      Well… From what we saw last year Cole could’ve been done for a 4-3 player too. I think Tommy said it best and that’s we really need at least another off season of re-tooling the defense. Just not a lot of talent even when we were a 4-3 and had 4-3 personnel we were God awful on a lot of levels..

      I thought Kendricks from a running stand point was really disappointing –esp when he played so well in TC

  • JoeD

    One more thing. I was really a big fan of the Honey Badger coming out of the draft. He was a big play maker despite his conceived physical limitations and weed habits. But wow, would love to have a return guy, a play maker in the slot and someone who could play the S position. What a great pick for the Cardinals…At first glance anyway.

    • Alistair Middlemiss

      Honey Badger will make plays…. the problem is in 3 years time when you have pencilled him is as key player on D and he picks up a whole season suspension for being an idiot in some way that he hurts the franchise.

      • JoeD

        who cares? That’s what 3rd round draft choices are for. You can get a perennial star in the 3rd…and if he gets in trouble? big deal, he was a third rounder…Look at our past 3rd rounders and tell me you wouldn’t rather have Honey….Bryan Smith, Curtis Marsh?, Dantiel Teo’??? Tony Hunt?????? (btw this is a big reason why we have no talent on defense…these past drafts)

        Do you see any big time play makers on this defense? I don’t.. I think there’s going to be solid guys like Barwin, but I don’t think any particular player is going to really stand out. Passing on a kid because he can’t bench and he likes pot is a mistake.

    • Anders

      I thought Logan looked good out there and while the DL has potential, we also had only one good player there

  • GermanEagle

    I miss the honey badger already and he’s never been an Eagle!

  • xlGmanlx

    I don’t know about anyone else, I was encouraged by what I saw. You could see flashes of what Chip Kelly wants to do in all three phases of the ball and some of his play calling style. Basically run to setup the pass! It also looked like there was some sloppy play that can be corrected with film study and scheme. I’m excited to see how far things progress by game 3.

  • eagleyankfan

    Wow. Just wow on that defense. Yes — it will take time to gel. I get that. WHY Allen and Casey Mathews are on this team(or ANY nfl team) I don’t get it. Casey Mathews was in on 1 play and the announcers were kind to say HE broke up that play. The QB missed the WR is all, but somehow Casey got credit. Allen missed a tackle? After last season, I’ll be surprised when he MAKES a tackle. He AND Coleman stink.
    Eagle game is just about over the they cut to Sapp and some aging ex-Giants player who can’t speak English — and he goes on to say that Vick will be the starter because once the season starts, the REAL defenses and defensive schemes show up, Vick can handle that. I know I lean towards Foles — but WTF is he talking about???? What is he basing that “theory” on? Was it Vicks complete lack of ability last year? What a dope. He has ZERO proof so far that Vick can correctly judge ANY defense(besides a base defense in PS).
    My opinion on QB’s. Both are off to a great start. WR’s. Mesean MUST lead this team. Off to a great start. Hard work pays off(and it actually sounds like he’s working hard). Avant — good to see him on play where he’s actually moving to catch the ball. He just might be a weapon. Again, it’s pre-season.
    That game was like an awkward first blind date….