Yesterday was quiet for news. I failed to answer some questions from the DGR so let me do that now.
Michael Vick and being calm.
I need to go back and re-read my 2010 DGRs to know for sure, but my memory is that Vick wasn’t calm in the pocket. Part of that wasn’t his fault. Mike McGlynn was playing C. Nick Cole was allegedly the RG. At times, he was more like a matador or speed bump. Winston Justice was erratic at RT. Re-watch highlights from the Lions game. Vick in the pocket looked like some of the scenes from The Matrix where Neo had to dodge bullets with all the crazy bending moves and gyrations.
Vick was dynamic in 2010. We don’t want that. I repeat…we DO NOT want that. Vick being good and running the offense is the best way to keep him healthy and the offense efficient. A big part of that is having good pocket presence. Distribute the ball. Run when you need to. Make smart decisions. The Vick we’re seeing now really is unlike any Vick I recall seeing before.
Bamiro and the roster.
It is possible the Eagles could add Bamiro, as they did Nate Menkin last year. There was no real intention of playing Menkin, but the team wanted him. I don’t think this will happen, though. I’m projecting the Eagles to keep 9 OL. There will be 5 starters. There will be Barbre, Watkins, a C, and Dennis Kelly. If the team has doubts about Kelly, they could replace him with Bamiro. I am guessing they’ll want to keep Kelly around. We’ll see how his back checks out in a couple of weeks.
I don’t see Bamiro playing this year. Can you afford to spend a roster spot on a player who can’t play? Maybe. Depends on just how much you value that guy and how the rest of your roster looks.
The offensive scheme helping OL.
I’ve never really heard an O-lineman talk about this at length, but I think a big part of their game is confidence. One way to help them is by putting them in favorable situations. If you run the ball a lot, the OL gets to mash on DEs and LBs. That allows him to be the aggressor and to build up his confidence. Then when you do have him pass block, he’s not going to be as worried. He’s been beating on the DE for half the game.
Add to that the fact you’re throwing shorter, quicker passes and the OL is going to win those battles easier. If the ball is gone in 1.5 seconds, the OL doesn’t have nearly as hard of a job. The DL is going to get frustrated and that will affect his game.
Think about the New Orleans Saints. Sean Payton took over in 2006. They haven’t had an elite OT in that period. Yet, Drew Brees has time to throw. Part of that is on Brees for getting rid of the ball quickly. Part is on the Saints for running the ball. Part is on the scheme for moving the QB around.
Chip Kelly is using those same ideas, but with different plays. DEs are less likely to attack upfield when going against his playbook. They don’t know what play will be run or what the QB will be doing or where he’ll be throwing from.
I am not saying that Demetress Bell would thrive in this system, but I guarantee you he’d be better than he was last year. Andy threw a lot of 5 and 7 step drops. He did chip block and double team at times, but the OTs still had regular pressure to go execute long, tough pass blocks. That puts the pass rushers at an advantage.
Barbre is playing well due to the scheme and Stoutland’s coaching. It also helps that he’s got good talent. Matt Kopa does not have NFL talent and it shows. The scheme helps him, but he’s just not meant to be an NFL OT. The surrounding circumstances have brought out the best in Barbre.
One thing to keep in mind when asking about fringe players is that the preseason finale will be crucial to them. Backups will play most, if not all, of the Jets game. Jobs will be won and lost in that game. It is meaningless to casual fans, but can be hugely important. Priest Holmes was on the bubble as a rookie with the Ravens, but played really well on offense and STs in his preseason finale and won a roster spot. He had a decent career, wouldn’t ya say?
We can debate Russell Shepard vs Greg Salas or Clay Harbor vs Derek Carrier or whatever scenario you want, but the point is that we can’t even make a really good argument until the preseason finale. Those guys will play a ton of snaps and that should show who the best players are.
The other thing to keep in mind is that we don’t know if we’ll keep 6 WRs or 4 RBs or 5 TEs or 10 OL. In a way, you will have Russell Shepard competing with Matthew Tucker, Derek Carrier and Michael Bamiro for a roster spot. It isn’t just within the position group. The coaches want a player to step up and win a job. The same thing applies on defense players will battle to be one of the 4 ILBs we keep. Then they’ll battle DL and DBs for a possible final spot where the team will go heavy with numbers.
As Kelly likes to say, the players set the depth chart. They set the roster as well. Go win a job and you should be fine. This team isn’t so loaded with talent that many good players are going to be cut. I’m looking at 51 or 52 players I like. I think we’ll need outside help to set the roster this year.