Q & A

Posted: August 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 45 Comments »

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.

Roster projections.

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.

_


  • barneygoogle

    Couldn’t the Eagles put Dennis Kelly on the temp injured list for the first 6 weeks of the season? Maybe somebody could stomp on Shepard’s or Bamiro’s toes and get him some time on the injury list, too.
    My fear is that Bamiro, Shepard, Tucker and Momah, etc. will not make it past waivers to the practice squad. We need developmental players for 2014.
    I would think the Eagles could IR the LB Travis Long (if they like him) since he has only 9 mo since acl surgery.

    • Iskar36

      You definitely risk a player by trying to get him on the practice squad, but keep in mind that every team has the same issue. Every team has 2 or 3 players they really like and want to keep and there isn’t usually a significant run on those fringe players at the end of the season. On top of that, for another team to pick up one of our guys, they have to stick him on the 53 man roster. Momah for example has shown very little in any of the preseason games, and this is against other backups for the most part. As of right now, I doubt any team will go out of their way to put Momah on their 53-man roster. At best, another team will want to put them on their practice squad, but at that point, we would have the advantage of keeping him over any other team.

      As for IR, Long would need to get reinjured somehow to be put on IR. I don’t think the Eagles could use his ACL surgery from 9 months ago to justify putting him on IR. He would need to do something else first to re injure himself.

      • TommyLawlor

        Yep. Every team is trying to stash guys.

        And we all overvalue our own players.

        • GvilleEagleFan

          A note about us overvaluing our own players – is it because we (more accurately the team) saw something in them to begin with that other teams didn’t see, we are just wearing midnight green-colored sunglasses, or is it because the fringe players on any given squad are most valuable to that squad because they might fit our particular scheme? When I first saw you write this, I thought it was a tongue-in-cheek reminder to slow the hype train on guys that have a long road to meaningful NFL snaps, but the more I think about it the more it seems like it makes sense for every (or at least most) teams to like their own guys the best because otherwise they wouldn’t be “their guys.”

          • barneygoogle

            I think a lot of teams were trying to sign Bamiro and Momah just a few months ago.

  • I Got Jokes, Calm Down

    Would you like to get a Juron Criner or Da’Rick Rodgers?? We are in a good spot to claim released players…

    • pjxii

      I’ve been interested in seeing how Rodgers is doing since Buffalo signed him as a UDFA. Seems that he’ll be making the 53 man roster from what I’ve been reading. Seems to have a better handle on responsibility at the moment, in addition to his talent. Too bad for us!

      • I Got Jokes, Calm Down

        Actually its the opposite, i have been reading he is far from a roster lock and might be cut, google da’rick rodgers

  • OregonDucker

    My guess is Chip will keep as many OL as qualify. He needs the backups in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

    • ICDogg

      Hmmmm… rotating O-linemen in the absence of injuries is very uncommon in the NFL.But maybe if they’re running an exceptional number of plays, you might need to relieve a couple of them.

    • GEagle

      like we talked about yesterday,the TE position makes our roster projections very difficult. When you have the ability to line up with 4TE in that Stack formation, that’s a very nice chess piece to make life difficult for defenses. Clay Harbor, I think is officially safe..But if you want to lineup with 4TE, shouldn’t you ATleast keep a 5th in case of injury? Or do you just go with 4 and elevate someone from practice squad or sign someone off the street in case of an injury?

      And if you do keep 5, what does that mean for the WR position? Then you have guys like Ertz and Harbor who blur the lines between WR and TE(as someone so eloquently stated yesterday lol)..It’s going to be very interesting to see how this all shakes out..
      ..
      Silver Lining: Just imagine how tough this would be if we haven’t lost like 5 guys for the season due to injury already?

  • austinfan

    You have seven spots that don’t dress week to week. Now some of them you’ll reserve for young veterans that are insurance policies, but it doesn’t make sense to reserve those spots for “replacement level” veterans, because you can pick those guys up off the waiver wire. Same with guys on the last year of their contract, because they’re probably not part of your future.

    So if you dress 7 OL, the 8th is a guy who can step in as a backup and play multiple spots (or if you have guys like Herremans, play his spot and let him move). The 9th is usually going to be someone you want to stash, because your 9th veteran is probably close to replacement level (see Tennant, for example).

    Now if you’re a SB contender, you might err on the side of depth, if you’re rebuilding, err on the side of protecting prospects who might not make it through waivers to your PS (and remember, half your players on the PS will end up being claimed by other teams by the end of the season).

    • ICDogg

      I think it’s a good question to ask what makes a player worth protecting, if you’re not planning on using him any time soon. The coaches, who work with these projects every day, can have much more insight than we can as to whether they have so much upside potential and coachability that you want to use a roster spot to protect them, or whether it might be worth the crapshoot of trying to snag one or two of some other teams’ projects off the wire.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        good point. if a player is a project that is a good 2-3 years away from being able to contribute, is it *really* worth holding up a roster spot for 2-3 years to see if it will work out or not?

        • GvilleEagleFan

          The Curtis Marsh Conundrum

          • TheRogerPodacter

            haha thats exactly who i was thinking of!

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Although we have seen the read option seep into the NFL last year, Chip Kelly is on the cutting edge. My belief is part of the beauty of the RO is it takes a lot of pressure from the QB. Make a quick read (and that not every play) and make a simple execution. It’s an offense more QBs can execute. Many were worried Vick might not be able to run this offense, but it seems to me this offense suits his strengths and hides his weaknesses more than any other he’s ever run.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      Well it’s not that simple. There are several options for the QB on many of the r/o plays. Ultimately QBs are making the call where the ball is going.

      They just aren’t reading the end either. The defense still has to be read – you’re just doing a quick math formula to make your decision (5 on 5/3 on 2/single safety high/etc.) – also you have to be in synch with your WR ’cause they generally don’t know if the play is coming to them or going to the RB or the QB is going to keep it until the last possible moment.

      It’s a lot going on. You have to really understand and embrace the concepts. But once you have them and the skill to execute them, you should be good.

  • Ian Patrick

    you had me until the last sentence. there are gaping bullet holes that will require outside help. that may not be the case with the final 53 but by week 1 or 2, there will be chaos in our front 7. i still do not know why you are so optimistic about the D. the offense will be functional with any of the 3 qb. the D needs a safety. Polamalu, Harrison, Dawkins, Gholston….if you want to expand that thought if you have a shutdown corner or secondary player, most of the time the Ds confidence is mercurially better for it and it trickles to the front 7. the relief of knowing that the last 60 yards behind them is somehow that much more locked down or sewn up, helps other guys to do their jobs. nowhere on the grid iron can confidence or the lack thereof be more self evident than on the D. your optimism while commendable is rooted in Chipper cheer. i for one, still look at him as a college coach with a shit load to prove. i believed what i heard from veterans about soft scheme on O permeates the whole team. that is the rep he had in college, a Duck cant change his feathers, only molt them for shinier newer ones to make their shortcomings more glaring. this roster will be an improvement but in the buffalo bills type of way. ie they will be the proverbial pigskin cock tease for the next 2 and a half seasons until Lurie wakes up or sells the team.

    • ICDogg

      They’re not going to have the luxury of a playmaking game changer in the secondary. I don’t have a high upside on what this defense can do this year.But I think they can scheme in a conservative manner that allows them to play within their abilities and prevents big plays. The better QBs will pick them apart, though, until they get some other problems straightened out.

    • Adam

      You can’t fix an entire team in one off-season, especially considering the shape the roster was in after Andy left. Going forward the team will be built through the draft, but in the mean time some guys like Williams, Barwin, Sopoaga etc, who are essentially warm bodies until someone can be brought up through the Eagles system. It makes much more sense for Chip to take what he knows best (the offense) and get that going from day 1. Most of the pieces were already in place.

      Let’s face it, until the QB situation is sorted out (translated: until we draft our franchise QB), this team isn’t making any deep playoff runs any time soon. What’s the point of going out and paying a guy like Vernon Gholston 8-9 mil a year? I’m sorry, but that’s a colossal waste of resources. Going out and buying a secondary is just not a good idea (Dream Team, anyone?) , and since the Andy Reid and co. whiffed on so many picks, I’m not really sure how you can sit here and blame Chip for our bad defense.

      I’m not sure what your expectations are for the Eagles, and I’m not sure what Tommys are either.. but I’d like to think of myself as a pretty reasonable Eagles fan, and I think reasonable Eagles fans are looking for improvements in certain areas and not so much the win-loss area, because we understand where the team is right now. I want to see improved tackling, better special teams, and a much better turnover differential. Those things alone could turn the Eagles from a 4-12 team into a 6-10 or 8-8 team.

      As much as people hate the word rebuilding, that’s pretty much where we are. Maybe transitioning would be a better term, but the offense is going to have to carry this team for a couple years before we have the talent and scheme in place to be successful.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      Gholston? as in Vernon Gholston? the bust of a LB/DE from the jets?
      or do you mean Dashon Goldson, the 49ers S?

  • ICDogg

    Wang tweeted “It’s been real Philly”. No more Wang Chung or Wing Wang.

    • A_T_G

      He could have at least wished us all to have fun tonight.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    Funny…when I was watching Foles play I thought to myself…he looks like Vick normally does…frenetic . It’s why the offense seemed to move faster with him. He was never still. never calm..and in turn everyone else seemed xtra jumpy as well. I remember thinking he looked so much calmer last year.

  • GEagle

    Herremans was interviewed and they asked him a lot about our young guys, and he seemed pretty impressed with how quickly Bamiro is picking things up and progressing. He also sang plenty of praise for Barbre, and said its a lot of fun to play next to Lane, and that seeing the game through the eyes of a QB has clearly helped Lane understand the overall defense which is a useful for the kid..Haven’t noticed Watkins at all, but when it comes to lineman, not noticing them can be a good thing. I’m bummed out over the injury to Dennis because I was really looking forward to seeing what type of year two improvement he would make in the preseason..
    ..
    It’s one thing to have a potentially great starting Oline, but To have such quality starters, and what looks to be a stable of young promising backs up to Mold who are coming along nicely is very exciting. After last season, few fans will appreciate Oline Depth like Philly…and to have a top line, in the hands of brilliant mastermind who will not only make their jobs easier, but also use it as a weapon is going to be a lot of fun.
    ..
    the 4th preseason game this year should be unusually exciting

  • ACViking

    Re: Raiders at Eagles – 1980 regular season (Off topic for ICDogg)

    ICDogg . .

    Great call.

    Best game I ever saw by any Eagles team in any decade. 10-7 victory at the Vet on a very cold November day. The Birds punched the Raiders in the mouth and the Raiders punched back.

    Sports Illustrated ran a post-game article in its next issue called “Preview of the Super Bowl.”

    • ICDogg

      One of my favorite games too. Epic physical battle in which each yard gained was a monumental effort. The defenses were giving up nothing.

      • ACViking

        Awesome description . . . .

        Most physical game of the Vermeil era? I can’t think of another.

        • ICDogg

          Even at the time, they were talking about it as if it the game was a throwback to a past era.

  • ACViking

    Re: Clay Harbor & the Dolphins

    T-Law:

    If you had the ear of Kelly and Roseman — assuming Miami was interested to swap a pick (not Dion) –would you recommend trading Harbor to the Dolphins? If yes, what round would the pick have to be in at a minimum?

    Harbor seems like he’d fit well doing what Dustin Keller’s best at.

    Or would you counsel keeping Harbor through the last cuts?

    Given the plague of ACLs in Philadelphia, maybe holding on is better.

    Anyway . . . just wondering.

  • SteveH

    I say if you really think he could be a baller in the future, stash em this year on the roster. We’re not going to be a super bowl team this year.

    I’m guessing the coaches and FO guys don’t look at it that way though, so odds are we won’t be doing any stashing.

  • GermanEagle

    Has Kelly practiced yet? I am asking because if not could be put on PUP. And if that’s not possible would he be PS eligible?

    The more I read about Bamiro the more I am intrigued by him. Maybe it’s worth protecting him by stashing him on the final roster although he won’t be seeing much playing time this year?!

    • A_T_G

      Kelly is not eligible for the PS. I don’t know about the PUP, but I seem to remember him practicing from reports of disappointing progress.

      How is the GF?

      • GermanEagle

        The GF is good, thanks. It was a false alarm yesterday as it turned out that her water didn’t break.

        • A_T_G

          The closer to 40 weeks she makes, the better, although that is probably little consolation for either of your nerves at this point.

          Odds are she will go into labor just before kickoff of the Washington game. When each of my two boys were born, they took the opportunity to show me that what I thought I was going to be doing wasn’t nearly as important as I thought it was.

          • GermanEagle

            Her date for induction is the 09/09 so the twins girls shouldn’t be keeping me from watching our season opener. ;)

          • SteveH

            Well, if it comes down to it, you know which one you need to focus on the most.

          • GermanEagle

            Of course I know that. ;) And if push comes to shove (literally ha) then the NFL.com Gamepass allows me to watch the game “as live” later. :)

          • SteveH

            I was actually inferring that you’d have to skip the birth to watch the game, but sure that works too!

  • Flyin
  • Weapon Y

    I’ve thought about who the likely candidates are for the 8 practice squad spots. I’d think that Dennis Dixon or G.J. Kinne will take one spot. Chip needs lots of QBs in practice. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kinne stayed. Maybe Chip is having him play scout team defense and special teams to get him used to it this fall. Dixon might have some value in simulating RG3 and other read option quarterbacks. I doubt Chip keeps both, but who knows?

    Matthew Tucker is definitely a possibility. With how much running there is in the offense, it might be important to keep a RB on the practice squad. Ifeanyi Momah will definitely not make the 53-man roster, but Chip might decide to put him on the practice squad if he intends to be patient with him. I just haven’t seen anything from Momah, so I’d bet against him. Russell Shepard might make the final roster, but I think Greg Salas has outplayed him and I’m not sure he’s done enough to earn a spot. He definitely has potential though. I think he’s a great candidate for the practice squad.

    We all know Chip loves tight ends. Emil Igwenagu, Derek Carrier, and Will Shaw are all possibilities. I think Carrier has the most upside so he could get it, but it’s really a toss-up.

    Michael Bamiro screams practice squad. He showed some good
    physicality against the Panthers. He’s very raw, but has great size. Matt Tobin has gotten a few reps with the ones and looked decent. I could see him getting a spot.

    Joe Kruger hasn’t shown enough to earn a spot on the roster, but I’d like to give him a chance to bulk up. He has good technique, but gets thrown around because he’s so small. David King has some versatility, but not as much potential as Kruger. I think Damion Square makes the team, but if not, he will at least be a practice squad guy.

    Jake Knott is interesting case. He flashed great ability against the Pats, but looked very raw against the Panthers. Acho looks like the top backup ILB. Chaney looks lost. Matthews did ok when healthy. I don’t think Chip cuts Matthews unless Knott has a tremendous last two preseason games. Knott definitely makes the practice squad, if not the roster.

    Jordan Poyer still doesn’t look ready, but he has some versatility as a returner, safety, outside and nickel CB. He might not be the best guy, but maybe it’s more important for Chip to have a body that can fill multiple roles. Eddie Whitley has a chance after making some plays in the preseason.

    The 8 guys on the practice squad rarely all played for the same team in training camp. 2-3 guys likely will be other teams’ roster casualties. If I had to predict, I’d go with Dennis Dixon, Russell Shepard, Derek Carrier, Michael Bamiro, Joe Kruger, Jake Knott, and two guys from other teams.

    • Flyin

      Is Dennis Dixon eligible for the practice squad? If so, I expect him to collect his third ring from a 3rd team.

      • Weapon Y

        Yes, surprisingly. Jimmy Bama confirmed it.

        • Flyin

          And you trust him!?! Good to know… thanks!