Let’s talk about the secondary for a bit today.
1:43 pm - Phillips and Sims are back on the field. I see Phillips close on some running plays. He doesn’t appear to have the same explosion he did before the knee injuries, but it’s hard to judge his effectiveness without real hitting.
2:30 pm - Practice over. Not sure what to make of where Phillips stands. Is it good that he mostly goes unnoticed? That means he’s not getting scorched deep. I’ve noticed Coleman and even Anderson a few times in training camp, but for the wrong reasons. I haven’t seen much from Chung either. Without much hitting it’s hard to see who is a sure tackler and who would be separating receivers from the ball across the middle. The preseason games are going to be make-or-break for the safeties too, just as they will be for the quarterbacks.
Jimmy Bama mentioned the other day that Phillips looks slow to him.
I guess I’m not feeling great about Phillips right now. The one hedge I’ll make is that Phillips is a veteran player. He’s got 41 NFL starts. He’s been part of a Super Bowl team (just can’t seem to remember what the team was called). Guys like him don’t always go all out in camp. He should since he’s not guaranteed a role, but some guys need a game setting to be at their best. Phillips needs to shine in the games to help his cause. I’m not optimistic, but I’d be happy to be wrong.
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Curtis Marsh looks interesting. Someone watched practice the other day and noted how well Marsh was using his size. You can see it in that couple of drills.
Marsh was a project when he was picked and this is the year he should really start to show if he can play or not.
Marsh is 6-1, 197. He has pretty good speed. He played some each of the last 2 years, but didn’t show anything that would lead you to believe he’s close to being a reliable CB. This offseason has been critical for him. Marsh is on his third DBs coach in 3 years. Has he really made good progress? Is he ready to break through?
The good news is that John Lovett, Bill Davis and Chip Kelly have given him a clean slate. Marsh will be judged on what he does, not his draft status or what happened in the past. Davis likes big DBs and Marsh does have good size. Davis might be able to find a way to use him.
Another interesting DB is Eddie Whitley. He is 6-0, 188. Whitley is a S/CB tweener. The Eagles are trying to develop him into a slot corner. I think the goal would be to have him available when going against teams who use big WRs in the slot. As good as Brandon Boykin is, you don’t like a 5-9, 185 DB going against Calvin Johnson. Whitley is a no-name guy, but Davis found a way to use big DBs in Arizona. Matt Ware played his best football for Davis. Ware was also a S/CB tweener that Davis used creatively.
The focus is on the big names, but the coaches are looking at everyone. They are experimenting with different combinations, trying to identify which players look good on an individual basis, but also which groups work well together. The 2012 secondary played like a bunch of individuals. That can’t happen again. The Eagles need to find DBs that can play as a group.
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Jimmy Bama is a complete moron. And thank god for that. Go check out his post on DeSean Jackson and Damaris Johnson. You’ll be cracking up at his artwork on this one. Imagine if Picasso, Einstein and Trey Parker were rolled into one. True greatness. I’m especially fond of the sock.