DGR – The Defense from SD game

Posted: September 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 144 Comments »

The Eagles gave up 539 yards and 33 points. This was an ugly performance. There were multiple reasons for the problems. Right now everyone is focused on the Safety position, but there were issues beyond just that. I think you’re making a mistake if you try to pin this game on one player or position.

Let’s start up front. The pass rush was disappointing. They only sacked Philip Rivers once and didn’t hit him nearly enough. We do have to give some credit to the Chargers. We’re used to Rivers playing in Norv Turner’s offense, which means throwing the ball downfield. Things were very different under Mike McCoy. The top 3 pass catchers were Antonio Gates, Danny Woodhead and Eddie Royal…the TE, RB and slot receiver. Many of those were short, quick throws.

Still, the rush wasn’t good enough. Watching the game, I was mad at Bill Davis for not using enough 4-2-5 looks. Upon re-watching it, Davis did give that look plenty of times. The Chargers blocked well and Rivers got the ball out quickly. Not enough Eagles players were winning the 1-on-1 battles.

Coverage obviously was a major issue. There were blown coverages too often. The Chargers used a lot of bunch sets and Eagles were picked off by each other a few times. This will get cleaned up by the coaching staff, but it was a problem on Sunday. There were some plays where guys just didn’t cover the right player. There were other plays where individuals did a poor job in coverage. There were also a few plays where there was tight coverage, but Rivers put the ball on the money and all you could do was shake your head.

One of the big problems was Mychal Kendricks on Gates. Antonio is a crafty veteran as well as a good athlete. He used good fakes and quick moves to get away from Kendricks. Gates took MK to school in a big way. That will happen to young players when going against veterans. There were a couple of plays where Kendricks was on the ground because Gates got the best of him. And the Eagles did mix things up. Kendricks tried to press/jam Gates. He played off. Gates found a way to get open. The coaches tried other players on Gates, but no one had much success.

The tackling was good in the opener, but a mess on Sunday. The Chargers got plenty of yards due to defenders simply missing the runner/receiver.

There is no question that the Eagles simply lack ideal talent on defense. You could see the physical limitations of the DBs. The frustrating part is that Kendricks and the DL do have talent, but didn’t play well enough.

As far as coaching goes, I do give Davis credit for trying different things. He used the 3-4, 3-3-5 and 4-2-5. There were even a couple of 4-3 looks. The DL stunted at times. Sopoaga would loop outside with the DE slanting inside. It looked like over and under fronts were mixed in. He blitzed up the middle. He blitzed off the edge. He had OLBs line up on slot receivers. Sometimes they would blitz, sometimes they would drop. Nothing worked with any consistency. I’ll share thoughts on solutions in a later post. For now, let’s focus on what did happen.

I haven’t had a chance to check the All-22 yet so it is tough to say much about defensive coverages and adjustments. I thought Davis tried a lot of different things. The problem is that nothing worked well consistently.

One other issue must be discussed. Penalties. There were crushing penalties on Williams and Chung that kept drives going. 3rd down stops were negated by stupidity. I don’t mind a DB being aggressive and grabbing some jersey, but you cannot get a handful of jersey and hold it for 5 seconds. That’s just dumb.

PLAYS

* On the 3rd play of the game, SD had 2 TEs, RB and FB. Only 1 WR. For some reason, the defense stayed in Cover 2. That meant 8 blockers (5 OL + 2 TEs + FB) vs 7 defenders. They ran to the right for 8 yds. Someone has to make an adjustment call on that.

* SD ran play-action pass from simple I-left formation. Looked like ILBs were confused on who had the RB and who had the TE. Woodhead caught a short pass and turned it into a nice gain.

* Opened the 2nd Qtr with a 4-3 look.

* On the first Chargers TD, there were a couple of receivers to the right side. Both DBs played off and then were in each other’s way as they went into coverage. When DBs are to the same side, they normally line up at different depths to avoid pick plays like that. Nate and Hughes were the DBs. Not sure who was at fault. I’m sure most will want to blame Nate, but they would just be guessing.

On a later play, Cary Williams and Earl Wolff had a similar issue, but the pass was incomplete.

* Went with 4-3 look in the 2nd Qtr, but walked Barwin out over slot. 72-97-91-58 was the line.

* TD in the early 3rd Qtr. Looked like the Eagles were in Cover 3. Cary Williams played man coverage and stuck with his WR. That left a zone completely vacated and that’s where Eddie Royal ended up. Nate started to break that way, but Cary was in his way and picked him off. Also, Barwin didn’t have proper depth. He should have gotten deeper to serve as underneath defender for that route. Instead, he was focused on player running a shallow route. Ryans was also on that guy and it was 3rd/10. Barwin should have known to be deeper. These are the kind of coverage mistakes that will happen as players learn a new scheme and each other. Different coaches teach different versions of coverage, even basic zones. The players must be on the same page for them to work.

PLAYERS

DL

COX - Helped on Barwin’s sack by driving the RG back into Rivers. Great hustle on the next play, a screen pass. Got outside and helped tackle Woodhead. Was lined up as the NT on run play late in the half. Held ground vs double team and that enabled Trent to hit Mathews and knock the ball loose. Blew up 3rd Qtr run. Worked to inside of blocker and then grabbed the RB as he tried to go by. Good awareness, good hands. No gain. C tried to reach block him on outside run and Cox just drove him into the backfield. Made the RB stay deep, wide. Drove the C back to Rivers on pass play late in the 3rd Qtr. Beat Fluker with inside move and Rivers got rid of the ball quickly. Looped inside on 3rd/10 play in the 4th Qtr and forced Rivers to throw the ball to underneath receiver. That led to FG.

SOPOAGA - Blah game. Didn’t get push on pass plays. Wasn’t difference maker vs the run. Did make one tackle while hustling down the LOS in pursuit.

THORNTON - Had some good moments. Was disruptive at times, on both run and pass plays. Credited with 2 tackles. Disrupted a 1st Qtr run by driving his OL back and then grabbing the RB as he went wide. Didn’t make the tackle, but slowed the RB and led to TFL. Stuffed a 3rd Qtr run play to right side by sliding over from LDE. Gave up a couple of yds, but made a strong tackle. Shed block of C and stuffed inside run in the mid-4th. Got blocked on late 3rd/1 run. Spun off the block and made the tackle, but gave up 1.5 yds.

CURRY - DNP.

GEATHERS - Backup LDE. Played some at DT. Awkward. Got pushed to inside on 4th Qtr run play. Did not stand out to me at all.

LOGAN - Backup RDE. Played some DT as well. Tackled Woodhead on 4th Qtr run. Got him as Danny started upfield. Still gave up 5 yds. Failed to do much as a pass rusher.

SQUARE - Backup NT. Struggled to get pass rush early. Got moved 3 yds off the ball by double-team on early 2nd Qtr run. Got moved off the ball on the next play and that created a big running lane right up the middle. Uses his hands well. Love his effort. Just doesn’t have the size/athleticism combo that I like.

OLB

COLE - Good game. Better than I expected after watching it live. Coaches lined Trent up over the slot receiver on several plays and had him fly to the backfield at the snap. WR Eddie Royal tried to block Trent on a run play. Trent just pushed him to the ground. After the play Trent was talking to him. I’m sure he was like “Ed, don’t you know big people beat up little people?” Flew off the edge, unblocked, on pass play and dove for Rivers. Philip fired the ball to the flat, but the pass was off target. Made good stop on run play that came to his side. Got off block of OL and tripped up the runner. Drew holding call on Dunlap on the next play. Exploded off the ball and drove King back. Got held as he tried to get the RB. Beat Dunlap late in the half and put Rivers on the ground, but only after the pass was gone. On the next play, Trent got held by King, but fought through that and forced a Mathews fumble. Blew by the LG and was in the backfield instantly, but Rivers dumped the ball to his RB for a short gain. Trent hustled, helped make the tackle. Dunlap had a FS penalty when getting ready to block Trent on pass play. Beat Dunlap cleanly on pass play and hit Rivers as he threw. Pass fell incomplete. Inches away from knocking the ball loose for a strip sack. Fell to ground after using spin move on final drive. Dove for Rivers feet, but couldn’t hang on. Would have been huge play.

BARWIN - Had a tremendous play on the opening drive. Attacked the RT on a pass play. Hit him while he was off balance and knocked the RT to the ground. Barwin then got to Rivers for the sack. Impressive burst, power on the play. Had TFL on run to his side in the late 1st Qtr. Ced blew up the play and Barwin was able to get off TE’s block and make the stop. Blew by Fluker on 2nd Qtr pass play and forced quick throw. Made tackle of Brown after short dump off pass in the late 3rd. Missed tackle of Woodhead in the flat after short pass. Happened on 3rd/4 on final drive and Danny got enough to keep the drive alive. Got pressure in the 4th Qtr on a couple of plays, but was unable to get to Rivers on those critical drives. Credited with 6 solo tackles, sack and TFL.
GRAHAM - Got on the field at ROLB in the 1st Qtr. Played DE and LB. Didn’t get used as much as I wanted, but also didn’t impress when he was on the field. Had pass rush opportunities and just struggled to get into the backfield.

ILB

KENDRICKS - Bad game. Mis-read run play on opening drive. Went to wrong gap (for no reason) and run went where he’d been. Struggled with Antonio Gates. Tried to jam him on 1st Qtr pass play and didn’t get a clean blow. Gates broke hard to the outside and was wide open for easy catch. Made sloppy tackle of Mathews on run that came right at him. Reached for the RB instead of attacking him. Overran run on next play. Came right to him, but had started to flow with the OL. Made tackle, but gave up too many yds. Missed easy tackle of Woodhead that should have been for loss. Only gave up a couple of yds, but still bad. Missed easy tackle of Gates after short catch. That would have left SD in 3rd/long, but instead they got a 1st down. Recovered fumble that Cole knocked loose late in the half. Got to blitz off the edge in the early 3rd, but Rivers was able to move up in the pocket. Tripped up RB in the 3rd Qtr and held him to short gain. Good hustle on an outside run to make that play. Gave up 6-yd completion to Gates on 3rd/4. Coverage wasn’t bad, but needed to be better. Gates got just enough separation to give Rivers a target. Made a good 3rd down tackle of WR Brown after short catch on crossing route. Forced a FG. Tried to cover Gates on 3rd/3. Bit hard inside and Gates gave him a shove. That got MK off balance and Gates was wide open for short catch. Got the 1st down.

RYANS - Good game. Made a nice play on early screen. Read the play and got a hand on Woodhead, but wasn’t able to tackle him. MK cleaned up, but only after Ryans had slowed the RB down. Blew up an early inside run by being partient, reading the play and then making a good tackle. Made physical open field tackle of Woodhead after Kendricks miss. Pulled the helmet off Danny in the process of wrestling him to the ground. No penalty. Had big hit on Floyd after catch of the middle. Knocked him out of the game. Floyd left on stretcher, but luckily turned out to be okay. That was the opening play of the 2nd half. Helped stuff a run in the late 3rd Qtr. Knocked OL out of his way and got in on the tackle. Can be such a physical player at times. Tackled Royal after WR screen in the late 4th. Had a chance to make the tackle on Royal’s WR screen TD late in the game but whiffed. Took a false step on the fake at the beginning of the play and that delayed him getting outside to make the tackle. Credited with 9 total tackles (6 solo).

MATTHEWS - Played some OLB. First saw him late in the 2nd Qtr. RB came to his side, but cut up the field before he got near Casey. Hustled downfield on pass play and recovered the ball that Boykin knocked loose from Gates. Got in on tackle on WR screen in the 4th Qtr. Good motor, but nothing special as edge rusher.

KNOTT - Didn’t see him on defense.

S

ALLEN - Bad game. Got facemask penalty on first play, a run to the outside. Nate didn’t take a great angle on the play and then didn’t explode through the runner. Instead reached for him and got a stiff arm. Responded by grabbing the facemask. Came up and made solid tackle on next play, a pass over the middle. Just looked slow in breaking on the ball so the receiver had time to make the grab. Hurt himself when he tried to hit Gates, but instead got Chung. Only missed a few plays. Had man coverage on Danny Woodhead on 3rd/short at the end of the 1st Qtr. Was slow to get wide and Rivers got the ball to Danny for a short catch and 1st down. Gave up TD in early 2nd Qtr when he and other DB were in each other’s way and Royal was wide open for short pass. Royal then got into the endzone before Nate could get there. Came up and tackled Royal after catch over the middle in mid-4th. King Dunlap got away with holding Nate on Royal’s screen TD late in the game. Gave up completion to Gates for 15 yds to open the final drive. Next play missed easy open field tackle of Gates and gave up 20 yds.

CHUNG - Not a good game. Tried to tackle Gates by diving for his feet, but whiffed and Gates almost scored TD on that play. Flew up the field on run play in the early 3rd Qtr and put Mathews down after short gain. Came up quickly vs 3rd Qtr run play and helped tackle Brown on inside run. Pile still got moved a few yds. Made a critical mistake in the late 3rd. Grabbed jersey of receiver trying to release and was called for holding. D actually stopped the Chargers on that play, making the penalty a back-breaker. Blitzed from the slot on both run and pass plays. Tried to cover Royal in the slot on key 3rd down in the early 4th. Got beat and gave up completion. Then made sloppy tackle attempt and missed. Had good coverage on Royal on next play, a pass into the endzone. Rivers just threw the ball away.

WOLFF - Played quite a bit. Came in late in the 1st Qtr. Helped on TFL on first play. Quick to get involved in a run to his side. Love that. Be active and aggressive. Came up and hit Floyd hard after catch in front of him. Good break on the ball. Sure tackle. Looked like he was slow to get over and cover Floyd on intermediate pass. Williams played off and seemed to expect S help from the inside. Rivers had wide open target for big gain. Looked lost while trying to cover Gates on crossing route. That was the fumble in the RZ play. Flew up on 3rd Qtr run play and hit the RB in the backfield. Slung him to the ground and gave up 3 yds. Flew upfield on the next play, a run, and took on the FB. Earl got knocked on his butt, but helped to disrupt the play. Only minimal gain. Tackled Royal after Chung missed him on pass play. Single-covered Gates on pass play in the 4th Qtr. Helped break up the play. Gates was bobbling the ball anyway, but Earl made sure he didn’t make the catch. Took poor angle to the ball on Royal’s WR screen for TD. Cut under the official and that was too flat an angle. Had chance to tackle Royal but right at the goal line. Missed him. Wolff impressed me overall. Love his tackling.

CB

FLETCHER - DNP

WILLIAMS - Not his best day. Got off to a rough start. On the 2nd drive, Cary missed an easy tackle on RB Ryan Mathews. Did make solid stop vs Mathews on short pass in the flat to open the 2nd Qtr. Made a beautiful leaping PBU on pass in the early 2nd Qtr, but drew flag. Had a handful of jersey for much of the play. Grabbed jersey on other plays. If they’re calling it, you have to stop doing it. Called for 3 PIs. 2 were definitely legit. Didn’t see good replay on the other one. Gave up a lot of completions. Sometimes had good coverage, but other times was a step or two away. Pressed plenty, but didn’t go bump ‘n run. Not sure why he wasn’t jamming receivers more at the line. Made good tackle of Gates on 3rd/4 to keep him short of the sticks, but penalty on Chung wiped out the play.

HUGHES - Lined up in slot vs Floyd and got beat to the outside for good gain late in the 1st half. Coverage wasn’t bad, but Floyd is so much bigger and the throw was terrific.

BOYKIN - Got the start outside. Pretty good game. Had air tight coverage on WR on 1st Qtr pass play, but Rivers still threw the ball and the guy made the catch. Don’t know how Boykin didn’t hit the ball. His arm was in the receiver’s arms. Great play by QB/WR. Blitzed off the right side on 3rd down at the end of the 1st Qtr. Hit Rivers just as the ball left. Could have been a huge play, but the pass got out safely. Had tight man coverage on Brown on deep ball in the mid-2nd. Pass was incomplete. Made a huge play late in the half when he hustled in pursuit of Gates. Instead of just making the tackle, BB saw the ball swinging and knocked it loose from behind. That prevented either a TD or FG since it was in the RZ. Beaten by Royal on 3rd/7 in the early 2nd half. Boykin seemed to be playing the sticks, thinking Royal would go for the 1st down. Royal turned upfield and got cleanly away Boykin. Royal then made a spectacular catch for a gain of 23. Boykin guessed wrong. Ugh. Broke up 3rd/5 pass to Brown that actually a downfield throw. Came from slot and BB had tight coverage. Gave up short catch to Brown in the late 3rd, but once again had tight coverage. Gave up intermediate completion to Allen on 3rd/7 play in the early 4th Qtr. Critical down. Boykin was banged up on the play and went out, but returned quickly.

_


  • Scott J610

    Too many weak links.

  • the midatlantic

    The DL’s performance is so key. Davis only has so much talent in other places, but that’s one unit we can hold to a high, evaluative standard.

  • shah8

    Well, actually, this makes me feel better about the defense, overall. It seems that had Fletcher been able to play, everyone else’s job, particularly the lbs in coverage would have had an easier time dealing with their responsibilities, because Boykin would have been on Royal and otherwise been in the zones that Rivers would look to first.

    I’ve been reading some of what the Chiefs fans ideas were, and I think that by and large, they don’t really understand how we play. They point to Poe, and while yeah, he’s good and very likely to bullrush Kelce, they really underestimate the physical abilities of our tackles, and how much the Eagles will force safeties to the box. Even last year, think about the Ravens game and Detroit, and how we managed to handle great DTs in the midst of an OL catastrophe.

    • GEagle

      I don’t think the secondary even matters.We all know Darrel Revis isn’t on this team. I don’t care who your corners are, if you generate zero pass rush, your secondary is going to get torched…simple as that!

      you can’t even fairly evaluate a secondary when they get no pass rush. A good pass rush can function without great corners, but it’s pretty damn rare to see great corners function without a pass rush.

      This isn’t to say that our secondary couldn’t have done better, but I don’t think it’s a question of what came first, the chicken or the Egg?..Pass rush, Pass rush, pass rush, we can’t function without it
      ….
      Now, go back and watch the Washington game, and IMO that paints a more realistic picture as to who our corners are…get a decent amount of pressure on the QBs and they will be fine especially when the safeties become sound in their help responsibilities

      • mksp

        Rivers got the ball out exceptionally fast. Can’t put it all on the DL. Need to be able to cover for 2 seconds. Also, dumb penalties.

        • GEagle

          Yes but it wasn’t this drew Bree’s esque performance where he gets it out so fast on every single play that the Dline has no chance. there were third and long opportunities and we still did nothing. you have to do something. collapse the pocket, get your hands up and tip balls, force the Qb to step up into the pocket…Nothing!!! There were no signs of anything after Barwin got that sack, and there just aren’t many secondaries that can hold up when the Dline is non exsistent

  • Vick or Nick

    Good stuff Tommy.

    I hope Kendricks is more physical on Thursday (not facing Gates will help). We all know about his athleticism already.

    Seems to me the secondary has two options. They can either somehow get better at coverage. OR start playing more press, bump n’ run at the LOS. If teams are going to try to hit us with short, quick throws, then this could be an effective strategy.

    Finally, the D line needs to get more push. I think we all assumed they would dominate the chargers O-line, but that didn’t quite happen (maybe the players all assumed they would too). I know the scheme is about occupying blockers but you can’t get pushed back while doing so.

    Early prediction: Curry gets activated over Square for this game.

  • Phils Goodman

    Still, the rush wasn’t good enough. Watching the game, I was mad at Bill Davis for not using enough 4-2-5 looks. Upon re-watching it, Davis did give that look plenty of times.

    Perhaps so, but looks like this are just unfathomable to me. It’s a passing down and you are trying to harry the QB with a trio of 2-gapping linemen and Trent Cole blitzing all the way from the slot. It’s the equivalent of playing short-handed. Rushing the passer as a 2-gap lineman is like playing with a hand tied behind your back, and sending Cole to edge rush all the way from the slot against a quick-passing team inevitably leaves him in no-man’s land. They might as well have dropped 9 men in coverage, with a pressure concept this feeble.

    • TommyLawlor

      Huh? The 4-2-5 is the standard Nickel package. That’s Barwin and Cole at DE with Cox and Ced at DT. All good pass rushers.

      • Phils Goodman

        I was referring to the 2-gap look in my picture attachment that the Chargers had their way passing against plenty of times. I welcome the 4-2-5 (with the right personnel — ahem, no Damion Square).

        • skayne

          Exactly. How is Thornton going to beat a tackle with his rush if he’s head up over the guy? I saw this look plenty of times, and it did jack-shit applying pressure.

          A four man line should have Graham and Cole on the outside, Cox and Ced on the inside. Curry should also be on the field inside or out on other plays.

        • GEagle

          Yeah I was surprised to see Tom give him a decent grade for this game…He was non existent for me. he needs to make plays, he can’t just do the dirty work, because that’s what we have soap for…If you are going to use an anchore like Soap to free up the LBs, then your other two DTs need to make something happen. I need to see more from Thorton. Sunday wasn’t a starters performance for him. it would have been an ok performance in a backup Role, but he needs to do more…Still he is a young guy, who has only played 10 quarters of football in this new defense, let’s hope he improves as the season goes on….

          I believe that Generally their is a window for young players in terms of development. typically players that get playing time as rookies make a big jump in year two, but by year 3, that’s when a guy should fully arrive(this time line changes for players that don’t see playing time like a Vinny Curry)…Coversly if a guy gets to year 4 and he you still aren’t happy with his game, there is a good chance it will never click for that said player(see Nate Allen)

          Thorton can be a good play for us..but his play this year will determine whether he is a starter, or just a rotation guy. if its the Latter, then we need to invest in a starter

          • Anders

            “.He was non existent for me. he needs to make plays, he can’t just do the dirty work, because that’s what we have soap for…If you are going to use an anchore like Soap to free up the LBs, then your other two DTs need to make something happen.”

            You clearly do not understand how the 3-4 2 gap functions.

            It is true that he would need to make plays if we played a 1 gap, but in the 2 gap they are mainly space eaters.

          • GEagle

            Dude…he is an athletic tackle. I know exactly how a 3-4 works…I also know that we don’t sit and two gap on every play. When it’s 3rd and 9, do you not want you Dlinemen to get to the QB? Lol I’m bitching about pass rush pressure, so why are you responding about run game responsibility?…he can’t be a starter who isn’t valuable on 3rd and 8…We already have SOAP in that Role. You don’t just Eat up space on 3rd and long, especially since we don’t even play a 3-4 in those situations…We have to have some starting Dlinemen who eat up space on first and second and can still stay in the game and go make a play on 3rd

          • skayne

            The problem is they’re wasting Ced and Cox with this 2-gap garbage. They should run a 1-gap 3-4 scheme. In a 2-gap, they are just space eaters on 1st and 2nd down.

            Then they slide Ced or Cox outside over a tackle, have the other over the center, and Cole as the other end in pass rush situations, with Barwin playing ‘Joker’. A Joke is what that pass rush sub-package is.

            Every other 3-4 team uses a four man line in those situations, whether 2-4-5, with 2 of the four on the line standing up, usually the OLBs, or all 4 with their hand in the dirt.

            We will continue to struggle if they continue to bench our natural pass rushers.

          • GEagle

            you are sooo preaching to the choir. Not playing a 4-3Under is so absurd to me, that after 6 months of talking about a two gap 3-4, I Genuinly didn’t even believe it would be a possibility for more then the first two games lol…and it’s not just about wasting the disruptive abilities of guys like Cox…
            ..
            What is the point in dropping our should be predators back in coverage if you are afraid to drop them more then 5 yards? the chargers knew it, so they ran routes getting right behind Trent Graham’s(lol) short 5 yard drops knowing that our safeties weren’t good enough to consistently take that away. If we can’t use an OLB to take out some intermediate routes why the hell are we dropping them into coverage on anything other then zone blitzes where they are only asked to take away the flat? you can’t just drop them 5 yards, if you need to drop them 8 yards. if that’s the case you might as well just use them to attack the QB…

            I would love to see an article from Tom, Cossel, Mayock,Caplan or someone respected that goes through our front 7 personel and breakdown each player in a 3-4 two gap and a 4-3U, talk about each players strengths and weakness in each scheme and give their oppinion on what scheme each player in our front 7 is best suited for…Because my guess would be about 80% of our personel is better suited for a 4-3U…

            I would literally give the 4-3 Dolphins Cole, Graham and a 4th rd pick for Dion Jordan, Dion isn’t ready now, but I would gladly go through a year for two of growing pains with a guy who we can ATleast count on to be the eventual answer for what these coaches want to do…because I now have a hard time believing that the coaches will tailor the defense to its players, because IMO the opposite is happening

          • Phils Goodman

            I’m afraid that the critical “arrival” period for Cox, Graham and Curry will be frittered away if Billy Davis keeps being doctrinaire about this 2-gap stuff. Chip Kelly said they would find where our players’ strengths are and play to those strengths. Well this ain’t it.

          • GEagle

            Funny you say that..an hour ago, driving home from work this popped into my mind and I was going to ask if people think my arrival of a young player timeline would get messed with for guys changing schemes from year one to year two?

    • Anders

      You know that, that play is a standard Steelers type blitz?

      • Media Mike

        We lack standard Steelers type personnel.

        • skayne

          What we have is excellent personel for a 4-man line in passing situations. On defense the scheme is taking precedence over the players.

          In what world should Logan, Geathers, and Square get the same as or more playing time than Graham or Curry?The next pl
          play they make in this league will be their first.

          • Anders

            We are a 3-4 2 gap. Not going to change (at least I think, maybe Davis decides after tomorrows game to ditch it, but I doubt it).

        • Anders

          Well we do lack secondary and the NT.

          • skayne

            2-gapping is based on down and distance. If we don’t change, and get pure pass rushers on the field in pass situations, we’ll continue to get little pressure.

      • Phils Goodman

        Good thing we have standard Steelers type linemen — oh wait.

  • Steag209

    It’s depressing when, outside of a couple of guys, every breakdown starts with some variation of “Bad Game” I love me some defense and this year is going to be painful to watch teams dink and dunk on us all day. It got to the point in about the 3rd quarter I just started saying, I don’t care if we give up a 50 yard play, start sitting on all these short routes and maybe we get lucky, just make him go deep.

  • Vick or Nick

    I lol’d when I read this:

    “FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday signed former Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney and Omar Gaither.”

    http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/nfl-notes-falcons-ink-two-former-eagles

    • TommyLawlor

      Oh my…

  • Joe Minx

    I didn’t know Reggie was on the line when Barwin was over slot. ;)

    • TommyLawlor

      Freudian slip.

  • Thorin

    Derrick, do you have any idea why we wouldn’t be talking to Kerry Rhodes?

    There’s some articles around at the moment saying teams have avoided him for perhaps terrible reasons. I know the Giants are giving him a tryout now. Just wondering if there’s a good reason you’ve seen in scouting as to why the Eagles wouldn’t try to bring him in to upgrade our safeties.

    • Media Mike

      Because in some positions the coaching staff is ok with older vets, but at others they don’t want to upgrade. Befuddling.

  • Sean Scheinfeld

    We’re now at the point where the best we can say about Nate Allen is that he might not have been entirely responsible for a given massive defensive screwup. It’s just sad when you think about all the promise he once showed as a rookie. Alas, it appears his career is going to end up a one-hit wonder, just like The Knack’s.

    • eagleyankfan

      yeah, I don’t get this. I think they are related. It’s been stated over and over how bad our safeties are. It’s not only the Eagle fans. It’s sports people like the announcers of the games, sports writers for yahoo etc etc…but according to this site “it might not be Nates fault”. Neither was last year coverage and this year he’s show zero improvement…but you know “fans will want to blame Nate”….

      • GEagle

        Well said…The problem is that when a guy lie, Kendricks struggles, we have seen enough glimpses of him potentially being special. Nate is just consistenty uninspiring. he shows us NOTHING!!!! The guy has been so horrible, that we have even lowered the bar for him in our analysis. it’s like when he doesn’t make a completely catastrophic screw up we are pleased with his play…This is a 4th year 2nd round pick we are talking about. I can give a front 7 player leeway when transitioning schemes…but for a returning Safety is BS!!…

        Why would I give Nate Any Leeway when the scheme change is a GODSEND for a safety who was asked to play behind a wide 9 that generated no pressure all year. we talk about Nate needing to find his confidence like its no big deal, like are we kidding ourselves? confidence is EVERYTHING!!!! Without it you are Nothing!! Without it you should Never set foot on the field….Safeties and CBs play the same coverages their entire lives. cover 1, Cover 2, these coverages don’t change depending on defensive schemes…For two years of Nates life he had to play behind a wide 9, now he is basically back to playing how he has always played, and we still get nothing for him.

        Nate takes zero chances because he is scared to death out there. So the best game we can hope for is him shadowing pass catchers well enough to where the QB throws to someone else, or Nate not allowing YAC…That’s literally the best game Nate is capable of playing for us at this point, and that’s not good enough. the sugar coating Nate Allen is frustrating. he is a 4th year 2nd round pick who has over 30 games under his belt..

        I see old men like Cole make tough transitions admirably so late in his career and showing it from game 1….yet I have to Tolerate a Safety who the transition to a new defensive scheme, helps more then any other player on this defense, consistently give us nothing. it’s maddening. the kid sucks, he can’t tackle, he damn sure can’t hit, he takes no chances, yet still blows coverages way too often. if I have to watch a Safety make mistakes, it better be because he is playing aggressive, trying to hit people, play fast, take chances and miss….NO, I have to watch a Safety who won’t ever take a chance, intimidates No One, plays so passive, yet still makes too many mistakes…I can’t take it!

        when Earl Wolff gives up a Catch, ATleast the kid will pop you in your back and make you feel him…When he is passive and makes mistakes it’s because he is a kid being thrown in the fire who doesn’t even know what he is doing…WTH is Nates excuse? I can’t take it…It drives me crazy. it’s to the point where I no Wolff isn’t really ready, so play Kurt Coleman. I never thought I would say those words. Play Kurt Coleman. DEACTIVATE NATE ALLEN! He gives you nothing on ST, and can’t play defense in this city…He is like the Illya Bryzgalov of the Eagles…..I don’t see how their could possibly be a drop of between Nate and Kurt…If I have to watch Nate get trucked by RB, 9 yards down field, and have to grab a face mask to preserve what little dignity he had left, might as well play Coleman, ATleast the kid plays his heart out on ST

  • AGrimGrim

    Man, is it frustrating to watch Kendricks sometimes. I really liked him in the draft, and he’s got elite athleticism for an NFL linebacker. But it really sucks watching Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner blow up for their teams when Kendricks was an equal or better prospect.

    Thanks for doing all these Tommy. You’re a great resource as an Eagles fan.

  • Mitchell

    The question is: How does this defense get better THIS year? I think learning the scheme more thoroughly in the upcoming weeks will help a little bit. I so want Kendricks to be a star player and I think he will be. He is simply to athletic and smart not to be in the future. I’m so excited for this game on Thursday! I think I’m gonna use my free Papa Johns pizza on that game!

  • Toby_yboT

    I really thought Chip kept his cards close to his chest for this game. The offense felt like a typical west coast offense on most plays, as if Shurmur had a heavy hand in the game plan. There was minimal use of the option, and I swear I saw the same play action pass out of the shotgun multiple times.

    It also seemed, to me, like our defense was fairly unimaginative in this game. This doesn’t seem to match your game review however.

    As fans we never want to see our team lose, but in reality these types of games against non-conference opponents just aren’t as important. We’ll see a much different plan put into play against our division, or even NFC games in general.

    Now granted, a good team should be able to win games like this with a basic gameplan. We’re probably not that good of a team yet though, I think the Eagles are about where they should be.

    • ceedubya9

      They are getting there. The good thing is, right now at least, it seems like the team has an offense that win games for this team in spite of the defense. Unfortunately, that can’t be expected to happen all the time and they will lose games. Hopefully the offense can do just enough to take the NFC East. I don’t think the defense will always be as bad as it was Sunday, but I still don’t trust the unit to win games. gotta lean on the Vick/Shady/Jackson show.

  • GvilleEagleFan

    Saw the other day that NFL.com had a single-team Game Rewind package that may have come with All-22 footage. Sounds like something we (by which I mean our resident fundraiser) could put together a drive for. I think it was only like forty bucks, I’d pledge five if you think it could help with your DGR’s Tommy.

    • GvilleEagleFan

      My mistake, it’s only $30: https://gamerewind.nfl.com/nflgr/secure/packages?ttv=1

      Not clear if the single team option comes with All-22 though, still might be worth checking out.

      • Media Mike

        Les Bowen was complaining on Twitter the other day that timetable for putting the films up there was SLOW

        • Anders

          All-22 first comes up Wednesday morning. A little late for Tommy’s DGR, but I think for some other stuff he would love it.

      • holeplug

        It doesn’t

      • Ben Hert

        I made a post about this a while back, but they get you with the All-22 on the single-team package. You have to buy the 70 dollar “All Season Plus” package to get ALL the All-22 film. Otherwise, they give you about 10-15 plays of All-22 from the entire game, and thats it.

  • GermanEagle

    The top 3 pass catchers were Antonio Gates, Danny Woodhead and Eddie Royal…the TE, RB and slot receiver. Many of those were short, quick throws.

    Replace those with Fasano, Charles and Bowe and you bet AR will just do the same. After watching the Chiefs/Cowboys game the Eagles will absolutely have to focus on Jamaal Charles, especially in the passing game. This will be the ultimate test for our outside contain and the LB’s. If Kendricks has another weak performance, I can easily see Alex Smith convert 70% of their 3rd downs.

    I don’t know why, but I just don’t have a good feeling for Big Red’s homecoming…

    • Media Mike

      Fasano is a significantly worse player than Gates and Bowe is a more outside / over the top type player in relation to Royal. Charles presents a significantly bigger problem than Woodhead because Charles can destroy your D on rushes and catches.

      • GermanEagle

        Bowe lines up in the slot quite often.

        • Anders

          Still Bradley Fletcher matches up better with him than Hughes/Allen did with Royal.

          • anon

            and we’ll have our slot corner back.

          • Anders

            Not sure we need it. General the Chiefs offense goes trough Bowe and Charles. The rest is some JaGs nobody ever heard of before.

          • GEagle

            Disagree. I expect to see Cary on Bowe, with Fletcher on Avery

    • BlindChow

      Smith checks down a lot, so hopefully they’ll make sure someone is covering Charles on every play…

  • Ark87

    Tommy, Rivers absolutely picked us apart at the line. Is there anything we can do about that? If not, we need not even play vs Peyton.

    • Anders

      The blitzers could stop showing their hands to early.

  • SteveH

    I like that Trent is having a resurgent year. I like that Barwin is working out. I like that Boykin is developing into a baller. With this defense, you need to look for the silver linings :)

    I still hate that Vinny Curry is inactive. Think we could have used someone who can generate quick pressure up the middle against SD?

    • GEagle

      Is the sky blue? Lol

  • GEagle

    Thank you Tom…never needed a DGR so bad. You are a better man then me…tried to watch the tape twice and I couldn’t get thru the first quarter…much appreciated

  • GEagle

    You know I lovely Billy Davis..but Wisenhunt took him to school.

    Kendrick’s stated that he didn’t practice against any of the routes Gates ran against him….that can’t happen

    • Anders

      Kendricks said he practice against a lot of routes Gates used to run under Norv Turner. Consider there was only 1 game against the Texans, It would make sense to study him before right?

      • anon

        Eagles fell victim to the same issues other teams have with us, there’s not much of the scheme on tape. But it’s too bad they didn’t focus more on the houston game. Or old Arizona games.

        • GEagle

          In fairness we can’t just automatically assume that Gates used the same routes against us that he used the previous week against Houston

      • GEagle

        I can’t speak on the chargers…It’s like the team I watched the least these past three years….I don’t know if the Chargers we running similar routes in the preseason, or if Gates completely switched it up for this game….Any way you slice it, coaching advantage goes to Wisenhunt

        • Anders

          true on last part

        • theycallmerob

          I think it’s only fair to note that Wisenhunt is ever so slightly familiar with Davis and his coaching scheme/style/abilities. And Gates/Rivers may be one of the tougher QB-to-TE pairings we face all year.

          It is obvious Fletcher’s return will make a difference, but terrifying to now know our fears have been confirmed re: level of play, should there be any further injuries in the secondary.

          • GEagle

            All true, and definitely should be factored in…I was speaking more in terms of bottom line. If I’m going to praise Billy and preach about how Philly will fall in love with him, then I have to keep it real when he gets out coached…also, his players did him NO favors. he can draw up and then fail up the best blitzes you can imagine, but if his Linebackers tip their hands when a smart veteran has enough time left in the play clock to audible….I can’t put that on Davis. Wisenhunt might have gotten the better of him but it’s tough to know to what extent since the only players who consistently executed we Meco n Boykin

  • GEagle

    Ridiculous that King Dunlap is allowed to tackle our safety on a TD play, but we get one called back because our rookie RT lined up an inch off the line….

    This isn’t just sour grapes from a loser, the refs called a horrible gain. Just inconsistent. We got flagged for everything we could have possibly been flagged for…they sure as hell can’t say the same…would be nice to see the Eagles take it our of the hands of the Refs, but you still want an even playing field…

    I think Barwin is playing too much. This is where McCoy could have been used to spare him. BARWIN is a monster at the beginning of games then fades in the second half, that could be a result of playing too many snaps. Of course it’s too early for these kinds of generalizations because it could have been a simple case of Rivers keeping the defense on the field all game

    • Julescat

      the hurry up offense is tough on the officials too. Throw a few extra flags would definitely slow the pace. I’m not saying this happened but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Tyler Phillips

    Wouldn’t something like Graham_Cox_Curry_Cole be our best 4 man nickel rush line?

    • Anders

      How is that much different than Cox-Thornton-Cole, with Barwin as a stand up rusher?
      Is Graham really so much better than Barwin and same with Curry, that you would totally give up flexibility? With Barwin instead of Graham you can at least drop him and rush somebody else. With Graham you know he is going to rush the passer.

      Regarding Curry vs Thornton, remember Thornton looked pretty distributive against 1st stringers in pre season where Curry did all his dmg against 2nd and 3rd stringers there might not even be on an active roster.

      • Tyler Phillips

        When we are already getting thrown on 50x a game, I’m willing to take my chances in obvious passing situations.

        • Anders

          I never talked about anything else, but having Graham instead of Barwin eliminates to purpose of our whole scheme.

          • Tyler Phillips

            Well in the scheme, Barwin isn’t winning his 1 on 1 battle when rushing. +Graham would be fresher in obvious passing situations, which is all I’m taking about. Or sub out Cole for Graham and leave in Barwin if you want. Graham deserves a shot.

      • skayne

        What’s different is Cox and Curry are effective on the inside, not as DEs on a 4-man line. Barwin is an effort pass rusher, he’s not explosive at all.

    • Anthony Hart

      That’s the smallest d-line in history. Unless they’re in 3rd & 12+ they can run on that easily.

      • Tyler Phillips

        Nickel RUSH. As in late game they are surely passing.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        i dont know why you would say that. we know that Cox excels at DT and Cole is at the minimum very solid at DE. Graham is more of an unknown at this point, but has shown he can at least hold his own at the other DE spot.
        the real question would just be Curry at the other DT spot.

  • eagleyankfan

    good stuff t-law. By reading what you wrote about Boykin — that’s not a pretty good game. He was schooled pretty good – and often. Nice play of the force fumble of course. Boykin will get better though. Seemed this game was too fast for him.

    • nicolajNN

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Remember, Tommy is going off TV footage, for CBs you’ll mostly see them when the balls getting thrown at them. Now obviously Boykin didn’t do a good job defending the passes, but he mostly had air tight coverage, and one or two of the pass catches were near perfect execution by Rivers and the receiver.

      • eagleyankfan

        not the game I saw. I remember commenting that Rivers was picking on 22. I’m not going off of what T-law is writing, I’m going off what I saw. Rivers should have targeted going after 22 because he’s new to starting in that spot. I’m not saying he did bad. He’s new and will only get better.

    • GEagle

      Mosher used Boykin as an example for one of our biggest problems of the game, tipping our hand during blitzes..he showed a TD we gave up when Boykin lined up on the slot, let too early to blitz, Rivers barked out an audible, Boykin tried to fake back to the slot WR, by was too late, Rivers knew what he was doing, Boykin Blitzed, Rivers threw Hot, and they put 6pts on the board….There is no point in blitzing if you are going to tell the QB exactly who is coming and where they are coming from. capable starting NFL QBs, who’s line is playing COMPETANT football will eat that up all day…
      ..
      We have to be more Discaplined disguising our Blitz til right before the QB snaps the ball.

      • eagleyankfan

        that’s good stuff right there!!!! it’s just now about “coverage” on how defensive backs play…

        • GEagle

          Absolutely…I used Boykin as an example because people can just go to csn and see pictures that really illustrate the point…however, In terms of disguising their true intentions, my beloved LBers were the real problem in the chargers game. too often Kemdricks and Meco seriously misjudged when the ball would be snapped and tipped their hand to Rivers with too much time left on the play clock, leaving time for Rivers to audible into something that would make us pay..It can’t Happen! Mykal needs to understand that the running head start he is trying to time isn’t worth showing your intentions to Rivers…Kendricks and Meco have to concede that their are some QBs like Rivers, and Peyton who they just aren’t going to win the pre snap chess game against. So they are better off lining up in a neutral position, stay still until the ball is snapped and then explode into your blitz….If you aren’t going to time the snap correctly, then do less, because if solid veteran NFL Qbs know exactly what they are doing, this defense isn’t going to win enough individual battles consistently to win games without confusing and keeping Qbs off balance, especially during the first half of the season

  • Anders

    Aaron Wilson ‏@RavensInsider4m
    Former Texans practice squad defensive back Roc Carmichael is joining the Eagles’ active roster today, according to a league source

    • Anthony Hart

      Hmm, I wonder whose getting the axe? Prater? Goode?

      • Anders

        Hughes maybe?

        • GEagle

          Hughes season is over…just placed on IR

          • TheRogerPodacter

            i thought it was the “Short Term” IR meaning he could come back. i could be wrong, though.

          • anon

            He’ll be a FA.

          • GEagle

            No you are right…the report I saw first was season ending IR, but multiple sources are saying short IR

    • GEagle

      Ooh…I actually like the kid

  • GEagle

    Its the day before game time, it’s dissapointing that the only coverage we are getting is about a former coach coming to town…does any reporter in this city actually want to talk about the match up with the Cheifs? like, I’m fired up for game time, and all I get to hear is our players thoughts on our former coach? dissapointing..considering this is a very interesting match up…
    1)Desean against the slowest CB tandem in the NFL.
    2).Andy Reid seeming to have abandoned his down the field bombs away offense and getting back to the traditional dink and dunk west coast offense(ATleast that’s what it looked like against Dallas)
    3) Eagles dynamic offense facing the best defense the have seen this year

    from a players stand point this is a very interesting matchup, and I can’t wait to actually starting to discuss it..

    • Anders

      Point 2 is all about his QB. Smith does not like to throw deep.

      • GEagle

        Absolutely…but Andy never saw a deep pass that he didn’t like lol…I’m curious if Andy and Alex look at our secondary and think they suck so bad that they have to take shots down field, or will they stick to their game run the intermediate game, which I feel like our CBs can defend easier then they can down field….The strength of our Corners is keeping guys in front of them, and then making the tackle limiting YAC…Tom alluded to our players getting picked and getting stuck in crossing routes but if we can get that straightened out…and take advantage of one of the youngest Olines in the NFL, who’s best player will try to play through a shoulder injury, I think this is a match up that our corners can handle….I think our CBs will struggle with Burners like victor Cruz, but have what it takes to hand with bigger guys like Bowe..

        Then Again the consensus was that we would take advantage of the chargers Oline and we laid an egg….Hopefully these young players learned that if they don’t show up, they won’t just win games off of an oppositions bad reputation.

        Fisher is struggling…Attack him early and mess with his confidence!!!

        • Anders

          AR also never had weaked armed Smith before. During his time, his two primary QBs was McNabb and Vick and they have infinity more strong arm than Smith

      • BlindChow

        That has to really piss Andy off…

    • BlindChow

      It’ll be interesting to see how the Chiefs defend us. Surely Andy’ll be afraid of Desean burning them deep (I’m really, really glad he had a successful long-bomb touchdown last week before we played the Chiefs), so the safeties playing back seems likely, but that’ll only open things up for McCoy.

      Ideally this’ll be the quintessential “pick-your-poison” game for us, where we alternate McCoy getting big yards with Jackson getting long bombs, depending on which adjustments the Chiefs make.

      • GEagle

        I actually was thinking about this last night…How is Andy going to play Desean with two of the slowest starting CBs in the NFL. my guess is he will do what was so successful against Andy’s Desean…Constant Safety help, and I really look forward to that because we no longer have a coach who will see a double team and constantly run fly patterns down field with Desean all game long. we now have a coach who isn’t going to allow Desean to be taken out of games, and if you do give Desean too much attention our coach is going to make you pay the price…Berry will be in the box worrying about Shady, the other safety will be glued to Desean…If Shady can beat Berry and Celek can kill them in the middle of the field, we should be able to mess with this very good KC defense

        • OregonDucker

          Personally, I think the inside zone read against Poe will be our bread and butter. When they stack the box, then DJax and/or TE in the middle and sideline will kill them. Use formation schemes, like an unbalanced line (which we saw against the Skins) and we will dominate a very good defense.

          Vick has to have a quick release, like we saw in the Skins game on the Celek passes. If he is slow (3 secs or more) then the Chiefs will hurt him. Once again Vick will be key to the O’s success. He can and will get the job done! Why? He is having fun and want’s Andy to know it!

          • GEagle

            I think Celek is the offensive key to this game.

            think Andy sticks Berry in the box worrying about shady, the other safety starts the game glued to Desean(double team)..It’s up to Vick to get the ball out Quick and Hot to Celek when them LBs start coming. Celek has to make a few big plays down the seems early to really open things up for shady and Desean. if we thought that the Chargers kind of took shady out the run game(Celek had zero Catches..coincidence?) stuffing the box, then it’s going to be crucial for Celek to make this defense pay early because Shady will have some really good LBs and Safeties keying in on him early on……

            I expect Chip to put on a Clinic for Andy on how to use Desean

          • P_P_K

            “I expect Chip to put on a Clinic for Andy on how to use Desean”

            Shady, too.

          • GEagle

            Yes sir

          • Ark87

            I don’t think Reid will be drawing up the plan but I’m thinking the will leave 7 in the box, They have a lot more talent up front, anchored by Poe, than the chargers.

            The problem is a single high safety can’t sell out to D Jax going deep. We keep Jackson opposite of Trips often to ensure this. One good block, one missed tackle, and it’s a TD without the someone playing center field. I think they’ll take their chances trying to slow down shady with 7. Also important to keep in mind, the guy playing next to Berry is Quentin Demps. Sooooo….

  • Steag209

    I don’t hang this on the DB’s we all know they just lack talent, The group I’m most disappointed in is the D-line. They’re supposed to be the only strength of the defense and they need to play somewhere close to their talent level for us to even have a chance to stop anybody

    • GEagle

      Our secondary didn’t do us any favors…but in reality there really isn’t such a thing as a secondary that wouldn’t get torched when the pass rush is completely non existent like it was in the chargers game

  • ICDogg

    So, what do we know about our new CB, Roc Carmichael?

    • BlindChow

      Hughes was placed on short-term IR.

    • A_T_G

      Hmm, Carmichael? The name sounds like a promising young man. I bet he plays bigger than 5’10″.

      • ICDogg

        It is interesting to me why you never see tall corners. Every once in a while there’s one that is 6’2″ but you never see 6’7″ corners.

  • NoDecaf

    Tommy, what are your thoughts on Davis if Curry’s benched a third game?

    • GEagle

      You are assuming its Davis call….Davis could simply be told, pick 15 players, and the ST coach might be picking the rest of the backups..Chip could be punishing Curry to send him a message that he needs to play and produce on ST…there is just no way to know who is responsible for the Curry benching…It’s not as simple as Billy Davis automatically getting to pick every defender that suits up

  • austinfan

    I’ve looked at the STeeler personnel the last decade, and what stands out is not size, or even great talent (some, but not a lineup of all pros) but continuity. They had the same starters with the same coach for a decade, and that leads to great execution.

    Aaron Smith – Hampton – Kike von Oelhoffen/Brad Keisel

    Smith was a good athlete but 6-5 300 at LDE, Hampton was a true two gap NT and Keisel was undersized but played with good technique. Note however they had a top defense when Hoke had to replace Hampton one year, and Hoke is smaller than Logan. So you can make it work with Thornton – Logan – Cox, but you need to be patient, strength, technique, experience take time to develop. In 2004, when LeBeau returned and took this defense to elite levels, Smith was 28, Hampton was 27, Hoke was 28, von Oelhoffen was 33.

    Haggans/Woodley – Farrior – Foote/Timmons – Porter/Harrison

    LeBeau made it work with Haggans at SOLB and Foote (6-1 230 and average speed) at ILB. They would work in new players after a couple years on the bench. Timmons flopped outside but became a star at ILB.

    Townsend/McFadden/Guy/et al – Hope/Clark – Polamalu – Taylor

    Polamalu is a special player, Hope was solid but Clark was a UDFA who has average size and speed, makes it work on smarts. None of the CBs were exceptional, Ike Taylor the best but he’s a product of the Steeler system, not sure he’d have had the same career elsewhere.

    They had average defenses in 2002-2003, LeBeau came in and promoted a bunch of guys on the bench to starting jobs, Townsend, Polamalu (who didn’t start a game as a rookie), Ike Taylor, Chris Hope, Foote.

    Point is it takes a couple of years to build up both talent and continuity to run a defense like the Steeler two gap blitz scheme. Once committed, you have to stick with it, but we may not see a top ten defense until 2015 – not so much because you have to add so much talent, but because you have to let that talent grow up and play together. Add a young DL, a ROLB who can pass rush at a high level, and a first rate safety to go with Wolff, and a solid but not spectacular CB (i.e., Cary Williams with better skills). Not an impossible task the next two years. Then you gradually work in new players after a year or two on the bench.

    The reason the Steelers’ defense survived free agency was partially LeBeau, but also because the system doesn’t require 11 great players. Unlike Baltimore, the Steeler defense wasn’t packed with 1st and 2nd round picks.

    2000:
    Clark Haggans 5-137
    2001:
    Casey Hampton 1-19
    Kendrell Bell 2-39 (i.e., they had their share of missed high picks)
    2002:
    Hope 3-94
    Foote 4-128
    Keisel 7-242
    2003:
    Polamalu 1-16
    Ike Taylor 4-125
    2004:
    Ric Colcoulgh 2-38 (miss)
    2005:
    Bryan McFadden 2-65
    2006:
    Anthony Smith CB 3-83 (miss)
    2007:
    Timmons 1-15
    Woodley 2-42
    William Gay 5-170
    2008:
    Bruce Davis 3-88 (miss)
    2009:
    Evander Hood 1-32
    Keenan Lewis 3-96 (the CB Davis wanted over Williams)
    2010:
    Jason Worilds 2-52
    2011:
    Cam Hayward 1-31

    • Anders

      Great break down.

      I think we will see huge improvements down the line from Cole, Cox, Logan and Thornton. They are just getting used to the 2 gap scheme.

      Getting a guy like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could go along way helping with the secondary.

      • GEagle

        secondary isn’t good, but it’s not a complete mess. It’s actually pretty simple…Cary can’t be our best CB and Chung can’t be our best Safety…doesn’t matter how they go about Changing it, but it needs to change…

        1) Add a better CB then Cary and not only will you have a good starting outside tandem to compliment a stud in the making, Boykins…but then Bradley goes to the bench and solves some of our serious depth issues…Draft or FA doesn’t matter, but it will take a serious investment one way or another..
        ..
        2) Chung can’t be the best Safety. In an Ideal world we have two better safeties, Chung goes to the bench, is unleashed as a ST beast, adds depth, and comes in as the third safety in our sub packages…Now back to reality lol….Chung has to compliment a better safety. Can Earl Wolff be developed into not only a starter, but a true Batman to Chung’s Robin good enough to make up a top 10 secondary? I don’t know that. I do think he is capable of becoming a starting NFL safety, but I’m not sure if he can be much better then a Chung type…possibly. But what I do know is that we can’t wait years to find out. Nate Sucks so Earl will have every opportunity this year to flash his true potential. how much of a play maker can he be? But if he doesn’t really show that he has a much higher ceiling then Chung….you are going to have to go out, add quality and just let Chung and Wolff battle it out for who starts, and who is the “3rd safety”…..and I’m not talking about throwing another 5th round dart and hope to get lucky, or signing another Chunger…I’m talking, Haha Clinton Dix type of early draft investment, or big money Jarius Byrd type..

        You need a true game breaking stud somewhere in the secondary. This player needs to be on the roster in 2014. It can not wait another year. Today our starts aren’t good enough, and we have No depth. Adding two good players solves most of our problems!!

    • Ark87

      an oft over-looked fact about this defense since JJ died. Great research, great post.

  • GEagle

    Connar Barwin: “I knew after last week that we weren’t as good as we thought, and I know after this week that we aren’t as bad as we thought”
    ..
    I know it’s Cliche, but I really do believe that our defense is somewhere in between the first two games….Silver Lining with a horrible performance like Sunday is that the were tons of mistakes, half of which are easily correctable. take for Example Connar…He had plenty of depth issues in the game, that’s easily correctable mistake for a veteran like him. Even if it’s a minute detail, it still is extremely important and improving small details like that are what really defines a defense…That’s why I get aggrivated with the lack of Talent talk. we have plenty of Talent on this defense. Nate Allen doesn’t suck because he lacks Talent…Talent needs to be cultivated individually, and then Gel’ed as a cohesive unit…It’s two early for it to be as good as it gets for a young and new defense in both aspects….If our Coaches and Leaders can keep the young players grinding, we should see a unit that shows improvement all season long.

    • Lateraleye

      I agree. Raw talent has to be used appropriately by the coaching staff, to use another cliche: “put them in a better position to win”. I’m not familiar enough with Bill Davis to know if/how he adjusts game plans based on personnel though that’s been the Kelly administration talking point the whole offseason. I have a hunch that he is still in test mode. After the great first half of the Washington game, I think he may have tried to be more daring with the scheme for the next game. Now he has to scale it back or at least simplify it more. He still doesn’t know quite what he has and neither do we. We have a surprising amount of players that can be studs when used in a way that maximizes their strengths.

      Poor Vinny Curry.

    • OregonDucker

      The Eagles D does not have to be great in Chip’s scheme, they just need to slow the frequency of scoring and 1st downs. ST and Offense will Win the Day. Turnovers help and are an important component of Chip’s approach.

      Bend don’t break and we will be fine. Allow long scoring drives, like the Chargers game, and we are in trouble.

      We just need to stop “a few” drives, and the Eagles O will build a score differential. It will not look pretty but that’s the way Chip’s scheme works. Really, the Charger’s scoring drives are the worst scenario for the Chip system.

      Put in Curry, add a cheerleader as a free safety and we will be fine. Don’t use Allen instead of the cheerleader! He does not know how to use Pom Poms.

      • GEagle

        absolutely!!! the only thing they can’t really afford is these slow, time consuming methodical drives. With Chip here, I would almost rather give up a quick 7pts, then to let 8 minutes go off the clock and hold a team to 3 points. Offense needs to be on the field, wearing down the opposing defense…We just need to get a few 3 and outs or quick turnovers, build that lead, and as long as Vick keeps playing this way, opposing offenses won’t be able to keep up with our pace.

        We get enamored with the offense, but it’s no where near what it can be yet. no other teams returning players are being asked to make such a drastic transition to not just a new offense but a completely new way of playing pro football. if Chip keeps these guys dialed in, it’s scary to think what this offense can be, say 5 games from now after getting comfortable in it…..The defense just need to get off the field quickly, because when that happens chip is going to own the game and put too much pressure on opposing teams especially once he gets really comfortable with the transition he is also having to make

        • OregonDucker

          Thanks GEagle. Fans need to keep faith about the Eagles D. The defense DOES NOT have to be great just adequate – do NOT allow time consuming drives!

          • ICDogg

            For now mediocre would be a great improvement… can we get up to that level?

  • GEagle

    Brandon Hughes was placed on IR ending his season…hello Roc

  • ICDogg

    Short-term IR is a use-or-lose thing. May as well use it.

    • Anders

      short term IR means he have been IR/waivered. Its not the designated to return one

      • ICDogg

        Didn’t realize that. That’s OK too though

  • GermanEagle

    The headline in two weeks time could go down as ‘the revenge of the ex- Eagles’.

    First it was King Dunlap, on Thursday it could be big Red and at Mile High it could be Winston Justice all having the last laugh…

    • GEagle

      have a feeling our Defense will play good that week(maybe the mushrooms in my pizza at lunch were a little funny)…No I don’t think we will win that game by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe we have pride on this defense and grit, unlike last year, and I expect the pressure of not being embarrassed by Peyton Manning is something we will have a positive reaction to, and that guys will show up significantly more then they did in the Chargers, because to me in that game, we played 2 against 11 for the majority of the game. It was Boykin and Demeco vs. The Chargers….so while I don’t think we will shut Peyton down or win that game, I don’t expect a gutless uninspiring defense performance. more then two defenders will show up that week….and that’s one of the rare occasions that I actually believe that we are completely outmatched from a Talent stand point

      When we play junk yard dog mentality football like the skins, we have the chance to compete with better offenses enough for our offense to win a shoot out….but in a game like Denver, those boys are already a well oiled machine and they are playing for like a 15-1 record. we aren’t going to catch a complacent Peyton Manning team no matter how much they should over look us…We can’t overcome a talent gap game like Denver on Grit….Lucky for us there is No Denver in our division, and I believe there is no one in the division that I should go into a game and feel like we can’t win

    • P_P_K

      My brain is melting at the thought of Winston Justice with a SB ring.

  • Tumtum

    It sounds like the D-line and LBers had okay games from reading the DGR, but they managed zero pressure when it really mattered. The ball was out quick a ton, but there were plays where the D blitzed and Rivers still had all day.

    Cole and Barwin both seemed active early, but perhaps they wore down? It was a hard game to judge because they seemed to be doing well. Then when a play really needed to be made, there was no one there to answer the bell…consistently…all day long. Aye yae yae.

    • ICDogg

      That’s why we keep beating the drum for Curry. Whatever else you can say about him, he gets into the backfield and creates havoc.

      • GEagle

        And you really have to beat the drum for a guy when the rest of them play a game like they did against the Chargers…All It Takes is one play. 1 Time of throwing Vinny into a game and a Olinemen not being ready for his explosion off the line of scrimmage and it could lead to a HUGE play. In a Game like the Chargers all you needed was the one play. If all Curry has was explosion off the snap it would be easier to understand but that’s not the case at all. the kid has always used his hands really well and those two things are a pretty valuable weapon…
        All it took in a game like the chargers, was one Olinemen who wasn’t quite ready for his explosion(who needed a snap or two to get adjusted to it) for Curry to bust through on a big 3rd down and who knows what happens:
        1) Knocks Rivers out the game
        2)Sack, we hold them to 3pts or force a punt
        3) Sack Fumble
        4)Force Rivers into a bad throw as you hit him that leads to an INT
        5) worst case scenario the Olinemen holds him, and now it’s 3rd and 18…

        In the second half of games especially when are starters are tired, I want to see Curry moved all over the line. make every single one of an opponents linemen who are Virgins at experiencing Currys rare explosion(and timing) prove that they can Handle it initially without needing a snap or two to get accustomed to it….I would almost prefer not even playing Vinny Curry til the second half in games when we need him…when Olinemen are tired and they have gotten accustomed to guys who are slower getting off the ball then Vinny….and come the second half. Every single 3rd and long I insert Curry in front a different one of their linemen and prove that they can stop him and not get called for holding.

        I don’t care who he was playing against in the preseason, 1st string, 3rd string, whatever…what doesn’t change is how well that kid times the snap and how quickly he explodes off the ball. it’s rare, Interior linemen don’t see it very often…and all the kid has done is show up. Activate him and show me that we are over hyping him for 1 game and I’ll never mention Curry again.
        …but the kid seems to want it bad. My guess is that once the Modern day Vince Papale gets activated, he will force these coaches hands and become a mainstay in the rotation

      • Mac

        Pressure, we need to create it. Graham and Curry are our two best guys for the role, and one is seeing limited snaps while the other doesn’t dress.

        Let’s bench Geathers for Curry tomorrow please.

        • GEagle

          I ATleast could understand not making Curry active for the Chargers game in that, our front 7 did a great job of pressuring RG3 so don’t demote anyone to dress Curry against the Chargers….But there are plenty of Eagles who deserve to be demoted after the chargers game…Square did nothing, Gaethers the Giant played like a midget…I think it would set a good precedent for the coaches to demote someone after a poorly executed game. Players need to be able to play through mistakes, but players also need to be accountable…when less talented players like Gaethers and Square have an uninspiring performance, how can you keep a top 50 talent from a year ago in street clothes?

          I just wish they would dress Curry tomorrow and give him 10 snaps…if he doesn’t produce I won’t ever say another word about it….but some players are just gamers who get in games and make something happen when they don’t look like anything special In practice…and all I know is that in the preseason of his sophomore year, he showed up and was one of our best player whenever he was given opportunities..lHow will that translate in a regular season game only playing against an opponents best players? I have no idea…but our coaches, don’t know either…and I just want to see the kid given one chance so we can ATleast get some kind of idea

      • Tumtum

        Im with you on that . Baffled by his inactivity. They preach having back ups that are not just clones of starters. No one on this team has his quickness off the ball. Okay he doesn’t play ST? He can play DE in 3-4 DT, or DE in the 4-3 or 4-2-5 looks, and apparently according to Chip he can play OLB in the 3-4. To me a guy like that can influence the game in limited snaps.

        His riding the bench is frustrating for sure.

  • ICDogg

    ..

  • ICDogg

    The Colts are about to make a huge trade and/or Jim Irsay is drunk-tweeting again https://twitter.com/JimIrsay

    • ICDogg

      I guess it was for real this time. Trent Richardson. They gave up a 1st.

      • Ark87

        I…..really don’t get it. guess Cleveland is desperate for the ammo to get a QB, and the Colts……couldn’t find some guy pushing shopping carts at Wal-Mart to be productive behind Andrew Luck like seemingly everyone but the Cowboys can do?

  • Patrick Pauling

    Hey, is there anyone on here from around the Wellsboro, Pa area that can get the game and wants someone to watch it with? lol Stupid NFLNetwork.

  • ICDogg

    Eagles “GameDay” program for tomorrow’s game

    http://www.azbycx1928.com/pe87bhdmgh/

  • A_T_G

    Quick FF advice: Brady against TB or Vick against KC?

    • ICDogg

      Vick

  • ICDogg

    Cleveland fans

    • Mac

      I think Banner did the right thing trading Richardson. It kinda sucks though because I was projecting the Browns to finish in 2nd place withing the AFC North this year.