Taking Stock

Posted: September 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 133 Comments »

Last night’s ugly loss to KC dropped the Eagles to 1-2. For some reason, this has Eagles Nation on edge.

Why?

2013 is the can’t lose year. If the Eagles go 10-6 and win the division, that would be a really fun season. If the Eagles go 6-10 and end up with a Top 10 pick, that will be a huge help to getting the Eagles where we need to be long term. Heck, go 1-15 and you’ve got your choice of DL Jadeveon Clowney and QB Teddy Bridgewater, a couple of possible franchise players.

I don’t want the Eagles to lose any more than you do, but we must be honest. This is a flawed football team. They aren’t going to win the Super Bowl this year. They might come together, play well and make the postseason, but there are too many issues to win it all. Knowing that, you should relax and just enjoy the ride.

The whole point of this is to win the Super Bowl. If you can’t accomplish that this year, what can you do to help do that in the future? You can lose and add high draft picks. You can win some games and let the players learn the systems inside-out. Sneak into the playoffs and let the players get a taste of the postseason so they’re better prepared for the future. You also can use 2013 to figure out who can help you win the SB and who can’t.

Chip Kelly is trying to build a great team. We don’t even know if the 2013 Eagles will be a good team. Still, plenty can be accomplished that will help the long term goals.

Some fans are now saying that the upcoming schedule (road games at DEN, NYG, TB) could leave the Eagles at 1-5. Maybe. Could also be 3-3. The Eagles just played 3 games in 11 days with a whole new offense and a rebuilt defense. Calling that tough is a massive understatement.

Some people are pointing out that KC played 3 games in 12 days. Sounds so similar, but it isn’t. KC had a normal week of preparation for the opener and the second game. Last night was their only short week. That’s a huge difference. And the Chiefs have most of their defense intact from last year. That group is carrying the team. They kept a 3-4 system and have 8 starters back. 4 of those starters were Pro Bowl players.

Chip Kelly and his staff have 10 days until the next game. They can use the extra time to figure some things out and solve some problems. If you have smart coaches and coachable players, which I think the Eagles mostly do, extra time can be a huge help. Not all the problems are going to get solved, but if they can make progress in a few areas that could be a big help for the upcoming games.

Last night was an ugly game and there’s no two ways about that. I’m still not down on this team.

The Chip Kelly offense works. Last night was a sloppy performance against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Eagles had 431 yards and 16 points. Last year the Eagles played on Thursday night against the Bengals. The Eagles had 219 yards and scored 13 points. And 6 of those points came on drives that started in scoring territory. This offense is worlds different. Dallas gained only 318 yards against the Chiefs last week, despite having all sorts of weapons. The Eagles played poorly and still gained 431 yards. Think about that.

The defense had an awful game vs the Chargers. They played much better last night. This group needs 2 things…more experience together and simply more talent. There continue to be coverage breakdowns. Those should go away as the players get used to each other and the system. The lack of talent can’t really be addressed until the offseason. Young players may get mixed more into the lineup, but it isn’t wise to expect too much from them. Thinking that some guy off the practice squad is going to come in and solve your problems is more fool’s gold than reality.

I still totally believe in Chip Kelly. That hasn’t changed one iota.

I still like the young talent on this team. Mychal Kendricks and Lane Johnson had rough nights, but those are two very talented players. They will get better over time. Shady McCoy is having a phenomenal season. Fletcher Cox played well last night. Vinny Curry had his best game as an Eagle. Brandon Boykin is playing very well this year. Earl Wolff is coming along nicely. He’ll be in the starting lineup before too much longer.

We don’t know what to expect with the rest of this year. Andy Reid started 0-4, then the team went 5-7 the rest of the season. Ray Rhodes started 1-3, then went 9-3. Kelly is off to a 1-2 start. I’ll  be disappointed if the team doesn’t win 7 to 9 games this year, but as I pointed out earlier, the more losses, the better the draft pick. That could land you a stud QB or impact defensive player. The Eagles need both.

Even if the Eagles do lose a lot, this is a can’t lose season.

_


  • Corry

    For me the problem is that with a new regime, new schemes offensively and defensively are still resulting in the same problems. I keep telling myself that this is a year we just need to see some progress, but last night it looked like we took a time machine back to 2012. It’s frustrating.

    The flashbacks really start when I see Shady McCoy’s quotes saying they’re a (paraphrased) “good team”. Next thing you know I’m curled up in a ball under the table chanting “Fire Andy”.

    But looking at the team as it’s constructed now, I begin to realize that the past few years of terrible drafting has left the cupboard pretty bare. We’ve picked up some FA pieces here and there as stop gaps, but we don’t have the players we need to execute the schemes we want to. Kelly’s offense is much closer with Jackson and McCoy as young stars, but we still need some more players. Last night, it was obvious we really miss Maclin. Davis’s defense is a good two drafts away from being where we need it to be in my opinion.

    And Tommy, this is a “can” lose year. I will lose my sanity and hair watching the team play like that again.

    • bridgecoach

      I won’t. I hope to see the defense play a lot more like that – but learn from the repeated breakdowns on third and long. I have total confidence in the direction this team is going.

    • nicolajNN

      I know where you’re coming from with this looking like last year, but turnovers, poor blocking and busted coverage are characteristics of all sloppy bad games, regardless of team, the key is not to make a habit of it and to bounce back

      • BlindChow

        But they’d already made a habit of it last year, so this just looks like a relapse. Very depressing.

        At least when they lost to the Chargers, they did so relatively cleanly.

    • TommyLawlor

      But Corry…we can afford to lose your sanity.

      • Corry

        Thank you for not offering my hair up for sacrifice.

  • chris hattal

    Great Stuff Tommy as always!

  • Sean Scheinfeld

    Jimmy Johnson went 1-15 in his first season and he ended up doing alright for himself. I wasn’t around to experience it myself, but I imagine there were a lot of critics telling him to go back to college and calling him Bud Wilkinson 2.0

    • TommyLawlor

      Jimmy was the laughingstock of the NFL for that year. I was ripping him for being in over his head.

      • Iskar36

        Are we talking Johnson or Bama?

        • TommyLawlor

          Both.

      • Always Hopeful

        It’s hard not playing East Carolina anymore :-) h/t Buddy Ryan

        I loved how we beat Johnson’s Cowboys early, but we saw what was brewing by year three…yikes.

    • P_P_K

      This is some good perspective.

  • Adam

    If Monday night never happened, it would make it a little easier to deal with the losses. What a tease that game was.

    • SHough610

      Hindsight might make us feel different. At the end of the year the Redskins will probably turn out to be a dumpster fire and the Chiefs and Chargers could turn out to be very good.

    • Always Hopeful

      It was kind of a “false positive” :-) I agree the Washington game got my hopes up more than I thought, so these last two losses are bigger let downs. Yet Tommy, as always, brings the balanced big picture.

  • knighn

    Great perspective. I went into this year armed with a lot of statistical history. Teams that are 4-12 or worse generally don’t turn around very quickly… not without significant upgrades. The Eagles made some upgrades on offense, but they are probably worse, in some ways, on defense.
    I hope to watch the Eagles play entertaining, competitive football, but I can’t get too worked up about bad play this season. In past seasons it was worse for me because I went into the season thinking the Eagles were going to compete for something. For 2013 I have no such delusions. I plan to watch this team and see what they are trying to become. I don’t plan to do a lot of cursing and I don’t plan on getting too worked up about losses or bad play.

    • Scott J

      I understand what you’re saying – BUT – The Chiefs were 2-14 last year and are now 3-0. And we lost to them. Ugh.

      • knighn

        Going from Matt Cassel to Alex Smith represents a very significant upgrade. HC Romeo Crennel to HC Andy Reid represents a very significant upgrade. While Jason Peters represents a significant upgrade to the O-line, the loss of Jeremy Maclin is a fairly significant downgrade. Overall, some of the swaps on defense appear to represent an overall downgrade, too (believe it or not).

        I hate to say this: the Eagles have played 3 games this season and the only game where I was thoroughly surprised was the Redskins game. The Chiefs were +3.5 before this game. I picked them to cover. Not that I expected them to win, but I didn’t have the faith in the Eagles to beat them by more than 3 points. The Eagles, as a team, have a way to go. Heck, Chip Kelly, as a Head Coach, might have a ways to go too. I’m not going to quit watching them. I’m just not expecting much out of them… for now.

  • ian_no_2

    The lingering problem with this game is that Reid may have presented the template as to how to defend Vick and the hurryup for the rest of the league to follow. Leslie Frasier did the same thing in 2010 and Vick didn’t recover until Monday night two weeks ago.

    Riley Cooper can’t run a route, can’t get open, can’t catch, but other than that it’s a great thing they think he’s an NFL receiver and cut good guys every year to keep him, like Greg Salas, for instance, who was drafted higher (and with better scouting), has had more NFL success, and is younger. If you’re stubborn about starting guys like Cooper you lose NFL games.

    • TommyLawlor

      Riley Cooper is a better player than Greg Salas and I don’t see how that’s even up for debate.

      • ian_no_2

        Based on draft position, NFL scouts for 32 teams unanimously disagree with you. Cooper’s draft position was bolstered by the draft team that brought us Keenan Clayton and Mike Kafka.

        • Mr Wiggles

          different draft so no way you can make that comparison. Also a very bad indicator-is Chad Pennington a better QB than Brady?

          • ian_no_2

            Oh I don’t disagree that draft positions are often way off.. but Brady did this crazy thing called playing well in NFL games. If Brady did nothing in the NFL but cause racial incidents than Pennington would indeed be better.

          • Mr Wiggles

            Riley cooper has caught NFL touchdowns, Greg Salas has not. obviously not the same scale as Brady but Cooper has played better in the NFL, which as you say is more important than draft position

          • Tom33

            You know, when the debate is between Salas and Cooper, you have a bigger problem.

          • ian_no_2

            Yes there’s other people who are willing to learn how to run routes.

          • ian_no_2

            “Riley cooper has caught NFL touchdowns, Greg Salas has not.” hope u don’t accuse others of cherry-picking stats

        • TheRogerPodacter

          i dont know why you are assuming that the quality of a player is always proportional to the draft slot the player was picked in…
          it only takes one NFL team to like a player enough to pick him, even if the other 31 teams think the player is garbage. does that mean this player will be good, just because he was picked in round X?

        • Christopher Miller

          Salas had a chance to make the team by playing well in preseason games. Neither guy is the number 2 receiver you want to count on. The team needs to spread the ball around more to make up for the loss of mac.

          • anon

            Receivers gotta get open.

      • xlGmanlx

        I think saying cooper is potentially less worse than Salas is the more correct statement.

    • Anthony Hart

      The ‘blueprint’ stuff with the Eagles is so ridiculous since that Vikings games. If your blueprint is get Vick to throw turnovers, and beat the o-line that’s not really a blueprint. That will hurt any offense.

      • ian_no_2

        The passrushing contain and coverage that Frazier used was emulated by other teams.

    • ian_no_2

      DJax realized mid-game that he would be covered by a committee hereafter because teams weren’t going to worry about Cooper.. he let slip something in one of the huddles.

    • austinfan

      Cooper is a #2 WR covered by a guy who was a good matchup in Sean Smith. Sometimes you don’t get a favorable matchup.

      The better question is why they couldn’t figure out how to adjust and use the TEs to get favorable matchups, or get McCoy the ball in the flat. Learning curve for Chip as well.

  • http://www.jamesrengland.com/ JEinOKC

    I’m not too concerned that the offense wasn’t very special last night. As we’ve learned over the past few seasons, if there’s one guy who knows how to slow down a potent Eagles offense, it’s Andy Reid

    • P_P_K

      This must be a different Andy Reid, though. The old version would hate the guy who coached a 4th quarter drive that ate the clock. I jest.

      • http://www.jamesrengland.com/ JEinOKC

        I assume the new KC Andy traded in cheese steaks for BBQ and clocks

      • Always Hopeful

        Did you hear Mayock talk about how Childress had to convince Reid to RUN out the clock versus Dallas?

        Old habits die hard, but Reid needs that balance of guys being in his ear challenging his pass heavy “insanity”.

  • Iskar36

    Overall, I agree with your perspective Tommy. The one concern I have is that I think some of the roster moves we made were using the logic of “win now”. I don’t think we mortgaged the future for those moves, but had the future been the focus of building the roster, I think there would have been some differences. To me, that aspect is worthy of some criticism.

    • TommyLawlor

      You can’t just load up a team with all young players. You need veteran leaders to help develop them.

      Go back to Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys. In the first couple of years, they had older OL in Mark Tuinei and Nate Newton. They had Jim Jeffcoat, an old DE. They had a veteran S named Ray Horton. They had veteran LBs Jack Del Rio and Eugene Lockhart. Isaac Holt was an older CB.

      Then the team added veterans like Jay Novacek and Tony Casillas to help them get even better.

      You never want a team that is all under the age of 25. That’s too young. You need some older guys to help bridge the gap between player and coach. Young players learn from them, on and off the field.

      And this isn’t all about the future. Kelly wants to win now. He’s disciplined enough to not sell out to win now, but he doesn’t want to lose if he can help it.

      • austinfan

        Sometimes a solid veteran with a cheap short-term contract is a better alternative for a rebuilding team than a marginal younger player with limited upside. Square was not going to be a building block of this team.

        It’s one thing to cut a young player to keep a marginal veteran on the bench for depth, only serious contenders should do that, quite another to have a Sopoaga play for a year while Logan bulks up and improves his two gap technique. Chung may not last with his bad angles, but he’s buying time to work Wolff in without putting the rookie in a situation where he’s over his head.

  • Rage114

    The worst thing that happened to this team was having such a dominant first half against the Redskins. It allowed unrealistic expectations to creep in.

    • SteveH

      For the viewers it was probably bad yeah. Turns out the Redskins might be a terrible team too, so false positives abound!

      • SHough610

        For the viewers it was probably bad yeah. Turns out the Redskins might be are a terrible team too, so false positives abound!

        Fixed it for you.

    • TommyLawlor

      Yep.

  • SteveH

    Losing is one thing, losing while visually wading through the waste deep poo that was on the field last night is another thing altogether.

    • Crus57

      I don’t understand, we weren’t even playing at Soldier Field? Oh, you meant *metaphorical* poo.

  • bdbd20

    Great perspective Tommy. We have to realize that getting playmakers takes years of good drafts. We plugged some holes with free agency, but we’re a good ways off.

    The only issue I had with Chip’s offseason was bringing Vick back. It would have been nice to see what Foles could do.

    • Always Hopeful

      That’s the tension I feel too. Yet, maybe Kelley “knows” Foles isn’t the guy and Vick gives him a better chance of winning now. If the team doesn’t produce wins, at least a Vick led offense can show what is possible with someone with elite talent running the offense. Foles is not an elite talent. Not that he couldn’t run the offense, but Foles seems like a good back up.

      I think the best case scenario for the Eagles the rest of the year is for them to learn this offense, score a whole bunch of points, be entertaining and do the best they can with the limited play makers they have on BOTH sides of the ball.

      This team does need a few off seasons to really have the depth and 2nd tier play makers (on offense, 1st tier on defense) to be consistently competitive.

      • anon

        Can we get mariota if with a top 15 pick?

        • Always Hopeful

          I can’t say, but that would be nice, I think :-)

        • Neil

          Anything is possible. He’s putting up gaudy numbers but I’m not sure how much of that is going to be attributed to the way the offense he runs works by NFL scouts. His arm isn’t ideal for a deep-to-short passing attack, I believe, so a few teams might also knock him for that.

      • GEagle

        if Chip already knows Foles isn’t the guy then we should have traded him, and gotten extra picks we could use for drafting “Chips guys”….If Chip knows Foles isnt his guy, then having a backup for Vick is not worth passing up on 2nd or 3rd rd picks especially when you consider the holes we have. you can’t have two young QBs on your bench while playing a flawed veteran like Vick….If we aren’t going to get into the playoffs then I would like to play young guys, find out who these tea bags are when we dip them in hot water(Curry ended up being a quality “tea bag”)..and even if Chip decided that Foles or Barkley Won’t work for him, play them, put them in a position to have success and try to up their trade value…

        in fairness to Vick, other then a typical ridiculously boneheaded play or two, he has played well before last night. Some of last nights issues go away just by protecting him better then last night. I never believed in Vick to begin with, but I do believe in this Oline. by now, bitching about Vick is a Lost cause for me, but this Oline is good enough to be great, it’s good enough to correct its issues, so I’m banking on this capable line consistently playing well enough to make a flawed QB….Less Flawed until he gets injured and I get to see the kids I wanted to see all along….
        ….
        kind of wish this division weren’t so pathetic. these losses would be easier to deal with if the division title was a lost cause. But everyone sucks so much that it will keep us engaged and on edge even if we aren’t supposed to be good to begin with

  • Mac

    The Redskins game was a lesson for Chip on not letting your opponent get back in the game.

    The Chargers game was winnable and showed that the offense can work against multiple teams. It also showed that the defense is vulnerable to top tier quarterbacks.

    The Chiefs game showed us (again) that this defense is good enough to shut down the offense of struggling teams, and that we need to let our pass rushers do their thing from time to time. It also was a horrible reminder of how sloppy some of our players can be.

    Dead horse theme: Good QB play can cover up flaws (RG3 second half, Rivers) Bad QB play can sink the whole ship (RG3 first half, Vick game 3). I know it’s not that simple, but it certainly seems to have a lot to do with things.

    • SHough610

      Yeah, we seem like one of those teams where when they’re good in a year or two we’ll have seen the pieces there.

    • A_T_G

      I think we might have been better off with the dead horse last night…

  • Lateraleye

    I think most of us had more grounded expectations before the season began. We saw all the changes, watched the preseason games, and considered this to be an all-but-rebuilding year.

    Then the Washington game happened. The team was extremely sharp on both sides of the ball and kicked those low expecations into space, at least in the first half. And if our only concern after that game was how to hold on to a lead, then this team would be amazing this very year!

    The San Diego game was pretty much horrible (they should have beaten us by a lot more based on how everybody played) and one game does not make a trend. But here we are with a second straight loss with too much overlap from the last game, especially our inability to kill opposing drives on third-and-long and to cover slot receivers. And in this game the 2012 Eagles reared their heads with awful special teams and turnovers. The trend has been going downward since the beginning of the season.

    This last game probably sent a lot of people spiraling back down to reality, me included. That is a good thing for our heart conditions and any nearby loose objects. I’ll watch the rest of the season of course. They’re still the Eagles. There’s no way I will be able to “sit back and enjoy the ride” though when this team can’t tackle, is constantly out of position, and is made a joke of by average teams. It’s going to be painful.

    I don’t think the coaches can adjust their way out of it, not with this personnel. Chip’s offense has been proven to work multiple weeks now and when it slumped, it was solely due to the players. I remain very distrustful of Bill Davis. Other teams can scheme easily enough to keep our offense under control but we can’t do the same in return for some reason. That’s on defensive coaching.

    One thing I’m tired of hearing is that this team has so much talent. Talent means we are 1-2 and crashing. We had much of the same so-called talent the last two losing seasons as well.

    For now I will try to be honest with myself. Expect to lose, then enjoy it on the rare occasion we win. I can’t trust this team as it is currently.

    • dropscience

      Extremely well stated.

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    Yards mean nothing. Any Reid’s worst season with a healthy team they averaged 354 ypg, or 15th in the league. The problem was that they never could score when it mattered. Last year’s disastrous season the Eagles were 44% in the redzone, this year so far they are 42%. Schemes get yards, players score points. That’s the way it always has been, and the way it always will be. Jackson is not a redzone threat, they haven’t discovered a TE who is a match up problem, Vick makes poor decisions, etc. Same problems carry over to a new offense. The difference is that they seem to have more big play capability due to the superior scheme and getting guys open in space. There’s very little excess space inside the redzone. I think this will be Kelly’s biggest adjustment versus college. In college you can scheme your way to points or rely on athletic ability against 90% of the inferior opponents you face every year.

    The other thing that is a season long-adjustment is that the offense and defense are intertwined more than in college. I think we started to see the effects of a defense wearing down last night. Part of that is due to the fact that they’ve played 3 games in 11 days, part of that is they can’t get off the field when it matters, and part of that is a 10 play, 80 yard drive in this offense takes 3:00 off the clock, not 6 or so as in other offenses. For all these yards the eagles are racking up, their avg TOP is 24:25! Second to last in the NFL. Chew on that for a while. This will matter when you have a TOTAL of 53 players on your roster that you run ragged everyweek over a 16 game season, not 100+ that play 12 or 13. If they have to take their foot off the gas down the stretch, then part of allure of the Kelly offense goes with it…stay tuned

    • Ben Hert

      I hate to admit it, but I think you’ve got a valid point. I used to laugh off this 53 man roster thing, but its becoming a distinct reality we are going to have to deal with unless we can fix some of the problems with the D staying on the field so long.

  • Tom33

    Maybe I’ve kept my expectations in check, but I’m not real upset this year. Last night the team played about as bad as it could (5 TO’s, including one in the red zone and another that was returned for a TD), and yet, if the D could have gotten off the field in the 4th quarter, they had a chance to tie the game.

    Clearly they need better players on D and another receiver to take some pressure off Desean. I wonder how much more productive this offense would be if Maclin were around.

    As Vick pointed out last night in his interview with Prime Time, they’ve only played a couple of games together – I expect things to improve as the season progresses (as opposed to last year).

    • TheRogerPodacter

      yea, i’m in the same boat.
      on one hand, i don’t mind being out played and beaten, like against the chargers. but this time, it felt like we gave the game away with our own mistakes.

      the D played well enough, except on 3rd and long. lol

    • BlindChow

      They’d only played a couple games together, but they’re getting worse. Not a good sign.

      • Tom33

        ST’s were terrible, but Vick was the only one who seemed to regress last night. He made a couple of plays with his legs, but overall he was awful and looked more like the 2012 Vick than he has in the first couple of games. Kelly blamed the protection, but I think he was just being nice and trying to avoid a QB debate.

        The D was better (still not good, but better).

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

          There is no QB debate to be had. He played badly in 1 game. They’ve played 3. Where’s the problem?

          When Vick doesn’t trust his line he goes off the reservation and often try to do to much. He didn’t trust those guys last nice at all. That Avant blow was brutal – he made the pass, but he got blown up. That was on the line.

          That however, has nothing to do with the unforced errors he made. He had a bad game outside of the line and other offensive woes.

          It was just a bad night all around for the offense.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    hey Tommy, weren’t you just saying how our ST were doing good this year? and then they pull this crap today… i think you jinxed them : P
    of course, its not just you, but everyone was saying the same thing.

    i think the eyes of coach fipp are going to be looking into the souls of many a player this week.

  • NoDecaf

    Sloppiness is disappointing but you’re right, this season requires perspective.

  • bleeds_gr33n

    Talk about drinking the KOOL-AID.. wow

    • TommyLawlor

      So saying this is a flawed team that will take time to fix is being too pro-Eagles? Uh, okay.

      • Iskar36

        I thought he was making a reference to AR in red. “Oh Yea!”

      • bleeds_gr33n

        Dave Spadaro lite, that’s who you are.. Never a negative word. That was a dogshit performance, no fan should be okay with it.

        • NoDecaf

          So GTFO. Stay in TATE.

        • TommyLawlor

          Calling the Eagles “flawed” isn’t negative? That means they aren’t talented enough.

          If you don’t like what I say, feel free to read other stuff. My writing isn’t for everyone. I won’t be offended.

          Just make sure you check in from time to time. You never know when I’ll screw up and maybe get something right.

          • bleeds_gr33n

            “..you should relax and enjoy the ride.” How was any part of last nights game relaxing or enjoyable? I guess because you write for their website you must butter them up. But it’s okay, I will go elsewhere, maybe I can find someone that writes critically when it’s called for.

          • GermanEagle

            I see reading comprehension is not one of your strengths. TATE is full of critical people, you may wanna hang out over there.

          • Mac

            I enjoyed seeing McCoy run untouched for what like 30 yards into the endzone.
            Also got a little kick out of DeSean’s cut block.
            I also enjoyed the sacks by our defense.

            No real reason to go all Lamech on this team.

          • anon

            Hurts more to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. So many things that make me want to believe, but then we do it to ourselves.

        • anon

          Yeah to be fair Tommy is plenty critical of the team, you’d know that if you read his game breakdowns. He also puts an unbelievable amount of work into the site. I can understand being pissed at the team’s performance, everyone here is, but don’t shoot the messenger.

        • nicolajNN

          Where are the people calling Tommy a Vick hater when you need them?

    • Iskar36

      Oops, replied wrong spot.

  • Daniel Miller

    I don’t mind getting flat-out beat by a better team, but giving a game away to a very beatable team is just tough to swallow.

    The lack of TE involvement in the passing game was really puzzling. We know our WRs after DeSean are not going to win individual battles, but I thought Celek, Ertz, Casey were guys that we were supposed to rely on to get open vs LBs and Safeties.

    For an offense that is built around taking what the defense gives us, I didn’t see many of the pass option plays last night. Maybe that was due to the return of Bad Vick’s mind-numbing decision making. As fun as it is to watch Vick gash teams on the ground….I really, really want to see this offense run by an intelligent, accurate QB.

  • SHough610

    This year seems all about growing pains. Considering the worst case scenario of Chip Kelly looking like Steve Spurrier, I’m pretty happy. The missed tackles are infuriating because I’d hoped that would be one of the things NOT held over from the Reid era.

  • P_P_K

    Well, better taking stock than laughing stock.

  • P_P_K

    Shady leads the NFL in rushing AND he didn’t get hurt last night.

  • Birdbrain77

    I feel the same way as Tommy. For years, in my mind, we had to get to the superbowl so every loss was agonizing. I take some solace in knowing that this was not going to be the year no matter how good Chip turns out to be at coaching. We just don’t have all of the pieces. I knew this before the season started. Hell MOST of the tri-state area knew this. The only thing that changed was that Monday night game. Then everyone forgot what they’ve been saying all summer long and got caught up in the hype. Do I root for them to win? ALWAYS. But this year, if they lose, I keep visions of Clowney or Bridgewater, or Manziel in my head. Can you frickin imagine Clowney playing in Cole’s ROLB spot??!! OR maybe a younger, just as mobile, better passer than Vick at QB? Vick will have a decent year this year, but his replacement is coming soon. The good thing is that after this year, all of the skill position guys will be used to the offense, Shady, Desean, Casey, Ertz, etc.

  • 89tremaine

    Last year I stopped watching the games after the first Dallas game because it was clear that there was no accountability and a lack of effort which I just couldn’t respect enough to give the team any more of my time. I have been very happy with the direction of the team and the fact that effort is no longer an issue. When the Eagles turned the ball over 5 times last year, they would have lost by 30+, to have it a game in the 4th quarter shows huge progress.

    To me, this year was always about laying the foundation for the next few years – installing the offense, determining who fits and who doesn’t, and gradually adding talent through the draft and fill holes with lesser name free agents (think Mike Vrabel to the Pats in early 2000s). I also find it funny to hear the national media say that Chip Kelly’s system doesn’t work because they’ve lost the last 2. Despite only having the ball for 40 minutes in the last 2 weeks, the Birds have had over 950 yards of offence and put up 46 points despite missing 2 FGs and 5 turnovers.

    • A_T_G

      I think you make a good point. I also think it is sadly amusing that we can compare present 5-turnover performances to past 5-turnover performances.

  • GermanEagle

    Speaking of taking stock:

    Are you worried about Henery, Tommy? Every time he lines up to kick a FG I think he’s going to miss, especially from 40+ yards out. It would be nice to have a reliable kicker who is also clutch.

    • Tom33

      I get the frustration, but he’s missed 2 kicks this year and a total of 7 in his career. I think it’s a bit premature to write him off.

      • GermanEagle

        I am not writing him off yet, however it’s just the uncomfortable feeling when he lines up for longer kicks (and I am not talking about chip chots from 30 yards out). Maybe it’s just me, who knows…

        • Crus57

          Akers was like that at the end of his career here, but he played well for SF afterwards, so it’s not always doom for a kicker to play badly. Henery is certainly trying hard to be very average.

    • Iskar36

      There are a few guys I’d like to find out more about. Just on the offensive side of the ball:

      1. Where is Damaris Johnson? He has 0 catches so far in 3 games.

      2. At what point can we say the hype with James Casey was overblown?

      3. What is going on with our TEs in general? With limited talent at WR, you would expect the TEs to get a lot more production. As a group, they have 8 catches for 148 yards in 3 games.

      4. Is Polk going to get any more touches?

      Right now, the Eagles offense seems like a 3 man show with Vick, McCoy, and Jackson. Regardless of how creative CK can be, we will not be able to sustain a successful offense if we do not get more players on offense involved.

      • anon

        Yeah seemed like all the creativity in his offense was gone this week. I wonder if the fun stuff is limited to being able to get the offense in tempo. That said having more TEs could have helped with protection and given us some bigger / harder to cover targets. If cooper wasnt getting open, take him out of the game.

  • PhillyBirds

    Tommy-

    What has happened with our Tight Ends? I thought they would help us cope with the loss of Maclin, but they have been really quiet overall outside of some flashes. Casey is barely seeing the field (not that he’s helped himself) and they haven’t really seemed to be much of a focal point of the offense like a lot of people seemed to expect.

    Any thoughts?

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ll write a post on the TEs/Damaris/the other offensive players.

  • Stormbringer

    When I was watching the game yesterday, I noticed the Colts activated Da’Rick Rogers (it showed on the scoll bar at the league news). We were ahead of the Colts on waiver claims and felt we should have picked him up due to we have no good second option now that Maclin went down. Having someone else to take pressure off DJack getting doubled would be really helpful if someone plays us the style KC did.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Da’Rick Rogers went undrafted and got cut by the Buffalo Bills. He’s not an answer

      • Stormbringer

        He’s no Maclin but he’d be a step up from Riley Cooper. He played in the same conference as Cooper (SEC) and led said conference in receiving as a Soph. He also started over and had a better year than Coradelle Patterson or Justin Hunter ever had at Tennessee (on the same college team, one a 1st rounder and the other a 2nd rounder).

        Buffalo’s receiving (WRs) corp is better and deeper than ours right now. They don’t need a possible headache. We need someone that threatens the opposition. Cooper seems to try hard but an average CB has the athleticism to cover him one on one. Rogers might be a head case but they would have a much harder time ignoring him or covering him with a nickel receiver.

        • anon

          Think this system makes it hard to bring in offensive players mid-season. Gotta learn the scheme and the tempo.

          • Stormbringer

            I’m afraid you are correct on this. :-(

            We could really use another receiver as I’m afraid everyone is going to go all out to bottle up D Jack and dare our other WRs to win their matchup.

          • anon

            Yeah, no TO…

  • Christopher Miller

    I am looking forward to seeing how Chip rallies the guys over this 10 days. I certainly don’t expect a win in Denver but I want to see some of the mental errors cleaned up and see a team that plays with more desperation.

    • anon

      Maybe it’ll be better when we aren’t playing at home.

  • OregonDucker

    What I find depressing about this game is that a lack of focus or talent? can cause such a disaster. I felt that most players on O and D played their hearts out and were effective. BUT the few that lost focus (either because they lack talent, were scared, or were not focused) killed the team. My first reaction was to scream at the tv and demand they be cut.

    However, Tommy’s comments won me over – we need to understand that this is a development year where some players will make it and others will not. I really can’t say it any better.

    Thanks Tommy for taking the kool aid out of my hands!

  • xlGmanlx

    Does that mean we can stop smoking Riley cooper pole on this site? Too bad Benn and Mac went down with injuries. Would have loved to have Sheppard on the team right now to see what he can do.

  • scratcherk

    I disagree completely that a good half against Washington was a bad thing. It is exactly what we needed. Chip is going to have his fair share of critics inside and outside the team. A strong start was a must to get people to buy in. Even in the broadcast yesterday, they said Vick had to convince McCoy to buy in. Imagine if this whole season had started out as slow as yesterday. It might have caused irreparable damage.

    • Neil

      I think players can look at the film and see that it’s not so much the schemes that are the problem.

      • Iskar36

        Yes and no. If part of the problem is the player himself, a lot of the time it is difficult to be self-critical. Furthermore, since getting good numbers impacts their future contracts, blaming scheme becomes an easy scapegoat for a player.

    • Anders

      I say McCoy is buying now :) He got over 500 yards of offense after 3 weeks.

  • Adam

    I honestly wonder if the lack of different looks and packages on offense is because Chip doesn’t trust Michael Vick’s decision making and football IQ. Just seems like the offense is ridiculously vanilla. Coming into this year I was really excited for Chip to get everyone involved, but it’s simply not the case. I know Chip is preaching match-up issues but I just feel there’s more to it than that. I think Chip knows Mike has a comfort zone with DJax, Avant and Cooper to a lesser extent and doesn’t want to throw much more at him.

  • austinfan

    People are overreacting, before the season I had them 6-10 to 10-6, because there were so many unknowns.

    Chip has strong points, but he also has no NFL experience, one reason I preferred Bradley, it’s going to take Chip a season to rethink many of his ideas after seeing NFL speed first hand – it’s one thing to watch film, quite another to see it live. Same with game planning, what looks good on paper often explodes on the field. I thought the key with Chip wasn’t the RO or his innovative ideas, it was his management skills and his intelligence, i.e., can he learn quickly and make adjustments. We’ll see by the end of the season.

    The offensive line is a concern, they’ve been up and down, but like everyone on this team, they’re adjusting to a new OL coach and a new system. But Herremans really looks cooked, and Peters is not 100%, powerful but his feet seemed slow in pass protection. Lane is ultra talented but people forget how raw he is, which is why he was the most talented of the OT trio but the third drafted.

    The defense showed it’s strengths and weakness, four promising young DL who will be inconsistent the way young DL tend to be (Thornton, Logan, Cox, Curry), young LBs learning on the job (Kendricks, Barwin – this is his first full season at SOLB, Graham), young players in the secondary. The veterans are mostly fill-ins, if they played better this would be a better team, but they don’t have big long-term deals, and they’re here to buy time while Howie adds talent in the next couple drafts – not to turn this team around in one season (we tried that).

    This is a season to watch players more than the team, some will step up, some will get moved out. Cooper did not have a good game, but he has a role if he can improve as a receiver. Prater, Carmichael and Poyer are auditioning for roles in the future, Knott for ILB, Kelly might get some PT at RT if they want Lane to play some at LT (and maybe Peters at RG). Ertz is being groomed, and maybe Casey gets written off. Stay tuned.

    They’ve had two good drafts, ending up with a 6-10 record and picking 10th to 12th (and thus 42-44th) might land them 2-3 starters next year and continue building up the core of young talent. This is a rebuild in terms of both talent and system, it’s not going to happen in one year, they probably won’t be seriously competitive until 2015. I remember Rhodes going 10-6 and making the playoffs in 1995-1996, but failing to build a nucleus of young talent which caught up to him in 1998. It was the Broadhus draft of 1998 that set Reid up for success. Fans want to win now, but sometimes you have to be patient – the goal is not to squeeze into the playoffs but be a serious contender for the SB year after year.

  • Jerry Goldstein

    How many more performances like last night until Vick gets benched?

    • anon

      Wait until he has more bad games than good games to start that.

      • Jerry Goldstein

        So after he gets demolished against the Broncos will that be enough? Vick beat up on the 2 lowest ranked defenses in the NFL then gets obliterated by a good one.

        • aub32

          Any chance they are ranked so low because they played us? Or would that be too hard for you to consider because it would mean giving Vick credit?

    • GermanEagle

      Oh Jerry…

    • Ben Hert

      How many more comments like this until you realize people just ignore your constant, nonconstructive, Vick bashing?

  • Pingback: Iggles Blitz » Blog Archive » Emotions and Expectations

  • GEagle

    Thorton. Future starter or valuable depth role? Last night he looked good but this season will tell us who he really is.
    ..
    Cox: Really liked the way he played last night. CLearly a starter for year..
    ..
    Soap: Need to be upgraded, but an adequate stop gap. this was a critical position that last years players couldn’t make the transition to so Soap is the temporary band aid.
    ..
    Vinny Curry: We found our pass rush specialist(every defense should have one in its arsenal) of the future. find sub packages to get him on the Kelce on 3rd.Imagine where he woulda been yesterday with two games of experience under his belt.
    ….
    Logan: See Thorton with better odds at starting with the ability to play NT and 5tec. If he doesn’t grow into an impact starter we can count on him being a solid rotation depth guy
    ..
    Gaethers…Meh

    square… meh, but less meh than gAethers

    So…we have 4 out of 6 players in place for our future Dline. These are young guys who will get better as the season goes on, and will be given plenty of opportunities to show their potential. We need 7 but I’m assuming Kruger is the 7th…so we still have to add two linemen in the future, but the play of our young guys this year will tell us if we need to make serious investments in starting Caliber Dlinemen of whether we just need a 5th rounder and a second tier young FA

  • GEagle

    Barwin…showing his worth, but he is just learning his team mates so it’s not even as good as it gets with him. he has a future in this city as one of the OLBs
    ..
    just because we all rant and Rave about Mykal doesn’t mean he is anywhere close to a finished product. I’m expecting about 9 more redskin performances out of him, and 4 more performances(growing pains) like these last two games. Like Barwin, he is a starter in this city for the next 3-7 years

    Meco..Will start for us the next two years, but at some point we need to find a dynamic young replacement.

    graham/Cole….Head scratcher. Cole like Soap is a band aid, Graham I have no friggin clue about…my guess is that at the end of this season we still won’t know what to think…Might be able to squeeze another year out of him before his contract expires, but that’s an impact position and as much as I love Barwin, I like him much more as Robin then I do Batman
    ….
    Future:
    Barwin,Kendrick are the Longterm starters…must find backup Longterm backup for Barwin. hoping Knott is backup answer at WIL
    Intermediate:
    Meco 2-3yr starter, a high investment on a young MLB can wait..
    Immediate need:
    Both Cole and Graham can’t be here next year, 1 needs to go, and a quality young addition needs to be made.

    Our LB corp of the future is about 75% complete once new players get comfortable, young players grow and they all gel

    • Iskar36

      In terms of Mychal Kendricks, he needs to improve before I am ready to label him a starter for the next 3-7 years. That’s not to say I am down on him, but calling a guy a starter for 3-7 years is major praise that Kendricks simply hasn’t earned yet. He has lots of potential, but he has not proven to play at a high level with any consistency just yet. Last year, he made a lot of mistakes, which for a rookie are acceptable. This year, he played one good game, and two bad games so far. He has flashed plenty of ability, but you can’t be a long term starter if you can’t play with regular consistency.

      • GEagle

        Lol it’s called projecting,..you know, something involved in building rosters and making decisions…when you drafted Lane Johnson 4th, you projected that he would start for you for ATleast 5 years…any 2nd round pick is also projected as such until he FAILS…Mykal is no she close to a failure, thus we can safely project him in our future

        • Iskar36

          Yea… I understand projecting. Still, saying a 2nd year player projects to being the starter for the next 3-7 years is a very bold projection for a guy like Mychal Kendricks. Projections like that are earned by guys who will be a cornerstone of a defense, and Kendricks has not earned that trust yet. He COULD become that, but he has to be way more consistent before you can project that far out.

          • GEagle

            I don’t share your concerns for Mykal. he doesn’t lack desire, he doesn’t lack passion, He doesn’t lack skill, Doesn’t lack physical ability, doesn’t lack football IQ or mental aptitude…So exactly what is stopping him for ever being a quality starter? Cuz he isn’t a probowler yet after 19 games?

            bobby Wagner, Lavonte David, Vontaze Burfict…these guys all were placed in good defense as rookies coached by much capable coordinators and used much better then Mykal was…Then the rookie season ended and Mykal got a brand new coaching staff, had to learned a drastically new Linebacker-centric scheme and a handful of new teammates…while Wagner,Burfict, and Lavonte all got o enjoy continuity from offseason 1 and 2…..All things considered I think the kid is handling things admirably…what’s his problems?
            1) Showed is blitzes too soon against Phillip Rivers(correcting this isn’t rocket science)
            ..
            2)Couldn’t guard Antonio Gates(not many young LBs can)
            ..
            3) Missed some tackles…well he didn’t miss tackles against the Skins, actually he punished them. he wasn’t known as a bad tackler at Cal, far from it..I too wish he was a tackling machine right now like Uralacher, but there is no reason at all why he can’t tighten it up and become a heckuva tackler..

            What other mistakes has he made early in his transition?

            I’m way more concerned with what young players show that they can do then the mistakes they make. the only concerns I have for young plAyers are Physical limitations, FBI, mental aptitude, desire,passion,heart….and Mykal shows no signs of lacking in any of those departments….if I had to set odds on our young players with the best chances of getting extensions and never seeing Free agency, he would be one of the top of the guys on the list at the moment, and If I can’t project a guy like that to start, who can you project?

  • GEagle

    secondary(this is the problem): Serious investments in quality need to be made ASAP

    Immediate Need:
    Quality starting outside #1 CB (Cary and fletcher cante the best cb on the team)
    ….
    Quality Safety!!!: Chung and Wolff can’t be the best Safeties on this team
    ….
    The Future:
    Boykin is the Nickle of the future

    Cary and Bradley battle it out to start at the #2 outside CB(my guess is Cary would win) and the loser is a quality back up…
    ….
    Loser of Wolff/Chung starting battle, gets the 3rd safety role and provides quality depth and ST play

    So basically we need to add two players which will require some serious FA money or investing High draft picks…we can’t throw 5th round darts in the dark, and praproblems ur problems are solved. This is the weakness of the entire team. can’t short change it….If we can’t get Jarius Byrd, then I would prefer drafting Our safety and adding a FA corner. their are good CB in this draft, but CB need more time to develope then top safety talent. You see rookie Safeties like Elam,Reid,Vaccaro,Cyprien who play but are way more ready then the rookie CBs…Conversly you see a team like KC who added the RIGHT free agent CBs, and they started the season with a top defense, CBs don’t need to adjust to schemes, they are plug and play…it’s all about signing talented ones who won’t be lazy after you pay them

    • anon

      We have a lot of cap room this year, but not sure what our cap space will look like next year. Contracts for DJax and others will go up (he’s earning whatever balloon he’s getting). We probably have room to add 1/2 more FA at $8mm a year. Does that go to a FA LB, CB, Safety, NT? Too bad we guaranteed Casey all that money.

      • GEagle

        I dunno man.lHowie comes from a long line of penny pinching Cal wizards. I’m not worrying about them ever not having money to do what they want until proven otherwise. if this team continues to be bad, then guys will get axed and we will have more money then we think we will now…
        ..
        Either a Safety or a CB has to be added in FA, because we have too many other needs to spend two high draft picks on the secondary, and those holes are too big to try and get lucky striking gold with 5th rd pics

  • Steag209

    In a perfect world (assuming we don’t win the Super Bowl), I would like losses like last night, where we know things are working but the old guy(s) make(s) the big mistakes or we just get outplayed (see: next week, Denver). It sets us up for a high pick in the first and we can get one of the talented QB’s coming out this year, or it’s high enough to where we can grab an impact defender with our #1 and then the stud QB with #2 or vice-versa. I really HATE losing but this is the season I’d be less pissed about them….slightly less pissed….But I REALLY want to win the east this year, just to laugh at the rest of the division, so I’m torn

  • GEagle

    I have a feeling an organized guy looked at the 16 game schedule, and came up with a 4 quarter strategy for how he would unleash his playbook onto the NFL….Example:
    First 4 games I will work these plays in, second quarter of the year I will open up this portion of the playbook, and so on….and that’s why we aren’t seeing things offensively that we expect to be seeing. Chip was on board wit guaranteeing Casey 5mil and signing him to a 4yr deal…yet Casey has only played 8 snaps in two games….my guess is that Casey won’t be activated or weaponized til phase 2 or 3 of Chips quarterly plan….
    ….
    I do think it’s a case of we will run “this” in the first 4 games, and by then the league will catch up, so then we will counter and introduce this for games 5-8 etc…sort of thing…That’s my guess atleast

  • Scott

    Yards are meaningless without points to back them up.

    • TommyLawlor

      Not meaningless. But can be misleading. All depends on how you got them. If they came vs prevent defense, that’s when they are bogus. Eagles piled up legit yards last night.

      And obviously the lack of points is a huge issue. Chip will be losing sleep on that.