Lots To Read

Posted: October 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 31 Comments »

I started doing some reading to prepare for writing a piece this morning, but there is so much good material out there…I’m just going to post the links for now. Tons of good info on the Eagles and Giants.

First bit of Giants news. RG Chris Snee is getting ready to go on IR. He has a hip injury and rehab isn’t working on it. Will need surgery.  David Diehl is set to take his place on Sunday.

The Giants are looking for help on defense. They are trying to trade for Panthers LB Jon Beason. The deal won’t affect Sunday. Beason is in NY today taking a physical. If he passes, which apparently isn’t guaranteed, Beason will be a Giant. The cost is only a late round pick. Beason’s injuries must have affected him more than I realized.

Some Eagles fans enjoy the Giants suffering. If that’s you, you’ll love this article on the disappointing play of JPP, Hakeem Nicks and David Wilson.

No one wants to hear anymore that rustiness following back surgery has diminished No. 90, turned him into just a guy, stuck in quicksand, futilely flailing away at the quarterback, and JPP isn’t using it as an excuse. But the Giants’ defense is the Giants’ defense only if it can rush the passer, and it cannot rush the passer if JPP (one sack) cannot remember how to be the freak who instilled fear in the heart of the quarterback, especially with Osi Umenyiora in Atlanta.

The writer is now wishing the Giants had passed on JPP and drafted someone else. This is wildly ironic for Eagles fans, who have wished the Birds took JPP instead of Brandon Graham. Crazy.

* * * * *

One disappointing Eagle has been RG Todd Herremans. Geoff Mosher wrote a good piece on Herremans and his struggles. The KC game was the low-point.

“I think I was so down after that game because I really, really wanted to win. I do every game,” he said. “And we’re trying to make a comeback. I think we were down two touchdowns or something like that and then we completed like a 15-yard pass or something that gets called back because of a holding call by me. That kind of was hanging on me a little heavy and it was right at the end of the game, so it was still fresh on my mind when we got in the locker room.”

Herremans didn’t feel sorry for himself. He thought about ways he could improve and made some subtle changes in how he did things. He then played much better against Denver.

“I know Todd played a lot better against Denver than he did in the Chiefs game,” Kelly said. “When you go through that game, I thought he played really well.  Maybe his best game of the year was against the Broncos.”

I agree with Kelly that Denver was Herremans best game. Let’s hope he builds off that and can get even better.

* * * * *

Jeff McLane wrote a terrific piece. He started off by talking about the conditioning program and how that has helped with limiting injuries.

The Eagles, comparatively speaking, have been among the healthiest teams in the NFL through the first four weeks. They have averaged only 3.5 players per week on the injury report, well below the league average of 8.8. Only the Chicago Bears have had fewer.

Chip Kelly noted in his PC that there’s nothing you can do about major injuries. He gave the example of a broken bone. All the training in the world isn’t going to change that. Kelly refers to “soft tissue injuries” as the ones he is trying to prevent.  So far, so good on that front.

And minor injuries like hamstring and calf strains, as Kelly noted, have been virtually nonexistent. Teams are required to report all injuries or face league sanctions.

“There’s a method to the madness, hopefully, and we’ll see if that continues to help us,” Kelly said, “because it is a long season.”

It really is going to be interesting to see if this is a fluke or the training really does work at the NFL level.

McLane has good info on Bennie Logan, blitzes, DeSean Jackson and some other subjects. Make sure you check that out.

* * * * *

And now for Mr. Kapadia. He has up a couple of great pieces.

First, a look back at the defense from the Broncos game. The best part of this for me was the part on Earl Wolff. It sounds like he has the mentality to be a good Safety. He’s making mistakes on the field, but is trying to learn from them. The first step in solving a problem is admitting you’ve got one. If Earl went on and on about what he did right, I’d be worried. Instead, he’s focused on what he did wrong and how that can be changed.

Bill Davis had some bad moments from the Denver game. He tried to fool Peyton Manning on some plays and it didn’t work, as the design was so flawed that fooling Manning became irrelevant. That’s why you’re better off staying simple. Peyton got the best of Jim Johnson in 1999, 2002 and 2006. Let’s not try and define Davis by this game.

Sheil put up his cheat sheet on the Eagles D vs the Giants O. His first point ties into the discussion on Davis and the state of the defense.

1. “Believe it or not, I know the results are not there, but behind the scenes, I’ve watched that game probably 10 times now on tape along with every other game we’ve played. The fundamentals, the techniques, the understanding, the players playing with each other, it is moving forward,” defensive coordinator Billy Davis said this week, days after a 52-20 loss to the Broncos. “The results did not show in that game obviously, so I’m asking to you trust me even though there are not the results. But the guys know through the daily work that the techniques, it will turn. It will turn. It hasn’t turned yet. It’s not where we want it to be, but we’ll continue to put our heads down and work, and I really believe it will turn.”

We’ll find out in the next nine days whether his assessment is accurate. The Eagles’ defense ranks 30th, according to Football Outsiders. It is 31st in points allowed (34.5 PPG) and last in yards (446.8). In the Giants and Bucs, the Eagles face the 31st- and 30th-ranked offenses, respectively, per Football Outsiders. If ever there were a time to show that progress is being made, it would be in the next two weeks.

If the defense is still struggling in a huge way in 2 weeks, we’ve got a huge problem on our hands. If we see some progress, that gives us some sense of hope.

This matchup on Sunday won’t feature much in the way of excellence when the Giants O and Eagles D are on the field.

10. The Giants are 26th in red-zone offense, scoring touchdowns 44.4 percent of the time. The Eagles are 16th in red-zone defense, allowing touchdowns 55.6 percent of the time. …The Giants have been the worst third-down offense in the league, converting just 22.9 percent of their opportunities. The Eagles’ D is 28th, allowing conversions 45.1 percent of the time. …The Eagles’ D has been on the field for 45 drives, per Football Outsiders. The league-average is 47. In other words, the theory that the up-tempo offense is creating more opportunities for opponents is inaccurate. The Eagles have forced three-and-outs 11.1 percent of the time, last in the NFL. The D has just done a poor job of getting off the field.

Make sure to read the whole piece. Sheil has a ton of good stats and info in there. Great work by him.


31 Comments on “Lots To Read”

  1. 1 ICDogg said at 1:02 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I don’t get why Nicks has been so bad. JPP, that’s just a bad injury. Wilson, that’s just a case where the player has not improved as much as was hoped. But with Nicks, he was much better, and now he just seems to disappear. When you watch the Giants games, you don’t even notice him most of the time, he just disappears. I just don’t get it.

  2. 2 Lateraleye said at 1:36 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I see an analogue to DeSean’s contract year too. Played with no motivation and possibly just trying not to get hurt. Will be interesting to see if they let him go (I think the stingy Giants front office will, after re-signing Cruz now).

  3. 3 Anders said at 3:13 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    He dropped a tons of balls. Wonder if injuries are a problem with him.

  4. 4 ACViking said at 1:03 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Re: 35th Anniversary of the MM-I

    This season marks 35 years since the Eagles miraculous — ridiculous, even — victory over the Giants at the Meadowlands on the fumbled snap-handoff by NY QB Joe Pisarcik with less than 20 seconds left and the Giants running out the clock at their 29 yard line.

    Here’s a pretty good 5-and-half minute piece on the greatest football miracle.


  5. 5 ICDogg said at 1:08 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    and the “Victory Formation” was born.

    What I remember about that game was being in the car listening to this game on the radio on my way home from New York, visiting my grandfather along with my father. He turned the radio off in disgust and so I did not hear what happened until hours later.

  6. 6 A_T_G said at 4:31 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    “We actually invented a way to lose the game that no one else had ever done.”

  7. 7 Jason said at 6:00 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I had forgotten about LeMaster barging in on the first play which helped set in the motion the tragic (wonderful) events. Did Greg Schiano review this tape before crashing the victory formation. Schiano’s Bucs did actually crash the victory formation of the Giants, after all.

  8. 8 A_T_G said at 6:18 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I had the same thought. I bet he was hoping to entice the Giants into the same error in judgement.

  9. 9 Flyin said at 1:16 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I’m not sure if this was brought up already…

    But Bryan Hoyer’s torn ACL on his attempted slide should take some of the pressure off Vick from the critics that are frustrated he doesn’t slide feet first. Myself included.

    That play looked painful!

  10. 10 Lateraleye said at 1:40 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Vick said not too long ago (maybe during the offseason) that the reason he doesn’t slide is just that: fear of tearing up his legs. If a foot happens to catch in the turf just the right way and doesn’t give the way it’s supposed to during the slide… ouch. I still don’t like the habit but I understand the mentality.

  11. 11 Anders said at 3:12 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    He said it during the off season. Vick actually broke his leg on a slide in 2003.

  12. 12 Lateraleye said at 3:14 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Wow, now it comes back to me. 2003 seems like a lifetime ago. Can’t fault him for that fear.

  13. 13 Flyin said at 7:16 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I don’t think I ever saw that play. I just remember hearing the news Vick breaking his leg. I searched for a video of the play and could not find it.

  14. 14 Adam said at 3:37 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    I’d love to see some kind of comparison between avg number of injuries due to sliding feet first compared to how many injuries Vick has taken in situations where he could have slid properly. I don’t feel like they’ll back up his claim but I don’t know.

  15. 15 Flyin said at 7:14 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Interesting yet so logical. Baseball has loose dirt so the cleats don’t grab the same as grass or artificial turf. I never put two and two together until seeing how nasty that play was last night.

  16. 16 austinfan said at 3:01 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Giants are a cautionary message for the Eagle FO. A couple years ago they had one of the best OL in the league, now it’s one of the worst. What happens when you allow a good OL to get old without drafting well and having replacements in place. Peters, Mathis and Herremans are getting up in years, the only young OL on the roster, Kelce, Lane and Kelly. Tobin and Vandervelde are marginal talents. Bamiro the only OL on the PS. While they need defense, and an upgrade at WR, they’d better not ignore OL in the 2014 offseason.

  17. 17 shah8 said at 6:21 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Eagles have at least two solid prospects on the practice team, and Barbre sitting on the roster. Given what has happened to Green Bay and Arizona, not to mention us, drafting is not a solution. Chicago’s turnaround illustrates how much unit function and coaching impacts effectiveness.

  18. 18 A_T_G said at 7:49 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    But weren’t those prospects gathered through the draft process? How do you restock your OL if drafting is not a solution?

  19. 19 shah8 said at 10:04 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    bad drafts *cough* *cough*, must be a fire in here, somewheres…

    Anyways, bad OL drafting has a nasty tendency to make the original problem worse before it gets better. Everyone winds up having to help the weak one, and their own tasks and habits suffer as well.

  20. 20 A_T_G said at 10:23 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Well sure, drafting poorly doesn’t restock the cupboard, but that doesn’t mean drafting is not the solution.

  21. 21 shah8 said at 11:45 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    The problem is your phrasing:

    *the* solution.

    Look, drafting is a method, and as a method, it comes with its own flaws in terms of solving the problem you were using drafting for. The best move the Eagles ever made was not drafting Shawn Andrews. The best move the Eagles ever made was trading for Jason Peters, a former undrafted free agent, with a first and fourth round pick. Just three years of high quality play out of just five years total with the Eagles.

    You can sign free agents, you can trade for other team’s linemen, like the Ravens vis á vis Eugene Monroe or Steelers vis á vis Levi Brown.

    As I’ve hinted before, the main drawback of *drafting* for your solution is that you have to train in place, usually by starting games. Lane Johnson, for example, isn’t really ready for the NFL game, even by the standards of most college tackles. He’s just getting by on athleticism, and that’s messing up the veteran next to him, whose got problems of his own, man. How long will it take before the Evan Mathis School of Balance put out its first graduate, do you think?

  22. 22 shah8 said at 11:46 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    for clarity’s sake, I mean three years of Andrews, not Peters.

  23. 23 A_T_G said at 12:15 AM on October 5th, 2013:

    Ironically, the phrasing was what lead me to question your original comment, where you said that drafting is not *a* solution. The switch the *the* was unintentional.

    Clearly there are other options, but the cost is greater. What Austinfan was encouraging is to draft guys before you need them so you can develop them without playing them. This would free up that high pick you didn’t trade away for a defensive player that… plays defense.

    Peters was a great pickup, even at the price, but he would have been an even better pickup when he was an UDFA. He could have learned from Tre while playing special teams and welcoming Jarius Byrd to the team, who was available when Buffalo used that pick (on someone else).

  24. 24 Joe Minx said at 3:32 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    “If Earl went on and on about what he did right, I’d be worried.”

    Sounds a lot like a certain other safety.

  25. 25 A_T_G said at 6:16 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Troy Polamalu?

  26. 26 mksp said at 6:39 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    it could be a lot worse guys. anyone else get the feeling gus is in over his head?


  27. 27 A_T_G said at 10:09 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    That is amazingly depressing and amusing.

  28. 28 BlindChow said at 10:11 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    That article made me feel a lot better!

    “He’s 90 points behind Peyton Manning’s QBR with an impossible 1.4 QBR — a metric that goes from 0 to 100. In other words, Blaine Gabbert could be dead and he’d be only 1.4 points worse.”

  29. 29 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 11:11 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    Holy $hit, Tommy,
    You need to post a link to this on your blog – this is BountyBowl-quality material!

  30. 30 dislikedisqus said at 9:04 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    The way our S miss tackles, I am very worried about David Wilson breaking long runs.

  31. 31 BlindChow said at 10:53 PM on October 4th, 2013:

    The Giants only have 3 healthy cornerbacks for this week’s game. I’m guessing this will not be the week we see the fabled 3-Tight End set.