LBs on the Rise

Posted: November 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »

Bill Davis has been asked about Trent Cole since the day he was hired as Defensive Coordinator. Davis has had nothing but positive comments about Cole. At times you wondered if some of this was coachspeak. Was Davis really seeing the kind of pressure from Cole that he expected? Davis either has a good poker face or he legitimately was happy with Cole. The message he preached is that the pressure was there and that the sacks would come.

2 weeks ago Cole finally broke through and had 2 sacks. I didn’t think he did anything significantly different. Chris McPherson did a good interview with Cole for Cole told McPherson that the light did go on for him and that he did make some small changes. Cole didn’t talk about them and said they were secret for now. I don’t know if this is a player BS’ing us or if he did really tweak some things in regard to rush angles or something like that. On Sunday we’ll see what he does vs the Cards. Carson Palmer has been sacked 30 times. Cole should have good chances to add to his sack total.

I’ve talked about the Eagles need to upgrade at ROLB, but I’d love Cole to get hot down the stretch and make me wonder about that.

What if he did figure something out? If the pressures turn into sacks, that will make a difference. Cole still isn’t going to be a dynamic force off the edge, but if he’s able to get to the QB on a regular basis, that might make him a player worth keeping around for another season. The Eagles still need to find a stud for that role long term.

Cole said that Kelly’s training methods have him feeling better right now than he’s used to feeling late in a season. Cole sometimes struggled late in seasons when it seemed that he wore down. This will be another angle to consider when evaluating him.

As for the other LBs, DeMeco Ryans is playing his best football of the year. I think he’s finally comfortable in the scheme.

Connor Barwin has played pretty well all year.

Najee Goode had to play a ton in the last 2 games and looked like a solid ILB.

We don’t know what to expect from Mychal Kendricks. He is healthy and will play Sunday, but has been erratic all year. Did watching from the sideline help him? Did the coaches figure anything out with Goode that will help Kendricks? The coaches did say that Kendricks was playing better as the season went along so he’s headed in the right direction.

Brandon Graham has had his moments, but still has yet to really stand out.

All in all, the LBs are playing their best football of the year. That’s crucial in the 3-4 defense. If the defense is going to play well down the stretch, the LBs are going to be a big part of that.

* * * * *

Bob Grotz wrote a good piece on Connor Barwin and how he’s getting the front seven to bond.

“He’s a leader in so many different ways,” defensive end Vinny Curry said of Barwin. “He’s all about team camaraderie.

“That’s something he brought to the team. And just look at us now. Guys are out there making plays. Everybody is happy. Everybody is jumping around compared to last year. It’s fun to be a part of.”

Just another reason to love the Barwin signing from the offseason. Good on the field. Good in the locker room.


  • T_S_O_P

    I do look forward tomorrow to see how the LBs and D reacts to this next test. Ex Eagles D co-ordinator vs ex Cards D co-ordinator is another interesting twisterooni.

    • fran35

      Ha. Forgot about that. Its a shame about Bowles failing here. He was up against it from the beginning. Seems like a great guy and good coach as well. I don’t know if I am misdirecting my anger for last year, but I frickin hate Jim Washburn. And babin as well.

      • livingonapear

        Oh man, can you imagine the kind of bile Washburn will bring to town with his Lions? He’s the kind of person that actually would circle the date on a calender.

  • Right_On1

    I think Barwin’s been a great pick-up, if we can just get someone opposite him we’ll be well placed. Haven’t heard it said much but the Texans D seem to have missed him more than anyone would have expected as well.

    • BlindChow

      With Cushing getting injured every year, looks like they miss Ryans as well.

  • nicolajNN

    If Cole plays more or less the same the rest of the season, do you not see us maybe keeping him around next season, at a reduced salary of course, if Cole is willing to do that.

    Graham might be gone as well, if both are released/traded we have a total of 1 OLB who has played this year. 4 if you add the 2 from IR and 1 from PS. That’s hardly ideal.

    Does Cole not still have some value? He’s still a decent players and we have talked about his work attitude previously this year. I guess it all comes down to money

    • D3FB

      Hunt is on IR. Long is on the PS. Who is the other OLB? Kruger is a DE. He’s 270 and just needed that magical “redshirt” year to get some weight on.

      • Mitchell

        Da Kruger!!! Want to see what he can do later on down the line.

      • Anders

        Also Long projects more as a LOLB like Barwin.

        I really think we need to add a more dynamic guy in the draft or FA

  • Logan’s pushing the pocket in way that wasn’t happening at the beginning of the season. That makes a huge difference to the edge rushers.

  • jshort

    Can’t wait for this game already! Think Kendricks is much better in coverage, but like how Goode is playing. If MK can stop thinking about his stats until after the game he might be able to put together a great performance. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Before I even read it was thinking about Cole’s late season fall off, He has played quite a few snaps, hope he proves this is not the case. Go Birds( the green ones)

  • RobNE

    I loved Michigan going for two and the win, but the play call or at least execution was horrible. The QB can’t just blindly throw to his first read.

    Watch the coach now take all kinds of grief, but really, Michigan could NOT stop OSU and I like the chances of a 2 point conversion better than OT.

    Speaking of which, when is Kelly going to go for 2? I don’t think we’ve seen it since game 1.

    • BlindChow

      It was the KC game. Maybe he’s saving that for the playoffs.

  • iceberg584

    So I received a piece of derelict mail today addressed to “E. Wolff”. Quickly realized that the guy living directly next door to me since August is safety Earl Wolff. Definitely explained all the really nice cars. Of course, I had to return the mail to him. Very nice guy. Said the team loves Chip Kelly and that he hopes to be back next week. As I walked away, I let him know we like him in there more than Patrick Chung.

    • Mitchell

      Is this for real or am I missing a joke? If it is real it is freaking awesome!

      • iceberg584

        Definitely real. I see him all the time and we’ve exchanged small talk, but I never realized who he was. When he was moving in, I was getting out of my car in the driveway, and him and his mom came over and she introduced him as her son “Earl”. He’s not an especially big guy, so it didn’t register to me that he was on the friggen Eagles. Of course, now it all makes sense, right down to the NC license plates.

        • Mitchell

          Very very cool dude. I am jealous!

        • BlindChow

          How’s his knee look?

          • iceberg584

            There was a little bit of hobble to his step…

        • jshort

          Tell him about the site….he can make comments..and bring his buddy Nate…say we love Nate too.

  • P_P_K

    Is Trent being double teamed during passing downs like he often was as a lineman?

    • TommyLawlor

      Not on a regular basis.

  • SteveH

    Re: Cole feeling better late in the year.

    Is he playing the same amount of snaps that he typically does? For some reason I feel like his snaps are down this year… could be wrong.

    Re: Connor Barwin.

    Have to wonder if the Texans aren’t missing him right now. Their teams morale is absolutely shredded. Wonder if the locker room is problematic.

    • Lack of an NFL caliber QB in the locker room is problematic.

    • TommyLawlor

      Snaps should be up. Eagles have played the most snaps of any defense in the league.

    • Anders

      He is projecting to play around 950-1000 snaps this year

      Back in 08-10 he played around 1000-1100 snaps per year.

      in 2011 he “only” played 640 snaps but still managed 11 sacks.

      I think the sport science and the fact he isnt battling with a 320 pound LT on every snap is really helping.

      • jshort

        Wasn’t thinking about a LT…..good point.

  • Nick Folesly

    Hi everyone, first post. Been following Tommy since his goeagles days, just decided to create an account so I can post. Prediction for tomorrow Eagles 28 Cardinals 27.

    • SteveH

      Welcome. Big game yes? I say Eagles 31 Cards 20.

      • jshort

        I’m thinking 44-17 to 24 Eagles. Raiders were supposed to be a tough D we got lucky and put up 49….Cards maybe a little better…with a few defenders slipping , 1 pick 6, 5 O td’s, and a FG, yea, sounds about right 44

    • TommyLawlor

      Welcome. Always good to have an old EMB’er join the comments section.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    I still think LB is a position that needs to be upgraded even if Cole plays a little better.

  • Flyin

    Wow. Shocking finish to Bama Auburn game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ACViking

    Re: Master Tommy Lawlor

    [Reposted, but please indulge me.]

    This last month has been seen some of the best posts and discussions in several years, going back to Derek’s Igglesblog.

    My thanks, during this holiday season, is to our host.

    Good health to Tommy. To the community.

    And especially to the new borns who’ve joined us the past couple of months.

    • pkeagle

      Hear hear!!

    • TommyLawlor

      Kind words. I’m thankful for so many great on-line friends. Calling you guys “readers” just isn’t enough.

      And it is great to see Eagles Nation growing. It’s the only way we’ll eventually conquer the universe.

      • Anders

        Im looking to conquer the universe in the dimension where the Eagles are 10 times SB champs and Im married to Natalie Portman

      • Flyin

        I am thankful for finding your contact info in a truck stop restroom. It really has been a “good time”.

        • TommyLawlor

          Best place ever.

  • Baloophi

    Happy to report that Mrs. Baloophi and I survived the drama of the Iron Bowl.

    War Eagle!

    • TommyLawlor

      I thought about you several times. Amazing finish. Maybe the best I’ve ever seen. Simply incredible.

      • Anders

        Just saw it. Reminds of Miracle at the New Meadowlands

      • Andy124

        The “Second” Miracle!

    • Andy124

      War Eagle!

      Would love some Willie’s Wings to celebrate.

    • ICDogg
    • OregonDucker

      One of the finest, most dramatic endings to any game I have witnessed. A classic for the ages!

  • Finlay Jones

    I thought Cole’s cap situation meant we were at the least keeping him for next year?

    • Anders

      We can safe 1.8 mill by cutting him.

      • Finlay Jones

        Thanks, so I guess it was this year there was no point cutting him.

        • Anders

          yes. But if Cole ends up on a tear (like 6+ by the season end) he will be kept.

          I would also want Cole to mentor an eventual draft pick. Learn him how to be a pro. I gladly pay 1.8 mill for 1 season if it means he can give some great knowledge to the next guy.
          Same reason why I think Sopoaga was worth the money. He gave a good imprint on Logan and the other young guys.

          • mtn_green

            Also draft strategy is to sign a ‘serviceable’ player at every position so you can truly go BPA

      • Cafone

        Saving money we don’t need by cutting an aging veteran? The name Brian Dawkins comes to mind.

        Is the salary cap an issue now? I hope when Trent Cole leaves the Eagles it is because his replacement makes him expendable, not so the Eagles can be 11 million under the cap instead of 10.

        • Anders

          We didnt cut Dawkins.

          Joe Banner gave Dawkins a very fair offer for a 34 year old safety with some neck problems (he have had 2 stinger injuries if im not mistaken), problem was Denver offered him elite S money for 5 years, where Banners offer was only 2 and less money over those 2 years than the first 2 of the Denver offer.

        • ICDogg

          The cap is not an issue as far as Cole is concerned, for next season. The Eagles don’t have a lot of players which would be more cap-expensive to drop than to keep. For 2014, they would be: Lane Johnson, Lesean McCoy, Fletcher Cox, Connor Barwin, Zach Ertz, and Brandon Graham. In Graham’s case, the difference is only about 37K, and I don’t anticipate that they are interested in dropping any of the others on that list.

          At the other extreme, Jason Peters’ contract next year is 10.292M, of which only the .292M part is dead money.

  • Joe Lawrence

    “LBs on the Rise”, turkey leftovers… I see what you did there.

  • xeynon

    Barwin strikes me as the classic massively underrated defender. He doesn’t put up huge sack totals, but he’s consistently disruptive when he goes after the quarterback even if he doesn’t get there (if he’s not leading the league in batted passes he must be close), he sets the edge very well in run support, he makes a ton of hustle plays down the field, and he’s very good in coverage, which is doubly important when your other OLBs are converted DEs. An excellent mid-level free agent signing of the sort Reid routinely made before desperation to get over the hump started warping his decision making in the past few years (reminds me of Carlos Emmons in particular).

  • OregonDucker

    If the game tomorrow looks bleak at times, remember that the players have a Chip on their shoulder. They ALWAYS have a chance to win. They know this and will never, ever give up. Neither should you.

    • jshort

      Soooo, What you sayin, we’re going to win 50- 6 or 45-17?