Midseason Review

Posted: November 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 106 Comments »

The Eagles are at the halfway point of the season. Let’s look at how things have gone so far.

OVERALL

The team is 3-5. I was projecting the Eagles to win 8 or 9 games (based on a weak division and last place schedule) so the record is a bit off the pace I expected. Part of this is on the Eagles, but part is also on the AFC West being a juggernaut division. Heading into the season, it looked to be one of the worst in the league. You can argue it’s the best.

There are real signs of life with the Eagles. The offense was rolling prior to the Dallas game. The defense has improved over the course of the season. There are times when the team looks really good.

The problem is that the team also looks like a mess at times.

The frenetic offensive pace hasn’t been used as much as we expected. The Red Zone is still a problem on offense. The defense isn’t rushing the passer nearly as well as hoped.

I do think the Eagles feel more like a team this year. The past 2 seasons were an odd mixture of Reid’s guys, rookies and new guys. That meant a dysfunctional locker room and a team that felt more like a group of individuals than an actual team. It doesn’t feel like there are nearly as many agendas this time around.

COACHING

Chip Kelly has had some ups and downs. It would take entirely too long to cover him thoroughly right now. I also think it will help to see him for a full season to figure out how his mind works. You can’t judge his decisions by the same standard you did Andy Reid’s and Ray Rhodes’ decision. Those guys were traditional NFL coaches. Kelly is an outsider who comes at things a bit differently.

I don’t have any insight on Pat Shurmur.

Bill Davis looks a lot smarter right now than he did after the Denver game. I still don’t like the 3-4, but Davis is growing on me.

Dave Fipp did a great job for the first 2 weeks. Things have been shakier since then. I have no idea what happened. Ol’ Crazy Eyes has the unit playing better than last year, but they still need to get a lot better.

QB

So who thought all 3 QBs would have thrown 45 or more passes by midseason? Injuries and performance have been issues for the QBs this season.   

Michael Vick played well in the first couple of games. It seems he then suffered a groin injury that went unreported. Look at his numbers and you see a dramatic drop-off. The competition played a part in that, but I fully believe injuries had some impact as well. Nothing dramatic happened, but Vick’s play can be affected by an injury. He’s special when he’s able to use his athleticism. Take that away or slow it down and you get a different player.

Nick Foles looked good as a backup vs Denver and the Giants. He then was excellent as a starter down in Tampa. A major QB controversy was brewing. And then Foles had a disastrous showing vs Dallas. We won’t know what to make of that until we see Foles play this weekend and possibly more this season. Anomaly or not?

Foles has shown improvement from last year. He has thrown the ball better down the field, although he still needs to get better. He was good in the Red Zone prior to Dallas. Foles has about a third of the pass attempts from last year, but has the same amount of TDs (6) and no INTs (5 last year). Foles has 3 passes that have gone for 40 or more yards. Last year he had just 2. He is a better player. We just don’t know how good he is or what role he projects to in the future.

Matt Barkley looks like a rookie. He certainly doesn’t wow you physically, but he has moved the team well at times. The big issue for him right now is turnovers. He’s got 4 INTs and a lost fumble in less than a full game. Not good. It would help to see him enter a game when he wasn’t trailing by at least 12 points.

RB

LeSean McCoy is the leading rusher in the NFL. He’s struggled some in recent weeks. There are a mixture of factors at work. To me, the biggest key is that defenses don’t fear the QBs as runners or passers. Defenses can load the box and focus on McCoy.

McCoy is adjusting to life under Chip Kelly. Sheil Kapadia wrote a good piece on that.

Bryce Brown has been a major disappointment. He has 38 carries for 98 yards. His long run is 9 yards. My guess is that Brown is having trouble adjusting to Kelly’s offense. Brown was an I-formation runner in college and played in more of a typical pro style system last year. Kelly’s offense is completely new to him. The good news…fumbling hasn’t been an issue.

Chris Polk has played well on STs and has done well in limited touches (5-36-1). He did miss a game with an injury.

I expected the backup RBs to get more carries. The Eagles haven’t had many leads to work with so that’s limited touches for the other runners. I also think Brown’s struggles have made the coaches hesitant to use him more.

WR

DeSean Jackson is playing the best football of his career. He’s able to use his speed to stretch the defense, but is also able to catch short passes and work the middle of the field. He’s on pace for career highs in catches, yards and TDs. The huge plays aren’t there as much, but that is more due to scheme/QB play than Jackson. I also think he’s done a good job as a blocker.

Riley Cooper is the other primary WR. He started very slow, but then came alive with Nick Foles in the lineup. Cooper is a tough subject. He hasn’t been as good as I had hoped back in the spring, but he’s been better than I thought he might after the whole concert incident. That seems completely forgotten, by teammates, opponents and the media. Cooper hasn’t made anyone forget Jeremy Maclin, that’s for sure. He is a good blocker and has had some good moments, but clearly he’s not meant to be a starting WR.

Jason Avant is 2nd on the team in catches. He’s been the best blocker among the WRs. Avant also has value as a leader. He is a big reason the Cooper incident went away. Avant and Coop are genuine friends and that relationship really meant something to others in the locker room. Avant is less athletic than a telephone pole, but the man is highly respected by everyone around him. I had him pegged as a potential cut victim throughout the offseason. Kelly has been impressed enough to want Avant on the field and the 3 WR sets have been the primary offense for the Eagles.

Damaris Johnson. Who? He has 2 catches this year. He’s been targeted 5 times less than Jeff Maehl. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is a major disappointment. I thought Damaris would be ideal on the WR screens. He’s just not getting on the field. As a RS, Damaris is posting respectable numbers, but he’s not as impressive on the eye test. Damaris is 9th in the league in KORs, but has the lowest long return (33 yards) among the Top 11 KORs. Everyone else is 42 yards and up. Damaris is 13th in PR average, but again doesn’t come close to the others with long returns. His best is just 21 yards.

Jeff Maehl is a guy I thought had no shot to make the team. He did and has actually done some good things. 3-48-1 on the year. Could be a slot receiver and role player in the future. Okay as a blocker and STer.

TE

Brent Celek is having an odd year. He’s blocking better than ever. He’s averaging a career high 15.3 yards per catch. But he’s on pace for just 28 receptions, which would be far and away his lowest total as a starter. I can only think of one bad drop from Celek so he seems to be playing pretty well, even if the production is off.

Zach Ertz is making progress, but hasn’t been as good as we hoped he would right off the bat. I still think he’ll be a key player in the future. Ertz does have the same number of catches as Celek (14). Ertz has had a couple of drops. He’s got to work on that. He has caught the ball well downfield and has good athletic ability. Ertz has had some good moments as a blocker, but needs to get bigger and stronger to succeed in that area.

James Casey has been a major disappointment. The problem is that we don’t know if he’s to blame. Casey has been terrific on STs. He has blocked well when on in on offense. He’s only got 2 catches, but they went for 11 and 12 yards. Casey looks good when he’s on the field. Kelly has publicly said that he liked the 3-WR sets and the way the offense worked with them. That wasn’t his plan coming in (focus was going to be on TEs), but Kelly found something that worked well and went with it. You can’t fault him for that. It is possible that Casey hasn’t practiced well

OL

Jason Peters was the best LT in the NFL in 2011. He’s nowhere close to that level right now. He looked all too human in the loss to KC. I still see a good athlete and talented blocker, but his game has slipped a notch.

Evan Mathis is steady Eddie. He doesn’t have highlight moments, but he’s consistently good.

Jason Kelce has been very good, with the exception of the Giants games. You cannot tell he tore an ACL last year. Kelce is as athletic as ever and has been an excellent fit in Kelly’s offense.

Todd Herremans was really struggling early in the year, but has improved since the loss to KC. His run blocking has been good all year,  but his pass pro needs work. He’s been beaten by quickness and power. A new scheme plus age plus a new position have gotten the better of Herremans.

Lane Johnson has been up and down. He looks outstanding at times. He’s looked like a rookie at others. Johnson has the athleticism to be a good OT. He’s not getting physically overwhelmed. His issues have mostly been about technique. Time and coaching will fix them. It doesn’t seem to me that the coaches have had to give a ton of help to Johnson. This is an OT pick the team got right.

DL

Cedric Thornton has been the best DL this season. He has been outstanding against the run. He is stout on runs at him, but what makes Ced really stand out is that he’s so active. He leads the DL in tackles. He’s able to eat up blocks or get off them and make plays. Ced is doing a solid job as a pass rusher. He’s only got 1 sack, but has done a good job of pushing the pocket.

Fletcher Cox started slow, but has picked up the pace. He has been outstanding at times. Cox is new to the 3-4 (Thornton played some of it in college) and adjusting to 2-gapping can take time. Cox still shows his special ability when he’s able to chase after the QB in space. He runs exceptionally well for a big DL. Cox is tied for the team lead with 3 sacks.

Isaac Sopoaga was the NT, but he’s been dealt to NE.

Bennie Logan is going to replace him in the starting lineup. Logan has played NT and DE. He hasn’t stood out as anything special so far. Logan does have a couple of sacks, but got some help in getting them. Logan has shown good lateral movement skills. The big question with him will be his ability to anchor vs the run. The Eagles want him to bulk up over time, but he’s not huge right now. Logan is new to the 3-4 so he’s learning on the fly.

Clifton Geathers is the backup LDE. Funny story about him. When I saw him come into the Giants game the other day, I yelled at the TV that I was ready for Geathers to get his pink slip. “I’m tired of waiting for your potential. Let’s give that spot to some other DL.” And then Geathers went out and played his best game of the year. Flashes potential when he plays with good power. Was able to get off blocks and make plays against the Giants. It did help that the Giants ran between the tackles a lot. Let’s hope the light went on for Geathers. He had been disappointing prior to Sunday.

Vinny Curry is 2 players. The 3-4 DE is a marginal player. He still struggles to be an effective 2-gap defender. He spent the past 5 years attacking. Asking him to engage blockers and read is like asking me to write a cricket blog while drinking mineral water and listening to Justin Bieber. When Curry is put at DT in the Nickel, he can be very disruptive. That is a 1-gap role that lets him use his quickness and attack up the field. Curry is showing progress in the base defense, but I don’t know if the coaches will ever be fully comfortable with him.

Damion Square played in the first couple of games and did nothing. He will likely be the backup NT now. Will be interesting to see if he’s better.

OLB

Trent Cole is still a good run defender. He’s had some solid moments in coverage. The problem is that his last sack came Dec 13 last year against the Bengals. The ROLB position must be an impact pass rusher. Cole gets some pressure and has just missed a few sacks, but the bottom line is that he’s not making plays. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Connor Barwin has been a good player. He’s tied for the team lead in sacks (3). He’s 2nd in pass deflections. Barwin is a good run defender. He would be a terrific #2 OLB. You really need someone on the other side that can be a consistent pass rusher. Barwin isn’t going to consistently beat OTs. He is going to get sacks on stunts or by coming free on blitzes or due to effort. Barwin isn’t an explosive rusher.

Brandon Graham is getting more comfortable in the 3-4. He’s got 1 sack and has had some good pressures. Graham is playing more on the right side and he’s not going to consistently beat LTs. He does use power rushes effectively. Graham is playing on STs and has had some good moments. He did make one mistake that led to a blocked punt vs Denver.

Casey Matthews has gotten snaps as a backup OLB. He’s done nothing of note. He is a good STer.

ILB

DeMeco Ryans leads the team in solo tackles and total tackles. He has 2 sacks and an INT. Until a few weeks back, I wasn’t overly thrilled with his play. Ryans was very good vs the inside run in the Tampa game. He made a couple of big plays vs Dallas. He was good last week as well. I’m feeling better. Ryans has been solid all year, but for the first month I didn’t think he stood out, even as a tackler and run defender. He’s playing better and the whole defense is as well.

Mychal Kendricks is a real head-scratcher. There are moments when he looks like a star. He’s had a couple of TFLs when he fired into the backfield and looked so explosive that you got all kinds of excited. But Kendricks has missed too many tackles, mainly due to sloppy technique. He isn’t keeping his feet solidly under him and getting his head in front of his targets. Kendricks was excellent against the run last Sunday. His cover skills are all over the place. I thought he did well vs Jason Witten, but he’s been burned by some other guys. Kendricks is disappointing simply due to the fact that I had high expectations for him and the new system. Kendricks still has top athletic ability.

Jake Knott and Najee Goode have been good STers.

S

Nate Allen isn’t the worst player ever. He now is playing with confidence and is showing solid ability. He’s 3rd on the team in tackles, has a sack and 5 pass break-ups. Allen still has some bad moments. He doesn’t always take good angles to the ball. He is now at least a functional starter, if not better. The problem is that he isn’t a playmaker or top shelf hitter/tackler. He has no INTs, FFs, or FRs. He’s not an enforcer at the back of the defense. Allen is just a guy that gets to the ball most of the time. This year Allen plays in the box a lot and actually seems comfortable there.

Patrick Chung has been disappointing. I wasn’t expecting Brian Dawkins, but he’s still made more mistakes than I anticipated. Chung is hurt now.

Earl Wolff looks like a rookie Safety that will pan out. He can hit. He can tackle. He takes good angles to the ball. He runs well enough. He can blitz and play in the box or he can stay back. The question with Wolff is about cover skills. He has some good moments, but also looks confused at times. Rookies struggle with zone coverage in the NFL. I think his future is bright. Just needs experience.

Kurt Coleman has played most of his snaps on STs. Good STer.

Colt Anderson remains a good STer. He has 2 FFs this year.

CB

Bradley Fletcher is 2nd in the NFL with 12 pass deflections. He also has an INT and has looked good at times. He has been burned on slants and some other inside routes. Fletcher is very good when pressing, but is less effective when playing off. He lacks the athleticism to stick right with receivers who make quick breaks. Fletcher is a solid tackler and run defender. The one game Fletcher missed (SD) is when the Eagles looked the most helpless on defense.

Cary Williams is a productive player. He’s got 2 INTs, 5 PDs, and a sack. He’s also 4th on the team in tackles. Williams isn’t great, but all sconces references are now terms of endearment. Williams shows his limitations on a regular basis, but he’s a smart veteran and there’s no questions about effort or toughness with him.

Brandon Boykin has looked very good at times. He could become one of the best Nickelbacks in the league. We knew Boykin had good cover skills. He’s shown playmaking skills as well this year. Boykin has 6 PDs, 2 INTs and a FF this year. Bill Davis used Boykin to blitz quite a bit for a few weeks. That’s been dialed back. Boykin just missed a sack last week on a perfectly executed blitz. He wasn’t able to get Eli Manning to the ground. I’ve also been highly impressed with Boykin on STs. He is one of the gunners and does an outstanding job. His hustle last week kept the Giants P from recovering the bad snap on Sunday.

Roc Carmichael was a late addition to the team. He’s played a little on defense. Carmichael has stood out as one of the gunners on STs. I think the Eagles like his CB potential due to his size and long arms.

STs

Donnie Jones feels like he’s having a good year, but the numbers say different. He’s 16th in average and 23rd in net punting. He is 8th in the league in punts downed inside the 20. I’m sure the blocked punt from Denver hurts his overall stats. Jones is a good directional Punter and did a good job in limiting Dwayne Harris a couple of weeks back.

Alex Henery remains a player that many fans don’t like. The Eagles spent a mid-round pick on him and I think many fans hold that against Henery. He had a bad game vs SF as a rookie and then was basically lights out after that, but people still talked about him as if he was a marginal PK. Henery is 14 of 18 this year. One of the misses is from 60 yards out. I do agree that he does need to get better. Those misses hurt the team. Henery has generally gotten good depth on his KOs.

The KO cover unit needs to get better. The Eagles allow 27 yards per KOR, one of the worst figures in the league.

The punt cover unit is among the best in the league.

The low point for STs was giving up a KOR TD in the Denver game and then having a punt block TD in the same game.

The Eagles did recover a bad punt snap for a TD last week. Sadly, that’s the STs highlight for the year.

_


  • Gary

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Polk get some RB2 carries. He’s barely had a chance and Brown doesn’t seem to be adjusting to the system well, like you said.

    • Media Mike

      Brown stinks. All he does is try to turn every run outside and is very limited in pass protection. Polk, although lacking Brown’s ability to break huge gains, is a more functional football player.

      • fran35

        I agree. Very frustrating to watch Bryce run. Always lookin to turn the corner and runs out of bounds. I would much rather have Polk out there. He is not special athletically but is solid and will run the play that’s called.

        • GEAGLE

          Unless Bryce rebounds and gets it together, we are going to regret not trading him after last season..his value was significantly higher last year than his value on the field this year

  • JulzPE

    I’m curious as to where the experimental nature of Chip is. We all anticipated a bit of craziness thrown in at stages but it seems like it’s been a bit limited… I feel like there are occasions when the offense needs to get going and it’s worth risking something unconventional to provide that spark. I imagine it might have something to do with still installing the offense but even so…

    Also thought we’d see DJax used a bit more creatively on O. Obviously he’s not built to be a runner out of the backfield (sidenote: I remember in one of the games him lining up in the backfield then motioning out wide… Seemed pretty effective) but I thought we might get to see him on quick screens/end arounds more often.

    • Ark87

      I also though Chip would be throwing everything and the kitchen sink at teams, not necessarily out of pure creative genius so much as testing the nfl waters. Figure out which concepts transfer well to the nfl year 1, distill that into a potent product year 2.

      It’s easy to write off a lot of college concepts simply because defenses are faster in the nfl, but so are offenses, this doesn’t make it cancel out, but it does make it different, and unknown worth testing out for results. I’m sure Chip is very carefully documenting and trying things at a much more subtle level. I suspect his adjustments during the season will also be pretty subtle. I’m hoping year 2 we will get to see some cool new wrinkles to this offense.

      • anon

        Think it’s harder to do what he wants when we are losing. Scheme doesn’t look a lot like Oregon’s right now. Maybe that will change sunday.

  • Mac

    A new Eagles fan is born today @ 5:13 a.m.

    • Ark87

      Congratulations Mac!

    • GermanEagle

      Well done mate!

    • GEAGLE

      Congrats MAc..,raise him well, in other words…raise him to be full of hate for midgets, redskins and cow sissies!!!

      • Mac

        Actually, it’s a girl! And that eagles cartoon from a few weeks ago will not be happening at my house because she’ll know better!

    • TommyLawlor

      Great news, my friend.

    • anon

      Congrats!

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Congrats! We’re expecting ours in mid-April.

    • theycallmerob

      Congrats! The Reid-costumed baby was nice, but I think you can top it with a Kelly outfit next year :)

    • BlindChow

      Remember: high and tight!

      • GEAGLE

        Laces out Marino!!!

    • Baloophi

      Nice work, Mac!

    • Ben Hert

      Congrats Mac!

  • Media Mike

    Great Article, but does anybody know why I cannot access fully it using internet explorer? It just loaded fine on Chrome, but IE wouldn’t let me get to a place to type comments.

    • theycallmerob

      hahaha, that’s the internet rejecting IE.

  • Media Mike

    Overall shame for the D we didn’t sign Glover Quin instead of Chung.

    • anon

      Shame for the team we didn’t sign a number of FAs that were available.

      • Media Mike

        The money on some dudes was insane, so I don’t blame them for trying to be smart on the aggregate number of dollars spent during a rebuild year.

  • GEAGLE

    Thornton scares me. I’m always wary about players that have monster seasons during a contract year. Cox and Thornton are now the veteran leaders of the Oline. Interesting to see how they lead that young group.
    ….
    as for Curry, ii hate talking about his limitations. not everyone can transition into a drastically new way of playing football in 6months..kid brings the fire and work ethic, and given another year, I’m confident he will grow into his role??worst cast scenario he becomes an awesome Nickle pass rusher! which would still have value on any defense..

    I hate all the talk about…well this guy was up and down the first month, but the past month he has been much better…well no shit Sherlock! Even the great Meco had to make the transition. They are all learning a new scheme, a new DC, new teammates….of course guys are going to be much better the second month, then the first….that’s what happens with good coaching

    Mykal has been a much better tackler as of late. Mykal didn’t play man coverage in college..last year was his first season ever playing man. This year he switched from OLB in a 4-3, to ILB in a 34…the kid was balrely getting used to a new scheme at the end of last season, and now everything was switched for him…it doesn’t happen overnight…this kid will become the player we all thought he would be…the only question is When?

    BRAMA bull Barwin is a godsend. to add to toms post about Barwin! the man has also been pretty solid at getting his hands up and tipping balls..once he gets paired with a double digit sack guy! this defense will really soar,

    I’m thrilled with our cbs…I think Cary has had a great effect on his team mates???dude bring the missing NASTy

    I’m officially sold on hungry like a Wolff! The kid gets it, he will work relentlessly to improve, and I just think he is a player! Secondary’s are about playing as a cohesive unit. Im really pleased with the secondary we have built. Nate has improved tremendously, but we can’t re sign him…the secondary needs to add a “special talent” who will become the best player and biggest playmaker in our secondary…a Jarius Byrd type of star would really complete this secondary..

    Just think how much better our CBs can look once they are playing behind a good pass rush, and are getting help on the back end from a play making safety…I. Would actually like to have Nate as a backup considering how he is playing! but we already seen how much emphasis Chip puts on ST when choosing his backups…cHung is a drastically better ST player than Nate???it makes no sense to get out of Chung’s contract! lose his ST ability off our bench, so that we can bring Nate Allen back as just an emergency safety

    Gaethers looked like a monster last week, he is a player to watch closely this week.

    I’m also excited about seeing Squares on the field again, we all know about his limitations, but the dude is nasty, intense, and fiery…curious to see how he looks this week after he had this past month to grow

    • D3FB

      I’m not worried about Thorton having a monster season. He is an RFA this upcoming offseason. He’s an above average, good 3-4 DE. Worse case we tender him and pay him a few million. Ideally he signs a 4 year 14 million dollar deal. That’s good money for a kid that was a UDFA. If he walks after next season without getting a long term deal hopefully Kruger will be ready.

  • GEAGLE

    I need to see the run game get back on track this week against a tough defense that swarms to the ball. This is not the game for Shady to be thinking Homerun all game long….forget the damn Homerun swing..hit the holes that the line provides, and concentrate on moving the chains..stop getting greedy and scoffing at 4 yard runs…hit the holes hard, and take those 4 yards, get in a Rythm…and if you stay patient, and we Chip away all first half with 3 and 4 yards runs, he will break a long one in the he second half…

    I also need to see more creativity in then to run game out of Chip. We can’t just run out of single back shotgun all game long with FOles back there…switch it up, throw some different looks at the defense…once in a blue friggin moon, line Casey up as an Hback in the backfield, and clear a hole for shady as a lead blocker…..just because we don’t have a fullback, doesn’t mean shady should NEVER have a lead blocker clearing the way for him…

  • GEAGLE

    Lately I have seen a lot of negativity about the play of Lane Johnson which is Insane. I mean the kid came to us with a year of RT experience and a year of LT experience…the guy has been an Olinemen for 2.5 years…yet from day 1 he has started at RT, and has typically held his own facing some fierce pass rush veterans…that’s doesn’t mean he hasn’t struggled, but if you are a realist, you have to be pleased with his play…he was a pick that was made for who he will be 3 years from now, yet from day one, we have been able to count on him without giving him much help, if any….I would have drafted him if Joekel and Fisher were still on these board, but never in my wildest immagination did I think he would be a better player from day 1…Just because Lane isn’t a world beater yet! doesn’t mean he wasn’t a fantastic draft pick. look at the top 10 picks, who is playing at a significantly higher level and making more of an impact from Lane since day one?
    ..
    1) Joekel? Hell no, as polished as he was supposed to be, as day 1 ready as he was supposed to be, before getting injured he wasn’t playing better than Lane….Lane was always destined to grow into a better player! but Joekel was supposed to be much better the first two years…

    2) Fisher? Sorry mIke Kaye! But there is no way I would Rather have Fisher than Lane..
    ..
    3) Dion…the apple of my eye. I would still probably take him over Lane! Similarly to LANE Dion was never supposed to be a force in year 1…
    ..
    4) Ziggy Ansah? He has had his moments, but nothing crazy yet…

    5) Mingo…been quiet

    6) Cooper…broke his leg early in these season (he was 3rd on my wish list after Dion and Lane)
    7) tavon Austin….major rookie struggles

    8) dee Millner, has been the underwhelming player In promised he would be..

    9) Chance Warmack…this guy is probably the only player in the top 10 that has had a better first half of these season than Lane, but this was to be expected..Chance was one of then to most NFL ready OG prospects of the past decade, but OT is much more valuable than OG, and Chance wasn’t a great fit for our blocking Scheme…

    Lane was one of the least developed out of the bunch, all the talent in the world, but was supposed to need some time to figure it out…instead we threw him right into the fire and he has held up admirably…most of the top 10 was supposed to be more ready than Lane as a rookie, but that hasn’t been the case…this makes Lane a Homerun draft pick, and you have to give a gold star to Stoutland getting him ready, and his veteran oline mates for helping the kid out….you did good HOWIE!!!! So far, Howie and gamble productions, have done a heckuva job, unfortunately we can’t build Rome in a day

    • Media Mike

      And don’t forget b!t(h Giants fans trying to pump up Justine Puke as anything other than a bust at tackle.

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah they better try moving that kid to OG, he just ain’t the answer at tackle

        • Media Mike

          He’s not strong enough to play guard either. Soft person and player.

          • GEAGLE

            He should have never been drafted in round 1 to begin with….Kyle long, as inexperienced as he is was such a better prospect

  • nopain23

    IT’s BLATANTLY obvious that the Iggles need to find a franchise QB ( see Lurie’s latest statement)
    Sadly we need to lose now to WIN later.
    It’s going to take a top 5 pick again to have a shot at Bridgewater, Manziel or Mariotta( if he comes out, I think he stays)
    Manziel would thrive in this offense. My cousin goes to Texas A&M and says despite what the outside world thinks the players on that team respect the hell out of Manziel and he IS their leader.
    On another note anyone else notice that Nate morphed into a real football player lately????….miracles do happen!!

    • Media Mike

      Manziel lacks NFL arm / size and both he and Mariotta would need a lot of work to be transformed into the type of pocket passer you need to win a title in this league.

      I am a HUGE Bridgewater fan, but we need to avoid falling into another running QB trap with the other guys you mentioned. Having the ball in your QB’s hands as a RB is a death sentence and not a way to build a winning NFL team.

      I totally agree with you that we need a franchise QB, but guys playing styles that shorten careers aren’t franchise players.

      • GermanEagle

        If you don’t want another running QB, then maybe Chip Kelly is the wrong coach for you…

        • Media Mike

          Why? Kelly already stated he doesn’t need a guy to run to win. His system has been run to perfection in New England w/o having a running QB. A pull it down and go when the D is sleeping player (Bridgewater / Rodgers) is enough running.

          He only had 6 called runs for Vick in the first 3 games. I trust Kelly to run things in a manner for 10 year QB career success, not some John Madden BS that a lot of fans think is good football.

          • GermanEagle

            Kelly definitely would prefer an athletic QB. Don’t be fooled by what he says in the public. He has recruited Mariota AND Manziel, which basically tells you something.
            Unless Foles turns into a Tom Brady over the remainder of the season, I am sure that we will see a new QB running the show next season. Foles’ physical limitations will be too big to overcome. Just my feeling.

          • Media Mike

            I’m ok if they move on from Foles if they decide there is a better prospect in the draft. No matter who the guy they get winds up being, that guy has to be put in minimal positions of being hit. The NFL made it quite clear that the rules treat QB with football / QB faking a run as a RB and that player can be killed with big hits and no penalties. Tampon Jim Harbaugh can complain all he likes, but the league office isn’t going to allow NFL football to degenerate into a gimmick league. My main point with Kelly is that he’s not stupid enough to allow any guy, former recruit for a 2-3 year NCAA starting career or not, to be put in harm’s way in the NFL. The occasional run (i.e. Rodgers style) is a great weapon from a QB, but to win titles in this league you need a passer.

          • Weapon Y

            In the college game, there are very few quarterbacks who are so good at pocket passing that they can carry their team without running the ball. Becoming a proficient pocket passer takes years of learning, and with a few exceptions, QBs don’t get the proper crash course until they get to the NFL. Chip didn’t necessarily dislike pocket passers. It’s just a lot easier to find a good running quarterback than a good pocket passer because there are a lot more of them. I sincerely believe Chip can run his offense effectively with either type of QB. Foles and Barkley struggled not because of their inability to run, but their inability to connect with wide open receivers or avoid turnovers.

          • ACViking

            New England does not run Kelly’s offense. The Pats only play fast, the way Kelly likes.

            Their running game is conventional compared to the eagles.

            Kelly has always had QBs who run in his offense. That’s a lot harder when the DBs are the size of college LBs. The LBs are all as big as college DEs. And the DLs are just big and fast, relative to college.

          • Media Mike

            All of the size issues you mentioned further underline the need to avoid having a QB take hits.

          • ACViking

            I don’t disagree at all. Kelly is the guy who needs to be convinced

          • Media Mike

            I think Kelly knows already. The very few number of called runs for Vick was a good indicator.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Yeah… Also, with Kelly’s O, I think the times when the QB runs it’s designed to be into a lot of space. There should usually be a way to avoid the big hit.

          • Media Mike

            One would hope, but certain guys at QB seem to like seeking out contact to gain extra yards.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Well… it doesn’t help that um… certain guys at QB went to the Pete Rose School of Sliding.

          • BreakinAnklez

            Ricky Santos and every other QB at NH would disagree.

      • bentheimmigrant

        You do know that Manziel is near the top of the country in passing, right? In fact he’s attempted more passes than Bridgewater this year. This “running QB” trope is getting old.

        • Media Mike

          We’ll chat again once Manziel’s people try to hide him from full workouts at the combine, keep him in a staged pro day, etc. jump off between the end of bowl season and the draft.

          • bentheimmigrant

            I would be very wary if they do anything of the sort. I don’t get to watch college as much as I’d like, and I’ve only caught a bit of one A&M game this year. He looks pretty good to me. I’m not picky though. The ideal situation would be (besides Foles righting the ship and becoming a consistently great QB) that Kelly sees multiple QBs that he thinks he can win with. I honestly expect a scramble at the top this year, with some crazy trades. And there’s no guarantee we can be in on that – especially if we do win a few more.

            Either way, let’s chill on the “running QB” thing. The question is not how athletic a QB is – a college coach is going to try and milk every facet, despite some risk. The real question is will the QB play within the system. That’s what Kelly needs an answer to before he picks anyone this year.

      • Anders

        Manziel does not lack NFL arm strength. He can zip it very well.

        Manziel is also higher than Russell Wilson and Drew Bress, he is actually same size and height as Jeff Garcia and Manziel uses size 15 gloves and shoes (thats insane, but Kelly actually values hand size)

        • GEAGLE

          I’m not a believer in the kid…too much Tony romo for my liking.
          ..
          Tell you the truth, I’m not as enamored with this QB class as most people.
          ..
          Marriotta might run around and have a nice rookie season, but he will struggle in year two when he will be asked to throw more than 20 passers per game and develope the pro style part of the position..Marriotta is pretty worthless to me…trading up for him means we can’t put a strong team around him like the Seahawks had for Wilson…we have some major major holes…pass rushing OLB is the most important player and defense and one of the 3 highest valued positions…signing double digit sack OLBs are expensive as hell, Orakpo is much better than anything else on the to market, so you will probably have to win a bidding war to get a player that was going to be pretty darn expensive to begin with. throwing that kind of money with his injury concerns worries me….which means if you want a real defense, you would be smart to take advantage of a stellar draft class for the position, and fill that role with a special player in round 1….
          ….
          I just can’t see myself happy about drafting taj Boyd or Manziel if we have a chance at a pass rusher like Barr or Mack…

          Also, the main problem with our offense is that our WR are abysmal at beating man coverage, until we can prove that we can beat it on he outside consistently! teams will continue to stack the box against us…so wtf are you going to do? Trade away your first, second, third round pick, to go get Marriotta, and throw him out there with WR who can’t beat Man?…too many holes that need to be filled in order to compete…QB is important, the most important…but we simply aren’t in position to cripple our ability to build this roster for the next two years so that we can add a QB

          • holeplug

            Main problem of the offense is shitty QB play

          • Anders

            Look at what RG3 and Luck did for the Redskins and Colts?

            Mariota for many is at least RG3 level.

            Are we really using the Seahawks as a benchmark for drafting consider 3/4 of their great secondary is two 5th round picks and an UDFA imported from the CFL?

            This defense is good enough if we just an upgrade over Cole and this offense really need the right QB.

            If we try to build a team around a crappy QB, we might win 6+ games every year and have to hope we can get an average QB like Wilson in the 3rd? (Wilson is average, he is doing crap and winning because of his defense will often help him with great field position or a few TDs)

    • GermanEagle

      you do not tank a season. Ever.

      • Media Mike

        Effort breeds winning. Period. I don’t care if we finish 3-13, but we need to establish a culture that puts a premium on competing on every snap.

        • GermanEagle

          Totally agree. It would send the wrong message to the young players and I think we could all see this last season.

        • kevinlied

          Tanking is an ambiguous word. In the way your using it, I don’t think any team ever tanks. No coach tells his guys, “now get out there, and give minimum effort, because we need to draft bridgewater.” Professional coaches and athletes have gotten where they are by being successful, not by rolling over. Now do coaches and front offices “tank” by putting in younger guys over veterans to see what they can do, all the while knowing the team is likely to have less success? Sure.

      • ACViking

        That doesn’t mean a Dick Vermeil comes in here and plays the veteran over the kid, just to get wins. Vermeil chose to start 3rd year QB Mike Boryla over the much better vet Roman Gabriel. Vermeil had to see if Boryla was the future. He knew Gabe was not. Turns out neither was Boryla. Vermeil traded for Jaworski after that first season.

        But no one ever died more with a loss than Vermeil.

    • Nah__Roots

      “Tanking” only sounds like a good idea on paper. Explain to me how you instil an atmosphere where everyone understands the underlying goal is to lose as many games as possible to have a chance to get one great player. You can’t.

  • anon

    Kelly seems to like Foles a lot. I really hope he kills it the rest of the season. The iggles find a Qb and we can get a WR in the draft.

    • Media Mike

      Foles over the rest of the year vs. a guy in the draft is a very interesting question. I like Foles a lot as well, but he’s in need of a significant increase in consistency and health before I’d be willing to fully commit to him as a long term starter. I just don’t want us getting a hard-on for a first round QB to the point where we get stuck making a Ponder or McNown type mistake by taking the 5th best QB on the board by pick #10 or #12.

      • bentheimmigrant

        Though hopefully the #5 QB this year will be significantly better than those two…

        • Media Mike

          We’ll see. I don’t like being on the end of a run on any position in the draft.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Same. That’s part of why I’m really rooting for Foles. That run on QBs could push a top 5 player our way.

          • GEAGLE

            Exactly!!! The run on QBs, the high value teams place on OTs, and Clowney being the first defender off the board, means that there is going to be a serious defensive or WR talent that gets pushed back to the 8-12 range….if we are sitting at #11, I would never want to see us go up to #2 to grab Marriotta because it would CRIPPLE our ability to build a Chip Kelly team and do away with the Andy stench…but if a freak like Barr gets bumped by teddy!Marriotta!Manziel,taj,Mathews!Lewan!Clowney….then I pray that we have the brains to trade up to #8 to add our Von Miller 2.0 to form a nasty tandem with BRAMA bull Barwin

      • Stormbringer

        McNown was a piece of cr@pola but from everything I heard, it wasn’t his ability that was his downfall. It was his attitude, which was Ryan Leaf before Ryan Leaf. Or maybe, Ryan Leaf was Cade McNown v.2.0.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Yeah. My take on Kelly’s O is that he just wants a QB who can play the mental game he’s set up. The whole point (as Kelce is always saying) is that there’s always a matchup somewhere. More than anything, Kelly wants a QB who can see that immediately. And Foles has shown he has that in him, I think.

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah I agree…99% of QBs drafted in the first 3 rounds bring a skill set that has succeeded in the NFL before…the development is all mental…how fast can you analyze the defense, make the right read and then deliver the ball…given time, the delivering the ball part will develope for the kid…it’s all bout him developing mentally….that’s far from a guarentee because it’s such a challenging position, but considering the flashes he has shown, it boggles my mind how anyone can possibly write him off at this point…especially when I know that Jesus Christ himself Aka theft great Marriotta isn’t going to set there world on fire in his first 10 starts…
        ….
        far from a guarentee, but FOles has a chance…sucks that we wasted a year and a half of developing him, and it’s a shame this city gives him so I little support

        • anon

          To be fair he’s gotta earn the job.

          • ACViking

            “earn the job” . . .

            For a young QB, that’s a relative phrase that depends on the (i) the coach’s intention about a season, (ii) who else is on the roster, (iii) how much experience and ability the other QBs have.

            I think Kelly had Vick resigned because Kelly wanted to win now. Not just inculcate the players with his methods. But W-I-N.

            Dick Vermeil (noted elsewhere) brought the best “winning” attitude when he came from UCLA to Philadelphia that I’ve ever seen.

            But Vermeil purposely chose to start his young QB over his veteran — a proven Pro Bowl quality QB — because the veteran was not the future.

            I think no one has ever wanted to win more than Dick Vermeil. No coach ever brought more attitude and culture-change to the Eagles than Vermeil.

            But he saw the present and the future when he looked at his roster. There was no SB for the ’76 Eagles around the corner. So play the kids he did.

          • GEAGLE

            Bravo Zio. Cosi mi piace!

          • A_T_G

            Vermeil also didn’t have to worry about attracting free agents or retaining guys that want to win. I want to see the young guys get on the field too, but Chip has a tougher balancing act to perform.

    • Mac

      This is the perfect test for Foles mental toughness. Does he have what it takes to come back swingin?

      • GEAGLE

        I think he does…excited to find out. This is a great opportunity for him, and for evaluating him

  • bentheimmigrant

    Re:Curry
    You said :”Curry is showing progress in the base defense, but I don’t know if the coaches will ever be fully comfortable with him.”
    Now when you say “ever” are you meaning ever ever, or this season ever?

    • GEAGLE

      I don’t see how anyone can say that the kid will NEVER be able to grow into a position. transformed his body admirably from January to April…we is basically playing an entirely brand new way of playing football with only 6 months of time to prepare his body, and 6 months experience playing a new position, in a new scheme, that requires new techniques….Who is to say that if he continues to transform his body next offseason, that he can’t grow into the scheme with another 320 days of continuity and experience? it’s certainly far from a given, but the kid works hard, he wants it bad, and he has handled being jerked around for a year and a half admirably,,,it certainly hasn’t broken him..
      ..
      You can’t say that he will grow into a 34 starter, but I don’t see how you can say that you won’t at this point….look at safer prospects like COX and Mykal…there transition hasn’t been peaches n cream at all…and we grew them correctly, Vinny has been completely jerked around the majority of his a time here! it’s really not a surprise that he needs a little more time than Kendricks or Cox to make a transition…especially when he is making a tougher transition than both players….patience grasshoppa

  • theycallmerob

    Thanks Tommy…you truly do the work of the people.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Dude says thanks, gets downvoted. Welcome to Eagles fandom.

      • theycallmerob

        downvote for the welcome :)

        • bentheimmigrant

          Is this like Beverly Hillbillies and the California Howdy?

        • bentheimmigrant

          Come back the page… it no longer has me with a downvote – it says I have -2 upvotes. Disqus!!!!!!

        • Ben Hert

          Ironically downvoting because I’m a hipster.

  • Vick or Nick

    Tommy I don’t know why you don’t like the 3-4.

    4-3 was a great scheme for the past when teams ran the ball. With so many teams passing and QBs being so smart 3-4 is best way to defend/confuse offenses. 4-3 requires having impact D-lineman that can rush the passer and stop the run consistently. We don’t. We have guys that flash but not consistent yet. Even if we ran a 4-3 we would spend the majority of the time in Nickel.

    Eagles don’t have a single defender you can confidently say is Top 5 at his position in the league. The 3-4 has helped mask the lack of talent. At least we have some element of surprise. Last year was way too easy for opposing teams.

    If we can get an impact OLB pass rusher and few more DBs, the Eagles D can be a Top 10 unit running the 3-4 Defense.

    • ACViking

      Sherman, here, with my boy Peabody. Of wayback machine fame.

      ____________

      There’s a safety at UTexas and an undersized DE at UMichigan coming out.

      Earl Thomas and Brandon Graham.

      I’d go for the safety — because it’s the hardest position to fill in the NFL. And since Dawk, the Eagles have been hurting.

      • Vick or Nick

        Need to look at big schools for safety. UTexas, Alabama, Miami produce a lot of good ones.

        I like Barr from UCLA as OLB rusher. But it all depends on how many wins (or loses) the birds pile up.

        • Anders

          Some of the best current safeties is from the pac-12

      • Anders

        I go DE as that is a more impactful position in the NFL

        Look at a defense like the the Niners or Texans. They had great defense with a great front 7 and had average to crap safeties.

        I mean would you have Anthony Barr or HaHa Clinton Dix in next years draft?

        • ACViking

          I don’t know about next year.

          But I know about 2010 and how hard it is to find GREAT safeties.

          I think Mike Mayock got it right on draft day when the Eagles passed over Thomas: “mistake”.

          Just my opinion. You have yours. And I understand your reasoning.

          • Anders

            I think there is too much hindsight going.

            We had a need at both S and DE back in 2010, Thomas and Graham was evenly rated by most people and DE > S in terms of value for a defense (even an above average pass rusher is better than a great S).

            I really think Earl Thomas is heavily benefiting of playing with 3 other great guys and coached by Pete Carroll.

          • ACViking

            I’m not hind-sighting. We just disagree.

            I would have taken a safety after the move up by Reid. My jaw hit the floor when he didn’t. At that point, the Eagles safety position was a mess. Not so much at DE.

            But you would have taken Graham or another DE.

            As for DE is more impactful than S, that’s only true if you have Reggie White or Jared Allen. Plus, you can always blitz to create pressure (well, most teams can). Jim Johnson did that every year for the Eagles.

            But to have a great player at safety? When they’re so hard to find?

            Regarding Thomas now, again, we’ll agree to disagree. Maybe a couple years ago. But not now.

          • Anders

            So you do not think Thomas benefited in his progress on become a very great safety from great players and great coaching?

            Jim Johnson had some pretty good DEs or DT in his time here.

            Corey Simon, Douglas, Kearse, Cole, Howard, Walker. This year we have who there is a potential 8 sack guy?

            You do not need Reggie White as a pass rusher for him to impact the QB. Cole has done just fine doing that.

            You just need a guy who can consistently bring pressure because a blitz can only do so much, if the guys cant beat a 1v1 (blitz is designed to occupy another blocker or isolate a pass rusher on a TE or RB.) Problem is right now that Trent Cole cant even beat a TE when he pass rushes.

          • ACViking

            Eagles pass rush the past 2 years has been B-A-D. Or at least disappointing.

            Back 4 defenders, even worse.

            End of the day, it’s just so hard to find great safeties. Take shot.

            Now, do I think Thomas has been well coached? HELL YES!

            Would the 37 DB coaches the Eagles have had in the past 3 years have hurt his development? I don’t know, but I suspect it wouldn’t have helped.

            No right answer here.

            Graham’s never going to be what the Eagles hoped. And Thomas looks great in comparison.

            If Thomas had blown out a knee, maybe he’d play like Nate Allen.

            But I’d still have made the pick. That’s all.

            You’re points are all well taken.

          • Anders

            In 2011 we got 18 and 11½ sacks from our DEs and we was 10th in points and 8th in yards.

            I wouldnt call Babin+Cole anywhere near Reggie White or Jared Allen.

          • ACViking

            Agree with that.

            Terrible comparison. So I removed it from my comment.

            But wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those guys? In their prime?

            In fact, thinking back to Reggie White . . . when he joined the Eagles in the 4th game of 1985, the Eagles were playing a 3-4.

            In 12 games, he notched 13.5 sacks . . . as a 3-4 DE.

            The guy was dominant.

            Won’t see the likes of him again in the NFL.

          • Anders

            JJ Watt is doing his best Reggie White or Bryce Smith impersonation.

        • ACViking

          On other thing . . .

          If the Eagles were 3-4 defense in 2010, I’d have like the Graham pick a lot more — on the assumption he’d be moved to OLB.

          Even with Thomas on the draft board.

          • Anders

            Graham could have been a very good OLB before his knee injury. Sadly that injury might have robbed him of too much agility.

          • ACViking

            Absolutely.

            I wonder if that’s why he almost always bull-rushes?

    • GEAGLE

      Rather be running a single gap 3-4, but I do prefer 34 to 43 for our base defense…we will use plenty of four man lines in Nickle anyway

  • Joe Minx

    Thanks for your honest assessments Tommy. It’s one thing to just collectively say the team isn’t very good, but looking at each player really makes it kind of sobering.

    I don’t know how long it’s going to take this team to get a good amount of talent in here, but it seems like it’s a long way off in a lot of spots.

  • SteveH

    I’m surprised you aren’t more impressed with Boykin so far, to my eyes he looks like a guy who could be a pro bowler very soon.

    I think Donnie Jones feels impressive because he’s just so much better than what we had last year. I actually believe we have a chance to down someone inside the 10 now when we punt!

    I feel like Chip really gets locked into using those 3 WR sets, It’d be nice if he’d try and run the TE’s a little more.

    • GEAGLE

      Chips getting on my damn nerves with the TEs…offense has struggled for two weeks, for crying out loud stick 3TEs on the field just to see how the defense plays us, maybe it provides an advantage to exploit..how can Chip know if he refuses to stick them out on the field? Casey has caught almost every ball thrown to him, with the exception of the low TD pass Vick thru…Casey has caught every other ball. Yet Celek gets to drop half the balls thrown at him and we keep sending him out to catch balls…maybe if you put 3TE in the game, you can use Casey as a lead blocker for shady once in a blue moon and throw something different at defenses

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Vick played well until teams started playing man and then BOOM….Chip Kelly? I’ll give him a C

    • Mr. Magee

      At best…