3-4 LB and DE Refresher

Posted: January 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 128 Comments »

I’ve gotten a few questions about LBs and DL in regard to the 3-4 in recent days. What are the Eagles looking for in terms of skills and what are the responsibilities? The key to remember is that the 3-4 is built upon LBs that make plays. The defensive linemen must control the LOS and let the LBs attack and make things happen.

OLB – These players must be pass rushers, especially on the right side. Check out this note from former Eagles scout Louis Riddick.

You must have LBs that can get to the QB. You need one OLB that can be at least adequate in coverage. That’s Connor Barwin for the Eagles. The other player is primarily a pass rusher and only needs to be functional as a cover guy on the occasional zone blitz when he drops back.

The problem the Eagles had in 2013 is that the OLBs weren’t consistently generating pressure on their own. They did some of that, but there were other times when Bill Davis designed good blitzes that freed them up. You have to be careful about focusing on results. The Eagles were one of the heaviest blitzing teams in the NFL. Those extra rushers led to some single blocking situations and even some plays where the OLBs were unblocked.

DE – The Eagles run a 2-gap system. This requires the DL to engage the blocker at the snap and to read the play. The DE is responsible for the gap to his right and to his left. In 1-gap systems the defender just attacks one area and doesn’t have to read plays. He can be more aggressive. The Eagles goal is for 3 DL to control the line of scrimmage. That won’t happen on every play, but when it does, it keeps the LBs free to fly to the ball and make plays.

Riddick’s comments about OLBs would need to be flipped around for DL. You want guys that are primarily run defenders. You want them to have some pass rush ability, but they need to be able to control blockers and stuff the run more than anything. You want players with long arms, strong hands and guys that don’t mind doing the dirty work.

3-4 DEs are generally going to be 6-3, 285 or more. There is some fudge room depending on a specific player and his athleticism and positional skills. You could have a DE be 6-2, 280 or 6-4, 330.

NT – The old rule of thumb was that 3-4 NTs needed to be 340 pounds and really strong, physical players. You wanted guys that could anchor vs the run and that’s about it. As the NFL has shifted to more of a passing league, we’re seeing smaller NTs. Bennie Logan was 6-2, 309 when drafted. The Eagles feel he can eventually bulk up to 320 and remain athletic.

Logan has 34-inch arms, which is long for a NT. He has enough bulk and lower body strength that he can learn to anchor vs the run. He is inconsistent in that area right now. There were some plays when he ate up blocks and looked good. There were other plays when Logan got pushed back and created running lanes for the offense.

The Eagles used more stunts than I was expecting from a 3-4 front. This is where the DE will shoot to the inside and the NT will loop around wide. Obviously the defense isn’t 2-gapping when they stunt. This is a tactic to see if you can burn the offense and create a negative play (sack or TFL).

I don’t know if Bill Davis stunted because he was trying to protect Logan and this will go away in 2014 or if Davis likes occasionally having his guys on the move so it keeps the blockers honest. We’ll find out more about that this year.

It is possible the Eagles want a massive NT who can really control the middle. They would be looking for someone who is approximately 6-2, 335 or bigger. This player would be able to anchor vs double teams. That’s when a NT takes on 2 blockers and doesn’t get moved. Not all players can do this, even if big or strong. It takes good technique and also a willingness to get mashed on over and over. Being a NT is like being a crash test dummy…except that you can feel the crashes.

* * * * *

Georgia Tech LB Jeremiah Attaochu is a player the Eagles should have serious interest in. I think he could even be a potential target at pick 22.

Here is a video of him vs Pitt

You see burst off the ball. You see the ability to bend and dip. Attaochu uses his hands well on some plays. I also love the fact he’s physical and nasty. You want OLBs that play with an edge.


128 Comments on “3-4 LB and DE Refresher”

  1. 1 zbone95 said at 10:49 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    I really like attaochu also! First I was on the Calvin Pryor at 22 then I thought, we need a pass rusher badly… if Howie has Attaochu and Pryor with similar grades Im sure he will go with the impact pass rusher rather than safety. But Right Now we have to wait for free agency. Let’s say Howie brings in T.J Ward or Chris Clemons from Mia. That changes the whole dynamic. I had 1 request. PLEASE Do an Article about this Years WR Draft Class. Im salivating over so many good prospects… Jarvis Landry, DAT, Robinson, Paul Richardson. So many good WRs…

  2. 2 Insomniac said at 11:13 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Landry is just a straight up beast. He’s like a better version of Avant.

  3. 3 Anders said at 2:50 AM on January 29th, 2014:


  4. 4 Anders said at 12:56 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    btw http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cfb/46136/349/peshek-wr-metrics-20

    Landry only had 2 drops all season. Be honest, I wouldnt be sad if we drafted both LSU WRs

  5. 5 Insomniac said at 12:45 AM on January 30th, 2014:

    Very informative. I would be amazed if we got both Landry and Beckham somehow. That would fix our ST and slot receiver problems immediately.

    I knew Landry had amazing hands but wow…just 2 drops. What’s more impressive is that he makes ridiculous acrobatic catches look easy even when it’s highly contested/poorly thrown. His catching radius isn’t as large as Mike Evans too. He’ll be a great slot receiver for someone.

  6. 6 Stacks209 said at 11:02 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Do you know if he has other pass rushing moves outside of the speed rush going around the Tackle? I’ve heard of Attaochu, but this is the first I’m seeing of him. He reminds me of Trent Cole a bit..but I’m no expert on pass rushers. Do you think he can learn more pass rush moves and do we have someone on the staff to teach him? Kinda seems like a one trick pony rushing the passer (like BG).

  7. 7 ceedubya9 said at 11:31 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I think he’d be able to learn. I think that whoever they drafted at OLB, he wouldn’t be a starter right away. Trent Cole will still be at that spot at least for a majority of the season, so a guy like Attaouchu will be able learn and get his feet wet a lot like Wolffe did this past season…ease him in until he can take over. I had wished he would have been there for the taking in the 2nd, but I don’t see that happening at this point. I’d be more than satisfied with him at 22.

  8. 8 Tom W said at 12:36 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Need to watch more than one game and you can see he has a couple moves … needs to improve on setting the edge and reading pass v run … he gets a year to learn before he starts anyway.

    Watch the Clemson and Miss St. games … he truly dominates.

  9. 9 livingonapear said at 1:05 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    How many pass rushers really come out of college with an abundance of moves though?

    He has the beginning of a spin move, and he handles coverage well, that probably puts him in the top 3rd of OLBs in terms of polish.

  10. 10 Vick or Nick said at 11:09 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Really think the 40 time will be a pretty big factor for these pass rushers.

    A lot of them look fast on film, but its good to see that translate in the 40, if not that raises red flags.

    Clowney, Barr, Mack all expected to run well for their respective size.

    Curious to see how next tier of rushers run.

  11. 11 Anders said at 5:00 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    outside of the 10 yard split, what does 40 yard have anything to do with pass rushing?

  12. 12 Mac said at 10:09 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Only thing I can think of is that they chase some plays from behind RBs and now QBs. Closing speed isn’t a wow factor kinda thing, but it sure can’t hurt.

    Having said that, I don’t really care how fast a player runs in shorts. Football is played with the pads on.

  13. 13 Tom W said at 12:35 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    40 has nothing to do w playing olb … broad jump, 3 cone and even 20 yd shuttle are much more important.

  14. 14 Insomniac said at 11:11 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Looking forward to your Senior Bowl review. I didn’t like how Gus used Attaochu at the Senior Bowl.

  15. 15 Tom W said at 12:38 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Actually good for us bc he didn’t wow like dee ford … hope he runs an average combine and falls to us in the second but unlikely at such a premium position

    Also like marcus smith from louisiville if we cant get a barr, atta-boy, ford …. great edge rusher

  16. 16 Mark Sitko said at 11:23 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    That first sack by Attaochu was gorgeous…yes please

  17. 17 Mark Sitko said at 11:30 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    I am not familiar with the college game – did GT far outrank Pitt last year – Pitt seems to have no O lineman that can handle this pass rush

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 11:40 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Neither team was great. Pretty sure both went to bowls.

  19. 19 Mark Sitko said at 11:44 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    And what about Attaochu vs Barr – after watching the video you posted I pulled up a highlight mashup of Barr’s…I think I like Attaochu better…quicker off the ball, thicker/stronger build with speed and burst, and he was much better at dipping to make the corner as you mentioned…what do you think? I feel like Barr having a similar body to Dion Jordan is going to make many people claim Chip is going to love him…

  20. 20 Anders said at 5:00 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Attaochu is the more finished product where Barr is more a mold of clay.

  21. 21 Mark Sitko said at 8:26 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Anders – do you think Barr will get to the same level? Dion was similar last year in that he also did not look polished, but maybe more physically gifted? In Barr I see pieces of Jevon Kearse’s game, but Kearse may have been the only DE I have ever seen with that body type to truly be a menace…thoughts?

  22. 22 Anders said at 8:39 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Kearse was more sleak build like Jordan.
    I think Barr will at worst be Conner Barwin and at his best could be Demarcus Ware, where Attaochu is more like a Trent Cole in his prime

  23. 23 Mark Sitko said at 8:54 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Thanks – possibly Ware? I never saw Ware play in college, but I didn’t think of Ware while I watched Barr, I will go back and watch again…I would take Trent in his prime and be very happy, that first step of Attaochu’s is amazing…

  24. 24 ACViking said at 11:32 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Re: LB Jeremiah Attaochu’s own Coaching Tree

    Why does Attaochu look like a promising Rush OLB already showing the ability to dip and bend the edge and use his hands well?

    Maybe — just a theory — because for the first 2+ years of Attaochu’s Georgia Tech career, his defensive coordinator was a guy who knows linebackers. Really, really well.

    Al Groh served as G-Tech’s DC from 2010 through early 2012 — Attaochu’s freshman, sophomore, and early junior seasons.

    That’s the same Al Groh who served as the Giants LB coach under Bill Parcells and DC Bill Belichick — coaching Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Gary Reasons, and Pepper Johnson.

    When Belichick left the Giants to become the Browns’ HC, he took Groh along to coach Cleveland’s LBs. Nice complement from the master of the 3-4 defense.

    After one season in Cleveland, Groh rejoined Parcells in New England as, yes, the Pats’ LB coach. Then he followed Parcells to the Jets to coach their LBs.

    Now, did Groh personally coach up Attaochu? I don’t know. But Groh sure understands what to look for in a OLB when you’re running a 3-4. And all the while Groh ran Tech’s defense, he used a 3-4 with Attaochu as his ROLB.

    Worth a passing mention.

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 11:39 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Excellent as always.

  26. 26 Mitchell said at 11:40 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Double upvote

  27. 27 Joe Minx said at 11:51 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    This is fantastic inductive reasoning.

  28. 28 laeagle said at 12:39 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    And since Groh also coached at UVa, he’s going to be our next quarterbacks coach, too.

  29. 29 anon said at 12:42 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Such a wealth of football knowledge.

  30. 30 eagleyankfan said at 9:35 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    After all that, I was expecting to read — ‘It was the Maid, in the kitchen, with a candle stick”.
    Good stuff!!!

  31. 31 Mitchell said at 11:40 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    What would the fanbase do if we draft Attaucho in the first and then Jeffcoat in the 3rd? Can’t get enough impact rusherzzzz!!

  32. 32 Insomniac said at 12:05 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I wouldn’t be impressed with the pick but I understand the mindset. I would prefer WR/OL depth or a safety depending on what we did before.

  33. 33 Mitchell said at 12:12 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I agree with the WR part but I think that can be picked up later in the 4/5. It would be nice if we were able to pick up an extra 3rd somehow

  34. 34 Insomniac said at 12:38 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I don’t know. The OL pool falls off a cliff after the 3rd round. The WR pool runs deep for awhile but there’s a large gap in present skills and potential skills for the later round guys. Safety is a bit harder to read since..well it ain’t really pretty after the 4th round.

  35. 35 ACViking said at 11:42 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Re: Drafting a Safety at Pick 22

    Lots a excitement over Louisville’s Pryor. If he’s really good, shouldn’t we expect he’ll be gone when the Eagles choose at 22?

    In 2013, safeties Vaccaro and Reid were selected 15th and 18th.

    In 2012, Barron went 7th, and in a surprise the Vikings moved back into Rd 1 to get Harrison Smith, who was projected (I think) strictly as a 2nd-Rd guy.

    In 2011, no 1st-Rd safeties.

    No need to mention 2010 in these parts.

    Just seems that if Pryor’s really good, he’ll be gone no later than the middle of Rd 1.


    T-LAW . . . . any preliminary comparisons between Pryor and recent 1st-Rd safeties.

  36. 36 Insomniac said at 12:00 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Pryor still has a high chance of not getting drafted in the first round. He has more warts than Clinton-Dix. The teams that need safeties in the first round have arguably bigger needs.

  37. 37 ACViking said at 12:05 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I —

    Is C-D a 1st Rd guy? If so, do see him going top half?

    I don’t know much about Pryor except what I’ve seen here (and on some of the mocks, where he’s shooting up the board).

    Quick run down on Pryor’s worts? Seems to me a 1st-Rd safety has to be, foremost, highly instinctive — layered on range and closing speed.

  38. 38 Insomniac said at 12:24 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    C-D will most likely be a top 20 pick. He has all of the tools to be an elite safety. This is a very good draft for those who are in the top 15 because of all of the depth.

    Pryor is more flashy than C-D. Slightly taller but isn’t as smooth in coverage as C-D. Pryor’s more aggressive in hitting but that’s not always good because of his lack of discipline. He’s not great at covering since he played zone in college and will probably have to continue playing zone at the next level.I think people give Pryor’s speed a bit too much credit. He runs well for his size but in my opinion, C-D is faster. Pryor would be a strong safety while C-D could play either safety roles.

  39. 39 ACViking said at 12:31 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    really great stuff. thx

  40. 40 D3FB said at 12:25 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Haha for me grades out even with Vacarro. I think Haha is a better centerfielder and Vaccaro had better man coverage skills.

    The big problem with Pryor is he takes poor angles and can’t tackle. His tackles consist of three things: the sportscenter highlight hit, diving at ankles, and lots of whiffing. He’s going to get called for a lot of targeting. Which for some reason people think “scares” offenses rather than being stupid for extending drives. He’s big and fast which is why people are drooling. He’s probably going to smash the combine. I can’t get a read on his instincts because Louisville either lined him up 25 yards deep and then had him start running at the line pre snap or lined him up deep and said “go hit whoever has the ball”. For me I’m not a big fan. I feel safeties should be the best tacklers on your team, with a coach like feel for what’s going on in front of them and Pryor lacks both these skills.

  41. 41 ACViking said at 12:31 AM on January 29th, 2014:


    “His tackles consist of three things: the sportscenter highlight hit, diving at ankles, and lots of whiffing.”

    That’s beautiful. And the breakdown? Super.

  42. 42 mksp said at 11:12 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Agreed. Just watch the first handful of plays in this cut-up vs. UCF:


    A series of poor angles followed by a TD-saving INT. He’s talented, but will drive us crazy.

  43. 43 D3FB said at 3:01 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    His Kentucky tape is even worse. I’m guessing people are only watching his Rutgers tape as its the most impressive but the warts still show.

  44. 44 Ben Hert said at 1:46 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Excellent stuff. Pryor was a guy I was getting excited for purely off of hype, but after reading your comments and watching mksp’s video, I’ve hopped of the wagon.

    Thanks for your input.

  45. 45 Patrick said at 12:13 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Going of that, if Pryors value is around that top 15 mark(Its still very early in the draft process) and you’re considering trading up, you’re gonna run into the same issues regarding S or pass rusher. If you’re will to trade up to, wouldn’t it be just as easy to trade up just a little further and get one of the 3 premiere pass rushers(Clowney, Barr and most likely Mack)? We know that there will also be a rush on QBs and OTs. Right now I see Bridgewater and Manziel going high, Matthews and Lewan too, but knowing the NFL, Bortles, Greg Robinson and Cyrus from Bama might go high too. Thats 7 players not even counting Watkins and the 3 pass rushers and you’re all ready closing in on Mack potentially dropping from the top 10.

    I’m excited, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to really help our defense in a lot of ways. Being aggressive and trading up/staying put and have loads of positions to watch(CB/S/OLB the primary but we could look into DL as well). And thats not even looking at a FA class with some decent players for our needs and the possibility that Chip throws a curveball and brings in more offensive firepower(FA/1-2 round pick). I find it tough not to become giddy and giggle like a school girl when thinking of the possibilities. The only thing we probably shouldnt look at is QB, HB and maybe OL, but of Andy taught me anything, its that you can never go wrong in drafting to the trenches. Another 1st round OL might not be exiting, but i’m really putting a higher and higher value in dominating the line of scrimmage.

  46. 46 Anders said at 4:57 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Vaccaro, Reid and Barron was less raw safety prospects and I think there is more “first round” talent in this draft than last year (like 4 QBs vs zero for me last year).

    Also safety is still the least prioritized position on a defense with it going something like this:

    ILB(4-3 OLB)

  47. 47 Mitchell said at 11:45 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    I just see the relentlessness with Attaucho. I see the athleticism and the passion. I would not mid him in the first. He is a play maker, plain and simple.

  48. 48 Joe Minx said at 11:57 PM on January 28th, 2014:

    Re: NT I really like Justin Ellis. I think he’s got more athleticism than your run of the mill massive nose guard but still has the right amount of bulk.

    Also, you getting snowed in Tommy?

  49. 49 Insomniac said at 12:35 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    You’re not the only one. There might not be much tape on him but I loved what I saw. I hope we consider him in the later rounds.

  50. 50 mksp said at 11:24 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I like him, but not sure his body type / fit is right for Chip. He seems like a one-gap guy, shorter, with short arms.

  51. 51 SteveH said at 12:47 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I’m gonna go all TATE on the situation and suggest this:

    Trade our whole draft for the rights to draft Jadeveon Clowney. Sign T.J. Ward in free agency.


  52. 52 Insomniac said at 1:16 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Writing up what I’ve seen from Justin Ellis on Draftbreakdown after a mere….wait for it…1 video.


    He’s not as tall as Dontari Poe and Vince WIlfork but that could work in his advantage. Top heavy, would like to see him shed some bad weight and build up his legs to anchor better/be more explosive. Very excellent run stuffer. RBs that run within his vicinity are most likely getting taken down by him or has little space to run. A man that big shouldn’t move as well as Ellis does. Speaking of moving people, this guy can probably push any center or guard around…and maybe both at the same time. He can get off of blocks fairly well.


    He played in Conference USA against questionable competition. He plays high and doesn’t have any counter moves. I’ve seen him try to push linemen while standing up pretty often. The times where he does play low…well he got into the backfield pretty easily (which isn’t often from what I’ve seen).

    There’s potential for him though. He’s in the mold of Cedric Thornton right now. If you coach him up then he could be a good NT that can apply interior pressure.

  53. 53 D3FB said at 1:21 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I had totally forgotten about his patented bench press the opposing linemen pass rush move, don’t think that one is gonna translate haha.

  54. 54 Insomniac said at 2:49 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    But he does it with effort! Unlike…McCullers.

  55. 55 Anders said at 9:26 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Guys like McCullers and Geatheres are the reason why I never get worked too much up by great size.

  56. 56 Anders said at 2:52 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I really love Ellis but as you said, he needs at least one year of coaching

  57. 57 nickross23 said at 2:05 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Some of those ND defensive guys intriuge me like Nix, Tuitt and Shembo have experience playing in the 3-4 and have great value in the later round 2-4 although nix could be a rd 1 guy if he’s back health and preforms well at the combine.. He would be a great true NT prospect. As far as the pass rushers Attaochu reminded me of Brian Orackpo with his body type and build. I can’t be too critical of his lack of pass rush moves off of this one clip but that can be taught if its an issue.. What I love is the effort and motor he displayed. Wouldn’t mind one bit if he’s available at 22.

  58. 58 GENETiC-FREAK said at 3:31 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Marcus Smith is looking legit

  59. 59 GENETiC-FREAK said at 3:43 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Been talking up Pryor for awhile now n hes finally getting some recognition.. I think hes the real deal n should be the target at 22.. People question his tackling but thats what caught my eye on him.. Hes a better tackler than Dix n Buchanon.. Tackling is like breathing oxygen where im from n the profession i play.. If it aint film study or fitness, its drills n tackling.. Tackling starts from the will to want to tackle.. He wants to tackle n has the aggression to hit through you.. Consistency will come over time

  60. 60 D3Center said at 8:10 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Calling Pryor a better tackler than Bucannon is very questionable. Pryor tackles mostly with his shoulder from what I’ve seen on film whereas Buccanon still brings the wood despite being a very good form tackler.

  61. 61 A_T_G said at 7:23 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    There is no possibility of getting Attaochu and Pryor, right?

  62. 62 Anders said at 7:29 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    No, not unless we trade up from our 2nd round pick

  63. 63 ceedubya9 said at 11:40 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Agreed. Possible on of them will fall to the 2nd, but will probably be gone by the time the Eagles pick again.

  64. 64 Mitchell said at 11:56 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Perhaps, but we could get Attaochu and Jeffcoat. There is some olb fodder for you.

  65. 65 Greg said at 8:00 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    But Tommy, you forgot the most important thing.

    Does he have a high motor?

  66. 66 Anders said at 8:41 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Btw Tommy, what are your thoughts on Aaron Lynch? In 2011 he was one of the best DLs in college battling Clowney for the best, but last year he just looked really out of place. I know he lost a lot of weight, but I really wonder if he could be a great pass rushing OLB if he got back up in weight (he carries 270 with no problems) or is he more of a 3-4 DE like Cameron Jordan?

  67. 67 ACViking said at 10:02 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    A —

    I’m wondering the same thing.

    Lynch was a high school phenom and had some great moments as a freshman at Notre Dame. Sat out a season when he transferred to South Florida (to be closer to home, so the story goes).

    On paper, he has that under-the-radar profile of “HS Phenom – College Phantom” that the the Eagles love

  68. 68 Anders said at 10:12 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    yea. I also think his biggest problem was he got too light and still played like he was 270 and not his reported 240. I really do wonder what he could have become playing for FSU instead of Notre Dame. Most likely would have been a great 3-4 DE/OLB hybrid
    I think Lynch have the athletisme to be a very good OLB even at 6-6 270 (Tamba Hali is 6-3 275, Greg Hardy who would be my no. 1 FA target if he isnt tagged is 6-4 and 290 and can easily play OLB)

  69. 69 ACViking said at 10:24 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    A –

    How ’bout Lynch’s “character” . . . by that I mean his decision to transfer to be closer to home. If you’re interviewing him, what do you want to know?

  70. 70 A_T_G said at 10:40 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I also wonder to the reason for the weight loss. There are plenty of legit reasons (coaches preference, injury) but also plenty of deal breakers (didn’t lift consistently during year off, former weight was chemically-enhanced).

  71. 71 Anders said at 12:48 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    I think the weight loss was the team that wanted him there. He at least didnt look juiced up at ND, he actually look more ripped.


    Still I bet Kelly would love a 6-6 270 OLB

  72. 72 A_T_G said at 3:40 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Yeah, that certainly doesn’t look juiced. If he was asked by the coaches, then the weight loss would go in the positives column. Still, it is something I would be asking him about.

  73. 73 Mac said at 11:26 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I think it’s a simple as ask question, get answer.

    Question: so why did you move back to Florida?

    (good answer) My grandmother, who played an integral part in my upbringing was going through chemo-therapy and I felt the need to move down to help my family and support her.

    I’ll let the great number of bad answers entirely up to your imagination.

    Point being, I think there would definitely be answers that would show Lynch as a high character kid. The scary side of things is played out in the example of Rolando McClain.

  74. 74 A_T_G said at 3:42 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    What a callous line of business, where the good answer is his grandmother having cancer. You are right, but still.

  75. 75 Anders said at 12:46 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Lynch transfered because of homesickness, which I really cant blame a 18 year old kid for. Manziel went to Texas A&M for the same reason instead of Oregon.

    Also Lynch is only 21 this year, so the kid is one of the youngest guys in the draft.

  76. 76 bill said at 9:10 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I get the feeling the stunting this year was because Davis recognized his pass-rushing skill was concentrated heavily in the DEs, which, as Tommy notes, is sort of “upside down” for a 2-gap 3-4 scheme. This breakdown also does a good job of setting forth the argument (whether Tommy meant to or not) that Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry (to a lesser extent, I think) don’t really fit with this team long term. Fletcher Cox can be very good at the run, but his real upside value is in his ability to “explode” off the ball and create havoc. That’s just not going to show itself in this system very well. Some 1-gap team (probably a SF or NO type team) will be willing to open up the bank for Fletcher when he’s a FA. I’m not sure that the Eagles will be willing to match that, given the limited role DEs have as pass rushers and penetrators in this system. They can find someone cheaper who can fill the “run-stopper” role, and focus their assets on OLB/situational pass-rushing nickel DEs/DTs.
    Vinny Curry is a pretty bad fit also, but he doesn’t necessarily have the superstar upside that Fletcher has. The Eagles may be able to match his offers and use him as a situational DT pass-rusher/backup 2-gap DE.
    Can’t proclaim to have much insight on prospects, but everything I’m seeing/hearing about Attachou has me thinking I’d be ecstatic if he’s the pick at 22. Curious to see if the Eagles think they need: 1)the pass-rushing beast at ROLB, or if they want the flexibility of essentially 2 Barwins; 2) a traditional NT, or if they just go the route of having another veteran back-up who might offer them some situational advantages. I feel there’s still a lot we don’t know about the vision Chip and Billy have for their defense.

  77. 77 Anders said at 9:22 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Imo you are wrong about Fletcher. Fletcher has Richard Seymour ceiling and he played in 2 gapping scheme for NE.
    I think Curry will be traded next year after he has another good pass rushing season. Some 3-4 1 gap or a 4-3 will be willing to trade at least a 2nd for Curry by that time.

  78. 78 bill said at 9:36 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Tough to compare a player who played for Belichek, and who was arguably was one-of-a-kind (in terms of doing it in a 2-gap system) at that. IF Davis thinks he can get Seymour level production out of Cox, you’re right, then he’ll be worth matching the offers that come from 1-gap teams. I’m just not ready to say that Davis = Belichek when it comes to defensive scheming, and I’m not sure Davis/Kelly want to emulate Belichek’s defensive style.
    But, as I noted, I don’t think I have a good grasp on what the vision is for the defense. So you could be right. I just want to note that there certainly is an argument to be made that you’re wrong (on this point – I generally agree or am informed by the points you make).

  79. 79 Anders said at 9:42 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    My point was more that Cox is not a miss match like a Vinny Curry.
    Also remember last year did we run a lot of different fronts and Cox 1 gapped quite a bit, it is only on 1st down and short downs we are 2 gapping.

  80. 80 bill said at 10:55 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I think we tend to disagree on the amount of 1-gapping that went on. I feel that 30% was probably the upper limit, and that’s just not highlighting Cox’s strengths enough. At 30% (and I think that number would certainly drop as the team got better fits at OLB and S), that role can be filled by a cheaper situational player (which role maybe Curry can fill and be paid accordingly), while paying a cheaper run stopper to be there the other 70%.
    Again, my point is just that I’m not nearly as certain as you are that Fletcher fits in the long term financial planning of the team. They may very well make an allowance for him if they think they can get appropriate production. I just think the odds favor the opposite outcome.

  81. 81 Anders said at 12:43 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Cox lead the team in hurries with 21 and had 3 sacks playing a scheme he have never played before. I think Cox can easily be a 8 sack guy with 30+ hurries with a full off season and better OLB play.

  82. 82 Mitchell said at 11:53 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I am encouraged by Curry’s progress this year and hope he can continue to improve on his run defense. The amount of sacks he had this year in the limited amount of time is impressive. I wouldn’t want to trade away a good pass rusher. I’m interested to see what he can do this year.

  83. 83 Anders said at 3:21 AM on January 30th, 2014:

    Lets say Curry get 8 sacks next year in limited time, then im 99% sure a team would offer a high 2nd or even a low 1st.
    If we get offered a low 1st next year, we have to take it imo

  84. 84 Rage114 said at 9:19 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    On Attaochu, my initial feeling is that he might be a reach in the 1st round because in many ways, he will be a project. High energy player. Will chase down a runner/receiver all over the field. But his pass rushing moves are limited. When lining up on the right, he will try to out outside. When on the left, will almost always stunt to the inside. Has to win at the snap. Will get engulfed by larger OL if they get their hands on him. As a point of comparison, Michael Johnson was a much more polished pass rusher and commanded double teams as times. He was a second round pick. Attaochu rarely saw double teams. Will admit that Attaochu probably has a higher ceiling because he is faster and quicker than Johnson. Also, Johnson is clearly a 4-3 DE and Attaochu is probably better suited as a 3-4 OLB. Love him and hope the Eagles draft him. Just don’t expect much of an impact in his first year if they do.

  85. 85 Anders said at 9:25 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Your rarely expect impact in the first year from any pass rusher. The only type of prospects are the Clowney or Marior Williams type prospects.

  86. 86 Jarrod said at 9:39 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Attaochu at first and had a similar opinion when watching his tape from 2013. Then I saw he played 4-3 DE in 2013 as opposed to 3-4 OLB in 2012 and before. So I watched a couple 2012 games and was more impressed. I’m no expert but he seems like a good target for ROLB.

  87. 87 Mitchell said at 11:50 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    He is definitely better as an ROLB. The good news is he has played as a DE so he has versatility.

  88. 88 barneygoogle said at 9:34 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I think a critical issue here is whether the Eagles will have a chance to trade for Dion Jordan from Miami. He may fit them better than anyone on the board at #21. Would they trade a #1 for him?

  89. 89 eagleyankfan said at 9:36 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    That’s never going to happen. It’s good winter stuff — but will never happen.

  90. 90 Anders said at 9:42 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Miami will lose 12 mill in cap space, so they are not trading him

  91. 91 CrackSammich said at 2:04 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    You’re a year late on that speculative storyline.

  92. 92 barneygoogle said at 5:19 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Storyline is new–from a Miami sportswriter. Dolphins can’t use him effectively in their 4-3. Dion’s a 3-4 guy.
    New Miami GM might want another 1st round pick. The issue is, does Kelly still like Jordan enough to try and trade for him?

  93. 93 eagleyankfan said at 9:43 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    This is a great read. I love he insight for each position.
    I realize this is one game. The burst off the line is his best asset. I wasn’t impressed with the rest of his game. I’m no expect and I certainly don’t watch college as most of you so I’ll take your word that he’s a good player. At 22, it’s hard to get an immediate impact player but I’d imagine we want someone who starts right away. Would this guy be starting material?

  94. 94 Anders said at 9:45 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    You do not expect a pass rusher to start right away unless the guy is a freak. Also in general, picks this late is normally right away starters no matter what.

  95. 95 eagleyankfan said at 9:47 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Thanks. Do you think the Eagles would go this route(LB) in round 1?

  96. 96 Anders said at 10:02 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I think the Eagles can go every position expect for guard, center, RB or ST.
    I think LB or DB is most likely.

  97. 97 Ark87 said at 11:09 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    I don’t know much about the talent level at each position in the draft but if the FO isn’t positive about Bennie Logan being an every down NT I could really see us taking a beefy NT if a guy is sitting there at 22. We were getting killed in short yardage situations on both sides of the ball at the end of the season. Of course if the coaches/FO see Bennie Logan developing into a guy who can help that situation, that throws that out the window.

  98. 98 Anders said at 12:39 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Im not sure there is a NT worth a 1st round pick, but I could see the Eagles draft a guy like Hageman if they love him. He has the perfect size for a DE and then we could have Hageman, Thornton/Logan, Cox as the DL with Cox been the shortest at 6-3

  99. 99 DaO_Z said at 9:44 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Cox is 6’4″ and so is Thornton….Logan is 6’2″…

  100. 100 nopain23 said at 10:34 AM on January 29th, 2014:

    Can Ryan shazier play safety/lb hybrid role like kam chancellor?

  101. 101 Anders said at 12:59 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Telvin Smith is more that type of player.

    Shazier is over 230, he is a 4-3 OLB or a 3-4 ILB (he would look good next to Kendricks)

  102. 102 Tom W said at 12:48 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    I will be banging the table hard for the Nigerian Nightmare Atta-Boy …
    depending on his combine broad jump, 20m shuttle, and 3-cone … for the
    first round or early second if we can trade back and pick up a 3d and
    3d next year. Dont think we certainly take him at 22 if Lee, Evans,
    Benjamin, or Sheed are there because I believe the birds may view them
    as better players w elite talent. Think we take him over either safety
    unless the louisville kid runs late out.

    best scouting article I have seen on him


    Here are nine games against big time opponents over 3 years — he destroys Miss St. and Clemson his senior year.


    here is another really nice scouting write up on every aspect of his
    game. He is nothing like Bruce Irvin … much longer and bigger and
    better in coverage and against run .. but I hope as athletic.

    Looking as past combine over 7 yrs .. broad jump and 3 cone and 20m
    shuttle are good indicators …. I think he is comparable to a Clay
    Matthews at the high end to Jamie Collins at the low end.

    Importantly, I think his best trait is pass rush from edge. very
    violent hands to counter tackles if first move doesn’t work. multiple
    moves. great pursuit. good in coverage. needs to work on tackling
    lower and reading plays better.

    Also listened to like 4 interviews from college for him and he is
    very well spoken, intelligent, professional, and nice kid. Talked about
    learning from his coaches, putting in extra time in the offseason, and
    mentoring younger players.

  103. 103 Anders said at 1:03 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    I be honest, right now Dee Ford is my favorite target for 22, i do not care about his size, that guy can rush the passer even against NFL quality OL and he had 4 sacks combined on Manziel and Winston.

  104. 104 Baloophi said at 2:16 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    This is a great point – Attachou’s potential is intriguing, but Dee Ford’s production is tangible.

  105. 105 Baloophi said at 2:34 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    There’s probably a joke in here somewhere about how Ford’s production is tied to his assembly line but I’m too lazy to work on it…

  106. 106 Anders said at 2:34 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Well Attaochu did have more sacks this year than Ford

  107. 107 Baloophi said at 2:34 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    How about “production against better opponents”???

  108. 108 Anders said at 2:35 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    That is true

  109. 109 Baloophi said at 2:35 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Okay, good. And thanks for the catch. Words are hard.

  110. 110 Tom W said at 9:36 AM on January 30th, 2014:

    and last year.

  111. 111 Mac said at 3:05 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    When dealing with pokemon, training is essential.

  112. 112 Mitchell said at 3:17 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    When you have a Magikarp, you know its gonna me a badass pokemon when it evolves you just have to train it…… Barr is my magikarp.

  113. 113 Baloophi said at 3:26 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Is there a parallel lesson from Excitebike?

  114. 114 Mitchell said at 3:27 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    “There can only be one.”

  115. 115 Baloophi said at 3:37 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    I believe you mean… “There can be only one.”

    “There can only be one,” is the tagline from the considerably less successful “Grammar Highlander” – a series of movies depicting the adventures of an immortal Scottish warrior who roams the earth correcting prepositions.

  116. 116 Mitchell said at 3:44 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Yep you’re right. I think I have always said it wrong unfortunately. I am fully aware of The Highlander, Chris Lambert, who also played Raiden in Mortal Kombat.

  117. 117 A_T_G said at 3:44 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Just because it looks good when you build it doesn’t mean you won’t crash repeatedly?

  118. 118 Baloophi said at 5:03 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    I smell a book, A_T_G!

    All you need to know in life you learned playing Excitebike!

    “Sometimes the quickest way up is also the quickest way down.”

  119. 119 A_T_G said at 6:11 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    You can avoid some problems by getting high, but eventually you are coming back down.

  120. 120 Baloophi said at 3:22 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Your Nintendo-based proverbs frighten and confuse me.

  121. 121 Tom W said at 9:36 AM on January 30th, 2014:

    Atta-boy actually had more college production than ford bar none and has the H/W/S to have a greater ceiling.

  122. 122 Tom W said at 9:35 AM on January 30th, 2014:

    really only played well for a few games down the stretch of his college career. that worries me. But I think comparisons to von miller — bruce irvin are possible. think he gets eaten alive in the run game. attouchi got to winston as well. and taj boyd.

  123. 123 Charlie Kelly said at 11:36 PM on January 30th, 2014:

    dude.. watch the senior bowl much? lol..

  124. 124 Anders said at 4:12 AM on January 31st, 2014:

    Didnt watch it all.

  125. 125 Cafone said at 3:15 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    So if everything is secondary to pass rush for the right OLB, why isn’t Vinny Curry getting a shot there? He’s the guy that gets in the backfield before the offensive linemen get out of their stances.

  126. 126 Weapon Y said at 5:28 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    I watched Attaochu’s tape against Georgia. A few things worry me about him. He will too often try to just bull rush an O-Lineman and get stalled. He’ll use a rip move a few times, but not nearly enough. He’ll also not engage his hands enough and pushed out of the play. He’ll also play unbalanced and fall forward often and an o-linemen will just keep him down. He is definitely physically gifted, but needs a lot of coaching (just like most players do). I’d be shocked if he became an elite pass rusher in year one, but could see it happening a few years later if the Eagles staff instills better habits in him.

  127. 127 bwin29 said at 5:49 PM on January 29th, 2014:

    Tommy, did you see this Chip Wagon article about Logan? Thoughts?


  128. 128 Charlie Kelly said at 11:37 PM on January 30th, 2014:

    WR at 22. Maybe a TE if a good one is there. Im all for defense…. in free agency.