Football Character

Posted: January 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 106 Comments »

As the Eagles head into the offseason, there will be a lot of talk about high character guys. This breaks down into a couple of categories. First, there are those players who are legitimately good people. You’d want these guys as a neighbor, friend or relative. You’d trust your kids with them.

There is also football character. You want players that are tough, coachable, good teammates and ultra-competitive. They may not be model citizens, but they can still be model football players.

Jimmy Bama wrote a piece on some Eagles who didn’t exactly love the game of football. The subject came up after DRC made some strange comments with the media today. He talked about retiring if the Broncos win the Super Bowl.

After two years in Philly with little to play for, DRC had a very good year with the front-running Broncos. He signed a 1-year deal this past offseason and is set to become a free agent after the Super Bowl, when he’ll have an opportunity to make a lot of money. Super Bowl week began on Monday, and DRC, talking as if he’s an old grizzled vet, was one of the players who spoke to the media. It turns out DRC may not be looking for that big payday after all. Apparently, if the Broncos win, DRC may retire.

“I had my fun in this league,” said DRC, “and I have to weigh my options, see how I feel after the season.

“I had a goal to play for 5 years, and I reached that.”

If he retires, DRC said he’d like to go back to high school to be a guidance counselor. When presented with reasons why he might retire, DRC shot them down:

Do you want to go out on top? No.

Is it just because you want to stay healthy? No.

If you were playing Family Feud, and the question was, “Why would you retire early from football if you still have the ability to play,” going out on top and staying healthy would be on the big board, but the #1 honest answer would probably be, “Because I just don’t like football all that much.”

When asked if there was a different level of effort with the Eagles last year than there was with the Broncos in 2013, DRC answered, “You can say that.”

DRC might be a good guy, but he’s not a good football character guy. When things are good, he’s fine. When the going gets tough, don’t count on him. He doesn’t handle adversity well.

You can have some guys like this on your team, but they better be few and far between. As Rex Ryan likes to say, if you have enough ants, they can carry a cockroach.

I think the Eagles did a terrific job of getting the right kind of players in here last offseason. They brought in a mixture of high character guys and football character guys. You could see how these guys impacted the team. Connor Barwin brought a sense of togetherness to the defense. Cary Williams brought some attitude. Rookies Bennie Logan, Earl Wolff, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and even Matt Barkley all came in ready to compete for jobs. There were no prima donnas. There were no projects.

I fully expect Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly to focus on the same type of players. They can afford to take a chance on a player if they want, but it would have to be the right guy and the right situation. Kelly is still getting this team set up the way he wants it. The smart play is to stick with the right kind of guys to get the foundation of the team set just the way he wants it.

This isn’t about building up a team full of saints. Kelly is looking for the right kind of people. He said that Logan and Barkley were the two most impressive interviews at the Scouting Combine last year. Both guys got picked. They had good game tape as well so don’t mistake this to mean there won’t be a focus on talent.

The 2013 Eagles were a tough, smart, competitive team. That was a big change from recent years. Expect Kelly and Roseman to build on what they got started by once again getting the right combination of character and talent.

* * * * *

The Pro Bowl was on Sunday. I watched parts of it and found it to be the best Pro Bowl I’ve seen in a while. The players actually competed.

DeSean Jackson caught a long TD pass.

Nick Foles threw a long pass and a TD pass.

Foles won offensive MVP. He would have preferred to win the game, but MVP is a good consolation prize.

Evan Mathis and LeSean McCoy were on the winning team.

_


  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    marqes lee in the lockeroom would be a great fit, i can just imagine him with avant who went thru the same type of childhood, lees brothers, one is dead and one in prison i belive, from running with gangs.

    But Lee was also adopted, much like maclin was, and both found a great family who helped them reach their potential.

    Also lee and desean are both from cali hoods..

    idk i just think it be a cool group of WRs that could all work great together.

    • Mitchell

      Very interesting stuff here.

    • GEAGLE

      I always hear how we are high on Lee..

      I don’t know what I think of Lee. Feel like I would love him in a normal draft, but this is a special WR class, and I can’t say he is at the top of my list….then again, OUR LISTS mean nothing until we see these WRs clock in at the combine

      • Anders

        How is Lee not a special WR? He was the top WR before the season and only reason he has dropped is because of a knee injury and bad QB play.

        • GEAGLE

          How much of a better prospect is he than Maclin was?
          I prefer the Mike Evans big boy mold if we are taking WR in round 1, I’m not opposed to Lee, I’m just not really comfortable talking about these WRs til after the combine. It’s so stacked at WR, I gotta see how these kids clock in..Lee is basically In the same position as Barkley! had a Monster year, came back to school and had down year dealing with injuries…Mike Evans,Kelvin Benjamin, even Ebron would could be a better pick..then there are kids like devante Adams who I feel like can shoot into the top 20 with a good combine…I like Lee, I’m just not sure about my WR wish list pecking order yet is all

      • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

        he isnt at the top of my liost either, id rather have Mike Evans and sammy… but we are drafting @22.. and as far as the top 4 WRs i dont need to see them run at the combine i got a good idea on their skill level right now.

    • Mark Sitko

      When I went to watch Barkley tape last year after we drafted him I was like, sure this kid looks ok – BUT WHO THE HELL IS THAT WR! So many of Barkleys throws only looked amazing because the kid on the other end was catching everything in stride and getting huge RAC yardage…he reminded me a lot of DeSean, but in a grown man’s body – or like a more explosive Maclin, I have not seen the other WRs of this class – I am not a huge college football watcher – but I would take Lee at 22 and have no regrets – in the 2nd round that kid would be a steal.

      • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

        YES!!! Thats how i discovered Lee too! watching tape of barkley last year… lol… and i def see a combo of maclin and desean.. and then some.. maclin has tiny shoulders, Lee has wide shoulders thats helps extending for passes and winning at the catch point.

    • Jason

      Let’s say in March the Birds sign Maclin to a generous one year guaranteed contract and Cooper to two years guaranteed for reasonable money. Draft night unfolds and the two OLBs, Safeties, and Corners with 1st round grades go before #22, but Marquise Lee falls and is available.

      Could they take Lee and then turn around and trade Cooper (maybe even that evening for a mid round pick)? Or is there a waiting period for trading after you re-sign your own free agent?

      • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

        No. If they did that with coop and maclin, you let Lee develop behind them, plus coop is a different type of WR he is a bigger guy and he can block, its important to have that guy in a chip kelly offense. Plus u dont trade guys you just resigned.

        • Jason

          You don’t pick a player at #22 to sit for a year or two. Nor do you normally trade guys you just re-signed, unless their replacement falls into your lap unexpectedly in the First Round.

          What I was asking was are there any contractual/league rules that would hinder their ability to trade Cooper in that scenario?

          • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

            Yes you do. You dont draft a player for what he can do in year one. you develop them for the long term. And lee wont be sitting, he will def get snaps. and YOU CANT trade players that u just signed, because nobody will take on the contract AND you will be wasting money sice u give a signing bonus to those players, and that would waste money. Theres no leaugue rules that says you cant trade him.. its the money tied up into the player that will not make it logical to trade that player.

          • Jason

            Charlie,
            Not to belabor the point, but how many of these Eagles first round picks since 1999 sat for a year or two, playing the equivalent of redshirt WR 4 you would sanction for Lee under my scenario? (besides Watkins, who should not have been a first round pick, McDougle who was injured, and 5 who started midway first season):

            Donovan McNabb, Corey Simon, Lito Sheppard, Jerome McDougle, Shawn Andrews, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Graham, Danny Watkins, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson

            The answer is that all of these guys played significant snaps first season. If you draft Lee in the first round, you aren’t burying him as a WR4 first year —
            especially with Ertz likely to see significant snaps in 2TE sets next season.

          • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

            graham still isnt starting… i dont think bunk started his 1st year, the point is he can still get significinat snaps as the 4th WR. and it really makes sense if you just resign maclin to a one year deal.. ertz was 5th in line this past year for snaps behind djacc cooper avant and celek.

          • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

            PLUS.. maclin is coming off of injury…

      • Buge Halls

        If that happened, I’d happily send DeSean packing out of town if we could get a #2 or maybe a #3 and a #4.

  • Arby1

    DRC might not have had true football character, but he certainly is a character. Can’t take that away from him.

    • TommyLawlor

      Touche.

  • Insomniac

    If DRC and Shawn Andrews could have had the heart of say..Djax then the sky would have been the limit for them. Now if they had the heart of maybe..Peyton Manning…lets stop there. We had so many what if guys that it kinda bums me out thinking of how “great” they could have been.

    • Anders

      If Shawn Andrews didnt have clinic depression and chronic back problems.
      Please lets separate Andrews who had a mental disorder and somebody who just lacks heart.

      • Mark Sitko

        I am not sure Andrews really had a mental disorder…lack of heart seemed to be his main problem – he may have been a strange duck, but I am not sure he was all that broken mentally

        • mksp

          I don’t think you’re in any position to make that assumption.

        • Anders

          So people who has depressions just make it up? Im sorry but that is a horrible view in life

          • Mark Sitko

            Wait – neither are you…right? None of us have ANY idea what was really up with this kid – yes, if he was clinically depressed or had mental issues I understand, but we don’t know that and we never will – have you seen his medical reports? Ever talk to any of his doctors? MANY players deal with depression…I just think that Andrews was more of an eccentric than mentally challenged, but you obviously can have your own opinion…but I think it is funny that you think your claims about him are kinder than mine…

          • Mark Sitko

            Anders – yeah – that is EXACTLY what i meant…hehe

          • Anders

            My point is, Andrews said he had a depression, so unless somebody can prove something else, why shouldnt I trust Andrews?
            People do not say they have depression just for fun and many people do not even dare admit it.
            We know he had chronic back problems and a reported depression, so calling him out as somebody who just lacked heart is just bad style imo.
            Im just reporting what he has said him self and not questioning it. For me, questioning a guy who has depression is really bad. Believe the guy wished above anything else he didnt have it like that, but just telling him to suck it up, is like telling somebody with a broken leg to just go out running with no help.

          • Buge Halls

            “Reported” chronic back issues and depression. Neither of which can be proved or dis-proved, so we kind of have to take his word – as he took millions!

          • Anders

            Why would the team lie? Also he also had em with the Giants and teams can lose draft picks for lying about the medical report, so yes, Im fairly certain he had those problems.

          • Mark Sitko

            Who has that view?

          • Anders

            you said you are not sure he had a mental disorder. Depression is a mental disorder, so by your words you are saying Andrews made it up.

      • Mark Sitko

        And if the weak hearted football players get a pass for having mental issues or depression then CLEARLY Owens doe snot belong on this list – he is the most mentally damaged player I have ever watched interviewed…literally a scared child in the body of David – also, I think DRC might have similar issues to Andrews, no?

        • laeagle

          Owens never had a problem with work ethic. He had football character, but not actual character.

          • Insomniac

            He didn’t have character in the first place. Dude is an egomaniac.

      • Insomniac

        I don’t think you know what heart means Anders. Heart is love for the game. Love for the game inspires will. Will is overcoming a neck injury at the age of 36 and breaking records one year removed from it. That’s heart. Andrews didn’t have either to help overcome his issues.

    • eagleyankfan

      The heart of Djax? What a joke.

      • Insomniac

        Oh please. Djax at least competes. I guess you can’t tell highs to lows since you’re a yanks fan.

        • Cafone

          There is a subsection of Eagles fans that hate DeSean Jackson. I mostly attribute it to racism, but I suppose they could also be non-racist complete morons.

          Think about it: after all those years of wishing we had decent receivers, Eagles fans get a great one (top ten in receiving yards this year, sure to eclipse most Eagles all-time receiving records) and all some fans can do is complain about him.

          Most of these fans would rather have 4 Riley Coopers, scrappy working-class over-achievers (read: white), willing to jump the fence for them, even though the reality is that Cooper is a primadonna rich kid who has has problems with his temper and the law his entire life.

          • Buge Halls

            People that immediately throw out the racism card simply show their ignorance and lack of class. Just because someone doesn’t like someone else, and they happen to be a different color, doesn’t make them a racist! As if Jackson was the only black player on the team. Your ignorance shows again when you write about Cooper – you sir are the racist!

          • Cafone

            I didn’t say they were necessarily racists, I also allowed the possibility that they might just be complete morons.

            If you have another explanation for why a significant subset of Eagles fans loathe one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the franchise, I am certainly open to other interpretations. Please share them.

            Also, on a more personal note, the use of “sir” in your response just sounds silly. Who talks like that? What are you, a 19th century English dandy?

          • Buge Halls

            And again, your ignorance shows in your immediate use of an insult. Maybe it’s just childish behavior, I’m not sure, but I won’t bother to stoop down to your level anymore.

            I’ll just finish by adding that he took basically the entire season off before his new contract because he was having a tantrum. He routinely takes plays off and jogs through his routes if he isn’t targeted. But hey, what’s not to love about “one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the franchise”? Yep, I guess we’re all just “racists” or “morons” – not nearly up to your enlightened level of intelligence, racial harmony, and maturity (I hope you understand sarcasm).

          • Cafone

            I just got called childish by someone who uses the posting alias “Buge Halls”

          • suthrneagle

            Reason Jackson is disliked by some is cause all could see the many plays where he under-performed(took plays off,quit,etc…)because he felt he over-performed for the contract he signed for… Possibly he felt slighted (dissed) with the drafting of Maclin(and the millions he signed for),but that is not the fans` fault, yet he did not give us(the fans) our money`s worth. He is supposed to be a pro. Act like, don`t be a mini TO.
            Race has little to do with it.

          • laeagle

            While there may be a tinge of racism involved if someone truly _hates_ DeSean, I know a large contingent of fans don’t like him because his attitude. He subscribes to the school of sportsmanship that says “my achievement gives me the right to tell you that you suck”. Instead of celebrating a touchdown with his teammates, he’d rather rub it in the face of someone else, as if there can be no victory without taunting the other team. It is the exact same attitude that you saw in Richard Sherman last week.

            It’s unnecessary, and poor sportsmanship. Some people might attribute it to race, but I think that’s incorrect. It’s simply an attitude, and a bad one, and I’ve seen it in people of varying races.

            Don’t get me wrong, overall I think that DeSean is a fantastic player, and when you get down to it, a good person (really!), but I just hate that kind of crap where you can’t truly enjoy a victory without pissing in your opponent’s face. it’s classless, poor sportsmanship, and I truly hope he grows out of it.

  • SteveH

    I’m surprised DRC wouldn’t look to cash one more time. He must have taken care of his money to feel like he’s set enough to stop playing. It’s hard to walk back comments like that too, if he decides that he isn’t going to retire, how does he convince anyone that he’s actually going to work hard if he keeps playing?

    More power to the guy though, its just hard for a groveling peasant like me to understand how someone can walk away from that kind of moolah.

    • ICDogg

      And I don’t think he will. He’s young to be doing it, but a lot of guys float the idea that they might be retiring every year for one reason or another. Some guys actually do retire and unretire several times. It is very rare that someone that young just walks and stays out for long unless they are no longer able to continue. I agree that it’s a bad sign, though.

    • Anders

      DRC would still get paid simply because the facination with him. He is the Michael Vick of CBs

  • D3FB

    I’m happy the Eagles were able to bring Michael Clay onto the staff. I liked him as a UDFA last summer, and am slightly surprised he hung up the cleats so early. It works out for us though as he was a high energy guy who was always around the football, and you could just tell he understood the game when you watched him play.

    • OregonDucker

      He will do well. Knows the Chip defense scheme and is a very good communicator – a perfect fit for the Eagles.

  • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

    So, what you’re saying is…Chip Kelly wants Schiano men!

    • TommyLawlor

      We all do.

  • Sean

    Logan has talent, but both Keenan Allen and Tyran Matthieu were still available when he was picked. Both of them had far more talent by all accounts, so his character must have been truly outstanding.

    • Anders

      Tyran Matheiu also was undersized and had drug problems.
      Allen was not passed over because of any problems outside of been super slow (we have an OT who runs same speed as him)

      • GEAGLE

        I feel like Honeybadger was a “chess piece” you add when you already have a nice defense in place…we had a million holes last year, Logan is much more important, then the Honeybadger. We didn’t have enough of these defense in place to go after a specialty player like him…
        ….
        I wish we would spend some money on a DAMN safety so we can draft Joyner into that “chess piece” role,…but I wouldn’t want to draft Joyner to be a starting safety

        • Anders

          Right now I much rather add Jimmie Ward than Joyner. Ward can play both CB and safety, but is much bigger and has great cover skills

          • GEAGLE

            Ward probably ends up being a top 40 player. I would like him if we were to trade back from 22…but we only pick once in the top 40, and while I like the kid, I think we can do better

          • theycallmerob

            I’d take either, but I’d only feel comfortable with either guy playing next to a vet at least in ’14. I don’t feel comfortable with Wolff and Ward/Joyner/anyone.

        • D3FB

          HB also really benefitted from the situation in AZ. The cardinals did alot of background work on him and they also had two of his former teammates. They required him to live with Patrick Peterson.

    • theycallmerob

      Russell Wilson was pretty talented too, but he made it past all 32 teams twice. There was no guarantee either of those guys would contribute at all, let alone at the high levels they did. Logan had a good grade from us, checked all the right boxes, and filled a need. It’s not like he was graded much later and we Teo’Nesheim-ed him.

      • Sean

        At no point did I say he was a bad pick. He’s just the best example of how much value they place on high character, considering they passed on two players with substantially better talent, one of whom played at a position of even greater need.

        • theycallmerob

          Didn’t mean to imply those were your feelings towards Logan. Rather, I don’t know if it’s safe to say Howie and Chip agree with you re: Allen and Matthieu as “substantially greater talents”.
          At draft time last year, we still had Maclin and Benn, but no DL, and Allen was still the 8th WR off the board. And not many folks were sure HB would succeed in the NFL at all (due to size), without even delving into the character stuff. Some had him going in the 2nd/3rd while some mocks had him UDFA.
          Just don’t think it’s safe to say the Birds passed on either while having them “higher” on the board.

          • Sean

            I don’t think they should have selected either of them or made a mistake in picking Logan. If I had to venture a guess, he probably was higher on their board precisely because of his character. At the same time, I find it unlikely that they actually thought he had more talent for his position than the other two.

      • anon

        think they are hoping this system generates higher yield of good pcks, obvs we’ll miss some extra talented guys.

  • Maggie

    Good character, with a little edge on the field. Can hardly be beat. Well, as long as they accompany talent, lol.

  • GEAGLE

    Keep thinking we will like van Noy, because I expect him to dazzle us in interviews..

  • Mark Sitko

    I am excited about Foles for many reasons, but the cherry on top is that he is excellent as both a real life character guy and as a football character guy – he is so earnestly diplomatic that he reminds me of Ned Flanders at times…how do you even get that good while staying that humble? Jesus is like – damn

    • GEAGLE

      I love the accountability after the years of the passive aggressive BS. Donovan never got over a draft day booooing. could you imagine Donovan being treated as bad as this city treated Nick?mDonovan would have had a Jonathon Martin meltdown if he was treated as bad as FOles was…yet the kid can still sit at the podium and take full responsibility for his mistakes, and then he tells you how he will bust his ass to correct them….and I can’t help but to actually believe him!!!!
      ….
      Special kid..think he has a monster year having gotten this years game experience and getting this full offseason as the man

      • laeagle

        I think you’re delusional if you think Foles got anywhere near the level of crap that McNabb got in Philadelphia. And McNabb’s first few years were pretty successful from a football perspective. The fact that you even bring up the draft day booing is funny; did that ever happen to Foles? Has anyone ever complained about Foles’s mom? I really like Foles, but he’s had nowhere near the level of either garbage from fans OR football success that McNabb had.

        • eagleyankfan

          What success? And yes, I consider winning the SB successful. Nobody hocks a “we almost won the SB ring” at a pawn shop. Foles came in with zero expectations. IF Foles was picked as high as McNabb – he would have been under the microscope as 5. Hard to compare apples n oranges.

          • laeagle

            The argument that you didn’t have success unless you won a Super Bowl is binary foolishness. It removes all discussion and is as asinine and simplistic a measure of a player’s actual ability as can possibly be imagined. I can’t even believe that we’re having this discussion on a page like this, considering that Tommy generally dissects this sort of foolishness with regularity. By your childish measure, Trent Dilfer is a more successful quarterback than Dan Marino. One is in the Hall of Fame, and it’s not the one who said he’s going to Disneyland.

            McNabb was under the microscope after years of getting close but never winning it all. As well as his own personality. But of course, you had to have success to get as close as he did. He’s won more playoff games than any other QB in franchise history, so to call him unsuccessful is flat out incorrect.

            You know who has as many Super Bowl rings as McNabb? Brian Dawkins. Yet we’re all starting to campaign for him to be in the HoF.

            This discussion was never about success, even in your sad, limited definition of it. It’s about media scrutiny, and no Eagles player in recent history underwent as much scrutiny as McNabb. Not saying some of it wasn’t deserved, but no one, including Foles, received as much. If you think Foles received as much, you’re either willfully ignorant, a twisted Foles apologist, or too young to remember otherwise.

            The difference between the amount of media scrutiny that McNabb received versus Foles is like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing a bullet.

          • D3FB

            Dilfer was on ESPN a couple weeks back and was absolutely destroying the idea that you have to win a SB to be a great QB. He was laughing at the idea that by that metric he was considered one of the greats. Straight up said it was ridiculous.

  • Ben Hert

    I won’t deny the fact that we need a pass-rushing OLB desperately. But for some reason, the prospects that excite me the most this year are DB’s. It seems like its been ages since we’ve legitimately hit on an early DB prospect that has the potential to be a game-changer for our team. Fletcher Cox and Lane Johnson are those kinds of guys; guys you can really get excited for purely off of All-Pro potential. Something about this year just has me chomping at the bit to get a hold of a large DB that can really turn our secondary from a weakness into a strength. No idea who that guy is, but I look forward to buying his jersey.

    Side note: It is such a relief to have a coach who cares about size. I’m so used to just disregarding big players and looking at the undersized high-motor prospects. Its exciting to look at 6′-2″ DB’s and 6′-5″ OLB’s and think we actually have a shot of having those guys on our team.

    • Anders

      Andy Reid drafted a 6-2 CB in 2011, he drafted a 6-1, 210 pound safety in 2010, what about the 6-2 305 pound Bunkley out if FSU?
      AR wanted sized, but not over production in college.

      • Ben Hert

        I think you could make the point that AR never saw size as a benefit versus just another statistic. His track record never really showed a preference of larger or smaller players, whereas we can be 100% sure as to how Chip feels about size and measurables.

        Another aside: The draft process feels much more exciting now due to all the aspects we take into account with prospects, compared to how we used to evaluate them. Maybe its the influence of Chip’s evaluation process on the fanbase, or its just the general availability of information with social media, but analyzing the draft is so much different for fans that it was 5 years ago.

  • CrackSammich

    “Kelly is looking for the right kind of people. He said that Logan and
    Barkley were the two most impressive interviews at the Scouting Combine
    last year. Both guys got picked.”

    I believe him when he says that those two gave impressive interviews, but you wouldn’t expect him to talk up the players he liked and didn’t get, though. THE two most impressive? Maybe.

    • Anders

      Consider that Logan had no. 18 at LSU and Barkley is really really high character guy, it is not a surprise.

      • CrackSammich

        No, I’m not saying they weren’t impressive. I’m just saying, had Gavin Escobar and Travis Fredrick given the greatest interviews in the world, Chip wouldn’t be going out of his way to praise them now that they’re Cowboys. It might be a completely different tune once they’re coming up on free agency, though.

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  • eagleyankfan

    I get the whole high character stuff — but until high character = SB I’m not sold. You need a few nuts mixed in. :).

    • Anders

      You can still have high character and be a great player. Two of the nastiest Eagles during the Reid era was Runyan and Dawkins on the field, but both are stand up high character guys.

      • GEAGLE

        dawk wasn’t exactly a high Charecter guy when we drafted him

        • Jernst

          What were the character concerns when we drafted Dawk?

          • GEAGLE

            Drinking problems, but Anders is saying his drinking problems didn’t emerge til after he was drafted! and I can’t remember if that’s the case or not, but I trust anders

          • Anders

            That is how I remember the story. The only problem for Dawkins back then was his size (he was around 200 when drafted, but later added 20 pounds during his career as he filled out his body) as safeties had to be much bigger than now.

        • Anders

          He was, but then he got a drinking problem after his rookie year

      • eagleyankfan

        Agreed. But if you’re a little nutty AND highly productive — no need to over look them. Good coaches can handle them. TO was the best WR on this team since AR took over.

    • A Roy

      Agree with Anders. Tommy also spoke of high football character. That’s the reason the Dolphins players would accept someone like Richie Incognito. Because he came to play every day.

      • bill

        Agree. I think when Chip looks at “character,” it has less to do with being a choir boy off the field, and more to do with the guy just loving being on the field, whether it’s in shorts in April, with pads in August, or on Friday in November. The guy who shows up no matter what. I think Chip can live with a “jerk,” so long as he puts it all out there on the field every time he steps on it.

        • OregonDucker

          Chip would never tolerate an Incognito character. Never.

          • D3FB

            Lyerla also had a pretty rough background .

          • OregonDucker

            Lyerla was a tough one. He was suspended, I think twice; he then got better. Finally, he regressed and quit the team. Soon afterward he was busted for Cocaine. Now NFL bound but with baggage. Not sure Chip would take a chance, given the chances Lyerla has had.

          • D3FB

            I agree Chip may not give him another chance in the future but simply based on his time at Oregon it goes to show that he doesn’t back away from kids with baggage immediately.

          • Mitchell

            I’m becoming a big fan of the TE from Iowa. I think he is a great fit for this system and an eventual replacement for Celek. Please fall to the 4th?

          • D3FB

            Fedo is a solid player. For my money though better value with Blanchflower.

            http://draftbreakdown.com/players/rob-blanchflower/

          • Mitchell

            Idk about this guy. He is definitely a willing blocker but those hands are pretty suspect. He is so slow too. What round you think?

          • D3FB

            End of 5th or later. He allows us to cut Casey and play the H-back role in year one. With the ability to be TE #2 and a blocking TE in the future.

          • bill

            I think Incognito is an interesting case. Clearly, he falls on the “jerk” side, but I wonder if that situation would have ever played out like that with Chip as coach. Chip’s culture is almost 180 degrees from that “old school” style, and I think the fact that he places such emphasis on the guys loving football, that I don’t see any of the prefatory behavior being allowed, stopping that train wreck before it left the station. Everyone involved would have been better off with the real leadership and culture Chip provides.

            Maybe Incognito was a ticking time bomb and it would have happened anyway. But it doesn’t really sound like that from the way his team mates reacted. I think it was a mix of an unstable guy with a culture that encouraged line crossing, as long as it was done for “the right reasons.”

  • Mike Roman

    Unrelated but I thought I’d share — it figures:

    “NT Brodrick Bunkley
    Bunkley played an integral role in the interior of the defensive line as a run-stopper as he has helped tie up blockers for the defensive ends and linebackers to make game-changing plays while adding 24 stops (11 solo).

    Best Game: Started and posted three tackles (two solo) in the NFC Wild Card Playoff win against the Philadelphia Eagles, which was the first road playoff win in team history.”

    • GEAGLE

      Bad coaching…it’s showing up all over the league by our cast offs. Friggin King Dunlap is a half decent starting OT..go figure

      • Anders

        Bunkley was a great run stopper for us in 2008 when we had a dominating run defense.

      • A Roy

        Tennessee looking for a new linebacker after their “failed Moise Fokou experiment.” It’s not always that they have success when they leave Philadelphia. Actually, it was AR’s trademark the first several years that when he released someone, they were done.

  • Mitchell

    Who do you think has the most Dawkins like attitude in this years draft on defense? We don’t really have a guy that will just light someone up.

    • Anders

      Clowney is bad ass dude on the field.
      In the secondary Calvin Pryor or Deon Buchannon can lay the hammer and Pryor can even cover as well

      • Mitchell

        Duh, forgot about Pryor. I watched some of his hits and sweet monkey were those bone jarring. He would make people afraid to cross the middle and I wouldn’t even be mad to get some 15 yard penalties.

  • shah8

    Two things:

    1) I don’t think the Eagles provided a very supportive work environment during the end of Reid’s tenure in 2011 and 2012. That tends to deflate motivation, and the quality of effort from people who persist simply because they are desperate for the work isn’t going to be the best. Look at Schiano, and all those players who have blossomed in other places over the last two years. A good work environment is crucial to success.

    2) I get the feeling that the players, and particularly their agents (as individuals who know labor laws, not just as extractive exploiters or somesuch), strongly dislike the recent labor agreement. As such, part of the effect is that many college players come into the league earlier, which has been noted in Senior Bowl coverage, but also many veterans who might otherwise play more years are retiring earlier or quitting more readily. There’s been quite a few people leaving the league for one reason or another, mostly linemen. As such, I think that expectations of pay, from DRC’s perspective, is less than what the hassle would be (and less than what we think he’d get from the open market) because DRC would always be competing against youngsters with very low rookie contract, and always be on the bubble for constant contract restructuring. There doesn’t have to be a big, flashy, strike, for there to be invidious consequences to unfavorable labor circumstances. We’re going through this in the broader society with the dixiecrats (cheap labor conservatives) in control always angling for the cheapest possible labor–which is resulting in systematically too low demand, and in places like the UK, weird productivity stats and trends.

    • anon

      well said

    • A_T_G

      I agree with everything you said, there must be some weird planetary alignment, or something. I don’t want to go in a political direction, although I even agree with you there.

      With Reid, the irony is that the unhealthy environment resulted partly from his attempts to be supportive of players, to a fault. I think the tough love he tried to show McNabb, and the rift that ensued, had an impact on him.