Posted: January 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 148 Comments »

Lots of writers are tying to figure out what lessons the Eagles can learn from Seattle and Denver. I’d like to hear some of your thoughts on what you guys take away from those teams.

I don’t think there are many specific lessons from them. Seattle has a great D and young QB. Denver has a great offense and a veteran QB. They each got to the big game in different ways.

The biggest thing for me is that both teams do what they do well. I don’t think you have to build a team a certain way. I just think you must be very good at whatever it is you try to do.

The Eagles offense was dynamic and did some amazing things this year, but they should have been even better. They must play to an even higher level in the future. That doesn’t mean more big plays necessarily. They just need to score more points and to move the ball more consistently. This can happen via the run or the pass.

It may sound odd to want more from what is already the strength of the team, but both Seattle and Denver got better at their strengths this year and that helped push them into the Super Bowl.

A little defense wouldn’t hurt either.


148 Comments on “Lessons?”

  1. 1 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 9:21 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it, and then work like hell to do those things the very best in the world.
    Both teams have a very clear identity, they don’t try to be anything other than what they are. Both teams are fantastically good at being who they are. Vision meets execution is how you win in anything, and football is no different.

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 9:57 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Great point.

  3. 3 ACViking said at 10:21 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Spot on. In the salary cap age, that’s the formula. You just don’t see teams that are pretty good on both sides if the ball winning SBs

  4. 4 Andy124 said at 10:30 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    What about Baltimore last year? I didn’t feel like their D was particularly dominant.

  5. 5 theycallmerob said at 10:38 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    After Caldwell took over as OC, their OFF stepped up. And of course, Flaccos’ s run was one of I’d not the best postseason performances of all time

  6. 6 Ark87 said at 12:13 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Typically excellent on one side with the other side flawed but complementary to the dominant side. A classic example of this is the Saints dominant offense with a defense that focused everything on turnovers to give the ball back. Or a dominant defense with the old school grinding run game on the other side.

  7. 7 TheRogerPodacter said at 9:23 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    when the season ended, i thought it was clear that we needed to go heavy on defense this offseason. but looking at these two teams, the pattern to the superbowl to me at least, is to pick offense or defense and be GREAT at it while striving for average on the other.
    it might make sense for us to find the one or two pieces on offense that can help us make the jump from a very good offense to a GREAT offense. then spend the rest of the offseason trying to upgrade what we can on defense and hope that another year in the scheme will help things as well.

  8. 8 Jack Burden said at 9:35 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    The broncos scored 26 and 24 points in their two playoff wins. That’s hardly what one would call winning with offense.

  9. 9 TheRogerPodacter said at 10:01 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    fair point!

  10. 10 Cliff said at 12:05 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Well, those point totals don’t really tell the whole story. The Broncos might have only scored 26 points against the Pats, but their offense clearly dominated for huge chunks of the game.

  11. 11 Jonathan said at 4:19 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    The Patriots and Chargers defense were averaging 21 points a game, so I would call that winning with offense.

  12. 12 Jack Burden said at 5:45 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Well the saints gave up 19 points a game, so by your logic the 24 we scored in that game was a powerhouse performance…

  13. 13 theycallmerob said at 9:02 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    points are not the only barometer. consider this: the Broncos have only punted once all postseason (0 vs. SD, 1 vs. NE). That’s imposing one’s will

  14. 14 Jack Burden said at 11:11 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Or if it was the eagles, everyone would be complaining that they were scoring field goals not touchdowns

  15. 15 Jack Burden said at 9:31 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    In addition to the obvious (Wilson and Kap and Brady underwhelming, Foles would get run out of town if he played like that) for me the lesson from these playoffs has been defense. Not a ton of 30 point performances. Everyone wants the Eagles to score 40 every week and sees the sky as falling when they don’t, but against good teams that’s probably not going to happen. What you need in those games is your defense stepping up and getting off the field.

  16. 16 Michael Winter Cho said at 10:05 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I agree, these playoffs highlighted for me just how important D is. It needs to get better. But really, just get more talent and playmakers everywhere.

  17. 17 HipDaDip said at 10:28 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    How much is the importance of D determined by the amount of contact they allow in the secondary? Maybe this year, defense seems more important because PI is going uncalled, but in years where they call games more tightly, offense is more important. Could be a sliding scale. If that is true AND the trend continues towards more contact allowed, then I’d agree the impact of a good D would be higher than a good O.

  18. 18 Media Mike said at 9:38 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Lesson #1: Don’t invest in a scrambling QB who cannot read Ds and would rather run than use his legs to buy time to make a better throw to an open reciever.

  19. 19 Michael Winter Cho said at 10:03 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    It looked like all SF had going on was Kap’s legs and they would have gotten smashed without him. I actually thought it was almost a Shah-copalypse–imagine what he would be saying if Kap won it merely on the strength of his legs and live arm.

  20. 20 Media Mike said at 10:03 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    QB running = fool’s gold.

  21. 21 A Roy said at 11:15 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Running QB, you mean…a la Randall Cunningham. QB must be able to run effectively when necessary. Brady for the TD last night, e.g.

  22. 22 ICDogg said at 3:49 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    There is nothing inherently wrong with a running QB… except that it requires development of a good passing game… of reading defenses, and of using the pocket when it’s there, to be a complete quarterback.

    So, for example, Randall II is going to be headed to college, he needs to be in a program where they won’t just have him run the read option 30 times a game.

  23. 23 A Roy said at 4:20 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    True…and in a perfect world, that would happen a lot more than it does. To my jaundiced and cynical eye, most college coaches are interested in polishing and using the skill in which you excel in order to win enough games to get the next contract or keep the gravy train rolling.

  24. 24 Jernst said at 10:41 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    It looks that way cause kap wasn’t capable of hitting “covered” WR with accurate anticipation type throws. If he could have done that he would not have even needed to run except occasionally and they would have won. Because he’s a sub standard passer he relies on his legs and it appears that he’s “putting the team on his back”

  25. 25 planetx1971 said at 11:11 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Sha-pocalypse narrowly averted. lmao

  26. 26 Cliff said at 12:08 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    But isn’t this lesson refuted by the fact that Russell Wilson won? He didn’t make many great throws either yesterday. I don’t buy in to Kap, but he was the only thing really keeping San Fran in the game yesterday.

  27. 27 Ark87 said at 12:32 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Well, one of them had to win. The QB that scrambled to throw (Wilson) instead of scrambling for first downs (Kaep) won anyway. Seems to support his claim. I saw 2 young QB’s over matched by 2 great defenses. Ultimately the one that took better care of the ball was going to win.

  28. 28 Maggie said at 4:29 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Still flogging that horse, I see.

  29. 29 Media Mike said at 9:39 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Lesson #2: When your fans (and Temple followers) are screaming to sign Terrance Knighton, DO IT!

  30. 30 austinfan said at 10:00 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Depth on defense. And getting the right fit of players, Thomas allows Seattle to play big CBs with average speed, Chancellor has the mix of physical play and short area cover skills you want in a SS. Big two gappers combined with a mix of pass rushers allows multiple fronts, and when guys like Maxwell have to come in, you don’t see a huge falloff.

    It’s also obvious that like hockey, playoff football is more physical than the regular season, they’re letting DBs get away with more contact, a WR like Maclin would disappear in a game like this, you need enough big, physical receivers to defeat press coverage (and clutching) as well as block for a power running game to wear down a physical defense.

  31. 31 Mark Sitko said at 10:18 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Seattle is not a complete team yet – Wilson struggles way too much (see the 2nd half of last week’s win) to be considered a strength. They are a great defense with a working offense. This can win the big game, but is not the best model. For my money I think we should go the Denver route – Dominant offense with a great defense. Get a few more weapons and let Foles gain experience – bring in a more imposing pass rush and some better secondary cover guys and we will be slipping right into the Denver mold…I really hope they win in 2 weeks – Peyton deserves it and they are the best built team in the league…

  32. 32 ACViking said at 10:19 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    To get to the SB you have to be really great on one side of the ball and at least average on the other side. Doesn’t matter which side. And you can’t have substandard special teams.

    But the dominant side of your team has to be as to impose its will in the opposition in the 4th quarter

  33. 33 A Roy said at 11:12 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    The greater you are on one side of the ball, the less you need on the other. Case in point: Baltimore last year. Offense was marginally adequate. Although one could argue that NY was good but not great on both sides of the ball and just “got hot” i.e. played to the very maximum of their abilities for a few games.

  34. 34 shah8 said at 1:46 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Where is the talent on our team? On offense. Which side do you think we can get up to GREAT? Offense. That’s why I don’t think, if you grant my assertion that Foles is undertalented, you can afford to have Foles running the offense, long term. If you have to play a relatively unathletic QB in a system that requires the defense to care about QB rushes in order to render the run game potent, you wind up having to take away from the passing game with a blocking TE to cope.

  35. 35 P_P_K said at 3:57 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Sorry for the down click, it was an accident. I was actually clicking on the comments box to say that you’re getting downs just out of karma!

  36. 36 Sean said at 5:42 PM on January 22nd, 2014:

    So, leading the league in rushing is not potent? What would potent be for you?

  37. 37 phillychuck said at 10:22 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    The big lesson is you’ve got to have a pass rush. Even Denver got pressure on Brady, but NE lost because they couldn’t pressure Peyton at all.

  38. 38 ACViking said at 10:25 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    That is the Andy Reid formula for winning on defense.

  39. 39 Andy124 said at 10:28 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Andy did have some things right.

  40. 40 A Roy said at 11:09 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    As an offense-minded coach Andy knew that a pass rush was the most disruptive part of the defense to him. I think that’s why he went along with the Wide 9…it was a natural extension of the 4-3 1 gap JJ had frequently played.

    I expect Kelly to strive for a dominant OLB, but he will certainly not neglect additional weapons for the offense.. especially with the number of tall WRs coming out this year.

  41. 41 P_P_K said at 3:53 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Did Peyton even have dirt on him?

  42. 42 Jonathan said at 4:29 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I like Brent Cohen’s pass rush passing window theory.


  43. 43 livingonapear said at 5:20 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I was looking at the sack numbers and saw that the Eagles had only 4 sacks fewer than the Broncos, and only 1 less than the Niners. Now, obviously sacks is not the same as preassures, but unless I can find a site that tracks preassures it’ll have to do.

    I think that we had a pretty decent pass rush, excluding the last 2-3 games, but that it wasn’t timely. I can’t tell you the number of times we would grab a sack on 2nd down, and then fail to get off the field on 3rd and long.

    That’s not to say that I don’t want a pass rusher, because that’s exactly what I want, but I don’t think we’re quite as far away as it feels.

  44. 44 ACViking said at 10:24 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    T – law:

    Your question puts on the table the recent rumor that in this draft, Kelly will be looking to build the offense even more. Sort of the bill Polian – Colts model. But what made the Colts work under Polian was Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Bob Sanders. The Eagles have no players like those three. Nor do they have a Peyton Manning at QB. At least not yet.

  45. 45 wighty said at 8:37 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    But isn’t the Kelly philosophy put up a lot of points as fast as I can on offense and put opposing teams offense into known situations so my defense can get me the ball back?

  46. 46 theycallmerob said at 10:39 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    ……we clearly need a more athletic QB

  47. 47 A Roy said at 11:03 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    good one. pshaw8 soon to agree.

  48. 48 theycallmerob said at 11:12 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Nah he’s already downvoting. I mean, did he we actually watch the AFCCG?

  49. 49 JJ_Cake said at 11:38 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I watched both games. Foles has similar size and athleticism to Brady, and Manning. If Brady has Gronk, and the NE def has Taliban and Wilifork, I think that wouldve been a much closer game.

    Wilson and Kap looked sloppy. Lynch and the Seattle blocking was the difference maker. SF has some playmakers, Boldin, Gore, Crabtree, and Davis. An accurate smart quick thinking QB could have shredded that Seattle def.

  50. 50 Andy124 said at 11:52 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Did you read the Live from Mobile thread? That would answer your question better than I can in a few words.

  51. 51 Insomniac said at 1:00 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Look he says some ridiculous shit but you’re not helping by baiting the guy. GEAGLE was ran off of 2 different sites because he was brash and obnoxious. Leave the guy alone if you can’t respect his opinion.

  52. 52 theycallmerob said at 3:32 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I’ll consider it, thanks.

  53. 53 A Roy said at 4:16 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I don’t mind GEAGLE because he’s almost always positive. It’s the Negadelphia attitude I’m sick and tired of.

  54. 54 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 6:04 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Was he run off here?

  55. 55 Insomniac said at 6:26 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I’m not sure. He did get chased away on BGN and Birds 24/7.

  56. 56 theycallmerob said at 8:53 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    from what we gathered, he was banned from 24/7 briefly. been back for months

  57. 57 gherbox said at 10:42 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I learned from Seattle that consistent use of PED’s will get you to the Super Bowl

  58. 58 jshort said at 11:11 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    PED’s…??? not familiar with the abbreviation plays ending drives? Can’t get hold of that one

  59. 59 Neil said at 11:27 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Performance enhancing drugs.

  60. 60 A Roy said at 11:32 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I wish the Eagles would employ a PED. As in Pretty Effective Defense.

  61. 61 theycallmerob said at 5:02 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I’m excited to see DJax vs. Sherman next year.

  62. 62 gherbox said at 5:31 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Oh god. I hope DJax doesnt make an ass out of himself. Mike Florio can barely contain his glee with that matchup.

  63. 63 Mac said at 10:44 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Meta question: Increase strength or strive for balance?

  64. 64 Dasdip said at 11:12 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    You increase strengths on offense because offenses determine where the ball is going. Thus, with a few unbalanced strengths, you can go to them repeatedly. See Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush of Detroit. You can also have players on offense, depending on your scheme, who are at least really good at one or two things. Again, you choose the personnel.

    You eliminate weaknesses on defense because you do not get to determine who gets picked on, and a team with an obvious weakness will get picked apart over and over. See the second half of the Patriots and Broncos game after Talib went out of the game. Adding one or two “scary” players only works if the rest of the team is truly adequate (and deep).

    So, essentially, I’m in favor of investing to a defense to the point of having absolutely no-sub par starters and backups, and then having a “captain” or two at each level. On offense, having a few subpar or one dimensional players can work so long as you have legitimate stars to which the majority of plays are directed.

  65. 65 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:28 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    i agree with what you are saying.
    looking back on our defense of this past season, what would you say about them with regards to “no sub par starters and backups”?
    the obvious answer would be Chung at S was very much sub par and a pretty big hole in our pass defense. When Wolff was back there, the D seemed much stronger, but i’m reluctant to give the rookie a good grade yet (but i am very hopeful!)

    outside of that, what was this last season’s defense missing to be just good enough all around? i mean, i’m sure we would all love to upgrade Cole to get a real pass rushing LB and maybe a NT that is more stout against the rush and some shutdown CBs, but we’re not looking for the best everywhere, right? haha

  66. 66 Anders said at 3:30 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I rather be great on offense and average on defense, than above average in both.

  67. 67 Jarvis said at 11:01 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    ESPN dropped an interesting stat this morning: This is the 5th time since the AFL/NFL merger that the #1 offense will meet the #1 defense in the superbowl. 4 out of those 5, the better defensive team one.

    That said, this is the 19th superbowl appearance for the top scoring offense, and only the 16th for the best defense.

    What does that mean for the Eagles? Well, right now we look better positioned to claim the title of top scoring team. Let’s go after it. Let’s draft/sign more wide receivers and more offensive linemen – and QB’s and HB’s while we’re at it! Let’s draft/sign more kickers. It fits Kelly’s style too. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to get that defense somewhere near the top as well…

  68. 68 Dasdip said at 11:05 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    Grabbing talented, young free agents from dysfunctional situations can work — so long as the free agent isn’t the sole source of this dysfunction (i.e., taking Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the disaster that was the Eagles’ defense).

    Reaching in a draft for players with specific skill sets/body types can work (e.g., Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson, Robert Turbin). Draftniks widely panned Seattle’s draft as the worst in the NFL prior to the start of last season. In revised history, the front office suddenly knew what they were talking about.

    Defense still matters, and using yardage as a meter stick of a team’s offense or defense is ridiculous. Passer Rating is a flawed stat, but it is an easily accessible stat that tells much more than how many yards a defense gave up. The Seahawks are first in the league in opponent’s passer rating (63.4), the 49ers are 4th (76.4), the Patriots were 9th (81.4), and the Denver Broncos were in the middle of the pack at 17th (84.5). Using better stats, such as QBR (which considers penalties, down and distance, sacks, and scrambling) may also be revealing. Essentially, a team with an average defense may require an hall of fame offense to get to the Super Bowl, but a team with a top ten passing defense can get to the Super Bowl without such luxuries.

    Having a proven home field advantage is hugely helpful, and playing to the home field’s advantages are even more key. Considering where your team will play the majority of its games is a key element of team building that some teams overlook when seeking to copy the latest winning formula. It’s akin to wearing the latest summer Miami fashions in the dead of a Michigan winter, and yet, time and again teams copy mismatched formulas. Seattle’s game is catered to one for loud sound (and thus minimal communication), its stadium’s field, and inclement weather. The fans help, but so do the personnel people and coaches.

  69. 69 Neil said at 11:28 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I think the most important takeaway from Richard Sherman’s postgame antics is that he has a long and fruitful career as a pro personnel evaluator after his playing career.

  70. 70 A Roy said at 11:44 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I thought he might become a media personality in the same vein as Warren Sapp.

  71. 71 Dave said at 11:52 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    That’s exactly how I feel about him. Seattle’s going to have their hands full trying to get him to sign any contract that is not the highest paid in the NFL for any position outside of QB. He fits the eminent “me first” persona.

  72. 72 Maggie said at 8:05 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Funny. People on this board complain that commentators outside of Philly don’t really know about the Eagles, yet here you are judging a player in another city that you know almost nothing about.

  73. 73 Anders said at 11:34 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    What I learned from Denver and Seattle is that you need to be super lucky to either have greatest QB of all time gets to become a FA or you are able to turn 5th round picks into pro bowls on consistent basis.
    Seattle is really lucky they got super stars and an okay QB after the 3rd round because oh boy do they suck a cap management (if Sherman and Wilson didnt cost under 1 mill each, they would be in serious trouble). Who the fuck pays Zach Miller 11 million in cap money?

  74. 74 Mitchell said at 1:55 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Here’s the next question to help prove your point: Who the fuck IS Zach Miller?

  75. 75 shah8 said at 1:57 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    He was pretty good in Oakland.

    Then again, he was more of the primary catcher there.

  76. 76 Anders said at 2:38 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    The guy who scored that long TD against us (with Trotter in coverage) in Oakland when we lost like 13-6 and King Dunlap couldnt handle Richard Seymour

  77. 77 JJ_Cake said at 11:43 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I think a great offense will beat a great defense on a neutral field. Seattle benefitted from home field. That game couldve gone either way, glad Seattle won though, because with Bowman out, SF wa no longer the best defense.

    Prediction, Peyton manning shreds the Seattle defense with all his Denver weapons.

    I think the Eagles are being built to have a great offense. Hope we can fix the defense to make a Super Bowl run.

  78. 78 Patrick said at 11:48 AM on January 20th, 2014:

    I disagree, I think a great defense will beat a great offense in most cases, but a great quarterback will beat both.

  79. 79 McMadden said at 12:11 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Well as an Eagles fan living in the Seattle area, this is what I’ve seen recently and at their last 2 seasons of training camps in person. Draft or acquire big players such as Sidney Rice, Sherman, etc., (re: Chip Kelly). Have real competition in training camp, Flynn vs rookie Wilson, Vick vs Foles, ring a bell? Loud music during training camp. A coach that goes rah rah rah during drills, a sight to behold.
    Hard to explain but I’ll try. To get the defense pumped up in between training camp drills. Pete Carroll would stand near the end zone and the defense would rush towards him like a stampede. There will be an even number of rows of players running past his left and right side. As players run by him in close proximity he stands and points at an individual player and says something (words of encouragement or atta boys?) and then another and another. As the players run past him the guys on the right do a U turn as the guys on the left do likewise, Pete turns around and the process is repeated. As you are standing there on the sidelines watching this seeing these big players with pads run past him, you are in absolute fear that someone will bump into him and stomp him to death. Very scary to see, but what a sight!
    By the way Eagle fan, DE Clemons is beloved in this town.

  80. 80 Mike Flick said at 12:13 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Few lessons:

    * They were the top teams from the start of the season to the end.
    * They both were good teams last year as well. 13-3 + 11-5.
    As opposed to a Ravens or Giants team that got hot at the right time. These were preseason favorites.
    * Both teams had a 1st round bye, which means one less game and home field throughout.
    * Both have a solid home field advantage.

    So it looks like two good programs that are loaded with talent. Top offense and top defense playing at home.

    We need next years team to start out fast. Getting behind early forces you to play catchup and loose out on that 1st round bye.

  81. 81 TommyLawlor said at 12:17 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    My take on the Senior Bowl weigh-in.


    Liking Jeremiah Attaochu more and more. Came in at 252 pounds. Good ROLB prospect.

  82. 82 Anders said at 12:31 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    He sounds more and more like a first round pick with only 3 sure fire 1st round pass rushers in Clowney, Barr and Mack.

  83. 83 Insomniac said at 12:47 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Now I just need to see how he performs at the combine. Boyd just feels like he’ll take the Matt Barkley free fall into a mid round pick now.

  84. 84 Ark87 said at 12:47 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    bless you

  85. 85 ICDogg said at 1:01 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    His play is nothing to sneeze at.

  86. 86 Baloophi said at 1:04 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    We need more of this.

  87. 87 Rambler said at 6:12 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    But does he have a nose for the ball?

  88. 88 Ark87 said at 7:05 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Or is he allergic to contact?

  89. 89 Mitchell said at 1:53 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Had the exact same thoughts on Telvin Smith as a safety and am really interested/hoping you will address it after you see him practice.

  90. 90 shah8 said at 2:11 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Dissappointed about Tajh Boyd’s height. 6006 is too short. You have to be otherworldly talented, Vick, Brees, Russell, in order to succeed at that height, and you’ll always face limitations to your game with that height.

  91. 91 bridgecoach said at 4:31 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Jeremiah is definitely one of the weigh-in winners. I’m very happy with his height and weight, but you have to be awed by his wingspan — 81.25 — Wow!

    Kareem Martin also looks like he may have the size and athleticism we are looking for at OLB. Just under 6’6, 272 lbs with a wingspan of 84.25! Can he play?

    Looks a lot like a bigger Adrian Hubbard! Also 6’5 7/8, 255lbs with a 813/8 wingspan.

    Van Noys 6’3.25, 244lbs and 78″ wingspan.

  92. 92 47_Ronin said at 4:56 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I like K. Martin as well, I started looking at him in depth a while back. He is disruptive, makes plays in the backfield frequently but the more I see of him the more I think he is a DE not a OLB.

  93. 93 bridgecoach said at 5:37 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    He is listed as a DE. I was hoping he might have the skill set we need/want at OLB. Looking forward to watching his week of practice.

  94. 94 theycallmerob said at 5:01 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    The Iowa TE has some mondo hands to go with that 6’6″ frame.
    I’d kind of like to see all those consonants on the back of a midnight green jersey. He and Ertz would be towers

  95. 95 Vick or Nick said at 12:18 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    They did get there differently but come on. There was a huge elephant in both games. And I mean huge.

    Pass Rush.

    Denver sacked Brady on timely occasions and pressured him throughout so much that he was missing easy throws.

    Do I even have to mention the havoc that Seattle’s front 7 produced? Yes, Kaep got some good runs and throws on them, but it sure wasn’t easy. When Seattle needed to pressure the QB, they got the pressure.

    It’s hard to do. When you know the other team is throwing it, to get pressure can be hard. Even good pressure teams struggle with this. But both Denver and Seattle came through and are on to the SuperBowl.

    It’s funny a lot of the guys aren’t necessarily household names either. Ayers has had a good season, I sure know who Knighton is now. Same with Seattle, Bennett was a monster, Avril was unblock able, McDonald was a beast. Every time you looked up a different guy was making a play. Ridiculous.

    Both Peyton and Wilson, although using different styles, were both efficient and took what the defense gave them while mixing in some shots here and there, but for the most part did not take unnecessary risks. I expected that from Peyton, not so much Wilson, but he proved me wrong

    So you want my final answer?

    Efficient QB play. Explosive Pass Rush.

  96. 96 livingonapear said at 6:06 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I said this same thing later, but I think the “timely” is the important thing. We actually had a decent number of sacks this year, but frequently they were on 2nd down, and didn’t really help on getting us off the field. Because our 3rd down d was so bad, we ended up wasting a lot of sacks.

    Brady was only sacked twice yesterday, and while Denver had good preassure throughout the game, they weren’t exactly swarming him on every play.

    I want a pass rusher in the draft, hopefully that’s our first round, but I don’t think we’re quite as dismal as it seems. Outside of the last 2-3 games where we had no pass rush, I was pleasantly surprised by the push we got on the line. It wasn’t dominant, but there was a push. Now we need someone who will command a double team and that will really pay dividends.

  97. 97 Vick or Nick said at 9:00 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    There really is no such thing as having too many pass rushers, or “fast balls” as Reid used to call em.

  98. 98 livingonapear said at 9:56 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I’m curious how much of it had to do with being “inside his head” and how much had to do with Brady knowing that he didn’t have the receivers around him to stage a comeback. Brady’s spent the entire season beating so-so teams with last minute comebacks and spackling glue, but he knew this wasn’t a so-so team.

    But either way, we still aren’t that far off the mark. People are down on our D-line right now, and I’m discouraged, but they looked really good for the middle stretch of the year. Now we have people acting like Logan is a lost cause, or Thorton is nothing more than a backup. I know we’re all in love with Pot Roast right now, but let’s not forget that it took him 4 years before he got where he is now.

    We need a disruptive piece who can get us off the field on third down. Once we have that, our secondary is going to look a lot better. Obviously I want a safety, and we should pick up a FA, but we are close.

  99. 99 Vick or Nick said at 7:36 PM on January 21st, 2014:

    Very good point. I agree Brady did not have the weapons. They should have never let Welker walk. Or if they did, they couldn’t find as good replacements. They made-do with mediocre.

    I agree. Brady is smart enough to realize that the guys he was throwing to were a league below Manning’s targets. It was a lost cause.

    Patriots can only blame themselves. Giving up 26 to the Broncos is not a bad defensive effort. (Ask the Eagles). But NE offense just couldn’t get it going.

    That’s the price you pay for being frugal at the wrong time. (Ask Banner about B Dawk).

  100. 100 suthrneagle said at 10:25 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Brady missed a couple passes early…had nothing to do with him being `taken out of the game`…and the other bad passes were not due to pressure. He just played badly.

  101. 101 Vick or Nick said at 7:33 PM on January 21st, 2014:

    This isn’t the first time. Brady def felt the pressure even when it wasn’t there. Thats what happens when you are getting pressure. Even when you don’t, QBs become ancy. It’s just my opinion.

    Everyone knows Tom didn’t play well. But you just don’t get to Brady’s level and play badly. The Broncos pass rush had a lot to do with that.

  102. 102 Weapon Y said at 12:53 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    There are a ton of parallels between the Eagles, Seahawks, and 49ers. Head coaches from PAC-12 schools, young quarterbacks who weren’t first rounders and have cheap contracts, use of the read option, hybrid defenses. Granted the Eagles defense is nowhere near as good as the Seahawks’ or 49ers’. They do, however, have a window of opportunity now while they don’t have to pay Foles big bucks to stock up on better defensive players. Maybe you add one more offensive weapon, but that’s it. For the offensive side of the ball, Chip just needs more continuity with Foles, Shady, DeSean, Ertz, Celek, Cooper (and/or the return of Maclin). I guess one big factor is how much cap room the Eagles have, and I don’t know what that total is. Some veterans with big contracts like Cole, Herremans, Ryans, and Cary Williams will need to be phased out to get enough space to pull off an overhaul. Not necessarily now, but soon.

  103. 103 Insomniac said at 12:54 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    One major difference is that they drafted well and we didn’t.

  104. 104 Insomniac said at 1:06 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    They didn’t exactly draft well but they had enough hits on later round studs to make their teams solid. We haven’t had that success since Trent Cole and maybe Foles/Boykin.

  105. 105 Weapon Y said at 4:22 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    The Reid Eagles didnt draft well. So far it looks like Chip’s done okay with his first draft.

  106. 106 A Roy said at 4:23 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    So you’re insinuating the Reno Mahe wasn’t a HOF player?

  107. 107 austinfan said at 7:13 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Actually, SF drafted worse than the Eagles, they were just bad so long they had lots of high draft picks. But they blew a bunch of them.

  108. 108 Baloophi said at 12:56 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Here’s what I learned: Win enough games in the regular season to make it to the playoffs (preferably with a bye and home-field), and then score more points than the opposition in each game.

    It seems like every year we try to make universal truths about winning based on the teams that advance to the Super Bowl. One year it was a dominant D-line and helmet-catching receivers, another year it’s leaders on defense, another year it’s athletic tight ends…

    As others have said, it seems more important to make a plan and stick to it rather than chase the ever-shifting perceptions of what the “new” NFL is all about. To me (and based on what our team appears to be and also the strengths of our coach), that suggests a best player available approach with a slight tilt towards the offense. We’re a McCoy chinstrap/hamstring away from losing our dynamic edge in the run game and – unsexy though it may be – the offensive line could use some depth and youth… I’m nervous to see what happens if Kelce goes down and Peters and Herremans suddenly and rapidly age like the guy who chooses poorly in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    On the pass-catching front we might lose one or both of Cooper and Maclin, and while Jackson just had a career year, you have to think we’re nearing, entering, or perhaps even already in his peak years.

    All of this is to say that we may not be as set as we think on that side of the ball. While I feel our coach gives us a strategic edge, I’d rather not have to find out what he can do with Matthew Tucker running the rock behind Michael Bamiro and Jeff Maehl blocking downfield.

  109. 109 Tumtum said at 4:15 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I couldn’t agree with you on the line front more. If there is somehow an amazing tackle prospect available at 22, how do you turn that down? Especially with a run first team.

    What I more would like to see is a guard in the 2-4th, and a developmental RT tackle as well, though I guess 5th would be okay for that. I would be pretty stoked with a mauling guard in round 3.

  110. 110 Rambler said at 6:23 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Thankfully, the helmet-catching receiver was just a short fad. I agree with your point on the eternal quest to find the “universal truth” on getting to the Super Bowl… I really do not believe there is one set way to do it. I tend to think that having one side of the ball being dominant, and the other side being decent might be the best way to go. But there are always exceptions. I do think that Chip will invest in our offense this off season, because as you say, one injury can be devastating. Its just nice to have confidence in the current regime to do their best in enhancing this team. I look forward to seeing Chip and Howie’s strategy over the next several months.

  111. 111 Insomniac said at 1:29 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Demaryius Thomas – WR (draft).
    Terrance Knighton – NT (cheap FA)
    Julius Thomas – TE (draft)
    Richard Sherman – CB (draft)
    Aqib Talib – CB (traded for a 4th round pick)
    Marshawn Lynch – RB (traded for a 4th round pick + conditional picks)
    Cliff Avril – DE (FA)
    NaVorro Bowman – ILB (draft)
    Aldon Smith – OLB (draft)
    Mike Iupati – OG (draft)
    Peyton Manning – QB (FA)
    LeGarrette Blount – (traded for a RB + 7th pick)

    Just listing a few players that were on the roster on the teams playing last night and how they were acquired. We need to either suck for a few years, trade for troubled + talented players, and hit on later round players to get to the conference games.

  112. 112 Tumtum said at 4:10 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    To name a few of the guys you listed….
    D.T – pick 22
    Iupati – pick 17
    Julius Thomas – pick 142
    Richard Sherman – pick 152

    I think if they just make good decisions and stay the course they should be able to improve and make it there. Of course you never know in the NFL.

  113. 113 Mac said at 5:00 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    And, let’s not overlook the importance of the coaching staff’s ability to develop the talent into better players and a cohesive unit.

  114. 114 47_Ronin said at 5:13 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I think a big point that Tommy did not mention is that both Seattle and Denver know who they are as teams and have acquired players to fit their respective identities. Pete Carroll was hired before the GM Schneider and they have worked well to build that roster. What I take away from Seattle and Denver is that you should know what you want to be and draft/acquire players that fit your identity.

  115. 115 Mitchell said at 1:47 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Just watched Ladler’s tape from ’12 because there was no ’13. I came away impressed for a guy to get in the mid rounds. He did have 5 takeaways this year so he is a bit of a playmaker. Like Tommy said he isn’t super skilled in anyone area but he does tackle well from what I could tell and sometimes even packed a little pop. Hell, I even saw him defend a crossing route on one play. I’ll be interested to see what D3FB thinks.

  116. 116 Mitchell said at 2:17 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Just watched some Jean-Baptiste and liked what I say also. Huge size and has decent ball skills. Someone was harping on his tackling ability but I don’t see it, especially for a CB. Still looks like more and more to trade back in this draft.

  117. 117 D3FB said at 2:22 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Ladler is my dude. He has a nice combination of skills to play the modern safety position which requires: man coverage, deep zone and in the box play. I’ve watched his 13 stuff by getting creative, ie watching Andre Hal tape and studying Ladler instead, as well as watching opposing offensive players.

  118. 118 Mitchell said at 2:25 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    There we go! We can finally agree on a player lol. I really think his stock will rise the closer to May we get. Really liked everything he had to offer and I was trying to see his measureables for the Senior Bowl but can’t find them.

  119. 119 GENETiC-FREAK said at 3:47 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    SJB needs work on that arm tackling.. Ladler reminds me of Nate Allen pre injury pre Wide 9.

  120. 120 Mitchell said at 6:15 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Yeh, he needs to work on tackling but I don’t see him as a liability. Has to be just as if not almost as good as most cb’s in the league. Can you imagine if we hauled in Ladler and Pryor!! *head explosion*

  121. 121 D3FB said at 8:28 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Then we’d have a solid all around safety with room to grow, and a freakishly athletic one who can’t tackle and will draw penalties!

  122. 122 Mitchell said at 9:51 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Thoughts on Keith McGill from Utah. Obviously a huge guy who looked like played a lot of bail coverage but I would imagine he is big enough to jam guys at the line too. Was hard for him to get off blocks, but that is obviously something than can be coached. Guy is a pass defense machine and good luck fitting one to the wideout down the side line. Problem is he doesn’t have good hand to get those ints. I watched the game against Arizona state and he probably could have had 3 ints but missed 2 easy ones for sure.

    Shit, if we can do it, draft Baptiste and McGill in the later rounds. Starting to put my draft list together but, I’m not real savvy on guard/tackle play and I think it would be wise to draft projectable left tackle for the future.

  123. 123 D3FB said at 11:55 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Turns 25 in March. I don’t know that I see 4.4 on film. Plays alot of off coverages so its hard to get a great feel for him. Not a huge fan though. I think he gets drafted before the point where he becomes valuable. SJB is another hard one. I go back and forth on him. I don’t like him in the second which is where he will go. Also alot of the Nebraska guys on twitter feel he hasn’t progressed since he moved to corner.
    As far as OL, well I would sure as hell hope I know a thing or two about the position, haha. You want a day 3 tackle who needs to sit for a year and then can play for a decade on either side? Justin Britt. Kid is a stud. Only major holes in his game are weight/stregnth related, and a few technical adjustments with his punch in pass protection.
    Other OL I really like for the Eagles in no particular order: Zach Martin, Billy Turner, Wesley Johnson, James Hurst, Brandon Linder.

  124. 124 Mitchell said at 1:05 AM on January 21st, 2014:

    mmm 25 is march is not that appealing. If he drops low enough he is worth a shot. There are a ton of tall corners out there though.

  125. 125 Arby1 said at 1:47 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    2 more drafts like the last 2 and we’ll have the same talent level as those teams.

  126. 126 A Roy said at 2:19 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    60’s vernacular – right on
    70’s – roger that
    80’s – that’s a big 10-4
    90’s – fer shizzle
    00’s – from your mouth to God’s ear
    10’s – I dunno, I’m getting too old. Just make it happen !

  127. 127 Guest said at 3:32 PM on January 20th, 2014:


  128. 128 Arby1 said at 3:49 PM on January 20th, 2014:


  129. 129 Tumtum said at 4:17 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    10s – YOLO!

  130. 130 A Roy said at 4:21 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    WTF is YOLO?

  131. 131 Mac said at 4:58 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I think it has something to do with pocket flan.

  132. 132 Andy124 said at 11:36 AM on January 21st, 2014:

    you only live once

  133. 133 cliff henny said at 2:30 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    that happens, might be passing them by end of ’15. SF and SEA’s caps arent the greatest and both have serious expenses coming. simply cant keep it all, while Eagles will be able to pick and choose who they keep and add. right now 20m under, by time jax peters ryans and maybe celek get restructured/extended, couple cuts like benn chung casey (maybe), Eagles can get close to 30-35m-regardless of the who’s/how’s, Eagles can easily create more space. then, ’15s looks even better cause Williams come off and frees 7m, cole fress 8m, herremann is 3m and graham is a couple M. sure SF and SEA will stay very good for next year or two, but much past that, gets really tough. nfl just doesnt let teams have 5/6 yr runs very often. guess alot of SF/SEA is how sold you are on qb, plus salaries compared to foles/salary.

  134. 134 SteveH said at 2:33 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Be better than the other team, and pay off the zebras.

  135. 135 A_T_G said at 3:08 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Well, if the best offense and best defense each made to the SB, I know it is no guarantee, but we should get both next year, just to play it safe.

  136. 136 ICDogg said at 3:30 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I think San Diego had close to that one year, but fell apart because of special teams.

    Which actually leads me to a serious point… the most bang for the buck, the most improvement the Eagles can make for a minimal investment that would help get us to another level is for special teams.

  137. 137 Tumtum said at 4:02 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    That was the year Rivers got hurt and and Volek played the AFC championship game, right? Good ole’ gee wiz Norm could never catch a break.

  138. 138 RobNE said at 4:55 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Didn’t the 49ers have both one year and then the Vikings went in and beat them in the 49ers’ first playoff game. 1987-88 team.

  139. 139 SteveH said at 3:11 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    In other news, Bill Belicheck is turning into one of the whiniest coaches in the league. Opens his presser with the Welker block on Talib (which looked pretty clean so far as blocks go to me) and nevermind that Edelman had done almost the exact same thing to DRC just minutes earlier in the game. But of course when Bill’s team does it it’s not dirty. Complained earlier in the year how new rules lead to more injuries, despite that being statistically incorrect. What he meant to say was my team has a lot of injuries so there must be something wrong. Complained about the penalty at the end of the Jets game, but I didn’t hear him complaining about officiating when his OT bear hugged the Saints defender in the ground at the end of that game on the game winning play. Strangely silent in that moment.

    Not surprising that he’s a sore loser, but its really been a banner year for him.

  140. 140 RobNE said at 4:05 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Agree with all this. I so hope that he will never win another SB since Spygate. Each year I am terrified but so far so good. I wonder how many years he and Brady have left. It was nice to see Brady over throw a couple yesterday. If the roles were switched all we would read is about how Manning chokes in big games.

    I’d love to see those Spygate tapes, oh that’s right they were destroyed.

  141. 141 SteveH said at 6:24 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I’m telling you, the new narrative is Brady can’t beat Peyton outside of Foxboro in the playoffs. It’s just as silly as the Peyton can’t beat Brady in Foxboro in the playoffs, but it won’t stick I’m sure. Thus is the danger of inferring absolutes from ridiculously small sample sizes.

    The Brady and Belicheck in the postseason narrative has long since been turned on its head, they’re 8-8 in the post spygate era, pretty much even with Peyton’s career postseason win %.

  142. 142 Anders said at 3:25 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Tommy, really interested in hearing your updated opinion on KVN. My twitter account is full of great things about him down in Mobile

  143. 143 ACViking said at 4:21 PM on January 20th, 2014:


    What are you seeing re: KVN?

  144. 144 Anders said at 6:37 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Sound like he looked explosive and great at covering rbs and even tes. Might still be more of a strong side olb or a big ilb

  145. 145 theycallmerob said at 8:55 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    yea….unfortunately the more I see him play, the more I think he fits as a 43 SAM more than a 34 OLB. Great college player, but I’ve always questioned how he’d produce in the NFL (particularly in our scheme). Block shedding is not his strongest skill, and I’d say there are much better 34 ILB prospects to consider before hoping to transition KVN to that role

  146. 146 Weapon Y said at 4:30 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    I watched tape of some of the OLBs. I say stay far, far away from Barr. He got driven off te ball 5 yards and pancakes multiple times by a tight end without help. Mack has the best technique, but I think he lacks explosiveness or strength. Van Noy has a very high ceiling due to his strength and explosiveness. His technique is pretty good, but he could use some refinement on his hand-moves. Then, because of recent rumors, I went back to compare them to Dion Jordan. I’ll give a slight edge to Jordan over Van Noy because of his superior athleticism and hand-moves. I wasn’t sold on Jordan the past year, but I now think I’d give up the first round pick to get him if I had the chance. Possibly a little more too like a 5th round draft pick and a square-peg-round-hole player (Graham, Curry).

  147. 147 GermanEagle said at 5:34 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    The Eagles just need a ‘whoo whaa I got ya all in check’ mentality like the one Richard Sherman aka Busta Rhymes Jr disposed in his sideline interview right after the game.

  148. 148 quest4fire said at 9:02 PM on January 20th, 2014:

    Both teams did very well with drafting and in free agency. The Head Coaches are proven. Carroll won Championships in college and Fox been to the Super Bowl. Denver did well with Tebow, had a running game that was effective. Getting Peyton was a major coup. Both play in weather/climate adverse outdoor stadiums which helps with home field advantage.