What’s Going on at RB?

Posted: May 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 163 Comments »

LeSean McCoy led the NFL in rushing in 2013. It then seemed somewhat odd that the Eagles showed interest in RB prospects Carlos Hyde and Tre Mason, 2 of the top RBs in the recent draft class. That led me to believe the Eagles wanted to add a runner somewhere in the draft.

Oops.

The Eagles traded backup Bryce Brown and then didn’t draft anyone. Instead of bolstering or improving the unit, the group weaker. Or maybe “less talented” would be a better description. No one can argue that Brown has tremendous potential. At the same time, his lack of consistency drove everyone crazy.

The Eagles did add a pair of talented UDFA runners over the weekend. And then we got more news on Thursday night.

Smith is a player I liked back in 2012. Here is something I wrote about him back then.

Michael Smith is a really interesting player.  He split time at RB and FB.  Normally that’s not a big deal, but Smith is just 5’8, 205.  He doesn’t play small.  There are plays when he will act as a lead blocker.  And Smith has some pop.  Good cut blocker.  Tough guy.

Don’t think of him as some grinder, overachiever either.  Smith had a great showing at the USU Pro Day.  The numbers don’t come from a great source (local media), but reports say Smith ran 4.35.  He also had a 40.5 VJ and 10’6″ BJ.  Those are great numbers if accurate.  Smith is a very interesting late round target.  He can run, catch, and block.  Should be an excellent STer.  Reminds me of former Eagle/Charger RB Eldra Buckley, except that Buckley only ran about a 4.50.  Smith has the speed to be a good role player on offense.  Buckley was just an effort guy.

Smith hasn’t panned out in the NFL. He has played in one NFL game and has 3 KORs to show for that. He has yet to run the ball or catch a pass. I doubt he would come to Philly and magically become a star, but he would be a good fit for the offense and certainly has NFL athletic ability. He’s absolutely worth a look. Smith did miss the 2013 season due to an injury to a ligament in his foot. You hope he’s healthy now, but do wonder why Tampa cut him instead of seeing if he could pan out for them.

Shady McCoy is the only certainty when it comes to discussing the RB situation.

Darren Sproles came over in a trade and it will be exciting to see how the team uses him, but he will be a limited runner. He has never had more than 93 carries in a season. Sproles is a receiver, returner and then a runner.

Chris Polk started to emerge last year. By the end of the season, Polk was getting snaps as the primary backup. He is completely healthy and knows the offense. This will be his chance to really take hold of the backup spot and show that he deserves regular touches.

A 1-2-3 punch of McCoy-Polk-Sproles is just fine.

The question is what happens if McCoy gets hurt for more than a game or two. Could Polk and Sproles keep the offense going? Chip Kelly wants to run the ball. He’s not going to pull an Andy Reid and start throwing 42 passes a game. Kelly needs the backup RBs to be able to keep the offense moving on the ground. This is where Sproles is a bit awkward. You can’t count on him for more than a few carries. Polk would have to shine and it is possible another RB would get touches.

Matt Tucker is a bit of a mystery man. He looked good in the spring, but was less impressive in the preseason games. He finished with 25 carries for 89 yards. His long run was 12 yards. Tucker caught 3 passes. Tucker spent time on the practice squad and roster during the year, but didn’t get any touches. He could prove to be a good #4 RB, but needs to stay focused. Some young guys struggle with that.

As for the UDFAs, I like Henry Josey. I don’t know that I ever see him as a starter in the NFL, but he’s got the skills to be a role player.

Josey has some spring in his step. He is a N-S runner that shows pretty good vision. He is able to make one-cut and then get upfield, which is what Chip Kelly wants to see. Josey isn’t going to dance. He’s 5-8, 194, which is similar to Charlie Garner’s size. And Josey ran 4.43 at the Combine so he can deliver big plays when he gets into open space.

David Fluellen is 5-11, 224. He only runs 4.7 and you see that on his tape.

If you want to feel better about him, watch his highlights.

Fluellen is a N-S runner, which suits his body type and athleticism. At his best, he looks quick in traffic and runs to daylight. At his worst, he looks slow on the field and you wonder if NFL defenders will just eat him up.

The Eagles have a solid set of RBs. McCoy is as good as it gets, but after that things are less certain. The hope is that Polk will be at the best of his young career. That will help a lot. Can Tucker take the next step and really challenge for a roster spot? Can Josey come in and play well enough to be in the mix for a roster spot or practice squad spot? If Michael Smith signs, can he stay healthy and can he play well enough to challenge for a spot?

It is possible that the Eagles will be shopping for RB help by mid-August or it could turn out to be one of the stronger positions on the team. It really depends on how the young guys do.

_


  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Does Kelly’s system make the RB position more important, or less given that it allows runners bigger lanes? Can almost any RB have success?
    I vote yes.

    • Sconces

      I vote no

    • D3FB

      Not all, and not as much as Shady, but alot of backs could be successful in the scheme. It’s a zone running scheme, which has produced far more successful runners who were no names, in comparison to the I-form “pro style” run game. The second thing is that Kelly’s offense has alot of packaged plays, where it’s a simple math game. You put seven in the box, great we’ll throw a quick out or bubble screen. You leave six in the box, well we can account for everyone and put a hat on a hat and run the ball at you. Running backs don’t have to deal with loaded boxes.

    • Poppi

      No- Shady is the almost second coming of Barry Sanders, ok, not quite as good, but definitely in the same class. not replaceable

    • stephenstempo

      Yes. But with a caveat. I think Kelly’s system is great for running backs. Average backs can get great results. The thing is we have an elite back. It’s like doubling down. Our elite back gets extraordinary results in this system.

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    If Eagles didnt have Shady at the back i think this team would have struggled with the run n had alot more TFL as well.. How many times Shady juked someone in the backfield or slipped through.. Any other RB wouldnt be so lucky.. Execution up front is where it all starts

    • George

      also imagine all the times he COULD have hit the hole but decided to hit the homerun and lost 5? it evens out, but yes, there would be a drop in production

      • A_T_G

        He got greedy a few times that he shouldn’t have, but much less this past season than the seasons before. And I think you are selling Shady short saying that they even out. There was a lot more magic than mistakes.

  • Greg Richards

    From what I remember from last preseason, Tucker was solid. A lot of his carries came in short-yardage situations where only a yard or two was needed and he picked up the first down. That made his YPC unimpressive, but to me he looked good in the preseason games.

  • A_T_G

    If Josey turns into something, and if he screams in celebration after scoring touchdowns, do you think we can get commentators to announce, “And into the end zone, the Outlaw, Josie wails!”

    • D3Center

      Can we refer to him and the rest of the running backs as Josie and the Pussycats?

      • A_T_G

        Only if it means the cheerleaders start dressing like The Pussycat Dolls.

        • D3Center

          I would not argue with that

    • SvelteGodzilla

      I think he actually did go by The Outlaw at Mizzou

  • D3Center

    The reason I don’t think we got weaker by trading Bryce is that I think he lacked one of the most important traits for a running back in Chip’s or any zone running system, which is vision. From watching the games I feel like Bryce rarely saw the holes or was too impatient to wait for them to open and anticipate where they’d be. I think this led to his decline in production and ineffectiveness or inconsistency last year.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Thank you. I’ve often said that Bryce shined when he could take a “designed” outside run around the corner or just inside a pulling tackle.

    • Anders

      Yea Brown is more of a power run scheme RB than a zone RB.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    I’m glad Tommy is writing about this because this was a position I was hoping to get some help in the draft. No, not because I’m trying to supplant Shady. But rather because of how important Shady was to this team’s success last year. My worry is that if he were to go down for any extended period of time, we’d be in deep trouble. I’m not so optimistic that a bunch of career backups or unknowns will be able to handle the load. Over at Birds 24/7 there was a commenter that brought up the possibility of trading for Andre Johnson, who wants to go to a winner. I’d be more inclined to look for a good backup RB that could ball us out in a jam, or take some touches off Shady’s plate.

    • GEAGLE

      We won’t want anything to do with Andre Johnson and his ridiculuos contract….why would we? We have an arsenal of young explosive pass catchers..no need to bring an expensive old man into the fold…but I wouldnt be upset, Dre one pf my favorite pros, I just don’t see it as likely

      • A_T_G

        I agree that I don’t think he ends up with us, but bringing in a hard-working pro who carries the message that winning isn’t a given in the NFL and opportunity passes quickly has value.

        • Corry

          Especially if he reworks his contract. Also, he’s a former Texan. How could the front office NOT be intrigued by adding yet another one?

      • Jerry Pomroy

        He supposedly is willing to rework his contract. I don’t see it as likely either. I’d rather see them target a more proven RB that can play behind Shady. Doesn’t have to be immediately. I can wait until TC & preseason roster cuts so that we can see what we’ve got in Polk, Tucker & maybe Fluellen & Josey (I actually like Fluellen more than Josey honestly). But I think they’d be silly not to keep their eyes wide open on the position.

        Just seems odd to me that we’re an offense heavily predicated on the run (and selling run) & we’ve gone two drafts with the new coach and not a single RB selected (not even in the later rds). I know we have Shady. But I’d love to have his insurance policy on the roster, spelling him and taking away some touches to keep him fresh & healthy.

  • Weapon Y

    I interpreted trading Bryce Brown as a vote of confidence in Chris Polk. If he can’t be a capable backup, the Eagles will have a serious depth problem at the position. Sproles isn’t a true RB and no one else has shown any evidence that they can adequately fill in for Shady. The Eagles front office needed to trust Polk immensely to make that trade.

    • CTAZPA

      You’re right that we don’t have evidence that anyone on the roster could replace Shady. I’m not sure, however, that trading Brown shows faith in Polk. I think the FO believes that there are a lot of marginal runners out there. Brown was one of them, but he was worth more value to someone else, so they cashed in.

      Nobody replaces Shady. Heck, Polk, Brown and Tucker are all unlikely to be in the league in 3-5 years. I think the Eagles like Polk, but they know he’s got limits the same as all fungible RBs.

    • phillychuck

      It’s a vote of confidence in Polk and Tucker. Kelly made several comments about Tucker being in the best shape of all the backs this offseason. I think they like him a lot.

  • shah8

    The problem is if Shady goes down. Neither Polk nor Sproles are truly feature backs.

    And if the run game goes down, then everyone will do a suffocating zone rather than man or complex man-zone hybrids.

  • Jernst

    I am more worried about back up RB than any other position on the team. Our offense is built entirely around Shady and the running game. He goes down we are SCREWED

    • ICDogg

      Really? I find it one of the least worrisome positions on the team.

      • Jernst

        If Shady stays healthy were fine for this year, but still cutting his career short by not being able to lighten his load with a decent #2 RB. If he goes down our entire offense grinds to a halt. His ability to be a threat in the run game dictates the entire way defenses defend our offense. Take that away and things can get hairy real quick.

        • ICDogg

          Sure, but there are a lot of positions you could make a similar argument for. Most notably QB, but also on the O line, at ILB, in the secondary… at least at RB you have a decent shot at filling the role or changing up the offense to account for what you have.

          • Jernst

            I agree with you for sure. A lot of positions are in the same position (for lack of a better word). Qb, of course, I’d be scared if Foles went down, but Sanchez has taken two run first teams to the AFCCG so I don’t think all is lost unless Foles would be out the rest of the season. Oline, I actually have some faith in Bamiro and Tobin and Kelly. As we saw last year when Peters went down, we still stayed afloat. ILB, I have ultimate confidence in Goode, as I’ve watched him excel in spot playing time over a game or two. In the secondary, if a started went down, like they did last year, we have Carroll, Boykin, Jenkins and Watkins that can all move around. I’m not as concerned. If Shady goes down, I see a collapse of our entire offense. If he doesn’t go down, I see us unfortunately, shortening the career of the greatest running back in eagles history. I just don’t like the set up.

  • Cafone

    LeSean McCoy’s salary goes from 3 million this past season to almost 8 million next year, then shoots up beyond 10 million in 2015. Why should we assume he won’t get the DeSean Jackson treatment next offseason? Sure, he’s awesome, but we also constantly hear about how Chip Kelly desires a more N-S runner that makes fewer cuts. Why should we assume Chip Kelly doesn’t think he can replace LeSean McCoy’s production with a 2nd rounder from a lesser SEC school?

    • andy

      Because McCoy shows up in big games. And has the complete package at RB, whereas Desean isn’t. Just my two cents.

      • Poppi

        shady is worth ten times any receiver

    • Anders

      Because McCoy shows up to work every day? Because McCoy is the best or at minimum 2nd best RB in the NFL? Its not like McCoy lacks size and McCoy has really improved running N-S as you do not score as many TDs as he did in 2011 without running N-S

    • GEAGLE

      No comment

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Wow. I just don’t think you can include DJax & Shady in the same conversation as far as value to the team. Not only is Shady the best RB in the league, but he’s a special talent that doesn’t come along often. You could argue, a once in a decade type player.

      • Anders

        Also looking at the WRs on the roster, in general Kelly values size and ability to beat man coverage. Jackson could beat man coverage, but he did struggle much more against that than Cooper who is a lesser talent.

        • D3Center

          Which also supports Chip’s statement that releasing Desean was a football decision. No matter what offense you run or what measurable a you’d like cutting Shady is never a smart football decision at least while he’s in his prime.

  • andy

    I may be in the minority, but I really like Polk. Liked him the year he came out, think he runs with power and confidence. Has seemed to get better over time too, which suggests he works at it. I think we are certainly a much worse team without McCoy, but I think Polk would do just fine with Sproles spelling him on 3rd down.

    • Media Mike

      Polk doesn’t need to come off of the field on 3rd down either. He’s a capeble pass blocker and has adaquate hands if he needs to catch a pass. Polk isn’t even close to Shady, but I think we could be functional with him starting for 2 or 3 games if need be.

  • SteveH

    Anyone else read the title and think, Oh my god, they released shady!

  • 76mustang

    For what it’s worth, LaMichael James is likely to be released from the Niners – he would make a good backup and special teams addition if/when it happens.

    • Dominik

      If you wouldn’t have brought it up, I would have. Think that’s Rosemans and Kellys plan. Just hope we don’t give up a draft pick (at least not more than a 7th rounder) to bring him here.

      Shady and Sproles are obv. roster locks, I think we’ll go with 4 on the 53 roster, since Sproles really isn’t a true RB (we could go with 5 WR instead, since Sproles will play a lot out of the slot, with Smith, Benn or Maehl as WR #5). That leaves two roster spots open for two out of Polk, Tucker, James (?), Josey, with Polk being the clear favourite to land one of the two. Let the rest battle it out, Tucker and Josey should be PS eligible, may the best of the two win the PS spot, if they don’t box out James.

      I watched the Oregon national championship game from 2010 last night (some might call it nerdy, my girlfriend sure does, for me, it’s a Chip-Kelly-history lesson) and James was a great, great college RB. I was very surprised he only ran a 4.45. He looks like a sub-4.4 runner on tape for me (which could be totally wrong, I just thought he looked extremely fast).

  • D3FB

    I think one thing people forget is Polk was considered on the the top 4 or 5 backs in the 2012 draft. It was injuries that knocked him out of the draft. He’s had two years to get healthy and adjust to the NFL. He’s a more than capable complementary back and should be able to lead a rotation of backs if anything happens to Shady for a couple of games. Now if Shady gets catastrophically hurt the first week of the season, then we are probably going to struggle, but any team that loses their best player who is arguably the top player at his position is going to struggle. It wouldn’t matter who the backup was at that point.

    • D3FB

      Some Polk college Highlights.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgE_wfHsDOc

    • Anders

      His health is still a problem. He just had another shoulder surgery this year

      • Jerry Pomroy

        That’s my worry. He has had chronic shoulder problems. I have the same problem he has in my left shoulder. It works, but I am limited in what I can and cannot do. Blew mine out doing bench presses. I still work out, but again I am very limited on that side. Cannot bench using a barbell. Way too uncomfortable. Dumbbells only. Have to reduce weight on that side for any type of shoulder exercises. And it was about 7yrs ago that I injured it.

        • Always Hopeful

          I really like Polk. Saw lots of his games at UW. Don’t trust his shoulder. Big reason why he was a UDFA. However, if he can stay healthy, he would be a good stop gap option for 1-2 games.

    • Jernst

      Modern medicine is amazing, but some people come back from devastating injuries while others don’t come back from seemingly lesser problems and none of us know for sure who will be who. Ikeguano (or however u spell it) was also a top level rookie prior to his injury. Just saying I’d feel a lot better if our offense wasn’t completely built around a position that we are quite thin at.

    • Nicodemus_09

      I know that every single Eagle that took the field vs the Bears last year looked like an ALL-PRO (And it was GLORIOUS).So this probably isn’t the best example, but in that game in particular, it was really hard not to notice Polk’s effort. The sequence that comes to mind was right after he plowed over a defender on the way to a 10 yd TD, on the ensuing kick off he flew down the field & leveled their returner. He was so amped up. It was really hard not to notice his outstanding effort. I clearly remember saying to my cat “This guy may not be a burner, but this guy is really comin’ on!” My cat yawned in clear agreement. *Side note: I’d send any fan a $40 “DONATION” in ADVANCE for a copy of that game! No joke, I wanna own that game so badly!!*

      • Anders

        Polk was a great gunner on ST for us and while I liked Brown more because of his talent, I can see why we have kept Polk and traded Brown

      • Dominik

        “I’d send any fan a $40 “DONATION” in ADVANCE for a copy of that game! No joke, I wanna own that game so badly!!*”

        I don’t think you have to invest 40$ for that. If I’d life in the States, you could have it for shipping costs. Shipping costs from Europe would be uneconomical, though.

        There must be some users here who life in the States who’d be willing to send it to you.

      • Bob Scatchard

        I have the Eagles – Bears game on my DirectTV recorder and would be glad to send you a copy….I’m not super “tech savvy” so I’m not sure of the best way to get it to you. E-mail me at rlscatch@earthlink.net if you want to discuss ideas….

      • D3FB

        My favorite Polk play of last year comes at the :30 second mark

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qJKzf-i54s

  • Nicodemus_09

    After the departure of Bryce I’ve felt pretty nervous as well thinking of the idea (god forbid) of Shady missing any time due to injury. I don’t see Polk carrying the load as much as I like him. And behind him feels to me like a bunch of question marks. Even Sproles, given all his other projected responsibilities/propensity to be more of a pass catcher as well as the dreaded age/mileage factor. Does anyone else here think that pulling off a trade for the openly available, former Kelly disciple LaMichael James might just be a good idea for offensive security as well as a place he’d likely love to play? Not to mention I always saw him as a legit threat used the right way. Something tells me Chip would have zero issue knowing how to scheme the living day lights out of him. I for one, would put head to pillow feeling pretty good about picking this kid up for (hopefully) a reasonable pick next year. Am I alone in this thinking?

    • D3FB

      I don’t know that you would have to trade for James. He’s going to get cut by the niners at the end of camp, he’s their fifth back behind Gore, Lattimer, Hyde, and Hunter. He has a whopping 239 combined yards and 0 touchdowns. He hasn’t done anything as a return specialist and Sproles, Huff, and Josey all can have those duties. If at the end of camp the team doesn’t like what they have then sure give the niners a sevenrh round pick to keep him off the waiver wire but for now see what the young kids can do. He’s basically the same back as Josey, except James has a cap figure of around $1 million and Josey will make league minimum.

      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2014/profiles/henry-josey?id=2543615

      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2012/profiles/lamichael-james?id=2533036

      • Nicodemus_09

        Well, I actually thought I had a good idea for a minute until you turned it into the literary version of the Valentines Day massacre. Lol: ) As usual, all your reasoning is very sound, so I’ll now take my idea & carry it away holding it with my tail that is thoroughly tucked between my legs. This is why I so rarely comment on here. I’ve got the passion, just not the numbers, info & stats of guys like you. This comment thread is really lucky to have you & others like you man. Thanks for the info. I think I’ll go back to just being an avid reader/dumb farmer/combat vet I am & leave the expert opinions to the, well, experts. I’ll stick to contributing my invaluable “Go Birds” contributions lmfao. BTW, I have to head out to the field to plow @ 5. What in the Sam hell are you doing up bro??

        • D3FB

          Don’t let me scare you off, (Combat Vet>Division 3 football player, thanks for your service). The more opinions on here the better. Trust me in the coming months there will be a several dozen articles by journalists who are paid for their thoughts saying the exact same thing. It’s not the craziest idea. BGN will likely have four different polls, and six articles on the subject and Jimmy Bama will likely express the pro’s and con’s through elaborate stick figure drawings. Now if you start suggesting Howie is an idiot for not being able to trade a seventh round pick for Earl Thomas, Patrick Peterson, and JJ Watt, then I’ll have to take you out back behind the woodshed :P. So please by all means continue to comment, I would hate to have deterred you. I’m up because of the cruel mistress that is insomnia, not anything important. What are you plowing for aren’t corn and wheat planting season over?

          • Nicodemus_09

            I too suffer SEVERELY from the harsh mistress of insomnia as well. To your question of planting, yes it’s late in the season for corn & the like. The boys & I are plowing two unused fields under this morning & then performing the LOVELY task of spraying them with “natures liquid fertilizer” lol. That said, living WAY up in the north country as I do , much like with Maine, it’s prime Potato planting season baby!! LOL

          • D3FB

            Having grown up in a farm town in Minnesota, I have distinct memories, if not always fond, of the aroma of said “fertilizer”, should be a fun day, haha.

          • Nicodemus_09

            Oh man you KNOW it. One of natures most effective birth control methods is what that “shit” is. Lol Small world side note: I bought my first Harley in Minnesota. 1997 Fat Boy. Got it in 98′ with only 2,400 miles on her. Rode it all the way back to Columbus OH. where I lived at the time & then all the way to Vermont from there. NARROWLY missing a small tornado on the way. I decided immediately after watching Terminator 2 in a fit of youthful exuberance, that I was going to buy one and I was able to scratch that off the ol’ bucket list. Can’t put a price tag on THAT my friend! : )

          • Bob Scatchard

            Hey Nic….Small world!!! Grew up in Lititz!!

          • Nicodemus_09

            Lilitz, hmm I’ll have to consult my Atlas because that doesn’t ring a bell unfortunately. I’m not sure how familiar YOU are with the area, but where I grew up was actually in Lancaster town limits. We lived in a nice little development(OK Culdesac) but I LOVED IT! Named Colonial Manor Drive.Right next to a Golf course where at 13 I took my first job Caddying. MAINLY because the Country Club would allow “Philistines” like myself & my friends use the pool from noon to 1pm, ala Caddyshack!. LOL Also I wasn’t far from Millersville if that rings a bell. Close enough that I could ride my bike to his house. lastly, I attended Hambright Elementary when I first moved there Played my first football there for a team called the Yellowjackets. We would have had to drastically improve in order to suck!! :) Any of those names/places ring any bells?

        • A Roy

          Your opinions are welcome, just as anyones’. It’s a community of Eagles fans.

          • Nicodemus_09

            Thank you much brutha. : ) Much appreciated!

        • A_T_G

          Please don’t. I feel like I am better informed now from reading both points of view. This is the exact conversation that I love in the comments.

          • Nicodemus_09

            OK A_T_G, point taken. I will do my absolute best to voice my opinions on our beloved Birds regardless of whether or not I posess the reams of info & stats that so many of you seem to reel off with ease. It’s my duty as a lifelong Eagles fan. That said, I have to confess, like any great prize fighter D3FB is now in my head. lol. :))

          • A_T_G

            Don’t worry, he has that effect on everybody. I think it is the effect of the incongruence caused by the intimidating face paint, the friendly smile, and the intelligent, thoughtful comments. It messes with your head.

          • Nicodemus_09

            If by “messes with my head” you actually mean, “makes me personally feel like I belong on the Eagles fan short bus licking windows”. Then yup. lol

          • GEAGLE

            No worries mate…

          • bill

            Also, I like to think there is always a place here for *polite* ignorance (at least, I hope that I am polite here when I’m proclaiming my ignorance!). Anybody who gets D3FB and Anders to provide a detailed reply to their post is doing the comment section a favor, IMO.

        • eagleyankfan

          Sometimes status don’t tell the whole story. That’s where own guy/eyes/experience etc. come into play.

      • Anders

        LMJ career return stats is better on average than Sproles, so its not like James is a bad returner.

        • D3FB

          He’s not a bad returner but he’s not great at it either. He’s good at it but I wouldn’t give up a pick for that skill set alone when he’s scheduled to make a million and only get 15 carries all year. Touchbacks are up so return ability is being minimized.

          • Anders

            True. I just had too many people tell me Sproles is a better returner when people havnt even looked at James stats.

        • GEAGLE

          Not to mention, James is much better suited to run in our offense, than the Niners power based scheme

  • Insomniac

    Speaking of RBs, I just read this article on NFL,com

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000350525/article/exwake-forest-rb-josh-harris-says-coaches-sabotaged-him

    Looked the guy up and was surprised that no one wanted him. He has nice size and speed. I’d like to see him in our mini camp.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo7Df2HuY9U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a_Nk8UBiGs

  • Nicodemus_09

    After finally watching that video clip on Josey, & already seeing a piece on what happened to his knee, how in the name of GOD does this kid run as hard as he does? Also with as much apparent speed & spring in his step? From what I saw, the poor guys leg looked like someone taped a grenade to his knee cap & pulled the pin. How do you NOT pull for a kids like this? Modern medicine has entered the realm of the unfriggingbelievable. Totally astounding. : ) Good for him & infinite kudos to his surgeons!!

    • GEAGLE

      Yes, very hard not to root for a kid like that…mental it’s amazing he was able to get over it, trust his new knee and run as hard as he does..whether it’s with us or someone else, hope that kids knee holds up and has an NFL career

  • GEAGLE

    We are just sitting and waiting for the Niners to cut lamicheal James.. Wouldn’t trade a pick for him tho

  • Daniel Spector

    Ronnie Brown is a free agent…just sayin

    • Dominik

      Yes, give me that backward pass on the 2 yard line… not.

      Still one of the more frustrating game in my young (compared to some vets here it’s like an embryonal stage) Eagles fan “career”.

    • Nicodemus_09

      GJ Kinney should be shakin’ in his cleats. There’s our scout team QB. Let’s dust off Tony Hunt while we’re at it eh? I wonder if Abiamiri can play OLB… OK, I should be publicly flogged for those statements….

  • dislikedisqus

    I think they’re hoping LaMichael James gets released from SF.

  • Corry

    I’m OK with shipping Brown to the Bills. As dominant as Shady can be, it’s hard to take him off the field, and Brown was just all over the place as far as his consistency (or lack thereof) is concerned. Polk’s running style is a good change up from Shady and I think Polk’s up-field style fits Chip’s offense better than Brown’s mad dash for the sideline.

    Injury is a concern, but to be perfectly frank, I’m not sure Brown was going to be the answer even if he had remained on the team. Brown had two GREAT games as a starter two years ago, but was way too turn over prone. I’m not sure Chip would have put up with that for long.

    • Always Hopeful

      Maybe Brown was a “programmatic non-fit”

  • Anders

    http://www.stack.com/2014/05/09/relationship-driven-coach/

    Great read, Kelly and Andy Reid both fits this mold.

    • A Roy

      How many of those 7 characteristics do you think Big Tuna or Tom Coughlin had/has? I’m not criticizing the model, because that’s a lot of what I’ve tried to do as a coach… just asking.

      • Anders

        I do not think there is any right or wrong.

        Jimmy Johnson coached trough fear, but it also burned him out. Some of the most succecfull coaches today like Harbaughs, Carroll, Belichick, Kelly, Reid etc. are more relantionship based coaches

  • GEAGLE

    D3FB I have to amend my pick of eagles drafting benardick McKinney next year..McShay mocked him to us today, so I know that’s WRONG!! I’ll go with Rakim from Georgia..but I do like Kendricks from UCLA

    • mksp

      McKinney is gonna end up being a top 10 pick. Same way we thought Barr/Mack might fall to late first last year but ended up rising throughout the season / process.

  • GEAGLE

    Hate offensive articles lol wish we could just talk defense all day every day :)

  • GEAGLE

    Would you try and trade Nate Allen to Niners for LMJ?

    I’m not so sure Nate is a lock to make this roster, I was happy when we re signed him, but Ed Reynolds has real NFL starting potential down the line,,..I’m guessing Nate will be battling Keelan Johnson for last roster spot. Eagles like Keelan and he turned down deals with other teams because we led him to believe he had a shot to make our team this year..makes me think Nate Allen isn’t as safe as we would assume….
    ..
    Two years from now, you will want Ed Reynolds on the field..Malcolm better bring his A game,cuz Reynolds will be on his ass in a few years, and Jalen is capable of QBing a defense if we want to move on from Jenkins In two years..

    Then again, I think Malcolm in this scheme will be better than people realize, but Ed Reynolds is not some chump throw in pick. One of the few late round safeties in this draft with real NFL upside…dwarfs Sunseri in talent

    • A Roy

      They signed Allen so the didn’t HAVE to draft a Safety. I’d guess there will be some competition… which is a good thing.

      • GEAGLE

        Yes, I understand that…then we were able to get a safety who would be a second round pick next year in round 5..Maragos is a lock, he is the Colt Anderson 5th safety we will carry…Wolff, Jenkins, and Reynolds will make the team….so that last safety spot is between Nate and keelan

        • A Roy

          Nate and Keelan AND Reynolds…don’t think Reynolds is a lock based on the limited clips I’ve watched. It’ll play out in training camp. And sometimes, someone gets hurt.

          • GEAGLE

            If Reynolds isn’t on our roster, it will be because of a mysterious last minute “injury” stashes him on IR… He wasn’t a player you draft expecting to produce now..like Kruger, he is a pick you make and are patient with because you would expect him to be a much higher pick the next year if he stayed in school…you watch Reynolds 2012 film, and you think you are getting the second coming of Ed Reed lol…dude was taking an INT to the house every other week…this past year he wasn’t as amazing..some say he was playing thru a lot of nagging injuries, I’m also sure teams saw what he did the year before and probably avoided testing him as much as the year before….
            ..
            I would NOT bet against that kid. I,figured his potential would have gotten him drafted in round 3’this year, and im had no interest in drafting DBs in the first 3’rounds…getting him in the 5th, IMO is a steal that could pay major dividends down the line

          • A Roy

            Interesting. Thanks. Didn’t remember him from ’12, but then I don’t watch a ton of college. these days.

          • GEAGLE

            Go take a peak at his 2012 numbers, dude was playing out of his mind

    • Mitchell

      I don’t know if you let Allen go now. Hell he still might beat out Wolfe for the # 2 job. Reynolds will be a starter down the line for sure though.

      • GEAGLE

        So, then you cut Keelan? A young player we like, who turned down deals to leave because we led him to believe he could have a future here? I don’t know what to make of this, just trying to get an idea of how you guys see this playing out..Malcolm,Maragos,Wolff, Reynolds are locks to make the team….who is the 5th safety? Nate for a year? Or young Keelan we can control for a few more seasons? I don’t have the answers…curious to how people see this

        • Mitchell

          How many Safeties would we dress? I honestly dnt know much about Keelan. I guess I just can’t see how a practice squad guy would be better than Allen.

          • GEAGLE

            We will carry 5 safeties, but maragos is a safety in name! really he is just a ST player..
            ..
            I don’t know much about Keelen either but I know we liked him on some level…with the drafting of Reynolds, I guarantee we won’t re sign Nate next year, so do you dump Keelen now to keep a one year veteran safety insurance policy? This Nate vs! Keelan situation is something to keep an eye on… No clue how it shakes out

          • Mitchell

            That’s a good point. I do like Reynolds as well. It would make sense to dumb Allen next year for sure. I guess some of it depends on Wolfe. If he is playing well I don’t think you bat an eye at dumping Nate and then you have some young talent at that position with Wolfe, Reynolds, and maybe Johnson. Not to mention Jenkins and Maragos will be there to help them out.

          • GEAGLE

            Having a feeling Wolff will be phenomenal, take this job by the throat and never look back…but we shall see

          • Dominik

            Kelly didn’t liked Keelen enough to give him a roster spot over Coleman. Now you may say: Coleman was important for ST. Fine, but chances are, Nate is the better player on Defense than Keelan. If Keelan isn’t good at ST (which no one besides Kelly and company can know), while he clearly wasn’t better than Kurt, I think chances are we cut him before we cut Nate, who’s an insurance policy for Wolff.

            We added a ton of fine ST players, so I think while Kelly doesn’t like that his #3 Safety Allen can’t play ST, he can life with it for this year.

            If the team is really high on Reynolds, he will make the 53 roster, but won’t dress much when it comes to 46 on gameday. If Reynolds is the best ST player out of Keelan, Nate and him (don’t think chances are good on that one, since he has limited athleticism), it gets really crazy. Do you want him active, knowing he may be a liability on Defense? Remember, he may be a 3rd round Safety next year, but he was a surprise 5th rounder this year. Do you trust Watkins enough to be your back-up Safety and CB?

          • GEAGLE

            Why,does Watkins have to be my backup CB? We brought in Nolan Carrol

          • GEAGLE

            I’m not pounding the table to cut Nate Allen. Just wondering if his spot on this roster isn’t as safe as we would assume

          • Dominik

            Sure, I think Carroll will be the #3 outside CB when the season begins. But Howie said Watkins will be a CB for us (while Chip said something about figuring it out, lol). I think he will be our CB #5 at the beginning of the year. Davis wants to specialise players, apparently (Boykin), but I could life with Watkins as a tweener back-up if he shows he can do it in TC.

          • GEAGLE

            This year, I think we are incorporating a dime subpackage and we will see Jalen as the other slot corner in the dime pairing with the boy king

          • GEAGLE

            I absolutely expect Reynolds to be a better ST player than Keelan and Nate…he is more athletic than people think,..dude was a RB a few years ago…but no, I wouldn’t want him playing safety for us this year

          • Dominik

            http://mockdraftable.com/player/4588/

            That says nothing about his football instincts and all of that, but from a athlete standpoint, he’s avarage at best.

            Coleman was, from a pure spider graph comparison, more athletic than him:

            http://mockdraftable.com/player/672/

          • Insomniac

            You’re basing their athleticism based on their 40 time?

            http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/05/nfl_draft_2014_philadelphia_ea_7.html

            Btw, you’re using the draftables wrong.

          • Dominik

            What do you mean with using draftables wrong?

        • Sean Stott

          “who turned down deals to leave because we led him to believe he could have a future here”

          Did that really happen?

          • GEAGLE

            Keelan…or whatever his name is

  • GEAGLE

    Question: anyone remember the timeline for when Howie usually does his we will trade you our roster garbage for your roster garbage trades? Did we make those trades before the draft, or did we trade away Dion Lewis, and the trade to aquire Gaethers in June?..

    Wondering if Nate gets traded, or BG for another expiring contract?

    • Jernst

      Just working off my poor memory…I think they happened in the summer after the draft. Usually player for player right before training camp after we’ve seen our depth in action for a few practices

  • GEAGLE

    Colt Lyerla trying out for the packers

  • GEAGLE

    Howie: “fans are going to love Bryan Braman. I say this with all due respect, he is out of his mind. 6’4 260lbs and he is telling me he can run a 4.3 but he pulled his hamstring when he ran at the regional workout. I’ve got to believe him. He is almost like a freak of nature when he runs down on kickoff coverage”

    • Anders

      Barwin also claims Braman had untapped pass rush potential

      • Mitchell

        That statement reminds me of an episode on DBZ.

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah I heard his pass rush was coming along more than he gets credit for. He promised me he would hit romo, so he’s ok with me :)…can’t wait to watch 4th quarter of a preseason game with:
        …………….hart………Beau………Kruger
        ..Braman………Goode…….Knott……….Travis Long

        • Mitchell

          Watkins………………………………..Carrol
          ……………Reynolds….Allen………………

          • GEAGLE

            All I know…is I don’t ever remember loving I our depth so much that I looked forward to watching defense in the 4th quarter of a preseason game…
            ..on the other side of the ball, I can’t wait to get a glimpse of Bamiro,Tobin,Vandervelde,Kelly….Tucker and the recent UDFA RBs…
            ..
            Really see Kelly trying to not waste a single roster spot…friggin Akeem Jordan isn’t athletic enough to be our backup waterboy

          • Mitchell

            Last year I was so worried about depth, and I am to a degree this year but with the draft and free agency I fell much better.

          • GEAGLE

            Depth was absolutely FREIGHTENing last year…no matter what happens this year, I can find comfort knowing Curtis Marsh will never have a locker with his name on it at Novacare again…only time marsh will get to wear an eagles jersey is as his pajamas

    • eagleyankfan

      We hear that every year about ST’s(not from you). Under AR it was — we hired the best ST coach in the business. Our ST stunk. After last years write ups about our aces … I’m not excited this year.

      • GEAGLE

        Every coach talks about improving ST..a lot of the time it’s lip service.
        ..
        Yes we heard that song plenty of times, but never have we SEEN the Eagles practically dedicate an entire free agency to improving it

      • Mitchell

        :( last year was a big let down for me on ST’s too. It would definitely be nice to see some improvement there…..*cough* new kicker. *cough* better returner.

        • eagleyankfan

          That returner. Ugh. Can’t they find ANYBODY? At this point, I’d rather them dedicate a roster spot just for a return specialist. Sproles isn’t the answer. I’m with you on the new kicker too. He wasn’t very good last year.

          • GEAGLE

            Huff(puff) Huff(puff) pass!!!

          • Mitchell

            If Huff turns out to be a good returner I will be so damn happy. Part of the reason I wanted Odell was because he had such a great return game. So fluid.

          • Mitchell

            Seriously, I can live with Henery (I guess) but we have to find freaking someone to return the ball that has any skill whatsoever! Who was the last decent return guy we had? DeSean?

          • GEAGLE

            Brian Mitchell on kickoffs…think we are due

          • Mitchell

            Yep. I remember playing a Madden game when Ellis Hobbs was the returner LOL.

          • GEAGLE

            Ha

          • GEAGLE

            I’d rather let you return kicks and replace our drunken idiot kidker

          • Mitchell

            LOL!

          • Bob Scatchard

            Hi Guys….I’m a long time reader of Eagles Blogs (specially Tommy’s) and A first time poster (I hate to type). But I started following the Eagles with Norm VB and Sonny (b4 skins)!!! Glad I was old enough to enjoy the 1960 Championship game and giving Lombardi his only loss……Ready for a super bowl parade and I think Chip will provide it in time (and NOT a long time)

        • Maggie

          Perhaps some better blockers/tacklers would make the returners look a whole lot more efficient?

          • Mitchell

            I sure hope so. I NEED improvement in special teams. Especially after 2012. That was just a terrible year overall.

      • mtn_green

        Phillips and Benn where injured last year. They were our new ST aces. Williams and Fletcher had a sweet forced fumble but for the most part after the Vikings game I couldn’t watch a kickoff.

  • GEAGLE

    Glad we playing the jags early in the year. They could be a much harder game come December..like what Gus and the GM are doing

    • Anders

      According to reports, Chad Henne will be the QB the whole year, so that means they should be a push over for most teams. The Jags defense should be middle of the road this year, but the offense will lack behind

      • GEAGLE

        You hear anything yet about the target weight for Curry this year?

        Really excited about finally having a BIG team in place, after all the years of Andy accumulating small fastballs..figure our DL will be huge when it’s done developing:
        Cox 310-315lbs
        Thornton 310-315lbs
        Logan 320-325lbs
        Kruger 6’6 290lbs
        Hart 6’6 assuming we beef him up to 295lb like Kruger
        Beau 335lb(he had to cut down to 335lb lol)

        Then you add the big boy OLBs with Barwin/Marcus…

        A few years we will be challenging the Niners as the big bully on the block

  • jcwhy

    A.Benn is gone…

    • Cafone

      The Eagles have released their best WR for the second time this offseason.

      The Eagles have cut their entire 2013 likely starting receiving core if Benn hadn’t gotten hurt: Jackson, Benn, and Avant.

      • Maggie

        Best?

    • GEAGLE

      Yup..seems like cuts are getting started..browns cut Greg little

    • A_T_G

      Well, that is one question mark we can change to a period, or an exclamation mark, depending on your disposition.

    • GEAGLE

      We are off the hook for,the 1mil we owed him, don’t rule out re signing him for cheaper and letting him compete for,a,spot in camp..bodies are important to a Chip camp and he knows the playbook

      • A Roy

        May save $1M of Lurie’s money, but only $430K in cap room.

    • Mitchell

      And now we make the run for A. Johnson. MUAHAHAHAHA

    • jcwhy

      heeeeeeeeeee’s baaaack.. haha

  • Mitchell

    Benn might be resigned on a vet min depending on what he can get elsewhere, kinda like Joselio a couple years back.

  • GEAGLE

    Lol sack master Robert Mathis suspended for first 4 games for a dirty test result.. Decided to use the OL “fertility drug” excuse bwahaha even the Russian judge will give him a 10 for originality..

    Lyerla officially invited to packers mini camp, called a steal of the UDFA process.

    Now, I really believe in the smart high character approach..but the Jags have Lee, A Rob, cecil short……would absolutely love to take a cheap flier on Blacmon. He will be cheap, humbled, have no leverage and should be desperate to cling on to what’s left of an NFL career..we have plenty of WRs..no harm in taking a flier on him, if he doesn’t pan out, who cares? We still have plenty of weapons….if he does get it together, you will have added an explosive beast to this offense for cheap. Roll the dice Howie…

    • Ark87

      That’s pretty big. I’m split on it, I’ll take any edge we can get, but I’ll be sad to see the “Eagles are lucky to be playing teams without their best player” saga continue

  • botto

    i like the fluellen highlights.
    he hits the hole
    i think polk will be really good this year

  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    I like Josey, he def has something.