Where Do the Eagles Stand?

Posted: May 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 138 Comments »

The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are great football teams. They are atop the NFC, probably are the 2 best teams in the whole NFL. I’m sure Denver would argue for the #2 spot, but I might stick with SF.

After Seattle and SF, the NFC is wide open.

I’m an optimistic Eagles fan, but the Eagles aren’t on the same level as the Big 2. They have proven to be winners in multiple seasons and have had postseason success. The Eagles had a good first season under Chip Kelly, but have to take the next step before they can enter the conversation about being in the same class as the big boys.

The Eagles went 10-6 while playing in a poor division. While it was fun to see them win, we need to be realistic as we assess just how good this team is. Let’s compare the Eagles to some other NFC teams.

Saints – This is an odd team. They were awful in 2012 due to suspensions and the controversy, but bounced back to go 11-5. The defense jumped from historically bad to #4 overall. I have total faith in Drew Brees, but I do wonder if the defense will maintain that level of play. The Saints proved to be better on the field last year by winning the playoff game, but I think the Eagles are on the same level.

Panthers – They had a breakthrough season last year, going 12-4 and winning the NFC South. Cam Newton had a strong showing and the defense was 2nd in the NFL. The question here is whether they can maintain that success. The Panthers have major holes at OL and WR. I have no idea if this team was a fluke or simply emerged.

Cowboys – Kyle Orton played so well in the season finale, but then remembered he was Kyle Orton at the last minute and threw the ball right to Brandon Boykin to hand the NFC East to the Eagles. Glorious moment. But also scary that Orton almost led Dallas to a win there. If Tony Romo is healthy, Dallas is a good team. The guy is good for some epic meltdowns, but also has some huge games. The Denver game was amazing. I just don’t know that Dallas did enough to fix an awful defense.

Giants – They seemed awful last year, but look at the standings and they somehow went 7-9. They made changes in personnel and the offensive staff. If the OL can block and Eli quits throwing the ball to the other team, the Giants could be right back in the playoff hunt. You do wonder if Eli had a bad year or simply went over the cliff and isn’t coming back. Just because his brother is a freak doesn’t mean that Eli is one.

Skins – A major mystery team. RG3 is healthy and should be more focused. He now has a great vertical threat in DeSean Jackson. But the OL still has issues. And the defense is hardly intimidating, aside from the OLBs. Jay Gruden is now the coach and I don’t get the feeling he’s the man you want arguing with Dan Snyder on key issues. I wouldn’t be shocked if this team went 11-5 or 5-11. Really curious to see how they play this year. Critical time for RG3.

Packers – They struggled with Aaron Rodgers hurt last year, but this is still a very talented team. With everyone healthy, you can make a strong case for them as the #3 team in the NFC.

Bears – They started 2013 6-4, but then faded down the stretch and finished 8-8. The Eagles destroyed them in December, winning 54-11. The Bears have some really good players here and there, but the overall team doesn’t scare me. They’ve got some real age on the defense.

Cardinals – Good team, but boy do they have some bad luck. Playing in the same division with SF and SEA means they have a huge challenge with trying to make the playoffs. The Cards went 10-6 last year and missed out. Bruce Arians has them headed in the right direction.

Rams – “My kingdom for a QB…”. Sam Bradford was the #1 overall pick several years back. He has not played to that level and this might be his final chance. St. Louis is building a strong roster and has some great individuals, but until Bradford takes the next step, they’ll be more of a nuisance than a contender.

As I look at things, it seems that SF and SEA are on a whole other level from the rest of the NFC. After them, the Eagles, Packers and Saints are the teams I would have grouped together. The big difference in those teams is Rodgers/Brees vs Foles. The Saints and Packers have proven QBs who could be headed to the Hall of Fame. Nick Foles is still a mystery. He won’t go 27 TDs/2 INTs this year, but he doesn’t have to be that perfect. We simply need to see him play at a high level and show that he is the real deal. History is full of players who had one good season. The challenge for Foles is to show that he is a legitimately good QB and not the product of a fluke season.

One of the things we’ll find out this year is how much more talent the Eagles need. I expect the returning players to execute better since they know the scheme better this time around, but that could prove to be an incremental jump. We might find out that the Eagles still need a couple of key players before they can challenge the elite teams.

Chip Kelly turned the Eagles into winners in 2013. But Kelly didn’t come here to go 10-6. He wants to build a great team that can win it all. 2014 will give us some big hints in where this team is and where it needs to go.

_


  • Iskar36

    I think the Brees and Rodgers factors does put the Saints and Packers on a level slightly above us right now. We have a good team, but having elite QB play makes a team special, and until we find out what Foles will offer on a consistent basis, we don’t share that level of play. Also, whether you keep the Eagles grouped with the Saints and Packers or not, I think you absolutely have to have the Cardinals grouped at the same level as the Eagles. They are headed in the right direction the same way the a Eagles are, and while they have a tougher path to the playoffs, being in the same division as the Seahawks and 49ers, they should be a very good team this season.

    • GEAGLE

      If we can play the pack or saints at home this year in the playoffs, I like our chances… Do not want us going to Lambeau in january

    • shah8

      Nah, I don’t think it’s the QBs that is the big difference. I think it’s mostly that their defenses are capable of higher level play than ours.

  • Tom33

    I’m probably one of the only people who thinks that SF is going to take a step back this year. I think they will really miss Bowman and a lot of their key guys are getting old. Plus, I don’t think a guy like Kaep is going to handle the fact that Blaine Gabbert makes 2X what he does.
    For the Birds, I believe there is no question the team is better, but it will all come down to how well Foles plays and if McCoy can stay healthy. I think the other 3 teams in the NFCE are still very flawed.
    GB is the team that I think can challenge SEA mostly because Rodgers is so good. Two teams that you didn’t mention are TB and DET – they have a lot of talent but it remains to be seen if the new coaching staffs can get more out of them than the previous ones did. I expect one of those 2 to have a good year in 2014.

    • D3Center

      TB has talent but no QB they’ve already announced McCown will start and I don’t think he or Glennon are very good. DET has a lot of talent but I’m not sure they brought in the right coach to get them playing up to it in Caldwell.

      • GEAGLE

        Think they should have hired Zimmer

  • CrackSammich

    Eh, I don’t think the 49ers can really claim to be one of the best anymore. Their defense is bleeding talent, and it’s that defense that’s kept them going in the Harbaugh years. Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them fall off some this year, especially since the Cardinals and Rams are only getting stronger.

  • ICDogg

    If I had to guess, I think the Saints will be better, the Panthers will be worse, the Skins will be better, Giants worse, Dallas about the same. We didn’t mention the Lions, did we? I think they’re a strong group.

    • BreakinAnklez

      Panthers…didn’t address teir 3 largest needs: OL, WR, Secondary. Has to make you wonder if they want Cam to succeed at all!!!

  • Ark87

    I’m a sucker for these types of articles. Helps establish context and of course hypes me up for the season. It really is like waiting for Christmas morning, waiting to see what we got in this team(please no sweaters, please no sweaters).

  • Mark F

    When we drafted him, I believed Foles had all the tools to be a great NFL quarterback, and so far he’s done absolutely nothing to suggest that assessment was erroneous. I think he’ll have a great season as long as he stays healthy. I’m not too worried about Brees and Rodgers.

  • Mike Roman

    Poor Cam Newton is getting the 2001-2003 Donnie Mac treatment. They’ve got a great defense and Carolina is giving him nothing to work with on offense. I think they’ll take a step back, Atlanta will make a small bounce back, and both teams will be battling the Saints for supremacy in the NFC South.

    I want to feel bad for the Cardinals for being in the same division as SF and SEA, but ever since Arians cried about the officiating in the loss to the Eagles it is hard to respect them at all. Actually, factor in the 2008 NFC CG and all of the times throughout that the Eagles laid down to the Cards in games they should have won, well, the Cards can go F themselves.

    The NFC North teams are all good enough to get themselves beat. The Bears are old on defense and Cutler is Cutler. Detroit are perennial also-rans. I don’t buy Green Bay as a complete team. They go as far as Rodgers takes them.

    As for the East, I just can’t see anyone competing with the Eagles for that division. Dallas’ defense will be even worse this year than last year and Romo’s injuries have to be a concern. The Giants made a lot of free agency acquisitions but I don’t seen an impact player in that group. Without a running game to support him, we know what Eli is. You hit the nail on the head with the Skins. They could be 11-5 or 5-11, but I think they’ll be better than both Dallas and the Giants.

    I’m not one to go down the schedule and chalk of Ws and Ls, but here’s how I look at it. The Eagles should go at least 4-2 in the division, 3-1 against the AFC South, 2-2 against the NFC West, and split their games with Carolina and Green Bay. That’s 10-6 and good enough to win the East again. I *think* they have the potential to sweep the East and the AFC South but I doubt it would happen. I could also see them going 1-3 against the NFC West.

    Regardless of how the record plays out, I believe they’re good enough to host and win a playoff game this year and depending on the matchup in the divisional round, possibly get to the NFCCG.

    • Tom33

      it’s funny – SF reminds me the Eagles from the early 2000′s.
      I agree with you – AZ can go f themselves. I wish the Eagles could trade them Kevin Kolb one more time. Maybe they need LB help – Casey Matthews is available I think.

      • GEAGLE

        I really really want to beat the cardinals again, almost as bad as I want to smack around our rivals. I want pig face Arrians to never win a game against Chip

        • Mike Roman

          I actually like Arians as a coaching possibility when it looked like Chip was out of the running and we lost out on Bradley. Now I’m glad we didn’t get that old asshole.

          • GEAGLE

            Respect what he is doing, and I do think the cardinals are In good hands, but that whiny bitch gets on my nerves and I never want him to beat a Chip Kelly coached team in his career

          • ztom6

            I think he’s overrated and last year was a fluke for them. He’s a “disciplinarian” type coach, players will get sick of him.

          • GEAGLE

            Even better lol

    • GEAGLE

      Hoping to see the panthers in the playoffs, want to run the ball down their throat so bad, like we did to Suh and fairly when we set rushing records on the Lions front 7

      • Mike Roman

        We don’t have to wait for the playoffs. I think we get them at the Linc!

        • GEAGLE

          Lol yes, I forgot we played them this year…
          ..
          Basically I’m itching to play all the top defenses, why not? We can afford to test ourselves against the best as Long as we dominate our division like we are supposed to

          • Mike Roman

            I totally agree. Bring them on. I’m not afraid.

          • GEAGLE

            I don’t care who we play on defense, I just don’t see who has the personel to match up with both Sproles and Shady out of the backfield, while the safeties are occupied with Ertz down the seem. How many teams have ONE LB who can stay with shady on a wheel route? How many have two LBs that can cover shady and Sproles when we send them on wheel routes? Bring the safeties down on our backs, and Ertz will sodomize LBs deep! Pick your poison bitches… Show us these top defenses. I want to see them when they are huffing and puffing due to our insane pace. Show me your top defenses…I want to see someone shut us down..show me..

          • Mike Roman

            Haha. Preach on brotha man!

    • Nicodemus_09

      I’ve never gotten over my white hot hatred of the Cardinals from when I was a wee lad and they were still in our division. Combined with more often than not we find dumb ways to lose to them over the years & now the obvious arrogance of Bruce Arians, I personally have a really healthy hatred for the for the Cards. I wish them bad fortune for decades to come. Wow, that’s not very nice is it….

      • GEAGLE

        I actually share your hatred. Really hope that’s a team we go on a decade long win streak against.
        ..
        Fatman in KC got lucky facing us early in this season again. Andy NEVER BEATS an EAGLES TEAM AGAIN!!!

      • Mike Roman

        “Combined with more often than not we find dumb ways to lose to them over the years” … The Eagles – Cardinals rivalry in a nutshell.

        They certainly have gone from irrelevant and annoying to absolutely hateable in the last 5 years. I got to tell you, I hate Pittsburgh but if the Cardinals won the Super Bowl in 2008 before the Eagles won one, I don’t think there would be enough therapy in the world to save me.

        • Nicodemus_09

          I’m right there with you man. One grievance I didn’t air that I think goes right to the heart of how “hateable” they’ve become for me personally anyway, I aim directly at their fan base as well. When they burned hate messages on McNabb’s lawn before the 08 championship game, that was as, or more deplorable than anything our fan base has ever done & that’s far from an isolated incident. Yet we (the eagles fan base) remain the undisputed miscreant bogeymen heavyweight champs of the NFL for crap that happened decades ago. It’s just one more link in my chain of hatred for that team. Yup, if they won that Superbowl, or any other before us, a TRULY unbearable notion.

  • GEAGLE

    Meh, I don’t know if I’m that scared of the Niners, Billy D was brilliant scheming last year, making a dollar out of 15 cents…expect Billy D to have this defense looking like a top unit by the end of the year. QB too erratic throwing the ball. Gore has to slow down soon…wonder what years of that uber physicaly brand of football will have on the older players bodies..

    What’s up with Aldon smith? Is Navaro Bowman going to be ok? How about replacing both Goldson and Whitner at safety. Not sure bathea can stop Ertz from abusing him.. What about the corners? Meh

    Pantherns haven’t replaced gross at OL, and have NO WRs, even tho they were raving about KB being a young Plaxico this morning… What’s up with the kraken? Meh safeties…when you sign roman Harper, you have issues

    Cowboys are led by Tony “REAK” Romo, formerly known as Theon Greyjoy.
    How can Demarcus Lawrence stop us from running the ball down his throat..JP will have Domontre tapping out…..skins 11-5? Don’t make me laugh.. They are a step ahead of the cowboys if that

    • Mike Roman

      As we all discuss this topic, it has me thinking that we’re not as far away as we may think. All you need is a chip and chair…

      • GEAGLE

        We really aren’t… Last summer when everyone was bitching about how we would have a historically bad defense again, I warned we would be better than people thought…
        ..
        Do you believe in our coaching/training or not? Someone who believes can’t possibly think none of our young players will take that next step. We played with so many young players that I don’t even think it’s possible that none or these players improve: Wolff,Logan,Ced,Fletch,Vinny, Ertz, mykal, Boykin, Lane or shall I say BANE JOHNSON, Folesy baby.
        .
        The most a team can ever improve is year two and three players taking a leap, and I wholeheartedly believe that this coaching staff won’t let our young players remain stagnant??they will develop. We have so many promising players who’s best ball we haven’t even seen yet. Think we are closer than people think…then again, I believe in the living Demi god, rainmaker FOles!

        • Mike Roman

          Foles. He’s really the whole key. If he builds on last year and proves that he wasn’t a one-year wonder, the sky is the limit. Of course, the health of Shady is important too.

          Speaking of McCoy, he’s hitting his peak so I hope the front office really makes a strong push to bring in some marquee players in the next year or two before his window as an elite player starts to close. If we do in fact win a playoff game this year, I don’t want to hear the “we’re more than one player away” cliche` next off season.

          • GEAGLE

            All true… I guess I just don’t ever worry about Nicky BIGTIME. King of the andals and the first men, bringer of the flash flood of rain down onto the black hole!! I don’t even worry about Nick… Love this QB, no one saw a peep of him this offseason, no media tours, where’s Waldo mode! Love him! #rainmaker

            Kid was One special teams stop, and a defensive 3 and out from leading his team to a comeback win against hall of fame Brees in his first playoff game. Nicky will be Fine.

  • GEAGLE

    Im thrilled to be playing all the top defenses this year. it’s time to take the training wheels off and bully our way into the top of this league.. Bring on the top defense, we have Chip friggin Kelly! Don’t think he even got enough credit for how brilliant he was last year. Such an understanding of play calling, and concepts to attack what the defenses are doing…how many times did we see shady running down the sideline with a LB trailing him on a wheel route? That’s play calling! Create and then exploit mismatches, and Chip knows it well. Let’s see teams matchup with Ertz,mShady and Sproles, while Chip puts them in position to terrorize defenses

  • GEAGLE

    I like to measure us against the Colts…and I like where we stand

    • eagleyankfan

      I like where we stand too. Last year, there were no expectations. This year, there are some expectations as the team Chip presented last year can not going backwards. Keep the ship pointing forward. I don’t think we’re worse than last year. Whether or not we’re better remains to be seen.
      It’s a new year. We’re not better than the Saints or even on the same level as of the playoff game last year. Who knows if they are the same team this year so it’s hard to say if we’re on the same level. I don’t think our D improved enough to stop them.

      • GEAGLE

        Oh I think people will be very surprised by our defense this year.

        People like to bitch about our corners, but they were adjusting to a new defense as well, they had plenty of rough moments early on, but come November, they settled into the defense and shut down a murders row of big WR tandems for what 7 of the last8 game(every game but the Vikings). I’ll be shocked if we don’t see the best safety play we have seen in years, and I adore where our front 7 is right now. I would have liked a young ILB, but it doesn’t really matter, we will overcome that by 3rd down subpackages that don’t require two ILBs

    • Bob Scatchard

      Agree with Geagle about Billy D and defense, should be 40% better than last year’s at the beginning of the year. Teams hurt us in so many 3rd & longs last year and I’d like to think the back end and pass rush will be better this year.
      I am really curious to watch the offense this year as i think it will be *improved*, not so much in scoring (maybe even a small decline) but I think NF will improve in deception and getting rid of the ball faster.
      The WR will be running shorter routes, more presser horizontally than long vertical routes. This will allow the to control the ball longer and line up faster for a faster pace than last year. This will also help the D.

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah, I really expect this years offense will stress stretching the defense horizontally instead of last years vertical attack.. Of course we will still see plenty of Ertz running down the Seams and Riley continuing to bully DBs and come down with jump balls, but expecting a much more horizontal based attack this year

      • anon

        could be worse, he’s never had a great track record. I think Carolina should be higher on the list – their offense was never predicated on the pass.

        • Anthony Hart

          Their offense was also never very good. Their defense needs to be lights out again if they’re going to hang with the top teams.

          • GEAGLE

            They still have issues in the secondary..l think our secondary will be much better… They just paid the Kraken and he immediately repaid them by getting arrested lol….. They will be playing with Roman Harper, which means they automatically have a major weakness for Ertz to exploit…

            Kuechly is awesome, but, I view the rest of that front as comparable to the lions front which we handled.
            ..
            Speaking of the Lions, jealous they reunited van Noy with Ziggy ansah

      • Ben Hert

        I don’t really see how our pass rush got any better. Marcus Smith wasn’t really known for his pass rush in the draft, but more for his completeness. Plus IIRC most pass-rushers fail to produce until a few years in the league, excluding Clowney’s and Watts of course. Other than that, Barwin and Cole are a year older, and nothing has changed up front. I think I like where we’re headed with it, but I also think that its going to be awhile until we get there, from the pass-rush/defensive perspective.

        • GEAGLE

          Barwin is a year older? You talking like the man is 33.
          Barwin is not a number 1 pass rusher, but he is more of a pass rusher than we saw last year. Dude was busy being our glue guy that we really didn’t unleash him they way we will when we have other options to take over his responsibilities in coverage like we now have.
          ..
          Why would you expect Cox to not be a better pass rusher next year? Think Curry has maxed out as a pro already? Kruger could provide some rush for us if he is as ready as I hope? Kendricks will be a better Blitzer who we can also unleash more now that we have more options in coverage…
          ..
          Not really sure how anyone can say a kid who has only been playing defense for 3 years, just came in second in the nation in sacks won’t improve our pass rush. Marcus may not help in September, but he will be helping by November… Not to mention, Marcus spent so much time in coverage, he would have probably led the nation in sacks easily if he only rushed the passer every single play like Dee Ford did…
          ..

          • Ben Hert

            I think he has the ability to become a great pass-rusher, I really do. Its just that my concern right now, is, as you stated, that he’s only played defense for 3 years, and is about to make the jump from the ACC to facing some of the best LT’s in the NFL on a regular basis. I can’t predict the future, and hope that you’re right, but I think we’re all reaching a bit when we’re saying we got better immediately.

          • GEAGLE

            I think are pass rush is better without even adding him. Why wouldn’t I think Curry and Cox will improve? What have they ever done but bleed green and work hard since coming here? Cox is friggin 22yrs old and has 32 games under his belt.. I can’t tell you when, but I would not bet against one day soon, the switch going off for that kid and becoming an absolute terror

            Curry was asked to make the hardest transition out of anyone on our roster last year, and was still able to get after it…another year getting his body to transition to the position, why wouldn’t I expect him to be better this year? I believe in our DC and DL coach, the kid has been an eagles fan since he was 4yrs old and seems hell bent on becoming a player in this league.. He isn’t going to be Brandon Graham 2.0 Kid will find a way to stick around, at the very minimum as a change of pass interior Nickle pass rusher…but I’m not ready to waive the white flag and say he can never grow to play the run.

            More options in coverage allows us to let barwin and Kendricks rush the passer much more than last year when they were hand cuffed in coverage because we were so vanilla and had no subpackage alternative/sub package depth. Kendricks is a helluva Blitzer, and just adding other players who can cover on third down, allow us to unleash him more..

            Can’t wait to find out…

        • Weapon Y

          Not known for pass rush? Smith was second in the NCAA in sacks. How much more pass rush do you need?

          • Ben Hert

            He can obviously rush the passer, but he’s not a Barr or Clowney type prospect who is coveted purely for their ability to rush the passer.

          • D3FB

            Which is why he wasn’t a top 10 pick.

          • GEAGLE

            Probably closer to Barrs upside, than that of Murphy.Lawrence who is a mutt, and Damontre Moore who is just a chump

        • xlGmanlx

          “They want a guy that can be active as a pass-rusher and can run sideline to sideline and give great effort, and those are the things that I bring to the table,” Allen said. “Sometimes, I get the unfortunate knock of just being a run-stuffer, but I don’t see myself like that at all. I see myself as an athletic guy that can move and rush the passer well. I think I bring a lot to the table and obviously so do the Eagles coaching staff or else they wouldn’t have drafted me.”

  • GEAGLE

    My heads spinning over he safety position. Tough to figure out. I’m happy with Wolff/Jenkins starting! but in struggle figuring out who makes this roster.
    ..
    Keelan Johnson passed up better offers to leave, because something led him to believe he had a future in philly.
    ..
    this was a weak safety draft, and I knew the Eagles weren’t going to draft a safety early so they brought back Nate for insurance. I doubt they ever thought a guy like Reynolds would fall to them in a round they were comfortable taking a safety! personally I was shocked to see Reynolds available in the 5th..

    maragos is making this team as Colt Anderson, a safety who we really don’t count on to play safety(unless he is better than I think)..ST ace..

    So we have Wolff,Jenkins!Maragos as sure shot roster spots…what will we carry 5 safeties again? If so, two spots up for grabs between Nate, Keelan and Ed. Now we could have taken advantage of Nate and signed him to a cheap Longterm deal that would have kept him here like we tried to do with Maclin! instead we gave him a 1yr deal. No way I think Nate makes the team over Ed, unless we IR Ed Reynolds.. So if I think Ed gets the 4th spot, the 5th spot is Keelan vs. Nate. 3 ways to make the team, ST, ST, ST…so I’m assuming Keelan has the ST advantage over NATE..

    HOWEVER, the monkey wrench is Jaylen Watkins. We are playing him at CB, but with his ability to fill in at safety, I wonder if we will only carry 4 safeties this year..with Jaylen being the emergency 5th safety, even if we are counting him as a CB
    ..
    I wouldn’t mind seeing what Nate can do with continuity…but I am having serious doubts about him making this roster

    • Ark87

      Safety is definitely interesting, wide open next to Jenkins. Hell the whole secondary is interesting now that we finally have some potential in the youth in there. I hope we figure out a way to keep Boykin around, he is the biggest playmaker we’ve had in a LONG time (and doesn’t have the drawbacks of other notable play makers of our recent past like Asante Samuel), he just doesn’t fit with what the coaches want at the outside, but someone will pay him outside money, hope it’s us, even if we keep him in the nickle.

      • GEAGLE

        I seriously doubt he is going anywhere. He is a good kid, loves it here, and we will pay him.. Buffalo just gave Corey Graham 14mil to be a Nickle CB… Figuring 24mil will keep Boykin in philly, by that time some of our veteran CBs will be gone.
        ..
        Basically I think we can pay a Nickle CB, if we are going to have outside CB like Jaylen on cheap rookie deals..
        ..
        I know everyone worries about Boykin leaving, but that has never once worried me… I doubt it, Chip and Howie seem to love him

        • Ark87

          They better, he’s the man! lol

          • GEAGLE

            The boy king is already a man?

          • Ark87

            Happened at the 46 second mark of this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32zHhqDKF2E

          • GEAGLE

            THIS!!!!

          • Ark87

            So envious, I live in NC, and for whatever reason they play Redskins games every opportunity they can as long as they don’t over-lap with the Panther’s game. So it turns out I FINALLY get to just sit home and watch the game, so I take that opportunity. For 1 glorious half the Eagles stomped the Redskins so bad….then the network opted to switch the game to an even lamer game with absolutely no play-off implications. SO pissed, but I didn’t rush out to a sports bar or anything because the Eagles were smoking the skins. But my phone kept blowing up with updates, skins scoring. It was the weirdest most desperate nail-biter ever. Screaming at the television to put the game back on, the freaking Viking’s game isn’t even close! Saw the chart putting the skins in striking range of a game winning TD, oh that glorious Boykin int in the endzone. Gonna build a shrine to that boy.

          • GEAGLE

            Noooooooo. That’s just wrong.
            ..
            I feel for you man, I had to be a die hard eagles fan living in Rome for like 4 years. Now that’s a commitment.. Monday night football doesn’t start there til like 2am.. I would have to go to an English pub, leave at like 6am and go straight to work. .

            Soo torn, I love and miss Rome, but adore being in Eagles country

    • ztom6

      I think Watkins main role in year one will be backing up Boykin at NB

      • GEAGLE

        No, expect us to implement a Dime package this year with both Boykin and Jaylen in the slot. It will allow us to get Meco off the field on 3rd and long…of course we will also go into some 4-2-5, 3-3-5…but we will definitely add a DIME package for Jaylen, ATleast that’s my expectation

        • ztom6

          they can do that too. Carroll is still the main backup on the outside.

          • GEAGLE

            Oh crap lol, forgot about him… Can he compete with Jaylen as a slot CB in dime, or is he strictly on the outside…in my head I think I remember Carrol having Nickle CB experience, but I’m not sure because believe the last few years he was strictly outside…don’t remember tho..can anyone speak on this with certainty? Will Carrol compete with Jaylen in the slot for the Dime CB role, or is he strictly competing on the outside?

          • Ark87

            They say he does both, primarily been inside just because of the way depth charts have shaken out in Miami, but he’s got all the stuff we like in an outside Corner.

          • GEAGLE

            Thank you…I had that he has done both in my head, but I couldn’t remember why

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Cossell says that Carroll is a clone to Mr Continuity (Fletcher). I expect that he’s not only insurance, but he takes that spot from Fletch (who with his injuries, looks better suited as your primary backup). Watkins is a player that I think is gonna make some noise and be our eventual 1, taking over for Williams.

            With Jenkins able to also play the slot, I could see some looks where Boykin or Watkins could play the deep zone safety looking for some INT opportunities. They’re both fast enough to make breaks on routes and athletic enough to steal a call away from overtop a receiver.

          • GEAGLE

            I dunno man… Not sure why the hell anyone is in a rush to get rid of our outside CBs.. Enjoy the teeth in our new defense? Thank Cary for that… As an outside CB, what more do I want that two outside CBs who held it down against a murderous stretch of big outside WRs in crunch time November and December? I’m not ready to assume that any OL CB would have stepped up like Cary did with our season on the line and shut down Dez Bryant on that crucial two point conversion.
            …it ain’t pretty with Cary! but he claws! scratches and battles all day. Kid has stepped up when it matters most these last two years in a row for us and the ravens… You take Cary’s play from November to Febuary these past two years and that’s a corner I want to go to war with. And now that I think we have the safeties to let our boys press, I’m expecting a serious leap in play from the entire secondary, just by sticking Malcolm back there and Wolff being able to play faster…

            Ideally for me I guess would be, Jaylen being so good that he has to be a #1 CB, Cary as the #2, with Brad and Carrol as depth. have a feeling Cary will get extended for two more years.. We shall see

            Wondering if Jaylens lack of size takes Ifo EKpre OLOMU off our board next year being that him and jaylen would be too small as an outside tandem for us

            I want Hironiss Grasu from Oregon on our line next year

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Watkins is a half inch shy of 6′. Fletcher is 6′ & Cary is 6’1″. I don’t see Watkins lack of size. 6’1″ is on the larger side, so he’s average. Not trying to run any of the CBs out. I said that Watkins is gonna be a player and I see him as the “eventual #1″ replacing Cary. I know you’ve got a soft spot for Cary & Fletch, but I’m about fielding the best tandem. If that proves to be Cary, Fletch, Watkins, Carroll, whomever. I just have a feeling about Watkins, just like I did with Boykin. I wanted us to draft Boykin because despite his size, I thought he’d a playmaker. I see the same things in Watkins, minus the knock on size.

          • GEAGLE

            I dont think his size is an issue, i just wonder if they would per Ifo Olomu with him since we are oregon east?

    • Phyxius

      I think Jenkins/Nate is more realistic for me.

      In fact, Nate’s our best safety. Bold of you to say that he won’t even make the roster.

      • GEAGLE

        Really? That bold? He had no market whatsoever and we didn’t even try to lowball him into a multiyear deal like we did with Maclin, before HE decided to sign for only one year…Sorry, don’t have much confidence in us losing young talent to keep The player I just described..

        That’s my thoughts on what could potentially end up happening,
        ..
        But as a fan, if I’m being honest I’d prefer we kept him and I also wouldn’t mind seeing what he can do with scheme continuity.. But I don’t get to pull the roster strings,

        I wouldn’t mind being wrong about this

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

    The big difference in those teams is Rodgers/Brees vs Foles. The Saints and Packers have proven QBs who could be headed to the Hall of Fame.

    uh…..advantage, Eagles. fact-check, Tommy.

    • Phyxius

      Looks more beautiful each and every time.

  • Engwrite

    I agree with your assessment, Tommy.
    However, there is one advantage the Eagles have yet to exploit, one that might bring them closer to the top two teams. To leverage that advantage
    the team would have to change its Defensive philosophy.
    The Eagles should move away from a ‘bend but don’t break’ to a gambling D, to a defense bent on forcing a three and out even at the risk of giving up the big play.
    Why?
    Because the Kelly offensive tempo should grind down the opposite D.
    That didn’t happen last year because our D came on the field and couldn’t get off, thus giving away one of the team’s key potential advantages.
    Even if the other team scores quickly it will work to our advantage by
    returning their D to the field.
    Needless to say you don’t play the gambling D all the time nor the same way
    against all teams. You mix and match, sometimes appearing to be super-aggressive but dropping back into coverage. But against the better teams you need to be prepared, on two out of three possessions, to sell out and go for the quick three and out.
    So if you want to joing Seattle and SF atop the NFC, limit ‘bend but don’t break’ and use all the advantages implicit in Chip Kelly’s system.

    • Ark87

      Basically go with the 2009 Saints Model

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I think that’s the direction they’re looking at going. When Chip came on, he was asked what kind of defense he wanted to field and to sum it up, he said an aggressive one. I believe the bend but don’t break was more out of need than want.

      • Neil

        I think bend but don’t break is still part of the philosophy. Nobody ever wants to give up a long play. And if you keep giving up short stuff, you give your aggressive defense more chances to cause a catastrophic play for the offense.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          But with now having a guy like Watkins who is a very good blend of size, speed and athleticism that can eventually be your 1, you’re not as worried about the deep play over the top as he can keep up with those #1 receivers & contest the catch down field. Williams is not that player at all. Watkins is gonna be a player. Mark my words.

          You’ve also now added an OLB in Smith that can pressure up front, drop back & flip with Barwin. I seriously don’t think BBDB is the philosophy but rather the need to maintain until we could draft the type of players that Chip wants on he and Davis’ defense. They may still focus on not giving up the big play, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a BBDB driven philosophy. I think our CBs played less press and off because they lacked the speed to contend down field. You’ll see this Tran being more aggressive on the outside on 3rd downs as Chip’s biggest thing about defense is making big plays at big moments & stopping the offensive momentum. Translation… increase 3rd down pressure & limit 3rd down conversions.

          • GEAGLE

            Think our corners didn’t press which happens to be both their strength because we didn’t have the horses at safety that we could trust.
            ..
            Malcolm won’t be making many mistakes, which should mean we see press coverage this year, which is what I think Cary and Brad were brought here to do….considering they could press last year, I thought they were much better than people give credit for

  • GEAGLE

    We friggin had to play Roc “Leadfoot(not as cool as murderleg, I know)” Charmicheal on the outside last year! that will never happen again… Sounds like automatic improvement to me lol

  • mtn_green

    Perspective:
    2010 Seahawks won their division with a 7-9 record, cardinals and 49ers too. Now their the best division. Teams can change dramatically year to year. NFC west all have warts.

    27/2, if Manziel goes 27/2 in 2014 they will just bring him the Super Bowl trophy in December and Nike will show up with a wheelbarrow of cash. Eagles easily have the BEST young QB in the league. Let me repeat that because we hear it so rarely on eagles blogs, Eagles have THE BEST young QB in the league. He’s humble, driven, lunch pail attitude and 6’5.

    Not even gonna start on the coach, in chip we trust.

    • GEAGLE

      Show some respect for FOles. He isn’t merely a young QB. He is a living Demi god, sent to end the mass genocide of worms in philly!

  • Ark87

    It’s Impossible to say at this point, but I really like the short-term potential of what the Saints did this off-season. They have to prove it but I think they’re knocking on the door of the top tier with the 49ers and Seahawks. I think the Panthers are going to go the other way.

  • Tumtum

    I think its a very good assessment of the NFC. History tells us though that at least one of these teams will buck expectations. Last year it was Atlanta, the Panthers, the Eagles (to outsiders), Arizona…. maybe even more. If we know anything it should be that we know nothing. There is so much parody in the NFL today, that is makes projecting almost as hit and miss as mocking drafts.

    Fun exercise and I think the logic behind this one is as good as any other. I just know that there will be surprise. It is one of the great things about this game.

    • Maggie

      Parody is probably not the best word to use in this context. I have to believe you meant parity.

      • Tumtum

        Got me.

  • A Roy

    Most stand on their feet. A few stand on ceremony. Some are standing pat. In the fall, some occupy a tree stand. Others hang out with George Cantstandya. (Stretched for that last one.)

    • Maggie

      What? Oh, stand. ;)

      • A Roy

        What’s on second? (BTW, you edit quickly.)

        • Mac

          You forgot one…

          • A Roy

            At my age, I’ve forgotten most of them. There’s also Edward James Olmos. (Stand and Deliver.)

          • OldDocRoss

            Stands to reason you’d forget some.

          • A Roy

            I knew you’d understand.

          • Mac

            Seems you may be within one stand-ard deviation of.the norm.

          • Maggie

            Stand tall, don’t you fall
            For God’s sake don’t go and do something foolish. ….Burton Cummings

          • A Roy

            Burton Cummings? I can’t guess who that is. Must be some Canadian.

        • Maggie

          Was ‘I don’t know’ on third or short?

  • shah8

    One thing to keep in mind, Eli Manning did have a genuinely bad year, even if you kept it purely to his passing, last year. And statistically, he’s among company that the blog Football Perspective (in their prospectus for Matt Schaub) groups as potentially being done after said bad year. Like Mark Sanchez here, Josh Freeman is probably more of an insurance policy for implosion than truly a backup.

  • GEAGLE

    Oh god!! Every day i can’t wait to get home to catch a new player interview video on PE.com… Just went to see who today was, and it’s that idiot/cult legend “murder leg” in studio with Spadaro. Don’t really care what he has to say, but I know he is everyone’s favorite these days so I figured I’d give ya’s the heads up

    • A Roy

      Why’re you hating on the guy already? We could use a better kicker.

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t hate on the kid at all. If there is a god, he will beat out henrey.. I HATE the reasons he has become a cult hero. All I hear about is how he tackles.. Was hoping the player that was going to push Alex would be known for booting shit out of the stadium!!

        • anon

          backup kicker w/ st ace — do we have a spot for that? if your kicker is tackling increases hat on hat numbers.

  • Sean Stott

    How are the 49ers considered that good of a team?

    They get smoked by multiple crappy teams every single year. Kaepernick is not a good QB, and threw their game away in the NFCCG. Frank Gore is super old. Their receivers are meh. Their OLine is good but there’s no depth. They’re not gonna have Aldon Smith for a while. Their secondary is garbage. I never understand people’s obsession with the 49ers.

    • D3FB

      I would argue that the Niners have one of the best receiving groups in the entire league. Crabtree, Boldin, Johnson, Ellington, Patton, Baldwin? That group may not have a super star but the top 5 can all ball out and Baldwin is one heck of a sixth WR.

      • Insomniac

        Stevie Johnson, Boldin, Crabtree, and Brandon Lloyd? That’s a pretty sure handed group of WRs.

        • anon

          yeah kap is TERRIBLE, but SF has like 4 solid RBs including KAP.

      • Anders

        Baldwin the guy who got traded for upper 1st round bust AJ Jenkins?

        • D3FB

          A 6’4 230lbs WR who ran a 4.5? As a sixth or seventh wr? I’ll take that anyday.

          • Anders

            True, but not sure how he is much better Momah right now.

          • D3FB

            Baldwin may have been a bust but he has still played in the league. Momah has never even made a squad, and has about a 2% chance of even making the practice squad this year.

      • Maggie

        Let’s not forget tight ends.

    • OldDocRoss

      They’ve been to three NFC championship games and a Super Bowl the last three years. They’re gonna get (and deserve) some love.

      Also, last year they lost to:
      - Seattle
      - Indy
      - Carolina
      - NO

      with two of those losses coming by a combined four points. So “smoked by multiple crappy teams every year” is provably wrong.

  • Phils Goodman

    The Saints had a better record in a tougher division and they added Byrd and Cooks (while the Eagles got the Saints inferior leftovers at those spots — Jenkins and Sproles). The Eagles best addition was Jordan Matthews, but it is mitigated by the loss of Jackson. Peyton and Brees have years of proven success together and fewer question marks overall. Hopefully the Eagles remain ascendant, but I can’t say they are on the same level as the Saints.

    • Sean Stott

      Cooks and Jackson are limited by their size. They’re good for getting yards, but disappear in the red zone where it matters. You win games with points, not with yards.

      • Phils Goodman

        You need to get yards to score TDs and Cooks had 18 TDs last year. Even though he isn’t tall, his skill, speed and body-density can translate into NFL TDs. He was a RZ machine last year.

        • GEAGLE

          You really losing sleep over losing Cooks and settling on Mathews?

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Matthews would hurdle Cooks’ little a$$.

          • GEAGLE

            Truth

    • Insomniac

      I’d argue that the best addition was Marcus Smith.

      • Phils Goodman

        I don’t agree. I had Matthews rated as a much better prospect than Smith pre-draft (1st round vs 3rd) and Matthews has a much clearer path towards making a major contribution as a rookie. Kelly uses 3WR sets over 80% of the time, and Matthews is essentially pencilled in as a de facto starter already. Smith will be battling Cole and Barwin (two of Davis’ trusted veterans) for rotational snaps.

        Roseman has already admitted that the Smith pick was dictated by positional need and also implied that they didn’t have a strong 1st round grade on him. I personally don’t ever like to see a 1st round pick used on an edge-rusher with 2nd-tier athleticism. I believe the Eagles should have moved up for an outstanding edge-rusher or waited longer for a steal. It’s a high-bust position that favors the athletically elite, and the Eagles strategy didn’t reflect that. I remain uncomfortable with the pick. This research gives some background on why I favor that approach:

        http://www.draftmecca.com/newslink.php?id=76

        • D3FB

          To your first point, the draft isn’t about first year contributions. It’s about what the play is two or three years from now. Marcus has the ability to become a 10-12 sack guy with good coverage skills.

          As far as moving up for a top tier rusher Mack and Barr went 5th and 9th respectively. You’re talking about having to move our 2nd, 3rd, and a future first and probably fourth to go up that high. So now you have Barr but no Matthews who you just said you liked alot, no Huff, and no first round pick next year. No thanks.

          As far as “waiting longer for a steal” who do you think was still out there? Lawrence and Murphy are better 43 ends and not as talented as Marcus. Marcus is a better player than Attachou.The underacheiving Powell? Shembo who is too short? Kennard who projects as a quality depth player?

          • 76mustang

            I agree that Marcus was the best fit of the second tier rushers – the draft just didn’t fall well for the Eagles’ first round choices. It’s funny that if the Eagles had taken Matthews at 26 and traded up to select Marcus at 42, there would have been far less outcry – thing is, I don’t think Marcus would have been available at 42, so the Eagles made the right call in selecting Marcus at 26.

            The link that Phils Goodman provided on 3-4 OLB projections is a good read and worth the time – the Waldo post especially:

            http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=439601

          • GEAGLE

            Marcus is literally the only player we could have gotten to end my drooling over Dion Jordan, and Anthony Barr…I think Marcus upside is closer to Anthony Barr, than it is to Trent Murphy, Demarcus Lawrence and Damontre Moore, the other young edge rushers in our division…

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Maaaarcuuus Daaaarliiing

          • GEAGLE

            Yes!!!!!

          • Fabrizio

            Also please don’t forget he was a QB 2 years ago just like LJ wasn’t on the online 2 years ago. How did that turn out?

        • GEAGLE

          Be honest with you.. I would have strongly considered Marcus with Brandin Cooks and Haha Dix on the board.
          ..
          That kid spent so much time in coverage, had he just pinned his earns back and rushed on every play like Dee Ford who never spent a second in coverage, Marcus probably leads the nation with close to 20 sacks..

          Listen, people need to just grasp their minds around sometimes their will be a major discrepancy between how the media mocks a prospect and how NFL front offices see them. if you are a GM, and you like Marcus smith and the media is running around calling him a third round pick, why would you correct them and tell them you have a top 40 grade on him?
          ..
          The only players who were so good, that We would have had to pass on an edge rusher with this type of upside Are Mosley, Odell Beckam……

          Cooks is a really nice player, but I can say I’m losing any sleep over having to settle for Jordan Mathews..
          ..
          Brilliant draft in my opinion….

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Hah, brilliant! Isn’t there some cartoon character that says that?

          • philliesfan136

            People need to grasp their minds around this ….. NOBODY, knows s__t about this draft for two (2) to three (3) years. Then, and ONLY then, can anyone say who was a reach or who was a great call. Anything else is pure speculation. P.S. – Phils Goodman knows his football.

        • Insomniac

          I’m in the category of having Matthews being out of the top 5 Wr in this draft. Smith might not have been a sexy pick but he has potential to be what we need for the defense. Imo, Matthews doesn’t have the ability to be the go to guy at the next level. I had Smith rated higher than Matthews.

        • Maggie

          Many other did not have Matthews rated so high. We all are entitled to our opinions of course, just as the Eagles drafted to their board and ignored the ten thousand different opinions of the fans.

          • Fabrizio

            How do u not have a guy who’s is more than 45% of hos offense rayed so high ? The guy had a different QB the last 3 years. No other weapon and he still performedthat well. You ‘re smoking smothing Maggie that u need to pass immediately.

          • JohnA

            Of course a receiver is way more plug and play than edge rusher and yeah that’s a no-brainier that he’ll get more playing time sooner than Smith…BUT…the birds have a bigger need for depth and versatility on defense. We already had a better offense than San Fran or Seattle -and still do- I actually think this ‘Chippification’ of the defense will have them complete a turnaround like the offense achieved last year. Maybe not a #1-3 defense but quite possibly top ten. If so then at the end of this season the Eagles might find themselves within a few tiny tweaks of taking it all.

    • Maggie

      Inferior leftovers? The Sainted Drew Brees (see what I did there?) said he did not want Sproles to go. the Eagles lost nothing except a few Sports Desk highlights when Jackson’s agent made a bunch of new money. Green Bay is a better team, but they have lost several receivers over the last couple of years and 3 or 4 years ago they had a bad defense, that even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t overcome. Packers or Saints fan are you?

    • Fabrizio

      Don’t count us out just yet.

  • Pingback: The Linc – DeSean Jackson says everybody in the Eagles locker room loved him : best deal builder

  • mikeyc

    I feel like our defense will be much underrated going into this season. Smith wont start out as an every down player but his ability to have the most sacks per game last year will be noticed. I am excited to see his athleticism matched with that of mychal kendricks. Much more competition in the secondary including the addition of former saints defensive captain malcolm jenkins. I dont even need to get into the offense with foles, mccoy, mac, coop, matthews and huff, sproles, celek, ertz, and the foundation of a top 3 offensive line. Good things in 2014.