Instant Answers

Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 37 Comments »

Mini-camp starts on Monday for the Eagles. This is a mandatory event. The OTAs are voluntary, but most players attend anyway so it really won’t be all that different.

For PE.com I wrote a piece about fans and the desire for instant answers.

Eagles fans have the best coverage in the entire NFL. PE.com is a great team site. There are multiple newspapers and media outlets that provide great coverage. We’ve seen Les Bowen, Jeff McLane, Reuben Frank, Geoff Mosher and Zach Berman all break stories, as well as providing outstanding daily coverage. Paul Domowitch is a great columnist who offers an interesting take on the team and the league. Tim McManus and Sheil Kapadia do a phenomenal job of combining news and analysis. Derek Sarley does great All-22 work for the Daily News (and at Iggles Blog). Brandon Lee Gowton and Mike Kaye do excellent work over at Bleeding Green Nation.  There are a slew of good bloggers who run their own sites. The ChipWagon proved to be a great source of All-22 analysis last season.

Even Jimmy Bama writes the occasional kinda half-decent article. He is certainly the preeminent artist amongst the Eagles media contingent.

The quality and amount of Eagles coverage is almost overwhelming.

Eagles fans get a ton of practice reports, from OTAs to mini-camps to Training Camp. Who’s good? Who’s struggling? Some writers love this stuff, while others do it because they have to. Fans certainly eat it up. They want to know how all the players look.

The problem is that context is sometimes lost. Fans and media don’t always know what to look for. They can often focus on results while coaches and scouts are looking more at skill and talent. Matt Barkley’s best throw in a practice could be an incompletion. The receiver might have run the wrong route, making Barkley look bad. The writer will note the incompletion, while the coach may love the throw.

A defensive player might impress the coaches by being in the right spot consistently. He can’t hit or tackle anyone so he won’t necessarily stand out to a casual observer.

There is also the question of players getting better. Coaches understand that players develop over time. That could be weeks, months or years. Fans and the media don’t always have the most patience in the world. Coaches are looking to see who is learning and making progress. They know what to look for and that helps them judge the players in a more accurate way.

Enjoy all the coverage. Just try not to get too high or too low on players in the spring and summer. There are very few instant answers that turn out to be accurate.

* * * * *

Speaking of great Eagles coverage…sad news. Bryce Johnston is shutting down EaglesCap.com.

Dear Users of the Site,

After 10 off-seasons of Eagles salary cap coverage, I am announcing at this time that I am no longer going to continue to maintain eaglescap.com. The Allen Barbre extension is the last contract that I am going to enter onto the site, and in August I am going to cancel the domain name. So if you would like to record any information for your own use, please do so shortly. I will be happy to continue answering questions via e-mail and Twitter.

I now strongly endorse overthecap.com as the most reliable and comprehensive source of Eagles contract and salary cap information. Overthecap.com provides such information for all 32 teams, and does so with tremendous accuracy and thoroughness, rendering sites like this one obsolete.

From this point forward I will be contributing occasionally to overthecap.com. I will write some Eagles-focused pieces, but primarily I will write about contract structure and cap management strategies in a non-team-specific sense. I will also remain active on Twitter.

I would like to thank all those who have used the site thoughout the years, e-mailed me with questions or suggestions, and interacted with me on Twitter. This decision is bittersweet, but I think the timing is right.

Bryce Johnston

Kudos to Bryce for running a great site for a long time. Do follow him on Twitter.

_


  • JakFTW

    Let’s not forget the wonderful work of that blogger named Tommy Lawlor… he’s pretty good too.

  • IAteLunchToday

    In the next couple of years when you get around to changing your logo :) you should add those other people (ChipWagon, et al) to your blog roll.

    I do enjoy your work. Thanks.

    • ICDogg

      Most of Chip Wagon’s work is now posted on Bleeding Green Nation, and a couple of the Oregon Duck Chip Kelly following crowd post there as well.

  • Media Mike

    Total shame about the Eagles Cap web site. The sheer joy of looking at future cap savings by looking at the money we’d get by cutting guys I don’t like / don’t want to pay is truly excellent!

    • ICDogg

      Over The Cap is still good for that.

      It makes sense for Bryce to move on from the site, and it was a valuable resource for many years, but Over The Cap is an excellent comprehensive site for this kind of info, at least the kind stored in the tables. The individual contract details, we might have to look elsewhere.

      • Anders

        overthecap have individiul contract breakdowns as well and even have articles explaining them. It also sounds like Bryce will now write for overthecap instead.

        • ICDogg

          Ah yes, you are correct. It will be good to see some more Eagle-centric blog commentary there.

    • GEAGLE

      He should do a Dallas cap site so we can laugh

      • Ben

        That’s just so unfair.
        Don’t get me wrong I truly hate Dallas with a passion, but at the same time there’s a very small part of me that ALMOST feels sorry for their fans.
        I mean just look at their Owner, Jerry” someobody put me in a nursing home already” Jones.
        That poor guy probably needs help finding the bathroom.
        Then you got the Head Coach Jeff “Howdy Doody got nothing on me” Garrett” .
        I mean cmon, having two of the goofiest looking Coach/Owners to ever grace the NFL.
        They almost look lke father and son.
        That’s just priceless :-)

  • Dominik

    Re: last post

    @ T-Law, in your last post you wrote:

    Alex Henery isn’t being seriously challenged, but he seems to have gotten the message that he must be better if he wants to keep his job for the long term

    No offense to you, but what makes you think that? I think Murderleg was a bad sign for Henery, a little bit like: if you play awful, you have to beat out some funny competition, but don’t have to fear anything. Now, maybe they talked to him so he feels that sense of urgency, but from the outside (!), I see nothing that has to scare Henery the way he should be scared after playing that horrible last year.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think a combination of factors got Henery’s attention. First, criticism by fans and the media was extreme. Players say they don’t pay attention, but that’s mostly a lie. They’re human. They see/hear it.

      And I do think the coaches let him know they expected a better performance this year. The Eagles have been patient with Henery, which I think is good. But now is the time for him to step up…or else.

      • Dominik

        Thanks for your reply, Tommy. It’s very appreciated.

        To your point about criticism by fans and media: I think players see und read that, too, even if they don’t acknowledge it very often (except when they did something good which no one expected, then it’s: none of you guys believed in me and I got the job done).
        But it depends on the type of person you are if it motivates you or not. Henery could (!) read the negative reactions and think: those are iditos who know nothing, I’m still on the roster, therefore the coaches are happy with me and I don’t have to improve anything, I just have to be myself.

        We can hope that Henery isn’t the kind of self-satisfied player, for our sake (we need a better season from this position) and for his sake (if he thinks what he did last year is good enough, he won’t kick long in this league). But it depends on him and they type of person he is, imho.

        • GEAGLE

          I was not happy with what Alex had to say last week… Chip made so many of our players improve in one offseason, nothing to do but cross our fingers and hope Chip can develop Alex in two offseasons….take solace in the fact that teams have cut kickers plenty during the season and found capable ones on the street

      • Ben

        When people start referring to you as Noodle anything, it’s definitley time to step up your game. LOL
        I almost fell outta my chair when I saw Jimmy Kempski’s drawing of Henery.
        I bet Henery will have words for Jimmy at some point in training camp.
        I would love to hear that conversation.

    • A_T_G

      I’d like to propose a new rule: no comments entitled “last post” shall be made under an article in which Tommy writes about an Eagles blog coming to an end.

      • Ben

        here here

  • CaliEaglesFan

    Bryce and eaglescap closing shop just made me think about the inevitable day you bring your blogging career to an end, what a sad day that will be. Hopefully that day won’t come until we win a Super Bowl though. I agree with everything in this post. Besides NY and LA I think Philly has the most sports coverage and for football probably the best.

    Side note: on your last post about how good the eagles could be when you got to special teams you didn’t remember to include Ed Reynolds. I believe a Stanford writer weighed in on Ed on BGN stating they wouldn’t be surprised if he’s our best STs player. I really like what we did in FA and the draft to sure up STs, especially since we still have Henery kicking (praying he improves even a little on kickoffs)

  • eagleyankfan

    imho — I come here first for T-Law’s top notch articles. Second, I come here for most of the fans who comment. I know they(you) post on other message boards but here, it seems the bs(that exist on other boards) doesn’t happen here and the posters keep is civil. PE, I don’t venture on much….

  • GEAGLE

    The bills have a LB who most likely isn’t going to make the roster. Drafted #105′in the 2012 draft, started 13 games…. He is a “speed LB” who can play in subpackages, but not the type of Thumper that could ever eventual take over for Meco…but I wouldn’t mind seeing us add him when he gets cut and see if he can win a spot on ST and push Goode, and maybe even help us get rid of Casey Mathews….his name is Nigel Bradham…this isn’t a signing that you can just pencil in as part of the 53!man roster, but I wouldn’t mind giving him a look..

    • Ark87

      Wonder how he does on special teams. Casey definitely isn’t here to play linebacker, that’s for sure (by all accounts they seem to value him on special teams).

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah ST will be key for him…he is currently trying to fight his way onto a roster spot via ST because of the kids they drafted and FA LBs they added…

        Giants just signed draft pick jay Bromleyll.i still can’t get over the fact they drafted him in round 3…I was extremely vocal about us adding a NT in round 7, and I had Bromley on my emergency list if we couldn’t get Beau Allen,Deandre Coleman or Shemar Stephan’s in round 7…. I have NO IDEA how that kid got drafted in round 3..

        • D3FB

          Bromley is a much better fit in a 43. He can play both noseguard or 3tech for them. I had a fourth round grade for a 43 team on him. I didn’t value him for us until the late fifth or sixth.

          • GEAGLE

            Totally agree about him being a better 4-3 fit.. Don’t even think that can be disputed. Surprise to hear you have a 4th on him, I didn’t see him drafted til the 7th possibly even priority FA.. His not being the best fit is why I had him as emergency status for us, and ranked a lessor player ahead of him for us like Deandre Coleman. But props on the grade, much more accurate then my evaluation of him

          • D3FB

            He has decent burst, solid strength and should be able to backup both DT spots immediately. He has the upside to be a decent starter in a year or two. That’s the type of player you look for once you get to day 3.

        • RobNE

          interesting that the 3 “college coaches” (SF, Seattle and Eagles) are bringing some new ideas into the NFL. Too bad they are all in the NFC.

  • Neil

    More Henery:

    Has anyone seen a practice report where Henery missed a field goal?

  • GEAGLE

    Interesting that the NFL arbitrator ruling on Jimmy Graham’s “position-gate” is the philly arbitrator…anyone know if it’s the arbitrator that’s also a professor at one of our local universities?(can’t thnk which one)

    Shadys comments yesterday were interesting. To paraphrase, he said cutting Desean put the roster on notice. You either buy in and commit 100% or you won’t be in philly regardless of how good you are. Basically cutting Deseean opened team mates eyes…. Our poor philly media…what are they going to do this summer, with all this harmony at Novacare?
    ..
    1) No QB battle to sell to fans
    ..
    2) no hold outs, contract issues unlike the Niners who have Vernon Davis as a no show for mandatory OTAs.not sure if starting RG Boone showed up or not, but he is disgruntled..
    ..
    3) and a coach who practices so different from other franchises, to where, watching our practices doesn’t tell the hole story about our depth chart….of course in training camp the depth chart will start to form it’s shape, but we also should know by now, that the preseason is important to how the depth chart will be set. We didn’t even have a starting QB til almost the end of August last year…not only will backend roster spots be won in the preseason, but backup and subpackage jobs probably won’t be set til after the preseason

    • ICDogg

      The arbitrator is Stephen Burbank, who is a professor with University of Pennsylvania Law School. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_B._Burbank

      • GEAGLE

        Thank you sir,,,anyone have any clue how this situation will be ruled? With the way the position is changing, can we really say Graham isn’t a TE? Ebron was just drafted as a TE, yet he will mostly be a WR I assume..Ertz is a guy who will have plenty snaps lining up in the slot and out wide..Jordan Reed is used in a similar way to Graham….sucks for Jimmy, but I don’t see how this can go his way. 5 years ago, he would be such a rare TE that he would have a real case for being counted as a TE, but in today’s NFL, how can he win this argument?

        • ICDogg

          I don’t see how Graham wins this argument.

      • RobNE

        Burbank is one of the professors who terrorize first year law students. He’s been there awhile including when I was there, but I had a different professor terrorize me. He’s known for having a huge ego. Being the NFL go to arbitrator I am sure just adds fuel to that fire.

        To GEAGLE, I think Graham loses but I haven’t put too much time into thinking about it. Who knows.

  • GEAGLE

    Yesterday our coordinators and assistants talked to the media..so many good nuggets of info…when guys get board and need their eagles fix, PE.com has the videos up of our OC and DC…but I know Bicknell, Minter spoke, but those videos hadn’t been posted last time I checked this morning…

    Can anyone tell me if Stoutland and Azz also spoke yesterday?

  • CaliEaglesFan
  • Ben

    Another well written peice.
    This next paragraph is not for the usual readers.

    I don’t know if all of your readers know or if it’s been said in this comment stream but Tommy mentions several great bloggers and writers that give us tons of information about the team we all love, but I dont know if everyone knows that over at the far left of these comments under “Blog Roll”, he has provided direct links to all of the aforementioned news outlets.

    My good deed of the year has been done. PBR and Funyons time.

  • Cliff

    So many Eagles bloggers have earned other writing jobs over the years…. that’s proof that we have the best overall coverage in the league.

    I think EaglesCap was really a pioneer in NFL coverage. Not many sites follow and report on cap numbers, so we always had the best information about our team.

  • Mark Schmidt

    When McNabb went down to DC, I read a few months of the ‘Skins online fans site. It is NOTHING at all like anything relating to the Eagles or the Philly fans. They really frowned on criticism of the team, especially coaching, and most of the stuff was pretty light weight puff pieces, not much substance.

    Eagles fans – Philly area fans – might bitch and moan a lot, but you are getting THE best team coverage and information there is. Just remember these things take time to develop…give it time and at least wait till players get a chance to play… For some reason, I believe Chip knows what he is doing, and it’s been a real pleasure to watch so far.

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