A Matter of Perspective

Posted: June 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 96 Comments »

The Eagles defense struggled in a major way early in 2013. It got better down the stretch, but everyone who watched knew the unit needed help.

So the offseason came and went. The Eagles basically changed one starter, adding FS Malcolm Jenkins. How you interpret this is a matter of perspective. Phil Sheridan touched on this in a recent column.

During OTA practices the past two weeks, 10 of the 11 starters from the end of last year were still at the top of the depth chart.

And that’s how you know what coach Chip Kelly, GM Howie Roseman and defensive coordinator Bill Davis really think. If they believed the defense was simply devoid of talent, they would have done more in free agency to add some. Instead, they appear convinced that it’s more important for the current players to grow within Davis’ 3-4 defensive scheme than to shuffle personnel.

“Overall, the whole defense has grown because we’re more comfortable with what we’re doing,” inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans said.

Last year, Ryans was adjusting to the 3-4 after playing middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. He wound up playing more snaps than any inside linebacker in the NFL in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s because Ryans stayed healthy, but also because Davis desperately needed his awareness and knowledge on the field on every down.

Ryans will likely carry just as heavy a burden in 2014. But the addition of Jenkins will help ease the strain a bit. Jenkins replaces Patrick Chung, who was hampered by injury last year, and rookie Earl Wolff, who replaced Chung as a starter.

“Malcolm is going to be the leader in the back end,” Ryans said. “He’s a guy who gets the guys in the right position. He can make the plays you want to make. He’s a great addition to our secondary.”

That should help the entire secondary play as a cohesive unit. So should some more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Eagles began to identify and develop strong players in their front seven last season. That process should continue and bear fruit in 2014.

Defensive end Cedric Thornton will begin this season as a starter rather than as a curiosity.Bennie Logan will be the nose tackle. Cole will be in his second season as a linebacker after spending 2013 making the transition from defensive end. Ryans, Cole, Connor Barwin andMychal Kendricks should all be better after playing together for a full season.

Best of all, the defense experienced some success in that first year. The Eagles finished strong, earning the division title with a victory in Dallas in Week 17. Their first-round playoff loss to New Orleans showed them exactly where they need to get better.

“We understand what is expected from us,” Williams said. “We’re going to continue to build off what we did last year. I think we’re on the right path.”

Kelly, Roseman and Davis think the same thing. Their actions this offseason say so.

He’s dead on the money. If the Eagles brass thought the defense had no talent and no hope, they would have been more aggressive with their offseason moves. Instead, they are showing patience with the current players.

This isn’t to say they are definitively right and all the doubters are wrong.

The point is simply that the coaches and Howie Roseman were comfortable enough not to make a bunch of changes to get immediate results. They trust the young players on the roster to develop and improve. They trust the draft process to add talent. They are trying to build a good defense rather than cobbling together something that might or might not work on an annual basis.

Time will tell if the coaches and Roseman made the right decision, as well as if they made the right moves to back that decision. I just think it is important for some to understand the thought process behind the lack of big moves on the defense.

Too often fans mistake action for success. Just look south down I-95. The Ravens are one of the most patient teams in the entire league. Ozzie Newsome doesn’t panic. They win year after year. The Skins have virtually no patience and seem to have a different plan each year. They continue to struggle. Skins fans have a lot more fun in the offseason, but Ravens fans get to enjoy September through January.

One of the reasons I’m so willing to trust Chip Kelly and Roseman is that they have plans. There are long term plans and short terms plans. They have a rhyme and a reason for the things they do. Not all of the plans will work as expected, but I’m a firm believer that you must have long term vision to build a championship team in the NFL. The NBA and MLB are very different situations. In pro football, building a winning team takes time. That requires vision and planning. And some good moves.

_


  • GEAGLE

    They are absolutely right and the doubters are all wrong!! Yeah I said it! Lol

    Like I said last offseason…eagles already had 70% of the personel In place for an eventual top defense… We just needed time to coach them up, let them grow, and gel together….

    Glad it’s becoming obvious!!! Beats last offseason when all everyone was saying is we would have a historically bad defense again… What a difference 365 days can make..

    and this time next year, everyone will be jacked up, convinced that we will be be fielding a top defense in 2015!!!
    ..
    “Can you hear me now?”…

    • Tom33

      In general I agree with this.
      The one thing I haven’t seen them address though is the ability to generate a consistent pass rush. Like you said, this (along with blown assignments on the back end) was the big reason they couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down. Now, maybe with a year under their belts Davis will trust the secondary more than he did last year and do more blitzing, but personnel-wise, there isn’t anything that jumps out to say they will be getting to the opposing QB more often.

      • GEAGLE

        Pass rush will be better for various reasons:
        ..
        Cox will be a better pass rusher than last year(don’t see why he would remain stagnant)
        ..
        Curry will be much better. He was asked to make the hardest transition on the team…so there is just no way we got to see his best ball yet

        A year more experienced in our blitz packages

        Adding a first round pick to 3rd down pass rush situations

        Improved depth. So Barwin and Kendricks probably won’t be as handcuffed in coverage as they were last year. Mykal Kendricks has been a quality Blitzer since his Cal Days…I’d bet his pass rush opportunities are up from last years total.. Even Barwin should have more pass rush attempts then last year…
        ..,
        Our CBs… The strength of our CBs is using their size to get up on the line of scrimmage and battle WRs, disrupt their timing with the QB. We signed big press corners and our safeties we so bad that we didn’t trust them enough to let our CBs do what we signed them to do…..ALL LAST SEASON our outside,corners either played off, or they lined up like they would press but have their man a free release… Expecting our corners to get up and press all year, and their will be times, that they get the best of the WR who the QB intends to throw it to, screw up the timing. QB holds the ball an extra second, giving our pass rush more time to get there,,.
        ….
        If,we agree that we didn’t see our players best ball yet because they were year one in a new scheme, and we were counting on so many young players that we were developing….that goes for our pass rushers too!!! We have the horses, they just needed some more time to grow

        • Sb2bowl

          Geagle–
          Agreed on your statement regarding Kendricks pass rush/blitz opportunities and talent; his speed and agility is tough for guard/tackle tandems to get to, and his strength is enough so that RB’s are merely speed bumps on the way to a sack (loved when he took Cutler down last year against the Bears…… he got cut, kept his balance by bear crawling, stayed low to the ground and plastered Cutler right in the sternum, almost knocking the ball out). If I remember, CAL used Kendricks as their blitzing LB, but he still had the skills to cover when needed (I actually think that most of is issues come from him being 5’10/11″ instead of 6’2/3″– he’s just shorter than the person he’s covering. It is especially evident when he covers Witten…..)

          I’m excited for the opportunities our guys have going in to next year; the second year of a scheme lends to so many advantages for players and coaches, I’m glad they didn’t try and “get cute” by bringing in a number of middle/higher price free agents.

          • GEAGLE

            ILBs aren’t primarily the ones responsible for TEs… It’s a testament to Mykals coverage potential(and his team,mates incompetence in coverage) that we have seen Mykal cover TEs so often that we believe it to be one of his primary responsibilities…

            Outside linebackers and Safeties are more responsible for TEs than Kemdrick is….when we are In man coverage, an ILBs primary responsibility is covering the running backs going out to catch passes… That’s why you saw Billy Davis give Kemdricks the freedom to “green Dog Blitz” last year…for those that don’t know…green dog blitzes are when the running back Kendricks is responsible for in man coverage stays in to block instead of running a pattern as a pass catcher, Kemdricks has the green light to rush the passer.. Great sign that Kendricks was able to handle green dog responsibilities so soon in his career. He was pretty darn effective running them, and I can’t recall him getting burnt by the running back pretending to stay in and block and when Kendricks starts blitzing, the back releases and goes out to catch a pass. I was worried about veteran Sproles making Kendricks pay for it in the playoffs! but it never really came back to bite Mykal last year….
            ….
            And yes, Kendricks was used to blitz a lot at Cal…another thing to keep in mind, even tho we see so much coverage potential in Mykal, it’s important to remember that man coverage was like the one thing he had no experience doing in college…so he basically only been doing it for two years now, so I’m sure he still has another level to reach in terms of ability….
            ….
            Shutting down a TE in man coverage isn’t the job of an ILB… Mykals ability gives us another player to throw at the leagues top TEs…but just go back to the saints game, you never saw Kendrick on Jimmy Graham… TE responsibility will be Barwin, Marcus, Jenkins! Wolff! Nate and then it’s Mykals responsibility…….now when we drop in zone coverage he will have to deal with TEs in the middle of the field so he will have to Improve…but he has 30 games under his belt so this is around the time he starts to become crafty, ,earning the tricks of the trade and nuances of the position so I’m sure we will see improvement in his overall game..

            Personally, I expect MK to be one of our best defenders… Think he is in for a monster year..he won’t have to think as much as last year which means we should see his insane athletic ability on full display this year

          • Sb2bowl

            Billy D used MK a lot last year, because yes, dude can stick with most route runners (obviously, we aren’t lining him up outside against Calvin 1v1); even RB’s coming out of the backfield, DeMeco and MK were more than able to keep up with them– I look forward to watching them play together this year, in the same scheme for the 2nd year in a row!!

            As far as your expectations for MK– I do as well, he’s got serious potential, and if he isn’t careful, he’s going to become a household name this year. If he can play with his head on his shoulders,then he could be our best defensive play maker. And I would LOVE to see that………..

            He reminds me of William Thomas from back in the 90′s– but I was a young Eagles lad, going to games early so we could meet the players when they parked their car at the Vet………. not the same today though, which sucks!

          • GEAGLE

            William Thomas is old school.. I was a little to young to be able to make that comparison… But the future for Kendricks is certainly bright… The plays were he really knew what he was doing and could play with anticipation, he looked like he was shot out of a Cannon…. Kid projects to be a high level well rounded LB… I feel fortunate that he wasn’t ruined by his rookie year under Andy…instead of this being year 3 in our scheme, we wasted a year of his development playing SAM in a wide 9 SMH… Thank GOD Lurie pulled the plug on that regime before it could further taint the promising 2012 class

          • Andy124

            That’s a tough comparison to make. Willie T played a different position, and was an absolute stud in coverage.

            There are definitely similarities too. Like Kendriks, pass rushing isn’t a frequent responsibility, but he did well with it when called upon. And his game was built more on speed than power.

          • Nicodemus_09

            Correct me if i’m wrong, but from what I’ve been able to glean from your comments you seem like a guy who loves D. I do too, having grown up watching Reggie, Clyde Jerome & co. do their thing & then Dawk becoming my favorite Bird of all time. If i’m right & you lust after great plauers on D, You would’ve LOVED watching William Thomas. Different defense totally but that guy among other things, was a pick MACHINE from the lb spot. So much fun to watch! : )

          • GEAGLE

            I’m a defensive maniac… Before FOles and Chip, I swear I didn’t even like offense..
            ..
            I’ll still take a 13-3 win over a 37-32 win any day!
            ..
            I was born in 82… So I got to see some tapes of the good OL days of our defense, but I didn’t get to watch those defenses as closely as I wish I could have..

            But yeah, I’m defense first all day!!!
            ..
            Obviously I adore Dawk… But Trot was my dude!!! Give anything to see him blow up the A gap one last time, destroy a RB, get up and drop the Ax in front of 60,000 screaming lunatics….. Jimmy Johnson is literally my favorite coach in the history of Philly sports.. I used to love that mean old bastard(rip).. An hour before game time back then, I used to get all weapon X type of crazy in my living room….. I enjoyed last season, but I’ll really start getting crazy again when we have a NASTY defense that I know we are building…
            …By the end of this season no one will doubt our defense again. But in 2015,’that’s when we will have the philly style defense this city is craving for!!

          • Nicodemus_09

            I’ll share a bit of what made me fall in love with defense so much. Hopefully won’t bore you to tears. My father was a RABID Eagles fan and a maniacal fan of good D. He worshipped Chuck Bednarik as a god & attended the 1960 championship game. So good D was sacred in our house. The day I fell in love was very specific. I was a freshman in H.S. in 1991 when we whooped Dallas 24-0 and we sacked Aikman 11 times! I remember Clyde Simmons had 4&1/2 sacks & Jetome Brown I BELIEVE had 2 & 1/2. That game will always be the hold standard for defensive excellence for me personally. I mean a shutout vs. the Crygirls? 11 sacks & 1 seperated shoulder for Aikman? Away man I’d KILL to get a copy of that AND the “body bag” game. Defensive NIRVANA!

          • GEAGLE

            Lol you couldn’t bore we with defensive talk if you tried… I hate that I can’t download torrents of the games back in the day… That’s why I make sure to burn every single game on DVD so 20 years from now. I can’t bitch about not having the Chip era on film…

            Wow, your dad was at the 1960s championship lol it’s obvious you were raised right!! :)

            I still watch the body bag game on YouTube like once a year… Wish I could see all of those old eagles games

          • Sb2bowl

            I still have that game on VHS at my parents house…. I was 7 years old when that took place– though I thought it was 1989.

          • Nicodemus_09

            That is incredibly cool that you actually have that on VHS! You got me questioning myself on the year because I was just recalling the year based on being a freshman in H.S. But for once I had it right, it was Sept. 15th 1991.

          • Sb2bowl

            Mom actually used to record most of the games— she would tape over some crappy ones (which means we don’t have much from 93-98ish) but I want to transfer what we have to DVD.

          • Nicodemus_09

            Your MOM taped them?! Dude. I hope you realise your mom is totally bad ASS! : )

          • Sb2bowl

            Pretty sure my grandma had a “thing” with some of the players, back when training camp was in Hershey, pa. We had a bar in the basement, and we have more than a few pics of players drinking in our basement, having a good time. Grammy had a lot of “emotion” when speaking of certain players, in more than a game day memory type thing.

            Actually, my uncles used to help out at training camp back in the 60s; they would carry equipment for the players and team….. Lots of history in our family.

            Yea, mom is pretty BA– took me to my first game when I was about 7– we played the Raiders, at the Vet. Only really remember the smell of beer, and the sound of men yelling and cursing. Ahh….. I miss the Vet. What a dump, but it was OUR dump, and opposing players FEARED playing us there; getting tackled on concrete is never fun

          • Nicodemus_09

            I am nearly speechless those storied are so damned cool
            I really appreciate you sharing that stuff! I too loved the VET: ) It was INDEED “our dump” brother! I managed to get tossed out of a Phillies game at age 12 lol for being a hooligan to the point that I won’t humiliate myself by sharing the details. I know my grandad also met a really good amount of the old time players and therefore my father as well. Not in the same capacity as your gramma I hope! Lmao My grandad was mayor of a town I’m south jersey for many many years and owned a couple of hardware stores as well. He was a huge fan and it was through him, that my dad & his cousin obtained tickets to the 1960 championship game as well as many many others. Both my pop & my grandad passed away FAR to young & there is SO MANY stories I never got to hear. Thank you for sharing yours!

          • Sb2bowl

            Yea man, sorry to hear about their passing– our family was also at the ’60 championship game (1st year we had season tickets– we are to blame for the lack of SB trophies). Mom, grandpa, Grammy, and both uncles were at the Hershey area when Wilt scored 100….. Tickets are still downstairs as well– just a different time/era of our country, those days are long gone.

            I remember giving out Christmas cookies to the players when we would try to get autographs before games back at the Vet. We used to run to players as they pulled in to the stadium; William Perry is the largest man I have ever seen in my life (highlighted by the fact I was about 10 at the time)…… Reggie was a gentle giant, and Jerome took extra cookies. Different life, for sure

          • Nicodemus_09

            Those were without question the very coolest, up close AND personal Philly sports stories I’ve ever been told. BEYOND cool man. On a personal note, I don’t think there is a single family of Eagles fans that don’t feel like we own some part of our damned empty SB trophy case. It’s comin. Keep the faith bro! : )

          • Always Hopeful

            Having a nasty D is almost primordial. It speaks to something in us that’s hard to describe with words. I too love the defensive battles.

            I don’t know much about the technical side of football, but am grateful for this site and others like it , where we can share and expand our love of the Eagles.

            I’ve told you before that I really enjoy your energy and perspective. I wasn’t so sure about your thoughts about the defense or FOles last year, but your predictions came to fruition.

          • GEAGLE

            Thank you sir..

          • Bob Scatchard

            Geagle – Old school is Seth Joyner; High school is WT Kindergarten is Chuck Benarick;) Geez, I feel old!!!

          • GEAGLE

            Seth was awesome…. He is still awesome today.. Trying to break into the media, very opinionated, still sounds like a badass..

    • xlGmanlx

      Also, you can’t overlook the benefit of practicing against the trend setting offense every day in practice. I agree with you, they have their depth mostly set and are looking to upgrade incrementally through the draft to continue to build on the core. I think it is a good thing that rookies aren’t expected to come in day 1 and provide significant contribution. That is the flip to Celek’s comment, the D will also get significant reps to see different look.

      • GEAGLE

        It’s absolutely a good thing that rookies aren’t counted on to start the moment they arrive,..

        It’s awesome that to go along with our “legion of zoom offense” Chip is building a high tempo, no huddle defense that practices every single day with loud noise…having to run a no huddle defense every day and make checks in practice against an offense that’s moving so fast, will train Demeco and Jenkins minds really well for the season…every,day Meco and Jenkins have to quickly read the offensive Keys, than communicate the checks to our guys with loud music blaring on the speakers.lol basically our defense trains in the most chaotic environment possible…. Which is why, if any team is suited to go on the road and beat the seahawks, it would be the team that practices in chaos everyday and has developed Alternate ways of communicating in a,chaotic environment

  • ridusofreid

    Well said. Reid collected players, Kelly is building a team

  • Mike Roman

    Quick edit:

    “Jenkins replaces Patrick Chung, who was hampered by injury last year”

    Should read:

    “Jenkins replaces Patrick Chung, who was hampered lack of talent”

    • Kevin

      Mike, I offer the following edit of your edit:

      “Jenkins replaces Patrick Chung, who was hampered by a lack of talent and affinity for hitting his own players”

    • Nicodemus_09

      Lmao also hampered I suspect, from color blindness. Evidenced by the amount of clocks he cleaned of his own teammates.

  • daveH

    surf is GOING OFF in long island right now. here is one cam, not a good surfing beach but a good idea of how good it is just a mile east & west of this spot.

    hope HOPE SOMEONE gets a little of it!

    http://www.hamptons.com/Hamptons-Beach-Cam#.U5HWi01OXcu

  • Ferris Wren

    I wonder if one of the reasons they haven’t added players on defense is due to the switch to the 3-4. Not enough of the “right” players at the “right” prices have been available through two drafts and two free agency cycles. It seems that league-wide it is more difficult than ever to find talented rush-OLBs and nose tackles for the 3-4.

  • Reasonableeaglefan

    I go back and forth on emergence of young players versus the risk of decline in our older players. It should be a net gain, but Cole and Meco don’t have long at this level of production. Between the addition of Jenkins, Smith, Caroll and Watkins and the emergence of Thornton and Logan as legit players we have to be improved compared to this point last year. Right?
    I just made a similar point on 24/7 about the improvement we should have from year one to year two in the system versus the rest of the league having a year of film on our offense and defense. It’s should be a net gain, but I go back and forth in my head about the merits of each side of the coin.

    • Andy124

      Football is often described as full contact chess right?
      Well, think of two chess players facing eachother for the first time. There’s some unfamiliarity there. That acts to level the playing field.

      But as they continue to play eachother, the superior player will adapt to the inferior player more quickly than the opposite.

      Who has a better chess player than we do?

      I believe Chip and Nick will adapt to opposing Ds more quickly than they can adapt to us.

      • GEAGLE

        I heard Nick looks amazing so far this year.,, the exact words were.. When you see him practice this year, he looks like Brady practicing last year…

        • Andy124

          Who said that?

          • GEAGLE

            Someone at Novacare….but I heard numerous people rev about foles

          • Andy124

            Good. I’d hate for our QB to look dull. :)

        • Reasonableeaglefan

          Anyone know if we have joint practice with the Pats again this year?

          • Andy124

            I believe so. Up there this time.

          • Reasonableeaglefan

            As long as reporters travel for practice notes that will work. I think it was Sheil last year that pointed out the stark contrast between our QBs and Brady last year. It will be great to see if people see som real progression now that Foles is the established starter.

          • GEAGLE

            Yes, we are going to Foxborogh this summer

      • Reasonableeaglefan

        Agreed, but talent and age are factors, scheme only takes you so far. Say Cole and Meco or maybe Herrimans are shot. Those are big holes to fill, with largely unproven players waiting to hopefully step up. I’ll take Chip in a battle of wits with just about anyone, but he still needs pieces to make his moves.

        • Andy124

          Cole and Herreman’s are risks to be sure. But both have equal factors working in their favor. Time will tell which factors have the biggest impact, but on paper, the positives look to outweight the negatives to me.

          For Cole, well, I have more faith than most in Smith and Barwin.
          For Todd, I think this being his second year at RG and not starting the season at half-strength outweigh the age-risk factor.
          And DeMeco isn’t that old yet.

          • Reasonableeaglefan

            I always forget that Herrimans was playing a new spot. I see your point that they both have a lot of room for growth from a comfort standpoint, in year two. I still have a feeling that one of those guys will go into a decline this year. I know Demeco isn’t that old, but he plays a lot of snaps and has some significant injury history. Maybe I’m just a pessimist.

          • GEAGLE

            Meco was shocked this week by all the questions from our media about wanting to replace him in subpackages… It’s like he was looking at them, like are these dudes nuts? Meco has been a old bust since the day he arrived…all I ever heard about him was how he couldn’t do this, he couldn’t do that since he arrived in philly….yet he keeps making people look foolish…
            ..
            Meco wouldn’t be too old right now in Andy’s system with Taco Tuesdays…so I’m def not expecting a decline this year when we added all this sports science
            ….
            Brent Celek was raving about our sports science and how he has already seen it’s benefits this week on Spadaros show

        • GEAGLE

          We see so much parity in the NFL that I doubt the difference in talent from one team to the next is drastic…..sure their is a difference in Talent between Seattle and the jags,…
          ..
          But let’s take the Lions and Bears as examples… We probably aren’t drastically more talented than those rosters, but we are a much better team…look at the cowboys…how many years did they go into the season with one of the most talented rosters only to end the season as the laughing stock of the NFL?
          ..
          Everyone has talent….it’s about what your coaches and leaders can get out of that talent

          • Reasonableeaglefan

            I agree and disagree. I think everyone has talent, but the gap is a little further than you are suggesting. My counter would be teams that go on great runs. Take the Eagles dominance in the NFC East under Andy. We went on a run because we had the best team. The roster aged and we didn’t replace the talent. Andy and the front office stayed in place. Or Seattle. They were 7-9 for a few years. They upgrade their QB while their D comes together and suddenly Pete Carroll is a genius

  • eagleyankfan

    OR the Eagles didn’t upgrade their defense where it’s needed because of the lack of available talent available. I do like this defense. It’s good, not great. I’m not saying you can’t win with a good defense. I do think the defense will be a lot better than last year(can’t possibly be worse) but they still have a long way to go.
    The Eagles tried to get DJ but that didn’t work out. Their 1st selection was defense. It can be called a youth movement, I call it getting better…

  • GEAGLE

    I know that Talk is worth nothing on the field… But check out Jordan Mathews in studio with Spadaro and tell me you would bet against that kid….kid who are top prospects wired like this dude just don’t come around very often…think he is a special kid. And with the way he is wired, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up as one of the top 10 players from this draft….

    To get a round two prospect, wired like he is is just a score….he went 42 in this stacked WR draft… In a normal draft, this kid would probably be the second, no later than 3rd WR drafted…this is one kid I would not bet against

    Spadaro pisses me off a lot, and his studio segments with players are usually hit or miss…but he did a really solid job this week. I got a lot of good intel from his segments with Boykin, Wolffs was awesome, Jordan and even Celek

    Heard Mathis is this weeks guest on the eagles podcast

    • A_T_G

      I remember some other guy, also named Jordan, in a different sport, who was hyper-competitive, had a Chip on his shoulder from being slighted, and prided himself on working harder than anyone else. I think that guy turned out pretty well.

      • ACViking

        I don’t think anyone worked harder than Chad Hall in the past decade at South & Broad.

        • Cafone

          Really? I heard he was kind of lazy. I think that’s why Kelly got rid of him.

      • RobNE

        Who?!?

  • botto

    i got game rewind yesterday on NFL.com and watched a couple games.
    The bears game is what i think we all think all the games should go like. our offense was going off, the defense was killing them, getting us the ball and we scored. pretty sweet.
    i was bothered by us not being able to do anything really to Dallas since thier D sucks. i dont get it. division game, i understand, alwasy tough no omatter how crappy the other team is, but still.
    couple things that stood out over and over: Celek is awesome, makes some great catches; Shady is amazing, we all know this, but its worth repeating since he is so good; Fletcher is solid, Patrick chung not only was bad but actually hurt us like he was playing for the other team.
    Just being rid of chung really makes us better, he hit his own guys too ofter letting the ball carrier escape. he was actaully a huge negative.
    so just adding jenkins i think will be a really big improvement.
    oh and cole looked pretty sick most of the time as well. our d isn’t too bad really.
    one other big thing: Djax is lame, he avoids contact and is easily stopped by the d. i just kept thinking HUFF would make those swing screens much more dangerous since he is way tougher.
    good year coming.

    • RobNE

      yes I want all the games to be like the Bears game. I like the way you think. But maybe, more lopsided.

      I do think just replacing Chung with anyone good will do wonders.

      SB.

      • GEAGLE

        Not just Jenkins being a better player….but having his defensive QB brain back there should cut down drastically on our blown coverages that resulted in us giving up a big play, Chung blasting Cary Williams, and Cary cursing Chung out…

        It got better last year. But for 3 years now we have been blowing abnormal amounts of coverage…like your offensive line, the secondary really is one of those units that requires continuity…a secondary has to really gel and play like a cohesive unit and that’s impossible to achieve if we are playing musical chairs in the secondary for the past 3 seasons…

        It’s scary to think about who was making the checks in the secondary and getting us lined up in the backend these past 3 years…not only did we add depth, but we will field the best safeties we have had in god knows how long, Jenkins is a big upgrade to Chung. Wolff should be a major upgrade to last years Wolff, and Nate should be better than last years Nate…

        With Safety play we can trust, it will allow us to let our big physical outside CBs play to their strengths, get up on the line of scrimmage, battle WRs and disrupting their timing…

        Expecting a much improved secondary, and a defense much more equipped to get stops on 3rd down

    • GEAGLE

      I’m bothered by Coles performance in the saints game. Other than Cole, I was pleased with our defense in that playoff lost..Obviously seeing them pound the ball on us was like a kick in my nuts, but our young DL in it’s fist playoff game getting handled by all pro SB champion veteran interior lineman while we sold out to stop the pass doesn’t drive me crazy…. We had a team filled with babies getting their first taste of playoff football…need to learn to crawl before we can walk…and all things considered it was a nice outing against a veteran team with a top offense and defense,..you can’t come away from that game feeling like we didn’t belong on the field with them. That loss will pay off when we make a deep playoff run this year…
      ….
      But Trent Cole is a seasoned veteran, who has playoff experience under his belt. On paper, we had a former probowler who had one of the biggest mismatches in the entire game being matched against a rookie with less than a handful of NFL games under his belt. It was important that we exploit that miss match and beat that kid like a drum…but Trent Cole got OWNED!! He should have had his picture placed on a milk carton for being M.I.A after that game…..
      ..
      I’m sure we learned a lot from that game, a lot of the bad I can live with..but our ROLB getting owned by a baby leaves a horrible taste in my mouth..

      • D3FB

        Let’s not downplay Terron Armstead though. The kid is as much of a freakish athlete than Lane. He had great strength too. He needed a little bit of time since he was coming from a smaller school, but he’s going to go to alot of pro bowls in the next decade. Combine that with the Saints choosing to run the ball, and use their quick passing game, I don’t know that Trent had a ton of opportunities.

        • Insomniac

          I was amazed that he slid that far to the 3rd. Lane and Armstead easily have the biggest upside for OTs in the league. IMO, Greg Robinson and Tyron Smith are a tier below them in terms of athleticism which is hard to believe.

          • GEAGLE

            Think Terron was in I our plans… Merrill Reese was talking about him all the time, and Merrill wouldn’t have seen this small school kid..I’m sure he liked him. Because he heard we liked him….just like Merrill was talking about Jordan Mathews this year…

            Figure we would draft Dion, and if Kyle long didn’t last to round two, we would end up with Terron in the 3rd after taking Ertz in the second

          • D3FB

            I was too. I wanted him at 35 predraft. I liked him enough to take him there even after we picked Lane. He had top 40 talent. The Raiders taking Menelik Watson over him made no sense. Watson was older, just as much of a project, and didn’t have anywhere near the same ceiling.

        • GEAGLE

          Absolutely….he was on my radar pre draft when I hoped we would land Dion,,….but Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox are freaks too…and they got handled by veteran Grubbs and Evans… Our veteran should have stepped up and taken the kid to school in the playoffs..drives me crazy
          …It’s such a mind fuck because I don’t know what to make of it.. Typically Cole always wears down in the second half of the season and his
          Is usually diminished from the first half. But this year that never heppened…Cole actually go stronger in the second half, and to then see a kid playing in his fourth game just erase him…. That stings..
          ..
          Was Terron abusing BG too, or did he ride the bench most of the game? Can’t remember…

          No idea what to expect out of Cole this year

          • Ark87

            Watched that game a few times, Armstead was so athletic Cole stopped trying speed moves, just bull-rushed over and over, beat the living hell out of the kid, but he didn’t back down. Trent Cole may be one of the most violent pass rushers in the league. In my opinion he really picked up his intensity for that game, I expected it to wear Armstead down. I came away very impressed by Armstead’s athleticism and toughness.

    • botto

      oh yeah one other thing i noticed was Foles is really good throwing on the run and his arm looks good too. Foles is the man.

    • Phyxius

      Well, Dallas’ players were holding our guys, that’s one way of stopping our offense haha.

  • Mark Saltveit

    Best Player Available also means living with substandard players, if there’s no great options for upgrading. That seems to be the case for the Birds. I’m sure they would have grabbed CJ Moseley or Shazier if they were available, but they weren’t. Better long term strategy, but I do worry about other teams picking on Demeco Ryans, trying to get him in coverage with faster TEs & RBs out of the backfield.

    • GEAGLE

      Best linebacker In the NFC east..

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

      the biggest threat there is Jordan Reed, DAL and NYG don’t have those threats IMO. Plus, having a safety that can cover even a little bit (or at least not be a coverage liability) will also help between the numbers and up the seam.
      I personally believe the pass rush developing is the true key to better 3rd down stops and limiting Demeco in coverage; second to that, the increase in press coverage and limiting clean releases (again, assuming better safety play allows for this) should prevent the quick matchup abuses.
      If we can just get 1 more good-to-great year out of him, we’ll buy time for 2015 off-season; of course, with better OLBs and DL than we had in ’14 spring.

  • Tumtum

    The one thing that stands out in contrast to Andy’s last 5 years or so is that they are willing to realize that while a guy might not be your ideal guy for a position, he is probably the best option at the moment. It seemed like every year some rando would start the off season at a position lacking in talent only to end up as the guy who held it the year before. Instead of giving the eventual starter reps and confidence it stank of helter skelter. Fans loved it because it was usually their punching bag players affected, but was it a detriment to the team?

    Guys like Moise Foku, Jamar Chaney, Jaqua Parker, and the white safety who we called a cape ring a bell. Guys like Teo never even got a shot…who by the way started on some decent Tampa defenses, and got resigned I believe.

    Did AR start listening to the fans??

  • GEAGLE

    Kempski writes about possibly signing Mike Iupati in 2015 free agency (he will be 28yrs old when he hits FA)…

    Very curious to see how Baalke navigates that salary cap… He hit a Homerun IMO signing kAp to pay as you play contract but he has some big decisions on his hands. Crabtree, Iupati and their center Boone all have contracts that expire soon. Vernon Davis has two years left on a deal that pays him like Gates and Witten, and he is on ESPN talking about wanting a new deal… AND there is still the Baalke vs.Harbaugh battle to hash out.lharbaugh has two years left on his deal! who knows how this all unfolds….

    For years they have drafted injured kids they would redshirt for a year, now it’s getting to the point where they will have to start counting on these players.. Niners drafted the center Martin from USC and Brandon Thomas who is headed to IR… Their RB is getting older. Their star pass rusher may do jail time. Best defensive player is rehabbing a gruesome injury…
    ….
    They need to get over the hump and win a Super Bowl SOON, or they are in danger of falling Into the AR Eagles fate of perennial “close but no cigar”

  • GEAGLE

    A bunch of our players have talked this week. But I can’t find the videos.. For example I know Ertz and Sproles talked to reporters this week but I can’t find the videos anywhere,,.
    ..,
    Where do people go to watch Eagles interviews? I watch all my Eagles video on PE and CSNPhilly…anyone know of a good site for eagles players interviews that I don’t know about?

    • Ben

      I gotcha my man, go to a sports talk radio website..the one I posted about Foles was on 94 wip. It’s a CBS site. They have player interviews there with ALOT of Eagle players. Check out all the shows. They have like four or five different shows throughout each day and not all Eagles but you can find alot of replayable shows. (If thats a word) lol

      • GEAGLE

        Thank you sir,,,much appreciated….
        ….
        Try to watch every video because I don’t trust our media to use quotes responsibly, so I try to check out the entire interview for some context…

  • shah8

    I think the attitude was that this is a building year, with medium or low expectations. What was desired is to get a deep roster for 2015, 2016.

    • RobNE

      Why have low expectations in the NFC east? Do you expect 6-10?

  • austinfan

    I think some perspective is needed in both directions.
    Eagles ended last season as a middle of the pack defense, the first four games were awful, but that’s not a surprise, the next 13 they were solid but not special by any measure (see FO’s weighted defensive ranking).

    They added a lot of talent to the defense this offseason, but most of it is depth, but that will help both the subpackages and protect against injury. Carroll, Watkins and Maragos as your 4th & 5th CB and 4th S instead of Carmichael, Marshall and Coleman. Smith and Long instead of Matthews at OLB, Kruger/Hart instead of Geathers, Allen instead of Square.

    On the other hand, the only significant upgrade to the starting group is Jenkins over Chung. Any other improvement requires a number of young players to step up, and for players on the bench to push starters. So a drastic improvement is probably unlikely, rather, I expect a more consistent and reliable defense from game to game.

    I’d say their upside is the bottom of the top ten, not in total yardage, where they’ll be in the middle of the pack due to snaps played, but the key stats such as yards per play, points per game, yards per pass and yards per rush.

    The key element they need to add to this defense is an improved pass rush, and that probably requires some DL to step up and at least get more consistent penetration and pressure, opening things up for the LBs.

    • anon

      I like this comment. I don’t think our “d” is good, but it can do the job of limiting points and creating turnovers. The fact that we can score forces teams into a pass heavy offenses. D playing against our O allows the game to slow down for them, which helps.

  • xeynon

    The defense improved markedly as the season went along and the players became more familiar with the system/Davis figured out how to scheme around their weaknesses. By the end of the year they were adequate, if not elite. It will take time, and 2 or 3 of the young players (Cox, Thornton, Logan, Kendricks, and now Smith) to make the jump from promising to consistently dominant for the D to take the next step. That’s not out of the realm of possibility. I think our offense will be just as good this year, even without DJax, so that should help them.

  • Insomniac

    Bucky Brooks regraded our 2011 draft. I think he was a bit lenient with it. Certified F if you asked me and yes I did puke a little in my mouth when I saw Henery as the best pick.

    “Philadelphia Eagles

    Whenever a team misses on picks within the first three rounds, the failures have long-lasting effects on the franchise. Perennial contenders restock their rosters through the draft to keep young, athletic players in the rotation. The Eagles completely whiffed on most of their 2011 draft picks, which has contributed to their inconsistent play over the past three seasons. While Alex Henery and Jason Kelcehave emerged as legitimate starters, the misevaluations ofDanny Watkins, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Curtis Marsh and Casey Matthews continue to haunt the Eagles despite the brilliance ofChip Kelly.

    Best pick: Alex Henery, K (Round 4, 120th overall)
    It’s rare that a kicker is viewed as a team’s top pick in the draft, but Henery has been a solid find for the Eagles. He capably replaced David Akers as the field-goal specialist and has been money on kicks within the 20- to 49-yard range (88.8 percent). That’s great production from a fourth-round pick.

    Worst pick: Danny Watkins, G (Round 1, 23rd overall)
    Watkins was overwhelmed by the size, strength and athleticism of NFL defenders. He experienced epic struggles at the point of attack, and never gave the team the kind of production expected from a first-round pick.

    Value pick: Jason Kelce, C (Round 6, 191st overall)
    Whenever a team finds a competent starter in the later rounds, it’s an added bonus. Thus, the Eaglesshould be excited that Kelce seemingly erased an early-round mistake by emerging as a solid blocker along the line.

    Grade: D-”

    • GEAGLE

      Depressing….. Figure instead of adding a Jordan Mathews/ERTZ type of stud, we spend. 2nd on Jaquian Jarrett.

      • Insomniac

        To think that we could have had either Randall Cobb, Torrey Smith or Justin Houston instead of the “next Dawkins”…it’s too early to start drinking today.

      • A Roy

        Shows how much it hurt the team to let #20 (my avatar) go.

    • Patrick

      Im sorry, how is Jason Kelce not the best pick in this draft? A starting center(At worst) in the 6th round? I’m not as down on Alex Henery as everyone else seems to be, but Kelce is the far better player and was selected to rounds later. It seems obvious to me who was the best pick.

      • OldDocRoss

        Pro Bowl level centre with All-Pro level beard in the 6th >>>>>>>>>>> Below average kicker in the 4th.

    • Andy124

      HTF is Kelce not the best pick out of that draft? Being the value pick doesn’t preclude him from also being the best pick by a wide, wide margin.

      • Bob Scatchard

        Geagle – I was just wondering if you have ever tried to contact *NFL FILMS* to see if they might have/sell copies of various Eagles games. Worth a shot?

        • GEAGLE

          Never tried, but it’s a good idea and def worth a shot

      • Insomniac

        Seeing how there’s really only 2 picks to choose from, there’s not much of a choice.

    • NinjaP

      I think d- is actually kind of a low grade considering we got maybe the best player at his position in that draft. Not saying it was an A, but hey a C maybe.

      • Insomniac

        4 players remain on the team from that draft. 2 of them were always on the roster bubble after their rookie year and so far remains to be busts. 1 of them is only still here because there’s no better option. Kelce is the only one that has a future here. A D- is pretty accurate.

    • GEAGLE

      Had to be one of the worst drafts ever by a team
      ….
      This year, some teams had really nice drafts..Texans, Saints, Eagles,Steelers

      Who had the worst drafts this year?

  • GEAGLE

    Offseason should be awesome for ERTZY.. Wonder how much better he could have played during the first half of the season if it weren’t for the ridiculous NCAA graduation rule that kept him from participating in OTAs,, exciting to see what he can do taking part in the entire offseason program… He says he got stronger/faster this offseason while focusing on improving as a blocker.
    .,
    Second half of the season things slowed down and we got a nice hint of the terror he can become. Coach Kelly is brilliant, and you see it in his ability to “scheme players open”..but the second half of the season you really start to see Ertz “win on routes” and get himself open…Coach/player combo should be dangerous!!! Rookie in his first playoff game steps up and catches another huge TD, while our opponents superstar TE was looking like Jpnathon Martin” to Barwins “incognito”

    Ertz is like the 30th eagle to rave about how further ahead we are now compared to last offseason, expecting the offense to take that next step, and he also says we haven’t seen anything yet in terms of the tempo we plan on playing.

    Really excited about this kids future..

    What a difference in era’s… Year two under Andy Reid our weapons were Torrehce Smalls, Charles Johnson, Chad Lewis…. Going into his second season, Chip already managed to stockpile weapons: Ertz, Jordan Mathews, Sproles, Huff lol

  • GEAGLE

    Anyone know anything about Jon Baldwins character? Knucklheads? Good kid? Looks like his roster spot with the Niners is in serious jeapordy. Don’t trust the kid at all so I wouldn’t trade them a late round pick. But I would love to Aguirre him I’m a player for player deal giving up someone we are going to cut

    Kid has been a complete bust as the 26th pick in the 2011 draft. But in fairness to the kid, he never has been on a team with a potent Ariel attack. KC been horrible,e before big red and Alex got there and the Niners are a power run team with a QB who has a long ways to go before he can be considered a quality passer… Why wouldn’t we take a flier on a 6’4 230lb WR who runs a 4.5 and has a 42 inch vertical? Our offense is different than from the offenses he failed in, and as a franchise we are demanding of our players.. We built a strong locker room with guys who enjoy working their butts off everyday… Player won’t survive in our locker room if he doesn’t put in work.. Knock on him coming out was he wasn’t willing to block but maybe he has matured and been humbled enough to realize that he is running out of opportunities?
    ..
    Like I said, I wouldn’t trust him enough to even give up a 7th for him…but if they are going to cut him, I wouldn’t mind seeing us trade the Niners Casey Mathews! Damaris Johnson to take a closer camp look at Baldwin..

    • ACViking

      A quick Jonathan Baldwin NFL Draft story.

      In the lead-up to the 2011 draft, Falcons GM Tom Dimitroff asked his former boss and mentor, Bill Belichick, what he thought about Atlanta offering a multi-pick package to the Browns to move from No. 27 to No. 6 so the Falcons could select ‘bama WR Julio Jones.

      The story goes that Belichick tried to talk Dimitroff out the deal.

      Belichick made two arguments against the trade. First, the picks Atlanta would offer were too valuable. Second, he believed that the Falcons could get Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin late in Rd 1 — and Baldwin was just about as good as Jones.

      Of course, Dimitroff pulled the trigger on the deal with the Browns and selected J-Jones.

      Meanwhile, Cleveland packaged the Falcons’ 27th pick in Rd 1 along with a 3rd round pick to acquire KC’s 1st Rd pick at No. 21 — used to select Baylor DT.

      And KC, using the Falcons’ 1st Rd pick, drafted Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin — exactly where Belichick thought he’d go.

      Moral of the story? If you ever need to disarm a bomb, and you have a choice of two wires to cut, ask Belichick which one he’d cut — then cut the other one.

      • GEAGLE

        LOL!!!