Practice Talk, Week 2

Posted: June 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 79 Comments »

The media got to watch practice yesterday and they shared a bunch of notes.

The best writer for practice notes is Sheil Kapadia. We’ll start with him.

11:34 – The offensive linemen set up in their stances. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutlandyells out instructions, and they fire off the ball to the second level where other players hold orange blocking mats.

Jason Peters probably doesn’t get enough credit for helping out the younger players. He’s constantly directing them in between drills. Right now he’s having a conversation with undrafted free agent Josh Andrews.

During the next offensive line drill, two players face each other. One holds an orange blocking pad, while the other drives him back. Stoutland yells over and over again: “Feet! Drive! Feet! Drive!”

Sometimes he motions to the guy with the pad and tells him to move in a specific direction. The point is that the linemen are supposed to move their feet. Undrafted free agent Donald Hawkins doesn’t do a rep to Stoutland’s liking.

“We’ve got a leaner!” he yells before correcting the rookie.

11:41 – Now three offensive linemen set up next to each other. It’s time to work on the Eagles’ bread and butter play: the inside zone. I asked Lane Johnson afterwards about how much practice time is spent on this one play. He estimated about 40 percent of each session for the offensive linemen.

Always good to read about the O-line. Love the nugget about Stoutland getting on Hawkins for leaning. You can get away with that stuff in college, but not the NFL. Linemen must move their feet to get into proper position. That allows them to block with balance and gives them more power. NFL defenders can toss aside blockers who don’t play with good balance. Reggie White’s famous “hump move” got OTs off balance and allowed him to toss them around like rag dolls.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama is next up for practice info. He’s got the headline event from yesterday, the Maclin scare.

• The biggest event of the day was Jeremy Maclin going down after fighting for a catch with Bradley Fletcher. Maclin clutched his left knee (he tore the ACL in his right knee last training camp) and stayed down for a minute or so before being helped up. He was initially limping around, but at the end of practice he walked into the building without a noticeable limp.

Otherwise I thought Maclin looked good. His cuts on routes were sharp, and he seemed to be getting off the line at the snap with some burst. There was one play in which he tried to adjust to a ball thrown over the wrong shoulder. It was a difficult play, but he didn’t look very good attempting to track down the pass. I would attribute that more to rust than lingering effects from an injury.

We’re gonna be holding our breath any time Mac goes down and grabs a knee or an ankle. He is the team’s best WR and is important to this offense. The season isn’t over if he gets hurt because there is still plenty of offensive firepower and a brilliant offensive coach in Chip Kelly, but no team can lose their best WR and not have some issues. Thankfully he’s okay.

Jimmy is the king of visual aids. Go read his article to see his take on the kicker battle. Something tells me you’ll come away laughing.

* * * * *

Speaking of the PK battle, Jeff McLane had a note on that.

– I’d hate to kill “Murderleg” after just one bad kick, but his pull hook of a chip shot field goal during 11 on 11s makes me wonder if he has any legit shot to push Alex Henery. It was always going to be a long shot for the undrafted rookie to unseat a three-year veteran, but he hasn’t done anything during the two practices I’ve witnessed that has made me go, ‘Wow.’ Last spring, when punter Donnie Jones starting booting sky-high punts, it was evident that undrafted rookie Brad Wing had no chance to win that job. Carey Spear deserves more time and the Eagles will surely give it to him, but the whole kicker competition seems like a façade right know. Spear’s field goal was from about 30 yards out. He hooked it at least ten yards wide left, missed the building that’s behind that field goal and sailed the ball into the parking lot.

Here’s my guess at what is going on. The Eagles went and signed a UDFA kicker to be here in the spring and summer. They can take a look at him and see if he’s got NFL potential. The coaches can work with him and see if technique work can help with any of his issues.

If Spear does fail, the Eagles can go sign a veteran PK for the preseason. That guy can come in and still provide competition for Alex Henery. Having a veteran PK right now wouldn’t be much benefit, unless there was one who was substantially better than the others. I get the feeling the Eagles didn’t see anyone on the street they felt was “must have” material.

For now, they’ll go with the rookie and see if he can be developed or if he is too much of a project. I don’t think this means Henery is totally safe. There is still time to add veteran competition.

* * * * *

Brandon Lee Gowton wasn’t impressed by Mark Sanchez.

• Mark Sanchez seemed to struggle again today. The biggest issue I’ve seen with him is overthrowing his receivers when aiming towards the sideline. To Sanchez’s credit, he made a really good pump fake to the left before turning around and throwing right for a short screen pass to TE James Casey for a nice gain.

Sheil Kapadia mentioned a couple of good throws, but most writers agreed with BLG on Sanchez not looking good. Is it time to worry about him?

I don’t think so. Sanchez is having timing issues with the backup receivers, players he’s never thrown to before. I wouldn’t make too much of that for now. It does bear watching, though.

You always want to be careful about making too much of what you see in the OTAs, good or bad. Remember a couple of years ago when Trent Edwards looked awful in the OTAs? Everyone was ready to cut the guy and get him out of the league. The coaches had adjusted his mechanics and it got the best of him initially.

Edwards was much better in Training Camp and then was terrific in the preseason and actually won a roster spot.

OTAs are the time for learning. They are the time for experimentation and improvement.

* * * * *

A couple of the writers offered pictures of RBs going through this device/structure.

When I played in high school, the OL went under something like that called “the chutes”. It forced you to stay low when blocking. I’m not sure what RBs or NFL players call that.


  • Dominik

    1. “The best writer for practice notes is Sheil Kapadia.”

    And Jimmy is like: Oh no you didn’t. :D

    2. When I read Sheils article I read “We’ve got a learner!” and thought: wtf is wrong about that? Thanks for clearing that up. ;)

    3. I laughed about Jimmys picture about the kicker position, but I also wanted to cry. Replace that scrub Henry, will you? I really, really hope you’re right about the veteran from the street. Early in 2012, the Republicans had the phrase “Anybody but Romney”. I’m in the corner for “Anybody but Henry”. Sure hope it doesn’t end the same way…

    • Andy124

      Well then I have good news for you. We replaced Henry with Jones last year. You’re all set.

      Now we just need to work on an upgrade for Henery.

      And I had the exact some thought with your point #1. Thinking about posting it under Jimmy’s practice notes and seeing if I get a reaction. Or maybe tweet it to him. lol

      • Dominik

        Damn it. Was always a bad idea to sign Henry and Henery as your Punter and Kicker in one offseason, too much confusion. :D It’s even a bigger shame both can’t kick.

        Posting the quote under Jimmys notes is a great idea, mate. I’m all for it. ;)

        • Andy124

          I doubt he’ll see it, but it’s there.

  • Cafone

    Why can’t Donnie Jones just learn to kick field goals too?!

  • Anders

    Video of the “the chutes” at Bama with Stoutland

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSZCE51o0dc

    • D3FB

      I’m having having flashbacks. They aren’t good.

      • Anders

        Why? you hated that drill?

        • D3FB

          Sleds are the most universally loathed offensive line drill. Chutes are a close second.

          • Andy124

            Concur.

          • Anders

            I know the Eagles use the sleds a lot for both DL and OL. I havnt seen anything about the chutes, but would expect em to use em (unless you do not need it in a zone heavy scheme??)

          • D3FB

            Chutes are still used by zone blocking schemes. In the video you shared on the second and third shots, notice how the boards (the black rubber things on the ground) are at a 30 degree angle? That’s an inside zone blocking “track”.

          • Anders

            I see. Thanks for the info. I also just heard Stoutland say, “All we do is zone blocking” so I think that gave it away as well :)

      • D3Center

        I’m having flash forwards I have one more go round with those things.

    • Baloophi

      Chutes and Ladders?

  • Mike Roman

    The best part of Kempski’s article:

    “It was sunny out there today, and my face got burnt bright red. Les Bowen of the Daily News told me that if it gets any worse, Dan Snyder is going to owe me an apology.”

  • GEAGLE

    Ex Steeler Jeff Reed is talking to Wisenhunt and the titans about making a comeback. 35yrs old. 82*% completion percentage! hasn’t kicked since 2010 tho
    ..l
    If that twerps Alex is going to be out kicker, it should be because he stepped up, won a camp competition after being pushed to new levels…

    Murderleg = noodle leg… Just another false prophet

    • Mike Roman

      I say if you have two choose between below average kickers, go with the one called Murderleg. That just makes the most sense to me.

      • GEAGLE

        He hooked a 30 yard field goal yesterday lol

        • Mike Roman

          True, but what a nickname!

          • A_T_G

            I googled long and strong leg, thinking that would be the ideal nickname for our KOTF. I found two promising possibilities. The first:

          • A_T_G

            And my preference,

          • GEAGLE

            Hahahahahahaha

          • HipDaDip

            SirKicksalot

  • GEAGLE

    Rejus Benn and Brad smith are allegedly looking really good so far.. Brad working out of the slot and is said to be developing some nice chemistry with FOles…
    ,,,
    Beau Allen blew right by Molk
    ..
    Marcus Smith was said to have been able to hang with Damaris in coverage

    Momah looks better(allegedly).. Looks like he may be a candidate to make the practice squad
    Mv..
    Everyone loves how,Jordan Mathews still does his thing where after a catch he run an extra 10-20 yards down field, and then sprints back to get lined up,..
    .
    Hear cary and Brad have looked good, challenging all our WRs..

    • RobNE

      I hope Matthews is great, but this reminds me a little of watching Rudy.

  • GEAGLE

    Boy there are some desperate franchises out there…

    1) the latest in jerry world is that they are open to re signing DL Josh Brent when he gets out of jail after being responsible for the death of his team mate. Guess when no one can name the players in your front 7, you have to be open to signing anyone….they also kicked the tires of signing Urlacher to replace Lee lol. Good OL Jerruh..
    ..
    2) one of our new hated rivals, the pig face Bruce Arrians are furious over the suspension of Daryl Washington… They are trying to figure out how they can get a bunch of dollars back from him… He screwed that franchise over so bad that they were forced to sign Ernie Sims

    3) Bills: I’m sure are awaiting word to find out if their genius defenders are getting suspended or not. Marcel dareus(pretty good player) wrapped his car around a tree, drag racing his fellow defender Jerry Hughes…..This always makes me mad after Jerome Brown,.,
    .
    4) in other bills news! franchise QB EJ Manuel spent the offseason working with Kapernick “following his lead” lol…. Kapernick,needs,a ton of work on his passing game. unless they were working on running read options, I don’t know that I’d want my young QB following kAp lol

    • ACViking

      The Eagles have had their share of runs in football purgatory: (i) 16 years [’62-’77], (ii) 6 years [’82-’87], (iii) 3 years [’97-’99], and . . . quite possibly the longest 2 years in Eagles history, ’11-’12.

      Fortunately for Andy Reid and Chip Kelly, their predecessors left behind some very good football talent.

      Not so true for Skorich, Kuharich, Williams, McCormack, Vermeil, Campbell, Ryan, and Rhodes — basically, every Eagles HC from the time Buck Shaw led the Eagles to their last World’s Championship in 1960 to Andy Reid.
      ______________________

      Nothing worse than being a fan of a talent-deficient team and knowing that 6-10 or 7-9 is potentially a great year — like JAX.

      Or two numb-scull D-linemen dragging down a team’s top unit. Like Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes in Buffalo. ARE YOU LISTENING SAMMY WATKINS?

      The Cards’ situation will test Arians — and DefCoord Horton, perhaps, more so — as a coach. The 2003 Eagles, decimated by defensive injuries, fared well because of some great coaching, especially on defense.
      ______________________

      As for Daryl Washington’s future in Arizona . . . “won’t see him no more.”

      • D3FB

        Our old friend Todd Bowles is the Cards DC. Horton left when Zona decided to hire Arians over him. He was DC for the Browns last year, and is the DC for the Titans now.

        • ACViking

          D3FB . . .

          Thanks for the correction.

          I’m a couple year’s behind, aren’t I.

          • D3FB

            No biggie, there’s a lot of constantly moving pieces. I’m great at current or recent events but I have no shot at player x was drafted in 1967 and was not used until coach y was in place. Coach Y begat coach Z, Coach Z begat DC QRZ, DC QRZ went to Oakland and started his own coaching tree that begat, coaches W, E, and R. That stuff I’ll defer to you on.

        • GEAGLE

          Yeah, I don’t get wtf he is doing? He keeps leaving becaue he wants to be a HC, but he is playing musical DC chairs… Instead of leaving every franchise after a year of defensive coordinator service, maybe he should stop being an idiot and cut his Braids/corn rows…and maybe he will be taken more serious….right or wrong, no one is hiring a HC in the NFL with corn rows.,,and he can’t even play the race card because,Rob Ryan goes thru the same exact thing, Rob doesn’t have corn rows, but he won’t get a job either until he takes himself a little serious and stops looking like the “Fat Fabio”

          I was taught and raised to believe that I have to shave before every job interview, yet these dopes who have aspirations of leading a billion dollar company think they don’t have to “play the game” and “look the part”??!

          • D3FB

            He cut his hair before camp last year.

            I understand him leaving Arizona. Arians wanted Bowles, and he was mad that he got passed over. As far as going from the Browns to the Titans, the whole coaching staff got fired. He probably wouldn’t have had control of the defense since Pettine was was a DC and wants to run things his way. Much better to have autonomy than be forced to run someone else’s defense.

          • GEAGLE

            Oh did he? Good for him….true..
            .,
            He trusts Wisenhunt so hopefully he now settles down and stays on as DC for ATleast. 3’years…they have some pieces. I would like to see what he can build there..
            ..
            I’d be curious to see what kind of HC he is one day…
            ..
            Recently I can’t stop wondering about Rex Ryan. Everyone knows he will be unemployed in a year or Two. Billy Davis isn’t going anywhere, him and Chip ate the perfect couple,… But if Billy left, wonder if Chip could ever stomach putting up with Rex Ryan,..lol

      • GEAGLE

        Kudos for the use of “numb-scull? Skull? Either way, great word

        • ACViking

          GE:

          I’m having a very bad day!

          numbskull — misspelled “numb-scull” . . . ugh.

          Blowing a Todd Bowles reference by citing Horton.

          BAD DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • GEAGLE

            No worries.. You are always on point, and we all have our “blonde moments”.
            .,.
            Wonder what the Barbe numbers look like. Chip: “his ability to play inside and outside is so valuable for what we do.”.

            The guy came in at LT against the Packers and was lights out. Played a heckuva game, besides the one penalty. Surprised he didn’t try to parlay that performance into starting job somewhere before his career unwinds ..

            I guess signing him, will push Herremans to “play ball” contractually. I don’t believe last year was the beginning of The end for him. I don’t think age had anything to do with his down year,,which would mean that Todd should rebound and have a good year, but we are going to need him to renegotiate that contract after this year and Barbre provides leverage

    • RobNE

      Jerome Brown and Pelle Lindbergh. We coulda won some Stanley Cups.

  • Buge Halls

    I’ll re-post my thoughts on Noodle leg and the “fantastic kicking percentage” people keep bringing up:

    The only reason his percentage is so high is because the coaching
    staff only let’s him kick when they are at 40 or so (that works out to a
    47-yard attempt). Your stat is meaningless if you don’t understand the
    data it shows. His successful kicks are:

    20-29 yards = 27
    30-39 yards = 28
    40-49 yards = 26
    50+ yards = 5

    His longest kicks are 51 yards (2011), 49 yards (2012), and 51 yards
    (2013). 49 yards???? Are you freaking kidding me? That is terrible!

    As for kickoffs, he was the 3rd worst in return yards, the 20th worse in
    touchbacks (okay, not too bad), and 5th worse in number of returns. Those are terrible stats.

    • D3FB

      He would naturally have alot of returns. The offense scored alot and therefore kicked off at a higher rate than the ground and pound, win14-10 type teams,

      • eagleyankfan

        Depends…with all those kick offs he should be the league leader in touch backs. Since the kick off coverage team was bad…I’d image they asked him for more touch backs. Anybody happen to know those numbers off hand?

        • D3FB

          See above.

      • Buge Halls

        If he would have kicked that ball out of the endzone like he should have, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        • D3FB

          His percentage of Touchbacks was in line with kickers who had a similar number of kickoffs. I don’t know why you guys think every kicker except Alex Henery kicks 95% of their balls out of the back of the endzone. Is Henery a super kicker? No. Is he the worst thing ever? No. Is he better than anyone who was on the street this year? Probably.

          Henery: 88 Kickoffs, 37 Touchbacks
          Novak: 92 KO, 18 TB
          Dawson, 91, 38
          Feely: 86, 33
          Nugent: 85, 32
          Suisham: 82, 24

          • P_P_K

            Good research. Thanks.

          • Buge Halls

            If you look at what I posted, I said he was okay at #20 from the bottom with touchbacks. But that is only part of his role isn’t it?

  • GEAGLE

    INTERESTING,,,, Eagles sign Allen Barbre to a 3yr Extension.

    • ACViking

      Any details on the numbers?

      I assume the deal is structured to give the Birds an out after 2 years with a small (or no) cap hit — as Barbre’ll be 30 years-old when T.C. opens this July.

      • D3FB

        He was on year two of a 2 year vet minimum with only a 10k signing bonus. I would imagine it’s probably a 3 year deal worth a 1.5-2million per with escalator clauses for playing time. Probably mid six figure signing bonus. Makes sense as 6th OL/insurance against one of the starters falling off a cliff (age wise, not literally).

        • Anders

          Also for a guy like Babre this is much better to sign now for maybe a little less money (tho back up OL money isnt big) and be sure to be on the roster next season as well.

        • ACViking

          D3FB:

          Is Barbre Hermann’s designated heir?

          • D3FB

            Doubtful, he could be a short term stop gap measure at RG. That would prevent the Eagles from being forced to draft a guard in the next couple of drafts higher than they would like to and forcing him into the lineup. So he gives them the ability to not have to fill a glaring need. However long term, they would have to probably upgrade the position via the draft, whether that be a round 1-3 guard who can play immediately or they take multiple later round players and try to develop one.

      • GEAGLE

        No details yet.. Signed thru 2017…
        ..
        This is interesting:
        Eagkes worked him out in 2012 just to make sure they had a file on him. He wasn’t a fit for that coaching staff in that tough season but when the year ended and the eagles line up some players for some “futures contracts”, Barbre was on the list. He signed January 15th 2013, the day before Chip Kelly was hired as,head coach!

        Nice job by Howie and the scouting department,,, to get a quality bench player who can fill in at LT AND G, is HUGE!!

  • Media Mike

    Alex Henery is a stain upon this roster that needs to be washed away sooner rather than later. Missed important kicks aside, his inability to consistently kick touchbacks demonstrates a complete lack of willingness to add the strength necessary to improve that skill. He needs to be gone.

    • GEAGLE

      More like a skid Mark

    • Anders

      Kicking a ball long is less about leg strength than technique. Same with throwing a ball football long.

  • A_T_G

    This picture fits here better…

    I pulled this still out of Jimmy’s video. Now, I was at work, so I couldn’t have the sound on, but I am pretty sure Maclin was getting made fun of by his teammates. I hear Chip is planning on strapping them all to Hover ‘Rounds for an entire practice. Luckily, Peters wasn’t involved.

    • Ark87

      I’m having one hell of a time figuring out whose legs are whose under Shady ( I think that’s Shady)

      • A_T_G

        I think he is so quick he causes double images while stretching.

  • Finlay Jones

    Very disappointed to see no real competition for Henery, he is not good enough

  • GEAGLE

    You guys want to get excited. When you have time go check out Earl Wolff in studio with Spadaro.. His excitement is contagious,,, he sounds like he is just going to spontaneously combust because he is too excited for the season…

    Arms look pretty jacked up as well

    • HipDaDip

      just want to say thanks for the frequent (at least lately) notifications of content elsewhere. you help me keep from checking pe.com hourly instead of daily

      • GEAGLE

        Lol glad I can help

  • GEAGLE

    Oh and for those waiting on the shady video in the top 100 player countdown.. I think they are counting down 10 each,week, tomorrow they are doing 60-50, so the shady video won’t be coming til July

  • A_T_G

    General service announcement:

    My wife is under the impression that the conversations have here and the replies and up votes I sometimes receive have an unhealthy effect on my self-image. She has threatened that she created a screen name and is going to post replies knocking me down a few pegs. If the regular readers notice someone new, focused on my comments, feel free to say hello to the mrs.

    • GEAGLE

      Lol welcome Mrs. ATG!!

      • Ark87

        It’s probably best for her to go by the tag of Mrs. A_T_G for clarity sake, just so the troll hunters don’t come after her.

      • Andy124

        Maybe you could go on a geagle rant on a_t_g as a favor to him. lol

    • Ark87

      upvote for the indirect pain that it’s going to be inflicting upon you

    • D3FB

      ATG is a poopyhead.

      You’re welcome Mrs. ATG.

    • Buge Halls

      So you and Shah finally got hitched did you? Congrats!

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  • GEAGLE

    Wonder if Jaylen and Nolan’s ability to back up the slot and the outside allows us to only keep 5 CBs?
    1) Cary
    2) Bradley
    3) Boykin

    4-5) Backup both the slot and outside: Jaylen Watkins and Nolan Carrol,,
    ,,
    We also always have Malcolm Jenkins that can play outside CB or slot CB in emergency..
    ..
    We only kept 3!OLBs last year and will want to keep 5 this year, and we need to keep 7 DL….be shocked if Marsh of Carmicheal make this team

    • mtn_green

      Db and safeties often make best st.

      • GEAGLE

        And our ST has to compensate for not having any FBs which are often key ST players

  • Scott J

    There’s a reason Sanchez is no longer with the Jets.

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