Hitting Time

Posted: July 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 81 Comments »

And so it begins. The pads go on today and hitting is live. The first couple of days of Training Camp were just players in shorts. There was contact, but not the full on hitting that we love to see each summer. Today’s practice will be at The Linc and is open to the public. I hope a lot of you are able to go and enjoy the day’s activities.

My PE.com column is about Training Camp and some of the players to watch. This is a huge opportunity for some players. Lives can change, good and bad. Back in 2011 some guy named Evan Mathis emerged as a starting OL after practicing well. Other players struggle and that can be the beginning of the end for them. This could be a young guy like Ifeanyi Momah or a veteran like Felix Jones.

I’d love to tell you that a lot of borderline players will look great for the Eagles and the summer will be nothing but good news. We know that’s not how things work. You don’t mind some bottom of the roster guys struggling. You get worried when veterans that had key roles don’t play well.

There isn’t one player that I’m overly concerned about. I guess a bad summer from Todd Herremans would be one thing that would get my attention. The OL has issues because of the Lane Johnson suspension. We need the 4 returning starters to all play well.

* * * * *

PE.com posted some good practice notes from Sunday. UDFA receiver Kadron Boone is an interesting prospect. I’m not sure he’s athletic enough for the NFL. I love his size and he has good skills, but I wonder about speed and quickness. He did test well, but that athleticism didn’t always show up on game tape. Boone has had some good moments in the OTAs and first days of camp.

In the final team drill, Barkley delivered another beauty deep down the left sideline for rookie wide receiver Kadron Boone, who scored the would-be touchdown.

“Matt threw a perfect ball and I just caught it in stride,” Boone said.

Boone signed with the Eagles as a rookie free agent following the 2014 NFL Draft. Playing at LSU behind first-round pick Odell Beckham and second-round pick Jarvis Landry, Boone finished his Tigers career with 44 receptions for 611 yards and eight touchdowns. The 6-foot, 202-pound Boone is used to making the most of limited opportunities.

“That was the situation for me in my last year. We had two good receivers who went early in the draft. One thing that I was always taught was when your number is called, be ready to make a play,” Boone said.

“I just brought the same mentality over. If I get five reps, I’m going to make the most of those five reps. The one thing about here is you’re going to get a lot of reps. With those reps, I just make sure I do what I’m supposed to do. And if it’s not catching the ball, then it’s being where I’m supposed to be. Make sure I’m on my block, focusing on the little things.”

Maybe the NFL will bring out the best in Boone. I’d love to see him push for a practice squad spot.

Those quotes came from a good interview that Chris McPherson did with Boone. I came away impressed with the young man.

* * * * *

Elliot Shorr-Parks is really focused on QBs this summer. He is keeping track of all the throws and compiling the information.

Mark Sanchez
Reps on Sunday: 34 reps (all with second team)
Stats on Sunday: 21/23, 1 TD, 0 INT
Analysis from Sunday: For the second day in a row, Sanchez was extremely sharp. Sanchez had a beautiful ball down the right sideline for a touchdown to receiver Jeremy Maclin that was about 45 yards. The veteran quarterback put the ball right where it needed to be, and hit Maclin in stride over his shoulder. What has been most impressive about Sanchez is how he is not taking chances with the ball. Given his reputation for turning the ball over during his time in New York, Sanchez has placed very few passes into double coverage. He did have one pass nearly picked off on Sunday, but that was one of only his only bad passes so far in camp. 
Total Stats 63 reps (all with second team), 38/44, 1 TD, 0 INT
Stock: Up

Go read the post to get the info on all 4 QBs. He’s got notes on Nick Foles. Some of you have asked for more info on Foles. The attention the first couple of days was on the backups since they played well after a poor spring. Foles didn’t have a great showing on Sunday, but he had a terrific spring and looked good on the opening day of camp. You’re not going to notice him as much unless he does make a mistake.

It is interesting to see Elliot keep track of the numbers. You have to be careful about putting too much into them. You need context to really have a good feel for how a guy looked. I appreciate the effort since I’m an out of town analyst and PE.com is no longer allowed to show extensive camp footage.

* * * * *

Bill Davis had his PC on Sunday. He didn’t say anything too wild, but I always enjoy listening to him.

Davis pointed out that for the first couple of weeks the defense would use a variety of groupings instead of strictly being 1’s and 2’s and so on. The goal is to see how different groups play against different competition. For instance, he wants the backup DBs to face the starting WRs. The DL rotates a lot so there will be times when the starting DL is out there with backup DBs.

Eventually this will all settle down and things will become more about starters and backups.

Davis admitted that the Eagles played DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks too much last year. He wants to give them more rest. That’s good news for Najee Goode and some other backup LBs. Sounds like the Eagles will do more with sub-packages and backup players.

While the Eagles tackled better last year than in the previous couple of seasons, Davis talked about the need to improve even more. The biggest issue he noticed was head placement. This is mostly in reference to tackling a player who you are attacking from the side. When a defender does that, he needs to take the correct angle and get his head in front of where the player is going. It will then be easier to wrap up with the arms. Last year too many Eagles were getting their head head behind the target and then they had to reach for the body of the runner/receiver. That led to missed tackles.

Paul Domowitch wrote about Davis comments on how the defense will look different this year. Expect it to be less vanilla. One comment stood out to me.

“A year ago, you saw more assignment football,’’ Davis said. “Guys were studying hard to know their assignment and what was asked of them, but didn’t really understand the whole picture and how they exactly fit with their teammates.

Good defense is about 11 guys functioning as one. They have to work together. You saw elements of this last year, but also saw plenty of times when the defense looked like 11 individuals on the field. That was to be expected because of the scheme change and new faces. This year they know the scheme and there is stability with the lineup. The defense should play more as a group. And better.


81 Comments on “Hitting Time”

  1. 1 Ark87 said at 8:49 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    The luster of this day is reduced from previous years with the lack of coverage. I used to love seeing the pass rushers vs O-line drills. Hope the bloggers have their eyes planted firmly on the big boys now that the pads are on. Well Jimmy says he ignores all of that since he can’t really see what’s going on.

  2. 2 GEAGLE said at 10:09 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    I think one of the very best things that Chip brings as our HEADCoach is his practice methods. Everyone gets plenty of reps.. Our second and third stringers are probably getting significantly more snaps than their counterparts on other teams are getting..

    Pads come on today, so excited to be able to see our DL,
    Vinny Curry will play like a man possessed and he should be a terror in cap this year
    Dying to see Alejandro Vallanueva to see if he can put that 6’9 frame to good use.
    Can’t wait to watch. Our prototypical 4techniques Hart and Krugs
    Dying to see Logan/Beau vs. Kelce
    Marcus smith vs. JP,Lane and Barbre
    So excited, this is when the season really starts. pray for our boys to get thru practice with no injuries. Every day we don’t lose players to injuries in camp is a good day.

    PRESEASON a WEEK AWAY!!!!! soooooo HYPE!

  3. 3 anon said at 10:22 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    Yeah if i’m an UDFA or backup i’d be dying to come to philly b/c i know i’ll get reps and at least have an opportunity to show. Hopefully we uncover more “sleepers” this way.

  4. 4 GEAGLE said at 10:39 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    Very true…there are just so many benefits to chips practice style…..just think of how many more reps our backups get compared to the backups on other teams…when an eagle goes down with an injury, we have backups come in, who has actually gotten a decent number of practice reps…
    I love that Chip makes practice as uncomfortable as possible, mentally challenging is probably a better word. Chip creates a helter skelter practice environment, music blasting at all times, having to move quickly between drills, defense has to hurry up and get lineup up, and deal with all the offenses motion..
    Our practices are training players minds..Mentally they are being challenged every day, much more than players in typical NFL practices….heck our players can’t even vocally communicate because the music is so loud.,..every day we are training in ways that best prepare us to go on the road.

    Mentally, our practices challenge our players more than a typical NFL practice/training camp…
    I feel like Chips practice methods is soooo valuable
    And it’s not just mentally challenging…Chips practice style help our physical conditioning. We train with the high tempo ever day since April…. Practicing at a high tempo the week you are playing the Eagles is not enough to keep your players from huffing and puffing from our pace…
    Chip is an excellent offensive mind, truly one of the brilliant coaches who schemes guys open, and creates more defined throws for his QB.. His play calling is top notch… Chip brings so much to the table as an NFL coach, but his practice methods are just brilliant..

    Wonder how long it will be before another organization starts practicing like us? I guess if and when Lazor gets a head coaching gig….but even that’s not a given.
    It’s one thing to hire a coach who thinks outside the box, it’s another thing to empower him and allow him to change the way an entire franchise operates…

    Lurie and Howie need to be praised for being persistent enough to get this coach! but they should be praised even more! for not being afraid to let our coach buck all the traditional NFL old boys club method of doing things…they had the balls and the trust to allow Chip to make all sorts of crazy changes not seen in the NFL, and that’s to be commended

  5. 5 RobNE said at 11:26 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    speaking of which, the Peter King article has a pic at top of the Saints defense practicing with a sled. One player is hitting the sled, one is on deck and like 25 are watching. I saw that and thought, Chip would NOT waste time like that.

  6. 6 GEAGLE said at 1:14 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Yeah I doubt that would EVER Happen under Chip…

    I can’t wait to see how our puppies grow under these coaches..is wholeheartedly believe that, committed/passionate players who work hard, under the tutelage of quality coaches have no choice but to improve..

    What’s funny is we were all so blown away at how Chip got so many of our players to improve last year:

    Jaccsons career year

    Cooper coming out party

    I thought Celek was done after two years of declining,
    Chip managed to rejuvenate his career
    Nate had his best year
    Thornton exploded onto the scene

    We saw Chip get so much improvement out of so many of our players last year. But what’s crazy is I expect this to be the summer our players grow the most. last year they had so much learning to do, this summer they really get to improve on the small nuances and intricacies of playing their role in our schemes.
    Last,summer was about Learning, and implementing the foundation of this new era of Eagles football. This summer is about improving. Players should get so much more out of practicing this summer, because they know what they are doing. They don’t have to think as much, so they can practice even faster, and they can really improve on the small nuances of playing their positions that make all the difference in the world on Sundays. Unless age catches up to a player and his physical ability diminishes from last year, our players should improve more this summer, than they did last year. But the improvements won’t just be on an individual level. Continuity you get from keeping everyone together will also allow you to gel towards the goal of playing as a collective unit…

    Young players make the most improvements with hardwork and quality coaching and we are one of the youngest and IMO. We are one of the best coached teams in the NFL. We also have built a strong Lockeroom and a healthy culture. We have already seen that we can stay together and overcome tough times, we did it last year when we had to overcome a tough start to the season….that’s not something we should take lightly. Being able stay together and overcome q tough Start like that is huge, and shows the leadership. Character, and make up of our coaches and players.
    We can just look at our division to see how important
    Leadership and Charecter is. See the 2014 Cowgirls who open the season:
    Vs. Niners
    @ Titans
    @’Rams (doubt tony romo survives this game)
    Vs Saints
    Let’s see how the cowboys deal with a schedule like that to start the season. What happens if they start the season 1-3?? Do they have the heart and chara ter

  7. 7 anon said at 1:42 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Watched some of the coverage of JJs preseason. Most meaningful quotes “I wish you could just cut a check and win a superbowl,” “not picking Johny Football is one of those decisions that i’ll question for the rest of my life”.

    they have so much tied up into romo’s deal (and would take such a hit if they cut him) that they would’nt be able to get manziel on the field before romo’s deal was up so they dind’t take him. [that’s me reading between the lines]

    Hate to be the OL that got picked he’s never going to live up to expectations.

    Every single player improved while CK was here. Even bb who had a bad year cured his fumbling issues.

  8. 8 GEAGLE said at 2:27 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Very true..assuming every player works as hard this summer as they did last summer, the player should improve more this year than he did last year, because this summer he gets to improve all the small details that make all the difference In your individual battles on Sunday…
    And Billy talks about last year being assignment football which is typically what happens at first when everything is so new. You are being asked to learn a new scheme as quickly as possible, so u r just focusing on your role, how you can personally survive,do. Your job and not be a detriment to your team….when you get to year two you start to hear players say that they are starting to learn what all the other positions do on each player, and understanding the scheme and what it’s designed to accomplish……..while your players go thru these different stages of growth, the more continuity they get the better, especially on defense.

    Think this is a crucial year for our development as a team and individually with so many of our players being young..if all our young players are on a higher level than they were playing at last year, that’s going to add up into some serious team improvements,.. I have no idea what our record will look like, but we should be drastically better than we were last year…
    And if Chip and this Hulls Kat really have some magic formula to stay healthy and we have insane health like last year, WATCH OUT for them birds in the playoffs…

    You know Chip is probably obsessed with overthrowing Peyton manning as the number 1 offense In the NFL. He probably wouldn’t admit it, but you know he wants his offense to be #1so he can rub guys like Hi
    Simms nose in it..

  9. 9 GEAGLE said at 9:09 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Romo,isn’t going to survive week 3 @ the Rams… Dallas Oline won’t jab improved enough to save him from the beating the Rams DL will put on him..

    Can’t wait to watch that game

  10. 10 anon said at 11:33 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    It’s the value of getting a great CEO for your company. Gotta hand it to him Laurie can pick coaches.

  11. 11 GEAGLE said at 12:26 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Well said…. And when Chip wAs hired, they told us he was more than just a coach, believe the term used was “program builder”

  12. 12 A_T_G said at 4:47 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I am sure there are already other organizations that WANT to practice like Chip, but I would think it takes a special person, a LOT of planning, and a lot of corrections to get everything working and coordinated. Wanting isn’t enough, and it may be years before we see someone else pull it off.

  13. 13 GEAGLE said at 9:41 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Very true,…and it takes such an organizational commitment…hopefully it will be years before another team tries to pull it off…

  14. 14 eagleyankfan said at 11:12 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    That’s one area I’ve never understood. I felt during the AR era, once a starter went down, we were in trouble because the backup was so unprepared(and un-talented at times). With Chip, we know everybody is prepared.

  15. 15 GEAGLE said at 2:04 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Absolutely….I don’t remember us having much depth under Andy. I’m sure guys not getting many practice reps had a lot to do with it….but I rally don’t remember too many cases where we were so deep, that guys were actually competing for snaps, starting positions in training camp.
    I’m really excited about our depth, and that’s a testament to what a great job Howie and Chip have done this offseason considering depth scared the bejesus out of me last year..

    Just look at the OLB position which is one of the 3 most valued positions in football:
    Last year we had 1 OLB Barwin, backed up by ILB Casey Mathews, and two 4-3DEs on the other side
    Fast forward a year and Cole and BG should be more comfortable. Barwin continues is STUD OLB wayw,
    Spent first round pick on Guy experienced standing and with his hand in the dirt. Whp can drop back in coverage. maaaaaarcus Darling!!!
    Travis Long should be legit fighting for a spot this year. like Marcus he is Experiemced standing or as DE so, Travis and Marcus should translate well into our scheme
    Bryan Braman, is here for ST, but I’m sure he is still 10 times better at OLB, than Casey Mathews was last year backing up Barwin…
    The depth on this team is so juicy, that I Genuinly have never been more excited to watch the second half of preseason game… Kiddy over seeing the young backup Defense, looking something like:
    hart………Beau Allen………Kruger/Villanueva

    Preseason is a weeka way, I’m trying to stay calm,

  16. 16 Dominik said at 6:42 AM on July 29th, 2014:

    At some positions, we have great depth. OLB, CB (4 starting calibers + 4th rounder Watkins, I like that), maybe even Safety, depends on Maragos (depth doesn’t mean we’re elite at the top of the position). Huff is a good #4 WR, Smith a good #5. Casey is a good #3 TE. I like our D-Line depth this year, with Hart and Kruger for Geathers, who was a disappointment, and practically Sopoaga, since we didn’t replace him on the 53.

    But there are glaring holes, we shouldn’t forget that. At ILB, we have Phillips, who was injured last year and had a bad spring, as #4. If he comes back – fine. If not, we still have that scrub Casey Matthews on our roster, at least for 4 weeks until Knott returns. That’s not good, far from it.

    We have 5 very good starters and a good back-up in Barbre, who can play G/T, for the O-Line. But other than that, nothing that is even close to a sure thing.

    We attacked the deepest holes we had last season – that’s good. But it takes one more draft until we have the depth you are praising all over the roster. For the O-Line, we’ll probably even need to pay bucks in FA. We don’t have enough time to develop the three spots we have to replace somewhere in the next two or three years max. Peters signed his extension, so they see him on this roster for some time. Lane should be ready for LT than, but we need to have a good RT by that time. + Mathis and Herremans.

    We have to wait for the PS games to say if we need a back-up QB for the future. We shouldn’t be sold for Sanchez and Barkley, at least yet.

    And sometime in the future, we need to replace Shady. Wait and see with Polk, we have two years with Sproles, but it would be nice if we’d have Shadys replacement on the roster when he starts to decline. It can happen very quickly with RBs. One bad injury and even our magican at this position could be done. And the running game is so freaking important in Chips scheme.

  17. 17 Ark87 said at 11:33 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    Everyday we don’t have anyone on the injury report I’, like Jason Avant after a catch, Jazz hands and point to the sky.

  18. 18 GEAGLE said at 2:32 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    If this team gets to the playoffs again, insanely healthy than it can’t just be coincidence..and if it’s not a coincidence and abnormally good health is going to be the norm around here, it will be the biggest advantage in pro sports…better than the patriots CIA tactics that won 3 lombardis

  19. 19 Anders said at 7:02 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    As a fan who live across the world, I really miss live PS. I would honestly pay to watch PS live.

  20. 20 OldDocRoss said at 9:06 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    Spare a thought today for the dear, departed Patrick Chung who enjoyed nothing more than hitting members of the Philadelphia Eagles.

  21. 21 Media Mike said at 5:47 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I’ll spare some feces for Chung, considering that was his level of play.

  22. 22 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:36 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    No love for Aurrelious Benn huh???

  23. 23 ICDogg said at 10:45 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    I hear he’s dropped a few balls

  24. 24 teltschikfakeout88 said at 12:11 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    that’s all part of manhood….

  25. 25 RobNE said at 9:40 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    Peter King has a 1 on 1 interview with Chip. It must be nice to have such great access. For us, prob not anything new but I still couldn’t help to read it.

    But the headline was “what to expect from Kelly in Year 2?” and my first thought was a GD SB

  26. 26 GEAGLE said at 10:02 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    He said his 20minutes with Chip were the most fascinating out of all his week 1 training camp visits…reminds him of Jimmy Johnson

  27. 27 RobNE said at 10:03 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    well it’s nice of Peter King to break the news that Chip is different.

  28. 28 GEAGLE said at 9:21 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    He seemed to give a fair analysis of us…

  29. 29 Sean Stott said at 1:18 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Really wish Peter King would stay the hell away. He’s awful.

  30. 30 GEAGLE said at 10:00 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    I despise Elliot Parker… He probably make my top 5 most hated philly media members.
    Billy Davis also talked about last year we were so vanilla only playing Base and Nickle, and how this year they will Implemet more subpackages, which is no surprise, since we know have the depth to do different Things we couldn’t pull off last year…subpackages is how he will give guys like Mykal and Meco a breather

    Pads come on today, the hitting begins, pray for no injuries, I love that our coaches can get guys to improve their tacking(we were the 6th best tackling team last year) without tackling to the ground….wonder how long it will be before the dinosaur Andy Reid stops having his players tackle to the ground..
    Donovan McMoron continues to show why Philadelphia hates him. Such an insecure bitch, no surprise, he hates on FOles…..funny how our young QB, already managed to hang one of those division banners McFool is so proud of up in the rafters…

    Every practice day that goes by without an eagle suffering serious injuries is a great day!!

  31. 31 anon said at 10:20 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    It’s hard for me to read ESP after the djax article.

  32. 32 GEAGLE said at 10:22 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    He certainly disgraced himself that day

  33. 33 CrackSammich said at 11:41 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    Reporters don’t disgrace themselves by writing things you don’t like.

  34. 34 GEAGLE said at 12:24 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Bwhahaha ok pal.

  35. 35 Bert's Bells said at 12:44 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    ESP is the GEAGLE of bloggers. I accidentally start to read him and quickly stop after a line or two of garbled nonsense. Look at that byline, then click to the next thing.

  36. 36 Anders said at 7:01 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Problem is ESP is not a good writer, he reads something out of ANYTHING. He was hated over at BGN because of that

  37. 37 ICDogg said at 10:45 AM on July 28th, 2014:

    On my way out to go to the practice. Hopefully the rain holds up until it is over.

  38. 38 A_T_G said at 4:48 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    We eagerly await your report.

  39. 39 nopain23 said at 12:19 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    everyone wanted us to draft ha-ha even move up for him. but lately alabama db’s appear to just flame out in the nfl for some reason. never wanted any part of ha-ha in the draft. maybe one day tommy can write a post on why that is that Alabama db’s are good in college but fail to meet expectation in the nfl.

  40. 40 GEAGLE said at 1:30 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Dee Milner is trash, surprise surprise
    Don’t think it’s rocket science and we talk about this every time the draft dolls around. Saban makes his DBs use the “crab walk” technique instead of pack peddling. Which is practically a prerequisite to playing CB in the NFL. So drafting Dee Milner means you are getting CB who hasn’t played the game back peddling since like high school

    Now this probably shouldn’t be something that great athletes,can’t overcome. I just think it will take them more time to transition to the pros than it normally would… All the other cornerbacks, backpeddling in a football game is second nature to them…draft an Alabama kid and you have to re-wire him

    I think it’s ridiculous that Saban still does this. If you are going to be the powerhouse program who gets all the best talent, you should be able to win championships while best preparing your kids for their NFL career. There is no way I believe that Saban can’t win national championships asking his corners to backpeddle. It reminds me of college basketball vs. NBA. A one and done prospect heading to the NBA after freshman season. You have to be Braindead to sign with Bill Self and Kansas. All he cares about is having the best college team possible, where as John Calipari will focus on grooming the one and done players for the NBA.

    I Really despise that Saban does that. And I wonder what effect that has on trying to recruit defensive backs?

  41. 41 Anders said at 6:59 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Dee Milner actually looked decent late in the year.

  42. 42 GEAGLE said at 9:05 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    LOL decent for a 5th round pick….doubt you think he looked good enough to justify half of the moronic media and fanbase wanting to draft him #4th…

    Big big year for Milner..we’ll see. Still waiting for Kirkpatrik to do something

  43. 43 nopain23 said at 9:57 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    thank you sir!..i got killed by fellow iggles fans who told me i was crazy for not wanting howie to draft milliner. wanted no part of him and don’t get me started on kirkpatrick. unless it’s a linbackeri covet no player on a nick saban’s college defense

  44. 44 Sean Stott said at 7:58 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Crab walking, backpedaling, either way you’re not moving at 100% of your speed. Maybe he feels you’re better able to come out of your pedal (crabwalk) one way vs. the other. He’s the HC, his choice.

  45. 45 D3FB said at 1:54 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I think you need to differentiate CB’s from S. The corner’s have struggled due to Saban’s teaching crabwalking over backpedaling. As far as Safties that Saban has recruited and put in the NFL, I think that would just be Mark Barron, who I believe is playing decently, and Robert Lester who despite being a UDFA last year is a projected starter for the Panthers.

  46. 46 GEAGLE said at 2:09 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I really don’t get his obsession with the crabwalkingl..you have any theories on why he uses it? I mean Alabama corners have not been transitioning well at all…..I don’t get why he continues to do this diservice to his players? It’s not like crab walking is the secret to his national titles…anyone hear his reasoning for it? Or have any theories?

    To me it’s like Jim Boheim being a top college basketball coach at Syracuse, but refusing to teach his kids man to man defense.
    He is stunting the growth of his NBA prospects by only playing Zone defense….. Seems selfish to me from both coaches

  47. 47 D3FB said at 4:01 PM on July 28th, 2014:


  48. 48 GEAGLE said at 9:13 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Thank you sir

  49. 49 Anders said at 6:58 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    “I don’t get why he continues to do this diservice to his players?”

    College coaches like Saban is not here to make players transit to the NFL, he is there to win titles.

  50. 50 GEAGLE said at 9:04 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Lol you think crab walking is the secret to success? Lol you think he wouldn’t have as many national championships if he asked his corners to backpeddle?
    Winning championship and best preparing your players for the NFL doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive… And YES he is doing a diservice to his cornerback draft prospects…how is that debateable?

  51. 51 Anders said at 10:17 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    It’s not the secret, the secret was his offense and the ol the most, but he wouldn’t teach it if he didn’t thought it would help him win titles.

    I never understood why so many top recruits wanna play for Bama over other schools, why not take your talent to a school where you won’t be overshadowed or broken down before you get money

  52. 52 Media Mike said at 5:46 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Barron, at best, is average. I don’t care for his closing speed to plays at all.

  53. 53 Anders said at 6:59 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Never understood why Tampa traded up so far for him.

  54. 54 GEAGLE said at 9:13 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Yeah that was crazy

  55. 55 nopain23 said at 10:02 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    ha-ha is gonna be a average to a bust as well.there is nothing special about his game. glad the birds weren’t foolish enough to trade up for him. green bay can have him!

  56. 56 mksp said at 2:14 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Foles hasn’t sounded sharp last two days. I’m not sure he’s a “practice” player.

  57. 57 Ark87 said at 5:15 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Apparently Fletcher and Maclin only read the title of your article, Tommy. I like the edge, don’t like that the guys are swinging, Wonder if Sheil was exaggerating when he said they were throwing haymakers at each other, that’s throwin’ down/

  58. 58 Media Mike said at 5:45 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    So Maclin can’t get open vs. a #2 corner and gets himself beat up. Great start to your season #18!

  59. 59 Ark87 said at 5:48 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    “I think (Fletcher) gave (Maclin) some body shots on that play. To be honest with you, that’s kind of messed up. You know (Maclin) wasn’t expecting that, but it’s all in good fun. We’re out here competing. It’s a great time, and you’re going to have those skirmishes. That’s a part of practice. Maclin wasn’t going to back down either, and that’s great. We got physicality on both sides of the ball. ” -Carrie Williams

    They were going at it all day, culminated in Fletcher taking some shots at him during a play, Haymakers follow.

  60. 60 Media Mike said at 5:49 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Well if they go at it formally, I’d be happy to work as Fletcher’s corner man!

  61. 61 ICDogg said at 8:59 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I was watching something on the other side of the field and I heard some of the fans oohing, and looked and saw the commotion, but by that time, a couple of guys including Riley Cooper were separating them.

  62. 62 Ark87 said at 9:25 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    How was the practice? Any observations to share?

  63. 63 GEAGLE said at 9:26 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Any injuries today? I’m out of the loop

  64. 64 ICDogg said at 9:35 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I saw Logan riding an exercise bike. Cooper was on the sideline most of the time, and I didn’t see Polk at all.

  65. 65 GEAGLE said at 9:38 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Logan was held out these past two days…no big deal..

    But no one got hurt during practice today?
    JUST STAY HEALTHY!!!! If we can do that, it will be a BIG YEAR!!

    Did you guys who attended practice check out what Ertz looks like running around in person?

  66. 66 ICDogg said at 10:02 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Can’t really think of anything Ertz did today. Celek made a nice grab and also made a really bad “stone hands” drop. He was getting more physical than most today, mixing it up with the safeties, especially Jenkins.

  67. 67 ICDogg said at 10:13 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I read now that Vandervelde is banged up (as with the other injuries, nothing seems to be particularly serious). That explains why I saw Mathis take a few snaps at center.

  68. 68 ICDogg said at 9:43 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Maehl was the 1st team WR along with Maclin in Cooper’s stead and made a couple of nice grabs. Sproles was all over the place doing everything. Matthews looked very solid, no individual plays he made really stood out to me but he was a favorite target.

    Keep in mind that there are so many things happening on the field at once that there’s no way you can possibly follow even half of what is going on.

    Early in the practice all of the QBs looked like they had good zip on the ball, but I would also point out that in the final 11 on 11 drill, the defense was breaking up several of the passes, including a few of Foles’.

    Benn dropped at least one he should have had and had another batted out of his hands.

  69. 69 Ark87 said at 11:08 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Very nice, thanks for sharing your observations, wish I lived closer to catch a few.

  70. 70 ICDogg said at 11:56 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    It’s fun to go to and it’s free and they even give free potato chips. But as far as being able to tell the progress of various players, it’s far from obvious.

  71. 71 ICDogg said at 10:19 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Forgot to mention, Momah made a couple of catches including one he had to reach for and get by the fingertips.

  72. 72 GEAGLE said at 9:26 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Who was the media member who was going around these past few days and asking everyone if it’s true that Deseans presence was instrumental in Coopers big year? Was that McManus? They asked Chip, FOles, Maclin. Ertz and a few other guys were asked and they all said it was nonsense. Most said Shady was what defenses were focusing their attention. Not Desean..
    FOles got kind of pissed with they question, telling reporters that they need to credit Cooper..
    Chip said we never see two safeties back because we would run all over teams, which was awesome to hear

  73. 73 Anders said at 10:19 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Most medie guys have zero clue on how to look at din so no surprise there. Also remember maclin only gets tds because defenses forget him

  74. 74 Alex Karklins said at 9:29 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    My first thought after seeing this image was: “I bet Tommy Lawlor would love this.” What the hell is wrong with me?

  75. 75 SteveH said at 9:32 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Every time I see PBR in the liquor store I’m reminded of Tommy’s obsession with it. They should pay him royalties.

  76. 76 Alex Karklins said at 9:36 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Or fly him in for an hour alone in the brewery’s cold storage room.

  77. 77 ICDogg said at 10:48 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I haven’t had a PBR in years. From what I remember, it was okay.

  78. 78 GEAGLE said at 9:35 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    Billy Davis said he tried to do the math and that second and 3rd stringers for the eagles are getting like 5 times as many snaps as backups got at his past coaching stops…

    The amount of reps our backups get, has to be HUGE for some Athletic freak long shots like Villanueva….can’t wait to get an idea what he looks like as a DL.
    the best case/realistic scenario is he makes the practice squad and down the line develops into a productive football player….but a kid like him would have no shot with a team who practices the traditional way where 3rd stringers barely get any snaps…in our practices, this kid may actually improve as the offseason moves along…

    Anyone check him out today at practice?

  79. 79 Anders said at 10:21 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I saw him on some footage and he is enormous but 100% sure he will be a practice squad guy at best. It’s Hart and kruger you soulful be hyped for and they ain’t much smaller either

  80. 80 Insomniac said at 10:26 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    I’m more interested in Kruger. Hart just doesn’t intrigue me.

  81. 81 ICDogg said at 10:57 PM on July 28th, 2014:

    There’s another 6’9″ guy too, I think his name is Mays. Him and Villanueva stand out if for no other reason because of their size.