A New OL

Posted: June 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 111 Comments »

The release of Evan Mathis opened up a roster spot. My sources tell me the Eagles considered trading for Aaron Rodgers, JJ Watt or Marshall Yanda, but decided that signing journeyman OL Jared Wheeler would be the more prudent move.

That’s a face only a mother could love. A blind mother, that is.  (I kid, I kid.)

Wheeler played collegiately at Miami, where he was recruited by Jeff Stoutland. The reason that Wheeler chose Miami was because of Stoutland, who he said was “a great guy and a great coach.”  Wheeler didn’t develop into the kind of players Miami hoped, but became a good backup and eventually started some as a Senior.

Wheeler has spent time in the NFL with Carolina, Buffalo and Seattle.

Why do the Eagles like him? Wheeler, who is nicknamed Hot Wheels (I kid you not), has the kind of frame the Eagles like in an interior OL. He is 6-5, 319. He can play G or C and has experience playing on both sides. The Eagles like their linemen to be as versatile as possible.

He has some athletic ability, but isn’t anything special.

Wheeler certainly sounds like a Chip Kelly type of guy.

You cannot think of Wheeler as the replacement for Evan Mathis. He is a young OL trying to come here and compete for a roster or practice squad spot. He is not going to be a factor when we talk about the starting OL.

Anthony DiBona put together a post with some video clips that let you see Wheeler’s movement skills. Some of those blocks will look familiar, as you’ve seen them executed a time or two by Eagles OGs.

* * * * *

A guess at the OL depth chart for now.

LT – Jason Peters ….. Andrew Gardner …… Brett Boyko
LG – Allen Barbre …. Julian Vandervelde … Cole Manhart
OC – Jason Kelce ….. David Molk ……………. Mike Coccia
RG – Matt Tobin …… Dennis Kelly ………….. Josh Andrews
RT – Lane Johnson .. Kevin Graf …………….. Malcom Bunche

I don’t know if the Eagles will think of Wheeler as more of a C or G so I’ll leave him out for now.

_


  • Media Mike

    That is downright scary at guard. I really have zero trust that either of the two “starting” guards will provide anything close to the level of play we got from Mathis.

    • Ramiroquaaii

      it’s scary, but not as much.
      At RG we lost but not much, or nothing at all. Herremans got hurt constantly and was in decline.

      But at LG, Mathis is a big lost, but putting Barbre there, we fix the major role.

      Tobin, Gardner and Molk should be decent if they rotating well, or one of them stand out.

      My major concern is the depth. Backups most be add with urgency.

      • Greg Richards

        I think Tobin and Gardner both have potential, but Molk is horrible. Guy gets pushed directly back into the QBs face. Just not strong/big enough. Sure, Kelce gives some ground sometimes but he’s usually able to re-establish his base. The QB may be a little bit pressured, but at least he’s not steamrolled. Vandervelde gets hurt too often, so none of us really know how good he is. I think they need to sign one veteran capable of playing RG but also potentially backing up at C.

        • Ramiroquaaii

          Yeah, he is only there because the OL was the area to sacrifice this offseason IMO.

          Let’s hope to some UDFA stand out.

          • Greg Richards

            The only one of the UDFAs that really has potential is Boyko and he’s a T/G. Too tall for center.

          • Ramiroquaaii

            But Kelce don’t let me concerned. His last injury was something incomun. Should not repeat this year.

          • Kelce’s Beard

            why so low on Coccia? From what I’ve seen, he can definitely reach Vandevelde/Molk level of play. Longshot, but I’m not ruling him out. Being a C/G helps a lot too

          • bill

            …and he graduated from the same high school and undergrad as I did, so he’s gotta be a stud, right?

            Seriously, I’m going to be pulling hard for him to make the roster, and only some of that is based on my reaction to Molk’s play last year. Probably headed for practice squad, but I’ll still be monitoring that battle this summer.

          • Kelce’s Beard

            what does his pedigree have to do with it? And I don’t see where I called him a stud.
            Greg said only Boyko has potential, and I countered that point. Are Vandervelde and Molk magically better because they’ve been NFL backups and fringe players for years?

          • bill

            I wasn’t criticizing you, just noting my interest in him – I was closer to agreeing with you than anything.

            Once again, I fail at communicating my attempts at humor on the interwebs. Sorry.

          • heywoodjabloome

            really? sorry never noticed you on the coaching staff. oh wait you stayed at a holiday inn last night? nevermind, you listen to WIP that explains the BS you post…

        • GEAGLE

          MOLK cant possibly make the roster, he isn’t an NFL player.. With him constantly getting Blown back into FOles lap, we don’t need this weakling getting tossed back into Bradfords Knee…

          I can’t possible believe he makes our roster

      • Media Mike

        Barbre spent last year laying down on the job when we needed help, so I don’t know how anybody could expect anything from the guy in terms of quality play.

        I agree 100% the Herremans was in steep decline, but I was hoping to see Iupati or Franklin starting at RG while Mathis was at LG.

        I didn’t see a lot of quality play out of Tobin last year either.

        I’m not saying there is an impossibility of good guard play this year, but it needs to be seen to be believed because there is zero evidence of that quality.

        • Greg Richards

          Laying down on the job? Guy got hurt. It happens.

          • Media Mike

            The most important “ability” in pro sports is availability; Barbre needs to prove he can stay upright.

          • FairOaks

            Sure. But calling it “laying down on the job” is about as far from the truth as you could get. Injuries happen. We really have no idea how good Barbre is in this offense. He could be OK. There is always the injury concern — while I don’t think he has an injury history, he also doesn’t have a starting history. But the biggest thing to me is depth — we have precious little, I think.

          • Media Mike

            You can argue semantics about how to describe a guy not being there when you need him, but I agree with you in that we don’t really have an idea about how good or bad Barbre can be. I would have preferred to have waited to move on from Mathis until we were dealing with a more known quantity. I cannot stand doing things on spec.

          • FairOaks

            “Laying down on the job” directly implies it is a question of effort — he could do the job, but chose not to. He got injured in the first game and went on IR, very different. I don’t think injuries have been a chronic thing with him, either. And while we have no idea, the coaches (given practices) should have a lot better idea. I’m not sure he was allowed to practice when on IR though so it’s been a while since he’s played full-up in pads, so I’d agree I’m somewhat worried. I still don’t like the release of Mathis, as it definitely makes us worse, but Barbre could still be good. The backup spots on the other hand… don’t fill me with confidence. I wonder if we’ll be shopping for roster cuts from other teams.

          • Media Mike

            He wasn’t available when needed and the line had some major issues last year. I’m sick and tired of 2013 being the exception rather than the rule when it comes to consistently excellent line play. So I’ll continue to spew venom on the matter until the problem is fixed. If Barbre has to get flamed as part of that process, he has an easy way to fix it; play 16 games of good football.

          • Buge Halls

            Mathis wasn’t there when needed either – you can’t argue that one guy is lazy or not willing to help when he’s hurt, but give the other guy a pass when he was injured. You can’t just decide to come off of IR – it’s not the player’s decision

          • Media Mike

            We went from this

            http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/9/7/6119061/eagles-injury-update-evan-mathis-mcl-injury-allen-barbre

            to the guy being out the year. It was extremely frustrating.

            If you’d like to say I’m being overly harsh; that’s fine. I’m just not quite done putting anybody and everybody on blast for the failures of last year’s squad.

          • D3FB

            You do realize that of all the people who decide if a player goes on season ending IR that the player himself is like 5th in importance?

            Doctor
            Trainer
            Head Coach
            GM
            Player

            In that order.

            Saying a player went on IR because he was “laying down on the job” is akin to blaming JR Sweezy for the Seahawks calling a pass on the last play.

          • Greg Richards

            DAMN IT, SWEEZY!

          • philliesfan123

            Come on …. it was his body. His career. His pain threshold. Barbre’ is/was SOFT! Don’t blame the doctor or trainer for his weakness. Not the coach or GM either. If Barbre’ was told he ( had to ) go on IR, he could have QUIT, and walked away from his career. He didn’t have to listen to the people who ” run, ” the team, and the NFL. All excuses. #sarcasm-for-Media-Mike

          • xmbk

            Team slightly underachieved last year. Ceiling is much higher for 2015.

          • Media Mike

            I agree with you there. I just found it vile to watch Dallas win anything other than biblical plague.

          • xmbk

            Dallas got every break in the book last year. So pathetic to hear them whine about the season ender, they never should have gotten there. Really bothered me that Bryant whined after thanksgiving, then got every call in the rematch. Looking forward to some payback this year. Hopefully they’ll be eliminated by the time Hardy gets back.

          • FairOaks

            The Eagles needed OL bodies and roster spots when those players went down. That was a hard situation for the team. Johnson was coming back, so Barbre was really just needed for the first four games, and he was going to be injured for those, so the team chose to IR him, which meant he was gone for the season regardless if he got healthy. You can only bring back one player from IR, and they gave that designation to Mathis (since they needed his roster spot too). They kept Kelce on 53-man; that was the roster spot they could spare.

            Two days after the article you linked there was this one:

            http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/9/9/6127189/allen-barbre-injury-eagles-offensive-line-season-ending-surgery

            So the injury was worse than the brief hopeful article you linked, and he wasn’t going to be in the lineup most of the season anyways. At that point the roster spot becomes vital; those decisions have nothing to do with the player but rather the team (and team doctors).

          • Media Mike

            Ok, so we can call the whole thing even if we publicly execute whoever put out the original optimistic report.

          • philliesfan123

            Not for nothing, but I can only assume that NEXT year, Kelly will draft 3 offensive linemen, and sign 2 in free agency. They always address a situation a year late. Just like this year, and the glut and linebacker, now.

          • philliesfan123

            Yeah, don’t forget Fletcher Cox, either. Dude couldn’t make the pro bowl …. couldn’t stop Dez Bryant or Odell Beckham either. Where was he when we needed ? Guy is weak. If it wasn’t for him we could have went to the Super Bowl. #Media-Mike-is-clueless

          • Media Mike

            Take your hash tags and go jump into an oncoming truck with them you gutless pile of human garbage. If you’d like to discuss the topics at hand fine, but keep your rude mouth shut if you’d rather launch into personal BS.

          • heywoodjabloome

            truth hurts does it? hahahaha idiot…

          • philliesfan123

            What !!! If Mathis was a TEAM player, he would have ignored the league rules and played anyway. IR – SHMY – R, who cares, Mathis is soft for not breaking the NFL rules and playing. #Mathis-is-soft-no-culture-f–k-the-IR

          • Buge Halls

            Yeah, right! Ignored league rules! You think this is your little fantasy team? Moron

          • FairOaks

            Sure. By your measurement though, Kelce, Mathis, Herremans, and Johnson (via suspension) all layed down on the job last year. We may have been OK on OL last year if Mathis and Kelce hadn’t gone down, and just Barbre did. So who was more at “fault”? Mathis is just as likely to get injured as Barbre. And that is my beef, that you need some depth because injuries can and do happen. Being injury-free like 2013 is just luck. We could have protected ourselves better last year by trying to bring in some new talent in the draft, but didn’t, and *especially* this year (after releasing Herremans who was also still serviceable) but didn’t draft any again, nor signed any veteran free agents. It feels like we should have suffered some of Rosenhaus’ BS in that situation, as long as Mathis wasn’t a problem in the locker room or on the field. We are now almost counting on 2013-level health to have a good OL year.

          • Media Mike

            I can buy what you’re selling on the need to add more talent at that position group.

          • philliesfan123

            FairOaks, you are cracking me up. Seriously, I’m dying over here. You are REALLY trying to have a ” serious ” conversation, with Media Mike ? You haven’t figured out that this guy is either, pulling your leg, or is a little slow on the uptake ? I can’t take it anymore …. I’m literally laughing out loud.

          • Media Mike

            Troll elsewhere or drop dead.

          • philliesfan123

            Yeah, they should make Bar – ber, wear a pink too – too, on the sideline, until he toughens up. Dude blew out his ankle, like a wimp and didn’t even try to play on it. Most players would have played until the bone was sticking out of the skin. Dude is flat out soft. Cut him …. now!

          • philliesfan123

            Come on ….. it was obvious that he got hurt because he was lazy, and didn’t want to play. He should of manned up, and got that ankle shot up with demerol and novicaine. Guy didn’t want to play, and let the team down. Just in case you were wondering ….. that was all sarcasm – that was a response for, ” Media Mike. “

          • Media Mike

            And here is a response for your nonsense that isn’t adding to the conversation; drop dead.

          • heywoodjabloome

            awww c’mon FairOaks, these idiots spew WIP nonsense all the time… you make too much sense for them… perfect example is the post below. major back pedal when pointed out how DUMB his responses are…. lol gotta love it…

          • xmbk

            Wait. Mathis missed 7 games last year and you are all over the team for cutting him, but Barbre has to prove he can stay on the field? Sounds like hate for the sake of hatin.

          • Media Mike

            Mathis came back.

          • xmbk

            Barbre had been here all offseason while Mathis has gone bye bye. Well be ok.

          • Media Mike

            Well we can all see after a few regular season games how it shakes out.

          • xmbk

            Fair enough. Have to admit, I’m looking forward to seeing the product. I share your concern regarding OL depth, and imagine the coaches do as well. The difference is that I can see where cutting Mathis free was a good move, given the situation he created.

          • Media Mike

            And I think where we differ is that the situation with Mathis was only as big of a deal as the team felt like allowing it to be while there weren’t in any mandatory team work.

          • xmbk

            Not sure how anyone on the outside can feel confident making that judgement. Also don’t think the team was comfortable with his cap hit even before any shenanigans.

          • Media Mike

            I see where you’re going with the cap element, but I’d call the timing of that type of move specious as best until I see the next significant shoe drop in terms of a free agent signing.

          • philliesfan123

            ” while there weren’t in any mandatory team work. ” ……. What the f#&k ?

          • Big Stan

            Go back to watching the Phillies s%&k. Then go read Tra Thomas’ (the pissed off for being let go, ex-lineman, who is Anti-chip) feelings on Mathis.

        • Ramiroquaaii

          the ideal would be draft maybe 1 LT and 1 C and rebuild the G’s with 1 or 2 free agents, and Barbre.

          But cap was issue by that time and we have a possible Bradford resign incoming.

          • Greg Richards

            Sounds like Franklin was the guy they wanted but he zeroed in on San Diego immediately? Picking to live in San Diego instead of Philadelphia? Who does that?

          • Media Mike

            I agree O-line could have been addressed in the draft. My preferred spot was the 3rd round, but I think we’ve all be through that.

          • Ramiroquaaii

            Me too. I didn’t like what I read about Hicks, and LB was not a priority.
            For me, that moement was critical..

          • Media Mike

            I actually like Hicks, I just would have preferred him in the 4th or 5th given all of the available information about his value that is stronger than second hand stories about the Bengals taking him with the next pick.

            Quibbles over round aside, I think Hicks is starting next to Kiko in 2016; I just hope we can get Kendricks traded for a 2016 2nd rather than losing him for some garbage 2017 comp pick.

          • Ramiroquaaii

            Or a elite LT or G haha

            Chip don’t care about comp picks. He sign more guys than let go, so…

          • Media Mike

            Exactly, so let’s get Kendricks traded rather than lose him for nothing.

        • xmbk

          Would you have liked to see the Eagles pay what Franklin or Iupati got? I think it would have been too much for a guard, much as I would have liked to see either of them in green. The team has limited resources, money spent in one area isn’t available in another. Even the impact of losing Mathis is largely mitigated by the cap savings.

          • Media Mike

            For Franklin, sure.

            http://overthecap.com/player/orlando-franklin/36/

            First year cap number is only $4.4 million. That could have been reached via Brent Celek being cut and a steeper reduction of DeMeco.

          • xmbk

            Ok, now you’re just cherry picking. 7 mill signing bonus, 15.5 guaranteed, 4th highest contact for LG, per the site you linked. I’m starting to smell troll meat.

          • Media Mike

            How am I cherry picking; I just gave you how I’d go about affording Franklin on this roster.

          • xmbk

            Because it wasn’t a one year contract. 4.4 mill for the first year is only because a 7 mill bonus was spread out over 5 years. If he has a career ending injury in 15, that one season costs the team 10.8 mill, plus the rest of the guaranteed money. It’s cowboy cap management – minimize this year and worry about the future later.

          • Media Mike

            No, it becomes Cowboy cap management when you talk already aged and/or injury prone guys on your roster and convert their current year’s salary to bonus to help out with the cap. Neither Franklin, nor his contract, are Cowboy type deals.

          • xmbk

            Fwiw, the team has made it clear that every position and player has a set cap value. Clearly OG is lower than a lot of other teams. I love pancakes on a Sunday afternoon as much as anyone, but apparently the team has a different plan.

          • Media Mike

            That plan had better put the division title back where it belongs with 10 or 11 wins as a start, a home playoff game, and home playoff win; then I’ll be good with it.

          • xmbk

            Healthy Bradford makes that very realistic, imo.

        • Stephen E.

          Tobin was deplorable. I hear nothing but excuses that he had some phantom injury that kept him from performing.

          • FairOaks

            He injured his ankle in the last preseason game and could not play for several games, and likely came back too soon due to the dire need of bodies at the position at the time. Those injuries tend to be nagging as well.

            http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/injured-matt-tobin-could-return-eagles-vs-49ers

            That said, whatever reputation he has is from preseason games (pundits did think he looked good then) and/or coaches’ statements. He could be good — young players do tend to struggle early and improve some — but we haven’t actually seen it on field. Last year was not great to be sure — we can only hope that was the learning process. I don’t like that we have unproven commodities at two starting spots and even less likely answers at backup, but both Barbre and Tobin *could* be good.

      • GEAGLE

        MOLK is terrible. Keeping him on the roster would be a travesty. I’d rather have 10 Tim Tebow’s then waste 1 roster spot on MOLK..

        • EagleNebula

          Tebow can play guard!?

        • A Roy

          Delay of game penalty for prayer meetings after touchdowns. …

  • Dominik

    Tommy, what’s the knock on Dan Connolly? Currently unsigned, last year starter for the SB champ who had a good OL after their slow start. Not too old with 32. Team captain for a Belichick team, which means he has a good #culture rating. Can play G or C, which could be like an extra roster spot for us.

    According to this article, he had 4 suitors pre draft – but he is still unsigned.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2433218-new-england-patriots-must-move-to-re-sign-connolly-before-nfl-draft

    I would assume the reason is either money or scheme. Do you know if he could be effective in a zone blocking scheme?

    • Media Mike

      I’m not sure if the Eagles operate this way, but a lot of teams won’t look to sign a quasi-shot vet until after the season starts so his salary isn’t guaranteed. Also, but I’m not sure if this is the case with Connolly, some of those guys don’t look to sign with a team until it gets closer to the start of the season to avoid a lot of the needless hassle of pre-season practice, etc.

      • Dominik

        “Also, but I’m not sure if this is the case with Connolly, some of those
        guys don’t look to sign with a team until it gets closer to the start
        of the season to avoid a lot of the needless hassle of pre-season
        practice, etc.”

        I would assume a team captain for the Patriots doesn’t think that way.

      • Bert’s Bells

        I’d guess it’s the guaranteed salary thing too.

        • Media Mike

          Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of commentators talk about how the big week to sign old heads is after week one is over.

        • Greg Richards

          Teams typically bring a veteran into camp and then they might cut him prior to Week 1 and then bring him back. Or they may sign a vet another team cut before Week 1. It’s pretty rare to sign a guy that hasn’t been in camp with anyone after Week 1. Teams like guys that have been practicing and are in game shape.

          • Media Mike

            I don’t think you’re wrong, but I also think there is a distinction between guys who got cut in camp vs. guys that may have been on the street the whole time.

          • Greg Richards

            The reason most of these guys haven’t been signed yet are either because they just can’t play anymore, are still recovering from some offseason surgery, or want more money than anyone is offering.

            Prior to the current CBA, some vets would strategically wait until later in training camp to sign with another team after the two-a-days are over. The training camps are so easy now that there isn’t much of a motivation for veteran free agents to do that anymore.

            There might be a few still capable free agents out there that are strategically waiting until a team suffers injuries at their position figuring that it will be easier to find a team they can stick with down the road. That strategy can easily backfire though.

          • Media Mike

            I believe Vick is now playing wait and see with injuries to QBs.

          • Greg Richards

            Yeah, I think QB is one of the positions that happens most often with.

    • Greg Richards

      Really poor in pass protection last year.

      • Dominik

        This is in no way meant to be offensive, but is this you evaluating him from the Pats games you watched or do you rely on PFF in this instance? I read that he had a bad PFF grade. But Mathis was the best Guard in the league according to PFF, even last year, when we clearly saw he wasn’t as good as he used to be after the injury (still good, but not “best in the league” good like 2013).

        • Greg Richards

          Not just PFF, fans’ and beat writers’ opinion also. PFF is hit and miss IMO. Some positions they are better at evaluating than others. I find their OL and secondary grades to be the most problematic.

          • Dominik

            The question then becomes: even if he’s not good at pass pro anymore, is he clearly better than Tobin or Gardner? Because their strenght was the run game, they had their issues with pass pro.

            If Connolly is a little bit better in pass pro and a little bit better in run blocking, wouldn’t signing him still make sense? That is, if he doesn’t command a wild salary.

            Because the thing is, even if Tobin or Gardner make a leap and turn out to be solid – there is still no depth. Right now, we need one to step up (+ Barbre being as good as the organisation thinks) to have two solid starters.

    • Insomniac

      PTSD from the Patrick Chung crisis.

  • GEAGLE

    obviously Tobin and Barbre are the media darlings/assumed starters….. Don’t sleep on Andrew Gardner at RG, think he will give Tobin some competition

  • Cafone

    It might be easier to find a Mathis replacement if they widen the search to include black guys.

    • MagsMama

      Not as many apply for the job. Huge ‘black guys’ with quick hands and feet become Defensive Linemen. Higher profile, more money. Plus giving hits rather than taking them. Also the mountain-man hairiness is just not the same.

      https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1092&bih=625&q=offensive+linemen+with+beards&oq=offensive+linemen+with+beards&gs_l=img.3…2659.10230.0.11236.29.17.0.12.3.0.123.1847.0j17.17.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..10.19.1764.RCnAe-wwocg

      • ACViking

        Indeed . . .

        Guys like Willie Roaf, Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, Walter Jones, Mark May, Jackie Slater, Larry Little, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, Bob Brown, Jim Parker.

        • MagsMama

          True. Many fine O linemen in your list. I only suggested that there are fewer “black guys” on the Eagles O line because there are fewer ‘black guy’ O linemen than D linemen. Current players – Peters, Warmack.
          I despised Upshaw because he was a Raider!. However, he could be forgiven:
          “As the longtime executive director of the NFL Players’ Association, he is widely regarded as one of the most powerful players on the sidelines. During his long tenure at the helm of the Players’ Association, Upshaw led the bargaining that led to free agency, big increases in profits from product licensing, and the best benefit package in professional sports.

          Altogether Upshaw played in an incredible 307 preseason, regular season, and post-season contests. Included in his 24 post-season games were three AFL and seven AFC championship games and Super Bowls II, XI and XV.”

          It was noted in one reference that Upshaw was suggested for the Oakland offensive line because his size would be useful in a division which included Ernie Ladd and Buck Buchanan, on the KC D line.

          • ACViking

            That KC team of the late 60s and early 70s had the kind of size you see today. Huge, athletic guys. Way ahead of their time. Forced Al Davis to go big. No question

    • ian_no_2

      Is Malcolm Bunche impersonating a black guy, along with Kelly’s first five draft picks?

  • Stephen E.

    You think this is bad? Wait until we have an injury. We’re going to be starting one of these UDFAs. Bradford getting hurt? We’ll be lucky if we don’t find ourselves starting Tebow or Barkley by week 12.

    • Mitchell

      What if I don’t think its bad?

  • SteveH

    … Championship?

  • EAGLES
    • EAGLES

      From Miami, obviously.

  • ian_no_2

    I’ve never wanted D3FB to be right more than with his belief in Tobin (as as usual he makes his case well). Barbre struggled in pass pro as a RT last year as did Tobin last year as a guard. At the very least, losing Mathis and Herremans is going to make the Eagles more dependent on the run when the games start, having to defend stunt packages that are going to target Bradford from the inside. But its possible that Barbre the G and Tobin will be better run blockers than their predecessors, and they could improve in pass pro. I hope the Eagles sign Mathis now for less money (unlikely) and Mathis gets over it and hires new representation.

  • Anders

    http://gcobb.com/2015/06/13/tra-thomas-eagles-are-better-on-left-side-without-evan-mathis/

    This is huge. I really doubt this is the reason they let him go, but interesting none the less (it should be noted, the Castillo and much OLs teaches the 45 jump steep where Howard Mudd teaches the different pass set)

    • FairOaks

      We could in theory be better if nobody gets injured.

  • ACViking

    Where were all these criticisms of Mathis before Kelly cut him?

    Makes me wonder who green-lighted this stuff at Novacare?

    • Avery Greene

      It’s an interesting question. What’s interesting to me is the reaction of his teammates, especially Peters in the leadup and after the cut.

  • ian_no_2

    What Chip is saying is that OTAs are OTHNOIYWTSOTT (optional that is not optional if you want to stay on the team). If he was making the move based on age and salary alone it would have come at the same time as the Herremans cut, but Kelly was probably split on whether Mathis was worth the money. One thing in favor of the cuts are that younger OGs have a better chance of peaking in the post season, and Kelly can find a way to make the playoffs without the OG vets, which I believe is the case, though these two cuts are my main objections to this offseason. If it was purely an ego or tyrant move (ie ‘you can’t go over my head with Howie now cuz I’m in charge’) the players wouldn’t have backed it up; that is, he implements the ‘all in’ mentality and the key players (Kelce, Ertz, Peters) state their agreement, when they themselves could benefit financially from holding out at some point.

    Had they not re-signed Cooper when they did (who almost certainly has one year left on the team unless he gets 1,000 yards) and cut Celek, they would have a similar cap figure to what they have now while keeping Mathis and Herremans, even more similar if they didn’t bring back DeMeco Ryans. On the surface you’d think they’d be better off with Mathis rather than Celek. Celek has never held out and Chip makes an example of his work ethic, and Celek and Cooper give Chip, who loaded up on UDFA blocking tight ends, two extra blockers on the field. Kelly obviously also likes Ryans and his work ethic, and good veterans tend to like work ethic too, not to say Mathis is lazy in practice or in the gym. Lurie has let Kelly spend more than Lurie usually spends. At this point, of course, it’s hard to imagine what they can spend the cap space on to improve in 2015, but they can roll it over as they used to do when they were accumulating cap room but not Lombardi trophies. This move as I said is vindicated if the young guys at G (young-er in Barbre’s case) step up in the post-season, that is of course if they make it to the post season.

    • FairOaks

      I think it went beyond not being there at OTAs. At least, he better have a good justification beyond that if he wants the Eagles to avoid a CBA violation. It sounds like he got fed up with the Rosenhaus contract demands mostly (which really had to be coming from Mathis).

    • MagsMama

      Apparently you’re not on twitter.

  • ac134spectre

    Just remember folks… you can’t fix everything and transform a team with out change. Sometimes the change is painful and not everything will work.

    Mathis was a 5 million a year guard and OLD. This team and every team has found decent OL in late rounds, the waiver wire and practice squads.

  • MagsMama

    For those who can’t understand why Mathis was dropped: This is from cliff on 24/7.

    “well, you young buck readers, take 1 of life’s truer lessons from this, doesnt matter if you are top producer or not, tell your boss to ‘sukc your balls’ you are getting fired.”