Let’s Talk Talent

Posted: October 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 152 Comments »

Talent evaluation is a difficult subject. There is an awkward mixture of fact and opinion. For every piece of hard data, there is also a lot of interpretation that goes into the equation. Think about the question of DeMarco Murray and the Dallas offensive line. Did they make him look good? Did he make them look good? As it turns out, they helped each other out quite a bit. Murray isn’t as good as he was last year and the Dallas run game isn’t as dominant as it was last year.

Players are rated on past performance and future expectations. You cannot simply look at someone’s track record. Circumstances are hugely important. Marshawn Lynch was never a special player in Buffalo. He was struggling when they dealt him to Seattle. Since then, he’s been a dominant force in the league. Drew Brees was a good player in San Diego, but didn’t become great until he got to the Saints. The Saints signed FS Jairus Byrd because they wanted a ballhawk on the back end of their defense. He’s been a major disappointment through a season and a half. Injuries have limited his availability and he’s done nothing when on the field. He’s broken up 3 passes and has yet to get his first INT for the Saints.

Think about the Eagles and the current roster. Andrew Gardner turned out to be better than expected. Walter Thurmond is an impact starter. Darren Sproles was possibly washed up, but turned out to be a great trade. I don’t think anyone expected Connor Barwin to be so good on or off the field. On the flip side, Sam Bradford has disappointed. Murray is off to a slower start than anyone would have predicted.

Understanding why a player failed or succeeded at one stop and then projecting that is very hard to do. I didn’t think the Eagles would go after Sproles. He was a descending player and the Eagles were deep at RB. I hadn’t appreciated his value as a player to move around on offense or as a punt returner.

I think the biggest issue with people and understanding talent evaluation is that they don’t understand how constant it is. Todd Herremans struggled early in 2013 with his move to RG. He played much better late in the season. You would give him an overall grade for year, but his grades in September and December would be very different.

With all of this in mind, let’s talk about the 2015 Eagles and their talent level.

QB – We’ve discussed Sam Bradford quite a bit. He was a terrific prospect coming out of college. He showed some real good flashes in St. Louis. Unfortunately, Bradford has never looked like a star in the NFL. Not even close. The Eagles keep hoping he’s going to come alive and thrive in this offense, but the results haven’t been good so far. Mark Sanchez is a good backup. Thad Lewis continues to have a pulse and not get arrested, two key qualities in a #3 QB. This is the most important position in football. Right now the Eagles are being held back by Bradford.

RB – Very good. You can argue about who gets used a certain way, but I don’t think there is any disputing the Eagles have 3 terrific RBs. Kenjon Barner is a good #4 RB.

WR – This position is tough to evaluate. Drops have been an issue all season. Beyond that, the group has been up and down. Jordan Matthews didn’t take the step forward that most expected. He’s had his good moments and is tough in the slot, but he needs to be better. Josh Huff has shown some good flashes. He needs more balls thrown his way before we know how good he can be on a consistent basis. Riley Cooper has played better than I expected. He’s still an awkward player and defenses clearly don’t fear him. Nelson Agholor looked very good this summer, but is off to a slow start. He’s hurt now and that won’t help his development. Miles Austin has been better than I anticipated. Bradford seems to trust him.

To be fair to the WRs, the All-22 tape shows more than a few plays where those guys are open and Bradford just isn’t getting them the ball. This group might be better than they’re getting credit for.

TE – Good. Brent Celek remains a strong blocker and Zach Ertz is improving. Ertz is a gifted receiver.

OL –  Jason Peters remains a very good LT, but he has been more up and down than expected. He also missed most of 2 games. Allen Barbre is better than most of his critics think, but he isn’t a good player. He’s been effective, but hasn’t shown himself to be a player you really want starting. Jason Kelce has been erratic for the first time in his career. He’s as gifted as ever so this is mental. Maybe he’s trying to hard. We’ll see if the bye week proves to be a big help for him. Matt Tobin took over at RG for Andrew Gardner, who looked pretty good when he played. Tobin is up and down. I actually think he looks better at LT than RG. He did struggle late in games when the Eagles were put into known-passing situations. This was supposed to be the year Lane Johnson went from being a good player to being a dominant RT. That hasn’t happened. Nagging injuries are part of the problem.

The Eagles have enough talent up front to be a solid OL. They don’t have much depth, although the line has had some good stretches even with Tobin at LT and Dennis Kelly at RG. The group will be helped a lot if Peters stays healthy and Kelce eliminates his mistakes.

DL – Best unit on the team. Bennie Logan has taken another step forward and is playing the best football of his career. Fletcher Cox gets better every year. Brandon Bair and Taylor Hart have proven to be good backups. Beau Allen has been up and down. Vinny Curry has played OLB and DL. He remains a disruptive force.

OLB – The Eagles have a good pair of starters in Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham. If there is any complaint, it’s that neither guy is a dominant pass rusher. They are both complete LBs and not just rushers. Marcus Smith has gotten some playing time and shown potential, but he’s still a major disappointment. Bryan Braman got to rush the passer in some blowouts and looked good.

ILB – Another very strong unit. DeMeco Ryans is getting old, but still has his moments. He was terrific in the 1st half of the Giants game. Jordan Hicks has been a revelation. He leads the team in solo tackles and has made a ton of plays. Mychal Kendricks has been hurt, but is still very talented. Kiko Alonso flashed great ability with his INT in the opener, but injuries have really limited him. Najee Goode

S – Walter Thurmond has turned out to be better than anyone expected. He and Malcolm Jenkins give the Eagles one of the best pairs of Safeties in the NFL. Depth must be improved. Chris Maragos is the #3. He’s more of a #4 S and STer. Jerome Couplin has the potential to be very good as the #3 guy, but the coaches trust Maragos more right now.

CB – Byron Maxwell has been disappointing. He got overpaid, but the Eagles had to do that. They were desperate and he was the best available option. Nolan Carroll was very good vs the Giants. He was so-so in the Panthers game. E.J. Biggers has been a good role player. Eric Rowe has been up and down when he’s played. This is one position where the Eagles could really use an impact starter. Rowe’s development will be big for the future.

STs – Donnie Jones is having a terrific year. Jon Dorenbos remains steady as the LS. Cody Parkey got hurt and Caleb Sturgis took his place. He struggled early, but then settled down and did a solid job. A lot of people got on him for missing Sunday night, but that was a 50-yard attempt. Those are never gimmes. Huff has one good KOR (40 yards) and Sproles has been very good as the PR.

SUMMARY – From an overall perspective, the Eagles have enough talent to win. QB remains a major issue. CB is another spot where a big-time talent would help. OL and WR are positions that are tough to evaluate due to injuries and inconsistency. If Josh Huff or Nelson Agholor can develop into an impact WR, that group can be very good. Adding a powerful, physical OG to the line mix would help that unit out. For now, there is enough talent at OL and WR to have solid units.


I joined Chuck and Todd from EaglesFanCast for a show this week.


152 Comments on “Let’s Talk Talent”

  1. 1 kevinlied said at 4:38 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Tommy, you said the All-22 reveals Bradford not throwing to open receivers. Are there specific games where that has been a bigger issue than others? Is he getting better or worse at finding guys as the season progresses?

  2. 2 A_T_G said at 9:01 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I am curious about your avatar name. I’d ask if you were Kevin, but I wouldn’t know whether or not to believe you.

  3. 3 kevinlied said at 9:52 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    It’s a mash up of the name of one of my favorite college basketball players and one of the first albums I really loved. Unless I’m full of shit, and I hate both Steely Dan and fat guys who played at Temple.

  4. 4 Mac said at 12:28 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Welp, that settles it (because no one hates steely dan).

  5. 5 daveH said at 9:52 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I ggoggled it and it looks like some actor said he worked for Mayo Lynch and escaped the WTC on 9/11. butn he actually didn’t so he lied.
    My roommate escaped it and my bud at work did also. my bud at work has the most incredible story.

  6. 6 GermanEagle said at 4:48 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    In my honest and humble opinion the Eagles biggest disappointment this season so far has been Jason Kelce. And it’s not even close.

  7. 7 b3nz0z said at 4:51 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    if only because he’s always been such an asset until now

  8. 8 GermanEagle said at 4:53 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Exactly. Huge expectations..

    I think he’s already had 6 penalties, of which one has brought back a TD?!

  9. 9 b3nz0z said at 4:54 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    i’m at the point where i look for a flag every time we score or get a first. it’s def not a fun way to watch

  10. 10 GermanEagle said at 6:01 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Here. Here. 🙁

  11. 11 Media Mike said at 5:46 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    ass what?

  12. 12 daveH said at 9:49 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    butimtalkingabout shaft

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 6:04 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Kelce has been a complete and total embarrassment this year.

  14. 14 Nelson ALGore said at 7:24 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    With regard to realistic expectations (expecting Bradford to be great right away was not realistic) I guess I agree.

  15. 15 GermanEagle said at 7:44 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Thank. You.

  16. 16 Kelce's Beard said at 8:35 AM on October 31st, 2015:


    i’m giving him at least until the end of the year; not many other good avatar names. Riley’s Hair and Malcolm’s Tattoo don’t have the same ring.
    maybe Fletcher’s Cox?

  17. 17 Ark87 said at 4:50 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I’m just going to imagine ending the ILB paragraph with “Najee Goode” is a mic drop. Mo like Najee football

  18. 18 b3nz0z said at 4:50 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    i’d like to see more snaps for braman. he may never be a starter but if he can get a few sacks off the bench it would be huge. i like the two TE sets for two reasons – 1. our WRs aren’t getting it done right now and 2. our OL isn’t at full strength. ertz needs to block better than he often does, but i think he can compensate for that somewhat with his receiving skills, which make it harder to blow past him without worrying that he’s gonna leak out

  19. 19 D3FB said at 6:40 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    2 TE sets bring more defenders into the box. Making it more difficult to run.

  20. 20 b3nz0z said at 9:45 AM on November 3rd, 2015:

    doesn’t that create a mismatch for ertz?

  21. 21 D3FB said at 12:19 AM on November 4th, 2015:

    If he’s split out yes.

    In the run game no because nobody would run nickel against 2 tights.

  22. 22 b3nz0z said at 3:27 PM on November 6th, 2015:


  23. 23 HawaiianEagle said at 4:51 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Rumor on BGN that “an NFL” exec thinks we won’t resign Sammy next year. If that is the case, shouldn’t we be playing Sanchez?

  24. 24 RobNE said at 5:09 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Yes if an unnamed NFL executive thinks we won’t re-sign him then what is chip waiting for?

  25. 25 FalKirk said at 5:26 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I’m no NFL exec (although I like to play one on the internet) and a lot things can still change, but right now, I’d be willing to bet that Bradford will be on the team next near.

    Not worth much, but worth just as much as some unsourced rumor from a no-name NFL exec.

  26. 26 Nelson ALGore said at 7:25 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    You never know

  27. 27 johnr said at 11:50 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    NFL Executive = Parking Attendant Supervisor?

    You never really know who these unnamed sources could really be.

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 5:46 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    5 things can happen with Bradford depending on how he performs in the final 9 games.

    He leaves
    He signs a one year deal again
    He signs a short term deal
    He signs a long term deal
    He gets tagged

    Only signing a short term deal would shock me. None of the other 4 would.

  29. 29 holeplug said at 8:13 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    short term deal most likely outcome if he comes back

  30. 30 daveH said at 9:47 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    would any other mid-success teams be interested?

  31. 31 laeagle said at 8:26 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Um, we should be playing Sanchez because an NFL exec on another team thinks we won’t resign Sammy? Not sure I follow that logic.

  32. 32 Aaron said at 4:52 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I agree on Bradford, just not very good, if he played just a little better this whole team would be in the hunt, oh yeah, everone is in the hunt the the nfcweak, and the everytime kelce snaps it I wanna close my eyes

  33. 33 b3nz0z said at 4:53 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    i’m worried that kelce is also closing his eyes when he snaps

  34. 34 EaglesIke said at 5:00 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Tommy, I have been a pretty regular visitor to your site for the last few years. I enjoy your write ups (usually) and reading the comment section. A lot of passionate Eagles fans here and I am certainly one of them. However, it seems to me that you always take such an optimistic/glass half full take EVERY time with this team. I understand you aren’t going to just blast the team and turn nasty…but man this team STINKS and quite frankly I’m getting tired of listening to everyone’s justification. They are flat out not good. Defense is decent and plays hard I will say that…but offense is a joke…period. I am not sure I fully agree with your DeMarco Murray assessment. The guy is a phenomenal athlete and a great RB. His production being down is hardly his fault. I believe it is Chip’s stubborn system that is killing DeMarco. Yes, the O-line isn’t helping but I think that’s less then half of the issue. I will admit I was on the Chip band wagon when he first came to town like most…but he has really turned me off going back to last season. There is no doubt he has a wealth of football knowledge and is no dummy…but I think he has a huge ego (which all players and coaches at this level have to some degree) and think’s he is going to out smart everyone. Well so far the joke is on Chip. I also do not like his ‘my way or the highway’ approach. Does it not bother anyone else that he literally NEVER plays out of any other formation other then offset shotgun? I don’t understand that; what am I missing? Please spare me the ‘west coast style offense’ and ‘his short pass plays are really run plays’ spiel…it is so frustrating to me. What is wrong with switching up formations. Why can’t he EVER let DeMarco come out of I-Form…ever? It seems to me he would be MUCH more effective that way. Do you not try to change offensive schemes and strategy based on player personnel? Why does it seem Chip is so against that. He’d rather get rid of super talented people that don’t fit his ‘magical’ system then maybe adapting JUST a little to accommodate your high level athletes. Although it has gotten better the last couple of weeks; WHY doesn’t chip just get the almost sure first down on 3rd and shorts with DeMarco OUT OF I FORM instead of getting cute with flats to Sproles, deep passes, or shotgun handoffs that are TFLs? Why does he come out in Shotgun every snap for 4 quarters let alone on every single 3rd and 1 I’ve seen all season long. Forget the lack of execution by the players which is an entirely different set of issues; IMO Chip Kelly is being flat out coached by most and refusing to switch his scheme up in anyway. He’d rather fail his way then succeed a slightly different way is how I see it.
    Excuse any typos and thank you for listening to my rant. -Depressed Eagles fan living in New England.

  35. 35 Aaron said at 5:08 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    agree totally, why bring in a great rb, and not use him the way he should be used, the reason he sucks this year is because of chip and his system, its much better suited for Mathews not murray, it kills me to see him run the ball across the field instead of straight ahead, kills me

  36. 36 TypicalDouche said at 5:15 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Murray knew how he was going to be used when he signed here so why would Chip change his whole offense just because of that.

  37. 37 Aaron said at 5:16 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    no, uut he should tweak to accommodate murrays potential somewhat

  38. 38 TypicalDouche said at 5:17 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    He has, there have been plenty under center plays with Bradford throwing and Murray running from that formation.

  39. 39 PlanetX said at 5:57 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    One of the compliments I’ve heard Chip often give to other coaches is “He does a great job tailoring his system to his players strengths.” Every time I hear that I ask myself if Chip ever contemplates even for a second not being such a slave to his scheme. I certainly believe he’s smart enough to create whatever he wants to. That ego though. Drives me nuts.

  40. 40 TypicalDouche said at 5:14 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Your point on Murray isn’t correct. If Ryan Mathews can have success in the formations they run then so should Murray. Also the Eagles don’t have a fullback on the roster so they cant run the power I formation. This is Chip’s system plain and simple always has been and always will so get used to seeing the shotgun. Were you complaining 2 years ago when they were lighting up the league or last year when they had a decent running game, I doubt it.

  41. 41 Aaron said at 5:15 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    so you are happy with murray, smh

  42. 42 TypicalDouche said at 5:15 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Did I once say I was happy with Murray? Try reading my post again then talk. I said he should have success.

  43. 43 Aaron said at 5:17 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    talking, actually typing, I don’t know the total suckage of this team and not being able to fix any of it just doesn’t sit with me, I mean these guys are pros, right

  44. 44 TypicalDouche said at 5:18 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Ok grammar police thanks.

  45. 45 Aaron said at 5:19 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    you wanna go there pal, your name explains it

  46. 46 TypicalDouche said at 5:21 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    You’re right my name describes me right yet I am not on a blog being a little girl and correcting peoples grammar. You have any other expert analysis or grammar corrections you want to make?

  47. 47 daveH said at 9:45 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    c’mon guys we’re all eagles fans right!
    but “pal” wow that’s a massive insult where I come from!!!
    uncalled for.
    “pal” and “buddy” are huge insults. because we know no one is anyone’s pal. right buddies ?

  48. 48 truehaynes said at 10:13 PM on October 30th, 2015:


  49. 49 daveH said at 12:29 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    ha! made me laff. but no, in OVer The Counter fixed income brokerage .. so many nights out ,so many arguments and so many markets yelled back and forth that the subtle insult evolved after all the other yelling got old… so “buddy”, “pal” are 2 words unlike any others .. homie, dude, player all are still ok.

  50. 50 Joe Minx said at 5:15 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Also Bradford has been under center a number of times the last few games. If people are going to criticize then they should at least get the criticisms right.

  51. 51 TypicalDouche said at 5:17 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    My point exactly Joe. Chip does sprinkle in changes here and there so why complain.

  52. 52 FalKirk said at 5:30 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    “you always take such an optimistic/glass half full take EVERY time”

    I would say Tommy keeps things in perspective.

    And even if you’re right and Tommy is an optimist, then I say: “God Bless ’em.” There isn’t another site that takes a positive slant on the Eagles ANYWHERE. Tommy is performing a public service.

  53. 53 Joe Minx said at 5:05 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole of negativism, but reading that there are two phrases that keep jumping out at me: “disappointment” & “hasn’t lived up to expectations”. I get that every team is going to have their share of those, but when either of those two labels can be applied to most of your team, something’s gone wrong. Why have so many guys been disappointing and/or not taken the next step in their development as expected? These are the questions that need to be answered going forward to determine whether or not Chip will be able to fully realize his vision.

  54. 54 RobNE said at 5:11 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Marcus Smith has shown potential?

  55. 55 Aaron said at 5:11 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    just not in the nfl

  56. 56 A_T_G said at 8:43 PM on October 30th, 2015:


  57. 57 Joe Minx said at 5:16 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Really low bar. Reeeeeeally low.

  58. 58 GermanEagle said at 6:46 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Limbo low???

  59. 59 Media Mike said at 5:52 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Seth Joyner SMOKED Smith this week on dumb play on the Ted Ginn long run.

  60. 60 Mac said at 12:21 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    He has the physical tools, unfortunately it looks like he doesn’t know how to play the game.

  61. 61 FalKirk said at 5:19 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    It’s been a very weird year. Our expectations for many of the players have been flipped on their heads.

    — We were worried about Bradford’s health and excited about his talent, yet his health has been fine and his level of talent has been not-so-fine.

    — We were worried about the two new guards, yet it’s been Kielce, Peters and, early on, Johnson who disappointed.

    — We were excited about Agholar, Matthews and Huff and doubtful about Miles and Cooper. Agholar, Matthews and Huff have been missing in action and Miles and Cooper have been surprisingly stout.

    — We were worried about the shortage of outside linebackers and wondering what we would do with the plethora (look it up) of inside linebackers. Turns out we’ve had injuries to all the inside linebackers except third rounder, Hicks, who has been a revelation.

    — We were excited about Maxwell being added to the secondary and worried about Thurmond being moved to safety and Carroll filling in at the other corner position. Turns out that Maxwell has slightly disappointed and Thurmond and Carroll have been two of the best players on the team.

    You’re talking to me about talent evaluation? Talent Evaluation. TALENT EVALUATION! (Picture Jim Mora screaming “PLAYOFFS” in a high pitched whine.) We can’t even evaluate the talent on the team, more less the talent of draft and trade prospects.

  62. 62 A_T_G said at 8:41 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Plethora isn’t going to flummox the readers around these parts; this isn’t PhillyDotCom.

  63. 63 ChoTime said at 10:38 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Yeah, “el guapo”!

  64. 64 Dave M. said at 5:29 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    “The Eagles have enough talent up front to be a solid OL.” I think that is a combination of wishful thinking and delusion.

  65. 65 TommyLawlor said at 9:29 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    So why do the Eagles have the #9 run game in the league now? In the last 5 games, they average 146 yards on the ground. The OL has been a big part of that.

  66. 66 Iskar36 said at 11:46 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I find it funny that you always reference the defense in terms of yards/play or yards/drive but the offense is referenced as total yards. If you rank them based on yards/attempt, the Eagles are ranked #16.

  67. 67 Media Mike said at 5:44 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    “Kenjon Barner is a good #4 RB.”

    Mostert is still better.

  68. 68 daveH said at 9:40 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    barner & mostert and not have demarco murray and save the money

  69. 69 Media Mike said at 5:51 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I’m still really optimistic on Murray. I just think they need to get him into a rhythm and let him run. Mathews, although he’s been awesome in spurts, is one of the most unreliable humans on the planet earth as a starter. I think Mathews as a change of pace guy is 100% the correct way to use him.

  70. 70 Media Mike said at 5:54 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Sad to see today that the Daily News and Inquirer are going to merge news rooms. There will be some layoffs. I really hope we don’t lose some of the great people covering sports and news in this town.

  71. 71 A_T_G said at 8:38 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Don’t worry, iggles Blitz will remain intact.

  72. 72 Media Mike said at 6:02 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I’m really hoping that Temple students do Philly proud tomorrow with some great signs and completing shutting out loser Notre Dame from the GameDay set.

    Then hopefully the Owls get a win.

  73. 73 GermanEagle said at 6:03 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I know it usually takes 3 years to come to a final conclusion and evaluation, respectively (prime example: Brandon Graham), but at what point will we have to admit that Marcus Smith II was a mistake?!

    He hasn’t shown me anything that would make me rather optimistic…

  74. 74 Media Mike said at 6:05 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I’m still ok with giving him another year to show his stuff. And it ultimately isn’t his fault the team drafted him a full round early. I really loved him to us in the 2nd, but still don’t get not trading down again from 26.

  75. 75 GermanEagle said at 6:44 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Maybe there wasn’t simply any takers? It normally takes two to tango.

  76. 76 Joe Minx said at 6:07 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    And even though Graham has turned into a decent-at-worst player, he still hasn’t come close to living up to his draft slot.

  77. 77 Media Mike said at 6:07 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    A good part of that has to do with a junked knee (thanks again Tyson Clabo, hope you die screaming) and poor coaching by McDermott as a rookie. That really put him behind the 8 ball.

  78. 78 GermanEagle said at 6:44 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    He’s got his pay check though!!

  79. 79 holeplug said at 8:27 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I would be shocked if he is on the team next year. waste of a roster spot

  80. 80 FalKirk said at 6:17 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Here, in reverse order, are the three groups I’m most disappointed with:

    3) The wide receivers. Drops, drops, drops. And the wide receivers have simply made almost no big catches on poorly thrown or contested passes. Really disappointing.

    2) The offensive line. This is a real mystery because it’s the pro-bowl caliber players who are playing the worst. To be fair, as bad as the offensive line has been in run-blocking, I want to give them credit for their more than acceptable pass blocking. Just the opposite of what we expected. Go figure.

    1) Bradford. Here’s the thing. We were all worried about Bradford’s knees. But in the past he has been a quick decision maker, and an accurate thrower with great touch. He’s exhibited none of those traits in the first 7 games.

    And Chip Kelley’s offense has ground to a halt. The TV commentators keep talking about Chip’s fast paced offense, but the Eagles aren’t playing at a fast pace. I’m usually loathe to assign blame without some sort of support, but it seems obvious that the slow pace of the offense has something to do — and probably everything to do — with Bradford.

    I wasn’t in favor of keeping Foles and I’m not in favor of starting Sanchez, but to their credit, they ran Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense. Bradford hasn’t so far.

  81. 81 daveH said at 9:38 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I was in favor of keeping Foles and I’m not in favor of starting Sanchez, but to their credit, they ran Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense. Bradford runs it 3 and out faster than FOles

  82. 82 ChoTime said at 10:52 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    SB has never been a quick decision maker, accurate thrower, or a guy with a great touch. He has been known checking down far too much, (well, I guess that could sort of count as a fast decision), has a poor completion % (and no, drops don’t account for that), and has anecdotally been known as someone who rifles passes that are hard to catch. This predates his time with the Eagles.

  83. 83 FalKirk said at 11:07 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    ChoTime, you’re engaged in some SERIOUS revisionist thinking. Here are some snippets from Bradford’s scouting report: “Bradford showed elite accuracy”; “Puts a really nice touch on the ball”; “Elite decision maker”. That’s all in just the first three paragraphs of the report.

    Not sure if I can link to the report without getting blocked, but you should be able to Google it at “Sam Bradford NFL Draft scouting report”, Dan Kadar, SB*Nation.

  84. 84 ChoTime said at 12:09 AM on October 31st, 2015:


  85. 85 FalKirk said at 12:34 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    ChoTime, you’re still engaged in revisionist history. Sam Bradford absolutely had a reputation for being a quick decision maker, and throwing with accuracy and touch. There are literally hundreds of articles that discussed this in the off-season.

    For just one example, with film study to support it, please Google: “Eagle Eye: Why Sam Bradford Will Thrive”, Fran Duffy, Mar 17, 2015

  86. 86 ChoTime said at 11:14 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I am aware that lots of people thought Bradford was a good QB, despite his lack of performance at the QB position. Most of those articles just rehashed the same old conventional wisdom, bad stats and the typical excuses that first overall draft picks get. Those people were wrong.

    I was not one of the people who were wrong, I brought up his shortcomings many times on this blog. I even recall discussing the issue with you. The evidence I used was 1) stats, 2) the fact that backup QBs in STL performed just as well or better than him when he was out. I linked to those stats and articles more than once.

    I had no specific opinion on his decision making, accuracy, or touch at that time besides that it must obviously be bad, or else he would be successful. Going back and reading what STL fans have said about him in the past, and combining it with his indisputably poor statistical performance in the past (egregious Y/A, low completion %, low QB rating), you can see that the problems were always there.

    I did previously notice that your opinion of SB was too high and not supported by the facts. If you look at the numbers, you will see that he is playing about the same as he always has. The sad thing is that he isn’t even getting a “Chip Kelly offense” bump that some of us hoped would propel him to be a slightly above average QB. Still at the low end of mediocre.

    I don’t expect you to change your opinion, as it obviously quite rigid and not subject to change. But don’t accuse me of revisionist thinking when I’ve been pointing out SB’s badness for months. That is poor form.

  87. 87 FalKirk said at 5:23 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I said: (I)n the past (Bradford) has been a quick decision maker, and an accurate thrower with great touch.

    You said: SB has never been a quick decision maker, accurate thrower, or a guy with a great touch.

    I provided scouting reports which said that Sam Bradford was a quick decision maker, an accurate thrower with great touch.

    You said: “NFL.”

    I provided links to NFL talent evaluators who said that Sam Bradford was a quick decision maker, an accurate thrower with great touch.

    You said: Those people were wrong.

    And you have the gall to call me rigid?

    Look, you’re allowed to have your opinion on Sam Bradford, but you’re not allowed to re-write history. If you want to say that Sam Bradford no longer has any of the qualities that made him a consensus number one pick in 2010, and The Associated Press 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, you’ve got a lot of evidence to support that opinion. However, if you want to say that Sam Bradford never had the qualities that made him a consensus number one pick, and Rookie of the year, you’re denying the existence of reality.

    As you say, we’re not going to agree because we’re not talking about whether Sam Bradford is good or might be good in the future. We’re talking about whether Sam Bradford was ever able to do the things that virtually every professional observer said he was actually doing. You’re statement that “Those people were wrong” is not evidence. It’s denial.

  88. 88 NinjaP said at 6:53 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    The eagles just aren’t very good. GM chip has made a bunch of dumb moves that have brought the talent level down.

  89. 89 botto said at 6:54 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    brilliant comment again.
    thank you.
    try to keep them under one word

  90. 90 NinjaP said at 6:55 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    An Oline that can’t block, receivers that can’t catch, running backs that are ineffective and Qbs that are some of the worst in the league. Chip is really building a winning offense here.

  91. 91 botto said at 7:00 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    eh, still too long

  92. 92 NinjaP said at 7:04 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Just because I have a perceived negative view point towards chip and the current eagles situation. Doesn’t invalidate what I say in any way. Chip made a bunch of questionable moves this offseason and was willing to take the chance to look like a donkey by doing so. He now looks like a donkey. Why is he above reproach that he can’t be questioned for his failed moves? Because he had 2 10 win seasons and zero playoffs wins?

  93. 93 GermanEagle said at 7:14 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Not sure about that donkey thing. Jerry Jones?! That’s a different story.

  94. 94 botto said at 7:46 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    you want to see bunche play?

  95. 95 GermanEagle said at 7:05 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I am not sure if he brought the talent level DOWN, but he certainly hasn’t brought it UP, so far…

  96. 96 Iskar36 said at 3:24 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I mean, you can argue the players didn’t fit what Chip wanted, but Desean, Maclin, and Mathis were all more talented players than the players that have replaced them. Obviously talent has to fit scheme and team chemistry and I’m not arguing that part of it, but from a pure talent level, those moves did bring the talent level down.

  97. 97 SteveH said at 7:29 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Sauce Castillo nails his first 3 attempt of the year. Also molly sullivan.

  98. 98 GermanEagle said at 7:33 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Let’s face the truth:

    If the Eagles can’t beat the Cowboys without Romo, playing the Seahawks the week before and Philly coming off a bye, the season is over.

  99. 99 SteveH said at 7:37 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    I know the Sixers are gonna suck this year, but it’s hard not to be excited about the young guys. Okafor is raw but the talent is there.

  100. 100 dislikedisqus said at 7:58 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    A black hole shows more flashes than Josh Huff.

  101. 101 SteveH said at 8:52 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Hey, he had that one TD where the defenders ran into each other. There’s that.

  102. 102 BobSmith77 said at 4:42 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    He’s arguably been my biggest disappointment this year. I was expecting him to step up a bit this year.

    Instead I stick with Didinger’s description of him 2 weeks ago on WIP – ‘still looking like a RB playing WR who has still has real issues grasping even the basics of the position.’ It was about as harsh of a description of a player as Didinger will give.

  103. 103 MichaelFloyd84 said at 8:56 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    In fairness Maxwell was definitely not the best CB available. If they insist on manning him up like Revis perhaps it would have been better to… you know….. just sign Revis when he was available this offseason.

  104. 104 TypicalDouche said at 9:15 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Revis & the Jets basically made it known they wanted to reunite and also the fact that Revis is making QB money and im content with the decision to sign B-Max.

  105. 105 TommyLawlor said at 9:32 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Maxwell was the best CB that had a reasonable price tag…and you saw how high that was.

  106. 106 TypicalDouche said at 9:32 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Thank you for validating my point Tommy.

  107. 107 ChoTime said at 10:49 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    If you add Maxwell’s salary and Murray’s, it comes out about the same. For a sure thing.

    Well, I guess we thought Asomogha was a sure thing too.

  108. 108 SteveH said at 9:12 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Stauskas can play, what a steal. Gonna be really interesting to see where this team is a year from now.

  109. 109 Corry said at 10:12 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    They need to develop, but I love the size and athleticism at the 4 and 5. Hopefully the coaching staff can get the most out of them.

  110. 110 The original AG said at 2:42 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    If we had a real PG, this team would win more games. I wonder if Kendall Jackson can be a solid player for us.

  111. 111 Corry said at 10:10 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    The offensive line is coming together, but I think we need to dump resources into it this offseason the way we did with the secondary. The combination of age and low ceiling of existing players on the roster doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the future. My only problem is that i hate to keep putting new bodies in there when they took forever to come together this year with players who were knew the playbook.

    Speaking of the secondary, they’re also improving. I think another year with Undlin and they’ll be excellent. We put a bunch of resources there and i think it’ll pay off with continuity in both players and coaching staff. We have some young guys there that I think can become good players with consistent coaching. Youth at safety would also help (I still think Rowe’s future is at safety).

  112. 112 Gary Barnes said at 10:32 PM on October 30th, 2015:

    Other parts of the talent evaluation include scheme fit or deployment, ability to stay healthy and ability to learn/adjust quickly.

    Murray for example does not appear to be a good fit for this scheme or is being deployed poorly – Murray runs best when he is able to hit the LOS with speed/momentum and needs a consistent number of carries to get into a rhythm. Chip continues to use Murray sparingly, deploy him next to Bradford in the shotgun and call stretch plays which is a setup for failure.

    Another example is Maxwell who Chip/Billy have, like all the other CB, playing outside technique which allows free release to the inside. Teams have killed us across the middle because this puts our CB at a disadvantage from the snap and Maxwell does not have the speed to catch up. The CB should be jamming at the LOS as well, why we are allowing free releases is a mystery.

    Players that keep getting injured like Kiko, Matthews and Kendricks need to be judged accordingly – as Chip says, the best ability is availability. That should absolutely be part of any evaluation of the player.

    Whether it is coaching or talent or a combination, the development of Hicks has gone very well and he has learned very quickly and adjusted on the fly. Unfortunately, other players like Smith and Huff have not shown the same improvement and we are pretty far along into a 2nd season for both of them.

    Peters performance started to fall off in the 2nd half of last season and he has been erratic this season too, but I think it is more to do with age and wear/tear. This reminds me of how amazing Runyan and Thomas were for the Eagles to play OT so many years at a high level.

    Kelce is struggling due to having two OG next to him who are not NFL starters and have struggled. I’m not sure how we can say Gardner did well and I agree Barbre needs to be upgraded too. Tobin is really lacking IMO. No OC is going to perform well IMO with two holes next to him and defenses knowing how to attack the scheme effectively.

  113. 113 Nelson ALGore said at 1:21 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Seems to be just mental errors with Kelce. He will get it figured out. I think we have the talent in place for the team to win 11 games. Thats at the best, at the worst… 6 games and a top pick.

  114. 114 Gary Barnes said at 10:05 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Yea, I doubt the Eagles are going to go 8-1 to finish this season. I see no evidence of being able to go on a sustained run like that. I’m seeing a win one, lose one type team so I’d bet they finish with between 7 or 8 wins.

    I see Kelce trying to make up for the two poor OG and trying to do too much or getting caught helping them out and being beat by his guy or, like you said, focusing on their play and making mental errors of his own. Kelce sees himself as a captain of the offense and takes it quite personally when the offense struggles IMO.

  115. 115 unhinged said at 12:10 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I love the context you provide, Tommy. It argues for patience and broad, as well as, deep analysis. On the subject of talent evaluation, I look forward to a chronology of Chip Kelly, the GM, year one.

  116. 116 Mac said at 3:28 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I am really enjoying the defense this year. I like the bend-don’t-break theory. I like the emphasis on turnovers. But I don’t like it when teams are scoring more than 21 points. The first game was Julio Jones just being a special player… I guess I can forgive that. Allowing 23 points to a Kurt Cousins led Redskin team is pretty bad, and giving up 27 points to Carolina’s ground game (and trickeration) was pretty sad. So really, I’d say we’re looking at 2 out of 7 games so far as lying at the feet of our defense for not performing up to the challenge at hand. 1 game lost to a special player and 1 game lost because our offense was totally lost.

    In our 3 wins, the defense has provided the spark and the field position necessary for our little engine that could offense to score points. I really want to believe in our offense, but until we start completing passes more consistently… it’s a hard sell.


    So here we are, 3-4 where a couple field goals and a Jason Peter’s led run game in the 3/4th qtr (hypothetically in Carolina vs a worn down looking defense) and maybe this team would be 6-1 or 5-2. And that’s while using a QB who has played not only zero meaningful NFL games, but not even any college football in the past 2 years.

    Welcome to bizarro world, where our “offensive guru” head coach has a team leaning on it’s defense to win games. Where we’ve given up an o.k. QB to take a chance on a Q.B. who hasn’t even played football.

    In the fast paced, quick change world of the NFL (not for long) league… the move to get Bradford is completely counter-intuitive. He must have the right combination of hand size, height, repetitive accuracy, and ability to see the field that Chip likes or else the risk factor on durability (which Chip has said is the most important factor) would be utter foolishness.

    I’m going to keep enjoying this turnover machine defense, and hope for the best with Bradford… because I think he’s going to be in Philly for at least 1 or 2 more years after this season. Reason being: you can’t start a long haul experiment and give up half way through. Would Chip Kelly have drafted Marcus Mariota in the 2nd round? Yes… but he couldn’t do that… so he had to go with plan B. Swapping a 2nd round pick and a high quality backup QB for Bradford.

  117. 117 D3FB said at 6:37 AM on October 31st, 2015:


    Shotgun: 3.8 YPC
    Under Center: 1.6 YPC


  118. 118 Corry said at 8:04 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    So out of curiosity, why do you think he’s slow to get upfield? Not seeing the holes, discomfort with the offense?

    I ask because Mathews seems to be able to turn up field and gain yardage fairly well. Any insight?

  119. 119 Mac said at 10:44 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I think he’s been injured in some way. I hope he comes back after a week off ready to run with a more violent punishing style.

  120. 120 Mac said at 10:45 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Also developed trust issues with the oline

  121. 121 A_T_G said at 1:07 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I heard he was going through their deleted text messages while they were in the showers.

  122. 122 anon said at 12:10 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    no pre-season plus new run scheme is why they are feeding him carries, he’s just got to get comfortable.

  123. 123 D3FB said at 1:25 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I think he nursing something and his vision seems off.

    Also Ryan Matthews was drafted 12th overall for a reason. When healthy he’s really really good.

  124. 124 Corry said at 2:24 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Well sure, Mathews is good. He’s just never been healthy enough to live up to the draft position. However, Murray is the starter and struggling. I’m not advocating a switch, but I am curious as to why Murray is struggle where Mathews is not.

    A nagging injury would explain why he looks slow, but he has looked indecisive and, as you said, his vision seems off.

  125. 125 Media Mike said at 5:16 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    HUGE when with Mathews. He’s showed zero ability to be healthy.

  126. 126 Fletcher's Cox said at 8:51 AM on October 31st, 2015:



  127. 127 ChoTime said at 11:00 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Time to cut bait on Kelce, eh? 🙂

  128. 128 HawaiianEagle said at 10:47 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    How many attempts at each? Seems like his shotgun attempts FAR outnumber his UC attempts…

  129. 129 Media Mike said at 10:51 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I think more attempts all over the place will get Murray going. He’s always been a volume runner, so lets get that volume up.

  130. 130 D3FB said at 1:22 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    It’s something like 70-13.

    So 13 is a small sample size, but you would expect that to be skewed upwards. One long run or two decent runs and he would have a massive YPC.

  131. 131 Corry said at 9:37 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    For you college fans not watching Gameday this morning: Ohio State University QB J.T. Barrett was arrested last night for “Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence” (OVI) and has been suspended for at least the Minnesota game next week. They’re off this week.

  132. 132 Media Mike said at 9:37 AM on October 31st, 2015:


  133. 133 Media Mike said at 9:37 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Lets add some talent:

    Your score is: 6808 (GRADE: A-)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 22 (PITT): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (A-)
    Round 2 Pick 22 (PITT): Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU (A+)
    Round 3 Pick 2: Travin Dural, WR, LSU (B)
    Round 3 Pick 18: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (B-)
    Round 4 Pick 18: Tyler Matakevich, OLB, Temple (A)
    Round 4 Pick 20: Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona State (A)
    Round 5 Pick 18: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (A)
    Round 5 Pick 21: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 18: Jordan Lucas, SS, Penn State (A+)
    Round 7 Pick 18: Theiren Cockran, DE/OLB, Minnesota (B)

  134. 134 Media Mike said at 10:04 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Or if you want a QB round 1

    Your score is: 7428 (GRADE: A)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 24 (NYJ): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (A)
    Round 2 Pick 24 (NYJ): Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M (A)
    Round 3 Pick 2: Deon Bush, FS, Miami (Fla.) (B)
    Round 3 Pick 18: Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn (A)
    Round 4 Pick 18: Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn (A+)
    Round 4 Pick 20: Kyler Fackrell, OLB/DE, Utah State (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 18: Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 21: Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 18: Mekale McKay, WR, Cincinnati (A+)
    Round 7 Pick 18: Ryker Mathews, OT, Brigham Young (B)

  135. 135 A_T_G said at 1:02 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I believe it is customary here to have a comment disparaging your draft for its lack of Ducks. Is still a thing?

    Also, not one who watches college football, I will say I approve of both Fackrell and Matakevich as solid LB names, but Theiren? Not so much.

  136. 136 Media Mike said at 5:15 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    The “get more Ducks” will always be an allowable thing.

  137. 137 Media Mike said at 9:54 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Game Day is GODLY right now.

  138. 138 Gary Barnes said at 9:56 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Enough talent to win what I guess is the question. Some games? Sure. Make it to the playoffs? Not sure. A playoff game? Not optimistic. Make it to the SB and win it? Not a chance. I’d say we do not have enough talent to win what we want to win.

  139. 139 Media Mike said at 10:02 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I’d agree with lacking the talent to win a title, but I still see a team that must achieve a division win, home playoff win, and respectable home loss on the road in the divisional round for me to say progress was achieved.

    You become a Super Bowl team in the next 2 to 3 years by adding more talent through the draft.

    And I’d also agree with the person who made the comment in the last article that we need to keep taking shots at QB until we get the right guy. So if Bradford doesn’t come around in the 2nd half of this year (or even if he somewhat does); keep drafting dudes until you find the right passer.

  140. 140 Gary Barnes said at 10:25 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    For me, this year was get back to the playoffs and win a playoff game = progress. I think all the changes and repercussions of those changes have made that a long shot. I’m expecting 7 or 8 wins now based on their performance so far. Does Chip have 2-3 more years? I think they are stuck with Bradford regardless due to the investment and lack of other options.

  141. 141 Media Mike said at 10:30 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    I think Chip has until the end of 2016 before there is a conversation about “stay or go” with Lurie. I can’t pass any final judgement with a guy on a 5 year deal until the end of year 4. At that point; you either extend Chip for at least two years (to give him 2018 and 2019) at a decent raise or cut bait and start over. I’m very upset with being 3-4 at this point (6-1 would be my optimal number given who we were playing), but that isn’t the whole season. Even if they finish 8-8 (+/- one game) and miss the playoffs, I still want to see how Chip moves it forward next season.

  142. 142 Gary Barnes said at 10:45 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Sounds fair…Chip better get ready for Hard Knocks if we miss the playoffs again this season or a game in London

  143. 143 HawaiianEagle said at 10:49 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    Well if the gints win the div, EAGLES vs boys in London. I might have to go to that…

  144. 144 Media Mike said at 10:50 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    That had better be the Eagles at Dallas game that gets moved to London. They had better not take away one of our home games to go over there. I don’t have ANY problem with losing a road game to London however.

  145. 145 A_T_G said at 12:54 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Hawaii to London would be quite a flight.

  146. 146 Media Mike said at 10:50 AM on October 31st, 2015:

    My preference would be Eagles at Giants be moved to London.

  147. 147 GENETiC-FREAK said at 1:53 PM on October 31st, 2015:


  148. 148 ChoTime said at 6:05 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Congratulations! A Kiwi, are ya?

  149. 149 BobSmith77 said at 4:38 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Not only about the talent though and hasn’t been since the salary cap was in place. It is about effective the talent is given what they are getting paid.

    In that regard, Maxwell, Murray, and Bradford have been big disappointments so far and devoting so much salary cap to the RB position looks even more suspect/foolish in retrospect.

    One of the dumbest things an NFL team can do is ‘spend money for the sake of spending money’ which is something this team was very good at avoiding under Banner generally. I have serious doubts about whether Kelly the GM can effectively manage the cap and get decent value for what he acquires.

  150. 150 The original AG said at 5:44 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    That’s what Roseman does specifically.

  151. 151 GermanEagle said at 5:14 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Boy, this kid Grant from TT has some moves…!

  152. 152 Mr. Magee said at 6:58 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    “Enough talent to [be] solid” at OL and WR…

    Very soft piece.