Secondary on the Rise

Posted: June 26th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 33 Comments »

The secondary has been a trouble spot for the Eagles in recent years. In 3 of the past 4 seasons, opposing QBs finished with a rating of 91 or higher against the Eagles. That’s not good. Even more troubling, the Eagles have had a decent amount of INTs in that span. Take those away and the rating would be even higher. The Eagles have not covered well.

That might be changing.

Might is the key word, of course. I like what the Eagles have done with the secondary this offseason and wrote about that for There are no guarantees this group will pan out as expected, but the moves this year feel so much smarter than some in recent years. Byron Maxwell was overpaid last year and the pressure of that contract affected his play. That won’t be the case with Leodis McKelvin, who got an appropriate deal for his age, talent and production. He just has to be himself.

It would help a great deal if one of the young players plays well. Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd, Jalen Mills and Denzel Rice all have NFL talent. Rowe has some starting experience. Somebody needs to step up. Mills seemed to be that guy this spring. Training Camp will be a whole other challenge and will give us a better idea of who is ready to help this year


Jimmy Bama posted some rookie projections. Here is what he had to say about Jalen Mills.

Jalen Mills, CB, 7th round

Mills was the pleasant surprise at Eagles OTAs and minicamp, impressing the media as well as established veterans. Malcolm Jenkins, for example, went as far as to say that Mills will be competing for a starting spot in 2016. It feels like Mills all but has a roster spot on lock.

That said, training camp is a very different animal when compared to OTAs. At training camp, the Eagles will be putting on the pads, and all indications say that Pederson intends on running a physical camp. Mills was good in coverage at OTAs. He’ll have to show that he can be physical in training camp. I would bet on Mills playing a reserve slot corner role, but any talk of him starting is far too premature.

Whatever, Bama.

Mills is good for 15 INTs this year and will clearly be a first-ballot HOF’er.



33 Comments on “Secondary on the Rise”

  1. 1 Secondary on the Rise - said at 11:23 AM on June 26th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor The secondary has been a trouble spot for the Eagles in recent years. In 3 of the past 4 seasons, […]

  2. 2 Ben said at 12:08 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    My first, first? LOL
    Anyway Tommy, since your expert projection I have purchased my Mills Jersey.
    Although I think 15 int’s is selling the kid a little short.
    More like 15 sacks, 25 int’s and 30 TFL’s.

  3. 3 P_P_K said at 11:41 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Rowe is going to double that. Better buy another jersey.

  4. 4 Aaron said at 12:46 PM on June 26th, 2016:


  5. 5 Derka derka said at 2:31 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    The hype with mills is a bit crazy. He’s a rookie 7th round pick….off season bordem hype in full swing

  6. 6 Fufina said at 2:35 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I genuinely do not care about anything except suspensions and injuries until the first game of preseason post draft. Until pads come on all this stuff just does not really matter and is just our dozen or so beat writers trying to fill column inches with speculation.

  7. 7 Media Mike said at 2:59 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Yeah, folks are really going wild on Mills thus far. I LOVED the pick, but we need to see some pre-season game work before I can pass judgement.

  8. 8 Gian GEAGLE said at 2:31 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    Stevie wonder could see that he is more talented than the average 7th round corner, both in terms of talent, Experience and versatility
    Every year coaches will say that they had much higher grades on kids they drafted in round 7… In this case, It’s a FACT.

  9. 9 Derka derka said at 5:12 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    Even if he turns out, he’s got character problems…why is also a reason he fell to the seventh round. I just don’t see a huge reason to get pumped about him

  10. 10 Media Mike said at 2:55 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Outside of UDFA talent level waste of a 6th round pick Countess; I like the mix of guys in this group. I don’t think we have CBs that can be “shut down”, but with the pass rush Schwartz’s front 4 will generate; I just need a back 7 that can play well together and not get toasted / miss tackles.

  11. 11 Sean Stott said at 3:02 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I think Mills and Shepherd, and obviously Rowe have NFL talent, but Rice? What have we seen from him?

  12. 12 meteorologist said at 5:31 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I thought he played reasonably well last year when we saw him

  13. 13 truehaynes said at 3:35 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I know highlights are inherently misleading, but mckelvin looks like a far better player than I realized. His athletic ability is incredible, and he plays the ball well. Also that first punt return on the video was fucking nasty

  14. 14 Media Mike said at 3:37 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    He’s, at worst, a decent starting CB in the NFL.

  15. 15 truehaynes said at 3:39 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Thinks he’s the best pickup of the off season in terms of value. I like our Cbs with him and Rowe starting and everyone else competing for nickle

  16. 16 mtn_green said at 3:37 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    the defense scheme is going to make the secondary look terrible if they’re not destroying the OL and getting sacks.
    A team with a good OL that can tame the Eagles DL is going to destroy Eagles secondary.

  17. 17 Media Mike said at 3:39 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    beg pardon? Where does such an O-line exist in pass protection?

  18. 18 truehaynes said at 3:41 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Dude if we’re only rushing 4 were we have 7 people back there covering max 5 receivers and I’d love for you to point me to a online that could consistently shut down our pass rush without keeping anyone in to help

  19. 19 Dude said at 10:11 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Last year there were several teams that passed on us when we dropped 8 into coverage. I’ll wait and see with our secondary. However, I agree that our attacking d-line will help quite a bit.

  20. 20 D3FB said at 7:52 AM on June 27th, 2016:


    See the thing is Schwartz is multiple in his coverage calls. The front may be vanilla but the backend varies from press-man, off-man, cover 2, cover 3, cover 4, cover 6. That’s going to screw with option routes and make the QB hold the ball a little longer.

    Some of our biggest coverage issues last year stemmed from the fact that we were very predictable on the backend we were in man free or cover 3 95% of the time. Teams attacked us with plays specificially designed to beat those coverages and were the vast majority of the problem.

    Also any team that gets their pass rush shut down struggles.

  21. 21 truehaynes said at 3:43 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I like logan as a pass rusher but I’d love to see curry slide inside on 3rd and long. Either he or Cox gets a one on one with a guard,

  22. 22 Fufina said at 4:17 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    Absolutely they will use this on 3rd and long – Curry is a nightmare for guards to deal with and he has a history of making plays from the 3 tech on passing downs. Would be crazy to not use him in that role at times.

  23. 23 meteorologist said at 6:06 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I’d be hesitant
    Maybe as a rotation

  24. 24 RogerPodacter said at 2:04 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    what would our “max attack” DL be? Graham, Cox, Curry, Barwin, i’d assume. i’d love MS2 to show something and unseat Barwin here, but i’m not going to pencil him in at anything yet

  25. 25 Gary Barnes said at 11:19 PM on June 26th, 2016:

    I’ll believe it when I see it about our secondary. We have changed personnel and schemes several years in a row and they have been horrible. We did it again this year so we’ll have to see what happens. I see mediocre or unproven talent at CB, but hopefully several guys step up.

    The coverage issues also include our LB corps. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot of improvement there too.

    The pass rush can help, but again any good QB who can hit their hot read or get the ball out quickly could cause us tons of problems like they have the last several seasons.

  26. 26 Stephen said at 9:25 AM on June 27th, 2016:

    We had Bill Davis scheme last 3 years so not sure how you say we have changed our scheme several years in a row??

  27. 27 Ben said at 2:12 AM on June 27th, 2016:

    IMO it will also help our secondary with Billy Davis gone.
    Getting a DC like Schwartz over Billy Davis is a massive upgrade IMO.
    I feel very optimistic that this D will improve by leaps and bounds.

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 7:18 AM on June 27th, 2016:

    I know the stupid 3-4 was Chip’s fault in general, but Davis’s continued idiotic moves with the secondary (Fletcher 1 on 1 with Dez and Rowe 1 on 1 with Megatron) were brutal.

  29. 29 RogerPodacter said at 2:06 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    oof. you have to wonder whats going on when EVERYONE watching the game knows that its going to be Rowe 1 v 1 on Megatron and they are just going to throw a toss-up to him in the endzone. and yet somehow our coaching staff can’t figure out anything better to do.

    considering that the coaches more or less threw Rowe into a shitty situation so many times last year, i’m amazed he played as well as he did.

  30. 30 unhinged said at 5:26 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    I am encouraged by the attitude that the defensive backfield has acquired. Mills and McKelvin and McLeod all have a bit of chippiness to their game, and that won’t tackle or pick-off passes, but it does keep my attention and optimism higher than it has been.

  31. 31 wee2424 said at 7:47 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    Was just watching some McKelvin and Mcleod videos. Both are very aggressive, willing and good at tackling. Can’t wait to see them out there on game day.

    Was very impressed with how McKelvin plays the ball once it hits the receivers hands. Remember that INT when he just jumped over top of Celek and took the ball out of his hands for example? Really mastered attacking the receivers hands. Many of his INTs are from that.

    Like how McKelvin has mastered that, Mcleod has really mastered the ability of putting his body on the ball and forcing a fumble.

    Both impressive players with Mcleod being exceptionally fun to watch. McKelvin is pretty under rated in this league. I am not saying he will be a PB player, but I do think he will be interesting to watch and a solid player with the ability to make some big plays at times.

  32. 32 Reality Bites said at 8:40 PM on June 27th, 2016:

    Of course it feels different…..Billy Davis and his crappy scheme is gone…..they can’t help but improve

  33. 33 Kelly Lord said at 4:58 PM on June 29th, 2016:

    reaLLY?!?!?!??! i AM IN!