Factoring in Factors

Posted: July 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

Josh Huff sucks. The Eagles need to cut him. Mychal Kendricks didn’t have a good year in 2015. I’m done with him. Marcus Smith is so bad he makes those guys look like stars. LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These are the kind of comments some fans will make in regard to young players that have been inconsistent, disappointing or flat out bad.The problem we have with young players is knowing what’s cold, hard reality versus what is circumstantial. Circumstances do matter. For some reason, people don’t like to admit that. I guess it is easier to make a snap judgment than to consider a world where external factors can sometimes play a critical role in a person’s success or failure.

Reggie White was dominant at Tennessee, in the USFL, playing for Buddy Ryan, for Bud Carson and then for the Packers. Mike Mamula was terrific in college, where his athleticism let him get the best of blockers on a consistent basis. Mamula was less effective in the NFL, where blockers could match his athleticism. Trent Cole was solid in college, but undersized. Cole came to the NFL and got bigger and stronger. That enhanced the physicality in his game and helped him to be an even better pro than college player.

That’s the most basic version. The truly special player is special no matter what. Other players go up and down based on other factors.

Fred Barnett was a terrific WR for the Eagles in the early 1990s. He and Randall Cunningham formed a deadly duo and had a few spectacular highlight plays. Barnett averaged 69-1053-5 in his 3 full, healthy seasons (he tore an ACL in 1993). Then Jon Gruden was hired to come in with the WCO. Barnett struggled throughout 1995. He hated the WCO, where he suddenly was running more across the field than down it. Barnett wasn’t a RAC guy. He started 14 games that year and went 48-585-5. Barnett was 29 years old. He was coming off his best season. Barnett didn’t like the offense and it didn’t fit his skills. He left in the offseason.

Irving Fryar came home to Philly in 1996, at the age of 34. He proved to be a perfect fit for the WCO and had the best season of his career, going 88-1195-11. That wasn’t a fluke. He posted similar numbers in 1997.

Scheme fit matters. It is very real and can make a huge difference, as it did there.

There really are a lot of factors to consider when evaluating a player. Scheme, fit, age, health, money, teammates, family, coaching staff are just some of the things to keep in mind when evaluating performance. Some things you know, some you don’t. Remember Sam Rayburn (the DT, not the politician)? He was a UDFA that showed a ton of promise and at one point he was a key piece of the trade for TO. The Niners really wanted him and the Eagles weren’t about to let him go. Rayburn had 6 sacks in 2004 and was really impressive. But then he got hurt and became addicted to painkillers. The injury didn’t take him off the field, but it greatly affected his performance and the drugs changed his life from a dream to a nightmare.

I remember Marcus Hayes being critical of Brian Dawkins following the 1998 season. We all saw Dawk’s talent, but there was some inconsistency. The perfect storm hit in 1999. Dawk entered his fourth season, the prime of his career, and got to play for Jim Johnson, who saw him as a unique talent and not just a good FS. Brian Dawkins went from talented young DB to elite player seemingly overnight. Great timing by the Football Gods in that case.

Greg Lewis is the new WRs coach. Can he make a difference with Josh Huff? What about the designers of the playbook, Doug Pederson and Frank Reich? Maybe their schematic changes will fit him perfectly. There is also the panic factor. Huff has to get going or he will get gone. That sense of desperation can bring out the best in a player. There are only so many “next years” before you find yourself out of the league. Huff has NFL ability. He’s got to show he can be a reliable performer, which is a lot easier said than done.

Kendricks has been a good NFL player. Just not in 2015. The problem there is that once your performance slips, there are no guarantees you will get back on the right track. Reggie Brown was a productive WR for the Eagles from 2005-2007. He caught 160 passes for 16 TDs in that span. He wasn’t great to be sure, but showed real potential. And then he got DeSean’d. The Eagles brought in DeSean Jackson in 2008. Brown was hurt in the OTAs and DeSean took his place with the starters. Reggie never got that spot back. It was like the rookie destroyed his confidence. Reggie only caught 27 passes in the NFL after that.

Did the presence of stud rookie Jordan Hicks bother Kendricks last year? Maybe. It is certainly worth considering. This year they will play together, but it isn’t certain that Kendricks will get back to his 2014 form. It would help a lot if he did.

Marcus Smith is a great mystery man. He has done virtually nothing in 2 years so the clock is really ticking on his career. Either he wakes up in a major way this summer or he’s hitting Jimmy Bama up for an internship with Philly Voice next year. It is easy to say Smith is a bust and he’s done. But history shows that’s not necessarily true.

Jerry Hughes, a tweener DE/LB, was a 1st round pick by the Colts. After 2 years, he had played in 24 games with 1 start. He had 1 sack in that time. Things finally clicked in his third season and he jumped to 6 starts and 4 sacks. The next season he only started once, but had 10 sacks and became a terrific role player. Hughes had to adjust to the NFL. He had to get bigger and stronger. The coaches had to figure out how to use him. It took time, but luckily both sides kept working and Hughes is now considered a good pass rusher. He’s got 30 career sacks.

The coaching and scheme change may bring out the best in Hughes. Or he might prove to be another Jerome McDougle, the player who was constantly about to turn things around, but never got to start an NFL game.

We’re going to learn a lot about the young players on the Eagles in 2016. Let’s just hope most of that is good.


67 Comments on “Factoring in Factors”

  1. 1 Factoring in Factors - said at 11:59 PM on July 13th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor Josh Huff sucks. The Eagles need to cut him. Mychal Kendricks didn’t have a good year in […]

  2. 2 SteveH said at 12:14 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    I didn’t know that about Sam Rayburn. Sad story. Always wondered why he fell off the face of the mountain.

  3. 3 Barbara Page said at 1:16 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    <<o. ✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤:::::::!be107p:….,….

  4. 4 Media Mike said at 8:13 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    Which is why the league need to be more flexible on medical marijuana.

  5. 5 Rellihcs said at 12:36 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    At the same time as being WAY WAY more careful and smart about opiates and other pain-meds! BOTH of those things – big time.

  6. 6 Stephen E. said at 9:32 AM on July 15th, 2016:

    Yeah, they’re OK with 100% habit-forming opiates, but you had better not pass Snoop on the sidewalk on the way to your drug test.

  7. 7 Mary Woods said at 1:56 AM on July 18th, 2016:

    <<o. ✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤:::::::!be297p:….,..

  8. 8 Jasanova said at 2:03 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    Kendricks was always overrated. He had one decent year and is still living off of potential. He’s a really good blitzer but pretty average everywhere else. He’s not great at covering and can’t get off of blocks. He’s fast but he never seems to be in the right place at the right time. Having hicks play so well last year really made kendricks look bad.

  9. 9 Cafone said at 3:11 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    But maybe in the new system he will be in the right place at the right time. That’s kind of the point of the article.

  10. 10 Rellihcs said at 4:57 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    Yeah either Jasanova didn’t read what Tommy wrote above at all, or he’s a textbook example of the type of fan Tommy was referencing!

  11. 11 Jasanova said at 6:44 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I understand exactly what the article was referencing. Another year that Kendrick might potentially have a great year. It has been like that his whole career. It’s time to recognize that he’s average. I’m all for the new coaching staff coming in and making him better but I just think he’s played long enough now to show what he is.

  12. 12 Mac said at 10:33 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    This is where I’m at with Kendricks. I’ve never actually been impressed by his play. Having said that, I don’t think LBer play is super important. If he can tackle consistently and be used by Schwartz effectively in blitz packages that would be great. Either way he’s still he’s a solid player.

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 8:18 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    His contract structure has earned him at least one more year. The missed tackles and blown coverages seem to be focus issues, so I hope he tightens that up.

  14. 14 BobSmith77 said at 12:54 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Kendrick struggles in coverage last year were the most depressing part. I’d love to see the numbers but it seems like he got beat routinely whenever he was one-on-one with TEs and even against guys who were fairly pedestrian in their overall numbers.

  15. 15 Jasanova said at 3:49 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    How many years of maybe this will be kendricks year will there be? He’s just an average nfl linebacker.

  16. 16 Dan in Philly said at 7:47 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    Of course we all know Schwartz, but the whole new coaching staff in general can give these guys a chance. I’m no insider, but from a distance it seemed pretty clear Chip played favorites. Most coaches do to some extent but it seemed once you were in his doghouse, you didn’t play or were traded ASAP. Sometimes I wonder if guys like Smith and Huff just never got a good chance to show what they can do.
    Well, hopefully if that’s correct Chip leaving town will end up being the best thing that has ever happened for these guys.

  17. 17 MichaelFloyd84 said at 12:26 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Huff was Chip’s golden boy. He got every opportunity and more regardless of how many times he screwed up and cost the team. Hell, Chip told him he would draft him in the third round a month before the draft. Ugh what a terrible drafter Chip is.

  18. 18 Mitchell said at 12:36 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    It’s funny though how, last year, when Huff would do something good, he would get pulled immediately and not let back into the game.

  19. 19 eagleyankfan said at 8:05 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    What…. no mention of Casey Matthews?
    With certain draft positions come certain expectations. You can’t say it’s ok for player X to take 4 years to find out if he belongs when that player is drafted in round 1 or 2(unless that player is a qb). Huff was a 3rd rounder? He has 28 catches in 2 years. Ouch. But what more can we expect? Agholor has 23 in his 1st year. With natural growth expectations for JM/Agholor/Ertz — what can Huff really accomplish? He needs to find his niche and find it fast…
    That’s a huge reach with Reggie Brown. Avg 53 catches a year for 3 years is promising? Um, Jordan Matthews just did Reggie’s numbers in a two year time span.

  20. 20 Jamie Parker said at 11:08 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Reggie Brown’s rookie year was that tumultuous TO Vs the Eagles year, McNabb got hurt and Mike McMahon took over. His 2nd year McNabb busted a knee and Garcia took over and we had Donte Stallworth as our #1 WR. Then Jordan Matthews in his 1st two seasons gets to run in Chip’s offense where they run a bagillion plays a game. So it’s kind of hard to compare the two against each other. But, I will agree that Matthews is better than Reggie Brown. lol

  21. 21 Stephen E. said at 9:34 AM on July 15th, 2016:

    Reggie was good. You should look him up on Youtube, since you obviously didn’t watch the games.

  22. 22 Media Mike said at 8:12 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    Development of players is tricky. Especially when they’re learning the game and growing into their bodies.

    Being careless with the football (Huff) is inexcusable. In not in favor of cutting the guy, but if he doesn’t step it up this year we need to draft / sign an improvement.

    Missing tackles and blowing coverage is inexcusable. Kendricks should be on notice that those things need to stop.

    Physically speaking, I’m hoping Smith added some “good weight” this offseason and can develop at DE.

  23. 23 Dave said at 9:46 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    The thing often overlooked about Smith and Huff is that they both seem to want to get better and are working at it. If they don’t succeed, it won’t be for lack of trying. That cannot be said of everyone. Maybe it’s their growth mindset…

  24. 24 Gary Barnes said at 4:53 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    emotional intelligence

  25. 25 Mac said at 10:35 AM on July 14th, 2016:

    We’re pretty much at 0% risk with Huff now. It’s put up or go home time for him. Kendricks fills a roster spot whether he gets better or not, and I really hope he can become more reliable. MS2 is the player I’m most hopeful/excited about of these three. I think he has potential in the Schwartz defense.

  26. 26 MichaelFloyd84 said at 12:29 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Agholor was supposed to be the improvement. OOOOPS. Man what I wouldn’t give for the team to be good at drafting. Hell, even average would be an improvement.

  27. 27 Rellihcs said at 12:33 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Have you done research – we are about average drafting. There is a myth out there that for other teams it’s a perfect science. But the facts are that the draft is a crap-shoot.

  28. 28 BobSmith77 said at 12:46 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Agholor stunk last year but he also had the ankle injury which likely lingered on & was a rookie.

    This is a ‘put up or shut up’ year for him though including him winning a starting job out of camp. He was a #1 pick by the previous guy and a new GM/coach just don’t have the same level of attachment to him.

    If he gets beat out for one of the starting WR jobs, that is a really bad sign for him long-term because it means the new coaching staff doesn’t think that highly of him.

    Not exactly like he is competing against a high-draft pick or an expensive FA to win one of the starting outside WR jobs either.

  29. 29 D3FB said at 12:50 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    This is a bad comment. The Eagles are at least average, probably slightly above average at drafting.

  30. 30 BobSmith77 said at 1:00 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I have been them ranked at slightly above to slightly below during Roseman’s tenure but it really depends on what time frame, what rounds of the draft/entire draft, and how you are measuring productivity of the player.

    Lowest I have seen is #20 though which isn’t horrible either.

  31. 31 D3FB said at 1:20 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    That’s fair. I use 2 starters and 1 contributor as the bar for “average”. Although I agree it can be semantics separating starters vs. contributors

    2010 was better than people give it credit for. Graham and Allen were the two starters, Nate probably gets more crap than he deserves. He’s not great but he’s a starting S in this league. You got contributions from Cooper, Chaney, Harbor, and Coleman.

    2011 was awful. It’s basically just Kelce, although I would include Thorton, so it’s 2 starters. The coaches overriding scouts and FA having not occured make it a super weird draft to fairly evaluate.

    2012 was a home run. Cox, Curry, Kendricks all starters. Boykin, Foles, Brown, Dennis Kelly contributors.

    2013 another good one with Lane, Logan, and Ertz. Wolff kind of got a raw deal. Poyer got caught in a numbers game but still a decent enough player and steph curry look alike.

    2014- Matthews is a good starter. The rest, we’ll know alot more in 4 months. I’d call Beau and Huff contributors. So that’s 1 starter and 2 contributors for now, so below average but other than Hart I’d say they all have legit shots to make the 53.

    2015- I’d optimistically call Rowe and Hicks starters, with Agholor, Shepperd, and Rice being the wildcards.

  32. 32 BobSmith77 said at 12:44 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    One than guy though have questioned Huff’s basic ability to comprehend and understand the playbook along with where he needs to be on the field including his route running.

    Maybe better coaching does improve his production but I have a feeling he is one of those good athletes who simply is miscast as a WR & doesn’t have the grasp of what he needs to do to be more successful during game time.

  33. 33 MichaelFloyd84 said at 12:24 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Watching Huff is like reliving the FredEx nightmare again. Everytime I look at the WRs we chose Huff over i cry.

  34. 34 D3FB said at 1:04 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Moncrief’s a nice receiver, but far from a world beater. Bryant is quickly going to find himself out of the league. And I’m sure you would have had a reasoned well thought out response to them drafting a 5’10 D2 player in the third round.

    Let’s look at the rest of the WR’s taken in the 3,4,5 rounds!

    Jalen Saunders (pick 104)- Didn’t even make it to October before he got cut.

    Bruce Ellington (pick 106)- Huff has basically doubled his production

    Shaq Evans (pick 115)- Yet to play a game

    Kevin Norwood (pick 123)- He of 2 teams and 102 yards!

    Devin Street (pick 146)- Had opportunity to earn time after Dez got hurt… Got demoted. 132 yards.

    Jared Abbredidis (pick 176)- 111 yards and one concussion away from retirement.


  35. 35 Media Mike said at 3:45 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I have some very close friends that played D2 ball and were all over hyping up John Brown going into that draft, so I would have been happy to share their thoughts had we taken him.

    But great call on crackhead Bryant; he’s gone.

  36. 36 MichaelFloyd84 said at 6:07 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I’d much rather have Moncreif, John Brown, Martavis Bryant (by far than Huff), Jeff Janis, or Quincy Enunwa. Huff and Bruce Ellington are a push right now. Huff has a great ability for either being invisible or actually hurting the team. Hard to say which is worse, Ellington’s two touches a game or Huff’s fumbles, drops, and horrible routes leading to ints.

  37. 37 BobSmith77 said at 12:42 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I’ll always defend Mamula for getting unduly criticized here. He wasn’t a great player at BC who was a consensus Top 10 pick going into the ’95 draft. Also unfortunately got traded for two picks (Eagles #1 that turned into Sapp and 2nd round pick that was Brooks) which he was always compared to.

    Mamula was a solid player here but also played for a poor defensive coordinator in Emmitt Thomas a bunch of defensive coaches who never amounted to anything in the NFL from 1995 to 1997. He suffered the knee injury in camp in Aug. 1998 that cost him the entire year and had knee issues his first few years.

    In 1999, when the Eagles actually had a competent defensive coordinator (JJ) and a quality good defensive staff including Rivera (LB), Frazier (DBs), and Spagnuolo (Defensive Assistant/Quality Control). Mamula had a very good year in 1999 and was even getting some Pro Bowl consideration.

    In 2000, he was their starting DE opposite Huge Douglas at the start of the year and rotated in & out of DE that year along with Whiting due to issues with both of his knees. Eagles also made a mistake in moving him to DE that year too because they wanted to start the thoroughly underwhelming Gardner at LB.

    Yeah Mamula was never nearly what he was supposed to be but injuries & health played a large part in that along with what the Eagles gave up to get him & who those players turned out to be. If the Bucs had drafted two stiffs with those picks, the Mamula pick wouldn’t be remembered as harshly as it is. Instead he would have been a guy the Eagles traded up to get, had some productive games, and washed out due to knee injuries.

  38. 38 Media Mike said at 3:43 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    It isn’t his fault that I was screaming to draft Warren Sapp and we traded up to get him and Tampa took Sapp and Brooks.

    But he wasn’t Warren Sapp. Such a f-ing boneheaded move from the team.

  39. 39 BobSmith77 said at 11:51 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Other teams passed on Sapp though too and it just wasn’t because of his marijuana issues. It was overall character issues and the likelihood he would run into criminal problems off the field.

    Turns out that while he was able to keep them largely in check during his playing days that they did catch up with him once he was done playing real quick.

  40. 40 Jamie Parker said at 11:27 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    The problem was Warren Sapp was already a star DL. We didn’t really know Mamula until all the workouts. I’m not a Mamula basher. People make fun of his “almost sacks”, but those are pressures, pressures that lead to turnovers.
    And don’t bash Emmitt Thomas. We had good defenses those years, but they did get progressively worse. In those 4 years, we were ranked 4th, 5th, 13th, and 17th, respectively.

  41. 41 BobSmith77 said at 11:49 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Defensively got progressively worse under him and he stunk in GB and Minnesota as the DC.

  42. 42 Bob Brewer said at 1:08 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    All valid points, but Josh Huff still sucks.

  43. 43 Media Mike said at 3:42 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Wow. I didn’t know Geagle was into stalking reports in person!


  44. 44 unhinged said at 6:36 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I guess there’s a fine line between satire and psychopathy.

  45. 45 Media Mike said at 6:39 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I can’t even believe that it’s real. But it is.

  46. 46 Nailed It! said at 6:39 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Those people are clowns.

  47. 47 Media Mike said at 6:40 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    It is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.

  48. 48 Nailed It! said at 6:43 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    What do they gain from confronting him in public while he is clearly out for a fun time? Yeah we all make fun of Elliot but I would never verbally attack him in public, now a nice debate over a beer would be fun.

  49. 49 Media Mike said at 6:45 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Yeah, totally bizarre.

  50. 50 Media Mike said at 6:43 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    And they stupidly got into it with Bama


  51. 51 Nailed It! said at 6:44 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Now these are the people who give Philly fans a bad name. Dreggs of our city.

  52. 52 Media Mike said at 6:45 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Are they even fans or just some d bags who want to “work” in covering the team?

  53. 53 Nailed It! said at 6:46 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    True, they are just causing a ruckus to get followers.

  54. 54 Ark87 said at 7:41 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    So…this is sattire right? The absurdity of it all, #makephillygreatagain, how can this be written without a whiff of irony? Color me skeptical.

  55. 55 Media Mike said at 7:44 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I think what some folks are finding is that the folks who write it a a bunch of clowns. But that slogan is putrid for sure.

  56. 56 SteveH said at 10:03 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    “We’re a satire media outlet that writes for the American working man, because thats who we are and that’s who we care about.”

    From their about page. How much is satire and how much is sincere? Hard to tell.

  57. 57 BobSmith77 said at 11:48 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    What kind of jerk confronts people like this in public?

    It clearly isn’t satire but just general idiocy that the Internet produces by the terabyte daily.

  58. 58 Gary Barnes said at 6:41 AM on July 15th, 2016:

    The internet does not produce it, idiots do. The internet is a wonderful tool that has helped humanity way more than hurt – some just mis-use it and they should be scorned.

  59. 59 Bert's Bells said at 11:52 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I thought that guy was supposed to like 6’6. I call BS on this article.

  60. 60 meteorologist said at 5:48 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    I love the LOLOLOL! Didn’t even read the rest yet

  61. 61 Nick C said at 6:22 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    According to a few sources (via BGN), Agholor NOT likely to be charged. We should hear something definitive soon.

  62. 62 Media Mike said at 6:37 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Seth Williams can’t even bring charges against hoodlum Shady McCoy for an aggravated assault caught on camera; how on earth was he going to ever get close to charges for Agholor?

  63. 63 Jamie Parker said at 11:32 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Good thing he didn’t deflate her footballs.

  64. 64 daveH said at 11:42 PM on July 14th, 2016:

    Andy Reid was great in a Rams uni when he was 5x the size of the othet kids… but mediocre in the pros when all was more equal

  65. 65 iceberg584 said at 5:51 AM on July 15th, 2016:

    In all seriousness, I always wondered what was going on in that video. It looked like there should have been at least two or three age groups between Reid and the next biggest kid out there.

  66. 66 Eagles News: NFL analyst says Carson Wentz needs to play during his rookie season - NFL Feeds To The Fans said at 7:51 AM on July 15th, 2016:

    […] Factoring in Factors – Iggles BlitzThere really are a lot of factors to consider when evaluating a player. Scheme, fit, age, health, money, teammates, family, coaching staff are just some of the things to keep in mind when evaluating performance. Some things you know, some you don’t. Remember Sam Rayburn (the DT, not the politician)? He was a UDFA that showed a ton of promise and at one point he was a key piece of the trade for TO. The Niners really wanted him and the Eagles weren’t about to let him go. Rayburn had 6 sacks in 2004 and was really impressive. But then he got hurt and became addicted to painkillers. The injury didn’t take him off the field, but it greatly affected his performance and the drugs changed his life from a dream to a nightmare. […]

  67. 67 Froogal Stoodent said at 3:17 AM on July 16th, 2016:

    Second-to-last paragraph: “The coaching and scheme change may bring out the best in Hughes.” –> I think you meant to refer to Marcus Smith there.