Old Guys Are People Too

Posted: July 30th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 64 Comments »

Did you ever see the movie Logan’s Run? It was a 1970’s sci-fi film that had a really interesting plot idea. When people turned 30, they were disposed of. In some ways, the Eagles used to be like that. Joe Banner and Andy Reid strongly preferred young players so older guys were either cut or they left when they became free agents. Not all, but most.

Chip Kelly had a mixed relationship with veterans. He loved some, but wasn’t always keen on those who were strong-willed individuals.

Things seem very different with Doug Pederson. 31-year old Brent Celek got an extension back in January. Sam Bradford re-signed and then changed his mind, pushing for a trade. Pederson let him come back and wasn’t confrontational at all with his starting QB. The Eagles signed 30-year old Leodis McKelvin in free agency. They gave veteran Malcolm Jenkins a contract extension.

34-year old Jason Peters likes Pederson and his way of doing things quite a bit better than he liked Kelly and his style.

Peters, who battled injuries last year, said he’s “looking forward” to how the current coaching staff will take care of him, and that Kelly’s tempo made it tougher for him to stay healthy. He thinks he’ll be a “dominant force” as long as he’s not hurt this season, and he believes gaining weight will help him because he thought losing weight last year hurt him.

He also feels being able to audible will be “very helpful,” in part because the running backs grew discouraged by having to run into a wall of defenders when they thought the play should’ve been changed. Peters believes Doug Pederson being a former player will be very beneficial, adding that the current coaching staff has more respect for veterans than the previous one did.

“I think so, because the last couple of years, there wasn’t a lot of vets. And any vet that stood up and had something to say, we got rid of him,” Peters said. “But Doug was a player here, and he understands veteran players. And he understands the game, so I think it’s better.”

Chemistry was an issue for the 2015 Eagles. That was true within the team and with the player-coach relationship. That’s what happens when you make a lot of changes, especially ones that involve good and/or popular players.

It seems like the current team is in better shape in the chemistry department. We’re still early in the process and that hasn’t really been tested by controversy, a losing streak or something like that, but the team seems to be in a good place.

The Eagles continued their trend of embracing veteran players on Friday by signing Darren Sproles to a contract extension. This wasn’t the RB move that most people expected. I actually thought Sproles could be a potential cut or trade piece. The guy can still play, but I wondered if the Eagles might prefer to go young at RB and find out just what players like Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner can do.

Pederson has spoken highly of Sproles since he became the coach. Chip Kelly wasn’t in to chess pieces. He wanted the offense to move as fast as possible and that meant using the same personnel and running basic plays. Pederson comes from the Andy Reid school. That means using situatonal personnel and trying to get favorable matchups as often as possible. Sproles is a great fit for that style of offense.

There is also value in having Sproles as a role model for Smallwood, Barner and the other RBs. Sproles has an incredible work ethic and stays in top shape. He remains a weapon on offense and STs at age 33 because of how hard he works off the field. Let’s also not forget that Sproles is a special player.


Howie Roseman spoke to the media. He had several interesting things to say.

He said the Eagles like their young RBs, but would keep their eyes open. He stressed the need to see the RBs play in pads and in contact practices. All RBs can look great in OTAs. You need to see guys break tackles and pass protect to truly know if they can play in the NFL. There is no need to rush the RB situation. Let’s see what the young guys do.

In regard to the Eagles embracing veterans more these days, Howie made the point that the team judges things on an individual basis. There are no “rules”. And the guys the Eagles have kept around are unique. Jason Peters isn’t your normal OT. Sproles isn’t your normal RB. Celek has worked very hard to become a good blocker and remains a good receiver. Not all TEs can block and catch.

Roseman surprised more than a few people when he said the Eagles could bring back Sam Bradford next year, despite the cap situation. Roseman explained that it could be done, but wasn’t about to give away all the plans. He didn’t mention that the only way Bradford comes back is if the team wins the Super Bowl or Bradford has an amazing season. If either happens, then doing a bunch of cap shuffling will be worth it.

Roseman said the Eagles aren’t a “finished product” and would watch the waiver wire for anyone they thought could improve the team. That’s always true, but is especially true with scheme changes and a new coaching staff in place.


64 Comments on “Old Guys Are People Too”

  1. 1 Old Guys Are People Too - said at 1:32 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor Did you ever see the movie Logan’s Run? It was a 1970’s sci-fi film that had a really […]

  2. 2 P_P_K said at 1:38 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Gray-haired lives matter.

  3. 3 GermanEagle said at 8:38 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    No #?! 😉

  4. 4 Micheleekott3 said at 12:15 AM on July 31st, 2016:

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  6. 6 Media Mike said at 9:13 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    I was going to give you a chiding for appropriating BLM, but in the context of Logan’s Run that is true. They were killing all old folks.

  7. 7 Dave said at 5:07 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    The veteran CBs make me nervous.

    Leodis McKelvin will be 31 in a month, missed 7, 6, 1, and 3 games in the past 4 years. He started only 14 games in the past 2 years. He is getting paid less than $3M this year with a $250K cap hit if cut before next season.

    Nolan Carroll has started only 12 games in the past 2 years and has missed 5 due to injury over that period. At 29, his salary in $2M and is a free agent at the end of the season.

    I don’t think either player will be starting by the midpoint of the season. Lots of young guys are going to get the opportunity to play in the secondary this year, especially Rowe and Mills; either by injury, or inneffectiveness of the older guys.

  8. 8 SteveH said at 11:50 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Ron Brooks could be in the mix too.

  9. 9 Media Mike said at 9:15 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    He was also laying down on the job yesterday, so hopefully he decides to stay on the field.

  10. 10 Media Mike said at 9:15 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    It isn’t an ideal position group, but you can’t be good everywhere with a salary cap. I’d like to see how some of the younger guys improve and who the add there over the next few seasons.

  11. 11 BobSmith77 said at 12:32 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    These guys wouldn’t start on a bunch of teams. It is a weak group and the Eagles have to hope the dollars they have invested at S pay off.

  12. 12 Dave said at 5:47 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    My thoughts exactly. I hope Schwartz doesn’t treat the young CBs the way Chip treated Marcus Smith. All things being equal, I’d rather see Rowe/Mills/Sheppard get game experience than aging vets with limited upside. It’s a rebuilding year anyway.

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 5:54 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    That position group seems to have a very fluid depth chart. Should be interesting to watch.

  14. 14 Tumtum said at 10:19 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    The pretty cool thing about vet QBs is that you generally are going to get what you expect from them. I would say ineffectiveness won’t be an issue for either.

  15. 15 Dave said at 5:44 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    I dunno, Carroll started the year fine but was downright terrible before he broke his ankle (remember rookie QB WInston throwing 3 TDs against Carroll?) I know very little of McKelvin, but going by age and experience starting, I don’t see him being much better than Carroll.

  16. 16 Gary Barnes said at 6:07 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Banner and Reid’s preference for talent younger than 30 and avoidance of extending talent older than 30 was based on solid data and not simply a whim.
    And in the vast majority of the cases, they were proven correct in their assessments.

    Of course they made exceptions for truly elite talent like Dawk, McNabb, Westbrook et al., but when they decided to move on from those guys too they were almost always correct. Many cite Dawk as a “mistake”, but they kept him for 13 years and age 35. He had one good year in Denver and then hit the wall.

    We’ll see what happens with the vets Roseman has signed, but normally the odds are not in favor of them producing at a high level and avoiding injury for very long. The big difference is Banner/Reid again made exceptions for elite talent; Roseman has done it for less than elite and in some cases pretty mediocre talent.

  17. 17 Anders said at 6:39 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    How is Sproles and Peters not elite talent?

  18. 18 Gary Barnes said at 7:04 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Peters is 34 with a serious back injury coming off a bad performance season. We’ll see if he bounces back and still has the elite level in him, but Roseman did not extend him in this recent group anyway. I’d bet this is his last season unless he recaptures the magic.

    Sproles is a rotational RB and return guy. He is a very good player, but they extended him for 1 yr at 4.5M; hardly elite money or term. I think both parties know this is short term and his career is close to over.

  19. 19 Anders said at 11:12 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Sproles been an elite returner is worth more than your average backup RB who cant return punts

  20. 20 Media Mike said at 11:41 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Especially one who looks good doing so in the preseason as a function of blocking, but can’t hold onto the football when it counts.

  21. 21 Gary Barnes said at 11:59 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    The point is Sproles is not in the same class as Dawk, McNabb, Westbrook et al. that Banner/Reid made exceptions for contract-wise.

  22. 22 Anders said at 12:58 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    Westbrook didnt play here in his 30’s. He was cut quick

  23. 23 Gary Barnes said at 1:06 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    Westbrook’s last season here he was 30. It was injuries that shortened his career. I’m not going to nit pick every little detail.

  24. 24 Dave said at 6:51 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Outside of Peters, none of these over 30 contracts are big money or for anything more than spot starters and/or role players. All these contracts are bottom 1/2 to bottom 1/5 in pay compared to franchise #s for Celek, Sproles, Barbre, and McKelvin.

  25. 25 Gary Barnes said at 7:06 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Agreed and that is what probably makes sense to Roseman who was after all groomed under Banner and worked with Reid for years.

  26. 26 Tumtum said at 10:16 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Right. They are stop gaps. Very valuable part of every team these days.

  27. 27 PacificPurl said at 3:15 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    And yet the players who were dumped by Chip, to much hatred, have all declined or been outright cut in the last 2 years. Short memories.

  28. 28 Gary Barnes said at 4:12 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Mathis played well and won a SB with Denver

    Maclin performed well for KC

    DJax is still a starter in WSH

    McCoy is still a starter in BUF

  29. 29 Dave said at 7:40 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Mathis did not play well at all. He was benched for a rookie at one point in the season.

  30. 30 Gary Barnes said at 9:01 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Mathis started 12 of 16 games plus all 3 playoff games.

  31. 31 Dave said at 5:35 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    That doesn’t mean he played well. Allen Barbre started 16 games last year and Matt Tobin started 13; that still doesn’t make either player good.


  32. 32 BlindChow said at 11:30 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    You’re thinking of Herremans.

  33. 33 Media Mike said at 11:40 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Mathis was benched for a rookie, but then un-benched for the playoffs. Methinks there was an injury issue.



    So still far better at guard than Barbre Doll.

  34. 34 Dave said at 5:49 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    Mathis was not much better than Todd last year.

  35. 35 meteorologist said at 8:00 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Talk about short memories

  36. 36 Media Mike said at 9:16 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    I agree mostly, but Maclin didn’t produce anywhere near his salary.

  37. 37 Julescat said at 10:11 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Maclin wasn’t dumped

    he left in free agency. the Eagles made an offer to him.

  38. 38 Tumtum said at 10:14 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    This dude doesn’t seem to want to be bothered with facts.

  39. 39 GermanEagle said at 6:46 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Oh boy I am so happy that Chippah is gone. Good to see the Eagles signing older guys who are role models and also the faces of the Franchise. Opening day cannot come soon enough. #FlyEaglesFly

  40. 40 daveH said at 8:53 PM on July 30th, 2016:

    Saw it in the theater .. wildwood

  41. 41 PacificPurl said at 3:13 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    And yet Chip brought Sproles to the Eagles! And Jenkins. Some very short memories around here.

  42. 42 meteorologist said at 8:05 AM on July 31st, 2016:


  43. 43 D3FB said at 8:30 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Jenkins was 26.

  44. 44 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:46 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    I am a very patient man. But enough training camp. Let’s FF to the regular season already.

  45. 45 Tumtum said at 10:11 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Camp just started. Are you sure your patient?

  46. 46 Dragon_Eagle said at 2:36 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    Very. Bring on the Browns.

  47. 47 Media Mike said at 9:12 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    “There is also value in having Sproles as a role model for Smallwood, Barner and the other RBs.”

    This statement is half correct. There is no value in anything related to Barner.

    I’ll fix it;

    “There is also value in having Sproles as a role model for Smallwood, Marshall, and the other NFL quality RBs which by default doesn’t include Barner.”

  48. 48 Media Mike said at 9:14 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    EPIC Logan’s Run reference. That movie rules. The scene in the movie where they’re above ground and meet the befuddled old man who spouts off a stream of incorrect “facts” about history reminds me of somebody I keep seeing in the news…………..

  49. 49 BlindChow said at 11:27 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Pacific Purl?

  50. 50 Media Mike said at 11:39 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Ha! I don’t think the character of whom you speak is newsworthy.

  51. 51 Tumtum said at 10:10 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    The good thing about having a real GM is that he is always going to keep an eye out for talent. The team is never a finished product.

  52. 52 Media Mike said at 11:02 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Churning the bottom of the roster, rather than keeping garbage down there, is going to be a nice improvement.

  53. 53 Gary Barnes said at 12:04 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    True and I like what Roseman has done for the most part. Better depth and finding some real difference makers, especially on offense, should be his two main priorities IMO.

  54. 54 Media Mike said at 10:17 AM on July 31st, 2016:

    Because he isn’t that good?

  55. 55 Tumtum said at 9:52 AM on August 1st, 2016:

    I was giving you an opportunity to take a shot at an injury prone guy. I’m not sure why I take amusement in your despise of guys who get hurt.

  56. 56 Media Mike said at 12:39 PM on August 1st, 2016:

    “The greatest ability in all of sports is availability!”

  57. 57 BobSmith77 said at 12:38 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    One of the prudent things Banner did here was pass on extending aging veterans for another year or two. Even not resigning Dawkins was fine given his performance in Denver (half a good year) and the contract he got.

    We’ll see how they pan out but my sense is they are doing this because of the subpar drafting of last few years and that this team is going to be rebuilding this year and next at a minimum. Better to stick with the veterans you know than FAs you don’t even if they overpay for that production and possibly quite significantly.

  58. 58 BobSmith77 said at 12:45 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    I miss training camp at Lehigh and how accessible it was. I went down this morning and it simply isn’t the same. Last time I’m going to go to an open practice at Linc too including pay for parking. Largely a waste of time. People who showed up seemed be interested in Wentz and there were some fans wearing his jersey.

    There weren’t that many people and almost zero buzz. Besides maybe Reid’s first season, I can’t remember a year where there was less buzz/interest going into a seaso on the past 15-20 years. Even in ’99, it was only a question of when McNabb would start and not if. Still a real question if Wentz will even start a game too and even if he does I can’t imagine it is until this team is drastically eliminated in December.

  59. 59 Dave said at 5:26 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    I agree 100%. I’m a little selfish because Lehigh University is within 1/2 hour of my house, but opening practice 2 days for the entire training camp, at a huge stadium, absolutely sucks for fans. I have to believe this is all about money, as Pederson hinted that it was Lurie’s decision to keep training camp at their home facility.

    I look back at the whole TO phenomenon that happened at training camp in 2004 as a surreal experience. Too bad young fans will never have that experience at the Linc.

  60. 60 BobSmith77 said at 5:33 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    It sucks for the fans especially just 2 days being open to the public.

    It is probably about money first and foremost but I’d bet the coaching staff and players strongly prefer it too. They get to sleep at home instead of the dorms.

  61. 61 Anders said at 6:41 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    It’s not about money. Lurie gave Doug the choice and he said that staying in Philly is better for the players and coaches

  62. 62 BobSmith77 said at 6:50 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    It saves them not having to pay the university for not only the football facility but dorms & other space too. Ditto transporting stuff back and forth.

    It probably is strongly preferred by the players/coaches because I bet that it really isn’t ‘better’ as it is just much more convenient and enjoyable. Would you rather sleep in a dorm/hotel or your own bed?

    If Lurie said it wasn’t about money too, then I’d say he is lying. Bet conservatively they save $500k if not a bit more.

  63. 63 Dave said at 9:22 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    I remember him saying something different. You may be right though as my memory sucks.

  64. 64 BobSmith77 said at 6:57 PM on July 31st, 2016:

    The thing that baffled me today was seeing Brooks and McKelvin playing almost exclusively with the 1st team defense.

    I know Schwartz is more familiar with them since they played for him in Buffalo but I don’t why Carroll/Rowe aren’t getting 1st team reps either at this point.

    This entire group of CBs is underwhelming & if anything you think that Schwartz would be trying to create some competition especially early on in camp. There isn’t a single CB on this roster who should be given an inside slot to a starting gig or really on the depth chart in general.