Big V and the OL

Posted: October 16th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 89 Comments »

The Eagles O-line has played well so far this year. They have given Carson Wentz time to throw and have opened some nice holes in the run game. Unfortunately that was with Lane Johnson at RT. He is now gone for the next 9 weeks. Today Halapoulivaati Vaitai started in his place. Things did not go well.

Vaitai was a mess in pass protection. He had to deal with Ryan Kerrigan, a terrific edge rusher. Kerrigan has the speed to win to the outside, but he’s also a smart, veteran rusher. He knows to bull rush at times and mix in inside moves. Vaitai couldn’t just protect the edge. That’s what he tried to do, though. That left him vulnerable to the inside and Kerrigan beat him there several times, on run and pass plays. Can. Not. Happen.

More than a few people ripped Doug Pederson for not helping Vaitai. That’s not what happened. The Eagles helped him a lot. They kept TEs in to help him. They had RBs chip on Kerrigan. They even had a WR chip the rusher at least once. People didn’t notice this that much because when he got help, Vaitai controlled his rusher. Pederson let him block solo on some plays because you simply have to do that. You can’t chip and double someone on every single snap. This was nothing like the Winston Justice debacle from 2007.

Vaitai did get better as the game went along. On the 4th/24 series where Wentz got sacked twice, Vaitai had nothing to do with either sack. I’m not trying to tell you he had a good game or anything like that. Clearly he did not. That was a poor performance. It was encouraging to see him show some progress and not fall completely apart.

The most frustrating part of all this is that the rest of the OL played so poorly. The idea in playing Vaitai is that keeping the other 4 starters together would help with continuity and should make it easier to help Vaitai when he needed it. Instead, Allen Barbre played his worst game. Brandon Brooks was sloppy. Jason Kelce was very up and down. Even Jason Peters had some bad moments.

In a word, ugh.

Should the Eagles make a change? Doug Pederson said the team would stick with Vaitai at RT. I understand where he’s coming from. Vaitai now has a game under his belt. He will have a full week of practice before playing next week. The coaches can work on his issues. They can adjust the gameplan to help the situation.

I don’t think the Eagles are giving Big V a blank check. My guess is that he’ll need to play much better this week to keep the job. They want to see if he can become an effective starter. If not, they’ll need to move Barbre to RT and make Wiz the LG.

Pederson could always change his mind after studying the tape. I don’t think he will, but it is possible. He said after the game that he thought benching Vaitai would send the wrong message to the team. I think he’s talking about letting young/new players work their way through mistakes. If the mistakes continue, then you have to bench them. But there is something to be said for sticking with your guys and giving them a chance to improve.

Pederson has done a good job with pushing the right buttons so far this year. This is probably his biggest test so far. It will be interesting to see if any players (other than Wiz) question his choice. I don’t anticipate that right now. It would be one thing if Vaitai was the only culprit in today’s loss, but there were plenty of guys who struggled. This was a team loss. Nobody has the right to complain about who starts. Guys need to focus on what they did wrong and how they can be part of the solution for next week.


89 Comments on “Big V and the OL”

  1. 1 Big V and the OL - said at 10:48 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor The Eagles O-line has played well so far this year. They have given Carson Wentz time to throw and […]

  2. 2 Dave M. said at 10:49 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    How about substituting Wiz for Kelce? Kelce hasn’t played well since 2013.

  3. 3 the guy said at 11:02 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    This guy seems like a team player:

  4. 4 P_P_K said at 11:07 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    “We’re talking about practice, man.”

  5. 5 teltschikfakeout88 said at 11:29 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    What is so controversial about this comment…that is what we heard leading up to this week…he had been practicing well…

  6. 6 Media Mike said at 5:53 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Bad teammate / good observation. We were all told how well Big V practiced.

  7. 7 mark2741 said at 9:32 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    This is likely a good example of why the “Wiz” has played at a good level his entire career, yet no team will give him the money/long-term deal that his play has warranted.

  8. 8 BlindChow said at 11:06 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    I’d be okay with the Wiz-to-LG/Barbre-to-RT switch. According to Tommy they were all awful today (except Brooks maybe..?).

  9. 9 P_P_K said at 11:09 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    It’s a tough call. Do you shake things up? Bail on V after this game or give him another shot?

  10. 10 BlindChow said at 11:12 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    BAIL! While we still have a winning record…

    Honestly, I have no idea. I’d defer to the coaches if they looked like they knew what they were doing, but after two games of them looking like Chip Kelly’s Eagles, I’ve lost my faith…

  11. 11 Paul Johnson said at 11:23 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Totally agree. They kept our offense off the field and defense played way to long, like the Chip days. Quick question, do our LB’S seem smaller and weaker than other teams? Like blitzing by our LB’S doesn’t seem effective or is it the scheme??

  12. 12 BlindChow said at 11:44 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Do we blitz that often? It seems like our LB blitzes are so obvious the other teams’ OL is able to pick them up…

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 5:53 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Kelce was HORRIBLE again, but I think D3 laid out the reasons why you don’t swap a center out mid-season unless you have an injury. I’d prefer to see what we can do about getting Kelce out of here this off-season.

  14. 14 BlindChow said at 10:59 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    If only there were someone we could blame for both the rookies and veterans playing like garbage. oh well…

  15. 15 Anders said at 4:32 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    But how on earth does all 4 guys suddenly turn to turds on the same day?

  16. 16 Paul Johnson said at 11:07 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Why isn’t DGB getting the ball more?? His YAC is unbelievable. Get him the rock and let him create DP!!!

  17. 17 BlindChow said at 11:10 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Let him create Doug Pederson? what the heck?

  18. 18 Paul Johnson said at 11:13 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    No not what I’m saying. Doug Pederson’s runs the offense, make plays for DGB in space to let him run crazy. 6’5 with 4.4 speed in the open field will cause havoc on secondaries. That’s what I mean.

  19. 19 BlindChow said at 11:15 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    let him create DP!!!

    These are your exact words, dude…

  20. 20 Paul Johnson said at 11:19 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Exactly let DGB create DP!!! What don’t you understand about the WR using his athleticism?!?! Let DGB create in the open field D
    P!!! What don’t you understand???

  21. 21 P_P_K said at 11:26 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    If I may speak on behalf of my friend, BlindChow, what does DP mean in this context?

  22. 22 BlindChow said at 11:45 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Double Penetration maybe?

    “Let DGB create Double Penetration!!!”

    I dunno, I’m at a loss…

  23. 23 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 11:59 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    I think he meant to say Doug needs to unleash DGB and get out of the way; or something like that.

  24. 24 BlindChow said at 12:44 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    But what does DP mean…

  25. 25 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 12:57 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Doug Pederson…

  26. 26 Caveman_Bob said at 4:27 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Let’s eat Grandma.
    Let’s eat, Grandma.
    Commas save lives.

  27. 27 ChoTime said at 9:30 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    The normal panda eats shoots and leaves.
    The homicidal panda eats, shoots, and leaves.

  28. 28 the DONALD said at 9:29 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    missed the “,”

  29. 29 P_P_K said at 11:09 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    The D line earned an “ugh” today, too.

  30. 30 Paul Johnson said at 11:15 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Totally agree. No pressure on Cousins. Logan got hurt too right??? Cousins looked to comfortable.

  31. 31 P_P_K said at 11:28 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Doesn’t it seem like every year the Eagles find a way to make a mediocre qb look like a future Hall-of-Famer? Drives me nuts.

  32. 32 disqus_jB7dl5fzvO said at 11:10 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Just please bench Kendricks. Gotta have LBs that can take on blocks in this scheme and once the play gets to the second level he’s toast. But then again, it’s not like we have anyone that can replace him (as bad as that sounds).

    Hate to say it, but the Cowboys will feast on this defense in two weeks unless they get it all straightened out.

  33. 33 BlindChow said at 11:14 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    He did have a great TFL, though the replay made it look like the guy never actually touched the ground (wasn’t reviewable, apparently?)…

  34. 34 disqus_jB7dl5fzvO said at 11:28 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    My stream must’ve froze that play. But one great play doesn’t make up for a bevy of mistakes/missed tackles.

    Too many missed tackles in general. The Bradham one on Cousins will haunt me this week.

  35. 35 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 11:38 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Its like Bradham didnt want to hit him

  36. 36 bdbd20 said at 8:11 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    That was awful. I think he was really concerned about hitting Cousins if he went out of bounds and giving WAS a 1st down. Tough situation.

  37. 37 ChoTime said at 9:31 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    One LB’s too stupid, one’s too smart.

  38. 38 bdbd20 said at 10:21 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I know it led to a first down and eventually a TD, but I’ll take the opposing QB cutting back inside there everyday. If he wants to take on two DL, let him do it.

  39. 39 Media Mike said at 5:44 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I’m not trading one great tackle for loss vs. multiple missed tackles.

  40. 40 John Galt said at 11:00 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Not reviewable because they blew the whistle. If you determine he wasn’t down where do you spot the ball? If they blow the whistle and the D stops playing (as some, but not all, of our guys did) how do you know what the play would have yielded? Refs are supposed to not blow the whistle if there is any question because you can always challenge the other way and move it back if he was down – but as we know the refs are not perfect.

  41. 41 Sean Stott said at 1:37 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Kendricks had a better game than Bradham and Tulloch. He wasn’t really the issue today.

  42. 42 A_T_G said at 11:21 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Here is a fun thing to come out of the game. Eagles expressed their disagreement with the league preventing them from tweeting hinghlight clips.

  43. 43 BlindChow said at 11:49 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    holy shit that’s awesome!

  44. 44 P_P_K said at 11:27 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    For a team that is so disciplined in not turning the ball over, the Eagles have an immense number of penalties over these past two games. I’m trying to think of something funny to say about someone having a yellow-flag fetish, or something, but nothing witty is coming. Just more Ugh.

  45. 45 SteveH said at 11:47 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    The most amazing thing about this game was that we only lost by 7. It felt like 700.

  46. 46 BlindChow said at 11:48 PM on October 16th, 2016:

    Thank god for Dave Fipp and Malcolm Jenkins…

  47. 47 P_P_K said at 12:12 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    The time of possession difference made it seem like Washington had the ball for 700% of the plays.

  48. 48 PacificPurl said at 4:23 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    All Chip’s fault that the defense had so many snaps of course.

  49. 49 Sean Stott said at 1:41 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Yea, in a crazy way the KOR TD and pick six kind of hurt the defense because they had zero rest, and I think it showed. I’m hoping that DP learns to adapt when the game situation veers far from the script. CK infamously couldn’t adapt.

  50. 50 蒂欧娜 said at 1:24 AM on October 17th, 2016:


  51. 51 anon said at 3:18 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    so something good that happened today – shady just put up 140 and 3tds on chip kelly, 45-14 trouncing

  52. 52 PacificPurl said at 4:22 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Why do you care about the 49ers?

  53. 53 Media Mike said at 5:45 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Just just interjected Chip into PPK’s comment and you’re asking somebody else why they care about the Niners.

  54. 54 BlindChow said at 10:38 AM on October 17th, 2016:


  55. 55 PacificPurl said at 4:27 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Most of the players on D couldn’t stop the run much of the time when 2-gapping. Why would the brilliant new DC think they’re going to stop the run with the Wide 9? Especially with questionable linebackers?

  56. 56 Media Mike said at 6:25 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    On a positive note for the rest of the season, we’ve learned that Cincy, Green Bay, and Baltimore absolutely suck. With some continuity on our o-line going into those games they should all be wins.

  57. 57 Anders said at 6:35 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    We also thought the Redskins and Lions sucked

  58. 58 Media Mike said at 6:40 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    We played poorly in both games; controllable mistakes.

  59. 59 Anders said at 6:42 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I still think we go 9-7 or better, but right now, I want to see a more clean game before I take any win for granted

  60. 60 Media Mike said at 6:46 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I agree completely, but I think once we start playing clean games the wins will come.

  61. 61 anon said at 10:21 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Unclear which team we really have, first 3 games or last 2. But we’ve looked bad in two straight games against mediocre teams. Both defense and offense looked terrible. Without dst points were looking at 27-6 vs one of the worst defenses.

    Is lane Johnson the most important player on offense?

  62. 62 bill said at 10:46 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Out-coached this week, on both sides of the ball. The WFT was ready for everything the Eagles did, and took advantage of the matchups. It had a whiff of the end of last year, where the other team knew the Eagles’ plays better than the Eagles did. Sometimes, the other teams’ coaches eat your lunch. The Lions did it in the first half last week, and the ‘Skins did it in the first half this week. The problem this week is that the 2nd half adjustments weren’t enough.

    When every player on the offensive line has a bad game, that points to coaching. That, and the fact that the two rookie “Vs” (Vaitai and Vaeo) just flat out stunk. When your DT gets repeatedly trucked by a RB, it’s going to be a long day. When your RT is constantly being beaten by inside moves, its going to be a long day.

    They have to forget about it, and put on their hard hats, but next week is going to be much, much harder. If they play like they did yesterday, Wentz won’t survive the game, and it’ll be an embarrassing blow out.

  63. 63 ChoTime said at 11:18 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I wonder if the last two games are the “counter” or “adjustment” of the league to the Eagles’ early success. Or are they just not playing as well?

  64. 64 eagleyankfan said at 7:24 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I totally understand T-Laws style of writing(and purpose). Sometimes though blanket statements aren’t enough. Sometimes there are causes to why things happen(sometimes, very unprofessional). For example – Game flow or players lack of skill early in the game can have a reaction from other players as the game goes on. To say V was a mess earlier in the game is a huge understatement. Maybe it was jitters for this first start? Maybe — he’s just not that good. Either way, it’s very plausible that his play had an impact on how others played. I’m not standing up for others(I think Kelce needs to be replaced in the future), I’m just pointing out, if you start a game with horrendous play the other players notice and it adjusts their actions during the game. I’m willing to put money down that Wentz play was impacted by V’s play…..
    Shouldn’t people question how the Eagles prepared for this game? Shouldn’t we assume they knew a raw rookie would be going against a veteran? Shouldn’t they have seen that V was not ready for that kind of match up? IF they saw all that and still let that game plan happen — what can we deduct from those decisions?
    Never get too high, or too low with this team. My thoughts about this team from day 1 was — it’s rebuilding. Yesterdays game stunk to watch for sure, but it’s always been a flawed team with low number of impact players(dare I say – not enough talent). What hasn’t changed is the future of this team. That’s the excitement. Loses won’t overshadow where this team is going. I know a lot of people are against the thought — you can’t rebuild with rookies and little talent and expect to contend – even in “bad” division….. better days are coming…

  65. 65 Anders said at 7:27 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    How on earth should it affect the DL how poorly Big V played? How does it affect the LT how the RT plays?

    Also not sure where you are going with this:

    “Shouldn’t people question how the Eagles prepared for this game? Shouldn’t we assume they knew a raw rookie would be going against a veteran? Shouldn’t they have seen that V was not ready for that kind of match up? IF they saw all that and still let that game plan happen — what can we deduct from those decisions? ”

    31 other teams starts rookies against good players and it does not always turn to shit. As Tommy said, you cant have a TE, RB and WR help on 100% of the plays.

    The team assumed that the 4 other players on the OL would keep their end of the bargain, but none of them did

  66. 66 eagleyankfan said at 7:53 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    because of human nature. If you know someone is “sucking” on field — it can impact on how you play. Doesn’t matter if it’s left tackle or defense. I know everybody likes to look at this in a vacuum. But it’s not always that easy. If you’re on defense and you’re watching Wentz get brutalized because of the tackles play. It can emotionally impact how you. You can sit and think “oh, Peters has no idea what how V is doing or playing”. I beg to differ. He knows exactly what’s going on the right side. Maybe he(and Kelce and Brooks) all try to play harder to cover for V. Maybe they “over play” thinking they need to account for him….

    your second point “other teams blah blah shit”. That’s my point. IF Pederson, et al, properly prepared for what’s coming, shouldn’t the results have been better? I’m not saying someone helps 100% of the time — but you still need to protect him. Starting the game without trying to protect(or help) V — set the stage AND tone for the entire game. It’s understandable that it’s easy to sit on a Monday and say game flow has nothing to do with how the team performed but at game time and “in that moment” — game flow was everything …
    Not too be rude, but that last statement is border line stupid. Redskins game play was simple — attack V. He’s the weak link. It doesn’t matter how the other 4 played. They couldn’t help him. The other 4 could have played great, but the Redskins were still going to attack V. Eagles still do not win if the other 4 play well.
    I didn’t think the defense played very well either. In your opinion — why did the entire Eagles team played below standards? It’s didn’t just happen — there has to a reason…

  67. 67 Anders said at 8:00 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    WTF can the coaches do to stop the DL for going off side?

    My last point was, that even if they attack Big V, Kelce was getting beat, Peters was getting beat.

    and if rookies mattered so much, how come the defense didnt play bad because of Mills or Wentz? Mills was just as bad as Big V in the pre season, yet the DL didnt go off side or take stupid penalties left and right the first 3 games.

  68. 68 eagleyankfan said at 8:02 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    you’re being closed minded…Let me try this way — Kelce and JP did not play great — Why? Why did they underperform? I’m open to all possibilities and I through out one possible reason. I’m more than open to read your reasons….

  69. 69 Anders said at 8:14 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Well Kelce has sucked for 5 games now, so not sure its on Big V.
    Peters had bad games last year and might be getting older.

  70. 70 eagleyankfan said at 8:04 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    LMAO — -ok, let me ask you this — Eagles had over 100 yards in penalties. (second time in a row) … and you’re asking about ‘stupid penalties’? I guess all those penalties were smart ones?

  71. 71 Anders said at 8:15 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Did the Eagles play Big V last week? If so, why did we get so many last week? Which rookie is to blame?

  72. 72 Corry said at 7:52 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I think this game triggered my seasonal affective disorder….

    Did anyone else think Wentz wasn’t particularly sharp this game? He made some jaw dropping throws, but he was also off fairly regularly (especially early) and missing guys high too which is a very dangerous way to miss your receivers.

  73. 73 Media Mike said at 7:54 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Yeah, but I think that was due to lack of being able to set his feet properly due to Big V on the edge and Kelce getting shoved into Wentz’s lap far too often to allow Wentz to step up in the pocket.

  74. 74 D3FB said at 8:21 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Barbre was worse than Kelce.

  75. 75 Media Mike said at 8:47 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    True; two non-blocking peas in a pod.

  76. 76 CrackSammich said at 12:24 PM on October 17th, 2016:

    That doesn’t fit his preconstructed narrative, though.

  77. 77 eagleyankfan said at 7:56 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    That’s kind of my point below….something(maybe something us fans don’t see) had an impact on how some of the players played this game ….

  78. 78 Anders said at 7:57 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Wentz had a tendency in both college, TC and pre season to hit his targets high above their heads if he couldnt set his feet, so with OL playing badly, his form regressed back to that.

  79. 79 ChoTime said at 9:34 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    After those misses, someone here commented that “at least he wasn’t throwing worm-burners.” As ugly as 5 could be at times, I’ll take missing low.

  80. 80 Birds4Life said at 10:36 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    You do realize that Wentz was sacked on his first 2 drop backs? Any QB that is facing constant pressure is going to play worse then he normally does, look at Brady last year in the playoffs against the Broncos. You can’t expect Wentz to throw perfect dimes when the pocket is getting collapsed on top of him before he even completes his drop back. He got hit 11 times and had 22 pass attempts. No one is going to look sharp playing behind that OL.

  81. 81 Corry said at 11:48 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Nope, he sucks now. We should trade him for a bag of deflated Tom Brady footballs.

    I do realize he was under duress *a lot*, but he still seemed like he was pressing. The ball was fluttering and on throws on the move he wasn’t nearly as accurate as we’ve seen so far this year. Don’t get me wrong, hes still a very special talent but he just seemed to be pressing yesterday.

  82. 82 Dan said at 8:26 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    This post about Vaitai remaining the starting RT makes me sad. Just when I was starting to get used to Wentz as a starting QB he is going to die against the Vikings. Never thought I’d say this but I miss Dennis Kelly.

  83. 83 GermanEagle said at 9:03 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Thank God I didn’t drive up to Washington that weekend…

  84. 84 P_P_K said at 9:26 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    The drive home would have been miserable.

  85. 85 GermanEagle said at 11:44 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    My subway ride home from Manhattan to Queens was miserable.

  86. 86 P_P_K said at 2:46 PM on October 17th, 2016:

    My wife kept assuring me the Eagles were going to win. Made sitting next to her on the drive home unbearable.

  87. 87 mtn_green said at 10:15 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    Unfortunately WFT just attacked eagles weaknesses:
    – Run with a big fast RB, while the DL and wide nine fly up field, they’re out of position and a strong back can break the arm tackles. See 2012 eagles.
    – Throw 50/50 balls the cb are left on an island and 75% of the time you’ll get a catch or PI. See 2014 eagles.
    – Eagles WR are weak you can rely on their drops. See 2014 eagles.
    – OLine, tee off on wentz early, he will miss some throws later (even works on hall of famers, works on a rookie too).

    Let’s see how Schwartz and Pedersen respond, can they mask those weaknesses?

  88. 88 Julescat said at 10:55 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    I’m thinking that Eagles fans are not going to see many more wins this year

  89. 89 mtn_green said at 11:03 AM on October 17th, 2016:

    More that eagles will have trouble with certain matchups.
    Kerrigan can destroy any game. Qb/wr combo that can do jump balls or fast big RB that can do good draws or screens will always give wide nine problems.