Minicamp Notes Roundup

Posted: June 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 121 Comments »

Tuesday was the first day of minicamp (mandatory as opposed to voluntary OTAs) open to the media. Let’s find out what they saw.

First up is Jimmy Bama.

Still, even with a dominant defense, it was fun watching the offense, and more specifically Carson Wentz get cerebral. On one rep, Wentz changed the play, and then so did Jordan Hicks on the other side of the ball, followed by Jason Kelce screaming out a line adjustment. On another play, Wentz came up to the line and quick-snapped the defense before hitting an easy quick out to the slot receiver for an easy 10 yard gain. On another play, Wentz read a zone blitz and caught Derek Barnett trying to cover Darren Sproles on a circle route, which Sproles easily won. Sproles caught the pass, then headed up the field, even showing off a little high-step.

Wentz is a bright guy. He makes good pre-snap reads and adjustments. He does need to work on making quicker and better decisions after the snap. All rookies struggle in that area. I don’t know how much of this we’ll be able to see in practices and Training Camp. Actual games are a much better test for that.

We’ve seen Donnel Pumphrey on the field at the same time as Sproles quite a bit, with Pumphrey lined up in the slot. Offensively, Pumphrey could be used similarly to the way De’Anthony Thomas was used in Kansas City when Doug Pederson coached there. The Chiefs would use Thomas’ natural running ability on jet sweeps, and that element would make sense for Pumphrey.

I recently compared Pumphrey to Josh Huff. Interesting that both Huff and Thomas played at Oregon. Just can’t get away from Chip Kelly’s influence. Joking aside, both players are WR/RB/RS types that you wanted to get the ball to so they could make plays. Both showed flashes of talent in the NFL, but couldn’t sustain a high level of play. Pumphrey has been an overachiever all his athletic career so that could give him an edge the other two didn’t have.

We got our first look at rookie sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls today, who has not yet practiced because his school is on the quarters system. The obvious first thing I noticed about him today was his active, violent hands.

Make sure to read Jimmy’s piece. You need to see who he compared Qualls to. I guarantee it won’t be someone you were thinking of. And what is up with DTs? Beau Allen is hurt. Tim Jernigan got hurt last week. Destiny Vaeao was banged up and didn’t practice on Tuesday. It might be safer to be the drummer for Spinal Tap than a DT for the Eagles. If there is a time to deal with some nagging injuries, this is it. Luckily, aside from Allen, most of these injuries are just for a day or two.

Undrafted rookie running back Corey Clement won’t wow you with his speed, but he looks good cutting and changing direction in traffic.

Non-contact practices are not a good place to evaluate RBs, but it is good to hear something about Clement. He’s got a chance to push for a roster spot, but he will have to earn it.


Next up is Jeff McLane.

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz opened team drills by having Curry lined up inside and Cox on the outside. The switch seemed to fool the offense’s protections up front, and Curry got in the backfield and disrupted a Darren Sproles carry. Chris Long and rookie Derek Barnett were the second-team ends. Carson Wentz once found Sproles matched up against Barnett out of the backfield and took advantage of the mismatch. The speedy running back broke away from the end and high-stepped into the end zone.

Barnett had gotten the better of Johnson a few times last week, but when pitted against him for a few plays Tuesday, the tackle held his ground.

I like this. A lot. Curry can be a mismatch on the inside. Cox is a mismatch anywhere. I think there is real value in moving those guys around. In baseball, it is hard to go from a fastball pitcher to a knuckleballer. I would think blockers would also hate to go from Curry to Cox and vice-versa. Those guys have different bodies and different skill sets. Dealing with them has to be challenging. I hope Schwartz is more creative this year with how he uses the guys up front. 

Receiver Bryce Treggs had the catch of the day. He got behind the secondary, but Wentz’s pass was once again short. Treggs, though, tracked the ball and made a diving grab. Quarterback Matt McGloin lofted a nice pass to Treggs earlier in practice, but the receiver mistimed his jump and the ball wasn’t caught. Rookie Shelton Gibson has had early struggles, but he was a little more active during team drills. He still occasionally bobbles balls that should be easily caught.

Tight end Zach Ertz has probably been Wentz’s favorite target this spring. The quarterback once rolled to his right, pointed to his left to Alshon Jeffery, who was going deep, and tossed a BB to Ertz instead to his right near the sideline. It reminded me of the times I used to tell my little brother to go deep, he’d run 100 yards, and I’d simply dump the ball to someone else. Or not.

Treggs has an uphill battle to make this team, but he does control things to a certain extent. If he goes out there and plays at a high level, the coaches will have to find a way to keep him. The problem is that Treggs can’t settle for being good. The Eagles have a much better set of receivers. Treggs has to find a way to stand out from the others. He has to be almost great if he wants to really put the coaches in a bind. And you can bet that is a problem they would love to have.

It really is important for Wentz and Ertz to develop a bond. Really good QBs usually have really good TEs. Keith Jackson was a key player for Randall Cunningham. Donovan McNabb had Chad Lewis early on and then Brent Celek late in his career. Ertz and Wentz could become the Z Boys.

Of course, Jay, Tony, Stacy and the rest of the original crew might have something to say about them using that name.


Brandon Lee Gowton had some good notes today.

Really strong practice from Jalen Mills. The second-year cornerback had an impressive pick-six on a throw from Matt McGloin. Mills did a great job of jumping the route at the perfect moment and taking the ball to the house. Prior to the play, Mills had said “It’s time for me to go that way!” while pointing at the end zone. The Green Goblin called his shot and delivered. Boss. In addition to his pick, Mills blitzed Carson Wentz on a few reps and got to the quarterback in time for the “sack.”

Mills is going to play a lot this year, whether in the slot or on the outside. He was inconsistent last season, but is a year wiser now and still has some awesome green hair. Mills has shown the Eagles he can go out there and compete. This year he’s looking to make some plays and take his game to a higher level. He knows the Eagles spent high picks on Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas for a reason. Mills has to show he deserves to keep his job. We know Mills is going to take chances and get burned. The coaches can live with that if he starts making plays of his own. He did that today. More, please.

You can tell Wentz likes throwing to Alshon Jeffery. He’s targeted the Eagles’ new No. 1 wide receiver quite often. Jeffery has done a great job of consistently getting open. He’s been a very reliable target for Wentz, especially when all the quarterback’s other options are covered. That can’t be understated. Last year Wentz would scramble and no one would help him out by getting open. Jeffery knows how to be available for his quarterback.

Another area where Jeffery can help Wentz out is when it comes to the quarterback’s accuracy. On a pass that Wentz threw high towards the sideline, Jeffery was able to leap up and make the play. Quarterback coach John DeFilippo recently talked about how Jeffery’s large catch radius will be a great benefit for Wentz.

I can’t stress enough just how much of an impact Jeffery can have if he plays well and Wentz does his job. I really look forward to seeing these two in action together. I’m not predicting McNabb-TO, but these guys can form a heck of a pass-catch combo.

Very good practice for backup safety Terrence Brooks. He recorded three pass breakups. The first one came on a pass thrown to Treggs over the middle of the field. Brooks contested the wide receiver and batted the ball down. The second one was on a deep pass that probably should/could have been a pick, but at least he didn’t allow it to be completed. Brooks recorded his third PBU on a pass attempt to Burton over the middle. Overall, Brooks has had a nice spring. I’d put him ahead of Watkins in the backup safety battle. Brooks could have a nice chance to earn some playing time as the third safety behind obvious starters Malcolm Jenkinsand Rodney McLeod.

I thought the Eagles might go after a Safety in the draft or even free agency. They have terrific starters, but Jaylen Watkins hasn’t shown that he is a reliable #3. He can be effective, but you’d rather have someone who could start if needed. The Eagles didn’t add anyone of note, but it sounds like Brooks is taking a big step forward this year and might win that #3 job. He has the physicality to hit and play the run. He must show he can be a solid pass defender. More days like today will help that quite a bit.



121 Comments on “Minicamp Notes Roundup”

  1. 1 Greg Tulino said at 12:39 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    One thing I would like to hear about Wentz is that his passes are not continuing to sail on him. So far in OTA’s this is still a work in progress.

  2. 2 Fufina said at 4:14 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    I suspect that will be something that is always in his game to an extent. McNabb never managed to fully fix the issue where he would occasionally throw passes for worms, Wentz will occasionally sail passes, it just seems how their mechanics break down on occasion.

  3. 3 eagleyankfan said at 7:21 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    As long as it won’t be a constant during potential game winning drives….

  4. 4 Media Mike said at 7:25 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    If I remember correctly, McNabb’s worm burner passes were a function of not improving elements of his footwork as his career progressed. I’d hope Wentz would direct more attention to small details.

  5. 5 Ark87 said at 12:16 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    That’s absolutely what the coaches said. At the time I was a much younger and impatient football viewer and it seemed like coach speak to make a complicated problem seem simple (to strike and optimistic tone). Seemed to me he was being timid, protecting his receivers (the receivers dug a lot of catches out of the turf to give McNabb a respectable completion%) and the football at the expense of yac. Err on the side of incompletion rather than interception, that sort of thing.

    Now looking back, after the Washington and Minnesota stints basically painting him has stubborn and uncoachable, maybe the coaches were telling the truth and it was a mechanics thing that he kept getting sloppier and sloppier and was unwilling to do the little things to stay a top QB well into his 30’s.

  6. 6 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 2:43 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Or it could be both, haha!

  7. 7 Ark87 said at 12:06 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Totally agree. It’s one of those things that we will have to start collecting data if we want to be serious about observing for improvement. The anecdote of the over-thrown pass will never go away. They will happen as they happen to all QB’s. It just when we see Wentz do it, forever and always, “oh there’s that tendency again, hunting them ducks again”

    We are conditioned for those throws to stand out in our memory now.

    Improvement for him will be less over-throws per 100 pass attempts, not the elimination of over-throws, which without data becomes more of a feeling.

  8. 8 ChoTime said at 4:11 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Interception rate will do just fine.

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 4:23 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    And deal with the “sure he only threw 10 picks, but that was pure luck, he had 200 in completions figure half of those were high, figure half of those should be expected to be picks, and boom, Carson Wentz should have thrown 60 picks. BUST!”

  10. 10 ChoTime said at 8:09 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Those things even out over time, yo.

  11. 11 Media Mike said at 7:17 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    In game action he’d need to be throwing off of his front foot more often…….which would mean less interior pass rush pressure…….looking at Kelce here!

  12. 12 Greg Tulino said at 12:46 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    So far the D-Line has looked nasty. I am setting the over/under at 45 sacks for this team and I am going to take the Over! What is your prediction? If our line can produce at that level this team is going to the playoffs. Not to mention the line will help to mask our weaknesses at CB.

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 7:07 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Denver and Seattle were tied for 3rd with 42. I’d like to be in that range.

  14. 14 Media Mike said at 7:04 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    “Still, even with a dominant defense, it was fun watching the offense, and more specifically Carson Wentz get cerebral.”

    This type of stuff is why D Gunn was stupid for even asking this:

    Vick fans continued to show their stupidity in the comment thread.

  15. 15 Dave said at 7:28 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    When Vick came to the Eagles out of prison, he admitted he never studied film and that Andy was teaching him. When he was signed by the Steelers, he admitted he still wasn’t studying film.

    If Wentz fails, it won’t be from lack of preparation.

  16. 16 BobSmith77 said at 10:45 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    2001 Vick. He had a talent set that Wentz just can’t match.

    The question is could this coaching staff reach him. I have serious doubts they could.

  17. 17 Media Mike said at 11:06 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Maybe for a running back.

  18. 18 Dave said at 12:45 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Wentz has just as much arm talent as 2001 Vick.

  19. 19 ChoTime said at 11:37 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    No… Wentz might have 50 IQ points and prototypical size on Vick, but Vick has produced–by far–more in his career so far. You’re jumping the gun big time.

  20. 20 Media Mike said at 12:41 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I be shocked if Wentz doesn’t crush Vick’s 231/421 (54.9%) 2936 16 TD / 8 INT sophomore year.

    Vick was also significantly worse than Wentz as a rookie. Only completed 44% of his passes.

    Vick never progressed beyond being a read one and run player until Reid got him and had him playing full time in 2010.

  21. 21 ChoTime said at 8:12 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    You seem to be missing 777 yards and 8 TDs there somehow. As if they don’t count, too.

    By the way, Vick’s YPC that year was higher than Wentz Y/A last year passing.

  22. 22 Media Mike said at 8:32 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    They don’t. Rushing yards by a QB are dead end fool’s gold BS that aren’t sustainable.

  23. 23 ChoTime said at 9:22 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Except… they were sustainable. He averaged 7.0 YPC for his _career_!

    4-time Pro-Bowler. Got to the playoffs 4 times. Was absolute dynamite for us in 2010.

    Don’t let the personal dogma blind you to the facts… he was a quite decent QB, all in all.

  24. 24 eagleyankfan said at 7:27 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Didn’t want to bring the “Wentz wobble” in the recap? 🙂

  25. 25 Media Mike said at 7:29 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Brooks making the roster over Watkins at safety is a must.

  26. 26 Sb2bowl said at 9:52 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    1000% agreed.

  27. 27 Insomniac said at 7:46 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    “Tight end Zach Ertz has probably been Wentz’s favorite target this spring. The quarterback once rolled to his right, pointed to his left to Alshon Jeffery, who was going deep, and tossed a BB to Ertz instead to his right near the sideline.”

    He’s finally going to break out this year!!!!!!

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 7:48 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Ertz having a full season of production commensurate with his TE salary ranking would be most welcome.

  29. 29 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 2:41 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Like he did last year, and the year before?

  30. 30 Media Mike said at 3:14 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Is there a level of sarcasm there I missed?

  31. 31 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 6:12 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I’m referring to the two years in which his stats ended up being exactly commensurate with how much he’s getting paid.

    You know: last year, and the year before.

  32. 32 Media Mike said at 6:45 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    He’s the 5th highest paid TE in the NFL. He’s not been producing at a top 5 level.

    10th in 2015

    8th in 2016

    Consistent top 5 production over 16 games has been lacking.

  33. 33 P_P_K said at 6:53 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I’m a bit tired of proposing “This will be his breakout season.” Same with Matthews.

  34. 34 Media Mike said at 6:56 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    And I think he’s functional with the production he’s been putting out, but I’d like that at a much lower cap figure.

  35. 35 P_P_K said at 7:47 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I think that’s a very fair evaluation of his performance.

  36. 36 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 7:19 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Eh, his contract has a fair bit of Howie trickery, where the money looks bigger than it is.

    One of those things where he (and his agent) get to say “I’m getting paid Top Five money!” Even as the Eagles don’t actually take a Top Five cap hit.

  37. 37 Media Mike said at 7:24 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    That AAV is tough to swallow.

  38. 38 Media Mike said at 6:51 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    And predicted to be 13th this year.

    I’m not saying that Ertz is bad, I think he’s good, but he’s not producing at a level commensurate with his salary ranking and it’s frustrating.

  39. 39 ChoTime said at 11:38 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    The stats at FO show that Ertz is very reliable target who breaks _no_ tackles. In his physicality, he is essentially an anti-Gronk. This is who he is. There will be no breakout year, just quiet competence for the duration.

  40. 40 RogerPodacter said at 11:39 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    he can’t break out without breaking tackles?

  41. 41 ChoTime said at 11:42 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Probably not. Think about what exactly will it take for Eagles fans to like him. He is already an excellent receiver. What they want are lots of memorable, “tough” plays that show his swagger, heart, and fire.

  42. 42 RogerPodacter said at 11:46 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    thats certainly true. he and celek are almost polar opposites in that regards haha

  43. 43 Dave said at 12:38 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Ertz admitted last year near the end of the season when he really started playing with some aggression that he never really worked on breaking tackles. He was clearly responding to the fans and media who were calling him out for getting tackled so easily by DBs he outweighed by as much as 60 lbs.

    He did said that would be an offseason priority for him to work on.

    He doesn’t need to break tackles to satisfy me, he just needs to remember that at 250 lbs, he can and should try to punish any defensive back trying to make an open-field tackle. Broken tackles will come once a DB knows they just can’t give him a love-tap on the thighs to make him go down.

  44. 44 ChoTime said at 2:20 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Usually, you are who you are. Guys who can reinvent themselves and eradicate a strong weakness are rare. But if he can, he will be one of the very best TEs in the game.

  45. 45 Insomniac said at 10:30 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Something something Stanford education.

  46. 46 Insomniac said at 2:46 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Stats can be deceiving. We all know what Ertz is and the break out joke will never go away.

  47. 47 ChoTime said at 4:12 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    What stats are deceiving in relation to Ertz?

  48. 48 Insomniac said at 5:28 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Ertz graded out very well but with these stats we would think that Ertz is a top 5 TE in the league. While stats are stats in the end, Ertz just has that ugly split in stats before December.

    Before December stats

    2016 – 373 yards/1 TD
    2015 – 394 yards/1 TD

    December + January stats

    2016 – 443 yards/3 TDs
    2015 – 459 yards/1 TD

    So while he’s reliable in catching short + intermediate throws, his stats just paint a prettier picture of Ertz than it should.

  49. 49 ChoTime said at 9:24 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Maybe Ertz is a top five TE.

  50. 50 Insomniac said at 10:05 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Maybe that’s just your opinion.

  51. 51 ChoTime said at 10:41 AM on June 15th, 2017:

    It’s not.

  52. 52 Sb2bowl said at 9:54 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Eagles just signed Peters to a 1 year contract extension- runs through 2019 now.

    Details to come.

  53. 53 Insomniac said at 11:31 AM on June 14th, 2017:


  54. 54 Rambo said at 10:22 AM on June 14th, 2017:

  55. 55 Patrick said at 10:29 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    That cap hit over the next 2 years will probably be lowered, now that JP gets some guaranteed money. Interesting to see how much dead money theres gonna be for the 2019 season, where i cannot imagine JP will still be playing.

  56. 56 Media Mike said at 11:07 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    I’m only in favor of this if he plays out LT at his current level through 2019. I don’t want to have to eat dead money of a great level than the deal he’s replacing if/when we move on.

  57. 57 Sb2bowl said at 11:29 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    It’s probably a 1.5 year contract, with funny money on the end. Cap hit will be mitigated next year with very little remaining on the books for 2019.

  58. 58 Tumtum said at 12:54 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    He is so old… I hope he does it but damn. I bet he won’t and we hear he is broke in a few years. Sad.

  59. 59 Media Mike said at 12:56 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I just don’t want any dead money larger than the $1 million it would have been if we cut him going into next season on his current deal.

  60. 60 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 1:15 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I doubt we will be hearing about Peters being broke ever

  61. 61 Tumtum said at 6:32 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Hope not.

  62. 62 Ankerstjernen said at 1:33 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    He said in an interview he wants to play here until he retires and he wants to know, that its a done deal, not think about wether he gets cut or not. He also said very clearly, that if he started getting beat at LT he would move to guard. “If I have to play guard, Ill play guard.” But if he moves to guard in 18 or 19, they money has to be different, right? So, presumably you would have to imagine that there are escalators and incentives in this deal, and that the money reported are only relevant if he remain a starter at LT throughout the contract. Let’s see.

  63. 63 Media Mike said at 1:36 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I hope so, big dead money is the devil.

  64. 64 BobSmith77 said at 10:43 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Dominant defense? Is Jimmy Bama get paid a little extra on the side by Schwartz?

    The defense is the weakest unit on paper and where the Eagles should have th most concerns going into the season.

  65. 65 Rellihcs said at 10:47 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Uh…He wasn’t talking about on paper. He was talking about what he observed in practice that day.

    Despite your valid points, is he not supposed to report what he saw? Is he supposed to ignore his eyes and just write hypotheticals based off of pessimistic assumptions!?

  66. 66 BobSmith77 said at 10:50 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Little tongue-in-cheek.

  67. 67 Rellihcs said at 10:51 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Ok. When your particular version of “tongue-in-cheek” is typically tinged with venom, internet sarcasm ambiguity is to be expected…

  68. 68 BobSmith77 said at 10:56 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Filled with venom? I’m a pragmatist and at times that will be called for but only at select times & even then it isn’t personal.

    This is OTA practice. Besides veterans possibly holding out or players get hurt, individual performances mean next to nothing.

    I’m just glad Wentz is healthy and getting a chance to work with his new WRs.

  69. 69 Rellihcs said at 10:59 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    By venom I meant your usual pessimism, that’s all.

  70. 70 BobSmith77 said at 11:03 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Pessimism? I said the other day right now this team strikes me as a 8-10 win team that if things go well can win a playoff game this year.

    I was arguably the biggest fan too of the Blount signing on here. Not because he is a great RB but he fills a clear and immediate need for this team in a few areas including the red zone.

    No I am not a particular fan of Pederson still and think he is out of his depth as a head coach. Hopefully he makes some learning adjustments this year & proves me wrong.

    Ditto on Schwartz. I am actually less of a fan of him than I am of Pederson (at least on what Pederson does on offense).

    Never been a fan of ‘rah-rah’ overly emotional coaches who ‘speak their minds’ in the NFL. Just seem to have a short shelf-life at any particular franchise. Never thought Ryan was that great of a head coach and that Rhodes was just in over his head as a head coach.

    The weak link to me in this team this year is Schwartz and the defense. Even with some of the personnel coverage changes, I’m still have a fair degree that the special teams will be solid/pretty good this year.

  71. 71 Rellihcs said at 11:24 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Ok. I really meant no offense. To me there is a fine line between “grumpy pragmatist” and “pessimist” and you seem to me to be somewhere between the two.

    I probably offended you again there, but that’s just how I read you.

    And to be fair, I’m a judgmental optimist..hehe

  72. 72 Dave said at 12:23 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    ” I’m a judgmental optimist”

    I’m stealing that line for future use.

  73. 73 Rellihcs said at 12:27 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    The more the merrier. And if people don’t agree, I judge them.

  74. 74 P_P_K said at 12:01 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I’d like to compete with you for the honor of being the biggest fan of the Blount signing. I think brining him to the team could be the key to a very successful Offense (As opposed to last year’s offensive Offense). How can one not be psyched about a guy who had almost 1200yds last year and 18 tds? His presence on the field will require DCs to plan against a running game, which will make the passing game that much more successful. He should also be a stud in short yardage and goaline plays. Unless there’s something about him of which I’m not aware, I think Blount can be an enormous success with the Eagles and make Went’z life a hell of a lot easier.

  75. 75 BobSmith77 said at 12:07 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Yup. This team had a hodge-podge of RBs and still a bit concerned it will work out.

    Blount though not only gives them more RB depth on 1st and 2nd downs but also in the red zone in the 5 & in short yardage situations where this team struggled last year.

    Struck me as the rare type of late offseason signing who makes just enough of a difference and puts a team in the playoffs.

  76. 76 P_P_K said at 12:48 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    At the end of the season, the guys on IggleBlitz will be genuflecting before us and our insight.
    Side note: It would be ironic if a former Oregon player becomes helps propel the Eagles to the next level after the departure of his former coach.

  77. 77 A Roy said at 1:24 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    No, he should put their positives and negatives down on paper and write that because, on paper, the offense is better.

  78. 78 Rellihcs said at 2:25 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I don’t think I understand you here.

  79. 79 A Roy said at 3:01 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I was agreeing with you, but failed to use sarcasm font.

  80. 80 Rellihcs said at 3:05 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Figured, but I have had a bad stretch of “internet sarcasm ambiguity issues”.


  81. 81 ChoTime said at 11:39 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    No way. The defense was the strong suit last year, dragged down by the O. It will be the same this year.

  82. 82 BobSmith77 said at 11:51 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Through the first 6 weeks maybe but this secondary got eviscerated after that and was as bad as it has ever been.

    The thought of Mills as one of the projected starting outside CBs is terrifying. He simply doesn’t have the athletic ability to do it even if he is in a bit better position this year with some more experience.

  83. 83 Ark87 said at 12:23 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    even with the secondary completely shredded, the D was still better than the O, statistically ranked against their peers. We just remember the D got worse and the O seemed to show improvement.

  84. 84 Tumtum said at 12:52 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Offense was still worse honestly. The secondary was kinda meh. I blame the pass rush more since the expectation was higher…personally.

  85. 85 ChoTime said at 2:32 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Much of this is just perceptual bias, Bob. We remember the bad plays and overestimate their importance. Check it out:

    The Eagles finished the year ranked #4 on Defense in DVOA, and not terribly far off from #1 Denver.

    Their _weighted DVOA_, which emphasizes the later games, has them at # 6. So, yes, their later games weren’t as good. But still not some kind of glaring liability. They did not fall off the track as it seemed.

    Notice also that they played against the #1 schedule. Playing against better teams will tend to make you look bad. Another factor is the Eagles happened to lose close games. This is LUCK. But it biases our memories.

    New check out the offensive DVOA. They are ranked #22 (weighted #21, so essentially no improvement towards the end). Playing against the #18 schedule, so merely average.

    The narrative I am going with is that the defense was much better than the offense, but it looked bad because of 3 reasons:
    1. playing against the #1 schedule
    2. the offense’s badness dragged it down
    3. the team’s win-loss record made us remember spectacular negative plays such as CB awfulness rather than the many boring good plays that, in the end, are more important and predictive of future success.

    I think the most likely result this season is:
    1. The defense will continue to be ahead of the offense
    2. The offense will improve somewhat because of better WR talent and 2nd year QB.
    3. We’ll win more close games because of simple regression to the mean.
    4. Wentz and the offense will get disproportional credit for the extra games and the hyperbole train will continue.

    All in all… it’ll probably be a pretty good season. Unfortunately, Dallas and NY might be annoying.

  86. 86 suthrneagle said at 5:12 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    How can the defense play against a #1 schedule and the offense play against a #18 schedule?

  87. 87 ChoTime said at 9:25 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    The same way a defense can be ranked #1 and an offense can be ranked #18?

  88. 88 Someguy77 said at 6:34 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Great recap. Still see the defense as the weak unit especially because they didn’t have a lot of injuries their last year including on their front 7.

  89. 89 ChoTime said at 9:28 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Er, okay, but by DVOA there is an 18-game difference in their rankings. I still don’t see the O beating up on this D in practice.

  90. 90 Tumtum said at 7:15 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Let’s not leave out that plays that put points on the board tend to sting more than even the ones that actually caused it (turnovers).

  91. 91 ChoTime said at 9:23 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Hm, yeah sometimes.

  92. 92 P_P_K said at 3:22 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I think Mills will be one of the keys to the success or failure of the D. The young man certainly doesn’t lack for confidence. Can he take his game to the next level during his Sophomore season? Will the rush help the secondary? Will Jalen be put in a better position? These are open questions at this point. Maybe the pre-season will give some indication. If there is a better pass rush and Mills does rise to the occasion, the Eagles have a chance to be very competitive.

  93. 93 Someguy77 said at 6:37 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I’ll eat major crow if it isn’t the case but I see the defense being the unit that possibly keeps the Eagles out of the playoffs this year.

    If they finish as a Top #10 unit in points allowed and are average/slightly below in pass defense, I’ll have been dead wrong and gladly so.

  94. 94 P_P_K said at 6:52 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I can see the D going in a number of ways. Yup, they could suck. But, I think the front 7 has a chance to be excellent, with a rotating cast of strong D lineman and Jordan Hicks having the potential to be a Pro Bowler. My concern is that even at their best, they don’t have the firepower to make up for the deficiencies in the secondary. If Mills takes him game to the next level, though, what was an area of glaring weakness becomes an arsenal in Schwartz’s game plan.

  95. 95 Media Mike said at 7:00 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    That’s interesting to see where blame might lie if they don’t make the playoffs. I’d go with

    – too much interior pass pressure let up by Kelce
    – too many short runs stopped due to poor blocking by Kelce
    – too many missed tackles and blown coverages by Kendricks
    – every play call in every close loss being incorrect
    – blown coverage by Watkins (if he makes the team)
    – Vinny Curry dogging it again
    – Nate Gerry being drafted over player X

  96. 96 Tumtum said at 11:32 AM on June 14th, 2017:

    Green Goblin. I likw that. If the dream haoppens and he performs at a level deserving a nickname, I will happily trumpet that one.

  97. 97 Rambo said at 2:12 PM on June 14th, 2017:

  98. 98 Media Mike said at 2:18 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I wonder if that goes to an early extension of another guy or two or if it’ll get rolled into 2018’s cap.

    And they need to tell Mathews to stop faking and get him cleared enough to cut him.

  99. 99 daveH said at 7:10 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Keith Jackson was our greatest TE ever .. am i missing someone, don’t think so. . I also remember the team paying him only his rookie deal, like 250K for far too long .. i loved him and he was way unlucky to be so good but so underpaid
    Z Boys reference MASSIVE RESPEKT T Law

  100. 100 Media Mike said at 7:13 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Keith Jackson was the first guy, of WAY too many, to be run out of town by Norman Braman refusing to pay anybody.

  101. 101 daveH said at 8:01 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Yuck. Massive frownie face and sad emoji thinking of that

  102. 102 FairOaks said at 11:11 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Braman at least negotiated that time… and the general assumption was that they would get the deal done. Jackson meant so much to Cunningham. It was a huge shock when they couldn’t and he suddenly signed with the Dolphins.

  103. 103 suthrneagle said at 7:55 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Pete Retzlaff

  104. 104 Media Mike said at 8:00 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    That’s funny, but a HUGE negative.

    Jackson was a 3 time pro bowl and 3 time first team all pro to start his career here and would have continued to put up huge numbers if he stayed.

    Retzlaff had a great career here, but wasn’t as talented as Jackson.

  105. 105 suthrneagle said at 9:54 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Are u old enough to have seen him play?

  106. 106 unhinged said at 7:15 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Anybody got the Jimmy K description of Qualls that Tommy referenced? I couldn’t locate it.

  107. 107 Rellihcs said at 7:26 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Click the link above that says “first up…”

  108. 108 Media Mike said at 7:31 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    thank you, I just went there. Amazing.

  109. 109 Rellihcs said at 7:45 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Amazing indeed. A commenter mentioned that “this opens up pandora’s box for a whole new Kempski niche (beyond stick figures). I assumed he meant “video game characters for each player”….

    The first thing that comes to mind is “bowser” for Cox. Toad for Sproles (or Pumphrey of course)…

    Zelda for Wentz….

  110. 110 sonofdman said at 8:43 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Donnie Jones:

  111. 111 Rellihcs said at 8:45 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Golf clap.

  112. 112 A_T_G said at 11:25 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    I would put Wentz as more Link. Bradford was more Zelda.

  113. 113 Rellihcs said at 7:46 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    P.S. …

  114. 114 Rellihcs said at 7:48 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Meant for those who couldn’t find where that reference was…. no hard feelings though…

  115. 115 Media Mike said at 7:31 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Oh my GOD! He broke out an E Honda reference due to hand fighting.

  116. 116 Sean Stott said at 8:02 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Getting so many good vibes about the Eagles this year. Anyone who thinks this team isn’t primed to make the playoffs is wrong.

  117. 117 daveH said at 8:05 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    Was listening to giants radio and he very optimistic for their chances..their weak link being O line … boys weak link is overall D .. ours is a still young QB

  118. 118 Dragon_Eagle said at 9:31 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    One of my favorite annual articles that Jimmy K does: who do the rookies pattern themselves after.

  119. 119 daveH said at 9:51 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    FWiW .. Agholar also should have an IV

  120. 120 daveH said at 11:42 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    What? .. like in a hospital. . Har, like an IV on his career

  121. 121 daveH said at 11:42 PM on June 14th, 2017:

    You funny boy..