So Far, So Good

Posted: June 12th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 111 Comments »

A great offseason on paper can be very different from reality. Fans of all teams have learned that the hard way. Dan Snyder has made more splashy moves that most owners and has virtually nothing to show for it. The Eagles looked like geniuses in 2011 and went 8-8 (and needed a 4-game win streak at the end of the year to get to that point).

Most people agreed that the Eagles did a good job this offseason in acquiring talented players and good fits. We’ve only seen a few weeks of OTAs, but so far the big moves look like they were in fact good moves. I wrote about this for PE.com.

  • Alshon Jeffery looks like a stud receiver
  • Derek Barnett is pushing for a starting job
  • Torrey Smith looks like the vertical threat the team wanted
  • Tim Jernigan looks like the quick, disruptive DT the team wanted
  • Rasul Douglas is playing well and pushing for playing time

To be fair, Douglas doesn’t have a difficult path to playing time, but everyone is praising him so far so that is encouraging.

The one key player I didn’t cover was LeGarrette Blount. You can’t judge a 250-pound RB on how he looks in non-contact practices. Blount has a strong enough track record that I’m not too concerned with him. He might not score 18 TDs this year, but the Eagles don’t need him to have a career season. They have enough talent at RB to put together a good RBBC group. Things just get a lot easier if Blount does play well.

It will be great if Patrick Robinson, Chris Long, Mack Hollins, Donnel Pumphrey, and Elijah Qualls play well in their roles. I know there is a lot of buzz on Hollins right now, but let’s be patient with him.

It is more important that the big moves pan out.

You might wonder how much of a difference WRs can make to a QB. Let’s look at the rookie years of Nick Foles and Carson Wentz.

Foles – 265 pass attempts – 24 completions of 20 or more yards

Wentz – 607 pass attempts – 39 completions of 20 or more yards

Foles had DeSean Jackson for part of the year. He had Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper most of the time. Remember that Cooper wasn’t a headcase back then and flashed some potential.  Foles would have posted even better numbers, but he had no Jason Peters at LT and Dallas Reynolds was his starting C for most of the year. That’s not ideal, to put it mildly.

I don’t think I need to go through Wentz’s receivers.

Put simply, Foles had some playmakers and Wentz didn’t.

That should change this year. Jeffery and Smith are showing the skills the Eagles wanted when they were signed. Now it is up to Wentz to take advantage of them.

As for Barnett, Jernigan and Douglas, they can help push a good defense to the next level. If Wentz and his new playmakers can get the team the lead, Barnett, Jernigan and the other pass rushers can really be difference-makers.

A pick or two from Douglas would help as well. Eight of them (his total from last year) would endear him to Eagles Nation for the next decade.

_


  • Johnnydeagle

    Nothing is guaranteed. Nice article Tommy.
    !!!”GO EAGLES”!!!

  • Sb2bowl

    Hey all-

    I posted a few months ago that my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer.

    He died this morning in the hospital, pain free.

    Thanks for being a distraction over an otherwise pretty shitty day.

    • D3FB

      Sorry to hear that man.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, D3.

    • Bert’s Bells

      Man, the grief might hit you in strange and unexpected ways. You’ll be alright. Hang in there.

      It sucks. This happens to just about everyone, yet it’s the loneliest feeling.

      Be well.

      • Sb2bowl

        Appreciate it, Bert.

        It hit somewhat the other day; I live 2 1/2 hours from my parents. Spent Thursday thru Saturday with them. Said goodbye to my dad Saturday before we left.

        I got home, unpacked the car, got things situated. Decided to mow my grass since I missed the opportunity the week before– got done cutting the grass, and it all hit me.

        At that moment, I didn’t have to be a son, a father, husband or friend. I could just be. It felt good to mourn.

        Believe it or not, it’s therapeutic for me to talk about it- especially in settings like these.

    • daveH

      Condolences. Respects. Glad for the pain free .. bet it meant everything to to him to have your concern and attention in his final stretch.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks Dave

        • daveH

          Your comment, sharing that amongst us is actually quite meaningful .. this is a cool, irritated, brotherly community !#

          • Sb2bowl

            It is- that’s why I felt it was an important topic to share.

    • Gary Barnes

      So very sorry for you and your family’s loss, glad he was pain free

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks Gary.

        When I saw that they were giving him IV Demerol and Oxycontin, I knew that he was no longer in pain.

        • Gary Barnes

          I lost my Dad to cancer too: it is an experience beyond words to watch your loved one going through such a trial. I know the mix of sadness and relief you’re feeling; honor him and remember the good times.

          • Sb2bowl

            I’m terribly sorry about your Dad. My condolences

            His name is Gary as well, so this made me smile.

            He went in for surgery on Monday; was supposed to be an overnight, home by Wednesday max procedure.

            Wednesday afternoon he became confused and somewhat out of touch with reality.

            They did some scans early Thursday morning; which revealed bleeding of the brain, and a tumor which was previously not diagnosed.

            It’s been hectic. I’m not sure I’ve been able to process it yet, but some of it is sinking in.

          • Gary Barnes

            Thanks sb2bowl. That’s a tough process, awful.

    • Ryan Rambo

      Ahhh man. Condolences to you and your family. Take some joy in knowing he’s no longer in pain brother. Was he an Eagle fan?

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks Rambo.

        He was; out of all of us, I think he was the most level headed and realistic Eagles fan in our family.

        Now we are left with nothing but mutiny and skewed goggles for the future.

        • Ryan Rambo

          Ha! You seem level-headed and optimistic. I’m hoping we can get him a ring soon brother!

          • Sb2bowl

            If we (the Eagles) win the Super Bowl, my mom has pledged to allow me the privilege of buying her an Eagles tattoo to commemorate the event.

    • Mac

      Sorry for your loss.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, Mac

        • Mac

          For what it’s worth, I really appreciate your insight and wit here in this community.

    • A Roy

      Sorry for your loss, man. Glad he was/is pain free. It took me awhile to get over the stunned disbelief when I went through that, so I’ll be happy to argue with you about something to take your mind off it.

      • Sb2bowl

        I got nothing right now. Hopefully in the future we can banter over inconsequential situations.

    • Ark87

      Sorry for your loss, talking about the birds is the least we can do.

      • Sb2bowl

        If they weren’t so infuriating, they’d make a hell of a therapy group.

    • ACViking

      Very sorry for your loss.

      Requiescat in pace.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks ACV.

        Appreciate it greatly.

    • Corry

      I’m sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, Corry. Appreciate it greatly.

    • Chiptomylou

      So very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, Chippylou 😉

    • sonofdman

      I am very sorry for your loss.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thank you, sonofDman

    • laeagle

      Condolences. Sorry to hear that.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, LAeagle

    • Insomniac

      Sorry for your loss. Best wishes to you and your family.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thank you, insomniac

    • Benny6968

      My condolences.

      • Sb2bowl

        Appreciate it

    • Media Mike

      Sorry to hear that.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks MM. let’s do a mock draft to celebrate his life

        • Media Mike

          You’ll have to let me know who his favorite college team was and we’ll look for a guy from that squad.

          • Sb2bowl

            His favorite college team was hunting deer and collecting coins. He wasn’t much into college sports.

    • Julescat

      Godspeed

      • Sb2bowl

        Thank you

    • P_P_K

      Hey Eagles brother, sorry for your loss. I hope his passing was peaceful, and I hope you and your family find comfort in your loving memories of his time with you.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, PPK

    • DustyRyder71

      I was in the hospital with my Dad watching the 2010 draft when he was diagnosed Stage IV (colon). He seemed more upset about passing on Earl Thomas than he was about the cancer, but I knew better. He died that November. My passion for this team comes from him. My love for them is an extension of my love for him.

      You have my sympathies today. Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.

      • Sb2bowl

        That’s a good memory to share, thank you. I’m sorry for your loss.

        I appreciate the kind words

    • A_T_G

      Sorry for your loss.

      If you feel the need to explode and rant about comma usage or misplaced modifiers to blow off steam in the coming days, we will all understand.

      • Sb2bowl

        I’m not totally, familiar with comma usage- but I’ll try.

        Thanks ATG

    • greenblood0118

      My dad passed away in February…it sucks, but it gets better.

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks GB, appreciate the words

    • ChoTime

      Sorry, dude…

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks, Cho

    • Rick Nestor

      RIP to your father. You never stop missing them, but after time you start to laugh when you think of stories and memories. Our dads are talking EAGLES together and making fun of the Cowboy fans. Pops on the field with his girls. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a03d9a3358789756b120730c8acb34945d84932878640954bb71b0182c2ff3cb.jpg

      • Sb2bowl

        Thanks Rick.

  • Gary Barnes

    We’ll see is the operative phrase as usual for this time of of the football calendar. No injuries is the key.

    We focus a lot on the splashy positions, WR etc., but to me the most important and valuable work the Eagles did this off-season was on the OL and DL. Those are the engines for the offensive and defensive units and hopefully can help carry us.

    • Sb2bowl

      Health is such an underrated aspect of the pro game. We’ve been one of the healthiest teams since Chip was here- and for the most part, that continued last year (minus our RT situation).

      At this stage, I don’t care who looks good, who doesn’t, and who’s playing where with whom———- I care about our team staying healthy overall, and a cohesive unit growing together towards training camp, the pre-season, and ultimately the regular season.

      • Gary Barnes

        Health is critical; it was no coincidence we finally got to the SB in 2004 as it was the one time we had almost all of our full roster playing. The 2013 playoff run was aided by health as you point out correctly.

        • wee2424

          Specifically along the OL. I am so happy we are starting to build along the lines again, especially OL.

          When were our best years since the early Reid era? When we had good to great OL.

          Last time we were in the playoffs? 2013 when we arguably had the best and most healthy OL in the league.

          Wish there were a better example, but just look at Dallas. Brewing in mediocracy/cess since the late 90s until guess what happened? They quickly and quietly formed the best OL in football in which propelled them to a force.

  • Gary Barnes

    An issue that concerns me is Jordan Matthews health and missing chunks of the OTAs.

    I really like Matthews and disagree with the agenda of the floated rumors the Eagles are considering trading or getting rid of him.

    He is a very hard worker, good teammate and has been productive on the field. Is he a perfect WR? No, he has things to work on, but he is young and talented. Again, to get rid of talent because “they do not fit” or “will not be extended” is silly IMO. Find a way to maximize their talents and work out a deal that helps both sides to stay together. I’m sick of watching talent leave here and succeed elsewhere to our detriment.

    We need to develop our own talent much better. Hard to do that when you jettison that talent within a couple of years. One of Roseman’s strengths is contracts so find a way to make it work for both parties. I’d much rather have a good young WR than another 5th rd pick.

    Jeffrey is only signed for 1 year. Smith needs to prove even more than Matthews. Agholor and DGB are total question marks. Hollins is a rookie who usually experience growing pains. Matthews needs to step up and perform more consistently – the opportunity is there and the team should give him the chance.

    • Sean Stott

      Nah, get Jordan Matthews outta here. I don’t care if someone can catch everything in practice, gives you 110%, and looks good 95% of the time. If anytime it’s third down, goal line, game on the line, etc. you know he’s going to drop that pass?

      No thanks, get rid of him. Huge liability.

    • Dave

      “Find a way to maximize their talents…”

      Mathews has 346 targets and 225 catches playing the slot against favorable match-ups over his first 3 years. If that’s not maximizing his talents, I’m not sure what is. The team gave him every chance to show his is a #1 receiver.

      “…and work out a deal that helps both sides to stay together.”

      In a world with no salary cap, I would agree. I’m just not sure how the team could afford Mathews if they resign Alshon (assuming Alsohn stays healthy and has a strong year). Slot receivers are the easiest WR position to fill in the NFL, #1 receivers are much harder to find.

      • Gary Barnes

        So he is not a #1 WR yet…that is not the end of the world. Good players are still helpful to a team and Jordan strikes me as a player who may be willing to work out a deal that works for both parties. Plus I’ll bet he improves and may get close to a #1 WR during his career; he is one of the hardest workers we’ve had for a long time and truly wants to be a great player. I would not bet against him.

        • Dave

          Gary, I’ve gotten on you numerous times for your negativity. Although I disagree that JMatt will ever be anything more than solid #2, I applaud your optimism.

        • wee2424

          He will not be a #1 WR. He has clearly demonstrated that and has the physical limitations that would make it difficult.

          The guy can’t even play on the outside.

        • wee2424

          Sometimes people are what they show simply because that is who they are. Everyone has individual limits. Physical and mental. It is apparent through results and repeated mistakes (drops) that he has reached his limit.

          Isn’t it concerning that despite being the hardest worker we have had in a long time (your words, not mine) the drop issue just gets worse?

          How about 2 coaching staffs after each tried it out abruptly put a stop on playing him outside.

        • D3FB

          HE CAN’T PLAY OUTSIDE THEREFORE HE CANT BE A WR1.

    • BobSmith77

      Matthews seems to be a bit underrated now by the Eagles’ fan base because of what happened last season.

    • ChoTime

      He has talent, but not enough. He is a JAG+.

  • RC5000
    • Will Ft. Daft Punk

      https://twitter.com/JosinaAnderson/status/874352923786047489

      Not that it matters, but interesting IF true.

      • Dave

        I’m not sure what to make of this. What does that say for Mathews? Ags? Torrey? Unless they gave Maclin a low-ball 1-year offer to add to the competition.

        • Insomniac

          Matthews – not worth overpaying for

          Smith – has to bounce back from 2 abysmal years and frees up the most cap space of the 3

          Ags – Ags

          • wee2424

            Alshon- While most probably staying the reality is that he is on a 1 year deal, and has dealt with suspensions. Regarding the 1 year the fact is there is a possibility that he leaves. Remember Alshon wanted this as well to maximize his market for 2018.

            Maclin would provide insurance if AJ departs or somehow doesn’t pan out. That combined with the factors stated stated above.

            I’m not saying I wanted to see it happen. I didn’t. Just stating that I get the logic behind the thinking of doing it.

      • Sb2bowl

        That’d be a pretty crowded WR group with the uncertainty we have going forward (JMatt and Jeffrey contract). And the rookies.

        • Will Ft. Daft Punk

          I think Matthews isnt coming back. I think AJ and Timmy get paid over him.

          • Sb2bowl

            Agreed. Money is the great equalizer, but Matthews will probably fetch $8-9m per year annually in this league. Some team out there will pay to have him as their 2nd receiver. I just don’t think he’s worth it here, but the staff and Wentz may disagree.

      • Ark87

        Assuming the deals were close, my guess is he wants to win and he sees Baltimore as the safest bet. Throw out all the off-season “on paper” stuff, Baltimore has the best coach, the best front office, and the most established QB (I don’t like Flacco, but he is a veteran who won a superbowl which players seem to value a lot). Basically the most stable team, the most proven team, the most likely to start winning, if not this upcoming year, then the most likely to bounce back in seasons to follow. Could be totally wrong.

        The Eagles could be good in the short term, but it depends on 2 factors playing out our way:
        1) Wentz being the real deal
        2) Pederson turning out to be a good coach

        • Julescat

          Maclin is all about the dollars in his pocket

          Baltimore would need a lot of help to get by Pittsburgh to reach the playoffs

        • Media Mike

          I see what you’re saying, but Baltimore seems to be buried behind Pittsburgh as long as Big Ben is there whereas the NFC East is wide open to overrated trash in Dallas and NYG.

          • Ark87

            I can’t tell if the the Steelers are ascending or descending right now. Both teams tend to regress/progress to their mean at good franchise and beat the living hell out of each other year. One rarely buries the other. But I agree with you that there is a solid chance that the Eagles win their division and the Ravens don’t. There is a chance that the Ravens, while accomplished, is an old and dying regime and the Eagles or Buffalo are just kicking their golden age off. Or maybe all the franchises will implode. But if you’re from the “show me” state, I think you place your bet on Baltimore.

            That being said. The deals were probably different enough so that they couldn’t be compared apples to apples. We almost certainly were offering a 1 year deal. We have built a serious kill-switch into this team, it’s all set to be demolished if it doesn’t show something.

      • BobSmith77

        Wouldn’t surprise me. When Maclin left here, I got the sense he was only too happy to go and that he wasn’t going to give the Eagles any ‘hometown discount’ or was that upset to be leaving either.

        Tend to doubt Maclin will be back here or involved with the Eagles’ either after his playing days are over either.

        This wasn’t McCoy getting traded and being really surprised & hurt by it.

        • CrackSammich

          Probably less animosity towards Lurie and the Eagles than he has against Chip. I imagine if Chip was still, here, he wouldn’t be considering coming here.

          • PacificPurl

            Chip did nothing to Maclin. The WR was a free agent who wanted more money. He had injuries here and injuries in KC. Why is it that coaches in Philadelphia aren’t allowed to try to improve the team? It’s standard practice everywhere else.

          • CrackSammich

            Chip ran a team like a tyrant, which works for some and not for others. I’m going to lean towards it working better with young men in college than late 20s veterans who know what works for them at this point. Chip also clearly showed that he thought talented players were completely replaceable. I’d imagine that people looking to be paid and treated like a WR1 like Maclin wouldn’t be interested in playing for him. Besides all that speculation, Maclin publicly said that he’d be an Eagle still if Chip reached out to him.

            “Why is it coaches…” I’m not sure what argument you’re making, but it’s clearly not in response to anything I said.

        • FairOaks

          I don’t think he was looking to leave. And in that case… no “discount” because he had a higher offer closer to his actual hometown.

          I don’t think he had anything against Chip — he just had his best statistical season under him. It was his one major career chance to cash in big. The only thing I can see which may have disconcerted him was trading away of his friends on the team, like McCoy. And at the time he signed, there were rumors that Foles might even be traded (which did eventually happen). So he wasn’t really sure what kind of offense he would have been coming back to — he would have had to gain a rapport with a new QB if he stayed with the Eagles or not.

          The usual conditions for a “hometown discount” really weren’t there; I don’t think it had much to do with Chip personally (other than maybe he liked Reid more). He did make comments he felt more “wanted” by Reid, but of course that was because Reid violated the CBA to talk to him while Chip wouldn’t. Cost the Chiefs a third and a sixth round pick due to that, on top of the money they paid him.

          • Media Mike

            “It was his one major career chance to cash in big.”

            YUP. I never flame a guy for signing the biggest deal possible. I might call the team that gives him that deal all kinds of bad names, but I don’t blame the guy.

      • Julescat

        dodged a bullet there

        self tacklin’ Maclin is too old, too injured and too much money

        • Tumtum

          Nope

          • Julescat

            why did KC dump him then?

          • Tumtum

            Their cap room was increased 10x this year, who knows what in the future. I’m sure this deal wasn’t front loaded.
            Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley, Travis Kelce.

            Sure it was still a tough decision.

        • Dave

          I can’t imagine the rage I would have watching Maclin taking dives before the defender gets the opportunity to tackle him followed by 250 lb Ertz getting getting knocked down by a stiff breeze and a love tap to the thigh by a 170 lb corner.

      • Gary Barnes

        The reverse TO

        Good luck, Jeremy

  • Benny6968

    Great read again Tommy.
    I made the mistake of clicking on a PFT article about Blount and it wasn’t too bad as it had mentioned Duce and his Eagles career.
    Then I made the bigger mistake of reading comments.
    You would think that Pats fans would know more about Football than your average fan as they are always in it the playoffs.
    That is clearly not the case, and many of the lesser educated Pats fans implied that since he is not playing for Pats that he will fail and how it takes ten yards for him to get up to speed.
    There was also some clown who thought since the Eagles have such an inept passing game that Blount will surely fail outside of NE.
    These fools have taken homerism to the next level.

    I think Blount will do well behind our O line and with the additions Tommy mentioned above at WR, our passing game is going to be much better than last season.
    The truth is nobody knows how good or bad Blount will perform but it won’t have anything to do with being out of NE, that’s for sure.

    Personally, I think we are going to better than most expect on offense and if the new key additions on defense play well, we can expect to have a very solid group on both sides of the ball.

    E !!! A !!! G !!! L !!! E !!! S !!! EAGLES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 好几年没用过博客了,支持下!

  • Iskar36

    Re: “You can’t judge a 250-pound RB on how he looks in non-contact practices.”

    Honest question, I understand why it is hard to judge a physical RB in non-contact practices, but what can you really determine about defensive and offensive lineman? I mean, I love hearing about Jernigan a Barnett “looking good” but seems to me, right now really highlights the athleticism of players, but once the pads go on, its a very different game. I am just not sure I understand what is really there to get excited about in non-contact drills for line play, but maybe I am missing something.

    • wee2424

      I get what you are saying. This league is littered with players and ex players that have looked great in these scenarios only to fall flat on their face litterally and figuratively once the pads go on.

      However you can gleam more from a more technical position such as DE rather then an instinctual position such as RB. Even more so when the RB is 250 and is simply known for running through people in which is obviously not permitted at this stage of off-season activities.

      Regardless of pads or no pads it is still encouraging to hear that arguably the best RT in the game is getting beat by our 20 year old first round pick in pass pro drills.

      It is important to note that 1 of his “deficiencies” coming out of college was specifically a poor spin move which he stated he has been working on.

      During OTAs he executed what everyone there described as great and the most impressive spin move he has ever attempted.

      These are important and encouraging signs because it demonstrates a few things. That he is coachable, he is quick to learn and apply, and that he is continuing to show real potential. At this point he does not seem overmatched by any means.

      It also confirms certain skills. Such as he is further along then most when it comes to the technical parts of the position. Most notably for him hand usage.

      The fact that Lane was having real issues with his bend is very encouraging. To an extent that is something that some DEs are simply gifted with and others don’t have. Curry for example. Start to wonder why he seems most effective playing DT?

    • Media Mike

      Relative to snaps in pre-season games;not much. But when we hear general trends from practice like “Kelce is getting roller skated into the backfield” and “Another WR dropped a pass” it is a general indicator of the state of affairs.

    • D3FB

      You can get somewhat of a feel for pass rush/protection.

      You can’t really tell anything about run game.

      • Media Mike

        When do you think we’ll have a good read on Warmack’s ability to improve enough to be a good LG? I know you gave out some good info on his lack of “feet” being hidden at Bama by them playing very tight splits on their line. I’d love to know when we can assess Warmack’s ability to help end the tyranny of the Barbre / Kelce connection.

        • Anders

          Pre season games should be the best or if he gets beat consistently in TC by some UDFA DT

        • D3FB

          As of right now it’s probably going to be Sem-Kelce.

          He’s played enough that the Destiny Veaeos and Craig Winstons of the world aren’t going to give him fits.

          It’s interior line play too so it’s not going to get as much focus from reporters as positions that are easier to watch from the sidelines.

          If he’s not running with the twos and getting legit reps at starting G by week 2 of preseason games I think he’s getting cut. He’s a G only so he’s hard to have active as a bench guy and he’s not worth using an inactive roster spot on.

          • Media Mike

            Seeing Kecle still starting would be massively depressing. I was really hopeful that somebody would snatch the starting LG job so we could play Sem at C.

          • D3FB

            Kelce faults and all is probably a better player than Warmack is as of right now.

  • CrackSammich

    What a boring year of sports. Patriots, Golden State, Penguins… The woman in your office who wins the Super Bowl idiot pool every year could have picked these winners 2 years ago.

    • SteveH

      To be fair the Cavs won last year, so it wasn’t really a given that golden state would get revenge. Durant basically had to play out of his mind to help will the Dubs to the championship.

      • Anders

        Its crazy, but without Durant, the Warrior might not even get past the Spurs.

  • BobSmith77

    This is ‘at least on paper’ a better team than last year but still a highly-flawed one too.

    I could see 8-8. I could see 10-6 and even a playoff win too.