Big Jump

Posted: August 1st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 68 Comments »

The Eagles were 16th in the league in scoring and 22nd in yards gained last year. They had a Top 10 run game, but the passing attack was another story. There were too many dropped passes and errant throws. And guys just didn’t get open. Things had to change.

The Eagles focused on improving the passing game during the offseason. I wrote about how the changes are working so far in my column.

The biggest disappointment to this point is the fact 5th round pick Shelton Gibson has struggled with drops. Just about everything else has been good, if not better. Multiple rookies have been good. The big free agents have been very impressive. The holdover receivers look worlds different.

I guess you could say DGB was a disappointment, but I’m not sure expectations were all that high for him. And he’s ancient history now so the only negatives among current players would be Gibson’s drops and maybe Matthews’ knee. That’s a pretty good offseason.

You have to give credit to three main men. First, Carson Wentz. He has to do his job in getting the ball to his receivers. Wentz has played better this year and that improvement has helped the receivers. Think about how erratic QB play the last couple of years hurt Torrey Smith and played a part in his struggles. A good QB makes a big difference.

Next would be Alshon Jeffery. His level of play seems to be infectious. Teammates see a guy catch everything thrown his way and it has an effect on them. It gives them confidence, but also something to aspire to. Jeffery makes highlight grabs and teammates want their turn to try to do that.

Finally, I think you have to give Mike Groh a lot of credit. Greg Lewis was a young WRs coach last year and it showed. He didn’t know how to really connect with his players and bring out the best in them. Groh has a strong track record and you can see that in the level of play of his receivers this year. He is tough and demanding, but in a positive way. You have to know how to push players to get the right results. Just yelling at players doesn’t work.

The real test for the passing game will be the regular season, but too much has gone well to ignore this as just bad Eagles CBs or a few good practices. The passing game looks like it has taken a major step forward this year.


The Eagles added CB Tay Glover-Wright to replace Randall Goforth, who tore his ACL.

The 6-0, 180-pound cornerback previously spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and Indianapolis Colts. He played in two games for the Colts in the 2015 season.

After playing quarterback and wide receiver at the junior college level, he transferred to Utah State and was moved to cornerback. He started 10 games as a senior in 2013 and was signed by Atlanta as a rookie free agent following the 2014 draft. He landed on Green Bay’s practice squad in October of his first season. He spent 2015 Training Camp with the Packers, but was released and went to the Colts’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster at the end of the season and played in regular-season games against Houston and Tennessee. He began 2016 on the Colts’ practice squad, but was waived and is now an Eagle.

One thing to note. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at his Pro Day.

As Jimmy Bama noted in his piece, The Glove is the Colts corner who DGB went over when he caught a fade pass for a TD last summer. That’s not ideal. Before you make a big deal of this, TGW is now the 89th or 90th man on the roster. He is here to compete, but reality tells you he is more camp body than anything else.


Paul Domowitch wrote a piece on LB Joe Walker, trying to make it back from a torn ACL.

Walker said he has fully recovered – both physically and mentally – from the injury.

“I feel good out there,’’ he said. “My body feels good. Mentally, I feel good. I’m not thinking at all about my knee when I’m out there. So that’s huge. I’m running around full speed, which is huge.’’

The door to a roster spot is open for Walker and some of the other young linebackers in camp, including Villanova product Don Cherry, rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Beyond their three starters – Hicks, Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks – the Eagles have precious little experience at linebacker.

The other six linebackers in camp have played a grand total of 233 defensive snaps. Two hundred thirty-two of them belong to veteran Najee Goode, though he’s played only 39 defensive snaps the last three seasons.

If you have to go young somewhere, backup LB is a good choice. You can’t have great depth everywhere.

Besides, if Walker or Gerry or Grugier-Hill pans out, you could have good, young depth for a few years. I’m looking forward to seeing Walker in a game so we can get a better feel for if there are any issues with his ACL or if he’s truly moving around like he did last summer.


68 Comments on “Big Jump”

  1. 1 Sean Stott said at 1:33 AM on August 1st, 2017:


  2. 2 Rob Jarratt said at 7:19 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Second. So there.

  3. 3 eagleyankfan said at 7:38 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    “They brought in Nick Foles and Matt McGloin to improve the quarterback room.” — hahahahahahahahaha. Please…..

  4. 4 Dominik said at 9:13 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Foles is a better QB than Daniel. That’s enough to make this statement true.

    We can talk about the costs etc. (we discussed it extensively in the Offseason), but the QB room is better today than it was in 2016. And that’s without an anticipated improvement by Wentz.

    I hope McGloin doesn’t make the roster (I’d prefer a young talent or at least a good STer for that “inactive on gameday” roster spot), but he’s a good #3 QB, also.

  5. 5 Ryan Rambo said at 9:57 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Who would you have preferred over Foles?

  6. 6 Guy Media said at 11:50 AM on August 1st, 2017:


  7. 7 eagleyankfan said at 8:23 AM on August 6th, 2017:

    Meaning it doesn’t matter if it’s Foles/McGloin or Eagleyankfan and Guy Media as back ups. What does it improve? The team standing on top at the end of the year is made up of 1 great QB – not “improved” QB room

  8. 8 or____ said at 12:08 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I can’t believe Brady and Rogers aren’t available as backups.

    Chase Daniel is SO much better than Foles and McGloin!

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 12:09 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Chase is that you?

  10. 10 Dominik said at 12:22 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Can’t be. He’s currently working to unseat Drew Brees in NOLA. Because, as we all know, he’s a starter in this league…

  11. 11 Gary Barnes said at 9:28 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    I’m not sure yet if we can claim the passing game is “better” until there is actual game action where we see the progress Wentz has made and how more effectively the WR perform.

    I agree the signs so far look good, but as we know playing in TC, especially before any preseason games, is very different than playing for real in the fall.

    I think we’ll hopefully continue to see performance improve throughout TC and the preseason games. Even though we know that can be misleading too (remember Bradford and the offensive performance vs the Packers in preseason, we had thoughts of a SB dancing in our heads), at least it will be some type of game action.

  12. 12 Stephen G said at 12:32 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Yeah, looking “good” against our DBs doesnt mean a whole lot

  13. 13 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:58 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Tay-Glover Wright, otherwise known as the “Glove”…probably…Jimmy Kempski…love that line along with the NFL record for being the only guy to get beat by DGB for a TD on a fade route…Dying LOL

  14. 14 P_P_K said at 10:58 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Love the line, hate the fact this is the caliber of our cbs.

  15. 15 teltschikfakeout88 said at 12:10 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Well not exactly…this guy is like 80th or 90th man on the roster…pretty sure we got some guys that are more than just camp bodies for us or any NFL team…but I get it…our CB talent is pretty thin….mehhh….they just look like they suck…is Bradley Fletcher still available??? LOL???

  16. 16 P_P_K said at 12:41 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Bradley Fletcher?! Oh man, you’re digging up old nightmares.

  17. 17 D3FB said at 1:01 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Come on now.

    Our last CB from Utah State was a stud!

    He was way better than that kid from Stanford they passed on……….

    God I’m going to start drinking.

  18. 18 P_P_K said at 1:55 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    You keep up with these posts and no one is going to want to drink with you.

  19. 19 ColorSgt said at 9:18 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Jimmy’s captions are top notch.

  20. 20 P_P_K said at 10:23 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Imagine Wentz taking a big step in his command of the qb position, Jeffery playing like a true #1wr, Smith going deep and opening up the field, Matthews playing strong in the slot, and Agholor or Turner or Gibson playing well. All of a sudden, the Eagles go from having one of the worst passing games to one of the best. You may say that I’m a dreamer…

  21. 21 CrackSammich said at 1:25 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Gibson might not make the practice squad at this point, and Turner definitely won’t. You picked an odd group of saviors.

  22. 22 P_P_K said at 1:54 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Yup, you’re probably right. I wanted to list more than one option at #4 because I figured if I just mentioned Aghs, someone would bring up the other guys.
    I still maintain that Jeffery, Smith and Matthews could be an excellent receiving corps.

  23. 23 Tumtum said at 3:25 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    It isn’t all that far fetched. A more reasonable expectation is like bottom half of top 10 passing offenses in league. That is certainly obtainable, and would still feel really good to see here again.

  24. 24 ChoTime said at 4:31 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    which would be a jump of about 15-20 places. heck of a leapfrog

  25. 25 Tumtum said at 11:07 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Heck yeah, but really what is the excuse today? They have the weapons. They have the line. Carson my dude, time to step it up.

  26. 26 ChoTime said at 7:48 PM on August 2nd, 2017:

    I agree that an All-Pro type QB would probably be expected to produce with team. I don’t know that this team is good enough to carry an average guy, though. The line has ability, but I don’t know that it’s a dominant unit. The RBs are a question mark. The WR unit has one legit player, but he is not TO. In other words, this offense is far from stacked, but probably enough to work with. From Wentz, I am hoping for hits and misses, flashes of brilliance, and overall hope that it’s enough to be above average performance. I guess this is a lot of words to say if they’re in the upper half of the league in DVOA, I would consider that a good result and that he’s on schedule to be a solid starter at least.

    If he takes the league by storm and puts up numbers like the first 4 games of last year, I will be surprised and very happy!

  27. 27 Tumtum said at 8:19 PM on August 2nd, 2017:

    14th would disappoint me. I want to see above average QB play this year. Average being Jay Cutlerish.

  28. 28 ChoTime said at 4:30 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    but you’re not the only one…

  29. 29 A Roy said at 4:53 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I hope some day YOU”LL join us…

  30. 30 poobster said at 6:32 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    And the Birds will be #1!

  31. 31 Mac said at 5:02 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Will the real Carson Wentz be the guy who played the first 4 games of last season, or the one the Eagles finished the season with?

    Breakdown in protection seemed to correlate with a breakdown of his passing motion. If he can get to a place where his mechanics are consistent even under duress we will have an absolute beast of a QB on our hands. He has shown the ability to play well clean, and make some magic happen when all hope should be lost…

    I have a feeling that Wentz’s season will be tied heavily to the oline performance this year.

  32. 32 Gary Barnes said at 5:46 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    ….but I’m not the only one. Sorry, had to finish the lyric. It is a good dream I’d like to see become reality.

  33. 33 ColorSgt said at 8:58 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Haha Gibson.

  34. 34 Sb2bowl said at 10:30 AM on August 1st, 2017:

    Karma owes us one from Disco Stew and his ACL tear- hopefully Walker can earn a backup spot this year and become a low cost insurance piece on our defense for years to come.

  35. 35 Tumtum said at 3:23 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Sounds like he might be athletic enough to play all 3 spots too.

  36. 36 Sb2bowl said at 3:28 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I’d settle for that; I mean, if he turned into Luke Kuechly it’d be cool

  37. 37 Guy Media said at 12:25 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Asking for some mock fantasy help critique again……..picking 11th in my money league. Here is one I just did on ESPN.

    Melvin Gordon
    Allen Robinson
    Isiah Crowell
    Tyreek Hill
    Eddie Lacy
    Ameer Abdullah
    Kenny Britt
    Kareen Hunt
    Randall Cobb
    Josh Doctson
    Rams D

  38. 38 MattE said at 12:40 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Looks pretty good, I am always very wary of Gronk these days, especially with Cooks in town too now.

  39. 39 Guy Media said at 12:47 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    The worry with Gronk is health for sure. I was reading something about TE targets never changing on that team, so I think the risk is on Eddleman with Cooks.

  40. 40 Tumtum said at 4:28 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    If Gronk is healthy he is in a TE tier all by himself, regardless of format. Big IF. Lost 2 leagues in the last 2 years because of him. Judging from the Gordon pick, I am guessing you were in the top 5, so close to the end of 2 for Gronk is actually really good value. Again, just boom or bust.

  41. 41 Guy Media said at 4:32 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    We actually pull the order at random for our league. Part of our Xmas party fun.

  42. 42 Tumtum said at 3:21 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Randall Cobb when???? How in the… Pretty boom or bust team but A+ just for getting Cobb there.

    Oh, I kinda hate TE. I would try to get another one. Also Mariota probably better than Stafford even though you drafted him after.

  43. 43 Guy Media said at 3:54 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Yeah, I hear you on all accounts there.

  44. 44 Tumtum said at 3:19 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Goforth the one Na Brown candidate for CB this season… bummer.

  45. 45 Guy Media said at 3:53 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    We will find another for sure!

  46. 46 BobSmith77 said at 4:03 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Yeah. Should boost a few others’ chances of making the roster including CJ Smith (who I like as a role player).

  47. 47 Nailed It! said at 3:57 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Just realized that Philly only gets one night game this year at home. I moved from Philly a few years ago but I would be pissed. Loved the night games at the Linc.

  48. 48 Guy Media said at 3:58 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    They fear our tailgates. I think every Eagles division game should be at home and at night; just so the other fans fear to tread in our beloved parking lots!

  49. 49 Guy Media said at 4:00 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Random thought:

    If the D backs who are returning from last year don’t get any better over the year AND the rookies who play don’t improve from week one to 17……….would Todd Bowles be a viable hire for the DBs once he’s replaced by the tank mode Jets with a QB guru to coach Darnold or Rosen, etc?

  50. 50 Dave said at 6:03 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Nah, we should trade for Eric Rowe;-)

  51. 51 D3FB said at 7:10 PM on August 1st, 2017:


    Another guy who could be of interest is Jerry Gray the Vikings DBs coach. Schwartz worked with him back in 99-2000 w/ the Titans.

  52. 52 Guy Media said at 8:19 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Yeah, that common staff element has been so key in seeing who winds up where.

  53. 53 Ark87 said at 7:50 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I feel bad for Bowles. He seems like a good dude and he really helped that team over-achieve for a year, I believe him when he says he won’t actively try to tank, but the front office is setting him up to fail and have him take the fall for it. He should have resigned. Actually no, here’s hoping he wins 9 games as a final middle finger to those jackasses.

  54. 54 Guy Media said at 8:18 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I’m a huge Bowles fan. I think he’s one of the 2 or 3 best defensive minds in football and would love to see him get a fair shot at head coaching again.

    And 9 wins is a really funny hope for the Jets.

  55. 55 BobSmith77 said at 4:05 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Interesting to hear Smallwood admit today that he wasn’t in shape last year and used this offseason to not get bigger as much stronger/in football shape.

    Good to hear because I see him being a fairly important part of the puzzle outside of the red zone.

  56. 56 Guy Media said at 4:15 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Yeah, I’m really looking forward to seeing these RBs in pre season games so we can get past all of the BS clandestine decision making on depth charts based on non-game situations. Sorting out the RBs other than Blount and Sproles is going to need to be done with games.

  57. 57 Tumtum said at 4:30 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Smallwood surprised me here. Didn’t think he could cause me to lower my opinion of him.

  58. 58 A_T_G said at 9:00 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Maybe he meant it like he was college boy strong, not grown man strong?

  59. 59 Dave said at 6:01 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Will CB Patrick Robinson use that excuse next year as he is playing for his th team in 5 years…”It was kind of hot today,” Robinson said. “I got a little fatigued and it got the best of me. That’s something that I have to work on, being in great shape, having great technique the whole practice — not sometimes, not every now and then.”

    Here is a vet signed to be/compete for a starting job admitting he’s not in great shape.

  60. 60 Tumtum said at 11:11 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Hmm, wonder why the quality of play in the NFL is so far down. These guys get half the practice, 1/4 the camp, and 10x the money. They are soft and out of practice.

  61. 61 SteveH said at 5:11 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Interesting factoid since we were all aboard the Gus Bus for like 5 days, when Gus Bradley left the Jaguars, he had the 2nd worst winning percentage in history (14-48, for a .226 winning percentage).

    Despite that, however, I am totally willing to consider that it was the Jaguars he was coaching and that might have had been a contributing factor, and would be completely willing to give Gus another head coaching shot.

  62. 62 BlindChow said at 6:19 PM on August 1st, 2017:

  63. 63 ColorSgt said at 8:31 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I’m good with Peds this year. We’ll see how things go. I think he’ll do fairly well.

  64. 64 BlindChow said at 8:45 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    No, we should definitely hire the guy who had four years and showed absolutely zero improvement in one of the worst divisions in football…

  65. 65 SteveH said at 8:54 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    I wasn’t advocating an immediate move ?(I actually like Pederson and think he did a pretty good job last year), it was more of a in the future, if we were looking for a HC again, I’d be ok with giving the Gus Bus another shot, provided there weren’t better options available.

  66. 66 ColorSgt said at 9:09 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Appreciate the respect for Pederson. Too many judge the book by the cover. I’d pass on Gus though. Read part of that book and I don’t think it would have a good ending.

  67. 67 Tumtum said at 11:09 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Unfortunately, I think that ship has sailed from my port. Meaning he will be the next Billichick.

  68. 68 GermanEagle said at 5:44 PM on August 1st, 2017:

    Anyone going to the public training camp practice at the Linc this Sunday?

    I will be driving down from Queens to bring wife and kids.

    Would be cool to catch up with an Eagles fella from here.