The Search for Consistency

Posted: August 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 74 Comments »

The Eagles offense has played very well so far in Training Camp. The defense finally had a good showing on Wednesday. While encouraging, a good day doesn’t mean a whole lot. Doug Pederson has talked about the need for players to “stack practices”. He wants a good practice to follow a good practice. And then a good practice after that. And then the next day. That’s consistency.

The overall defense has been fine. We’re really talking about the CBs. Unfortunately, that’s a critical position in the modern NFL.

The CBs played better on Wednesday. They showed that they do have some talent. They can make plays. They just don’t do it consistently. To be fair, Jim Schwartz pointed out in his press conference that you can sometimes get a false read out of watching practice. There are some drills where the defense has to play a certain coverage so the offense knows what they’re facing and that gives them an advantage. There are some drills where there is no pass rush. That is a big advantage.

Even with that taken into consideration, the CBs have not been good enough. Then comes a day like Wednesday when you see potential. Can they build on that with another good day? Was Wednesday the anomaly that the coaches will be chasing through a sea of mediocrity?

Jalen Mills has been the team’s best corner so far. He’s not great, but has had a good offseason. Rasul Douglas was good in the spring, but has been wildly inconsistent this summer. His highlights are terrific, but he makes too many mistakes. C.J. Smith is a player on the rise. He might steal a starting spot from Patrick Robinson. Smith isn’t doing his Troy Vincent impression, but he’s been better than Robinson. He’s also cheaper and younger.

Let’s see if the good showing on Wednesday gives a confidence boost to the CBs. One good day can have a big impact.

Just don’t count on it.

*****

Go read the PE.com write-up of the defense shutting down the offense in a Red Zone drill. Here’s a couple of the plays.

5. You can sense that the energy and confidence are building for the defense. As the offense lines up and shifts formations, there’s great communication in the secondary and with the linebackers as they change assignments and make checks. Safety Rodney McLeod, cornerback Aaron Grymes, and Mills all lock up their receivers to the side Wentz is looking after the snap and force an incomplete throw.

6. On the next throw, Mills makes a great play at the goal line, jumping a route from tight end Trey Burton and nearly intercepting a pass that hits him right in the numbers. You’d like to see Mills come away with the pick there, but it was an outstanding example of anticipation and route recognition on the goal line, where things happen very fast.

Mills played very well in the overall series and was key to those two plays. He does need to get better at catching the ball. Mills didn’t have any picks last year. For a CB who likes to take chances, he needs to start coming up with INTs and not just pass breakups.

*****

Here are Jimmy Bama’s notes. C.J. Smith got his attention.

• C.J. Smith has gotten substantial work with the first team defense, and is legitimately challenging Patrick Robinson for a starting job, absent the acquisition of another cornerback outside the organization. Jim Schwartz said he was very encouraged by the play of Smith so far.

Today Smith had some good moments and some bad. He was beaten a few times in red zone drills by Nelson Agholor, though Agholor made some legitimately nice plays on the football. We’ll get to those in a second. On the bright side, Smith made a had a nice pass breakup on a deep post way down the field to Mack Hollins. He was also able to stick to Zach Ertz like a glove in the red zone and break up a pass intended for him.

The Eagles are completely unproven at CB, but I do like the fact they are mostly young. Smith might develop into a solid player. He might not, but I still think this is better than the last decade where there were so many mediocre veterans in the lineup. Take a chance on young guys and see what happens. Smith is definitely a player to keep an eye on.

*****

Jeff McLane is up next. OL/DL stuff.

  1. The defensive line-offensive line one-on-ones weren’t as spirited as they are in full pads, but there were highlights. Jernigan vs. Isaac Seumalo has been a noteworthy matchup. The defensive tackle may have gotten the better of the guard on this day, but Seumalo has been steady throughout camp, or at least that’s been my impression since I haven’t felt compelled to write about him specifically. Defensive end Vinny Currysprung to life with a bull rush vs. Gordon, who lost his balance. Guard Chance Warmack anchored well against a Gabe Wright power move. Defensive end Steven Means slapped tackle Taylor Hart aside on their first encounter. But the latter rebounded and stood the former up vs. his edge rush. Derek Barnett continued to work on his spin move. It still needs work. He took too long to turn on his counter move and tackle Victor Salako stoned him.

Seems like Vinny Curry has quietly had a good summer. He’s not dominating practices, but is consistently disruptive. That’s what you want from him.

I forgot Gabe Wright was on the team. He has not gotten mentioned much at all this summer.

Barnett is using camp as a time to work on his pass rush moves. He’s not just flying off the edge, play after play. I think he would have more of a buzz on him if he did that, but instead he’s using practice as a time to experiment and hone his game. Will be interesting to see how he does in next week’s game.

*****

Brandon Lee Gowton has some good quick hitters.

• Burton had a number of good receptions today.

• Agholor continues to look a lot better than he did last year. He won a number of one-on-one matchups due to crisp route-running and good hands.

• Aaron Grymes came away with an interception in one-on-one against Agholor. He was able to get in front of the wide receiver not unlike Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson in the Super Bowl a few years back. Impressive play by Grymes.

• Torrey Smith got illegally held by defenders during a few reps in one-on-ones but made some tough catches anyway. He did have one drop.

• Bryce Treggs dropped at least two passes. Marcus Johnson had one.

• Hollins made a tough catch with Mills draped all over him. Looked like it might have been a penalty in a game. Mills got frustrated and punched the goal post.

• JMatt struggled to create separation in red zone drills. He did make a nice one-handed catch at one point, though.

• To no surprise, Robinson got beat like a drum in one-on-ones.

• Meanwhile, Rasul Douglas logged a few pass breakups.

• Billy Brown made a sweet over the shoulder catch during a red zone drill. He’s really smooth for a big guy. With Denham struggling, Brown’s stock should be going up.

• Timothy Jernigan continues to look explosive. He fired into the backfield to stop Sproles for a loss.

Trey Burton had a good showing on Wednesday. The overall receiving corps is much better than last year. That means getting passes thrown your way is going to be tougher. Burton might not post big numbers, but he can be a good situational player for the Eagles. He has to take advantage of any time the ball comes his way.

Billy Brown has caught the ball well this summer. He has NFL potential as a receiver. I’m interested in his blocking and STs play. Struggle in those areas and he’s got no shot to make the team. Ideally, you would put him on the practice squad and let him develop for a year.

Always good to read about Aaron Grymes making plays. He’s got a strong chance to make the team.

_


74 Comments on “The Search for Consistency”

  1. 1 Guy Media said at 8:45 AM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I love the practice notes, but really can’t wait for the game action to give out some accurate judgments!

  2. 2 DJH said at 11:16 AM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Yep. I’ll be focusing on individual players and the things they need to work on. Eagles have looked good in preseason the past several years, which hasn’t translated to good team execution in the regular season.

    I want to see Agholor catch the ball, Wentz be accurate down the field, Barnett use spin or power moves, the CBs keep the ball in front of them, Pumphrey do some stuff in space, etc. Whether we win or lose the preseason games is moot.

  3. 3 Guy Media said at 11:27 AM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Exactly. It is fun to look at the little things in live game action and see who is really playing well or not. I want to see if Gibson’s yips on catches show up in games or if he’s just in la la land in practice.

  4. 4 Ark87 said at 11:20 AM on August 3rd, 2017:

    It’s funny how the only games of the year I rewatch and analyze the all 22 film, DGR-style, are these damn pointless preseason games because I am so football-starved by this time of year.

  5. 5 Guy Media said at 11:28 AM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Yeah, and I appreciate all of the strong work folks do in covering the team in really getting into the film breakdowns because that part of things is beyond my own ability to do.

  6. 6 or____ said at 12:04 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    If Tanenhill is in real bad shape, we should trade Foles for Byron Marshall and Kiko.

  7. 7 Guy Media said at 12:16 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Maxwell?

    And how about Foles and Kendricks for Raekwon and Tankersley if we’re making up fun trades?

  8. 8 or____ said at 12:18 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Ha, yeah, I was joking around and forgot that forgettable waste of money CB’s accurate last name. Ha.

    Good point. I really wanted Tanksersley – mostly because of his playing, but mostly because of his name, and his playing, but especially his name.

  9. 9 Nick C said at 12:22 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Mostly because of mostly…

  10. 10 or____ said at 12:23 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Especially mostly.

  11. 11 Guy Media said at 12:34 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Almost as good as Mostert!

  12. 12 Guy Media said at 12:35 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Tankersley is on my list of guys to complain about if they wind up better than Douglas and we don’t keep Jernigan.

  13. 13 or____ said at 12:40 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMo_HcRBnUY

  14. 14 Guy Media said at 12:43 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That took a few clicks to get to that list, but good deal.

  15. 15 sonofdman said at 2:20 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    It’s good that you plan in advance for these things!

  16. 16 Guy Media said at 2:22 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    The exact second that trade was made I already knew I’d be hyper focused on the guys taken in between our original pick and Baltimore’s pick IF we don’t keep Jernigan long term.

  17. 17 Bert's Bells said at 1:46 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    If only they still had DEon JOrdansy.

  18. 18 RC5000 said at 1:33 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Is this fake news or real life?

    After nearly three hours practicing in the oppressive August heat of South Philadelphia, resurgent Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor ended practice in walk-off fashion for the team’s offense, jetting by rookie cornerback Rasul Douglas on a go route down the left sideline and catching a bomb from Carson Wentz for the touchdown.
    The crowd assembled erupted but Agholor and Co. had more in store for the fans as the embattled third-year receiver waited for his teammates to assemble like bowling pins. He then rolled the football and everyone hit the ground. It was a strike and the kind of choreographed celebration that the NFL will allow in the 2007 season.

    Read More: Agholor’s ‘Walk-Off’ TD Highlights Physical Practice | http://973espn.com/agholors-walk-off-td-highlights-physical-practice/?trackback=twitter&trackback=tsmclip

  19. 19 Bert's Bells said at 1:45 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    It’s good Dug is working on the choreography now. Could make or break a couple fringe players.

  20. 20 RC5000 said at 1:38 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Hicks is back…so is Kendricks to the wounded list…

    Mychal Kendricks had his yearly missed day of practice because of a soft tissue injury. This time it was a quad. During OTAs, he missed time because of a hamstring. On the positive side, Jordan Hicks has a broken hand, and he participated in live tackling sessions, in the first week of August.

    http://www.phillyvoice.com/eagles-2017-training-camp-practice-notes-day-10/

  21. 21 Guy Media said at 2:24 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Kendricks is so brutally unavailable.

  22. 22 Corry said at 2:46 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Eagles signed Corey Graham to a one-year deal. He’s listed as a safety, but I’d guess he’ll shift to corner (he’s played both in his career). He has ties to Schwartz (Bills) and Joe Douglas (Ravens).

    I like him already, but he should probably learn to spell his damn name.

  23. 23 Guy Media said at 2:46 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Nice spot

  24. 24 RC5000 said at 2:54 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    He’s 32 and played safety the last 2 years. Is this a McKelvin rerun ? I’d probably just rather go with youth at CB.

  25. 25 Corry said at 3:06 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I would also rather have a younger player, but this is only a one year deal and any young player worth anything is already on a roster somewhere or probably injured.

  26. 26 Guy Media said at 3:10 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    “but this is only a one year deal”

    Word!

  27. 27 RC5000 said at 3:18 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    We have young corners I’d rather try to develop like Smith. We’ve gone down Nnamdi Sconce McKelvin road before. He hasn’t played CB for years. Hoping this is more a safety/STs move personally …

  28. 28 D3FB said at 3:24 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    This doesn’t necessarily make the group that much older.

    Hell there’s no guarantees he makes the 53.

    Things have been quiet on the Terrence Brooks front, maybe both he and Watkins are stinking up the joint.

    The team may just be bringing him in to be the “vet corner” should they cut Robinson, or if they want to go younger in the slot with Grymes.

    If it’s week 1 and we trot out Robinson-Brooks-Graham then we can be pissed.

    Otherwise this is just another guy brought in to take up spot 40-70.

  29. 29 RC5000 said at 3:30 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Sure.

  30. 30 or____ said at 3:35 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Agreed on the cautious approach, but I’ve been hearing nothing but very positive consistent things about Brooks this year. Reportedly he’s made plays against the run the pass, consistently.

    One thing I think we have to factor in here is that (like many I believe), I was hesitant to get excited about Bradham and Ron Brooks – the former Bufallo Schwartz guys- and they both panned out much better than expected. So far Jim has a good track record with that. Now, I know there’s McKelvin too, but he also wasn’t absolutely terrible.

  31. 31 RC5000 said at 3:41 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Mc Kelvin was awful. I expected Bradham to be good. Brooks didn’t prove enough here yet. I don’t think they they panned out MUCH better than expected.

  32. 32 Guy Media said at 3:46 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    The f-ing worst part about McKelvin was that the whole world could see he was a step slow………..yet they kept trotting him out there.

  33. 33 D3FB said at 2:56 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Great a Chip Kelly player.

  34. 34 dandynator said at 4:31 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    im lowkey ravens fans too and when they won the sb he was an integral part of who the secondary was so good with ladarius webb and they had him for cheap. Dont know at 32 but he use to have it

  35. 35 Guy Media said at 4:36 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I was a loud and vocal Ravens fan when they beat scumbag Giants and scumbag Kaep in their two Super Bowl wins!

  36. 36 GermanEagle said at 4:33 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    It won’t surprise me if the Eagles tried Watkins back at CB again with the recent signing of Graham.

  37. 37 RC5000 said at 4:05 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    fwiw… Kyle Fuller to be cut or traded , maybe to Eagles?

    https://twitter.com/MikeClayNFL/status/893125327811219456

  38. 38 Guy Media said at 4:08 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Instead of a 7, how about Kendricks??????

  39. 39 GermanEagle said at 4:33 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Kendricks is worth more than a 7th..

  40. 40 Guy Media said at 4:35 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    He’s essentially worthless in my book, so anything other than outright cutting him is a win!

  41. 41 GermanEagle said at 4:43 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    He’s not that bad. His soft tissues…are another story…

  42. 42 Guy Media said at 4:45 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    real soft

  43. 43 Someguy77 said at 4:36 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    With his contract and injury history, I doubt it.

  44. 44 Someguy77 said at 4:17 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    For a 7th, Roseman should make this trade in a heartbeat.

  45. 45 Guy Media said at 4:19 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    We’d save them $1.7 on the cap by trading for him vs. them cutting him. I’d rather do a player for player swap to get them than give up draft capital.

  46. 46 BobSmith77 said at 4:21 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I’d still make this move even with the $1.7M cap because of the pressing need even if that hurts a bit for next season.

  47. 47 Guy Media said at 4:23 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I hear you, but I need to have the Bears (and every other team / fan base) acknowledge that they exist to eat the Eagle’s poop and tell us how good it tastes. Kendricks = poop. 7th round draft pick (if they take a guy I like) = future big time contributor.

  48. 48 RC5000 said at 4:27 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    It’s not hard to acquire 7th round picks – a simple trade down late in the draft gets one – though I’m not sure that is the real price …However you still don’t want to overpay much…

  49. 49 Guy Media said at 4:30 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Yeah, and we could do a conditional type deal like we just took for Barbre doll.

  50. 50 BobSmith77 said at 4:20 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I would put this move in the ‘Blount signing’ category with a bit more upside because of the other starting outside CBs.

    No it wouldn’t be a dramatic upgrade but an incremental one that addresses an immediate need this season and increases their chances of making the playoffs this year.

  51. 51 GermanEagle said at 4:43 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Terrell Pryor will lead the NFL in receiving yards this season.

  52. 52 Guy Media said at 4:45 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Fan fiction written by some wack Ohio State fans?

  53. 53 GermanEagle said at 4:51 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    No. Just following a hack named Joe Banner on twitter…

  54. 54 Guy Media said at 5:00 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Banner is way too high on Pryor. He piled up some decent numbers, in aggregate, for the Browns last year in garbage time after the team was down 12 million points. Pac Man owned him and mocked him in front of the whole world with the garbage can joke.

  55. 55 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 5:24 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I dont think its out of the question. I can see him in the top 5-7

  56. 56 RC5000 said at 4:43 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    https://twitter.com/ZBerm/status/893210282641829889

  57. 57 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 5:24 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    His issues were never physical. I hope Groh keeps pushing him

  58. 58 Sean Stott said at 6:05 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Last time I checked hands are a physical part of you.

  59. 59 Ryan Rambo said at 6:21 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    We know he has hands. That’s what the football bounced off of more times than we’d like to have seen. I think Will is saying his issues were more mental lapses.

  60. 60 Guy Media said at 6:24 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    #anatomyfacts

  61. 61 CrackSammich said at 8:05 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Fuck Jerry Jones. But yeah, he deserves to be in the HOF, unfortunately.

  62. 62 CrackSammich said at 8:11 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Momah sighting.

  63. 63 Ryan Rambo said at 9:12 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I want the Cowboys to lose every game they play. I don’t care if it’s a scrimmage or pre-season! Let’s go Bruce!!

  64. 64 Guy Media said at 9:18 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Exactly. Although I still hate the Giants more.

  65. 65 Ryan Rambo said at 9:25 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Ha! I live in Dallas so it’s not even close for me. These ppl are pathetic.

  66. 66 CrackSammich said at 10:34 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Personally, I’d like them to lose the first round of the playoffs eternally. Can’t let them get a high draft pick.

  67. 67 Ryan Rambo said at 12:53 AM on August 4th, 2017:

    Dang. I have to be selfish. The thought of seeing them lose every single week AND a guarantee that every 1st rounder they picked was a total bust is my final offer! LOL

  68. 68 A_T_G said at 9:29 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    “…so many mediocre veterans in the lineup. Take a chance on young guys and see what happens.”

    I hope this is the strategy they employ in roster cuts as well. If Robinson does not clearly win the starting role, I hope they cut him. No reason to have an aging veteran that can’t beat out a couple of young upstarts on the bench.

  69. 69 Guy Media said at 9:30 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Agreed.

  70. 70 Dave said at 9:31 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I know I’ve hammered Mills in the past, but I’ll take the young CB with confidence and desire to get better over the complacent vet any day.

  71. 71 Tumtum said at 9:33 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    I really liked Mills last year. He was consistently asked to cover top WR, and did…alright. He would get beat at times, but it was always with decent position. It isn’t all that big of a step to turn that head and swat that ball. He could just become a good CB.

    It is just nice to, as Tommy mentioned, have actual young guys with promise. Not just at nickle either.

  72. 72 Guy Media said at 9:53 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Yeah, I like how Mills competes. As he learns a few more old man tricks at playing CB I’d hope he’d cut down on how often he gets beat.

  73. 73 A_T_G said at 10:58 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    Agreed, and doubly for Smith. Once I came to terms with the fact that Tavares (or whatever) wasn’t going to be leaping over NFL OLs, Smith was a guy I really wanted to see succeed.

  74. 74 Flyin said at 10:07 PM on August 3rd, 2017:

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Megan Fox is a judge on The Gong Show… on NOW.