Lots to Learn

Posted: September 20th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 145 Comments »

We are two games into the 2017 season. What definitive conclusions can we draw?

None, really.

A year ago the team was 2-0. They played a soft schedule, but the Eagles weren’t loaded with stars and had a rookie QB. We saw some real good signs. Fletcher Cox looked like he might be Defensive MVP of the league. Carson Wentz was making plays and protecting the ball. The team had a good vibe. They were confident, but not cocky. Life seemed good.

It turned out we didn’t know that team. They went 3-9 over the next 12 weeks and made us question a lot of things.

Two games is a small sample size. Too small, actually.

We have a lot to learn about this team. We’ll start with the run game since that is the hot topic. I’m not sure why everyone is so panicky about the situation. It seems that people need something to latch onto. Clearly the Eagles aren’t running the ball well enough or enough times. No one disputes that. It just feels like people are trying to make this into a defining issue for the season.

Doug Pederson is trying to figure out his new players. He is throwing the ball a lot and really trying to get it down the field. He is forcing the issue a bit, but that’s what happens early in a season when you have so many new faces. Game situations haven’t helped matters. The Eagles were in a tight game in the opener until late. Against the Chiefs, it was tight until the 4th, when the Eagles fell behind and went to pass-only mode.

There is also something just off about the run game. The blocking, the timing and the running just seem out of sync. I’m not going to dispute the fact that one way to work on that is by, you know, running it more. Pederson wants big plays. He wants points.

I expect the run game to come around. The Eagles have some talented blockers up front. This isn’t the 2012 team with Dallas Reynolds, Jake Scott, Dennis Kelly and Demetress Bell on the field.

While the current RBs aren’t going to make anyone forget the combo of Duce Staley, Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook, I do think the Eagles have enough talent there to be productive this season. There is no feature back and that’s not ideal, to put it mildly, but RB by committee has worked for plenty of teams over the years. The one issue is that the players and coaches have to get on the same page and into a good working situation. That doesn’t exist right now.

When you have a stud, you feed him the ball. When you have the RBBC approach, you must figure out the best way to get the most out of each player. That hasn’t come close to happening so far. Pederson knows how to use the RBBC system effectively. He had to do that in KC at times. As a player, he saw that done when he was with the Packers.

I’m not trying to tell you that Pederson will wave his magic wand and the Eagles will suddenly turn into the 1978 Patriots (check out those numbers), but I do think the run game can be “good enough”. This team is going to go as far as Carson Wentz and the passing attack take it.

*****

As for the passing attack, we know it is vastly improved from last year, but we don’t know how good this group is. They haven’t hit on enough big plays. When you focus on speed and size, you expect chunk plays. The Eagles are doing better there than a year ago, but they need the deep shots to pay off in the form of completions or at least penalties.

*****

The OL is a real tricky subject. They have not played up to expectations. At the same time, if you listen to some people, they’d make you think this group was barely functional.

Did you watch the Giants on Monday night? That’s a bad OL. Their offense isn’t able to move the ball or score points (13 so far this year). The Eagles offense has put up 42 points this year. They are 5th in the league in yards. You don’t have that kind of success with a flat out bad line. The Giants are 30th in points and 28th in yards.

One of the issues for the OL is that the Eagles do want to throw vertically. That means holding the ball longer. Carson Wentz is an aggressive QB. That means holding the ball longer. There is no doubt that Wentz is getting hit too much, but we do need some context there.

*****

In regard to Isaac Seumalo, I wrote a bit about him for PE.com.

*****

The defense has been good this year. Outstanding at times.

But the defense could not make clutch stops on Sunday.

The offense put the Eagles up 10-6 and you could feel some momentum building. Then KC went 83 yards on five plays, scoring on the 53-yard TD run. That put them back on top. The Eagles tied it up with a FG.

The defense then got the ball right back for the offense. That’s when Wentz threw the disastrous INT. The defense got KC to 3rd down and had Alex Smith there for a sack, but Vinny Curry couldn’t finish him off and Smith scrambled for the 1st down. The Chiefs then scored on the next play to re-take the lead.

KC got the ball back with 5:27 left in the game. The defense absolutely had to come up with a 3 & out. Instead, the Chiefs drove for a TD and that all but put the game away.

This defense has tremendous potential. They have talent all over the place and despite some injuries, they have come together and shown immediate chemistry. I know the Chiefs are very talented and they had plenty of advantages on Sunday, but top flight defenses come up with stops in critical situations. The Eagles didn’t do that.

It doesn’t mean they won’t in future situations, but it is a reminder we don’t know how good this defense is right now. They made critical plays in the opener, but that was against a struggling Skins offense. The defense couldn’t make critical stops against Alex Smith and the red hot Chiefs offense.

Jim Schwartz isn’t going to be satisfied until this defense can get the job done against everyone.

*****

The season is young. We still have a lot to learn about this team.

_


145 Comments on “Lots to Learn”

  1. 1 kimsarah said at 12:54 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    The questionable OL might not define the season. There are certainly teams with more OL problems. However, I see it as the difference between this team being 8-8 or 9-7 — or being a 10-6, or 11-5 team that is playoff bound.

  2. 2 Mac said at 12:06 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    With as bad as the NFC east is right now… 8 wins can win the division this season.

  3. 3 DrGeniusPhD said at 1:12 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    What we know: Carson Wentz is special but still a little raw. The defensive front seven is very good. Torrey Smith can’t catch. Ertz continues on his post-Kempski-lambasting rampage. The screen pass can actually work once every dozen or so times. Pumphrey is a bust. The Eagles are good enough to make the playoffs.

  4. 4 or____ said at 6:56 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Two falsehoods there with Smith and pump.

  5. 5 sonofdman said at 10:08 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Too early to call Pump a bust. Smith is a nice receiver but has had problems with drops his whole career.

  6. 6 or____ said at 11:06 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Yeah, Odell Beckham Jr. had a big drop the other night. Julio Jones drops some etc… Torrey Smith isn’t an elite “hands” guy, and he definitely drops some passes (Jerry Rice did too).

    Smith needs to do a better job catching the ball. But to say he can’t catch is 100% false.

  7. 7 sonofdman said at 11:15 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I think it is a matter of degree. Saying he can’t catch is clearly hyperbole, but he has proven over his career (anecdotally speaking – I don’t have stats to back it up) to not have great hands. Guys like Beckham, Julio, Rice, and TO (who also dropped quite a few) brought a lot more to the table than Smith. I like Smith, don’t get me wrong, but if he performed like those guys you mentioned I don’t think people would get on him as much about drops. Then again, people want to fire the coach because they lost a close game in week 2 on the road to one of the best teams in the league, so maybe I shouldn’t expect rationality from fans. 🙂

  8. 8 or____ said at 11:51 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Agreed. I just hate it when hyperbole is overused. It creates false narratives.

  9. 9 Dave said at 7:26 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    When does a young QB move in from the raw label? Is Carson really raw? I’ve read this numerous times now.

    He’s played 18 games and by all accounts, can read a defense better than Mike Vick at anytime in his career. Was Mike Vick raw his whole career? Jimmy Garappolo has been in the league over 3 years and has 2 starts, is he considered raw?

  10. 10 ColorSgt said at 7:41 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I don’t know if I’d consider Wentz raw at this point. I’d call the offense as a whole raw. I think there is a lot of untapped potential that I hope to see come out as the season progresses. As far as Vick goes, he was some what raw when it game to the cerebral part of the game. He didn’t put the effort in in that respect and relied on his athletic ability to play mostly reactionary football.

  11. 11 Buge Halls said at 8:10 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    “Was Mike Vick raw his whole career?” Yes, yes he was!

  12. 12 CrackSammich said at 8:16 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    “Raw” implies there will be improvement over time.

    In an established QB like Vick, it’s not likely they will get better, and now it’s just a known weakness.

  13. 13 Mac said at 12:01 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    For me, the “raw” aspect of Wentz’s game is that he needs to find a way to “simmer down” and get that touch pass to Sproles in the flat/on a screen (because he’s passing to Sproles not Ertz).

    I believe: this will happen… as he gets more acclimated to the NFL game and specifically the QB position. I think he actually may need to let go of some of his rigid passing rules and just improvise getting that short touch pass to the right spot at the right time.

  14. 14 ChoTime said at 1:17 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Hold your horses there.

    Carson Wentz 2016-2017: Qb rating 80.5, adjust yards/attempt: 5.9
    Mike Vick 2009-2010: QB rating 95, adjust yards/attempt 8.4

    Vick also put up over 900 yards on the ground during that time period.

    We’re comparing a guy who played the position as well as it could be, albeit only for a season and a half or so, to a guy who’s done nothing yet.

    Vick was not “raw,” he had his strengths and weaknesses. Besides the first few games of last year, Wentz has shown flashes, based primarily on athleticism, which of course is far inferior to Vick’s.

    Wentz is far more booksmart and dedicated than Vick, not to mention taller (Vick’s height was his achilles’ heel, not his brains IMO), so he has a good chance to eventually be a better QB than Vick. But he is not there yet.

  15. 15 Dave said at 2:44 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Cho, you missed my point.

    According to posts calling Carson raw over the past year (and today), raw has been defined as the following:

    – Not very good at reading defenses
    – Young
    – Inexperienced
    – A QB that has not peaked yet
    – A QB that can make all the throws consistently at a high level

    I was trying to get a more definitive definition on the term raw and when is a QB not considered raw anymore.

    Your definition of raw seems to be stats-based.

  16. 16 ChoTime said at 5:40 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Raw, to me, is a lack of judgment and skill that comes with experience. I think Vick showed plenty of expertise, as revealed by the MVP-level stats he put up, both as a passer, and of course as a runner. I don’t think you could possibly put up those stats, with that efficiency, on pure undeveloped talent.

    Wentz is still young enough that we could call him raw. What I see is someone who is trying to do too much, given his experience, and has some mechanical issues. I think it would be fair to say, if Wentz does not improve, to say next year at this time that he is no longer raw, he just isn’t that good.

  17. 17 MunichEagles said at 1:45 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    For the line: JP will bring them together. I prefer that they step up their game as the season goes on. The Dline is too hot for me. They need to be hot in january and december. You typically can´t stay hot for 19 games.
    Anyhow: Sunday is must win game. Get to 2-0 in the division and send the Giants basically out of the PO hunt.

  18. 18 Buge Halls said at 8:11 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    As much as I’d like to see it, I’m pretty sure the Eagles won’t be playing 19 games this season.

  19. 19 P_P_K said at 9:25 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Super Bowl 51: Eagles 27, Chiefs 21. Doug gets revenge and Andy loses another.

  20. 20 Mac said at 11:57 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Bazinga!

  21. 21 sonofdman said at 10:06 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    You are right. Let’s be realistic. They have a tough schedule so they likely won’t get a bye in the playoffs. So they will have to play 20 games, not 19.

  22. 22 Buge Halls said at 1:52 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Ever the dreamer!

  23. 23 Dan in Philly said at 6:03 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    It’s certainly a fun team to watch so far. Exciting to think they were juuuuuuust this close from a 2TD comeback on the road against one of the best team in the season so far. They have play making ability, and I think one of these games all the pieces will fall into place and they’ll drop 40+ on someone with huge plays all over the field.

  24. 24 CrackSammich said at 6:59 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Idea to help fix the run game: Put two running backs out at once. If you’re tipping your hand because Smallwood can’t block and Blount can’t catch, put both out there? For all the years we’ve been talking about using Sproles in two back sets, I’m having trouble coming up with more than a handful of times we’ve actually tried it.

  25. 25 Ray888 said at 7:17 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    DP reportedly went with young OL players in KC & let them develop over the season. He stuck w/ Vaitai last year from a horrible first game to a serviceable tackle later in the year. No reason to think he’ll take a different approach w/ Seumalo. The same doesn’t apply to Kelce – he is what he is w/ no real upside at this point in his career. If there is a need for a change, it might be at C.

  26. 26 CrackSammich said at 7:25 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I don’t necessarily agree that we need to get rid of Kelce. He’s great at some things and bad at others, and if Chipper could game plan around his weaknesses, I think Dougie can. That said, if Seumalo or some other replacement is going to take his spot, his contract is pretty much cuttable starting next year, and not exactly the worst for a trade. 3 years left, only $1.2mil dead next year and none the 2 years after. His base salary is currently the 11th highest in the league, which is sure to go down as salaries get higher, and some team somewhere will be willing to pay for that with a restructure.

    https://overthecap.com/player/jason-kelce/755/

  27. 27 DrGeniusPhD said at 1:50 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    If we are going to have a center that good at some things and bad at others, I want the thing he’s good at to be “protecting Carson Wentz” and not “decent mobility for pull blocking on sweeps”.

  28. 28 Gary Barnes said at 2:19 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Then you better be concerned about Seumalo because he has shown neither skill right now

  29. 29 DrGeniusPhD said at 2:38 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Yeah, the plan to slide Seumalo over to center isn’t looking very promising right now.

  30. 30 D3FB said at 3:00 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    They tried to trade him. He’s a unique player with a limited market because of that.

  31. 31 Frencheaglesfan said at 7:46 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I’ve said it before and I say it again but damned it feels so good to have a franchise QB. Look how long it took for the falcons to build a competitive team, now we have our QB it is just so simple. I am so happy we have Wentz, seriously, this guy is the perfect face of a Franchise. And he is so nice that it will even lead to finally end the negativity around philadelphia with santa and everything.

  32. 32 Tom33 said at 9:17 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Honestly, that’s my big worry when they are calling passing plays 70% (Wash) & 80% (KC) of the time. The franchise QB will end up getting hit too many times and then they will be back to square 1. Look at Andrew Luck for a reference point.

  33. 33 P_P_K said at 9:21 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Although I agree with you, I’m afraid to upvote your post because I don’t want to jinx Wentz.

  34. 34 Dave said at 10:53 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Luck got hit too many times because Indy has had a terrible offensive line. Heck Todd Herremans started for them at 33 after he was let go by the Eagles.

  35. 35 DrGeniusPhD said at 1:54 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Fan negativity has been going out of style in Philadelphia. Wentz has contributed to that. So has Joel Embiid. Optimism is the new hotness and the negative jerks who are unable to adapt to the new model are mostly old Trump voters who will be dead soon anyway.

  36. 36 Gary Barnes said at 2:22 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Unfortunately, its what we said about McNabb too and the SB is still not won. He & Reid did win everything else there is to win in all fairness, but for me at least a SB win is really the goal.

    If the Roseman – Douglas – Pederson – Wentz quartet bring us home the trophy, they will be Gods here along with all the other players and coaches on that team. If they fall short as well, we’ll be looking for the next crew with the same ache in our heart.

  37. 37 Buge Halls said at 8:09 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I’m not too concerned about the run game – this isn’t the 1970’s any more when you HAD to run the ball 30 times a game to win. The rules have changed so much to favor the passing attack in the last 10 years that running is not as important as it used to be. I love the fact that defenses are keeping 7 or 8 men in “the box” becasue they think the run is coming – that just leads to man on man coverage and opens the passing lanes up. This should eventually lead to them dropping another safety or two which *should* open the run lanes a little more.

    All that being said, the O-line as it’s been in the last two weeks just can’t run block, while being fairly effective on pass blocking. They are too small in the middle and the sweep plays are too easily run down by LBs and fast DLs. They need big dudes in the middle to open up those running lanes and with our “tiny” line, it’s not happening.

  38. 38 bill said at 8:44 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I’m with you until the end. The line isn’t “tiny.” Kelce is arguably undersized (more accurately understrengthed), but Brooks is certainly not. Seumalo is no worse than average. Johnson and Peters are not small, either.

    The big problem right now is Seumalo. He flat out stinks right now. He’s getting ragdolled on almost every play. Fix him, and the run game will look better (not great, certainly) immediately.

  39. 39 Buge Halls said at 1:57 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I specifically talked about the middle of the line (LG, C, RG), not the ends (Peters and Johnson). Overall, the middle of the line is way undersized. As I pointed out, you want your RB to run in the middle, not toward the edge. The middle is where you need the meat for run-blocking (the edge for pass-blocking). The pass-blocking ends can actually be smaller and quicker than the run-blocking middle as they will usually be facing quicker D-ends. Optimally, you’d want thickness across the OL. You most certainly don’t want an undersized player right at the point of attack – the center!

  40. 40 D3FB said at 2:58 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Sem: 6’4 310-315lbs
    Kelce:6’3 295-300lbs
    Brooks: 6’5 335lbs

    And the avg NFL C is about 6’3 305lbs

    And C’s are the smallest players on the OL, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about

  41. 41 Gary Barnes said at 3:17 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Correct, they are not under-sized. More likely is they are at different stages of their careers and learning how to work together consistently.

  42. 42 Buge Halls said at 3:22 PM on September 21st, 2017:

    Thanks for researching that and proving my point

  43. 43 D3FB said at 5:46 PM on September 21st, 2017:

    You seriously think Kelce being 5-10lbs lighter than average is the reason we can’t run the ball?

  44. 44 eagleyankfan said at 8:28 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    “Doug Pederson is trying to figure out his new players.” — maybe they should be playing more in the pre-season? Silly how little playing time they get. DP has been with the ‘new’ players since OTA’s and he still has to figure them out? Is DP a slow learner?

  45. 45 A_T_G said at 8:37 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Players are constantly growing and changing as well. This isn’t a Doug thing. How long did it take to figure out Jenkins wasn’t a corner? How many years until Sproles was used correctly? Some people thought JP was a tight end.

  46. 46 eagleyankfan said at 9:05 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I think you’re a little extreme on the analogies and in the low percentages of implying the Eagles have players that far our of their player location. Outside of rookies – who are the Eagles using out of position? I take new players to mean people like AJ and Smith. That quote was in the context of the offense. The offensive line is pretty much the same. Most of the RB’s are the same. I guess Wentz is “new” in a sense. I do think this is all on DP. However – more to my point was the use of players during pre-season. If you’re not using them enough – figuring them out ‘on the fly’ during the season is a difficult task. Don’t get me wrong – I think it takes quite awhile for a team to gel and maybe that’s what T-Law is referring to about the offense. Saying people are out of position? I’m not buying that…

  47. 47 A_T_G said at 10:55 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    That wasn’t the point I was trying to make. More, players grow and mature and change and finding the best way to use them isn’t a static decision, nor one that can be made about a rookie in the spring and filed on a shelf.

    The point about players out of position was just that someone was smart enough to keep trying to figure out how to best use them. If everyone was worried about sticking to the evaluations from OTAs as to not be labeled a slow learner, Jenkins would be a disappointing corner that tackles well but isn’t fast enough. A team had “figured out” him well enough to use a first round pick on him… and then they continued to get to know him and his skills.

  48. 48 eagleyankfan said at 2:58 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    guess I’m not alone …
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/09/19/former-nfl-player-blames-limited-time-in-pads-for-the-leagues-wretched-ol-play/

  49. 49 D3FB said at 3:04 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    You’re arguing a different point than the player is.

    The player is arguing that development is stunted because they don’t have 2 a days and 4 hour practices and beat the hell out of each other anymore.

    You’re arguing that 4 more drives for the starters in preseason is why things aren’t working.

  50. 50 eagleyankfan said at 3:21 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    tomato tomatoe … more time in the pre-season no matter how you look it. Either way – more time in pads(whether it be in 2 day practices or pre-season games) would better prepare the players and help Pederson “figure out his players”.
    …..
    I never believe in the “4th quarter of game 4 will determine who makes the team”. If a coach doesn’t know after all that time what he has – there’s something wrong…

  51. 51 D3FB said at 3:25 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    It’s absolutely not tomatoe tomato!

    You’re arguing that 15-20 live plays = 40-50 hours of full go full padded practice.

    They couldn’t be any more different.

    Also the player is arguing that from a developmental standpoint and you’re using it as a deployment argument.

  52. 52 eagleyankfan said at 7:33 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    you’re still missing my point…more…I don’t care how…more time in pads. Don’t care if it’s 2 a days – long 1 days – more preseason games –
    …..
    development — deployment….you’re playing with words is a bit annoying — You said ‘pre-season game’ and he said practices — my argument remains the same — not enough time in pads. Did you watch the opening game of the season on Thursday night? If you did, you heard the eraser head of an announcer go on and on and on about how the players are not getting enough “time” in the preseason to prepare for the season. I’ll now await your argument over the word “time”….

  53. 53 D3FB said at 12:27 PM on September 21st, 2017:

    You said it was Dougs fault. It’s a league mandated policy agreed to in the CBA. That’s all.

  54. 54 A_T_G said at 5:15 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Regardless, the article makes it even harder to pin on Doug…

    “[Deese] cites the reduction in padded practices that came with the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011.”

  55. 55 eagleyankfan said at 7:28 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    meh

  56. 56 xmbk said at 8:44 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Quite a few run plays have literally been one guy missing an assignment, blowing up a nice play. That stuff needs to be taken care of, but it’s not panic material. It’s not DeMarco Murray level stuff.

    Lots of writers/radio in Philly trying to make a living, though. 😉

  57. 57 Anders said at 8:54 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Majority of plays in the NFL is about 1 man not doing his job

  58. 58 sonofdman said at 10:37 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    I would fit right in in the NFL!

  59. 59 Ark87 said at 11:33 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    wonder if bad players aren’t doing their job because they’re commenting on igglesblitz too.

  60. 60 sonofdman said at 2:00 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Whichever commenter is actually Isaac Seumalo better get off Igglesblitz and get back to work!

  61. 61 ChoTime said at 5:33 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    YOU HAD ONE JOB.

  62. 62 Crus57 said at 10:30 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    We need to run the ball more? Our run plays don’t work because one guy misses their assignment?

    We just need some ridiculous clock management and possibly a terrible challenge and we’re back at Peak Andy.

    Though if we start to have multiple drives that consist of Incomplete Pass – 2yd Run – Incomplete Pass then I may have to start drinking, can’t go through that again.

  63. 63 sonofdman said at 10:37 AM on September 20th, 2017:

    Does Peak Andy mean regularly winning the division, competing for home field advantage, and going deep in the playoffs? If so, sign me up.

  64. 64 ChoTime said at 1:18 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I assume he uses Peak in the sense of Peak Oil, which means the point at which oil reaches terminal decline.

  65. 65 Crus57 said at 1:24 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Well, if you follow the line that they brought Doug in to try and get back to Andy’s winning ways, then exhibiting similar flaws could be seen as a good sign that the plan is working. Maybe?

  66. 66 ChoTime said at 5:33 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I’m not sure imitating Andy’s flaws but not his strengths is necessarily a good sign, no. 🙂

  67. 67 Crus57 said at 1:21 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I could live with that, certainly. The Giants have proved how much of a lottery the playoffs can be multiple times, just got to be in it to win it.

  68. 68 Tumtum said at 12:18 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Teams that are good at the run are dedicated to the run. They get stuffed, but they go back to it. Sure we pepper in 12-14 rushes in the game but they are so spread out there is no chance to ever build a rhythm.

  69. 69 xmbk said at 2:29 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Teams that are good at the run also have different personnel. Eagles can be better, but not Titans or Cowboys better, probably not even Jaguars better.

  70. 70 Gary Barnes said at 2:42 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Exactly….2009 was the last time the Eagles spent a high draft pick on a RB (Shady, 2nd). Unfortunately, as we know, he was traded away for a freakin’ LB!

    RB drafted since 2009:

    Pump (4th, 2017); still on roster, IR
    Smallwood (5th, 2016); still on roster
    0 RB picked in 2015
    0 RB picked in 2014
    0 RB picked in 2013
    Brown (7th, 2012); traded w/ a 7th rd pick for two picks (4th and 7th)
    Lewis (5th, 2011); traded for another freakin’ LB!
    Scott (6th, 2010); who? I do not recall this guy at all

    In 2014, we traded a 5th rd pick for Sproles
    In 2017, we signed Blount as a FA

  71. 71 laeagle said at 2:49 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    You say that as if spending a high round pick on a RB is the solution. Your “2009 was the last time the Eagles spent a high round draft pick on a RB” sentence seems damning for the team, but it misses context. Namely, what were the high round draft picks spent prior to 2009 that made such a difference?

    This team has a great history of getting production out of mid-to-low round picks. Westbrook, Staley, Buckhalter, etc. You make it seem as if there was this long trail of high draft pick, productive backs we had. That’s not the case. In fact, spending a second on Shady was a bit of anomaly. And despite that, we’ve had a long string of success at the position.

    I suggest reading Sheil’s interview with Joe Banner in this week’s “Athletic”. Joe explains the philosophy behind the Eagles draft selections as RB. In a nutshell, they were not necessarily _opposed_ to drafting RB high, it’s just that RB is one of the few positions where the dropoff in later rounds isn’t very steep. Interesting analysis.

    In short, while we may have issues at RB now, it’s not because we’re not drafting RB high; it’s because we’re not drafting the right guys.

  72. 72 Gary Barnes said at 3:11 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    My post was in response to xmbk’s statement that teams truly committed to the run game have different personnel.

    In my view, that translates to:

    1. Better RB (and OL) talent overall
    2. RB (and OL) personnel that fit a strong run game scheme better

    I did not mean to argue that drafting a RB high indicates true committment – but that having better RB like Shady help the Eagles stay committed to the run game and better offense in general since he is a very good pass catcher as well, as was Westbrook.

    Pump, Smallwood, Brown, Lewis etc. were not only not great choices, but they did not fit a strong run game scheme either. Most of their skill sets are as quick hitter, pass catching scat backs. Shady, OTOH, was a complete RB.

    There was also 3 straight years when we drafted 0 RB. Not sure that is wise to repeat.

    The other consequence of these issues is it forces the Eagles to spend valuable resources on FA RB and in trades for RB. Sproles was a very good move, but the rest have either been expensive flops (Murray) or expensive mediocrities (Matthews) or cheap band aids (Blount).

  73. 73 Tumtum said at 12:17 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Agree with Tommy on the defense. McLeod not being in is an excuse we shouldn’t have to make. No 58 yard runs.

  74. 74 Todd Blake said at 12:21 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    The OL and the run game are married. I am less concerned about the performance of the run game directly. However, while the pass game is doing well overall, Wentz is taking a lot of hits. He will not survive the season at this rate. If the OL cannot protect better, then they have to limit drop backs.

    Seumalo has not been performing. He is a natural center. It could be that he is just not cut out to be guard. That is OK, maybe they should let him concentrate on being Kelce’s replacement and replace him in the lineup with Warmack.

    Yes, Warmack has also struggled in pass pro. But he has been dominant at times in the run game. If they put Warmack in and THEN run the ball, then opposing defenses might not be able to just pin their ears back and treat every down like a passing down. This will reduce total drop backs for Wentz and (theoretically) give him more time to let passing plays develop.

    I do not want to give up on Seumalo but his development cannot be at the expense of the QB.

  75. 75 Tumtum said at 1:44 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Wentz habitually holds the ball. More hits from that than anything else.

  76. 76 Todd Blake said at 4:00 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    From Tommy’s article above: “One of the issues for the OL is that the Eagles do want to throw
    vertically. That means holding the ball longer. Carson Wentz is an
    aggressive QB. That means holding the ball longer.”

    My point was directly related to that statement. They need to at least be marginally committed to the run game to keep defenses from teeing off on Wentz on every play.

    My proposed solution is to put in the player that can help in the run game (even it is not a great improvement in the pass game) and then be more committed to the run. Play action passes, already a strength, would be that more effective.

  77. 77 EagleOne1983 said at 12:32 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    “This isn’t the 2012 team with Dallas Reynolds, Jake Scott, Dennis Kelly and Demetress Bell on the field.”
    This sentence brought back nightmares. That year was just so bad for Oline luck/health.

  78. 78 Sb2bowl said at 12:46 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Remember when Demetress corrected the public relations team that his name has been pronounced incorrectly for his entire career? That dude was a little off.

    I guess that’s what happens when your dad is a famous basketball player that slept with a 16 year old and then left her on her own to raise a kid.

  79. 79 CrackSammich said at 1:31 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    …This whole comment confuses me.

  80. 80 Tumtum said at 1:43 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Well the bit about his name and the PR dept. is true, and was pretty confusing. The rest, I’ll have to defer lol.

  81. 81 CrackSammich said at 1:48 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I guess I’m missing context, but I would think it isn’t weird to correct someone mispronouncing your name.

    The dad stuff… I just don’t…

  82. 82 BlindChow said at 3:07 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    It’s weird to do it at the end of your career, instead of the first time it happened.

  83. 83 Sb2bowl said at 10:00 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Me too

  84. 84 goeagles55 said at 6:50 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Not only was it pronounced wrong; it was also spelled wrong (Demetrius). And he didn’t know he had been spelling it wrong his whole life until that year.

    For others who don’t get the second part: He is allegedly Karl Malone’s son.

  85. 85 Tumtum said at 1:42 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I don’t even remember the name Jake Scott.

  86. 86 Gary Barnes said at 2:28 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Good reason for that, lol

  87. 87 D3FB said at 2:50 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Was the vet journeyman from the colts that we signed during camp when they realized that Danny wasn’t going to be ready

  88. 88 RC5000 said at 1:06 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Jenkins & Maragos are the only safeties practicing today. Graham also nursing a hammy.

  89. 89 Tumtum said at 1:42 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Ayi yai, yai

  90. 90 RC5000 said at 2:14 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Ed Reynolds is out there but he may not be healthy (sprained MCL on 8/1) . Cleveland was going to put him on IR but released him at the last minute. I kind of doubt he’s healthy. There’s a bunch of old names..

    Surprised they didn’t pick anyone up with an open roster spt though they tried to get Houston-Carson.

  91. 91 sonofdman said at 2:16 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    What about the rookie who was blowing people up in the preseason games? Is he on the practice squad?

  92. 92 RC5000 said at 2:20 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I read somewhere they can not add Tre Sullivan until 3 weeks from when they waived him with an injury settlement.

  93. 93 A_T_G said at 2:38 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I think the rule is they cannot sign with any team until the length of their settlement has expired, so it would vary by player.

  94. 94 D3FB said at 2:49 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    correct

  95. 95 A_T_G said at 2:35 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    IR’ed, then released with an injury settlement.

    Edit: Read the whole conversation before posting. Read the whole conversation before posting. Read the whole…RC already covered it better.

  96. 96 Gary Barnes said at 2:16 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    More data on Blount’s usage last season by the Pats:

    0 games with less than 10 carries
    1 game with less than 13 carries
    1 game with less than 14 touches
    12 games with 15 or more carries
    6 games with 20 or more carries

    Pats 5-1 when he got 20 or more carries
    Pats 11-1 when he got 15 or more carries

  97. 97 xmbk said at 2:31 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    So 6-0 when he gets 15-19? Obviously need to cut him off at 19.

    #analytics

  98. 98 sonofdman said at 2:33 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    New strategy: Call 15 straight running plays to Blount as the first 15 plays. Boom – Victory guaranteed!

  99. 99 xmbk said at 5:54 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    As long as he only gets it 4 times the rest of the game.

    #numbersdontlie

  100. 100 SteveH said at 2:35 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    So he got more runs when they had the lead? Makes sense.

  101. 101 Gary Barnes said at 8:54 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    According to the game logs, Pats ran the ball regularly from the start to the end of games. Sure, some of it was when they were leading, but some of it was also not.

  102. 102 Guy Media said at 5:58 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    RUN THE BALL!

  103. 103 Insomniac said at 7:17 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    So what you’re saying is, we should throw the ball more?

  104. 104 daveH said at 7:20 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Imitate belichek.

  105. 105 Insomniac said at 7:22 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XQOeSKRxIDI/VNT0Zs5rfMI/AAAAAAAACMU/lg0XE4WbQmY/s1600/darth+belichick.jpg

    does this man look like he can be imitated

  106. 106 RC5000 said at 2:30 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/philadelphia-eagles-chance-warmack-isaac-seumalo-20170920.html

    After three days of vigorous Isaac Seumalo defense from Doug Pederson and Frank Reich, the Eagles began Wednesday’s position drills with Chance Warmack lined up at first-team left guard, between Jason Peters and Jason Kelce.

    Of course, Wednesday’s position drills might not be the definitive word on a lineup change, but usually, the starting offensive line does the drills together.

  107. 107 A_T_G said at 2:34 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    And, honestly, if he had already decided to make the change during the game last week, this was the way to handle it. Destroying the guy publicly or throwing him under the bus like the Giants’ coach did doesn’t help the player or the coach’s relationship with the team.

  108. 108 xmbk said at 5:57 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    He learned from Reid.

  109. 109 DrGeniusPhD said at 2:42 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Can someone send me the philly.com user/pass we are all using to bypass their paywall? I had it, but now I can’t find it anywhere.

  110. 110 daveH said at 6:37 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I just bagged the site altogether. They need the views so i can’t see how make it prop access only helps them at all.

  111. 111 DrGeniusPhD said at 7:50 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Same. I was just kidding about the shared user/pass.

    I have bought a subscription to Crossing Broad and I will be buying one for The Athletic. I don’t mind paying a little for good content, but I am certainly not going to pay money for Marcus Hayes and the other boobs they have at philly dot com.

  112. 112 daveH said at 8:28 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I however, LOVE your idea of the shared login/password. .. if not just for the fun of relented bouncing each other off

  113. 113 Gary Barnes said at 8:55 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Yup, switched to TheAthletic/philly – liking it more and more each day

  114. 114 Tumtum said at 9:44 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    It’s been so long since I went there that I didn’t even know they had gone to a pay system. They were so bad…why go pay?

  115. 115 ColorSgt said at 9:47 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I’d pay a dollar for Marcus Hayes to stop doing whatever it is he does.

  116. 116 Tumtum said at 9:41 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Not sure how I want to react to this news. I guess it is the best thing to win this week, so I am happy. Long run, who knows.

  117. 117 Nailed It! said at 2:37 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I have faith the offensive line figures it out this week. Main thing that will keep me up Saturday night will be OBJ vs. Mills. Luckily a couple fingers of High West whiskey will help.

  118. 118 CrackSammich said at 2:45 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Dear Coach DF3B:

    What makes a player a “natural center” like Seumalo vs a “pure guard” like Chance vs someone with versatility like Wiz?

  119. 119 D3FB said at 4:36 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    1. Who called Sem a natural C?

    2. The difference is usually physical profile and experience. G’s are typically a little bigger, C’s are typically the smallest guy on the OL.
    Most C’s can play G. Most G’s can’t snap.

  120. 120 Sean Stott said at 5:08 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    1. I don’t know who, but I’ve definitely heard that around here.

  121. 121 xmbk said at 5:56 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Centers are smarter. 😉

  122. 122 unhinged said at 5:15 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    “This team is going to go as far as Carson Wentz and the passing attack take it.”
    That implies pressure and impatience to me. If Lurie and Roseman and Pederson want to maximize CW’s potential, why not commit to that and screw the record for now? The mandate to win will not permit the necessary disciplinary, meticulous conditioning that a raw QB talent requires. It already seems evident that Wentz’s footwork is an afterthought on many plays. He’s holding the ball too long on many pass plays. I think the negative comments regarding the running game are directly connected to the hope that Wentz can be QB and not have the game on his shoulders. Is that asking too much? I’m not saying don’t try to win, but if John DeFillipo scolds Wentz every time he is too slow too get rid of the ball, he’ll probably throw more picks and miss out on some spectacular plays. SO WHAT? If Wentz is ever going to develop a rhythm where defenses are frustrated, that is going to be a painstaking learning process. Giving him the task of winning without developing the habits necessary to be his best is selling him short and squandering a precious opportunity.

  123. 123 xmbk said at 5:55 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Because the best way to win a SB is to give yourself a shot every year. Sometimes things fall your way. And even if you’re the best team in the league, the odds are against winning it all.

  124. 124 Fufina said at 5:59 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Not sure Wentz needs training wheels at this point. His mechanical flaws are not going to improve during the season whatever scheme you run – that is off season work, stretching over several years.

    If Wentz is going to be an elite QB like we all want him to be he is going to have to learn how far to the limit he can take things and still be effective. Trying to force him into being a game manager wastes his tools and talents and just puts a ceiling on what he can be in the league. We don’t want a Smith or Bradford, you want a Big Ben or Rogers.

  125. 125 unhinged said at 6:46 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    “Forcing him to be a game manger” seems oxymoronic to me. I think the real game is exactly where bad habits become a ceiling on a talented player’s ability. And it is also where good habits can turn into muscle memory. Anybody can do the right thing in practice or training camp, but it requires regular intervention and critiquing to hone those habits game to game. To me Wentz is clearly not a Smith or a Bradford, but how much more dangerous would he be if he had Alex Smith’s discipline and pacing? I really think expecting Wentz to figure things out is putting too much on him.

  126. 126 ChoTime said at 10:41 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I agree!

  127. 127 Insomniac said at 7:19 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Or we could magically form a run game so Wentz doesn’t have to do it all by himself. Minimizing and maximizing in football is all about balance (see Falcons offense but without the dumb implosion).

  128. 128 unhinged said at 7:29 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Yes. A commitment to run and a focus on the young QB’s personal specs (like how long he holds the ball, how well he sets himself, how long does he take to see the best option, etc). That isn’t going to happen if he’s throwing 40 passes a game and running for his life, and getting knocked around.

  129. 129 Gary Barnes said at 9:00 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Amen, preach on

    If the Eagles truly want Wentz to develop and become the best QB possible, they should be doing everything in their power every day to build the best team around him – that means strong defense, effective ST and, yes, a balanced and versatile offense.

  130. 130 Tumtum said at 9:39 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Making lots of assumptions here.

  131. 131 daveH said at 7:19 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    3 draft picks already playing is huge for us. ..

  132. 132 BlindChow said at 10:01 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    We had five draft picks play last game: Barnett, Douglas, Mack, Qualls, and Elliot (he’s like an extra 5th round pick!).

    Plus Clement played, though he wasn’t technically a draft pick…

  133. 133 scratcherk said at 10:34 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Can we count Timmy jernigan?

  134. 134 BlindChow said at 11:24 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Only if we re-sign him…

  135. 135 daveH said at 7:23 PM on September 21st, 2017:

    Yes you’re right! ! Imagine if we had 5 rookies good enough to play every year! !

  136. 136 ColorSgt said at 9:24 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    Is it too much to hope for that Eli sacks himself again by the end of the game… on a run play?

  137. 137 Masked Man said at 10:36 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    I support the Warmack experiment this week. Huge opportunity for him to prove himself. And it’s a safe setting to try something new for the Eagles. Does anybody doubt we take the Giants apart here in Philly on Sunday?
    Warmack has 40+ NFL starts, so he shouldn’t be totally lost. Experts (Tommy and others) have been saying that his issues were related to pass blocking technique. But generally he knew who to block and when to block back in Tennessee. And Chance’s run blocking skills have not been questioned at all.
    Seumalo looked as if he is still figuring that out who to block in the game last week.

  138. 138 Philadelphian said at 12:45 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    I agree that they should go with Warmack, but it’s vital that Seumalo gets back on track. We need this kid to play the way we thought he would or the line won’t be where it needs to be.

  139. 139 Masked Man said at 1:02 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    Hey Philly! Nice to see you checking in over here!

  140. 140 Philadelphian said at 6:54 PM on September 21st, 2017:

    Yes, but it seems strange. I also tried Bleeding Green, but my name was taken. Therefore, since I’m ancient I go under the name “Old Philadelphian”.

    Such creativity, at least in my own mind.

  141. 141 Masked Man said at 10:16 PM on September 21st, 2017:

    So either “Philly” or “Old Philly!” Gotcha. Will look for you here and here. Tommy goes deep and BLG cranks out coverage all day. Two excellent choices!

  142. 142 D3FB said at 1:01 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    Literally none of Sems missed blocks were mental.

  143. 143 Masked Man said at 1:10 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    Seumalo?

    Had to be mental. He was slow to the mark, slow to react, slow to counter.

    He’s a big strong physical kid. He wasn’t overpowered.

    Didn’t you see any video?

  144. 144 Dragon_Eagle said at 10:41 PM on September 20th, 2017:

    True to frustrating form, if we beat the Giants and put them in an 0-3 hole, they will win the Super Bowl this season. I hate the Giants.

  145. 145 TO BLACKS said at 9:19 AM on September 21st, 2017:

    2 NI GGERS WITH THE EAGLES, SMITH & JENKINS, ASKED GOODELL TO COME TO THE EAGLES TO TALK ABOUT RACIAL JUSTICE, WHICH HE DID COME..