Skins Preview

Posted: September 9th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

The season opener is finally here.

The Eagles go to Washington on Sunday to take on the Skins, the team that has been a nemesis for two and a-half years. There are a lot of storylines in this game. Finally beating Washington is probably the biggest one for me. The last time that happened, Nick Foles was the starting QB and Chip Kelly still looked like a coach on the rise.

I wrote about the game for PE.com.

There were a lot of changes for both teams this offseason. It does feel like the Skins are more dysfunctional right now. I have no idea if that will follow them onto the field on Sunday. I don’t have a good feel for their team right now. They went 2-2 in the preseason and really struggled to move the ball and score points. That could be an anomaly or a sign of things to come. They have major changes at WR and a new offensive coordinator. There is not guarantee the offense will thrive as it did in the past couple of seasons.

The Eagle who should be most fired up for this game is Lane Johnson. He missed both meetings last year due to the suspension. Johnson talked a lot this summer, but honestly didn’t play consistently well. The whole O-line had their issues. I think they’ll play better now that the offense will be on the field for 50 to 70 plays and they can get into a rhythm. It also helps that the group is healthy.

As much as we want to see what Wentz does in Year 2 and how the improved skill group performs, none of that matters if the Eagles don’t do a better job of blocking that they did in last year’s two losses.

*****

You can watch the Eagles Game Plan show here. Lots of good stuff with Doug Pederson, Greg Cosell and Ike Reese.

Reese showed how Jim Schwartz blitzed more in the rematch game last season. That’s interesting. If the Eagles want to blitz more, that might mean that Mychal Kendricks plays a bigger role than expected. He was great this summer and is a good blitzer.

The Eagles played better defense in the rematch. Maybe Schwartz figured some things out and that will help the Eagles finally slow the Skins down. I’m sick of the Eagles making Kirk Cousins look like a combination of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

*****

Speaking of Schwartz, we have to talk about Jeff McLane’s report. His contention is that Jim Schwartz is trying to undermine Doug Pederson so that he can take over as the head coach.

At the very least, the optics aren’t favorable. One Eagles staffer said the only coach who probably doesn’t think Schwartz is trying to undercut Pederson is Pederson. Three players, who requested anonymity, said that it has become well-known in the locker room that Schwartz is waiting to usurp power.

“He walks around the building like he thinks he’s the head coach,” one player said.

“Eagles staffer” doesn’t necessarily mean someone from the coaching staff. I can easily see someone in the building having their doubts about Pederson and reading the situation this way. If it was someone on the coaching staff, I think that would be different. McLane is a smart guy and good writer. I think he chose that phrase for a reason.

As for the player comment, I can see that being completely legit. When you combine the two thoughts it does sound bad. I just don’t think there is a direct connection. This feels more created than legitimate.

The bottom line is this. If the team wins, Pederson keeps his job. The only question for Schwartz is whether he gets offers from other teams. If the Eagles don’t win enough, things could interesting.

Schwartz was out of a job in 2015 and didn’t have a ton of teams knocking on his door early in the 2016 hiring process. I’m sure he’s a cocky guy, but I can’t believe he’d be crazy enough to actively go after Pederson. If word of that got out, it would give him a toxic label. Is that worth the risk? The fast track for him is to put together the best defense possible and try to impress whoever might have an opening in five months.

_


  • TO BLACKS

    If the Eagles lose, they will suck.

    • bobeph

      I want to fight your parents, because they had you

  • Sean Stott

    First. Other guy doesn’t count.

    • CrackSammich

      I mean, I don’t know what the youngins said before you, but they had a bit more to say I’m sure.

  • P_P_K

    “The bottom line is this. If the team wins, Pederson keeps his job. The only question for Schwartz is whether he gets offers from other teams. If the Eagles don’t win enough, things could interesting.”

    This is what a professional should write about the coaching situation, because it’s the truth. McLane had dropped a whole bunch of notches in my book with his drivel. Maybe the truth, like what Tommy wrote, is too dull and the dude needed some clicks on his column. Maybe he’ll regurgitate it if the Eagles flop and Doug is canned someday. Regardless, Jeff may be a “smart guy and a good writer,” but this piece ain’t smart or good writing.

    • or____

      Hes always been that way.

      • Ray888

        Agreed – there’s been even more “edginess” in his writing lately. As if he’s stirring the pot just for the sack of stirring the pot. The story-line for the opening game should be as presented in the above column. McLane’s column before even one game has been played seems contrived. Maybe it seems that way because it is.

        • Dave

          He’s not more edgy, he’s always been this way.

    • Guy Media

      I think I saw enough of Schwartz in Detroit to not care for his work as a HC. I’m probably in the minority, but if/when Pederson needs to be replaced (and call me a dinosaur, but I want to see him through 4 full seasons) I’d just promote Reich to HC, DiFillipo to OC, and keep everybody else mostly as is.

      That probably wouldn’t be what happened if we reached the end of 4 years and needed to fire Pederson however.

      • Dave

        Chip Kelly might have more emotional intelligence than Schwartz. Some guys are just meant to be coordinators.

        • Guy Media

          I maintain a partial like of Schwartz for when he went after that punk Jim Harbaugh. I hate that dude and root for lightning strikes every time Michigan is playing.

    • Dave

      McLane is to writing what a troll is to a message board… he’s just doing what he can to stir the pot.

    • ChoTime

      The Overton Window has shifted. I don’t even expect truth from mainstream sources. Damn, I can’t believe I typed that.

  • Guy Media

    “I think they’ll play better now that the offense will be on the field for 50 to 70 plays and they can get into a rhythm.”

    You know what helps that…………..CALLING RUNS!!!!!

  • Guy Media

    I agree with Tommy 100% about being sick and tired of losing to this damn team. The Eagles should three years of anger built up that should give them enough push of pride and effort to avoid choking yet another game to Washington.

  • Guy Media

    “If the Eagles want to blitz more, that might mean that Mychal Kendricks plays a bigger role than expected.”

    Hopefully the “bigger role” isn’t because he gets isolated in coverage and/or juked on runs.

  • Guy Media

    If we get Washington into a lot of 2nd/3rd and long situations, I might want to see how much dime we can play. Use Hicks as the sole LB, keep McLeod and Jenkins in safety rather than coverage roles (I’m so over seeing Jenkins in slot), Mills on Pryor, Darby on Crowder, Robinson on whoever they play at WR3, and Douglas on Reed. I think a mix and match of Hicks / McLeod / Jenkins gives you enough support to mix and match helping out over the top, with Reed, and with the RB.

    I think there are a few INTs to be had by our safeties as Cousins will probably throw a few of those brain dead chuck and duck type passes up Pryor’s way.

    • or____

      No to rookie on Reed. HELL no. It will be Jenkins on him anyway.

      • Guy Media

        I HATE covering anybody with Jenkins 1 on 1. I don’t like when our safeties aren’t freed up to make plays. I think we can bracket Reed with a corner and a safety and leave the other safety free to get over and pick off the inevitable high (and interceptable) passes going to Pryor.

        • or____

          Corey Graham helps a lot. If we leave a weakness on Reed, he’ll eat us alive all day

          • Guy Media

            I’m 100% good with using Graham over Douglas if you’d like. Going 3 safeties as a “big dime” package over keeping Bradham or Kendricks on the field in nickel does what I’d like vs. Washington just as well as 4 CBs 2 safeties does.

          • or____

            But best guy on the team to cover Reed is Jenkins. I say leave Graham back. Schwartz is with me (“could” be the other way around).

          • Guy Media

            I don’t think you’re wrong, but that takes Jenkins away from what he does best. But if Graham can break on some of those lazily chucked up high passes I demand be picked off, I’m good with that.

          • or____

            Ha, I’m fairly certain we’ve had this precise discussion before, but now Graham adds a whole new dynamic. I think your argument answers how to maximize Jenkins, but mine answers how to maximize Eagles…

          • Guy Media

            Having a 3rd safety of coverage quality should serve both purposes well enough. My massive dislike of Jenkins in 1 on 1 coverage comes from how badly Jaylin Watkins played last year. I’m encouraged by what you’re pointing out with Graham.

          • or____

            Ataboy. Now lets sit back and watch the dl eat

          • Guy Media

            Yup…… and if they don’t it’s Vinny Curry’s fault. Or the Refs for letting Trent Williams hold every play.

  • xmbk

    Schwartz has a naturally strong personality. Hearsay and innuendo is for March, not opening weekend. Unless McLane has more, he should be writing about between the lines stuff.

    • Guy Media

      Remember that time the 85 Bears put together an 18-1 world champ and the 2nd best D of time with Buddy and Ditka holding hands all year?

      • xmbk

        Was living in Chicago then. If the Eagles had that kind of talent on D with Buddy running it, you and I could coach the offense and win a Super Bowl.

        • Guy Media

          Shame McMahon was so injury prone. If he stayed on the field there would have been no 86 Giants or 87 Washington titles.

          • FairOaks

            …and gotten the Eagles into the 1991 playoffs.

        • Gary Barnes

          We did with Gang Green, but Buddy and then Kotite could not build an offense

  • xmbk

    The Skins are getting close to Dallas in my “must win” book. I don’t like that the streak goes back to Bakers cheap shot on Foles, and has continued with more cheap shots and bullying. Time for the Eagles to stop getting pushed around. Not normally a fan of talking, but I hope Lane’s comments represent an attitude the whole team is ready to back up.

    • Guy Media

      Baker needs to die from some type of horribly painful condition. And hopefully while I’m ambulatory enough to walk to his grave and process some business on it. And Troy Vincent can go F himself for not issuing a suspension for that hit. The only good part from that hit was that Peters owned by Chris Baker and cheating ass Trent Williams in that fight.

      Lane drive blocking Ryan Kerrigan into a dumpster would be fun.

      I 100% agree that I’m seeing this as must win.

      • wee2424

        Winning the game has to be huge for the mental status of this team.

  • Guy Media

    Stuff I’m 100% NOT up for today:

    – Kelce getting blown up by Jonathan Allen and having our RBs have to make a lateral first move or Wentz not having a pocket to step up into
    -Fraud garbage time stat specialist Pryor making any catches of consequence
    -Vinny Curry “almost” getting sacks and people calling it acceptable
    -Trent Williams with his arm fully extended and hand gripped around the neck / shoulder pads of our RDE and it not getting called holding
    – dropped passes
    – incomplete passes / eating the ball and running because nobody is open on failed 3rd/4th and short plays that should have been run calls
    – missed tackles or blown coverage by Kenricks
    – Jaylin Watkins on the active 46
    – dropped passes

    • Sean Stott

      Are you Walter Cherepinsky?

    • xmbk

      I like Allen, but Kelce matches up better with him than the huge guys.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Good morning to you, too, sunshine.

  • Ryan Rambo

    According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jordan Reed has a fractured big toe and could be limited throughout the season.

    • Guy Media
    • wee2424

      “Adjust the way he runs.” That is limiting to say the least.

      • CrackSammich

        Toradol is a hell of an adjustment.

        • wee2424

          If he has to adjust the way he runs its not enough.

          Now if the game was in Philly he could have stopped in Kensington and picked up something that would really help.

  • GermanEagle
    • P_P_K

      If the Eagles win big today, we are going to request that you spend all your Sundays watching girls soccer.

      • GermanEagle

        That would be a big task to ask from sugar daddy.

        • P_P_K

          Being called “daddy” by our loving children is a precious gift. Enjoy.

      • Guy Media

        The Union were on last night if you were looking for continued “effort” that shows massive genital deficiencies.

        • P_P_K

          Is MGD a medical condition?
          I was actually referencing a previous post by GE about having to go to his daughters practice today around gametime.

  • wee2424

    Even if true, in which I severely hope it is not, there is no way Laurie is going to let a pure defensive minded coach take control of this team with a young QB at the helm. Schwartz must realize this. Lurie’s actions, words, and coaching hires simply scream that.

  • GermanEagle

    Seems like more and more people have been jumping on GE’s bandwagon labelling the season opener as a Must win already.

    There’s still some room guys. I have tickets both for the coach and a pony ride.

    Happy 4th birthday to my beautiful daughters! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae0a9ff4768d7a676953e5dfe2a2468815c6d20ee8f0f41ffa7aeffa1c821168.jpg

    • Guy Media

      Nice work!

    • P_P_K

      So cute makes me wish my 14 year-old son could be little again for just one day. A day, not the nights.

      • ChoTime

        I got a weird image of a guy making his little boy wear a princess dress and ride a pony. But I know you didn’t mean that.

        • P_P_K

          I’d show my son this post and he wouldn’t be pleased with you, but he’s buzzed from the win over Wash so I’ll let it ride.
          P.S. To each, his/her/ze own.

    • A_T_G

      So, to be clear, a must win game means if you lose your season is a failure. Will you really abandon hope if today goes wrong?

      Brian and I are skeptical.
      https://twitter.com/36westbrook/status/906847350462742528

      • ChoTime

        Miss that dude.

  • SundayAfternoons

    Tommy, I just want to thank you for being the only logical sports writer to comment on Mclane’s article.

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  • Ryan Rambo

    Eagles declared RB Donnel Pumphrey, CB Rasul Douglas, WR Shelton Gibson, CB Dexter McDougle, DE Steven Means, DT Elijah Qualls, and OG Chance Warmack inactive for Week 1 against the Redskins.

    • DrGeniusPhD

      McDougle being inactive kind of surprises me. Hopefully it’s temporary.

      • Ryan Rambo

        Right. I’m guessing they’re gonna give Robinson first crack at the slot job but I wish McDougle was active in case Rob started sucking. Maybe Dexter still needs to learn the playbook. He hasn’t been with us too long.

    • CrackSammich

      Clement dresses. Interesting.
      Marcus Johnson is in.
      3 CBs active. Does that make Watkins first CB off the bench? (Well, Jenkins would be, but we’re fucked either way in that case)

  • CrackSammich

    Posted a second ago, but I feel like it needs repeating: We are only dressing 3 CBs today. If we get an injury out there, we’re completely screwed. Watkins first off the bench, but more likely that Jenkins moves up and we lose all that lovely versatility they’ll be telling us they thought we had in the losing press conference.

  • Philadelphian

    Good points, because at this point the only thing Schwartz can prove is he once again is a good coordinator, which doesn’t change the fact that he failed as a head coach.