Situation Updates

Posted: August 21st, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Training Camp is over. The Eagles have played two preseason games. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some interesting situations.

TE Depth

Brent Celek was cut. Trey Burton left in free agency. The Eagles didn’t sign any key free agents and you had to wonder a bit about what the plan was. The team drafted Dallas Goedert in the middle of the 2nd round and he looks like a stud. Goedert isn’t just catching 10-yard passes. He’s making big plays. He is averaging 18 yards per catch in the preseason. Goedert isn’t just a #2 TE, he can be a weapon for the Eagles offense.

We don’t know what’s going on behind him. Richard Rodgers was playing well, but got hurt and is said to be week to week, not an ideal status in mid-August. The  Eagles might have to keep their eyes open for a #3 TE. We don’t know how much they like Josh Perkins or Billy Brown right now.

The Sudfeld Experiment

The Eagles coaches said a lot of positive things about Nate Sudfeld last year and throughout the offseason. Coaches tend to be positive with the media so it was hard to get a feel for what kind of a player Sudfeld really is.

He’s good.

No one is putting Sudfeld in the Hall of Fame, but he’s got legitimate NFL talent. He’s performed better than Matt Barkley ever did as an Eagle. I like Sudfeld better than I did Chase Daniel.

I don’t know if Sudfeld can ever be a good starting QB in the NFL, but he certainly has a chance to be a long-term answer as a backup QB.

Nickel

Patrick Robinson left for the Saints and that left a big hole in the Eagles defense. It is easy to talk about one of the CBs sliding inside and handling the job, but that’s easier said than done.

At this point, I think both Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox have shown they could be effective in the role. The way I see it, Jones has the edge in experience and overall talent. Maddox has the advantage in the fact he’s a more natural fit on the inside. I lean towards Jones getting the first crack at the job, but he’ll have to play well if he’s going to keep it.

WLB

I don’t think either Nate Gerry or Kamu Grugier-Hill has obviously won the job. Both guys have played well and shown promise. Gerry is probably more physical, while Grugier-Hill is the better athlete. He’s got a higher upside in terms of playmaking ability.

A lot of people focus on KGH’s athleticism, but we don’t know what Jim Schwartz focuses on at LB. Mychal Kendricks was a terrific athlete. He was more gifted than Jordan Hicks or Nigel Bradham, but sat while they played. They were clearly better LBs.

Gerry and KGH seem pretty close right now. Maybe KGH’s athleticism will be the tie-breaker, but I don’t think that will be a focal point for Schwartz and his staff.

#4 RB

Does anyone want to win? Nickel and WLB are good battles for the right reasons. RB, not so much. Donnel Pumphrey hasn’t stood out and now can’t get healthy. Wendell Smallwood hasn’t shown a sense of urgency. Josh Adams has impressed, but injuries hurt his value. Matt Jones…thanks for showing up.

I go with Adams. He’s got the highest ceiling from what I’ve seen of this bunch. The Eagles have three RBs they like so the #4 guy might not play much, it at all.

You would cut Smallwood, but keep his number handy in case of injury. Put Pumphrey on the practice squad. He needs reps. Maybe next year he could win the Darren Sproles slot in the backfield.

You can always look elsewhere for a backup RB, unless you wanted Adrian Peterson. He’s now with the Skins. What a weird move.

DE

Brandon Graham came off the PUP list today. That’s great. He can now start practicing and hopefully will be ready for the opener.

The Eagles also have Derek Barnett, Chris Long, Michael Bennett, Steven Means and Josh Sweat. That’s a lot of DEs. Can they keep all six? We’ve seen them go heavy on the DL before so never say never. Maybe Howie tries to trade someone. Teams are desperate for pass rushers.

Sweat looks like a project to me. IR would make sense, but he needs practice reps so the team may prefer him on the final 53. He’s got a ton of upside. He just needs a lot of work.

Schwartz was asked about the DE depth at his press conference today and made it sound like he doesn’t want anyone to go. He loves having a deep, talented group. That means he would always have healthy options. We’ll see what happens.

Tackling

The new tackling rule has been a pain in the butt. The NFL has the right idea, but that’s one tough rule for tacklers to deal with.

The key here is the long term health of the game of football and the men playing it. Anyone who says “put a skirt on these guys” needs to go read about Andre Waters. That dude used his head like a weapon for years. He was a vicious hitter and tackler.

When Waters killed himself at the age of 44, he had the brain of an 80-year old man. We might not know 100 percent that football caused his death and his brain issues, but there is a lot of evidence pointing to a connection.

We must protect the players.

There is still going to be physicality and violence in football. We want that. The primal side of the game is part of the attraction. There can still be crushing blocks, bone-jarring hits and hard tackles. The point is to have them without the head being used as a weapon.

It is going to take time to change the way the game is played. There are going to be some bad calls and there will be some issues. But we need to figure out a long term solution. I don’t love the current rule any more than most, but I also don’t know what the answer is.

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One Comment on “Situation Updates”

  1. 1 Eagles News: Doug Pederson called out another team’s coaching staff for being too conservative - Football News Latest said at 8:44 AM on August 21st, 2018:

    […] Situation Updates – Iggles BlitzPatrick Robinson left for the Saints and that left a big hole in the Eagles defense. It is easy to talk about one of the CBs sliding inside and handling the job, but that’s easier said than done. At this point, I think both Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox have shown they could be effective in the role. The way I see it, Jones has the edge in experience and overall talent. Maddox has the advantage in the fact he’s a more natural fit on the inside. I lean towards Jones getting the first crack at the job, but he’ll have to play well if he’s going to keep it. […]