The LB Corps

Posted: May 9th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

Back in 1983 the Baltimore Orioles won the World Series (my apologies Phillies fans). One of the keys was the Orioles outfield. The outfielders produced 59 HRs, 275 RBIs and 102 doubles. Who were the outfielders?

John Lowenstein, Dan Ford, Al Bumbry, Gary Roenicke, John Shelby and Jim Dwyer. The Orioles used a platoon system and also got creative with how to get the most production out of their players. They didn’t have three studs to put out there so they found a way to use all six guys.

I mention this because the Eagles might do the same thing with their LBs in 2020.

The starters project to be Nate Gerry, T.J. Edwards and Duke Riley. Free agent Jatavis Brown and rookie Davion Taylor will push for roles. Alex Singleton will battle to make the roster and find a role. Rookies Shaun Bradley and Dante Olson will also fight for roster spots.

Gone are the days of Seth, B.E. and Willie T.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. You can’t spend big everywhere. You must go cheap somewhere. For the Eagles, that spot is LB. I do think the Eagles can get effective play from this group. This is the most athletic group they’ve had at LB in a while.

Nate Gerry 6-2, 230 4.58
T.J. Edwards 6-0, 230 4.77
Duke Riley 6-0, 232 4.58
Jatavis Brown 5-11, 221 4.47
Davian Taylor 6-0, 228 4.49
Alex Singleton 6-2, 240 4.67
Shaun Bradley 6-1, 235 4.51
Dante Olson 6-2, 237 4.88

This isn’t a huge group, but they run well and are pretty athletic.

Nate Gerry is a player on the rise. That comment is a double-edged sword. Gerry is improving, but he’s still got a long way to go. Tackling is his biggest issue. There are times when Gerry wraps up and puts the runner/receiver down smoothly. There are too many misses. Some of them bad misses.

But Gerry has gotten better each year in the league. He is a gifted athlete. Gerry has become a good blitzer. He had 2.5 sacks last year. He’s gotten much better in coverage. He used to look lost at times. Things have slowed down for him and he now can use his speed more effectively. Gerry broke up 5 passes last year. And we’ve seen him make big plays in the passing game.

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Gerry is a player with ability. This isn’t like Casey Matthews, where the team hoped a player would show something. Gerry has legitimate skills and real upside. We don’t know if he’ll flat line and stay where he is or continue to improve.

Here’s Fran Duffy showing Gerry in action.

This will be a huge year for Gerry. He needs to keep improving if he wants to keep his job.

Jimmy Bama wrote an excellent piece on T.J. Edwards. He also put together some good clips of Edwards in action.

Edwards showed a lot of promise as a rookie. He wasn’t a playmaker at all (no sacks, INTs or TFLs), but Edwards was a terrific run defender. He’s got some speed limitations that will cause him issues. Edwards has good instincts and excellent quickness, but out in space it helps to have speed. At the very least, he could be a good 2-down LB for the Eagles.

Duke Riley started 16 games for the Falcons between 2017-2019. He was a role player for the Eagles last year and played better than I expected. This year he will have a chance to start. Riley is another small, speedy LB. He’s got some experience and he’s a good tackler. Riley hasn’t done much as a playmaker. He has 2 career TFLs and 2 PDs. Other than that, just tackles.

The Eagles will have Jatavis Brown pushing Riley. Fran Duffy put together a piece showing Brown in action.

Another small, speedy LB. Brown does have 23 career starts and has shown potential as a playmaker.

Taylor is a very athletic LB with outstanding potential. He’s also very raw. I think the Eagles can get him on the field this  year, but it will likely be in a limited role.

You can find a way to use his speed in sub-packages.

Singleton, Bradley and Olson all have a real fight ahead of them as they try to make the team. Singleton did play last year and was good on STs. Bradley is an excellent athlete. Olson is instinctive and was a playmaker in college.

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2 Comments on “The LB Corps”

  1. 1 Eagles News: ESPN analyst predicts Jalen Reagor will lead all rookies in receiving yards – Bleeding Green Nation – S1MPLE LIFE. said at 3:20 PM on May 10th, 2020:

    […] The LB Corps – Iggles BlitzNate Gerry is a player on the rise. That comment is a double-edged sword. Gerry is improving, but he’s still got a long way to go. Tackling is his biggest issue. There are times when Gerry wraps up and puts the runner/receiver down smoothly. There are too many misses. Some of them bad misses. But Gerry has gotten better each year in the league. He is a gifted athlete. Gerry has become a good blitzer. He had 2.5 sacks last year. He’s gotten much better in coverage. He used to look lost at times. Things have slowed down for him and he now can use his speed more effectively. Gerry broke up 5 passes last year. And we’ve seen him make big plays in the passing game. […]

  2. 2 Eagles News: ESPN analyst predicts Jalen Reagor will lead all rookies in receiving yards – Bleeding Green Nation – Today In USA said at 4:20 PM on May 10th, 2020:

    […] The LB Corps – Iggles BlitzNate Gerry is a player on the rise. That comment is a double-edged sword. Gerry is improving, but he’s still got a long way to go. Tackling is his biggest issue. There are times when Gerry wraps up and puts the runner/receiver down smoothly. There are too many misses. Some of them bad misses. But Gerry has gotten better each year in the league. He is a gifted athlete. Gerry has become a good blitzer. He had 2.5 sacks last year. He’s gotten much better in coverage. He used to look lost at times. Things have slowed down for him and he now can use his speed more effectively. Gerry broke up 5 passes last year. And we’ve seen him make big plays in the passing game. […]