Wentzless?

Posted: January 31st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 381 Comments »

The Eagles, along with plenty of other NFL teams, took a long, close look at Carson Wentz during Senior Bowl week. I feel confident in saying that just about everyone came away impressed. It’s good that a potential prospect had a strong showing, but it also could cause a problem.

What if Wentz doesn’t make it to pick 13?

Jimmy Bama took a look at the first 13 picks to see which teams might have interest in a QB. At least one QB feels like a lock to go early. It is very possible two could be off the board.

I haven’t had a chance to fully study the top 3 QBs…Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch. After the week in Mobile, I have a good feel for Wentz. He is a legit 1st round pick and could be the first QB off the board. I have watched some tape on Goff and Lynch. Both are impressive.

It feels like Goff and Wentz are the top QBs right now. If they’re gone, would Paxton Lynch be worth pick 13?

I need to do more research, but I lean toward “yes” right now. He has good size. He is an above-average athlete. Lynch has a very strong arm and a quick release. Rather than focusing on his best game, let’s look at Lynch’s performance against Temple, an outstanding defense.  Read the rest of this entry »


Senior Bowl – The Game

Posted: January 30th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 415 Comments »

The Senior Bowl is today at 2:30pm on The NFL Network. While practices are more important than the game, there is value in the game. That’s especially true for O-linemen. The practices give a clear advantage to DL. Games even things out.

So who should we focus on for the Eagles?

QB

Carson Wentz – Will he be on the board at pick 13? If so, do the Eagles pull the trigger? There isn’t anything specific to look for. You just want to see how he looks.

Kevin Hogan – Up and down showing this week, but Hogan isn’t the kind of physically gifted player that is going to shine in practice. A game setting should bring out the best in him. Hogan could be an interesting target for Doug Pederson’s offense.

Jacoby Brissett – I think he’s a project, but he is talented. Brissett is the kind of prospect you would take and develop for a couple of years. He got better as the week went along. This is not a great group of QBs in Mobile and Brissett could really help himself with a strong showing. The key will be to see how does as a passer.

WR

Braxton Miller – Unfortunately, Miller will probably be a 2nd round pick. And the Eagles don’t have a 2nd. If the Eagles move Jordan Matthews outside, Miller could be a great fit in the slot. I’m interested to see how he does with route running in the game today. Can he get open?

Jay Lee – Has good size at 6-2, 214. Has long arms. The Eagles could use a receiver like that. Lee won’t be an early pick so he could be an interesting target. I don’t have any specific things I’m looking for. Just want to see how he plays.

OL

Cody Whitehair – Could be a target at pick 13. Should play at a high level. Watch the way he blocks at the 2nd level.

Joe Dahl – Another guy going from LT to OG. Had a good week. Want to see if that carries over to the game.

Josh Garnett – Pure LG. 317 pounds. The Eagles could use someone on the inside with size. Garnett has size and strength. Needs to show he can handle quick, athletic DTs.

Le’Raven Clark – I’m curious to see if he will just play OT or OG. Had a good week. Want to see where he plays and how he plays.

DL

Bronson Kaufusi – Jim Schwartz loves long, tall DL. Kaufusi has size. He was more of a LB in college. The game will give him a chance to show what he can do as a 4-3 DE.

Jihad Ward – Has played DT and DE. Schwartz loves versatile DL as well as big guys. Ward is 6-5, 296. Can play inside or outside. Curious to see where he plays in the game.

Dadi Nicolas – Only 6-3, 235. At the right spot in the draft, could be good value because of his ability as a pass rusher. I’ll be watching today to see how he does as a run defender, as well as whether he brings impact as a pass rusher.

S

Miles Killebrew – Huge at 6-2, 219. This will be his only chance to face big time competition. Killebrew needs to show he can be effective in coverage.

KJ Dillon – Talented FS prospect. Just want to see how well he plays.

Kevin Byard – Can he cover well enough to start in the NFL? Needs to show he’s got that kind of potential.

Jeremy Cash – Duke lined Cash up in the box a lot. He’ll be used in a more conventional role in the Senior Bowl. He needs to show he can handle being a “typical” Safety.

Sean Davis – Played some CB this week and wasn’t at his best in that role. Much better at S. Will be interested to see where he plays in the game.
The Eagles are moving to the 4-3. They will need depth at DL and LB since we can’t be sure that some of the current backups will fit the new scheme.

Obviously the Eagles are going to be looking at all the players on the field. Every year we have some players that unexpectedly stand out. It will be interesting to see who those guys are today.

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Finally…4-3 Confirmed

Posted: January 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 88 Comments »

We knew the Eagles were going to run an attacking 4-3 under Jim Schwartz, but for some reason, the Eagles did not want to commit to that publicly.

Until now.

Schwartz went on 94.1 and talked about the defense. Jimmy Bama has the details.

Angelo Cataldi: You will change the scheme, Jim. Everybody assumes you’ll go more to a 4-3. Is that safe to say?

Jim Schwartz: Um, yeah, for sure. We’re not gonna be a two-gap 3-4. I want those defensive lineman to be attacking. I want those guys to be creating and wreaking some havoc and putting pressure on the quarterback. They’re not gonna be playing at the line of scrimmage and grabbing guys and trying to keep the linebackers clean. I think we have some good guys up front. We can take the handcuffs off of them a little bit and get some more production out of them.

It is finally good to have a coach state this publicly.

I am excited to have the 4-3 back in Philly.

No more reading. No more reacting. Just attacking.

*****

The Eagles signed OT Lane Johnson to a new deal that will keep him an Eagle until the sun expands and destroys the Earth.

It is good to have Johnson locked up for the long haul. He is the RT now, but will take over at LT when Jason Peters is finally done. Johnson has not yet become a dominant blocker, but he has developed into an above average starter and still has potential to get better. It will be interesting to see if the new offense brings out the best in him.

The Eagles have now done new deals with Zach Ertz, Brent Celek and Johnson. And they aren’t done yet.

Yes, please.

*****

I need to do some research before commenting on the update in regard to the personnel job.

*****

Now for Senior Bowl stuff. Notes from Day 3.

NORTH

SOUTH

I’ll write up a summation of the Senior Bowl week over the weekend.

*****

While we were down in Mobile, Jimmy Bama caught up with Georgia LB Jordan Jenkins to ask him about new Eagles DL coach Chris Wilson.

“He’s one of the craziest coaches I know,” said OLB Jordan Jenkins, whose face lit up when Wilson’s name was mentioned during an interview with PhillyVoice at the Senior Bowl. “He just gets after it. His coaching style is that if you’re not playing up to par he’s going to let you know. He enjoys the game of football and loves pass rushing. He’s crazy.”

Sounds like a lot of DL coaches. Those guys love getting to the QB.

Wilson sounds like a really good hire, based on his successful track record. The only real concern I’ve got is the fact he switched jobs so often. He won’t be making those kind of moves at the NFL level. He’s under contract and can’t leave for another NFL job unless it involves a promotion. He could go back to college, but that wouldn’t make sense unless someone paid him a boatload of money. And colleges rarely pay as well as the pros. Wilson will likely be here as long as he keeps producing good D-linemen.

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Settling In

Posted: January 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 554 Comments »

There is no question that Doug Pederson’s opening press conference was a bit shaky. One thing the NFL doesn’t do very well is train assistants to deal with the media. That’s especially true when going from KC to a city like Philly. Nick Foles looked at the media in St. Louis in his first PC out there and something to the effect that “This is it?”.

Standing at a podium in front of a full hoard of media and talking about getting your dream job isn’t easy. You have a ton of thoughts going on in your head. You want to say a few things, but then you will turn control over to the media so they can ask their questions. The circus begins.

Pederson met with a small group of media in Mobile on Wednesday. He was much more comfortable and natural. He’s been on the job for a bit now so he’s getting used to talking. The setting was different. He was near a chain link fence at football practice. Coaches are going to be more natural there than when wearing a suit and standing in an auditorium.

Pederson took the questions from reporters and answered them as honestly as he could. The media actually ran out of things to ask. I think they were genuinely surprised at how the meeting went. Pederson gave them enough nuggets for multiple articles. Unlike Chip, he wasn’t dodging questions and playing the semantics game (“I’m not the GM”).

I came away feeling good about Pederson.

I mentioned yesterday that he might have made a mistake when addressing the issue of Sam Bradford and saying “I look forward to coaching him.” I doubt reporters in KC looked at every nuance of every word he said. As head coach of the Eagles, you better choose your words very carefully when addressing key topics like that.

Maybe Pederson was telling us that they really do want Bradford back.

Maybe he was simply trying to be positive. If so, a better quote would have been something like “Every offensive coach would like to have a talented, veteran QB to work with.” Compliment Bradford, but don’t feed his agent any comments that will boost his value.

That’s the whole trouble with the Bradford situation. I’m sure they would love to have him back, but only at the right price. Anything you say that is overly positive about Sam just feeds ammo to his agent.

It feels like Pederson is settling in to his new job and he’s getting in a comfort zone. That’s good. This is going to be the biggest challenge of his life.

*****

Bradberry is a physical CB. Looks like a good athlete. I haven’t focused on DBs that much this week so I don’t have much in the way of notes on him. Could be a mid-round target.

*****

The Eagles spoke with Sean Davis on Wednesday. He can play CB or S. I actually prefer him at S because he’s smart, can cover, is a good tackler and plays with excellent awareness. I’ll try to talk to him to find out if the Eagles mentioned liking him at one spot or the other.

*****

Here are my Senior Bowl notes from Wednesday.

SOUTH

NORTH

*****

Maybe.

Joe is on Twitter and if you follow him, which you should, he says some really wild stuff at times. I don’t think he has yet acknowledged ever making a mistake in Philly or Cleveland. He gets very defensive when questioned about anything.

It is possible the Cards mentioned the #5 pick in negotiations, but the fact is that the situation never got to the point where they could actually do the deal so we don’t know if they would have actually gone through with it.

I have serious doubts.

If it is true, and that is possible, this is just another reason to hate that stupid lockout.

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Pederson Talks in Mobile

Posted: January 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

Doug Pederson met with the press down here in Mobile.

The first thing he announced is that the Eagles hired a DL coach. They tabbed Chris Wilson from the college ranks to come in and work with the D-linemen. Wilson has been all over the place and has had success with multiple teams/players.

2015 USC
2014 USC
2013 Georgia
2012 Miss State (Def Coordinator)
2011 Miss State (Def Coordinator)
2010 Miss State

From 2005-2009, Wilson was the DEs coach for Oklahoma.

This seems like a very good hire. Wilson knows how to teach young players. He has DC experience, which means he understands the big picture and how the DL fits into the overall defense.

Pederson has a lot of NFL guys on his staff so I think it is good to add someone from college. You want a mixture of backgrounds.

Pederson didn’t say anything too definitive in his talk today. Here are some quick hits:

  • When asked about Sports Science, Pederson gave a very honest answer and said he didn’t know much about it and would have to learn more about that.
  • He still didn’t want to publicly commit to the 4-3, but everything says that will be the base look.
  • Pederson said he wasn’t sure if the Eagles would have a FB on the roster.
  • He said he wanted Jason Peters back on the team and thinks JP can be a good LT for several more years.
  • Pederson said Jordan Matthews could play in the slot as well as outside.

And what about Sam Bradford?

Pederson said he had talked to Sam Bradford. He said he “looked forward to coaching him.” Since Pederson is new to meeting with the media under this kind of scrutiny, we don’t know if that was a verbal misstep or a huge hint. The way it came out, you felt Pederson was saying he wanted and expected Bradford back. But Pederson isn’t used to talks like this. He simply may have been trying to say the right thing without making any type of strong commitment.

Someone asked about Carson Wentz. Pederson said he was impressed with what he saw and that he was looking forward to meeting with Wentz.

*****

Jeffrey Lurie is in town. He’s supposedly here to take a look at some players and to take the whole coaching staff out to dinner.

You wonder about a couple of other angles. First, could he be here to interview some candidates for the personnel job? There are a lot of people in Mobile looking for a job. Howie Roseman, Pederson and Lurie are all here. Would make some sense.

No rumors for now, but let’s see what happens.

You also wonder if Lurie is here to meet Carson Wentz, the QB prospect. The Eagles have a key decision to make in regard to Sam Bradford. It would be easier to let him walk if you felt strongly that Wentz was a serious target at pick 13. Normally you have draft prospects come to Philly, but the decision on Bradford will have to be made by late February, way before prospects visit teams.

I’m just guessing with Lurie and Wentz. That’s not based on a scoop or any type of rumor. Simply some speculation.

*****

Speaking of meetings…

Wentz and Whitehair are arguably the two best offensive prospects in Mobile. Both were terrific on the field today. I don’t know if the Eagles will pick either player or have strong interest in either, but they are checking them out closely and should be impressed with what they see.

I’ll write more on them when I do my Senior Bowl notes.

*****

One Eagles scout talked to DE Shawn Oakman.

Another scout talked to DB Sean Davis.

Oakman is a huge, talented player from Baylor. In the summer of 2014, he was thought to be an All-American and likely Top 10 pick. He is 6-8, 267 with huge hands and long arms. Oakman is a good athlete with pass rush ability. Now for the bad news. He’s an underachiever that is very frustrating. If you got him in the mid-rounds, he’s worth the risk. The Eagles have talked to him and Carl Nassib, a pair of tall, long DEs. Jim Schwartz has had success with long pass rushers.

Davis is 6-1, 201. He played CB and S for Maryland. I don’t know enough about him and the new staff to have a strong feel for where they would project him.

*****

My notes on Day 2 – South practice.

I’ll post the North notes on Thursday morning.

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