Looking Back – 2005

Posted: July 3rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 71 Comments »

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet recently. I was wrapping up a couple of long pieces for The Eagles Almanac. I wrote a draft review and a piece on the 2005 season.

While doing some research on 2005, I stumbled across all kinds of wild info.

* The total number of players who kicked a ball for the Eagles that year…9. Stop and think about that for a second. Nine different guys either punted, kicked off, tried an extra point or field goal. Insane.

Test yourself. How many of the 9 can you name? Answers will be below.

* Think about how good the Safety depth chart looked at one point.

FS – Brian Dawkins …  JR Reed
SS – Michael Lewis …. Quintin Mikell

Reed got hurt in the offseason and the Eagles drafted Sean Considine to replace him.

Don’t look at the current depth chart for a while or you will get depressed

* LS/TE Mike Bartrum had more TD catches (2) than starting WR Greg Lewis (1).

* Reno Mahe actually did a good job on PRs. He averaged 12.8 yards per PR that season. He wasn’t a home run threat, but that’s a good average.

I don’t want to get into too much because I want to keep so many other of the crazy stories for the piece in the Eagles Almanac.

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While looking back at 2005 stuff, I stumbled across some notes on a young Buffalo Bills player I watched in the preseason.

* Jason Peters – TE/LT…comes off the ball very well…good feet…good job of extending his arms…looks alert/smart…uses hands well…beaten wide by KGB, but recovered and rode him deep past the QB…very good at mirroring the DE…excellent hand punch…very disciplined…good wide base…needs to get better push on DL in the run game…pulls okay, but room for improvement… missed block that led to TFL…adjusted well to stunts…good STer…took out 2 guys on long KOR vs GB

You might have heard of that young man.    Read the rest of this entry »


Interesting Argument

Posted: July 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 204 Comments »

One of the most complicated things about the Eagles under Chip Kelly is trying to figure out the defense. Is it awful? Is it somehow underrated? How do you accurately judge the defense for a team that runs the fastest offense in the league and faces the most snaps?

Jimmy Bama wrote an interesting piece on the O/D and how you can argue the offense was overrated last year, but the defense was actually underrated.

The defense showed real signs of potential, but you also can’t excuse some of the huge mistakes they made as having anything to do with the style of offense. At the very least, it is fair to call the defense flawed.

If Bill Davis and the players can eliminate some of the big plays they gave up last year, the unit could take a big step forward this season. With a new DB coach and lots of new DBs, it is possible for the defense to right the ship and play better football. We’re not hoping the same guys magically improve. There were changes.

A couple of months from now we’ll find out if the right changes were made.

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Moffitt Officially Signed

Posted: June 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 177 Comments »

The Eagles added OG John Moffitt to the roster on Monday. He signed a minimum deal, but apparently there is an interesting angle to this.

So Moffitt wants to be in Philly. He must see the RG spot as wide open and possibly his best shot at becoming a starter in 2015.

I would also think his lifestyle changes would fit well with how the Eagles handle players. All the nutrition stuff will be good for him. Being in a locker room with high character guys puts him in a positive environment. And Moffitt is bound to be rusty so the best thing for him is lots of practice reps. No team gets as many practice reps as the Eagles.

Seems like a pretty smart move by Moffitt.

But let’s be careful before we turn him into something he’s not.

If this signing happened in early March, it wouldn’t have been much of a story. Because this is happening at a time when nothing is going on, it seems huge. Moffitt might be able to come in and win a starting job, but he also might struggle and get cut.

Moffitt is not the answer at RG. He’s part of the puzzle. Maybe he turns out to be the right piece. Just don’t think of him as the guy who will definitely win the job.

One thing I am curious about is his size. Moffitt was 6-4, 319 in the past. After being out of football and then going through Jay Glazer’s intense workouts, I would imagine he’s closer to 305 pounds, maybe less. If he’s around 300 pounds, that actually helps him in this offense. The Eagles aren’t a team that needs straight-ahead maulers. They run a zone scheme and Chip Kelly likes his OL to be able to move. Getting rid of some excess weight could help Moffitt to better fit this scheme.

I wrote a piece on his background last week.

This is a good move by the Eagles. They add a player with upside, but have no real investment in him. If Moffitt works out, great. If he fails, you just move on. I hope for the sake of Moffitt and the Eagles that he does work out.

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If you want to watch Moffitt from his days at Wisconsin, he is the LG (#74) in this video.

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To make room for Moffitt, the Eagles let go of Cole Manhart.

NO!!!!

I actually thought Manhart had the ability to challenge for a spot on the practice squad or even roster. Solid athlete with size and skill. Outstanding small school player who had a good showing in one pre-draft all-star game.

The Jared Wheeler era continues.

The John Moffitt era begins.

And alas, Cole Manhart is no more (as an Eagle…I’m assuming they didn’t kill him.).

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Fun Exercise

Posted: June 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 124 Comments »

This is the time of year when the mind drifts a bit. You can only imagine Walter Thurmond playing Safety or Allen Barbre at LG for so long. Your mind is going to wander.

Mine did that this weekend and it led me to this week’s PE.com column…which former Eagle would you add to the current roster if you could?

I listed the candidates and made the case for/against each of them. There were some usual suspects (Dawk, Reggie, etc.) but I also mixed in some less well-known names. The player who really got me intrigued was Bob Brown, the former OL who played 5 years for the Eagles before moving on to the Rams and Raiders. Ray Didinger wrote a terrific piece on him.  Check out these quotes.

“Bob was the most aggressive offensive lineman that ever played,” said John Madden, who coached him in Oakland. “Bob used to say that if he could get the right hit on a defensive end, hit him in the right place like the solar plexus,  he could take a quarter out of him. And he would do it. He’d hit a guy in the first quarter and say, ‘I won’t see him again until the third quarter.’”

“Bob Brown had a cold-blooded mentality,” said Rams defensive end Deacon Jones. “He’d kill a mosquito with an ax.”

“I dislike every man I play,” Brown once said. “I may not even know the guy, but I dislike him because he is standing between me and All-Pro, between me and my paycheck.”

Wow. I would love to watch some extended video of him.

Back to the overall topic. Take a look at my list and who I chose. Let me know what you think and why. I’ll write a follow-up post explaining my thoughts in more detail.

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The Man in the Middle

Posted: June 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 64 Comments »

Can Allen Barbre replace Evan Mathis? Who will play RG? Is Jason Peters worthy of the Hall of Fame? How good can Lane Johnson be?

These are questions being asked about the Eagles O-line heading into 2015. Notice one player missing? Jason Kelce.

This will be his 5th year in the NFL, all as a starter. I sometimes think we take him for granted. Let’s appreciate some of what the Bearded Wonder can do.

Kelce is outstanding in this offense. Not every team would love his combination of size, strength and athleticism. Some teams prefer a big, powerful C who can anchor well and get straight ahead push in the run game.

Kelce is special because of his movement skills. You see this on run plays where he moves laterally. Kelce has great feet and is able to move laterally very quickly. He can then engage the DT to that side and free up the OG to go get a LB or DE. Kelce isn’t going to physically dominate the guy he’s blocking, but he will keep that defender from affecting the play.

The area where Kelce’s mobility really shines is when he blocks on the second level or out in space. Getting to the second level isn’t easy, but the real challenge is getting your hands on the defender and being able to successfully block him. We see plenty of guys get off the ball quickly and then struggle to come under control and block someone in space. Kelce is able to block on the move.

Few Centers can pull and be a good blocker on outside run plays. Kelce can. He throws his hips open and goes flying to the outside, left or right. He then picks out the target and goes and hits him. It sounds so much easier than it is.

One of the reasons that the Eagles had so many long runs in the past few years is that Kelce could get up the field or out in space and take out a player. If the runner could get to that spot, there would be one less defender and that turned a 5-yard run into a 15-yard run.

Kelce isn’t perfect. He’s had some erratic snaps at times. He can get pushed back in pass protection on some plays. For the most part, though, he’s been outstanding for the Eagles. Last year he fought his way through an injury and that affected his play. If he can stay healthy in 2015, Kelce will be a huge help to the new starting OGs on both sides of him. And Sam Bradford. And DeMarco Murray. And Ryan Mathews. And Nelson Agholor.

The starting C doesn’t generally get a lot of attention, but Kelce is a key player for the Eagles on and off the field. He is as Chip Kelly a guy as you can get. He loves football. He is a natural leader. Kelce is an overachiever, but a talented overachiever. Some guys overachieve their way into just being in the league. Kelce is talented enough to work his way into being a terrific player.

The good news is that he won’t turn 28 until November. Kelce should be a key part of the Eagles offense for several years to come.

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