Adaptation

Posted: May 20th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Nexium 2.5 mg granulado pediatrico dosis | 2 Comments »

Doug Pederson did some interviews on Tuesday. He mentioned that two themes for 2020 are “trust” and “strong together”. Those certainly make sense given the current situation in the world at large.

After listening to him and watching the team’s moves this offseason, I feel like adaptation is an even bigger theme.

All 32 teams must deal with conditions thrown upon them by the Covid-19 situation. Teams that adapt well to the situation will be at an advantage. Pederson said the team is entering their fourth week of the offseason program. He holds virtual staff meetings twice a week. He holds virtual team meetings twice a week.

The assistant coaches have virtual meetings with the players multiple times a week. The strength and conditioning staff has virtual meetings with players.

Football coaches are notoriously control freaks. It would be easy to imagine a coach saying “This is too much. Call me when my guys can come to the facility and we can have a normal program.”

Pederson and the Eagles have embraced the situation. They are trying to be creative in the meetings, to get the players coached up as best they can and also to keep the players focused and motivated. If malaise sets in, that can be tough to break. Skip a meeting here. Skip a workout there. Maybe don’t focus as much. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but chances are that it would show in August when the team hits the field.

The Eagles are doing their best to adapt to a virtual offseason.

This is the fifth year of the Pederson era. Teams know the Eagles playbooks pretty well. The coaches are making adaptations to their schemes to try to improve the offense and defense.

Pederson brought in several new assistants. We talk the most about Rich Scangarello, partly due to his ties to Kyle Shanahan. This makes total sense when you see that the Niners were second in scoring and fourth in offensive yards in 2019, despite not having elite offensive talent. Shanahan did a brilliant job of using his personnel and calling plays. That offense is worth studying.

Pederson did say that the offense will largely be the same. He’s not changing his base scheme, but rather making tweaks that will improve some of the areas where the Eagles were weak.

The Eagles also adapted on offense by focusing on speed. The front office and coaching staff watched the offense march down the field methodically last year. They saw a team that got old and slow in a hurry. That had to change so they brought in Marquise Goodwin, Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins. Those guys can all fly. Reagor and Hightower combined for 59-641-4 as runners in college. You can throw it to them or hand it to them and they can make plays.

Jalen Hurts will give the offense a weapon to use creatively. I firmly believe he was drafted to be a QB, but I’m sure it wasn’t lost on the Eagles coaches that the top offenses last year did some creative things.

The Ravens led the league in scoring and ran a very creative offense, led by a brilliantly talented dual-threat QB. The Niners had WR Deebo Samuel run the ball 14 times. They faked to him 114 times (felt like it, anyway) and that made it tough on defenses. Niners receivers were 2-2-51 with a TD when they threw the ball. The Saints used Tayson Hill as an effective role player. Both SEA and NE scored TDs on trick plays against the Eagles.

There are times when you must be able to really open up the playbook. The Eagles have better schematic ideas on how to do that, but also better personnel to do that.

The defense obviously needed help. The Eagles are making a few adaptions on this side of the ball. First, a focus on youth. Veterans Nigel Bradham and Malcolm Jenkins are gone. Both were solid players and forceful leaders. The Eagles did trade for a veteran in Darius Slay, but he’s an outstanding player. Aside from him, the additions were young. Javon Hargrave, Jatavis Brown, Will Parks and Nickell Robey-Coleman are all in their prime.

The Eagles also seem to be adapting by adding or focusing on versatile players. Parks can play NB, S or possibly even LB in some sets. Davion Taylor was a hybrid LB at Colorado. He can be used creatively by the coaching staff. K’Von Wallace can play all over the back seven. Genard Avery is a LB/DE tweener. The team drafted Casey Toohill, also a LB/DE tweener.

Holdovers like Jalen Mills and Avonte Maddox get new roles. Mills is set to take over for Jenkins at SS. Maddox will take over for Mills at CB. These guys can play S, NB or CB.

Jim Schwartz will have the potential to be creative with his defense. He can blitz more. He can be more creative with his coverages. Schwartz would rather stay simple and have his DL dominate up front, but he can be creative when that isn’t happening.

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How Good?

Posted: May 17th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Nexium 2.5 mg granulado pediatrico dosis | Comments Off on How Good?

The Eagles spent three picks on receivers, adding Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins to the WR corps. The goal was to get younger and faster. Done and done.

But relying solely on rookies can be risky. So the Eagles decided to add a veteran to the mix. During the draft, they traded for Marquise Goodwin.

Goodwin has been in the league for seven years. He has starting experience. He has 4.3 speed and can run by NFL corners. This is exactly the kind of a veteran the Eagles were looking for.

Before you get too excited, Goodwin has his share of issues. He will turn 30 in November. He’s been in the league since 2013 and has 140 career catches and 13 TDs. He won’t be going to Canton anytime soon. To put those numbers in perspective, James Thrash had 290 career catches and 22 TDs.

Part of the problem with Goodwin is that injuries have plagued him throughout his career. He has played in 75 of a possible 112 games in his career. That’s not ideal.

This was a low-risk, mystery reward deal by the Eagles. They just gave up draft position to get him, dropping 20 slots in the sixth round. Goodwin took a pay cut so there was limited investment and he’s cheap. Whether it works or not, this was a smart move.

First, Goodwin has to make the team. That means staying healthy and learning the playbook. The Eagles brought in Rich Scangarello to incorporate some of Kyle Shanahan’s playbook. Goodwin spent the past few years in that offense so he will have some familiarity with at least parts of the offense.

If Goodwin can make the team, he’ll have to carve out a role. You can bet the Eagles will want DeSean Jackson on the field a lot. Reagor will be given every chance to earn playing time. Goodwin, a small, speedy receiver, will have to find a way to get on the field.

The Eagles brought him here for a couple of reasons. First, they must think he can be a contributor. As I’ve talked about, no receiver is likely to be catching 80-100 passes. This is going to be WR by committee. Goodwin is talented enough to help with that.

Goodwin also provides insurance in case DeSean gets hurt. They aren’t clones to be sure, but Goodwin has the speed to take on that role. He’s just not nearly as good as DeSean.

It will be interesting to see how Goodwin plays this summer and what he does this fall. He could be an X-factor for the Eagles this year.

*****

I liked the Eagles UDFA class. I wasn’t alone.

Rotoworld had the Eagles at #5. Unfortunately the Cowboys were #1 and the Saints were #3.

The Eagles graded out well in my system by combining high-quality signings with a bunch of calculated dart-throws, including the signing of former Arizona dual-threat quarterback Khalil Tate to give a receiver transition a spin in camp.

The headliners are Cincy RB Michael Warren, Michigan State DL Raequan Williams, Montana LB Dante Olson and Baylor DB Grayland Arnold, all borderline draftable guys. Warren runs like a sock of rocks but has cement shoes… it’ll be interesting to see if he can carve out a Fat Robb career. I like Raequan’s shot of sticking around. He doesn’t rush the passer, but he’s long, he’s versatile, and he brings his lunch pail against the run. Feels like a long-term swing backup type.

Fat Rob is former Skins RB Robert Kelley. I didn’t remember that nickname. Kelley started 16 games in three years and ran for 906 yards. Warren only does that if the guys in front of him get hurt. I do think he could be a solid role player for the Eagles, but he’ll have to beat out Elijah Holyfield first.

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Tony Gwynn

Posted: May 13th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Nexium 2.5 mg granulado pediatrico dosis | 1 Comment »

I was listening to Jim Rome’s radio show today and he had a baseball writer on as a guest. The writer, Tyler Kepner, moved on from the current baseball situation and told a couple of Tony Gwynn stories.

Gwynn is one of the greatest hitters of all time. He had a lifetime batting average of .338. If Pete Rose went 750 for 750, he would still be behind Gwynn. That’s nuts. Gwynn hit .394 in 1994 and hit .368 or higher four times. That’s nuts. He was just an amazing hitter.

For a minute, I couldn’t remember if Gwynn was a left-handed or right-handed hitter. I struggled to picture him at the plate. It made me sad to think that I didn’t pay more attention to one of the greatest baseball players to ever take the field.

That got me to thinking about the Eagles and what we might not be appreciating the way we should.

We get so focused on winning the Super Bowl and having things play out the way we want that it can be easy to overlook greatness that is right in front of us.

Fletcher Cox is the best DT in franchise history. We see him do special things on a regular basis. We haven’t seen a DL physically overwhelm blockers like this since Reggie played for the Eagles.

Zach Ertz is arguably the best TE in franchise history (Pete Retzlaff was amazing in his own right). Ertz is a gifted pass catcher and has the NFL record for receptions by a TE in a season.

Jason Kelce is the best center in franchise history. He makes highlight blocks multiple times a year. Kelce can win at the line of scrimmage or 30 yards downfield. He is a rare dude.

Lane Johnson is the best RT in franchise history, apologies to Jon Runyan and Jerry Sisemore. Johnson is a gifted athlete who can shut down pass rushers and dominate in the run game. When he’s healthy, the Eagles are hard to beat.

We should celebrate these players more than we do. Instead, we get caught up in arguing about J.J. Arcega-Whiteside being disappointing or Nate Gerry’s tackling or whether the Eagles should have traded for Genard Avery. We’re so busy looking for success stories that we don’t see the amazing players that are right there in front of us.

I’m not telling you to ignore bad draft picks or to pretend problems don’t exist. Part of being a sports fan is griping about your team and what’s wrong.

My point is that these are special players and we need to make sure we enjoy them while they are here. All of these guys will get some level of Hall of Fame consideration. Not all will make it. Numbers tell you that. But these are special players.

Make sure you enjoy them.

*****

There are plenty of other good players. Brandon Brooks is one of the best RGs in the league. He has some dominant moments.

Carson Wentz is still showing us what he is. In 2017, he looked special. Last year down the stretch, he was outstanding. Wentz can still be even better. The sky is the limit with him.

I’m curious to see what the future holds for Miles Sanders. At the very least, he is a terrific RB and a lot of fun to watch.

DeSean Jackson is a unique player. He’ll have to buy a ticket to get into Canton, but he still can be incredibly fun to watch. After Week 1 last year, we thought we were in for a fun season. Things didn’t work out that way. When Jackson is out there this year, make sure you enjoy watching him run by DBs.

*****

An absolute artist.

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Understanding Roles

Posted: May 11th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Nexium 2.5 mg granulado pediatrico dosis | Comments Off on Understanding Roles

The focus in the offseason tends to be on big names. Fans want the Eagles to sign players they know. The mentality is something to the effect that “I’ve heard of him so he must be good.”

I get that. I thought that way when I was younger and didn’t really understand the importance of roles within a team.

Smart coaches and GMs build teams understanding that you aren’t just out there collecting talent. Chemistry and scheme fit are critical factors. You need a combination of the best players and the right players.

There was a lot of speculation recently about the Eagles and Leonard Fournette. Nothing came of it and I think that is a good thing. Fournette is a big, powerful runner, but he’s also a workhorse runner. He averages 18.5 carries per game for his career. The Eagles don’t need a workhorse. I don’t even know that they need a RB.

Hyde is 6-0, 229 and a physical, veteran RB. He would check a lot of boxes for the Eagles.

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Freeman is 5-8, 206. He lacks ideal size, but packs a lot of punch. Freeman will lower his shoulder and knock the crap out of you.

Both players have been feature runners in their career. Both have also had success as part of a RB rotation. The Eagles aren’t looking to hand anyone 15 to 20 carries. Miles Sanders should get those touches. The Eagles could use someone to be a situational runner and to help out if Sanders is hurt. Both Hyde and Freeman would make sense.

They could sit on the sideline for a quarter before coming in and then find a way to be productive with a few touches. They don’t need a bunch of carries to get the job done. Fournette is a volume runner. He needs 18 carries to be at his best. Hyde and Freeman can be effective receivers. Both have experience at picking up the blitz.

Sanders will be the key RB this year. I think the Eagles want Boston Scott to get his share of touches, but they are probably afraid in relying on him too much. Guys who have breakout seasons do not always sustain that success. The team still likes Corey Clement and Elijah Holyfield as young guys with potential.

Still, they want to be careful about trusting the young guys too much. If you sign a veteran cheap, you let the RBs sort things out in practice and Training Camp (whatever that looks like this year). The goal is to find the right group of RBs. LeSean McCoy might go to the Hall of Fame. But is he a better player than Boston Scott right now? Forget about names and past glory. Find the right guys for the 2020 Eagles.

*****

Keep this perspective in mind when talking about the Eagles WR corps this year. Too many people talk about how the Eagles can’t count on late picks like John Hightower and Quez Watkins to make much of an impact.

The Eagles aren’t counting on those guys.

Right now DeSean Jackson is projected to start outside. Greg Ward is projected to be in the slot. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside could be the other outside starter.

Clearly Jalen Reagor will have a chance to play a lot. The Eagles are counting on their first round pick to contribute. That doesn’t mean he’s got to start, but he needs to be part of the rotation and catch 35 passes (something in that neighborhood). If Reagor adjusts quickly, the Eagles will feed him the ball. You just can’t count on that.

Marquise Goodwin his here to push for a role. He’s another guy that can play and contribute.

The Eagles do need JJAW to improve. They need more than 10-169-1 out of him. He needs to at least triple that and get up in the 30’s.

The point here is that the Eagles didn’t add any elite workhorse receiver. They added guys who can contribute. They are bringing back young guys who can contribute. The passing game can be a success if the group of receivers gets the job done. No one has to play at a Pro Bowl level.

They do need the players to cut the number of drops and start making more plays. Just think about how different the Eagles season might have felt if Agholor catches that pass vs the Falcons and JJAW makes his catch against the Lions. That is two plays. Two bad drops. Two losses.

I would love it if a star WR would emerge, but the Eagles don’t have to have that. They just need to be better. WRs last year caught 146 passes. I would be shocked if the Eagles didn’t exceed that this season.

And Hightower and Watkins are both better athletes than what the Eagles, or other teams, are usually adding late in the draft. If one of them can emerge and push for playing time, that would help quite a bit.

*****

I continue to leave Alshon Jeffery out of WR discussions. I don’t think he’ll be back.

But I sure don’t know.

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The LB Corps

Posted: May 9th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Nexium 2.5 mg granulado pediatrico dosis | 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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