The Corey Question

Posted: February 26th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The Corey Question

What do you do with Corey Clement?

The undrafted rookie earned a roster spot with a good summer and then proved to be a valuable role player during the season. He took his game up a notch in the playoffs, especially the Super Bowl. Clement was 4-100-1 as a receiver. He ran the ball three times and had a KOR.

Based on what you saw in the playoffs, it is easy to think Clement could become a key player for the Eagles in 2018. We know Jay Ajayi will be the feature back. After that, things are wide open. Darren Sproles and LeGarrette Blount are free agents. Wendell Smallwood is coming off a disappointing season. Clement could be the #2 RB and see a greatly expanded role.

There is a lot to get excited about when you see his highlights.

Offseason reminder…be careful with having the sound up on these videos. The music is often NSFW.

Clement flashed good potential throughout the season.

There is always the concern of projecting someone from role player to key backup. Think about this. Clement caught 10 passes in the playoffs. He also caught 10 passes in the regular season. He made some impressive catches and some critical plays in the playoffs. You just wonder if that is something that can definitely carry over to a whole season.

The offense was red hot in the last couple of games. Those defenses were focused on Ertz, Jeffery, Agholor, Ajayi and Blount. Clement was not at the top of the list. I love the fact he made such key plays, but things will be different in 2018 if he’s the #2 RB. Defenses will focus more on him. They will study his tape and be better prepared.

Timmy Smith was a role player for the Skins in his rookie year of 1987. He ran for 126 yards that year. He then ran for 204 yards in the Super Bowl, a record-setting performance. He ran for 470 yards in 1988 and was gone soon after that.

I think Clement is in a far different situation, but we shouldn’t completely ignore the Timmy Smith lesson.

Clement deserves an expanded role in 2018. The question is whether you trust him enough to be the backup RB. Is he a guy you would want starting or building the offense around if anything happened to Ajayi?

I love the thought of Clement as the #3 RB. He can do a great job in that role. He could turn out to be a terrific primary backup. He might thrive if you gave him 8 to 10 carries and 3 or 4 catches a game. I’m just less certain about that.

Clement was coachable in 2017 and that’s important. Duce Staley got him to lose weight so he’d be more athletic. Staley worked with him as a receiver and blocker. Clement showed a good work ethic. Going undrafted clearly got his attention and he worked hard to earn a spot and then to earn playing time.

I’ll be very interested to see what Howie Roseman, Joe Douglas and Doug Pederson do at RB. The draft class is loaded. Free agents won’t have a high price tag. They have options. They could bring Blount back to have the same trio of RBs. Donnel Pumphrey could take Kenjon Barner’s role. Some rookie could come in to challenge Smallwood for a spot.

Or maybe Pederson decides Clement is a sleeping giant and needs to be a bigger part of the offense this year.


This is great.


The QB Market

Posted: February 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The QB Market

Will the Eagles trade Nick Foles? Should the Eagles trade Nick Foles?

One of the things that sometimes gets overlooked in this discussion is that another team has to want Foles. In a normal year, the QB who got hot and led his team to a Super Bowl win would likely be a hot commodity. This isn’t a normal year. Just look at potential free agents.

Drew Brees
Kirk Cousins
Case Keenum
Tedy Bridgewater
Sam Bradford
A.J. McCarron
Josh McCown
Jay Cutler

Brees won’t be leaving the Saints, barring a miracle, but there are still some attractive options for teams. None of them is perfect to be sure, but this is a better group of free agents QBs than you usually see.

The draft has some very talented prospects. There could be five QBs to go in the 1st round.

Sam Darnold
Josh Rosen
Baker Mayfield
Lamar Jackson
Josh Allen

That’s a lot of players to choose from.

As for potential suitors…


The Dolphins and Colts have starters coming off injury. They could be interested in some help. The Texans have DeShaun Watson coming off a torn ACL, but he is expected to be fine for this year and looked great when healthy last year.

There are teams like the Giants that have a starter for now, but still might look to draft a QB to develop for the future.

I don’t think one of the teams listed above is going to fall in love with Foles and then trade a high pick (2nd rounder) for him. They saw how great he could be, but also know he’s got limitations and needs the right situation. The Vikings make the most sense, but I tend to think they’ll bring back Case Keenum. The Broncos have a talented team and desperately need a QB, but it feels like they are either going after Cousins or drafting someone.

The Cardinals could be an X-factor. They don’t have any QBs on the roster. They are coming off an 8-8 season and picking 15th, not ideal when you are looking for a QB. They have a new coach. Arizona is too good to be completely rebuilding, but also don’t feel like a contender. Would trading for Foles make sense for them? Foles played his college ball at Arizona so it is possible going back there could be something of interest to him.

One of the keys for Foles is having a good O-line. Cardinals QBs were sacked 52 times in 2017. That doesn’t sound like a group that would help Foles play at a high level. I’m sure they’ll be trying to upgrade the OL this offseason no matter what they do at QB, but you just don’t know how good the pass protection will be.

It certainly would make the draft more fun if the Eagles were able to deal him, but I’m leaning against that happening right now.

It is possible that Foles could be really valuable if some veteran gets hurt in the spring or summer. The problem is that the Eagles would have to add a pick in the 2019 draft so they’d be giving up a good player and not getting any immediate return.

One team some thought could be a potential suitor is off the market for a veteran.

All kinds of rumors will be coming out of the Combine this week. Lots of them will involve QBs, some possibly even Foles. We might get a better feel for things as we hear the stories coming out of Indy. This is where a lot of free agent and trade negotiations begin.

I don’t have any scoops on the Foles situation. This is just me trying to read the situation based on what I know. Mike Florio seems to think Foles will be elsewhere in 2018. Sheil Kapadia thinks Foles will be dealt in the offseason. Part of me hopes they’re right.

Another part of me says “Foles just won you the Super Bowl. Don’t be in such a hurry to get rid of that guy.”


Thank You Cards

Posted: February 23rd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 191 Comments »

The Eagles won the Super Bowl for a lot of reasons. Carson Wentz got the team off to an amazing start. Nick Foles was sensational during the playoffs. Doug Pederson proved to be a brilliant coach. The defense was stifling for most of the season. You can go on and on and list all kinds of reasons.

There are some non-Eagles to thank as well. The team should consider sending out Thank You cards to some folks.

The Rams

It is funny how important the Rams were to the Eagles success. I won’t even get into the Sam Bradford angle. That’s a long, complex part of the story. The Rams did the Eagles a huge favor by drafting Jared Goff first overall and letting the Eagles “settle” for Carson Wentz. Goff had a terrific year and might win a Super Bowl of his own in the future, but Wentz was the perfect choice for the Eagles. He fits this team and this city. He looks like a special player.

The Rams also cut Nick Foles, after making his life miserable. That sent Foles to KC last year and helped him want to come back to Philly this year. Foles had fun in Philly early in his career. He got to experience that and so much more in his return this past season. If Foles hadn’t been so miserable with the Rams, he might have focused on going somewhere he could battle for a starting job.

I also think the December game in L.A. was important. The Rams really pushed the Eagles that day, but the Eagles came from behind and won the game. It was actually similar to the Super Bowl, where the Eagles led most of the way, but fell behind late before coming back to win.

Chip Kelly

The Chipster played a key role in the Eagles winning the big game. Unfortunately for him, it isn’t all for good reasons. If he didn’t turn so cold and awkward in his time in Philly, Jeffrey Lurie might not have been so focused on finding a coach with “emotional intelligence”. Pederson might not have been a key candidate if not for Kelly’s demeanor in 2015.

Chip fought for control and then pooped the bed when he got it in 2015. Those moves helped the Eagles to have a bad year and played a big part in Lurie firing him. If Chip hangs on to LeSean McCoy, maybe the Eagles go 9-7 in 2015 and he keeps his job. His own bad moves paved the way for his demise. Chip’s bad moves also helped the Eagles land good draft position. That gave them a chance to move up to 2nd overall. If the Eagles are starting off in the 20’s, I don’t know if they could have pulled that off.

Chip banished Howie Roseman for 2015 and that turned out to be the best thing ever for Howie. He got a huge serving of humble pie and I think that turned out to be a good thing in the long run. He also has been a different person since coming back. He had his job taken away and then given back. That gives you a new perspective on life and your situation. I don’t know if old Howie could have made things work with a personnel guy like Joe Douglas. New Howie has made it work and the results are pretty great.

On the plus side, Chip hired some good coaches that are still with the Eagles. Jeff Stoutland and Dave Fipp are key members of the staff and played a big role in the Eagles championship success.

Chip brought Sports Science to Philly. I have no concrete proof of that making a huge difference, but it sure feels like it has had an effect. You see guys playing later into their 30’s and still performing at a high level in some cases. Sports Science can’t do anything about broken ankles or torn ACLs, but it does feel like the Eagles deal with fewer nagging injuries.

The up-tempo attack was a good thing. I think Chip was wrong to build his whole team around it, but going up-tempo is a useful weapon for the offense and the Eagles do it well. There are coaches and players here from Chip’s tenure and you have to think their time under him has helped the Eagles when it comes to playing at warp speed.

The Vikings

They traded for Bradford, paving the way for Wentz to get on the field in 2016.

They drafted Dalvin Cook, a player the Eagles had some interest in. If the Eagles had made a play for him, who knows what the RB group would have done.

I think it was important that the Vikings had a great season and pushed the Eagles. If the Eagles had clinched HFA a week or two earlier, the team might have gotten sloppy. The Vikings pushed the Eagles until the end and I think that helped the Eagles stay at a high level.

Oh yeah…thanks for not showing up in the NFC title game.

The Oddsmakers

I don’t think the underdog status played a big role, but if it helped with one block, one tackle or one catch, then it was a good thing. It did give the players a fun angle and the fans certainly ate it up. The Eagles were never going to overlook a postseason opponent thanks to hearing about the point spreads for the games.

The Dolphins

Howie trading Kiko Alsono and Byron Maxwell so he could move up in the draft was simply amazing. He unloaded players the team didn’t want and got the Eagles close enough where they could then go get Carson Wentz. Thank you Miami.

The Dolphins didn’t feel that was enough so they graciously traded Jay Ajayi to the Eagles in October.

The Bengals

Imagine if Cincy had kept rookie PK Jake Elliott and put some other guy on the street. I’m not sure the Eagles win the Super Bowl. Who knew such a simple move by the Bengals could be so crucial to the Eagles winning a title.

The Bills

Thanks to Jim Schwartz, the Eagles feel like Buffalo South at times. From Corey Graham to Nigel Bradham to Schwartz himself, former Bills played a big part in the Eagles success. Ronald Darby made key plays in the wins over the Giants and Raiders late in the year. Without those wins, the Eagles might not have had HFA.

The Browns

Cleveland had the #2 pick in the 2016 draft. They decided Carson Wentz wasn’t worthy of that spot so they dealt the pick away. The Eagles paid a lot for it, but that proved to be a bargain when you look at the results since. The Browns are 1-31. The Eagles are champions.

Cleveland decided that giving Wentz to the Eagles wasn’t enough so they fired John DeFilippo. He came to Philly and did a great job of coaching Wentz, Foles and Nate Sudfeld. Very generous of the Browns to give the Eagles a great QB and a great QB coach.

Andy Reid

Believe it or not, the Eagles road to the Super Bowl began in 1999 when Reid became the team’s head coach. He brought a professionalism and structure to the organization that had been lacking since the Dick Vermeil years. Reid brought in Pederson to be his QB. That obviously strengthened their bond and Pederson wouldn’t be where he is today without Reid.

Reid drafted and coached guys like Jason Kelce and Brent Celek. He was here when the Eagles traded for Jason Peters. Those veterans are key leaders for the team, in part because of the way they were developed by Reid. Nick Foles was part of Reid’s final draft class (along with Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry and Mychal Kendricks). Reid only spent a year with Foles in Philly, but they developed a good relationship and Foles joined him in KC in 2016. Reid played a major role in Foles deciding not to retire, which was pretty important to the Eagles winning the Super Bowl.

Lurie had Reid in mind when he began his coaching search in January of 2016. Lurie wanted to find someone who knew football, but just as importantly, someone who knew people. He saw that kind of potential in Pederson, who many joked was Andy Reid Jr. Nobody is laughing now.



Interesting Idea

Posted: February 22nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 208 Comments »

We know the Eagles need to get under the salary cap. That means re-working some deals and making some cuts. It could also mean possibly trading a veteran, if the circumstances were right. PFT had a link to a story yesterday about the Colts transitioning to the 4-3 defense. They want to be a fast, attacking Tampa-2 style defense. One problem…they don’t have much at DE.


The Eagles could talk to them about a trade of Vinny Curry. The Eagles would save $5M and help to create a better cap situation. The Colts would have their starting RDE. Frank Reich is the new coach in Indy and might like bringing over a guy from the Eagles to help establish the right culture. The Colts are projected to have a ton of cap space. They could go sign a free agent, but this isn’t projected to be a great crop to choose from.

You wouldn’t get great return for Curry. You could ask for Indy’s 4th round pick. Would you do it for a 5th? Keep in mind that their pick is at the top of the round.

The NFL Combine starts on Tuesday and teams will begin discussing deals…in Indy. This is where the groundwork of most major deals happens.

The Eagles could talk to Curry about taking a pay cut. If he would agree to do that, they might prefer to keep him. Curry’s sack numbers weren’t great to be sure, but he was an outstanding run defender and got good pressure on the QB. He’s not worth his current cap price of $11M to the Eagles so something has to happen.

The other X-factor here is whether the Eagles think Derek Barnett is ready to seriously push for a starting job. If so, they might want to move on from Curry. That would allow them to save money and then add a young DE to the mix. Brandon Graham and Chris Long aren’t young so adding a young player might make a lot of sense.

It sure feels like the smart play would be to move on from Curry. I’d hate to see him go, but that’s the business of football.


So AJ played all year with a torn rotator cuff? Wow. Tough dude. Les has some details.

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has undergone surgery to repair his right rotator cuff, a source said Wednesday, confirming an report. The goal is for Jeffery to be ready for the 2018 regular season, though he could return during the preseason if all goes well, the source said.

Jeffery, 28, one of the Eagles’ biggest Super Bowl LII heroes, was injured on the first weekend of training camp but played every game of the 2017 season, catching 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. He played 82 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps.

Jeffery did not experience significant discomfort during the season or the three-game postseason, the source said. In the playoffs, Jeffery caught 12 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns, including a spectacular 34-yard score from Nick Foles in the Super Bowl.

Two questions came out of this. First, how was he never on the injury report. That last paragraph from Les tells you the key info. The injury didn’t really affect him that badly. He practiced and played at a high level. The Eagles didn’t gain any competitive advantage. The league could talk to the Eagles about this, but it looks like they should be okay by the letter of the law.

Should the Eagles have signed AJ to the contract extension knowing he was hurt? If he was a starting QB or pitcher, no. As a WR, not a huge deal. He obviously played through the injury and made some huge catches. The Eagles don’t win the Super Bowl without him. This is an injury that should completely heal after surgery so I don’t see this as some major risk.

He will miss some preseason and Training Camp time. That will provide a huge opportunity for Shelton Gibson, Mack Hollins and other young receivers to show what they can do.


Groh to OC

Posted: February 20th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 132 Comments »

The Eagles made their decision on what to do at offensive coordinator.

This is a smart move. Groh had a hand in gameplanning last year so expanding that role should come naturally to him. He does have OC experience at the collegiate level. That was a decade ago and you can bet that Groh is much better prepared for the role at this stage in his career. He’s been part of some great coaching staffs, helping Alabama to win a national championship and also helping the Eagles to win the Super Bowl this past season.

Groh could be a head coaching candidate down the road, but hopefully he can provide the Eagles some stability at OC for the next couple of years. Doug Pederson has some young coaches he is developing (most notably Press Taylor) and it would be good to give them time to grown into their roles.

Pederson will run the offensive side of the ball and will call plays, but Groh will play a key role in building the gameplan and helping to…coordinate the offense (if only they had a title for that). Pederson believes in splitting up duties so Groh will need to oversee some of that and help the different coaches work together.

Duce Staley was the other candidate who got interviewed for the job. I’m sure he’s disappointed, but Groh had the better background for this role. The Eagles did show how much they appreciate Staley and what he’s meant to the team.

Since there is no salary cap on coaches, I’m sure he’s getting a raise as well.

One of the challenges that success brings is trying to reward people and keep everyone happy. The Eagles did the best they could with this situation. I hope they give Staley a chance to be more involved with gameplanning so that he’s ready for an OC role the next time one comes available, here or elsewhere.

I do think Staley has a legitimate shot to be a head coach. He is a natural leader and has a great relationship with players. He can be tough and demanding, but does it in the right way.


Here is Jimmy Bama’s take on the moves. He also has an update on the overall coaching staff.

The Eagles will need to hire a WRs coach. We don’t have any clues on that yet. There is a coach on the staff with some WR experience. Trent Miles most recently was the head coach at Georgia State, but has coached WRs at Notre Dame, Stanford, Hawaii and Fresno State. He was also the WRs coach for the Packers in 2000. Pederson was in Cleveland that year so they didn’t work together.

The team will need to hire or promote someone to take on Press Taylor’s role of offensive quality control/assistant QBs coach. They do have someone on staff named Spencer Phillips who helped out with the QBs the past two years. He played QB for small colleges and then spent time working for a passing academy before breaking into college coaching at Samford. He sounds like an interesting young coach.


This is heaven.