One I Get, The Other I Don’t

Posted: July 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 43 Comments »

Brett Favre and Vernon Gholston.

Howard Eskin tweeted on Saturday that he’s heard the Eagles are interested in having Brett Favre as the backup QB, once Kevin Kolb is dealt.  This quickly became the talk of Twitter.  Jeff McLane said he’s heard the Eagles have some interest, but adding Favre is “a longshot”.  McLane doesn’t see it happening.

Neither do I.  Would Favre want to be a backup?  Would he be willing to hold a clipboard?  Would he face a possible suspension from the NFL for the whole Jenn Sterger situation?  In theory adding a guy with Favre’s ability and experience sounds great, but the baggage is just too much for someone that is strictly an insurance policy.  I get the Eagles interest in him.  I just can’t see things working out.   * UPDATE – Jay Glazer has reported that 2 Eagles sources said Favre is not under serious consideration.  He will not be an Eagle.

Now about Vern Gholston…it is fans who have interest in him.  This I don’t get.  Let’s compare a couple of careers.

Player A -33 games – 3 sacks – 5 PDs – 2 FFs – 37 tackles
Player B – 45 games – 0 sacks – 0 PDs – 0 FFs – 42 tackles

Player B is Gholston.  Player A is Jerome McDougle, the Eagles years.  Eagles fans want to go sign a guy who in 3 years hasn’t been able to muster one sack.  The man played for Rex Ryan’s attacking defense in 2 of those years.  Gholston played in a 3-4 as a DE and LB.  He moved all around as the coaches tried to find some way for him to get comfortable and contribute.  Didn’t happen under Eric Mangini or Ryan.

Gholston is a complete and utter draft bust.

I have no interest in going after him.  I was told by an NFL scout prior to the draft that Gholston wouldn’t make it.  I told the scout he was nuts.  I raved about how well he’d played in the Michigan game and some others and quoted all kinds of stats and numbers.  The scout re-iterated that Gholston would be a bust.  There was something about him that was missing.  He lacked the kind of mental and emotional toughness that it takes to make it in the league.  The scout was right on the money.  I was wrong by a mile.  I can’t see the need to take a chance on Gholston.  I’d rather those reps go to Teo, Tapp, Sapp, Hunt, and anyone else we have in camp.

Adding Gholston would be chasing an illusion.  He’s never shown anything in the NFL.  Nothing.  Jason Babin was a disappointment early in his career, but after 3 years he had 13 sacks and almost 100 tackles.  He wasn’t what the Texans hoped for, but he had at least shown NFL ability.  Gholston is still at zero.  No thanks.

* * * * *

A person on Twitter got on me for doubting Dion Lewis.  I think we must add a quality backup at RB.  I don’t think Lewis will be ready to contribute a lot in 2011.  Dion is 5’7, 193.  That’s small for an NFL runner.  I’m not sure he’ll be a functional pass blocker this year.  Ryan Moats was bigger than that as a rookie and got killed in pass protection.  That led to Mike McMahon taking a beating.  The eyes of Eagles fans also suffered quite a bit that year.  It wasn’t pretty to watch.

I do think Lewis can be a good role player in the NFL.  He has excellent vision and great instincts.  Those are key qualities for a RB.  Trung Canidate ran a 4.3 and had okay size, but couldn’t read blocks to save his life and had a short career.  A RB must be able to read blocks and know where to go.

Speed is also a concern for me.  Lewis ran in the 4.5 range, but anyone who watched him at Pitt knows he’s not a guy that breaks off long runs and doesn’t get caught.  Emmitt Smith wasn’t fast, but didn’t get caught.  Lewis did.  He times okay, but his game speed is something else.  Maybe it improves in the NFL.  We’ll see.  I look forward to seeing what he can do.

43 Comments on “One I Get, The Other I Don’t”

  1. 1 Stephen said at 12:54 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Tommy, I had read some speculation also that Gholston was juicing at Ohio State. Think theres any validity to that speculation and that it might have artificially inflated his numbers while he was there?

  2. 2 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:04 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    That is possible. He still looks great. That’s what is so confusing. He looks the part of a stud pass rusher. He just doesn’t play like that. I think personality is a key. The guys at Ohio State don’t face equal competition a lot. I think some develop a bully mentality. That gets destroyed in the NFL where a lot of players are just as good as you. That’s where being a bully hurts you and you need more of a competitive streak. Bullies need people to back down from them. Just doesn’t happen in the NFL.

  3. 3 Julz787 said at 1:09 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Hey tommy you dont think that maybe playing DE in a 4-3 will make a difference?

  4. 4 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:27 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Gholston saw time at DE sometimes. 3-4 teams use 4-man lines in some Nickel and Dime looks.

    I can’t say this strongly enough.

    Zero interest.

    If he lands somewhere and becomes even an effective role player I’ll be the first to eat crow. I just think going after a guy like this is equivalent to buying a lottery ticket. People are looking for a big payoff that is almost a certainty not to happen. I’d rather concentrate on the guys we do have.

  5. 5 Sebastian said at 1:31 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    If anything playing in a defense like Rex Ryan’s would improve his stats @ OLB versus play DE. Look at Elvis Dumerville. His sack numbers exploded when Denver switched to a 3-4. Vern is bust!

  6. 6 Jeppe said at 1:51 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Hi Tommy

    I am a little worried about our two safeties… I really like them both, and believe they have a great future together! BUT Jarret hasn’t been able to study the playbook, and only have one month to get up to speed… Could this be the RCB problem of 2012? What Do you think? Is it possible that they will be great now? I hope so, because they seem like such competitive and great personalities!

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:09 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    @ Jeppe…

    Jarrett has had the playbook. He hasn’t been able to talk to the coaches.

    Green Bay had 2 rookies starting in the secondary on opening day last year. One was a UDFA.

    The key is to have the right guys. The Eagles believe in Jarrett. We’ll soon find out if they’re right or not.

  8. 8 Eeems said at 2:49 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Tommy if you were to go out and sign Babin to a contract what sort of length and terms would you put him @.

  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:55 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    @ Eeems…

    Sam is the contract guy. I don’t keep up with salaries all that well.

    I’d offer 4 years. Not sure about money. $4M a year sounds about right, but not sure how that meshes with other recent deals of similar players.

    I would not overpay for Babin. He’s not worth it. This isn’t a guy we “must” get.

  10. 10 Noah said at 3:24 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    there are other underperforming pass rushers who have sparked my fancy. Aaron Maybin of the Bills – who I still think could add weight and be a Trent Cole kind of story.
    There are guys like Robert Ayers and Larry English -miscast as OLBs in 3-4s.

  11. 11 Jeppe said at 3:28 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    @ Tommy

    Was the playbook handed out during the one day window?

    Another point I would like your opinion about is regarding the apparent shift towards players that have a high football intelligence… I think it is a wise decision! I make the comparison to soccer, which I know better (i am Danish). A given player Can have the best tecnique, but if he hasn’t got a flair for the game and its mechanics, he will never be great. Great players needs great IQ for the game – am I right??

  12. 12 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:04 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    @ Noah…

    Eagles loved Ayers coming out. Thought he could be real good LDE. I never liked him as a LB in the 3-4. Ayers wasn’t a great pass rusher in college. Good run defender and disruptive player, but not a natural pass rusher. He’s a guy I’d give a chance too.

    English should be able to play OLB or DE. I’m not sure what his deal is.

    Maybin is a pure speed rusher. He’s got a WR build. He does fit the Wide Nine, but I have mixed feelings on whether he’s worth looking into.

    I actually like the #2 and #3 sets of DEs we have. The only DE I want to add is someone who can start at LDE and make us better.

  13. 13 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:08 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    # Jeppe…

    Some players are smart. Some have good instincts. Some great players have both.

    Darwin Walker was a very smart player, but that actually may have hurt him as a DT. That’s a position where you want a guy to just be mean and rugged. Too much thinking at DT does you know good.

    S and LB are positions where you need instincts. You must be able to see things and also have a feel for what is fake and what isn’t.

    OL and QBs must be smart. They have to process information and make instantaneous decisions, all while interacting with the players around them.

    The Eagles have started to add smarter guys and more instinctive guys. I like it, as long as they can play. All the brains in the world don’t do you any good if you lack ability or at least minimal athleticism.

  14. 14 Baloophi said at 4:41 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Greetings Tommy and Igglesblitzheads!

    What are people’s thoughts on UDFA’s? In addition to FA’s, rookie contracts and other pro-personnel moves, I assume the Eagles will be targeting a few camp bodies.

    Who do people like? As a relatively recent addition to the Auburn nation (via marriage) and per the Dion Lewis pass-block discussion, I’d like to slap some wings on Mario Fannin and see what he can do… assuming we can lure him away from the Las Vegas Locomotives…

  15. 15 D3Keith said at 5:01 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    I agree totally re: Dion Lewis.

    The short version of the point I’m about to make is Charles Scott. Tony Hunt.

    In other words, some of us get way too excited every year for the rookies we draft who seem to have the skills to fit particular needs. That would be justified if, in any given season, 100 percent of draft picks panned out. The Birds came close last season but still missed on their rookie RB.

    I think we should expect first-round rookies and big-school talents at certain positions, like, say, guard, to play right away. Otherwise I’m all for tempering expectations and getting a vet in here, even short-term, even if the vet eventually loses his job to the rook.

    Would much rather have insurance on the roster and bring guys along slowly. Maybe by December Lewis could contribute. But I’d hate to bank on it with all the backs available.

    re: Favre, I never thought the all-time leading passer would come out of retirement to be a No. 2. Would sooner buy that McNabb is going to be Vick’s backup.

  16. 16 Tyson said at 7:00 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    I don’t like Teo. I just don’t have a good feeling about that guy. He looks to small and not athletic enough to compete at this level. He’ll get cut just like Tony Hunt was after his first season. He could barely get on the field last year.

  17. 17 Andrew said at 7:32 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    @ Baloophi

    Agree with trying to get Mario Fannin. I’m surprised he wasn’t drafted.

  18. 18 Kyle said at 8:39 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    I say thanks but no thanks to adding Favre. For years, he was holding down the starting QB position on every team he played and ignored the development of the young QBs behind him. I see a selfish player in him whose only consideration is only about him staying at the spot light. If he is with the team, he is looking to take over the starter position and cause all kinds of problems.

    Glad that the team is adding instinctive and smart players. But why it takes so long for the coaches to recognize the value there?

  19. 19 ppk said at 9:25 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Anything that follows “Howard Eskin tweeted…” can safely be forgotten.

  20. 20 Eric said at 9:58 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    I obviously bow to Tommy’s assessments, but I never thought much of Gholston. He disappeared quite often game by game.

    I would have told you the same about Maybin. Not even considering the fact that he was way too small to really fit any position by speeding by lumbering tackles.

  21. 21 Jay said at 11:28 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    I was enamored too about Gholston. I really wanted the Eagles to draft him 4 years ago and I laughed at Oakland for passing on him. I just thought of him as a physical beast and a great college player. I thought his lack of success was due to playing in the 3-4. But after reading what you have to say, I have to agree with you

  22. 22 Name said at 11:43 PM on July 24th, 2011:

    Prior to the draft last year, Darryl Tapp was expected to be the starter. I think it’s a good possibilty that Eagles decide not to sign a significant player at DE and go with what they have. At the beginning of the season I expect their roster to look like:


    the 10th guy will either be Haynesworth, Owens, Sapp, or that guy from the CFL

  23. 23 Fiftyfourd said at 4:49 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    @ Name
    Don’t know if it was a mistype but Graham will not be 3rd to Cole, when he gets back from PUP he will most likely be the LDE opposite of Trent

  24. 24 Ken said at 7:27 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    PFT is reporting that free agency could start at noon on Tuesday and that it will be open free agency. That means no 3 day grace period. If true, I think that would be an advantage for us as there is no FA on our roster that I really care about re-signing. I think players will now more likely chase the money than give home town discounts if they can talk to all 32 teams. For guys like Charles Johnson, Poz, Tulloch, etc. that could be a huge difference in our chances of landing those guys.

  25. 25 Ken said at 7:27 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    PFT is reporting that free agency could start at noon on Tuesday and that it will be open free agency. That means no 3 day grace period. If true, I think that would be an advantage for us as there is no FA on our roster that I really care about re-signing. I think players will now more likely chase the money than give home town discounts if they can talk to all 32 teams. For guys like Charles Johnson, Poz, Tulloch, etc. that could be a huge difference in our chances of landing those guys.

  26. 26 Ken said at 7:28 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    sorry for the double post.

  27. 27 Arby said at 8:01 AM on July 25th, 2011:


    No Sav Rocca?

  28. 28 McG said at 10:12 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    @ Ken

    I agree with Arby, and I might add that i think that situation would actually increase our ability to resign Jerome Harrison given the deluge of veteran RBs available.

  29. 29 Will said at 10:46 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    How about Ray Edwards? His name has started to pop up as being a potential target for Philly.

    I remember him having a good run in the playoffs a couple of years ago, but, other than that, I don’t recall him being anything special.

    How does he fit and what are the odds Philly pursues him?

  30. 30 Steve said at 10:54 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    Do you regret the Eagles trading Chris Clemons and passing up on Jason Pierre Paul?

  31. 31 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:00 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    @ Steve…

    From what I heard Chris Clemons was a turd in the locker room. Also, he posted good numbers, but did so on a bad defense. Watch him play and you’ll see that he’s not the most disciplined guy. Stats are great, but how well did he function in the overall context of the defense? Don’t regret letting him go at all.

    Jason Pierre-Paul wasn’t on all 32 draft boards due to character concerns. We’ll see if there was reason to be worried or not. I don’t mind the Eagles passing on him. I liked Graham quite a bit.

  32. 32 fran35 said at 11:19 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    What is your opinion of Teo and what you have seen? He looks to me like he could be Version 2 of Bryan Smith. Do you think Teo actually makes our roster this year if he looks as unimpressive as he looked last year?

    Also, how comfortable are you going into the season with what we already have at DE if we do not sign any other FA? It scares the heck out of me.

  33. 33 LT said at 11:34 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    Damn, Gholston is one of my all-time misses when it comes to highly touted college players. I was absolutely convinced this guy would be an animal in the NFL. Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.

    I was also very high on Ayers coming out, makes sense that he might do well if he could go to a 4-3 team.

  34. 34 Ken said at 11:35 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    @ Arby I did forget about Sav, but at the same time I wouldn’t be crushed if we let him walk. I mean he is just a punter.

  35. 35 CVD said at 11:58 AM on July 25th, 2011:

    Graham played better than Pierre Paul did last year. Paul was playing on a great defensive line and still didn’t post better #’s that graham. Graham had the 2nd most qb pressures of any rookie. Sue was first obviously, im not sure where Paul fell on the list. Paul had 4 sacks and graham had like 3 but I don’t think Paul played better. I guess now that he is injured it doesn’t look so good. But I would have taken BG over Paul

  36. 36 Steve said at 12:03 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    I thought Pierre Paul was taken off of draft boards because he was very raw. He was a huge risk as a mid first round pick. I never heard anything about character concerns. At times last year he was very disruptive and he did get 4 sacks.

  37. 37 CVD said at 12:20 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    yeah i heard it was cuz he only played football for a year or two not that he was a bad dude. i also heard he just wasnt all that smart.

    He had 4 and graham had 3. but that wouldnt make me want him more just cuz he had one more sack. i like the fact that BG had a ton of qb pressures. i will try to find out how many more BG had than Paul

  38. 38 CVD said at 12:21 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    there were 3 games where PFF said BG was our best defensive player

  39. 39 Fred said at 12:34 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    Who is your dark horse to make the team? I’m talking about the late draft picks and the end of the season signings the Eagles made last year. Personally, I think that Sinorice Moss may make the team mainly because we only have 4 receivers and we need a PR and KR. I am not feeling Stanley Havili.

  40. 40 Cliff said at 1:27 PM on July 25th, 2011:


  41. 41 CVD said at 1:30 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    i still give chad hall a chance to make the team over moss. unless moss is pretty good at PR and KR

  42. 42 Name said at 1:31 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    Did it start or does it start tomorrow? I heard like 20 different things.

    What I am hoping is the first thing I heard is correct. That you can trade and sign players today but it won’t be official until later in the week

  43. 43 Matt said at 7:59 PM on July 25th, 2011:

    What about Ricky Sapp? Are the eagles not expecting much from him?