Sunday Stuff

Posted: July 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

My new column for SB Nation Philly is up.  I wrote about Andy Reid and free agents.  In recent years he’s really become a guy that players want to play for.  It gives me great pleasure to see just the opposite going on with the Skins and Mike Shanahan.  I’ve said he’s overrated for years and been in all kinds of arguments.  The guy did win 2 Super Bowls, but had John friggin’ Elway, one of the 10 greatest QBs in the history of the NFL.  Without Elway, Shanny has one playoff win.  One.  Ouch.

* * * * *

The Eagles lost out on Plaxico, who they did want.  It will be interesting to see if they go after another veteran receiver.  The absence of Maclin and DeSean isn’t good.  I do think DeSean will report soon.  Not sure what’s up with Mac.  Doesn’t sound good based on Andy’s comments from Saturday, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

* * * * *

The Eagles did sign OG Evan Mathis.  He’s got 22 career starts in his time with Carolina, Miami, and Cincy.  He’s the kind of OG that Howard Mudd wants.  Mathis goes 6’5, 302.  I liked him coming out of college.  So did the Eagles.  They brought him to the NovaCare Complex for a pre-draft visit.  I had him rated as a 3rd round prospect.  Not a great athlete, but smart, tough, and aggressive.  Good pass and run blocker.  Overachiever type.

Mathis has NFL experience at LG and RG.  Some wonder if he’s here to fill in for Danny Watkins.  Could be.  Not sure if anything else is happening.  We haven’t heard a good update on Winston Justice’s knee.  King Dunlap is the starting RT, but hasn’t exactly shined from what we hear.  Backup RT Fenuki Tupou is really struggling.  Could be some shifting going on at some point.  Still early so we’ve gotta let these guys play a bit.

* * * * *

Good article on the Eagles and the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha.

* * * * *

More on Cullen Jenkins.  Some wondered why deal Bunkley and go with Jenkins.  Bunk might fit the new scheme.  He’s still young and could have a bright future.  This stat is a good explanation.  Jenkins had 7 sacks last year.  Bunk has 6 in his career.  I’ll be the first to tell you that Bunk doesn’t get to rush the passer very much, but that’s part of the point.  Can you re-train him and get him to do that well?  Huge question.  With Jenkins, he’s already good at it.

Getting pressure up the middle is critical these days.  You never see Drew Brees get sacked.  The ball is out before DEs have a chance to get there.  Pressure up the middle is a whole other story.  And this isn’t 260-pound Darren Howard doing it.  This is a 300-pound DT.  Draw plays aren’t going to be as effective with him in there.  I haven’t had a chance yet to study him thoroughly, but I know Jenkins is a good pass rusher.  We needed help in that area.  Good signing.

Someone made a great point in regard to the deal.  We traded Bunk for a 2012 5th round pick.  The Skins dealt Big Al for a 2013 5th round pick.  Because of the year difference, we got better value for Bunk than they did for a guy with dominant potential.  Appreciate how good the Eagles front office is from time to time.

* * * * *

No word on anything at LB.  Barrett Ruud and Stephen Tulloch are off the market.  Both guys had to settle for 1-year deals.  That tells you there isn’t as much of a market for MLBs as you would think.  I’m not a big fan of Kirk Morrison’s.  I’d rather go with Nick Barnett or possibly Lofa Tatupu.  He’s likely going to be cut today.  His knees aren’t great and he’s reportedly slowed down, but he could be a good short term answer to give Casey Matthews a year to develop.  Casey is the long term answer at MLB.  We’re not committing to another guy for a long deal.  Castillo wants Matthews to be his guy.  As for anything at WLB…no idea what might happen.

I think one of the keys for us at MLB, if we go for a vet, is finding someone who is a solid pass defender.  We play with the lead a lot.  Teams want to throw on us.  The outside lanes will be taken away by Nnamdi, DRC, and/or Asante.  That means more throws over the middle.  We don’t need a huge run stuffer.  We need someone who can play the passing lanes, as well as being a solid run defender.  Tatupu is very instinctive and a gifted cover LB, when 100%.  I don’t know what kind of shape his knees/legs are in now.

* * * * *

A few people asked about Cap casualties on the roster.  No one is getting cut purely for cost.  If the guys can still play well, they’ll keep jobs.  Juqua Parker will or won’t be an Eagle because of how he plays, not his salary.  If he can be a good backup LDE, it would be dumb to cut him to save money.  We know the value of pass rushers.  I don’t think we have any “fat cats” on the roster right now.  The guys earning big bucks are still important players.

* * * * *

Someone asked about the addition of big corners and how that helps the Red Zone defense.  Big time.  Asante liked to play off in the RZ.  You can’t do that.  You can’t bait QBs when you’re at the 5-yard line.  You’ve got to press and stick right on the receiver.  DRC and Nnamdi will be a major improvement for us in the RZ.  They can be physical with receivers.  They also jump well and can’t be thrown over (unless going against Plaxico types).

52 Comments on “Sunday Stuff”

  1. 1 smrblomma said at 12:06 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Have I missed something here or whats happening with Maclin?

  2. 2 Eric said at 12:12 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    I asked Adam C. on twitter but didn’t get a response. Is it possible Maclin has bigger issues than just mono. Obviously, in the public, we never see this, but could he possibly have depression issues or something along those lines?

  3. 3 Iskar36 said at 12:12 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    As spoiled as we have been in FA so far, I do want at least one more signing. I have said it a few times, but I think we need a LB that can legitimately challenge Matthews. He doesn’t have to be a stud, but the thought of a fourth round pick being flat out handed the job scares me. If Matthews has legitimate competition and still wins the job, I would feel 10x better, because at least then we know he isn’t playing there by default, but he’s playing there because he earned it. On top of that, signing a guy who can compete for the starting MLB spot would also provide us with an additional backup in case of injuries or poor play.

  4. 4 Jason said at 12:17 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    What is the estimate on how much cap room the Eagles have left?

  5. 5 Cliff said at 12:25 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    @ Eric

    Why would you think depression? Mono can be a BITCH to get over. No way you want to go run around in the heat if you’re that sick.

    I don’t think he’s suffering from any mental illness. I mean, you never know with ANYONE, but Maclin is fairly active on Twitter and it’s just general stuff, not attention-seeking stuff.

  6. 6 Cliff said at 12:29 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    What’s the deal with Watkins? With the new CBA – and the fact that a lot of first rounders are signed – how much wiggle room can negotiations actually have?

    Maybe they’re having trouble with the USD – Canada conversion.

  7. 7 Nick said at 12:29 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Echoing Jason, is there any way we could ask Sam to give us an estimated breakdown of the Eagles’ remaining caproom? Great, great moves so far but we want to make sure to have enough in the piggy bank to extend one of our two best players, DJax.

  8. 8 iskar36 said at 12:33 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    I forget who it was who wrote it up on twitter, but the guys picked 15-20 all had all four years guaranteed while the picks 25 and later had only the first 3 years guaranteed. Picks 21-24 are all unsigned at the moment and the debate is 3 vs. 4 years guaranteed.

  9. 9 Eric said at 12:33 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    Oh, I agree. I had mono senior year in high school and it pretty much killed my sports for the year. I still felt the effects at least a year later.

    Sometimes I still feel more tired than I remember so I sometimes question if it’s age or the mono that messed up my system.

    But having mono and being a shut-in just doesn’t seem to fit to me. Having depression issues and being a shut-in does.

  10. 10 Dollarbrand78 said at 12:37 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    RE: Watkins
    I believe the issue is the number of guaranteed years. I think a couple guys above have yet to sign and the rest above them all have four yrs guaranteed. Below Watkins all have three years guaranteed.

  11. 11 Eric said at 12:37 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Same as Nick

    I’d like to know what’s going on with the cap too. says 8 mil still, but Reuben said on twitter that the Eagles were able to push money over from last year. So they should have more.

    I wasn’t aware LTBEs and stuff were able to do that in an uncapped year.

  12. 12 Kickin Asomugha said at 12:41 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Great stuff Tommy as always, I can’t wait to read your stuff every day. Pullin for Mac. I hope he’s better soon. Love the Mathis pick up- he’s a real hard worker and very smart player. Great pick up for Mudd and Birds. If Tatupu can run and pass a pysical I think we can sign him to a one year deal, I don’t think you have to break the bank for him, I believe they will bring him in here if the price is right and he can still run. GO BIRDS

  13. 13 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:48 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    RE: Maclin

    Depression isn’t the issue. Not sure about specifics, but Andy’s comments made it sound like medical mystery. Maybe he’s waiting for test results or something like that. We’ll see. Not sure about long term effects of Mono or if it can lead to other issues.

  14. 14 Sebastian said at 12:50 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Maclin have mono a couple months ago. I can’t remember exactly but there were reports that he was battling some sickness and had lost some weight??

  15. 15 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:03 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    RE: Cap stuff

    Sam is in Vegas on a trip. He’ll address this when he gets back to the East coast.

  16. 16 Kevin (RealCrippler) said at 1:03 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Who needs Plax. DeAndre Brown looked really good in 1on1 drills.

  17. 17 PhxPhilly said at 1:04 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Chaney would be the obvious backup MLB right?
    I think the Eagles have a couple good cover LB’s in Clayton and Rolle (who was MLB in college). I am now more concerned with opposing teams running the ball with a hurry-up offense, to avoid the Eagles from rotating in specialty players.

    I still would have liked to keep Bradley but with the current guys here I would line them up as:
    MLB: Chaney, Matthews, Lloyd
    SLB: Fokou, Jeanty
    WLB: Clayton, Jordan, Rolle

  18. 18 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:04 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Brian Baldinger just had a good segment on Eagles Live, but still can’t stop with the hyperbole. He referred to Cullen Jenkins as one of the premiere players in the NFL.

    Say what?

  19. 19 Davesbeard said at 1:40 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Really getting worried about Maclin, I almost think we’d have more problems on offence without him than desean. Less explosive but a the main reliable receiving threat. Hope he’s ok!

  20. 20 Davesbeard said at 1:42 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    Do you not agree with the PFF ranking of Jenkins as the best interior pass rusher from 08-10?

  21. 21 FairOaks said at 1:48 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Maybe Baldinger meant premiere free agents, not players. Peter King (I know, I know) had Jenkins as the #3 free agent available (Nnamdi #1, Babin #6).

  22. 22 James said at 1:52 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Watching Mike Patterson in practice on He looks nasty, constantly beating the oline.

  23. 23 James said at 1:53 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Abiamiri looks good too

  24. 24 Davesbeard said at 1:55 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    They only showed one clip of Philip Hunt but his first step was ridiculous!

  25. 25 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:00 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Casey Matthews on Eagles Live right now.

  26. 26 Davesbeard said at 2:05 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Eagles Live has dissapeared from the website! Anyone else having that problem??

    Was a great interview so far with Mathews, good to hear straight from the horses mouth he’s up to 245.

  27. 27 Kevin (RealCrippler) said at 2:08 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    It’s really hard not to like Casey Matthews.
    He just got the playback and is calling the defense? Insanity.

  28. 28 Eric said at 2:09 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Same, Davesbeard.

  29. 29 Davesbeard said at 2:11 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    Cheers, not just me then.

  30. 30 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:15 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Jenkins is good player. Very good inside rusher.

    He’s not one of the best players in the NFL. That’s just crazy hyperbole. Think about GB last year.

    Aaron Rodgers
    Clay Matthews
    Charles Woodson
    BJ Raji
    Greg Jennings

    Those guys are all better than Jenkins. Maybe TE Jermichael Finley, CB Tramon Williams as well.

    Jenkins is good player, but let’s not turn him into an elite difference maker that offenses have to scheme for every week. That’s not the case.

  31. 31 GermanEagle said at 2:22 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Tatupu has been officially released now. Any serious interest?!

  32. 32 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:30 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    The Eagles have a grade on Tatupu based on 2010 game tape. If they think he played well and his knees are okay, they could very well make a call. I think he’s perfect fit for our new D.

  33. 33 CVD said at 2:31 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    1. bunkley and asante


    2. cullen jenkins and namdi and a 5th round pick and whatever comp we get for asante


    i take #2

  34. 34 Sjampen said at 2:45 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    I saw some nasty rumors that Maclin might have lymphecancer.
    A forum guy stated that he had a friend from Mizzou, mentioned it to me. Have in mind im from Europe, people dont just lie about knowing guys from Mizzou without getting called for it.

  35. 35 GermanEagle said at 2:51 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    That would be devastating…

  36. 36 Kevin (RealCrippler) said at 2:54 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    @ Tommy

    I don’t think I agree with you on Tatupu. The Wide 9 may be great for pass-rushing, but leaves the LBs forced to fight through trash and “read and react”. Chaney/Fokou are big enough to constantly take on OL, but Matthews/Tatupu can’t. They’re going to have to find the ball and hope they’re unblocked. That’s why Tulloch appealed to me. While he’s limited in coverage, he can take on OL all day.

    We have coverage LBs on the roster (Matthews, Clayton). We don’t have a thumper in the middle now that we kicked Chaney outside.

  37. 37 GermanEagle said at 3:07 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    I don’t wanna write off Maclin yet but I have got a very bad feeling that he may be put on IR.

    If this worst case scenario really happens do you think the Eagles will look at Braylon Edwards or even Randy Moss? Apparently they were seriously interested in Plax already…

  38. 38 JVB said at 3:43 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Jenkins is a better player than Raji. Guy is hype because he makes a lot of highlight reel plays. Not very consistent but good player.

    Tulloch is better in coverage than Tatupu. Last year Lofa really struggled defending the pass. I’m more concerned with defending the run with our current group of corners. I’d prefer Barnett to Tatupu because he’s flashed elite ability. Still, neither is ideal in coverage.

  39. 39 Massimo said at 3:44 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    I have seen too many smiles so far at training camp to believe that Maclin is so ill. He tweeted a message a couple of days ago. Best wishes to him, hope to see him soon at camp. He is a good guy.

  40. 40 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:58 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Watching some tape on Tatupu now. I’ll post thoughts in a bit.

  41. 41 jvb said at 4:09 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Other guys who make sense:

    Eric Barton, CLE
    Channing Crowder, MIA
    Brandon Siler, SD

    Brandon Johnson, CIN

    There are lots of good SLBs available. If it was up to me I’d move Chaney back to MLB.

    Think Clayton shld perform well in nickel this year.

  42. 42 Name said at 4:16 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    Do you know if RT Ryan Harris(6’5″ 300) from Denver would be a good fit for Mudd? I thought he’d be signed by now, guess his first names mixing teams up with Clady or something.

    It might be a blessing in disguise that Plax isn’t available as long as we address the issue and get a prepared starter; hope the Eagles don’t procrastinate and/or cross their fingers like they tend to do most years when it comes to inj./illness excusses and problems at a position which hurts the team for the rest of the yr.

  43. 43 Kickin Asomugha said at 4:56 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Praying for J Mac. It would be devastating to the O.
    I think they can wait a little bit on signing a wide out. The market seems to be slowing down. I think Moss will stay out there for a while. So will Edwards, that would be a hard choice between those two. Both would have to sign one year deals, tough call. I’d just rather see J Mac. back and healthy,

    We’re all pullin for you man.

  44. 44 Kickin Asomugha said at 5:11 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Just watched the interview on NFL network with Nnamdi, Have you ever heard a more well spoken player? I’m really really impressed with his humble attitude and how well he speaks. We all know he can play and he knows he can play but really, the guys is TOP SHELF. Great stuff.

  45. 45 Sokhar said at 5:43 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Lofa getting released is interesting. I’d be down with bringing either him or Nick Barnett in for the right price. As far as I know Nick hasn’t drawn a lot of attention in free agency so far, so could be a scenario like Cullen where you get someone who can be productive at a very reasonable price.

  46. 46 Corry said at 5:46 PM on July 31st, 2011:


    Barnett agreed to terms with the Bills.

  47. 47 Mike said at 6:07 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Tommy… Random question for you since you write for… Last year they would blog each of the practices. They were always interesting to read but I cant find anything like that now on the new site, are they still doing it and if so where on the site can I find it?


  48. 48 Cliff said at 6:23 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    RE: Backup plan at WR

    Terrell. Owens.

  49. 49 PhxPhilly said at 6:36 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Thoughts on Riley Cooper? Some later round WR turn out to be ProBowlers but most are just flashes here and there. I like him as a good ST guy but am hoping he can become a quality backup WR as well.

    Can he be a red zone threat? Can he be the backup outside receiver since I doubt Avant has the speed to run all the routes needed on the outside? I expect 5th WR to be a speedster/returner depending on who is the 3rd RB.

  50. 50 Sokhar said at 7:45 PM on July 31st, 2011:

    Thanks Corry, I didn’t catch that before.

  51. 51 Eaglesfanatlarge said at 12:35 AM on August 1st, 2011:

    Anyone know if a player is put on IR, does their salary still count against the cap?

  52. 52 ATG said at 12:59 AM on August 1st, 2011:


    I agree, Nnamdi comes across as just what a professional athlete should.

    RE Maclin

    That sucks, I hope he is okay, especially so young. If not, I wonder if the Eagles look to one of the aging headaches avaable or if they are better off looking from within. Getting Cooper, Moss and the rookies some reps might not hurt if Mac isn’t a long term thing.