Links, PS Playing Schedule, and Waiting for Veterans

Posted: August 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

I’ve got a couple of links for you today.  First up is my column.  I wrote about some players who stood out in the Ravens game and then mentioned some players who need to stand out in the upcoming Steelers game.

For my SB Nation Philly column, I wrote about the notion of the Eagles going “all in”.  Simple question, but not really a simple answer.

I started the column to be about Andy Reid, but it morphed into Reid-Banner-Roseman.  Reid is still the big dog, but Eagles executives work as a group.  This isn’t Dallas with Jerry Jones or New England with Bill Belichick.  There will never be just one voice from this group that completely has “his way”.

To the question of Reid feeling pressure…I think there is some truth to that.  What I’m not sure of  is if Andy perceives that he must win because Jeff Lurie would make a change or if Andy just knows his time is winding down.  Mike Holmgren is no longer coaching.  Jeff Fisher is out for now.  Bill Cowher has been out a few years.

Time is a very scary nemesis.  I freak out sometimes when I think about some player retiring that I remember studying for the draft.  How the heck old does that make me (silence is the proper response for those in doubt)?

I don’t think Reid is under the “win or else” pressure of a Gary Kubiak, but I do think Andy knows that he’s closer to the end than the beginning.  He’s doing some things now that he hasn’t done in the past.  He’s not a desperate man.  Reid is still doing business the way he believes it should be done.  Let’s just say that he’s willing to roll the dice a bit more these days.

* * * * *

Someone in the comments section yesterday asked about the plan for Preseason games.  In the first game the goal is to have the starter play the 1st quarter, the 2nd team the 2nd quarter, the 3rd team the 3rd quarter, and the 4th plays the 4th.  You pull key starters as soon as you can.  Vick only threw 6 passes.  Jason Peters, Shady, and guys like that were only in for the one drive.

The 2nd preseason game is different.  You want the starters to play close to a half.  The rust is gone and you want to see them in multiple drives and situations.  The 2nd team plays the 3rd quarter.  The 3rd team plays the 4th quarter.  Other guys you mix in if you can.

The 3rd preseason game is close to the real deal.  Starters can play as much as 3 full quarters.  You want to see them come out after halftime so they get used to that.  2nd stringers play the 4th quarter.  Others get mixed in if possible.

The final preseason game is purely for backups.  Occasionally you might play a young or new starter in dire need of snaps, but not often.  This is when the 3rd and 4th stringers get a ton of snaps.  Roster spots are won and lost.

* * * * *

We’re going to see a few veterans starting to get cut.  There are also some name players still unsigned.  One thing to keep in mind is that teams like to wait until after the first regular season game to sign some of these players.  That way their salary isn’t guaranteed for the season.  You can essentially rent the players.  If they don’t play well, cut them and you aren’t hurt too much financially.  Sign the players now and you’re on the hook for them all season if they make your final roster.

I mention this because it is possible the Eagles could look at a RT like this if Harris and Justice continue to have issues.  Former Packer Mark Tauscher is still on the market.  Former Saint Jon Stinchcomb could be of interest like this.

RT is a mystery right now.  I’m concerned to be sure, but also know that Justice and Harris can be solid starters.  This isn’t a case of a completely bare cupboard.  We just need one of the guys to be healthy.  The other thing to watch is if King Dunlap rises to the occasion.  That might sound like delusional thinking to some, but let’s remember that he played well last year when forced into action.  Dunlap didn’t steal a job coming out of camp.  He responded well when circumstances thrust him into the limelight.  Maybe that happens again.  Thursday night against the Steelers will be huge opportunity for him.

36 Comments on “Links, PS Playing Schedule, and Waiting for Veterans”

  1. 1 Iowa Eagle said at 12:21 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    I’ve been hearing good things about Landri being a surprise in the preseason game, but haven’t heard much about Cedric Thornton… I know you had said he was surprising everyone at camp, how did he look and how likely is it he gets a spot on the roster?

  2. 2 Jason-E said at 12:23 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    I don’t want to think of life after Reid. He has his faults, but the guy is a winner and a post-season producer. I hope when he does hang it up, after three consecutive super bowl wins, he moves to our front office.

  3. 3 GermanEagle said at 12:23 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    This thought occurred to me: what if the Eagles wait with extending Desean while at the same time watching closely the contract talks between the Cards and Fitzgerald. The latter is supposed to become an UFA who the Cards cannot slap with the franchise tag.

    It might be far-fetched but the way Howie & Joe are doing business, i.e. when taking future events and circumstances into account, they may well be considering Fitzgerald next off-season. Should the contract talks stall (which I don’t expect though) the Eagles could franchise tag Desean and try another ‘Nnamdi-‘ like move..

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Desean and I still believe the Eagles love him as well, but from a football point o view Fitz is in a WR league of his own….

  4. 4 Max said at 12:50 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    The OL is the one that scares me the most…I just hope this wait and see approach with Justice, Harris and Dunlap does not come to bite us when the season starts – if we need to hv a shot at winning the whole thing it is imperative that we keep Vick upright to play the whole season – Tommy any insights into any team which has a glut of RT’s (like we have a glut of good CB’s)

  5. 5 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:50 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    RE: Ced Thornton

    Talented, but raw. He could be tough decision for Eagles. They love his upside, but probably question his ability to contribute this year.

    If Mike P. is all the way back, Ced might be headed for the P Squad.

  6. 6 Eric said at 12:50 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    That is possible, but they may not have the financial wiggle room for it. A lot of their big name stars like Samuel and Peters have much smaller payouts this year than in past and future years.

    And I’m not even sure they go the route of paying DeSean the FA tag, paying Maclin millions and signing Fitz for 10+ mil plus a year.

  7. 7 Eric said at 12:51 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    Do you think Watkins may play a majority of the 4th game?

  8. 8 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:53 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ German Eagle…

    I like the creative thinking, but doubt the Eagles are going down that road. We’ve got a deep, talented group of WRs. No reason to add a player like Fitz at $10-12M per year. Better to stick with DJax, Mac, and the gang.

    And honestly…I think Fitz will stay anyway. Kolb is there and I think they’ll form a solid combo. Cards must pay Fitz so they don’t alienate fans.

  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:54 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ Eric…

    I think Watkins could get time if he struggles in the 3rd PS game. If he’s pretty sharp that week, no reason to risk him in the finale.

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:55 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ Max…

    I’m sorta looking around the league to see if anyone has extra RTs. Haven’t found anyone yet, but I’ve got a lot more research to do.

  11. 11 Kevin (RC) said at 1:17 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    There are a lot of bad OTs right now, so it’s hard for teams to carry 3 of them anyway. Part of the problem is that even teams that horde OTs (like Green Bay) play them at G (Sherrod) to get them on the field.

    We could always make a phone call to Damien Woody…

  12. 12 CVD said at 1:37 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    I don’t hate Dunlap, I actually defended him a lot last year. But now that he is looked at as a possible starter because of injuries, I don’t like that idea. I hope he pans out if we need him. Last year he played good against Atlanta but that seemed to be more about the game plan. End arounds and quick passes kept Kolb clean. When he came in against San Fran, it was horrible. I cant remember about the Tennessee game. I am sure we would work it out but I would hate to have the O coordinator always have to make sure Dunlap is protected.

    I could care less when players come and go but the day Reid leaves would be a sad day for me. I know Reid is probably not the best coach in the NFL, but maybe its out of loyalty that I would take him over anyone in the league. There is probably only one or two coaches better than him in my opinion. I would take Reid over Lombardi but I am a very very strange dude.

  13. 13 ATG said at 1:52 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    Why is it important to get the starters used to coming back out after halftime? They will need to do that, what, three or four times during the regular season?

  14. 14 Zack said at 1:53 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Question (maybe a dumb one) for anyone who knows the answer…

    Do you have to kickoff from a tee? Could you choose to punt instead?

    With the kickoff moved up to the 35 – I was thinking it would make a lot of sense to try and pin teams inside the 10 if you were able to punt instead of just trying to boot it to/through the end zone.

  15. 15 CVD said at 2:05 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    anyone hear about this? from PFT

    Despite the rampant rumors, the word in the locker room is that Maclin suffers from mononucleosis and/or the lingering effects of it.

    Not sure what it is but it sounds better than HIV or


    yeah i think people will try to do that but i think they will still use the tee and kick it really high. the problem with punting would be you cant punt it out of bounds plus it would be a long punt. i think kicking would work better

  16. 16 Iowa Eagle said at 2:35 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Good article on both websites Tommy. Something that could be thrown into the mix on your SB Nation article was when you talked about pursuing Nnamdi. After the recent things Jerry Jones had said about Nnamdi and Dallas, there is also the possibility we said “He’s a blue chip player, he’ll take considerably less pay, AND he wouldn’t be playing for Dallas… wouldn’t 3 top 5 CB’s be a good thing as well?”

  17. 17 Iskar36 said at 2:47 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    Mononucleosis is the same thing as “mono” or “the kissing disease”. It was what was originally reported about Maclin when he first lost a bunch of weight, and honestly, it is very possible what we are seeing now are the lingering effects. In many cases, mono is something that only takes a few weeks to recover from, but in some cases, it can take several months. One of the more significant effects of mono is that it makes you both drowsy and also reduces your appetite (which could potentially explain the weight loss). Generally speaking though, once you recover, you are completely fine without lingering effects, but like I said, sometimes, recovery takes several months.

    If mono is in fact still what is affecting Maclin, probably one of the bigger concerns for the Eagles is that he doesn’t infect others. It can be fairly contagious, especially if you share something like a water bottle. Hopefully mono is all this whole Maclin thing ends up being because that should mean not only is he very likely going to be fine overall, but he will be able to return relatively soon.

  18. 18 fran35 said at 2:50 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    I have not read anything regarding Ingram. I have read a few articles stating that he is all the way back from his knee injuries and was wondering your thoughs on him making the roster. Ingram all the way back brings to mind a tight end who looked dynamic in training camp and had future starter/possible star all over him. However, I have not read or heard of him standing out in camp. Is he back to where he was when we first drafted him?

    Also, I thought Matt Schobel was the best second/third string tight end of the Reid era?

  19. 19 Justrelax said at 2:51 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Can’t agree with you about your assessments of Harris or Kelce, Tommy. You said yourself that he got beaten twice to the inside and that this was a no-no. That alone keeps him from having a “solid” game. He also whirred on a run to his side. Three really bad plays in a dozen snaps is terrible.

    Kelce got overpowered several times. Four, by my count. Again, in limited snaps. There was a play where he got all over the MLB and it looked impressive. Trouble was, it was a stretch left and he didn’t block his zone. Brown and Young both bailed him out twice each with nifty moves when his man broke free.

  20. 20 izzylangfan said at 2:53 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Pretend you are Nnamdi.

    Lets see:

    Money: Philadelphia $12 million, Dallas $10+ million

    Coaching: Both have good head coaches but Reid has a longer and well established record of excellence.

    Ownership: Jerry Jones meddling egoism versus Jeffery Lurie’s professionalism and great organization.

    How bout dem boys? Not!

  21. 21 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:11 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    RE: Ingram

    He looks solid. Problem is that back in 2009 he looked special. That guy seems to be gone. Solid isn’t good enough to make this team. He could be P-Squad material.

    I don’t know if he’ll ever get back to where he was. Ingram is much better than last year. He might still be able to carve out a career as a backup TE somewhere.

  22. 22 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:12 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ fran35 …

    Ever say anything else nice about Matt Schobel and I’m sending Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole after you. They’ll force you to sit in a hot tub with them for hours.

  23. 23 CVD said at 3:12 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    Thanks. I hope that’s all it is. Even if he isnt around for the first few weeks, at least we know he will be back at some point. Even if it is next year at least he will be back.

    I tend to agree with Just Relax. Harris didn’t seem to play well. If you only play a few snaps you shouldn’t have a few mistakes. But it was the first preseason game. What has worried me all along was injury issues. This guy could be healthy for 8 games then all the sudden he could be in and out of the lineup. I would love Justice to get back healthy and play well.

    Kelce seemed to play a lot more so I was actually encouraged by his play. Even when he got beat once I saw him ride his guy so the qb could step up. A lot of guys just stand there flat footed when they get beat and watch the guy go by them. I am liking Kelce so far

  24. 24 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:18 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ JustRelax…

    Maybe I was too generous with Harris. He did have the 3 errors, but I guess the fact that the 2 inside moves can be corrected is what led to my statement. Preseason football is as much about style as substance. You want to see ability. Harris showed starting RT ability. He was sloppy, but circumstances didn’t help that.

    As for Kelce…he played half of 1st Qtr, all of 2nd, and part of 3rd as I recall. I’ll re-watch some of his snaps. I saw him get pushed back a few times, but I didn’t see him losing control with regularity.

  25. 25 Kevin (RC) said at 3:43 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @JR, who did you like on the OL then? None of our starters played much. Watkins was up and down. I thought Vandervelde played well, but he was against inferior competition.

    IMO, I’d start the season with Jackson at C. It’s easier to bench Jackson for Kelce than to start Kelce AND bring in Jackson after that.

  26. 26 Morton said at 3:59 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Tommy… what % chance would you give the possibility that Philip Hunt is on the opening day roster?

    I really like the way he plays and think it would be a mistake to let him go. His upside is pretty large because he is younger than the other DEs they have.

  27. 27 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:01 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ JR…

    3rd/1 run in mid-1st. Kelce gets pushed back by Cody. Kelce manages to keep his body between Cody and RB. Eventually Cody ends up on the ground. Kelce stays upright.

    How do you grade that play?

  28. 28 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:03 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ Morton …

    Hunt is on the bubble for me, but leaning in. Another strong showing and I don’t know how you cut him. I’m sure Eagles would love to be able to keep him or someone else on the P Squad, but I just don’t see that happening. Pass rushers are hard to find.

    Long way to go, though. Gotta make sure the young guys continue to show up. Gotta see who stays healthy (my vote is for everyone).

  29. 29 Justrelax said at 4:39 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    On the 3- and-1 play, the DT drove Kelce back two yards. If Peters and Her remans don’t mash their guys, the play goes for no gain. To the extent that Cody didn’t make a play, Kelce did fine. Let me ask you this: would you ever run a QB sneak with Kelce at center? Would you even consider it?

  30. 30 CVD said at 4:41 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    IMO, I’d start the season with Jackson at C. It’s easier to bench Jackson for Kelce than to start Kelce AND bring in Jackson after that.

    I was thinking the exact same thing

  31. 31 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:45 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    RE: QB sneak with Kelce

    Would have to be very well rehearsed. You’d need him to fire off the ball very low. QB would have to quickly hit a crease.

    You certainly wouldn’t run a standard QB sneak and expect him to move someone off the ball. That’s not going to happen.

    I am curious to see how Kelce develops with Barry Rubin as his S&C coach. Rubin did some great things with Trevor Laws for instance. Kelce doesn’t need to be 320. If he can get up to 295 , but do that with muscle…then I think he can be a good starting Center.

  32. 32 iskar36 said at 5:18 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    From Jay Glazer

    Jay Glazer
    Full interview being posted shortly on
    1 minute ago

    Jay Glazer
    Told me he’s totally fine and was a virus that has left his body and expects to return once he recovers from last week’s procedure.
    1 minute ago

    Jay Glazer
    Maclin told me final test came back today after he got a scare on his bday May 11th. Had lymph nodes removed last week
    3 minutes ago

    Jay Glazer
    Just spoke w Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin, who said he’s been cleared to play finally after months of tests for Lymphoma, type of cancer

  33. 33 Iowa Eagle said at 5:24 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Pretty sure I called that one on Maclin in one of our previous comments sections….

  34. 34 Iowa Eagle said at 5:28 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    Iowa Eagle said at 2:25 pm on August 11th, 2011:

    I hate to pretend I’ve got a PHD here, but something that really worried me today is when I googled Maclin’s symptoms. The two diseases that kept coming up were Lymphocytic Leukemia and AIDS… Yikes

  35. 35 Justrelax said at 6:28 PM on August 17th, 2011:


    Peters, Herremans, and Jackson were fine. Celek had a couple of good blocks, as opposed to Lee, who whiffed on a 3rd and short to force a FG try. Watkins didn’t have a chance to show anything, but at least didn’t do anything egregious. Howard was awful, I mean Justice-against -Osi awful. Dun lap was clearly better. Mathis was confused, which can be fixed. He runs pretty well. (Goddamn iPad edits the crap out of everything. I hate software that won’t let you override it.)

  36. 36 ATG said at 9:36 PM on August 17th, 2011:

    @ Iowa Eagle

    Except… it wasn’t.

    “Told me he’s totally fine and was a virus…”

    No lymphoma, no cancer.