Rough Day to be a DT

Posted: August 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 61 Comments »

Antonio Dixon got hurt this morning. Just a mild knee sprain, but right now you’re safer as the drummer of Spinal Tap than playing DT for the Eagles. No word yet on what happened to Victor Abiamiri yesterday. He’s still hurt. There are some reports that he may have left the team. Howard Eskin reported on Twitter that VA may have torn his ACL. Ugh. Feel sorry for him if that’s true. Talk about cursed.

UPDATE — Per Jeff McLane, Abiamiri has ruptured Achilles.

The big news was about Mike Patterson. He has AVM, a tangling of blood vessels in the head. Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said the seizure wasn’t triggered by football. Could have been anything that set it off. This could have happened to Mike while sitting at home. Scary stuff. Rick really got me nervous when he said it is too early to speculate about the football future of Patterson…whether he’d play this year, next year, or in the future.

The Eagles added a couple of bodies at DT to get through today’s practices. Brandon Collier of UMass and Charles Noonan of Rutgers were the lucky guys. They are purely camp bodies, but can someday tell their grandkids they got to chase Mike Vick around in practice.

The Eagles will get help starting today at 4pm when Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, and Anthony Hargrove can start practicing. The team won’t have a practice session until tomorrow, but 4pm is when all free agent signees are let loose.

Am I worried about DT? Heck yes. If Trevor Laws and Dixon are healthy, that eases things a lot. Jenkins is a good player, but remember that his weakness is durability. The Eagles (and I) are high on rookie Cedric Thornton, but who knows what realistically to expect of him. Getting Mike Patterson back isn’t a “must”, but it would sure make me feel a lot better. Obviously the bigger concern is making sure he’s okay in terms of his personal health.

The good news in regard to DT is that Jim Washburn believes in a rotational system. No one guy was going to be in for 80% of the snaps. Dixon-Jenkins-Laws- (Thornton or Landri or Hargrove) could be effective. We don’t have to go make some desperate move. If the team thinks Mike is out for the year, they can go after a proven DT, but we do have some wiggle room because of the system.

* * * * *

DE Ricky Sapp left Lehigh of his own accord (that’s similar but different than leaving in your own Accord). Sapp may have seen the numbers ahead of him as a bad sign. The Eagles are very deep at DE. Still, you hate to see a guy walk out like that. Kills his reputation with the other 31 teams. I don’t know if I trust Clemson D-linemen anymore. Every year they have talented prospects that seem to come to the NFL and struggle to adapt. More than a couple have quit the team. Very weird.

There is some speculation that his knee was bothering him. If so, that’s a bad break, but the way to handle it isn’t by leaving.

* * * * *

Now for some Q & A

Should we be worried about acclimating the new players into the offense and defense with the short offseason? It is always a concern when you bring in players that don’t know your schemes. Some players are quick learners. Some adapt well. Others struggle when taken out of their comfort zone. The big thing is finding guys that fit the scheme. Back in 1995 Jon Gruden brought the West Coast Offense to Philly. We had a pair of talented veteran WRs. Fred Barnett was coming off a big year. He struggled big time in the new offense. Fred hated working the middle of the field on short and intermediate routes. He wanted to go deep. He suffered from mediocre QB play, but Fred was a big part of the problem as well. He was 48-585-5 that year. Fred left for Miami after the season. We signed free agent Irving Fryar. He was born for the WCO. Fryar was great in 1996, going 88-1195-11. As long as the Eagles got guys that fit and aren’t complete idiots, we should be okay.

Tommy, how about an article on the real dream team assembled by the Eagles: the coaching staff! I wrote a lengthy article on the coaches for the Maple Street Press Eagles Preview magazine. I’ve also got a lengthy draft review in there. Maybe my favorite piece is on the Gang Green defense of 1991 (20th anniversary). The magazine should be on sale soon. I’ll mention this in a later post and talk more about it.

What’s going on at LB? It sure seems like the Eagles are impressed with Jamar Chaney at SLB. He is speedy enough and good enough in man coverage to handle TEs. Chaney’s problems last year had to do with getting into proper coverage position. That’s more about instincts and diagnosing plays than physical ability. Man coverage requires skill and athleticism. Casey Matthews remains the MLB. We’ve not heard a ton about him at camp, which could be good or bad. He looks the part of a MLB and acts it as well. Preseason games will tell us what the deal with him is. Moise Fokou is the LB getting the least pub up at Lehigh. I had him projected to play WLB coming out of college so putting him there isn’t some insane idea. Real curious to see him in action.

What’s going to happen at RT? This really is the million dollar question. Winston Justice remains on the PUP list. King Dunlap has been a disappointment. Austin Howard seems to be the #1 RT for now, but he’s a work in progress. Ryan Harris will practice starting on Friday morning. It will be interesting to see if he moves up to #1 or starts out at #2. Harris has been a good starting RT in the league. He will have a shot to win the job. Justice is still a mystery because of his knee. If healthy, he’s easily the guy I’d prefer. That’s not the case. We’ve speculated about Todd Herremans sliding over. I think the addition of Harris kills that idea. Leave the left side of the line alone if you can. Stability is a good thing up front.

Someone asked for thoughts on Kirk Morrison. I watched a little tape and wasn’t overly impressed. I need to watch another game before saying anything too definitive. I was a big fan of his coming out of SDSU. Real good college player. He’s posted good numbers in the NFL, but also played on some terrible defenses. How much of those struggles were due to him being a mediocre player? How much were due to him being good, but surrounded by mediocre players? I’m not sure. Need to watch some tape. The fact he’s got so little interest doesn’t speak well of his reputation with NFL teams.

Could Joselio Hanson get cut? Very possible. I’d hate to see Joselio “MmmBop” Hanson get the boot, but we’re loaded at CB right now. He’s not a starter. He’s not young. Those two things hurt him. I hope we’re able to keep him around. Key is seeing how the young guys play in PS games. If Hughes, Lindley, and Marsh all do well, you can’t keep Hanson.

61 Comments on “Rough Day to be a DT”

  1. 1 Eric said at 12:51 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    A Raiders’ fan friend of mine said last night that Asomugha wanted to stay with the Raiders but Al never offered a contract. Is that true? The former part, not the latter. I never heard that at all. He told me several people reported that.

    I tend to see myself as a lot more knowledgeable about the NFL than him, so it was a shocker to hear that. Especially when I told him Asomugha said the Eagles were his “it” team back in March.

    Anyone else hear about this?

  2. 2 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:55 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Most reports say Nnamdi had little to no interest in staying in Oakland. Who knows? The Raiders are secretive. So is Nnamdi.

    I am surprised that so many guys are willing to re-sign. OAK does tend to overpay guys so maybe it’s all about the money.

  3. 3 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:56 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Good practice notes from Mr. Kapadia.

  4. 4 piercit said at 12:56 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    I’m just wondering if we are asking too much from our DT’S without properly preparing them for change in play.

    Basically in the 1 gap, we are asking the DT to do a lot of stopping and tracking. The DT penetrates, finds the ball, and pivots to the carrier. It’s no longer wait for the carrier and react. Stop and go training on the job, without proper training reinforcement, might be what is hurting the legs of our DT’S. I would bet Victor was hurt playing as a DT.

    Just another thing bothering me about this short off-season.

    God we have a great front office though. We could have done a lot worse than Derek Landri, and Anthony Hargrove. Great pick-ups for so late in FA.

  5. 5 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:56 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Oops. Here’s the link:

  6. 6 cvd said at 12:58 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    From everything I read Namdi really wanted to come here. There was a few stories about it that Peter king wrote on He also said without doubt Namdi turned down $$ to come here. Now the raiders thing could be true cuz Namdi was huge in their community, so maybe he considered staying for that.

    Namdi is a Reid guy all the way and I would think Namdi would want to play for a guy like Reid

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:08 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    VA has a ruptured Achilles. Ouch. Better than torn ACL, but not by much.

  8. 8 Kevin (RC) said at 1:09 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Good article Tommy 🙂

    Victor Abiamiri tore his Achilles. He has Jerome McDougle luck. Poor guy…

  9. 9 Max said at 1:16 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Any chance Malcolm Floyd comes here on a 1 year deal..?

  10. 10 Max said at 1:17 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Also from a cap perspective – does the departure of VA and Sapp help with more wiggle room..?

  11. 11 Dan in Philly said at 1:38 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Thoughts on how important a healthy Vick is for a successful season? Will we be able to ride Young to a championship should Vick go down?

  12. 12 Stephen said at 1:39 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    This DT situation is starting to make me nervous.

    Naturally the one thing that could absolutely derail our SB run this year is a spat of injuries. Is it too late to deal for Bunk to get him back?

  13. 13 Shawn said at 1:41 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    I don’t blame players who stay with crappy teams for the money. Kamerion Wimbley got a 5 year/48M contract with 29M guaranteed. That’s at least 10 million dollars more than what he’s worth on the open market. A superbowl is great, but I would much rather have an extra 10 million in my bank account than a ring with a few diamonds on it.

  14. 14 Stephen said at 1:51 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Been reading a few articles about MP. Appearantly theres a few ways they could go about treating this AVM problem depending on its location, but the first line treatment actually doesn’t require surgery. If that treatment is successful his season might not be in jeopardy, however if they need to use the radiation treatment option it might take years for him to be 100% again.

  15. 15 deg0ey said at 2:03 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    If, as has been suggested, MP has little to no chance of being back this season, is there the chance that we see Asante traded for a Pro Bowl DT?

  16. 16 CVD said at 2:16 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    PFF did an article of winners and losers in the offseason and they listed each teams biggest loss

    Raiders- Namdi

    Cardinals- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

    Bengals- Evan Mathis

    Broncos- Ryan Harris

    Packers- Cullen Jenkins

    Tennessee- Jason Babin

  17. 17 CVD said at 2:22 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    has anyone heard more on Ricky Sapp? wasnt Sapp mortons boy? he’s gonna be upset

    there are 90 guys at camp, do the young players not realize this?

    this has been a strange off season so far

  18. 18 broken_winger said at 2:27 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Do you now feel that trading Bunkley was done too hastily? I know there is no way to have seen all this coming but wouldn’t it have been prudent to hang onto him and wait until other teams suffered injuries to DT to maximize Bunk’s value? Seems a 5th round in ’12 or an undisclosed in ’13 wasn’t worth the compressed training camp injury risk. Of course this may be a hindsight 20/20 kinda thing but I think the Eagles might have jumped the gun a bit on this…. Thoughts?

  19. 19 Kevin (RC) said at 2:29 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    We can put Mike Patterson on the non-football injury list. IIRC that frees up a roster spot. If he plays, great. If he doesn’t, well, Hargrove will have to show why he’s a Super Bowl Champion.

  20. 20 Matt Verhoog said at 2:49 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    If memory serves me right you have used the spinal tap drummer reference before, not that it isn’t apt. t

  21. 21 Davesbeard said at 3:00 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    DT situation is looking like this, just writing it down to clear it in my own head tbh.

    Best case, Patterson plays:

    1st unit: Dixon – Patterson
    2nd unit: Laws – Jenkins
    5th DT: Thornton or Hargrove

    Worst case, Patterson on IR:

    1st unit: Dixon – Laws
    2nd unit: Hargrove – Jenkins
    5th DT: Thornton

    Not the end of the world that’s still a pretty decent tackle rotation.

  22. 22 Jason-E said at 3:52 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    I don’t think we cut Hanson. I think we trade him if the FO comes to the determination that Assante is staying, or Lindley/Marsh show they can handle a larger role. Hanson has some value, and trading him avoids any cap hit for us next year. Hanson looked like he was declining last year. Maybe that has more to do with our horrid D in general, but he’s not getting any younger and he’s making good coin.

  23. 23 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:21 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    RE: Hanson

    Jason raises a relevant point. I should have written that he was expendable, but the first choice would absolutely be a trade. If that failed, cut him. Hanson might have some value to STL or CAR or some other team looking for a Nickel CB.

  24. 24 nicolajNN said at 4:21 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Tommy, I know we don’t need a safety but what do say we send a 1st and 3rd to SF for the awesomeness that is Taylor Mays? I know you reeeeally liked him coming out of USC last year and almost every other Eagles fan loved him as well, he can cover the whole field and make the big hits. With only one year in the league a 1st and 3rd would be a bargain for such a young amazing player.

  25. 25 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:22 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    RE: Spinal Tap drummer

    I’m sure I’ve used the reference before. I’m a huge Tap fan and will use it again.

    Anything I can do to promote the greatness of Derek Smalls and Nigel Tufnel will be done.

  26. 26 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:25 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ nicolajnn…

    I would give up several picks and players for the greatness of Taylor Mays. Instead of a Super Bowl game we can just have a track meet in Indy.

    Taylor is talented guy, but has some gaping holes in his game. I think a Cover 2 team should take a look. Could be a terrific fit in that system.

    I wrote some negative things about him last year, but I still want the kid to have a good career. He’s a good guy. Just needs to work on some things – like tackling.

  27. 27 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:37 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ Davesbeard…

    Even without Mike P. we’re okay at DT…assuming there are no more injuries. That’s the thing that has everyone nervous.

    Jenkins – Dixon
    Laws – Thornton (or other vet)

    That would be a solid 4-man rotation. That’s what we need.

  28. 28 ian no. 2 said at 5:38 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    It pains me that I know nothing about brain surgery.

    Noel Devine, unsurprisingly, hasn’t been signed by another team. I hope he and Sapp took advantage of Dorney Park’s free admission for Eagles walking out of training camp.

  29. 29 eagleizeit said at 6:04 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Breaking news for failure Mays. Won’t exactly need to give up a 1st & 3rd.

  30. 30 eagleizeit said at 6:30 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Peter Kings believes out of the top 50 F/A we got the #1,3,6,28,33rd best players. Cullen Jenkins 3rd???

  31. 31 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:31 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ elagleizeit…

    nicolajNN was joking around with the 1st/3rd comment. Many Eagles fans were clamoring for the Eagles to take him. I was not a Mays fan and that’s what the joke was about.

  32. 32 Mike said at 6:41 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Randy Moss is eating at Capital Grill in Philly as I write this…

  33. 33 Arby said at 6:48 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Before yesterday’s practice I was talking to my bro saying the only thing that worried me at (that) point was injuries. Yikes! With our bullet proof backfield, young linebackers and decimated D-line, will we see the run much?!

  34. 34 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:49 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ Mike…

    the only way to know if it is truly him is if he pays with “straight cash homey”.

  35. 35 eagleizeit said at 6:55 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Was wondering. I’m not a fan either, but just noticed that link a couple minutes later.

  36. 36 Thunderlips said at 6:57 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    It’s definitely Moss. He was just overheard yelling “who the **** ordered this ****? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog.”

  37. 37 nicolajNN said at 6:59 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Indeed I was only joking around. I definitely hope he has a good career but it was funny the amount of hype he got. But was he really that bad last year? Or is he also a very poor fit for their scheme? Wanting to trade a 2nd round pick after one year is not something we often see.

    Also speaking of safety, do you see Colt Anderson making the final 53? It would be a shame to cut a guy who is as good on ST as he is, but we do have a lot of DBs

  38. 38 Mike said at 6:59 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Hahaha… It is definitely him. This would be bigger news if he were at a restaurant in Lehigh as all of the Eagles decision makers are up there, but still an interesting sighting so I thought I would pass it along.

  39. 39 Alex K said at 7:01 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    No love for David St. Hubbins, Tommy?

  40. 40 Mike said at 7:04 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    … I probably should of mentioned that my friend is eating at Capital Grille… He texted me first saying that Randy was there then he sent me a picture text… Again this isn’t really news just a sighting. Take it as you will.

  41. 41 PC said at 8:18 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    Didn’t Teo Nesheim play sporadically as a DT last year? If so, mightn’t he also be in the mix there–if only for depth–especially with a potential logjam at DE?

  42. 42 CVD said at 8:58 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    all eagle dends play tackle in pass rush situations

  43. 43 PC said at 9:10 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    True for the most part (I don’t recall Cole playing DT, for example), but DTN seemed to spot there pretty often, like Graham–and not just on pass rush downs. Either way, doesn’t that level of experience at DT help offset any potential depth concerns, at least in the short run? (Unless this new 1-gap system of Washburn’s is different enough to invalidate that past experience?)

  44. 44 Name said at 9:16 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Mike, after reading your post, I saw someone on facebook post status saying that. Then I googled it. Apparently, him eating at the capital grille has actual picked up steam.

  45. 45 ian no. 2 said at 9:16 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Randy Moss has a career as a restaurant critic ahead of him.

    Living will: If I am unconscious in the hospital, Sal Pal cannot provide updates on my condition.

  46. 46 mattman said at 9:25 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Everyone knows the REAL driving force behind Spinal Tap was Viv Savage.

  47. 47 nzflyer said at 9:26 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    I have a sneaky suspicion Harris is going to play at an elite level this season at RT. Don’t know why I get the feeling, but he’s gonna lock it down.

  48. 48 Tommy Lawlor said at 9:42 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ ian…

    I’ll tell SalPal to stalk Sam. We’ll have Albert Breer stay on top of your situation.

  49. 49 Mike said at 10:06 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Like any good reporter I’m following up on my own comment… It looks like Randy is in town doing work for NFL Films and is not meeting with the Eagles… However if Randy does sign with us tomorrow I’ll still take credit for “breaking the story”

  50. 50 Mike said at 10:10 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ NZflyer

    I love the Harris signing. If he is healthy he could be the “leonard weaver” of this free agent class in that he isnt the most highly touted signing but could pay huge dividends during the season.

    He will be one of the guys I focus on during the preseason games.

  51. 51 nzflyer said at 10:33 PM on August 4th, 2011:



    Who behind Shady and Brown do you think could really surprise us? I know alot of people are high on Lewis(?) but I like Graig Cooper aye. Watching his highlights, theres just something about him, maynot be the fastest or strongest guy, but hes a baller, I think he is the Offenses version of Jaiqwuan Jarrett, if that makes sense.

  52. 52 Mike said at 10:51 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ nzflyer

    First off does the NZ stand for New Zealand?

    According to bloggers that have been posting practice reports, Dion Lewis, Graig Cooper and Derrick Locke have all passed the eyeball test and look good in practice. Lets see what they do in the games. I think they are fighting for the #3 RB spot with the runner-up going to the practice squad. Good probelm to have, all are an upgrade of eldra buckley although buckley does play well on special teams so Bonny April could fight to keep him.

  53. 53 eagleizeit said at 10:54 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    Imagine using Ronnie Brown as a FB at times. He’s considered 1 of the top 5 running backs in pass protection. He’s a better runner, receiver and passer than Weaver was. Also same size as the FB we drafted (Havili) and should be quicker picking up a blitzes.

  54. 54 nzflyer said at 10:58 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    Yep, NZ stands for New Zealand. I’m posting from right in the heart of Auckland City at work.haha. I to think it’s a good problem to have. With such depth, if any of those 3 show flashes in PS, a team that gets hit by FA could give us a call. And the way our FO has been playing the game lately, I’m guessing we’ll get shares in a company, a new car and 3 picks in

  55. 55 Mike said at 11:00 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    Great thought, to have Brown and Shady on the field at the same time would be an awesome way to compliment our air game. Eagles did some of that with Westy and Buck on the field together, they could (and probably will) do some of that stuff whether it be in the base set or in the wildcat.

  56. 56 Mike said at 11:04 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @ NZflyer… I just saw a band called The Naked and Famous 2 nights ago, they are from Auckland. I discovered them back in October and they are just starting to get Radio play here in the states.

    Great band, one of my favorites, are they big there?

  57. 57 nzflyer said at 11:22 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    The Naked and Famous? Can’t say I’ve ever heard of them. That may be cos they ain’t my particular flavour(I’m Samoan).

    I’m majorly buzzing for training when DRC, Asante and NA are on the field. See what sorta fronts they show. I think with the types of S we have totally compliments our CBs. Playing on the right side is NA, who will stick to his man like glue and then Nate can simply play the ball looking for a pick. Asante on the Left side can gamble a lil more(if that’s even possible) knowing he has Jarrett(hopefully) behind him who is one of the most sure tacklers. I like it.

  58. 58 Mike said at 11:32 PM on August 4th, 2011:

    @nzflyer… All i’m gonna say is I cant wait for the preseason. I ‘ll probably watch the first game 3 times. I am so fired up for this season!

  59. 59 nzflyer said at 11:42 PM on August 4th, 2011:


    I’m right wit cha buddy. I’ve refreshed so many pages on different sites a million times today hoping for new news. lol

    The only negative thing I have to say about this off season is that we have now attracted alot of Band Wagon fans. I think I may possibly hate those types of fan more than say … a cowboys fan(ever so slightly). At least a cowboys fan is loyal to their team. New Zealand is full of Band Wagoners, especially because there are so many casual fans that don’t have a specific team to identify with. Me and my circle of friends(we all play football and follow religiously) have our teams who we are die hard supporters of, but too many Saints,Packers,Steelers fans here because of recent seasons. Ugh!

  60. 60 deg0ey said at 6:26 AM on August 5th, 2011:


    Know what you mean about bandwagon fans; over here in England, I’m a lifelong Chelsea fan as far as ‘soccer’ goes and the last 5 or 6 years we’ve picked up a ton of bandwagoners.

    As it goes, I think I’m a borderline bandwagon fan of the Eagles. Up until last season, I used to watch the playoffs every year but would pick a different team to root for depending on who had got there. Then last season I decided that I actually wanted to pick a team and stick with them through the highs and lows.

    My decision was based partly on not wanting to pick a team that was likely to get a lot of bandwagon fans (so anyone that’s won the Super Bowl in the last 5 years) or the Cowboys (I’d always hated them for some reason) and after seeing Philly beat JAX in week 3 last year I started looking into the history of the team a little. When I realised that you guys all hated the Cowboys too it was pretty much decided 😀

  61. 61 Dr. Claw said at 11:57 AM on August 5th, 2011:

    LOL @ “MmmBOP”, that’s exactly what I used to call Hanson in his first couple of years w/the Eagles.