Saturday Stuff

Posted: September 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 48 Comments »

One of the big factors this Sunday could be noise.  Playing in a dome is never fun for the visiting team.  I heard/read somewhere the game is a sellout, but if you go to the Rams official site, it says tickets are still available.  Regardless, there will be a good crowd and they will be loud.  The fans in St. Louis haven’t been this hyped on a team since Marc Bulger was still considered a good QB.  The fans are hungry for a winner (or at least an entertaining loser).

All the crowd noise will affect the Eagles offense.  It is a heightened concern because of the rookie C and the revamped O-line.  Communication is crucial up front.  The guys must all be on the same page or rushers/blitzers can come free.  In technical football speak, that’s not good.

We also made a change this year in regard to adjusting protections.  We used to have the C make all the calls and adjustments.  This year the QB makes the  calls.  He’s pointing out who the blitzers are.  Identifying the “MLB” on each play is the key.  That sets up the blocking for each play.  According to Greg Cosell, Mudd likes his line to block zone on the strong side of a play and then go man on the back side.  You need to identify who the MLB is so that everyone knows which side is which.  It isn’t simply seeing where the official MLB is.  On some blitzes the LBs will shift alignments.  The LB in the middle of the defense is the MLB.  This isn’t based on a title, but rather the actual alignment.

It is imperative to score early and limit the crowd’s enthusiasm.  If we can get a lead, that can quickly take the fans out of the game and then playing in a dome is no problem at all.  With that in mind, I do think Marty and Andy will be aggressive early on.

* * * * *

JimmyK did a hilarious rip job on Mike Lombardi’s picking the Skins to win the NFC East over at BGN.  Good for a laugh.

* * * * *

Watching the Packers/Saints game really made me think the Eagles were wise in the way they built up the defense.  You need pass rushers and cover guys.  The Saints could do neither.  It hurt them not having Will Smith, but that ties in to the way the Eagles built the team.  You can’t rely on just one or two guys.  You must have depth.

NO had to blitz in order to get pressure.  That left them vulnerable in coverage.  Aaron Rodgers tore them apart.

Our D-line looked terrific in the preseason.  We’ll see how they do for real starting on Sunday.  I’m pretty confident in this group.  We’ve got a lot of guys that can get into the backfield and make plays.

The counter-argument is that the opening game was pass happy attacks.  Our defense is good up front and in the back, but the LBs might be exposed vs a strong running team.  We’ll see how good the LBs are in the first couple of weeks (STL, ATL).  The one thing I have to stress is that even running teams are going to use 3 and 4 receiver sets at least 20 to 30 percent of the time.  The NFL is a passing league.  I think you must build your team with that in mind.

It was interesting to see GB come up with certain alignments on 3rd down that really exposed the Saints lack of speed in parts of the back seven.  Your LBs/DBs must be able to cover.  Casey can do that.  Chaney can do that.  I think Fokou can do that.

* * * * *

The Twitter highlight of the day features Eagles LG Evan Mathis responding to our pal Sam.  Make sure to check that out.

Mathis is quickly going to become one of our favorite Eagles if he plays pretty well and offers up humor like that.  Great stuff.

48 Comments on “Saturday Stuff”

  1. 1 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:12 PM on September 10th, 2011:


    What do you guys think of the Saints right now? Was that defense exposed or was Rodgers just freaky good?

    Marques Colston is now out a month or more.

    The dominant OGs they have got no movement in key moments. C Olin Kreutz didn’t light it up.

    You never want to make too much of one game, but I’d be nervous if I was a Saints fan. Those aren’t young guys that will necessarily get better in a couple of weeks. We’re talking about a very veteran team.

  2. 2 Sisser said at 6:46 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Saints got exposed, without Smith they lack a legitimate pass rusher, the big DTs are big more than anything else at this point in their career, and Ellis is a disappointment given his draft position. Slow LBs, Harper and Robinson looked awful in coverage. On the other hand, Williams didn’t have much more to work with last year and fashioned a silk purse, so I wouldn’t bet against him, at least against teams like the Falcons and Panthers. But the top offenses will shred the Saint defense.

    On the other hand, it’s easy to overrate the Packers right now, they finished strong last year but still only went 10-6, put up great defensive stats but played a lot of weak offenses (Minn, Chi, etc). Since they returned almost all their players, and kept their coaches, they should be the first half champions this year. But they’re thin at key spots, if Woodson or Matthews even get dinged, they have no one who can pick up the slack. Walden, Jones, Zombo at OLB, they scheme to keep these guys OFF the field. Bush at CB? It is Mr. Rodgers’ neightborhood however.

  3. 3 Anders Jensen said at 7:31 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I didnt buy into the hype about the saints defense this year. When they won the super bowl Darren Sharper was having a career year and they often played with a big lead.

    I do think that the Saints offense will be at least as good as 2009, with Sproles been the catalyst.

  4. 4 Chuck Coe said at 1:25 AM on September 11th, 2011:

    I think the Saint’s D will be pretty pedestrian this year, but their offense might be the best in the league. They have a LOT of weapons, even with Colston out.

  5. 5 Jason-E said at 1:01 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    The Saints didn’t scare me before the game because I thought their defense was too old. Thursday just proved it. Aaron Rodgers is freaky good, but the Saints lack speed on defense. Their corners just aren’t very good, and they’re old at safety. Plus, I never thought Greg Williams was that good, and ’09 just seemed like one of those “this defense will never be this good again” kind of years.

  6. 6 ppk said at 1:04 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Does anyone know what is the common way in the NFL to call protection adjustments? I would have thought the qb would be in the best position to make the calls. Do other teams leave it to the Center?

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:05 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    @ ppk…

    Mixture. Some teams like the QB, others the C.

  8. 8 PPK said at 8:56 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    When I think about it, other than a case where the QB is inexperienced, what would be the advantage to having the C make the adjustments? The QB has a better view of the D and a better sense of how he will run the play or call a variable. What gives?

  9. 9 Kevin (RC) said at 1:17 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    What surprised me was how little inside pressure the Saints had against the Packers. With Fraklin, Rogers and Ellis, I expected them to flush Rodgers…and they didn’t.

    Yes Wells/Sitton are good, but Lang is a converted OT playing inside. The interior trio of the Packers owned them.

  10. 10 Boyboy said at 1:27 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Re. The Saints…hard to count them out with Drew Brees at QB. For as old and slow as the D looked, Brees had them in position to tie the game on the last play. To me, THAT is scary.

    Re. Lombardi…it seems to me that everyone in the National media was high un the Eagles until the ‘Dream Team’ comment. Now everyone is looking for reasons for them to flounder. Hell, half of the “expert” predictions don’t have them winning the division.

    In Lombardi’s case, he doesn’t want to pick the Eagles. The Giants injuries are too scary. And does anyone REALLY trust Romo and Dallas when it matters most? So he’s reaching (with Go-go Gadget arms) for the Skins. But yeah, none of his reasoning made sense. He’s just another media member who wants to say “I told ya so” at the end of the year.

  11. 11 Baloophi said at 1:28 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Let’s not forget the Saints were one (foolish) Ingram dive away from being in a position to tie the game. Point being, that wasn’t exactly a dominant Packers’ D either.

    That said, I do think if I were a Saints fan I’d be very concerned about my defense.

    Question at large: Do you think offenses or defenses have an advantage earlier in the season because of the lockout? Or do you think it matters at all?

  12. 12 DB said at 1:43 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    RE: Saints.

    Their secondary looks really weak. It seemed that GB was exploiting Roman Harper all game. It may be a result of a non-existent pass rush, but definitely not good.

  13. 13 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:46 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Drew Brees got red hot on the final couple of drives. That’s why the game was so close.

    But I do agree…it’s gotta bug the Packers that they outplayed them so clearly and still barely won.

  14. 14 Boyboy said at 1:57 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Going back to the media NOT wanting to pick the Eagles, it seems like everyone is focusing on the questions surrounding the team {OL, LBs, STs} and not their strengths:

    We have Vick (who can mask some of the weaknesses on the OL), one of the best set of skill players in the league, best depth we’ve had at RB since the 3-headed Monster, an emerging young TE….oh, and we added Steve Smith.

    On the defensive side, Cullend Jenkins and Jason Babin improve the pass rush and our depth on the DL is as good as ever. Has there ever been a better top 4 set of CBs in the league? Our starting safeties are solid, but unspecatcular, with two top prospects waiting in the wings…

    In a league where no team is perfect at every position, there is a lot more to like about the Eagles than there is to dislike. Oh, and you can’t discount Andy Reid’s track record. It takes Mike McMahon at QB for him not to win.


    As for the weaknesses….LB? Puleeeze. We’re young and small but there is sooooooooo much talent. I can see Chaney as an emerging star. Fokou is solid – you’re probably not going to win or lose any games because of him. Matthews will be fine – good, smart player who can cover but will struggle at times versus the run. Brian Rolle? ANIMAL. I promise he’ll make his share of big plays this year.

    The OL……more upside than we’ve had in recent years. Kelce and Watkins will be fine long-term. We added some experienced, athletic guards….Herremans deserves his shot to earn the big bucks at Tackle. Justice will be back soon for depth. They’ll need a few weeks to gel, but I’m not really too worried here.

    Special Teams…Rocca was Rocca. Nothing more, nothing less. Akers…don’t get me started. Maybe I should defer to someone else on this. I’ll just say that I welcome a fresh start.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 6:17 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    We’ve got a new style for the Comments area.

  16. 16 ATG said at 7:47 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I like it. Very stylish, but in a no-nonsense, content over flash, blue collar, sold only in cans kind of way.

    Kind of like PBR… except for the stylish part. And maybe the content part.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 8:00 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    You’re on my list now, pal. Better hope I never get elected Czar or you’ll be in big trouble.

  18. 18 the guy said at 8:03 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    The reason everybody (including myself) is focusing on the negative is that unlike tomorrow’s opponent, merely making the playoffs will not satisfy expectations.

    I agree that the OL and LBs have potential, but that’s not the same as being good or even adequate. They will be interesting to watch this year.

    I won’t really argue about Rocca, but Akers is a different story. Not having to deal with real kicker problems over the past 10+ year has really spoiled Eagles fans. We didn’t even have to think about it. Now we do.

  19. 19 Cliff Hall said at 6:00 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Tommy! I’m really feelin’ the new comments set-up. I hope this is here to stay!

    Except, the post says there are 10 comments and I can’t see any of them. 🙁

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 6:03 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    They were importing…..check again….thanks!

  21. 21 Cliff Hall said at 6:19 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Looks good now!

  22. 22 Boyboy said at 6:06 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    ah…confusion….what just happened to the site? lol

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 6:28 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Had to import comments. May have been some glitches during import. Should be ok now.

  24. 24 Cliff Hall said at 6:21 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    RE: Saints

    If I were a New Orleans fan, I’d be REALLY worried. It’s just one game, but their division isn’t going to be a cakewalk. Atlanta is very good and Tampa Bay is becoming good. Carolina might be a doormat, but the Saints won’t be able to “Brees” through this year.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 6:25 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    You guys gotta let me know what you think. The point of the site is to be as user friendly as possible, without cutting into my search for sexy Megan Fox wallpaper pics.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 6:38 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I like it. Definitively an upgrade compared to the old one.
    You could always have some Megan Fox pictures on the right side, instead of just green…

  27. 27 Cliff Hall said at 6:43 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Tommy, the only upgrade I would make is to “widen” the section where the content is, so that it fills more of the page. Now that we can post replies to comments directly under another comment, this column might start to get really scrunched up.

  28. 28 ATG said at 8:05 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I love that I am replying to your inquiry directly below your inquiry. It just feels like the sun is shining a little more brightly in my corner of the world. Of course it could be that it has rained for the past week.

    I would still enjoy having the site remember who I am instead of entering my email and screen name for each comment.

    I am not sure what I think of the “Like” feature. I’ll give it a try, and I think it is a much better idea than the thumbs up/thumbs down approach.

  29. 29 the guy said at 8:09 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Agreed, it’s a big upgrade. Also agree about widening it somewhat, because I remember what used to happen in busy Igglesblog threads.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 1:42 AM on September 11th, 2011:

    I thought the same thing. Fortunately you can sort the comments to suit your own personal preference at the top of the comment section.

  31. 31 Austinfan said at 6:55 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Eagles need to approach the Rams game a little differently.

    It’s not the game to try and jump out to a lead. Spags will be bringing the house against a makeshift OL in a dome, so in the first half I’d go in with the idea of nixing any pass play that takes more than 3 – 3.5 seconds to develop, even max protection plays because I’d like to keep Vick alive.

    Instead, my approach would be to get to halftime tied or within striking distance, get my OL some experience working together, let my defense jell a little. Play it safe on offense, run the ball, screens, dump passes, quick throws over the middle to Celek, Maclin, Avant and Smith. Move the pocket a little but tell Vick to throw the ball away and punt. No mistakes, no big hits, on offense. On defense, I’d also be a little conservative the first half, especially with Sims-Walker and Kendrick, the rest can’t get behind the defense. Avoid giving up big plays, stop them in the red zone. I’d be happy if the score at halftime was 10-7 or 10-6.

    Second half, with the adreneline exhausted by the Rams, the crowd a little restless, the OL in synch (hopefully), and everyone comfortable with what Spags can throw at them, I loosen the reins and show the Rams that speed kills on both sides of the ball.

    Rams simply don’t have enough talent to keep up with the Eagles, their secondary is mediocre, Mikell is smart but there’s a reason the Eagles didn’t try to keep him (he was slow to being with, at 31 he’s not getting any faster), they have big physical LBs who are good against power runners but will struggle to keep up with McCoy and Harbor, and they can put a good pass rush line out there for 20 snaps with Hall, Robbins, Quinn and Long, but Hall and Robbins have to have their snaps rationed – so pass on run downs when they replace them with two stiffs.

  32. 32 ATG said at 7:55 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I see your point about not making mistakes in a rush to get in front, but I think we need to be aggressive early. The last thing you want to do with a team like the Rams (historic losers with hopes of changing) is let them build confidence by staying with the “dream team.”

    Be aggressive, use screens, draws, and slants to combat the blitzes, but DeSean needs to make Spags pay if he starts bringing safeties up to cover the back of a blitz.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 8:44 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Are oldest comments now at the top for everyone?

  34. 34 ppk said at 8:58 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Only if set as the default.

    Also, is there a way to get our username remembered?

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 9:03 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I just set the restriction so that you need to be registered to comment. Let’s see if that works. Let me know.

  36. 36 InsultComicDog said at 11:24 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Am I registered under this name?

  37. 37 InsultComicDog said at 11:24 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    guess so.

  38. 38 InsultComicDog said at 11:24 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    how far to the right does it go?

  39. 39 InsultComicDog said at 11:36 PM on September 10th, 2011:


  40. 40 InsultComicDog said at 11:37 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Interesting. It doesn’t move as far to the right but it keeps moving to the right when you go this far in.

  41. 41 InsultComicDog said at 11:39 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    still going…

  42. 42 InsultComicDog said at 3:54 AM on September 11th, 2011:

  43. 43 InsultComicDog said at 3:54 AM on September 11th, 2011:

  44. 44 InsultComicDog said at 11:38 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    It does try to put them that way. Of course I like newer comments at the top so I keep changing it.

  45. 45 Chris said at 2:22 PM on September 11th, 2011:

    Yeah, but you just switch it to newest first

  46. 46 InsultComicDog said at 9:59 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Well alrighty then. New comment style.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 10:51 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    Love the new comment system. I’ve seen some pages have realtime update, but that is paid option correct?

    As for the Saints it’s too early to know for sure, but they might not be as strong as thought. Didn’t they also use 3 man rush often? That’s a mistake

  48. 48 InsultComicDog said at 11:33 PM on September 10th, 2011:

    I’ve usually thought of a quarterback’s progressions as going from long to short: i.e. look for the big play first, then the mid range play, and then check down.

    Then I happened to read something about how Peyton Manning usually went through the progressions the other way around: short to long, unless he saw a breakdown in his pre-snap reads.

    That would be one reason he was able to unload the ball faster, because it doesn’t take as long for that play to develop.