Tuesday Stuff

Posted: September 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 41 Comments »

For SB Nation Philly I wrote about the roster moves and the thinking behind them.

One of the popular questions has been whether this is the best roster we’ve ever seen or if this is the best offseason ever.  Those questions are tough because we don’t know how the moves will turn out.  We can judge past moves because we know the results.

One thing I’m completely comfortable saying is that this is the most talented set of players that we’ve ever cut.  Look at this list:

RB Noel Devine
RB Derrick Locke
RB Graig Cooper
FB Stanley Havili
WR Rod Harper
WR Gerald Jones
TE Donald Lee
OL Mike McGlynn
OL Reggie Wells
DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim
DE Chris Wilson
DE Ricky Sapp
DT Derek Landri
DT Anthony Hargrove
DT Marlon Favorite (had to put him on the list)
LB Rashad Jeanty
S Marlin Jackson
CB Joselio Hanson

Those players either played well this summer or had a big reputation coming into the summer.

* * * * *

Per Adam Caplan, the Eagles put in a waiver claim on FB Chris Gronkowski.  He ended up going to a team with a worse record.  You may recall that we put in a claim on Jerome Felton the other day, only to lose him to the Panthers.  Putting in claims on 2 FBs is hard to ignore.  Makes you wonder what’s up with Owen Schmitt.  He was solid this summer, but hardly played so well that he’s untouchable.

I just find it interesting that so close to the beginning of the season we’re looking at replacing a starting offensive player with a complete outsider.  I can’t imagine the team has interest in keeping 2 FBs so I’m assuming that Schmitt would go.

Interesting note on Gronkowski, it was his missed block that led to Romo getting hit and hurt against the Giants last year.

* * * * *

Per Reuben Frank, here are some number changes:

Ronnie Brown from 36 to 21.

Dion Lewis from 27 to 28.

Jarrad Page from 25 to 41.

Steve Smith from 19 to 11.

* * * * *

I’ll start with game preview stuff tonight or tomorrow.  I won’t post one long preview.  I’ll break it into parts and discuss different aspects of the game.  There is no Rams tape to watch in preparation.  I’m not a believer that  you can learn much from what you see in the preseason.

41 Comments on “Tuesday Stuff”

  1. 1 IceBERG said at 2:17 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Good to see that Westbrook’s “36” is safe. I figured this change would happen once we cut Hanson…

  2. 2 Sam said at 2:24 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Hard to buy into this being the most talented group ever cut, given that only one of those guys has a job on another team’s roster and a second guy who you left off the list got a job on another team’s practice squad.

    I know part of it is the fact that some of these guys are veterans with 4+ years of experience, but I think the reality may be more that these guys may not have been as good collectively as we think.

    Want a talented group? Look at the guys the Pats cut, with, what, 5 different guys with multiple waiver claims. That’s impressive depth.

  3. 3 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:26 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Pats players I think can be overrated, but they were claimed as you point out.

    I do think by this time next week several of the guys listed above will be on new teams.

  4. 4 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:30 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I need to address some questions from the previous thread.

    RE: AJ Edds

    I was definitely high on him prior to his draft. I think the Eagles liked him. I didn’t watch him play this summer, but it wouldn’t surprise me for the team to add him to the Practice Squad if a player or two is signed away from us.

    Edds was a very good LB at Iowa. Could be a good SAM in the 4-3 if he’s able to come all the way back from the torn ACL.

  5. 5 GermanEagle said at 2:30 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Per Reuben Frank, here are some number changes:

    Ronnie Brown from 36 to 21.

    Does that mean Nnamdi will keep #24 for good?!

  6. 6 Sam said at 2:32 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    They have printed enough Asomugha 24 jerseys that the NFL wouldn’t let him change this year even if he wanted to. In theory he could change in 2012, but that seems pretty unlikely.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:36 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    RE: Brian Rolle & Myron Rolle

    Dave Spadaro said something interesting the other day… that Brian was the backup MLB. The depth chart lists Akeem Jordan there, but I wonder if Rolle has moved into that spot. Brian’s undersized, but he’s tough.

    I don’t recall the Eagles showing any special interest in Myron Rolle. He’s big and slow, which isn’t the kind of Safety we’ve gone after in recent years. Probably no interest.

  8. 8 bsencore said at 2:38 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Yeah, I’m with Sam on this one. Not buying this “most talented set of players that we’ve ever cut.” If it is, not really saying much. There are two players on that list who actually walked away from the team and no one else wanted them.

    Only guys I see who could be starters or solid backups are Hanson and McGlynn. Rest are practice squaders, overhyped camp bodies, or Marlin Jackson.

  9. 9 coldtaxi said at 2:49 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Chris Gronkowski is also the guy whose missed block led to Dez Bryant’s ankle being broken on a punt return. Clearly we wanted him because he’s a proven Cowboy killer.

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:00 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Has anyone here seen major problems with Owen Schmitt this summer? Maybe I took him for granted and didn’t watch as closely as I should have. I’m definitely curious to see if the Eagles make a move at FB or stick with Schmitt.

  11. 11 theguyotc said at 3:20 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I just had the impression that the Eagles were desperate last year after Weaver got hurt, and so were happy to find someone just to do a basic job at FB and fit the system.

    Between drafting Havili and trying to pick up Felton and Gronkowsi, it seems like while Schmitt was competent (read: JAG), they were somewhat spoiled by Weaver. I never had the impression Schmitt was an exceptional blocker, and he doesn’t run the ball ever, so his value is primarily as a pass catcher. If you can just add average runner to average blocker and pass catcher, that’s a significant upgrade.

  12. 12 GermanEagle said at 3:44 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    David Garrard has just been released.


  13. 13 Matt said at 3:44 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    @GermanEagle, Ronnie Brown was only signed to a 1yr deal so Nnamdi could possibly change next yr.

  14. 14 Ben said at 3:45 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I guess I must have missed some stuff as I hate to say that I didn’t get to pay as close attention as I hoped this off season, but what’s Leonard Weaver’s deal?

  15. 15 Noah said at 3:52 PM on September 6th, 2011:


    Schmitt was a special runner in college. He is still a folk hero in West Virginia for his “runaway beer truck” play. He was essentially a big runningback, much in the mold of the Peyton Hillis of today.

    sorry for the link –


    The point is, he can do it. If given the chances (read: touches) Weaver was in ’09, I feel he would shine.

  16. 16 -Triumph- said at 3:58 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Schmitt = JAG. They don’t hate him, but I think that’s an area they see an opportunity to inexpensively upgrade.

  17. 17 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:58 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Weaver suffered nerve damage and might not make it back on the football field. He’s going to do everything in his power, but nerve damage is hard to fix.

    Schmitt isn’t as skilled as Weaver. Schmitt was good in college, but Weaver has delivered big plays at the NFL level. Worlds different.

    Schmitt is only a marginal blocker. You’d think a fiery guy like him would be good, but that’s not the case. Being a lead blocker isn’t about just running over someone. You’ve got to choose the right target.

  18. 18 Sam said at 4:05 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    What’s interesting about Schmitt is what while -Triumph- is exactly right, he’s a JAG, that’s never bothered them at FB before. Interesting that now they’re trying to upgrade.

  19. 19 -Triumph- said at 4:09 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Well, trying to claim a couple of cut players on waivers isn’t exactly trying that hard…

  20. 20 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:13 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I guess the real question is this:

    Is Schmitt such a mediocre player that they really want to replace him


    Were Felton and Gronkowski players the Eagles really liked?

    There have been other FBs that were cut and the Eagles didn’t put a claim in for them. No matter how you slice it, this is odd.

  21. 21 Sam said at 4:22 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Not saying they’re trying hard. But it is more effort than I ever remember them expending when they had a serviceable player on the team.

  22. 22 Toby said at 4:25 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I would think that Mudd has some input on what we’re looking for in a fullback.

    Maybe Schmitt just isn’t a Mudd guy. Personally I never liked him. Sure, he knows how to crack his own head open, but he’s not a good blocker.

  23. 23 iskar36 said at 4:30 PM on September 6th, 2011:


    Are there any similarities between Gronkowski, Felton, or Havili? With the diminishing value of the FB, I don’t know if there are any “styles” of FBs, but if there are, do these guys fit any particular mold that Schmitt doesn’t necessarily fit? I’m curious if maybe they want to do something different with their FB then they can do with Schmitt.

  24. 24 McG said at 4:30 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    @ Tommy, it’s hard to slice a beer truck, and even if you do… what would the end result be?

    I still have yet to be impressed with Schmitt’s blocking, and I seriously doubt he can command “touches” other than the possible misdirection play.

  25. 25 Iowa Eagle said at 4:31 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see that Panthers pick up Edds, I remember McDermott was drooling over him at the Senior Bowl.

  26. 26 Frank said at 4:39 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I still can’t understand why we cut Landri. I saw a lot more from him during the actual games than I did any of the other defensive tackles on our roster, starters included.

  27. 27 Sam said at 4:48 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    @Frank, I think that’s the problem: you haven’t seen any actual games. You’ve seen preseason games. And we have to be really careful not to confuse the two. Did Landri show as much during the preseason as Laws did during actual games in 2010? If it isn’t clear that he did, then you have to make sure you don’t overrate performances of players who are trying to make a roster and are going up against players who are trying to stay fresh for the 16-20 games that actually matter during the year.

  28. 28 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:50 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    RE: similarities in Gronkowski/Havili/Felton

    Not really. Stanley is a runner/receiver and limited blocker.

    Felton was a great power runner at Furman. Battering ram at the goal line. Became a solid blocker in the NFL.

    I don’t recall much about Gronkowski at Arizona (college). He also never stood out to me in Dallas.

    It is a good point that Howard Mudd may prefer a different kind of FB, but it’s kinda odd that the team wouldn’t address the position until now. It should have been clear pretty quickly that Havili couldn’t block.

  29. 29 ATG said at 4:53 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    My sources tell me that Owen pointed out to Andy in a meeting that Hanson’s first name is not actually Jose.

    To avoid the inevitable awkwardness in the locker room, Andy is looking to part ways with both players, along with Marlon Favorite, who reportedly lunged for Owen to stop him, but landed two seats away. Luckily, he landed on the seats assigned to Ricky Sapp and Victor Abirmiri, which were empty.

    Some reports include that the guy in the office charged with gathering data on helmet safety is pushing for a change at fullback, frustrated by the asterisk denoting self-inflicted he constantly needs to include in his reports because of Schmitt, but this is unconfirmed.

    Another unconfirmed report suggests that the historian for the team insists that anyone with his name needs to spell it with a “d” if he wants to play in Philly.

    As you can see, there are conflicting reports, but it seems the writing is on the wall for Owen.

  30. 30 ppk said at 4:55 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Perhaps the Eagles are paying real attention to the FB position because they are planning to actually run the ball a significant amount of the time, at least in the beginning of the season while the O line becomes established.

  31. 31 Frank said at 4:59 PM on September 6th, 2011:


    Yes, I totally agree with your point. I was trying to keep that kind of thing in mind when I was watching the game(i.e. making sure someone wasn’t standing out solely because they were playing against the 3rd stringers, etc), since I’ve been caught in that trap in past years with other players.

    I guess it stings more this time because I was trying harder to evaluate the players this year, but I still got it wrong.

  32. 32 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:08 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    @ ATG…

    Well done sir.

    Did you guys see that Giants MLB Jonathan Goff tore his ACL in practice today? It has been a nightmare summer for the G-men. Injuries are part of the game, but there are years when you just shake your head and wonder why the football gods are so mad at you.

  33. 33 ian no. 2 said at 5:37 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    What Noah said, Noah is generally right, and I want to use some sort of graph or formula but Sam is much better at those. But if Havili is starting at point A as a blocker, what point is Schmitt starting at? G, L? Schmitt was an accomplished blocker in college and is already better than Havili will ever be. Whether as a short yardage back he’ll make you forget Booker Russell depends partly on whether you’ve forgetten about Booker Russell already. Also, I watch football for entertainment, and Schmitt offers a certain potential there.

    I agree that this is the most talented set of guys the Eagles have cut, which has nothing to do with the Patriots cuts, a list that includes a ’10 Pro Bowler and other big names. Surprised that no one has picked up Graig Cooper and most of the other likely pickups are vested vets who’ll find a team soon. The Eagles in general are doing a better job at filling the preseason roster with prospects rather than camp bodies, which, if it seems irrelevant is a testament to midround picks panning out so far and knock on wood no injuries.

  34. 34 Stan said at 6:22 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    We cut AJ Feeley, Danny Amendola, Hank Baskett, Dan Klecko, Matt Wilhelm and Mike Gibson a few years ago. I guess that year would be our most talented cut list.

  35. 35 -Triumph- said at 6:56 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I think the Pats claimed Edds.

  36. 36 ian no. 2 said at 7:17 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    if you bought Jarrad Page at 25, sell..

  37. 37 Eric said at 7:25 PM on September 6th, 2011:


    I think I read a few years back about how the Giants were one of the luckiest teams over the last couple of seasons with injuries. I suppose they are regressing back to the mean.

  38. 38 iggles nut said at 7:56 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    After losing out on the waiver claims, the Eagles might instead opt to sign a veteran FB next week once a full year’s salary isn’t guaranteed.

  39. 39 Cliff said at 11:00 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I remember when Eagles fans had a HUGE jones for Schmitt, before he was drafted. They swore Schmitt was Mike Alstott reincarnated.

    Schmitt love was only rivaled on TATE by Nate Illaoa love.

  40. 40 Stephen said at 11:26 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    I think Tommy that it might have more to do with Howie Roseman than Mudd. It seems to me that while a lot of GM’s talk about constantly trying to upgrade their roster, Howie Roseman is someone who aggressively attacks an opportunity to upgrade, no matter how slight.

    Or it could just be that we want to give Gronkowski a little signing bonus for a job well done last year. Imo we should do the same thing for Matt Dodge, he was our most effective punter in that game so I think he deserves a little compensation you know?

    Pats players are overrated, a lot of guys who look terrific in silver and blue end up being JAG’s on other teams. Deion Branch I think is the most obvious example.

    Merriweather was not a pro bowl caliber player last year (as his increasingly diminished amount of snaps played should have been testament to) so I think its disingenuous to suggest that the Pats “cut a pro bowl player”. Technically correct, but in spirit completely false. Riddle me this, if he was a pro bowl caliber player, why in the world would the Pats cut him? Are there 4 more pro bowlers behind him on the depth chart?

    5 days until actual Eagles football. Feels like its been an eternity this offseason, even longer than usual. Wonder if the lockout fatigue and lack of a typical offseason made things feel longer.

  41. 41 Stephen said at 11:53 PM on September 6th, 2011:

    Tommy, if you’re gameplanning the Giants now, you have to figure the front 4 is still one of the best in the business but the back 7 is really hurting. Do you decide to mix up a power running game and a passing offense with a lot of extra blockers? I figure you try to run at their pass rushers to get them on their heels and wear them down, and use extra blockers on pass plays to let your recievers work on their depleted secondary. If you can keep their pass rush under control I have to imagine a talented recieving corp is going to be able to get open on them. I figure its a low risk approach that marginalizes their only strength left on D and helps put band-aids on our biggest offensive question mark (The OL).

    I think I prefer that approach because if you decide you’re going to go 4 wides and try to attack their depleted secondary that way, you’re leaving your weakness exposed to their strength, even if it does stretch their secondary depth. Seems like you’re exposing yourself to unnescessary risk if you did it this way.

    Does this seem logical or am I thinking out my derriere here?