Odd Rumor on Mudd, Eagles

Posted: October 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 28 Comments »

ProFootballTalk has a report up on Howard Mudd and the offense.

The reports says that some members of the offense don’t like his system.  This is certainly possible.  The question for me is…who?

Let’s start with the O-line.  Danny Watkins and Jason Kelce are out.  Mudd drafted them and made them starter.  Todd Herremans got moved to RT by Mudd so I can’t imagine he’s upset at all.  Evan Mathis was signed because of Mudd.  Jason Peters wasn’t a huge fan of Castillo’s passive system so I imagine he loves the change to Mudd’s system, something similar to what he did in Buffalo.

I’m sure Jamaal Jackson hates Howard Mudd and the new system.  It cost him a starting job, something he covets.  King Dunlap?  He was a better fit for the old system, but I’m not sure he feels strongly about Mudd one way or the other.  Winston Justice is a guy I could see not being thrilled with Mudd, but Justice hasn’t played because of a bum knee, not Mudd.

Beyond the line…hard to say.  Shady McCoy is having a good year.  I don’t think the WRs care what the blockers do.  I could see Ronnie Brown being upset with the blockers for not giving him a better pocket to throw from on 3rd/goal.  Do I have to point out that is sarcasm?  Just to be safe, yes.

I wonder if Brent Celek is a guy not thrilled with the system.  He was forced to block more last year so staying in isn’t new to him, but it’s possible Mudd’s system puts more pressure on him as a blocker.

Finally…Vick.  I could see Vick being mad with the Red Zone turnovers and partially blaming them on some blocking issues.  As for protection in general…Vick took a beating last year.  Watch the DET game and you see him dodging players left and right.  He has taken some hits this year, but I don’t feel like the number has gone up.  Not sure if that’s true.  Just my perception.

I don’t think the blocking system is an issue.  The blocking does need to get better, but it hasn’t been nearly the issue that public perception would have it be.  Jason Kelce made a dumb mistake last week that led to a pick-6.  He made that mistake because he’s a rookie, not Howard Mudd’s system.

I think this is pretty much a non-story unless some player goes public and even then it would need to be a key player.  If Jamaal Jackson is upset, sorry, but that’s life.  If Vick is upset, that’s an issue.  We need the key players to be happy.  I just find it hard to believe that Vick is telling people around him that the problems with the Eagles are Castillo’s blocking system vs Mudd’s.  Heck, I’d almost be happy to find out Vick was thinking about those types of issues.

Wait!!!  I’ve got it.  Riley Cooper.  He doesn’t have a catch this year.  Damn you, Howard Mudd…damn you!!!  Use a blocking scheme that lets ’em throw it to the long hair.

28 Comments on “Odd Rumor on Mudd, Eagles”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 4:35 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    No question that Herremans liked being moved to to RT, but I don’t think that absolutely means he likes Mudd or Mudd’s system. He could have been much happier moving to RT under Castillo and/or under Castillo’s system. Also, even guys like Kelce and Watkins may like the fact that they are starting, but still don’t like how Mudd coaches. That could be the same for Peters or Mathis as well. All that being said, I agree with you that this is a non-story at the moment. The line hasn’t played particularly poorly, especially considering the expectations about the OLine going into the season. However, it could be an interesting story to follow if we do continue to struggle. At some point players will get frustrated if we continue to struggle and those frustrations will become public.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 4:40 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    The complaint is his “system”, not his coaching style. And trust me…Mathis, Kelce, and Watkins have got to be huge Mudd fans.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 4:51 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    “Though Mudd has a great reputation and years of experience and accomplishments, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us that some of the players on offense aren’t embracing Mudd’s methods.

    As the source explained it, it’s a classic old-school/new-school generation gap.”

    The article doesn’t specify if it’s a problem with the scheme or the coaching style mudd uses. “Mudd’s method” could refer to either his scheme/system or his coaching style. In fact, based on the “old-school/new-school generation gap” comment, I thought it was indicative of more a coaching style issue than a scheme issue.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 4:54 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I can see where you’re coming from. You could be right.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 7:16 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I read it the was iskar did. Even the title – “…resisting Mudd’s old-school style” sounds more like he is not gentle enough for some.

    And I think you are right, JamJax and Justice are the most likely disgruntled employees. (Does that mean that Kelce is a gruntled employee?)

    And you are both right, this is a non-story. Very easily someone could have told Florio about how they heard players headed off the practice field saying “That Mudd is killing us. What an angry old bastard.” with no actual ill feelings for the guy and Florio ran with it.

    Point being, there is a lot of room between nearing a revolt and “… some of the players on offense aren’t embracing Mudd’s methods.”

    Besides, Florio explains in the first paragraph that Reid was “forced” to hire Mudd after Juan moved. That is not quite accurate, so who knows how far he stretched the other stuff.

  6. 6 the guy said at 4:38 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Last year the line allowed 49 sacks and 101 QB hits. In 5 games this year, the totals are 8 sacks and 29 QB hits. Extrapolating for a full season (which is never accurate) gives you 25.6 sacks and 92.8 hits. By 2010 standards, that would put them 5th best in sacks allowed and 8th worst in QB hits.

    Considering the big changes to the lineup and scheme, that’s not so bad. Though I suspect Vick would prefer if the QB hits were somewhat lower. Interestingly, the two best teams in terms of QB hits last year were IND (47) and TEN (46), former homes of Mudd and Washburn.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 4:40 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Good stuff.

    Where’d you get the QB hit numbers?

  8. 8 the guy said at 4:53 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    NFL.com’s stat site under “Offensive Line”


  9. 9 Anonymous said at 10:10 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Nice stats. One could argue that, while the sacks are low, the hits are high because of Vick holding onto the ball too long.

    On the flip side, we have a sub par offensive line that’s overachieving BECAUSE we have Vick.

    Who knows? Vick is a once-in-a-lifetime talent… and an anomaly.

  10. 10 marc said at 5:48 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    A couple of thoughts on Mudd.

    If Juan Castillo had been the O-line coach in Indy w/ Peyton Manning (and his .33 second release), I’m guessing Juan’s lines would have performed much better than they did here. And Juan would be considered a “guru,” just like Mudd.

    TOMMY —

    It’s true that w/ Mudd, sacks are down. A few other things are also true: Max J-G is gone; Nick Cole is gone; Justice hasn’t played; and Celek has become an extra OT (seems like more than last year).

    But what’s not changed that much is Vick still is running for his life — whether it’s 1 or 2 less times a game than last year shouldn’t matter that much. [Vick may be partly responsible for this situation.]

    Maybe Vick is not happy w/ calling the protections. He’s got his mind full recognizing the blitz.

    And maybe both Vick and McCoy are unhappy that the interior of the Eagles O-line can’t gain 1 yard on short yardage.

    That said . . . Florio (at PFT.com) has advertisers to keep happy. So I don’t knows how reliable the source of his information is. And I don’t know if he abide by the general rule of journalists that, before publishing, the reporter has to have two sources for what he says.

    What’s more interesting, at least to me, is why — as someone asked recently on this blog — did Reid conclude that he needed to change the PHILOSOPHY after so many years.

    Lots of teams have big, big linemen. Could the problem have been Juan or the talent Juan was given, rather than the philosophy?

    Maybe FLORIO and PFT.COM can tell us what his source(s) says about that.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 6:14 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Vick runs for his life when teams blitz, not when we face 4 man rushes. One of the key reasons that people blitz is because they don’t fear Vick beating their blitz. The better Mike gets at burning teams who blitz us, the more he’ll help himself.

    As for size…we always had one of the biggest OLs in the league. We focused on size. I never liked that. Forced us to take chances on too many players that had questions. Max was an underachieving run blocker at UGA. Why think he’s going to become a great pass blocker in the NFL?

    I wish we had gone for smaller OL years ago. I’ve got no problems with big guys who can block (Peters, Tra, Runyan, etc.), but just taking big guys was never my cup of tea.

  12. 12 makoto nakajima said at 5:48 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Maybe JJ?

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 6:17 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Like everything else this year, this is Juan’s fault. He leaked info to the media to try to distract people from his poor defensive coaching. Also, he’s hoping this makes the line play worse, so his lines from previous years look better by comparison. I even heard he pushes old ladies into traffic and watches Youtube videos of dogs being put to sleep while laughing maniacally.

    Mr. Florio, please feel free to quote me, but attribute my statements to “a source within the Eagles Organization” rather than Thunderlips. Thanks.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 7:45 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    lol classic

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 6:53 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    “A source with knowledge of the situation” reports Mike Florio has a hard time finding enough rumors to meet his quota.

  16. 16 Dan said at 8:03 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Riddle me this, fellows: isn’t it fair to say that the solution to fixing the offense’s woes is right under their noses, and andy and company are too stubborn to perceive it?

    So last year Mike Vick bursts on to the scene. His “burst” is back, better than ever maybe, and he blows everyone away with his mobility and his accuracy. Then the coaches decide that the best plan is to limit the hits Vick takes by conditioning him to behavior more like a traditional pocket passer, and only take advantage of his mobility when he needs to escape from the pocket. Everyone roundly agrees that this is a great thing to do.

    Now here’s the reality of the situation: by conditioning Vick to stay in the pocket and only use his mobility when absolutely necessary, THEY’VE TAKEN AWAY HIS BIGGEST STRENGTH. Teams are blitzing him like crazy and he’s basically been turned into a sitting duck with a giant bulls eye right over his head. It MIGHT be a good idea if the offensive line could protect him, but clearly that’s not happening like it should.

    As a result, defenses don’t have to scheme like he’s going to run for 25 yards at the drop of a hat any longer. They can game plan knowing he’s going to stay in the pocket, and send the house after him time and time again. The pass plays aren’t there like they used to be, because defenders can hold back, sit on routes, and have the luxury of knowing they probably won’t have to go chasing after Starship 7. By making Vick a pocket passer, it really takes away his biggest strength – and hurts the entire offense, because he doesn’t change the defensive game plan for other teams like he used to.

  17. 17 Dan said at 8:11 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Oh yeah, the solution. Forgot to mention that part. Create an offensive game plan more like what the Falcons employed with Vick. Design plays that are actually designed to take advantage of his threat to run the ball, not constantly call plays that are designed to minimize that threat as much as possible.

    Honestly, it’s a ripple effect. Vick’s threat to run at any moment made everyone better…the guys covering our receivers couldn’t be as effective because they always had to have one eye on the QB and be ready to turn around from defending what looked to have been a long pass play into what suddenly turned into a run play. They couldn’t focus on their coverage like they can now, so our guys are having harder times getting open. Plus, Vick is only 6 feet tall. He keeps getting passes batted because that tends to happen when you’re throwing from inside the Fn pocket all the time! You didn’t see this problem nearly as much last year, because he was throwing outside of the pocket so much more!

    So anyway, they just need to be creative with incorporating that into their game plan. Maybe it’s not as simple as just the traditional option play. It’s got to be more out of the box. For example, say the Eagles are on the opponents 7 yard line. Maybe have a play where the long snapper comes in, Vick lines up wayyyyyyy further back than a standard shotgun with a RB next to him for protection, long snap him the ball and let the offensive line protect him accordingly…that might spread things out, open up the field, and give him extra space to see blitzers coming, see the field over the offensive line, not have to worry about passes being batted down, etc.

    I know that sounds crazy, but it only sounds crazy because it’s unusual. And we have an unusual situation at QB, and need to be more creative at finding ways to emphasize the strengths of our offense.

  18. 18 Dan said at 8:15 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Oh yes, one more thing about my crazy play suggestion. Long snapping Vick the ball would put him much further away from the line of scrimmage, obviously…which would provide him with ALOT more space to use his mobility without having to choose to sacrifice the ability to throw the ball…he could dodge a blitzer, run left and upfield for ten yards, make the defense think he’s committed to the run, then throw to the receivers who suddenly become open.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 8:51 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I have a request, Tommy.

    Seeing that you are obviously knowledgeable about the college game, could you try to include in your Friday post a recommendation of a Saturday evening college game to watch and maybe something or somebody to focus on? I don’t really have a horse in that race and there are just so many games that aren’t even competitive that it makes it hard to get into the college scene.

  20. 20 the guy said at 10:33 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    I like this idea.

    I do follow a team, but I’m generally uninterested in college football, given that so many of the games are meaningless blowouts of unranked teams by ranked ones.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 12:01 AM on October 16th, 2011:

    I’ll work on that.

  22. 22 Dan said at 8:57 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Oh hey I have a comment that’s more of a question. Is it possible that Mudd’s system was a better fit in Indy because Peyton Manning is 6-5, and can see over the offensive line pretty easily? With lighter, athletic linemen there’s going to be a whole lot more moving around I would think. With Castillo’s system of giant hulks protecting the QB, it seemed like they did alot more of just standing there and letting defenders bounce off or try to get around them. For a shorter QB like Vick, who’s only 6 feet, I would think it would be a bit easier to see what’s happening down the field without as much motion on the line.

    It’s just a question, I’m not suggesting it’s true and daring someone to prove me wrong. The answer to this one is honestly above my head in terms of football knowledge…maybe someone more knowledgeable can provide some insight on this.

  23. 23 Dan said at 9:20 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Here’s another question for my fellow Eagles fans who are more knowledgeable than myself. With three cornerbacks as talented as we have on our roster, why don’t they just put all 3 on the field for 100% of the defensive snaps, assign each one to blanket the other team’s top 3 receiving threats, and basically unleash the rest of the defense, minus maybe a safety or two, to sell out against the run?

    It seems like that would almost have to throttle the other team’s run game, and pretty much dare the other team to throw on either Asante Samuel, Namdi Asomugha, or Dominque Rogers-Cromartie…which sounds like exactly what we our defense to force them to do, right?

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 10:04 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    What if the opposing Defense is only running 1 or 2 WRs? Who covers the extra TE/HBs? Horrible matchups.

  25. 25 Dan said at 10:13 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Asomugha. He has the long arms and tight coverage to break up passes and is probably the best tackler of the 3 (I think).

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 1:17 AM on October 16th, 2011:

    Yes but read 1 isn’t necessarily your top receiver. On some plays the first read may be TE on a seam route then the back on a flare, then the slot man running a 15 yard out, then the two outside receivers on GO routes.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 10:45 PM on October 15th, 2011:

    Florio’s story is ridiculous. Randy Cross said a few years ago that Castillo implemented an old-school blocking scheme that isn’t used much in this era, where the OL retreat and wait for the on-coming rushers before engaging them. He attributed Jaun’s style to Jason Peter’s struggles in his first year as an Eagle. He also pointed out the number of back injuries that Eagles O-lineman have had throughout the years from that style of play. Mudd’s style is new-school. Florio, is being assanine. Oh….he’s a lawyer, so go figure…

  28. 28 Mac said at 12:41 AM on October 16th, 2011:

    I was enjoying the article immensely and then I got to the last paragraph and literally laughed out loud… awesome.