Q & A

Posted: November 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 64 Comments »

I’ve gotten some good questions recently in the Comments section.  Here goes:

What happened to all the UDFAs we used to get/develop?  Howie Roseman has run the last 3 drafts and he had a lot of control in 2008, if not running the show.  We’ve drafted a lot of guys in that period.  When you draft 10, 11, or 12 players, undrafted guys are going to be told by their agents to avoid that team.  Only so many spots will go to rookies.  Back in 2003 we had a strong set of UDFAs, but only drafted 6 players.  We were a prime location because of that.

Can the coaches “develop” Vince Young?  Tough question.  He’s already a more accomplished passer than Mike Vick was when he came here.  There is less developing to do.   That said, he’s hardly a polished player.  I get the feeling Young is a guy that operates best when he can freelance.  He’s always stood out to me in hurry-up situations.  One of the knocks with him in the past was that he wasn’t real coachable.  I’m not sure if that is still the case or not.  Young has the potential to be a good starting QB in the league, but I’m not sure what his mindset is.  Strange dude.

Could the Eagles draft a QB?  The answer to that question is yes.  The Eagles have taken a serious look at several QBs in the last 6 or 7 drafts.  Andy Reid learned from Ron Wolf in Green Bay.  Taking QBs is a good thing.  Develop them for yourself or trade them down the road.  Mike Vick is still the QB and should be for the next few years, but he’s no spring chicken.  Mike Kafka has yet to show that he looks like a starter.  You have to keep an eye out for starting QBs in the draft.  The key thing here is that the Eagles don’t need a QB and won’t reach for one.  They’ll take one if the right guy is available at the right time.  You can settle for a DE that isn’t ideal if you really need pass rush help.  At QB, you must take someone the coaches want to work with.  Can’t force that situation.

Should the Eagles play Kafka instead of Vince Young, if Vick is unable to go?  Complicated question.  Kafka is more of a long term player than Young, but you also owe it to the other 45 guys on the field to play to win.  If this was a 3-12 team, think about the future.  At 3-6, you still have to focus on winning.  Vince gives us the best chance (I think) to do that.

I also have to admit that I’d like to see Vince run the offense.  Is he going to be awful?  Do we see the guy who’s gone 30-17 as a starter (or something like that).

* * * * *

The Eagles made an adjustment to the Nickel defense.  Keenan Clayton will now be at LB alongside Jamar Chaney.

I have mixed feelings on this.  First, I never like to see my son, Brian Rolle, losing playing time.  That lessens his chances of saving the world and getting me and Megan Fox together.  Rolle did struggle in coverage vs Arizona.  Getting Clayton out there does make some sense.

I wrote about Keenan this summer.  When I re-watched the playoff loss to GB I was surprised to see how much he played and how well he played.  I hoped Clayton would get a lot of playing time this year.  That hasn’t happened.  He has made some good plays on Special Teams so maybe that caused the coaches to think giving him more time is the way to go.  Maybe they just valued his coverage skills.

There is a downside.  Our Nickel is a 4-2-5 look.  Teams can run inside on us and hope to break a run for a good gain (10 yards on 3rd/15…that type thing).  Clayton has never shown the skills to be a good run defender.  If he struggles, teams could burn us for big plays when running vs the Nickel.  That’s something to watch for.

If Clayton has improved as a run defender, he could be a very good Nickel LB.  He is an excellent athlete and can definitely cover.  We don’t need him to be Dick Butkus, but he also can’t play like Dick Stockton (boy, has he fallen apart as an announcer).

* * * * *

Tonight’s college game is Virginia Tech and UNC.  Tech doesn’t have many players of interest to us.  RB David Wilson is really good, but I think we’re okay there.

Half of UNC’s team culd interest us.  Here’s the key guys:

#90 DE Quinton Coples – played DT in the past and would ideal as DT here

#47 LB  Zach Brown – Athletic playmaker.

#48 MLB  Kevin Reddick – Only a Junior, but good player.

#83 WR Dwight Jones – Big WR (225 lbs) with okay speed.

* * * * *

I finally wrote something about the Penn State mess.  I’m a long time fan.  I could never in a million years have thought a situation like this would unfold.  Truth really is stranger than fiction.

64 Comments on “Q & A”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 3:56 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Any thoughts on Keenan Clayton? It looks like he’s gonna get some time at nickel?

    I’m anxious to see him on the field. His length and speed could be an asset. I was expecting good things from him this season. Hopefully he’s not done here.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 4:02 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Just updated the post.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 6:04 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    That will be all of our LBs that have started or started in the nickel. All of them! No injuries either. Wow!

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 4:14 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Vince Young leads the Eagles to an improbable victory that jump starts a winning streak that culminates in a playoff birth?

  5. 5 Alex Karklins said at 4:34 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Dream the impossible dream . . .

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 4:51 PM on November 17th, 2011:


  7. 7 Steven Dileo said at 1:12 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    If that happens I’ll get sick with a new QB controversy and if they win the next 2, I will not jump the bandwagon.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 4:22 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Seeing how well Colt Anderson is playing, he should make the pro bowl, I was wondering how much he and Mikell, from half a decade ago, have in common?
    Mikell was a ST player but played his way to a back-up and then starting role. Can Colt do this or do you see him as strictly as special teamer?

    Bonus question: Why is Colt so special on special team? I mean he’s almost making all the tackles there

  9. 9 Alex Karklins said at 9:55 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    The Eagles just have good luck with safeties from the University of Montana. Tim Hauck ended Michael Irvin’s career, and now Colt is our special teams stud. Go Griz!

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 10:06 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Colt could develop into defensive player. He played some last year. Great effort, but you could see his limitations as well. Mikell was great college player. Don’t think Colt was same kind of player.

    Part of making the plays is where you line up. We design things for Colt to get down and make tackles. He’s also a natural at it. He just knows what to do. Plays hard. Good tackler. Good vision…for finding the ball.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 4:59 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    On 3rd and 5 or less, I’m running at Babin/Clayton/Samuel (our defensive right side). If Patterson/Laws (the RDTs) don’t make the play, it’s over.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 10:06 PM on November 17th, 2011:


  13. 13 Anonymous said at 5:26 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Is it almost combine time?

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 6:01 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    On UDFAs, your right, our greatest success was 2003. We did well up to then too. Modark was with us then, and he has since found a few UDFAs for the Bills too. Helps if you have a weak talent pool on the roster though.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 6:30 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    True. Adding UDFAs is good and bad. You like finding gems in the rough, but it also means you’ve missed with draft picks.

    Seems like we used to be awful in 6th, 7th rounds. Now we’re able to find some players with potential.

  16. 16 Steven Dileo said at 9:57 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    I hate how think we have a good player but in a few years we realize that he’s crap. We are starting to see that now with Moise Fouku and dare I say Jamar Chaney. I thought that Omar Gaither, Akeem Jordan, and Dmitri Patterson would be decent players but they have seemed below average.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 6:05 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Is it just me, or does Mike Florio of profootballtalk have it in for the Eagles? He always has something negative/controversial to say about them. The other writers actually are objective, but Florio always has a “source” that just feeds him sh$t about the Eagles. If you haven’t noticed yet, pay attention to his Eagles columns. Great site, but enough is enough already. Sorry, just a bitter Eagles fan right now, sick of hearing people who don’t know a thing about this team, compared to Tommy, being considered “in the know”.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 6:34 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Florio doesn’t have good Eagles sources. He reports stuff that he hears around the league. The Eagles are so secretive that it’s hard to get scoops on them.

    I also wonder if Florio writes some of his stuff because he knows Eagles Nation will read it. Traffic is king.

    I don’t know if he’s fully biased, but Florio comes close more than I care for.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 9:05 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Ever notice that you perceive bias in things written about your favorite team? That’s how you know YOU are biased.

  20. 20 Mac said at 12:16 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    There is no such thing as a standpoint from nowhere.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 10:22 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Web hits. It’s all about web hits. The eagles are the joke of the league And a fan favorite to beat on. Especially in the NY-East Coast market. That is his primary audience. I live profootballtalk but hate that I see an Eagles post every 5 hours. I remember over the summer when it was all good news about FAs and people were complaining about our signings. Then Vince young came along. Man I want to punch him in the mouth so bad.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 1:38 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Thought it was all about merchandising.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 1:38 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Thought it was all about merchandising.

  24. 24 the guy said at 7:20 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Ok, which of you works for the Onion?

    “NFL Searching For Any Unused Harbaughs”

  25. 25 the guy said at 7:01 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Even better – ‘Eagles Having Postmodernist Short-Storybook Season’

    Choice quote: “Taken as one body of work, the disjointed and almost halting series of vignettes that is the ordeal of the Eagles’ weekly games—the empty victories, the shattering losses, and the sense that nothing good or pure can survive it all—is, in the best and bleakest traditions of postwar literature, compelling almost in spite of its inherent despair,” said critic Michiko Kakutani

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 8:53 PM on November 18th, 2011:


  27. 27 Anonymous said at 8:36 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    All due respect, Florio is becoming a hack.

    I think the the need for output and “controversy” have pushed him toward posting some pretty sloppy posts.

    He’s also — IMHO — wallowing in the brights lights right now of NYC.

    Lots of hubris there. Too much compared to two years ago for my taste.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 8:42 PM on November 17th, 2011:


    1. Why exactly was Modrak pushed out the door?

    2. Did that make the Eagles a better team — front-office wise?

    3. Who was responsible — and I don’t mean Ray Rhodes, I mean who did the leg work — for the drafting of Tra Thomas J-Trot, Brandon Whiting, Ike Reese in ’98?

    4. Would the Eagles have taken Tim Couch over McNabb if given the chance?

    5. What the hell has happened to this team? [2-oz shot of single malt . . . sweet]

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 8:49 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    1. Friction between Reid and Modrak. Nothing overly contentious, but they were even in power at the time and Lurie/Banner had to choose one side to go with. They chose Reid. He hired Heckert to work for him. Reid always listens to others, but he had ultimate authority.

    2. Yes. You need clarity as to who is boss. Reid runs the ship now. Roseman has power, but Reid still is ultimate decision maker.

    3. Bryan Broaddus ran the 1998 draft. Former GB guy. Never got proper credit for a great draft. Later went to Dallas. Now is media guy in Dallas.

    4. Don’t know for sure. I suspect that Reid was a McNabb guy.

    5. Just about to go on 11 game winning streak. I don’t see anything wrong.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 9:19 PM on November 17th, 2011:



  31. 31 Steven Dileo said at 9:53 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    meh. I don’t even like to kid myself about an 11 game win streak. They weren’t able to beat Arizona coming off a loss against CHI. They also didn’t have what it takes to beat a good not great teams like CHI and NYG. You could excuse the ATL, BUF, and SF losses to bad luck, but I don’t see how you can excuse CHI, and ARI.

    I was still optmistic when we were 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, and 3-5. But last week has me crushed.

  32. 32 Ace said at 5:41 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Reid’s said that McNabb was always his #1 target, if he was off the board with the #1 overall he would’ve selected Culpepper.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 9:30 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Just hearing about the NFL network broadcast talking about Dawkins being the Pros Pro, and still one of the most aggressive players in the NFL in his 16th season just makes me sad…I don’t think I will ever get over that move.

    Tommy, I know you say he’s not nearly the player he used to be, and I agree, but there’s literally no amount of film or statistics that you could show me that would tell me this team is better off without him.

  34. 34 Steven Dileo said at 9:45 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    The Eagles hit it big one year in UDFA, that was it. Dallas on the other hand has been able to land Tony Romo, Miles Austin, and Matt McBriar.

    I guess our most recent sucess has been Colt Anderson.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 10:03 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    We got Colt from Vikings P Squad. Recent guys?

    P Chas Henry is UDFA.
    DT Ced Thornton is UDFA (high hopes for him)

  36. 36 Steven Dileo said at 10:17 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    He was. But it comes close to being and UDFA.
    If you take that logic you could also add Antonio Dixon to that list- although I am very pessimistic about his future due to his injury

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 10:14 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    This LB situation reminds me of the old saying about the QB rotation of “when you have 2 Quarterbacks you have none.” Kind of like PSU this year.

    We’ve now I think had a different starter at every position between Fouku, Matthews, Rolle, Chaney, Rolle and Clayton. In my opinion, this Clayton move just shows you how bad our LBs are. The guy goes from not being activated for half the season to all the sudden being our nickel LB??? Goodness, we are just downright pathetic at LB. Forget playmakers, we don’t even have quality starters.

  38. 38 Steven Dileo said at 10:19 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    Exactly. 3 million could have gotten us Stephen Tulloch. Instead we signed a double agent.

    A Chaney-Tulluch-Rolle lineup may have been pretty solid.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 10:25 PM on November 17th, 2011:

    What are you taking about. Our lBs make up a probowl STs unit!!! Lol.

  40. 40 Trevor Turner said at 12:48 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    Btw, completely unrelated, but Joe Mays is starting at ILB for Denver and is second on the team in tackles. He’s now at least the fourth former Eagles LB in the past few years to play much better elsewhere. (Dhani, Witherspoon, Spikes…)

  41. 41 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 8:09 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    This is a really, really good point. I’d say Gocong is doing well in Cleveland, too. This is more an offseason sort of post, but I’m guessing Bill Shuey was probably the guy to blame for our substandard LB play. Maybe his poor coaching put AR in the mindset that we don’t need to draft good LBs – whenever we took guys with potential, they wouldn’t perform, and the coaching certainly wasn’t turning any base metals into gold. We got rid of him this offseason, I think.

  42. 42 Jason Afong said at 1:37 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    Can we trade Samuel next year? Or does he have to be let go? Asante has given us some great picks, but he doesnt fit the scheme anymore. I’m looking forward to a Nnamdi, DRC, Hanson line up. Hanson is the key, always played the slot great.

  43. 43 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 9:00 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    I’m really glad we don’t play the Broncos this year. With our 4th quarter abilities and Tebow’s 4th quarter abilities, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would have put up a 50 burger on us just in the 4th quarter.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 9:01 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    I’m starting to wish we had drafted Tebow. We could have played Vick through the first three quarters, then put in Tebow. That way even if Marty called all passes, Tebow would run half of them anyway.

    As a bonus, since he would be fresh he could play both ways and been our MLB on defense.

    We would be unstoppable. I wonder if Denver would take a off corner and a DC with very low mileage for him?

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 10:34 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    Regarding the qbs, Young is already developed. He is who he is. He has a one year contract with us and he’ll be gone next year. He’s been a fairly successful NFL starting qb. He wants to play not hold a clipboard. The Eagles should be able to get some value for him in a trade. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Kafka has yet to show he can be a starter. He’s hardly been on the field.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 10:50 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    I don’t really see how we will get anything for Young. He is certainly not worth franchising (no one would trade for him with that contract either), and unless we sign him to a new deal which seems unlikely, he will walk free at the end of the season. I know we all want to continue the story of second round picks for our QBs, but it’s not a realistic or likely possibility with Young in my opinion.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 11:13 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    Yea, you’re right. He walks after this year and we have no rights to him. I don’t know what I was thinking. Me and Rick Perry, brothers in brain farts.

  48. 48 Keith Petres said at 11:56 AM on November 18th, 2011:

    In a twisted way, it’s been fun to watch the sportswriters (not you Tommy, the Adam Schefters of the world) follow the Eagles season. After the Eagles lost to the Falcon, bringing them to 1-1, the next game against the Giants was huge. After they lost to the Giants (1-2), the next game against the Bills was pretty much must-win. Then they lost to the Bills and SanFran (1-4), and the Redskins game was do-or-die. They beat the Redskins (2-4) but they had to maintain “playoff intensity” against the Cowboys, which they did (3-4). The season was then hinged on the Bears game, which they lost (3-5), and then they had to be perfect from there on out, except they lost to the Cardinals (3-6).

    But now, NOW, it’s like the playoffs, and they have to win or go home.

    (yes it’s true that now the Eagles must pretty much “win or go home”, and even going 7-0 (let alone 6-1) would make it tough to get in, but this puts in context how ludicrous all the other “must-wins”, or similar, were)

  49. 49 Michael J Wallis II said at 12:41 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Last week was basically our playoffs. They screwed the pooch. They now have a 97% chance of missing the playoffs. The rest of the season is now just temporary entertainment and building for the future.

  50. 50 Steven Dileo said at 1:08 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Our season was lost last weekend. Also, if we can’t beat a team like CHI, how were we going to do well in the playoffs?

  51. 51 Keith Petres said at 3:45 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Silly question/point.

    Exhibit A:
    Last year’s Super Bowl champion lost to Washington (final record 6-10), Miami (7-9), and Detroit (6-10).

  52. 52 Steven Dileo said at 9:16 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    They were 6-3 at this point in the season. They were 8-4 prior to week 14 and they lost the next 2 when they didn’t have Aaron Rodgers. They were able to take care of business when Rodgers came back and they had to face a 9-5 Giants and a 11-4 Bears
    If the Eagles had lost to the Bears at a time when they were 5-2 I wouldn’t have minded it that much. But they were 3-4 when they faced the Bears and they coughed up a 4th quarter lead. The following week they weren’t even able to beat a 2-6 Arizona team at home against a backup QB with a 4th quarter lead. This team is pathetic.

  53. 53 Keith Petres said at 10:11 AM on November 19th, 2011:

    Thanks for the history lesson, but last year’s Super Bowl champion still lost to both Miami (7-9) and Washington (6-10) with Rodgers.

    The Packers last year were pathetic.

    (PS The point is, you can’t point at teams we lost to as proof the team won’t do well in the playoffs. Almost every Super Bowl champion has lost at least one embarrassing game during the regular season.)

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 3:48 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    This week is the season, a loss and that puts the Eagles 4 games back with 6 to go, having been swept by the Giants. I don’t know but that seems like the end. A win this week and there is still some hope, all be it pretty small.

  55. 55 Morton said at 12:43 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Howie Roseman is the WORST General Manager in the NFL.

    Another NFL game, and another opportunitty to point out the foibles made by the terrible Eagles front office: Brodrick Bunkley was shipped out of town for a bag of potato chips, discarded like a used hankerchief, and in Denver, he has revitalized the Broncos’ run defense. Last night, he mauled one of the best Centers in the game, Nick Mangold.

    Read about Bunkley @ ProFootballFocus:

    “In Brod they trust
    Coming out of this game there are plenty of stories to talk about, but one that is likely to get overlooked is the simply fantastic performance of Brodrick Bunkley (+6.5). It’s nothing new, as he has made life tough for plenty of centers, but after previously doing a lot of good work against rookies Mike Pouncey and Stefan Wiesniewski, this time he did it against one of the greats, Mangold. The Bronco DT was too much to handle, as he went to work on Mangold and Matt Slauson on his way to five tackles (all of which were defensive stops). A lot of teams should be on notice about Bunkley after this game given his contract is up at the end of the year, and if they need an example of what he is capable of, look at 9:38 in the second. The former Eagle explodes off the snap and off the right shoulder of Mangold who can’t even slow him down as he meets Joe McKnight in the backfield. He was huge in shutting the run down.”


    The Eagles run defense has been an Achilles Heal all year long. The Eagles had Brodrick Bunkley on their roster PRIOR to training camp. The Eagles ship him away for NOTHING. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Smart idea, huh, Howie?

    And don’t tell me they didn’t want to keep Bunkley on the roster because of too much DT depth. You want to keep TREVOR LAWS over Brodrick Bunkley? Really? Bunkley has a first round pedigree and the strength of an ox. He played in a 1-gap penetrating scheme in Florida State. How about giving him a shot to prove himself in the new scheme? At worst you have a solid run defender (Bunkley has proven himself in this role before) instead of a mediocre situational player (Laws).

    It’s moves such as this that you can point to when you want to understand why the Eagles suck this year, and will likely suck for the next few years unless changes are made in the front office and the coaching staff.

  56. 56 Mac said at 4:46 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    I’m not sure why they choose to keep Laws instead of Bunk either. I kinda figured that Laws would be gone before the start of the season… Guess I was way off on that one.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 9:06 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Based on previous statements, I would have expected you to consider “1st round pedigree” on the Eagles as a strike against him.

  58. 58 Mac said at 10:33 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    So what you’re saying is that morton can’t have his cake and eat it too?

  59. 59 Steven Dileo said at 1:11 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Could you see us going after Mike Wallace next year? Especially if we can’t resign DeSean, we may need to replace his speed. Mario Manningham might also be an interesting name.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 3:45 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    The steelers will NEVER let Mike Wallce walk….he is their primary weapon and pretty much their only deep threat.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 6:10 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    They do have a history of letting guys go. Woodson, Lloyd, Greene, O’Donnell, and others all left for cash.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they let him walk.

  62. 62 Kammich said at 3:51 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    Question for the next Q&A:

    Who would win in a fight: Sam Elliot in “Roadhouse,” Kurt Russell in “Big Trouble in Little China,” or an armored grizzly bear?

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 9:09 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    To be fair, that is impossible to answer. Are we talking old fashion plate mail or modern Kevlar body armor?

  64. 64 Kammich said at 10:48 PM on November 18th, 2011:

    It is only fair to the bear if its Kevlar.