Jason Freakin’ Babin

Posted: December 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 19 Comments »

I wrote my SB Nation Philly column about Jason and the amazing season he is having.  18 sacks is just hard to comprehend.  We’re used to guys have 12 or something like that.  18?  That sounds made up.

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BGN has a link to an ESPN article talking about the value of Babin’s sacks.  Per the report, Babin is the league’s most valuable sacker.  Interesting.

ESPN had up a graphic the other day that Babin and Aldon Smith were league leaders in sacks per play.

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I haven’t really talked all that much about Phillip Hunt, but the last 2 weeks have been really impressive from him.  He’s got 2 sacks.  He led the team in tackles vs the Jets.  Hunt has been disruptive, which is what you want from an undersized situational rusher.

It was important for us to find out if he could be a good contributor.  If not, DE was a position of need.  Hunt has shown that he can be a good role player.  I don’t see him starting anytime soon, but he adds good value as a situational rusher.

Think ahead to 2012 for just a minute.

RDE:  Cole – Tapp – Hunt

LDE:  Babin – Graham

We don’t need any DE help based on that depth chart.  Graham’s 2012 showing will affect our long term planning, but for next year I would expect the team to stick with that set of players.  We could add someone to the mix and trade/cut Tapp.  We’d have to find a player that was just too good to pass up, but I don’t think that is likely.

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I’m curious as to the feeling heading into the Dallas game Saturday.  The Eagles haven’t won more than 2 games in a row this year.  We did that late last year in beating HOU, DAL, and NYG. That’s a long, long time ago.  We’re coming off consecutive good wins now.  Is there confidence for Saturday or a feeling of uncertainty?  Can this bunch actually win 3 in a row?

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Lots of good talk about the Safeties in the previous post.

As my old friend Matt said, “I like their trajectory”.  These are young guys who should get better.  Should…is the key word.  If they don’t, we will make changes.  Not all players do improve or grow as expected.

I said yesterday that I’d be all for upgrading, but I’m just not sure better options are available. Allen, Coleman, and Jarrett were all major stars in college.  Replacing them with new guys from college just doesn’t make sense to me.  And I simply don’t see great options in the pro market.

There have been mental mistakes and coverage breakdowns.  Those issues must get cleaned up. I think part of that is due to the confusion that was all over the defense earlier in the year.  Players start to doubt the guys around them and want to do too much.  Playing Safety requires great discipline.  Young players struggle with that notion.

A Safety’s primary job is to prevent touchdowns.  A lot of people think of big hits or key picks when they remember Dawk.  I remember the many times when he hustled and tackled someone at the 15, 10, or even 5-yard line to save a TD.  The Safety must stay deeper than the deepest and make sure whatever happens, happens in front of him.  That way he can always make the safe tackle.  Better to give up 25 yards and no TD than to go for the quick tackle and risk the TD.

We’ve seen Kurt and Nate bite on fakes that have led to long TD passes.  This is part of the learning process.  Go watch other young Safeties around the league and you’ll see similar issues.  There is a reason so many teams are throwing the ball well.  Safety play just isn’t good in general.

I think stability is the prudent course of action.  Let Nate, Kurt, and Jaiquawn grow together.  They’ll have a full offseason to improve physically and master the scheme.  Both factors should make a difference in what we see in 2012.  If the mistakes continue to be a problem, we will have to make changes.

19 Comments on “Jason Freakin’ Babin”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 2:37 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    Not to go off topic, but I’ve been wondering which TE is going to have the better week – Celek or Witten.

    Witten’s the conventional choice, but he’s disappeared with Austin, Dez, and Robinson in the End Zone. Celek is up and down, but I feel like AR/MM get that when he’s kept involved good things happen for our offense.

    Babin is getting a lot more love than he was earlier in the season. I’m honestly fine with the run D complaints if the guy is putting up sack numbers like he has been this season.

  2. 2 Jay Ernst said at 9:45 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    Agreed…I have Celek and Witten on the same fantasy team and am at a loss at who to start.

    Wittens good for a guaranteed 10 points almost weekly, but Celek can go off if he’s the focal point of the passing attack.

    I just don’t see MM and AR dialing up Celek’s number 2 weeks in row. You know they’re dying to throw the bomb and get Maclin/Jackson involved deep.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 2:46 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    I agree that Hunt has looked good – suprisingly quick! Also agree that DE is not a concern going into 2012.

    Got a post and a question on to the Safety thread late.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 3:31 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    Just answered. You can always bring an old topic to the new post. Discussions can be on whatever the hot topic is. I just try to keep fresh material on the site so people always have something new to read.

  5. 5 Steve H said at 4:33 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    I can remember a couple of plays where Hunt just barely missed a sack earlier in the season also. I can’t remember who we were playing but on one play he just exploded off the ball and was around the OT in a flash. The QB stepped up and made him miss the sack but I remember thinking it was super impressive how quickly he beat the OT and I thought to myself that the guy definitely has some value. If he had managed to get the QB to the ground it probably would have opened a lot of peoples eyes but because this is a results based league no one really thought much of it.

  6. 6 Brian said at 4:07 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    I have to agree with your assessment on the safety situation. After all, wasn’t our big problem this year that we crammed too many new pieces into the team, and expected them to jell? I think we should focus on the linebacking corps this year, as that was our biggest problem, and give the safeties that we invested in a chance to pay off.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 4:24 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    My concern with the safeties is that I just don’t view any of our safeties as anything more than serviceable starters. Judging Nate Allen is tough because we don’t really know how much his injury has truly hindered him this year and how much the shortened offseason hurt all three of them, but going into next year, we are relying on all three of our safeties to progress and just hoping that one steps up to be a quality player. On top of that, I look at our defense and see safety as a key area we can upgrade. DEs are basically set. At DT, we will add a backup, developmental type player most likely. At CB, we will get rid of Asante most likely and then maybe draft a nickle or dime CB. We have talked about the issues with LB, and I certainly think that is the number one concern on the team, so I certainly prioritize the LB position (maybe twice even), but to me, safety is the other spot on defense that can really benefit from an upgrade.

    The one point that I do think is true is that drafting another safety isn’t likely to solve our problems. We have spent two high draft picks in the last two drafts on safeties and I fully expect the Eagles to try and develop those guys as much as they can. That being said, looking for a veteran who can come here and at the very least be a legitimate challenge for one of the starting spots (and if he loses, become a solid backup) would definitely be high on my wish list for the offseason. I just think that would further solidify a safety corps that isn’t necessarily bad, but hasn’t really proven to be good just yet.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 11:10 AM on December 23rd, 2011:

    iskar, how many Safeties in the whole NFL can you name who are more than “serviceable starters”? It is not a position that brims over with special players. There clearly are a few (Pittsburgh and Baltimore most notably), but the list isn’t long IMHO. Take a look at who is leading the FS vote for the Pro Bowl.

    Who would you put on that list?

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 4:34 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    Only way I see us adding a DE is if Curry or Mercilus are taken as a BPA pick in the second or third.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 4:58 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    “”You guys remember Strahan, right? He’s the guy who fell on Brett Favre and now sells crappy sub sandwiches to America.”
    ..little arrogant dude…”

    This is a comment from BGN, would I be right if I said you were not at all going for arrogant and that you have a lot of respect for Strahan, at least as a football player?
    I read it as typical Tommy humor where you made a it of fun at a good player, but if I’m wrong I have to revisit the way I read your articles. What’s your real opinion of that Megan Fox girl?

    And a Babin question; Why does he have twice as many sacks as Cole, I think we can agree that Cole is the better player. Is it because Cole gets more double teams, chips etc, does Babin have better closing speed or does Cole focus more on the run? Or is it something else?

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 5:33 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    Completely a joke. This is Week 16 of the NFL season. Giants-Eagles smack talk is relevant right now.

    I think Strahan is one of the best pass rushers I’ve ever seen. I could write a glowing summary of his career, but what fun would that be. I’d rather rip him for his awful FOX sitcom (Brothers), laying on top of Brent Farvra, and selling crappy sammies to innocent Americans.

    Cole has gotten a lot more attention from extra blockers. Plus, he has to face LTs, the best pass blockers on the OL. Babin gets to feast on RTs.

  12. 12 Cliff Hall said at 7:15 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    You take that back about Subway!!

  13. 13 Gary said at 10:26 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    Haha, I think it was pretty obvious that it was a joke. Clearly you have respect for Strahan as a football player, but as a division rival you were poking fun at him. Pretty straightforward.

  14. 14 Mac said at 10:47 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    You also have to respect a man who has millions of dollars and yet continues to have a gap between his two front teeth wide enough to insert another tooth.

  15. 15 Steve H said at 11:57 PM on December 22nd, 2011:

    That Brett Favre incident was so shameful imo, I’ll never understand why some people have such a hard on for Favre, he’s such a tool imo.

  16. 16 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 10:55 AM on December 23rd, 2011:


    If we assume we get to pick in the 11-20 range and we wont pick OL, RB, QB, TE, S and there’s no DTs worth taking there (Still is not worth it), we only have WR, DE (where we presumably are set), CB and LB left…

    That would leave us with the following options on draft day (in my opinion):

    1. CB Claiborne (probably gone)
    2. ILB Kuechly
    3. CB Kirkpatrick
    4. DE Mercilus (we have a good rotation already)
    5. CB Jenkins (off the field issues)
    6. WR Floyd (only if Jackson leaves)
    7. OLB Brown

    So it’s really down to Kuechly, Kirkpatrick and Brown! As of now, and with RG3, Claiborne, Blackmon not sliding.

    Who would you rather have? I know, I know (Kuechly), but what will the Eagles do? They almost HAVE to go MLB, right??

  17. 17 Anders Jensen said at 11:03 AM on December 23rd, 2011:

    I think it depends on the FA market and if we trade Samuel. I think WR could be more of a focus point if we dont sign Jackson long term (A combo of Cooper and Maclin would still be good, but even if Jackson makes his share of dumb plays, the offense is much more dynamic with him on the field.)

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 11:00 AM on December 23rd, 2011:


    Totally off topic but I figured I’d ask. You may have no idea the answer. Lets say things work out perfectly the Eagles win and Giants lose this week. Do you have any idea how things will work out the following week in regards to flex scheduling. In an ideal situation, the NFL leaves the Giants Cowboys game at 1, same time we play the Redskins, so that the Giants still feel they are alive and give maximum effort. Do you know if the NFL would ever look at it that way? I know they love the flex games with definite playoff implications, but there is a chance that game could be meaningless for the Giants if it isn’t played until 8:30, and the giants know even if they win they won’t make the playoffs. I know it is jumping way ahead, but I really hope the NFL chooses to let that Giants Cowboys game stay at 1PM, so that all 3 NFC East teams still alive are playing at the same time, and feel like they have an equal shot at winning the division.

    Any insight on how the flexing process works? I have a feeling the hopes of an Eagles fan for competitive balance will not trump the NFL and NBC’s desire to get the Giants and Cowboys on prime time.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 11:21 AM on December 23rd, 2011:

    Asante is out for tomo. Not good..