Fab Friday

Posted: January 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 81 Comments »

Andy Reid and his co-horts will return from vacation sometime this weekend.  I’ve got a copy of his itinerary, but he asked me not to post it and since he let Shady run the ball a few times this year I’ll oblige him.

Other than having some underwear to wash, Reid’s return is significant because that means the Steve Spagnuolo question moves from the back burner to the front of the stove.  It’s right beside the pot of baked beans that Andy and I will fight over at lunch time.

Will Spags be a target?  Will he want to come?

One of the big questions is how Spags would do with Jim Washburn and the Wide-9.  I wonder if we’re over-complicating this a bit.  Spags is a guy who believes in an attacking defense and loves a good DL.  Washburn is arguably the top DL coach in the league.  Something tells me that is enough middle ground for them to figure things out.

Sheil Kapadia has up a post today with some zone blitz information and he shows how often players dropped back into coverage.  One interesting thought is this…if you have a good enough DL, you don’t need to blitz/zone blitz all that much.  You can get pressure with the front four.  We have a good DL and can get pressure with the front four.  Our top 3 DL had 34.5 sacks.  The Rams as a team had 39.  I’m sure Spags felt he needed to blitz in order to get pressure in some situations.  Should he come here, the need for blitzing would be reduced and that would help him and Washburn to get on the same page with a plan of attack.

* * * * *

There has been a lot of talk about Alabama MLB Donta Hightower.  Can he play in the 4-3?  Is he a target for the Eagles?  I’m doing a lot of tape study on Donta.  He fascinates the heck out of me. He’s the best hitter in the draft.  He has tremendous power and delivers some devastating blows.

My big concern is fit.  Playing ILB in the 3-4 allows Hightower to be a N-S player.  In our current scheme, the MLB is more of an E-W player.  Does Hightower have the speed to cover sideline to sideline?  When you watch some plays it looks like he might be able to do that.  Other times he looks more limited.  Consistency is a key thing.  You want to feel comfortable when you take a player that he can do things on a regular basis.

I will continue to watch tape of Hightower until I get comfortable with what I think he can do.  I certainly won’t be upset if the Eagles take him.  If they think he’s the guy to anchor the middle of the defense, I’m willing to trust them.

One thing I can’t stress enough is that I’m not looking for a difference maker at MLB.  I want a guy who can make tackles.  With the DL and the CBs we have, I think it is more important to focus on a good run defender than anything else.  I re-watched some Luke Kuechly tape yesterday after watching Hightower.  Luke uses his hands so well to keep blockers off him and just flows to the football.  That isn’t sexy, but it’s what we need.

Younger fans won’t remember this, but back in the day, Jeremiah Trotter was a weapon at MLB. He would make some great plays.  He blew things up and was very disruptive.  He also overran plays and left gaping holes in the defense for cutback runners to exploit.  I’d rather have a sound MLB/tackling machine than a guy like Trot.  I think the middle of the defense needs a leader and a consistent player.  That’s why I’m so enamored with Kuechly.

* * * * *

If you need a good laugh, go check out FakeWIPCaller’s latest column.

* * * * *

We don’t yet know who (if any) will join Ryan Grigson in Indy.  There is an interesting side to all of this.  For most of the Reid era, the Eagles have been a place that people wanted to work.  The team won.  The front office was stable.  People are pretty well compensated and there was a good atmosphere.

Heading into 2012 Jeff Lurie has made it clear that the Eagles need to get back to winning big.  That suddenly puts a feeling of instability in the air.  Will Reid return in 2013?  We don’t know.

Grigson and the Colts are in rebuilding mode.  That means coaches and personnel guys will be guaranteed 3 to 4 years of stability.  For the first time since the late 90’s, guys have to ask themselves if staying with the Eagles is the safe move, let alone the smart move.  Crazy.

81 Comments on “Fab Friday”

  1. 1 Ben Hert said at 12:04 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    You’re willing to trust the Eagles on MLB after last years draft?

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 12:06 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Yep. They went with a mid-round guy they liked. Didn’t work. This year the team has to spend “better” resources to come up with more of a sure thing.

    I think one of the keys to going after Casey was the idea that if he struggled they could just move Jamar back into that spot and he’d play well. I think everyone is shocked at the way Chaney struggled this year. He took a step backwards.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 1:52 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    MLB is an obvious priority, but what about the other SLB and WLB? Towards the end of year Rolle looked like he may be a fit at the Will, but the musical chairs continued at the Sam. I think the Eagles need some play makers at the LB position, preferrably more than just one stud prospect at Mike (and it’s debateable whether the Eagles would follow “conventional wisdom” and defy history to use a 1st pick on Kuechly). Eagles need a good OLB as well.

  4. 4 Mac said at 4:43 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I heard that some kid named Tebow shattered the mold and is a playmaker. Maybe we can get him at OLB?

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 12:24 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Andy Reid’s Itinerary:

    1. Check out Hawaiian Shirt Emporium Sale
    2. Find a way to put my belt in a better position to succeed
    3. Hire Grigson’s replacement (didn’t Juan mention something about wanting to be a personnel guy?)
    4. Dinner with the Matthews Family
    5. Work on expansion of the goal line run/pass/fumble option package

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 12:45 PM on January 13th, 2012:


    1. yes
    2. yes, but very tough
    3. please die
    4. I was there. We had pork chop casserole. Oddly, conversation was strictly about hair products.
    5. please die again

  7. 7 Sam Lynch said at 12:31 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I’m not sure that the “front four getting pressure will reduce the zone blitz” angle is quite right. Spags had a pretty good pass rushing group in the front four in New York, for example, and was in the top 10 in the league in zone blitzing (at least in 2008 for which I have the numbers handy). The better question will have to be whether there is a way to combine Washburn’s Wide 9 with creative blitzing. I can’t imagine that there isn’t a way to do so. Spags saw JJ work successfully with Brasher, I’m sure he can figure out how to fit the system to Washburn.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 12:43 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    2008 isn’t as good an example. Strahan had retired and Osi missed the year with a torn ACL. That left Tuck and Kiwi as starters. Dave Tollefson was #3 DE.

    2007 is key year. That’s when he had Osi, Stra, Kiwi, and Tuck all going. Still might have been high in zone blitzes. I don’t know. Would be interesting to find out.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 12:56 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    A good follow up point is that if you do have injuries, Spags can use the blitz to generate a pass rush.

  10. 10 Sam Lynch said at 1:13 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I will look at 2007 when I get home, but I’m pretty sure it is the same story. I think Spags is a zone blitz guy not by necessity but by design. I know Washburn isn’t, but that doesn’t mean the two styles are irreconcilable.

  11. 11 Jay Austin said at 2:24 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I think this is a really good piece to the conversation. My recollection is that JJ slowly ramped up the blitz pressure as the opponent got closer to the endzone. As the field gets shorter, it makes more sense to blitz.
    The wide nine fits into that kind of scheme perfectly. Release the hounds of the far side of the fifty. There the consequences of a long run are less devastating than they are at the 25. Switch to JJ’s more conservative approach to D-Line play as the opponent gets closer to the EZ, but bring more heat from the second level.
    I really like it.

  12. 12 Anders Jensen said at 5:02 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    If you got the data, can you tell us how much the Giants blitz in the 2007 playsoff? Im really interested in the super bowl data. Ty in advance

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 5:31 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Think we have to distinguish between blitz and zone blitz.
    Juan was dailing up some blitzes the second half, but not many zone blitzes.

    Problem with zone blitzes is you have to have the right DEs, watching Cole try to cover a TE merely convinced me that anyone who drops him in a zone blitz is a nut case. Given Babin’s failures at OLB, probably the same issue there.
    However, if Graham is 100%, he has the athletic skills you’d like in a DE dropping into coverage.

    The point of the zone blitz is to confuse the QB without taking too many people out of coverage, but I think much the same can be done by blitzing LBs and the SS out of the wide 9, having more than one show blitz before the snap, but only sending 1 so you still have six players who can actually run and cover – but the QB has to guess which one is coming.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 6:43 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    For the record, JJ used to drop Cole into coverage.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 12:01 PM on January 14th, 2012:

    Not often, it was Sean who pissed Cole off by dropping him into coverage on a regular basis, yeah, that’s the trick, drop your best pass rusher with below average speed into zone coverage.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 9:24 PM on January 14th, 2012:

    If I remember correctly from an IgglesBlog analysis, the breakdown came out to McD dropped Cole once more every two games than JJ. The real difference was that fans trusted JJ, and that it worked more when JJ did it.

  17. 17 Zachary Kaplan said at 1:11 PM on January 13th, 2012:


    On Grigson – do we lose any of the “work” he did this year? When does the majority of his scouting take place? Without him taking anyone with him – did we lose extremely valuable draft information?


    Draft Question

    On the draft – why is everyone so key on a LB? Have you all been watching the NFL this year? We need a better offense. We need a better secondary. I say big play WR should be our primary target. This is a passing league, what the hell do I want a tackling machine for? I want a guy who is going to put up point. Going to make Mike Vick look better….I also wouldn’t be upset to see us draft a QB early should one be available.

    If everyone is saying we have to have help on the defense, but draft another safety (they were a big part of our tackling issue anyway), ignore LB’s. Coverage, coverage, coverage. With Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady all alive and well in this years playoffs, I’m more worried about stopping Jimmy Graham, Jordy Nelson and Rob Gonkowski, then tackling them.

  18. 18 Eric Weaver said at 1:27 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I’ve contemplated a trade back into the 1st or early second for someone like Dwayne Allen. I love Celek, but this offense still needs to be more dynamic.

  19. 19 Furt said at 2:03 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Agree, need more dynamic, and more Celek.
    I was not in the loop on Celek’s injuries at the end of the season, http://philly.sbnation.com/2012/1/4/2682238/brent-celek-has-successful-surgery. That is a tough mofo.
    He went for 3 TD’s and 294 yards in the last 3 games of the season, half that from his monster game against the Jets 5-156 and a TD. http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/10605/brent-celek

  20. 20 Zachary Kaplan said at 2:59 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I may be in the minority, but I expect DeSean is gone. I think WR should be our #1 prioirty. I wouldn’t be upset with a trade back or a trade up. I wouldn’t be upset with a TE if he were able to change the game ala Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez.

    I know Tommy likes our safeties, and I’m not sure there is a stud safety, but I feel like I’d rather spend 5 picks on members of the secondary and 5 picks on WR’s/TE’s than draft a LB, a RB or a OL. The game has changed.

  21. 21 Thorin McGee said at 2:02 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    The NFL is a passing league, no doubt, but I think the monster numbers guys put up this year were because of the lockout. Some of the experts said that would hurt the O and scoring would be down. It didn’t, It hurt pass coverage and guys like Breeze ate defenses alive. This year two guys broke Marino’s record and another 2 could have. Even on the lower end, look how many young QBs had great years. I don’t think you’re going to see those numbers next year.

  22. 22 Zachary Kaplan said at 3:04 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I disagree, I think it’s been headed this way for years. Just a few years ago Drew Brees almost broke the record, it was only a matter of time…and in todays NFL – think about it – passing just makes more sense.

    Defensive Holding
    Pass Interference
    Roughing the Passer

    You have 4 positive outcomes on these plays. 3 of which always result in a first down.

    Now I’m not hating on our players, but I would in a nano second trade every offensive player on this team for every offensive player on the Saints or the Packers.

    Those teams have talent at WR or their QB’s are just so damn good they make everyone look like a stud.

    I want to like guys like Riley Cooper, and I want to love Jason Avant, but really – ask yourself – Jason Avant or Lance Moore? Jason Avant or Jordy Nelson? Jason Avant or James Jones? Jason Avant or Robert Meachem? Jason Avant or Devery Henderson…

    The only guy I mentioned up there who isn’t a real threat to score on a defense is Jason Avant. That guy is a plodder, move the chains, kind of guy. I love his hands, I love the plays he’s made, but he doesn’t scare teams. He isn’t going to score a 70 yard TD.

    Time for new, fast WR’s. More DeSean’s, more Maclin’s, even if they guys we bring in aren’t as talented. Look at Pittsburgh – Hines Ward has been replaced in 3 years by two guys whoa re fast as hell. The day and age of possession receivers has past.

    This is a quick score league.

  23. 23 Thorin McGee said at 4:11 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    You had one guy almost break the record a couple years ago. One. this year at least 3 guys should have broken it. That’s weird. I think that’s an anomaly.

    A lot of the big passes this year are not sparkling WR play, it’s a good QB picking apart busted coverages and big receivers abusing bad tackling (because the coverage was busted and there’s no one there to help bring them down). Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are legitimate great receivers, but you’re seeing guys like Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz get talked about the same way this year. Victor Cruz didn’t have a TD that wasn’t someone else’s bad mistake. He’ll be good next year, but not like this.

    Yes, the rules favor passing, yes passing numbers have been going up year over year. But this year I think it was a quick score league because we saw a lot of unsound defensive play. And if it was a one-year blip, you don’t want to start drafting for the Run and Shoot.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 6:50 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    You even passed over the part where one guy a couple of years ago almost matching a 20 year old record is pretty weak evidence of a trend.

    I picturing the graph Derek would have produced with those data points.

  25. 25 Thorin McGee said at 5:14 PM on January 14th, 2012:

    That first 49ers TD today? Busted coverage, broken tackle, long TD = unsound defense. We’ve seen those all year.

    Derek would have had a statistical field day every week this season. I miss that blog. He really complimented Tommy’s scouting and Sam’s accumen.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 2:09 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Grigson can’t take any files with him, but obviously a lot of notes are in his head. That stuff goes with him.

    As for improving in 2012…several areas will be addressed. LB is the most critical because it is the area with the least talent and most questions.

    Any honest fan would agree that Vick must improve.

    As for Safety, that’s a spot of great debate. I like the young guys. Others do not. The big difference between there and LB is that I think we have the pieces in place at S. Now the question is whether the guys pan out as expected. Allen and Jarrett were high picks. Coleman has shown he can be an effective starter in the league. That’s a solid talent base.

    LB is completely unsolved. We hope Rolle is the answer at WLB, but the other spots are a mystery.

  27. 27 Zachary Kaplan said at 2:57 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    But if at the end of the day – teams like New Orleans and Green Bay are the teams that we’re trying to be, and be better than, wouldn’t we rather have them running on us? I mean hell if Pierre Thomas and James Starks run for 200 against us – sure we may lose, but I’m guessing that game will be closer than the game when Brees throws for 400 or Rodgers throws for 400.

    Count me in for a WR, Safety, CB, TE or even a QB…maybe a DE. Count me out on LB’s, OL, DT, RB.

    We need to score more, and we need to defend quick scores. This isn’t the ages of slow it down, grind out a win offenses. This is run it up and blow them out offenses…preventing completions is more important in my mind than tackling. Scoring points is more important in my mind than stopping the run.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 3:44 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    We have a strong DL. We have a good set of CBs. We’ll trade Asante and then spend a pick on another one. There will be a S added to the mix, in FA or the draft.

    LB is the one area that must be improved with a starting player. We don’t need a starting CB or DL. I’m always for upgrading, but you’re kinda mixing the arguments. It isn’t like by addressing LB we’re ignoring other spots. We’ve put LB on the back burner for years so we could address DL and DB. Now the time has come to fix LB.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 5:35 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Since one of the major problems in pass defense has been covering RBs, improving the coverage skills of the LBs, especially on run downs, is also important, and a good reason why Luke’s a better pick than Hightower.

    Though they may look at Barron, they need to solve the safety problem, in today’s NFL you could make a good case that safety is the hardest position to fill and the most valuable if you have a top player there (top safeties can be involved in everything, blitzing, run defense, pass defense, and stay on the field for every snap).

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 2:17 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Because you almost always have more than one LB on the field. You’re LBs have to cover and make plays at some point, and you do need them in there to make tackles. It’s a passing league, but NE has success running the ball against us, NO runs the ball very well, GB ran the ball down our throats last year. If you can’t at least contain the opposing teams’ running game, you have no chance of slowing them down all together. Peyton will call plays that work. He’ll stick with the run when he needs to.

    If you come out with 6 DBs as your base defense you’ll give 200 yd a game on the ground, even to a passing team, and your offense will never see the field. Watch how SF uses Bowman and Willis this on Graham and Sproles. Those two LBs never come off the field. If those two can’t contain Graham and Sproles, SF loses. They can’t take the off the field and insert DBs too often because Peyton will call 25 running plays if it’s working.

  31. 31 Mac said at 4:48 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Yeah but… if you limit the big plays and have better red zone D then you can play a little bit of the bend but don’t break thing…

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 6:01 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    U speak the truth dude but I don’t know that Vick could b on Rodgers Brady breese level. So I think our D needs to b better. I think we need a stud WR and a LB

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 1:28 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I’ll believe this team will draft a LB in the first round when I see it. It’s always been an afterthought to them.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 2:04 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Your doubting them is absolutely justified based on the Reid era.

    I do think this year is the one time things could be different. Team is set in a lot of areas. LB is major need. There will be good choices available.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 2:31 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I agree that there being small amount of real needs could lead to them actually address the position. But even then I’m not confident that they will draft a LB in the 1st or that it won’t be a reach. The last few drafts are uninspiring to say the least.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 2:58 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Not to mention that the rookie wage scale may also favor the Eagles drafting a LB early. I still have my doubts about a 1st round LB though.

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 3:27 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    The rookie wage scale has no real impact on positions other than QB. There are no high priced LB draft busts, and at 15 the Eagles are drafting outside of where the really high priced picks were.

  38. 38 Zachary Kaplan said at 3:08 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I’m still not sure why LB is a need. Are the Packers winning because of great lineback play? How about the Saints? The Patriots? Are we just admitting we can’t copy that blue print and we’ll have to have a monster defense? Because I don’t see the 49ers winning the Super Bowl or the Ravens or the Broncos, and the Steelers officially can’t.

    Stop the pass, and pass the ball. All that matters.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 3:28 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Yes. Clay Matthews, Jonathan Vilma and Jerod Mayo. They’re huge parts of their teams.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 3:46 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Actually, Vilma has had somewhat of a down year.

    GB does have good set of LBs. Mayo is arguably the Pats best defender.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 4:00 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Vilma didn’t have his best year, but he’s still their singular most important defensive player IMO. 20.5 ppg with him, 22.6 without, but that’s a very quick and dirty comparison.

    I think Wilfork is better than Mayo, because of the scarcity of a guy of his caliber at his position and because I think he’s a better NT than Mayo is a LB, but Mayo’s very good.

    And yes, it’s a passing league, but the 49ers, Texans and Ravens have excellent defenses in large part because they have at least one excellent linebacker. And if one of them wins the Super Bowl, it’ll be on the back of their defense.

    The Eagles just need one piece to center the rest of the cogs around at LB. They’ve already got players that can be cogs.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 4:07 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    No argument from me on LB. I was semi-agreeing with you earlier. Just pointing out that Vilma appears to be on the decline. I know run defense with him was worse than when a backup played. Always wanted Vilma as an Eagle. Al Wilson type LB that could hit and had good range.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 4:34 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I didn’t take your post as disagreement. However I don’t think Vilma is on the decline, he’s had an off year but that doesn’t mean he’s on the down.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 5:57 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    They win cuz of their qbs, our qb is a step down so we need a stronger d.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 4:57 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Absolutely agree. We knocked them about WR’s in the past. They changed.

    I believe they’ll change on the LB thing.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 5:27 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    They didn’t change their attitude towards drafting WRs, they just got better at it. Prior to Jackson and Maclin, the Eagles had already drafted Todd Pinkston, Freddie Mitchell and Reggie Brown in the 1st or 2nd rounds. They at least had a history of drafting WRs early. They have little history of drafting LBs early. Under Reid they’ve drafted a LB in the 1st or 2nd rounds only 3 times.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 6:04 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I think there is a major difference between WR and LB though. Since AR came here, WR has always been a priority. The problem was never that we didn’t prioritize it, it was that we were awful at drafting and developing talent.

    1999: Na Brown – 4th round
    2000: Todd Pinkston – 2nd round
    2001: Freddie Mitchel – 1st round
    2002: Freddie Milons – 5th round
    2003: Billy McMullen – 3rd round
    2004: Terrell Owens – Trade
    2005: Reggie Brown – 2nd round
    2006: Donte Stallworth – Trade + Jason Avant – 4th round
    2007: Kevin Curtis – Free Agent
    2008: DeSean Jackson – 2nd round
    2009: Jeremy Maclin – 1st round

    In other words, outside of 1999 and 2002, we have either drafted someone in the 3rd round or earlier or have signed an impact player at WR until 2009 where we finally were set at WR. At LB, it’s a very different story. We have spent a few 2nd round picks and signed a handful of FAs, but it is clearly not the same priority as WR has been.

    I’m not saying we will not draft or sign an impact LB, I just don’t think it is a comparable situation to WRs.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 1:50 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Why dont we pull a Saints…..Sign Lofton/D’Qwell Jackson to play MLB, Draft Michael Floyd with our #1 Pick, and then trade back into the late 1st and draft Zack Brown.

    If Howie is able to pull a third 2nd for Asante, then we will have a lot of ammo to move back into the 1st with 3 2nd’s.

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 2:05 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I would not complain with that scenario. I covet Luke Kuechly, but he’s not the only fish in the sea. I can live with a number of guys at MLB. Just give me someone good.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 5:38 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Can D’Qwell cover as a 4-3 LB? He’s not the fastest afoot, reason I don’t want Tulloch.

    You don’t need to run a 4.6 to play MLB, but guys on the wrong side of 4.8 are going to struggle to keep up with anyone crossing in front of them or dropping deep into zone. There’s no place for a baby whale at MLB anymore.

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 2:17 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Sheil Kapadia brought up an interesting point. Could Fisher take Washburn back? Is he signed to a contract preventing him from leaving if he chooses to, or would AR let him walk if Washburn prefers to go back and coach with Fisher?

  52. 52 Steven Dileo said at 2:35 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Why would Wasburn leave? He has the veterans and the chance to win a superbowl with Philadelphia. If he goes with Fisher, he’ll have to rebuild.

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 2:51 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    First off, as has been discussed a lot, IF we bring in Spags or a DC who doesn’t want to run the wide 9 the way Washburn uses it, that would be one reason. Second, he has worked with Fisher since 1999. Even if he liked it here in Philly, I would be willing to bet he has stronger ties with Fisher than with AR (and that’s not meant as a knock or anything, that’s just the reality of coaching with the same guy for over a decade compared to a guy for one year). Third, while you are right about us being closer to a superbowl, there is also a lot more pressure here. AR is very much on the hot seat right now. The team can’t just back into the playoffs and be satisfied. With the Rams, showing progress would be enough to excite the fanbase and ensure some job security. Lastly, while we clearly have a much better Dline, Washburn still who have a player like Chris Long to work with, so it isn’t as if he would have nothing.

    I’m not saying he necessarily will want to go. As you suggested, there are definitely reasons for him to want to stay, but I don’t think it would be a complete surprise for him to at least consider going to the Rams if given the choice.

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 5:38 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Yeah, but who’s he going to go riding with?
    His strongest NFL tie seems to be with Mudd.

  55. 55 Steven Dileo said at 2:28 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    If the Giants win the superbowl, does the perception of Steve Spagnulo change?

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 2:58 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Sorry. Can’t admit that possibility exists. Must…deny…idea…

  57. 57 Zachary Kaplan said at 3:10 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I’ve told myself that I’d finally admitt Eli was a ….elit…I don’t want to type it….but if what you said happens, I think we all have to relaize it….Inconsistent Eli…could just be Elit…I’m not typing the last letter yet.

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 5:53 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    He def is playin better. We still got his number tho. Reid seems to find ways to beat Eli and romo.

  59. 59 Anders Jensen said at 5:07 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Why would it? The super bowl in 2007 was won by the front four and one lucky hail mary from Eli. If they win this year, it will have to be because Eli play like he have all season.

  60. 60 Septhinox said at 4:08 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    ” If they think he’s the guy to anchor the middle of the defense, I’m willing to trust them.”

    When the Klecko as FB, they chose him, were you willing to trust them then? What about Demps? The PR situations, etc? What have they done to earn enough good will to blindly trust them?

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 4:28 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    We’re talking about a 1st round MLB prospect. I like Kuechly the most. If they like Hightower more and go for him, I’m willing to trust them.

    If they tell me that X-player from SW State in the 4th round is the guy…that’s worlds different. They tried that with Casey and it failed. Now is the time to spend a high pick or go get a proven vet. If the player falls within the parameters I’m talking about, I am willing to trust them.

    Do you see the difference in that?

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 5:21 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Could you imagine the damage we could do in the draft with a first and three 2nds? Assuming Asante got moved for one? In Howies world that is a first a second and trade back for 3 5ths 4 6ths and the whole 7th round!!!

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 5:51 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I hope we get a 2 for Asante.

    I’m not feeling howie’s trade backs either. I like the trade a 5th this year for a 4th next year stuff but kind of sick of the trade a 3 for two 5s

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 6:38 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    You’re only “trusting” them if they take guys that you like. That’s not what trust is. Trust is having faith that whoever they draft will turn out well no matter what your opinion of them is.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 5:43 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    What is the pr situation?

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 6:02 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Needs to be addressed, even if we keep DeSean. We have Mardy Gilyard on board, but I think he’s more of a KOR.

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 5:48 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    And yes the eagles haven’t hit on every draft pick, we all know that. Not sure what teams have hit on very pick or every move they make

  68. 68 Kammich said at 6:07 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Happy Friday the 13th, all. As a complete horror nut, this is one of my favorite days of a given year. Falls perfectly on the Friday before divisional playoffs, too. I’ve got a row of beers and a row of DVDs all lined up to commemorate the occasion tonight.

    To those faithful to the namesake of the “holiday,” I suggest the often over-looked “Friday the 13th part 6: Jason Lives.” It is a completely batshit crazy 80s pop culture volcano, and the zombified version of Jason Voorhees bares no shortage of resemblance to our own Jason, monsieur Babin.

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 8:36 AM on January 14th, 2012:

    I’ve never watched anything beyond #3. I did catch part of X, but only because I heard it was so ridiculously bad.

    I’ll check it out.

  70. 70 Joe Taylor said at 6:39 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Here’s a draft scenario…
    What if we land a good starting LB in FA?
    Should we then go for a LB in round 1?
    I doubt we would, knowing how much we value LB’s…
    But assuming we land a LB in FA and don’t land Vincent Jackson, here’s a good draft plan.

    Tag DeSean and trade DeSean, our 15th overall pick, and one of our 2nd round picks for the Rams 2nd overall pick.
    With that pick we get Justin Blackmon who is a complete #1 receiver…Imagine what Andy Reid could do with a T.O. type receiver….

    So basically we’d giving up DeSean (someone I don’t think we need), and a 2nd round pick. We would obviously just be trading 1st rounders.

    The Rams want Sam to have weapons…
    They would have Kendricks (solid TE who would be in his 2nd year)
    They would have Brandon Lloyd (Who would be either 1st or 2nd WR)
    They would then have DeSean (Who would be a starter)
    They would have a crafty WR in Danny Amendola
    And they would have Brandon Gibson

    If they had DeSean, they wouldn’t necessarily need a WR anymore. Jeff Fisher could then work on using the 15th pick for a offensive linemen.
    They would then have 2 2nd round picks + the rest of their picks to build their team..If they draft well they would probably be front runners to win the division..

    Also DeSean would be better at home for them because of the turf.

    If you want to see my reasonings for getting rid of DJAX, then go to the “Thurday Off-Topic” post and look at my comments there.

  71. 71 Joe Taylor said at 6:43 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Another thing is that I realize it’s the #2 overall pick so we’d might have to give up more than that but if we didn’t have to give up much more than what I suggested, it would benefit both teams…

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 7:50 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    if they trade up to the #2 pick it better be for RG3…..

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 7:11 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    Peter King is reporting that Gregg Williams may team up with Fisher in St. Louis. Would they try to bring back Washburn as well to get the old Titans D back together???

  74. 74 Mac said at 12:34 AM on January 14th, 2012:

    It they get Washburn I want that #2 pick overall and…

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 7:44 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    People have exaggerated ideas of trade value.

    Asante will be 32 in January 2013, he has one, maybe two good, but not pro bowl seasons left.
    He will also cost almost $20M to keep for those two years, and renegotiation won’t be easy with his ego.
    So what’s he worth in a trade? Maybe a 4th rd pick if you’re lucky.

    DeSean has to be franchised, that means he costs $9.5M or so, now you trade for him, to keep him happy you have to give him what he wants, which is a $20M or so bonus and close to $10M a year. Ok, now what do you give in a trade when there are lots of other FA WRs on the market?
    Maybe a 3rd, maybe nothing at all.

    JJ might garner you a 5th rd pick, starting caliber center under contract for two more years.

    Justice, forget it with his knee and salary.

  76. 76 Kammich said at 11:25 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    I agree, most fan-asserted trade scenarios are pretty preposterous.

    Unless you’re trading with the Raiders. In that case, anything is possible.


  77. 77 Mac said at 12:35 AM on January 14th, 2012:

    I don’t know… I was bangin the Kolb to AZ for DRC and a 3rd last season.

    The 2nd round pick projection is due to team like the Lions who are ready to “win now” and sorely lacking at CB and in the Takeaways dept.

  78. 78 James Coe said at 7:22 AM on January 14th, 2012:

    What about Nnamdi? His trade value is higher, right?

    Any chance the FO shocks us all by trading Asomugha and keeping Asante? I guess it depends on how they rate the young guys – if they think that Hughes/Marsh will be pushing for a starting job by the end of next season then maybe they will want to move both of them pretty soon. Would make sense to trade the more expensive guy first and then they could cut/trade Asante at the end of 2012 if they don’t need him anymore.

  79. 79 Anonymous said at 12:06 PM on January 14th, 2012:

    The cost between the two is pretty similar the next two years, but Aso’s skill suggest he’ll age better, he’s faster and bigger than Asante, he also showed toward the end of the season he’s learning how to tackle after a decade in Oakland where he just pulled up a lawn chair and watched the game from afar.

    It would also be easier to set up the defense with Aso, and eventually move him to safety as a big press corner like Marsh was ready to start. Asante requires safety help, which means the FS has to play off and shaded toward him, leave Asante on an island and QBs will torture him with WRs screens and double moves when he doesn’t leave a 10 yard cushion.

  80. 80 Anonymous said at 11:50 PM on January 13th, 2012:

    So Trotter is now from ‘back in the day’?

    Thanks for making me feel old Tommy

  81. 81 Anonymous said at 11:32 AM on January 14th, 2012:

    There’s nothing Fab about a day when the Giants prepare for a playoff game while we sit at home.