Blame Ray

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 78 Comments »

The NFL Scouting Combine gets underway this week.  The first group of players arrive today, but only for behind the scenes stuff.  On field workouts don’t start until Saturday.  This is the time of year when Mike Mamula is written about by a lot of people.  “Beware Mike Mamula” is a common theme.

It shouldn’t be.  Beware Ray Rhodes would be more appropriate.

Mamula was a star player for Boston College.  The guy had 17 sacks in 1994 and was All Big East (when that actually meant something  – ZING!!!).  He “only” had 12 sacks the year before. Mike went to the Combine and put up great numbers.  He is associated with the term “workout warrior”, but I don’t think that is accurate.

A workout warrior is someone who is a great athlete, but doesn’t play up to that level on the football field.  Mamula was a terrific pass rusher.  He was a very good player.

The trick with Mike is that he is the first guy (that I’m aware of ) to really prep for the Combine’s specific tests.  He then performed exceptionally well on the tests in comparison to the other players at the Combine.  They weren’t doing specialized training.  They weren’t as prepared for the tests as he was.  Heck, I’m not sure all of the players were working out on a full basis back then.

Think of this as an example.  Imagine you have an A- student who goes and does SAT test prep  The student then does much better than his fellow students, some smarter than him, some not. They didn’t prep for the test, but rather just got a good night’s sleep and ate breakfast.  They were ready to be tested.  He was ready for that specific test.

Mike took advantage of the system, likely without meaning to do so.  He didn’t have malicious intent in the sense of “I’m gonna fool these guys”.  He simply wanted to ace the specific Combine drills/tests.  Again…Mamula was a star player.

The person at fault here is Ray Rhodes, who pushed for the Eagles to get Mamula at all costs.  The team moved up from pick 12 to pick 7 in order to draft him.  Pick 12, infamously, was spent on Warren Sapp.  I don’t remember exactly how his career went.  Mostly I think of him as an underachieving Raider.  It’s possible I’m missing a year or two.

Ray should have known that Mike was a terrific college player, but that he wasn’t a great natural athlete.  Instead, he fell in love with what he saw at the Combine and overrated Mamula.  Ray instantly threw out the comparison to Charles Haley.  Ray wanted his Haley, who he had coached in SF.  In 1997 Ray would repeat this mistake by falling in love with Jon Harris, his own Too Tall Jones.

The warning right now should be to “avoid the mistakes of Ray Rhodes”.  Mamula did nothing wrong.  He put on a show at the Combine.  Who doesn’t want players to do that?

I really hate that Mamula catches so much flak this time of year.  He had a solid NFL career.  Had he been picked in the 3rd round, you might have even said good career.  He certainly isn’t a draft bust.  Mike had 31.5 sacks in 5 years.  He started 64 games.  Injuries drove him away from the NFL, not a lack of ability.  His worst season was 4 sacks, 1 FF.  Jerome McDougle had 3 sacks in his career.  See the difference?  Jerome had a ton of bad luck, but he’s far more of a bust than Mamula.  And don’t get me started on Vern Gholston.  He is the epitome of a bust.  Zero career sacks, the same as me.  And I can blame pudding and PBR.  Vern is in great shape.  What’s his excuse?

* * * * *

Good stuff from Jimmy Bama on the Eagles and full season snap counts for the defense.  Weird, though.  It says Jarrad Page on there.  I don’t recall him playing for the Eagles.  Must not have been very memorable if I was able to forget so quickly…or I spent lots of $ on therapy to make it go away.  The horror, the horror.

* * * * *

In case anyone missed it, Matt Alkire put up a pre-Combine mock draft over at ScoutsNotebook.

* * * * *

Good post by Brian Solomon…locking up DRC to an extension is key.  Completely agree.  And I expect the Eagles to do this once May rolls around.  Too many hot issues between now and then to expect it to get done.  Maybe, but this can wait for the spring.

78 Comments on “Blame Ray”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 12:29 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Tommy – On PFT looks like the Falcons are going to let Lofton test the market. Pretend you are roseman….if you have your choice of Lofton/Luke who do you take? Do you take the potential MLB for the next 5 years, that is proven? Or do you take the MLB that could be here for the next 10 years that may have a learning curve? I am not sold on Lofton, but I still think he is the best that FA has to offer…..

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 12:41 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    It isn’t Lofton or Luke. It is Lofton/pick 15 or Luke. If the money works, I go with Lofton so I can do what I want at pick 15.

  3. 3 Sjampen said at 12:59 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    On the other hand, the more accurate term would be Lofton/Pick 15 or Luke/”FA getting Lofton money”.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 1:07 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Hey T,
    In your opinion what would be a reasonable contract for Lofton in terms of length and money and what is AS22 trade value in terms of picks…4th rounder perhaps?

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 2:18 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Asante could net as high as a 2nd, as low as a 4th. Would help if CBs would start to re-sign with current teams.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 3:17 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Who wants Asante? I don’t think he is an easy sell.

  7. 7 Anders Jensen said at 4:08 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Who do not want one of the best CBs in the NFL (outside of the Eagles)

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 5:56 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Wow..if the FO…get’s a 2nd for ASS22 that would be a helluva coup!!!..then Djax is getting them a1st rounder….so with possibly 3 2nd rd picks and 2 1sts….if we sign a MLB in FA…..I say we aim high and..dear I say it draft Blackmon….that would make for one lethal offense…..but…chances of that scenario actually happening is ZERO…nice to think about it though

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 9:37 AM on February 23rd, 2012:

    I think that’s a pipe dream to say Asante gets us a 2nd round pick. I think age is a big factor being that he’s 31 years old. Oh and he’s a horrible tackler. There’s film that shows him not even trying to tackle guys. With the way teams value picks, I just do not see it and I would not be happy if my team gave up a 2nd rd pick for Asante.

    Definitely brings some things to the table, but he also takes some things off it.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 1:13 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I definitely agree with your post, but I am very curious what “if the money works” will mean to the Eagles. Do you think the Eagles will be willing to get into a bidding war with other teams with Lofton. I imagine he will not come cheap, and that is one of my major concerns about going the FA route. While I think it is the safer route and better use of resources, it will be expensive, which may make it hard for the Eagles.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 1:53 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    A lot of variables will affect the FA market. What’s cheap and expensive for a MLB? What’s expensive (or cheap) for a 3-down MLBs and to a lesser extent 2-down MLBs? What’s the FA demand for MLB? Last year Tulloch looked for a long term deal and couldn’t get the $ he was looking for, so he settled for a 1 year deal. The most recent FA MLB deal (for a 3-down MLB) that I can think was P. Willis contract extension in 2010 (7 yr, $53.51m, $29m guaranteed, $15.5m signing bonus) when he was 25 yrs old and just entering his prime. I think Tulloch is viewed as the top of the FA MLB class this year (but he is no Willis), all of the other FA MLBs will likely get deals similar to or below Tulloch (I’m thinking Tulloch will fall somewhere in $6-7.75m avg/yr range) depending on if they’re viewed as a 3-down or 2-down LB. Getting an established MLB for around $6m/yr does not seem that expensive

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 2:17 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I’ll reply as separate comment so it doesn’t shrink a ton.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 12:32 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    On a side note, I think with Bowles as the secondary coach, big things are gonna happen from DRC and Nmandi….they are two of the best press corners in the league. They compliment each other well. Plus pressing will give the DE/DT an extra second to get the QB which will aid in the pass rush….season can’t get here soon enough!!

  14. 14 Kammich said at 5:34 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I really liked the Bowles hire. I think he has nowhere to go but up, and it was clear last season that Lynn wasn’t the man to get the most out of our big-money CB acquisitions. I think that Bowles can.

  15. 15 Mac said at 2:42 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Not to mention the tweaks he can make at Safety with the talent already in place. He can teach our young guys to see the game the way he saw it… Hopefully

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 12:43 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Forgot to answer this:

    “hey tommy, i know i’m a little late to the comment party on this post, but i’ll ask anyway.

    do you see any similarities between Derek Landri and Sam Rayburn? The story sounds pretty much the same to me. We all loved Sam that one year (was that the SB year?) because he seemed to be the blue collar, hard working player we can all relate to.

    We thought that the next year would be great because Sam would be back and would only improve. and then he didnt. of course, the problem there might have been that we were relying on him to be more than a role player in the defense. i dont really remember now lol”

    I don’t see Sam and Derek as similar. Sam was big. He was about 320 or so if memory serves. He was a power guy that had some success as an inside pass rusher. Derek is small, but very tough and athletic. Both guys were excellent backups for us.

    Unfortunately, Sam got hurt and then became addicted to painkillers. Sad stuff.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 1:40 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Also the system changed from Brasher’s 1-gap to Jenkins 2-gap which bear more similarities to Dixon. I think Landri is far more like his alumni Grasmanis, who was a great undersized blue collar DT for us.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 2:15 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Exactly. Gras and Landri alot alike. Plus, both guys were Golden Domers.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 3:10 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Hey wait…

    Sam = Sam Rayburn
    Derek from Iggles Blog = Derek Landri

    Gabe = Anthony Hargrove ?
    Tommy = Marlon Favorite ?

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 5:37 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    thanks for responding in another topic!

  21. 21 Sam Lynch said at 12:46 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I wonder what Mamula would have done in the Wide 9. He was exactly Jim Washburn’s physical prototype (pre-injury).

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 1:08 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    So true. Somebody give Mike a call. Jim saved Babin’s career. Why not Mike’s?

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 1:49 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Good post on Mamula. I was curious so I looked up the 1995 draft.

    Mamula was the 7th overall pick but there were arguably two even bigger busts taken before him: Ki-Jana Carter at #1 and Michael Westbrook at #4.

    Also, there is only one hall of famer from the 1995 draft class (so far) – Curtis Martin selected #74 overall in the 3rd round.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 2:33 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Are you sure? I could swear Eagles MLB Whit Marshall got in last year?

    I always thought that was the weirdest name. Don’t remember him at all at UGA, but I read his bio and was all excited for us to have a MLB for the future. Some things never change, huh?

  25. 25 Eric Weaver said at 2:52 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Ki-Jana just had bad luck. Westbrook was a good college player that shined with Kordell in that hailmary pass to beat Michigan.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 8:49 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    michael westbrook could throw a mean haymaker though..

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 2:27 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    RE: Lofton’s value

    Tulloch last year wanted $6M per year. No one bit. He signed for 1 yr, $3.25M. Not sure what to make of that. Last year was a weird market. Cullen Jenkins didn’t get the deal he wanted and even Nnamdi was cheaper than I anticipated.

    The Eagles will pay reasonably big bucks for a MLB, but they will not get into a bidding war or break the bank for Lofton. Last year the Jags threw a huge deal at Posluzsny. I don’t know if the Eagles had any interest, but they sure weren’t going to spend that kind of money. Nick Barnett got 3 yrs, $12M from Buffalo. I would guess that Lofton is looking for somewhere in the $5M to $6M range. He’s not an elite player so he isn’t worth mega-bucks, but is good at what he does. He’s worth a solid salary.

    Will the Eagles pay that much? I have no idea. My initial reaction is to say “no”, but the team might feel different since Lofton is good and young and a position of need. The Eagles would love a long term solution at MLB. I think they also see the need for leadership at that spot. The other x-factor is that the team has Rolle at WLB and will have a rookie or so-so guy at SAM. There isn’t much money tied up in the LBs corps right now. If you go cheap on the outside, maybe you can pay big in the middle.

    Really, we’re in uncharted waters with the circumstances so trying to predict what the Eagles will do is hard. I don’t know if history will be an indicator of what is to happen in the next 75 days.

  28. 28 William Flick said at 2:41 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Mamula would have been a stud in Wide 9!

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 2:50 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    No idea if the number in this article is a hunch, pulled out of thin air or what. But from the AJC:

    “The question thus becomes: Would you pay $8 million a year for a two-down linebacker?”

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 3:06 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I don’t think any NFL team would pay Lofton $8M per year. Then again, there are a couple of teams with huge Cap space that might overpay someone. Lofton just doesn’t seem like a guy who will get those kind of bucks.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 3:15 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Eagles paid Spikes and Witherspoon $5M for one season 3-4 years ago.
    They offered Trotter about $5M a year back in 2002 which would be around $8M with today’s cap.

    So I don’t think they’d hesitate to pay $6M a year for a true 3 down MLB.
    Harder to fork that out for a guy you pull 40% of the time.

    Tulloch wasn’t considered worthy of that by ANY team in the league, including his former DC, I think because he’s too limited athletically, makes all the plays he gets to, but has zero upside and is a good candidate for 3-4 ILB in a couple years.

    Posluzny got $7M a year (real money), I think that was too rich for the Eagles, $5M they would have snatched him up, $6M they would have thought about it. But if Willis is worth $9M, the next LB is probably worth only $6-7M, there’s a huge talent gap from Willis to whomever. It’s like comparing Megatron and Fitz to DeSean.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 5:05 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I mentioned Lofton in my comment, but I guess my point was meant to be about any FA LB we target. LB is an obvious need for us, but there are several teams throughout the league that are looking to upgrade at LB. Fortunately, there are at least a few quality options available, but I still think there are enough teams out there looking for LBs, that we may have to compete with other teams in attracting a true solid MLB. I’m just hoping that we don’t ultimately get scared off from one of our primary targets because of that. Generally, we do a great job with getting the players we target, but the fact that we are talking about a LBer still has me concerned when it comes to the Eagles.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 1:03 AM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Eagles are making a big mistake if they dont assign some salary value to the LB position. We cant keep leaving things to chance so we can have a good salary cap for the next 10 years. We need to be serious about adding “true” talent to the LB core and not be playing “moneyball” like we do every year.

    As we all know playing football is a small window — we need to put a team that is competitive (this year) at every position and not have so many positions we hope we will work out so we can save money.

    And I am talking about ALL 3 LB positions not just MLB.

    Lets look ahead not not have to look back and say oh yea we should have signed or drafted such and such .. we need to get out of this losing mentality.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 3:16 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    That mock has Fletcher Cox as a DE but most sites list him as a DT. On Rob Rang’s site at CBS, he is ranked behind Worthy but when you read the writeups, he comes off as much better than Worthy.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 3:28 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Cox can play 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, and I think he’s athletic enough to even play 4-3 DE. Really athletic kid.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 3:23 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Some observations on snap counts:

    Subtracting the snaps subbing for Asante, DRC & Hanson had 640 snaps between them, some were in 4 CB packages, but it still shows you that a 3rd CB is almost a starter these days. Drafting Boykin in the mid-2nd for the role wouldn’t be a waste of resources.

    Trent was down to 640, some injuries, but Washburn takes rotating his guys seriously.
    Patterson and Jenkins both 652, Babin 720, look for all four to decline a little in 2012.

    Jordan/Fokou had 407 snaps, even throwing in the 120 Chaney had in two games at SLB, one LB will be off the field 50% of the time, probably the SLB.

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 3:57 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    RE: C-Lofton

    Local radio in Atlanta are all for the Falcons letting Lofton walk to F.A.

    The problem, as the locals in ATL see it, is Lofton was a liability in pass coverage and his run-defense ability doesn’t sufficiently offset the pass-defense shortcomings.

    Personally, I’d like to the see the Eagles take Kuechley at 15 and the best OLB in Rd 2 — unless a true stud falls to them who just can’t be passed up.

    The Birds would be substantially upgrading (in theory) two positions that need upgrading BIG TIME.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 5:21 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I like what Perry Fewell said before the SB, the Giants pass defense is their pass rush. I have not studied a lot of film on Lofton, but I wonder how much of his “shortcomings” in pass D was a function of the Falcons’ inadequate pass rush.

    One caveat with Bill Walsh draft example, yes Walsh was very good at finding talent, but 1981 was before the evolution of the NFL’s free agency rules. Teams had to build through the draft back then because it was highly unlikely that a team could sign away good players from other teams. Now it is possible to get good talent in FA, and there are some talented FA MLBs (known quantities as opposed to unknown rookies)available for the Eagles.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 6:07 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Totally agree.why pay big dollars to a guy who is a 2 down MLB.I think LK40 can be s 3 down LB.why would you pass on a guy like that.If LK40 runs a 4.65-4.7 40…then I won’t be mad if the FO moves up to get him( does whatever it to speak)

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 4:39 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Interesting stuff on Mamula. Do you think this precautionary tale is even relevant anymore? That is, because of the increasing publicity of The Combine, doesn’t every player come in having exhaustively practiced the test questions? I’d think the Mamula type is less the exception in 2012 and moreso the norm.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 4:51 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Very true. And yet 3/4 of the media loves to write Mamula stuff at this time of the year.

    Little relevance. There are workout warriors to look out for, but that’s when the workout is substantially better than the game tape.

  42. 42 Eric Weaver said at 9:21 AM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Bruce Campbell was one of those, but no team took the bait in the first two rounds.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 7:51 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Actually the opposite.

    Because practically every prospect now spends a couple months preparing for the Combine, they have no special edge. However, it gives scouts a much better sense of how they’ll respond to a pro training regime, especially juniors and small college players.

  44. 44 Kammich said at 5:51 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    The media will always look for a scapegoat or a figurehead to sell a story, and Mamula is exactly that when it comes to the Combine madness. Honestly, when you look at the NFL Combine from outside the perspective of a die hard football fan, its a pretty weird concept. A bunch of college kids wearing Under Armour, running around cones and doing shuffles in front of a bunch of old dudes with stop watches. Out of context, it defies convention.

    Fortunately, front offices have gotten smart enough to glean the appropriate meaning out of the Combine drills(for the most part). So have fans like most of us here. We know what to look for, and what else grades out as nonapplicable for talent evaluation. The same couldn’t be said 20 years ago, when this thing wasn’t televised and it wasn’t the media meat market that it is now. There were still some old school coaches that would fall in love with a guy simply for what his stop watch said.

    I love listening to Gil Brandt on NFL Sirius Radio. Even despite his Cowboys allegiance. But the stories he tells about how he integrated progressive thinking and things like computers and region-specific scouting into his draft preparation… he paints the picture that a LOT of franchises took a long, long time to come around to an understanding of how to best approach the draft. And that some of them might just be coming around now. Ray Rhodes sounds like the type of mind who could’ve been susceptible to the “old school” of thinking.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 6:31 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Gil Brandt is one of the 3 or 4 most important people in the history of scouting. Maybe 2nd.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 10:15 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Just curious, who is the first most important person in the history of scouting?

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 11:29 AM on February 23rd, 2012:


  48. 48 Kammich said at 5:58 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I remember bringing this up in 2005 when I felt pretty burned that a workout warrior I liked failed to go drafted.

    Player A:
    6’5″, 252 lbs
    4.58 40, 38-inch vert, 26 reps at 225
    29 career collegiate sacks

    Player B:
    6’3″, 238 lbs
    4.65 40, 45.5-inch vert, 20 reps at 225
    8.5 career collegiate sacks

    Player A is Mike Mamula, who went 7th overall in the draft. Player B was Derek Wake, who went undrafted and then had to abscond to Canada with a new name before ever getting a starting gig in the NFL. I took that as a progressive sign that teams weren’t just letting themselves fall in love with the base numbers anymore. They were taking career production, durability, skill-specific drill performance, etc into account much more.

    Then again, you still have your dramatic exceptions… mostly at the hands of the Raiders. But for the most part, the NFL seems to have wisened up and gotten a grasp on how best to manipulate the Combine in the favor of their draft boards.

  49. 49 Anders Jensen said at 6:48 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    What about Vernon Gholston? only 1 years production in college and performed crazy good at the combine.

  50. 50 Kammich said at 7:11 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I was just as wrong about Vernon Gholston as everyone else, honestly. You could watch him against Michigan and see him bully Jake Long around with a bull-rush, and then you see the athleticism in some of his Combine numbers and it starts to pique your interest. I thought he offered some real scheme versatility, and I thought he could’ve been successful standing up or with his hand in the dirt. And furthermore, I think there was a consensus that the Jets could make him work wonders in their scheme.

    In retrospect, that was a pretty weak top-end draft. A few legitimate stars(Jake Long, Matt Ryan, Jerod Mayo, Chris Johnson); a lot of late-bloomers(Chris Long, Run DMc, Duane Brown), and a ton of flat-out misses(Gholston, Derrick Harvey, Keith Rivers, Chris Williams, Gosder Cherilus, Kentwan Balmer, etc etc).

  51. 51 Alex Karklins said at 6:54 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I don’t blame Ray Rhodes. Still busy blaming Rich Kotite and Norman Braman for everything wrong in the world today.

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 10:09 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Well played, sir.

  53. 53 Donald Kalinowski said at 7:28 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    For every Mike Mamula there is a Jason Pierre-Paul.

  54. 54 Donald Kalinowski said at 7:38 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    The slowest 40 time in 2008 was 5.58 by Franklin Dunbar a 327 lb OG. I wonder what my 40 yard dash time is.

    In 09′ Mike Wallace had the 2nd best 40 time

  55. 55 Kammich said at 12:34 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    I’m 5’11”, 160lbs… completely average-sized guy with in average shape. But I can guarantee you that my white ass wouldn’t even break 7 seconds. Probably not 8. And depending on how many Miller lites and garlic knots I had the night before, probably not even 9.

  56. 56 Donald Kalinowski said at 7:43 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Was Daniel Teo Nesheim a workout warrior? I read that he was projected to go in the 6th round, but the Eagles took a chance in him in the 3rd. He weighs 7 lbs less than JPP, but he beats in him in almost every category- bench press, vertical leap, shuttle…

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 7:57 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    That information is really interesting.

    I guess it comes back to what Roseman said: Array your players on the draft board based on what they do during games, not at the combine.

    Regardless of those very impressive numbers, no serious scout considered Teo to be close to JPP.

    Perhaps T-LAW could expound on the conflict data (not Teo v. JPP — just in terms of first principles of good scouting).

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 10:09 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Here are my notes on DTN:

    “Excellent effort guy. Has pretty good size and is a physical player. Good motor. Won’t stay blocked. Good shoulder dip. Used a very good swim move to get sack, FF vs UCLA. Plays both sides. Lacks explosive burst. More of an effort guy. Realizes he isn’t a speed demon and plays accordingly. He stays low, which makes him tough to block. He uses his arms well to keep blockers off his body. Daniel is a strong, physical player. He means business when it comes to making contact. He will catch some blockers off guard with a power move and get them on their heels. Able to overpower some big OL. Sometimes will slide in to DT. Good production, but sacks tended to come in bunches. 12 of his 29 career sacks came in 5 games. Did have 46 TFLs and 8 FFs.

    Had a good showing at the Shrine Game. Had a terrific workout at the Combine. Tested better than I would have expected.

    I wish that athletic ability showed up more often on game tape. I’m not sure if he is good enough to start in the NFL. I do think he could be a valuable role player and STer. He’ll probably go in the 4th or 5th round.”

    DTN was a kind of workout warrior. He tested better than expected, but wasn’t an underachiever on the field. Good player. Just didn’t show his athletic ability on gameday. That’s always a concern.

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 11:32 AM on February 23rd, 2012:

    I don’t know I’d call him an “underachiever,” he was a productive college player.

    However, he was an awkward college player as well. But we’re talking late 3rd rd, where you’re really looking at a #3 DE, and in our old system, he looked like a good fit, a physical LDE who could move inside, wasn’t explosive enough to be a serious pass rush threat off the edge, but athletic and strong enough to play both roles. In the wide 9 he was only a DT.

    See how his career turns out, could end up a stead reserve.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 2:06 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    I was completely deceived by DTN. Not because of his combine numbers but how he looked on tape. I thought he looked tenacious and hard to block, seemed like he used his hands well.

  61. 61 Donald Kalinowski said at 7:47 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    How does the bench press work? Does everyone bench the same weight? Or is it the weight based on the player’s build?

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 8:36 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Everyone benches 225…that’s why no one really cares what CB’s bench..

  63. 63 Eric Weaver said at 10:30 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    The standard for most sports is 225. Sometimes 185 at the lower level.

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 8:13 PM on February 22nd, 2012:


    Want a great Gil Brandt / Eagles draft story from the late 1960s? (Well, not so great for the Eagles . . . but so very “Eagles” of that era.)

    My source is a federal judge for whom I clerked 26 years ago in Dallas Texas. He’d represented Clint Murchison — the Cowboys original owner — before being confirmed to the bench.

    The story goes:

    In the 2nd Round of the 1968, the Cowboys selected a WR from Miss Valley State named David McDaniels.

    He was 6’4″ 200 lbs — and his 40 time, according to Brandt and the Cowboys Scouts, was sub-4.5. Really fast for WRs in that era.

    Well, at training camp, the coaches timed McDaniel — like all the players — in the 40. He kept running 4.7, 4.8.

    Brandt went back to Miss Valley State Univ to figure out what went wrong.

    Turns out, McDaniel didn’t run a 40-yard dash. He ran something closer to a *38 yard* dash. The football field wasn’t lined properly.

    Anyway, the ‘Boys sit on this information and keep McDaniel for the entire 1968 season.

    Then, in the off-season, the Eagles decide they want to trade TE Mike Ditka. The Cowboys offer up “speedster” McDaniel. And Eagles GM Joe Kuharich takes the bait.

    McDaniel of course never made the Eagles squad because he was slow as molasses.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 10:47 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I heard the McDaniels story, but didn’t know he was traded for Ditka. Interesting stuff. Thanks for the history lesson. Always like that stuff.

  66. 66 Kammich said at 12:38 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Great story, Vike. Like I said earlier, I could listen to Brandt reminisce about the draft for days on end.

    Stories like the one you just told are a great representation of how the NFL scouting landscape was a bit like the wild, wild west back in that era. Crazy stuff. Can you imagine a prospect running a 38-yard dash and trying to get away with it these days? Jason LaCanfora would have it debunked on twitter within 10 minutes of it happening, heh.

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 8:39 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    I don’t know I want to lock up DRC long term, yet. Great physical talent, but we only really got to see a few games of him on the outside. He was poor in the slot, but that’s not his fault. He’s not that guy, anyway. I’m kind of wait and see on him. Feels a little weird to hope they are trading Asante, being that Asante was the best CB on the team last year.

  68. 68 D3Keith said at 9:45 PM on February 25th, 2012:

    What team were you watching?

    I loved Asante for most of his Eagles career, but he seemed to check out last year … I didn’t find him to be the best CB on the team at all, although I guess if your expectations were super high for Nnamdi and he underachieved, and DRC sucked in the slot, Asante — despite not really doing anything good except one play against Arizona — didn’t really mess up much, so I guess by that definition he was “best.”

    I thought he played below his talent, outside the scheme and didn’t make many memorable or game-changing plays … or many simple, get-the-D-off-the-field ones.

    For all we gripe about Nnamdi, he had his moments. Remember when he single-handedly forced a three-and-out at Buffalo?

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 8:42 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    thanks for saying that. i always thought mamula was better than people gave him credit for. and thanks for mentioning jon harris. that guy was the worst pick ever. what, he was supposed to be a 7th rounder? he was basically king dunlap. they should have tried to move him to OL, see what juan could have done with him. but man, talk about a bad pick…

  70. 70 Kammich said at 12:40 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Mamula kind of reminds me of Tony Mandarich in that sense. There was so, so much hype around Mandarich as “The Incredible Bulk,” the man was supposed to be god’s gift to blindside protection. When he didn’t become the greatest LT that ever lived, people labeled him uber-bust.

    The truth is, he carved out a pretty good career after sliding inside to Guard. Serviceable player that logged some good NFL starts. Just not the greatest LT of all time, like he was heralded to be.

  71. 71 Anonymous said at 2:44 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    uhhh, lets not forget the steroids accusations….that may have been a reason for all the hype.

  72. 72 Jack Waggoner said at 9:44 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Remember when Mamula exposed himself to some waitress at a bar in Bethlehem?

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 11:09 PM on February 22nd, 2012:

    Think of what he could have accomplished with a smartphone.

  74. 74 Steve H said at 1:08 AM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Will the real Brett Favre please stand up?

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 6:52 AM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Jarrod Page’s and Jaiquawn Jarrett’s combined 550 snaps were a black hole for me. Those 2 combined for some terrible SS play last year. Jarrett gets a moderate pass for being a rookie, but you expect your 2nd round picks to look a little better than he did.

  76. 76 Jeffrey S said at 10:57 AM on February 23rd, 2012:


    What do you think about the WR Cunningham out of MSU? No one really talks about him, but he was always making a play when I watched MSU games. He seems to have good hands and is very effective when it comes to YAC. I think he has the heart and desire to do great things. He kinda reminds me of Hines Ward.

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 12:44 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    I was wondering what you’d think about trading Asante for Raiders LB Aaron Curry. They mention for D at LB(where they’re switching to a 3-4 it looks like) “4th year man Aaron Curry had his moments, but still has yet to justify his draft position in 2009.   While he would fit as a Sam LB in an under front, it would be tough to imagine him as a full-time 3-4 OLB.” They list under defense position of needs only 2 pos CB and LB. Would Curry fit as a SAM or MLB for us(wasn’t sure what (Sam LB in an under front) meant? Could we draft Luke if the trade worked out? Would you want the Eagles to look into it? Here’s the link:

  78. 78 Anonymous said at 1:33 PM on February 23rd, 2012:

    Was wondering if you also see a lot of similarities between Marvin McNutt(Ipwa) and Anquan Boldin and think he’d be a good addition to compete, or most likely beat out Cooper. Marvin can create space with the press with his physicality and hands, catches everything, not afraid of going over the middle, plays a lot bigger than his 6’2.5″ 215 lbs, learns quickly(was a QB & still learning pos.), improved each yr to 79 1,269 12 TD’s SR yr. without much of a QB, runs good routes, has deceptive speed and team captain.

    Devon Wylie(5-9 186 runs 4.38) some people compare to a faster quicker Wes Welker. Could be a steal in the later rounds as a slot receiver and punt returner(2nd best in nation).