Let’s Talk DTs

Posted: February 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 131 Comments »

Derek Landri makes a key play at the goal line while Trevor Laws watches and thinks how awesome it must be to be Derek Landri.

We had some DT discussions this weekend and there was some confusion on a couple of points.  Let’s now all try to get on the same page.  The Eagles play a 1-gap system with the DTs.  This means the players are supposed to attack up the field.  They are responsible for 1 gap only.  Quickness is every bit as important as size and strength.

The DTs are split into a pair of roles:  the under tackle (UT) and nose tackle (NT).  Mike Patterson was the NT and Cullen Jenkins the UT.  Both players are supposed to fire off the ball and get into the backfield.  The UT lines up in the 3-technique, on the outside eye of the OG.  The NT lines up between the G and C.  The NT most often will have to deal with double teams.  The NT doesn’t need to be huge, but he must be able to handle himself when dealing with double teams.  The UT needs to be a pass rusher.  He is further from the ball, but that allows him to operate more in space.

In 2011 the depth chart was like this:

NT:  Mike Patterson – Derek Landri – Antonio Dixon (prior to injury)

UT:  Cullen Jenkins – Trevor Laws

Trying to figure out the plan for 2012 is tricky.  Laws is a free agent.  so is Landri.  Dixon is a restricted free agent.  Dixon showed great promise in 2010, but that was playing in a 2-gap system.  Dixon was slow to adjust to the new scheme last year.  I did think he played well in the game where he got hurt.  It seemed like he had finally figured some things out.  I don’t think the Eagles can commit big money to him long term because they don’t know his value in the new system.  2012 is key for that relationship.

Jeff McLane reported that the Eagles have talked to Laws about an extension.  Color me confused.  Laws played well in 2010 and I thought he would thrive in the new scheme.  It was tailor made for a guy with his skill set.  Laws got hurt at Lehigh and never looked like the guy from 2010.  Maybe the Eagles figure he’ll thrive now that he knows the system.  Or maybe they are offering him a cheap deal.

I think the Eagles need a long term solution at UT.  That’s why I projected Fletcher Cox to them in the recent mock draft.  You could also give them Jared Crick or Derek Wolfe or a few other guys for that role.  Laws should have been really good, but the fact his production fell off so far bugs me.  The one thing I’ll say is that I fully trust Jim Washburn.  If he wants Laws, then I want Laws.  I do wonder if he’s pushing for Laws return or how that’s playing out.

You know that I love Derek Landri.  His situation is complicated.  He is a natural NT in this system.  If Patt is the starter and Dixon is the primary backup there…where does Landri fit in?  He can play UT, but he’s not a gifted pass rusher (8 sacks in 5 years).  His specialty is getting into the backfield and being disruptive (19 career TFLs).  Shooting gaps is different that flooring QBs.  I value Landri so much that I would re-sign him and find a way to make things work.

You could have him and Dixon as the backup DTs and have them switch back and forth as UT/NT.  Dixon isn’t a natural pass rusher either, but he has some quickness off the ball and his size allows him to push the pocket.

I understand Laws is a younger guy than Landri, but I think the Eagles are making a big mistake if they commit to Laws over Landri.  All joking aside, Derek had a terrific showing in 2011.  He played well and good things happened when he was on the field.  He far out-played Laws.  There are times to take potential over production, but this isn’t one of them.  Laws has never looked special in his time as an Eagle.  Landri was a great backup last year.

Laws career:  56 games – 45 solo tackles – 5 sacks – 7 TFLs – 1FF – 1FR – 1 INT – 6 PD

Landri in 2011:  12 games – 21 solo tackles – 2 sacks – 6 TFLs – 1 FR – 1 PD – 1 blocked FG

If it comes down to one spot, there is no way in hell I’m choosing Trevor Laws over Derek Landri.  It is possible that Landri will want to go somewhere to compete for a starting job.  I don’t know if anyone would make him that offer.  He is a great backup.  He needs to be used right in order to get maximum results.  Because he’s such an effort guy, Landri needs limited reps.  He plays as hard as any player in the NFL.

I thought Landri re-signing was a sure thing right after the season, but now I’m wondering.  The fact the Eagles have talked to Laws about an extension somewhat puzzles me.  It certainly isn’t a good sign for Landri’s future here.

There have been some questions about whether the Eagles should pay Cullen Jenkins the big roster bonus that he’s due in March.  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.  He earned the money with a great showing in 2011.  He was also a leader in the locker room.  The only other possibility here that would make any sense would be to not pay the bonus and then use that money to go after Titans FA Jason Jones.  I think that would be a mistake, but at least that move would make some sense.  Jones is a natural 1-gap DT who can be very disruptive.  The Titans played him at DE this year and he was a non-factor.  Still…I think you need to keep Jenkins.  He was the Eagles best DT in years.  Letting him go would be odd, to put it mildly.  Just look at the drop off the Packers defense had without him.  They went from Top 10 to the bottom of the league.

Cedric Thornton is an unknown commodity.  The Eagles love his potential, but he didn’t get on the field in 2011.  He has a great frame at 6’4, 309.  He has a great first step.  He projects to being an UT.  You can’t count on him for anything.  He’s got to show you that he made progress this year and is ready to compete for some playing time.  Thornton went to a very small school so he came into the league raw and didn’t have much time to work with Washburn.  He could be on the Practice Squad in 2012 or could become a member of the DT rotation.

One thing I think we need to understand is that the Eagles don’t need a run stuffer.  The DTs did their job in 2011.  It was LBs and Safeties who failed to make tackles.  Patt is a very good run defender.  Without him in the lineup in the season finale, the Skins ran all over us.  Landri is a good run defender.  Dixon was very good vs the run in 2010.  Jenkins is very good vs the run for an UT.  Laws is a mixed bag.  He’s certainly made tremendous progress in recent years.  His first two seasons, Laws was a huge liability against the run.  I remember double teams moving him 10 yards off the ball.

I’ll cover DT draft targets in a separate post.  The key is that we need a pass rusher.  Jenkins is great, but older.  Laws is unknown.

There are some people who say we should go after Jason Jones as a FA.  I’d be fine with this except we can get similar players in the draft that will be younger and cheaper.  Granted, Jones is a proven commodity.  If the price is right, maybe the Eagles do go for him.  Jones won’t fit all 32 teams.  He’s in his prime and is a talented DT so I think someone will take a chance on him, but if the market somehow isn’t there for him, you can bet Howie Roseman will at least call his agent.

* * * * *

I put up some draft notes over the weekend.

Matt posted a pre-Combine mock draft at ScoutsNotebook.

* * * * *

Congrats to Mr and Mrs Jimmy Bama on the offseason acquisition they’re making this week.  Jimmy as a parent – what could go wrong?  I hope Mrs Bama is a special lady.

131 Comments on “Let’s Talk DTs”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 9:47 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    A little off topic, but the more I read about this though with the LB’s the more it makes sense for all parties….Sign Hawethorn as a FA. He will come at a much better price than Tulluck or Lofton, and you get someone that has played WIL, MLB and SAM in his career. You insert him at SAM, and draft Luke for MLB. You now have a veteran leader for your LB’s in Hawethorn, and also insurance that if Luke struggles, you can slide Hawethorn over to MLB and insert Chaney or someone else into SAM untill Luke comes around. You now have your MLB of the future in place, a WIL that showed signs of being a very good player last year, and a vet to hold down the SAM position. With trading Asante, (assuming we get a 3rd) we still have the picks available to invest in someone later in the draft 3rd, 4th to be a backup/compete for SAM/WIL spots. Sorry to hijack your DT post…but I am seeing this idea now on several webpages, and it makes sence for what the Eagles like to do.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 11:41 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Hawthorne never played SAM in Seattle that I’m aware of. He did start at WLB and MLB. I certainly don’t object to him as a SAM for the Eagles. If they study the tape and think he can do it, I’m fine with that. Playing SAM for us is a bit different. You aren’t up on the LOS. Maybe he could do it.

    I just don’t know how likely this scenario is.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 12:04 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    According to BGN he did. Leroy hill was the WIL, Tatupu was the MLB. When Tatupu got hurt Hawthorn slid over to MLB.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 12:12 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Hawthorne was a backup/STer in 2008.

    2009: Curry/SAM – Hawthorne & Lofa/MLB – Hill/WLB

    2010: Curry/SAM – Lofa/MLB – Hawthorne/WLB

    2011: Curry/Wright SAM – Hawthorne/MLB – Hill/WLB

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 3:27 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Aren’t the LB roles different behind the wide-9? Instead of Will and Sam, OLB are usually simply Left or Right. OLBs behind the wide-9 are expected to be versatile enough to assume either role. Hawthorne qualifies.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 5:42 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I touched on that above and he could fit us.

    The original point in question was whether he had played SAM. I do not think so.

  7. 7 Cody Benjamin said at 9:53 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Tommy, if I am not mistaken, the report about the Laws extension was based on last year. It indicated the Eagles discussed an extension last offseason, but that the 2011 campaign got underway without any kind of deal forming.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 7:28 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    I read that as well.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 9:54 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    What about kicking the tires on Big Al? Sit him down with Washburn and give him a talking too….If he flunks in camp, cut him. Low risk, high reward signing. Patterson/Jenkins/Dixon/Haynesworth/(Landri/Laws?)
    If motivated, big Al, can stuff the run, and push the pocket back into the QB’s face…I say bring him to camp and see if Washburn can get something out of him. He has the size the Eagles haven’t had in the middle for quite some time. If he produces, he would also help out our DE’s with their rushes. Big Al demands a double as much as anyone….leaving Cole/Babin/Graham on a lot more 1 on 1’s then they would normally get.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 10:09 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’m open to bringing him in for the vet minimum. Just not sure Howie and Andy want to roll the dice on him. Washburn will mention his name a few times to them.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 10:02 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    I don’t dislike Trevor Laws, but I’m confused as to why he’s never gotten better. He was a wrestler in college, but when he doesn’t win with speed off the line he doesn’t have enough moves to penetrate and make plays. He’s been a big disappointment that he hasn’t developed more. IMO, he’s a JAG. He can play on a good team, he just won’t help you win.

    If we sign Laws over Landri, assuming their salaries are the same, we made a mistake.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 10:08 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Laws did get better…in 2010. Barry Rubin helped him to add weight, but retain his athleticism. That made Trevor a functional run defender, but still let him get after the QB. Maybe not being around Rubin last offseason hurt him.

    First couple of years Laws looked lost.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 10:41 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    To be fair to Laws, he was probably wondering why they drafted him to be a two gap DT. He should excel in this system, but he needs to get down to about 295 lbs and get a lot quicker.

    I’m not sure there’s really a NT role in the wide 9, at least not like a conventional 4-3, seems the role is to split double teams, not take them on and get ridden out of the play. So quickness and leverage become more important than anchoring. Patterson was never that good at anchoring as a two gap NT anyway, he’s more effective when you let him attack.

    I mean they had Tony Brown at NT (6’2 280) for years in Tennessee.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 11:33 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Washburn was a 1 gap coach. Why didn’t Laws know to slim down for the season? We all knew this, so there’s no way Laws didn’t. Maybe he’s just not that good?

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 11:37 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Coaches couldn’t talk to players until after the lockout was over. So they couldn’t tell player their roles, the shape they wanted them in at camp, etc.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 11:45 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Washburn was hired on January 19th, 2011. Laws had more than a month to talk to him before the lockout came into effect.

    Even if he couldn’t do that, all he had to do was ask other people or watch tape of the Titans. Football is his job.

    No excuses for being unprepared.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 11:49 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Maybe the Eagles’ Head Coach should have called Laws . . .

    I mean, Reid is in charge of this team.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 12:26 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    He probably did and jokingly told him that he wanted him to show up in the amazing shape that his head coach is in. Laws took it literally.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 7:32 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Man AR sux! He didn’t call Trevor and tell him the deal. I hate AR, he is so lazy. Wait a minute we don’t know that AR didn’t call, we r just randomly looking to blame him for something we don’t even know. Good thing we thought this through.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 11:44 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Not all players handled the lockout well. Austin Howard came to camp out of shape and it cost him his spot. Jason Peters reported out of shape, but played his way into shape.

    Laws never looked fat to me, but I did think he looked big. It is possible he got bad advice from the trainer he worked with. Trevor should have known to be about 290, but you never know what happens with guys and the people advising them.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 11:00 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    From reading the offseason rumblings, Laws was one of those guys putting in major hours in the Powertrain Gym in NJ…along with Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, etc. Sounded really committed and focused, I thought there was a chance he was going to break out. Disappointed that he didn’t.

    BTW, thanks for clarifying that Landri was the NT. I mistakenly thought he was the UT.

    Don’t you think the Landri situation could be about the ability to re-sign him? If teams are making noise to his agent (which I know never happens, wink, wink) then maybe they feel he is too pricey in a backup role, whereas Laws probably isn’t generating much interest at all.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 2:24 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I defended bringing Laws back after camp last year based on his improvement in 2010 even though he didn’t win the job in camp. But he didn’t show enough improvement this year to warrant another contract and the stat comparison with Landri is pretty damning. Too bad – guy was so promising coming out of college.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 10:37 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Kapedia’s numbers on pressures showed Laws getting into the backfield as much as Landri on pass downs, just not closing the deal. Wonder if Patterson and Laws simply weren’t in the right shape for Washburn’s system, Patterson was MIA the first 4-5 games, then turned it on as his gut shrunk, Laws may also have not been in one gap shape.

    Landri started 16 games for Carolina in 2010, had 40 tackles, 3 sacks and 7 stuffs, and had to accept a minimum salary offer from the Eagles. All he’s shown is he’s a better backup than starter, but 6’2 288 lbs doesn’t fit most NFL defenses, so I don’t think he’ll be hard to resign, check with Sam, but I think you can’t resign your own FAs until March 1, and that’s the holdup with both Mathis and Landri, I don’t think either player will have a lot of demand for their services, as Mathis only fits a zone blocking scheme and no one will pay a lot of money to find out if he’s a great player without Mudd, while Landri is best in a one gap rotation where his snaps are limited.

    I can’t imagine them resigning Laws without Washburn’s encouragement, and if they sign him to a longer-term deal I’m sure it will be a low cost, incentive laden package, it’s not like Laws is looking at a hot market for his services (not with 7 or 8 draft picks teams would put ahead of him).

    Dixon is a long-shot, both Dixon and Thornton should camp out at Rubin’s doorstep and beg him to get them into one gap shape. I have no problem bringing 6 veterans to camp and drafting a rookie or two, though if they like Thornton and resign both Laws and Landri, using a high pick on a DT becomes a low probability event. DTs are always good trade bait in the last week of August, as teams find out their draft chart has suddenly developing gapping holes.

    Jason Jones would be a low cost addition, he flopped at LDE, he’s smaller than Landri, so who exactly is going to want him as a starter, doesn’t really fit a 3-4, and isn’t going to get a lot of starting offers as a 4-3 LDE.
    14-13 18-9 3 sacks, 1 stuff, 5 PD, 1FF
    To put that in perspective
    Tapp 12-2 19-8 2.5 sacks, 5 stuffs, 2 PD, 1FF
    He’s only 26, so he’s fine in terms of age, but there are durability issues.

  24. 24 Morton said at 10:45 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    After watching highlight tapes of each DT/DE prospect, I’ve determined that the proper course of action in this draft is to:

    – Sign an impact MLB in free agency: David Hawthorne, Stephen Tulloch, or Dan Connor

    – Draft the best DT?DE prospect available at pick #15. One of the following prospects will fall to the #15 slot and should be the pick: Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram, Michael Brockers, Devon Still, or Fletcher Cox.

    I can get a feel for a player from watching hightlights, but I think that the smart thing to do in this case is simply to seek the counsel of DL coach Jim Washburn. Ask him to rank the prospects he likes the best out of that list, and just build your “big board” based on that. Get the DE/DT that Washburn likes best at #15. It will *probably* consist of the same prospects I listed above., as they are all athletic 1-gap penetrator types (execpt for maybe Brockers) with length (6’3″+) and size.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 12:30 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Wait can you please explain why you like Ingram? His pros and cons are pretty much the exact sames as Grahams.

  26. 26 Ben Hert said at 8:24 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Are stud DT’s really that much more rare? I can remember several DTs from previous drafts that have been great performers for their teams, but very few MLBs that stand out. It seems to be once in a blue moon that a good MLB comes along, where as every year there seems to be 3 or 4 DTs to salivate over.

    Although I do agree on more valuable.

  27. 27 Eric Weaver said at 8:44 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Two things:

    What makes you think Connor is an impact MLB? At Penn St.? Yeah, maybe. But out of Poz, Lee and Connor, he was really third best when it was all said and done. And he has yet to do anything with Carolina.

    You’re ok with Kuechly now? You were completely against him but you’ve now come around quite a bit?

  28. 28 Anders Jensen said at 10:54 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Tommy, I just think you are reading to much into the extension of Laws. Unless the extension to Laws is a big one, I cant see the reason why we cant have both Laws, Landri and Dixon fighting in the offseason and TC. It should give us the best player for the season and this year showed we need 5 DTs going into the season.

  29. 29 Anders Jensen said at 11:00 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    I just saw your mock draft, is there a reason why you have us take Worthy and not Cox?

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 11:14 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    I didn’t do the mock draft, Matt Alkire did. You can ask him questions in the Comments section at SNB or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/MattAlkire .

  31. 31 Anders Jensen said at 3:55 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I keep forgetting you are not the only one writing for SNB.com 😀

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 11:46 AM on February 20th, 2012:


    Jenkins’ roster bonus is $7.5 million — the entire amount of which (I think) counts against the 2012 cap.

    D-Jax, if franchised, gets $9.5 million — all of which counts against the cap.

    Right now, the Eagles have $23 million in available cap space (w/ the figure to be finalized this week, if memory serves).

    Between Jenkins and Jackson, that’s $17 million — leaving only $6 million (as of now) for rookies and free agency. Seems like that would leave the Eagles without much cap flexibility.

    Do you think the Eagles do that? [Assuming I’m close on the cap facts.]

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 12:14 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    The Eagles will save cap room once they traded/release Asante Samuel. I’m not sure how much though, but there’s no way they’re keeping his 9.5M cap hit. That money can be used to sign a FA LB or re-sign Mathis and Landri.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 2:04 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    I saw on a reliable sit the cap number is $8.4M.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 12:16 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’m not sure how the roster bonus is factored in. It may be assumed the Eagles will pay it and that leaves $23M including it. The roster bonus is part of an existing contract to I would think it has already been factored into things, but that isn’t my area of expertise.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 12:34 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I think the $23 million has Jenkin’s salary already added in. I could be wrong, but I would assume it would be counted until he is cut.

  37. 37 Anders Jensen said at 2:39 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Jenkins salary is counted, so retaining Jenkins does not affect the cap

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 12:01 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    They’re just reporting that Jenkins restructured his contract. Haven’t released any details though just that both sides are glad he’ll be back next year:

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 11:54 AM on February 20th, 2012:

    Lucy’s gonna have a lot of splain’n to do if they bungle this up. The D line was a brighter spot last year. Eagles brass can’t possibly think the world doesn’t know who was/wasn’t productive there. The D unit must remain intact unless they really love an addition in the draft. Laws had his shot.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 12:30 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    If LK40 is there at 15.You have to take him..no doubt about it.Im all for taking the best DT available in the 2nd RD.I Think everyone’s trying to talk themselves out of picking Luke.Almost every year there are STUD DT’s coming out in the draft..but how often do you get to draft a 10 yr starter at MLB.And I think we all can agree our DL coach IS WAY better than our LB coach.So Washburn can do more with a less skilled player,coach ’em up so to speak.That is not the case at LB.LK already has the instincts,tackling prowess and leaderhip ability.Hopefully he runs a 4.7.Barry Rubin can always help him add weight.so let’s get the best ILB in draft so that in the next draft we can address another position.We whiffed on EThomas..and since then we’ve been looking to draft impact safeties..guy’s a probowler and safety is STILL a question mark years later.I’ve seen this story b4…I hope the FO has learned from history and is not doomed to repeat it.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 12:45 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Dude…we talk about this almost every single day…you’re assuming the Eagles don’t address MLB in free agency.

    If the Eagles don’t go for a MLB then, of course Kuechly becomes the primary draft target. I think almost all of us project that.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 1:44 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Ok T. I admit I’d rather have LK40 than Tulloch or Lofton.I know you’re gonna destroy me for saying that.I just have a feeling that this dude’s gonna be special.call me crazy…and i Know you will.I would just love for the FO to draft a stud for once..so that as an iggles fan I can say…man..they nailed that pick! and resintill my confidence in them.And yes …i know it’s unwise to pick a rookie to man the middle over a vet…experience is invaluable..but to build a true championship team..i think u have to build through the draft and not just spend BIG money on FA to make up for lackluster drafting..just ask the Packers,Steelers and dare i say it..gulp..yes the Giants(man that was painful to type).Ok T…you can crush me like a bug for my flawed logic.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 1:55 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I have no issue with you coveting Luke. He’s my favorite player in the whole draft. I’d love to see him as an Eagle.

    I would ask that you not petition us to draft him on a daily basis. We’ll find out in 3 weeks if he’s in the plans. Once we get through the first days of FA, we’ll know whether to obsess on him or not.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 2:47 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’m stuck on this “address MLB in FA” line. Outside of Tulloch (who is 90% to resign with Detroit and 99% to not sign with us after Washburn snubbed him last year), who is this FA MLB who will take to the Wide-9 like a duck to water and solve our problems? Every year we see can’t miss veterans change systems and implode. One of Kuechly’s biggest assets is his mental game – and that is the biggest hurdle to picking up and excelling as a wide-9 mlb. I want and expect us to add a versatile FA LB, but unless we pull off a seismic coup and land Tulloch, we should keep our focus on acquiring Luke Kuechly.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 3:36 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’ll address this in the form of a post.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 10:41 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    The last 11 games, Eagles gave up 4.0 YPC, and their run defense was clearly superior to Detroit’s so I’m not sold on Tulloch, at least not on an expensive long term contract.

    When you look at how they played down the stretch (and not just the last four games), they need incremental upgrades at SLB and MLB, especially if the young safeties improve their tackling. So they don’t have to make desperation moves.

  47. 47 Anders Jensen said at 11:51 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    I know Detroit have Suh, but all 4 Eagles DTs outplayed the Lions DTs

  48. 48 Ben Hert said at 8:35 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if FA was after the draft?

  49. 49 Anders Jensen said at 11:52 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    FA before draft, then teams else you see alot of teams filling needs in the draft and FA getting less deals.

  50. 50 Mac said at 1:14 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Maybe I’m daft… scratch that… I most certainly am daft. BUT I don’t get the fascination with Laws… Could it be the Eagles F.O. is giving him one last hurra before he is booted out the door? As in, they’re trying to generate a market for the poor kid by pretending to be interested in keeping him here?

    I haven’t liked this news since it broke…

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 1:33 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Is it a fair statement that the Eagles FO makes Iggles fans VERY VERY nervous?
    Packers,Steelers,Ravens for the most part trust their teams’ FO.That does not seem to be the case for us Iggles fans…..

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 1:56 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Packers fans did not trust Ted Thompson prior to winning the SB. Very bothered by the lack of FA moves. And plenty are mad at him for not keeping Cullen Jenkins.

    Not sure about Ravens fans.

    Steelers definitely trust their guys.

  53. 53 Anders Jensen said at 3:00 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I still dont know why the Packers let Jenkins leave, its just make no sense, unless they really needed the cap space.

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 2:33 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Could also be the FO doesn’t want to admit that outside of DJAX they stank the joint up in the 08 draft. If Djax and Laws both leave we have no one left from that class.

  55. 55 Mac said at 3:41 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Good theory, but aren’t those guys pre-Roseman? Maybe Banner has a thing for ’em? But yeah it’s a shame to have a total whiff on a draft class… though DeSean did give us a few good years, and some good memories.

  56. 56 Anders Jensen said at 3:55 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    That is just stupid. This is the same FO there have had no problems cutting 3rd round picks after 1 year or letting go of beloved superstars

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 10:43 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    They did get the 1st rd pick by trading down which they turned into Jason Peters.

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 2:34 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Craig Steltz as a possible Colt Anderson/veteran Safety presence?

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 3:35 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’d have some interest in Craig. Price would have to be right.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 2:41 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Tommy we need to stop discussing these picks in a vacuum. I like picking a DT in the 1st or 2nd round because (like you) I think we address MLB in FA (dan connor?). I believe we are targeting Tannehill as our QB of the future either at #15 or trading both 2’s to get back into 1st round.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 2:48 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I don’t see us going for Tannehill. He’s the #3 QB and has a chance to go Top 10 due to lack of QB prospects. After him is Weeden. Can’t see us spending a high pick on a 28-yr old rookie QB when we’ve got someone in place. We took an older player last year precisely because we didn’t have a RG in place.

    I’d rather keep both 2’s than trade back into the 1st. I like those picks. If we can use ammo from the Asante trade to move up, I’m okay with that.

  62. 62 Kammich said at 4:55 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Its going to be interesting to see Osweiler perform at the Combine. I have the feeling that some team is going to fall in love with him. Obviously he’s huge, but he’s surprisingly athletic and he looked better as a passer each and every Saturday as the season went on.

    In a league where Christian Ponder went #12 overall, I’m waiting to see how many teams trip over eachother trying to add a 6’8″ junior or a guy who is only 18 or so games removed from playing WR. Should be an interesting draft class for QBs. I just don’t really see any that are worth US taking, as far as the future is concerned.

  63. 63 Eric Weaver said at 2:51 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Tommy, what’s your opinion on Brandon Carr? Is he capable of playing in the slot?

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 4:21 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Carr is a starting CB. No way the Eagles spend big money on him. Very good player.

  65. 65 Kammich said at 4:57 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I don’t think people realize how much money Brandon Carr is gonna get. A lot of people are eying the scrappy duo, Grimes and Finnegan. But Carr was the best #2 CB in the league last year, and all he does is cover. Just ask Houston how well it worked out when they signed another team’s cast off #2 CB, with Jon Joseph. Not too shabby. Carr is gonna get paaaid.

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 2:59 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Thank you for posting another great topic. I confess that I have thought that we need a plugger to absorb double teams at NT. Dixon has been MIA. Patterson just had brain surgery. And you are suggesting that we may not keep Landri — doesn’t that point to a need at NT?

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 3:34 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Patt did have surgery, but the feeling is that he’ll be fine before summer activity starts. Dixon is a player the team still has high hopes for. There is uncertainty at NT, but not necessarily a need.

    NTs in this system don’t need to be huge. That makes it easier to find them. I’d stick with the current group. If any problems arise, we should be able to find someone to plug in. Finding a guy that is 6’3, 300 with some quickness and some toughness is far different than looking for a massive 2-gapper or a DT that can fly upfield and make plays.

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 3:11 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    So I pose the question the any Iggles fan have confidence in the FO right now?..and if your answer is NO …. name one move (more than one if u wish) that the FO can make to reinstill your confidence in them

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 8:41 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I do have confidence.

    I know this is not a popular opinion in Eagles fan circles, but I was right there with the front office last season in thinking “okay, we’re young and inexperienced at LB and S, and it might cost us a game or two, but we have so much talent on offense and on the D-Line and in the secondary, we’ll be right in the mix by the end of the year, by which point the inexperienced players will have some experience.”

    I also think this FO has taken the Super Bowl-hopeful teams of ’04 and beyond and completely recrafted them in two or three seasons without ever having the team drop below 8-8. While last season was a disappointment, I always believed the team was set to peak in 2012, and I think the moves they made the past few seasons leave really only a few “need” moves to be made heading into this season to be very good.

    At a certain point, the FO sets the table, and it’s on the coaches and players to perform. I think if we fix up LB, do some addition by subtraction at CB, and handle the DeSean/WR situation well, and other small stuff (re-sign Mathis, backup QB/RB, etc.), I’ll be very pleased with the job they’ve done, and turn my focus to those on field level.

    (I realize I totally dodged your question and typed an opus, but it’s there now, so deal)

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 1:16 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    I do have confidence in this FO and to keep it they need to add two quality LBs either top tier FA or, my preference, using 2 of their 1st 3 picks. I’m a Rolle fan and was Chaney fan. Jamar is on probation. He was bounced around this year and seemed to regress. I absolutely want to keep him based on the promise of 2010 however I love the idea of adding Kuechly and David to compete with Rolle and Chaney. “IF” kuechly and David can play to potential I think we get a very healthy 4 way competition with excellent scheme flexibility. All can play 2 or 3 of the LB positions. LB goes from a liability to an asset in 2012 to a strong asset in 2013,,,,2018. I get there are DT and DE talents however I think we’re fine there for several years. They can address them in 2013 and 2014. .

  71. 71 Liam Garrett said at 3:14 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Forgive my ignorance, but would Jason Jones be a UT in our system? (I’m guessing that because he was played at DE, which must mean he’s good at pursuing the QB.)

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 3:30 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Yes. Jones is a get up the field guy. Goes 6’5, 276. You may also hear/see UT referred to as the “3-technique”.

    One thing I should have made more clear is that the guys do switch roles in certain looks in certain games. This isn’t like RG and RT where the roles are set in stone. There is some flexibility.

  73. 73 Liam Garrett said at 3:14 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Forgive my ignorance, but would Jason Jones be a UT in our system? (I’m guessing that because he was played at DE, which must mean he’s good at pursuing the QB.)

  74. 74 Joe Malone said at 3:24 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I don’t mind getting Kuechly, but theres no guarantee he is there at 15. If I’m the cowboys and I know for a fact the eagles want Kuechly at 15, I would certainly think about taking him at 14. Not only does that give them a top Linebacker unit, but it hurts us more than anything. Just my two cents

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 4:09 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Good point and it wouldn’t be the first time. That is why I expect them to go after a versatile FA MLB/OLB. Someone to compete for MLB should Kuechly fall to us. The winner starts a MLB, the runner up moves outside.

  76. 76 Anonymous said at 8:06 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    First off I would welcome the Cowboys drafting LK40, and I’m a huge LK40 fan. If a team drafts to spite division rivals rather than fill their own needs then that is going to catch up to them eventually. The Cowgirls need a CB way worse, than they need another very good 3-4 ILB. If they take Kuechly we will throw on them so much even Andy will be like “can we run the damn ball now please?”

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 8:43 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I quite enjoyed us running the ball on them last year actually.


  78. 78 Eric Weaver said at 8:47 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    A team isn’t going to take a guy just so another rival team doesn’t.

  79. 79 Anonymous said at 3:25 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    In the Tampa 2, didn’t the UT and NT play the 1 technique and 3 technique nearly exclusively, clearly we sometimes line our DTs up at 1 and 3, but also both at 3, and in that really weird alignment where Cullen and and the DE next to him lined up so close and so wide my guess Cullen as a 6 technique and the DE at 7. I know that Bleeding Green did a great breakdown last year of Washburn’s Titans versus the Eagles showing the ends and tackles playing nearly every techniques down the line at some time or another. It was very interesting. Will Washburn look for an NT or a UT, or a DT that he can play anywhere?

  80. 80 Anonymous said at 3:49 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    In some Nickel/Dime looks we had both DTs line up in the 3-tech. That isn’t a common alignment. I’m focusing on base looks.

    There are times when our guys line up oddly so that we have set up for stunts and loops. You might see Cullen out wide. He’ll then fire off the ball and try to engage 2 blockers. Babin would loop to the inside and come unblocked up the middle because Cullen had gotten the attention of the G & T.

    Washburn needs UTs for his system to work. You can find pluggers anywhere. Getting DTs that can rush the passer well is a whole other story.

  81. 81 Anonymous said at 4:38 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Our base look is 9-3-1-9 right? I love that we vary it, I’m not counting how many times when I’m watching, I’d love to know those figures. How hard must it have been for young linebackers behind such a mother stunting line?

    I’m trying to understand the terminology, so when we have both guys lining up at 3, we have two UTs, would that be correct? And when they line up wider than that neither expression applies. I think I get it now. Cox would be a great UT for us for many of the reasons I wanted Wilkerson last year, his ability outside of UT.

    If you listen to Cris Colloingsworth (and I’m not promoting that) he was for ever trying to show the distance between the ends and tackles and how the Eagles had adjusted and narrowed the space. (Maybe also alluding that our base was 9-3-3-9, even spacing) Why didn’t he simply state where the were playing either using UT/NT terminology or gap technique? Does he not get it, or does he underestimate his audience?

    Finally, had Chicago not traded ahead of us and taken Paea, (who I believe we would have picked) he’d of been bought mainly to play the NT, correct?

  82. 82 Anonymous said at 5:12 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Base is 9-1-3-9. Correct.

    Yes on the 2 UTs when both guys are at 3-tech.

    After the first month the Eagles did make some adjustments, but it was situational. Tightened the DEs on some run downs.

    Collinsworth is smart guy. He tries explaining things well, but networks don’t like analysts getting technical. They don’t want the guys to bore casual fans.

    I assume we liked Paea, but never got confirmation that it was totally legit and not a smokescreen. Paea was short at 6’1, but he was able to play NT and UT. Had 6 sacks as a Senior and 14 in his final 3 seasons. He was a better pass rusher than some realize.

  83. 83 Anonymous said at 5:38 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    There was a lot of fan talk about how in the wide 9 the opposing centre was free to tee off on the MiKE, which shows that said fans weren’t paying attention or were only talking about when we threw in 2 UTs.

    On Collingsworth, you are right about not liking their analysts to tell us ‘who’ bought us that touchdown/interception/play, and ‘what’ will be next on with their broadcaster. Here in Blighty we have a lot to thank the non-commercial BBC for in the way it has shaped media.

  84. 84 Anonymous said at 10:45 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember Jenkins on the left side and Patterson on the right on a lot of plays. Which doesn’t fit the normal alignment of the NT on the strong side and the UT on the weak side.

    Does Washburn actually use a NT?
    Haynesworth was really a UT, and Tony Brown certainly didn’t fit anyone’s idea of a NT.

  85. 85 Anonymous said at 3:34 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    The UT lines up on the outside eye of the OG, on witch side of the ball? What factors determine this? Do the UT and the NT switch sides?

  86. 86 Anders Jensen said at 4:16 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    The UT most often lineup on the weak side and the NT on the strong side.

  87. 87 Anonymous said at 5:54 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Unless the nose is playing the 0 technique in which case he is stunting to the strong.

  88. 88 Anonymous said at 8:09 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    ??? You have that backwards. UT goes to the stregnth.


  89. 89 Anders Jensen said at 2:03 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    I know the Eagles lined up Babin-Patt-Jenkins-Cole, leaving the UT on the weak side.

  90. 90 Anonymous said at 12:15 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    I’m just saying most of the time the UT will go to the strength. Obviously every look has a wrinkle and those wrinkles have wrinkles but on the aggregate the UT will go to the Strong Side.

  91. 91 Anders Jensen said at 4:16 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    The UT most often lineup on the weak side and the NT on the strong side.

  92. 92 ike said at 3:46 PM on February 20th, 2012:


    Picking up on a question I asked awhile back about how the Eagles “value” draft-eligible players (e.g., trade out of the 1st round because the players on the board don’t merit a 1st-round selection).

    I asked if you thought the Eagles use absolute values or relative values — that is, value compared to players in prior drafts or players in this draft.

    The answer was “players in this draft”.

    All that was in the context of asking you to compare Kuechley to Patrick Willis and Ehrlacher and Ray Lewis (who was, you later said, before you began this project).

    This leads me to Morton’s earlier comment concerning value vs. need.

    Assuming the Eagles add no starting-quality MLB during FA, I think these are fair questions to ask if you’re the Eagles’ front office:

    1. Does Kuechley have the *value* of being No. 15 relative to all the other draft-eligible players, given that he’ll be in a Wide-9 defense?

    2. Does Kuechley have the historical value for a player in the Nos. 13-17 area of the draft?

    3. Will Kuechley be a dominant, game changer of a player and not just a solid player — something I think the 15th overall pick should deliver both in longterm performance and relative to other available players from his draft class.

    I get that Mike Mayock (who seems really good) has Kuechley as the best MLB this year.

    But I’d like to hear MM weigh in on the *value* question, as posed by Morton: Is Kuechley the right pick value-wise as compared to a DT, for example, or some other player who, while not a desperate need, is an upgrade.

    Need-picks, like Danny Watkins and Jon Harris, usually invite overvaluing the player vis-a-vis the draft slot. (Harris is off the charts on that one. Watkins may become very good . . . but All Pro good good, I don’t know.)

    In short, I understand that every draft is about ordering that particular year’s potential draftees from best to worst.

    But I also think there’s something to be said — certainly when choosing in the top half of Rd 1 — about selecting players who’ll provide the best value over the long haul, not the best player at a need-position that year who projects as no more than a solid, second-tier NFL player at that position.

    Maybe that’s why taking the BPA is the best approach . . . assuming the long-term value’s there.

    Kuechley may have great instincts. But if he’s going to be another James Laurinaitis, then maybe the Eagles should look — as Morton considers — at another position that offers greater value.


  93. 93 Liam Garrett said at 4:07 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Yikes. Did Bertrand Russell write that question? That was way over my head.

  94. 94 Anonymous said at 4:10 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Good thoughts. And this is why you prefer BPA to need. Needs and talent don’t always match.

    Eagles taking Kuechly would be as much about past failures at LB as anything. And sometimes you do have to overpay. Trying to find a solution to a problem with limited costs isn’t bad, but when the problem remains…at some point you suck it up and go with the sure thing. Think of this as trying to fix something on your own vs calling the plumber or electrician or whoever. Nothing wrong with trying, but there is a time to give up and get out the checkbook.

  95. 95 Zach Reese said at 4:37 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    What is the main basis for your inkling that the Eagles will fill the MLB void in FA instead of with Kuechly?

    Is it that the front office would consider it safer to adress the position with a veteran?

    Or that we don’t want to run the risk of Kuechly being selected prior to pick 15, and us being stuck with Chaney or Matthews as our only options?

    Or do you simply get the feeling that the front office may not covet Kuechly as greatly as you or many Eagles fans appear to? Or atleast may covet him less than other prospects we could bring in with that 1st rd pick?

    I’m not trying to beat the LK horse to a pulp 2 months before the draft, but I’m a bit curious as to why you doubt the Eagles move toward what appears to be a logical solution?

  96. 96 Anders Jensen said at 4:48 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    The way I see it. If we get a MLB and a WR in FA, that leave us with no holes when the draft comes and we can take the BPA or trade back depending on the value of the players left when we draft. That way we dont have to force a McDougle situation or to some extend Danny Watkins situation.

  97. 97 Anonymous said at 5:15 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    No guarantees you get Luke on draft day. And if you do, he’s still a rookie. No guarantee that he’ll absolutely adjust quickly and be “the man” right away. I sure think he will, but we see sure things all the time that don’t work.

    Signing a vet MLB gives you a safer solution. And as Anders points out…it gives you the freedom to take who you want.

  98. 98 Anonymous said at 11:21 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I see Lofton, Tulloch and hawthorne all as solid above average MLBs but Kuechly has the potential to be a special player. I’ll tale Sean Lee over all 3 so Mayock pushed a button with me. He’ll be there unless his 40 dips solidly below 4..65. If they got average play from MLB in 2011 they were in the playoffs instead of the giants. I’d also add David in the 2nd and expect you convert LB from a liability to an asset in one year and strong asset in two. Chaney started 2011 as out best LB. If he’s not 4th best in 2012 I’ll be disappointed. Right now I have Rolle #1

  99. 99 Anders Jensen said at 2:06 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Here is a very good link to show why run defense and offense is overrated in today NFL

    So getting the best FA MLB should be more then enough if we solve our problem covering RBs in the draft.

  100. 100 Anonymous said at 10:02 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    nice link, thanks, need more time to absorb but my desire of draft over FA is I think we can do better in the draft at OLB AND MLB. The problem with RBs in the passing game was more tackling than coverage. The Bradshaw catch abusing Matthews wasn’t a chronic event. The bigger problem was YAC. I want Kuechly at 15 and David at 46 or 51. We’ve not been successful adding FA LBs. I like Rolle a lot. Chaney regressed in 2011 but love the idea if him pushing all 3. If he can be the guy he was at the end of 2010 he forces all 3 to elevate their games. LB has been a liability most of the last decade. Perfect time to make it an asset for an extended period.

  101. 101 Anonymous said at 12:59 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    Top of the list? Teams better in CHFF’s Real Quarterback Rating won a remarkable 86.9 percent of all NFL games in 2011. Way at the bottom? Teams better in Rushing Yards Per Attempt won just 47.6 percent of NFL games.

    At their best, these indicators either refute or confirm conventional wisdom about what’s important in pro football and what’s not.


    all true but like all stats have to be taken in context. It’s always been a QB league but far moreso in this era of 5,000 yard seasons. So when your best player is in the most critical position you are going to win. No genius there. Conversely if you have a weaker QB you are going to run more. Minnesota was a good run team because they had little choice. Despite all of the pissing on Reid and Castillo the Eagles failures were easy to diagnose and it wasn’t them. The #4 offense was sloppy with the football and the #8 defense sucked at tackling. That’s tackling runners and pass receivers. I don’t want to give the coaches a pass. There’s much to pick at but they’ll be looking a lot smarter if the add two LBs from the top of the deck.

  102. 102 Anonymous said at 11:13 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Reid tends to equalize BPA, Value and need by moving around. He’s traded out of the 1st because the BPA wasn’t a need and he’s moved up to maximize BPA with value and/or need. He saw Maclin more as a value (steal) and Graham as both. Clearly Watkins was need but I’d argue the value was in-line. Those who ranked him out of the 1st did so on age. There was a wide consensus he was a strong 1st round talent.

  103. 103 Anonymous said at 4:05 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Tommy, what is you complete opinion on Matt’s pick for the Eagles in his mock?

  104. 104 Anonymous said at 4:20 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’m not a fan of Jerel Worthy to the Eagles. He lists at 6’3, but I wonder if he’s shorter. Washburn likes his DTs to have some height if possible. Fletcher Cox is 6’4. Jared Crick is 6’4 or 6’5. Derek Wolfe is 6’5. I think Wash would prefer guys with that build.

    He is a quick, disruptive player, but isn’t a gifted pass rusher. Wash wants guys who get to the QB. Worthy explodes off the ball, but isn’t necessarily a gifted athlete when it comes to playing on the move and being agile.

    I could see Worthy being a good NT in our system, but I’m not sure he’d be someone Wash would want at UT. Don’t know this for a fact. Just guessing. If Worthy was available in the mid-rounds I’m sure he’d be of interest, but at pick 15 you are usually looking for Mr. Right. Other teams may prefer Worthy at 15. All depends on what you are looking for.

  105. 105 Anonymous said at 6:15 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Gee, didn’t you just describe Bunkley?
    Though Bunkley’s problem is he couldn’t find the ball after he penetrated.

    One reason I look at college stats, making plays doesn’t make you a NFL player, but not making plays against inferior talent raises a big red flag in my book.

  106. 106 Anonymous said at 4:20 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I’m not a fan of Jerel Worthy to the Eagles. He lists at 6’3, but I wonder if he’s shorter. Washburn likes his DTs to have some height if possible. Fletcher Cox is 6’4. Jared Crick is 6’4 or 6’5. Derek Wolfe is 6’5. I think Wash would prefer guys with that build.

    He is a quick, disruptive player, but isn’t a gifted pass rusher. Wash wants guys who get to the QB. Worthy explodes off the ball, but isn’t necessarily a gifted athlete when it comes to playing on the move and being agile.

    I could see Worthy being a good NT in our system, but I’m not sure he’d be someone Wash would want at UT. Don’t know this for a fact. Just guessing. If Worthy was available in the mid-rounds I’m sure he’d be of interest, but at pick 15 you are usually looking for Mr. Right. Other teams may prefer Worthy at 15. All depends on what you are looking for.

  107. 107 Kammich said at 4:47 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    I remember first coming to an understanding of the one-gap scheme for DTs when Minnesota was torturing offenses with it in the earlier half of the decade. Pat Williams at NT occupying people and Kevin Williams just blowing by people at UT and harassing the QB.

    I’m not sure Mike Patterson or even a healthy Dixon could be our “Pat Williams,” but I do really like the prospect of drafting a young Kevin Williams-type early in the draft and rotating him in behind the already super-disruptive Jenkins. We’d ideally be looking at getting 12-14 sacks a year, just out of our under tackle. Thats a huge number.

  108. 108 Anonymous said at 5:04 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy, I know the Eagles haven’t been that successful with ACL injury rehab players lately, what is the earliest you’d take Josh Chapman, who might be a solid NT when he returns from the injury?

  109. 109 Anonymous said at 8:05 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Problem isn’t ACLs, they’re pretty routine these days.
    Problem is ACL with complications:

    Jack I, ACL, MCL other damage
    Ingram, botched ACL, had to be redone
    Graham, ACL and microfracture (cartilage damage)

    Bucky had two ACLs and kept playing, Lynch has had two ACLs, and so on.

  110. 110 Anonymous said at 8:58 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Josh is good 3-4 NT. Not sure about details on his knee injury. I would guess he’d go somewhere in the 4th or 5th. Just a guess, though.

  111. 111 Anonymous said at 5:17 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    First off i would like to thank Tommy for this info. I do not know much about football but your teaching me believe it or not. Along with knowledge comes questions so…. The eagles had 5 DEs and 5 DTs in total. So it seems as though we should keep 3 UTs and 2 DTs. Do you see the eagles having 6 DTs. I think the major question is would Washburn prefer Laws or Jason Jones? rather than Landri or Laws. Laws is thought to play UT and DE and same with Jason Jones. I dont know the problem with Dixon but it seems that Dixon is not fast enough off the ball for this system. Dixon is a RFA, what does that mean for the eagles? I remember Caplan mention getting a second year tender. I think that is what he said. I know i sound like i do not know anything but what does that mean? Is the roles of the LDE and RDE different? Albert Haynesworth played NT,UT,DE for Titans is there a player anywhere that could be that player for eagles? Akiem Hicks?

  112. 112 Anonymous said at 10:51 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Washburn would absolutely prefer Jason Jones to Trevor Laws. Problem is that Jones will cost more money.

    Dixon is a big, powerful guy. Goes 6’3, 322. Washburn would probably prefer him to be 310. Wash likes his guys in good shape so that they can play hard and fast. Dixon has now spent time with Wash and we’ll see how he handles the offseason. I would assume Dixon will come to Lehigh in really good shape. He is a RFA. Eagles make him a tender offer. If a team matches it, we get a pick from them.

    In most defenses, LDE is more of a run defender. Jim Washburn likes his guys to be pass rushers so he isn’t as interested in having a big guy at LDE. RDE is more of a speed position.

    Akiem Hicks isn’t DE material. DT.

    Fletcher Cox, Jared Crick, and Derek Wolfe are 3 guys who could all play DE and DT.

  113. 113 Anonymous said at 6:31 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Off topic:

    Why were the Chiefs able to sign Stanford Routt today?

    This appears to be slight bad news, as now they can use the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe instead of a defensive back.

  114. 114 Anonymous said at 7:14 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Routt was recently cut, making him a true FA. Other guys have contracts that expired at the end of the 2011 season, but can’t be signed now because the new league year has yet to start.

    Agree. Bad news, RE: D Bowe.

  115. 115 Anonymous said at 8:49 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    That’s what I thought, but nothing I read said as much.

  116. 116 Kammich said at 7:29 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Reinforces my hunch that Brandon Carr is going to get a lot more money than people think. Routt was very good two years ago, but he was an embarrassment to his huge contract last year. I remember reading that he gave up something like 9 TDs and was flagged 18 times. Downgrade for the Chiefs, unless Routt flourishes in being the #2 CB again after flopping as a #1 last year.

  117. 117 Mac said at 8:22 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Ok… so I think I may have figured out how things are going to work.

    1. The Eagles signed a new DBs coach who is a former (and pretty rock solid) Safety
    2. The Eagles D-line was a bright spot last season
    3. Good things happen when Derek Landri is on the field.
    4. The LBers were the obvious weak link with regard to players and coaches.

    Pseudo Facts:
    1. The Eagles should be set a CB with a possible need to upgrade at slot
    2. The Eagles have already made an offer to Trevor Laws.
    3. Derek Landri is a gamer/baller/playmaker/shot caller
    4. Most Eagles LBers focus more on what’s for dinner than football.

    1. Eagles play base defense with 3 Safeties in a “wishbone” formation
    2. Draft more talent for the D-line
    3. Make Derek Landri the Middle (only) LBer on the field every down
    4. Let the rest of the LBers polish up their special teams skills and compete for a shot at playing Safety.

    Starting lineup…

    Cole, Jenkins, Patterson, Babin
    Allen, Coleman, Jarrett
    Nnamdi, DRC, Boykin

  118. 118 Kirk Belmont said at 9:54 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    Haha. good idea

  119. 119 Anonymous said at 10:14 PM on February 20th, 2012:

    how could they possibly consider laws over landri? im really tired of asking questions like this.

  120. 120 Anonymous said at 7:27 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    We better resign Landri. I can’t c why we wouldn’t. Not many teams run D like us. Landri didnt do much in Carolina so he needs a system lime ours. So we shouldn’t have a ton of competition for him. Hopefully the eagles r playing hard ball and acting like they aren’t sure if they want him back. PFF rates Landri really good. Mathis and Landri were huge steals.

    We need more guys like Jenkins on our team. He seems like a leader

  121. 121 Mac said at 8:51 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    I believe that Jenkins value is through the roof for year 2. Very productive player, and I have him pegged as one of the stand out leaders of this defense. (Cole is elite but a peaceful predator, Babin is a flash in the pan who just comes across as cocky) I believe NFL caliber players can look up to the fiery leadership of Jenkins… I think I may have just selected my next jersey : )

  122. 122 Mac said at 8:52 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Oh and while I’m at it… “sucks to your assmar Green Bay” (adapted quote from lord of the flies) this D-line thievery is paybacks for stealing Reggie!

  123. 123 Anonymous said at 9:48 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    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

  124. 124 Anonymous said at 10:36 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Looks like Mike Wallace will hit the FA Market….He is RFA, but man would I love to have him instead of Desean. Same speed, but is a way more complete receiver. What is funny, is the teams that are showing interest are the Ravens, Pats, Browns, Bengals. All teams that are the Steelers biggest rivals. I live in PGH and hate the steelers with a passion and love this information.

  125. 125 Sjampen said at 11:35 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Mike Wallace is my dream replacement of DeSean. Very similar to DeSean, but Wallace just plays bigger and tougher than he is. He isn’t Boldin who almost enjoys being a target for the LBs, but Wallace impresses me so much because he takes the ball over the middle, on start routes, on deep routes, on end arounds. DeSean might be a special weapon, but I think Wallace is a much better WR and still a good weapon to have on your roster. I have heard though, that he is kind of a minor league jackass like DeSean, which i wouldn’t want to go through again, but I’m not really familiar with Steeler gossip.

  126. 126 Anonymous said at 10:36 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Per Andrew Brandt:
    The Eagles and Cullen Jenkins have reworked contract to remain with team. Originally designed as one-year deal, now restructured.


  127. 127 Anonymous said at 11:50 AM on February 21st, 2012:

    Yeah, except it can’t be correct. If Jenkins had a 1-year deal he would be in the same boat as Landry and couldn’t extend it yet. I think Jenkins had a 5-year deal, maybe they restructured the roster bonus or something.

  128. 128 Anonymous said at 12:02 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    It was originally a 5 year deal with a $7.5 mil roster bonus due this year (I think he was set to earn it in a few weeks in fact).

    It’s great that he was restructured, but I am curious to find out how the deal was restructured. I don’t think anyone would argue he underperformed his contract, so I doubt he restructured in a way that would cost him money. This may be a question Sam can answer, but Jenkins restructuring his contract makes me wonder why the contract was structured the way it was in the first place. Any thoughts?

  129. 129 Anonymous said at 12:11 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    Also, depending on how they structured the rest of the deal (i.e. making it harder to justify benching or cutting Jenkins later in his career), does this affect the likelihood of going after an UT in the first round?

  130. 130 Sjampen said at 12:24 PM on February 21st, 2012:

    My guess would be that he gets a smaller roster bonus this year, but gets another one next year, and the after that. That will give him more money and making him hard to cut, and the Eagles get to spread the bonus’ out to different cap years.

  131. 131 Anonymous said at 10:45 AM on February 21st, 2012: