Eagles Notebook

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 34 Comments »

There isn’t one pressing topic tonight so let’s discuss a variety of things.

Alex Henery as an important 4th round pick.   Right now Henery is a solid young PK.  We’ll see how his career goes.  If he develops into a Pro Bowl type PK, then I’ll agree that he was an important 4th round pick.  For now he hasn’t shown anything special.  He posted good stats last year, but mostly had short kicks and never faced a critical situation.  I hope he does become a top shelf PK and I have to change my designations.  Henery certainly has the potential to be an outstanding kicker.

Why let Nnamdi cover TEs at all this year?   Don’t think of this as Nnamdi vs TEs.  Think of this as him vs elite receivers.  When you face some teams, the TE is the best pass catcher.  Vernon Davis is the Niners best receiver.  Why put Nnamdi on a mediocre WR and have Mychal Kendricks vs Davis?  Some TEs are special and can’t be thought of in a normal way.

* * * * *

DeSean Jackson made an interesting comment in an interview on PE.com.  He talked about the need to improve the short/intermediate pass game in order to open up the deep stuff.  He’s dead on the money about this.  Teams played their Safeties really deep last year and forced the Eagles to move the ball in a more controlled fashion.  The Eagles didn’t respond well enough.

Jackson showed a lot of promise on short routes in his first couple of seasons, but not so much in the next 2.  It is good that he’s talking about this.  The coaches have planted the seed and he’s bought into it.  Now we need to see DJax in action.  The first time he catches a pass on a crossing route and turns that into a nice gain, I’ll be a very happy camper.

* * * * *

What is mental burnout?  Try watching OTA highlights on PE.com and wondering which RB is #25.  I actually had to go look at the roster before realizing that was Shady. So…who wants some brain surgery or their taxes done?

Memo to self…this isn’t just rookie camp.

* * * * *

Congratulations to the Sixers.  They won tonight and forced a Game 7.  Boston will probably get some rest, makes some adjustments, and win the game, but I’m happy the young guys have held up this well.  This team is headed in the right direction, no matter what happens this weekend.

* * * * *

Evan Mathis is a funny man on Twitter.

Example 1

Example 2   – you have to look at the table in the far background

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Sounds like another slow day from Trent Edwards based on all the reporters comments.  Not good for him.  If he continues to struggle, Trent could be cut by mid-June.  The team would then likely go find another veteran to come in and compete.

Andy Reid won’t be in a rush to cut him.  He’ll be somewhat patient, hoping that the light goes on.  The disappointing part of this is that Edwards isn’t throwing the ball well.  I don’t know if he’s pressing and trying to do too much or he’s simply lost it.

* * * * *


A Demetress Bell story from Dave Spadaro, with some practice notes at the bottom.

Les Bowen wrote about Casey Matthews.  Good stuff, as you would expect.

I forgot to link to Les’s story on Eugene Chung.  I love reading about assistant coaches.  Right now Howard Mudd is in Arizona resting up to hip bump with Shady.  Chung is running the OL.  Chung is the OL coach of the future those it is good for him to get the experience.  We have 4 of 5 starters returning so that gives Chung a good situation to work with.  It is interesting to hear how much Chung likes Demetress Bell.  That matches everything I’ve heard.  I hope we’re not getting our hopes up too much for Bell.  No one expects him to be Jason Peters, but the hype is building.  He better be pretty darn good.

34 Comments on “Eagles Notebook”

  1. 1 Septhinox said at 11:36 PM on May 23rd, 2012:

    Was Chung the Oline coach of the future when Juan was the Oline coach? If so, what do you think his style will be? Adopt Mudd’s approach or go back to Juan’s or a unique approach?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:55 PM on May 23rd, 2012:

    He was here under Castillo. Since Chung is a young guy, I’m sure he’ll base his system around the players already in place. When he has a chance to rebuild a unit down the road, we’ll see what he chooses. I would think learning from a master OL coach like Mudd would have a permanent effect on you.

  3. 3 T_S_O_P said at 10:32 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    Castillo and Reid went to more than a few Mudd symposiums in their time.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 12:49 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    True. I don’t know what kind of OL Andy prefers. Would be hard to study his college teams and figure that out since most colleges have similar sized guys.

    GB didn’t have mammoth blockers, but Andy was just TEs coach up there (and QB eventually).

    Castillo likes his big boys. Mudd prefers small. Andy likes ’em all.

  5. 5 Flyin said at 11:51 PM on May 23rd, 2012:


    You mention the emphasis on the short/intermediate routes. These are my question, which I would like your thoughts…

    Vick had a ridiculous amount of passes tipped last year. 30+? Were those short/intermediate failures? And who is accountable? What’s the fix?

    Kelce mentioned a good idea last December… http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/article-1/Eagles-Trying-To-Eliminate-Tipped-Passes/a47688a4-ad6e-4844-a119-24d6969ae6ce

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 11:59 PM on May 23rd, 2012:

    The key is for Vick to find gaps in the OL/DL and get the ball out quickly. Last year he was too casual with the ball at times and that led to a slow delivery and blocked passes. There were other times when he just didn’t see defenders and hit them.

    It should not be a complicated fix. We’ll just have to wait and see how Vick does.

    As for Kelce’s idea…that’s common NFL wisdom. If a guy jumps, pop him in the gut to discourage him from doing it again.

  7. 7 Eric Weaver said at 8:23 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    Does Mudd’s scheme teach the players on how to keep defenders hands down?

  8. 8 ian_no_2 said at 12:35 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    From what I read, Kafka was worse than Edwards. The Eagles may be shopping for a backup QB. Edwards may be a placeholder til Donovan asks for a backup contract. It’s either that or Dennis Dixon, or the return of AJ Feeley.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 12:46 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    The Eagles still like Kafka a lot. They’ll be patient with him. They have a relationship with him. Edwards is an outsider that they won’t be as patient with.

    That said, Kafka has to get the job done or the team will be forced to start looking more aggressively at veterans in June/July.

  10. 10 iskar36 said at 12:55 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    Personally, I’m not too concerned from the reports coming out about Kafka at the OTAs…yet. It’s still very early so I don’t want to jump to a conclusion. Having said that, my feelings going into this offseason has been questioning Kafka going unchallenged for the backup QB spot (Edwards is a wishful thinking-type project, not a legitimate competition for Kafka). I just hope that at some point, if Kafka doesn’t actually earn the backup spot, the Eagles get passed their “liking his potential a lot” and look for someone with some actual success. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there are a ton of options out their at this point.

    The biggest part of this concern is that Vick is likely to be out at least two games. According to Kapadia, since he has been an Eagle, it’s actually a little over three games per season. Thus, our backup QB is very likely to see some playing time. Hopefully Kafka goes out and shows significant strides from last year, but I’m never a fan of question marks at the QB position.

  11. 11 austinfan said at 12:59 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    Thinking about all the blitzes Juan is showing, this may have less to do with the defense than a reflection of the fact that Vick was blitzed more than any other QB in the NFL. So start in OTAs and let him look at every combination of blitzes imaginable until it’s second nature for him to account for all 11 players on defense.

    And it gives opposing OCs something to think about.

  12. 12 Anders Jensen said at 6:14 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    Tommy if breaking the rookie record for FG% isnt a big deal, you hold your kicker to lofty standards 😉 Without that pointless 60 yarder, he would haver shattered the record.

  13. 13 Davesbeard said at 6:34 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    He did have a fair few solid long 45+ yarders in the last few games from what I can remember too. Admittedly he doesn’t inspire any confidence in me though.

  14. 14 Eric Weaver said at 8:24 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    Nor did Akers until he became established. I wasn’t big on the idea of drafting a kicker, but we’ll just have to see.

  15. 15 mheil said at 10:15 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    I agree. The criticism that he didn’t kick many pressure FGs had more to do with the failure of the rest of the team putting him in position to kick game tying or winning FGs rather than Reid protecting Henery. At the end of games it was typically the D giving up leads or the O making turnovers rather than the O making plays. Based on his rookie year, he has already proven that he is one of the best 4th round choices in the Reid era. Of course, whether he develops into a Pro Bowl player or will ever be as reliable as Akers is still to be determined but, based on his college career and rookie year, I am optimistic.

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 12:56 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    Henery had a very good rookie season. I don’t dispute that.

    However…before we get too excited…in 12 of 16 games he did not make a FG of 40 or more yards. He was given short kicks and he nailed them. That is impressive, but it doesn’t come close to qualifying him as a top PK or weapon.

    I don’t question his leg strength. I don’t question his ability. Henery is a victim of the fact that the offense got into the RZ a lot. He could light it up this year in the 40-49 range. He could start hitting 50 yd FGs. Until then, he’s a good PK, but not a significant player in my mind.

    Henery posted “great stats”, but you have to keep them in context. How many rookie PKs have as few long attempts as he did? If one of you guys does the research, I’ll be really impressed.

    If you set the stats aside and focus on the fact he nailed short FGs…that is good, but not something out of the ordinary. Henery’s value will be determined by what he does in the long run. Andy was conservative with him last year. That isn’t likely to continue.

  17. 17 teltschikfakeout88 said at 8:08 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    Thank you Tommy in keeping it real!

  18. 18 iskar36 said at 1:04 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    I don’t want to speak for Tommy, but I’m not sure he is trying to say he is down at all on Henery. I think he is giving a fair assessment. Henery showed that he is a very reliable kicker inside of 40 yards during the regular flow of the game. That being said, he had limited opportunities to kick in clutch moments and only made 1 kick from beyond 50 (only had two opportunities and the other was a 60+ yard end of half opportunity). What that all means is Henery has done everything he has been asked to do so far right. That being said, you make your money as a kicker by being able to hit clutch kicks and making the long FGs. He certainly has not shown that he can’t make those kicks, but he still has to do it a few more times before we can say he can.

  19. 19 teltschikfakeout88 said at 8:10 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    Well stated iskar!

  20. 20 AnirudhJ said at 8:02 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    I may be a Johnny-come-lately on this subject, but I wanted to bring up your comment “Teams played their Safeties really deep last year and forced the Eagles to move the ball in a more controlled fashion. The Eagles didn’t respond well enough.”

    I couldn’t agree more with this statement and as ambivalent a supporter of Andy Reid as I may be, there’s no denying that he and Marty are two of the better offensive coaches in the league. How was it that they came to be stumped by the same, pretty obvious, strategy time and again? My take last year was that it was personnel more than coaching:
    1) QB: I thought Vick had the same issue that McNabb used to have, i.e., an inability to identify receivers who were _about to get_ open rather than receivers who were _already_ open
    2) WRs: DeSean just wouldn’t execute on the short and medium routes, Maclin lost a lot of trust because of those key early game drops/fumbles, Avant just didn’t seem to be able to get open, and Steve Smith was just way too good and the rest of the offense couldn’t keep up with him
    3) Coaches: Maybe AR/MM suffered from the Martz effect of wanting too much gadgetry instead of just plain execution.

    How would you apportion the blame here? I’m leaning more towards Vick / anticipation, an issue which I don’t think we ever really solved with McNabb. This issue is clearly linked to our redzone struggles and given our inability to fix that, regardless of personnel, I’m not too optimistic for the fix this year either.

  21. 21 Eric Weaver said at 8:26 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    To jump off this, if the safeties were truly staying deep, was it solely because of the deep passes or possibly because of Shady’s break-away runs? Or were his break-away runs and overall success last year because of the threat of the deep pass? Also, if the Eagles begin to work more intermediate stuff and cause the safeties to creep in, does that hurt Shady’s production?

  22. 22 Tyler Phillips said at 9:48 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    I’m not sure I think of it in those terms. We saw a ton of deep safety last year. This can be contributed at least partially to having horrendous field position and other teams not wanting to give up a 70+ killshot. The solution isn’t difficult, be less predictable. They won’t be able to sit with deep safeties if they can’t stop a shorter/quicker passing game. In other words, teams don’t fear our YAC ability. Maybe that changes with Maclin being 100% this year, but until we are as big of a threat to break a big play off of quick plays, as we are off of deep strikes, we will continue to see extra deep S.

  23. 23 Mac said at 11:00 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    On production over the course of a season, I would project that it stays similar… reason being due to the fact that the S will occasionally whiff and Shady will be off to the races for a long TD or the S may get caught in traffic or blocked by Kelce etc.

    I attribute Shady’s numbers to:
    1. The fact that he cuts and “disappears” unlike almost any other back in the game today… it’s hard for an opposing DC to game plan when you don’t have someone who can imitate what he does when he is improvising.
    2. The presence of Mudd’s blocking and simplifying the running game.
    3. The Mike Vick factor
    4. The fact that the Eagles are a threat to pass on virtually every down.

  24. 24 Sam Lynch said at 10:14 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    The only vet I see them signing if they move on from Edwards is AJ Feeley, who wouldn’t require much work in terms of learning the scheme (and wouldn’t cause a silly distraction, like McNabb). At this point, why take snaps away from Kafka and/or Foles unless you are both certain you are going to get rid of Kafka and are excited about the talent level of the flotsam and jetsam left on the market.

  25. 25 Kevin_aka_RC said at 11:59 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    I really like this suggestion, but how much are you giving away to acquire him from the Rams?

  26. 26 Sam Lynch said at 1:48 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    Feeley is a free agent. So with cold cash, baby.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 1:07 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    If Foles continues to impress, you could be right. Still, they might want a 4th QB in camp. I assume they’d go vet, but they could go young. Probably depends on who is available. Feeley would be perfect.

  28. 28 Sam Lynch said at 1:49 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    It would be out of character to want 4 QBs in training camp. They almost always are down to 3 by the time they head to Lehigh — the 4th arm is usually for all of the minicamp passing crap.

    The only reason to go with a 4th QB is because you don’t believe in Kafka. I don’t get the sense that this is likely.

  29. 29 T_S_O_P said at 10:43 AM on May 24th, 2012:

    Tommy, nice write up on Fan-Demonium over on PE, it is a unique situation because of the holdout, we have two (year) sets of players experiencing their first OTAs as non-rookies. Some have been labelled busts or underachievers and others just forgotten. However, this is not unique to the Eagles so after reading the last (maybe) article on SNB, which other teams may reap a reward from both their 2010 and 2011 draftees?

  30. 30 TommyLawlor said at 1:04 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    That’s a great question. Let me think on it.

    One key is to look for teams that either made drastic system changes or teams that made drastic personnel changes.

  31. 31 T_S_O_P said at 1:31 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    ‘Zona? Their QBs echo our LBs.

  32. 32 ACViking said at 12:24 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    RE: 2-Deep Safties

    Just a hunch . . . but to attack a 2-deep safety alignment, the TE — or TEs and slot guy — become important in working area behind the LBs and in front of the safeties.

    Maybe Celek’s production increased so much as the season progressed.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 1:04 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    Early on, Celek blocked a lot. The coaches finally used him more and he did exploit some of the underneath voids.

  34. 34 Anders Jensen said at 3:07 PM on May 24th, 2012:

    The 2nd Cowboys game is the perfect example of the slot and TE abusing deep cover 2.