Time To Deliver

Posted: May 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 50 Comments »

There is a saying in the NFL that the biggest jump in development for young players is from Year 1 to Year 2.  Players have some experience under their belt.  They develop a bit of comfort in terms of their surroundings (living on their own, having money, living in an unfamiliar city,etc.).  The players have been coached on what they need to do to improve.  They also have access to an NFL weight room and strength coach.

The offseason heading into Year 2 is a critcal time for these players.  If they work hard, work smart, and stay focused, the players can make a tremendous jump.  Donovan McNabb was an athlete in 1999 and a QB in 2000.  LeSean McCoy was a solid rookie in 2009, but looked much better in 2010.  Todd Herremans was a backup/spot starter in 2005 and then a good starting OG in 2006.  Trent Cole showed some good things as a rookie in 2005, but the Eagles still went out in free agency and signed Darren Howard.  Jevon Kearse was going to be the LDE.  Howard and Cole would battle for the RDE spot.  Cole won and has been the RDE ever since.

The draft class of 2010 did not have the benefit of a normal offseason last year.  And that draft class has quite a few question marks:

1st Round – DE Brandon Graham – Michigan
2nd Round – FS Nate Allen – USF
4th Round – LB Keenan Clayton – Oklahoma
4th Round – QB Mike Kafka – Northwestern
4th Round – TE Clay Harbor – Missouri State
5th Round – WR Riley Cooper – Florida
7th Round – LB Jamar Chaney – Mississippi State
7th Round – SS Kurt Coleman – Ohio State

4th Round – CB Trevard Lindley – Kentucky

I split the players above into 3 groups.  Graham and Allen just need to stay healthy.  Each guy has shown good NFL ability when 100 percent.  A full offseason would not have meant as much to them.

At the bottom I have Lindley.  He simply got lost in the shuffle last year as the Eagles upgraded the CBs.  Lindley failed to stand out in the summer and got cut.  A full offseason would have helped him, but would not have necessarily made a significant difference.

The middle group are the players who really could have used the full offseason.  Each player listed there has the potential to be a starter in the NFL.  Each player also has some issue (or issues) that holds him back.

Rather than put a line or two about each player, I’ll cover one guy at a time.  First up, Keenan Clayton.  Let’s go back to some key numbers of his from prior to the draft.

6’1, 229
27 reps
41.5 VJ
10-7 BJ

Key stats: 2009 – 46 solo tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FFs, 5 PDs

Clayton was drafted as a role player and STer that the team hoped would develop and push for the WLB spot.  He had good cover skills coming out of Oklahoma and had the build/ability to be very good on STs.  Sean McDermott liked him enough to get creative with Clayton in some gameplans against good opponents (IND, GB).  Clayton showed very good potential in those games.

Unfortunately Clayton hasn’t taken the next step.  He is a gifted athlete that coaches would love to play more.  The problem is that he’s not a functional run defender at this point.  He must get in the weight room and get bigger and stronger.  Clayton then needs a lot of work this spring and summer on how to take on blockers and shed blocks.  He has shown that he can play in the Nickel defense.  He has shown that he can play on STs.  The question is if he can play in the base defense.  Clayton hasn’t come close to pushing for time in the base D in his first 2 years.

Clayton finished 2010 well and then did the same thing in 2011.  Now he needs to play well for a whole season.  He needs to show the coaches he will contribute starting in the preseason.  There are now a lot of bodies at LB.  Clayton isn’t guaranteed a roster spot.  He must earn that.

There is a distinct possibility that Clayton is listed as the #3 WLB right now.  That should spark a sense of urgency in him.  Again, there is no question of talent.  Clayton runs very well.  He can cover very well.  Good tackler.  Solid hitter.  While the NFL is a passing league, LBs must be able to play the run.  More and more teams are lining up in spread sets and then running the football.  The goal is to get the defense in a Nickel look.  That takes a LB off the field and replaces him with a CB.  It also gets the defense to go from base players to specialty guys.

Clayton has to show the coaches that he can be a reliable run defender, even in the Nickel.  That means the ability to tackle RBs on inside runs.  That means taking on OGs that come up to the 2nd level.  It means shedding blocks and getting after the runner.  Clayton really needs a strong summer.  He has played in the Nickel each of the last 2 years (at times), but now will compete with Kendricks, Matthews, Chaney, and Rolle for one spot.  DeMeco Ryans will have the other spot.

It will be interesting to see if Clayton can put it all together and become a key role player and STer or if he is one of those guys who will just tease us with his talent and then fade away.  One key point on Clayton…he doesn’t have to become a starter in order to be considered a successful pick.  If he can become a good role player and key STer, that’s just fine for a 4th round pick.

* * * * *

I haven’t had a chance to watch the full video, but our old buddy BountyBowl posted a link on Twitter to an episode of NFL Game of the Week from 1986…PHI at CHI.  I’ll be watching the full thing in a while.  That was a really good game.

* * * * *

In case you missed this, here is a video of 5-9 Brandon Boykin winning a dunk contest back in his high school days.  Impressive athlete.

50 Comments on “Time To Deliver”

  1. 1 mcud said at 6:23 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    My favorite part of the Boykin video is how he buried the little kid he dunked over. Never let a child get in the way of a celebration…

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 6:45 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Kids are a replaceable commodity, right?

  3. 3 Razz_A_Matazz said at 11:58 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    That’s what my dad used to tell me…

  4. 4 Eagles1991 said at 6:23 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Will boykin get a look @ returning punts or is he strictly his best on kickoffs? Any offensive snaps for him?

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 6:47 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    KOR for sure. Will get mixed in as PR with DeSean.

    I think Andy will mix him in on offense in the future. For now, let the rook figure out CB and RS. And when I say he’ll get some offensive looks, we’re talking a handful of touches all year. Mix him in from time to time, if he shows he is dangerous with the ball.

  6. 6 Dewey said at 6:26 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    From what I understand Clayton’s problems are basically on the top floor. So, in theory the simpler scheme of Castillo should help him out. On the other side, he seems to have been a pick made for McDermott’s more dynamic plans.

  7. 7 nopain23 said at 7:17 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Hey T
    Still waiting for your post on how Boykin is going to win DROY….lol

  8. 8 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:28 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    I think this post represents one of the biggest reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season. I feel that between the potential growth of this draft class (and the return from injury for Graham and Allen), the additional offseason time together as a team with the new scheme, and the chance for the free agent class of last year to mesh (and make amends from last year), even if they hadn’t made other moves this offseason they would be well positioned. Add in Ryans, Cox, Kendricks, and Boykin, as well as the settling of the DeSean situation (and hopefully the LeSean situation as well), and there is a lot to be optimistic about.

    An interesting story from yesterday about Andy Reid’s “Power Ranking” in Moving The Chains yesterday. Basically Reid’s current ranking is pretty mediocre and below a lot of coaches that I found surprising. Here is his ranking and the link:
    Coaches ranked above Reid (in order): Detroit’s Jim Schwartz, the Giants’ Tom Coughlin, New England’s Bill Belichick, Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy, San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh, Baltmore’s John Harbaugh, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, Denver’s John Fox, Atlanta’s Mike Smith, Houston’s Gary Kubiak, Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis, Tennessee’s Mike Munchak, the Jets’ Rex Ryan and the Bears’ Lovie Smith.

    Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/Where-Reid-ranks-2013-mocks.html#ixzz1u8QROliN

    Now, I’m still not entirely sure what a coach power ranking is, but I don’t know how you put him below some of these coaches. Mike Smith? Marvin Lewis? I understand they technically had better seasons than Reid did last year, but if you had a team, would you really pick either of these guys to run it before Reid? I feel the same way about Fox, Munchak, and Lovie Smith. I know that we are all pretty critical of Reid, and I believe a lot of it is warranted, but put in this context, I feel more convinced that he’s a very good coach. Just curious about other’s reactions.

  9. 9 M0rton said at 8:50 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    There are some reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season, especially with regard to the returning players, but in the end, the problem is this:

    The rest of the NFC is going to be BEASTLY this year, and in ensuing years.

    Just in the division alone:

    – RGIII is the real deal and will very quickly turn the Redskins into a serious competitor in the division. They already have a great pass rush and a solid defense, and once they figure out their offense, they will be a complete team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Redskins take the division as early as this season, actually.

    – The Cowboys will be vastly improved this year. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr form a potent pair of potential shutdown corners, which will enable Rob Ryan to blitz with impunity. We already know that their LB core is very good. If they can establish a defensive improvement, their weapons on offense will make this a complete team.

    – The Giants will always be a factor as long as they have Eli Manning throwing to Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and as long as they have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL.

    And even outside of the NFC East, the conference is stacked:

    – The Packers will always be a factor as long as they have Aaron Rodgers throwing to his many weapons. I’m sure that Dom Capers will figure out how to improve the defense, especially with all of the nice draft picks he has to play with this year.

    – The Detroit Lions are on the verge of creating a dynasty with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, and Ryan Broyles. I see alot of early 90s Cowboys in this team, and it will only be a matter of time before they shore up their secondary (as the early 90s Cowboys did after their first playoff exit) and become a Super Bowl team

    – The Seahawks are creating something special on defense out there in Seattle. Pete Carroll is a defensive mastermind and each year he adds more and more impact pieces to his group. They already have, at this point, maybe the best young secondary in the NFC: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, and Richard Sherman. With the addition of Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner, they add elite talent to their LB corps. If their defense plays up to their level of talent, Matt Flynn/Tarvaris Jackson/Russell Wilson need only be decent game managers and this team could make a Super Bowl run

    – The Rams are well positioned to potentially become a dynasty (if they utilize their resources effectively) in the near future, with all of their future draft picks (reminiscent of the Herschel Walker trade that turned the 90s Cowboys into a dynasty) and their franchise QB Sam Bradford.

    – The Panthers had an elite offense last year but didn’t make the playoffs because of putrid defense. Defense is always easier to manufacture than an elite offense, and they have some defensive gurus coaching that team, and added elite defensive talent in the draft, so I fully expect this team to make a push to join the ranks of the elite as early as next year.

    – Other teams such as the Bears, Saints, Bucs, Cardinals, and Falcons are all playoff contenders to some extent as well.

  10. 10 Eric Weaver said at 9:24 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    For some reason I’m thinking if the eagles stayed at 15 and selected Irvin, you would say how it was a reach and how he’s not an elite talent.

  11. 11 Joe Taylor said at 9:53 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Hop off his D

  12. 12 D3Keith said at 12:02 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    Never happen.

  13. 13 laeagle said at 9:33 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    I AGREE WITH YOU! Never thought I’d say that.

    The division is certainly stacked. I think it might take a little longer than you suggest for the Skins to pull it together, I do feel the Cowboys are, like us, a team that underachieved last year but that’s set up to do REALLY well next year. I think they’re our top competition in the division. I know it sounds stupid, but I feel that the Giants are my dark horse for last in the NFC East next year. I just have a feeling that everything has gone their way so often, they’re due for karma to catch up. Their defense has a very strong line, but is otherwise unimpressive. Their OL is getting older and it was already pretty old last year. And they haven’t shown the ability to consistently run the ball. We’ll see, just my thoughts.

    I also feel that the Lions are a team to watch, but they still haven’t done anything yet to make me think they’re in line for a championship anytime soon. A lot of talent but I think they’re still a year or so away from pulling it all together.

    I keep telling everyone who listens that if the Rams don’t win a superbowl in the next 6 years with all of those picks, they should just fire everyone. No excuse for having that much opportunity for talent and not cashing in.

    Don’t forget the Niners in your review of top teams in the NFC. That defense isn’t losing a step, and they can’t get much worse on offense. They’ve added a lot of weapons this offseason. It’s all on smith, much like it’s all on Vick with us.

    For us, I think we’re as well positioned as anyone in the NFC going into the season. It’s all on Vick, IMHO. We live or die by his performance this year.

  14. 14 Tyler Phillips said at 10:37 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    While I don’t disagree completely….

    In the NFC South:

    Panthers are at least a year away from anything significant.

    ATL has been everyone’s “this year they will do it for sure” team a la the Cowboys.

    Saints are in for a rough year, but with that O they can still win this division.

    Bucs are going to try and win with Running and D. Except that’s not how you win in this league anymore/at the moment. Oh and their D is so-so on a good day.

    NFC North:

    Pack will be a force to be sure.

    Bears are solid and will be a factor if they can stay healthy. No depth at all on that team.

    Detroit has an outstanding offense, but that D was bad bordering on awful in the Secondary on top of the DL taking a step back.

    NFC West:

    Cards no. Just no. Unstable QB situation not likely a threat this year.

    Seahawks also unstable/unproven QB situation. An improving team for sure but they are higher up on a similar tier as the Cards.

    Rams non factor this year….and even speculating about a dynasty with a team that has won 3 games or less in 3 of the last 4 years is just nonsense. It will be a year or 2 before they are any kind of threat.

    SF legit contender.

    NFC East:

    Giants of course.

    Redskins… you are nuts if you think they could take the division this year. RG3 will be lucky to last the season behind this OL considering the DLs they will be facing on a regular basis. Slimmest of slim chance at the Division this year. Fletcher will slow down eventually, not saying this year but he makes that entire middle of the D look superior to the reality of the rest of the guys around him. the middle of that D is barely avg outside of him. And the 2ndary is still bad.

    Cowboys…Right shutdown CBs. Carr is good for sure, but Claiborne has not played DOWN 1 YET! I mean come on dude. “Very good LB group” Ware is a great pass rusher no doubt. Lee has been pretty good, but Spencer is getting 9M for no reason. He is avg on his good days, and Connor has been decent but also is in a new D as well as completely new Scheme.

    Dallas had to try and plug a ton of holes thru FA/Draft in one offseason…Sound familiar, how did that work out? The middle of that pass D will still be bad because they replaced one former Ryan S that was nothing special with another former Ryan S that is nothing special. Plug a bunch of holes with a DC that has shown to be Avg at best, that worked out great for us last year. At least we had reason to think that Castillo might improve throughout the year. I hope it works out as well for them as it did for us.

  15. 15 mlopy said at 4:12 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    Kinda hard for the Eagles to do anything other than try to improve their own team. A very good offseason so far certainly has me optimistic.

  16. 16 deshawnbentley said at 4:40 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    Did you just call Sean McDermott a “defensive guru”. I sure hope not otherwise that will just further my beliefs that you lack any football knowledge. Also you use the word dynasty loosely. You honestly think the Lions are a piece or two way? Laughable.

  17. 17 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:13 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    Your points are well taken, but you are clearly taking the most optimistic outlook on each of the other teams. Take the same optimistic view with the Eagles, and they are clearly competitive with every team on this list, and unquestionably a contender to not only win the division but go far in the playoffs. Plus, based on track record, an AR coached team has the highest likelihood of making the playoffs than any other team in the conference, which gets back to my original point that he stacks up pretty well against the other coaches.

  18. 18 D3Keith said at 12:05 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    With regard to your actual post, yeah, I didn’t even read that coaches’ ranking because I saw Reid 15th and I couldn’t fathom it, but seeing Mike Munchak on the list kills any cred he had. At least Lovie and John Fox and Marvin Lewis have track records of success.

    Anyway, it’s unimportant. For everything Reid is and isn’t — and trust, we are annoyed to tears by his major flaws — if one of his teams effs around and wins a Super Bowl, he’ll probably be considered the top active coach besides Belichick. I’d allow for guys like Coughlin and Shanahan who have won multiple Super Bowls, but Reid really needs just that one magical team to spit-shine the rest of his resume.

  19. 19 Tyler Phillips said at 8:41 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    I was actually thinking about how “the lost offseason” for our 3rd year guys, could combine with our 2nd year(FA & Draft) guys making a jump and vault this D from solid to top 5.

    I’m not saying its definite that they all make “The Leap” or anything, but Allen and Graham have top talent, Chaney and Coleman have shown at the least spot starter ability and Clayton has shown specialized role ability.

    On offense Harbor has flashed and Cooper is a solid ST guy, but otherwise a disappointment at WR. I think Harbor is relatively safe on the roster, with Cooper less so.

    From the 2011 class, Watkins seems like a hard worker and was adequate but nothing special at RG; disappointing for a 1st RD pick but I believe he will show quite a bit of improvement. Kelce should be much improved as well if for no other reason than he has had some time to add some muscle/strength in the Weight Room; which can do nothing but help him in dealing with some of those big guys in the middle. Jarrett and Marsh, I’m not really sure about due to lack of meaningful playing time but I’m sure the hope is they improve with a full offseason. Matthews is one to keep an eye on he was improving towards the end of the year and is intelligent enough that he may be the one that benefits the most from having a full offseason to learn the D, strong WILL candidate. Rolle is another one to keep an eye on since he got a lot of meaningful playing time last season.

    This D could be outstanding if only half of these guys from these 2 draft classes take a significant step forward.


  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 11:00 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    The defense needs solid LB play and DRC to live up to his potential. That will give you a Top 10 unit. If other guys step up, the defense could be really, really good. The flip side is that we only need a couple of guys to get hurt/struggle and we’ll be hurting.

    The good news for me is that we don’t need guys to make substantial jumps. Nate Allen doesn’t have to be Dawk. He just needs to be solid. We need Kurt or JaiJar to be an effective starter. We need someone to emerge in the slot (hopefully Boykin).

    I’d love for some young guys to become standouts, but it isn’t necessary.

  21. 21 D3Keith said at 12:32 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    Your last sentence is basically my major point.

    Look, they are ALL not going to take the leap. But we have 27 draft picks who have yet to have a normal offseason fighting for roster spots this year, and that doesn’t include the guys like Phillip Hunt or Cedric Thornton or the UDFAs with potential like Brown, Polk, Harris, etc.

    So we have roughly 30 guys who are in that area where they might make the leap if they put for the right effort and catch the right breaks. So yeah every team had the same obstacles the past few offseasons, but I doubt there’s many if any who drafted this many guys who are still around

    (We drafted 13 guys in 2010; 9 are still with the team — DTN, Sapp, Scott, Owens, we hardly knew ye;
    We drafted 11 last season; 9 made the active roster, and Lloyd and Havili are still around.
    We just drafted another 9, and even if they all don’t make the team or PS or IR, some of the UDFAs might)

    I think it was Tommy who pointed out that only two of McDermott’s starters in his final game are expected to start this year.

    We don’t need all 30 guys to make the leap. What if only 10 do? What if 5 do and 5 have a marginal improvement/rookie contribution? Mix that in with DeMeco and DRC being in the right place, DeSean no longer playing for a contract, Vick having a normal offseason to prepare as the starter, etc., and there’s lots of room for this team to get better with the people who are on the roster as we speak.

    What if just one of Allen or Graham begins to beast?
    One of Cox or Curry.
    One of Jarrett or Matthews or Coleman or Rolle or Chaney.
    One of Boykin or Marsh or Hughes or Lindley.
    One of Foles or Kafka or Edwards.
    One of Lewis or Polk or Brown.
    One of Landri or Dixon or Thornton.

    Catch my drift? They don’t all need to pan out for us to a major step forward. If a third or a quarter of them do, and the other guys hold the line … whooo weee.

    Plus they should be humbled after the [nickname that should never be repeated] debacle.

    I’m psyched.

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 1:21 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    You got me psyched.

  23. 23 Anders Jensen said at 5:52 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    I dont hope we need to see Foles, Kafka or Edwards, else I agree 100%.

  24. 24 Mac said at 10:08 AM on May 7th, 2012:


  25. 25 Tyler Phillips said at 12:01 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    Exactly Exactly Exactly.

  26. 26 Razz_A_Matazz said at 12:03 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    Gem! Excellent illustration!

  27. 27 Alex Karklins said at 8:58 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Ah. I miss the barefoot kicker era. Thanks for the hit of nostalgia.

  28. 28 GeorgeFleep said at 9:13 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    If the eagles do dime would keenan Clayton fit as a safety. There is some talk that he might be the odd man out which i think is hogwash. In my opinion Moise Fokou odd man out. Clayton is more versatile for nickel and or dime. Simply he is good in space.

  29. 29 Outtenbucks said at 9:35 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    This goes along with my thinking.

    Tommy: 4.59 speed? 229 lbs.? Can run, good in coverage, can tackle?

    This sounds like a box safety/3rd and 6/3-safety guy to me.

    Couldn’t a guy like Clayton play as a box safety on those short to medium 3rd downs when running on us is still a possibility, or when we want three safeties?

  30. 30 GeorgeFleep said at 9:48 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    How would a box safety play differently behind 9 technique rather than regular d line. If the eagles do dime they could call it dime because Clayton is a LB but still use him as a safety because he is versatile. I doubt eagles use pure nickel 100% of the time.Similar last year eagles had a run and pass nickel. Its not vanilla nickel.

  31. 31 phillychuck said at 10:14 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    I’ve always thought Clayton would look better at strong safety than at LB. At least we’d have a SS who could tackle. Box safety is a good idea.

  32. 32 Jason said at 8:19 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    Safety is a good idea, but if his work in the run game has been questionable at LB, why would suddenly labelling him a S make him a good ‘in box’ run defender? I’m not sure whether the eagles can afford to use him in such a specialised role as I want…but Id use Clayton as a pass covering S on teams that play 2 TE – playing man on the other teams 2nd TE on passing downs eg. Beckum for Giants, Cooley for Skins, Hanna(?) for Cowboys, Hernandez for Pats etc.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 11:02 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    We’ve talked about Clayton shifting to Safety a few times this year. He played there some in college, but I don’t think it will happen.

    He could be used as a S in some defensive sets (as we’ve done in the past), but it isn’t likely to ever be his primary position.

  34. 34 D3Keith said at 12:36 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    There’s going to be more than one odd man out at LB.

    Currently we have 10 LBs, two of whom are stone-cold roster locks (Ryans, Kendricks), three I’d say are likely to hang around (Matthews, Rolle, Chaney) and five who really have to show something to stick (Clayton, Jordan, Fokou, Simmons, Lloyd).

    Jordan might have the edge with the versatility and willingness to be an STer, but I’m rooting for Clayton.

  35. 35 Anders Jensen said at 5:56 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    The way I see the roster shaping, there is only 6 LB spots and essential only the last one is really up for grasp.

  36. 36 Joe Taylor said at 9:31 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    I think Fokou and Jordan will have problems making the team more so than Keenan Clayton. Clayton hasn’t had an extensive time of playing time in his career yet…On the other hand, Fokou and Jordan have had a lot of playing time in their careers. They have reached their potential, what you see with both players is what you’re going to get…Which isn’t anything special.

    Clayton still has potential so I think he’ll be safe to make the team before Fokou or Jordan.

  37. 37 bebin abraham said at 9:52 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    jordan is the most versatile out of the 3, clayton has the most physcially gifted….fokou gives it all on the field …

    I have them ranked right now as


  38. 38 TommyLawlor said at 11:02 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    We do need someone to be the backup SAM. That gives Jordan or Fokou an advantage.

  39. 39 Joe Taylor said at 9:51 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Tommy, do you think Casey Matthews make a huge push for his job back at WILL? I would love to see him and Rolle go at it, head to head in training camp for the starting position.


    Patterson, Jenkins, Cox, Landri, Dixon, & Thornton. | 6 DTs

    Cole, Babin, Graham, Curry, Tapp & Hunt. | 6 DTs

    How many players do you think we’ll carry at DT and DE?

    Does Thornton have a realistic chance to make the team? If he doesn’t, do you think we’ll be lucky enough to keep him on our practice squad?

    Is Landri even a lock to make the team?

    Don’t you think we should make Tapp and Hunt compete for the 5th DE spot? Make Hunt beat out a decent DE in Darryl Tapp for the 5th spot.

  40. 40 Tyler Phillips said at 10:42 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    5 DTs, 5 DEs

    DT- Cox, Jenkins, Patterson are locks

    Dixon Landri Thornton will fight it out for the last 2 spots

    DE- Cole Babin Curry Graham are locks

    Tapp and Hunt battle for the last spot.

  41. 41 D3Keith said at 12:39 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    This sums it up perfectly.

    And if someone gets hurt, problem solves itself.

  42. 42 deg0ey said at 8:01 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    Agree with this in principle, but I could see them going with 6DTs if Dixon, Landri, Thornton and Cox all perform well at camp. Jenkins will be 32 by the end of next season and could be a prime candidate for leaving next offseason.

    If they’re thinking of the future, and want a DT lineup of Cox, Patterson, Dixon, Landri and Thornton going into the 2013 season then they may keep all 6 on the roster rather than risking Thornton on the practice squad again.

  43. 43 TommyLawlor said at 11:06 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    I hope the Eagles shift Casey to WLB so that Chaney can focus on MLB. If that happens, Casey will get a shot to battle Rolle for the WLB job. I’ll pull for Rolle since he’s my son, but maybe if Mama Matthews will invite me over for dinner I’ll support him.

    Don’t worry about predictions with DE and DT. We’ll keep the best guys. What are the chances that everyone plays well and stays healthy?

  44. 44 Joe Taylor said at 9:56 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Forget 40 times..Who’s a faster football player on the field/on tape…Clayton or Jarrett?

  45. 45 bebin abraham said at 9:56 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    4 DT’s and 5 DE’s

    if Dixon shows up like he did in 2010, Patterson and tapp could be gone by trade..

    hunt supposedly put on more weight and the eagles might be looking to shed salaries in future years so patterson looks like a prime candidate to be traded if dixon shows up

  46. 46 GeorgeFleep said at 10:34 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Patterson being traded you are joking right? I suppose everything is possible, but that trade would definitely need to favor the eagles by a significant amount.

  47. 47 Anders Jensen said at 6:47 AM on May 7th, 2012:

    If Dixon plays out of his mind this TC, its not out of the thought. Remember no player is never 100% safe.

  48. 48 Doravuth Son said at 11:12 PM on May 6th, 2012:

    Tommy- Brandon Boykin is great, just seen his highlights vs Michigan State

  49. 49 Mac said at 12:02 PM on May 7th, 2012:


    Friday night boredom resulted in an opportunity to watch one of our “Favorite” players this weekend. He actually recorded a sack! And Jorrick Calvin nabbed an INT. Arena football is so weird…haha

  50. 50 iskar36 said at 12:07 PM on May 7th, 2012:

    “I split the players above into 3 groups. Graham and Allen just need to stay healthy. Each guy has shown good NFL ability when 100 percent. A full offseason would not have meant as much to them.”

    Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are trying to say, but I would think that Graham and Allen still have a lot to gain from a full offseason. You say both guys have shown good NFL ability, but considering where they were drafted, I expect a lot more from them. If Graham doesn’t show more than what he showed in his rookie season before his injury, I think most of us label him a bust, especially considering the move we made to go up and get him. As for Allen, he has shown flashes of quality play, but has not shown that he can play at that level consistently, which is really what makes the difference between a backup and a good starter. I would think a full offseason could do a lot in helping him reach that level of play.

    I do understand your broader point that a guy like Clayton would gain more than a guy like Graham or Allen, but I still think both of those guys could gain a lot.